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.
Posts Tagged ‘hands on’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Adam Smith on April 4th, 2014.
Currently in alpha, Gang Beasts is free to download and you should grab it right now. It’s a surprisingly nuanced multiplayer beat ‘em up that combines playgrounds packed with perilous physics and a control scheme that makes combat a sequence of shoving, grappling and tripping over your own fists. Rounds often come to a halt as the last Beasts standing collapse into a meat grinder together, unsure who is pushing toward and who is pulling away.
It’s already a wonderful game, both hilarious and intelligently designed, but rather than simply praising its silliness, I’ve been thinking about how the whole thing works and why it’s satisfying, while also looking at the possibilities that the future of jelly-combat holds.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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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