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Category Archives: What’s Gus Playing

What’s Gus Playing? Ancients Blowout Bonanza Edition : Apotheon, Field of Glory 2 and a Special Ancients Madness Bonus

The dastardly dwarf of distraction prevaricates and pontificates ~

Lloyd Sabin, 21 May 2018

Escaping the clutches of Field of Glory 2 for a bit but still in a Grecian Formula mood, I reached for side-platformer Apotheon this week. I got it years ago during a Steam sale for ~5.00 and so far it has been well worth the price of admission.

So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass?

Your avatar (Nik) has an old-fashioned problem with authority and has declared war on the ancient Greek gods…all of them, starting with Apollo. He also hates thieves and raiders.

They have all been acting like bastards lately, treating other gods and humans like garbage. So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass? With a wide array of spears, daggers, hatchets, bows and shields scattered around Apotheon’s levels and hidden deep inside some temple armories.

Crafting is also available if you’re into that. You can craft healing potions and Greek fire grenades as well as other useful liquids as you advance through the game’s orange and red hued levels. The music is lyre-centric and very evocative too. In a strange way Apotheon reminded me a bit of Shadow of the Beast, the legendary creepy-as-hell side-scroller from Psygnosis that was released around 1990.

What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 3

The thrice-stricken thimble-rider returns to Field of Glory 2… again ~

Lloyd Sabin, 14 May 2018

Am I working in to overkill territory here? Is three weeks covering the same game too much?

The name of this column references what I’m playing directly. And I haven’t played anything in the last three weeks except for Field of Glory 2. Truth in advertising here. And I’ve barely scratched the surface of possible factions and eras available.

At some point I should probably try something, anything, else out…just to not fall in to monotony. That said no one has really grumbled much about it so far, so maybe I just keep going until I get bored? Perhaps it’s too late already. I don’t know…

Still knee-deep in Alexandrian Greek/Macedonian history, this week’s set of shots cover the epic Battle of Gaugamela. Besides being damned fun to say, Gaugamela was an epic, history making event, pitting the forces of Alexander vs. the army of Darius III.

Supposedly the Persians had about three times as many troops as Alexander (close to 120,000 according to some estimates) but were still defeated, resulting in Darius fleeing to Babylon and Alexander capturing his wife, his mother and his daughters – all of whom he treated with respect and dignity.

What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 2

Our red-blooded rugrat regales royally regarding the Romans ~

Lloyd Sabin, 7 May 2018

Yes I am still in love. And yes it is still with Field of Glory 2.

And if you can pilot your army properly, understand tactics and deployment rules, you can change history.

I am finding it hard to express why I find it so addicting, but addicted I am still…probably more so with each epic battle and campaign I play. The game has opened doors to Greek history, hoplite warfare, Alexander the Great and the Successor Wars that I didn’t know needed opening. I am hooked.

One attribute that is easier for me to understand enjoying is the variety here. Factions and eras are varied enough that there has to be something for anyone even remotely a fan of ancients. A good case in point this week is the Battle of Magnesia (190 BC) between the Seleucids and the upstart Romans.

The Seleucids field an exotic army with a very strong Greek influence (armored hoplites) but with dashes of heavily armored cataphracts, camel cavalry (called ‘camelry’ in game but that sounds bizarre to me) and a very capable collection of forces all around, more than able to smack down the cunning Romans.

And if you can pilot your army properly, understand tactics and deployment rules, you can change history. That is definitely one of the main draws among the other, more intangible reasons why I love Field of Glory 2 as much as I do.

See the below shots for more detail.

What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 1

Ancient antagonism with the armored army ant ~

Lloyd Sabin, 30 April 2018

Field of Glory 2 is an ancient PC gamer’s fantasy made real.

Spring has sprung and so have I…I’m in love! I bought Field of Glory 2 after missing out on the first PC iteration and regretting it forever, so I was hell-bent on not missing out on this new version. And I am ecstatic that I got it, because I have to tell you, Field of Glory 2 is something else.

Simple, fun, chess-like rules, a massive amount of single epic battles, custom battles, multi-battle campaigns and multi-player, along with content that spans history (as of this writing) from around 600BC all the way to around 500 AD (when the Immortal Fire and Legions Triumphant DLCs are included – not to mention an as-of-yet undisclosed third DLC coming soon)…Field of Glory 2 is an ancient PC gamer’s fantasy made real.

There are literally dozens of different factions to play as – name one and most likely it is included here. Fancy the Seleucids (I can’t blame you) – they’re in. Thebes? In. Illyrians? Also in. More of a world-destroyer? Try out the Persians or if you are more into the fall of Rome, try the Huns. There are so many factions to choose from that most players will probably never play them all.

And Field of Glory 2 is accessible enough for newbies – but with six different difficulty modes, wargame pros will definitely enjoy it when the challenge is ramped up. I kept my difficulty on the second setting, sometimes moving it up to the third setting, which often became too difficult for me. The second tier became my sweet spot, if occasionally a little too easy. Most of the time it offered a consistent challenge.

What’s Gus Playing? Deadlight!

The mighty mite of meandering muses on melancholy moods ~

Lloyd Sabin, 23 April 2018

Sometimes games just click with us. There’s no break-in period, no giving the game “a chance,” no mucking around…we love it right away.

That was how it worked with me and Deadlight, a side-scrolling, zombie-killing, puzzle-solving adventure game built in the Unreal engine by Tequila Works. Most players clocked in game length at around 5 hours…I got very close to the end between 5 and 10 hours, and then got stuck on one part where the acrobatics involved were just too much for my slowing hands.

Up until that point, though, the game was great. I loved the story, I loved the setting (Seattle and the surrounding area circa the mid 1980s) and I loved the gunplay and survival components. Players get s small variety of weapons to use including a shotgun, pistol, and ax.

The mood created by all of these facets combined was palpable…the player really does develop a sense of hopelessness, which slowly recedes the better the player gets at the game’s mechanics, which can get a bit complicated.

Certain obstacles and levels also featured the developer’s sense of humor, especially when you come across them the first time and get slaughtered…left to think ‘how the hell am I supposed to beat that?’ It also didn’t hurt that the game is now roughly six years old and I picked it up for a dollar. Literally. So I easily got my money’s worth x 25, at least, even though I didn’t quite finish the game completely.

As you can see below, Deadlight is one of those games whose visuals speak for themselves. So this week I don’t really think captions for each shot are necessary, which will allow me to show off more shots than usual! Plus I’m feeling pretty lazy today. Enjoy the below and if you can pick up Deadlight for 1, 5, 10 or even 15 dollars, it’s definitely worth it if you enjoy platformers, zombies, survival games, moody lighting and the original Pitfall game by Activision…with an edge.