This friday’s gaming was relatively quiet, around six of us playing over the course of the night. You may be able to predict how the night ends from the trend of previous weeks, but we were a little more varied in the run-up last night. I’m glad, because it’s given me the chance to write about the most recent addition to the list of 5punky games.
A 5punky game is a very specific thing. There are games we play which are popular because they’re good, and there are games we play because they’re 5punky. That’s not to say a 5punky game can’t also be good, but more often than not they’re hilariously broken. Take for example the epitome of 5punky games, Call of Duty: United Offensive. We had a selection of maps which were forever favourites. I forget the name of the best one, but it was responsible for some of the greatest 5punky memes – baths and the AIDS cannon – because it was so hilariously badly designed. The former was an oversized bath so big you couldn’t actually get out of it once you were in, the latter an anti-tank gun which silently shook and invisibly killed anyone you were fluky enough to hit.
Burnout Paradise, as I said last week, is a classic 5punky game. It won our Game of the Year award back in 2009. So last night we kicked off the evening with a little more of it. It was a little lacklustre, mainly due to people having technical issues and us inventing a new game within the game – Bumout Generation Game. This new take is similar to strip Bumout (I talked about that, right?), except when you get taken out you hold up a random item and the other guy guesses what it is. Dinosaurs and Lovecraftian monsters seemed popular, nudity didn’t feature on this occasion.
On to our latest 5punky prodigy. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is, on the surface, a team FPS game based around visceral melee combat. It has varying game modes, classes, unlockable weapons. Aside from the swords and axes, pretty generic stuff. However, upon playing the game you notice a few things. Everyone screams. There’s a key for it, and from this point on I think every game should have one. Charging into combat just isn’t the same any more unless I can scream YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGH! Then there’s the hilarious regularity of friendly fire. The combat system is very imprecise, rather than say Oblivion’s deliberate stabs and swipes, the weapons in Chivalry are flailed wildly at the enemy. Friends sometimes get in the way, and sometimes they lose limbs or heads too.
That’s not the best thing though. There are a couple of servers out there which are modded for low gravity. So taking an already chaotic game of screaming, axe-wielding madmen and then removing most of the gravity, we’re left with absolute havoc. The game detects a lack of solid objects beneath your feet for a second or two as falling, so every time you jump you start wailing and screaming, even when you haven’t pressed the button. The combination of it all is a beautiful ballet of screaming, armoured men flying through the air flailing swords and axes, and lopping off body parts. Last night’s game of Chiv unfortunately was a little thin on players, but we managed four of us and a couple of randoms, and it was enough to have a good few rounds of mental man-chopping.
As per every gaming night, we ended with a couple of rounds of Dota 2. We started off with an easy bot game and destroyed them. That’s a significant improvement for us – previously in order to beat an entire team of easy bots we’d have to take preferred characters, this time we randomed and had no problems. Since there were five of us we went on for a game against real people. It was a good match, but it was clear from about half an hour in that we were going to lose. We were just outclassed by their coordination, even if they weren’t great players individually. I’ve probably played around 20 games now, and this one was about as bad as I’ve seen for bad sportsmanship. Even this only extended to one of their guys calling us noobs, which is pretty poor quality smacktalk. Dota just isn’t the unpleasant game people think, it seems. And anyway, we got all the loot.