Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

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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Impressions – Age Of Mythology: Extended Edition

By Alec Meer on May 13th, 2014.

RTS/citybuilderish Age of Mythology: Extended Edition is a tweaked, slightly modernised re-release of the dearly-departed Ensemble’s myths & legends spin-off from Age of Empires.

A mild graphical overhaul, Steam-powered multiplayer & mod support and Twitch integration headline the changes, but really it’s about reintroducing something that has withstood at least some of time’s many tests into a market that might just be crying out for it. So, how does it hold up?
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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.

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Impressions: FRACT OSC

By Alec Meer on April 21st, 2014.

FRACT OSC is a semi-open world puzzle game themed around electronic music. It looks like Tron with more dodecahedrons and sounds like some impossibly cool Berlin club only 12 people have ever heard of. It’s out tomorrow, but I spent a few days with it last week.
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Impressions: Broforce

By Marsh Davies on April 17th, 2014.

Broforce is a run-and-gun platformer which joyously spoofs the bellicose masculinity of action cinema. It’s available on Steam Early Access for £12/$15, but its featureset punches above its alpha status: singleplayer, online co-op, deathmatch, time trials, a level editor and more are already in a fairly well-polished state with more tweaks and content planned.

Here are three uncharitable assumptions you might have made about Broforce: it’s a ten-a-penny mindless blaster; the whole “bro” thing makes it more ironic meme than game; it’s snoresomely reverent of bygone shooters like Contra. Happily, Broforce dodges all these bullets like a spry Sly Stallone weaving through a hail of preposterously inaccurate Kalashnikov fire. On the evidence of its Early Access release, it’s actually a game of breezy invention and energetic pace which deploys both its nostalgia for action films and pixellated shooters with a lightness of touch. And, though there’s a very good deal of carnage, it enforces some degree of tactical caution – partly because even a single bullet will kill you, but mostly because the levels are wholly and very readily destructible, quickly evaporating over-eager bros in devastating chain detonations or squashing them with falling detritus.

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Impressions: Shadowrun Online Early Access

By Rich Stanton on April 16th, 2014.

The honeymoon period for Kickstarter is long over. There are a number of reasons why but perhaps the most impactful is the failure of several high-profile campaigns to deliver what was promised, or going full Darth Vader: ‘We are altering the deal, pray we don’t alter it any further.’ Such drek leads us to Shadowrun Online – a game that was due for release in May 2013, but on March 31 2014 crept onto Steam Early Access, available for sale to non-backers at the princely sum of £25. So what’s going on?

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