Have You Played… Wunderdoktor

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Pulling worms out of eye sockets, popping eyeballs back into those sockets, then retrieving the ghosts from inside someone’s skull might sound like a grisly business, but Wunderdoktor finds the fun in fungal infections. We’re talking actual toadstools growing where toadstools should not grow. Or bits of coral, or little dancing spikes, or whatever the heck else the denizens of Wunderdoktor’s strange and macabre world have managed to get lodged in their flesh.

There’s more to this delightful game than cute-gross visuals though. It’s brill. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think- Total War: Warhammer 2 – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC

why the long, skinless face?

I can sympathise, at least a little, with the ancient Egyptian-themed undead known as the Tomb Kings, and who are Total War: Warhammer 2’s newest faction. A decade ago, I was trapped underneath the Great Pyramid of Giza for a mere 20 minutes while another tourist had a claustrophobia-induced panic attack. Waking up inside a pyramid and discovering that your innards are full of embalming fluid and you have only rags to hide your desiccated shame would, I imagine, be a little bit more unpleasant. No wonder they want to murder all the living.

With a chip on their bony shoulders and an appetite for power and conquest, the Tomb Kings are comfortable fit for Total War, even more so than their multitude of warlike adversaries. They’re an unceasing military machine that has yet to discover a problem that it can’t fling an infinite number of disposable animated corpses at, over and over again. This new faction is, however, something of an acquired taste, with some uneven integration into the campaign – but nonetheless the Tomb Kings are a surprisingly forgiving starting point for newcomers.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Catch of the Day

Not an easy week to be a wargame and simulation correspondent. If I bite my lip and try really hard I think I’ll be able to rattle off today’s column without mentioning the lovely DUSK, but I know I won’t be able to get through without acknowledging that cetacean in the room, Nantucket. Released yesterday, Picaresque’s piquant and pacy whaling RPG is far too close to that Age of Sail game we’ve been discussing for years to pass unhailed. I hope it hasn’t arrived too late to influence HMS, Every Single Soldier’s cutaway captaincy title. Read the rest of this entry »

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds reworks blue circle pace

The blue circle of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a mysterious god. We cannot predict its whims, only hope that it favours us – then we thank it for its benevolence. Inside the circle is life, outside is death. Some say the circle gives the game structure by forcing us closer together, but I don’t think the circle cares or even knows we’re there. The-closing wall of electrodeath’s whims and motives will soon change again, as the developers are now testing changes to its speed and movements.

The devs are also gabbing about cheats, saying they’re preparing to wipe out another 100,000 cheaters they’ve found – and warning that if you’re fuming thinking you’ve spotted a cheater in a replay, it might just be a bug. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

dead-cells-art

The internet is currently aflame with hundreds of takes of varying heat levels based on Nintendo’s cardboard gaming venture, but that doesn’t concern us – unless, of course, some hardware company is working on something that involves stuffing your keyboard into a papercraft robot. This doesn’t mean there aren’t gadgets and games aplenty to salivate over in our little corner of the internet, though.

As always, we’ve gathered a batch of the best PC gaming deals of the week (UK, US and other places too) so far. This week: free Carmageddon, cheap Civ 6, gaming laptops, speedy SSDs and our 2017 GOTY.

Read the rest of this entry »

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition enters the Ultra HD era this February

Age Of Empires: Definitive Edition

The quiet success of Age of Empires II HD was a reminder that while they’ve fallen out of vogue somewhat, there’s an audience hungry for the twitchy-yet-cerebral thrills of the classic RTS genre. A revamp of the first game was due to follow that last year until it hit a last-minute delay, but now I’m happy to say that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition has both a release date and price tag, and both seem quite reasonable.

The only concerning element of this news is the mention that the game will be coming to ‘Windows 10 PCs’, implying that this will be yet another title exiled to exclusivity on Microsoft’s OS-tied storefront.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nantucket

nantucketheader

My rotten sloop is wheezing into port, the decks slick with blubber and blood, and still it isn’t enough. The sea teems with life and before this day is done, I swear I will silence all of it. From our home port to the distant shores of Europe and Africa, the water will run red.

This is Nantucket, a strategic-RPG about the golden age of whaling. I’m hunting for Moby Dick but it’s a long voyage from lowly captain to vengeance and fate personified. Mostly, my time is spent stabbing tiny baby whales until they turn into piles of money and food.

Read the rest of this entry »

HyperX Cloud Flight review: Near wireless gaming headset perfection

HyperX Cloud Flight

It’s been barely a week since the annual CES tech bonanza shut up shop for another year, but HyperX has wasted no time getting in its very first wireless gaming headset out into the wild. Dubbed the Cloud Flight, this 2.4GHz headset boasts the longest battery life of any of its wireless competitors – up to a whopping 30 hours to be precise.

That’s enough time to play a complete run through of AC Oranges or that same cathedral at the start of Dark Souls III over and over again because god damn Vordt of the Boreal Valley is just too damn hard. The question is, is it actually any good?

Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm’s prequel-prequel bonus ep reunites Chloe and Max on March 6

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm‘s third and final chapter arrived in December, bringing the teen trauma prequel full circle, but that isn’t quite the end. Still to come is a “bonus” episode set even earlier than Before the Storm, visiting teensy Chloe and teensy Max before they were pulled apart. Square Enix today announced that the bonus ep, named Farewell, will launch on March 6th. It will only be available in the game’s various deluxe editions, which is a bummer. New deluxe editions are coming, mind, including one with the soundtrack on vinyl for those who enjoy forcing squished dinosaurs to do karaoke. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The party podcast talks good local multiplayer

podcast-29-party

Aw, hey! I’m so glad you came. You know, I was saying to Alice, just a second ago I was saying to her: “I hope our favourite listener drops in” and now look here you are. That’s great, that’s so nice. YOU’RE nice. Ha ha. Have a drink. No thank you, I’ve had twelve. Look, there’s Adam. Watch out though, he’s gabbing on about Overcooked and those Jackbox Party Packs But never mind, Alice is outside by the paddling pool, talking some chumps into a game of Jelly Stompers. I also think she has a copy of Deadly Premonition with her for some reason. Brendan? He’s in the kitchen, probably boring somebody about Gang Beasts. Best stay here. With me, the Electronic Wireless Show. Read the rest of this entry »

Fortnite Battle Royale overhauls map, adds new city

A big Fortnite Battle Royale update today re-landscapes the map in the free-to-play Plunkbat fan game that all the cool kids are surely calling Fibre. The world overhaul drops a new city into the world, along with a new mine, a few other new places, and more variety across the land thanks to different biomes. Other big changes in today’s patch include disabling friendly fire (for now, anyway) and improving performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Back to Hell DLC announced

steeldivisionbacktohell

As Meat Loaf sang, “Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be promptly returning to hell when the morning comes.” Not one for sticking around to clean up the flat or make a fry-up after a night of partying, Mr Loaf.

Steel Division: Normandy 44, the rather spiffy WWII RTS developed by Wargame and R.U.S.E. studio Eugen, is also going back to hell. The hell of war. The next expansion is due on February 13th, and it adds seven new historical missions, five of which support multiplayer, and four new divisions for use in solo and multiplayer skirmish, with 58 new units. Perhaps most exciting of all, a free update will be released alongside the DLC, as is the Paradox way, and that extends co-op play beyond the Skirmish mode. If I can have a friend alongside me, I might actually be able to win a battle. Perhaps even an entire war.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Cobalt?

cobaltheader

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Cobalt had two ideas that make it one of the best arena shooters I’ve played: automatic time slowing, and a roll button that deflects bullets. There’s a single player/co-op campaign, though when I played that was only there in bare-bones form. Not that it mattered, because the multiplayer was fantastic. Read the rest of this entry »

Endless Space 2 brings Vaulters in first expansion

It's her from [EVERY VIDEO GAME]

Xcess, xplain, xcacerbate, xpire. Those are my 4 Xs. What are yours? Oh, it’s the boring ones. The kind you’d find in grand strategy sci-fi game Endless Space 2. Well, it might xcite you to learn that the space race between space races is getting an xpansion featuring the Vaulters, a crowd of godly ne’er-do-wells who’ve feature in previous Endless games, such as Endless Legend. This is the first proper expansion and it’s coming out on January 25. Here’s a cinematic about a sad robot. Read the rest of this entry »

The best of the internet’s attempts at Getting Over It

bennetfoddyIRLheader

Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy has been stewing for a while – as have the people who’ve been playing it – so I figured the internet would have cooked up some treats for our viewing pleasure. I figured correctly: below you’ll find the best clips, gifs and raps I could find.

If you’ve ever wondered what Getting Over It might look like if someone attempted it in real life, then wonder no more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fallout 4’s New Vegas and Fallout 3 remake mods show off progress

One of the few certainties in this ever-changing world is: right now, someone, somewhere, is remaking an old Bethesda open-world RPG inside a newer game from that series. Fans are working on bringing several Elder Scrolls games to several newer Elder Scrolls games, while others are trying to put Fallout 3 and Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas inside Fallout 4. The teams behind the Fallout 3 and New Vegas mods have both recently shown more of their work so coo go on, let’s have a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone’s new Tavern Brawl features World Championship-winning decks

The latest week-long Tavern Brawl event mode in Hearthstone is an interesting one, letting players use decks that have won previous Hearthstone World Championships – in their original, unnerfed forms. Some of the cards in these decks have been rebalanced, see, but here they’re fighting at full strength. Say hallo again to Knife Juggler, Azure Drake, Undertaker, Leper Gnome, and their overpowered pals. The decks span the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Championships so it’s a neat chance to pit different eras of Hearthstone against each other too. Read the rest of this entry »

Cosmic adventure game Genesis Noir is on Kickstarter

genesisnoir

It takes something special to coax me into playing a point and click adventure game. I’ve butted my head against puzzles with arbitrary solutions so many times that I’ve come close to writing the genre off as just not for me, but Genesis Noir has two hooks that draw me in. First, the devs say the puzzles will revolve around simple experimentation, and there’s as much emphasis on them as there is exploring and shaping an abstract universe. Second, that universe is the product of a deific shooting with the Earth a “fragment of shrapnel hurtling towards the fragile heart of a god”.

Devs Feral Cat Den have just launched a Kickstarter campaign, bringing with it more details about the game and a little teaser that’s playable in your browser.

Read the rest of this entry »

A new Alien shooter is in the works, says Fox

Hear no evil, xeno evil

A new Alien game is skulking in the dark, early stages of development, according to the videogames division of Fox. Details about the xenomorph’s next appearance are still hidden in the vents but if we give the flamethrower of journalism a little puff of the trigger here… Ah yes, it’s a shooter. A little more juice maybe… Aha, it’s being made by the relatively young development house Cold Iron Studios, and will “explore areas of the universe that fans haven’t got to experience.” Cool. All right, just a bit more on the gas… oh no that’s too much you’d better stop. I said TOO MUCH JOURNALISM. ABORT. ABORT. Read the rest of this entry »

DUSK is a delicious cocktail of nineties shooters

dusk1

A lot of people are comparing DUSK to Quake. They’re not wrong to do that; there are enough brown polygons and chunky weapons to bring back memories of nailguns, ogres and Trent Reznor’s ominous drones.

My mind turned to Blood though. DUSK begins with b-movie horror tropes as chainsaws whirr and cultists shriek threats, and from there it takes a tour through pretty much the whole of nineties shooters, as I remember them.

Read the rest of this entry »