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Three Great Things About 1C 2011
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 13, 2011   |   Episode 102 (Show Archive)  


Before (or maybe after) 1C's 2011 party!
In the past two years I've been accused of being too negative. While I go into every video game event with an open mind, some have claimed that I'm a downer who only sees the glass as half empty and insults anybody that disagrees. These people are spineless morons. I fear that my approach may be giving off the wrong impression. I don't want to be known as the guy who gets into screaming matches with PR companies. I want to be the kind of guy who can't help but fall in love with everything he sees.

When I saw that 1C had invited me to their annual "Another Night in Moscow" event, I knew that I had to make some personal changes. Instead of being the jerk that spits on every good idea, I wanted to be the kind of guy that saw beauty in every game. My goal for 1C was to find three great things about every game, not letting my bitterness and self-loathing get in the way. Find out how I did when we take a look at 1C's 2011/2012 software line-up.

Ghost of Moscow: Death to Spies
[ Developer: Haggard Games - System: Xbox 360 - Release: 2012 ]
Originally announced as Death to Spies 3, Ghost of Moscow has been retooled and is set to turn heads. This stealth action game offers players the opportunity to play as three different spies all working towards the same goal. With strong visuals and a potentially awesome narrative, this 1960s espionage caper stole the show.

1. It's Hitman + The Lost Vikings: Ghost of Moscow: Death to Spies is what happens when you mix Agent 47 with Blizzard's very best 2D puzzler. Instead of playing the role of a single super spy, players are given the opportunity to switch between three characters on the fly. These three characters (including an attractive woman, a hardened spy and some other dude) each have their own personalities and character traits. In order to complete the various challenges, players will need to switch between these three spies and use their gift. Sometimes it's as simple as picking a lock, while other times you'll need to use the sexy woman to seduce a guard. I'm certainly intrigued by the possibilities for creative stealth action.

2. The Game Has Been Completely Retooled: Last year the game was about a single spy who goes off on a mission to do super spy stuff. Or something like that, it's all a blur to me now. All I remember is that I couldn't get very far into the game. It was hard to the point where I never wanted to play the game again. The goals were vague and one false move meant the end of you. Thankfully none of that applies to what I played at this year's event. The goals are much more forgiving, with improved gameplay and less vague tasks.

3. Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets: Nothing says 1960s Cold War spy caper quite like high-tech gadgets. While the demo on hand didn't demonstrate many gadgets, the developers promised us that we would have the chance to play with a lot of fun toys. As far as I'm concerned the lack of gadgets is the problem with the modern day James Bond movies. Seeing what Q could come up with was half the fun of classic 007, so the idea of playing a Hitman-esque stealth game with old school gadgets sends a tingle up my leg.

On the Other Hand: I hate to get my hopes up, especially when it comes to a console release. At last year's event the must-play console game was Captain Blood, which mixed Pirates of the Caribbean with God of War. Sadly, this year the game is nowhere to be seen. I fear the same fate could befall Ghost of Moscow, 1C's most promising new game.

Off-Road Drive
[ Developer: 1C-Avalon - System: PC - Release: Q4 2011 ]
Like the title suggests, Off-Road Drive is a rally racing game. With a heavy emphasis on realism, 1C's only racing game has players speeding against the clock throughout some of the world's toughest locales. The game sports gorgeous graphics and support for up to six (that's right, SIX!) monitors.

1. It's Trying Something New: Although we've seen plenty of off-road rally racers, few can match the realism that Off-Road Drive is striving for. Forget speeding through rough terrain for the best times, in this PC exclusive you will need to accurately predict each and every obstacle (mud, rocks, etc.) in your way. Failure to do this will slow you down to a crawl and make you come in last. If the player does get stuck while racing through the mud, they'll be required to use a winch to escape. It's nods like this that steers this game away from being just another Sega Rally clone.

2. Supports the Gran Turismo Steering Wheel: Sony's venerable racing franchise made a cameo at this year's Another Night in Moscow. Instead of using a keyboard and mouse, 1C went all out by bringing in the official Gran Turismo steering wheel. Unfortunately none of the game guides accounted for this bulky wheel, instead only explaining how to play using the keyboard. It's worth noting that even if you play with a steering wheel, players will still have to reach for the keyboard to access the winch. Lame.

3. The Car Dirties Up Real Good: When I play a game set in some of the dirtiest locations in the world, I expect things to get messy. Thankfully Off-Road Drive has me covered, because there was realistic mud and dirt all over my vehicle. The attention to detail was even more impressive when playing the game using six monitors (made possible using AMD's Eyefinity technology, a sponsor of the event).

On the Other Hand: I worry that the game is a little too realistic for its own good. At last year's event I played this game with an Xbox 360 control, however since then the console port has been scrapped and the Gran Turismo steering wheel has been brought in. The steering wheel did the game no favors, making this racer even more frustrating to play. Steering was over-sensitive and there's never that sense of urgency you expect from a racing game. I hold out hope that some of these issues can be fixed with custom options and practice.



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