Hands On: The Crew

By Brendan Caldwell on September 25th, 2014.

The Crew will see players zooming around a huge map of the United States and teaming up with friends for various feats of speed-freakery. We sent Brendan to take an early look at Ubisoft’s ‘MMO racer’.

The open-world racer was perfected on PC in 2009. I’ll let John and Jim argue over whether it was Burnout Paradise or Fuel that holds the honour. In terms of videogame history debates, I’m happy just to get the date right. Ubisoft, on the other hand, are not a company to let such claims rest. In a couple of months they are releasing The Crew, an MMO racing game with 6000 miles of reconstructed USA to zoom around. The titular Crew is, in keeping with an emerging Ubi-trend, you and three pals, each sitting pretty in your souped up Ford Mustang, Ferrari, Lamborghini or Other.

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Have You Played… Hitman: Blood Money?

By Alec Meer on September 25th, 2014.

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

This one’s regularly cited as a cult classic that didn’t quite get the acclaim it deserved at the time, but it bears repeating: Blood Money is io’s stealth game at the peak of its powers.

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Wot I Think: Gauntlet

By Adam Smith on September 25th, 2014.

Gauntlet has always been a simple pleasure. Run through a dungeon with up to three pals, killing hundreds of monsters as a team, nicking treasure from one another like arch rivals, and shooting the food a split second before your wounded wizard chum manages to grab it. Arrowhead, of Magicka fame, have taken the reigns for this latest installment of the veteran series. Here’s wot I think.

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Dote Night: Autumn/Winter 6.82

By Philippa Warr on September 24th, 2014.

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

As Dota enthusiasts and experts pick through the 6.82 patch notes and ponder their implications this seems like an EXCELLENT opportunity to flesh out a talk I gave earlier this week at VideoBrains about how that process echoes parts of the high fashion industry.

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Hands-On: This War Of Mine

By Adam Smith on September 24th, 2014.

This War Of Mine is a game set in the ruins of a wartorn city. Rather than playing a soldier on either side of the conflict, as is traditional in the world of games, players control a group of civilians who are trying to survive in a place where the essentials of life are thin on the ground. The game doesn’t match its mechanics to its theme as smoothly and powerfully as Papers, Please, instead opting to tread unfamiliar ground in familiar shoes. It’s a resource management game, in which survivors craft, explore and scavenge to survive. I played through the first few days and discovered the irony of it all.

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Wot I Think: Oculus Rift DK2

By Alec Meer on September 24th, 2014.

The possible future is here, delivered by a nice man from UPS after a challenging five-month wait on my part. The first gen Oculus I’d been using had sadly morphed from toy of tomorrow into insufferable antique in the time it took for my gen 2 Oculus pre-order to process, and I’d almost forgotten why I was once so charmed by the whole concept of VR headsets.

The Oculus Development Kit 2, which I’ve been using for just under a week now, is an excellent reminder. My excitement is back, and I have a raft of new games, mods and experiments with which to assault my now bone-dry eyeballs. At the same time, I’ve been a little underwhelmed by this new-gen prototype.
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The Long Dark Impres… Oh I’m Being Eaten By A Wolf

By John Walker on September 24th, 2014.

The Long Dark has arrived on Early Access, with a bunch of new features since we first looked at it, including a choice between a male or female protagonist, a lot more variation in loot – clothes, food, equipment – as well as some new locations to discover. One thing they haven’t done is made it any easier to play. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s gotten a whole lot more difficult. Here’s my diary entries for my return to the game.

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Have You Played… Future Wars (aka Adventures in Time)?

By Alec Meer on September 24th, 2014.

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

Possibly important proviso: I haven’t played beyond the introductory section of Future Wars since the 90s. There is every chance that it is diabolical. In fact, I can recall that certain sections of it were diabolical even at the time. More importantly though, I can recall it being strange, ambitious, stylish and unpredictable. It’s a fascinating historical footnote, if nothing else.
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Lo-Fi Let’s Play: Man-Eng – Master of Evil

By Leigh Alexander on September 24th, 2014.

I’ve been doing a series of Let’s Play videos exploring old adventures, text games and lost design forms from the 1980s Apple IIe and Commodore 64 era. In a time when young men shout over new action games, I will talk softly over strange old ones. Come along on a visitation of a different era that’s one part meditations on my childhood, one part adventure game criticism, and one part preservation effort. Bonus: Everyone says the quiet talk, lo-fi handmade feel and keyboard tapping triggers ASMR responses. Please enjoy!

For the first time, I’ve got virtually nothing to tell you about the origin or creator of this week’s obscure find, Man-Eng: Master of Evil. I mean. I can tell you it has a wine river. A wine river! But otherwise, I found it in the annals of the Virtual Apple site, and all my research couldn’t turn up even a pack shot, let alone information on its creators, The Chiang Brothers.

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Life In Flowcharts: Do Videogames Make You Violent?

By John Walker on September 24th, 2014.

Welcome to an irregular series in which we ask gaming’s most difficult questions, and answer them in flowchart form. Fuzzy, slightly difficult to read flowcharts, because EVERYONE ON EARTH IS REALLY BAD AT THEIR JOBS. Today we tackle that most tricky of gaming questions: Do videogames make you violent?

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Cardboard Children – On Dice

By Robert Florence on September 23rd, 2014.

Hello youse.

What is a die? Let’s take a look at the standard 6-sided die. Six faces, yes? Numbered, usually with pips, from 1 to 6. One pip means failure, six pips means success. That’s how we usually understand it.

It is an object of pure chance. You take a die in your hand and shake it. The shaking means nothing. It does nothing. It creates the illusion of agency. You let the die loose and it tumbles, cracks open its chaotic secret. Failure. Success.

Today, I review dice.

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Interview: Victor Kislyi On Wargaming In A Single Breath

By Graham Smith on September 23rd, 2014.

I’ve interviewed a lot of CEOs over the past ten years, and while they each project the same unnatural, media-trained sangfroid, they’re each different, too.

Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming, seems like one of the most genuine human beings I’ve seen in the role. His enthusiasm for his job is palpable. I asked him a single question at this year’s Gamescom and he spoke for nine minutes straight in response.

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Self-Reflection On Dreamy Summer Nights

By Alice O'Connor on September 23rd, 2014.

So that's where I left my moon!

Without tarot to draw, tea leaves to swirl, crystals to tune, bones to cast, or ants to observe, this summer I turned to video games for divination. I watched between the static of late-night TV, chatted with hitch-hikers, listened to a mountain, sought forest spirits, and even consulted an oracle.

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