Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Wot I Think: Costume Quest 2

By Alec Meer on October 10th, 2014.

Hi there!

Costume Quest 2 is a roleplaying and puzzle game from Psychonauts and Broken Age studio Double Fine. It’s about kids’ Halloween costumes actually transforming them, and thus enabling them to battle time-travelling dentists and candy-snatching aliens, in a fight to save the future from sugar-phobic tyranny. It’s out now.

“Is that a children’s game?” she asked in confusion.

“Uh. Not.. really,” I spluttered in embarrassment. “Sort of. It’s kind of…for everyone.”

Why didn’t I just say “yeah, but so what?”
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Labyrinths: Deep In The Dungeons Of Daggerfall

By Adam Smith on October 10th, 2014.

This feature was originally published as part of our Supporter Program. Please do sign up for one bonus feature every weekday (plus assorted game-related gifts), selected highlights from which will eventually appear on the main site too.

An exploration of the uncanny architecture of Daggerfall’s dungeons and the interconnected worlds of Dark Souls.

Dungeons, as a concept in games, are one of the great pillars from which disbelief is suspended like a ragged banner. They are functional objects, from the perspective of designer and player alike, but their function as part of a world is unclear. Occasionally, they are prisons of a sort, as their name suggests, but they are more likely to be ruins of uncertain utility. As to the question ‘why are ruins so often underground?’, we can perhaps answer by recognising that no visible architecture is required on the surface if such complex spaces are buried. The conjuring of the momumental without the pesky need to build the monument.

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Hard Choices: The Great DIY Vs Pre-built PC Debate, Part 1

By Jeremy Laird on October 9th, 2014.

To build or to buy. That is the fundamental philosophical, cultural, hell maybe even epistemological, question for we PC lovers. Some of you will already know the cut of your own jib. You’ll either gag at the thought of paying through the nose for an oily work-experience tick to inexpertly cobble your PC together using whatever bits the system seller bought cheap that week. Or you’ll wonder why anyone imagines the marginal savings of self build are worth the risk of bork.

I reckon a lot of us are floating voters on this issue. Is DIY a false economy? Is buying pre-built just paying the man? Let’s pick apart the pros and cons and have a proper powwow in the comments below. For part one, we’ll cover off the theoretical bases, the theories, assumptions and practical pros and cons. In part two, I’ll wheel out some examples from both sides of the equation and get forensic with the cost comparison. Here we go.

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Wot I Think: Ryse – Son Of Rome

By Adam Smith on October 9th, 2014.

They're all raising their one remaining arm

Having debuted as an Xbox One exclusive, Ryse has now decided to be an ex-exclusive and is out on PC today. My memories of its reception on Xbox were fairly dim – shiny in that Crytek way but with a short campaign and repetitive combat – and I went in having never even seen the classical carnage running outside of a trailer. Here’s wot I think.

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Lo-Fi Let’s Play: The Colonel’s Bequest

By Leigh Alexander on October 9th, 2014.

[I've been doing a series of Let's Play videos exploring old adventures, text games and lost design forms from the 1980s Apple IIe and Commodore 64 era. In a time when young men shout over new action games, I will talk softly over strange old ones. Come along on a visitation of a different era that's one part meditations on my childhood, one part adventure game criticism, and one part preservation effort. Bonus: Everyone says the quiet talk, lo-fi handmade feel and keyboard tapping triggers ASMR responses. Please enjoy!]

I know I said no hits, but I’m often surprised to find this classic 1989 Sierra title from Roberta Williams is usually considered niche, especially relative to the classic King’s Quest and other “quest”-themed series. Of course, The Colonel’s Bequest, about the inheritance to be left by a mysterious, cranky old bayou patriarch, also has the word “quest” in the title. Cute.

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Wot I Think: A Golden Wake

By John Walker on October 9th, 2014.

There’s something I wish I’d known as I began playing retro point and click adventure A Golden Wake. I wish I’d known that it was, in large parts, a true story. The reason I didn’t know this was because it began with a statement explaining that despite its historical setting, the characters and events were fictional. Here’s wot I think:

It turns out Coral Gables is a real city in Miami, Florida (you may have already known that, especially if you live on that continent), which was really established in the 1920s by a man named George E. Merrick, there really is a Biltmore Hotel, and the city really was affected by the hurricane of 1937. The game’s tale of real estate is based in a genuinely interesting time of boom and bust in American early 20th century history. In what is ultimately a rather bland game, I think I’d have cared a bit more if I’d known.

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Dote Night: Why Dota 2 Is Navy Blue

By Philippa Warr on October 8th, 2014.

Razor bringing the pathetic fallacy

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

This column is something I wrote early this year and posted on my own blog. It was about the way in which depression affected how I played Dota 2. I don’t tend to write about my private life beyond daft anecdotes so it felt a little unsettling but a lot of people got in touch to share their own experiences. I get the impression that it has been a helpful thing to have posted as, generally, depression is not something that’s particularly easy to talk about. With that in mind I’m posting a slightly updated version here so that it can be part of Dote Night and so that, if it is at all helpful for anyone, they can find it easily.

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Wot I Think – Styx: Master Of Shadows

By Graham Smith on October 8th, 2014.

Development company Cyanide have long been purveyors of interesting-but-guff fantasy games. Styx: Master of Shadows turns out to be their least-interesting-but-most-good. It’s a stealth game in which you play a goblin – the Styx of the title – sneaking around the Tower of Akenash, a medieval city built so high among the branches of “the World-Tree” that ledges stretch down into a cloudy abyss.

It’s also a strict stealth game: one in which triggering combat means almost certain death, and where you’ll spend your time mastering the shadows by hiding in them rather than pouncing from them.

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Tunnel Vision: Non-Oculus Games On The Oculus

By Alec Meer on October 8th, 2014.

My VR column returns! Now that my Oculus DK1 is replaced by a less nauseasome DK2 at last, the pressing problem is less “ooh, me poor peepers” and more “so, er, what is there to actually play?” The stark fact of the matter is that very few developers have yet included meaningful Oculus support, because this is not yet a consumer device. This is very much the case at a software level as well as a hardware one.

In the next column I’ll do a round-up of some of the more interesting experiments doing the rounds for DK2, but today I want to talk about VorpX. It’s a name that sounds like an ill-advised sci-fi remake of Jabberwocky, but actually it’s paid software which forcibly injects VR support into all kinds of PC games that don’t otherwise support it.

Important update: Alien Isolation now working. Aaaaaaah.
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Cardboard Children – Board Game News

By Robert Florence on October 7th, 2014.

Hello youse.

I’m going to try to do a news-style update once a month, to try to keep you all up to date with what’s coming down the line in the wide world of board gaming. It is endless. Games upon games and expansions upon expansions to those games upon games. It is eternal, and if we don’t step out once every four weeks or so to take stock of what’s happening, we’ll get ourselves in an awful state. Read on.

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Creature Feature: Alien – Isolation

By Adam Smith on October 7th, 2014.

Are you playing Alien tonight? Now that Isolation has been unleashed, I want to talk about something that I brushed over in my review. It’s an important thing but it’s something that I didn’t feel the need to dwell on because I wanted to leave a small window for everyone to have their own first encounter before I unpacked my own mental baggage. Previously, I’ve written a great deal about the Sevastopol, the setting, and the adaptation of stylistic and thematic delicacies from Ridley Scott’s film – it’s time to talk about the Xenomorph.

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The Magic Circle Hands-On: Visiting Development Hell

By Alec Meer on October 7th, 2014.

The Magic Circle is the first game from Question, LLC, the new studio from Jordan Thomas, he of Thief 3′s The Cradle, BioShock 2, BioShock: Infinite and many more. It’s a systems-driven first-person exploration adventure about a years-in-development game of uncommon ambition, and it’s about rewriting its rules from the inside while trying not to attract the attention of its developers. I’ve played a couple of hours of an early build.

“Attack them, my spider-army!” A horde of chittering polygonal arachnids skitters surges towards a pack of flamers at my command, while I hang back to let them do my dirty work for me. Every single one of them burns to death. Oh, right. Forgot to set the ‘Fireproof’ attribute. I summon their ‘leader’ – in fact an arbitrary member given the Groupthink attribute, which duly shares its traits with all similar entities – and edit its properties. Let’s try this again. “Attack them, my flame retardant spider-army!”
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The Lighthouse Customer: I Shall Remain

By Christopher Livingston on October 6th, 2014.

You're doing fine. You got this. I'll hang back.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, being a terrible apocalypse pal with top-down zombie ARPG I Shall Remain.

I like to think of myself as a selfless person. I donate to charity, I pick up litter in parks, and help my elderly neighbor with her chores. If I come across a stray dog I’ll work tirelessly to find its owner, and if I find a spider in our home I’ll carefully carry it outside, find a nice bush for it to live in, give it a bag lunch and a tender kiss on the forehead, and check on it periodically to make sure it’s getting on okay. In a zombie apocalypse, however, all that seems to goes out the window from zed one. There’s no I in TEAM, but there is one in I Shall Remain. Actually, there’s two. They both stand for ME. Everyone else can get stuffed.

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