Posts Tagged ‘preview’

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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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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Battlefield Hardline: On Meaning And Theme In Multiplayer

By Graham Smith on June 18th, 2014.

This is not a police car.

Battlefield Hardline takes the series’ now familiar formula and gives it a new theme. It’s still about large teams of players killing, capturing and controlling vehicles in various objective-based multiplayer modes. But instead of visiting exotic locations and fighting as a military force, the game takes place in the streets of Los Angeles and players play the roles of cops and robbers.

I’ve been playing the closed beta since last Friday, and in between rounds of criminal mayhem I’ve been thinking a lot about meaning and structure in multiplayer game design. Now that the beta has opened up to all, let me exorcise those thought-demons here.

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Hands-On: Alien Isolation

By Craig Pearson on June 10th, 2014.

Alien: Isolation is a hybrid of stealth and survival horror. A game where you are a very weak person against a very strong thing, but where you know where that strong thing is at all times. You can’t kill it, but you can avoid it, antagonise it, and occasionally attack it to give you time to flee. I’ve been wandering the Sevastopol, encountering humans, crafting, and the beast. Here’s what went down.

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First Look: Homefront – The Revolution

By Craig Pearson on June 3rd, 2014.

I’m not sure how a Homefront sequel that I didn’t really care about became a Crysis game that I really want to play, but that’s what I saw the other day. Homefront: The Revolution is Crysis. Hilariously Crysis. So very very Crysis. And yet it’s a Crysis game that Crytek haven’t even managed to make, despite having all the component parts.

Now they are, and it’s a Homefront game. I am confused.

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First Look: Investigating The Horror Of Draugen

By Adam Smith on May 28th, 2014.

Ragnar Tørnquist describes Draugen as the game at the heart of Red Thread Studios. That’s something of a surprise, considering that a script and concept for Dreamfall Chapters have existed in his mind (and on various hard drives) for more than a decade now. The Nordic horror/mystery will be his new team’s second release and, as he explained to me during a recent visit to Oslo, it’s the game they were founded to create.

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Hands On: Among The Sleep

By Adam Smith on May 21st, 2014.

During a recent trip to Oslo, I found two members of Krillbite working in the same office space as Red Thread Games. Before sitting down with Dreamfall Chapters, I spent a couple of hours in the company of a teddy bear, sucking my thumb in the dark. Among The Sleep is creepy, as I’d expected, but there are hints of something far darker than night terrors in its shattered domestic spaces.

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Hands On: Dreamfall Chapters

By Adam Smith on May 20th, 2014.

Dreamfall Chapters opens with a series of nightmares, wasting no time before informing the player of the high stakes and gravity of its multi-threaded plot. It’s a personal story, of family and sacrifice, but the potential consequences are cosmic. In truth, it’s not a single story at all, it’s a collection of stories within stories and about stories, taking the disparate worlds of The Longest Journey and weaving a larger tapestry. I’ve played the first three hours and found something quite different to the point and click adventure I was expecting.

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Impressions: Hack ‘N’ Slash

By Craig Pearson on May 19th, 2014.

The first thing that happens in Hack ‘N’ Slash is the player is given a weapon, a sword, and then it breaks. Beneath the sword’s external stabby part is a USB interface. A smarter person would point out how this is a microcosm of the game, because you solve puzzles by peeling away the game’s outer layer to manipulate the code beneath the surface. Me? I’ll just lazily use it as a way of introducing the concept and then hop into the game proper. Oh, and I’ll also say it’s great.

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First Look – EVE: Project Legion

By Rich Stanton on May 3rd, 2014.

Rich Stanton is in Iceland attending EVE Fanfest, CCP’s celebration of internet spaceships and those who love them. He was there when the company revealed Project Legion, and he tracked down CCP staff to get details of the new sandbox shooter set in the EVE universe.

Finally. Among CCP’s odd decisions over the years, surely one of the strangest was in making Dust-514 a Playstation 3 exclusive – and compounding this by releasing it at the end of the console’s lifecycle. One could speculate that this was all down to a giant cheque from Mr Sony, but at Eve Fanfest’s Dust-514 keynote the inevitable was announced. EVE’s Project Legion, a free-to-play PC shooter, aims to make Dust-514 look like a dry run.

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Hands On: Heroes Of The Storm

By Philippa Warr on April 29th, 2014.

‘Hero brawler’. That’s what Blizzard would like you to call their all-star lane pushing videogame, Heroes of the Storm. In marketing terms it’s better than referencing your competitors by saying Dota-like or LoL-a-like (sidenote: no-one says LoL-a-like and this is a crying shame). More importantly, it’s better than the emotionally dead and uselessly expansive MOBA. It gives you the flavour of the game you’re about to play. The phrase ‘hero brawler’ contains something of the rambunctiousness you’ll find infecting lanes, infiltrating the weird scrubland that the genre’s traditional vocabulary dubs ‘jungle’ and venturing into haunted mineshafts.

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Hands On: Enemy Starfighter

By Graham Smith on April 25th, 2014.

Each game of Enemy Starfighter begins in Overwatch, a region of space from which you can see five or six or seven other possible destinations. Each is represented by a white pip; there’s perhaps an asteroid field, a planet, a star, and then one region which has another set of symbols above the white mark. These tell you what ships are inhabiting the space. Corvettes? Frigates? I can never remember what the symbols mean, only that each represents an opportunity for death or derring-do that the dynamic mission generator has created for me.

Pick a destination, engage your gap drive and let’s jump into orbit.

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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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