Posts Tagged ‘Gamescom 2014’

World Of Warships Hands-On: Overcoming Skepticism

World of Tanks makes sense. It’s Counter-Strike with moveable turrets; angry houses hiding behind placid houses, streets like corridors, cannons like machineguns, machineguns also like machineguns.

World of Warplanes makes sense, sort of, on paper. Planes. They’re like tanks but they fly. Except there’s no cover in the sky, and enemies could be in front, behind, beside or above you. So you sort of just wheel around in circles forever and it’s alright.

World of Warships? That doesn’t make sense at all. How the hell would you make a multiplayer game out of something like that?

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The Next Penelope Hands-On

Videogames are wandering across the Junk Fields, attempting to reach some exciting new destination. Then a videogame journalist appears, loading Videogames up with words and memories. “It’s retro. It’s old school. It’s Micro Machines meets F-Zero crossed with Ulysses 31. It’s all right here. Everything you’ve ever cared about is all right here.

It’s all junk! Let’s not do that. Let’s instead create a space in which The Next Penelope can stand aside from its easy descriptions and rise above its obvious influences. This isn’t a game that feels retro; it feels alive, bursting with colour, fizzing with energy. I played it at this year’s Gamescom and its pleasures are simple. That means I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I still feel the need to bring it to your attention.

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Hands On: Renowned Explorers

Renowned Explorers was like an oasis of calm and colour in the cavernous halls of Gamescom. It’s a game about travelling the world in search of impressive artifacts to show off at the World Expo, but rather than making the journey into a nightmare of scurvy and resource management, developers Abbey Games have opted for a sort of turn-based tactics adventure that combines Tintin, Indiana Jones and Jules Verne. It’s a game in which scientists wield Tesla guns and the Mexican contingent of the expedition is a lady Luchador who can pin pirates to the ground while her buddies charm the peglegs off them.

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Presenting Exhibit A In The Witcher 3 Trial

There were so many great games in Cologne this year and yet I decided that the first thing I’d write about from the show would be the one disappointment. Maybe disappointment comes more naturally to me or maybe I just wanted to get it out of the way – whatever the case, later that evening, I was slightly annoyed with myself for sending a grumpy dispatch rather than a chronicle of the good times. The Witcher 3 presentation that I watched is now online, so you can watch it for yourself below, and then use the comments section to solemnly agree with my judgement, or to thank me. Because if you do enjoy the video, it’s thanks to the expectations that I so graciously lowered.

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Hands On: Dead Island 2

The original Dead Island was buggy, often sexist, sometimes racist, and frequently a chore to play. Then its expandalone Riptide added “offensively marketed” to that list.

Dead Island 2 has a new developer – Spec Ops: The Line’s Yager – and therefore a chance at a fresh start. A chance to take all that ambition and promise and focus on what players actually liked about the original: co-op japes, a sunny open-world, and the ability to weld a battery onto a knife and use it to stabbily electrocute hundreds of undead. I played Dead Island 2 for 24 minutes at Gamescom and the whole approach seems prompted by saying, ‘Hey, let’s do the obvious things, and not do the awful things?’

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New Middle Earth: Shadows Of Mordor Trailer Is Zeitgeisty

Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor grabs the current zeitgeist like only licensed games can, cobbling together a third-person action game from bits of Batman: Arkham Asylum, bits of Assassin’s Creed, bits of Michael Bay-derived editing and sound effects. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. I like some of those things! I also like punching orcs. This could be a pleasant game, and the new cutscenes-and-combat trailer (mostly cutscenes) below introduces i) some new villains ii) your motivation as the player (not-spoilers: your family are killed).

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Gamescom 2014 Verdict: Diversity, Doom And Automatons

The megabooths have been disassembled, the lanyards have been discarded and the crowds have dissipated – Gamescom has run its course for another year. RPS sent its two best Smiths to Cologne last week. Their brief was to see the games, talk to the creators and meet as many terrifying mechanical puppets as possible. They succeeded on all fronts and returned with tales of Elite: Dangerous, Pathologic, Warhammer and Dead Island, among many other delights and disappointments. Here are their thoughts on the show as a whole, along with a few highlights.

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Eyes-On: Mordheim – City of the Damned

A warlock with a wooden leg was the highlight of my first day at Gamescom. I didn’t know a huge amount about Mordheim: City of the Damned before I sat down to watch a live demonstration of a typical mission, but half an hour later I was telling anyone who would listen that it deserved far more attention. It’s Warhammer Fantasy with a hint of XCOM, procedural maps and the kind of persistent injuries that require false limbs. If it shapes up even half as good as it looks, it might be one of the best Games Workshop digital adaptations to date.

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Nearing The Finish Line: Project CARS Gamescom Trailer

Videogames' best puddles.

There’s all kinds of things I like to pretend I’m above, like throwing recyclable materials in the normal rubbish when there’s no space left in the recycling bin. I feel no need to pretend that I’m above loving some shiny videogame graphics, though. The Project CARS Gamescom trailer is, like every image of the in-development racing game, absurdly gorgeous. And embedded below, obv.

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Simulated Urban Area – Cities: Skylines Announced

A city but inside a computer, created from calculations.

The Cities in Motion games provided a very specific challenge: some chuffing great fool has built a city all higgledy-piggledy and now you need to somehow smoosh a functional public transportation network between their many mistakes. Cities are big, sprawling, ancient, and wonderful messes that we must somehow wrangle, we uneasily negotiate with, and we try to make work. Building a city from scratch, getting to plan for efficiency, almost seems like cheating.

That’s what Cities in Motion creator Colossal Order will offer in their next game, Cities: Skylines. It’ll have players build entire urban areas from the ground-up, like some sort of simulated city.

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