Posts Tagged ‘hands on’

An Hour With: Shadowgate

By John Walker on August 21st, 2014.

Shadowgate is back. The 1987 RPG adventure, probably the most fondly remembered MacVenture and a distinct entry into the NES’s catalogue, has been remade and expanded. It’s out now, and I’ve played it for an hour or so. I grumble.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

35 Comments »

Hands-On: Pillars Of Eternity

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

After publishing my thorough conversation with Pillars of Eternity lead designer Josh Sawyer, I realised that I hadn’t actually expressed an opinion about the game. I was curious and hopeful but hadn’t had a chance to play it, and see how well all of the elements came together. The backer beta, which launched yesterday, is a huge relief. Pillars is shaping up to be worthy of its inspirations, and intelligent and bold enough not to be bound to them.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

86 Comments »

Hands On: Galak-Z, The Roguelite Arcade Shooter

By Graham Smith on August 14th, 2014.

Galak-Z is to top-down space shooters as Spelunky is to side-scrolling platformers. It takes the simple kinetic pleasures of dodging missiles, firing lasers and boosting a spaceship around asteroids and space debris, then pairs them with procedurally generated levels and objectives, and a set of simple, readable AI behaviours that allow you to approach each challenge thoughtfully. And then it layers on top inspiration from early-’80s Saturday morning cartoon shows.

I played it for an hour yesterday in a hotel adjacent to this year’s Gamescom, went to sleep thinking about it, and woke up excited about playing it again.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

21 Comments »

First Look: Twelve Minutes

By John Walker on August 13th, 2014.

This is likely the first time you’ll have heard of Twelve Minutes. It definitely won’t be the last. A twelve-minute-long time loop, set in a three-room apartment, in a game that’s remarkable for its tiniest details as well as its grand ideas. In its prototype, pre-alpha form, it’s already one of the most intriguing projects we’ve seen a long while. I’ve been playing for twelve minutes, and twelve minutes, and twelve minutes, and…

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

37 Comments »

Hands On: The Long Dark Early Access

By John Walker on August 11th, 2014.

The Long Dark is not a friendly game. I have starved to death. Frozen to death. Died of thirst. And been eaten by two wolves. And I have trudged. A great deal. It’s approaching early access next month, and while already proving impressive, certainly could do with some balancing. My impressions so far are below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

16 Comments »

Hands-On: Civilization – Beyond Earth

By Adam Smith on July 21st, 2014.

Last week, I visited Firaxis to talk about the studio’s history and the ongoing evolution of Civilization. We mainly focused on the series of games rather than humanity’s works as a whole, so as to stay on topic, and I spent part of the day playing Beyond Earth. Is it a sci-fi spin-off or a fully fledged sequel? How precisely is it related to the series and to the much-loved Alpha Centauri? Later this week, I’ll share conversations with the development team and more thoughts on the history of the series, but first of all, here are some impressions of the game itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

99 Comments »

Hands On: Due Process

By Graham Smith on July 10th, 2014.

All of this art will change, but I like the way it looks now.

Due Process is a tactical, team-based multiplayer first-person shooter inspired by SWAT, Rainbow Six and Counter-Strike. After I wrote about its first trailer, the developer’s invited me along to a testing session so I could play it for myself. It is, as the trailer asserts, “alpha as fuck.” It’s also tons of fun.

“I’m going to kick it.”

There’s a thud of a door being kicked open from the other side of the building. The gunfire, between two of our team and the criminals inside, begins immediately. “Blow it, blow it, blow it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

22 Comments »

Hands-On: Alien Isolation

By Craig Pearson on June 10th, 2014.

Alien: Isolation is a hybrid of stealth and survival horror. A game where you are a very weak person against a very strong thing, but where you know where that strong thing is at all times. You can’t kill it, but you can avoid it, antagonise it, and occasionally attack it to give you time to flee. I’ve been wandering the Sevastopol, encountering humans, crafting, and the beast. Here’s what went down.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

32 Comments »

Hands On: Among The Sleep

By Adam Smith on May 21st, 2014.

During a recent trip to Oslo, I found two members of Krillbite working in the same office space as Red Thread Games. Before sitting down with Dreamfall Chapters, I spent a couple of hours in the company of a teddy bear, sucking my thumb in the dark. Among The Sleep is creepy, as I’d expected, but there are hints of something far darker than night terrors in its shattered domestic spaces.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

38 Comments »

Hands On: Dreamfall Chapters

By Adam Smith on May 20th, 2014.

Dreamfall Chapters opens with a series of nightmares, wasting no time before informing the player of the high stakes and gravity of its multi-threaded plot. It’s a personal story, of family and sacrifice, but the potential consequences are cosmic. In truth, it’s not a single story at all, it’s a collection of stories within stories and about stories, taking the disparate worlds of The Longest Journey and weaving a larger tapestry. I’ve played the first three hours and found something quite different to the point and click adventure I was expecting.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

28 Comments »

Hands On: Heroes Of The Storm

By Philippa Warr on April 29th, 2014.

‘Hero brawler’. That’s what Blizzard would like you to call their all-star lane pushing videogame, Heroes of the Storm. In marketing terms it’s better than referencing your competitors by saying Dota-like or LoL-a-like (sidenote: no-one says LoL-a-like and this is a crying shame). More importantly, it’s better than the emotionally dead and uselessly expansive MOBA. It gives you the flavour of the game you’re about to play. The phrase ‘hero brawler’ contains something of the rambunctiousness you’ll find infecting lanes, infiltrating the weird scrubland that the genre’s traditional vocabulary dubs ‘jungle’ and venturing into haunted mineshafts.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

107 Comments »

Down And Out In Drangleic: Dark Souls II Impressions

By Adam Smith on April 25th, 2014.

Dark Souls II unlocked at midnight and I haven’t stopped playing since then. The hour between 4 and 5 am was distressing, as I found myself caught in a bleary-eyed Groundhog Day loop of blood-seeking and blood-letting. That central rhythm, of loss and learning as each death becomes a lesson for the next life, is intact and as compelling as ever in the first terrible and glorious hours of this third Souls title. Here are my early impressions and a couple of niggling doubts.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

133 Comments »

Interview: Gnah! A Windosill-Inspired Game About Heads

By Graham Smith on April 22nd, 2014.

I was in love with Gnah! the second I saw it. Each of this puzzle game’s levels is a hollow head drawn and modelled in a crisp, graphic style. When you sit down to play it, your objective isn’t explicitly stated, and so you just start to spin it around and poke at it. Twirl this cog to make its eyes open, angle this search light to make screens light up inside, twist this nodule to let the water in. By experimenting with each level-headed toy, you discover its logic and unlock progress to the next. There was some non-euclidean trickery in the build I played, but otherwise it’s a gentle experience, more interested in the delight and discovery of playing with heads than in making you scratch your own.

To find out more about the game I spoke to Samuel Boucher, Saleem Dabbous and Nick Rudzicz from developers KO-OP MODE about how each level begins as a 2D concept, the tragedy of each Gnah head, and the inspiration they’ve drawn from Windosill and Polly Pockets.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

12 Comments »