Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Football Manager 2016

I’ve won titles and cups, and I’ve been sacked following a relegation that was more surrender than battle. I’ve found young stars at bargain prices, and built a team of overpaid ego-machines who are ready to down tools as soon as the going gets tough. After tasting success and failure, I’m ready to tell you wot I think about Football Manager 2016 [official site].

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Wot I Think: Hard West

Much has been made of how Hard West [official site] is XCOM-with-cowboys, but if anything it’s more like Jagged Alliance. With cowboys. Demon cowboys, yes, but really they’re just cowboys with horns and a flame effect. Point is, this isn’t a game about gradually building up a super-squad and a grandiose base in order to take down an almighty, otherworldly threat, but about a small gang of gun-wielders carving or limping their way through more disassociated skirmishes.

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Premature Evaluation: The Political Machine 2016

As ugly as the democratic process can sometimes be, it still has one or two advantages over hereditary monarchy. After all, even the most craven and corrupt politician requires some sort of conniving wherewithal to get into power, though this far from guarantees that they will use it to any decent end. This said - and as The Political Machine suggests - the importance of money and mass-media in the States has eroded the need for any other credential, and with shitbubbles like Trump in the running, you have to wonder if the mixture of inherited wealth and empty celebrity he embodies really does much to set himself apart from the sort of high-born cretins who too frequently took the throne in centuries past.

Each week Marsh Davies unleashes a patriotic aquiline shriek and swoops upon the home of the brave that is Early Access, bringing freedom by way of cash-purchased endorsements and glib media-ready soundbites to all he meets. This week, these skills will hopefully propel him all the way to the White House in The Political Machine 2016 [Steam page], a timely update of the presidential campaign strategy game in which candidates scoot between states, bellowing platitudes to the credulous and smarming their way through interviews while doing everything to sabotage their opponents.

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Wot I Think – Star Wars: Battlefront

16 years after cosmic expectations were brought crashing down to Earth when the Phantom Menace started droning on about the taxation of trade routes, poor old Star Wars still seems helpless to prevent the profoundly exciting from becoming slightly tedious.

I’ve opened cruelly, but it’s not a complete summary of my feelings about Star Wars Battlefront [official site].

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Wot I Think: Rebel Galaxy

Rebel Galaxy [official site] came storming out of warp recently and has been threatening people with its giant starboard cannons, telling them to come and join the space cowboy adventure. We told Brendan to get on board, or else. Let’s see wot he thinks.

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Wot I Think – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Singleplayer

Call of Duty: Black Ops III [official site] takes place in a future setting not quite close enough to describe as “near-future”. It’s somewhere in the middle distance, and while the concerns of military and intelligence organisations don’t appear to have changed very much, the cyber-modifications available to soldiers promise to make the battlefield a place of superpowered clashes between robots, humans, and operatives caught somewhere between the two. With an arm full of not-plasmids and a sniper scope at the ready, I plunged into the campaign.

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Premature Evaluation: Cryptark

Cryptark’s title is a bit of etymological fun, as both syllables can mean the same thing. Presumably, the sense they are going for is an ark of the Noachian kind - a ship of biblical proportions, but one which, instead of containing animals two-by-two, has become a burial chamber for its unhappy inhabitants. But the meaning of “crypt” did not always assume it contained dead things - that’s as recent as the mid-18th century. Previously it meant a vault or cavern beneath the ground, bouncing back through Latin to the Greek, kryptos, meaning, simply, “hidden”.

Each week Marsh Davies attempts to retrieve some sort of thematically appropriate salvage metaphor from the Early Access game he’s been playing – which is perhaps too easy when the theme of that game IS salvage. But Cryptark is no stricken husk: it’s already proving to be a truly excellent roguelike shmup. In it, you’re dispatched to disable the security systems of derelict alien space-hulks so that they can be stripped for scrap, one after the other, until you locate the eponymous prize itself, a gigantic vessel chock-full of precious alien tech.

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Wot I Think: Skyhill

As if humanity could ever construct a building 100 floors high! But that disbelief suspended, Skyhill [official site] otherwise tells the tale of a man attempting to escape from an invasion of monstrous beasts through super-streamlined arcade survival, in a minimalist rogue-lite. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Fallout 4

Fallout 4 [official site] is an open-world roleplaying game from Bethesda Game Studios, creators of Skyrim, and is set in the Boston area of America, 200 years after nuclear war all but wiped out a technologically-advanced civilization. Your character emerges into this blasted world after centuries in cryosleep, then must choose their own objectives and allegiances while battling mutants, monsters, machines and militia. It’s out tomorrow.I spent last week with it, and here’s what I made of it. This piece does not contain any plot spoilers.

52 hours. A level 29 character. 27/50 achievements. Two different endings seen. Feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Size, of course, is something we can all but take for granted from the follow-up to Skyrim and Fallout 3 – the lingering question is whether a new layer of quality could be applied to all that wasteland quantity.

Well, good news. Either technology finally caught up to Bethesda’s aspirations, or they took so many arrows to the knee from the resoundingly popular but much-lampooned Skyrim that they finally did something about the presentation issues we’ve been whining about. The refreshingly characterful Fallout 4 fixes problems which have dogged their games for years – although it then throws in brand new ones to compensate, and it maintains the traditional smattering of bizarro bugs and underwhelming combat.

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Wot I Think: Galak-Z

Galak-Z [official site] is an anime-inspired space combat game, with randomised missions and a sprawling upgrade system. Brought to PC after an initial launch on PS4, it’s been ported beautifully and I’ve been caught in its roguelite charms for several days. Here’s wot I think.

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