Posts Tagged ‘preview’

Virginia Hands-On: 30 Flights Of Lynchian

By Alec Meer on September 30th, 2014.

Virginia is an upcoming first-person ‘interactive drama’ infused with unabashed Twin Peaks and X-Files influences, which had already very much piqued the interest of Alice and Adam. I played a short demo build at the EGX games show over the weekend.

It’s not fair on any game that’s primarily about tone and mood to experience it whilst sat a stone’s throw from a man bellowing into a PA system about Street Fighter. That was murder-mystery Virginia’s lot at EGX, sadly, but testament to how well its demo pulls off a languid Lynch-does-police-procedural style is that I nonetheless had a moment when I closed my eyes and let its sounds – and all they meant – wash over me.
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Civilization Beyond Earth: 200 Turns On The Final Frontier

By Alec Meer on September 26th, 2014.

A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view.

…I’m so sorry.

However, I am pleased to report that sci-fi strategy game Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is not simply Civ V with green face paint on. It has the same hexes and it does have much of the same infrastructure as its historical-themed predecessor, but its transformation into something alien goes far more than miasma-coated skindeep. The essential framework of Civ remains, but the final frontier – for the 200 turns with beta code I’ve spent there – requires a very different sort of thinking.

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Hands On: The Crew

By Brendan Caldwell on September 25th, 2014.

The Crew will see players zooming around a huge map of the United States and teaming up with friends for various feats of speed-freakery. We sent Brendan to take an early look at Ubisoft’s ‘MMO racer’.

The open-world racer was perfected on PC in 2009. I’ll let John and Jim argue over whether it was Burnout Paradise or Fuel that holds the honour. In terms of videogame history debates, I’m happy just to get the date right. Ubisoft, on the other hand, are not a company to let such claims rest. In a couple of months they are releasing The Crew, an MMO racing game with 6000 miles of reconstructed USA to zoom around. The titular Crew is, in keeping with an emerging Ubi-trend, you and three pals, each sitting pretty in your souped up Ford Mustang, Ferrari, Lamborghini or Other.

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Hands-On: This War Of Mine

By Adam Smith on September 24th, 2014.

This War Of Mine is a game set in the ruins of a wartorn city. Rather than playing a soldier on either side of the conflict, as is traditional in the world of games, players control a group of civilians who are trying to survive in a place where the essentials of life are thin on the ground. The game doesn’t match its mechanics to its theme as smoothly and powerfully as Papers, Please, instead opting to tread unfamiliar ground in familiar shoes. It’s a resource management game, in which survivors craft, explore and scavenge to survive. I played through the first few days and discovered the irony of it all.

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World Of Warships Hands-On: Overcoming Skepticism

By Graham Smith on September 9th, 2014.

World of Tanks makes sense. It’s Counter-Strike with moveable turrets; angry houses hiding behind placid houses, streets like corridors, cannons like machineguns, machineguns also like machineguns.

World of Warplanes makes sense, sort of, on paper. Planes. They’re like tanks but they fly. Except there’s no cover in the sky, and enemies could be in front, behind, beside or above you. So you sort of just wheel around in circles forever and it’s alright.

World of Warships? That doesn’t make sense at all. How the hell would you make a multiplayer game out of something like that?

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Hands On: Renowned Explorers

By Adam Smith on August 26th, 2014.

Renowned Explorers was like an oasis of calm and colour in the cavernous halls of Gamescom. It’s a game about travelling the world in search of impressive artifacts to show off at the World Expo, but rather than making the journey into a nightmare of scurvy and resource management, developers Abbey Games have opted for a sort of turn-based tactics adventure that combines Tintin, Indiana Jones and Jules Verne. It’s a game in which scientists wield Tesla guns and the Mexican contingent of the expedition is a lady Luchador who can pin pirates to the ground while her buddies charm the peglegs off them.

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Impressions: Galactic Civilizations 3

By Brendan Caldwell on August 21st, 2014.

Gal Civ 3 has warped from Early Access alpha to Early Access beta, and brought with it more (but not all) features to the famous, 4X strategy game. Is it worth your time or money yet? We sent Brendan to investigate.

Picture the scene. You are a peaceful, religious race of extra-terrestrials, but you are inexplicably at war with the three rival civilisations that surround you. Your people love you for your mindfulness but they are upset that they don’t have more money to spend. Your desert planet full of shopping centres is deeply unhappy. Your planet full of scorpions is booming. Huge lettering drops from the sky! GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III.

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Hands-On: Pillars Of Eternity

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

After publishing my thorough conversation with Pillars of Eternity lead designer Josh Sawyer, I realised that I hadn’t actually expressed an opinion about the game. I was curious and hopeful but hadn’t had a chance to play it, and see how well all of the elements came together. The backer beta, which launched yesterday, is a huge relief. Pillars is shaping up to be worthy of its inspirations, and intelligent and bold enough not to be bound to them.

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Eyes-On: Mordheim – City of the Damned

By Adam Smith on August 18th, 2014.

A warlock with a wooden leg was the highlight of my first day at Gamescom. I didn’t know a huge amount about Mordheim: City of the Damned before I sat down to watch a live demonstration of a typical mission, but half an hour later I was telling anyone who would listen that it deserved far more attention. It’s Warhammer Fantasy with a hint of XCOM, procedural maps and the kind of persistent injuries that require false limbs. If it shapes up even half as good as it looks, it might be one of the best Games Workshop digital adaptations to date.

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Eyes On: The Witcher 3

By Adam Smith on August 15th, 2014.

They're wild those guys, totally wild!

I’ve been watching somebody chopping monsters into pieces. In a miniature temporary cinema in the chaos of Gamescom, The Witcher 3 is on display, strutting around the place like a peacock. In a forty-five-minute live presentation, it proves itself to be the most handsome game at the show but I’m left wondering what exactly it has to show beneath all the finery. That doesn’t mean I want to see its nude collectible sex card but I do want to see what really makes it tick.

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Hands On: Galak-Z, The Roguelite Arcade Shooter

By Graham Smith on August 14th, 2014.

Galak-Z is to top-down space shooters as Spelunky is to side-scrolling platformers. It takes the simple kinetic pleasures of dodging missiles, firing lasers and boosting a spaceship around asteroids and space debris, then pairs them with procedurally generated levels and objectives, and a set of simple, readable AI behaviours that allow you to approach each challenge thoughtfully. And then it layers on top inspiration from early-’80s Saturday morning cartoon shows.

I played it for an hour yesterday in a hotel adjacent to this year’s Gamescom, went to sleep thinking about it, and woke up excited about playing it again.

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Editorial: Assassin’s Creed Is No Longer Critically Relevant

By Graham Smith on August 14th, 2014.

I always think music is a better model for videogames than film: individual series of games can be thought of as performers, reaching a feverish apex of popularity before settling into comfortable grooves and hoping for the rare, Kylie Minogue-like creative resurgence.

What’s unusual about music is that most of its critical discourse revolves around pop. It’s not because pop music is what’s popular – though that helps – but because pop is obsessed with the new. It’s an eclectic, hybrid genre, grabbing new sounds, new ideas, new fashion from wherever it can, subsuming what it needs and discarding the rest. When pop finishes with an idea, that idea either dies or it calcifies as its own genre and people stop talking about it.

In short, Assassin’s Creed is now the adult contemporary of videogames. Assassin’s Creed: Unity is Michael Bolton.

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Hands On: Alien Isolation

By Adam Smith on August 13th, 2014.

Expectations? Enormous. Alien: Isolation is a first-person stealth/horror adaptation of my favourite film. Not a direct adaptation but a digital recreation, in terms of both its setting and its style. I’ve been starved of horror games in recent years and this one has a lot to live up to. Several hours in the company of the creature have just about convinced me that it might be time to believe.

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