Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Albino Lullaby – Episode One

Ape Law’s first game, Albino Lullaby [official site], intrigued us when a demo of its twisted peculiarity appeared in February this year. Packed with potential, we couldn’t wait to see where it was going, and how it would all come together. Has it worked? Here’s wot I think?

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Wot I Think: Mad Max

After some impressions of the first few hours of Avalanche’s Mad Max [official site] open-world action-me-do, I return having spent another week with the Road Warrior, ready to tell you wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Nobunaga’s Ambition Sphere Of Influence

Love of history starts with a love of good stories. The complexity and doubt come later, when you have heard the same stories so many different ways that the veneer of the Great Men narrative starts peeling away from the foundations of messy, conflicting fact. But that love of a good story never really goes away.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence [official site] succeeds or fails based on your willingness to hear, and take part in, just such a story. There’s a storybook quality to this game that can prove disarming and captivating even as the game itself can sometimes be so repetitive and straightforward that at times it plays almost like a Facebook strategy game. Like its title character, who scarcely has time for anything but his plans for national unification, Nobunaga’s Ambition has its gaze fixed on the great themes of its era: warfare, diplomacy, family, and betrayal. It’s a little hazy on the details of economy, foreign policy, and tactics.

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Wot I Think: Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain

Like Snake with the open expanse of Soviet-occupied Afghanistan stretching out before him, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [official site] is a massive game, both in terms of the systems that drive it and the number of plot threads it feels obligated to weave together. This breadth is the game’s triumph, as well as its downfall. The Phantom Pain is the best stealth-action game ever made, and one of the worst Metal Gear stories ever told.

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Fran Bow Is A Worthy Heir To Wonderland

Fran Bow [official site] made me smile more than any other game I’ve played this year.
That might come as a surprise if all you’ve seen of the game is a couple of screenshots feauring gore and dead kids. Fran Bow opens with a gory murder scene and then traps its young protagonist in a creepy institution for (criminally?) insane children. But that initial setting and the dark tone are just a small slice of a story that spans worlds and perfectly captures the beautiful, delightful nonsense of Alice’s Adventures, an inspiration that is imprinted on the game.

Extending Alice’s curiosity to pitch black MORBID curiosity leads to an intelligent, melancholy and eventually hopeful journey toward an acceptance and understanding of death.

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Wot I Think: Act Of Aggression

Act of Aggression [official site] is a formidable, traditional RTS, a callback to Eugen’s pre-Wargame work. In some quarters it has been heralded as the game to fill the Command & Conquer gap in the strategy world. Its three distinct factions, resource gathering and near-future military tech seem to fit the bill. We asked Rob Zacny to join the battle and report back with a full analysis. Here’s wot he thinks.

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Wot I Think: STASIS

Stasis [official site] is a traditional point and click adventure game with a sci-fi horror theme. Successfully Kickstarted by tiny South African studio The Brotherhood in 2013, it was released yesterday. Join me for some space-screaming.

Perhaps the main reason adventure games and I broke up is that I found them too arbitrary to take seriously. The puzzles were so often at odds with the setting or theme, necessitating a suspension of disbelief (either that there really only are three usable objects in this room, or that the protagonist is simply too stupid to try anything else) that I was increasingly unwilling to provide in order to commune with some designer’s lateral thinking, or some writer’s gags. Even Grim Fandango, the last adventure game I loved, was guilty of this: that wonderful sense of journey regularly disrupted by an inherent illogic. I don’t enjoy puzzling for puzzling’s sake – but when it’s a puzzle which propels a game’s events onwards, that’s a different matter entirely. STASIS is all about momentum rather than stop-start headscratching. The majority of its puzzles act as natural stepping stones along its journey into body-horror darkness, not obstacles. It flows.

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Wot I Think: Satellite Reign

When I consider Satellite Reign [official site] as a whole, a grand canvas spattered with raindrops, neon and bulletholes, I’m in love with it. Yes, it looks and feels a little like Syndicate, but 5 Lives’ Kickstarted RTS-RPG does not slavishly follow a model from the past. Its city is open, a series of district-hubs with opportunities and mission locations scattered across them, and there are many possible routes to victory.

Satellite Reign is, from the wide-scan satellite’s view, a thing of beauty and promise. But I’ve been down in the streets for the last few days to take a closer look at the city. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Pillars Of Eternity – The White March Part 1

It’s been nearly half a year since we devoured Pillars Of Eternity. Now Obsidian are back with another great big chunk, in the form of the first half of The White March [official site]. Does the expansion give good reason to return to the Dyrwood? Here’s wot I think.

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The Witcher 3’s 16 Pieces Of Free DLC: What They Are, Where To Get ‘Em And Are They Any Good?

Adding 16 free lots of new quests, items, outfits and modes to a game which already had a hundred million things in it was an ostensibly generous move from the creators of The Witcher 3 [official site]. But how substantial is this stuff, really? I took a look at what’s really in each DLC, how satisfying it is, and where in the Northern Kingdoms you can find it all.

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