Friday, 8 July 2011

Contract J.A.C.K. (PC) - Guest Post

Contract Jack, looking pretty awesome too.

Jack's got a problem. He's tied up and these two guys are about to kill him.

Jack's some big-shot contract killer, and he's managed to rack off a rival firm who don't take kindly to competition. The goons play a tape of their boss explaining why he doesn't like Jack very much.

Suddenly, Jack gets up out of the chair! He was tied up, but now he's not! And the goons are shooting me! Argh! What's going on!?


Next time, I'm going to click like mad as soon as Jack decided he's bored of listening to the goons.

Jack had a pistol on him all along! Who knew!

Takes a few shots to bring down a goon, but what can you expect from a... Desert Eagle?! Leaving that lying around next to Jack was just asking for trouble.

Oh man, I shouldn't've done that. Now there's TONS of enemies after me. Every time I go through a doorway, there's at least four of them waiting for me. They keep hiding around corners and ducking behind chairs and it's not easy to hit 'em.

They're very good shots too, so I've got to be really careful. There's no cover in this place.

I'd like take a more controlled approach, but these enemies are having none of it. They're there, every time I turn around, every time I do anything, there's more of them. I thought it took a long time to kill them with the pistol; it takes around eight chest shots to kill one of these guys with the tommy gun. I've no choice but to go all Dick Tracy all over the place.

The music is stylish enough to make up for it.

Mission objective: Find Jack's car.

Is this your car, Jack? I hope not. Guys called Jack who carry guns have to have cool cars and that is not a cool car.

Guhh! Killed again!

There's a balcony on the building to the left where enemies keep appearing...! They keep appearing, damn it!

And who leaves a sofa THERE, anyway? And why is it bulletproof!?

Cool car located. Mission complete.

There's a note on the windshield from a high-up in an Evil Crime Syndicate telling me to go to Malta. So let's go to Malta.

Here we are in Malta!

The boss has decided to test Jack by sending in wave after wave of H.A.R.M. troops after him. I thought we were through with the crazy combat after the complete screw-up I made of the last level, but apparently not. Everything immediately goes pear shaped and there's blood everywhere.

It's fast becoming clear that in this game, you're either in cover or you're dead, so it's a bit like Time Crisis.

These enemies won't stop coming. They keep changing cover and moving about, trying to sneak up behind me. I'm starting to run out of ammo, there's so many of them!

You can take a more pro-active approach if you want, but make sure you put some damned cartridges in your shotgun first.

That guy on the balcony in the top right gets instantly replaced by another guy if you kill him. By the time I'd finished in this small area, there was a lot of corpses below.

Logically then, you should hide in a corner and wait for the enemies to come to you. It works, but the guns are so weak you'll run out of ammo first.

Hand to hand combat is a right pain because the enemies push you away as soon as you get near. If you're lucky, you'll kill the enemy before they kill you. If you're not lucky, then you'll kill one enemy only to find that there was a second enemy hiding inside them.

Hey, up there, it's the finish line! Nice of the Evil Boss to make it stand out.

First I have to get down this staircase, and that's not going to happen until I kill every person in Malta.

Don't be fooled by the flying corpses, they're not crazy ragdolls sadly. The enemies seem to have about three different prepared animations for death and they're all zany exaggerations. Reminds me of GoldenEye 007.

This level is like a maze; there's staircases and gated passageways all over.

Every time I think I've cleared one room, there's more men there. There's men behind every pillar, every corner and every other man. There's health packs and armour hidden everywhere, so I guess this is how it's supposed to turn out. Two full-on action levels in a row without even a tiny cutscene or something is a bit much.

It's the Evil Boss!

I suppose this guy is important in No One Lives Forever or something like that, but I haven't played it. He's not upset that I've reduced the population of Earth to just me and him. In fact, according to him, there's people somewhere that I haven't yet killed, but I should go and kill them now.

Shhh. Be wery wery quiet.

I'm in the back of a truck in Czechoslovakia, infiltrating some kind of military facility. After I've done that, I need to interrogate a rival killer and get some information. 'Bout time we got to execute a proper mission with skill and tact.

There wasn't much in the way of a briefing... I didn't even get to see the evil H.A.R.M. base, which is a shame. I don't have an inventory full of special gadgets, such as a tranquiliser crossbow or silenced pistol. All I have is the Desert Eagle.

Oh for God's sake.



And why does this level have such cheap-sounding music?


I died a lot. I had to use quicksaves to get anywhere in this game. There's hundreds upon hundreds of enemies pouring out of every bloody corner. It's unbelievable!

I stopped playing at this point because I managed to quick save during the death animation, like a twit. There are separately saved checkpoints in the levels as well so I could go back, but I'm bored.

The game is very much like GoldenEye but on your PC, but there are some differences that mean I won't be coming back for more J.A.C.K.

So far, in J.A.C.K, every level plays exactly like the last (i.e. an instant catastrophe). You don't even get the novelty of a selection of new guns in each level. There's a plot, somewhere, but it wasn't doing a lot when I checked.

I think GoldenEye gets away with its crapness because it's slower paced. You can take your time and deal with enemies silently in many levels. When something happens in GoldenEye, it happens so slowly that you get time to react, and so shoddily that it's usually hilarious to watch.

I've been thinking a lot why I don't like J.A.C.K. In a lot of FPSs, I find myself wanting to fight more than one or two guys at once. Now that I've found a game with tons of guys to shoot, I don't like it. The sheer numbers of enemies make it very difficult, I don't want to say that I don't like J.A.C.K. because of that. Maybe it's because the levels are so cramped and the enemies keep appearing from places I'm certain I've cleared, I feel like I keep getting killed in ways I shouldn't be. Maybe if the guns worked, I'd enjoy it more. Or maybe the loading sequence just takes too long and I'm spending more time looking at it than playing the game. Something's wrong with J.A.C.K., but I can't say exactly what.

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