The TBoD Podcast – 89 – Fallout of Halovember

Halovember is over teabaggers and you know what that means… a return to our usual musings and ramblings about games and gaming. This week we’re talking Fallout, Hearthstone, Halo vs Destiny and the everlasting importance of solo gaming expeiriences.

Be sure to give us your thoughts on all of the topics discusses in the usual places as always.

Right Click and hit ‘save link as..’ to download.

The TBoD Podcast – PrE3 Special – Goldberg Machine

Pr3 Special¬†< – right click save as … etc

Welcome fellow Gamers,

That’s right it’s that time of year again, time for the biggest event in gaming. If you’re anything like us you’ve got it marked on your favourite calendar app with a little heart drawn around it, we are so psyched for this years event as we are every year.

In this special TBoD Podcast we discuss the things we are most looking forward to seeing from each of the companies headline events;

Microsoft,

Sony,

Nintendo,

Ubisoft,

EA,

Square-enix,

Bethesda,

and for the first time ever the PC master race will be able to revel in the glory too.

In addition to the run down we also make some crazy/not so crazy predictions of our own.

Have a listen and let us know what you think and we’ll see you at the show ūüėČ

– eremenko

TBoD Extra Points – 1 – Favourite RPG

Hey baggers,

TBoD is back with a vengeance, we’re bringing you more content than ever before and we don’t plan on stopping. Here’s the first glimpse of one of our new ideas TBoD exp. Quim and eremenko will be rapping on single topics in smaller bite-sized chunks.

You can check out the video version of this cast over on our YouTube channel or click below to listen now.

TBoD –¬†Extra Points 1¬†– Favourite RPG¬†<— right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download.

 

It’s good to be back

eremenko

Love, Dishonor and Obey

(Dishonored on Xbox360)

You’re probably sick of hearing me bang out about it but since I gave you my first impressions of Dishonored last week I feel that now I’ve cracked the game it’s only fair that I give it my full verdict.

plagued citizens of dunwall

(The victims of the Plague have been driven mad by disease and must be avoided at all costs)

The disturbing setting is the star of the show here and despite not having the most original overlying story (falsely accused of a crime, you must escape prison, seek vengeance, rescue the princess) the game creates a great atmosphere and a believable backdrop to a fantastic adventure. Corvo’s quest is less about killing the corrupt and more about how far he will go for the sake of the young girl whom he is charged to protect. Along the way he makes some good friends and some big enemies each more ruthless and power hungry than the last. Each level brings Corvo a new target and see’s him dropped off by the riverside and sent out alone to stalk his prey. This isolation is prevalent in the game and you find yourself breathing a sigh of relief each time you complete a mission successfully and can return to your friends “The Loyalists” back at your makeshift base in an abandoned pub. The background of the world is described in many books and notes left lying around the various settings and they read very well, unlike in some games where it feels like a chore having to trawl through lines of text to find out that some dude killed some other dude for the sake of some bird, such texts are usually no more than one page and actually add to the atmosphere really well.

dishonored pub(The Hound Pits, Corvo’s safe haven …..)

If you are expecting an RPG experience you will be surprised, yes there are abilities, yes you can upgrade each one but only once. Using items called Runes which are hidden throughout the levels you can upgrade your Corvo in the way of your choosing either make him a more efficient killer or transform him into a ghost moving through the shadows un-detected. These abilities are accentuated with the use of Bone Charms, which can be equipped to give you further abilities (such as extra swim speed, more health from potions, less damage etc). As great as the world is I can’t help but feel they could have made more of the steam-punk setting, there were only a few machines and vehicles that were actually usable or moving the rest were simply there as scenery where I felt they should have been used to a greater effect. There was a distinct lack of pedestrians in the world too, the only time the city felt really alive were in the brothel and party scenes (although this kind of makes sense as the lower echelons of society were in the grip of death with the plague hanging over them).

masquerade ball

Dunwalls less classy side There is stark contrast between the upper and lower classes … just like real life ey?

I was slightly disappointed with the ending of the game but having only seen one of multiple endings I suppose it could just be because I played the boring way, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in again and playing the whole thing through in a different manner.

All in all though Arkane/Bethesda have come up with something really special here a truly unique game. The graphics are brilliant, the gameplay is excellent, the story has darkness and depth. Some people may find the lack of free exploration an issue but the game more than makes up for that in the creativity department not to mention exceptional replay value.

(Samuel the boatman, the best friend an assassin could ask for)

If you think you have time for a 15+ hour game before the magnificent fourth Halo then you must buy this one.

– eremenko

Get Your Rat Out

As you may have read in our last post eremenko has gone the awesome route and bought Dishonored, I have gone for the slightly less awesome and certainly cheaper option of getting the Dishonored Rat Assassin App for iOS. If you give rat’s arse *ahem* then read on.

This little slice of the full game is just as polished its triple A titled older brother, on the shiny scale its¬†definitely¬†towards the sparkly end. Not that you should expect any less since the app was made by Bethesda themselves whose work speaks for itself in the looks department. For those of you who have played the insanely popular Fruit Ninja then the premise will be fairly familiar, in Fruit Ninja the objective is to slice various portions of your 5-a-day by swiping your finger across the screen as a blade. Rat Assassin puts a macabre twist on things and instead hurls¬†squealing¬†rodents in front of you to split clean in two. For those of you with a fondness for all of Mother Nature’s creations you might want to give this one a miss.

The app presents you with a couple of different modes in which to butcher rodents in, in the timed mode you have cut through as many as possible, in challenge mode the object is to not hit the bombs and score a certain amount of points and the assassination mode is pretty similar but the rats are lobbed up with bombs and you have to murder the vermin without letting any fall from view. To keep you interested there are a multitude of unlockables from new blades and backgrounds to music and, if you get sick of the squeaks of pain, objects to mutilate. Most of these are gained as you progress but some also become available through fairly simple means such as tweeting your score.

Powerups are  available in-game as well to spice things up, my favourite being this bomb blade thing that when fully powered will kill all the sewer dwellers on-screen when you slice just a single rat.

All in all its a solid little title to help fritter away any spare moments you might have, but for the love of P.E.T.A don’t try to recreate this in real life, rat guts are a nightmare to get out a cream carpet.. err so I hear…

Oh and the icing on the cake here is the price, it costs nothing so if you want to do your bit and rid Dunwall of its infestation then just click this link and away you go.

-MS Dosser

Honorable Intentions

the mask of corvo

(A spoiler free review of Arkane/Bethesda’s action adventure game)

Dishonored has finally landed in the UK and from first impressions it’s not going to¬†disappoint. Controlling Corvo is a joy, playing like a cross between Skyrim and¬†Assassins¬†Creed only without the full on freedom of either open world title (The Skyrim¬†comparison¬†is no surprise given Bethesda’s connection here). In place of a huge free-roaming world Arkane Studios¬†have favoured more closed but well realised¬†environment. Each level feels like a Skyrim dungeon but in a much larger setting giving you the option to sneak or slash through those standing between you and your target. For me this is where it get’s really interesting. The poor hapless folk of Dunwall are taking a bit of a kicking from both a disease and a corrupt ruling class in which the city guard simply mere pawns. The last thing the poor unknowing henchmen and their families need right now is a short, stabby, pain in the neck. However as Dexter teaches us it’s okay to kill bad people, there’s a fine line between good and evil folks, evil acts here will have¬†repercussions. Listening in to the thoughts of those poor saps in blue reveals that most of them are simply thinking about getting through another day alive. Maybe it’s a reflection of my ageing brain but I feel for these work-a-day slobs and have opted to spare as many lives as possible. This is not easy.

(Sneak your way to victory?)

Playing the game in this manner on very hard mode is a bit of a challenge so progress has been pretty slow thus far. A lot has been said about the freedom of choice and creative abilities in this game while that is true it does lead you down a set path to a certain extent. You have an ultimate goal, there are areas that you can explore along the way but the unique experiences come from how you reach your target. Corvo has a range of abilities all of which can help him move through the levels in a manner of your choosing. Said abilities are at the core of the game.

owch.

(Or get stuck in and start stabbing)

Staying hidden is pretty easy most of the time moving from cover to cover or along pipes and over walkways to keep out your enemies line of sight but if you want to get the most out of the game you are going to have to take down the odd guard. You can do this in a non fatal manner however but it is more difficult than it is in most stealth games. The AI’s don’t stick to the regimented pathways as they would in most games of this type and they will often surprise you by turning to face you when you least expect it, this means you have to spend more time studying their movements and surroundings in order to plan your attack…. timing is key. In addition the hiding spots littered around the¬†environment¬†never look like they have been placed as deliberate cover, there are no¬†convenient¬†chest high walls for you to duck behind and all of the¬†scenery¬†elements blend in perfectly to what is a¬†beautifully¬†designed world.

(Dunwall is a gorgeous place, it pays to stop and take it all in sometimes)

The games somewhat cartoony graphics are akin to something like Fable¬†or Bioshock but the stylized nature has more in common with the latter (Arkane studios were actually involved in the design stages of the Bioshock series). The whole thing looks amazing though and I’ve never found myself becoming bored of looking at the scenery as I watch for the perfect moment to swoop in on my prey. Yes the graphical style may not be for everyone but the game has enough substance to keep even the most cynical from complaining too much. This comic book style belies a deeply disturbing setting, Dunwall is a city on the brink of collapsing in on itself …. can you change it’s fate or will you add to the despair?

– eremenko

Giving back to the TBoD Community

Its doesn’t take Sam & Max or Cole Phelps to work out that we recently went to the EuroGamer Expo. Whilst there we managed to scoop a few cool things that we thought might be nice to give back to our loyal readers for your sins.

For this particular competition we have 3 Xbox Live Avatar items to give away to you lovely people. The item in question is in my opinion rather cool, it’s the Corvo Mask from Dishonoured.¬†Each of them worth a cool 240 Microsoft Moon Bucks.

Entry is easy, simply Follow @TeaBagOrDie on twitter and Retweet one of the competition messages you will find on our feed. Entries start now and the competition will close at 6pm GMT on Friday 5th of October.

Good Luck!

Dishonorable Zombie Expo

(Eurogamer Expo 2012 earls court London)

Well we are back and it was amazing. My first ever visit to a video game conference was so much fun, we played some great games and met some even better people. I’m going to talk about a couple of things I played that my fellow blogger here did not. I want to start however by thanking everyone who took one of our cards and spent a little time having a chat with us and sharing their experience, the atmosphere was brilliant and everyone was so friendly so “Thanks guys”. Right grovel over onto the games.

dishonored wallpaper

(Dishonored)

Probably one of the most polished games at the show was Arkane Studios,¬†Bethesda published first person assasination adventure. It’s to be expected that this game would look and play as great as it did because it’s due for release in a little under a fortnight so I would expect we were playing the final build.

The demo on show threw the player in on a mission to take out a high profile target. It becomes immediately obvious just how much emphasis has been placed on player choice. Starting off in a back alley I¬†proceeded¬†up to the main street. On first impression the games cartoony art style looks great, while it might not tax the 360’s processing power too much with graphics it more than makes up for that in depth, the world is active and people bustle around their business in a very believable way. I dropped back into the alley after having a look round and climbed up a nearby fire escaped to see if I could find a way up to the waypoint indicating my target. My way forward was blocked but on the way back down I noticed a wall which I cleared in one leap. Into the water I went swimming off round to the rear of the building I found a huge water wheel which I rode up into the targets¬†premises.

This was just one of many ways to gain access to the building and I feel it is this freedom that will be pivotal to the success of this game, once inside it was time to try out a little combat. I would like say that I stealthily made my way through the steam punk¬†stylized¬†warehouse taking out guards without being spotted unfortunately for me that’s not how it went down, luckily though this title hands you a plethora of options when it comes down to taking down the unlucky henchmen. On offer in this demo were many of the powers that I imagine will be unlockable throughout the campaign and they did not¬†disappoint. The ability to posses npc’s,¬†¬†summon rats, whip up a wind storm and teleport along with a large selection of weapons meant you were never short of ideas when things went bad.

The graphical style and artistic inspiration may not be for everyone but I think this is going to be a killer title and a must buy for me….. it may have to wait until after Halo 4 though.

(ZombiU)

This game has drummed up a lot of interest since the WiiU title was first announced and this was evidenced by the fact that we had to queue for almost two hours to get our hands on the new fangled tablet controller for Nintys forthcoming console. It was well worth it though. Dropping you in near tower bridge in the Expos host city of London the game drips with atmosphere and terror. Making your way through some sewers and up to the surface by the riverside you are quickly met with some fantastically animated Zombies and the tension mounts. Given a couple of weapons with very little ammo, a trusty cricket bat for melee and an unlikely “scanner” of some description you feel straight away that survival is going to be as difficult as it is terrifying. It’s the control system that is¬†truly¬†original here using the tablet screen as your scope for sniping, managing your inventory and scanning your surroundings is something completely unique to Ubisofts survival horror offering and it works very well.

Both scary and innovative this game could prove to be the standout WiiU launch title (should they manage to get it together in time) and it could prove to be a real console seller among the more hardcore gamers. The other titles on offer for the new tech were more of the same old Nintendo cartoony platformers, which while excellent games, wont necessarily appeal to your average Xbox and PlayStation gamer but judging from the lines around the Ninty section I think sales of the WiiU wont be a major concern for the family gaming giant. Still our favourite little pointy eared sword wielding, bomb throwing, bow toting, green smock wearing elf was notable by his absence (although i did see a few Link cosplayers.).

All in all a great expo see you there next year everyone.

– Eremenko