Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Among The Sleep

By Adam Smith on May 29th, 2014.

Furniture seems to snarl and rear in the shadows, shifting uncannily. The hum of a fridge is the growl of a nightmare creature, all shadow and spite, and every door handle is farther away than even tippy-toes can reach. Among The Sleep begins with the promise of a waking nightmare, of familiar things corrupted and seen from a new perspective. It begins as a game about a frightened child in a house at night but like many childhood fears, the illusion doesn’t last. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: The Wolf Among Us Part 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing

By Alec Meer on May 28th, 2014.

The fourth part of Telltale’s inadvertently long-running adaptation of fairy-tales-in-modern-New-York comic Fables was released yesterday. As, like its predecessors, it can only be bought as part of a season pack, part of me questions the wisdom of writing it up individually, but hey, I’ve started so I’ll finish. I do avoid largely spoilers below, but it’s going to be pretty nonsensical if you’ve not played the series so far.

Everything’s going in the right direction now. This is the episode of Telltale’s fairy tale noir adventure where the brooding atmosphere of menace and distrust is fully backed up by events and implications. While, to a significant degree, the overly-obviously-titled ‘In Sheep’s Clothing’ is a retread of prior episodes’ structure, it’s finally moving away from questions and onto answers, as well as capitalising on some character relationships which had been either lightly sketched or outright abandoned since the first episode. With the net tightening – whether around the perpetrator or around our heroes remains an open question – there’s a real sense that people are in danger, and that I might be the one to bring doom to their door.
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Wot I Think: Watch Dogs

By Graham Smith on May 27th, 2014.

Press E to grieve. But put away your phone first, at least.

One day you will purchase a multi-pack bag of assorted crisps. Maybe because you’re going to a party, maybe because you’re living on a budget. You won’t be overly fond of any of the contained flavours, every bite will feel a little on the soft side of fresh, and the individual packets will be 90% air, but you’ll at least feel comforted by having choice and abundance.

Welcome to Watch_Dogs, the latest videogame from Ubisoft. You play as Aiden Pearce, a brooding packet of cheese & onion whose hacker-criminal past has led to the death of his niece. Now you must run, drive and hack around its ready salted open world on a quest for truth and vengeance, alternating between salt ‘n’ vinegar main quests and a prawn cocktail of crafting and side missions familiar from Far Cry 3 among others.

Running low on crisp flavours, I may just end my review right here. But there’s something of Watch underscore Dogs stuck in my teeth and I need to unpick it. This is wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Out Of The Park Baseball 15

By Adam Smith on May 26th, 2014.

Out Of The Park Baseball doesn’t simulate a sport, it simulates a world. Tracking franchises, coaches, leagues, rosters and rules, the game is capable of generating a fictional world built around America’s Pastime. Previous releases have been among the most impressively simulated and highly regarded sports management games ever released, and the new season’s release doesn’t disappoint, despite some undercooked new features. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Simulating War by Philip Sabin

By Tim Stone on May 25th, 2014.

To Professor Philip Sabin a wargame isn’t just a plaything, a contraption for turning weapons-grade boredom into 24-carat fascination. To the man that teaches the World War Two in Europe, Warfare in the Ancient World, Fighting in the Air, and Conflict Simulation modules at King’s College, London, high-quality historical strategy games are invaluable research and educational aids, as useful in their own ways as conventional written histories. In his latest book, Simulating War, he explains why his Strategic Studies students are often to be found hunched over hexgrids, and details a design approach that, though geared towards the creation of board wargames, contains much that will interest and inspire computer wargame creators. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: Bound By Flame

By Richard Cobbett on May 23rd, 2014.

Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle, that's the meal you probably ate last. Pop goes the evil...

Bound By Flame is a game written by spiders, which is goddamn terrifying. They’ve learned to use technology! They have our internet! They know our secr- Oh, wait. It’s just Spiders, the French developers that last brought us Mars: War Logs. It’s an RPG that came out of nowhere, but its fans do seem oddly rabid about it. Is it worth your time though? Here’s Wot I Think…

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Wot I Think – Wolfenstein: The New Sequel

By Alec Meer on May 23rd, 2014.

Wolfenstein: The New Sequel Order is part-reboot, part-sequel to the 21st century Wolfenstein games. Primarily set in an alternate 1960, this big, brash, violent, occasionally moving, singleplayer-only first-person shooter tells the story of a fight-back against a hitherto undefeated, planet-conquering Nazi empire wielding otherworldly technology. Despite having to downgrade graphics card to play it, I’ve spent the last few days with its remarkably long campaign.

I’m fascinated by William Joseph “B.J.” Blazkowicz’s eyes. Someone’s put an awful lot of work into those eyes. His is the quintessential first-person soldiermanhero’s face (indeed, it’s based upon the archetype of that grizzled beefcake design, from his first appearance in 1992′s Wolfenstein 3D), but the eyes come from someone else. Haunted, sad, soulful, sometimes tender – they reveal that this mass of muscle is also a walking wound, and in that they represent the anachronism at the heart of this latest, surprisingly excellent Wolfenstein game.
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Wot I Think: BattleBlock Theater

By Marsh Davies on May 22nd, 2014.

Sprung from its imprisonment on Xbox, vaudevillian penitentiary platformer BattleBlock Theater has finally come to Steam. Its release is most definitely to be celebrated: BattleBlock matches shrewd puzzle construction with the furious pace and precise try-and-die challenge of Super Meat Boy, and yet fits all this in a difficulty curve so gentle you barely feel out of breath when you plant your flag at the top. The premise of each level – collect gems and reach the exit – may not be a stretch for the genre, but BattleBlock’s execution has few peers, plus it boasts co-op, both online and off, loads of competitive modes, mini-games, and a level editor with Steam Workshop support. And, because this is still a game from the makers of Castle Crashers, there’s a button which lets you fart yourself to death. Parp!

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Wot I Think – The Last Tinker: City Of Colors

By Mat Jones on May 22nd, 2014.

This picture is representative of what being George Harrison was like

I was actively discouraged from enjoying my favourite moment of The Last Tinker. An unseen enemy bombarded me as I tried to absorb some excellent set-dressing. Though the game’s pitched as a childish platforming adventure, revelling in a bright storybook aesthetic, this particular bit of the world is not for me to enjoy. I’m being shooed away. You’ve got more art to see. Into the next room please, sir, you’re holding up the tour.

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Wot I Think: Transistor

By Nathan Grayson on May 20th, 2014.

Transistor is a phenomenal thing in places. Just tremendous. Sometimes overwhelming in its cleverness and subtlety. It had me on the verge of tears from both laughter and a creeping, ever-constricting stranglehold on my heart, and a talking sword (given life by the sultry tones of Bastion narrator Logan Cunningham) was responsible for most of it. This is a very different story from Bastion, arguably a much more personal one. It is, however, also a more natural progression from the latter’s painterly walk on sunshine than its dusky cyberpunk setting might suggest.

All that said, Transistor is a strong tale and a very good game. But it could’ve been much better. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Men Of War: Assault Squad 2

By Jim Rossignol on May 15th, 2014.

Okay! It’s a sequel called Men Of War: Assault Squad 2, which is a name that will tell you the exact game it is based upon, if you think hard enough. What this means is that we have a new batch of multiplayer-facing missions (although some playable single player) in the fabulously vivid and brutal Men Of War engine. And the Men Of War setting. It’s World War II again, and let’s not forget that important thematic element. Men Of War has not changed. Perhaps it cannot change.

And so did Ass Squad need a sequel? And can I safely use that abbreviation in this introduction. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Wot I Think: The Walking Dead Season 2 Ep 3

By Adam Smith on May 13th, 2014.

Season two of the The Walking Dead has started strong, taking on the task of switching to a new player character confidently. Clementine is a complex character, capable of carrying the narrative while also reacting to the player’s input in a believable fashion. With the third episode, the story enters a new phase, one that shifts the setting and tone somewhat, and places the focus on a smaller cast, with Michael Madsen’s Bill Carver at the fore. It’s bleak and brutal, but that’s nothing new. It’s also a bit underwhelming. Here’s wot I think, with spoilers carefully avoided.

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Wot I Think: Daylight

By Alec Meer on May 9th, 2014.

Daylight is a first-person horror game made with the Unreal 4 engine, set in a spooky hospital with a procedurally-generated layout, and is focused on evasion rather than combat. I turned the lights out to see what I could see.

I don’t scare easily, at least not unless someone puts dead shellfish in front of me. Or tries to stick a needle into my arm. Or starts a conversation with “have you heard the new Coldplay song?” Or asks me to perform sums. Or tells me the house is out of milk. Or inquires about what I think I’ll be doing for a living in ten years’ time. Daylight did scare me though – well, not quite scare, so much as pull me into a sustained state of dread and tension, even though I was simulatenously sneering at its tidal wave of horror stereotypes.
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