Tag Archives: gameplay

Haven Reviews: several Good Old Games

Haven reviews: Several Good old games. GOG is a fantastic service that breathe new life into old titles, which may or may not run properly in new operating systems. Most of that has to do with the original game code being crap and a general lack of compatibility. Some games run fantastic even on Windows 10, while some will only run on a specific OS and some does not run at all. This is a short list of several games I bought from GOG.

Blood: One unit whole blood

It’s violent, filled with blood, mutilations and monsters. It’s a old school fast phased first person shooter, with some inventive weapons and some great sprites. The GOG release comes with the original music and the FMW sequences. Which has not aged well at all. The 3d graphics looks worse than my first attempt at modelling. Which is quite jarring, since the in game graphics are quite good, with detailed sprites. Each level has an unique design and theme, heavily inspired by horror movies. A froze Johnny can be found in a hedge maze. While the game supports different resolutions, they may or may not work entirely as intended. At least they’re there. There is only one big issue and that is the music. It can’t be turned muted, turned down or stopped. Especially in the amusement park the music is loud. Not sure if GOG can fix this.

Swat 4

It’s a game about breaching doors, busting criminals and rescue civilians. Where the biggest question is why that guy ignore teargas and where the devil a suspect dropped his gun. The Ai is questionable, but the levels are fun, with random perp placement. It runs, looks okay for the most part and sports a terrible aspect ratio. However it does come with the expansion pack. The game itself runs fine, minus one place where it had stuttering and slowdown. Apparently there are mods to improve the game. Such as the elite forces mod, that takes the realism up several notches and adds more features.

Sim City 4

Build a town, run the town, play mini games to keep earning more money. Then call in a meteorite and nuke it all to hell. Just for fun. While juggling traffic jams and air pollution. It’s fun, addictive and a great educational game, when it comes to city management and all the problems that comes with it. Runs fine, looks fine and it works.

Roller Coaster Tycooon 2

Run and operate a custom built amusement park. Build attractions and kill guests with a badly designed roller coaster. It’s a seriously fun management games, with many fantastic features. However the sprites and the interface is almost impossible to see. Since everything is so small. Usually these old games have too large interfaces if anything.

Outlaws

Lucas art made a game about a sheriff trying to rescue his wife from a big man, with a lot of money. It’s a first person shooter, with some fantastic levels, questionable physics and a insane difficulty. The dynamite has some of the worst physics I’ve ever encountered in a game. It’s also prone to random crashes.

Alien Breed: Tower Assault

Your ship has crashed and the place is over run with alien monstrosities. It has coop, challenging levels and limited ammo. With enemies that spawn in your face a lot of the time. It runs great and has a cheesy as hell intro movie. It’s top down and easy to play, very hard to complete with several paths to take.

Anachronox

A gum shoe detective has an office on the top floor of a seedy bar, set on a very odd planet. it’s a turn based RPG game, with a great story, some really interesting characters. But is littered with so many bugs, that i’d recommend watching a let’s play on Youtube. I have had all of the movie sequences go on repeat, while I was still playing. Looping them when ever I got back to the spot. At one point I also fell through the world.

Planescape: Torment

A man wakes up in a morgue, with no memory, next to a talking skull. It’s one of the few RPG games that brings the town of Sigil to life, with good graphics and for the most part avoidable combat. It’s a terrific story, with a lot of twists and turns around every corner.

Tyrian 2000

Jump from system to system, collect data logs and kill hordes of enemies. It’s a top down scrolling game, where  you control a heavily armed and poorly protected space craft. It’s an okay game, with some dry graphics and intense bosses and a hair raising difficulty.

Archimedean Dynasty


The world has gone down the crapper, along with man kind. Now everyone lives under the sea and commute with submarines. Which pilots a lot like space crafts. As far as sandbox games goes, it’s very open ended, with some catchy tunes and hard enemies. Plus a plethora of bugs. It may or may not run properly. Personally I could not see anything on the screen, followed by random crashes. Hopefully a fan patch or GOG will make it run better.

Njål H Sand

Haven Editorial: PVP in Elite Dangerous

Haven Editorial: PVP and Elite Dangerous 

Space the final frontier, a place where only the elite can live dangerously and die screaming. Which I have done a lot of when dying and lousing, my bounty vouchers. When farming for two hours. Never the less I had a discussion with a friend and one of my acquaintances, whom have issue to say the least. He is talks about it’s based on realism, when I say that space is too dark and an optional filter for the cockpit would be awesome. Yet he fails to consider that a cockpit made of glass is stupid to have on a craft in the first place and that space has no sound. So much for the realism look. On the other hand he has a one tracked mind, plays private and trades a lot. Which brings me to the main point of this editorial concerning, pvp in Elite Dangerous.

A virtual battle arena would be a neat thing indeed, since player versus player is very much dying and dead. Imagine entering a station then que up for a pvp session in a specialized zone, where you’re actual ship can be used and the re buy cost is greatly reduced. Where people can bet money or spectate matches. Or you have to pay a fee. Sure there is pvp with random strangers, but at this point and the current scale. It’s quite pointless or not worth it at all. Especially since anyone I shoot in a system will put a bounty on my head, causing the government to murder me. Especially on a resource extraction site. Essentially what is the point of blowing a billion on ship upgrades and min maxing with engineers, if I can’t fight some random people without having to pay a lot when dying.
The AI is unfortunately very boring and uninteresting to fight.

Combat zones makes little or no sense, I would really thing that someone would fight around a station, trying to occupy it at some point. Because the whole idea of fighting around a strategic structure with a clipper modded to hell and back sounds so much more fun that a dingy sidewinder.

I’ve talked a bit before about realism in space games, the usual thing people point out is there is no sound in space. Which is true, and can solved by turning off the speakers. Technically the only place to hear sounds is things hitting my ship, because it has an atmosphere. Then again if Elite Dangerous would be very boring without sound. Speaking of sound, I really wish there was an in-game stereo in the ship. Instead of dynamic sounds changing based on events. I really want consistent music. Seriously, every teenager dream of owning a car, cruising down the highway with wind blowing through the hair while blasting off their favorite music.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

In the in fourth first century there can be only war and that is one thing Warhammer Dawn of War has always done right. From a visual standpoint the latest installment looks lovely and units are very well defined. The environment looks very bad in a good way. Since the theme is war and destruction., every thing is ruins and mostly gray and brown. With an every increasing pile of broken bodies and bags of blood. As for the music, it’s moody, instrumental with a touch of heroics. With decent sound effects and it’s easy to pick out the different audio ques. Every unit has a heavy British accent that fits the Warhammer universe quite well. Technically there is a rock paper scissor logic going on, where each squad has various active abilities to lob at heretics and xenos alike. Business as usual, it’s also possible to summon various heroes that has abilities of their own and a quite commanding presence on the battle field. Which brings me to a very annoying and very true problem with games such as these. Micro management from a hell. Some units such as the snipers has to deploy, while some are meant purely for close quarter combat. Some are back line and others are mobile. Combine this with a bit sluggish response times and clunky path finding, where you have to rapidly switch between units to gain the best effect. Sure I can just clump them into a big pile and right click, but that only works against stupid people. A rare commodity in a real time strategy game. Combine that with having to click on various buildings to order units, upgrades such. It does become a handful and quite vexing indeed.

In the open beta of Dawn of War 3 there is only one game mode, where the goal is to crush the power core. Where point capture is key to gaining resource acquisition points. Which in turns summons units. No longer can squads be replenished, they have to be near a base building to do that. Each match gives experience points and skulls that can be used to learn new abilities and special orders for the heroic units. Along with some pr-order bonus skins and some skin that unlocks with level. I can’t say anything about the story mode as it is not part of the beta, it’s purely multiplayer at the moment. However I’m not convinced that Eldar has any chance what so ever to with most engagements. Especially since they are not built for defense. For the most part it feels like the Ork stomps all, eventually. It’s not bad game, just not my cup of tea. Too much micro.

Njål Sand