RPE/Ral Partha Europe Launches Dwarf Kickstarter

I rarely pimp Kickstarters. I’ve done it for three counting this one – Impact Miniatures’ not-Blood Bowl campaign (delivered, but a year late). Shieldwolf’s Shieldmaiden campaign (cancelled, and currently relaunched with 5 days to go. And now this one. Simply because I like what they’re doing:

It’s the kind of small-scale, low-risk KS I’m still happy to back. RPE do their own casting, they’re a solvent business who I’ve bought from before and the first five models are already done. Most importantly, I like the models, as I’ve always had a soft sport for Dwarfs, and these are in the overall Citadel style that I like. I need to grab some of the Kev Adams Dwarves from their webstore sometime, too…

RPE’s Kickstarter Dwarfs

Our aim is to produce a warband of 10 dwarves in 28mm scale. They will be sculpted in epoxy putty, moulded in black rubber and cast in metal – miniatures the old school way!

Picture the proud dwarf king in exile, forced from his mountain stronghold. Leading a band of grizzled veterans, they hire their services out, biding their time and amassing gold and followers until the day they can reclaim their homeland. You know the story, it’s the classic excuse to get a dwarf warband together, though this one needs no hobbit or human help and comes complete with its’ own dwarf wizard. Perfect for dungeon bashing and skirmish games, or with the possibility of adding duplicates to your pledge you could even build a small army.

The first 5 sculpts pictured above have been mastered already, the next five will be based on these and will provide another spearman, swordsman, axeman and a pair of crossbowmen. The next sculpts are already in progress and pictures will be added as soon as we have them.
They measure approx 20mm tall and scale well with other miniatures.
Designed and sculpted for us by the talented hands of Mark Evans.

These are the different pledge levels, only the Flagon of Ale level and above qualify for the free assassin dwarf.

1 dwarf of your choice £4 posted add £2 outside UK Wee Dram
1 dwarf king £5 posted add £2 outside UK Half Pint
5 dwarves £14 posted add £2 outside UK Pint
10 dwarves £22 posted add £3 outside UK Early Bird Flagon of Ale
10 dwarves £25 posted add £3 outside UK Flagon of Ale

Army deal- king, wizard, 5 spears, 5 axes, 5 swords, 5 crossbows total 22 +freebies £45 posted add £3 outside UK  Early Bird Pewter Tankard 

Army deal- king, wizard, 5 spears, 5 axes, 5 swords, 5 crossbows total 22 +freebies £50 posted add £3 outside UK  Pewter Tankard

All pledges can add extra miniatures from the list below, each mini has a letter for ease of selection, simply increase your pledged amount by £2.50 for each additional dwarf you want. When we contact you after the kickstarter you can use these letter codes to easily confirm additions.
Any miniatures or extras unlocked – will be added to this list.

Another Tangent – Chaos Dwarf Colour Schemes

So as a complete Painting ADHD tangent, I’m trying to work out which way to go with painting my Chaos/Abyssal Dwarfs. I’ve (almost) always loved the look of these stunty little bastards, with the exception of the worst part of the “Byzantine Big Hat” phase (but I think a lot of that was from sub-par sculpting). But the “Oldhammer” WFB 3 (2?)originals, the second wave courtesy of Marauder, the modern re-interpretations by Forge World and even GW (Hellcannon) that tie the look of the originals and the “big hat” look together in a way that actually works. Alt-Manufacturers like Russian Alternative have some absolutely beautiful sculpts at surprisingly competitive prices. Even some of Mantic’s Abyssal Dwarves are decent (though most of those will be relegated out of the front rank of any units).

So this army will be a “Reward Army” – to reward myself for slogging through all the tedious Minas Tirith and Gondor figures that I’ve been working on. Not to mention ranks of Elves and Mantic Ogres that should have been finished long ago. Batch painting fantasy figures really doesn’t seem to agree with me. It’s like the last 20% of painting them is 80% of the work. Well, you know what it’s like when things are 80% finished for months at a time…

Note: None of the figures in this entry were painted by me. They were painted by a collection of other talented individuals. The images are included here as examples of inspirational (or not) colour schemes for my own forces.

 

There’s the traditional “Brass/Red/Black” type schemes, which look pretty good, but possibly shares a bit too much in common with Khorne (which is an army of mine that will definitely be coming later):

 

 

Then there’s the version that brings in a lot of blue as well, but I’m not too fond of this one. It’s a bit too 1990’s over-coloured (which, admittedly, is how my CD Bloodbowl team of those days looked. I just dug them out, I need to finish off those figures as well…) I know that the addition of blue (or green, or red) shading/highlighting is a traditional way to bring interest to black objects – rather than grey, but they just end up looking a bit too cartoony and technicolour to me. (Actually, my BB CDs look even more technicolour, and I’m wanting to avoid revisiting that kind of scheme).

Even when it’s much more copper and less red (and more silver/iron), it’s still got a similar feel to the reddish. Despite the fact that these figures still look good, the scheme is still a bit boring to me. (Reddish metals give a similar feel to Red paint – whod’a thunk it?)

Then there’s green/metallic green armour – probably accented with warm metals like gold/brass/copper etc – and even a bit of red for spot colours as needed – I was always partial to this kind of colour scheme from the early WFB3 days:

 

My only real concern with the green is that my Dark Elves/Twilight Kin are already using a Metallic Turquoise colour scheme (with gold/brass accents), going both into more blueish and more greenish, depending on the unit. I wanted to avoid the “traditional” purples and blues that DE always seem to be in. The Dwarfs would predominantly be in much more of a true, dark green than the shades approaching turquoise though. Similar to the guys above.

A third option is to use both green and red, and use the gold/brass/copper elements to tie them all together.

Any thoughts?

Darkness over Cannae – Indigogo campaign to publish an illustrated novel

I’m not usually a fan of Indiegogo, but this campaign looks interesting on a number of levels, and worthwhile of support. Check it out.

Dagger and Brush, Daggerandbrush, dagger brush

This time I do not want to write about a project of mine, but rather make people aware of a beautiful Indigogo campaign:

Darkness over Cannae

Jenny Dolfen, latin teacher and artist, made it her goal to publish an illustrated novel about the battle of Cannae.

Darkness over Cannae from Jenny Dolfen on Vimeo.

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Impact Miniatures Fantasy Football Kickstarter – Blood Bowl friendly!

Clearly, these figures can be used for a range of Fantasy Football games, including Blood Bowl as the big one. While they obviously can’t mention Blood Bowl, I certainly can, and I do so in exactly the same way that I might talk about using My Judge Dredd figures as Adeptus Arbites, or my many Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ogres, High and Dark Elves to play Kings of War.

So anyway, the campaign is over on Kickstarter right now, and it’s just on the edge of funding. It was funded, but a couple of people who appear to be Kickstarter trolls pulled some huge pledges right after it was funded. Casting is being done by Ed Forte of Trollforged, which I have to admit does make me a little nervous, since the abortion that Tre Manor’s Red Box Games Kickstarter turned into, not to mention his own Alien Assimilation Host which I’m expecting I might have my figures from early next year at this rate.

So with this in mind, why am I interested enough in this KS to pimp it on my blog?

 

Well, Impact are one of the groups that are still keeping the Blood Bowl flag flying after years of neglect and worse by Games Workshop (though credit to them for keeping the LRB up for quite a long time until the recent revamp of their website). The teams are a real mix. From figures that I wouldn’t ever put down on a table I own, to some decent ones to a couple that look quite nice indeed. Not sure why “looks like the 90’s” is such a popular insult – Jes Goodwin’s 1988 Blood bowl figures look better than almost any of the ones that came later or since!

So back to why I give a shit about these. Well, the main reason is this:

Impact Miniatures Chaotic Alliance Team

This team is based on Phil Lewis’ Chaos All-Stars team that was featured in White Dwarf

Phil Lewis’ Chaos All-Stars

Now, before you ask – the figures offered by Impact are not recasts of the Citadel models. They are newer sculpts based on those original Phil Lewis conversions. Now before anyone starts getting up in arms about “ripping off GW”, I’ll just quickly say HR Giger (RIP), Michael Moorcock, Broo. Now, because people are whiny bitches, we can’t always have nice things, and so some of the above resculpts were sold as limited editions in metal some time ago, and now a couple of the above-mentioned KS trolls have cited them being recast in a different material as the reason for their thousands of dollars worth of dropped pledges. The result is that Impact are resculpting the figures in question, and some other cool stuff won’t be sculpted at all (since sculpting isn’t free).

 

So anyway, if you have a passing interest in Blood Bowl or Fantasy Football, I’d suggest you check this one out. There’s quite a few figures in there that could have …other uses besides.

 

Kickstarter Experiences Part 4

First up I guess is the Trollforged Assimilation Alien Host, by Ed Fortae. Basically, Ed is the guy behind Trollforged the company and Trollcast, which is being touted by many as a new all-singing, all-dancing material for miniatures. I went in for $200 which gives me a shitload of gribblies, which will hopefully arrive sometime this year.  The estimated Date is May, so Ed has another 5 months to deliver. There’s apparently going to be a campaign manager at some stage, as well as a while complex system of trades and exchanges. Some guys on Dakka worked out a way to turn it into a feasable counts-as Tyranis army, so I’ll probably do something along those lines. But try and do so in a way that still gets me at least one of each of the cool insectoid figures. I can see use for these in 40k roleplay as well. Not much has been updated since the end of the campaign, but my understanding is that Ed keeps regular updates on his Facebook or his blog or some shit like that. I’d prefer real updates via Kickstarter’s email system, but this one is so far out right now that I’m not too concerned.

Then there’s the Almost-Rans. Campaigns I wanted to back but didn’t for one reason or another.

Relic Knights, by CMON and Soda Pop Miniatures. I was originally in for an early bird pledge, but a combination of poor communication from the creators, especially over the GenCon weekend, not showing the sculpts and a large financial drain (I bought a house and had some massive bills) nixed this one. They also went a bit too far down the “add $10 for THIS” road for my liking. I really like the look of two of the factions (Black Diamond and Noh), not too interested in the rest. – But it was just too expensive. In the end I wasn’t able to up my $1 pledge as I decided to prioritise other things in their stead. I was interested in getting the SDE stuff, but it wasn’t laid out clearly how to get just those, so I left it. Maybe I’ll pick up some of their figures from Miniature Market in the future.

Kingdom Death: Monster by Adam Poots. Apparently Kingdom Death miniatures are the most popular thing in the history of the universe. I was originally in for this, but the combination of being very expensive, the game itself being a bit MMO-lite and unappealing to me, the figures being out of scale to the rest of my collection, and being very expensive eventually got me to drop it. There are some fantastic looking models, but I simply couldn’t justify the amount it would have cost me to buy the stuff I was interested in and then wait a year for it to arrive, especially as it got more and more all about the $15 or $40 add-ons. I put the money towards a new fridge instead.

AE-WWII by Blackball Games. I was interested in this one purely for some of the models, to use with Sot3R/Dust/Incursion. I wasn’t interested in paying for yet another Weird-WW2 ruleset. I wanted to get a couple of their figure sets in a deal without the rulebook (PDF it, if you must, but I don’t want the hardcover). I pledged a buck so I could politely suggest it in the comments. Almost all of the models in this KS are ones already in their range, so it should have been easy enough. They ignored the suggestion/decided not to do it, so I left my pledge at a buck. They made $10,663 of their $10,000 goal – so perhaps they should have taken more suggestions on board? /shrug

Imbrian Arts by Jody Siegel. This one, like Kingdom Death features some beautiful sculpts, many of which are very evocative of the Rackham style. Basically, I just found this one a bit expensive for what it is/was. Unless you wanted an entire themed set, the individual figures were $12 a pop (ie – may as well buy them at retail for less, or an equally-nicely sculpted Avatars of War figure). The themed sets offered better value, but only if you wanted all of those figures anyway. A friend suggested that the $300 pledge level offered insane value. Sure, but only if you actually want and would buy every one of those figures anyway.. or most of them, at least. I’d have happily gone in for a “choose 10 figures” type thing, similar to what Bombshell Babes also did (and they started off as quite expensive for the base level as well). But they didn’t, so I left it at a buck.  I figure that if I’m giving you money 3 or 6 months in advance, I’d like a reasonable price break, rather than pay pretty much the same price I could buy them from at retail down the road. meh.

He made a killing on it, so good luck to him!

Now:

Updates!

I’m a little more generous when it comes to no new updates in general at this time of year – for the campaigns that bothered to keep us up to date, anyway.

 

Kings of War: Nothing new shown or heard. I assume they’re still on track for their delivery since Ronnie is a machine when it comes to this sort of thing by all accounts.

 

Sedition Wars: Apparently my first shipment has been sent. It’s in transit. Comparisons showed that it was sent out a full week later than some other people who are also in Australia. I wonder if my critical posting here and/or on Dakka had anything to do with that? 😉 (nah, I don’t think they give two shits, TBH.)

 

Avatars of War: Got an update (!) a couple of weeks ago. Felix has finished a couple of dwarf units and a couple of characters. This week he showed off a bunch of concepts for nice, moustachioed human warriors. Hopefully he finishes the dwarfs before getting distracted by the new shiny and sculpting the humans instead. I’m sure the standard will be the last one to be sculpted..

 

Reaper: No new news. Last I heard, everything was running to the modified plan of everything being sent at once in March or May or whatever the fuck it is.

 

Stonehaven: I lost the little box of dwarves on my desk and only found it again today. I still need to look at them properly. They just started a new Kickstarter for gnomes which I’ll discuss in a forthcoming post.

 

Pirate Goblins: Well… no word from Bruno since the last email, nor updates or anything. Last update was around the 15th of December with Bruno saying that they’d be sent out between the 17th-20th of December. After that, nothing. He was pretty active on Facebook though, until/including New Years’ Eve Until people started grousing in the comments a couple of days ago, including posting links to his facebook account and the Indiegogo fraudulent campaigns page. Then this appeared.

================

Just a quick update to let everybody know what’s happening.
I’m just back from the hospital where I did spent the most of the 3 last weeks with no internet access.
I’m discovering all the fuss about the goblins and I feel very sorry for everybody.
Just to let you know the sending of the miniatures was given to a Help Center for mentally inadequate center the week before Christmas as I was taking some holidays with my kids and wanted to be sure that the miniatures would have been sent, I will check with them on monday what happens and why they didn’t seem to have sent the miniatures.
I’m really sorry for all this and will try to do my best to reply to everyone and be sure that every body will get what he paid for !
Please accept my sincere apology for all this…

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UH-HUH. This all seems above board, right? Right? “I’ll send them out next week”.. then silence… then “I gave them to people with intellectual disabilities to send out right before Christmas.” A bit of an easy scapegoat for his own lack of responsibility, if you ask me.

I posted the following:

azazelx said 28 minutes ago
I work with people with intellectual disabilities, and to be frank, I certainly wouldn’t be giving a help centre something as extraordinarily complicated as a IGG/KS fulfillment to do.

141 Backers, many variances in their orders, international addresses, the need to PAY for the actual postage. That’s no simple task for individuals with an ID.

No, this is clearly BS.

Then Bruno sent me a message shortly afterwards:

================

“Hi, You really do think that I’m sitting on 13kg of goblins miniatures and 1300 dice just for the fun ? I didn’t post anything on facebook since the 30th of december as I was in hospital with no Internet Access for [redacted], I might have been seen connected as the computer at home was still turned on as it always is. I will go tomorrow to take back the miniatures and will send them by myself. I’m really sorry for all this.”

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Bruno is now claiming that he’s going to start to send them out himself. We’ll see what happens. There certainly appears to have been more than a little bullshit involved. Ah, my first true Kickstarter Drama. I imagine that if I do get my miniatures in the end I won’t be getting that extra goblin I was wanting, after all.. :p

He’s certainly managed to kill off his chances of getting the Pirate Dwarves funded with his actions regarding the Pirate Goblins. (Which were barely funded.)

 

Red Box Games: Tre’ has been pretty good with regular updates, but he’s also spent the last couple of months saying that everything would be done “in a few days” or “next week” to a point where it’s become meaningless (remember, it was originally an October 2012 delivery date, and we’re about to hit February 2013).. He’s also been starting his second Kickstarter “tomorrow” for the last three weeks, and it finally went up yesterday. A few days ago we finally got a proper breakdown of the status of everything. With this, it pretty much confirms that there’s fuck-all chance of my KS1 stuff arriving before his KS2 finishes.

In fairness, here’s his post:

Hey Everybody. I am really sorry for the long delay in my latest update and for the continued delay in fullfillment. I wanted to post a generla update lettign everyone knwo what teh exact current status is on the KS fulfillment.

I have in hand and approved castings of: (lots of stuff cut for brevity)

 I now await the delivery of:

 Guarthagust, Ulbrecht, Yrsa, Fenris ( needed an adjustment for the sake of efficient casting ), Conradt Warp, Horsemen, Horses

 I must approve the castings of Yrsa and Conradt Warp and the horse. The production moulds are made and Ed is confident with them but I need to actually see the results of these production moulds before approving Ed and Brian to go ahead with casting 100’s of copies.

  Every delay in the fulfillment thus far has been strictly for the sake of your final satisfaction. I did not want to settle for anything less than the most perfect model I could deliver so when we had castings with visible shrinkage I asked that those molds be remade. That took a while and then casting the 100’s of required minis took even longer.

 The horses have been a real trick unto themselves. Neither Ed nor I have ever made horse models and this turned out to be a bit more difficult than either of us expected. I am especially particular about the Yrsa figure as it is by far the most complicated and delicate figure I have ever released and it is the replacement figure for the most popular figure I have ever produced. It MUST be perfect.

   In the end I was too optimistic in my expectations of delivery, AND I was remiss in never pushing the expected delivery date backward as the work load expected by that date grew exponentially. It is a mistake I will not repeat. I am ready and waiting for the delivery of these last items to begin shipping the rest of the KS rewards but until those figures are in hand and approved I can do little more than wait. 

  I do expect to have the last of the expected casting within the next week or two. Ed has informed me that the test samples of Yrsa, COnradt, and Horse #1 were shipped to me on friday last which means I SHOULD receive them for approval tomorrow. At which time I will inspect the castings and call Ed with the yay or nay. Upon my approval Ed will finish the last three horse molds and Brian ( if he is back in from being Ill…. get well Brian! 😀 ) will begin casting the rest of the Yrsa, and Conradt Models. 

  There are still 100’s of copies of each mini left to be cast BUT I will be taking shipments of these figures in batches as they are cast to allow to me to begin filling orders as quickly as possible.

  I had intended to have ALL commitments from this first campaign fulfilled before running a second campaign but the realities of development did not allow for this. The difference in this second campaign is that all planned models are already sculpted and mastered ( with the exception of the Goblin footmen ) so the actual production overhead is cut in half. Ed already has the masters and they are ready for the production of production molds. All that is needed is for me to be able to finance the slot in Ed’s work schedule to have those molds made and have castings run. 

  The expected delivery date for the second kickstarter products is set for August of 2013. This is the nearest  date that Ed and I both fell confident in to deliver all planned products, however I will be creating a module in my regular webstore in which you will be able to pay for ” batch shipment ” of any figures involved in this campaign. Figures will be produced in the order in which they are funded and will be available for shipment in specifically timed batches. When ever a batch is ready to ship I will post an update letting all of the backers know. At which point they will be able to ” purchase ” the shipping cost for that batch and have it shipped to them then rather than having to wait until the final pieces are produced and in hand.

   Again, My deepest apology for the delays thus far and my most sincere appreciation for your patience with me in this.

  Cheers,

   Tre’

So while I still trust and like Tre’, I won’t be going in for the second Kickstarter. He’s made a bunch of mistakes and some poor choices along the way, but I trust him to eventually come through. I doubt I’ll go in for the second KS, but that’s because I need to see Trollcast in my hands before dropping more money on it. Like every other material out there, it’s got a bunch of people who swear by it, but until I see it for myself I ain’t spending another $100-150 on it for figures I don’t have any use for just to support a guy’s small business. Very different rationale to not trusting him to come through, though. Instead I’ll be using that money on stuff from other small outfits like Puppestwar, Victoria Miniatures and so on..

In the comments of the new Red Box Games Kickstarter, there’s some slightly disturbing portents regarding the new prices. Remember, Trollcast is supposed to be making miniatures cheaper to produce.

RiTides about 22 hours ago

….
I’m a little bit bummed that bonebacks are about $3 apiece, even at Kickstarter price, which is more than I paid for the metals! But I think I’ll be over the sticker shock soon.

….

Bonebacks were some of the few figures I was potentially tempted to pick up if I did go in for this one, as I’m not otherwise fond of the RBG goblins aesthetic. I think I’ll probably have to leave it out. Apparently Tre is going to start sending out the stuff that’s been sitting around. It’ll cost him a fair bit in postage, but I think he sees how important it will be to fulfill KA1 before KS2 finishes. For my part, he’ll have to send out about 3 late figures at a cost of about $4 including the baggie. On one hand, I can see how it adds up, OTOH, it’s only a tiny fraction of the $150+ I sent him with the initial promise of October fulfilment. Since we’re almost 4 months late now, I don’t actually feel bad about this..

 

Studio Miniatures Zombies: Well, they didn’t go into the post the next day just before Christmas as Stuart suggested. Someone got in contact with me 3 weeks ago (early in the new year) to confirm my address, but then no-one replied to the email I sent then asking for confirmation or the one I sent almost 2 weeks ago…  (Stuff from the UK is usually 5-10 days). I finally had a parcel arrive on the 25th of Jan with my missing stuff – it was sent on the 8th of Jan. A week after I got back to them, and 3 weeks after they initially said they’d resend them by…

All in all, I wasn’t impressed by their fulfilment. Would I go in on another campaign my Studio Miniatures? Maybe. But only for a small amount.

 

Dreamforge Games Leviathans:  Had mostly gone quiet after the holidays, with the shipment due to hit the US shortly. The latest is that the cargo container hit LA and the figures are on their way to Utah and WGF to be sent out around the world.

 

Mantic’s Dreadball: Again nothing new shown or heard. I again assume they’re still on track for their delivery of the second wave.

 

Bombshell Babes: Had another nice update showing progress a couple of days ago, including a couple of very nicely painted models. Apparently all here is on-track.

 

Mongoose’s Judge Dredd: Got some more stuff 2 weeks ago – Two lots of Rifle Judge+Giant/Fergee/Space+Citi-Def. Got another small package this last week as well, with one of the Justice Dept II sets and a few others. (No sign of the same for my wife’s pledge.) According to Matt from Mongoose, the figures that were already sculpted and in their existing JD line that were repackaged for the KS are now also in transit. Not sure where that leaves the Specialist Judges set.

Review: F.E.A.R. Extraction Point – TimeGate Studios – PC

Well, following on immediately from the original FEAR, this will be a bit more of the same. An add-on to the original review, if you weeel… makes sense in that one of the main ways to get hold of the original game these days is with the two expacks bolted on via Steam, and it’ll no doubt be a freebie attached to pre-orders of FEAR 3.. sorry, F3AR (See what they did there?).

So for starters, the plot involves a helicopter crash after the end of the original game, the resurrection of the main bad guy, even he says “I know it doesn’t make sense”, and a fighting flight to safety, which is an Extraction Point (see what they did there?) in a hospital, which will unsurprisingly gives us some creepy hospital halls and rooms to fight through, decorated with bloody instrumentation. Right after we’ve first fought through a church, some streets, warehouses, sewers and a subway. All creepily lit and decorated with bloody messes on the walls and so forth.

Due to various reasons, the two expansions to the original F.E.A.R. (Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate were rendered non-canonical by Monolith after they got the rights back to their storyline and characters, and then later the name F.E.A.R.

Differences from the initial game.. well, it doesn’t support Widescreen resolutions properly, so I’m playing in a distorted 1600×1200 instead of the 1920 x 1080 of the original. Seems a bit odd to go backwards like that, but there you go..

Gameplay is pretty much the same. Running through an endless series of corridors, warehouses, back-alleys and such, all fenced off by blocked doors and all with graphics-that-would-have-stood-out-nicely-in-06.It also features that awesome bit of game design: doors that are blocked until an NPC comes up to open them for you. This doesn’t get tedious at all. When it comes to chain-link fences that I could easily vault over, you’re the kind of spec-ops elite that just doesn’t even try, and instead walks down the game-corridor that’s provided.

There’s also more than its fair share of crawling around ventilation ducts. I seriously question which game dev actually finds that kind of shit to be fun? Remember that awesome time you had in Half Life 2/DOOM/Quake/Call of Duty where you crawled around in a ventilation duct for 5 minutes? No? There’s my point. It’s just weak padding.

Oh, as another bonus, the game features smashable crates with goodies inside. Though not all crates are smashable. Just some. So, you know, keep your eyes out. We’re talking real FPS innovation here. Stuff that needed to be in the game. Because of this, getting upgrades is much slower than in the original game, as 99% of the boxes here are just scenery, so you naturally end up ignoring most of them. It would have been nice (and made sense) if the expack looked for a saved game from the original game and let you continue with your bullet time and health upgrades.

You can also melee doors open instead of just hitting he use key. And doors near an explosion will also be opened up by that same explosion. Yeah. I guess this is because doors will automagically close by themselves. Just like doors in real life do.

Oh, it turns out that I must have played the original in Normal, since I couldn’t remember, I picked “Easy” for this one, and there are health pickups literally every 6 feet, and I’m blasting through the mobs like Rambo on amphetamines, and barely touching the “bullet-time”. It’s not actually as fun as it sounds, but then again I’m not going to start again, and I’m really playing it more to finish it and to have played through it at this stage, so I won’t hold the lack of challenge against it, but whatever. I’m actually playing the game and writing this to keep me half-interested while trying to churn out an essay for my course. Funnily enough, bitching about games is more interesting.

Look! More of the same!

Because Extraction Point is an old-school expansion pack (remember those?) it has a list of things it needs to do in an adventure about half the length of the original. One of those things is to give you new weapons. As in the original FEAR, you can still only carry three, and so what you end up with here is being given many of the original weapons within a few minutes of each in some cases, along with one of the new ones. The first new weapon you’re given, or half a new weapon, I guess, is dual pistols, to be wielded akimbo. Like Max Payne. Kinda. There’s also a “grenade class” deployable turret that you get pretty early on. Later on, you get a Laser Gun and a Minigun. That’s pretty much it. There are also 2 new enemy types. Even bigger bad guys than the usual big ones, armed with miniguns and shields, and some walking mecha, bigger than the ones we saw in the base game.

When I checked out the game on Wikipedia before starting it – mostly to see which one of the two expacks is the first one, I noted that a criticism of Extraction Point was that there are more of Alma’s “creepy moments” in the game. Despite my misgivings of how they’re actually implemented in the main game, this is actually a positive point for me. Some still manage to be slightly creepy, despite how jaded I now am to the whole thing, and it’s also kind of half of the point of the game. I mean, points of differentiation. Nice graphics (for the time), bullet-time and creepy horror. If your horror game barely has any horror in it, then you’re doing it wrong, so as frequent as they come in this pack, it’s understandable and they’re actually more effective in my opinion than the ones in the original FEAR

In the end, Extraction Point clocked in at about 6 hours according to Steam, which includes time paused and alt-tabbed, though on Easy mode, so the time seems about right. Should you get it? Well, it’s more of the same. A workmanlike older shooter with some decently done horror-y bits and decent atmosphere with a nonsensical plot and sub-par widescreen support. Really though, it doesn’t add much if you’ve already played the original.

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Verdict: Skip it.

Coming up next: F.E.A.R. – Perseus Mandate. Probably.