Posts Tagged ‘preview’

Hands On: RymdResa

It’s tough to pin down exactly what sort of game RymdResa [official site] is going to be when it comes out next month, not least because it keeps changing as you go through. Split into three chapters, each slightly varying on the last, it’s a 2D space exploration/thruster-based arcade game, with poetry. You know the sort. I’ve had my hands on some code.

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The Asylum Horror Game That Isn’t A Horror Game

I took a look at the trailers for this Italian-made ‘psychological’ thriller a couple of weeks ago, and worried aloud about whether they’d be able to achieve their stated aim of helping people understand “the true meaning of mental illness” given that The Town Of Light seemed to include many ‘spooky asylum’ tropes.

I played a small section of the game and spoke (via translator) to the Italian team behind The Town Of Light at last week’s Develop conference, and now at least have a clearer idea of what it is.

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Ghostly Machines: Hands On With SOMA’s Opening Hours

Over the weekend, I played the first third of SOMA [official site], the new game from Frictional, the horror maestros behind Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. If the tone and quality of the game remain approximately similar for the remainder of the running time, Frictional will have delivered their most accomplished title to date, but it might also be their least terrifying. That might be a good thing.

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Hands On: Just Cause 3

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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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