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Samuel Horti

3 months ago

Feature: Fans of lots of text, rejoice!

Clear 100 hours in your calendar, ‘cos CRPGs are here to stay

In the mid-to-late 2000s, publishers abandoned the CRPG genre – an acronym describing the very specific genre of video games adapted from tabletop RPGs to be played on computers – which a decade earlier had been a cornerstone of PC gaming. They were more interested in accessible, console-friendly series like Mass Effect and The Elder Scrolls, and PC-centric RPGs all but died out. Then, around…

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Feature: Scream if you wanna go faster

Four developers of scary games explain how to make scary games very scary indeed

The inspiration for Alien: Isolation came from a simple thought experiment: what if somebody let a lion loose in developer Creative Assembly’s office? “I’d get behind my desk and make sure it wouldn’t see me,” says the game’s creative director Alistair Hope. “Then, you’d need to get to the fire escape. Maybe I’d move desk to desk and distract it. If you are confronted by…

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6 months ago

Feature: Interrupt your friends

The Joy of Oxenfree’s natural dialogue system

Few games nail the ebb and flow of conversations like Oxenfree, the supernatural drama about a group of teenagers on a deserted island. The cast speak over one another, cut their friends off mid-sentence and leave realistic gaps of silence that stretch on awkwardly until somebody says “so...”, and moves on.

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1 year ago

Feature: Grindosaurus

Ark: Survival Evolved review

I had it all planned out. I'd reach level 21 and unlock tranquiliser arrows, which I could then shoot at a triceratops to knock it out long enough to tame it. Then I’d craft a saddle for my newly-owned Trike (as it’s known in the game) and stomp around collecting more berries than I could feasibly eat in a lifetime. I’d use those berries –…

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That’s no planet: Lifeless Moon lands on Kickstarter

Lifeless Moon [official site], the follow-up to exploration game Lifeless Planet, has launched a crowdfunding campaign. Where the first game was set in the far future 15 light years from Earth, Lifeless Moon sees two astronauts stomping around our own moon, exploring a town that resembles one back on Earth. The original saw you walk and jetpack around in a space suit in third person, jumping…

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Where the Goats Are is a pretty, relaxing game about making cheese

I've just been clicking my way around Where the Goats Are [Itch page], a pay-what-you-want one-hour story from developer Memory of God about an old lady, Tikvah, and her goats on a remote farm. You potter about the small plot of land, making cheese, collecting eggs, and walking to a well so that you can water your lone plant. It's relaxing and atmospheric, with excellent…

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Steel Division: Normandy 44 due boatload of free content

The team behind World War II RTS Steel Division: Normandy 44 [official site] recently detailed everything that's coming to the game before the end of the year, including its first DLC – which will arrive this month – and a boatload of free stuff. On the free side, a new game mode, two ace units (special, historical personalities that replace units of a similar type), four regular units, and two co-op missions…

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Danganronpa V3’s free demo is suitably weird

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony [official site] has a free demo ahead of its full launch on September 26, and it's about as weird as you'd expect. You're trapped inside a school with an evil robotic bear called Monokuma, and the only way to escape is to murder a fellow student and get away with it by not getting found out during the ensuing trial. It's half-visual…

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FTL-y Shortest Trip to Earth blasts crowdfunding demo

One of the developers behind the rock solid top-down shooter Teleglitch: Die More Edition is working on an FTL-inspired spaceship roguelike that, judging by the bits of the demo I've played, looks promising. Shortest Trip to Earth [official site] has just hit Indiegogo, looking for $35,000 (£27k), and the demo contains a tutorial and two sectors of space to blast through.

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Explore an underworld mystery in Tokyo Dark

Crowdfunded murder mystery game Tokyo Dark [official site] launched this week, and looks pretty gorgeous. Publishers Square Enix describe it as "somewhere between a point-and-click adventure and a visual novel", and it follows Detective Ito, who is trying to find her missing partner in the Japanese capital. You'll delve into Tokyo's underworld, solving puzzles and making decisions that lead you towards one of 11 endings. I'm a…

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LawBreakers getting new maps and competitive mode

Zero gravity FPS LawBreakers [official site] will add three new maps, new game modes and a new class before the end of the year, developers Boss Key Productions have announced. All updates will be free and the first – due later this month – will include a map called Namsan, a new temporary team deathmatch mode, and some extra tutorials to make it easier for new players to…

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Tackle a huge beast under Times Square in latest Secret World Legends raid

Funcom have been slowly building up Secret World Legends [official site] – the revamped version of their conspiracy-laden 2012 MMO The Secret World – by taking bits of the old game, polishing them up and plonking them down in the free-to-play title, which launched in June. Now it's the turn of the Manhattan Exclusion Zone, a 10-person raid that happens directly under Times Square. Any…

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Arma 3’s humanitarian DLC drops from the sky

Arma 3's [official site] Laws of War DLC, which puts you in the role of a humanitarian aid worker, is out now. At the heart of the package is a mini-campaign that fills the boots of explosive specialist Nathan MacDade, who has to identify and deactivate mines following the war in the Republic of Altis & Stratis. The new humanitarian faction, called International Development & Aid…

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Pikuniku is a colourful dystopian puzzler

The excellently-named Pikuniku [official site] might just be the most colourful dystopian adventure ever. You're a red blob with gloriously wobbly legs exploring a bright world, partying with other blobs and solving environmental puzzles. But there are murky undertones, with the promise of "deep state conspiracies", giant underground worms and, er, "aggressive toast". Yeah. It's coming out sometime next year so, for now, check out the…

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Pretty point-and-click 29 out later this month

29 [official site] tries to capture the emotional rollercoaster that is the last days of university: you're glad exams are over but, gulp, you actually have to start being an adult. Developers Humble Grove call it a "magical realist point-and-click game", and from what I can see it's more focused on letting you soak up the atmosphere than testing your brain with puzzles. You control…

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Dino Dini’s Kick Off Revival slides onto PC this month

Top-down old school footy sim Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival [official site] shoots onto PC later this month. It's a modern take on Kick Off, the series that first arrived on Amiga and the Atari ST in 1989 and became something of a cult classic. Kick Off Revival first lined up on the PS4 last year, and now it's coming to PC on September 12th. The game has both…

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Steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum slashes out this month

Grid-based dungeon crawler Vaporum [official site] first blipped our radar in 2015 when the team were looking for funding, and now the steampunk RPG is all shined up and ready to go. You can get your finger-less gloves on it on 28 September. The team at Fatbot Games say they were partly inspired by the Legend of Grimrock games, and it's hard not to draw comparisons. Both…

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Rock of Ages 2 boulders onto Steam

Rock of Ages was a mad, brilliant game about rolling a boulder through historic scenery, bashing down turrets and avoiding cannon fire until you careered into your enemy's base. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder [official site] – which came out this week – is a more extravagant take on the same formula. Its new boulders have special traits (one glows red hot and then explodes, for example), the…

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