The Fires of Hell

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 by mediocrewayne

“What right does God have to deny us this power?” Dr. Michael Harrison declared to his audience, the entirety of America’s armed forces, deployed directly in front of him.They stood outfitted in full battle gear next to the new tanks, affectionately referred to as Hellraisers. Capable of transporting 300 soldiers each, the tanks shielded each man and woman’s mind from certain effects the journey would have on them. Without these battle platforms, every soldier’s mind would crack before the invasion could even begin.

 Dr. Harrison turned to the giant metallic ring behind him and thrust his arms dramatically in the air. “Instead, mankind will handle this matter, and take what is rightfully ours!” He walked quickly to the panel beside the ring and stood next to his lab assistant.

 “A little bit over-dramatic, Michael,” she whispered, shaking her head.

 “We’re already running late, hit the damn switch before we miss our window,” Michael grumbled, still smiling and waving to his audience.

 Her fingers flew over the keyboard attached to the panel and with a deep breath, she flipped the large red lever to her side. The entire platform began vibrating, and the Tesla coils attached to the sides of the large ring sparked to life. Four laser beams fired across the ring, forming a cross shape, stopping just short of touching each other. The machine began to make a crackling noise while shaking violently, as the lasers cut into something unseen. The process went on for almost ten minutes, increasing the tension in the air to unbearable levels. Finally, a force was unleashed,  with a crack of thunder so powerful that even the massive Hellraisers rolled back a few inches.

 A massive green and shimmering energy field appeared within the ring, forced into our world through the unnatural rift. Squad leaders began barking commands, and the soldiers steeled themselves for their upcoming journey into the mouth of hell itself.

 ***

Lucy was having a really bad day. It seemed like every demon in Hell had signed their name up for the Succession Debate. He placed his massive hands on his large hellstone desk and leaned heavily against it, sighing heavily. “As if it were somehow my fault the humans have found out about us,” he muttered to the empty room.

 The forces of Hell had an army of course, a centuries-old tradition. At one point, there had been rebellions twice a year. Thankfully, that all changed, when a particularly intelligent and cowardly Baron of Hell rewrote the Law of Hell to simply make rebellion illegal. For the Baron of Hell’s word was more than just law, it was Truth. So began the tradition of spirited debate instead of simple assassination. The consequences of failing to win the debate were harsh, of course. No demon would look lightly on losing two entire pay grades. Such were the risks of defying the Baron of Hell.

 Lucy glanced out the window at the enormous green rift in the middle of Main Street. Countless humans and war machines littered the once bustling streets of Hell, along with scores of demon corpses. Imps, Balrogs and Pit Lords were fleeing in every direction, dropping briefcases and newspapers along the way.

He could scarcely believe the brutality of the invaders. The rumors were true. The human race was hungry for a new energy source, and the inexhaustible Fires of Hell had proven irresistible. Lucy glanced skyward, spotting a single brave imp fluttering above the host. It clutched a bucket full of what appeared to be lava in its scaled talons. Suddenly, it swooped low and turned the bucket upside down, spilling the contents on several unfortunate men. Their screams of anguish brought back–just for a moment–memories of the old days. Lucy allowed himself a brief moment to smile.

Suddenly an obnoxious trumpet broke through the rifle fire, drawing his gaze to the source. It was Hell’s finest, the only hope for his kind.

***

Private Monroe threw himself onto the ground when he spotted the approaching demon host. He heard his squad leader bellow something, but it was drowned out by the horrific noise the monsters before them were making. A massive host of demons, scaled, bleeding and shrieking, sprinted towards him with vicious-looking swords and spears.

Monroe didn’t wait for an order. He aimed his M16 at the nearest fleshy monster and squeezed the trigger. The creature fell on its horrible face, and burst into flames before disappearing into a small amount of ash. Monroe heard a soldier next to him bellow loudly, “Fuck yes, they die,” followed by every soldier in his platoon firing their weapons into the approaching horde.

A single lucky demon had avoided bursting into flames before reaching Monroe’s squad, but before it had a chance to swing its weapon, Monroe had driven his combat knife into what he believed was the thing’s heart. Monroe got to his feet and looked around at the soot-covered battlefield. Maybe they could win this fight after all.

***

Of course, the Legion was slaughtered, down to the last Troglodyte, within moments. Hell’s finest were armed only with copper weapons, forged 3000 years before. Lucy sighed as he reflected on the poor decisions made by previous Barons. Why would Hell ever need an army after the Succession Wars became the Succession Debates? Only tradition had left it intact at all. It was considered quite a honor to be chosen for the Legion.

Lucy dived away from the window, right before it shattered with a little help from a sniper’s bullet. Dusting himself off, he lurched to his feet and glared at the human forces arrayed against him. There was only one thing that would rid Hell of these monsters, and it was fear.

Lucy felt his elegant suit begin to shred as his muscles stretched. The tusks on his face and the horns on his head grew more menacing and his body began to expand. Eventually, he grew so large that his office could no longer contain him. It shattered around him as he continued to grow.

 Unfurling his leathery wings, Lucy took to the sky, landing directly in front of the invading force, sending a massive tremor throughout the surrounding area.

“FOOLISH MORTALS,” he bellowed, allowing his voice to become so foul, so threatening, that the people closest to him covered their ears. “IF YOU WERE SO EAGER TO COME TO HELL, I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THAN HAPPY TO ARRANGE A TOUR!”

Just below, a soldier shouted into a headset, “Light ‘em up!” The air was filled with twinkles of light as several hundred pieces of lead filled Lucy’s body. He collapsed to his knees, and then finally onto his chest as the soldiers continued to fire. “THAT WAS… EXACTLY… WHAT I WAS HOPING YOU WOULD NOT DO,” Lucy croaked as the life left his demonic body.

“All right, people, area secure,” the squad leader barked, “Now let’s get these oil derricks set up. This place has got to have some black gold for us!”

 

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Wendryn challenged me with “Flying in the dark, completely comfortable.” and I challenged Major Bedhead with “For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky”

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In A Pinch

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by mediocrewayne

They had finally found him. The thunderous gunshot from outside confirmed that. It was soon joined by a symphony of other shots, each tearing crustacean-sized holes through the walls. Justice Crab took cover behind a giant hermit crab shell in the center of the room, grateful for its dual functionality as a decorative piece and a tactical position. He glanced over at his beautiful wife, laying prone behind the couch, eye stalks staring at him fearfully. He had warned her. Marrying him might be the last mistake she ever made.

“Here we go, line ’em up,” shrilled the unmistakeable voice of his arch-nemesis, Line Emu. “Looks like the long claw of the law has pinched its last bird boys, woo!”

“I hate that fucking emu,” muttered Justice, lowering his head just as one of the random bullets thudded into the shell. “Stay here and don’t come out, Saura–no matter what happens!” Justice Crab tucked into his shell and did a justice roll across the room towards his weapons cabinet of justice, snatching up a rifle in his pincher as he unfurled. The gunfire outside had stopped. Justice peeked his eye stalks out one of the many new windows, and immediately spotted Line Emu strutting back and forth across the driveway. Another six emus were crouched low behind a few makeshift pieces of cover. One of them even had the audacity to squat on the trunk of the Crabmobile. Line Emu would stop his strut every so often to shout “Woo,” into the air, before stammering some inane order or insult to one of his minions.

“Come on out, Justice, and we can discuss this matter like gentleanimals, “ crowed the emu, cackling as if it were the greatest joke ever told. “Or would you rather we come in? We’ll be real gentle with that wife of yours, woo!”

Line Emu walked past the Crabmobile to stand closer to the house. “Do you have any fucking idea how dead you are? Like, I’m going to have you for dinner tonight! WOO!” The other emus began cackling with their beaks up in the air. “I’ve waited a long time for this, Justice. Did you think you would just get to walk away? The other Police Crabs know what’s best for their families. Why couldn’t you just put a rubber band on your claw like the others? WOO! Now you gonna get boiled!”

Justice wrote his response with the rifle. This round was the exclamation point at the end . Squeezing the trigger, he fired directly into the loudmouth emu’s left leg. The bird crumpled into the ground and began shrieking in that shrill voice, amplified a hundred times by the pain.

“Kill that sideways-walking, oversized lobster!” Line Emu managed to scream out when one of his minions came over to him. “Now!”

An emu exploded through the remains of the front door with the typical emu battle cry, a significant number of his feathers shedding from his body. Justice Crab already had his weapon pointed at the door frame and squeezed off a single shot directly into the feathered fiend’s chest, crumpling him to the ground. Another emu quickly followed, stepping over the body of his comrade. Justice fired again, or at least, he would have, if the gun hadn’t jammed.

So, it had finally come to this. After fifteen years of bitter fighting, midnight raids on the Emu Mob’s warehouses, and shutting down illegal storefronts, his gun finally jammed. Justice didn’t take time to worry about it, he just threw the useless gun at the emu, then quickly clamped a claw around the unbalanced bird’s neck. The last emu fell to the ground limp, and Justice turned around and sprinted for the remains of the sheltering decoration.

Almost there, just a few more steps, his mind raced. Fifteen, ten, five. The blast from behind ended his count prematurely. The gaping hole in his shell prevented him from standing. Gurgling blood, he tried to take one last look at his wife, but he didn’t even have the strength for that.

Line Emu limped through the doorway and chirped, “Finally got the whoreface. WOO! Good job, boys. Now put a few more into him just to be sure. And don’t forget the witness.”

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Chaos Mandy challenged me with “The Fight of Your Life” and I challenged Diane with “The only way to preserve our future is to destroy the past.”

Forward Thinking

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1, 2012 by mediocrewayne

I used to be a relatively normal human being with hopes, desires and free will. Every day I would do normal human actions and drive my human transport device to my selected occupation. Then I heard the call, and I woke.

We are what you might refer to as “alien.” Every fifty years, several humans are selected to be removed from the general populace and replaced. Our memories are wiped, our minds mingled with the Earthling’s to help us maintain our cover identity until we are called to action. As human technology has grown in the last century, our job has become far more difficult. On several occasions we have even been detected. But ours is a task that must continue. It saddens us, on a level imperceptible by human standards, but the fact remains. Your race was carefully crafted to ensure our own survival.

One of your males can feed one thousand Reticulans. One of your females can be used to breed as long as she remains fertile. Some females are used to create more humans, to limit how much of the native population must be abducted. Our own planet has long since become inhospitable to life and there are so few of us left. We have only done what is necessary to our survival. We used to only consume the non-sentient animals of seed planet Earth, but humanity’s explosive growth has made this impossible to continue. No, the only logical course was to consume the humans themselves.

The surface of Mars wasn’t always a barren hellscape. The Reticulans didn’t always cower under the surface behind environmental bubbles waiting for the next human females to arrive. Everything changed when the enemy unleashed their terrible weapons upon us. Our home withered, our ships exploded. Our very genetic code was altered. We could no longer breed.

The sleepers on Earth were organized into two groups, the Sustainers and the Instigators, with two very different tasks. The Sustainers simply selected likely targets for abduction, utilizing our one remaining spacefaring vessel, and take any necessary steps to aid in said abduction. Instigators, the group I belong to–and my reason for writing this letter to you, my love–destroy any credible threat to our mission.

By the time you read this, I will already have killed the creators of the Lightspeed Generator Engine, and planted a daratromium bomb on your kind’s latest space vessel. Upon liftoff, the entire city will be destroyed.

I’m sorry, my love, but I’m sure you can understand: it wouldn’t do for anyone to survive this catastrophe. Not even you.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Chimnese challenged me with “a wall falling down” and I challenged trencher with “Against the threat of alien invasion, mankind’s greatest weapon is terror.”

Yeah I’ve got aliens on the brain.

Corporate Interests

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2012 by mediocrewayne

Jerle knew he wasn’t–by any stretch of the imagination–a good man. He was the first to admit it when confronted, and the 46 countries that wanted to arrest him would probably agree. It might have been simply because Jerle was good at his job. Damned good. Whether a single shot from his suppressed pistol, giving his target “flying lessons” from the top of a 20-story building, or the always messy but popular car bomb, he did his work swiftly and efficiently, taking any job that came his way. And even if the pay is superior to working nine to five, being a professional hitman can be a little lonely.

That all changed when he met his daughter, Sarah. Most people in his profession didn’t get to grow old and retire, let alone have a family, but Jerle knew after finishing the contract on her mother that he couldn’t just leave that precious baby to die alone in a cold apartment. A complication came up right as he pulled the trigger, and he had to dispose of the unfortunate babysitter he had carefully arranged to appear guilty. At first, he intended to abandon the child at the doorstep of a kindly older couple, but he knew his involvement in her mother’s death could eventually catch up with him.

There was nothing else to do but adopt her. Despite everything, he didn’t have it in him to end a child’s life. Professional killers have to have standards, after all. Without standards, he wouldn’t be any different than the common thugs, brigands and ne’er-do-wells of the world. But he still had a duty to the Corporation: Never get caught. Never take unnecessary risks.

He retired.

The Corporation didn’t even have a plan in place to deal with a retiree. Usually, an assassin stupid enough to jeopardize their interests ended up dying while performing a contract kill. It was more convenient that way. To have an assassin still alive, just waiting for the FBI to interrogate them, was unthinkable. After dozens of PowerPoint presentations and graphs, they finally came to a conclusion. The final report read, simply, “The most efficient use of resources in regard to the conundrum of a long-term Special Projects operative is agreed to be termination.”

Jerle and his daughter had lived in peace for 12 years in his Havana safe house. He’d originally purchased it to hide from the local authorities, but now the mansion seemed the perfect place to live out the rest of his life and enjoy his hard-earned blood money. He had become a respectable man, trading his gun for a softball glove and attending boring PTA meetings.

Until today. When Jerle pulled into the driveway, he could immediately tell something was wrong. Someone had left his front door open. Relax, he thought to himself. You are out of the business, you don’t have to be paranoid anymore.

But he hadn’t survived 30 years of contract killings or spent all that time avoiding law enforcement by not being paranoid. Jerle reached down quickly and opened the secret compartment in the driver’s seat, retrieving his emergency gun. Checking it and exiting the car in one smooth motion, he quickly closed the distance to the house. He entered his home uneasily, stepping over the bloody corpse of his butler. Sweeping through his own home room by room, quickly and quietly, he was greeted again and again by the bodies of his servants.

Finally, he entered his study to find his computer smashed into pieces and the hard drive missing. Stuck into his desk with a knife was a note, with a photo attached.

Jerle impatiently ripped the letter from the desk and muttered to himself, “Fucking amateurs.”

There she was in the photo, tears streaming down her beautiful face with hands bound and mouth gagged. Glancing briefly at the letter’s content, he rolled his eyes and simply dropped it. The missing hard drive from his computer told him all he needed to know. Only the Corporation knew he was in Havana, and the only reason they would kidnap his adopted daughter would be to erase any evidence of his existence. They wanted to eliminate him.

The letter was full of the usual threats and was dressed up to look like a typical kidnapping for ransom. Reexamining his home more thoroughly, he found more of his things had been rifled through, with certain objects and files missing. How fucking stupid do they think I am? One thing was certain. They’d kidnapped the daughter of the wrong fucking man.

*

Crack. It was the fourth neck Jerle had snapped since he entered the Corporation’s Havana office. The low-paid security staff that guarded the front was mainly for show, and didn’t amount to much of a problem. It was the holding area ahead that was going to have people with actual loaded weapons.

“Drop it, asshole!” A voice roared suddenly from behind.

Fuck me, Jerle thought to himself. I get this far and this rent-a-cop sneaks up behind me? I can’t let it end like this, Sarah needs me!

“You’re here early,” the guard taunted as Jerle turned, slowly. “Does this look like the abandoned warehouse to you?”

“I always was bad at following directions,” Jerle spoke, slowly kneeling to place his pistol on the floor. He suddenly lurched forward, flipping his gun into the guard’s face. The man grunted, low and harsh, at the impact. It sent him tumbling backwards and he discharged his own gun in a panic. Jerle pounced on the man before he could recover, plucking the gun from the guard’s hands and firing it into his chest twice.

Voices began shouting from the next room over and heavy footsteps echoed from down the hall. Jerle didn’t wait to find out what was about to happen. Crouching low to the ground, he emptied the rest of the security guard’s pistol into the wooden door while simultaneously picking up his own weapon. A couple of curses and a shout of pain let him know he had hit his mark, and he quickly sidled up to the door.

After several moments of complete silence, the door creaked open slowly and the barrel of a rifle peeked through the frame. Jerle grabbed the weapon and yanked, throwing the man holding it off balance. With his other hand, Jerle placed a single shot into the surprised man’s forehead, permanently freezing the expression of shock on his face. The man’s collapse to the ground was far louder than the whisper from the suppressed pistol. Jerle stepped into the next room quickly, and saw that his shots through the door had hit the other man twice; once in the shoulder and once right above the heart.

The main security must be preparing the ambush site for me, Jerle thought. If I’m quick, we can be out of the country before they realize what’s happened.

Without further hesitation, Jerle opened a metal security door to find Sarah laying on a plush bed in lavish surroundings. Feeling his heart overflow with sudden joy, he ran towards her and grabbed her in a tight embrace. “My girl, thank God, we have to get you outta here!”

“Why can’t you leave me alone?!” Sarah squirmed and pulled away from him, eyes wide with fear. “They promised me they’d take me away from you forever if I told them where we live,” she cried.

Jerle frowned at his daughter. “Sarah, you belong to me now, you know that. No matter what you do, you’ll always be my little girl.”

Sarah began crying in earnest as Jerle grabbed her by the shoulders and squeezed. He lowered his head to her eye level and began to grope at her chest. “Sarah, I promise no one will ever take you away from me again. But first–it’s time for me to remind you why you do not run away from Daddy.”

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Chaos Mandy challenged me with “The Love of A Child” and I challenged Diane with “The price of progress is blood.”

Unnatural Burden

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 by mediocrewayne

Imagine the person you fell in love with was completely perfect for you. The perfect marriage of beauty, wit, and intelligence that leaves you feeling breathless every moment. When Lauren locked her eyes on me, there was no escaping. I loved her so much. Not a day has gone by without me longing for her to embrace me, or flash me that wicked grin.

We would often spend entire days together, just laying on the worn sofa letting the television steal the hours away. She accepted me for who I am, and I her. She always knew how to break through any defense I put up and get straight to what I desired most. Together, everything would be perfect. We would spend the rest of our lives together out of everyone’s way and feast upon each other like starving animals.

So of course she shot herself in the head. I have no idea where she even got a gun, or why she would even think to use it on herself. My perfect existence faded away like it had never happened. She laid there, staring up at me with lifeless eyes, more blood beginning to flood the room than was realistically possible. Why would my own personal succubus do this? “Why would you do this to me?” I screamed out at her several times.

As if my day hadn’t become weird enough, the room grew even colder, less alive. A sudden unnatural stillness filled the air around me, choking me with invisible thick tendrils.

Lauren’s corpse rose from the floor, having become a marionette to some unnatural power. She stood on shaky legs, hovering over her own blood, as if she would collapse again any minute. At first my heart filled with joy all over again. She was alive! But something was certainly wrong and it wasn’t just the hole in her head. Until this moment I had never seen someone give off such hate in a look, and especially not from her. Although I heard her speaking, her lips did not move. Her voice tore through the very boundaries of reality, forcing itself into my mind .

“Why did you kill me?” Her voice exploded through my skull in a terrifying accusatory tone. “We were so happy together, there wasn’t any reason for this!”

Finally I was allowed to speak. “I…I don’t understand! Why did you do this?” My voice sounded so far away in comparison to hers.

“You deny your failure, as usual. Go then, live your life and leave me to this fate.”

I stepped forward in my confusion and reached out to grab her. But there was nothing there, and her body was back on the floor staring up at me. I collapsed onto my knees and began sobbing, my tears already dripping from my face onto her body.

“Why did you do this!?” I managed to shriek.

Her face suddenly shifted, making eye contact with me. Her arm raised slowly, and a finger extended to point at me. My eyes followed where her now soulless arm was pointing, to find the gun in my own hand. With horror I finally realized what I had done. I did not deserve this perfect angel, so I had done what came most naturally to me. I ended her life.

“No,” the voice inside my head cried out. “I refuse to accept the blame!” With that, the atmosphere in the room lightened noticeably and the unnatural chill subsided. I glanced down at my hand to find it empty and the gun on the floor next to Lauren’s body. I did not kill the love of my life. I would not be weighed down by all of the world’s guilt. She chose to kill herself and no amount of self-flagellation was going to bring her back.

 

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Head Ant challenged me with “Find one of your oldest and worst poems; rewrite it as a well-developed piece of prose.{A copy of the poem in your post is appreciated, but not required.}” and I challenged Carrie with “George Lucas has gone insane and must be stopped.”

Crysis, or, why am I not playing Mechwarrior Living Legends instead?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2010 by mediocrewayne

In the interest of keeping as relevant as possible, I recently purchased and played through Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, a three-year old game. The first thing to mention about this game before you even begin playing it, this thing is pretty. The graphics still are some of the best ever seen in a video game, and it will probably give your computer a good beating. At least it probably would if your computer was 3 years old like mine.

Crysis is a game with a pretty fun gimmick, that being you have special powers. You can run really fucking fast, absorb lots of bullets, jump really fucking high and turn invisible and giggle at the enemy soldiers from nearby trees. The game is pretty decently long and you have a certain amount of freedom in how you accomplish your objectives. It’s not a sandbox, but you still have a pretty huge area to plan your attacks on each of the various bases you assault. Sniper attack from the mountain? Sure, if you are boring. Cloaked approach from ocean, swimming up to the docks and throwing the sleepy soldier into the ocean with your strength power? A bit better. Stealing an enemy jeep and speeding toward the front of the base blaring your horn the entire time while the enemies shoot at the driver seat but oh my god there’s no one driving the jeep but the wheel is still turning! Fuck yes.

Crysis really though is a linear shooter, and most of what it does isn’t too new. You can customize your weapons with various attachments, your health regenerates, and if you are playing on the hardest difficulty your commander won’t stop shouting in your ear while you are trying to sneakily take out these incredibly dangerous guys with assault rifles. NOMAD HURRY UP AND GET THOSE FILES OFF THAT COMPUTER. God damnit I’m a little busy hiding in a fucking bush surrounded by very pissed off korean soldiers while I wait for my damned space mana bar to refill so I can go hide somewhere else.

Where it falls apart: That’s pretty damn simple really. I’ll try not to spoil what little story there is, but halfway through the game you are no longer fighting human soldiers. Instead its these floaty robot things and for some reason its just not as enjoyable to sneak up on them as it is a scared soldier who has watched his whole squad disappear into the bushes and oh god I keep shooting him WHY WON’T HE DIE. The game once the “new shit” shows up becomes a lot more linear and culminates into an eventual boss fight. You know the kind, shoot the thing, now shoot the thing that makes the new thing open, and shoot rockets into the new thing. Also the game makes you drive a tank and a VTOL. These are not as cool as being the invisible ninja dude who throws soldiers into the ocean.

So that leaves us with the expansion. Crysis: Warhead is pretty boring really. There is nothing that stands out about the damn game except it only took me a few hours to beat. In fact, the only things I can really remember are not pleasant. For one, the settings menu has changed all of the graphics options to “Minimum, Mainstream, Gamer, Enthusiast,” instead of the traditional and simple low, medium and high. Just seeing this made me cock my head and whisper, “what the fuck is this shit?” Other than that, I guess its pretty fun if you really liked the original and are foaming at the mouth reading this wanting to throw more dudes off of cliffs, but just can’t bring yourself to press the New Game button. I guess also of note is the multiplayer portion of the expansion, which I completely skipped over because I’ve been spoiled to a beautiful mod.

Mechwarrior: Living Legends: This is the best fucking mod I’ve ever played for any game. Seriously, check this shit out. http://www.mechlivinglegends.net/While its still a work in progress and could use a few updates, it really is a fucking blast and to be honest the entire reason I bought Crysis. As for the expansion, I seem to recall some rumor or something about them moving the mod to the different engine at some point, so I went ahead and said I better nab this shit. Basically, if you have ever played Mechwarrior 1-4, or the Battletech board game, you will be right at home for this mod. Aerospace fighters, ground vehicles, fucking Elementals. I would have been happy just driving around a Mad Cat and missing all my shots at the Raven that is now behind me tickling me with medium lasers.

Ok, so you don’t know what all of this Battletech is. Well that’s simple, big fuck off robots piloted by “Mechwarriors” and they shoot lasers and missiles at each other. There really isn’t much more you need to know. Until the actual MechWarrior 5 comes out, this is a damned good replacement, and depending upon how things work out, may be my permanent replacement. If you own Crysis and haven’t heard of it or don’t know what I’m talking about, you owe it to yourself to give it a download. You own Crysis, chances are you like explosions and bullets and things anyway. You really haven’t lived until you blow off the Autocannon 20 of the mech in front of you, right before the next shot it would have fired would have taken off the last bit of armor on your center torso. Now it’s not perfect; it still has bugs, crashing, and the only gameplay mode can be only described as “shoot the other guys until they are dead.” But when I say the only reason I bought Crysis was for this, I mean it.

Alpha Protocol: Burn Notice the video game

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2010 by mediocrewayne

Alpha Protocol is a very good, bad game. I played through the sucker twice, and am seriously fighting a gigantic urge to do so again. This is one of those games that tries to do a hell of a lot and doesn’t do most of it very well.

At first glance, this is a really mediocre clone of any other modern first person shooter. You take cover behind bits of wall and wait for your health to regenerate. You can sneak around but the moment you blunder into one dude the rest of his friends psychically know exactly where you are hiding. The guns feel a bit weak and the enemy AI ranges from professional sharpshooters to guys who engage in staring contests with walls. Game balance is all over the place with skills that kill even the last boss in one use. Unless you have skill points in the weapon you are using, you should probably just sell it and stop worrying yourself with it. Not that this is a bad thing.

But the game does one thing extremely well, and for me its enough to look past all of the bullshit. It tells a pretty good story and makes you feel very involved with its dialog system. Mike can respond in a few ways in conversation, suave, aggressive or professionally, and at certain points these choices change exactly what happens next. The only problem with this system really is you only have 5 seconds to settle on one of the choices, and sometimes there is no way of knowing that when it says “joking”, Mike is going to tell the girl you were trying to keep happy with you how much of a bitch everyone back at the office thinks she is or something.

The game is absolutely insane in the lengths that it goes to have branching paths and different outcomes depending upon the choice you make. Mass Effect presents the illusion of choice, but no matter what you make Shepard say, you aren’t going to fail to save the day. At least not because of a dialog screw-up. There are quite a few instances where choosing the wrong dialog option or electing to shoot everyone in sight completely changes the outcome of a mission. The game doesn’t ever become unwinnable or anything, but you might not find out certain facts playing the game one way that another player does, but that guy didn’t get to hear Mike’s awesome ice burns either.

After beating it I began reading other people’s experiences on the internet, and it is really surprisingly just how different their game played out compared to mine. Hell, some people even went through the game not even meeting certain characters that played fairly big roles in mine. Where Alpha Protocol really kinda falls apart for me though is the inclusion of boss battles. Here you are, sneaking through a small luxury yacht like god damn Sam Fisher, when suddenly a pink haired 15 year old girl with two pistols, a life meter and the superhuman power of taking multiple bullets to the face. I’m not really sure how I went from playing a cat and mouse game with a KGB agent to fighting a literal anime girl but it happened.

How to break the game: Well, if you find yourself sick of the combat completely, or you chose martial arts as your primary weapon and then find out about the BOSS FIGHTS, there’s a simple way to fix that. Just put enough of your skill points to get the “chain-shot” skill from the pistol tree. You could put all your points into pistols, but this skill is way too powerful in comparison to everything else. Activate, queue up 2-5 shots on the bad guy’s head and skip directly to the cut scene.

Is it worth it? I couldn’t see myself forking out 60 bucks for the console version of the game, or 49.99 for the PC version. It is a damn fun game at times, but I’d definitely let it drop in price or go on sale before snatching it up. Just remember, this isn’t the best third person cover shooter you’ve ever played, but it may be one of the best spy games. Or only spy game.