Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think – Lethis: Path Of Progress

By Alec Meer on June 30th, 2015.

As the doors of game development open up to more and more souls, an added benefit is that it’s ever-more plausible to make some great art then slap it into your engine, elevating the functional into the beautiful. Caesar/Zeus/Pharaoh-inspired, combat-free Gallic citybuilder Lethis: Path Of Progress doesn’t do especially remarkable things in terms of town management, but with an animation-inspired, gently Steampunk art style which falls somewhere in between bande dessinee and Studio Ghibli, it’s too gorgeous to put down even when it’s on the verge of tedium.
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Walking With Dinosaurs: Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?

By Steven Messner on June 24th, 2015.

On my third night in Ark: Survival Evolved [official site], when the sun had finally set and I was left alone in the seething blackness of the jungle, I saw a glimpse of my possible future. I was chopping trees in the dark, too scared to even light a fire for fear of what the warmth might draw toward me, but as another tree toppled with a groan I spied lights in the valley below. I crept closer. Silhouetted in flickering torchlight towered a tyrannosaurus rex, around which a group of hunters darted back and forth, attacking with spears and arrows. Eventually, they hunters prevailed, and, as they set upon the fallen dinosaur with tools to harvest its meat and hides, I faded back into the jungle and began chopping with renewed purpose.

Ark: Survival Evolved is an early access survival game full of these moments – the kind that fill you with trepidation and excitement in equal measure. But for every moment that adds to the enchantment of surviving on an island teeming with prehistoric life, there are just as many capable of frustrating you. Building on a firm foundation well tread by online survival games, Ark certainly has potential, much of it unrealized, but I can’t help but wonder if the claim of Survival Evolved is just too hyperbolic of a statement to make.

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Impressions: Hack RUN

By John Walker on June 23rd, 2015.

Hacking games remain far too few and far between, and often make the mistake of veering into far too complicated territory for the newb to enjoy. Hello, I am the newb. In fact, it’s not since Uplink that I’ve enjoyed the process. I’m not sure if that’s changed with Hack RUN [official site]. A super-simple command prompt-led hacking sim, with a nice amount of detail around the edges, and around the web. It’s been around a while, and has a bunch of sequels on iOS, but has just showed up on Steam which is where I first spotted it.

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Wot I Think: Her Story

By Adam Smith on June 22nd, 2015.

A camera records the statements that a woman makes to the police in relation to her missing husband. Years later, you sit at a computer and search through a video database by typing in keywords. The computer searches for the keywords in transcripts of the statements and returns up to five results. To dig deeper, you’ll have to make connections, combine words, play detective.

Her Story [official site] is a game about crime and investigation from Aisle and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer Sam Barlow, and it’s one of the best in its field.

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Wot I Think: Lego Jurassic World

By John Walker on June 17th, 2015.

The prolific TT Games have a new Lego game just in time for the new Jurassic World movie. Covering all four Jurassic Park movies and featuring an awful lot of stompy dinos, how does Lego Jurassic World one fare in their ever-growing catalogue? Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Sylvio

By Adam Smith on June 9th, 2015.

Horror fans are poorly served and many, myself included, are gluttons for punishment. I try so many Slender-likes hoping to find a creepy idea or one good scare. It’s the same in film as in games – I soak up exorcisms and found footage hoping to be spooked or unnerved, and usually walk away disappointed or disgusted.

It makes me very happy to say that recently released indie ghost hunting scare ‘em up Sylvio [official site] is an imaginative, unusual and frightening new horror game. Here’s wot I think.

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Premature Evaluation: Gynophobia

By Marsh Davies on June 8th, 2015.

For a much more provocative and intelligent look at the phenomena of gynophobia, one might turn to Lars von Trier’s film Antichrist. I love Lars von Trier’s films partly because I always know that I will find something violently objectionable in them - but unlike the many shallow attempts at purposeless offence that various right-wing bores attempt to parade as examples of free speech, von Trier’s films are masterworks of trolling which entangle the middleclass arthouse fan in their own hypocrisies and complacencies. I sometimes leave the cinema absolutely furious, and yet somehow delighted, because this fury is a joke at my own expense. It’s a really strange concoction of emotion and meaning, and unlike the work of any other director.

Each week, Marsh Davies roots through the underwear drawer of Early Access and beholds with a mixture of fear and arousal the strange contraptions he finds within. This week, he’s played Gynophobia, a short game about shooting things and being afraid of tits and spiders. There’s even a spider with tits – a lamentable mainstay of monster design that not even Dark Souls could redeem.

Sing with me now:

♫ SpiderTit, SpiderTit, ♫
♫ Let’s be honest, it’s always shit. ♫

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Impressions: The Masterplan

By Adam Smith on June 5th, 2015.

I instruct my character to walk into a late night kiosk, a toy gun in his pocket and the vaguest plan fluttering around his mind (TAKE ALL OF THE MONEY). The door that leads to the stockroom is locked. There’s only one staff member on duty and no guards whatsoever. Outside, on the street, there’s a payphone that could be used to call the police but there are no alarm buttons or security cameras.

A customer arrives and I point the fake gun at him, backing into a corner so that I can cover the cashier as well. They both raise their arms in surrender. I instruct the customer to bludgeon the cashier until he’s unconscious and then take his key. With the stockroom open, I take everything I can carry and lock the customer inside, next to the slumbering clerk. The simplest of The Masterplan’s [official site] heists executed to perfection.

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Wot I Think: Massive Chalice

By Alec Meer on June 4th, 2015.

alas poor thingumy, I knew him, I think. Maybe.

Massive Chalice is an XCOM-like, fantasy-themed strategy game from Doublefine, divided into turn-based, grid-based squad battles and a real-time base mode in which you build structures and marry nobles to provide a steady stream of new and upgraded soldiers to fight for you, in the hope of surviving a centuries-long siege by plant-like beasts. It left Early Access a few days ago.

I’m looking at a corpse. It’s someone’s son. Was someone’s son. That someone is regent of a keep in my kingdom, but if they are upset that their son is dead, felled by the acidic explosion of a hunched monster in its own death throes, they do not say so. No-one says anything. Is his corpse even collected from the battlefield, taken back to his family’s home for a respectful burial and private mourning? Or does it still lie there now, gradually dissolving into that acidic puddle it lies in? Does anyone ever speak his name again?
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Wot I Think: You Must Build A Boat

By John Walker on June 4th, 2015.

EightyEight Games 10,000,000 was a surprisingly lovely and silly combination of match-3 and endless running gaming, and entirely won us over. It’s sequel, You Must Build A Boat [official site], is out any moment now, and here’s wot I think:

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Impressions: Color Assembler

By John Walker on June 3rd, 2015.

It’s a bold move when your options screen requires a working understanding of your game mechanics. Bold, and daft. But I’m going to forgive Color Assembler this enormity purely because its ataraxic atmosphere lulls me back into a state of imperturbable calm. I’m even forgiving how bloody confusing it is.

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Premature Evaluation: Ronin

By Marsh Davies on June 1st, 2015.

It’s doubly tricky to avoid setting off alarms in Ronin because the levels occasionally repopulate with extra enemies who stumble upon your trail of corpses - corpses which you have no means of hiding. This is a terrible shame because furtively stacking corpses in closets is my number one favourite thing to do in stealth games, and probably also number one in the list of macabre game mechanics that you should not admit to enjoying loudly in public.

Each week Marsh Davies slices open Early Access like the soft belly of a hapless Yakuza goon and roots around inside for any stories he can find. This week he’s playing Ronin – a game about infiltrating 2D-cutaway buildings and dicing their occupants up via a sharp-as-hell turnbased combat system.

“Tip: this is not Gunpoint,” says a little message on the screen. It’s not wrong. While playing Gunpoint, for example, I never punched my monitor so hard that it flickered to a blank white for several seconds, during which I fearfully grovelled in apology to the gods. Ronin is heavily inspired by Gunpoint, however – a fact which, to forestall the needlessly defensive cries of “Clone!”, seems to delight Gunpoint’s creator, my good chum Tom Francis. And regardless of its origins, Ronin now plays really quite differently (not least because of the tantrum-inducing lack of a manual save system). You can still leap across moonlit rooftops in elegant parabolas, scuttle up the sides of skyscrapers and sling yourself through their plate glass windows, but, once inside, the player’s purpose is less about open-ended stealth puzzling than it is strategic slaughter.

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Wot I Think: Heroes of the Storm

By Marsh Davies on June 1st, 2015.

Every time we talk about MOBAs on the C&C podcast, we get plaintive tweets from people so incensed by their mere existence that they demand timestamps marking the beginning and end of our MOBA talk so they can continue in blissful ignorance of this benighted genre. This doesn’t happen when we talk about any other genre of game - not even football games! And football games don’t even have goblins! What even is the point?

Heroes of the Storm [official site], which launches out of open beta today, is Blizzard’s take on the MOBA – and if the very mention of the ‘M’-word made you want to heave your monitor out the window then it may just be a game you should play.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas are popular in direct proportion to the degree with which they are hated by people who don’t play them – and there are very good reasons for both of these things. Blizzard have made a game that seeks to make peace with each side. I think, if given time by either party, it would succeed, even if these impulses sometimes leave the game in conflict with itself. I, personally, bloody love it.

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