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Alice Bell

Disco Elysium review

My uncle told me "disco biscuits" is slang for bad drugs

82

4 months ago

Feature: Fix it fix it fix it fix it

Have You Played… Broken Age?

Broken Age was Tim Schafer’s triumphant (?) return to point and click adventure games. It was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, and was the first game where the campaign got sort of wildly out of hand, in that they asked for like $400k and ended up with over $3 million. Developers everywhere starting looking at crowdfunding and rubbing their chins with suspicious intent, and here we are…

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Feature: Lonely rivers flow

‘When you feel lonely you always feel excluded’ – Sea Of Solitude’s writer on loneliness and metaphors

You probably remember the reveal of Sea Of Solitude at E3 in 2018 because of CEO Cornelia Geppert’s excitement and sincerity when presenting the game. Geppert is self-effacing about it, and told me it was surprising to her that people responded that way. “The actual developers of course are always passionate about their project!” she said. “I think it's normal when you do your project…

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Feature: She's got all her own teeth

I love you, scary lady of the latest Bloodlines 2 demo

The Bloodlines liker has, as they say, logged on. Paradox and Hardsuit labs have released a new gameplay trailer for Bloodlines 2. Excellent. It’s a smaller mouthful than the taste I had at GDC last year, but it’s a slightly different one. An amuse-bouche, we might say. Made of blood pudding, or something else all vampire-y. Brendy saw an extended demo, and has thoughts about…

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Feature: It's like a pen knife, but a laser

The mundane use of a lightsaber in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the best thing about E3 so far

Listen, I’ll level with you, I am struggling this year. My hype train cannot currently build up steam. If I were to place myself on Matt and Brendan’s Cheerer-to-Jeerer E3 corporate Kinsey scale of awfulness, I am currently at a “1”: predominantly jeer, only incidentally cheer. Think the “What a piece of work is man?” monologue from Hamlet, but if it were about games instead…

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Feature: Oakmont, so good they named it once

How The Sinking City is built to make you notice your journey

I sometimes announce, to rooms at large, that I wished Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wouldn’t tell me what to do as much, and let me just explore. Imagine my shock, therefore, at the reveal of The Sinking City, a Lovecraftian detective game releasing just the other side of E3, promising “zero hand holding”. No objective markers on the map, and no trails on the street to…

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Feature: You talkin' to me?

Have You Played… Alice: Madness Returns?

When your name is Alice you either get people singing that song at you, you know, that song (none of us think it is funny please don’t do it), or cracks about Alice In Wonderland. I was either going to have to play all this American McGee nonsense or insist that I would never ever play it ever. In fact, I played Alice: Madness Returns…

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Feature: I may have missed the point

In Control you throw fire extinguishers at people and that’s great

It is going to take all of my self-control (Control!) to not just make this 1000 words describing how enamoured I am of just, like, absolutely head-wellying a fire extinguisher down a really long hallway and watching it explode at the other end, if I’m honest. Oh, very well. I played an hour-long preview chunk of Control, a game where you can theoretically do things…

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5 months ago

Feature: Don't be a wet blanket, eh?

Draugen review

Draugen has definitely reaffirmed my belief that any era before the present was a more annoying time to be alive. Just, the logistics of it. In this case, the 20s seem to have been an absolute waste. Imagine getting a letter confirming you’re going to stay with someone, sending a letter back, and then travelling for an actual month just to get there. And then…

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Feature: Feminist issues

Ritual Of The Moon diary: days 24 and 25

I missed another day again, because I was out of the office yesterday. At this point I'm wondering what the earth even looks like. Should one even bother to continue to save it? It's probably become a Mad Maxian hellscape over just three weeks. The Tory leadership contest has shifted to a big bottom-bashing contest in a pit dug out of the House Of Commons.…

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Feature: Surprise!

Malkavians confirmed for Bloodlines 2: we talked to Brian Mitsoda on the new clan reveal

“I actually wish we had started with Malks," said Brian Mitsoda, "Because honestly the number one thing I think people ask is, 'Are malkavians in the game?'” I had a chat with Mitsoda, narrative lead on Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines 2 and lead designer on the original Bloodlines, for the new Clan reveal. Yup, the Malkavians are back, baby. There will be comments.

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Feature: Short and umami

Ritual Of The Moon diary day 22

The Moon Ritual is still a bit out of sync. I have a week left, still, and missed another meteor at the weekend. The world is looking a bit Swiss cheesey. I'm struggling to find something to think about today because I just rushed through it, in business, because I have something else I need to do. Ack, ack. I have no pithy wisdom darts…

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Feature: Who wants to live forever?

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 20

Today is a day late because I was a) busy yesterday and b) the playthrough ended up being a pretty good cliffhanger for the weekend. It seems that the extremely long timeline over which I've ended up playing this may have interrupted the natural flow of the game. Here, after over a month (but which should have been three weeks), we see that Marty Burnham…

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Feature: Season of the witch

The Noita devs on how to make a fun game when everything is falling

Noita is a very giffable game. The official Twitter account for developer Nolla Games has a lot of cool gifs. Explosions. Acid. Ice. Rats. Noita is that game where every pixel in the word is animated. You can explode, burn, melt everything you see, as a little witchy character exploring a procedurally generated dungeon. I was sitting around a laptop on the floor with the…

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Feature: Marty says relax

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 19

Look, I'm very busy again today. I'm back from being on holiday and nothing is finished, and I have to stay late tonight for unrelated reasons anyway. I don't understand those people who are like, "Oh I made a lemon drizzle cake when I got home, because I had a spare hour." HOW? And, when you have a spare hour, how do you stop yourself…

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Feature: Rolling on the floor weeping

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 18

Alright, yesterday was depressing and made some of you sad (buddy, if you think reproductive healthcare bums you out, imagine how some of the rest of us feel!). But today I'm actually feeling pretty good today, which is out of sorts with Marty Burnham The Moon Witch, who is feeling trapped by hope. That probably needs a whole several hundred words of analysis by itself.…

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