Posts Tagged ‘preview’

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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It’s Time To Get Excited About Clockwork Empires

By John Walker on March 20th, 2014.

Imagine if so much of the bullshit Peter Molyneux has talked over the years was actually in a game. A simulation game where each tiny human lived their own lives, had their own thoughts and feelings and memories, and behaved accordingly. It’s a claim we’ve heard so often that it’s hard not to dismiss it out of hand. So much so that when Dungeons Of Dredmor developers Gaslamp Games were claiming it, I demanded they stop and prove it to me… They did. Clockwork Empires, a colonial village building sim (of sorts) pulls you in with the cult monster worship, but you stay for the extraordinary AI.

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Hands On: The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II

By John Walker on March 12th, 2014.

I’ve had my hands on a single mega-level from the forthcoming The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II, which is due to arrive on the 17th April. With promises to make big improvements over the first game, this level gives a taste of how they plan to implement the tactical angle of the first game’s finale into the general levels. It seems to be working.

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Impressions – Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance

By Alec Meer on March 10th, 2014.

Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance is a forthcoming ‘lane strategy game’ based on Games Workshop’s foremost sci-fi setting. It’s due out on March 27th, and I’ve been playing some preview code ahead of that. What follows are initial thoughts on that time, as I have not yet played all of the game, or its finished form.
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Impressions: Lifeless Planet

By Alec Meer on March 5th, 2014.

Look, I know exactly 42% of you think Going For A Walk games are destroying videogames, but this is one instance where a game would be a whole lot better if it stuck to observation over interaction. Insta-death jump-puzzles are not what a game about exploring a strange, apparently uninhabited new world tinged with tragedy and mystery really needs. Wonderful, sweeping scenery: yes. Vast, surprising architecture: yes. Clangy soundtrack of celestial doom: yes. Russian-language audiologs: yes. Eerie, lonely stomps across apparently infinite alien terrain: yes. Yes! A strange and unsettlingly space-place, free from guns and conventional monsters. Yes. Falling off a ledge again and again: no, why, no, no, no, please, no.

That I want to play more of Lifeless Planet, that I want to spend more time in it, even despite its jump’n'fail misery, says much about the place it has built.
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Cat And Mouse: A Tale Of Magicka – Wizard Wars

By Adam Smith on February 27th, 2014.

Pride comes before a fall. Worse, actually. In this game, pride comes before a meteor shower to the face, an icy blast to the particulars and a death ray to the heart. Magicka: Wizard Wars continues to entertain me on a daily basis but it has been cruel to me these past weeks and I can’t help but feel that I brought some of the suffering on myself. The tale I have to tell is one of ice and fire, and of cruelty and claws. It is a tale of cat and mouse.

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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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Hands-On: Age Of Wonders III

By Adam Smith on February 12th, 2014.

The wait for Age Of Wonders III would have been far more painful if I’d been anticipating a return to the series since the release of the most recent game in 2003. I’d assumed Triumph were otherwise engaged though, following the release of the Overlord games and a period of silence. Last year we discovered that the Dutch developers were returning to the wonders that they knew so well, with a strategic turn-based sequel to the superb Shadow Magic and I’ve been playing a preview build for several days now. Here’s wot I’ve learned.

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Hands On With Evolve, The Monster-Bullying Simulator

By Alec Meer on February 11th, 2014.

Evolve is a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer co-op action game from Turtle Rock Studios, the main team behind the original Left 4 Dead. Picked up by 2K for an eyewatering sum at the THQ IP firesale, it’s due for release later this year. A couple of weeks ago, I went to play it.

I’m shaking, which while a state I usually associate with over/under caffeination or discovering that there’s been a distressingly cynical free to play remake of one of my most beloved games, is in this case a good thing. I’m shaking from built up and released tension, and from an infusion of adrenaline into my frail, pale form. I’m shaking because I became a monster, and because I won, and because I beat the real monsters.
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Hands On: The First Few Hours Of Elder Scrolls Online

By John Walker on February 7th, 2014.

Elder Scrolls Online (“The” optional) is out in April. That’s quite soon! So over the last few days Bethesda have opened it up to allow some journalists in, to have a poke around. I’ve played up to level 7, so far, which isn’t enormously far in, but does represent that crucial opening five or six hours. And I’m here to tell you all about them.

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Hands On: Vertiginous Golf

By John Walker on February 6th, 2014.

There are some genre descriptions I see and my heart sinks. “A new twist on tower defence!” Sink. “Adding an F2P model to classic racing!” Siiiiiink. “An update to a Myst-style adventure” Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiink. “A dystopian steampunk golf game.” PERRRRRR-DOOIIIIIIIINNGGG! My heart’s back up where it belongs!

That is the superb explanation given by indie publisher Surprise Attack Games, just announced as publishing the superbly named Vertiginous Golf. Golf powered by “a mysterious Victorian-era virtual reality device.” I’ve had a play of it.

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Hands-In: Loading Human

By Adam Smith on February 6th, 2014.

‘Hands-On’ or ‘Hands-In’? Loading Human combines the power of the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra to create a virtual reality experience, in which the player’s head and arms are tracked onto a first-person avatar. The game itself has a great deal in common with Gone Home, and point and click adventures, telling a story of memory, love and loss. Everything is tied to the control system though and as I stood in the middle of an office, as confused and vulnerable as a contestant on Knightmare, I was forced to admit that I am very bad at following instructions. And at standing still. I’ve never been quite so excited and exhausted by a single hour with a game.

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Hands-On: Warlock II – The Exiled

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2014.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane was a solid game that promised a great sequel. The interface and map had similarities to Civ V, some of which were slightly more than skin-deep, but the game had ideas of its own, bolstered by a sense of the ridiculous that was bizarre and humorous but avoided the lure of wackiness. The Exiled expands upon its precursor’s strongest elements and brings the turn-based exploration and conquest to a fascinating multiverse. I played for a little over an hour and didn’t want to walk away.

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