Wot I Think: Hard West

Much has been made of how Hard West [official site] is XCOM-with-cowboys, but if anything it’s more like Jagged Alliance. With cowboys. Demon cowboys, yes, but really they’re just cowboys with horns and a flame effect. Point is, this isn’t a game about gradually building up a super-squad and a grandiose base in order to take down an almighty, otherworldly threat, but about a small gang of gun-wielders carving or limping their way through more disassociated skirmishes.

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Killing Floor 2 Adding Microtransactions To Early Access

A flame war, yesterday.

Killing Floor 2 [official site] is currently making its way through Early Access and by all accounts is a pretty good co-op zombie blaster. Developers Tripwire are now planning to add microtransactions to the game, letting players buy in-game items using real money. The initial items will be cosmetic, bought directly or by paying for keys to unlock randomly dropped item crates, though there are plans to add weapons “with new gameplay” in future. These items will be available to everyone on a server if one person has paid to unlock them.

None of this is a surprise – Killing Floor 1 had paid DLC weapons and skins – except perhaps that the microtransactions are being added here before the rest of the game is finished.

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Total War: Warhammer Trailer Shows Campaign Map

I’ve yet to watch any of the Total War: Warhammer trailers, because I know nowt about Warhammer and so normally leave that kind of thing to Adam. I do like a good map though, and the latest trailer shows the game’s campaign map for the first time in between scenes of battle.

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Less Retro, Same City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii

After romping through ’80s and early ’90s pop culture in the 8-bit-styled Retro City Rampage, developers Vblank Entertainment are skipping forward a few years. They’ve announced Shakedown Hawaii [official site], a follow-up open-world murder simulator which skips towards a 16-bit art style and, I’d imagine, later into ’90s pop culture. Presumably the Back to the Future references are now Back to the Future Part III references, and everyone’s going on about whether they’re a Rachel or a Monica (someone once called me a Phoebe and I was APPALLED). Look, here’s the first trailer:

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Have You Played… Tomb Raider Chronicles?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I wrote last month asking if you’d played Tomb Raider 2. But I was being shy. What I really wanted to know if is you’ve played Chronicles?

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Nidhogg’s Fencer Saunters Into Divekick, Sword And All

Bringing a sword to a kickfight seems unsporting, but I’m not sure what a fighting tournament would expect when inviting a warrior who wants nothing more than to be devoured by a giant serpent. The fantastic Nidhogg’s Fencer has arrived in Divekick [official site], bringing their big pixel style and flingable sword to the two-button fighting game (guess what those two buttons do). The Fencer is the final character added to Divekick, rolled out in a free update yesterday. The game also scored a price cut.

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Anno 2205 Free DLC Starts January With Wildwater Bay

Have you been taking care of dear old Mumsy, our planet Earth, and her dusty baby? In Anno 2205 [official site], that is. I mean, have you been playing Anno 2205? If so, you may heard Ian Ubisoft muttering about plans for future updates, expansions, and free DLC. What’s that, Ian? Speak up. You’re repeating yourself. Be clearer. Oh, move over.

The first of several planned free ‘DLC’ bits is Wildwater Bay, a large new planetside session, and will come in January. The paid first expansion, Tundra, is due at the end of February, and will be followed by the Orbit expansion. I’ll explain more.

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Watch The First Hour Of Just Cause 3

I don’t normally like to watch introductions to games pre-release, but Just Cause 3 [official site] seems a fair game to make an exception for. I’m not expecting to play the wingsuiting, parachuting, grapple hooking action game for its plot. And so here: the first hour of the game is embedded below.

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Dreamfall Chapters Engine Upgrade Boosts Performance

Good news: Dreamfall Chapters [official site] should now run better and look prettier for you. Developers Red Thread Games yesterday released a hearty update boosting it from Unity 4.6 to version 5.2 of the engine, which brings better performance, nicer lighting, 64-bit support for folks stuffed with RAM, and more. The first three episodes are now shunted over to Unity 5, and future eps will launch on it. Bringing the game over has been an effort and a half, mind, says head honch Ragnar Tørnquist.

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Star Wars Battlefront Has Free Maps On The Horizon

My favourite Star Wars film is the one with Liam Neeson. Star Wars Battlefront [official site] is set much later, and next film The Force Awakens even later still. Battlefront’s first free content update will bridge that gap a little with The Battle of Jakku – and EA say there will be more “new maps and Star Cards, for free in the coming months.”

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