Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Begenning Anew in the Tradition of the Old

Mike and I have a personal tradition of ours to play through the classic System Shock 2 together in co-operative mode around once a year. We employ all sorts of great mods that the community has put together, and yes, there is a very strong community behind SS2, it's awesome. Some of the mods enhance the game's dated visuals and models, and other mods enhance or modify gameplay mechanics to provide either a more challenging experience, or simply a different experience. After our 3 or 4 times through, I think Mike and I have played all the roles available to us, being the hacker, the psychic, the heavy-weapons wielder, the hi-tech weapons wielder, etc. We're thinking of trying to bring on a third player this time, because although the co-operative mode of the game does not provide more resources, it does provide equal "cyber modules," which are the games version of experience points, allowing you to essentially level up and develop your skill tree. Given that, when people choose their roles in a co-operative manner, you end up using the game's existing resources in a more complete manner. For example, a heavy weapons guy and a psychic would make a good pair, as their competing for neither the game's ammo nor the game's psi-hypos (which provide energy for your psychic abilities). We're pretty sure there's no way the game could support 4 players, but we're eager to try it with 3.

However, in the mean time, we're taking our first stab at a co-operative run through of a Black Isle classic, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, complete with the expansion, Throne of Bhaal. Our first night at it had me falling asleep at 3 AM after we had spent far too long installing all the different gameplay mods and bug fixes that we wanted to employ, but I'm excited that with all of that being finished, we're ready to get started. I'm using this extra time before then to decide on what kind of character I want to play through as, last time having played a Paladin, who is obviously lawful good (duh!).

Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal represent one of my fondest memories of video game role playing. The story-telling, the voice acting, the choices Black Isle made concerning classic 2nd edition advanced D&D rules, it all came together for a great experience. Like System Shock 2, Baldur's Gate II has a similarly strong community online devoted to creating the various mods that make replaying the game a pleasure.

In my new place, we're using a couple of TV trays and my bed to help set up our co-op experience in the same room, as opposed to over a network. Mike is reserved about appearing on the interwebs, so the picture to the side, his appearance has been slightly modified.


Blogger Drew said...

I don't like the look of your roommate one bit. You should take him to a doctor and see if you can't clear up that nasty pixel problem.

6:33 PM  

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