Monday, December 14, 2009

The Lets Play Archive

(from the home page of The Lets Play Archive):

A truly devoted display of games

If you're looking for game playthroughs online, you've just found the most compelling and entertaining collection. This is why we at PokerListings have decided to give our full support and thanks to everyone behind the Let's Play Archive. As we do to with all the poker online games, the Let's Play Archive focus on giving you the full experience of the games in an informative and entertaining manner. Just look at some of the great playthroughs below and you'll see what we mean. Awesome job guys!

At first glance, the whole point of The Lets Play Archive seems kind of ridiculous. People play some video games, record their entire gameplay experience via video camera or screen shots (with written or audio commentary) and then upload the files to this site, for people to come by and experience the game vicariously through them.

It's an unbelievably geeky thing to do, but that's okay, because I'm pretty damn geeky.

Gamers can drop by the site and use the playthroughs as either a guide for parts they're having trouble with, or just watch them play it. It sounds lame, but, if you're a gamer, you get it. I've just perused a few of these and the commentary they provide isn't annoying or intrusive. It's like what you and your friends would do if you were taking turns playing a single player game. You crack jokes and figure out the puzzles together. It can be a very communal experience and this site offers a little of that for you, as a spectator.

Another reason this is something to geek out over is if there is a game that you've always been curious about, but haven't had the means to play, you can see what it was like on this site.

For me, there is one game I hear great things about but probably won't ever get to experience for myself. That game is System Shock 2.

System Shock 2 and its predecessor are pretty widely known as two of the early masterpieces of computer gaming, but both of them were released at incredibly unfortunate times alongside two games that overshadowed them in popularity (Doom and Half-Life, respectively), so they got lost in the shuffle. This means that there haven't been any efforts to port the System Shock games to current hardware, which also means that unless you still have your old mid to late 90's PC, you won't be playing either of them. The creators, however, recently expanded upon the gameplay elements of System Shock with the modern classic, Bioshock, which I have played and can absolutely vouch for its reputation. So, in a way, System Shock has survived.

But I'm already planning on setting a side a couple hours one day to see the abridged version of this game. Thank you, Lets Play Archive. You crazy bunch of uber-geeks, you.

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