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Fraser Brown

All the best Skyrim mods on PC

Graphics mods, new NPCs and massive overhauls

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1 month ago

Feature: Graphics mods, new NPCs and massive overhauls

All the best Skyrim mods on PC

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is as much a platform for mods as it is an open-world RPG about dumb dragons and dumber Vikings. Over the last seven years, an inconceivable number of them have been crafted, and while plenty have fallen by the wayside, others have become essential mainstays in anyone’s mod library. With Skyrim Special Edition, things got a bit more complicated. Some…

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Feature: Classical photography

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey travelogue

Much like its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has snared me with its marvellous camera. With it, I’ve been exploring and snapping Greece, all the way from the Ionian Islands in the west to the Cyclades in the east. I know I should be worrying about wars and parents and magical spears, but that’s all ancillary to the scenes and vignettes playing out on the paved…

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2 months ago

Feature: Target practice

Premature Evaluation: World War 3

My first hour fighting in the grey European battlefields of World War 3 was not the most pleasant introduction I’ve ever had to an online shooter. The first obstacle was the loading screen, which was quite adamant about not letting me play. It took almost 20 minutes to connect to the game on the second attempt. Finally over the first hurdle, I was immediately directed…

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Feature: Funky fresh beats

Lethal League Blaze review

Lethal League Blaze is a springy, frenetic future-sport played by an underground league of robots, skaters, mercenaries and a sentient boombox. Imagine baseball, but then strip away all the parts that don’t involve whacking a ball, replacing them with violent duels between two to four brawlers. In these duels, the baseball is the sole weapon. That might be underselling it. The ball is a relentless,…

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Forza Horizon 4 is getting a route creator in this week’s update

I definitely have too much to do in Forza Horizon 4. I’m a bit smitten with it, and consequently I’ve spent more time with it than any other racing game since Burnout Paradise, but my map is constantly overflowing with races and events. I can't drive a few meters without bumping into another dirt race or cross-country exhibition. This week’s update adds yet another distraction,…

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Feature: Trip Advisor

Premature Evaluation: Shortest Trip to Earth

Rats cut my first stellar trip short. On nautical voyages, they used to spread disease and eat supplies that were needed for the long, long journey. Up here, in space, they are a pain in the arse for very different, but even more troublesome, reasons. The rats have forged an empire, you see; an empire built on strict hierarchies, xenophobia and robbing travellers. They also…

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Spintires: MudRunner’s dirty American expansion is out today

Spintires: MudRunner is Euro Truck Simulator for people who want to get caked in mud while they scream at the ground, demanding that it release their hefty vehicle. It’s a filthy game of churning up muck, recklessly charging into rivers and trying to get up slippery slopes while laden with lumber. It’s brilliant. It’s also off to America, which I believe is quite muddy, in…

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Feature: Oh deer

Photographing invisible animals in theHunter: Call of the Wild

I know there are deer nearby, because the helpful disembodied voice told me, and I have complete trust in the disembodied voice. theHunter: Call of the Wild, which launched in 2017 but has since been scooped up along with its DLC and repackaged as the 2019 Edition, contains a multitude of deer, I am promised, along with all kinds of woodland and savanna critters. All…

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Feature: Low-pressure area

Mellowing out with management games

My body betrayed me last month, trapping me in my bed when it wasn’t sending me rushing to my poor, overworked loo. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t work and so I turned to management games to take my mind off the virus squatting inside me. Juggling budgets, disasters and production chains might not sound particularly relaxing, but there’s also a swathe of low-pressure sims that…

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Feature: Sloth Marines

Space Hulk: Tactics review

In the last five years alone, there have been four video game adaptations of the Warhammer 40,000 spin-off, Space Hulk. Plenty of chances to get it right, you’d think, though the first three attempts suggest otherwise. And here comes Space Hulk: Tactics, once again throwing gruesome Genestealers against stompy Terminators in derelict spaceship corridors. It’s not quite a combo-breaker, but it gets very close.

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Feature: Get Lit

Premature Evaluation: The Light Keeps Us Safe

The Light Keeps Us Safe works terrible magic with its cacophony of disquieting machine noises. Each new killer robot emits yet another nails-on-chalkboard screech that will bounce around in your head long after you’ve fled from their clutches. They’re the sounds of factories and dial-up internet and error messages warped and twisted and remixed inside metal demons. Normally they’re just grating, but here, in moonlit…

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Feature: Latin beats

Going to war in Imperator: Rome means convincing the Senate

Watching all of Imperator: Rome’s wars, trade deals and politicking play out is a lot like viewing a highlight reel of Paradox’s current generation of grand strategy epics. The upcoming strategy game has Crusader King 2’s detailed characters, Europa Universalis 4’s broad national scope, Victoria 2’s demographics and even Hearts of Iron 4’s wargame sensibilities, all transposed to the world of antiquity. It's the latter…

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Feature: Fish friends

Megaquarium review

Megaquarium's off-screen fish scientists had just unlocked some eels, and they seemed like just what my aquarium needed to draw in the big crowds. Sure, I had some guests, seduced by the promise of clean floors, well-stocked vending machines and at least three types of fish, but I lacked the kind of big-ticket item that put aquariums on the map. So excited was I to…

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Feature: Live, die, repeat

The 20 best survival games on PC

We’ve been battered by wave after wave of survival romps since Minecraft popularised the genre, with its deadly nights and groaning zombies, almost a decade ago. In its wake, we've been introduced to a cavalcade of punishing, persistent environments intent on putting us in an early grave. The masochistic impulse to put ourselves through the wringer for entertainment has spread to RPGs, management games, cosmic…

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Feature: Droning on

Premature Evaluation: Nimbatus

I've been doing a lot of tinkering recently. Endless iterations of death-dealing drones, flying factories, huge robotic worms and automated weapon platforms - I've lost count of all my experiments in destruction. Nimbatus’ drone editor is a complex, liberating tool where patient engineers can craft a bewildering array of exotic, inventive machines. Then a giant snake blows them up. When my massive artillery drone -…

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Feature: For graphics, weapons, the UI and more.

Best Fallout 4 Mods

Now that Fallout 4 is in its third year and the DLC has dried up, is there any point in returning to the Commonwealth Wasteland? Yes! There are loads, largely thanks to the still-growing list of mods, overhauls and user tweaks. Here, I’ve gathered over 50 of my favourites, ranging from weird weapons to wild weather. Before we start, a couple of things to remember:…

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Feature: Hats off

Premature Evaluation: Parkasaurus

Premature Evaluation is the column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s been given the keys to Parkasaurus, the goofy dinosaur theme park sim. The real tragedy at the centre of the Jurassic Park movies is that, no matter how many times they escape the park and kill their captors, the dinosaurs are never free of humans for very long.…

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Feature: Chilling charts

Steam Charts: Prematurely Spooky Edition

It’s Halloween (month)! I don’t know about you lovely lot, but there’s nothing I find more spooky or chilling than charts detailing what the most popular video games are in a given week. That's me, Fraser, filling in for John who is on holiday. A terrifying holiday, I bet.

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3 months ago

Feature: Thicker than water

Premature Evaluation – Dying Light: Bad Blood

The sound of an explosion and a huge burst of flame sends me sprinting for cover. The attack wasn’t directed at me, it turns out. One of my fellow survivors had walked into a hive of zombies and he was chargrilling them. I stay hidden behind a van and watch him duke it out. We’re both after the same thing: blood samples that will allow…

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Feature: Nuggets of wisdom

Premature Evaluation: The Universim

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser has donned the mantle of ‘deity’ in The Universim. It’s a god sim with more than a hint of Spore and good old Populous. The big bang starts with a click. From that press of a button a brand new cosmos springs to life - a huge…

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