Creepiest Monsters in Video games PART-1

In no particular order-

1.Barnacles from Half-life

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The barnacle creature attaches itself from the ceiling of a room or object and lowers it super adhesive tongue in the environment. As soon as you come in slight contact with the tongue the barnacle pulls you inwards and upwards by retracting it’s tongue in its mouth with you stuck on it. Then ,as you are suspended in mid air it chomps it teeth to severe your torso from the lower half of your body. Creepiest thing is that barnacles are positioned across chasms or rifts and seem like ropes on which you can jump on.BTW,if your’re caught by a Barnacle in-game,you are alive for a few seconds and stuck inside the Barnacle’s Body while you hear disgusting sound of Barnacle’s Digestive juices marinading your former Organs and a slight chomping of it’s formidable jaw.

2. The Flood from Halo 

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The flood’s infection form latches on to your Spinal cord to spread the infection and control the Host’s brain and motor functions.What’s scary is that the flood retain all the skills and memories of the host and get more intelligent and dangerous as there number increases and also they make a weird damp sound when approaching their prey,which just creeps me out.Also, you can get infected by the flood if you inhale any air which contains fragments or spores of the infection and the flood are capable of surviving millions of years without food.A single spore of a Flood Life form is capable of infecting thousands of other living organisms.Each Flood life form is controlled by a collective Consciousness called the “Hive Mind”.The Hive Mind operates the Flood as a Utopian Parasitic society where each individual strives for advancement of its species.The Hive Minds possess Beyond Genius level Intellect.

3. Headcrab from Half life

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Headcrab digs it’s four pincers in your skull and latches on to your Face. From there it breaks your facial bones to access your brain stem and turn you into a zombie.Headcrabs are also used by “The Combine” as ammo for their artillery.They are launched in pods at hostile locations to ‘neutralize’ any non-compliant biological life.Headcrabs covert their victims into Puppet-esque Zombies whose Neural and motor functions are controlled by the “organism” which uses a human’s bi-pedal features to efficiently devour other living creatures.

Also,they are a shamelessly inspired from “Facehuggers” from Ridely Scott’s Alien.

4.The Revenant from Doom

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The Revenant is more of a badass than scary. It’s basically a Skelton with a jetpack and a neurologically controlled rocket launcher. It’s kinda scary when it removes your player’s hand and beats you to death with it.Revenant’s Gaunt frame is contrasted by a heavy piece of Machinery ie It’s dual shoulder strapped Rocket launchers.With it’s frame dripped in fiery red of the deepest hells,The Revenant is an extremely Reverent foe to headshot in any video game.

 

Why Bioshock 1 is a G.O.A.T in my opinion

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Why?

Bioshock 1 (rather the series) has a unique concept,a distinct visual style,beautiful environments and a refreshing game-play. Bioshock stands out as a perfect blend between Violence and gore of a typical video game,philosophical themes of a Theater play and art gallery level environment design.

Bioshock was the brainchild of former System shock developer Ken Levine which introduced the Video game industry and the critics to the fact that Video games,in fact could be works of “Art”.

It was the first time that a Video game was produced with focus on the art and design which inhabited Bioshock’s in game world.

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In terms of Gameplay

The game allows you to combine Conventional weapons with superhuman powers called Plasmids which results in a wide range of tools and combinations in your arsenal and makes each encounter with your foes(Splicers) unique rather than feeling repetitive.The game flawlessly and effortlessly combines core FPS mechanics with a robust RPG system.The weapons and powers are balanced and complement each other perfectly.

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In terms of concept and story

A city under water built by a business magnate to provide a political ,social and scientific refuge,to realize his doomed vision of a Utopian society.

The discovery of “ADAM” which alters your genetic code to grant you supernatural powers.

The characters and objects which populate the game world(ex-security bots,turrets etc) feel outlandish but not impossible. Bioshock is a Steampunk Dystopia which explores various philosophical themes like Objectivism(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_(Ayn_Rand)and Orwellian worldviews of living under a Totalitarian government.To add another layer of consciousness to the story,the game features Morality based “Fork in the road” style decisions.

The way the game states and explorers the idea that “We are human,we screw up” is quite interesting.

In terms of Art and environment

The early 20th century French art-style called Art Deco is used to build the world of bioshock.

The decoration and designs of the the game levels feels realistic and rich.The colors they have used,and the textures in the game are spot on. For instance the texture of the gold colored metal used in the bathysphere,the color of the rapture shotgun,the neon signs,the clown vending machine and the Mexican ammo dispenser are just plain awesome.

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Bioshock succeeds where many other video games have failed-Creating a believable world set in an entirely different universe connected to our world only by the means of ideas and thought process common to the human condition.

Bioshock has a rating of 96/100 on Metacrtitic and is the third highest rated game of all times. Bioshock’s game mechanics and visual style have served as an inspiration for Games like Dishonored,Prey(2017) and We happy few.

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Does Tom Clancy ring a bell , well if you saw movies or read books or even played games I’m sure you’d heard of him. Ghost Recon Wildlands is the thirteenth installment in the ghost recon series. With the disappointment in previous tom Clancy’s the division the hopes are high with this one. Ghost recon wildlands is an open world third-person tactical shooter developed by Ubisoft and it is the first time that a ghost recon game is taking an open world approach. The game has features like day and night cycles, dynamic weather conditions which had to be taken into account while doing missions. Your team also know as the “THE GHOSTS” are dropped deep into Bolivia. A country ruled by drug cartel Santa Blanca and it’s higher private army UNIDAD. The Ghost are four veterans equipped with high-end tech and a ton of weapons.The wildlands doesn’t feel like it’s predecessors because of the shift to an open world, there are multiple missions available at any time and players feel free to tackle objective using any method from any direction. This brings out a more chaotic playstyle.

The Far Cry Effect

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Far Cry’s influence over wildlands in unquestionable. The open world map consists of a number of colored icons highlighting the current objectives.Such as eliminating Santa Blanca’s scenarios . There are also a vast majority of side quests like Far cry’s radio tower. Moreover the story of an outsider teaming up with a local resistance to tackle an enemy uprising . Even Bolivia’s landscape looks familiar to that of far cry such as the dense forests from far cry 3.

Who’s driving?

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The vehicles are vital in wildlands even just to cross the huge map.Enemy soldiers patrol the roads and will open fire once they spot you. Attack by air and you will find a gunship coming at you or worse targeted surface to air missiles.The best chance of survival is to moving fast and quietly. And leaving your ride once you get close to the enemy.

Where is everyone?

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Your teammates play an important role in wildlands. You will often find yourself in situations where you are outnumbered and outgunned so you have to work together to survive.You can issue your basic orders  FIRE REGROUP MOVE and HOLD, but the have their limitations too as sometimes your teammates wander in front of enemies blowing your cover and providing little cover fire when you are pinned down.

CO-OP Multiplayer

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Wildlands is designed for four people co-op , so with the right people you can easily overcome the single player issues.But wildlands is a tactical game so playing it with people who play it same way as GTA online, well you are done then.

 

The reasons why Counter Strike:Source was never “as” popular as other games in the Franchise

I think that all Counter Strike games follow mostly the same “Core” gameplay Mechanics and hence any fluctuation in sales should be attributed to the release date of a CS game.

Counter Strike Source was released in the year 2004,which was a mind shattering ,overloading, ‘Driving-nuts’ kind of an year for the gaming industry both in terms of Multiplayer and Single player Games. It was this overabundance of quality games which probably drowned out Counter Strike source. If we focus on multiplayer audience,(which is the core audience of CS) we can recall that 2004 saw the release of Halo 2,Unreal tournament 2004,Doom 3,Quake 4,NFS underground 2,Killzone,Battlefield Vietnam,World of Warcraft,Star wars Battlefront who sold collectively more than 50 million+ copies and were more popular and far better games than CS.I think Counter strike was forgotten in this Video game Blitzkrieg.Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

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The release of Steam combined with the start of the exclusive era for Consoles and dwindling interest in classic multiplayer games like doom and quake,Counter strike managed to conquer the PC competitive fanbase and become the culture phenomena it is today.

90’s video games every gamer should know about!!! PART-3

 This the third post in the ongoing series of the most important and significant game from the 90’s.

#1. Metal Gear Solid

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Metal Gear Solid was the game that thrust stealth games and MG’s creator Hideo Kojima into the limelight.The popularity of both stealth games and Hideo Kojima can be traced back to Metal gear solid.Not only it was the first highly successful 3d Stealth game, Metal gear Solid pioneered various Stealth game Mechanics which are very common in modern games.While the Video games of the era were focused entirely on action and based on the “shoot-first-think-later” principle, Metal Gear was unusual in the sense that it emphasized on avoiding conflict and taking the quite non-violent approach.

The stealth Mechanics involved taking cover behind objects and infrastructure that existed in the game-world, crawling ducking, making noise to distract foes or taking that famous cardboard box disguise.The player was by default in “Infiltration mode”, any kind of detection by an enemy resulted in the “Alert mode” and finally, breaking the line of sight after alert mode transitioned the player into “Evasion mode” which finally settled down to the default infiltration mode.

Metal gear puts you in control of the legendary infiltrator and saboteur Solid Snake who works with a team of Elite government operatives to stop the rogue terrorist organization FOXHOUND and its leader and Snake’s genetic counterpart Liquid Snake.

FUTURE-With Hideo Kojima’s public falling out with Konami, the publisher of all Metal Gear games it’s unlikely that we will see another Metal Gear with Kojima at the helm.That being said Konami released a trailer for a new Metal Gear game titled Metal Gear: Survive which is described as a zombie shooter set between the last two games of the Metal Gear franchise.

#2. Thief: The Dark Project

Thief: TDP was the first 3-d stealth FPS game released on Microsoft Windows in 1998.Thief was not only different from Other mainstream games like Half-life, Unreal or Doom but it differentiated itself from the other stealth games of the time like Metal Gear Solid and Tenchu: Stealth Assassins because of its First person perspective and Shadow and light-based stealth Gameplay system

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.Many modern stealth games like Assasins creed, Hitman, Splinter cell and Most prominently Dishonored borrow heavily from Thief’s Stealth mechanics.Thief emphasized on using shadows and distractions to accomplish the player’s objectives all the while avoiding making excessive noise and well-lit environments.Combat was discouraged as the player had low damage resistance and in the later levels, the player could be killed with a single hit from the hostile NPCs.The first game to consider the aural effects of player’s interaction with the environment which means that dropping a candle stand on the floor or running on a wooden floor or the ‘thump’ of landing after a jump would all register in the Hostile NPC’s senses and would prompt them to search for the player.It’s hard to imagine a modern stealth game with these features.

Thief is set in a medieval city simply called The City and the technology and the environment is influenced by the Steampunk genre.At times thief’s level design feels more creepy than the developers ever intended it to be, which along with an excellent sound design makes some particular levels feel really alive and desolate.

In Thief: The Dark Project you control a Master Thief Garett who has been trained by a secret society(The Keepers) to serve in their ranks and maintain “Balance” in the treacherous city.Upon completing his full training Garett decides to leave The Keepers and live the life of a Master thief who is willing to ‘acquire’ invaluable objects for the right price.Skilled and determined Garett takes on a contract from a mysterious woman to acquire various magical objects and unbeknownst to him gets pulled deeper and deeper into the Evil world of the Pagan god “The Trickster”.Garett’s actions eventually unfold a phenomenon which will destroy the world as he knows it.Realizing his mistake it’s up to Garrett to stop this from happening with the help of his former allies ‘The Keepers” and the Hammer-wielding modernist’s Monks “The Hammerites”.

FUTURE-The last thief game was released in 2014 to mixed reviews and lukewarm sales.Sadly, Square Enix seems to have no plans to revive the series due to the above reasons.

90’s video games every gamer should know about!!! PART-2

This is the second post in the series about the most the important and groundbreaking games from the 90’s.

#1.Half-Life

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The Original Half-life game came out in 1998 and basically laid the foundation of intricate story driven games.While Doom introduced us to 3-d Graphics and a first person perspective, testatmentHalf-life was a testament to the fact that Video games, especially First-person shooters were an excellent story telling medium which could offer more than the Simple Death match based experience of Doom or Quake.While Half-life wasn’t the first video game with an excellent story(Unreal was released the same year) it was the first game ever to focus heavily on realism, both in terms of Gunplay as well as the Environment and Level Design.

Half-life puts you in the shoes of Gordon Freeman, an Amercian Physicist who graduated with a Phd in Theoretical physics from MIT, in stark contrast to the military or law-enforcement backgrounds of the protagonists from Doom or Resident Evil or Metal gear.

Half-life takes place in a Fictional research facility Black-Mesa which is located at an undisclosed location in New Mexico, USA.After a Teleportation experiment goes horribly wrong the space-time continuum of earth effuses with another undiscovered dimension called Xen.This results in teleportation of Hostile alien wildlife to Black Mesa which soon overrun the facility, hunting and killing its human inhabitants.Amidst all this chaos Gordon battles hordes of Aliens and G.Is to repel the Interdimensional Invasion.

FUTURE-While no new game Half-life is currently under development, the original Half-life has been remastered on the new source engine and is dubbed as “Black Mesa” on the Steam store.

#2.Halo: until Combat evolved

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The release of Half-life resulted in a flood of similar average quality games dubbed “Half-life clones”.It until the release of Halo: Combat evolved that the high bar set by Half-life was superseded in every way.Halo: CE, as the name suggests Evolved the Video game industry in both single-player and multi-player experiences.The storytelling and cutscenes of Halo were unprecedented,The game world also consisted of non-hostile NPCs,the soundtrack of the game had been performed by a choir(Most games at the time used Programmed Audio),The Protagonist had a voice and the story played out on such a grand scale which no one had ever witnessed in gaming. In terms of gameplay, Halo introduced the concept of a Melee attacked performed by a single Key, the ability to blend grenade attacks seamlessly into combat by pressing a single key, regenerable health, waypoints, HUD navigation maps and much more. In terms of multiplayer Halo introduced the modes “Oddball”,”Race”,”Vehicle CTF”, a wide  variety of air and land vehicles and large scale vehicular combat.

When a demo of Halo was shown to game critics in 1999 they were rabid with excitement.Steve jobs was so impressed with Halo that he wanted it to be released on his MAC OS, an announcement he had made during the Macworld conference of 1999. Ultimately Bungie decided to partner with Microsoft to release Halo as the flagship of Microsoft’s XBOX console and royally pissing off Steve jobs in the process.

In Halo: CE you take control of a Supersoldier(Called SPARTANs in the game) John-117 aboard the UNSC Spaceship ‘The Pillar of Autumn” which is escaping after an off-screen battle on the Planet Reach.As the ship exits Slipstream space(Faster than light travel technique in the halo universe) the crew witnesses a ring-shaped mega structure afloat in space.This structure is named “Halo” by the game’s antagonists “The covenant” which is a union of various Alien species whose are united by their worship of the Halo rings who they believe have been built by another extinct powerful race who are regarded as deities in the covenant culture.As the Pillar of Autumn attempts an unsuccessful landing on Halo, SPARTAN John along with his A.I companion Cortana attempt to unravel the ring’s horrid secrets and an ancient evil which threatens to destroy the whole galaxy.

FUTURE-Halo 5 was released in the year 2015 to positive reviews.A spinoff title Halo Wars 2(Real-time strategy game) was released in February 2017.

#3.Deus Ex

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Deus Ex was the confluence of Action, RPG, FPS and Stealth genres.It was the first AAA game to seamlessly blend not two but 4 different genres and create a sophisticated and brilliant experience for the player.Deus ex is a revolutionary game in its own right as it introduced us to commonplace present day features like Multiple endings, Multiple strategies for completing the same objective, Blending of RPG skill trees with FPS games, cutscenes like conversations and the ability to decide the player’s response from a list of dialogues, upgrades and side-missions.Deus ex-allowed upgrades to in-game weapons as well as the abilities of the Protagonist like lockpicking, weapon skills etc.The game also allowed for in-game customization of weapons by using attachments like scopes, laser sights, silencers and larger magazines.The game featured a total of 24 weapons, which is a lot for a singleplayer game even today.

In Deus Ex, you take control of an Anti-terroist agent JC Denton who is granted superhuman abilities by the use of nanotechnology based augementation.Deus Ex is a Cyberpunk themed game set in the year 2052 of a Dystopian future.The games’ plotline explores many themes such as the Ethics of Technology and invention, Social Divide between the rich and the poor, conspiracy theories and crime.The future is ravaged by a deadly virus “Grey death” and as an anti-terriost agent for the UNTACO (Interpol on steroids) your first mission in the game is to search for a missing container of a vaccine “Ambrosia” which can help stabilize the vicitms of the plague.From here on the story delves deeper and deeper into the dark and murky vestiges of the Future’s underworld as you battle foe after foe to finally uncover the truth.

FUTURE-After the original game, Many games and other media set in the Deus ex-universe has been introduced with the lastest being the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.Due to poor sales of Mankind divided don’t expect a new Deus Ex game soon.

90’s video games every gamer should know about!

No three games have had more Collective impact upon gaming and popular culture than the eternal first-person shooters Doom, Quake and Unreal Tournament.In this Day and age, these games have become relatively obscure with Millennials and Generation-Zer’s Obsessing over the likes of Overwatch, Battlefield, Counter-Strike and many games in the same vein.As a Millenial myself, I think it is my responsibility to familiarize my fellow Fraggers and Aimbots with these titles of the Old.Depending on your age this post will serve as either a Trip to the Memory lane(Nope, not the LSD one) or Open up a new Dimension of Video games to a player.

#1.Doom

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Doom is without a shred of doubt the Most important innovation in the history of FPS video games.While Wolfenstein 3-d was the first 3-dimensional video game, it was Doom which popularized FPS video games and established various conventions for a first person shooter, including a health and Medikit system, the ability to carry multiple weapons, multiple designed enemies, secret locations, excessive gore and controversy.Played by approximately 15-20 million players, Doom was also notable for it’s extensive modding community which has not stopped creating content 20+ years after the original game’s release.

In Doom, you play as an Unnamed Marine serving in the UAC’s(United Aerospace Corporation) infantry unit.After your squad is ambushed and you are left for dead it is entirely up to you to survive the Onslaught of Hell’s forces and prevent a similar invasion from reaching earth.

Doom features a wide variety of Weapons ranging from Assault rifles, Rocket launchers, Plasma rifles, Superweapons, shotguns, nd Pistols.The same variety is replicated in the types of enemies inhabiting the game world ranging from the titanic Cyberdemon to the lowly Grunts.

FUTURE-Doom was rebooted and released simply as DOOM in 2016 by id software.With the developers currently engaged in the development of Quake: seChampions it is unlikely that we will see a doom Game before 2020.

#2.Quake

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Quake was released in 1996 by id software and served as a spiritual successor to doom.Quake took PC modding and Online multiplayer to whole another level.The game spawned a raging modding community and various E-sports tournaments based solely on Quake.On one such E-sport event called “Red annihilation”, a participant James wong won id software’s John Carmack’s Ferarri 328 in 1997.Quake’s Engine was used extensively for a variety of mods and games in 90’s (Including Half-life) and ultimately Quake sequels.

What makes Quake standout as a FPS and a multiplayer game is the speed and agility of the player and the overall pace of the game.Quake introduced us to the different movement mechanics which allowed faster traversals of a map and various jumping techniques which made the player harder to hit and added a further layer of skill to the game.

Quake’s Deathmatch and Team-deathmatch multiplayer modes were bolstered by supplementary software and updates which made online play smoother and finding other players easier.

FUTURE- “Quake Champions” is an Upcoming game in the quake franchise which is touted to be a reboot of the series focusing on the “speed-skill” mechanics of the original Quake.

#3.Unreal Tournament 1999

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While the original Story based Unreal game released in 1998 had set itself apart from Doom and Quake in terms of it’s themes and tones it was criticized profusely for it’s Extremely buggy Multiplayer and online modes.To improve on this Epic games decided to release a comprehensive update to Unreal which after several rounds of brainstorming resulted in a stand-alone game called Unreal Tournament 1999.

Unreal tournament 1999 was a bold move on the part of Epic games as it had dared to challenge id software the Invincible Developers of Quake and Doom at their own Forte.There was a lot of Fan-fueled rivalry between Quake 3 and UT99 as well as their eponymous engines Quake and Unreal.

Unreal tournament introduced it’s outlandish, cool and colorful maps which contrasted Quake’s Monolithic color schemes.Unreal’s maps were big on science-fiction, interaction with the environment and boobytraps.The same went with the weapons.UT’s arsenal included numerous exceptionally well-designed weapons with two different firing modes.An example of cool weapons was “The ripper” which fired sharp circular titanium discs which ricocheted from walls as it’s primary fire and explosive discs as it’s secondary firing mode.

Unreal tournament introduced the “Assault” game mode which inspired Gear of war Judgement’s multiplayer modes and Quake wars: Enemy territory’s gameplay.Also, Unreal featured Capture the flag and Domination modes.Like quake, UT also allowed for Moddable content to be included in the game, the most famous being the “Chaos UT” which was included in the Game of the year editions of Unreal tournament.
FUTURE-A reboot of the Unreal franchise labeled “Unreal Tournament 4” or simply “Unreal Tournament” is currently under open source development by Epic Games and will be released around 2018 or 2019.