Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

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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Impressions: Landmark

By Craig Pearson on April 8th, 2014.

And not a giant cock in sight.

You can now join Landmark for just £14. Sony’s Minecraft-esque adjunct to EverQuest Next has lowered the barrier of entry into the closed beta so even a frugal Scottish freelancer can stroll in. I’ve spent the weekend wandering the worlds, admiring what’s being built and testing the tools.

I am currently not dead, but if I died and you were to look through my search history and Twitter account, you’d probably think Landmark was the killer. I’ve only been able to play it with passive-aggressive search engine queries and complaining on Twitter. There is no game here. Not yet, anyway. Landmark, has a bright future, but it’s also a honest-to-glob alpha, and probably one of the earliest games I’ve ever bought from a major company. Here’s what I’ve typed into Google and Twitter, and here’s what those searches say about the state of the game.

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Impressions: The Elder Scrolls Online

By Brendan Caldwell on April 7th, 2014.

I don’t know what to tell you. My first few days in the Elder Scrolls Online universe have left me feeling very fed up. It was always going to be a tough job for Bethesda to recreate the awe and adventure of their single-player fantasy games for a mass(ively multiplayer) audience. But there was a hope that, actually, everything might turn out all right for fans. I’m sorry to say that, based on my 21 hours or so of questing, that hope should be laid to rest. You could say that 21 hours is short enough in MMO terms to be called a ‘gut reaction’. I suppose could have approached the game more scientifically, but to do that I would have had to measure my progress in ‘sighs per hour.’

It isn’t all bad.

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Impressions: Unclaimed World

By Alec Meer on April 3rd, 2014.

Unclaimed World is a sci-fi colony sim game that took to Steam Early Access a few days ago. Right now it’s only a fragment of the full game, so everything’s subject to change and expansion, but its science-led approach drew to me to trying its initial public release anyway.

I’m a sucker for science-heavy science fiction games right now. This perhaps has much to do with understanding very little science. Where, as a child, science seemed dull, as an ill-informed adult science now seems to be magic. I revel in my ignorance. SCIENCE. So it is that the idea of my stranded spacefarers in Unclaimed World creating a cooking pot out of bits of crashed spaceship, or a fishing from an alien tree, is a more thrilling accomplishment to me than Johnny SpacePecs sacrificing his own life to defeat the ancient curse of Skeletron or Ian Soldier blasting the entire empire of Big Evil Bastards to smithereens with the fabled Garglelator 9000. That guy just built a saucepan out of litter. That guy is now my hero.
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Impressions: Ether One

By John Walker on April 3rd, 2014.

First-person adventure Ether One aims to explore a difficult subject – dementia – through storytelling and puzzles. The debut game from indie team White Paper Games is out now, and I’ve had a play. And a struggle. You can read my thoughts below.

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Impressions – Plague Inc: Evolved

By Alec Meer on March 26th, 2014.

Plague Inc: Evolved, an unfinished but solid version of which is out on Steam Early Access now, is a strategy game about wiping out humanity.

At first I felt terrible, as the red dots denoting infection spread across the United Kingdom, into France, across the sea to Norway, and then the deaths began to roll in.

Then I grew annoyed at Iceland’s panicked closing of its airports. I frowned as my bacterial infection withered in the African heat.

Then I smiled as migrating birds carried the plague to the other side of the world, as the lights gradually went out in Canada, as Germany’s infrastructure collapsed in the wake of the mounting fatalities, and as China’s extinction dealt a savage blow to global research for a cure.
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Early Impressions: Warlock 2 – The Exiled

By Adam Smith on March 20th, 2014.

Warlock II is everything I wanted from a sequel to Masters of the Arcane, which, as I’ve implied before, felt like the decent gig before a killer afterparty. Taking place across the fragments of a broken world, it’s 4X strategy in a compact form, as dense as a spoonful of iridium and seemingly built from the ground-up to avoid the cycle of ‘End Turn’ clicking that is a hallmark of the genre. I’ve spent a few days with a near-complete build and have many thoughts to share.

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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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Impressions: Drunken Robot Pornography

By Alec Meer on February 20th, 2014.

Drunken Robot Pornography is an FPS/bullet hell mash-up in which you wear a jetpack and shoot a whole load of robots, while your own robo-suit makes a whole load of quips. It’s out now, and I played a bit of it earlier.

Was that giant mecha-octopus-thing wearing a top hat? Maybe I imagined it. Everything moves so fast, it’s gone (i.e. dead, or has deaded me) before I get a chance to look at it. It’s like a canal ride by speedboat. “Was that a duckling? Wait, did we just pass a castle? Is this Manchester already? Oh God, watch out for that…” [DEAD].

Only with a jetpack rather than a boat. And in the future rather than on a quiet waterway. And with huge, deadly, robots rather than ducks and Manchester. Er. Okay, look, Dejobaan’s Drunken Robot Pornography is a first-person bullethellish shmup that throws more at the screen than there’s possibly time to see, and tries extremely hard – too hard, perhaps – to be funny. Oh bollocks, I think I’ve just written my conclusion right at the start of this piece.
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Impressions: How To Fly A British Space Caravan Into Battle

By Brendan Caldwell on January 31st, 2014.

The LHS Bikeshed is a project that has transformed a battered old caravan into a space shuttle simulator. Players enter the caravan, take a seat at one of the three stations and prepare for launch. We sent Brendan and some old friends along to see how well they would fare in the dark reaches of space.
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Impressions: Serena

By John Walker on January 29th, 2014.

Serena is perhaps the most peculiar tribute anyone could pay to a person. A dark, gruesome adventure game, portraying loss and misery, named for someone who went through tough times at the hands of a prize jerk. I mean, flowers work too.

It’s also free, designed to show off Senscape’s Dagon engine built for their Kickstarter success, Asylum. Senscape being the new company headed by Agustin Cordes, he of notorious horror adventure, Scratches. And Serena being a game made by him, with contributions from a whole bunch of other indie adventure developers, including Space Quest’s Scott Murphy and John Mandel.

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Impressions: Faif

By John Walker on January 28th, 2014.

I adored Puzzle Quest. But I’ve yet to truly adore anything else that’s followed in its wake (including Puzzle Quest 2), with the exception of 10,000,000. There is something spellbinding about 10m’s distillation of the concept, simplifying the combination of match-3 with RPG, down to this fast-paced compulsive madness. (Having finished it twice, I’d like to remind creator Luca Redwood to RELEASE THE NEW CONTENT SOON.)

And then out of Ludum Dare comes Faif. Yes, Faif. It’s the idea minimalised even further. It’s in development now, but playable as that process goes along. New elements are being regularly added, or tweaked, and it’s free to follow along.

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