Wot I Think: Depths Of Fear – Knossos

By Adam Smith on April 29th, 2014.

I’m terrified of a goat. How has it come to this? To be clear, it’s a Satyr rather than a farmyard animal but the features that frighten me aren’t Dionysian or mythological in the slightest. I’m cringing from the echoing clip-clop of hooves, a piercing bleat and a belching whinny. Depths of Fear is a game about being hunted and murdered by monsters in ever-changing labyrinths.

Like a surreal and low budget horror film discovered on an obscure television channel during a night that has lasted too long, it’s jarring, hugely imperfect and strangely alarming. I’ve happily lost myself in it for two evenings now.

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Wot I Think: The Blackwell Epiphany

By Richard Cobbett on April 24th, 2014.

Wait! I'm from the future! I just finished the game and came back to ask exactly who you are, because this doesn't actually make that much sense as an opening! I don't mean that as a huge thing! It's really cool! I just want to know if I missed something!

Dave Gilbert’s Blackwell Legacy series finally draws a veil over itself today with its final chapter, The Blackwell Epiphany. But does even New York’s unluckiest and most underpaid medium stand a ghost of a chance of ending things on a high in this spirited finale? Here’s Wot I Think…

There’s little harder to write than a good ending. For every Breaking Bad, there’s a Lost, a Dexter, a Mass Effect 3. It has to both raise the stakes to the point that nothing else could hope to be as fitting, to add closure after years of investment in the story and characters, and – arguably hardest of all – to stay true to the reasons that made the world give a damn about that closure in the first place.

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Wot I Think: Cloudbuilt

By Ben Barrett on April 23rd, 2014.

Cloudbuilt, from new kids on the block Coilworks, is more speedrun challenge than regular game. Its jetpack-equipped heroine double jumps and wall-runs her way through a series of dreamscape arenas, dodging laser beams, mines, turrets and deadly falls into the abyss. It’s frustrating, difficult and confusing in equal measure, but could easily top game of the year lists for a certain crowd. Gorgeous and deadly, here’s Wot I Think.

At time of writing, the casualties of Cloudbuilt include one pen, most of the feeling in my right hand, my temper and a cupboard door. It certainly has the “enraging me to the point of senseless violence” bit of being a speed-puzzle-platformer down. Once I’ve wiped away this red haze of childish emotion, I might be able to bring myself round to some critical thought. In the mean time: fuck this brilliant bullshit.

Deep breath. Okay.

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Wot I Think: Trials Fusion

By Craig Pearson on April 22nd, 2014.

I must go, my people need me.

I was ready to love Trials Fusion. Trials Evolution Gold Edition turned out to be the perfect game to play when I didn’t have much time or didn’t know what to play. It filled in the holes of a busy day or fixed a boring evening. I didn’t care that it was only on Uplay, and I didn’t suffer any the bugs that bogged it down a little in John’s review. It’s so good, so willing to be completely OTT, that it charmed the backwheel off me. Can Trials Fusion pull off the same trick? Here’s wot I think.
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A Clash Of Shafts: Three Flight Sticks Compared

By Alec Meer on April 22nd, 2014.

I’ve spent far too long thinking about and researching joysticks lately, primarily as a result of playing Elite: Dangerous. One thing I haven’t established during all that time is whether ‘joystick’ is the right word for a genre of game controller which also throws out terms like ‘flight stick’ and ‘HOTAS.’ I’ve probably offended someone with just the title of this piece, but then again someone like decided that Hot Ass is a perfectly reasonably thing to call a ‘Hands On Throttle-And-Stick.’ Someone also thought that writing ‘VIBRATION’ in enormous capital letters down the shaft of one of the three sticks I’m looking at here was sensible. Basically, the joy/flightstick industry is a place where innuendo goes to die.

In any case, I’m sticking with ‘joystick’, and I’m using it as a term for three very different types (and costs) of stick I’ve looked at in my recent return to space games. Those are, in descending price order, the Saitek X52 Pro, the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and the Speedlink Black Widow.
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Wot I Think: Lego The Hobbit

By Adam Smith on April 17th, 2014.

Lego The Hobbit could simply be called ‘There’ because there ain’t no ‘Back Again’. Lacking the narrative content that will form the final third of the swollen and gaseous film trilogy, this is a perfectly acceptable entry in Traveller’s Tales’ Lego franchise but the release comes at an odd time. The disappointing Lego Movie Videogame is barely out of diapers and Smaug has finished his desolation of multiplexes, leaving the game stranded in the wilderness before the final chapter of an unfinished story. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Path Of Exile

By Adam Smith on April 15th, 2014.

Sometimes it takes a while to make a judgement. I spent a fair amount of time with Path Of Exile’s beta but hadn’t revisited the release version for more than seven or eight hours in total until I decided to write something about it a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve been back to the grim shores of Wraeclast for a long vacation and have stared deep into the heart of the passive skill tree’s labyrinth depths, I’m ready to tell you wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Moebius

By John Walker on April 15th, 2014.

One of the higher profile Kickstarters in the Great Wave of 2012 was Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s half-million pot for her new Pinkerton Road Studio. The first project to emerge from this, in collaboration with Phoenix Online, is Moebius: Empire Rising. A brand new adventure game featuring a genius antiques dealer and a worldwide, history-spanning mystery. Is it any good? Spoiler: No, it’s astonishingly terrible. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: The Wolf Among Us Episode 3

By Alec Meer on April 10th, 2014.

The third chapter of Telltale’s adventure game adaptation of the ‘what if fairy tales were real and lived in New York?’ comic Fables was released on Tuesday. I played it on Wednesday. I then published an article about it on Thursday. I might play it again on Friday. Here’s why.

Ah, that’s much better. After such a strong start – for me, the most compelling Telltale opener yet – The Wolf Among Us hit lengthy and mysterious delays, followed by a disappointingly perfunctory episode 2. It left me wondering if the series was playing for time, but now it has had that time. Fortunately, it seems to have paid off. Longer, with many more decisions, a stronger sense of consequence and a wise focus on character development above melodrama, this series can once again be said to be a wolf rather than a poodle.
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What’s Up With Warframe?

By Jim Rossignol on April 9th, 2014.

By which I mean: I’ve played Warframe over the past couple of weeks and will now write about it, for your possible edification.

Warframe is a sci-fi over-the-shoulder shooter where space ninjas have upgradeable sharkfin heads. Sadly that doesn’t quite clinch the deal, because the free-to-play beast of Digital Extremes has been in beta for a year now, and still hasn’t quite driven home the wakizashi of success. But has that journey delivered it from the hollow purgatory of its early release? Or will it determine to be a footnote in the history of free-to-play experimentation?

I donned my impossible fish helmet to find out.

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Wot I Think: Rehearsals and Returns

By Alec Meer on April 9th, 2014.

Rehearsals and Return is the new game from (primarily) Peter Brinson, creator of the remarkable art/history/politics vignette The Cat & The Coup. This shares a certain cut-up appearance and a maudlin tone (well, depending on how you approach it), but it’s a rudimentary platform game set to surrealistic, sometimes chaotic backgrounds, wherein you collect dialogue options then make decisions about how to treat assorted famous and infamous figures. And a few less famous ones too.

At present it costs just $1, and will eventually rise to $4. This is a discussion of the experience I had with it, not of its value proposition.
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Impressions: Ether One

By John Walker on April 3rd, 2014.

First-person adventure Ether One aims to explore a difficult subject – dementia – through storytelling and puzzles. The debut game from indie team White Paper Games is out now, and I’ve had a play. And a struggle. You can read my thoughts below.

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Wot I Think: Betrayer

By Alec Meer on April 1st, 2014.

Betrayer is a pre-industrial, mostly monochrome first-person action game from Blackpowder Games, among whom number several ex-Monolith developers. It’s out now.

The bloody red cross of an English flag flickers against the bleached horizon like arterial spray on snow. Brittle, near-dead pines rise from the grey-white ground, silent, skeletal giants forever threatening some terrible fate to those who dare approach. A bell tolls, endlessly, through the dark and fog of The Night, an funereal peal that sounds forever and brings madness, not comfort. A flash of scarlet amid the monochrome grass signals danger. A flash of scarlet amidst the colourless, low buildings of a long-abandoned colonial fort signals… well, not safety, but at least a link to something human. The colour red. The sound of that damned bell. A switch from white to black, and back again. So much from so little.

To think all these years, we’ve been crying out for more colour in first-person games (those tireless ambassadors of grey and brown), only for the most visually striking one in some time to neatly remove almost all colour.
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