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Nic Rueben

3 days ago

Feature: The end is Nier

We don’t deserve this planet, the robots of Nier: Automata do

Warning: Contains spoilers. The first robot to be built in Japan, in 1929, was named Gakutensoku, meaning “learning from the laws of nature”. Its creator, biologist Makoto Nishimura, would later say of his mechanical progeny: “If one considers humans as the children of nature, artificial humans created by the hand of man are thus nature’s grandchildren.” The robot was unveiled at Emperor Hirohito’s ascension ceremony…

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4 days ago

Feature: Not as good as waffles

Overkill’s The Walking Dead review

“Good luck boyos.” The four of us are standing in a descending elevator, each grasping a holdall of supplies. We’re preparing to make one final, treacherous push through a warehouse of shambling flesh nibblers to our getaway truck. The sudden excitement in the chat log clues me in to the upcoming danger. To be honest, I think most of it is for my benefit. Before…

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1 week ago

Feature: Taking a Nova shot at it

‘You can’t just apply Eve onto an FPS’ – Hands on with Project Nova

“It’s the most hyper capitalistic place in the world.” I’m sitting at the Las Vegas Linq hotel bar with Snorri Árnason, game director of Project Nova, the sci-fi shooter spin-off of Eve Online. We’re here to talk about the tactical shooter he's showing off at Eve Vegas, a yearly gathering of spaceship scoundrels. But first, I have to know. Of all the places in the…

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Feature: Where space pilots get spanked

I went mingling with Eve Online’s space scoundrels in Las Vegas

“Any excuse for explosions.” “GreyGal” says this with a good-natured shrug as she finishes telling me her story. A few years back, an Eve Online player got a touch too merry in Planet Hollywood and hit on somebody’s wife. It led to a "fairly moderate war". The offence took place here in Las Vegas, but the fighting only broke out later, once the belligerents had…

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2 months ago

Feature: Ice ice, baby

Frozen Synapse 2 review

Frozen Synapse 2’s campaign puts you in charge of a security force in a sprawling, cyberpunk metropolis where a rogue AI threatens the safety of the populace. It also lets you choose your character’s name, honorific, and organisation. So, naturally, it was time for Grand Moff Godzilla Johnson to lead the CyberBois to victory. This is, of course, the sequel to 2011's Frozen Synapse. Through…

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Feature: Monkey see, monkey do

I played every game about monkeys on Itch.io

I could detail the circumstances that led me here, to this place, at this moment in time, but it is a tangled web we weave, and the machinations of fate are as unknowable to us as the span of a gorilla’s back to the tiny flea, or something. Did you know there are 49 games about monkeys on Itch.io? I have decided to play them…

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3 months ago

Feature: The doctor will see you now. Again.

Two Point Hospital review

One of the many malicious maladies that can befall your patients in Two Point Hospital is ‘8-bitten’. You’ll know when you’ve got an epidemic on your hands, because you’ll start to notice dozens of low-res, pixel-stricken ill flickering about your corridors. To treat them, you’ll need to research and build a Resolution Lab complete with Debugger. As with many of your accomplishments, the local radio…

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Feature: It caught on in a flash

Monster Hunter: World review

“The plural of ‘monster’ is ‘monst’.” Nietzsche, probably. Welcome hunter. If you’ve already got a decent idea of what the hunting of monst is all about, and you’re just here to make sure the rescue from the darkest recesses of console exclusivity went smoothly, you’ll want to head over to Katharine’s rundowns. For the record, my own experience has been largely positive since the latest…

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4 months ago

Feature: Zero hour contracts

Hitman and the joy of killing your boss

I used to see Agent 47 as a sociopath. “A blank slate”. The ideal state for a video game protagonist. Hitman puts us right in his polished black shoes. A gulf of meaning into which we can project ourselves. 47 has a contract, we have an objective. Our goals are aligned, even if we can’t quite get behind the brutality of it all. Between entrance…

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5 months ago

Feature: Superheroes don't swear

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit review

It’s Monday, and what better way to start the day than with a crunchy bowl of Honesty covered in ice cold, full fat Admissions of Failure: I have not played much Life Is Strange. I got about fifteen minutes into the first episode, the dialogue started to grate, and I zoned out. Controversial opinion maybe, but if you’re making a game about teenage girls, it…

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6 months ago

Feature: Necronom nom nom

Cultist Simulator review

In my time with Cultist Simulator, I’ve browsed hidden book shops for arcane grimoires, sent loyal acolytes on doomed expeditions, and felled nosy investigators with poisoned tea. I’ve been reduced to begging in the street for opium money, and I’ve sacrificed followers with antique daggers in secret rites to restore my vitality. Weather Factory’s first outing is what I imagine playing solitaire with Necronomicon pages…

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7 months ago

Feature: Kingly beards and flaming arrows

A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia review

From my vantage point, there’s something enchanting about the snow-capped palisades of Dinefwr. Although I imagine its majesty is somewhat lost on the seven hundred exhausted Welshmen I’ve just ordered to breach the stronghold’s walls, with nothing but battered wooden shields between them and a typical British forecast of flaming arrows. I’d like to pretend their sacrifices come at the bitter end of a long,…

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Feature: Tonedeaf in Vinland

Dead In Vinland review

A man finds a severed bull’s head and flees from the worms crawling in its rotten cranium. Dead in Vinland is a management/survival RPG in which you’re tasked with leading a family of exiled vikings as they attempt to keep themselves alive and sane in a strange new land. Strange is the operative word, and in between managing resources and relationships, you’ll be dealing with…

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