Friday, 27 April 2012

Red Ocean (PC) - Guest Post

Before you click Read On, have a go at guessing the name of the protagonist in today's FPS Friday game. Go on, guess.

I'll give you a clue: they wanted a tough name. This is a man who Gets Things Done. Nobody messes with this guy.
(Click the pictures for 1024x768 size!)

Alright. Time's up.

He's called Jack Hard.

"It should have been just another tourist trip for Jack Hard, but instead he is caught up in a global conspiracy."

I wonder if that's Jack talking about himself in the third person on the back of the box there like an idiot.

I like this cheesy intro music. It's perfect for a cheap action packed TV movie. Reminds me of 1990's The Outer Limits.

Ugh, these voices are pretty crappy. Everybody's just talking over each other in a flat tone of voice. I think I know why SHOGO started off with just a text screen now.

"Jack. Hammerson. JACK. Hammerson. JACK. You have to... tell him. What's THAT?"

It sounds like something dramatic is supposed to be happening here, but it's not showing up on screen. It's a pre-rendered video, so it's not a glitch. They just missed out the part where it shows what's going on.

Best guess, Hammerson hired ace diving dude Mr. J. Hard to find a submarine. They found it, but then Hammerson was grabbed by something too expensive to animate. And then JACK. JACK.

This ain't no submarine, it's an underwater base! Somehow!

Like all secret underwater bases, it's programmed to immediately lower all defenses upon spotting an intruder and give them a warm welcome.

There's some CIA agent fellow talking on the radio. It's apparently very important that I get in contact with Hammerson again. Let's look for Hammerson!

"Damn, mah boat! How should I get outta here without it."

Jack talks a bit like he's half asleep or he's just had some dental work done. Maybe the fast descent messed with his head. Maybe the shock of seeing his poor boat lying on the ocean floor caused his tongue to swell up suddenly.

Looks Like We're Going To Have To Work Together says the CIA man. He gets to sit in a cushy room and tell me all sorts of lies about there being an escape boat 'just ahead', while I have to kill a million people in the dark without a weapon of any kind.

Bad guys! I rush over to Hammerson's dead body and steal his magic floating Glock.

One shot to the head each and the bogeys are down. Smashing.

They sure know how to throw their shaders around.

Hard's voice is slowly transforming from some kind of hick character into Bruce Willis. Not quite as good as the fake McClane from Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. I don't understand how Jack's voice actor can deliver some of these lines as bizarrely as he does. Is Jack supposed be drunk? The CIA guy's a lot better.

It's dark.

As you might've guessed, finding the enemies isn't easy. I should thank their boss for making them wear fluorescent glow in the dark safety strips on their uniforms.

The Glock's a bit rubbish. I can't get used to the rhythm of it; I'm too used to being able to fire weapons freely. I think I'm supposed to just hold down Fire LIKE A GOON.

The right mouse button aim only zooms in the screen a teeny bit. Speaking of zoom; this game seems to use a very strange field of view. I'm convinced it's (permanently) set to something ridiculously narrow.

There was a bit of a scripted incident involving a tunnel full of explosive barrels and now there's a water problem.

The only explanation I can think of for all these men and explosive barrels being down here is that they were just about to blow up the 'let everybody in' part of the base, but I got here just in time to do their work for them. That can't possibly come back to bite me later, can it? It's not as if the 'let everybody in' bit would double as a 'let Jack out of the burning base' bit, is it?

Good job I keep a tank of compressed air with me at all times!

They're firing harpoons at me! Argh! Do something, Jack!

I've got harpoons too? Infinite harpoons? When did that happen?!

You'd think that in all this darkness the enemies would have a hard time finding me. As soon as one enemy sees me, they all know exactly where I am. The darkness doesn't slow them down at all. They should exercise a small amount of caution at least. They're not wearing goggles or anything.

The enemies seem to be perfectly timed to be as annoying as possible. Just when it looks safe, some more enemies run out from behind the furthest corner.

Red Ocean's got explosions, kinetics and all the rest. No overt glitches.

It's quite a feat for this game to seem to be so well-made and so shoddy simultaneously.

I apologise in advance if you're expecting anything other than dark corridors. Red Ocean's only got one card and it likes to play it constantly. They're all very nice corridors though.

Come to think of it, these have all be perfectly linear corridors so far. Every time I've entered a room, the exit has always been right in front of me. It seems like years ago I was doing laps of Hybrid's snowfield trying to find secret doors.

When you finally get to see characters up close in cutscenes, they're rather well-animated.

I'm surprised at how little our Jack has wisecracked. He hasn't cracked wise once through the entire game! He's hardly spoken at all, in fact. All he cares about is finding a way out of the base.

I should get hit by scripted flashbangs more often! I can see what I'm doing!

Character models aren't bad when you get to see them. I think there might only be this one guy that you encounter over and over again though.

There's only a couple of enemy character voices as well. Hardly a problem. It makes it clear who the enemy are, and they're so daft it stops the player from taking the game too seriously.

The game's got different music depending on whether you're fighting enemies or not. Because you encounter enemies in small groups, you have to hear the the start of the same 'attack' music over and over again. There's just enough delay for the music to fade out and back again between killing one squad and causing the next squad to appear. I was enjoying the action packed background music for Level 2, just running around and enjoying the look of the place, but the 'attack' music killed it and it didn't come back.

I consider myself to be a pretty good shot, but I'm having lots of trouble with ammo in this game. Everybody seems to drop exactly six bullets, regardless of the weapon they use. There's no indicators showing what other types of guns you have or how much ammo they have. There's no automatic weapon switch when you run out of ammo. In a gunfight, I end up always cycling through all the guns in a panic to find one that'll work.

It's a boss! Either he's a fan of Tron or I think he's taking the mickey out of United Arms' 'you must wear reflective strips while working in the dark' accident prevention policy.

He's up there on the walkway, firing rubbish glowy balls around me. Even when I stand still, they seem to hit everywhere but me. As he runs across the gantries, he's stupidly running right into barrels and knocking them all over the place. Is he supposed to be doing that?

This boss is taking a lot of hits. I'm pretty sure I'm scoring lots of headshots with the Desert Eagle, but it's hard to tell if I'm having any effect. He got stuck at some point, fell down to ground level and then refused to take another step. Don't think that's supposed to happen. Too bad for him!

Eventually, after I've exhausted all my weapons, he dies. He's dropped his cyber gun! I'll just run over and...

Oh, it's appeared in my hands anyway. Okie dokie, then. Better than it falling through the ground forever.

These enemies are surprisingly smart for such a naff game. They keep hiding behind cover and behind things; changing their speed, moving forwards and backwards and yelling different things. I tried to be smart and predict the pre-determined paths the enemies would take and hide on the far side of the room behind where the enemies appeared. I just got telefragged by the next squad of enemies that appeared in the spot where I stood. That'll learn me.

Yikes, MORE enemies? Right after a boss that took all my ammo and health!? Come on!

The boss' cyber gun isn't very good. The primary fire fires those stupid useless balls. The second fire charges up and fires a very slow moving orb that can toss people up into the air. If you're lucky. If you're not lucky, it just passes right through the enemies harmlessly.

You know what scares me?

Walking beside seven-hundred foot wide centrifuges spinning at a hundred RPM. It lights up the room and everything as it spins, it does. Very clever.

As are the enemies, who keep magically appearing on the top of this thing while I'm trying to climb it. They've got a plan to stop me getting any further, too. If they fall off into the arms of the centrifuge as they die, there's no chance of me picking up their ammo.

What could await at the end of this dark corridor?

You'll just have to play the game yourself to find out! (But don't actually do that.)

I'd play more, but a quick look at the files indicates that I'm on level 04 of 07. If I get any further, I'll end up winning it. Now that I know the exact route to take, I'd say a competent player could win most of these levels in a matter of minutes.

So the voices are crap, there's hardly any music, the guns are crap, there's no ammo, the levels are tiny, the game's short and everything's very, very dark. Stupid fun nevertheless, if you can stand the difficulty.

Red Ocean is the slightly surreal world of the cheap FPS updated for the new millennium, complete with magic special effects and realistic physics. Who needs crap like Navy SEALs when you've got working games like Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, and who needs that when you've got Red Ocean!

I'd recommend you play it... if I didn't have to give the game minus a million billion points for trying to install something called 'ProtectDisc Drivers' when I clicked on the game exe after installation. I don't know what it does. It could do -anything-. Anything at all. Nothing good, no doubt.

AND the game didn't like my dual monitor set up.

Now I must reinstall my OS to get rid of this evil nonsense. For you.

1 comment:

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