Xbox 360 Review: Damnation

damnation

The level design in Damnation is awful. Proof lies within the AI partner, one whom is so confused as to where it needs to go, it simply lies in wait and warps when the player figures everything out. In the worst case when it chooses to forge ahead, the computer controlled partner may actually fall and die, something that happened twice during the play through.

It is funny that using the available online co-op feature doesn’t change much. While the AI doesn’t seem to contain any programming at times (enemies stand around with no reaction despite being shot), another human player won’t be able to figure out this terrible collection of puzzle-like levels any better.

Damnation is even funnier though, asking the player to stop in the middle of a battle to revive a partner, yet completely failing to specify where they’re located. It’s even worse when you’ve ascended a structure to the top, and a single enemy with a shotgun found a way to kill your ally. At that point, they can stay dead because you’re not going to try to read the minds of the level designer again.

Stages contain countless useless items, from ladders to ropes. Part of the problem is that no logic has been applied. Since the main character, Hamilton Rourke, can climb and jump like Lara Croft, it’s easy to see how he can traverse these maps. How then, one should ask, do all of the drugged miners find their way into these structures? There are rarely any steps to climb because that would make sense, and this game has none.

Instead, developer Blue Omega uses their first chance to impress the world (this is their debut game) with a series of never connected ledges and windows that show no change from one level to the next. There is no sense of progression, no clues as to which ledge is correct, and there are numerous ways to approach each section. You could be repeating the same climb again from a different angle and not realize it until you end up on top. It’s a muddy confusing mess.

Combat lacks fluidity, settling into a realm of choppy firefights with enemy placement that goes against the player every time. The game’s introduction of “Spirit Vision” is a crutch, letting players see enemies through walls since the muted graphics engine makes everything blend together, further making enemies difficult to fight. The camera during combat is fine, although when hanging on a rope it can have a mind of its own.

Unnecessarily complex controls put reload on the left stick, and it can only be done when the gun is drawn with the left trigger. Someone must have been working on their first third-person shooter to come up with that scheme.

Damnation is a series of baffling design decisions, but does teach the world one thing. When you are close to your final moments of life, the world will turn blurry and gray as you fade into nothingness. If that is how death happens, at least in the real world there would be some actual color loss, not a simple degradation of brown shades. What a miserable way to go that would be.

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BOARD OF REGENTS HONOR TOP NEVADANS

US Fed News Service, Including US State News March 16, 2007 The Nevada System of Higher Education issued the following news release: go to site college of southern nevada

During the meeting of the Board of Regents on March 15-16 in Carson City, regents named recipients for several awards, including the 2007 Distinguished Nevadan.

The Distinguished Nevadan represents the most prestigious award conferred by the Board of Regents. It is bestowed upon prominent individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada. The recipients will be honored at commencements in Reno and Las Vegas in May.

The 2007 Distinguished Nevadans are:

* Drs. Nazir & Mary Ansari of Reno * Mr. & Mrs. Ralph & Sara Denton of Boulder City * Mr. Philip J. Kohn, Esq. of Las Vegas * Mr. Paul C. Page of Las Vegas * Mr. Dale Porter of Elko * Dr. Frank Curry Stokes of Incline Village The Regents also approved the following honorary degrees:

* Honorary Doctorate Degrees * Mr. Cole C. Campbell, University of Nevada, Reno (posthumous) * Ms. Debbie Reynolds, University of Nevada, Reno * Honorary Masters Degrees * Ms. Charlotte Danielson, Nevada State College * Honorary Baccalaureate Degrees * Mr. Mike Marfisi, Great Basin College * Ms. Amanda Howard, Nevada State College (posthumous) * Honorary Associate Degrees * Mr. Domingo Cambeiro, College of Southern Nevada * Mr. Jim Breslin, Truckee Meadows Community College * Mr. Manny Martinez, Truckee Meadows Community College * Dr. Jill Talbot Derby, Western Nevada College * Mr. Harvey Whittemore, Western Nevada College In addition, recipients of the 2007 Regents’ Awards, Academic Advisors Award and Regents’ Scholars Award were announced.

* REGENTS’ RESEARCHER AWARD The Board of Regents established the Regents’ Researcher Award in 1992. This award is bestowed upon faculty members with a substantial record of accomplishments, including a significant amount of research and scholarly work with recognition, clear evidence of the national and/or international stature of the research, and in the case of grants and contracts, must have been competitive on a national or international level. The honoree receives a $5,000 stipend and a medal. The 2007 honoree is:

* Dr. Nicholas Lancaster, Desert Research Institute Regents’ Creative Activity Award The Board of Regents established the Regents’ Award for Creative Activity in 1993. This award recognizes significant accomplishments which bring recognition, as well as national and international stature, to the Nevada System of Higher Education. The honoree receives a $5,000 stipend and a medal. The 2007 honoree is:

Dr. James F. Winn , University of Nevada, Reno Regents’ Teaching Award In 1996, the Board of Regents approved the establishment of the annual Regents’ Teaching Award. This award honors outstanding instructional contributions to the Nevada System of Higher Education. Two awards are granted yearly, one from UNLV, UNR or DRI, and the other from CSN, GBC, TMCC or WNC. Each honoree receives a $5,000 stipend and a medal. The 2007 honorees are:

* Dr. Dale A. Etheridge, Community College of Southern Nevada * Dr. Scott A. Mensing, University of Nevada, Reno Academic Advisors Award The Board of Regents established the Regents’ Academic Advising Award in 1998. This award honors outstanding academic student advising with one award granted to a community college advisor and two awards granted to advisors at the state college or universities. Each honoree receives a $5,000 stipend. The 2007 honorees are:

* Mr. John Kinkella, Western Nevada Community College * Ms. Jeanette M. Sorensen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (undergraduate) * Dr. Gale M. Sinatra, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (graduate) 2007 Regents’ Scholars Award The Regents’ Scholar Award is bestowed upon one student from each NSHE institution for their academic achievements, leadership ability and service contributions. Each honoree receives a $5,000 stipend. The 2007 honorees are: in our site college of southern nevada

* Ms. Vacheral Carter, College of Southern Nevada * Ms. Heather D. Steel, Great Basin College * Ms. Kimberly Jacovino, Nevada State College * Mr. Christopher Robison, Truckee Meadows Community College * Ms. Kristal L. Sauer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Undergraduate * Ms. Amy D. Lykins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Graduate * Ms. Christine M. Harms, University of Nevada, Reno Undergraduate * Ms. Janet Hart Frost, University of Nevada, Reno Graduate * Mr. Samuel S. Lossing, Western Nevada College