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Alec Meer

Below is out at last next week after five years (what a surprise)

I kiss you, you're beautiful, I want you to walk

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Rampage in peace: Fortnite firm Epic end Unreal Tournament development

The online shooter king is dead, long live the online shooter king

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1 day ago

Feature: WELL?

What are we all playing this weekend?

Christmas is coming! You haven't bought enough presents yet! The ones you have bought are rubbish! Your family are all going to say terrible things about you behind your back! Auntie Linda thinks you're even more despicable than Cousin Gertrude! Pfft, leave those eggnags to their traditions. You? You deserve to wrap yourself up in a lovely warm videogame. But which one will you be…

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2 days ago

Below is out at last next week after five years (what a surprise)

Very pretty/entirely menacing rand-o-dungeon-o game Below has been tantalising us from a distance for half a decade. "It'll never happen!", bellowed Derek Misery from a Twitter account with 12 followers, sometime in 2016. Well, suck it up, Derek - all of a sudden, the closest thing there is to a follow-up to peerless adventure/musical odyssey/exploratory crisis Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is out in seven…

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3 days ago

Rampage in peace: Fortnite firm Epic end Unreal Tournament development

For those of us of a certain age, 'Epic' means 'Unreal' - but, of course, for those of you of a certain, rather younger age, 'Epic' means 'Fortnite.' A very stupid part of my brain couldn't quite let go of the idea that all this cartoony battle royale business was just a temporary distraction for Epic, and soon enough they'd go back to making Unreal…

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5 days ago

I have seen the future of videogame graphics, and it is this plant

I'm in the midst of an existential crisis about videogame graphics. For so many years, I've nodded and bought into new technology, swallowing the line that because it looks prettier, it must be better. Why do I need, say, HDR now, when I was floored by 256 colours in 1993? Is there anything at all to support the idea that better graphics mean more contented…

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6 days ago

Feature: Turn-based Stalker, with ducks

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

There are at least 99 ways this could have gone horribly wrong. XCOM-ish turn-based action in an apparently shameless borrow from STALKER’s setting, but starring a talking pig and duck? An overwhelmingly nihilistic tone, but also endless use of the ‘duck sounds a bit like another, naughtier word’ gag? Even the name, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, has that algorithmically-generated SEO jank vibe to…

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2 weeks ago

The ugly beauty of Euro Truck Sim 2’s first collusion with Russia

Tomorrow, Euro Truck Simulator 2 comes (tragically) the closest it is ever likely to come to Eurovision Truck Simulator - with a wink and a smile, giving up on the idea that 'Euro' is any particular barrier to entry. I look forward to the surely forthcoming ETS2: Australia DLC. But for now, we get Beyond The Baltic Sea. Newbie ETS2 nations Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia…

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Feature: Get jacked, yeah?

TH3 W0R5T35T W0R5T H4CK1NG M1N1G4M35 3V3R

Cyber Monday is, of course, a pure and honest celebration of all things cyber. We hack the planet as one, united against corporations, capitalism and the class divide. Then we all burn our 4K televisions and go off to have a massive rave-orgy in an abandoned sewer. Such is the way of the Cyber Monday Warrior. But it's not all talking in C++ and overthrowing…

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Feature: Two (dark)sides of the same coin

Darksiders III review

"Practice and penance!" snarls Susan Dark Souls, slamming a gnarled first into the table. Kevin Diablo rolls his bleary eyes and leans back in his chair. "Nah, man, just like, have a good time all the time." Susan and Kevin are both dear friends of mine, but boy, oh boy do they not get on. Darksiders III often plays like a valiant attempt to create…

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Our picks from the Steam autumn Sale discountapalooza

Hurry, hurry. There are only 37 Steam sales each year - miss a bargain now and you'll regret it for the rest of your days. (Until the next one). As always, the latest Steam Autumn sale is a sensory overload of cut-price delights. We're here to guide you through the white noise and make a few informed choices.

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3 weeks ago

Death of a Yorkshireman: Sean Bean vs Hitman is live now

Nu-Hitman's time-limited Elusive Targets are nothing new, but this latest is worth a spot of ballyhoo because a) it's the first one for the simply sublime Hitman 2 2 b) it's only bloody Boromir himself. Sean Bean's famed for meeting a great many sticky Hollywood ends, which the Elusive Target nicknamed 'The Undying' makes a huge theatrical wink towards. We already knew the other Mr…

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4 months ago

Feature: Hindsight is 20/20

8 things I wish I’d known about Dead Cells before I played Dead Cells for dozens of hours

I've been away for a few weeks - NOT THAT YOU NOTICED - and my poison of choice during that time was the release version of Dead Cells. This Metroidvania/roguelike hybrid ticks pretty much every box I've got going, leaving my former flames The Binding of Isaac, Hollow Knight and Slay The Spire suddenly abandoned. Like all the best 'vanias, Dead Cells doesn't tell you…

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Tropico 6 moves to next year, looks a lot like a Tropico game

Sure, sure, Tropico games are about as indistinguishable from each other as the founding staff of a PC games website circa 2007, but I can forgive that. There's just something about their sun-kissed, low-stakes, silly-but-not-too-silly take on city-building. Every couple of years I really feel the itch to comfort-blanket myself with one, and lo and behold, every couple of years there's a new one. That…

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Feature: XCOM to JA2's X-COM

So it turns out Jagged Alliance: Rage is not-terrible

Y'know what? I don't hate it. Which, after 19 years of hurt (the remarkable JA2 mod scene aside), is happy progress for once-beloved turn-based mercenary combat series Jagged Alliance. There's a whole mess of things wrong with newly-announced latest comeback-apparent Jagged Alliance: Rage, but a few hours with early code has me thinking there's a lot right with its core.

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Jagged Alliance returns again again with ‘Rage’ (not that one)

The ranks of the Jagged Alliance series, with its myriad sequels, remakes, expansion packs, mods-gone-pro, cancelled MMOs and unofficial spin-offs, rival only the So Solid Crew in terms of headspinning numbers and impossible-to-remember names. After a frankly turgid couple of decades, it's back once again for the one-time king of turn-based mercenary argy-bargy. Can Jagged Alliance: Rage score the Arnie-does-X-COM series a critical and/or commercial…

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5 months ago

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has a hub city, granular difficulty and a certain complex

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the climbing stuff and stealing stuff and pushing giant stone cogwheels water, here comes another shark with 'EXTREMELY SERIOUS ORIGIN STORY' carved into its hide. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider threatens to complete a birth-of-badass-Lara tale we've already heard twice over, but there's good news for those of us for whom there was never…

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Feature: Early access review

Clicker Heroes 2 wants to be so much more than a clicker game – and that’s the problem

Clicker Heroes 2 marks the point that clicker games - y'know, the ones all about making numbers go ever-higher with a minimum of interaction - encroach so far into action-RPG territory that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to play a Diablolike again. The illusion is shattered; the pretence that I play hacker-slashers for any reason beyond numerical embiggening ripped away. Clicker Heroes 2…

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How not to be a villain, with LEGO DC Super-Villains

LEGO DC Super-Villains, TT Games' latest plundering of the Danish toy-chest, seems pretty determined to be That Suicide Squad Trailer Everyone Liked: The Game. Which is to say, bug-eyed mischief-making, faux-fanzine stylings and wall-to-wall Harley Quinn, whether you like it or not. Only, y'know, for kids. The game's been singing for its supper at the just-begun San Diego Comic Con, showing off the villains vs…

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Bethesda’s Todd Howard isn’t keen to remaster Morrowind

I'm getting pretty burned-out on remastered vintage videogames, partly because they're ten-a-penny now and partly because PC graphics settings and mods mean it's often straightforward to make a golden oldie look better than ever. There's one notable exception to that for me, which is Elder Scrolls series peak Morrowind. Its spindly world of shroom'n'insects'n'ash'n'gonzo weirdness is seared onto my memory forever, but in 2018 it…

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