Wednesday, November 26, 2003


I haven't waded into the Deus Ex: Invisible War demo debate yet purely on the grounds that I still haven't played it. I was going to play it last night, but I couldn't be bothered burning the zip file to disk and porting it over from my work laptop to my games rig. This was mainly because there were a handful of demos I wanted to try off the new PCG cover DVD;

Battle Engine Aquilia: My, this is pretty, oh so pretty. Pretty vacuous, unfortunately. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at - nothing short of jaw-droppingly stunning, but there's nothing at all to blog about the actual game itself. Just like the X-Box version then.

Pro Evolution Soccer 3: I kept hearing about how good this is, so I thought I had to try it. Now, I've never really been into football games (beyond my masochistic relationship with Championship Manager) primarily because I've never had a decent gamepad to play them on. But now I do, so I thought I'd give it a go. And it's good. I got painfully whipped at the standard difficulty level, though I suppose this is mainly due to not having played this kind of game in years. With a fairly feature locked demo, and no manual, you can't really discover the true depth of the game, but the actual control method and playing experience seem solid enough. I don't think I'd actually fork out £30 for it, but if the genre was more my thing, I seems like a decent enough purchase. My only complaint is that the controller setup options and menus are clearly designed to cater for a PS2, and absolutely no effort has been made to make them more PC friendly, which is disappointing. Oh, and it's horribly unrealistic. Emile Heskey scoring a hat-trick against Germany? Give over.

Need For Speed: Underground: 2 Fast? 2 Furious? Almost. Here again, loads of features have been locked out of the demo, but what it does give you (a single circuit track and a single drag strip) are nice taster levels. The gamepad rumble support is good - and annoyed Fleur immensely "it sounds like a baby's rattle" - the music is predictably dreadful and the graphics are brilliantly shiny. I have slight reservations about the actual handling of the car it gives you in the demo - the handling physics seems a little off and the turn rate seems a little inconsistent, with the odd instance of inexplicable understeer. However, it is nice to see the AI drivers make mistakes too. I do like my driving games, and this is a possible purchase, probably not at full price, but certainly a £20 tempter. The Underground career mode in the full version sounds much more rewarding than the standard arcade racing levels the demo lets you try.

Now I have these out of the way, I'll probably try Invisible War tonight, now that I have an extra week to complete NWN, thanks to the Atari marketting men. *spits*

[Edit:] Of course, KOTOR is being published by Activision, not Atari - *slaps self* - I daresay Bioware aren't too happy about KOTOR shipping on the same weekend as Hordes Of The Underdark.

Await The Judgment Of Mad Iain tomorrow.

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