environmental malfunction

David Sarif's office
After our conversation in the elevator unfortunately is interrupted by Francis Pritchard entering, Megan Reed has to go and meet Athene Margoulis, David Sarif‘s executive assistant. The latter is my boss, the founder and CEO of Sarif Industries, whom I now have to meet up in his office. And quite an office it is [see above], although not as impressive as the one of Dr. Eldon Tyrell—but then again Sarif Industries is characterized as ‘a moderately-sized biotechnology company.’ For that the building housing his company is quite impressive.
    While talking with the old man [strange to say that, as he is born in the same year as my offline self] about our upcoming visit to Washington D.C. suddenly—but not unexpected—the shit starts hitting the fan.
Environmental malfunction in laboratory subsection 6
The building’s security system reports an environmental malfunction in laboratory subsection 6. As I am Sarif Industries’ chief of security I immediately head down to the lab in question, using the big man’s private elevator.
    In best FPS-adventure tradition I first find blood-smeared floors and walls, then the corpses of dead laboratory personnel. It’s like Half-Life, Doom, Max Payne … I feel at home. Cautiously I advance and the system offers me the tutorials piecemeal. So I watch the movies, which are recordings of the very situation and place I find myself in right now. The traditional crates are back as well—I can pick them up, move and throw them, very similar as in Half-Life 2 … which gave me an idea.
    back in the days when Half-Life 2 was freshly out, KerLeone thought up a wonderful challenge. Manipulating ingame objects was one of Half-Life 2’s original features. When you arrived at City 17’s railway platform you found an orphaned suitcase on the platform, right after leaving the train. By means of that suitcase the game began to teach you it’s object-manipulating system. KerLeone had the idea to drag the suitcase from the railway station through the course of the whole game. The plan was to reach the final boss and kill him by hitting him with that very suitcase. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, because early in the game you have to use a teleporter which malfunctions in three dimensions and refuses to transport the suitcase. We shall see if we can pull the stunt now in DX3.
    Through a bullett-proof glass wall I have to witness how some heavily equipped mercenary slaughters a scientist (easily recognizable by his white laboratory coat). The wall is indestructible, so I look for a way around. Having entered an office the system prompts me to pick up and remove, yes, a crate. Behind the crate there’s an entry to the building’s airduct-system. Maybe that’s already the death of suitcase-from-the-station redux. Quite obviously I can’t stuff the crate into the airduct. I have to go back these days and see, if there is some object to pick up before.
    When I finally have worked my way around the glass wall the goon is gone. Stealthily I sneak on until I encounter the first two terrorist-types, complete with black ski-masks. Max-Payne déja vu again.
    Now it’s the time for getting comfortable with the moving and shooting system, and I realize that I’m a bit too oldschool. Me, my body, motor functions, and eye-hand coordination are accustomed to hide and seek cover by moving (using the WASD-keys) and crouching (the C-key), nothing more. That’s why I immediately felt comfortable with the moving-system of Far Cry 2—the addition of pointing the weapon by holding down the right mouse button (RMB) was easy to internalize.
    Now, in DX3 holding down RMB makes Adam Jensen taking cover by kneeling down and hugging the wall or any other piece of large enough geometry close by (a crate?), plus switches from first-person to third-person perspective:
Laboratory subsection 6
But that’s not it yet. By tapping the spacebar, Adam jumps to the next spot suited for cover—e.g. from one side of a doorway to the other. By holding down the spacebar he sneaks on under cover.
    You really have to get accustomed to this, but I can clearly see the potential. Alas, I won’t be able to bring the movement system to full fruit soon, because on another level of reality the environment indeed begins to malfunction. My dated hardware simply cannot cope with the game in a satisfactory fashion. The frames per second drop here and now, plus I am getting artefacts, graphics glitches. My GPU, or CPU, or both simply are overstrained. Concerning the artefacts my system may even lack necessary shaders.
    So I play around a bit, sneak on, and kill some of them ski-masked goons until I reach the spot pictured above. There the framerate drops again, still playable, but not the full fun. Hardware upgrade will be done. Stay tuned.

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