In this blog I promise to not speak about Politick or anything controverial. This being the 3rd blog today I think I must be either incredibly bored or incredibly enthusiastic. This blog is going to be about gaming. That's an advance warning to all you anti-teenager people out there. I still don't see how you can be anti-teenager, it's a form of disliking someone because they're not a child anymore, they're a responisble near-adult. And people hate us for it. They're crazy. Ah, that was a bit politickerie wasn't it? Sorry. This post is based upon the fact that I played a 45-minute ctf match on Halo 2 Live in Coagulation. Then I watched a few episodes of RvB and realised just how this map is a Film-Maker's dream. Because I love coagulation or Blood Guch so much I will pass on my contagious enthusiam for this piece of undiscovered wonder.
Many people belive that the best ever MultiplayerOnlineFirstPersonShooter (MOFPS) map ever is de_dust2 on CounterStrike:Source. This is probably true and having played Team Fortress 2 for free last weekend I would certainly belive it to be accepted as fact. Valve have never made a bad game. Team Fortress, Counter Strike, Day Of Defeat and Half-Life: deathmatch are all the most worthiest of online adventures despite the fact that TF was a modification of Quake, CS wasn't made by Valve and Half-Life: deathmatch is just a minor deviation of Half-Life that allows you to play with other people. Since these are all popular and brilliant online experiences I will let those discrepancies pass. However as I am about to explain these all pall in the face of Blood Gulch's addictive map-making skill. The basic mechanics of Blood Gulch are as follows:
On a distant quadrant of Delta Halo there is a huge canyon. This canyon is soooo big nobody can ever climb out of it. At both ends of the canyon there are forts. Each fort has a complement of about 4 soldiers and each fort is exactly identical with the same defenses. One fort has soldiers with Blue armour, the other fort has soldiers with Red armour. The objective is for one team to storm the other's fort, steal their flag and return it to their base, simple. and the forts are arranged thus: in the basement is a Banshee flying thing with a crew of 1. There is also a lift which takes you to the middle floor, the middle floor has a few weapons and a flag in it. The top floor is also the roof and is therefore completely vulnerable to attacks from the air. On the top floor is a sniper gun, access to the middle floor and a teleport which takes you to a rocky area in the middle of the canyon. Each floor is acessible from ground level but once you're in the fort you can move down easily but access up the levels of the fort are restricted by different lifts. This encourages a top-down approach to attacking the enemy fort. Only there are snipers on the roof so the approach is risky. This also entails different tactical decisions such as how to maintain the balance between a reasonable attacking force and a reasonable defending force. Of course the attack/defense ratio is beautifully covered by the 2fort map in Team Fortress 2. What makes Blood Gulch so easy to play are the rock-paper-scissor tactical decisions. An example of one of these is the fact that a lone man with a rocket launcher in a cavern dug into the side of the canyon can take down a banshee flying past in one shot. A sniper on the other side of the map can take down that lone man in one shot. And in turn a guy with an energy sword can stab the sniper in the back and kill him in one swipe. Outside the fort there is a legendary Warthog with a crew of 3 people and a ghost with a crew of 1 person. A strategy I recommend is upon the start of the match to bring 3 mates along, 1 to man the turret, one to drive, and the other to hang off the side and shoot things. Drive as fast and as madly as you can to the opposide coloured fort, when you're there the guy hanging off the side jumps off and runs through the fort, he grabs the flag and bolts out again. Meanwhile the two in the warthog circle the fort and spray it with bullets, then they wait at the entrance for their operative to bolt out with the flag, jump onto the hog. Then the party drives at full pelt back to it's base. With this scenario you're given so many different angles to approach things I'm surpried this wasn't made the prime location for a Machinima series earlier or that someone thought up this brilliant concept within the first hours of playing DOOM or Dark Forces. All I want to express is how brilliant Blood Gulch is as a scenario for MOFPS's and that it's refreshingly different from other mainstream maps.