Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

Impressions: Road Not Taken

By John Walker on August 6th, 2014.

There’s a reason this is titled “Impressions”, and not “Wot I Think”. That is, I’m really no good at this game. Or, this game is incredibly difficult. Road Not Taken is a combination of sokobanish puzzling, Triple Town object combination, and roguelite imminent failure. I’ve been playing for a couple of days, and I’m really struggling to get past what is ostensibly the fourth level. Thing is, I’ve been absolutely loving my time playing it.

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Impressions: Crypt of the Necrodancer

By Alec Meer on July 30th, 2014.

Crypt of the Necrodancer blends roguelikes with rhythm action, neatly makes that wild concept work, and is out on Early Access today. I’ve been dipping my twitching toes in and out of it for the last couple of weeks.

I’ve long been aware of my own challenging relationship with rhythm – although I did take a certain pride in people moving away from my frenzied, unpredictable whirling in clubs – but struggling to cope with even Crypt of the Necrodancer’s sound latency calibration tool was a blow. I stared at the blinking icons and listened to the test tone I couldn’t seem to predict, gripped by professional terror. Somehow I’d decided it was a great idea to write about a game based on rhythm. Now, excuses rushes through my brain. “I damaged both my index fingers while making a sandwich.” “My middle ear blew because my baby screamed too loud.” “It turns out I’m allergic to the word ‘crypt.”

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The Wicked And The Weird: Darkwood Impressions

By Adam Smith on July 25th, 2014.

I’ve been looking forward to Darkwood for a long time. It’s a top-down survival horror game with crafting elements, but early videos contained a hint of surrealism that helped the game to stand out from the crowd. Now that it has launched in Early Access, I’ve spent an hour exploring the early stages. It’s a slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge and Stalker. A few interface issues aside, it lives up to expectations in grand style. There are some spoilers for the prologue section below and I reckon it’s worth going in completely cold, but fear not – I’ll provide a second spoiler warning before going into detail.

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Hands-On With Bedlam, The FPS About FPSes

By Alec Meer on July 25th, 2014.

I’m rocket-jumping over Helm’s Deep. I’m pinning Nazis to 1940s French churches with catapult bolts. I’m shooting Strogg-homages in metal corridors with a chunky, low-res shotgun, and frankly that much Quake IIiness is enjoyable enough in and of itself that it doesn’t need any era-mixing funny business anyway. I’m finding glitches that transport me – and whichever weapons I’ve accrued – across and through a brief history of first-person shooters, with occasional sidetrips to other eras and genres of gaming.

I’m a gun on legs, because Bedlam is a game all about shooting games that were comfortable with being just that, and about a time when the world accepted they were just that, before cutscenes and quick-time events were put in place to pretend there was something more going on in shooting games than just that.
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Impressions: The Triumphs And Struggles Of Xenonauts

By Adam Smith on July 10th, 2014.

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which means that it’s also a spiritual successor to many of the most tense and glorious hours of my teenage years. Following a successful Kickstarter and a period in Early Access, the game has been available for almost a month now. With its loyal approach to the original design, Xenonauts doesn’t step on XCOM’s toes, but I wondered if it could succesfully muscle in on the original game’s territory. Several days of playing later, I have the answer. And some anecdotes about intra-squad romance.

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Impressions – Habitat: A Thousand Generations In Orbit

By Alec Meer on July 9th, 2014.

Habitat: A Thousand Generations in Orbit is a strategy/simulation/survival game about constructing an improbable spacecraft out of debris floating in a post-disaster Earth’s orbit. It’s out on Early Access now.

The first time you move is incredible. You’ve slowly built this absurd, rickety contraption of rockets, buses, burger restaurants, fire-breathing animatronic T-Rex heads and cruise liners, and it looks like a stiff breeze would tear it into so many lethal pieces. Yet now you have to fire up assorted jet engines and thrusters, and make this absurdist space hulk travel across the skies. Never mind that there are deadly, mine-spitting nanoclouds and inconveniently-placed explosive gas cannisters strewn about Earth’s orbit – simply going up and a bit left feels comparable to asking a massive, skinheaded Londoner in a red and white football shirt if he’s a Tottenham supporter.
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Hands And Face On: Alien Isolation On Oculus Rift

By Brendan Caldwell on July 7th, 2014.

Imagine the Xenomorph from Alien is in the room with you right now. Where exactly? You don’t know. But you do know it’s in there. You lean a little forward, peeping over that stack of empty pizza boxes. Meat feast. You have been meaning to tidy those away. You peer into the gloom. You hear something above you. Something scuttling. Something dark. You look up! But it is too late. You have been eaten. Well done, imagination!

Of course, it is looking possible you will not need your imagination to enjoy these scenarios anymore because the folks making Alien: Isolation at Creative Assembley and SEGA have been tinkering with the Oculus Rift development kits and have shown us their deliciously scary ‘prototype’.

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Impressions: Space Run

By Adam Smith on July 3rd, 2014.

Space! It isn’t just about commanding gleaming armadas and piloting sleek starships. No, sir. There’s plenty of time for all that, young cadet, but in a place so vast (space really is quite large) there’s a lot of demand for workers. Janitors and miners have been hot business for a while but it’s couriers we’re after now. Space Truckers, like in that one Dennis Hopper movie that hardly anybody remembers. Space Run is about a delivery man who is constantly on the edge of annihilation and it’s brilliant.

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Lyrical Ballast: Impressions Of A Sunless Sea

By Adam Smith on July 1st, 2014.

We’re deep down now, deep down where dreams and figments tumble and churn together like silt, deep down in sleep, where pain and sorrow fall drop by drop into the Sunless Sea, and wisdom comes in whispers of text and through the rubbery fronds of some ancient lifeform. Now in Early Access, Sunless Sea is the first ‘proper’ game from Failbetter, the clever-clogs creators of Fallen London and the Story Nexus platform. I’ve been navigating its strange shores for the past few days.

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Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark And My Certain Doom

By Alec Meer on June 25th, 2014.

I've hidden a clever clue in this image

Sometimes in this absurd job I catch myself in the mirror, notice what I’m doing and have to tell myself to stop. I did that around three hours into Rise of the Dark Spark. I’ve played a great many games that are a great deal worse than this mostly recycled new Transformers game from Activision, but the reason this one had me sneering at myself is due to knowing that I played it only because I felt I should.
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Impressions – Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms

By Alec Meer on June 18th, 2014.

It is, I’m afraid, true that the only reason I even installed this fantasy roleplaying game is because Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor himself, provides some voicework for it. I’ve heard many strange and troubling things about old teeth’n'curls, but many wonderful things too, and most of all he’ll always by the iconic face of Doctor Who to me. Joyful, mercurial, wise, stupid, relishing rather than tortured by his adventures: a definitive screen hero, the definitive Doctor. Of course I couldn’t resist, even for a game with as forgettable a title as Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms.
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Impressions: Stomping On The The Stomping Land

By Graham Smith on June 6th, 2014.

What the game looks like 50% of the time.

The Stomping Land is a game of co-operative survival and dinosaur hunting. Set on a heavily forested island, players spawn in the wild and then must craft shelter and weapons, scavenge and hunt for food, and form tribes with fellow players to accomplish both without being picked apart by the island’s larger dinosaurs.

Or at least, that’s the pitch which earned the game almost six times its Kickstarter target last year, and which saw it bounce immediately into the Steam best sellers list when it launched in Early Access last week. (At the time of writing, it’s still there, at number 5.) The reality of the game is, at this stage, something else.

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Impressions: Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

By Alec Meer on May 27th, 2014.

I’ve spent a few hours with Kill Team, the in-theory co-op 40K arcade shooter released on 360 and PS3 in 2011, and which unexpectedly turned up on Steam last week.

There’s no ‘I’ in team, and there’s no ‘online co-op mode’ in Kill Team. Which is pretty crazy, as this was a game designed for online co-op. Seemingly rushed out on PC, the favourably received downloadable console game finds itself with barebones options and only shared-screen multiplayer. This is a damned shame, as Kill Team is/could have been such a good time.
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