Category Archives: Free Time

All kind of things I do in my free time

Game of the Month: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I recently read an article which proclaimed  Uncharted 2: Among Thieves to be the best video game for the PlayStation 3 . I’ve played Uncharted 2 myself last year and liked it well enough. But I wasn’t really convinced that it was the best game ever. As I only won a disappointingly small amount of trophies during my first play through I decided to play and review the game again.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a mixture of a jump and run game and third person shooter. What really sets the game apart is the cinematic atmosphere. The plot is a mixture of Indiana Jones and Die Hard featuring a lot of very well written characters. Superb graphics, bombastic sound and excellent voice acting make the movie experience perfect.

But this is also the weakness of the game: the course of events follows a script. You cannot decide what to do next, you can never go back to a region that you just left and there is no development of your protagonist, Nathan Drake. He cannot acquire new skills and is limited to carry two weapons based on which kind of ammunition you can find in the current level. After playing an open world game like Assassin’s Creed II I felt very restricted by this design.

There is however one thing that I missed in the assessment above: I actually had a lot of fun playing Uncharted 2. So if you like interactive action movies this is your game.

Movie of the Week: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

I was looking forward to the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 for two main reasons:

  1. The original novel is one of the best of the series. Its story is dark and except the lengthy camping part very exciting.
  2. For the first time the producers decided to turn one of the books into a two-part film. I was hoping that this way the story wouldn’t be mutilated as e.g in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie.

Last Sunday Silke and I finally managed to go to the cinema. The film definitely picked up the dark mood of the original. It featured only small modifications to the book’s story, some were even for the better. The camping part seemed less long-winded than all those chapters in the novel. There were however some small inconsistencies mostly because previous movies left out too much of the plot.

All in all it was one of the best Harry Potter movies. But the final verdict will have to wait for the release of the second part.

Game of the Month: Red Dead Redemption

I always enjoyed Sergio Leone‘s Italo western movies, in particular The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. My guess is that Rockstar Games like them as well as their latest game Red Dead Redemption feels like an interactive version of a Sergio Leone film.

The game’s story follows the adventures of John Marston, a former outlaw who became a farmer. His past catches up with him when ruthless government agents take his wife and son hostage and force him to hunt down the members of his former gang. Marston’s quest turns into a brutal fight for survival when he is caught between the fronts.

Red Dead Redemption is a third person shooter and adventure game set in the Wild West at the beginning of the last century. It features a vast beautifully animated landscape. There is so much to look at, so much to explore that just riding through the countryside will keep be you occupied for a long time. You can also pursue all the cliché activities you can imagine:

  • horse riding and driving horse carriages
  • shooting with historic weapons like a Winchester rifle
  • hunting all kinds of game including buffalos and grizzlies
  • herding cattle
  • catching and breaking wild horses
  • poker
  • bounty hunting
  • duelling

You can spend hours trying out all these things, becoming a famous hunter, improving your sharp shooter ranking or searching for treasures. There seems to be no limit to this fictional world.

Once you have satisfied your curiosity (at least temporarily) you can play one of the main missions. There are usually several missions available at any particular time, all linked to one of the characters featured in the game. Speaking about the characters: there are a lot of them, all excellently voiced and very well written. You meet a snake oil selling fraud, a hardened marshal, a drunk scoundrel, an old gunslinger, a mexican rebel and all the other stereotypes which belong into a good western. All encounters with them move the excellent plot of the game forward. It is a relentless tale of violence which none of the protagonists can escape. After many hours of excellent game play you finally reach the grand finale which is as merciless as the rest of the story.

Red Dead Redemption combines technology, story telling and entertainment into a gripping mix. If you like western movies this is definitely your game.