Have You Played… Black & White?

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

I was vibrating with excitement by the time god game Black & White came out, having read umpteen development diaries about its physics, its AI, its morality system, its gesture controls… So many ideas! So much potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Warframe: Chains of Harrow update brings Earth makeover today

Warframe

Remember how a dark priest is due to show up in Warframe [official site] this week? Apparently that’s happening today and it brings with it a graphical overhaul of Earth. There are also some more details of the Chains of Harrow questline – I’ll plonk them after the jump in case people are concerned about spoilers! Read the rest of this entry »

Longsword Tabletop Tactics is part game, part tabletop platform

I have spent a silly amount of cash on tabletop games that rarely see the light of day. It’s increasingly difficult to get a bunch of people in their 30s to drop their babies and spouses and pop round to mine for a day of Star Wars Armada or Arkham Horror. So games like Longsword Tabletop Tactics [official site] make me very happy.

Army building, miniature painting and custom tabletops — it seems to be everything you’d expect from a tabletop game, inside a PC game. It’s on Kickstarter now, though it seems to be struggling a wee bit, so why not take a peek?

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Raid cyborg-infested space hulks in Cryptark

Cryptark [official site] is a side-on shmup that pits a mech with a gun for a head against derelict spaceships filled with monstrous drones made out of bone and steel. It’s all for a good cause: earning cash to fund more space pirate adventures. It also looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s left early access and is out now.

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Summer brings fireworks and more to Planet Coaster

Apparently it’s summer — it’s always hard to tell up here in Scotland — which means that it’s time for Planet Coaster’s [official site] third free seasonal expansion. It’s a big one, fattening up the the game with new rides, customisable panels, terrain options and scenery. It’s available now, and you can watch the trailer below.

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Life of Tar takes a journey through sticky prehistory

Life of Tar

Life of Tar [itch.io link] is an itch.io game which caught my eye because of a) its art style and b) it lists the La Brea Tar Pits as an influence. It’s a short cycle where you potter around environments gated by portals of sticky tar. It made for a really pleasant short game walk too so I made a little video! Read the rest of this entry »

Gorn: batter muscular men in VR next month

Not to be confused with the big alien lizard that once threw a polystyrene boulder at Captain Kirk, Gorn [official site] is a gladiatorial VR game from Broforce and Genital Jousting developers Free Lives. It looks exceedingly bloody and silly, and it’s coming to the Vive via Steam Early Access on July 10. Check out the trailer below.

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John Romero wants you to buy his Doom 2 floppies

Would you like a $3,000 copy of Doom 2? Sure, that’s a little bit more expensive than the £5.99/$4.99 Steam version, but you’d be getting five whole floppy disks! When the world ends, that plastic might be valuable. Still not convinced? Well then, I guess John Romero will have to sell his copy to someone else.

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Prey’s creative director and founder of Arkane Studios, Raphael Colantonio, steps down

Raphael Colantonio, the founder and president of Arkane Studios and creative director of recent fuzzy alien basher Prey, has stepped down from the studio after 18 years. “It is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son,” he wrote in a statement, “and reflect on what is important to me and my future.” Colantonio was also the co-creative director on Dishonored, and the man who once referred to us grubby journalists as “press sneak fucks”.
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Premature Evaluation: Colony Survival

Every week we cast Brendan into the early access wilderness to see what friends he can make. This time, he recruits some peasant help to run a farm in Colony Survival [Steam page]

To look at the videos of Colony Survival you might think it a top-down city builder or a blocky management sim. In reality, it’s a Minecraftbut. That once safe and sound (now vastly oversubscribed) subgenre that sees you building a personal castle out of giant blocks from a first-person perspective and fending off nightly monsters, like a really lonely King. But here, you’re not so alone. Colonists in the form of AI-controlled helpers can be recruited to farm crops, mine ore, grind flour and cook bread. This is Minecraft-but-with-serfs.
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State of the Art: The monsters of Prey

Prey's Typhon

I’m only a little way into Prey [official site] at the moment but one of the most interesting aspects for me is the monster design. I love pausing the trailers to peer more closely at their glitchy, weird forms without worrying about being killed. The monsters in question are these hostile lifeforms which all come under the bracket of “Typhon” but there are different species of Typhon within that.

The differing shapes, sizes and movements make it easy to distinguish one species from another. There are the scuttling spidery, crabby Mimics, the tentacled, floating Telepaths, the humanoid Phantoms… But there’s a common visual thread – all of them are these glitchy, threatening oilslicks whose forms never quite settle. Even when dead their surfaces ripple and shimmer. Emmanuel Petit (lead visual designer) and Jason Timmons (lead visual effects artist) offered their expertise so we could unpack the design of these writhing oddities. Read on to find out why the idea of colour palettes makes the team laugh and how they repurposed foliage tools for monster silhouettes! Read the rest of this entry »

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds gets 3rd monthly update

We’ve already told you that merciless murder-them-up PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds [official site] is getting an update this week, with a couple of new guns and heavily adjusted loot drop rate. But we didn’t tell you all the details, because we like to be mysterious. But also because the full list of patch notes hadn’t been released. It has now, so here’s all the teeny tiny details that may or may not result in your sudden, bloody death.
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Wot I Think: Darkest Dungeon – The Crimson Court

The Crimson Court [official site] has transformed Darkest Dungeon into a turducken of cruelty. Every layer of the tactical RPG is now laced with poison and jam-packed with barbs that pierce and tear with every bite. What was already an extremely challenging game has become considerably harsher and unyielding, so much so that even gluttons for punishment may balk at the prospect of fighting the new vampiric menace.

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Elite Dangerous pilots discover an alien Thargoid base

The pilots of Elite Dangerous: Horizons [official site] have become space sleuths in the past year, attempting to uncover more information about the mysterious aliens known as the Thargoids. Their latest discovery is the most momentous yet: a sprawling base on a world hundreds of lightyears from Earth. You can watch the first humans explore its cavernous interior below.

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Playdead co-founder’s next project is Somerville

Not long after the launch of Inside, Playdead’s Dino Patti left the studio he co-founded in 2006. A year on, he’s returned with a new studio and a new collaborator: Chris Olsen, a feature film animator. They’ve combined forces to start Jumpship. Their first game, Somerville [official site], is a sci-fi adventure that Olsen’s been working on since 2014. Check out the teaser below.

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