Wot I Think: Dying Light

By Adam Smith on January 29th, 2015.

Dying Light [official site] is the new zombie game from the creators of the original Dead Island. Adding parkour to the first-person melee combat and crafting of the original, it has the appearance of a game suffering something of an identity crisis, packed with repurposed elements but lacking a clear direction. Review copies arrived late, causing eyebrows to raise in suspicion, and after several days and nights with the game, I’ve emerged with extensive thoughts.

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Wot I Think: Gravity Ghost

By John Walker on January 27th, 2015.

Gravity Ghost (official site) has been on the horizon since 2013’s Indiecade. The physics puzzler is at last with us. It soothed a sickly baby to sleep, but did his father enjoy it too? Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Grim Fandango Remastered

By Alec Meer on January 27th, 2015.

Grim Fandango (official site) is considered the end of Lucasarts’ imperial period (no pun intended): its first 3D adventure game, its last to be helmed by Tim Schafer, and arguably the most mature and character-focused offering from the Monkey Island/Day of The Tentacle/Sam & Max studio. Naturally, it was a commercial failure.

17 years later, and everything has changed. This Mexican folklore and film noir-influenced tale of sometime grim reaper Manny Calavera’s attempt to reach eternal peace in the Ninth Underworld has become beloved enough that it’s been ‘remastered’ with more modern and bearable graphics, sound and controls (its original ‘tank’ controls being faintly nightmarish). There have been many fan attempts to enhance this rapidly-ageing game, but Double Fine worked out a deal with Disney and were able to go back to the source. Is this the Number Nine train straight to happiness, or does it reach into our chest, pull out our heart and throw it into the woods?
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Wot I Think: Cat Goes Fishing

By John Walker on January 20th, 2015.

I’ll have a quick look at Cat Goes Fishing, I thought to myself, pleased by its silly name. It’s been a few hours since. I’m forcing myself to stop playing to write this, because it’s plainly ludicrous that I’m so, er, hooked. A game in which a cat goes fishing. But a hugely charming one, and surprisingly involved. It’s Ridiculous Fishing with the “ridiculous” replaced by “serene”. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Resident Evil HD Remaster

By Adam Smith on January 19th, 2015.

Originally released in 1996 and remade in 2002, Resident Evil is one of the giants of survival horror. This new release is the first appearance of the remake on PC and it comes hot on the heels of director Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror. Far more than an object of historical curiosity, it’s a smartly designed and claustrophobic masterpiece.

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Wot I Think: Saints Row – Gat Out Of Hell

By John Walker on January 19th, 2015.

Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell arrives later this week, but we’ve been annoying Satan before that. And in the game. Unfortunately review code was all-too-familiarly later than promised, so this review is written before I’ve managed to complete the whole game. We’ll update it with anything crucial if necessary. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: 868-HACK

By Alec Meer on January 19th, 2015.

868-HACK is sort-of-cyberpunk sort-of-roguelite, in which you play the avatar of a hacker trying to break into a system riddled with glitches, daemons and viruses. It falls somewhere between Pac-Man and Uplink. Well-received on iOS in 2013, it’s due out on PC very soon.

I’m several years too late to the party here (it is too late to visit Dwarf Fortress?) but increasingly I’m drawn towards games that decline to tell me much about how they work. So much more pleasure comes from discovery – oh, so that’s what that thing’s for – than simply following an objective and getting an action or cutscene pay-off. There’s this cold war right now between proponents of formalist games and leftfield games (for lack of a better term), but I think this is a conflict of equal import: games that must be learned versus games that will reward you regardless.

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Wot I Think – Elite: Dangerous

By Brendan Caldwell on January 15th, 2015.

Elite: Dangerous is a big game. It is big because it offers an uncharted galaxy of 400 billion stars to roam around. It is big because its bloodline comes from of one of gaming’s most respected sims. And it is big because it has the ambition of an interstellar Macbeth, backed by over £1.5 million in crowdfunding cash. When Pip asked me in her audio feature what I thought of the game, I responded: “I don’t envy the person who has to review it.” As it turns out, that’s me. So here we go. A big review for a big game. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Wot I Think: Tengami

By John Walker on January 15th, 2015.

Since 2012 we’ve been keen to see Tengami on PC. The Indicade nominated puzzle adventure is immediately eye-catching, thanks to its Japanese pop-up book design, and took naturally to the iPad’s smooth-screened finger-tapping home. A hefty two and a half years on, our wish is finally granted, and Tengami has made its way onto Steam. Was it worth the wait?

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Wot I Think: Hearthstone – Goblins Vs Gnomes

By Rich Stanton on January 14th, 2015.

Everyone loves Hearthstone, don’t they? Yes OK Mr Internet Commenter, I know that YOU consider the rigid turns an unacceptable oversimplification of CCG mechanics and blah blah blah, but every player I know just can’t enough of Blizzard’s card juice. Goblins vs. Gnomes is the game’s second expansion, following hot on the heels of the singleplayer adventure Naxrammas, and it adds 120 cards with one new minion class and a bunch of new effects. So is it all gravy, or a case of too many cooks?

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Wot I Think: Ziggurat

By Adam Smith on January 12th, 2015.

Along with the shattering of New Year’s Resolutions, each January contains the solidification of Previous Year’s Regrets. My regrets are mostly about money and beer, but a few gaming-related horrors have arisen over the last couple of weeks. The Talos Principle was the first – a game I should have played as soon as it was available rather than waiting until Christmas. Now I’m adding Ziggurat to the list of regrets. I spotted it before release but didn’t get round to playing until now.

It’s the closest thing to a first-person Binding of Isaac I’ve ever played.

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Wot I Think: Sentinels Of The Multiverse

By Alec Meer on January 9th, 2015.

I suspect I’m going to spend a lot of time with singleplayer digital card games this year. I want that tactical, long-tail learning play, but too much of my life is currently spent having a midget shout “MILK” or “BANANA” at me to permit joining a local Netrunner group or similar. Also, I think the PC CCG might just be this year’s roguelike, in terms of it being a starting point for all kinds of great ideas, particularly ones which add structure and purpose to a non-competitive singleplayer mode. Sentinels of the Multiverse came out in the dregs of 2014, but I’ve just had a chance to look at this superhero-themed card-battler. Based on an existing dead tree-based card game, it goes full bore for its concept of capes in pitched battle against a super-villain.
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Wot I Think: The Depths Of Tolagal

By Adam Smith on January 8th, 2015.

Dark Souls is the only other game that has made me think about shields quite as much as I have over the last two days. In most games, once the blasted things have been equipped they’ll merrily absorb damage until the end of time. Not here. Not in The Depths of Tolagal. Deceptively simple in appearance, Tolagal has some of the smartest turn-based tactical combat I’ve ever seen in a fantasy hack ‘em up, and that alone makes it worthy for consideration as one of the great modern roguelikes.

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