I've always been a big fan of the "Elder Scrolls" series, ever since I played "Daggerfall". When I first got this game it wouldn't run properly on my old PC, as at the time it required quite a high-end machine. I'd say it'd run like a charm on most modern PCs, though, plus it's now available on the xbox. What follows isn't exactly a review and it isn't a walkthrough; more of a brief commentary to give you a taste of what the game is like and why I like it so much. It'll only take you as far as when your character becomes a werewolf, and won't spoil anything for you.
For me, "The Elder Scrolls" represent what computer games should all be about ... creating a rich and diverse world for players to interact with freely. "Morrowind" was no exception, although I didn't particularly like the setting of that game. This expansion pack fixes that problem, with a fantastic game environment on the frozen Nordic-influenced island of Soltsheim, and most importantly it's all about werewolves. It's literally an expansion to the world of Morrowind, what it does is create a brand new island to the north-west of the original game island of Vvardenfell, and allows you to travel back and forth between the two by boat.
I suppose you've got to love the Harry Potter novels. Especially when werewolves are involved. I don't rate JK Rowling as much of a writer, and the books tend to be quite flawed in general, but for some reason I just can't keep myself from reading them. Maybe she's a witch.
Out of the series I'd have to say "Prisoner of Azkaban" is probably my favourite. It made a much better movie than the first two, and it was just before the books started to get all long and pretentious. Magic.
God, I hate the Sims. How many hours of my life have I wasted on these stupid games? Imagine how boring this game would be if all the Sims did was sit around playing a stupid computer game. The worst of it is the slow realisation ... that's how boring YOU are. Anyway, with each Sims 2 expansions they've introduced a new supernatural creature. This time round it's werewolves. In order to become a werewolf, your Sim has to first befriend and then get bitten by the leader of a wolf pack. An odd way of doing it, and honestly quite time-consuming. It's pretty much impossible to become a werewolf by accident.
But EA Games are definitely on to something here. This game is stupidly addictive, appeals to a mass audience and is also quite philosophically interesting if you think about it. You create individual people and follow them from their births to their deaths. If that doesn't give you perspective I don't know what will.
As a teenager I've always used to enjoy these kind of roleplaying games. My brothers had a big collection of the "Fighting Fantasy" series, which you could play alone or as a group, and there was also the board game "Hero Quest" which was a lot of fun. When we got the internet then I used to enjoy play-by-email games a lot, but I'd generally prefer to create my own settings and games rather than following preset game systems like this. Anyway, "Werewolf : The Forsaken" was unfortunately after my time, but a friend of mine has a complete collection that I recently got to browse through.
This series isn't quite the same as the roleplaying games I was familiar with, so it took me a while to figure out how it all worked. So I'll save you some time and give you the background and mechanics ... "The Forsaken" is the new version of what was previously called "Werewolf : The Apocalypse", which was comprised of dozens of books published between 1992 and 2004 but it is now considered part of the 'old' World of Darkness and thus is out of print. The players of both series generally take the role of werewolves, who work together in packs and are generally portrayed as the heroic defenders of Mother Earth.
What "White Wolf" are trying to accomplish is to put the storytelling back into roleplaying, moving away from the statistical, dice-rolling side of things. In your group of role-players (they recommend three to six people), one person assumes the role of storyteller and everyone else creates a character who they control. The storyteller moves things along, sets down the law by following the rule book, and portrays all the non-player characters. The first thing you need is the "Corebook", which sets out the world itself and how to create characters, then you add to this by collecting the various "bestiaries" (collections of bad guys to include in your stories), "hunting grounds" (new settings), and books which introduce other aspects of the universe and how to move your stories forward.
They're definitely not for everyone. Some would argue that computer games have now made this kind of roleplaying obselete, but the fact is that they allows the player more freedom in creating their own narrative than any computer game ever could, and the internet allows a whole new way to play the game and form communities. The "White Wolf" books are always well-written and very well-illustrated, probably the best books of their type. Well worth checking out if you have an interest in roleplaying.
Lionhead Studios was established by industry veteran Peter Molyneux, who is quite famous in the community for being big on concept and low on execution. "The Movies" sounds like it should be really good, but when you actually play it then you realise it's actually only so-so.
You run the studio in pretty much the same environment we've been seeing for years in games like "Theme Park" (also created by Molyneux), and when you create your movies you do so by following preset snips of scenes which you customise for your own purpose. If you have a microphone you can dub over with some dialogue through an in-game interface, which supposedly ought to lip synch with your actors but actually doesn't really work.
It is a good idea, and quite entertaining for a while, but too flawed to be considered a classic. From a creative standpoint it's very unlikely that you'll produce any really worthwhile movies by using this game.
Adventure games. Gotta love them. Why don't they seem to make any good ones any more, that's the question. The classics of the genre are, of course, the Lucasarts games of the late eighties and early nineties, and those still haven't been surpassed in terms of entertainment value and pure quality. "Discworld Noir" isn't quite Lucasarts standard, but it's pretty good. I'd never played it before writing this review (we did used to have a copy but it was in French for some bizarre reason), so it's as new to me as it probably is to you.
I've heard the game can be somewhat unstable on modern platforms, but I didn't really have much trouble ... it only crashed once while I was playing it, and to be honest there are a lot of games which do that. Just remember to save regularly. The only real problem I had was that it wouldn't "resume game" from the main menu, so I had to start a new game and then load by pressing F1.