Greeting Seasons: Frozen Cortex Adds Singleplayer

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Mode 7’s simultaneous turn-based future-sport game, Frozen Cortex [official site], has received an enormous update, adding a lifetime’s worth of singleplayer content. Even if you expect your own lifetime to cover an extended period, you should be covered – the update includes randomised seasons, persistent story elements, commentators, a perma-death knockout mode and loads of unique players. I’ve been looking forward to this as much as almost any other game this year.

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The Flare Path: In Search Of A Sub Title Subtitle

By Tim Stone on January 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

The eyecatching Yellow Pages advert that is currently serving as my bookmark, is tucked between the pages of Bob Whinney’s ‘The U-Boat Peril’ at the moment, a fact that may explain why work-in-progress sub sim Wolves of the Atlantic is on top of this week’s word heap. A mobile game destined for the PC, WOTA seems eminently dismissable until you glimpse the screenshots, peruse the feature list, and realise that lone creator Mark Hessburg is drawn to realism like a GNAT is drawn to propeller noise. Read the rest of this entry »

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A… Match 3 App? Evolve Makes Things So Complicated

By Alec Meer on January 30th, 2015 at 12:20 pm.

noooooooooooooo

I really want to like Evolve (official site). I’ve dabbled a little in the beta, and while it doesn’t have anything like the character or tension of Left 4 Dead, a whole lot about it felt good. I just can’t say the same of what’s happening outside the game. There’s been too much focus on too much DLC before the game’s even with us, and now it turns out there’s a match-3 companion game for telephones, which will accelerate progress in the game proper. It’s free, but you can pay real money to boost your progress in the mobile game. Which will then boost your progress in the main game. And. Well. No. God. Why.

Sometimes a guy just wants to hunt a monster/pretend to be a monster. Why can’t it be that simple any more?
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The Internet Did It – The Indigo Prophecy Remastered

By Alec Meer on January 30th, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

murder victims who don't scream: the bane of local police

Of all the games to remaster, why this? Of all the games to remaster, this, yes, this, of course. What a thing it is, the action-adventure-murder-mystery-conspiracy-everything game we called Fahrenheit back when it was first released in Britain a decade ago, though you over-ponders insisted on calling it The Indigo Prophecy. And what a talking point David Cage/Quantic Dream’s 2005 oddity was, back when I was part of Bath’s game journalist illuminati.* Its incredible escape-from-a-murder-scene first section, its… troubling depiction of its main black character, its ridiculous sex scenes, its wildly over-zealous quicktime event conceits, its spiralling descent into utter lunacy. How we loved it. How we loved to talk about it, anyway. Little did we know what it would lead to. Little did we know what David Cage games would become.

And now it’s back. Remastered. Out now. Why? Why not?
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Freeware Garden: Echoes +

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on January 30th, 2015 at 11:00 am.

I am certain I have run into quite a few commercial arena shooters that couldn’t hold a candle to Echoes +. It might work as a replacement for Waves, which is an absolutely excellent game, but one that I’ve been playing for far too long. A new, tense, addictive, glowy shmup was something I needed.

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Pulp Your Own Milk: Minecraft Mod Adds Vegan Options

By Alice O'Connor on January 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am.

This is what you'll craft with, eat, and sleep on.

‘Indie milk’, I called it. In search of the tastiest dairy alternative during a vegan spell a while back, I gulped the diluted pulp of rice, coconut, almond, hazelnut, oat, hemp, and more – even soy, because hey, it might be pretty much mainstream by now but only a jerk thinks they’re too good for pop milk. I like the idea of new Minecraft mod The Vegan Option, adding crafting alternatives free of animal products for everything from dye to armour, but as an indie milk aficionado I had to know: what is the drink it calls ‘plant milk’?

Pumpkin milk. You make your own pumpkin milk from seeds. Damn, that’s pretty hardcore.

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Badland Coming To PC

By Cassandra Khaw on January 30th, 2015 at 9:00 am.

So barkin' pretty

Gorgeously atmospheric sidescrolling float-em-up Badland [official site] began life as a tadpole on iOS. It has made a fair few ripples since it appeared in the App Store, picking up a bevy of awards. And now, after much splashing about on mobile devices, the game is making a spring migration for the bigger waters of the PC, the – pfft. Who cares about consoles? Let’s carry on.

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LEGO Duo: Avengers & Jurassic World Announced

By Alice O'Connor on January 30th, 2015 at 8:00 am.

No, I know. This is from 2013's LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.

The simultaneous announcement of two new LEGO games makes me suddenly pained that they don’t let you mix-and-match parts from different games in the way one can with real LEGO [possibly the only capitalised brand name I’ll respect -ed.]. Obviously I’ll want to take the Black Widow from LEGO Marvel’s Avengers over into LEGO Jurassic World to zap raptors with her Widow’s Sting, and yes I absolutely would like to whack Loki with an ankylosaurus’s clubbed tail. Alas, the two games are separate for, one imagines, innumerable legal and technical reasons.

To celebrate this announcement, loads of LEGO games are on sale on Steam too.

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Week in Tech: Is Nvidia’s New £150/$200 Graphics Good?

By Jeremy Laird on January 29th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Almost definitely not what a retail 960 will look like...

Ah, the glories of high-end graphics chips. The billions of teensy little transistors. The preposterous pixel pumping power. All terribly impressive. But not hugely helpful if you simply want half-decent frame rates on a plain old 1080p monitor without re-mortgaging everything short of the shirt on your back. In an ideal world, what most of us really need is an affordable £150/$200 graphics card that’ll hook up to that 1080p monitor and run almost anything you chuck at it without worrying about optimising the settings. Well, it just so happens Nvidia has a new GPU that fits the bill, on paper at least. It’s the Geforce GTX 960. Is this the mainstream marvel we’ve all been waiting for?
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Battlefield Hardline Multiplayer Open Beta Next Week

By Alice O'Connor on January 29th, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

This seems outside police procedure.

Several years ago, I had a meeting with EA and pitched Battlefield: The Thin Blue Line, an FPS adaptation of the ’90s Rowan Atkinson sitcom. [Did you now? -ed.] Players would engage in gossip, give young shoplifters stern talking-tos, and even bop a yob with their truncheon. The final mission would be to sneak a big frilly bra into DI Grim’s office during a surprise inspection from the Superintendent. Unfortunately, EA instead picked up Battlefield Hardline [official site], a quick-drawing, dirty-talking, civil rights-ignoring celebration of police militarisation. Shame. I bet it doesn’t have even one single cascade of misunderstandings with hilarious consequences.

The point is, EA are launching a short multiplayer open beta test for Hardline next week.

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Wot I Think: Dying Light

By Adam Smith on January 29th, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

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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SimSect: Rod Humble Announces Cults & Daggers

By Adam Smith on January 29th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

Rod Humble, the developer I always think of as being responsible for the majority of the interesting ideas in The Sims 2 and 3, has announced a new solo project. Going by the name Cults & Daggers [official site], it’s a turn-based strategy game ” about building an ancient religion in the time between the death of Buddha and the birth of Christ “. This involves sending disciples to the various regions of the world where they perform tasks ranging from street preaching and recruitment to investigating the occult and killing enemies. I’ve already spent some time with an early version.

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Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Seeing Starships Footage Now

By Alec Meer on January 29th, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Sid Meier and Firaxis’ new thing, Starships, was announced last week, but all we got to see was a cinematic. Fortunately, Unca Sid did a talk at PAX South a couple of days back, in which he showed off the game proper. Those who could not drag themselves to a sweaty hall in Texas may now be similarly indulged. There are some bits and pieces of Civ in there – perhaps striving for commonality with Beyond Earth, which it shares a setting/fiction with – but primarily it’s about customising spaceships then making ‘em fight.

Meier also tackles the thorny question “how do you put maps in space?” and clarifies that people who call themselves ‘marauders’ don’t tend to be terribly friendly.
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