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Alex Spencer

5 months ago

Feature: You can take it with you

Persistence & Permadeath: progression in Spelunky, Into the Breach and roguelikes

Progression is so often an illusion. Many games use the idea of permanent progression as a way of tickling our lizard brains with a growing pile of loot or numbers which constantly tick up, so that we feel like we’re achieving something while we sit in front of a computer and repeat the same set of tasks over and over again. The beauty of permadeath…

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7 months ago

Feature: The end of violence

Beyond hard & easy: Assassin’s Creed’s Discovery Tour and Soma’s Safe Mode

From a publisher as huge as Ubisoft, and in a series as chart-dominating as Assassin’s Creed's Discovery Tour represents an unusual and welcome ambition. The mode, available as free DLC for Assassin’s Creed Origins or as a standalone game, strips out all the combat, levelling-up and collectibles in favour of a promised educational experience. It takes the strongest facet of Origins – its detailed and…

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2 years ago

Feature: Agent 47's Daily Challenge-like mode is a thrill

Hitman’s Elusive Targets Are The Game At Its Best

This weekend saw the first Elusive Target in Hitman, a limited-time event that drops a new doomed soul into one of the game's sprawling locations and gives you a single chance to bump them off. Within the modular structure of this Hitman game – which is constantly adding to the content available in its monthly-release levels – that's not too unusual, but the way Elusive…

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3 years ago

Feature: If I Could Turn Back Time

Artful Dodging: Why Invisible, Inc.’s Rewind Button Is Great

Are you the kind of person who finds the stealthy route through every Deus Ex level, and who strives to ghost and no-kill every Dishonored level? Me too, but recently I've started to realise there's a cost to playing this way. A perfect ghost run requires just that: perfection. Being spotted is a blemish on my record that I just can't abide – so the…

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Feature: Fantastic FIFA

Sci-Fi And Fantasy Football: The Cookie Cup

In the back room of a pub in Norwich, a small group of people are excitedly shouting things like: “Buffy Summers! 390 points!” “Virgil!” “The one from Devil May Cry?” “No, from Dante's Inferno!” “210 points!” This is Draft Day at the Cookie Cup, a fantasy football league with an emphasis on the fantasy.

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