Posts Tagged ‘preview’

Hands On: Just Cause 3

By Adam Smith on June 16th, 2015.

Just Cause 3 [official site] is a spectator’s dream. I’d been playing for at least two and a half hours when I decided to take a walk around the room to see what all of the other journalists were up to. Some were testing the physics by attaching cars to boats, planes to people and spluttering scooters to everything. Some had learned to navigate the game’s new yet familiar setting – the fictional Mediterranean island of Medici – like ground-skimming superheroes, swift creatures of the air who used a combination of grapple lines, wingsuit and parachute to stay airborne. Some were exploding everything.

On one screen the Looney Tunes violence elsewhere had been transformed into something grim.

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Impressions: Anno 2205 Takes City-building To The Moon

By Duncan Geere on June 16th, 2015.

“We choose to go to the Moon” says Dirk Riegert, the creative director of Ubisoft Blue Byte. Except he doesn’t – he actually says something like “we will go to the Moon”, which is nowhere near as good a quote, and the reason he’ll probably never be elected as President of the United States.

Fabricated quotes aside, I’m in a German town called Mainz – home of the printing press and the Gutenberg bible – to see something a little more futuristic. It’s Anno 2205 – the newest entry in the strategic city-building series where the numbers always add up to nine, and Riegert’s explaining how this entry differs from the previous ones. “We are leaving Earth for the first time,” he says. “2205? It’s time for the space elevator to go up through the stratosphere.”

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Hands On: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on June 8th, 2015.

The first time I moved to the unsteady beat of Hearts of Iron IV [official site], I played as Germany and managed to avoid the catastrophe of World War II by fudging my initial invasion plans so badly that the French were preparing to march on Berlin by 1938. France, like every other nation, had been controlled by the AI.

This time around, I played two games. Two games in a world populated by around twenty human players, controlling all of the major powers and some minor players. The first time around, I was outside the main theater, attempting to transform Brazil into a major trading power. When that world tore itself apart, I picked Japan in a draft and set about taming the Russian Bear with a little help from my friends.

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Hands On: StarCraft II – Legacy Of The Void

By Rob Zacny on April 14th, 2015.

I am, and always will be, ambivalent about StarCraft 2 [official site]. It is a game I can barely play at the best of times, where my greatest exertions will raise me to the barest level of competence. It is the eSport I fell in love with, the competitive game I still get the most excited about during long, lazy weekends at home. It is a game I admire, but will never master.

Yet hope springs eternal. Maybe with Legacy of the Void, StarCraft 2 can finally become what I want it to be. Maybe this time it can be everything.

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Hands On: Killing Floor 2

By Rich Stanton on April 14th, 2015.

It has been a decade since the original Killing Floor mod for Unreal Tournament, which was released in much-improved standalone form in 2009. It’s one of those games that quickly turns some people off: the visuals were a bit shonky, it was essentially built on repetition, and the less said about the Dick van Dyke voice-acting the better. But for devotees, Killing Floor is one of those games that stealthily racks up several hundred hours on Steam and swiftly becomes a fixture among like-minded mates, a precision blastathon where the repetition is the whole point.

You got better; the game got deadlier. And Killing Floor 2 [official site] is as straightforward a reload as you’re ever likely to see.

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Impressions: Rainbow Six: Siege Closed Alpha

By RPS on April 13th, 2015.

Pip and Graham have breached the barricades of Rainbow Six: Siege‘s [official site] closed beta and gathered in the rubble discuss whether the dust they’re breathing is asbestos or the-best-os.

Graham: I might have shared this before, but I think Peter Gabriel wrote a song about my favourite thing in Rainbow Six: Siege.

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Hands-On: A Few Hours With Dirty Bomb

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell on March 31st, 2015.

Rhino, right, can hold off a team single-handed once his Gatling gun spins up, but you can always get Arty, left, to drop an airstrike on him. Assuming Proxy, centre, doesn't slap a remotely detonated bomb on his caboodle.

I managed to get hopelessly lost on my way to last week’s Dirty Bomb [Steam page] event, squirrelled away in the trendy thicket of London’s Old Truman Brewery. Annoying? Yes. Fitting? Absolutely. Splash Damage has a multitude of demons to slay with its latest spin on Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory – the ever-controversial choice of a free-to-play model, the spectre of Brink, its previous stab at a new IP – but the most fearsome of these demons is surely London itself. London, a city that’s actually a bunch of medieval villages mashed into each other, where roads designed for horses struggle to find room for buses and Range Rovers. London, a metropolis blown half to bits during World War 2, then mutated into absurd, glittering shapes by overseas investors. London, where heading a mile downriver feels like setting foot on a different planet.

You couldn’t ask for a less elegant setting for a multiplayer FPS in the Team Fortress vein, where a single sightline askew can be the difference between enjoyment and fury, but the studio has done a bang-up job. In fact, one of this formidable, comfortable shooter’s greatest strengths is how it chisels readable warrens of coverspots, overlooks and chokepoints out of the capital’s beguiling weirdness. London is everywhere in Dirty Bomb, from its red letterboxes to the graceful arches of Waterloo Station, but unlike the reality, it’s seldom inconvenient. It never gets in your way.

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Hands-On: Job Simulator On Valve’s Vive VR Headset

By Graham Smith on March 30th, 2015.

The Vive overwhelmed me when I first tried it at GDC, but after playing through Valve’s hand-picked demos for a general sense of the VR headset, I went back for a second time to play more of Job Simulator [official site]. Of the game-like experiences I’ve had with the device, it was the best – better even than Valve’s own Portal 2 vignette.

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Impressions: Homesick

By Alec Meer on March 27th, 2015.

Not quite walking Dear Esther, not quite Myst, Homesick‘s an extremely pretty first-person mood piece propelled by environmental puzzles. I think the unfinished version I’ve played has some big flaws, but I also think a lot of people are going to love it. My eyes certainly did.
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Bad Medicine, Good Money: Hands-On With Big Pharma

By Alec Meer on March 27th, 2015.

I’ve never much thought about what goes into the little white tablet I swallow when I’m hungover, have the sniffles or another bout of Geek’s Disease.* It’s just chalky magic, right? Well, no: it’s the result of millions of dollars, aggressive R&D, production facilities of breathtaking size and precision, ruthless marketeering and impossibly sinister downplaying and mitigation of side effects. While medicine-themed management game Big Pharma doesn’t go for pharmaceutical industry’s jugular, Goldacre-style, its pills-as-merciless-industry approach is certainly a welcome change from the bland, smiling, comfortable faces that advertising tells us medicine are all about.
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Pillars Of Eternity: The First Half Hour

By John Walker on March 23rd, 2015.

I have spent most of the last week doing little else but play Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity [official site]. But I cannot yet tell you wot I think, as such brainthoughtss are under embargo. I can, however, stream or “let’s play” the first fifteen hours of the game. But I’m not going to do that, because it would be the most awful shame for you to have such things spoiled.

Instead I’ve videoed and chatted over the first half hour, from the character creator to the opening scenes, stopping right before the plot kicks in. Because you don’t want to know the story before you play an RPG, because you’re not a complete clot.

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Hands On: Aer

By John Walker on March 16th, 2015.

I can only imagine the sighs that must have emanated from all working on Aer [official site] when Ubisoft’s Grow Home was released last month. Not because the two games play alike – the similarities are only slight. But wow, do they look the same. The polygonal design of both renders gorgeous green foliage against cerulean skies, growing on floating islands. Aer, of course, has been around since late 2013, while Grow Home was announced then released within the same few weeks. Were Aer due to release soon, its thunder could have been considerably stolen. So it’s perhaps oddly fortunate that the flying/exploring adventure isn’t out until 2016.

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Hands On: Jenny LeClue – Detectivú

By John Walker on March 16th, 2015.

Last year saw the extremely pretty pitch for adventure Jenny LeClue [official site] perform rather well on Kickstarter. Aiming for $65k, they finished with a whopping $105,797. And they also broke new ground by setting a realistic release date! December of 2016. In fact, they’re looking likely to beat that by quite some months, maybe even close to a year. And in order to demonstrate how far they’ve come already, a short demo version of a portion of the game has been created, and will soon be released into the wild. I had an early peek at it last week, and am delighted to report it’s looking really rather good.

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