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Archive for Phil Hartup

Most Broken Game: A Travel Guide

Posted on 12th Sep 2010 at 00:59 by Phil Hartup with 10 comments

Phil Hartup
Here at the Realia Tourist Board we’d like to wish you a safe and pleasant stay in our little country. Please drive carefully and use pain medication responsibly, because it’s highly addictive.

There are two main towns in Realia, each with distinct character and places to visit.

Puerto Sombra, is the only town in the country fully controlled by the government and is sprawling colonial town offering plenty to see and do for those new to Realia. The main church is here, as is the only police station our great nation has, not to mention the offices of the national newspaper.

Puerto Sombra is also home to El Jaguar Negro, a small pub which, like all good bars, offers connections to large scale criminal organisations as standard, as well as hapless victims of assorted crimes looking for help. The Police Station on the other hand offers neither of these. In the event that you become a victim of crime yourself please be advised that wasting police time with such matters is likely to get you laughed at and you really should have picked up more guns at the Duty Free.

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Most Broken Game: Stockholm Syndrome

Posted on 10th Sep 2010 at 11:32 by Phil Hartup with 12 comments

Phil Hartup
The mission is a pretty simple one – a bunch of natives being used as slaves at a plantation deep in the jungle need rescuing. The place is guarded, but it’s no Fort Knox. The enemy are toting small arms, grenades; nothing too heavy. The real threat is the surrounding jungle, which is full of bees, snakes and jaguars who like to spend their spare time flying through the clouds; any body of water larger than a puddle probably has some piranhas in it.

I’m not too worried about the enemies though – they’ll fall easily to my Desert Eagle lookalike and its mysteriously small five round clip. If worst comes to worse I’ve got a big, square jeep which, though it handles like a hippo on an ice rink, I’m relying on to take me and the hostages to safety. No, what I’m really worried about is the bugs.

Any diary of the actual assault would end up reading like an Andy McNab novel that’s been used for toilet paper and it’s pointless to recall the details anyway. Suffice it to say that my first attempt to sneak into the base ended when a levitating jungle cat cut me off on my way to the base. The second go was much the same; my gun jammed inexplicably, so after the first bullet I was only able to defend myself with cusswords and fierce glares.

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Most Broken Game: Off the Rails

Posted on 8th Sep 2010 at 12:51 by Phil Hartup with 7 comments

Phil Hartup
One of the great tests for any sandbox game is to see what happens when you throw your toys out of the pram and go on a good old fashioned killing spree. Whether it’s starting a police chase in the GTA series, trying to take on the whole Third Reich at once in The Saboteur or picking fights with the population of Oblivion, these moments let us test the boundaries of the game and experiment freely. They can also be incredibly fun.

Unless you’re playing Boiling Point.

My personal killing spree in Boiling Point: Road To Hell began quite by chance. Returning to town from a spell in the jungle, I’d just saved the game and driven into the main town when, whoops, splat! I’d run over a local, oh dear. Somebody was shooting at my car in retaliation so I got out, identified the shooter as another civilian and killed him. It seemed rude not to under the circumstances and I hoped I could consider the matter settled. Unfortunately, things just escalated.

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Most Broken Game: The First Hour

Posted on 6th Sep 2010 at 09:11 by Phil Hartup with 20 comments

Phil Hartup
Survival in open world adventure games like Boiling Point can be a tricky and even somewhat distasteful business. I remember being put off by having to acquire my first suit of basic armour off a still-warm corpse in Oblivion, for example. Some might argue that walking a mile in another man’s shoes is a way to empathy and understanding, but I’d wager they didn’t envisage killing the owner of said shoes and stealing all his belongings as a prefix to that meaningful walk.

In Boiling Point you don’t need to steal clothes, but you still end up doing your fair share of scavenging. New players start facing the world of Realia with just a basic pistol and a knife – and to give you an idea of how useless those weapons are I’ll explain that your pistol only carries five bullets. It may look like an awesomely powerful Desert Eagle, but you’ll find you need to reload at least once even if you’re shooting at an unarmed Old Granny.

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