Starting and StoppingThe good news: I finally played Blendo's Thirty Flights of Loving yesterday.
Blendo Games is on that short list (that includes Tarn Adams, Travis Baldree, Vic Davis, Ian Hardingham, and a few others)of developers who make appointment games. Those are games that, even in my current time deficit situation, I must play.
Thirty Flights of Loving isn't a game, really--it more accurately qualifies as an experience, because there are no gameplay affecting decisions you can make, as far as I can tell. And it only last fifteen minutes.
Do either of those things matter? No, because it's an exhilarating experience, the gaming equivalent of Tarantino (with a helping of Sergio Leone). You're not playing a game so much as trying to reconstruct what happened, and it will take several playthroughs before you begin to piece it all together.
With Thirty Flights of Loving, Gravity Bone, and Atom Zombie Smasher, Blendo has a portfolio that can stand up with anyone for freshness and energy. And music--all three games have absolutely amazing soundtracks.
Now, I only hope they do a longer project in 2013.
I also started Spec Ops: The Line last night. I haven't played a "realistic" military shooter in years, because while I was playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, I became so intensely uncomfortable that I quit.
I thought about what was bothering me, and I realized that it was the contemporary setting. I'm fine with a WWII shooter, or even Vietnam era, but the contemporary setting (and the realism) completely creeped me out.
I'd read so many good things about the plot of Spec Ops, though, and the questions it forces the player to ask, that I wanted to see for myself. It's been a long time, and I thought I'd be fine with the setting, given the context around the plot.
In a word: nope.
I played for a little more than 30 minutes, increasingly uncomfortable as I went, and then just quit. Even if there is some kind of terrific plot in the game, I couldn't make it past the realism.
From what I did see, the writing was terrific.
I wonder if this is an age-related issue--my problem with these kinds of games--or if it has something to do with being a father. None of this would have bothered me in the least fifteen years ago.