Posts Tagged ‘wot i think’

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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Wot I Think – Shadowrun: Hong Kong

Shadowrun: Hong Kong [official site] is the third-and-a-half time around the block for this cyberpunk-but-with-elves roleplaying series, and by now there’s a routine and a rhythm. You build a Shadowrunner, a secretive mercenary who can fight with technical or mystical powers (or a combination of the two), leading a team of fixed-spec allies with big personalities through real-time exploration and turn-based action. This time, the setting is one of the touchstones of 80s cyberpunk, and we’re dealing with Triads, social segregation and city-wide nightmares in addition to the usual gang war, troll mercenaries and magic-assisted corporate espionage.

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Wot I Think: Planetary Annihilation – Titans

Announced and released today, Planetary Annihilation: Titans [official site] is an expandalone version of Uber Entertainment’s Planetary Annihilation. The original game, Kickstarted and released last year, was trapped in the orbit of two RTS giants – Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Staff at Uber had worked on both games and their new venture was seen as a spiritual successor of sorts, pitting enormous robotic armies against one another, backed up by Commander units, supply-and-demand resource management, and base-building.

Titans adds, tweaks and modifies but does it do enough to make Planetary Annihilation worthy of a second look? I’ve been playing since late last week and here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Volume

Volume [official site] is a third-person, sci-fi stealth game, in which you direct a little dude around VR-styled, maze-like levels, dodging guards with wits and with gadgetry, with the aim of grabbing all the loot and getting out again. It’s out now.

I hope Mike ‘Thomas Was Alone’ Bithell’s new game wasn’t hoping to pre-empt any ‘turn down the…’ gags by hiring a celebrity voice cast, because sadly it wasn’t long before I started muting things.
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Wot I Think – Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon

No-one’s done Spider Simulator yet, although there’s almost certainly someone somewhere waiting to press publish on a perfunctory Greenlight page, but in its absence this genteel puzzle game about web-spinning and fly-paralysing might fit the bill. Spider: Rite Of The Shrouded Moon [official site], from a team lead by Ion Storm alumnus Randy Smith, does much more than that, even weaving a careful and subtle tale in the background and, er, spying on you.

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Wot I Think: Submerged

Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from all the murder. Even the most red-blooded psychopath needs a day off. Which makes Submerged’s [official site] combat-free, climbing-n-boating exploration of a half-drowned city an extremely refreshing time. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: King Of Dragon Pass

put your back into it; it's worth it

A Sharp and HeroCraft’s King of Dragon Pass [official site] is perhaps best described as a management game presented like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but that would be to profoundly undersell it. A new version arrived on Steam last week: is it still as good as the legends tell?
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Wot I Think: Blues and Bullets

Blues and Bullets is an episodic adventure game in the vein of Telltale’s Walking Dead series, and documents the Untouchables’ Eliot Ness alt-reality, post-retirement involvement in a spate of disappearances and murders which seem to involve his old nemesis Al Capone. The first instalment is out now.

Blues and Bullets is a fan of everything. In one scene, it’s preoccupied with grisly cultist murders which evoke True Detective’s Yellow King. Then there’s a bit about a retired Eliott Ness running a burger bar and discussing Blueberry Pie recipes. Then there’s a huge, preposterous gangster shootout which has more than a touch of Max Payne to it. Then it’s a visit to an impossibly decadent, alt-history Hindenberg that’s so heavily Bioshock-inspired that it’s even owned by an A. Ryan. Then it’s a sort of James Bond introduction sequence featuring a monochrome gunfight set amid giant typography. Then it’s an odd couple comedy. Then it’s the gruesome evidence-combing of LA Noire. There’s a monster, a giant submarine and a knife fight with a masked maniac in there too.

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Wot I Think: King’s Quest Ch. 1 – A Knight To Remember

Oh wow.

I really had no idea what to expect of the return of King’s Quest [official site]. The original series were mostly terrible, twee and poorly constructed adventure games, but it had its moments, and certainly found its place in nostalgia. The news of its return after a few abortive efforts seemed like it could bode well, especially with The Odd Gentlemen (PB Winterbottom) behind the wheel. Trailers were confusing, not making it clear if it was an adventure game, platformer, third-person somethinger. But I waited to see. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: The Swindle

Steampunk London-town heist caper The Swindle [official site] should feel comfortable in the shadows. It’s a sneak ‘em up, with gadgets, set in self-contained randomised levels full of robotic guards, fatal falls and explosive traps. There are also clanking great computers that a skilled hacker can siphon cash out of and piles of cash. All of these elements are scattered willy-nilly around the interiors of the various slums, factories and warehouses you’ll guide your endless supply of miscreants through. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Victor Vran

Out of Early Access and in a full release, action RPG Victor Vran [official site] is big diversion for Tropico developers Haemimont Games. But is it a successful one? Here’s wot I think:

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