Posts Tagged ‘hands on’

I’m A Lover, Not A Fighter: 3 Hours With The Witcher 3

By Tom McShea on January 26th, 2015.

I was travelling into the forest with a hunter who had seen a griffin slay dozens of men and women. The ground was still puddled with blood from its most recent massacre, but it was another act of violence that drew my attention. In conversation, the hunter revealed that he was chased from his village because his neighbors discovered that he was gay. Now he lives by himself, away from the judging eyes of his peers. Despite being forced from society, he still helps bring an end to the griffin, to relieve those who shunned him of further suffering.

“Even though it’s a fantasy game, we want to make sure that it feels real,” said Jonas Mattsson, senior environmental artist at CD Projekt Red. Reaching that goal begins with how people are presented in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (official site), the first three hours of which I’ve now played.

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Hands On: Total War – Attila

By Adam Smith on January 5th, 2015.

The last time I wrote a preview of a Total War gameexcluding spin-offs – I was excitable. I wanted nothing more than to go Roamin’ with the Romans across enormous, epic campaigns, and the small slice of the game I played filled me with confidence that the short portion I’d enjoyed was a fitting representation of the eventual end product. I was wrong.

Playing Attila it’s easy to see evidence of a franchise revived, not only by technical fixes but through the insertion of new mechanics that reflect a strong central theme. The early signs are good and there’s a great deal of promise, but this is a game about the end times, and until the full scope of its campaigns can be seen a cautious approach is advisable.

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Insurgency Early Access Impressions: What’s It Like Now?

By Emily Richardson on December 22nd, 2014.

Insurgency is a lot of fun. Following Rich’s great exploratory feature on the highly tactical game last year, I took a look at it for the first time this week and tried to find out more about it, where it’s going and how a year’s further development has shaped it.

At it’s core, Insurgency is a tactical shooter, one that sits between the hardcore realistic works of Arma; the competitive, smart strategies borne of Counter-Strike; and the large-scale war efforts of Red Orchestra. It kind of feels a bit like Battlefield in parts, too.

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Hands On: Total War – Arena

By Adam Smith on December 15th, 2014.

Total War: Arena reminds me of Magicka: Wizard Wars, a game that I’m extremely fond of. Wizard Wars took the chaotic elemental combos of Magicka and directed them into a team-based multiplayer showdown. If it had simply been a team deathmatch iteration of Arrowhead’s original concept though, it wouldn’t have captured my attention for quite as long as it did. Arena strikes a similar chord because it presents one aspect of Total War intelligently re-imagined as a short-form multiplayer game that hasn’t forgotten its strategic roots. After an hour of play, I’m eager for more.

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Hands On With Evolve: Where The FPS Meets The MOBA

By Angus Morrison on December 3rd, 2014.

I was sold on Evolve, convinced by a weekend spent game hunting in October’s Big Alpha. The player numbers seemed to suggest others felt similarly. This is it then, I thought: a high profile title has found approval in alpha and it’s a straight road to release.

However, there was dissent among pundits, forcing me to ponder why some players had rebounded from Evolve, confused by what they found. Turtle Rock have a long history with the Counter-Strike series and created Left 4 Dead. With those credentials, a similar first-person set-up of four friends chasing a fifth controlling a hairy monster should make for an instant connection with players. But there was a contingent who didn’t expect what Evolve was offering. And it turns out, after being dispatched to a Turtle Rock’s studios to play it, neither did I.

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Early Impressions: The Crew

By John Walker on December 2nd, 2014.

Ubisoft’s The Crew is now out, via Steam in the US and UPlay and something called “shops” in other parts of the world. Ubisoft, after the PR disaster of trying to impose post-release embargoes on Assassin’s Creed: Unity reviews, have taken the rather bold step of informing customers not to trust early reviews. This is because they’ve withheld review code from journalists until just before launch, and then insisted that no fair opinion of it can be gained until it’s been played for dozens of hours, the end-game reached, on populated servers. Indeed, no fair review could be written in a day – especially one where, surprise, there are server issues – but impressions can certainly be had of those opening few hours. I’ve written mine below.

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Wot I Think: Lumino City

By Philippa Warr on December 1st, 2014.

Bandstand sunbathing - it's the next big thing

Update: There’s an update at the end of this post with notes after playing the remaining levels in the finished build.

The thing you’ll remember about Lumino City, certainly from the build I played, is the handcrafted element. That’s for both positive and negative reasons.

Lumino City is a point and click adventure which follows a young girl called Lumi as she tries to find her missing grandfather. The story plays out across a papercraft city – one which actually exists in miniature in real life – and revolves around solving puzzles and assisting the cast of odd cliff-dwelling characters.

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Hands On: The Curious Expedition

By Adam Smith on November 28th, 2014.

The Curious Expedition is a breezy, bright and endearing game about small groups of explorers who head into the unknown to seek golden pyramids and other wonders, natural and man-made. There have been comparisons to FTL, which are understandable but not entirely appropriate. While many of the same elements are included – a journey, a ‘crew’, permadeath, limited resources, randomisation, emergent narrative from minimalist components – but the machine for which those elements are fuel is quite different. Happily, one area in which a direct comparison can be made is quality.

I’ve been playing the alpha and having a splendid time.

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Impressions: Mordheim Early Access

By Adam Smith on November 27th, 2014.

Mordheim: City of the Damned has been on my radar since I first saw it at Gamescom earlier this year. An adaptation of one of Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy spin-offs, it’s a tactical game of skirmishing warbands in a chaos-stricken city. I’ve been poking around the city since Early Access began a few days ago and while the foundations are impressive, it’s not quite ready for an influx of new inhabitants.

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Impressions: Rust’s New Version

By Matthew Cox on November 26th, 2014.

As of last month, developers Facepunch (headed by Garry Newman of Garry’s Mod fame) declared that what was previously known as ‘Experimental Mode’ is now the definitive version of Rust. It now launches by default on Steam, with an option to play on the old ‘Legacy’ servers instead if you’re not ready for change. Unfortunately, I don’t think the game’s quite ready itself.

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Hands On With Hyper Light Drifter’s Combat

By Graham Smith on November 14th, 2014.

Stop. Slow down. Hyper Light Drifter‘s cape-wearing main character carries a sword whose swipes and slashes can be performed in rapid succession, but that doesn’t mean you can charge your way through its hunched henchman, skittering spiders or gun-wielding grunts. You’ve got to take your time if you want to go fast, as I’ve learned through playing the game’s Kickstarter preview build.

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Hands On: The Man-Versus-Monster Battles Of Titan Souls

By Marsh Davies on November 5th, 2014.

That definitely represents an eye, right?

Presumably calling the game The Legend of Colossus Souls was considered just that little bit too direct. To be fair, naming the obvious inspirations here doesn’t do justice to Titan Souls’ own invention – a combat system which is so simple and taut, yet from which the game conjures a series of elaborate and ever-inventive boss battles.

Originally made for a Ludum Dare competition (you can read Nathan’s impressions of that early version here), Titan Souls has now blossomed into a full game due out early next year. A sprawling, derelict world of overgrown temples, icy rivers and fiery caverns now awaits, and within lurk around two dozen gargantuan foes. It takes the mournful feel and monstrous populace of Shadow of the Colossus, and presents it from the pixellated perspective of the Zelda games of yore. And, as with Dark Souls, you consume the primeval soul of each megabeast you slay. The combat shares that series’ lack of compromise, too: you will die and die again facing each of these monsters, every time getting a bit wiser to their weaknesses, a shade more adept at avoiding their attacks.

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In The Deep End: Narcosis Hands-On

By Philippa Warr on October 31st, 2014.

Pipes, lovely safe pipes

Although not specifically an Oculus Rift game, it’s hard to imagine playing Narcosis without the headset. The game is an underwater survival story which demands the player manage his or her oxygen supply as they navigate the ocean depths when an incident leaves them stranded.

“The perception is that it’s a horror game and that’s cool,” says David Chen, part of the development studio Honor Code. “But we’re definitely hoping for some moments of beauty.”

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