Posts Tagged ‘hands on’

Hands On: LEGO Minifigures Online

By John Walker on March 31st, 2014.

Funcom haven’t had a smooth ride of late. The Secret World performed under expectations (although these were expectations based on their delusionally thinking they could charge a box price and subscription for a new IP MMO), and in January they were briefly suspended from trading as their offices were raided. That cannot have been fun. However, things appear to be back on track now, and last week they were showing off their next MMO, LEGO Minifigures Online. It could well be a much needed cash cow for the milking. I sat down and had a play of the family-friendly brick-me-do.

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Hands On: Survarium

By Jim Rossignol on March 31st, 2014.

The first part of Vostok’s grand post-apocalyptic shooter plan, Survarium, has now started inviting batches of sign ups to their beta. It’s the multiplayer FPS portion of the game, and as such basically a test of the shooting, running about, and weapon unlocking game systems. It’s an experience that will be familiar to anyone who spent time playing first-person games online in the past decade, although set in the most lavish of Ukrainian apocalypses.

So is that offering going to be strong enough to power the game through to its pseudo-Stalker co-op core? Peer into my crystal lake of toxic weirdness to find out.

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Hands On: Alien – Isolation

By RPS on March 23rd, 2014.

When he isn’t hanging around in hotel beds with Nathan, John and assorted other folks, Hayden Dingman plays games and then writes about them. As GDC creaks to a halt for another year, he filed this report, detailing the fears and frustrations that arose during a hands-on experience with Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation. Is it the Alien game we want? Is it the Alien game we deserve? Is it gonna be a terrifying survival horror game, a standup fight or just another bughunt?

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Hands On: The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II

By John Walker on March 12th, 2014.

I’ve had my hands on a single mega-level from the forthcoming The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II, which is due to arrive on the 17th April. With promises to make big improvements over the first game, this level gives a taste of how they plan to implement the tactical angle of the first game’s finale into the general levels. It seems to be working.

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Impressions – Elite: Dangerous Alpha

By Adam Smith on February 21st, 2014.

The current alpha for Elite: Dangerous offers a linear series of combat missions, with a narrative through-line about illegal toxic waste dumping, megacorp mercenaries and accidental collisions with asteroids. That may well be how the final game plays out for some people but I’m more likely to spend my time exploring the farthest reaches of the galaxy, looking for unusual sights and making a few spacebucks by trading with whatever life exists at those penultimate frontiers. As such, the alpha only represents a very small portion of the Elite that I hope to play when all is said and done. With that in mind, here are my impressions of several hours in space.

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Hands-on: Titanfall Beta

By Graham Smith on February 19th, 2014.

There are a lot of different ways to make videogame fights meaningful. Singleplayer games do it by couching your shotgun blasts and pistol whips in the context of a story. Multiplayer games do it by emphasising competition via scoreboards, and by layering XP bonuses and equipment progression on top as rewards for each kill. Titanfall aims to do it with a mixture of all of the above, and based on its limited beta, finds mixed success.

Titanfall is a sci-fi multiplayer shooter in which you play as a futuristic foot soldier able to regularly summon a mech from orbit. The robot crashes to earth and then you can jump inside, piloting it alongside fellow mechs and ground troops like so many anime characters, across team deathmatch (“Attrition”) and capture and hold (“Hardpoint”) modes. I’ve been playing it since the beta launched late last week.
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Hands-On: Intruder

By Craig Pearson on February 14th, 2014.

Tactics!

Intruder is a tactical multiplayer game currently in very limited alpha. I was one of the few people to get early access, and more keys are on the way. The best place to keep track of sales is the Superboss Twitter account, and I think after you hear about my experiences with it you’ll probably want to. It’s lots of fun.

There is a pivot point in most tactical multiplayer games, a moment where plans crumble and everything goes wrong, and–if everyone is friendly– it makes the game ten times better. Swat 4 had it. Rainbow Six had it. And Intruder has it. Hell, Intruder quantifies it. On the bottom left corner of the screen is a balance indicator: keep it in the high 90s and you’re a sniping, sneaking, stealth master. When you’re panicking and sprinting away from danger, which is the only time you should be running, it lowers to under 50, affecting your aim. Stand on a railing, however, and it hits zero, pitching you headfirst over the side. Intruder makes you clumsy by design.

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Hands-On: Age Of Wonders III

By Adam Smith on February 12th, 2014.

The wait for Age Of Wonders III would have been far more painful if I’d been anticipating a return to the series since the release of the most recent game in 2003. I’d assumed Triumph were otherwise engaged though, following the release of the Overlord games and a period of silence. Last year we discovered that the Dutch developers were returning to the wonders that they knew so well, with a strategic turn-based sequel to the superb Shadow Magic and I’ve been playing a preview build for several days now. Here’s wot I’ve learned.

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Hands On: The First Few Hours Of Elder Scrolls Online

By John Walker on February 7th, 2014.

Elder Scrolls Online (“The” optional) is out in April. That’s quite soon! So over the last few days Bethesda have opened it up to allow some journalists in, to have a poke around. I’ve played up to level 7, so far, which isn’t enormously far in, but does represent that crucial opening five or six hours. And I’m here to tell you all about them.

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Hands On: Vertiginous Golf

By John Walker on February 6th, 2014.

There are some genre descriptions I see and my heart sinks. “A new twist on tower defence!” Sink. “Adding an F2P model to classic racing!” Siiiiiink. “An update to a Myst-style adventure” Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiink. “A dystopian steampunk golf game.” PERRRRRR-DOOIIIIIIIINNGGG! My heart’s back up where it belongs!

That is the superb explanation given by indie publisher Surprise Attack Games, just announced as publishing the superbly named Vertiginous Golf. Golf powered by “a mysterious Victorian-era virtual reality device.” I’ve had a play of it.

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Hands-In: Loading Human

By Adam Smith on February 6th, 2014.

‘Hands-On’ or ‘Hands-In’? Loading Human combines the power of the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra to create a virtual reality experience, in which the player’s head and arms are tracked onto a first-person avatar. The game itself has a great deal in common with Gone Home, and point and click adventures, telling a story of memory, love and loss. Everything is tied to the control system though and as I stood in the middle of an office, as confused and vulnerable as a contestant on Knightmare, I was forced to admit that I am very bad at following instructions. And at standing still. I’ve never been quite so excited and exhausted by a single hour with a game.

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Impressions: War Of The Vikings

By Adam Smith on January 29th, 2014.

I’d never seen a shield quite so fancy. It belongs to Fraser Brown, a Scotsman in the guise of a Viking, and he’s extremely proud of the design. He should be. It’s a beautiful thing and a brave one too. Brightly marking him out on the battlefield, the shield makes him a target, like an officer wearing a medal as big as a walrus. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lady Gaga wearing the shield as a kneepad the next time she nips to the shops for a packet of evaporated milk. War of the Vikings is a game about shiny shields. And beards. Lots of beards.

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Hands On: Broken Age

By John Walker on January 14th, 2014.

It’s finally here. Well, if you were a backer. After almost two years since Tim Schafer kickstarted Kickstarter as one of the primary tools for funding independent videogame development, the Double Fine Adventure, Broken Age, is in players’ hands. With $3.3m raised, from 90,000 backers, and a year and a half more development than they planned, the first point and click adventure Schafer has made in twenty years will be out proper on the 28th, but the “beta” is with the backers today. Double Fine have asked both backers and press to hold off talking about most of the game until that latter release date, and it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. But for the moment, here are some early impressions of the first stages of the game.

Edit: Splendid news. Double Fine have lifted the embargo, and we’ll be able to bring you our review very soon.

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