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Jeremy Peel

2 months ago

Feature: From studio conflict to creating a classic

Deus Ex at 20: The oral history of a pivotal PC game

Deus Ex is the king of the immersive sims - the blueprint from which an entire genre of ideas has been pilfered. If you’ve loved a Dishonored game, you’ve enjoyed Deus Ex by proxy; its design, and even some of its developers, can be found at the very centre of Arkane’s DNA.For those who played it 20 years ago, Deus Ex set expectations for how…

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3 months ago

Feature: Nuclear summer

The making of Fallout 76: Wastelanders

When Bethesda Game Studios decided to bring human NPCs into their post-apocalyptic MMORPG Fallout 76, they wrestled with a kind of temporal dissonance. The new arrivals were a reflection of the year or so of real time that players had spent making West Virginia more habitable. Yet those first quests still remain, locked in their original time period.Night turns to day in Fallout 76, the…

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Feature: Flatbed head

SnowRunner review

I took my Chevy to the levee, but the levee wasn’t dry. That’s the problem all over Black River, actually: a recent flood has rendered the soil sodden enough to swallow a car whole. Days of rain have closed the north road out of an already-sleepy Michigan town with rockslides. Power lines are down, too - although that might have more to do with stubborn…

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6 months ago

Feature: Twofer Mario

Lair Of The Clockwork God review

In the streets of a not so distant future, between the public onanism booth, and the bouncer employed ironically by a nightclub's post-millennial owners, stands an enormous phone display encased in concrete. Squint into the solar flare brightness of its 20-foot screen, and you can just about make out some of the messages as they scroll by. Local youths are voting on whether Ben and…

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7 months ago

Feature: Rite of passengers

Transport Fever 2 review

It was day two when I finally contracted transport fever, with the classic symptoms: the aching posterior, the swelling of the pride. I’d built a circular railway, like the kind you see in children’s sets, to connect the mines and factories along the shore of Lake Baikal in Siberia. Then I’d asked my drivers to load their gondolas only halfway with coal, leaving space for…

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8 months ago

Feature: Red and black magic

Have You Played… Chaos Reborn?

There’s always a gamble with Julian Gollop. Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to meet the designer behind the original X-Com, I’ve felt like the student to a mild-mannered teacher - the kind who makes you lean in to hear, rather than bellows for you to listen.Boot up one of his games, though, and he becomes a crafty casino manager, rubbing his hands in glee as…

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Feature: Ape escape

Have You Played… Peter Jackson’s King Kong?

I mean, some games aggressively resist your playing them. Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is not available to buy on Steam, or Uplay, or any online store you could name. When I sought out a physical copy, it bricked my computer. Putting it down to coincidence, I tried the disc in my laptop, and it bricked that too. Is there…

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Feature: Creature creep

Phoenix Point review

Please stay in your seats if, at times during this review, you notice a presence in the shadows. Don’t be alarmed, in fact, should you notice a silhouette wearing a suit and tie - he’s just here to make his influence known. And if he seems familiar, there's a good reason: the council of XCOM looms over Phoenix Point, and they won’t let you forget…

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9 months ago

Feature: They say jump, we ask how high they rank

The best platform games on PC

The biggest names in platforming used to live only on console, but it's on PC now that the genre is thriving. Indies have taken the simple ingredients and spun them off in umpteen directions (but still normally from left to right). Below you'll find a collection of the very best platform games on PC - including puzzle platformers, physics platformers, platformers with roguelike elements, and…

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Feature: A killer with kind eyes

Who does Modern Warfare’s Captain Price really “get dirty” for?

Captain Price, as played by former Hollyoaks serial killer Barry Sloane, is a figure of gruff warmth. He imbues the new Modern Warfare with the sozzled energy of an uncle on Boxing Day, eyes smiling even as bluster falls from his mouth. “We get dirty,” he mumbles, “and the world stays clean.” Nobody wants to ask if that means Uncle Baz has soiled himself.Modern Warfare…

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1 year ago

Feature: Queen of the second screen

Forager review

This is a public service announcement: if you find yourself on the western edge of the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales anytime soon on the hunt for blackberries, don’t bother - I’ve picked them all. Turns out there’s a twofold satisfaction to foraging that makes it difficult to stop. First there’s the search: looking high and low for collectibles, pushing your body further into the thicket,…

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