Geez it's been awhile, eh?!
Work and a lot of gaming will do that to you.
I recently (about two or three months ago) got an older gaming PC up and running, and started catching up on PC gaming that I've been missing.
I've played Far Cry (IMO, the XBox re-do was better), Chaser and Dai Katana (it really does suck) so far, and I've touched on Torchlight (interesting, but I like Sacred and Sacred 2 more).
I have also been playing the Dead Island series on my PS3, and I have to say, I'm really liking them. I'm actually trying to figure our why Riptide was raked through the coals. Only time will tell, I suppose.
What really has my attention right now, though, is this older shooter called Boiling Point, released back in 2005.
Boiling Point was made by a studio based in the Ukraine called Deep Shadows, and, unfortunately, might have been released a little hastily. I remember it also getting raked through the calls. But, one patch later, and the game was not only playable, but awesome.
Boiling Point is pretty much the inspiration for the latter Far Cry games, and it shows. You have a massive open world to explore, a lot of vehicles, and a lot to do. However, unlike the newer Far Cry games, you have skill-based stats, vehicles require training and licenses to use, and other than the local wildlife (which is incredibly dangerous, by the way) no one is an enemy until you engage them as such; you start the game off on a neutral slate with all involved factions.
So far, I haven't even touched the main story, I've been too busy running side missions, earning money and playing with the weapon upgrade system (which is simple but practical). I really like the inclusion of multiple ammunition types, as it definitely adds a tactical level that's been missing since System Shock.
The game, ultimately, is kind of like a cross between Far Cry, Deus Ex and hint of Grand Theft Auto (but only a a tiny bit).
Despite the aging graphics (and they are quite aged), the gameplay is extremely refreshing after some of the drivel I've played lately. Unfortunately, it was a bitch to find. Yes, I swore, but I can't emphasize this enough. It's pretty easy to get if you live in the U.S., though - us Canucks will have to use and abuse EBay or Amazon, though. For you lucky enough to live south of the 49th, though, Atari will gladly sell you the digital download for $9.99 (plus taxes, I assume). I'm not sure which version it is, though. If it's 2.0 or higher, you're good.
I've also finished Grand Theft Auto 5. Excellent game, but...I think Rockstar needs to make GTA V their grand finale. The online was fun for awhile, but...I'm starting to not care about the series anymore. Which is a shame, the heists were great. Being Neil, Michael and Chris (Heat fans will get the reference, I hope) was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this is still not part of the online, and I have more games to play than GTA V.
Speaking of which, for those of you who have not played Lego Marvel Superheroes, you are seriously missing out. It is an incredible amount of fun. And it's fun that casual gamers can get into, too. K (aka The Girlfriend) absolutely loves it. Well, when we're in a mission, anyway. She's not too keen about the free-roaming.
The skinny on that is that it is the latest Lego free-roamer (Lego Lord of the Rings - also excellent - and Lego Batman 2 being the precursors, if you will). Aside from going on missions, you also solve puzzles and run side-quests in the free-roam world to get gold blocks to do even more missions, which are a lot of fun. Like previous Lego games, you not only get to play as the good guys, but the bad guys, too. Sadly, Magneto wasn't really all that impressive.
Going back to Dead Island and it's sequel, Dead Island: Riptide, I've also been playing those, and they're a lot of fun. Not true sandbox, play, though; they're like Borderlands in terms of flow and progression, so there are separate "levels", as it were.
For those who aren't familiar, Dead Island is a first-person Action-RPG where you're basically trying to survive an isolated zombie apocalypse that's trying to break loose. You pick one of four (or five in the sequel) heroes that are immune to the zombie virus, and you beat, hack, slash and occasionally shoot your way to victory in a paradise lost.
Each character levels up and earns skills, and aside from a plethora of weapons that you can pick up, you can also combine them with other mundane items to craft even better gear - and upgrade them, too.
And zombies aren't your only enemy, either. Aside from the different classes of the walking dead, you also fight humans, too, and you can use the same weapons against them as you can the zombies, although humans seem more resistant to melee weapons and weaker to guns; the zombies are the exact opposite, barring the shotgun.
Like Borderlands, the game also has online co-op for up to four players, too, so you can slaughter zombies alongside your friends or strangers, whichever you prefer.
My goal at this time is probably to finish Boiling Point, then maybe Far Cry, and then go back to Dead Island. In the middle of that, I'll hopefully also finish Lego Lord of the Rings, which is, by far, the least disappointing Lord of the Rings game that I've played. And yes, I have played Return of the King and War in the North, but not Third Age.
Hopefully (fingers crossed), I'll start seeing weapon repair kits in Boiling Point. The wear feature is interesting and while I am allegedly supposed to see repair kits, I can't buy the, anywhere. I guess I'll just have to trudge onward.
And to you, I say happy playing, and a good morning, afternoon or evening.