Posts Tagged ‘review’

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: 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: Kentucky Route Zero – Act III

By Adam Smith on May 7th, 2014.

Here at RPS, we’re quite fond of Cardboard Computer’s magical realist adventure. Kentucky Route Zero took the final spot in our 2013 Advent Calendar and while the wait for the third act has been longer than I would have liked, it’s good to have Conway and his companions back in my life. The new chapter of gaming’s strangest trip since Sam and Max hit the road contains a musical performance worthy of Lynch, a whiskey-soaked underworld and enough melancholic mystery to fuel a new generation of the blues. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Contagion

By Craig Pearson on May 2nd, 2014.

What happens when you accidentally dial the number of the beast.

Contagion’s a multiplayer zombie shooter game. Yes, it’s a co-op game where players are the survivors and the undead, and yes it’s even in the Source Engine. But it’s good. It’s not great, and it has problems, but for the 9 hours I sunk into it in the past week, I’ve had lot of fun, and I’ve even had something happen to me that I’ve never had happen in a game before. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Wot I Think: Dark Souls II

By Adam Smith on April 30th, 2014.

Dark Souls is a tough act to follow. While it was the second game in the dark fantasy Souls series, it had a wider audience and fell under closer scrutiny. As well as solidifying the mechanics that Demon’s Souls had laid out it made some major changes and built a more cohesive world. Dark Souls II tweaks the formula again and the results aren’t entirely satisfying. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse (Part 2)

By Richard Cobbett on April 30th, 2014.

So what you're saying is that ONE goat is okay?

Last December we saw the first part of the Kickstarted Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse. It was a pretty game, and made for a warm reunion with two beloved characters, but one with more than a little cause for concern. Now, the second part is finally out. Here’s Wot I Think.

This isn’t going to be pretty. The first episode of this new Broken Sword was like catching up with old friends after a long absence; a warm nostalgia that helped paper over many of the cracks and turn a largely bland – if pretty – adventure into something comfortable and fresh. This second part? That’s several hours later, when the wine and nibbles are all gone, and all the old stories have been told. You yawn, you check your watch, you say “We really have to do this again,” and then inwardly sigh as you see a glass being refilled and a new photo album. Except with some very silly puzzles, and a lack of narrative chops that would be stunning if it wasn’t too busy being depressing.

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Wot I Think: FRACT OSC

By Marsh Davies on April 29th, 2014.

Part first-person puzzler, part synthesiser, FRACT OSC has evolved from the mysterious musical toy that won the IGF’s Best Student Game in 2011. It’s now a paid Steam release with a more formal puzzle-game structure in which you explore a vast cave system of disconcerting geometries, full of exotic polyhedral shapes and pulsing neon tubes. Work out how to revive this world and its strange machines, and it throbs with sound and rhythm, unlocking components for a full-fledged music sequencer that you lets you compose and export your tunes. Alec found the whole experience a little austere. Here’s wot I think.

Puzzles are about epiphany, about the joy of understanding something new and achieving mastery of it. It’s what makes a puzzle different from a problem: a problem doesn’t want you to solve it. The best puzzle games need either escalation or variety to carry that sense of epiphany onwards and upwards. They prevent wonder subsiding into routine. And in that sense, FRACT falls short – the more you explore its puzzles, the less interesting they become – but the first few hours in FRACT’s alarmingly alien world may hold wonder enough to buoy you through.

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Wot I Think: Depths Of Fear – Knossos

By Adam Smith on April 29th, 2014.

I’m terrified of a goat. How has it come to this? To be clear, it’s a Satyr rather than a farmyard animal but the features that frighten me aren’t Dionysian or mythological in the slightest. I’m cringing from the echoing clip-clop of hooves, a piercing bleat and a belching whinny. Depths of Fear is a game about being hunted and murdered by monsters in ever-changing labyrinths.

Like a surreal and low budget horror film discovered on an obscure television channel during a night that has lasted too long, it’s jarring, hugely imperfect and strangely alarming. I’ve happily lost myself in it for two evenings now.

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