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DID YOU READ

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 6

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 6 (photo)

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Two things strike me about the mechanics of “Red Faction: Guerrilla” so far. One: it might bear the gentlest wanted level of any open-world game I’ve played. Usually, in games of this stripe, you cause enough chaos and the unstoppable hand of God comes down to swat you back to your place in the form of tanks, flying vehicles and swarms and swarms of cops. Now, maybe I haven’t done enough wanton killing or destruction, but I’ve been able to scoot away from the coppers pretty easily when the alert level’s been blinking red. Two: From an economics standpoint, the game feels pretty stingy so far. The salvage that I buy weapons and upgrades with seems to be in short supply. I went and experimented with earning salvage by tearing down a regular ol’ building. The downed structure spit out bupkis in terms of salvage. Turns out you only really get salvage for taking out EDF property. Plain-jane vanilla architecture nets you nada. It’s a built-in method of stopping the player from grinding and prematurely acquiring the most unstoppable weapons too early in the game.

All of this is making my entry in the Dust sector of the game rather frustrating. The game’s still introducing new mission types, including Courier missions. They’re dynamically generated (it seems) and require you to chase down a vehicle with an EDF courier who got orders to do something… bad. You run him down, whack him and then must drive away from his pissed-off buddies to transmit the data. I tried this one a few times before I successfully pulled one off. The other new mission type are Guerrilla Raid, when you march into a EDF base with some comrades and kill every done in the place. These missions end with a series of detonating charges blowing up the EDF structures, meaning that my compatriots are essentially farming salvage for me. Guerrilla Raid, I could get to like you.

I’m noticing that the righteous rage I felt at the beginning of the game has cooled a bit. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had any melodramatic cutscenes thrown at me depicting the up-close-and-personal evils of the EDF occupying force. Or maybe the non-stop revolutionary chatter from Faction comrade and citizen alike has normalized and become part of the game’s white noise, like gunfire or the cacophony of a building coming down. Maybe I’m jaded and care more about collecting enough salvage to score the rocket launcher than I do about “a free Mars.” It’s beginning to matter a bit less just what cause I’m using the rocket launcher to achieve. Still, I’m sure that there’s another development waiting to make my blood boil. I just need to get there.

[A Level A Day will be my attempt to give my thumbs more exercise every 24 hours. ALAD will be part diary, part analysis and a smidgen of random observation on games that either slipped through the cracks or might deserve reconsideration. I won’t promise to finish every game but I’ll try to track what I think of as honestly as I can, so you’ll at least know why I’m stopping a particular game.]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…