Hello, my name is Sir Winston Tiberius Shirwatoski the Magnificently Handsome and Cunning Bastard, but you may call me by my white slave name: Justin Luschinski. I’m a recent addition to the GameCola roster due to a combination of comedic prowess, perseverance, and blackmail. By the way, Paul, if you wish to see Mr. Huggems ever again, you`ll mail that check by Friday.
The holiday season is almost upon us! Like me, many of you are probably looking for the right gift to give to that person you hold so dear to your heart, but also, like me, you’re probably wondering “Hey, if I’m spending all of my money this holiday on my friends, how am I going to be able to buy a game for myself?” Or “My friends always get me horrible gifts that aren’t worth enough money to buy an ice sandwich! What am I going to do?”, or “How could I meet the astounding composer behind these amazingly penned words whom is probably a sexy and virile Canadian man that no doubt saved a puppy orphanage on his way back from the gym?”
To answer those questions in no particular order: Sell your body, sell your friend’s body, and download Pirates vs Vikings vs Knights, a Half-Life 2 mod available on Steam.
Now, for those of you whom just woke out of a thirty year diabetic coma and the concept of three-dimensional graphics gives you a great big stiffy, a mod (short for “modification”) is a game that is created using an existing game engine such as Source, as used by such games as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, etc. Game mods and total conversions have been known to make good games great, and horrible games fantastic, and, best of all, they are free. This is perfect for me, because the closest thing I get to a new game these days is when the Girl Scouts arrive in the deadly trap-filled labyrinth that is my front yard.
Swashbuckler vs Berserk vs Templar features three teams with three very distinct classes, oh and what noble classes they are! You can play as the savage Vikings if you like pillaging towns of all their wealth, food, and women. If that’s not your bag, you can play as the swashbuckling Pirates! They were best known for…pillaging towns of all their wealth, food, and women. But not to worry, because you can play as the gallant Knights! Holy vanguards against all that is unjust whom were known for pillaging towns of all…their…wealth and…food…
Well, regardless of which historically inaccurate resource-stealing jerk you wish to be, the gameplay of Privateers vs Norsemen vs Priests is pretty solid. It replaces most of the guns from Half-Life with axes and swords, so there’s less of a focus on feminine girly shooting and more on wholesome masculine hand-to-hand combat, or, rather, battleaxe-to-face combat. It’s pulled off surprisingly well. There are options to attack and defend in multiple directions and targets, while each class comes with a super attack of some sort. The weirdest one of these is the Pirate Swashbuckler one where he thrusts his scabbard forward and practically flies at you like he just snorted a line of Tinkerbell’s fairy dust.
The maps are also some of the best-looking areas I’ve seen coded into a Steam game, with huge sprawling arenas, as well as an attention to detail in the environments, as well as specific traps that give the mod a whole life of its own. Although, saying that it’s better looking than other Steamsource games is like saying that a sedan is better looking than a unicycle with a dead vulture wrapped around the wheel, so that might not be a good comparison.
The only gripe I have with the game is the fact that the Pirate’s flintlock pistols don’t fire bullets so much as they fire little rolled up pieces of newspaper covered in black marker. Seriously, it’s a wonder how the age of the knights was ended by these pieces of shit, because I was barely able to kill anything! There were several moments where I was close enough to a Viking Berserker to smell the homoeroticism on him and firing balls of lead directly into his skull, only to have him laugh it off and send my swashbuckler to the giant grog-filled brothel in the sky. I mean, come on guys, I know they haven’t exactly perfected the technology yet, but Christ, I’d be better off getting a funnel and throwing the gunpowder down the throat of my enemy along with a lit match.
But regardless, Cool Ranch vs Spicy Mexican vs Salt’n’Pepper is a rewarding experience all on its own, and it’s definitely worth the zero dollars you pay to get it. If you’re a fan of online shooters and are looking for a reason not to sell off your old Valve games, then Amputees vs Furries vs Pedophiles is more fun than several barrels of particularly whimsical monkeys.