January 09, 2018

Here Comes The OGRE...

Back in 1986, Origin Systems, the company that would bring us the amazing Wing Commander and Ultima series of computer games, took a little foray into something a bit larger scale.  Instead of a party of adventurers or individual starfighters, they sat down and cranked out the videogame adaptation of Steve Jackson's OGRE.

I played the heck outta that game on the C64.  It wasn't great: the graphics were nothing special, even for the time, and the AI... well... it was 1986.  But I could still play OGRE alone with it, and that made it good.  For a long, long time I've wondered why there was never a remake... it's not like Steve Jackson Games doesn't have a history with computers, after all.  Around Christmastime, friend Ben from Midnite Tease said to me "I've been playing the new OGRE videogame."  To which I replied "Huh??? WHAT new OGRE videogame???"  I'm not a clever duck when I'm surprised.

Holy crepe.  Holy crepe!  It took me very little time to add it to my Steam library... $20 for heaven's sake!... and went through the tutorials to get used to the interface.  It's not the most intuitive system, but it works well enough.  Once that was done, I called up a skirmish match against the computer and went at it.  And lost.

In fact, the computer handed my feathered butt to me and made me wear it as a hat.  So I started another game... and it all came back to me.  I danced GEVs around the Ogre, pummeled the thing with heavy tanks, pounded it with howitzers...

...the above picture was essentially the last view my command post saw.  Well, I'll be damned.  I was pretty good at OGRE back in the day... good enough that I expected to win every time I sat down against a human opponent.  I didn't, of course, but I knew I could win and had a good shot at doing so.  And here this computer game is, kicking me up and down the map like I didn't know a superheavy from a light GEV.  COOL!!!

The AI isn't perfect... I've seen it make some seriously stupid moves... but it's more than good enough.  And once it stops giving me a challenge, online head-to-head is available too.  There's a single-player campaign to go through as well, which might prove interesting.  And, of course, any of you squishies that wanna go up against the Duck.  Better make sure to make your sandwiches using rye bread though... since I'm going to knock you down and take your lunch, you may as well make it something I like.

I never thought I'd see the day.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:40 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Huzzah! I'm glad you're digging it.

I'll get to it once my budget and time bandwidth both open up a bit more. (Even if I could buy it I'd almost never get to play it, the way things are right now, so I might as well wait a bit.) Since I'm a total neophyte I'll probably have a steep learning curve ahead of me. I did play some hex-grid strategy games here and there so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the concept, but still.

Posted by: GreyDuck at January 09, 2018 08:25 AM (h8yX6)

2 Your learning curve won't be steep at all!  "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master" fits OGRE well.  You'll be playing the basic game within 15 minutes, and winning games against the AI within an hour.
Just make sure you start as the Ogre... it's easier to deal with.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2018 08:59 AM (h8yX6)

3 I've gone through the tutorial a few times, but I'm still not 100% comfortable with the flow of a game.  Haven't tried to skirmish the computer yet.  I'm not sure how viable the "ram everything" strategy is, in the long run.

Posted by: Ben at January 09, 2018 09:22 AM (h8yX6)

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