I tried the Dark Messiah demo today. It's the next game in the Might and Magic series. I've never played any of them, and I had initially thought it was like Heroes of Might and Magic, but that's a strategy game, and this one is more of a RPG/FPS blend. Like Oblivion in a sense. Thief also came to mind a little.
Anyway, the game is fucking awesome. It's using the Source engine, from Half-Life 2, so it looks great, and more importantly, the physics are realistic. You can do things like cut a rope to cause a bunch of logs to swing down and crush a foe. Or kick out the supports on a shelf of barrels to make them come crashing down on an enemy.
The fighting is hectic, and quite hard. I found myself in more than one bad situation in the short demo area. You can kick foes, and they get pushed back. This is handy for kicking enemies off cliffs, and into spikes on the walls, etc. I thought it might be a little too handy, as you could just keep kicking foes back, herding them off ledges to their deaths. Not so much. One of the orcs grabbed my foot and threw me backwards. Another one locked swords with my daggers, and I had to fight to beat him off.
The combat animations are very stylish. When you take out a sword, or your dual daggers, you flip them out, twirling them in your hands. Looks really cool. If you beat down an opponent, so that they are prone, you can hold the button and execute a finishing blow, usually involving you plunging your weapon into their chest. Apparently, this is the only way to dispatch undead, otherwise they'll get back up to annoy you some more.
The demo is a whopping 1.38 Gigs in size, so it takes a while to download. And what's worse ... it doesn't take very long to finish. I think I finished it in a matter of 20 mins, if that. There is some replayability, but it's not that great. Luckily for me, I set it up to download while I was sleeping, so no time lost.
It's supposed to come out in October, so it'll be another title to add to my growing list of games I want to play. Plus, I still have a huge amount of San Andreas to finish (haven't left the first city yet), all of Freespace 2 to play, Call of Duty and it's expansion (bugs are pissing me off though), and FEAR keeps me quite busy.
I managed to get a few rounds of FEAR in today with my two RL friends. My one friend had some serious problems with the game though. I don't know why either. His computer is almost the exact same system as mine. (We both built ours from parts) His other friend is downloading FEAR Combat now too, so hopefully we can get him into the mix. I like it better when we're all on the same team though. Cause I feel kinda bad when I keep kicking their asses. It was funny to hear my one friend over Teamspeak. All he kept saying was "Horseshit!". It made me laugh and almost got me killed a couple times.
Speaking of FEAR ... my one RL friend left me a message today of simply "Boom! Headshot!" (fps_Doug's version). It was very apparent why he did. So that he could come over to hang out and play FEAR, as his computer sucks and won't run it. Could be cause I've made him an FPS junkie too. \o/ One day he actually told me about a round of FEAR, kinda like fps_Doug would. I almost pissed myself.
[EDIT: Damn .. forgot to talk about that new show on NBC, called "Heroes". I taped it the other night and watched it today. Gotta say ... it's looking good. I really liked the Japanese guy, Hiro. Probably becuase of all his Star Trek references, and that fact that he is so non-chalant about discovering he has powers. He's like, "I want to boldly go where no man has gone before."
It looks like Smallville will be premiering soon as well. It's usually a week behind up here, so I'm not sure. Hopefully I can pick up Seasons 4 and 5 on DVD and watch the episodes I missed before that. I saw the finale last year, but there was a couple key episodes I'd like to see first. Apparently, my friend hasn't seen most of Season 5, and only about 1/2 of season 4. It's going to take forever to get him caught up.]