Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Bad Medicine, Good Money: Hands-On With Big Pharma

By Alec Meer on March 27th, 2015.

I’ve never much thought about what goes into the little white tablet I swallow when I’m hungover, have the sniffles or another bout of Geek’s Disease.* It’s just chalky magic, right? Well, no: it’s the result of millions of dollars, aggressive R&D, production facilities of breathtaking size and precision, ruthless marketeering and impossibly sinister downplaying and mitigation of side effects. While medicine-themed management game Big Pharma doesn’t go for pharmaceutical industry’s jugular, Goldacre-style, its pills-as-merciless-industry approach is certainly a welcome change from the bland, smiling, comfortable faces that advertising tells us medicine are all about.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

7 Comments »

COGWATCH – 1. Crypt Of The Necrodancer

By Quintin Smith on March 26th, 2015.

Hey! It’s a new weekly video series from Quinns talking about one mechanic in one game. First up: rhythm-based movement in music-infused roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer [official site].

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

59 Comments »

RPS Chat: Life Is Strange Mid-Season Thoughts

By Adam Smith on March 26th, 2015.

The problem with trying to review the second episode of Life is Strange [official site], Dontnod’s five-part teen drama, is that it would be largely the same as the first episode review except steeped in spoilers. That’s why our episode 2 coverage is going to be a conversation between Adam and me. Full of spoilers. Like, SWIMMING in spoilers. Hella spoilers. From the start.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

31 Comments »

Wot I Think: Pillars Of Eternity

By John Walker on March 26th, 2015.

Oh thank goodness. After 77,000 backers, $4 million raised and nearly three years in development, Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity [official site] is here, and it’s just stunning.

This is the RPG I’ve been craving since Planescape: Torment, the first to win my absolute love since Dragon Age: Origin. It’s a vast, deep and wonderfully written game, malleable to how you want to approach the genre, replete with companions, side-quests, an enormously involved combat system, and lasts a solid 60 hours. Here’s wot I think:

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

162 Comments »

Citybuilder++ – Our Fave Cities Skylines Mods

By Alec Meer on March 25th, 2015.

Mirror's Edge mod = best mod

It’s crazy how big publishers seem so fearful of mods, given how they’ve a proven track record for keeping a game popular. Skyrim still generates regular news stories due to its thriving mod community, and I’m pretty sure Paradox’s rapturously-received townbuilder Cities: Skylines is going to do similar. To take a look at its Steam Workshop library of community creations is to disappear down a rabbit hole of tinkering, as hundreds of players seek to finetune the cities of their dreams. Compare this to be walled garden of SimCity and it’s clear to see why citybuilder fans have taken Skylines to heart.

Any claim to have made a definitive Best Of compilation is an insane one, given the speed at which new creations arrive, and due to the high subjectivity involved. An authetically-shaped Australian football pitch is probably a Godsend to someone, for instance, whereas something that automatically bulldozes abandoned or burned-out buildings was what made me rub my lazy hands with glee. But, for now, here are just a few selected highlights to be getting on with. Please do suggest more below.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

56 Comments »

Wot I Think: Worlds Of Magic

By Alec Meer on March 25th, 2015.

I do like the big beetles, though

Given how spoilt for choice we are for fantasy strategy/roleplaying games, opting for Worlds of Magic [official site] over an Age of Wonders III or Endless Legend feels a bit like choosing to take home the one-eyed, geriatric dog with bladder problems instead of one of the cute puppies at the pound.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

23 Comments »

Cardboard Children – Three Kingdoms Redux

By Robert Florence on March 24th, 2015.

“All great powers reunify after long periods of division, wane and break up after long periods of unification.”

Two years ago, in this very column, I wrote this:

“My dream is to design a Romance of the Three Kingdoms board game. What’s YOUR dream design?”

Today I review a Three Kingdoms board game. It’s called “Three Kingdoms Redux”, it’s by two first-time game designers, and I am completely stunned.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

29 Comments »

Life’s Too Short: How I Learned To Embrace Easy Mode

By Jon Morcom on March 24th, 2015.

Jon Morcom ruminates – not entirely seriously – on trying to overcome difficulty spikes in games.

“Slick, you dozy prick! How can you miss with a shotgun from point blank range?” I recently shocked myself by saying this rather too loudly at some pixels on my screen arranged into the shape of a nondescript bald man firing a gun very badly. I’d bought Wasteland 2 [official site] off the back of some good reviews and approached it with no real pre-conceptions. Shock, horror I’d never played the original Wasteland, only a few hours of genre stable-mate Fallout and Fallout 2 not at all; please forgive me hardcore gamers (in the interests of full disclosure I’ve also never rolled a hoop with a stick or flicked a juggling diabolo high into the air). But I make mention of my futile, out-loud admonishment of a party member who just happened to miss, as the combat dice rolls in Wasteland 2 will occasionally have him do, to exemplify the degree to which I’d invested in the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

155 Comments »

Wot I Think: Dreamfall Chapters Book Two – Rebels

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2015.

Conspiracies, rebellion, prejudice and resistance. The worlds of Dreamfall [official site] are on the verge of cataclysmic changes and every decision could tip the balance of power. Dreamfall Chapters Book Two continues a fine story but something is lost between the page and the screen.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

27 Comments »

Premature Evaluation: Mordheim: City of the Damned

By Marsh Davies on March 23rd, 2015.

I’ve always enjoyed the mash of historical periods and technologies that occurs in Warhammer. It starts with a base layer of sub-Tolkien medievalism and dark age myth, but then, as it attempts to differentiate the factions, teeters into the Enlightenment and, at its most fanciful, veers into steampunk Victoriana. The human factions are a case in point. Bretons are drawn as though from the age of chivalry, as depicted in late medieval French romance: all jousting knights and noblesse. The Empire, meanwhile, is styled very much after 16th century Germany, with elaborate cannon and plentiful muskets, and a dash of 17th century dress-sense in their flamboyant feathered caps.

Each week Marsh Davies bleeds for you in the cold, accursed alleys of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or a repulsive corruption born of arcane mutagenic powers. This week he and his band of rat-men scuttle through the streets of Mordheim: City of the Damned – a turned-based tactics game set in the world of Warhammer. Fellow Skaven-fancier Adam had a slightly cool impression of it last November, but have the subsequent five months made a whisker of a difference?

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

30 Comments »

Pillars Of Eternity: The First Half Hour

By John Walker on March 23rd, 2015.

I have spent most of the last week doing little else but play Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity [official site]. But I cannot yet tell you wot I think, as such brainthoughtss are under embargo. I can, however, stream or “let’s play” the first fifteen hours of the game. But I’m not going to do that, because it would be the most awful shame for you to have such things spoiled.

Instead I’ve videoed and chatted over the first half hour, from the character creator to the opening scenes, stopping right before the plot kicks in. Because you don’t want to know the story before you play an RPG, because you’re not a complete clot.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

201 Comments »

EVE Online’s Historian Talks Battlefleets And Betrayals

By Philippa Warr on March 23rd, 2015.

SPACESHIP history things

“Death to Taggart, Death to Ragnar, Death to the memory of this treacherous night.”

Thus it was that a character named Jade Constantine signed off an EVE Online forum post in 2003. Ragnar was the leader of the rival Taggart Transdimensional corporation and Taggart had declared war on Jade Constantine’s corp. Her overwrought posting – as role-played by an Englishman – commemorated the occasion. “I can’t believe these kinds of characters are just gifted to me on a silver platter,” says Andrew Groen. He’s the journalist writing A History Of The Great Empires Of EVE Online – an account of the first decade of politics, warfare and culture in CCP’s flagship game.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

20 Comments »

The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on March 22nd, 2015.

Sundays are for something productive. If you don’t decide what soon, you’re going to spend all day tootling around in Cities: Skylines with the cheats on again. Quick, stall for time by reading and watching the week’s finest (mostly) games writing.

  • I like the impressive scope of this Ian Bogost article: Video Games Are Better Without Characters. It escalates from lamenting the demise of Maxis and celebrating systems-driven games, to setting those in opposition to identity politics, to essentially challenging people to grapple more with all the world’s biggest problems. I don’t agree with all of it but you should read it.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

    , .

    94 Comments »