GamerNode visits Russia

In the 1960s, the United States and Russia were staring eyeball to eyeball in a deadly nuclear version of who blinks first. The world, as people knew it then, was on the precipice of Armageddon because nuclear warhead missiles were aimed at each country’s major metropolitan cities–ready to launch at a moment’s notice.

Now, 48 years later, the two countries are again locked in warfare…but this time around, the arena for combat is on PC monitors and game consoles with the friendly exchange of gaming chatter filling the air.

russian consulate
The Russian Consulate in the upscale Pacific Heights region of SF

It would have been considered impossible, almost five decades ago, to have common citizens of the United States walk into the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, which is considered Russian soil, and roam around freely. But times have certainly changed and this is exactly what I did, along with other members of the gaming press last week as Russian game publisher, 1C, held a warm and friendly gathering where we all ate Russian food, drank vodka, and sampled the great titles that come from their mother country.

dan hsu
Dan Hsu of EGM was there. I was too afraid to say "hi."

I saw many titles on display and viewed some pretty neat trailers of games that are coming our way to the West. Among my favorites was a game called Captain Blood. If the title isn’t a giveaway as to what this game is about, I don’t know what is. Our presenter of the video talked with glee as he described the various moves and combos you can do in this hack and slash game. But not only can you duke it out with peg-legged pirates on shore, you can go ship-to-ship and fire canons in order to knock the stuffings out of your opponent and take over their ship. Arrrrr!

demos and games
Game demos and vodka–a great combo

I, being an unabashed RPG nerd, meandered over to the table where King’s Bounty: The Legend was being demoed. The game is shaping up to be quite beautiful and the game mechanics of battle are a treat to see as the combatants’ position themselves on a battle grid. Think of battle chess on steroids and you get an idea of how it all works.

Next on my tour on Russian soil was the game Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason. The game trailer I saw demonstrated a horror/action game set aboard a vessel in the Artic Circle. The gameplay reminded me of BioShock, except in deep freeze mode. Your character struggles to survive the bone chilling cold by constantly looking for sources of warmth–it could be a light bulb, the ship’s boiler or anything else that gives off a glimmer of heat. Get too cold and you are an icicle.

We checked in and showed our proper IDs to get in

The showstopper though, was a game called IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, which is set during the era of WW2 in Africa. The dog fighting scenes were quite good and will give Ace Combat fans quite a run for their money as the top gun of aerial dog fighting games.

Another game I saw was Necrovision, a horror based FPS where demons and monsters have a penchant for ripping you to pieces. Not for the faint of heart but definitely something that looks like a good game for splatter fans.

East meets West. Gamers having fun

All in all, I was not only impressed with the type of games coming from Russia; I marveled at how the world has changed as two former enemies–the United States and Russia, have broken down barriers and have allowed gamers from both sides of the world to come together and enjoy a night of fun and of course, video games.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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