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Whizzkid1982



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: First Person Shooters Reply with quote

Been playing Quake II recently. Still holds up as a fun, playable shooter. I wish they made games like that now. My main pet peeve with most modern FPS's is that they're more like interactive movies than games, and you just feel like you're being led through a series of set events rather than finding your own way.

With the exception of the two Deus Ex games, I feel the majority of modern shooters are lacking the fundamental "fun factor" of these early attempts. Indeed, when I eventually got around to playing Quake 4 and Prey I don't think I even bothered to finish them because I just got bored of having to walk along predetermined areas and see predetermined things happening.



Anyway, I rate them (out of 5):


Wolfenstein 3D: 2/5
Not a bad game really, but it's very simple and hasn't held up well.

Spear of Destiny: 2/5
More of the above.

Doom: 5/5
Still a stayer, this one.

Heretic: 3/5
Enjoyable, but feels too much like a watered down version of Doom - the weapons and monsters are very weedy.

Doom II: 4/5
Just as fun, but I find the levels a bit too "quirky" when they should have been going for a gritty down to earth style.

Hexen: 4/5
Excellent, makes up for the lesser aspects of Heretic by adding heaps of atmosphere and some brilliant touches like being able to play as any one of three different "class" of character, each with their own weapons, strengths and weaknesses.

Quake: 4/5
Seems more basic than Doom in a lot of ways, the gameplay isn't quite as complex... but it's fun, and has bags of that much needed atmosphere.

Hexen II: 3/5
It's fun, but lacking something that both Hexen and Quake had... can't really define what, though. Just seems kind of grey and bland.

Quake II: 3/5
I don't like the sci-fi setting as much as the gothic inspired levels of the original Quake, the Strogg just aren't as good as enemies as the myriad of creatures from the first game either.

Final Doom: 3/5
Fun, but tired by this point. The level designs ARE much better and more complicated than those seen in Doom 2 though.

Quake 3 Arena: 4/5
I like the mix of styles from the first two Quake games (the return to the gothic style levels is awesome!), but of course it only works on one level (multiplayer, with bots) but it's solid escapist bloodshed.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein: 4/5
An enjoyable, violent romp with some great levels. Not much of a storyline to be honest, but as a pure action game it does very well.

Doom 3: 4/5
Shit scary, and with excellent level designs and an immersive storyline that keeps you hooked.

Quake 4: 1/5
The worst ID game I've ever played, and that includes some of the crap platform games they made before the original Wolfenstein. It was the gaming equivilent of a movie that has been 'designed by commitee', with an uninspiring plot and dull level design - though as mentioned above, I've never been much of a fan of the Strogg and I feel a return to the style of the first Quake game would have been much more preferable.


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RobFilth



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnily enough I was playing some Quake (and it's two add ons Disillusion of Eternity and Scourge of Armagon) just the other day, the level design is still bloody good on it.

The graphical updates to the Quake engine are very good too with high quality textures such as FuhQuake or increased lighting effects such as Tenebrae.

Although not ID software I also liked the other uses of the Quake 2 engine in games such as Sin, Kingpin and Daikatana(yes, including Daikatana)

I haven't played Quake4 yet, I played the demo and wasn't impressed with it and agree that going back to the Strogg storyline in Quake2 was a dull move to make.

Doom3 was good but not a patch on the fear levels in Half Life2, personally I find even the now aged Aliens vs Predator2 game a lot scarier when it comes to the Marine levels.

Return To Castle Wolfenstien was a very good game when released but also unfortunately gave off to a glut of WW2 FPS there afterwards which although initially were quite good gave way to a wealth of american propagandist contemporary war realism FPS which put me off the whole gendre completely.

I do like sci-fi/horror based FPS but a lot them can often be fun but complete no brainers such as Serious Sam or Painkiller.

I do miss the days when the FPS gendre was dominated by sci-fi/horror shooters though.

Wheel Of Time was a fantastic one on the first Unreal engine too.

The Thief series was also a highly immersive take on the FPS too.

Another problem with FPS games nowadays is that they are too often developed for consoles firstly rather than PC's which means they are often dumbed down which was cited as a major fault of Deus Ex 2(it was why I couldn't be bothered playing that one)
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Whizzkid1982



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great minds think alike Mister Filth! Smile

I've just recently reinstalled all the original Quake's on my hard drive too. I think it's the contrast that I like so much about the original Quake: The levels are designed just so. On a fundamental level it is a bit simplier than Doom 2 (less weapons, less variety in the monsters) but it more than makes up for it with those gothic castle levels. The science fiction setting of Quake 2 and Quake 4 just doesn't have the same lure, IMO, and I kind of wish they would do something more like the original Quake but with modern technology (some of Quake 3 Arena's levels give a tantalising glimpse of how great this could be).

And yeah, I know what you mean about the fallout from Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Just the other day a bloke from work was saying how much they're looking forward to the new Solider of Fortune, but looking at a preview of it on YouTube, it just looks like a "pro-America, anti-Iraq" propaganda game, not an immersive piece of entertainment.

Deus Ex 2 was a surprisingly playable game, but not a patch on Deus Ex for either the complexity of the storyline or the sheer amount of game world and side-quests. And as you say, with an eye on the console market it did seem dumbed down, with things like the biomods being FAR LESS diverse and technically interesting than they were in the original game. The first one felt like an RPG dressed up like a FPS, the second one felt like an FPS pretending to be an RPG.

(Not to mention it felt unnecessary. The endings to Deus Ex were great - any one of three different and distinct endings. By bringing us back for a sequel they made the assumption that "one" of those endings happened and worked from there. But ultimately it just cheapens the original game by showing us "what happened next".)

And I'm totally with you on Daikatana too. It's kind of basic compared to your Half-Lifes (the original of which had only recently come out when Daikatana was released) but on it's own level it's quite fun. The inability to save the game whereever you want without "save game crystals" is bloody annoying though. But basically it's not a bad game. If it had come out a year earlier than it did I reckon it would have been seen in an entirely different light than it was.
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RobFilth



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
Great minds think alike Mister Filth! Smile

I've just recently reinstalled all the original Quake's on my hard drive too. I think it's the contrast that I like so much about the original Quake: The levels are designed just so. On a fundamental level it is a bit simplier than Doom 2 (less weapons, less variety in the monsters) but it more than makes up for it with those gothic castle levels. The science fiction setting of Quake 2 and Quake 4 just doesn't have the same lure, IMO, and I kind of wish they would do something more like the original Quake but with modern technology (some of Quake 3 Arena's levels give a tantalising glimpse of how great this could be).

Yeah I agree, imagine how fantastic shamblers, fiends or vores would look done on the Quake 3 engine.

The Fiends always reminded me of Tetraps from Doctor Who!

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
And yeah, I know what you mean about the fallout from Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Just the other day a bloke from work was saying how much they're looking forward to the new Solider of Fortune, but looking at a preview of it on YouTube, it just looks like a "pro-America, anti-Iraq" propaganda game, not an immersive piece of entertainment.

Yeah, Soldier Of Fortune is typical american gung ho propaganda, the first one had the novel effect of extending the idea of separate body hit damage which games like Kingpin first explored but to more extreme levels, but other than that it was a complete no-brainer and incredibly easy to play in order that spoilt american kids didn't ever die or lose I suppose.

Many of the war games post Return To Castle Wolfenstein also seem to try and propagate the ideal that America won the glorious campaign in Vietnam, single handedly won the second world war in Europe, and is fighting to keep the peace in the Middle East - they're completely bollocks pieces of propaganda and it's a shame to see the truly immersive environments and gendre of the first person shooter ruined by a glut of such shite.

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
Deus Ex 2 was a surprisingly playable game, but not a patch on Deus Ex for either the complexity of the storyline or the sheer amount of game world and side-quests. And as you say, with an eye on the console market it did seem dumbed down, with things like the biomods being FAR LESS diverse and technically interesting than they were in the original game. The first one felt like an RPG dressed up like a FPS, the second one felt like an FPS pretending to be an RPG.

(Not to mention it felt unnecessary. The endings to Deus Ex were great - any one of three different and distinct endings. By bringing us back for a sequel they made the assumption that "one" of those endings happened and worked from there. But ultimately it just cheapens the original game by showing us "what happened next".)

The first Deus Ex was okay, but it was incredibly long and also could be very slow in places too, it reminded me a lot of the Thief series in terms of gameplay but I found the Thief world a lot more immersive to be honest.

I played the Deus Ex 2 demo and hated the user interface for it(in that dreadful circle) which had obviously been devised for the "Can't play without cheat codes" noobie console audiences.

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
And I'm totally with you on Daikatana too. It's kind of basic compared to your Half-Lifes (the original of which had only recently come out when Daikatana was released) but on it's own level it's quite fun. The inability to save the game whereever you want without "save game crystals" is bloody annoying though. But basically it's not a bad game. If it had come out a year earlier than it did I reckon it would have been seen in an entirely different light than it was.

Yeah I've always felt that Daikatana got an unfair bashing at the time, admittedly Half Life was streets ahead and the at the time new and just released Quake 3 and Unreal engines looked a lot more prettier, but the enhancements done to the Quake 2 engine in Daikatana are only about one step behind the Quake 3 engine. The weather effects were really quite nice for the time as well as the huge variety of weapons and monsters.

I think the single player game was probably not enhanced much by the rubbish AI of the 2 companions and yes, the save gems were a bad idea but later corrected quickly afterwards with the patch.(you get an option for "unlimited saves" with the patch)

However, the multiplayer Deathmatch to Daikatana was where the main strength of the game lay, the speed was about double of that to Quake 3 and the weapons took a much larger learning curve to handle(use them in the wrong kind of environments or at the wrong moments and they kill you), the level design in Daikatana is as good as Quake or Kingpin in places too with so many secret areas, even after almost 10 years I'm still discovering new ones in the game!
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Whizzkid1982



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobFilth wrote:
Funnily enough I was playing some Quake (and it's two add ons Disillusion of Eternity and Scourge of Armagon) just the other day, the level design is still bloody good on it.


I've just finished playing through Disillusion of Eternity, and am currently part-way through Scourge of Armagon. I actually think the level designs on the two add ons is better than the actual Quake levels: There's some pretty ingenius stuff in there. And Armagon deserves props for taking the bare-bones story of Quake (Slipgates, expeditions going missing in another dimension.... it's bascially Doom's plot but less in depth) and actually doing something with it.

Quote:
The first Deus Ex was okay, but it was incredibly long and also could be very slow in places too, it reminded me a lot of the Thief series in terms of gameplay but I found the Thief world a lot more immersive to be honest.


Oh I know what you mean. The thing about Deus Ex is that it's very long winded, and seems very inaccessable. I think I had played the first level (Statue of Liberty) about twenty times before I could be bothered getting through it, because on each subsequent attempt I'd get bored and go and play something else instead. It's awesome when it hits it's stride, but it's a very hard to just "pick up and play". In fact, since completing it, I haven't played it again.

Quote:
I played the Deus Ex 2 demo and hated the user interface for it(in that dreadful circle) which had obviously been devised for the "Can't play without cheat codes" noobie console audiences.


Ironically I have replayed Deus Ex 2 several times and haved warmed to it a little. But if anything it goes too far the other direction, simplifying everything to the point where the game no longer has any substance. There's still a nice line in side-quests, but they don't change the whole plot as thoroughly as in the first game. And the "revelation" which eventually links it in with the first one is a damp squib.

Quote:
Yeah I've always felt that Daikatana got an unfair bashing at the time, admittedly Half Life was streets ahead and the at the time new and just released Quake 3 and Unreal engines looked a lot more prettier, but the enhancements done to the Quake 2 engine in Daikatana are only about one step behind the Quake 3 engine. The weather effects were really quite nice for the time as well as the huge variety of weapons and monsters.


I've always thought it was the anticipation that killed it. We'd heard for years that it was going to have this amazing AI, and of course John Romero was the designer. When it came out, it just had the misfortune of going up against Half Life in the shops, and it seemed basic in comparison. But it's not a bad game by any means.

I reckon Duke Nukem Forever (if they ever finish it!) will face a similar uphill struggle from the moment it's released, because people have waited so long for it and if it isn't The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread then it'll be deemed a failure from the moment it hits the shelves.

So you'd recommend Kingpin then, Rob? There's a guy at my local market who always has it among his old games that he's flogging, and I do remember enjoying it when I gave the demo a spin at the time it came out (has it really been a decade? Blimey!), so I might scoop it up the next time I go there.
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mumbles



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still convinved Doom II is the greatest FPS ever, and the best thing ID software ever done.

I love the idea of having the 'spawning' monsters fight each other, how many a long time I used to enjoy watching the Imps tear into those nasty pig-headed demons LOL ..

That game (and to a lesser extent the original Doom) had basically an unlimited shelf-life with the inspired multi-player Fragging or Co-op mods, and the many thousands of home made levels (Wads) produced out there.

I swear I honeslty reckon I've played over 5000 home made levels for D II over the years, many of them even better then the original levels themselves...

Damn it I have never finished the game with nightmare mode (the hardest single player mode) without cheating, in the later levels (20 plus) it was nigh on impossible with all the re-spawning monsters, and running out of ammo etc ...

Just a wonderful, awesome game ...

The movie was pretty good (and rather underrated as well, the one with Karl Urban and the Rock)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm something of a vintage fps nerd, I own copies of the first 2 Doom/Quake releases on multiple platforms.

Doom 64 is an interesting one to check out - it's actually radically different to the original PC versions.

I think the two best were Doom II and the original Quake - I recently picked up the n64 port of Quake, great fun, although the graphics suffer a bit there are some interesting new lighting effects (the whole game isnt brown - heresy perhaps, but interesting), & a very creepy ambient soundtrack (as opposed to the nine inch nails soundtrack on the pc version).

Hexen II still looks great even today, although it was a bit too hard.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
So you'd recommend Kingpin then, Rob? There's a guy at my local market who always has it among his old games that he's flogging, and I do remember enjoying it when I gave the demo a spin at the time it came out (has it really been a decade? Blimey!), so I might scoop it up the next time I go there.

Yeah, Kingpin is an absolute blast, if you haven't played it, then get it.

The only down side to Kingpin is the first level is frustratingly difficult, but once past that you're on a great adventure.

It has by far the best levels done on the quake 2 engine(they look sublime) and it also has the best flame thrower effects too(I much prefer it to the one in Return To Castle Wolfenstein etc)

The multiplayer is also very good and the character models you can choose from(along with custom models) are excellent. The fact that there is still an active loyal community playing this game after such a long time is testament to this.

It is a very funny game too in that you can verbally abuse the NCP's in to violence or talk nice to keep them passive in this game also, it's very much like being immersed in to an incredibly violent Reservoir Dogs world, it is like a 1940's decayed urban setting, but its a fantastic use of the Quake 2 engine.

I would say it is as good on the Quake 2 engine as Return To Castle Wolfenstien was for the Quake 3 engine(In Fact Return To Castle Wolfenstien did recycle some of Kingpins ambient noises, guns, and innovative use of being able to boot at doors, they were both made by the same developers)

You have to play Kingpin, it's hardcore.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And it has a Cypress Hill soundtrack
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
I reckon Duke Nukem Forever (if they ever finish it!) will face a similar uphill struggle from the moment it's released, because people have waited so long for it and if it isn't The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread then it'll be deemed a failure from the moment it hits the shelves.

Ha ha, Duke Nukem Forever (and Ever) certainly puts Daikatanas development time in the shade by comparison, I remember them releasing a promo for it saying it was on its way back in 2001 or something.

I doubt it will be a particularly innovative game, but it keeps to the spirit of the original game then it should be okay, that is IF it ever comes out at all of course.

Remember, "It's done, when it's done!"

Ha ha.


I have to say the new Postal3 game done on the HalfLife2 engine looks very interesting indeed though.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_Liam_ wrote:
I'm something of a vintage fps nerd, I own copies of the first 2 Doom/Quake releases on multiple platforms.


Yep, about five years ago I was the same. If a new version of the game was released - such as the Gameboy Advance version (and how I wish they'd waited until they had the better processor capacity of the Nintendo DS to work with!) - then I would buy it simply to have it and compare it to the originals. It's interesting to see how different all the games are: There are levels which only appear in the version on one console, there are monsters which only appear on the PC versions of the games....

Have you seen this, Liam?

http://classicdoom.com/doomcomp.htm

It's a comparison of the various versions of Doom and Doom 2, including charts showing which levels, baddies etc. appear in which versions. Interesting to note that despite it's lack of processing power, the Super Nintendo is still the only console to have a nearly 100% accuracy to the original Doom levels (it manages to convert 22 of the original 27), where consoles like the Playstation and Jaguar fiddle about and changed levels for completely new ones.

I like the Playstation version of the original Doom levels because it actually takes the liberty of adding Doom 2 monsters to them... so you get to fight Pain Elementals and Arachnotrons on the original levels where you obviously can't do this on the PC version.

Quote:

Doom 64 is an interesting one to check out - it's actually radically different to the original PC versions.


Yeah, the Nintendo 64 game was almost like a brand new game but still had the same addictive gameplay (I'm pretty sure it still used the same game engine as well, albeit hugely advanced.) You can get a conversion of it for the PC Doom 2, you know. I've got it on a CD somewhere but haven't played it for a while.

Quote:

I think the two best were Doom II and the original Quake - I recently picked up the n64 port of Quake, great fun, although the graphics suffer a bit there are some interesting new lighting effects (the whole game isnt brown - heresy perhaps, but interesting), & a very creepy ambient soundtrack (as opposed to the nine inch nails soundtrack on the pc version).


It was by the same guys who did the PS Doom wasn't it? I remember liking the coloured lighting effects at the time, but I think I do prefer the darker levels of the PC one now.

Quote:

Hexen II still looks great even today, although it was a bit too hard.


Agreed. The levels are smashing, excellent designs. But.... I don't know, it's just missing something. Like Heretic, which on the face of it isn't a bad game, it's certainly better than most of the other Doom clones that were out there at the time of it's release, but it's still not quite right....
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Whizzkid1982



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobFilth wrote:
Whizzkid1982 wrote:
I reckon Duke Nukem Forever (if they ever finish it!) will face a similar uphill struggle from the moment it's released, because people have waited so long for it and if it isn't The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread then it'll be deemed a failure from the moment it hits the shelves.

Ha ha, Duke Nukem Forever (and Ever) certainly puts Daikatanas development time in the shade by comparison, I remember them releasing a promo for it saying it was on its way back in 2001 or something.


I've got an .AVI from a really old PC Gamer CD (around 1997-ish) showing it using the Quake II engine. It looked fine, and to this day I really don't know why so much time was then wasted upgrading to the Unreal engine. I even heard a rumour that 3D Realms sold the movie rights for Duke Nukem because they were desperate and had run out of cash to finish the game!

It's certainly telling that in the same time period that they've been doing their "official" sequel to Duke 3D, the following tie-in games have been released on other platforms by various other games companies:

Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (Playstation)
Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes (Playstation)
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour (Nintendo 64)
Duke Nukem: The Manhattan Project (PC)

They're all enjoyable games and all worth a look if you liked Duke 3D, but it does make you think that when there have been four "unofficial" sequels released in the time since the "official" one was announced, then something if terribly wrong.

The N64 version of Duke 3D is worth a look too, incidentally. They did the same thing that they did with Doom on the Playstation, and radically overhauled the game. Some of this was to remove the bad language and sex references (which was a stupid case of Nintendo's then policy), but many of the levels had whole new areas added to them, like a grocery store in the first level and a 'Duke Burger' taking the place of the dirty book store on the second level. And there are completely new weapons (like a grenade launcher). Gives the game a fresh, unique feel.

Quote:

I doubt it will be a particularly innovative game, but it keeps to the spirit of the original game then it should be okay, that is IF it ever comes out at all of course.


One thing I always felt with Sin (and it's mission pack) was that that game felt a bit like an unofficial sequel to Duke 3D as well.... many of the level designers of Duke 3D were responsible for the levels in Sin. Duke was quite innovative for it's day - it was the first FPS I can think of that actually had realisitic depictions of enviroments. There's a lot of stuff that D3D did which other FPS's picked up and ran with afterwards.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Quake took the final step into the 3d world but d3d established a level of interactivity that became standard - nowadays it's not an FPS if you can smash a window.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought Kingpin cheap the other day, but have yet to get around to installing it. I'll let you know what I think when I do.

Currently re-playing through Sin and it's mission pack. Again I reckon it was under-rated when it came out. It really does do some innovative things with the Quake 2 engine, such as the way it has computer screens you can access through DOS prompts. And the level design is clearly influenced by Duke Nukem 3D in the most part.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whizzkid1982 wrote:
Currently re-playing through Sin and it's mission pack. Again I reckon it was under-rated when it came out. It really does do some innovative things with the Quake 2 engine, such as the way it has computer screens you can access through DOS prompts. And the level design is clearly influenced by Duke Nukem 3D in the most part.

I never did manage to tack down Sins mission pack, is it any good?

I used to love playing Sin online, the map with the giant front living room where you could climb up the bookcase and hide amongst the books, grab invisibility on the top of the picture frame and bounce off the sofa was incredible.

I also liked the map with the skyrise blocks too and how you could rocket launch across them in order to gain the deadly sniper gun.
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