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Jaded's Pub
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I’m trying to get in good with the old woman who runs this camp I’ve been hanging around. She has a job for me: a drifter had come into the camp to do some business, then had gotten drunk and beaten a few of her people to death. She wants revenge, and she wants me to get it.

This guy sounds like bad news so I say I’ll do it. I leave just after dawn but the world is nothing if not full of distractions and it’s afternoon by the time I get near the drifter’s camp. Turns out he’s got a gang of his own, and a well fenced compound with a 2 story tower. I’ll have to be careful.

And I think I am being careful until the sniper’s laser sight sweeps past me; I hadn’t even seen the sniper in the second, smaller tower. I duck behind some rocks but between a guard patrolling and the sniper sweeping back and forth I know it won’t be long before I’m found. So I peer out, take a deep breath to enhance my focus, and squeeze the trigger.

The sniper drops from a clean head shot but of course the gunfire alerts the entire camp. I should’ve spent the credits for a suppressor. The patrolling guard comes running over and I leap out from cover, my machete blade flashing in the late afternoon sunshine. One less guard.

I spot my mark; he’s in the second tower checking the sniper. I take a shot, miss, and he flees, heading for the bigger tower. I guess he thinks he is safe up there because he stops. Another head shot and he is down, but I need a trophy for the old lady. Dude carries a crowbar and she wants it, but there’s an angry gang between me and it.

I fall back, skirt around the camp and sneak in through a gap in the wall. I drop down off a ledge; risky because I can’t climb back up. There’s some tall grass to take cover in and…SNAP! Bastards have left a leg trap in the grass and now I’m trapped in it. It doesn’t hurt too much but I’m a sitting duck. Rather than panic I get ready for the enemy and I take out a couple as they come rushing around a rock face. Now I have time to get free.

Low and slow, I make my way across the compound taking out the rest of the gang. Or at least that’s what I thought. Climb the tower and, oh hell, there’s a couple more up here and they’re making a last stand. I duck behind a wall, so do they. We exchange shots and soon they’re dead and I’m bandaging my wounds and checking my ammo supply, which is starting to be a concern.

Stupid me, rather than grab that crowbar and get out, I start looting the place. I’m still up in the tower when a few bikes roll up; reinforcements and me trapped at the top of the tower. They know I’m up there somewhere and are yelling for me to come out. One gets brave, comes up to my level and pays for his boldness with his life.

During my looting I’d found some pipe-bombs; too many for me to carry them all. So I get cute. I light a fuse, chuck it down by their bikes. I miss, but one of the idiots runs over to see what he’d heard, and gets there just in time for the bomb to go off. Another down.

Then I hear it, and so do they: the screeching and shrieking. A horde comes flowing into the far end of the camp; I guess the pipe bomb was a bad idea. I hadn’t even noticed that it had gotten dark. The gang members are screaming and shooting but there’s no hope for them. Soon the shouting stops. I’m cowering at the top of this tower, only one way down. Afraid to breathe. I hear the freakers howling and scrabbling and I’m praying they haven’t noticed me. Apparently they haven’t. They move through the camp and funnel out the entrance and towards my bike. Aw hell.

My luck holds, though, as they leave the road before they reach the bike, and wander down a hill. I wait until I can no longer see them, then creep down the stairs and back to the bike. I don’t want to risk drawing the horde back so I just roll down the road a bit before firing up the engine and getting the hell out of there.

The old woman is sweet as pie to me now; last week I was just a pain in her ass, now I’m her most reliable guy. Really all I want is a safe place to sleep at this point; that, at least, I get.

Gameplay Notes

It’s hard to say how much of this was “emergent” gameplay and what was scripted. I’m fairly certain the bikers coming back were triggered when I picked up the crowbar. The horde though: I don’t see how that was scripted though it might have triggered when I’d killed X defenders? It really seemed like the pipe bomb drew them in; I’m going with that. There were a LOT of them and it was creepy as hell, even for me the player. You can only save your game at your bike so if the horde had got me I would’ve had to re-start the entire fight. I really was holding my breath.

And I tell you, watching those things shamble off into the darkness… sheesh it gives me the shivers just thinking about it!

The trip back was a story in itself as freakers [aka zombies; the fast moving variety] were everywhere and at one point one leapt at me and knocked me off my bike. I had to fight half a dozen of them using the machete (didn’t want guns to draw in even more) which of course broke on me. I had to stab the last two with my boot knife; a method I wouldn’t recommend. Took forever.

Really enjoying this game. Sorry for lake of screenshots; they’re just so cumbersome to deal with on the PS4 and the colors are always mucked up because I play with HDR on.



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