Author Archive

Wot I Think: Battlefield 1

Dice are going back to the twentieth century with Battlefield 1 [official site] and arming players with an assortment of experimental weaponry from the era. Then it’s out of the trenches and into enemy machine guns. Will Brendan survive? Let’s see.

A lot of us have grown up thinking that the Great War was a unique conflict – trapped between old ideas of warfare and new mechanisms of murder. But, if the Battlefield series is anything to go by, the killing fields of World War I aren’t all that different from any war that came afterwards. With Battlefield 1, the series has not changed very much. There are some differences, of course (and some quite good differences) but if you think muddy trenches and mustard gas are going to change anything drastic about the way you storm the next capture point, think again.

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Free Loaders: ░░░░░ Videogames ░░░ Are Everything

The ephemeral collective of videogame burpers who hang out on the internet have decided to host a jam inspired by the myriad game ideas coughed up by Pippin Barr, aka

░░░░ That Man
░░ From Twitter
░Who Does This

Considering most of Barr’s ideas take hold within milliseconds and are gone just as quickly, it’s no surprise that the resultant games are rapidfire squiggles of code and colour, ready to be played, scrunched up and thrown inaccurately at the nearest wastepaper bin. But that’s the way we like it at Free Loaders. So here’s some of the best games from the jam.

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My Town Of Bones In Thea: The Awakening, Part 1

Thea: The Awakening [official site] is a turn-based game of survival and strategy set in a dark world of Slavic myths. As a group of humans, you have emerged from an era of bad times and must regrow your village into something resembling a society. In the first of this two-part diary, Brendan attempts just that.

I have 5 bones, 77 meats and 6 children. Those are my village’s resources. There’s a lot of other things, of course, but those are the most important. The children will one day grow into fully-fledged villagers but for now, they are marked as a resource, possibly stored in the same warehouse as the coal and vegetables. But it is their potential that keeps the rest of us going – the thought of a brighter future that makes life worth living in the town of Bilge Finger. I wonder what happens when you drag the children to this box?

“You are about to destroy 3 x Child. Are you sure?”

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Premature Evaluation: SHENZHEN I/O

Every Monday we send Brendan to the special economic zone of early access and task him with increasing the productivity of the people’s republic of videogames. This week, the brain-breaking electronics of SHENZHEN I/O [official site]. Some spoilers included.

Zach Barth of Zachtronics, who is previously responsible for games like SpaceChem and Infinifactory and who is also definitely a robot, unfurled his new electronics-em-ep this month. In SHENZHEN I/O you play an expert who emigrates to China to work for Longteng Electronics Co. Ltd. That means you’ll be building circuits, wiring microprocessors and writing bits of code for a range of increasingly unusual and complicated devices. But you’ll also be learning about your co-workers and delving into an unnerving industrial future that probably already exists.

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Ridealong: The Last King Of Wurm Online

Ridealong is our monthly feature where Brendan travels deep into game worlds to meet, question and journey with the inhabitants that dwell within. This time, the 13-year-old urchin of Wurm Online who swore to become King and lived up to the oath.

The man arrives, riding a white horse and clad in splendid armour. When I hover my mouse over the man, his username is accompanied by the title “Dragonslayer”. But his rare title and treasured armour is misleading. This shining knight lives on a tiny farm in the countryside. The horse he is riding is described by the game’s text as “fat” and “old”. And it isn’t even his horse. He has “borrowed” it from the village next to his farm, along with another fat foal and an old bull, which follow along behind him on a lead. Some might say Wossoo is a sorry sight, for a man who used to be King.

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Endless Legend Expansion Invading Your Shores Today

“A sailor went to sea sea sea,” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “To see what he could see see see. / But all that he could see see see / was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea.” Endless Legend [official site] is hoping to harness some of that terrifying tone in its latest expansion, Tempest, which is adding naval battles, a new watery faction and giant aquatic monsters. It has already washed up on the DLC shores today and if you come with me, you can see a short trailer for it all.

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The Casinos Of EVE Online Are Being Rumbled

The gambling dens and casinos of EVE Online are being shut down in a sweep of bans by developers CCP. This is because the game’s new terms of service – introduced to get the MMO ready for its upcoming free-to-play era – now include a direct prohibition against “games of chance”. This means gambling is now effectively outlawed. More interestingly, remember all those kingpins who funded the recent megawar against the once-unstoppable Goons? They’ve been loudly stripped of all their money and assets, and thrown out of the game.

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