There’s a popular Skyrim mod called Frostfall I’ve had installed for a while. It takes all those background weather effects, the snow and rain and fog, and pushes them into the foreground where you can’t help but notice them. It does this by letting them kill you. You know that expression “a little rain never hurt no one”? Yeah, forget that.
Somebody at Bethesda put a lot of effort into modelling the climate of Skyrim in the regular game, but apart from that one area near the top of The Throat Of The World that can chill you to death, it normally doesn’t have affect you. Frostfall, on the other hand, models temperature and exposure and dampness, and will slowly freeze you to the bone if you wander off without adequate protection. To prepare yourself for that, Frostfall also lets you craft cloaks and sleeping tents, makes eating soup and standing near fires grant warmth and dryness, and also lets you take that wood you chopped just to watch the animation and light an actual fire with it.
I’ve been messing about with Frostfall on a savegame where I’m playing a Khajiit – one of the catfolk – named Hunter. He’s a hunter, yes. I’m imagination personified. Thanks to another mod called Live Another Life, Hunter S. Catson isn’t the Dragonborn, hero of prophecy. He’s just an ordinary catman with a bow and a cloak who has been tooling around for nine levels shooting wildlife, skinning them, and selling the bits. That’s literally it. Sometimes he gets attacked by bandits, but since I didn’t initiate the main questline, Hunter lives in a Skyrim that doesn’t even have dragons in it.
The main supernatural occurrence in Hunter’s Skyrim is fast-travel. Memories of slogging through the ash wasteland in Morrowind, or being funnelled by those tedious mountain passes while Cliff Racers swooped down like broken pterodactyls, have made me rely on the fast-travel in more recent Elder Scrolls games (and ride horses a lot too). But to get the most out of Frostfall you need to see it on foot and you need to see it continuously.
To that end I’m going to spend an afternoon travelling across the country, and I’ve banned myself from fast travel while I’m doing it. No carts or boats or mounts either. I’ll visit all the capital cities of the various Holds and see if I can do it without freezing to death. How long will that take? Let’s find out.
During the course of reviewing Assassins Creed Rogue (360/PS3/PC) Razor and Lee embarrass themselves live on the radio by forgetting the name of Captain Cooks ship, as well as confusing Benjamin Franklin with Isaac Newton. As it turns out, Rogue is one of the best games in the franchise to date!
They also discuss the recent downloadable content for Mario Kart 8 (Wii U).
Aired 19 November 2014
PAX AUS 2014 Special: Part Two
Interviews with: Tripod, Wargaming (World of Tanks), Disparity Games (Ninja Pizza Girl), Witchbeam Studios (Assault Android Cactus), Flat Earth Games (Towncraft/Metrocide) & Digital Confectioners (Depth).
Plus: Alanah gives us an overview of the New 3DS!
Aired 12 November 2014.
Note: Due to a technical issue, the first 2 minutes of the podcast is lo-fidelity. The rest of the episode is in sparkling hi-fi!
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Australian rating: PG
The Lego games are released on a schedule as constant as Call Of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, and that means they can be formulaic. Lego Batman 2: DC Heroes was one of the series’ innovators, however, introducing fully-voiced characters and an open world. Between missions you and a friend could hoon around Gotham City in Lego vehicles or climb its buildings looking for secrets and punching on hoodlums. It basically had everything I want from future Arkham games and threw in a playable Superman as well.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham expands the roster even further, pulling various deep-cut characters from the DC Comics catalogue, while shifting the focus away from Batman’s home turf of Crimetown USA and into outer space. The villainous Brainiac has a plan to shrink the Earth and place it under glass like he’s collecting bugs, and he’s stolen the power of the variously coloured Lanterns to do it. Green Lantern isn’t alone, you see – in the comics he pals around with Red, Pink, Blue, Purple, Orange, and Yellow Lanterns. It’s a whole thing.
PAX AUS 2014 Special: Part One
In the first part of our PAX coverage, we interview Rich Vogel (Battlecry, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Ultima Online), 7bit Hero and The Voxel Agents (Train Conductor). We talk about our highlights of the convention and a few of the games we got to play. With Alanah Pearce, Lee and Razor. Don’t miss part 2 next week!
Aired 5 November 2014
In studio: Lee, Jody, Candi and Razor.
This week: a handsome man reviews a game featuring another handsome man! That’s right, Jody Macgregor gears up to review Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PC/360/PS3).
Lee transcends the veil of reality to tell us all about Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey (PC/Mac/Linux).
Aired 29 October 2014.
We recorded too many interviews to fit in to our broadcast coverage of the event last week, so we’ve included more great stuff in this bonus podcast. Enjoy!
0:00 -7:12 Natural Alpha “Dirigible!!!”
7:13 -10:24 Alliance of Indies “Dwarves of the Air (DOTA)”
10:25 – 13:03 Avert Studios Billy’s Goat”
13:04 – 14:35 LOR Games “Pirate Pusher”
In studio: Lee, Jody & Razor
This week we review the remake of the classic co-op dungeon crawler Gauntlet (PC).
We brave the post-apocalyptic world of Wasteland 2 (PC).
Our Canberra correspondent Jessica Merceica explains why Fetch is a better protagonist than Delsin in the Infamous: Second Son universe.
Aired 1 October 2014.
Australian classification: MA15+
The first time I played this remake of Gauntlet I accidentally shot the food within the opening five minutes, so if the only thing you need to know is whether it’s possible to destroy an entire roast turkey with a single, poorly aimed arrow just like in the original, there you go.
Gauntlet is a remake of the 1985 arcade game that gave us one of our first four-player co-op experiences and birthed a bunch of memes about the wizard needing food badly. Arrowhead, the developers of Magicka, have focussed on that arcade multiplayer experience and created a fast-paced action RPG that boils Diablo down to potent stock.