Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Hands On: Gang Beasts

By Adam Smith on April 4th, 2014.

Currently in alpha, Gang Beasts is free to download and you should grab it right now. It’s a surprisingly nuanced multiplayer beat ‘em up that combines playgrounds packed with perilous physics and a control scheme that makes combat a sequence of shoving, grappling and tripping over your own fists. Rounds often come to a halt as the last Beasts standing collapse into a meat grinder together, unsure who is pushing toward and who is pulling away.

It’s already a wonderful game, both hilarious and intelligently designed, but rather than simply praising its silliness, I’ve been thinking about how the whole thing works and why it’s satisfying, while also looking at the possibilities that the future of jelly-combat holds.

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A Night With FTL Advanced Edition

By Alec Meer on April 4th, 2014.

I’m a broken man today, having been up til nearly 2am playing the freebie ‘Advanced Edition’ expansion for impeccably clever/brutal space survival sim/strategy/RPG FTL: Faster Than Light last night, so I guess it’s safe to say the new features haven’t broken the old spell. I had worried the various new weapons, rooms and encounters would upset FTL’s simultaneously delicate and chaotic balancing act, but in four run-throughs (three failed, once successful #humblebrag) I haven’t felt its famed cruelty ever collapsed into either messy excess or over-complication. In one game, I lost because the enemy kept teleporting over a stream of invading clones. Another I won thanks to an excellent new weapon. All’s fair in love and murderous rebel space fleets.

Thoughts and a video (with commentary, or something approximating it) below.
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Hands-On Impressions: Amnesia Follow-Up SOMA

By Nathan Grayson on April 4th, 2014.

It’s not that I feel like SOMA is poorly made. On the contrary: for a demo of a game that’s at least a year out, the Amnesia spiritual successor practically sparkles beneath its grimy, moss-encrusted shell. I just feel like, despite a very unexpected setting, I’ve been here before. Crept through these halls, turned these nobs, let these tidal waves of otherworldly sound crash into me as I press ever onward, slightly on-edge but no worse for the wear.

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Impressions: Unclaimed World

By Alec Meer on April 3rd, 2014.

Unclaimed World is a sci-fi colony sim game that took to Steam Early Access a few days ago. Right now it’s only a fragment of the full game, so everything’s subject to change and expansion, but its science-led approach drew to me to trying its initial public release anyway.

I’m a sucker for science-heavy science fiction games right now. This perhaps has much to do with understanding very little science. Where, as a child, science seemed dull, as an ill-informed adult science now seems to be magic. I revel in my ignorance. SCIENCE. So it is that the idea of my stranded spacefarers in Unclaimed World creating a cooking pot out of bits of crashed spaceship, or a fishing from an alien tree, is a more thrilling accomplishment to me than Johnny SpacePecs sacrificing his own life to defeat the ancient curse of Skeletron or Ian Soldier blasting the entire empire of Big Evil Bastards to smithereens with the fabled Garglelator 9000. That guy just built a saucepan out of litter. That guy is now my hero.
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Taking AIM: Jagged Alliance – Flashback Interview Pt Two

By Adam Smith on April 3rd, 2014.

The first part of my conversation with Full Control CEO Thomas Hentschel Lund covered the main mechanical and interface changes that have been implemented in Jagged Alliance: Flashback. Taking Jagged Alliance 2 as its base, the game’s alpha has now been released to backers, giving a first insight into the combat mechanics. In this second part of our extensive interview, I spoke to Lund about the pressure of working with a license and living up to expectations, as well as the vital importance of modding in the future and past of Jagged Alliance.

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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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Alien Nation: Going ‘Nowhere’ With Duangle

By Duncan Harris on April 2nd, 2014.

This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

A mindbending, mesh-distending life sim set in some vast alien abyss, Nowhere is awesome in the way Spore once was before it mutated into an existential Happy Meal. No such danger with this game, though, the husband-and-wife team of Leonard and Sylvia Ritter [together known as Duangle] now deep into a project that’s content, much like its shape-shifting ‘Nowherians’, to evolve naturally. Quite how it manages to map Maslow’s hierarchy of needs onto a universe full of amoeba people is just one of countless irresistible unknowns.

It’s a weird ecosystem, though, this modern crowdfunding. Almost every aspect of Nowhere’s development is exposed to its potential players – not least its developers who have to adapt to the demand for public alpha builds; competitive promo art; and their unique brand of trippy, nervy video newsletters. Read the rest of this entry »

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First Look: Transformers Universe

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2014.

‘Massively Online Tactical Action, eh? We’ve been wondering for several weeks now what a MOTA is, after this new acronym turned up applied to Jagex’s rebooted Transformers MMO. Turns out it’s Team Fortress 2 meets WoW PvP meets League of Legends, obviously. Even with a collection of Jagex staff noisily demoing the game to a room full of assembled hacks, it took a while to figure out what exactly was going on.
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Taking AIM: Jagged Alliance – Flashback Interview

By Adam Smith on April 2nd, 2014.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback’s first alpha slice releases to backers tomorrow. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone outside of Full Control will have played the game and CEO Thomas Hentschel Lund is excited and, it’s fair to say, a little anxious. Since I last spoke to Lund, the company has released its Space Hulk adaptation and the Jagged Alliance Kickstarter crept over the finish line with moments to spare.

In a long and exhaustive conversation, we discussed the huge changes to the game’s story and setting since the Kickstarter launched, and the mechanical and interface changes that differentiate Full Control’s game from Jagged Alliance 2. I also found time to ask if Full Control had tracked down the original merc voice actors and to begin a discussion of the extensive modding capabilities that will be in the game from day one of Early Access.

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Cardboard Children – Splendor

By Robert Florence on April 1st, 2014.

Hello youse.

Sometimes a wee game comes along that just feels nice. It drops a board game reviewer in a difficult spot, because saying a game feels nice doesn’t actually tell anyone anything. Through the words below I will try to explain why Splendor works so well.

But it does feel nice. Honestly.

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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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