Daily Archives: December 7, 2009

Please hammer, don’t hurt ’em

I finished Dragon Age: Origins over the weekend; it didn’t quite go to plan, as the game chucked a couple of curveballs (or to use the correct vernacular: bowled a couple of googlies) in the final act, which made life quite interesting. More ruminations on that to follow at some point, but as a bit of a change of scenery I decided to make a start on the THQ pack from Steam’s earlier sale, and installed Red Faction: Guerilla.

Red Faction is certainly a change of pace from some of the dialogue-heavy stretches of Dragon Age. Though you can read a deeper message into it, such as your character being a ludic metaphor for the immortal nature of revolutionary ideals, and the game attempts to set up a bit of a story (“You’re on Mars, I’m your brother, OH NO I GOT SHOT, fight the power”), the scene is really set by the tutorial mission where you get given some explosives and a hammer and told to demolish an old building. That’s what the game is about: smashing stuff with a hammer then blowing it up, and it does it fantastically. The only way they could have improved the introduction would have been to ditch the attempt to give you a deeper motivation for smashing stuff with a hammer then blowing it up by replacing your brother in the game with MC Hammer, who could give you a hammer, tell you to smash stuff with it, then hang around in the background wearing enormous trousers and occasionally shouting “Stop! Hammer time!”