23 November 2009

Morning Vent, 23 November 2009

One of the best multiplayer games ever.

I almost hate to post today, I like that face-in-the-birthday-cake pic so much! Matt64 is my oldest friend; and I hope we'll be able to have our post-Thanksgiving gaming get-together this year. There's something about sluggishly running around shooting virtual bad guys and virtually blowing stuff up in a haze of adrenalin, tryptophan, alcohol, and caffeine that's a lot of fun.

I'm going off the reservation today by talking about one of the best multiplayer games ever made for the PC: Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The single player campaign was so-so; I've never been fond of supernatural elements in shooters, period. But the multiplayer was some of the best ever in a shooter. The team-based gameplay featured four distinct classes -- lieutenant, medic, engineer, and soldier -- which gave different styled players a chance to show their stuff. Each class had unique abilities (e.g., the lieutenant dispensing ammo to other players and calling in air strikes, the medic handling out health packs and reviving fallen but not quite dead comrades, and so on) which made them valuable to the team. (The servers I played on had no class limits, so we wound up with multiple lieutenants sometimes and no engineers on maps where we needed engineers to plant and/or defuse bombs.)
The maps were superb. They allowed for both fast-moving action and sneaky back-shooting camping. The weapons, which were assigned by class, were superbly balanced. I loved the flamethrower. There was something awesome about belching flame under a steel door and barbecuing the enemy engineer on the other side before he could plant a breaching charge...

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