As Dead Rising reached closure, it was time to strike up another adventure. Delving into the game library revealed The Darkness and Oblivion, which both deserved attention. It was going to be another bolster for the ol' gamerscore as well as keep me preoccupied until some other life events took place (which may be another post).
The Darkness was a quite fun, if fairly brief, romp through gritty streets and subways. You play a mobster-type guy with a "heart o' gold" named Jackie. Just so happens that Jackie ends up endowed (possessed?) with demonic powers. Gunplay, execution-style killings, mob hits, subway travel, profanity, angry mobsters, crooked cops, family betrayal, trips to the brink of hell, and even breakdancing ensue.
This game was one of the more aesthetically pleasing I've played in a while. While not every aspect was in itself top-of-the-line, the attention to detail and truly authentic feel of the city streets was astounding. I also enjoyed the dialog for the most part. I think the voice actors did a pretty nice job, though the script was sometimes trying too hard. All in all, I had a nice time getting through The Darkness which I finished in two or three evening sessions.
The real story of the month is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This game isn't exactly "new" by release standards. However, I purchased the game mere days after getting my Xbox 360 over a year ago and played it for hardly an hour. At the time it didn't capture my attention, partially because I knew it was a big game and would require lots of time. I was into Gears of War heavily during that timeframe, and thus did not have time after work and before online deathmatches to squeeze in exploration-heavy RPGs.
Oblivion is the offline replacement for FFXI while I'm not online. The dungeon-crawling is rewarded often with new treasures and skill increases. Myriad options are available for your character creation, including race, facial features, birthsign, job class, and more. My character ended up being a cat-dude with statistics predisposing his style as stealthy.
Rei, as I named him, emphasizes stealth, illusory magic, and a dash of swordplay. I took the more evil route right away, being one to pick locks in order to pillage townspeople of their hard-earned assets. I joined the Dark Brotherhood, who are essentially assassins-for-hire, as well as the Thieves Guild in order to reinforce my current playstyle. Later on I can do things like fight in the Arena as a gladiator-type warrior, join the Fighters or Mages guilds for various odd jobs, then head through the main storyline.
I'm sure impending doom nefariously threatens the game world. Too bad, 'cause I'm having too much fun raiding people's houses, killing monsters, executing assassination contracts, robbing the wealthy, plundering caves and the like, and buying houses all over Cyrodiil (the setting for Oblivion). "Thieves get rich, saints get shot, and god don't answer prayers a lot." That about sums up the game so far.
February will see a FFXI reactivation, as I will need to send a borrowed item back to Supergirl (sorry I forgot, Supes). Also interesting in the gaming world is the (re)release of Rez on Xbox Live Arcade. Rez HD is well worth the ten bucks Microsoft is asking for it, and its 200 achievement points will serve as a thinly veiled excuse to play through the game yet again. I own a pristine copy for my PS2 but it never hurts having a great game in two formats.
Until next time~