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Brendan Caldwell

7 months ago

No Man’s Sky explorer makes futuristic museum for alien relics

I won't pretend to understand what a Stabilised Reality Glitch is in spacefaring planet-hopper No Man's Sky, but when I see a bunch of them gathered together on podiums in a remote interplanetary museum, I will say: "cool". A player has done just that, bringing each of the rare trophy items to a minimalist monument and placing them on display, like some sort of curator…

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Feature: Grate apes

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey review

Letting you be an animal is something more games could do. Not a cartoon cat, or a twee fox, but a real non-human brute, forced to live in a realistic natural world, and sup water from stagnant pools because the nice stream has been conquered by snakes. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey takes up that challenge with some ambition and a lot of admiration for the…

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Feature: Taking the Hiss

Control review

Control wasn't what I was expecting. The developers of this third-person psy-shooter have been nattering about “weird fiction” and belabouring the game's literary inspirations. After telekinetically yeeting myself through it, however, I’ve found little insightful storytelling, just a trad conspiracy/mystery story, and lots of colourful excuses as to how someone can suddenly develop superpowers. But when it feels this satisfying to lift an office chair…

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Feature: Do a kickflip

Have You Played… Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2?

We’ve already done Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 for this regular feature. So let’s talk about its predecessor, the first Hawk 'em up to hit the PC. It was all about skatey combos. Pulling 180 bumflips and 360 trumpbokes, while admiring level gimmicks like a helicopter taking off, or power lines crashing down, or cars rumbling through the streets beeping their horns at you, you…

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8 months ago

Feature: How to use a shrink ray on the immersive sim

Streets Of Rogue’s creator on how he stuffed a tiny city with ideas

Streets Of Rogue is a tiny Deus Ex about being stupid. It’s good. If you haven’t heard us shouting about this teeny-yet-turbulent roguelite, then you haven’t been paying attention. To add to the cacophony, I spoke to its creator, Matt Dabrowski, about troublesome bodysnatchers, rampaging giants, vague sequel plans, and how he went about brute-forcing as many silly ideas as possible into a tiny toy…

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Apex Legends’ stunt gauntlet is neat but the new loot shop is crap

If you are one of the three people I gassed to death last night in a giant plyboard stunt arena, I am sorry. I was overly enthusiastic about the new gauntlet that appeared on the map of Apex Legends, the game we were playing. That enthusiasm got to my head. I misjudged your friendly rifle potshots as an invitation to fill your lungs with toxic…

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Feature: A people-chucking bigbot

Have You Played… Slave Zero?

Mechwarrior? No, thank you. Transformers? No, sir. Heavy Gear? Not my stompy president. That's correct, the super-sized mass-murdering robot of my desires is from Slave Zero. An absolutely mediocre action game, if my memory of blasting buildings into rubble in 1999 is accurate. But it also let you pluck people off the streets and yeet them sky high, like fleshy little pebbles. That was cool.

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Feature: Prepare to die

Dicey Dungeons review

There is a happy Saturday morning feel to Dicey Dungeons. It's as if you’re munching on Coco Pops and watching cartoons, as you fiddle with some toy dice that came free in the cereal box. This is a sorta-deckbuilding game about being transformed into a walking, talking dice and battling creatures on a rigged game show for a chance to "SPIN THE WHEEL" (the wheel…

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Apex Legends heatmap proves how much you all love Skulltown

A clever clogs on the internet has made a bunch of heatmaps for battle royale shooter Apex Legends, and they confirm the worst: everyone loves Skulltown. Even though Skulltown is a hateful warren of confusion, panic and death. The maps were made by a Reddit boffin with an unsayable username (it’s “ZYy9oQ”) and they show the popularity of all drop zones across the violent bumslide…

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Feature: Dogs go home

These videogame cats are good cats

It’s International Cat Day! You know, one of those days reportedly invented by a charity, spread by the internet without question, and propagated by the scoundrel media because quite simply we are desperate to post pictures of cats, big cats, fluffy cats, kitten cats, any cat, any excuse for any cat, please, just let me have this day, please, I don't care if it's a…

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SteamWorld Quest gets a ‘New Game Plus’ mode

Card-casting robo-fantasy SteamWorld Quest: The Hand Of Gilgamech was a cheery, story-led take on Slay The Spire’s deck-building battles, but unlike that infinite roguelike city crawl, it never felt like something to replay over and over. Developers Image & Form want to fix that a bit. So they’re giving players a reason to keep card-shuffling: a New Game Plus mode. And a few other bits…

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Feature: Crack the code

Have You Played… Enter The Matrix?

If you played Max Payne, you basically played Enter The Matrix. It was like that pastiche slo-mo shooter, except you had the music from The Matrix trilogy following you as you bullet-timed across rooftops and sprinted through the streets. To be fair, there was wall-running and kung fu, something Max never learned, the layabout.

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Tekken 7’s new character is Ip Man with dreadlocks

Barnstorming punch ‘em up Tekken 7 is getting a new knuckle sandwich artist, developers Bandai Namco have announced. He’s a calm-looking martial fightist who lost his family in a gang conflict in New York and went missing for 50 years, only to reappear in the following videogame trailer at fighting game championship EVO 2019. It looks like he’s been hanging out in Hong Kong, because…

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Feature: Go berserk

Why you should play For Honour (and not just because it’s free on Epic right now)

Firstly, it’s free on the Epic Store right now, and free is good. Secondly, For Honor is an axe-swinging good time for all involved, even those plummeting to their death from a comically high castle wall. It is zero pennies from today until next Friday, August 9. However, you’re only getting the base edition, so no Shaolin monks or creepy mystics for you, at least…

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Feature: Chaos is a ladder (to the next level)

Can’t Stop Playing: Streets Of Rogue

I hope you like shenanigans. Or at least antics, or capers. Streets Of Rogue is about all those. It’s an anarchic roguelike about ascending a tower block while everything around you erupts in a comedy sci-fi riot. It’s like that Dredd film, but instead of credits as the city’s currency, there are chicken nuggets. It’s also the first game to get our Can’t Stop Playing…

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