Thursday, 29 November 2012

Legacy of Kain is on Steam! (UPDATE)

Steam is within my reach!
On November 28th, Tomb Raider 1 - 5 have been released on Steam, following their earlier release on GOG. Each of them is availabe for 10 euros. User Celebrimnar posted in the TR2 forum section on Steam a link to the roster of upcoming games to release on Steam, and Legacy of Kain is on it! No Blood Omen though, most likely because problems with Activision, which so far prohibits it for being published on GOG as well. Legacy of Kain titles should be available on Steam shortly.

UPDATE: As expected, LoK games are now availabe, although no BO2 and BO1.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Exhumed Reviews

As part of reminiscing of Lobotomy and their games, I have dug up and translated few articles from old Slovak and Czech magazines. The very first review is from, now non-existent, game magazine RIKI, so I hope you enjoy it.




When I grabbed Exhumed and saw the box, I´ve thought: another Doom shooter clone (or Duke shooter?). Enough already. Graphics typically Duke like, no 3D models. It looks like  an Egyptian environment... Hm. After ten minutes of playing: Jesus Christ, curse all the spiders! It´s only the first level and I am having small troubles. Difficulty can´t be changed and is pretty decent. Level is too big, you can´t save, the enemies are tough... Hmmm, but I like the music... After two days of playing: O, great Re, Tefnut, Geb-earth and Nut-sky, o Usire, Eset, Nebthet and Sutech, o, Horus, o Hathor, forgive me, that I, am only an earthly worm, which dared to doubt even for a moment about a game, which is a celebration of your immortality, celebration of eternal sands of Sahara, where every grain represents one human soul, ruled over by you. Forgive me, and you, o, highest god of sun Re, return even this morning  from your journey in the underworld, so that the rising sun would persuade me that in your great power you can still forgive.

Enough of chat, I will inform you how fantastic Exhumed trully is, though it might not seem like that at first. I won´t start with technical execution, graphics or sounds, but I´ll spit out immediately the most important and gigantic thing which Exhumed has: atmosphere. Atmosphere of this game is something so perfect, heavy, emotionally impactful and colourful, that words are not enough to describe it. You will be walking inside thousand years old temples full of mumies, and mostly  fantastic decorations, vases, paintings, hieroglyphs. That all with a regard for a monumental architecture, which makes you feel, even though you are the main hero, for which the faith of mankind depends on, even though you will be fearfully kiling enemies with your weapons, you will still feel small and unimportant. Even though you are cutting with a machette the strings of the original inhabitants, the buildings remain. Remains also gold, paintings and the old culture, which is indestructible. The majestic columns benevolently gaze over at doings of some man with knowledge, that he will leave soon and will leave them to rest maybe for another thousands of years. That´s all for the atmosphere. Graphics, as I mentioned, are very compelling, mostly in decorations. You can have resolution of 320x200 and 640x480.

In the next paragraph, I will deal with music - music in Exhumed is a gem, which has no comparison - I have tried to remember any game, which had such brilliant connection between atmosphere and what´s happening on screen, with what´s coming from the speakers. Beautiful egyptian motives, old instruments, mysterious sounds, all together tied together with vangelis art of combination of sounds and melodies. Some of the music is made with maximum emphasis on the before mentioned atmosphere. The track begins with desert wind, croaking of crows (or are they vultures?), then there is a gong, followed by a sound of a freed stone rolling down an old staircase, short brumming of monks, and finally after that, a short melody. The whole thing is just fantastic and even it doesn´t reach the eeriness of Boceeli´s Rapsodia - who likes this kinda of style, will be drooling so much and for very long (I am for example connected to an artificial nourishment, because my organism can´t efficiently manage water - everything is being transformed into slobber, which is dripping slowly, very slowly down my chin to the carpet. And why is that? Because I have CD of Exhumed stuck in my drive and listening to music!).

Gameplaywise Exhumed is up to standarts as well. Alas, there are only seven weapons, but are (certain ones) very original. From a traditional revolver, M60, flamethrower and grenades there are also two others which fascinated me; firstly it´s a snake staff, from which a cobra flies out after shooting,  seeking out the nearest enemy (if it doesn´t find anything, it will bite you too), and the second one is the genius bracelet of god Ra, which can summon a storm cloud with a lightning, killing any enemy in one hit. Enemies are also atmospheric: from some sort of henchmen of god Ra, to mumies, to some sort of fire dragons. All of the enemies are pretty tough and so don´t expect a pistol would kill anybody in one hit. The game´s system is also pretty interesting - you finally CANNOT shoot underwater, you can fill your oxygen from plants, to which it´s bound to and the deal with saving - it doesn´t exist. You have to find a gold scarab and when you are killed, you are starting by it. At the beginning you have three lives, over time you will get more (or more likely you will lose all of them). Hehe, when I think about that at the beginning I had no idea what to write, it´s hilarious. I think, that I have described this unique game, which just like Quake builds upon atmosphere and mystery. The game does this brilliantly. Gong."

Lion

(Originaly published in Slovak in RIKI, no. 29, excerpt taken from www.oldgames.sk)

More reviews of Exhumed coming soon (including my own).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Lobotomy Software History Video - Exhumed

My friend SegaFanbois put together a very informative and interesting video about Lobotomy Software and their great, mostly overlooked game, Exhumed. The video explains their background, how they were making ports for other companies and their desire to make a game on their own, which resulted in creating the Slave Driver engine. This engine powered Exhumed for pc, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. While the pc version was developed as first, it was a straight corridor Doom like game, in which the player progressed on the map to the next level. However, the console versions have completely different levels and Zelda like gameplay. Unlike any fps shooter at that time, there are rpg elements present like improving the health bar and amount of "shooting energy" (instead of bullets) and gathering different artifacts such as the sandals for improved jump, breathing mask for longer underwater swimming, and secret areas to find in each level. It also features non-linear progress, where players can choose where to go next on the map selection screen. Exhumed remains to this day one of my favourite fps games alongside Half-Life and still remains highly playable and enjoyable. Did I mention it has an amazing soundtrack? If you never heard about Exhumed yet and you like innovative shooters, this game is for you!

Exhumed Soundtrack
Lobotomy Software fan blog
Like Lobotomy Software fan page on Facebook 




Getting all the team dolls is really a challenge but gives you dolphin and vulture abilities!


Finding the secret areas is fun and rewarding


Amun bombs serve as grenades and are very usefull

Monday, 5 November 2012

Defiance Texture Pack Update - Download

Hey there! I have updated the Texture Pack for Defiance me and Jake have released a while ago. I have refined Raziel´s current SR2 textures (the symbol on the cowl is from the Dreamcast Raziel model). The pack also includes the original white costume for Ariel (with an alternate face texture) and an alternate outfit and face for Mortanius. I have replaced Kain´s face texture to bring it closer to the SR1 render of Kain and fixed up colour of his accessories. I will update the pack with some more fixes later. You can see the changes in the comparison screenshots below.

Let me know if you like the pack or have any suggestions in the comments, thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to Hylden´s help, Raziel´s wings are now fixed and have no white outline anymore. Thanks, Hylden!

Legacy of Kain: Defiance - Texture Pack download

The moderator from Eidos Forums, the Hylden, also made some really nice self-painted textures for Kain, Raziel, fixed up the reavers and other stuff, so check out his version too.