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Nic Rueben

6 days ago

Feature: Flambé zombé

The Joy of burning zombos in Resident Evil HD Remaster

Resident Evil HD Remaster is a three-year-old shine-job of a 17-year-old remake of a 23-year-old console game that I’d have little problem believing was a modern release if those corridor dogs weren’t seared into my memory and stained into my underoos. That those corridor dogs are stained into our collective underoos (the vast interconnected underoo network that binds us all) suggests that Resident Evil is…

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1 month ago

Feature: He's a jolly ol' saint

Nic Rueben’s 5 best games of 2018

It’s well known that games are an awful mistake that should have never been unleashed on an unsuspecting humanity. That said, here’s five that hushed the howling primates that reside in my skull just long enough for me to consider them a worthwhile investment. Honorable mentions go to Cultist Simulator (For it’s alchemical harmony of theme and mechanics), Vermintide 2 (for being the second best…

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Feature: The emptiness of space

X4: Foundations review

X4: Foundations is how I imagine Brian Cox imagines space. It’s big and impressive, because Brian Cox can grasp those two concepts just fine. But any actual fine detail is lost in sheer gawking wonder at just how big and amazing everything is. From minute one, the game offered me a lot of choices, but turned out as evasive as a buttered rat when it…

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2 months ago

Feature: Veni, videogame, vici

Imperator: Rome finds the difference between obstruction and intimidation

Bugger me, Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy games are a lot, right? If I could put that even more in bold, I would have fattened up like a sacrificial pig before god-appeasing slaughter, because they really are. My experience with Crusader Kings II, for example, mainly involved me staring at menus for half an hour then crushing half a pack of ibuprofen into a fine powder,…

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Feature: Skeleton war

Warhammer 40k: Mechanicus review

Cyborg Popes vs. immortal pharaoh terminators, woop woop. As Games Workshop rent out their license to anyone who can spell ‘ork’ correctly, their slightly fashy gothic future setting occasionally turns out a real treat of a match up. Bulwark Studios’ Mechanicus is one of the most polished and atmospheric titles to use the name in years, starting with a base coat borrowed from tactics genre…

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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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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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3 months 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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4 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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5 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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6 months ago

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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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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7 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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8 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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9 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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10 months ago

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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