Wot I Think: CS GO – Operation Vanguard

By Adam Smith on November 21st, 2014.

A recent study by the PEW Internet Project exposed the blindingly obvious hypocrisy of most people’s attitudes towards online services. We don’t want our privacy compromised, we don’t think big companies can be trusted with our data, and the power of corporations like Google makes us uncomfortable. But despite all these deeply-held and very serious fears, billions of people still use the products involved. So too with DLC in all forms. We bitch and moan, mock the price on twitter, talk about how far games have fallen – and then pony up the dough when nobody’s looking. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s new Operation Vanguard is what we’ve let ourselves in for.

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Wot I Think: Space Hulk Ascension

By Adam Smith on November 21st, 2014.

Space Hulk is back. Again. From developers Full Control, who were responsible for last year’s digital release, Ascension is a sequel of sorts, with a new approach to campaigns, with persistent stat progression, and over a hundred missions. It’s an improvement over the company’s first attempt in many ways but there are still plenty of reasons to have a bit of a space sulk.

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Wot I Think: World Of Warcraft – Warlords Of Draenor

By Tom Mayo on November 19th, 2014.

World of Warcraft is ten years old and over that decade it has dominated the genre it popularised back in 2004. Given the size and devotion of its playerbase, it isn’t surprising to see another spurt of growth, adding bulk in the form of a stack of new content. Tom Mayo explored that content and found that the game hasn’t just expanded – with the release of Warlords of Draenor it may have received its most intriguing new feature to date.

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Wot I Think: This War Of Mine

By Alec Meer on November 18th, 2014.

There are several ways conflict-from-the-civilian-perspective effort This War Of Mine could have gone. Maudlin, shoegazing dialogue piece; inappropriate And One Shall Rise hero saga; icy-hearted death toll calculator like Plague Inc or DEFCON. What I didn’t expect was The Sims During Wartime.
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Wot I Think: Dragon Age – Inquisition

By Adam Smith on November 17th, 2014.

Dragon Age: Inquisition might just be my favourite game released this year. Considering my expectations and relationship with recent BioWare games, that’s about as likely as Saturday night’s soggy kebab being my favourite meal of the year. I’ve spent almost sixty hours uncovering as much of Inquisition’s enormous open world and intricate story as possible, and as soon as I have a few days free, I’ll be spending another sixty or eighty hours seeing it all through new eyes.

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Wot I Think: Valkyria Chronicles

By Rich Stanton on November 14th, 2014.

Valkyria Chronicles isn’t just a brilliant game, it’s a brilliant Sega game. That means something. Contemporary Sega is a multi-headed beast, doomed to forever bear the wound of its exit from the hardware market, capable of both atrocities (the recent Sonic Boom) and beauties like this. But it has until now, with the honorable exception of publishing the Total War and Football Manager series, never really been a PC developer so much as a PC porter of ambiguous distinction. Valkyria Chronicles suggests that Sega, finally, is bringing its ‘A’ game to the most important platform on the planet.

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Wot I Think – Assassin’s Creed Unity

By Alec Meer on November 14th, 2014.

stop crowding me. My processor's agoraphobic

Assassin’s Creed Unity is the latest in Ubisoft’s series of historical-set open world action-adventure games. It stars a French nobleman named Arno Dorian, who becomes an Assassin (stealthy free-running dude battling against an evil conspiracy theory) in 18th century Paris, around the time of the French revolution. It adds co-op and gear customisation to the seven-year-old formula. It’s been out for three days now, and I’ve been playing it for much of that time.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2015

By Adam Smith on November 13th, 2014.

Another year, another trip to the dugout. It’s tempting to think of football as nothing more than a billionaire’s playground wracked with corruption and capable of reducing a supporter to tears for all the wrong reasons. The beautiful game can be extremely ugly. But there are still tales of tiny triumphs, of giant killing and last minute survival, and of windswept terraces on a winter’s evening. Football Manager 2015 captures the tears and the triumphs, but this year there’s a somewhat heavier dose of the former. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think – Amphora

By Philippa Warr on November 13th, 2014.

Plenty more fish in the sea

A few weeks ago I was posting about Amphora because it had dropped a delightful trailer on the YouTube landscape, albeit a baffling one involving exploding space jars and Aesop’s Fables. It was released yesterday afternoon so I’ve been playing it through and investigating what actually happens.

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Wot I Think: Crowntakers

By Adam Smith on November 12th, 2014.

A brief description of Crowntakers reads like an exercise in box-ticking. “Roguelike turn-based strategy meets RPG”, says the Steam page, “alternative endings…resources…companions…mighty equipment…hexagonal battlefields.” Behind all of that is a game that strips down almost every aspect of its design to present something half-way between a solo boardgame and a coffee break take on Heroes of Might and Magic. It’s a clever game, though not without its frustrations. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think- The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth

By Alec Meer on November 6th, 2014.

2011’s The Binding Of Isaac was the evil, twisted twin to Spelunky – both perma-death, procedurally-generated games with superficial accessibility masking extreme precision of design and a long path to mastery. Isaac, though, went for an over-caffeinated shmup angle rather than measured puzzle-platforming. A tale of a young boy descending into a hellish world of blood, faeces and religious perversion in search of some kind of redemption, what it’s really about is surviving a horde of monsters with the help of gruesome upgrades. The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth is a new version in a new engine, with new items, art and music. It remains, uh, unsympathetic to Bible fans.

You probably already know if you’re buying it or not.
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Wot I Think – Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Singleplayer

By Graham Smith on November 5th, 2014.

The Call of Duty games are often best understood not as first-person shooters in the lineage of Half-Life 2 and Halo, but as extensions of light-gun rail shooters. They’re games set in strictly scripted corridors, with one button to pop in and out of cover, one to shoot, and another to reload. That you can move your legs around a bit hardly matters, and taken on these terms, the entries in the series which lean towards boyish action romp are at least lightly entertaining.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare resists even these acts of apologia. If the first Crysis game was made by a team of people asking themselves, “How can we create a videogame which approximates the thrilling freedom and power of being a super-suited soldier?”, Advanced Warfare was made by people asking, “How can we create a Call of Duty game that approximates the thrilling freedom and power of playing Crysis?” Much like the metallic ‘exosuits’ that wrap around its grizzled heroes, this is Call of Duty wearing the artificial shell of a more interesting game.

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Cardboard Children – Tragedy Looper

By Robert Florence on November 4th, 2014.

Hello youse.

I’ve been very busy with the release of my horror feature film (on Vimeo On Demand and 10% of every rental or sale to women’s aid charities – do excuse the plug) but I’ve still had time to play some board games.

Shall we enter the loop?

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