Posts Tagged ‘review’

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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Wot I Think: Pixel Dungeon

By John Walker on June 1st, 2015.

Oh happy day! There is no roguelite I’ve played more of, nor enjoyed more, than Pixel Dungeon. But until now its modern versions being confined to my portable telephone has precluded declaring said delight in the hallowed halls of PC gaming. But what’s this popping up, unannounced, in the Steam new releases? It’s Pixel Dungeon, rebuilt and perfected for returning to my desktop computing machine! Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Hatred

By John Walker on June 1st, 2015.

Obviously Hatred [official site] has engineered itself, with the support of a jejune voluntary army, a degree of infamy. A drearily tasteless and cheap (in all senses of the word) promotional campaign dared a mostly uninterested world to care that it was to feature a lone gunman slaughtering hundreds of innocent civilians. They got a bit of attention from the credulous, but not much, and now the finished isometric shooter appears with little noise. Despite all that, I’m not here to review the clumsily engineered politics behind its development, but the game itself. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By Richard Cobbett on May 29th, 2015.

Goodness, is that the time? And, more importantly, the date? Well, yes. In my defence, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] isn’t the kind of game you can rush, in any way whatsoever. It’s the RPG that CD Projekt has been working on for ten years now – the first two games in retrospect simply being necessary baby-steps steps on the road to this, the Witcher game of their dreams. It’s a flawed masterpiece, but make no mistake, it absolutely is a masterpiece – one of the best RPGs ever created, and a true tribute to Sapkowski’s stories. Here’s Wot (Else) I Think.

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Wot I Think: Missing – An Interactive Thriller

By John Walker on May 26th, 2015.

Well here’s a remarkable thing – it’s been long enough since the sheer horror of the 90s FMV (Full Motion Video) adventure for the whole thing to finally feel nostalgic. But has someone finally made a game to go with it? Canadian team Zandel Media have tried with Missing: An Interactive Thriller’s first ‘episode’ [official site]. Here’s wot I think:

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Imperial: Revisiting X-Wing And TIE Fighter

By Rob Zacny on May 22nd, 2015.

To commemorate the digital release of classic Lucasarts games X-Wing and TIE Fighter [Steam or GOG for the best versions here and here], we commissioned Rob Zacny to take a trip down memory lane and into the laser-singed spaces between the stars. He came back with extensive thoughts as to the quality of the games, and their place in Star Wars lore and legend.

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Wot I Think: NEON STRUCT

By Alec Meer on May 22nd, 2015.

NEON STRUCT is a first-person stealth game from the makers of the excellent Eldritch. You play as a federal agent who falls foul of high-level conspiracy when an apparently routine mission goes wrong. It’s out now.

It might have lacked much of what made later stages of Ion Storm’s game so beloved, but first level Liberty Island was also the freeform Deus Ex promise writ largest: a wide-open playground for action and most especially evasion. While what followed introduced more ways to kill, people to talk to, secrets to find and decisions to agonise over, it downscaled the sandbox, live by your wits promise. What if Deus Ex had been like Liberty Island throughout?

NEON STRUCT.
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Wot I Think: Loop

By John Walker on May 22nd, 2015.

Previously released on itch.io, puzzle game Loop arrives on Steam today. I’ve been creating order from chaos, to tell you wot I think.

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