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Alex Spencer

10 months ago

Feature: Jonesing for more

The Joy of standing by your man in Into The Breach

Every game of Into the Breach tasks you with just about the biggest, most noble mission there is: save the world, this tiny watery globe we call home, from giant bug attacks, over and over again. But it also offers a smaller, more personal mission that’s a little easier to get your head round: save one specific person. At the end of a game -…

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11 months ago

Feature: A party for every one

I took the best music of 2018 and played it all in 2008’s best rhythm game, Audiosurf

As we rapidly approach the end of the year, it’s time for everyone to look back over the past twelve months of stuff and turn it into neat little lists of what was best. Like games, yes, but also telly and photos and, as we shall see, music. After all, is there a better way of celebrating the end of the year than to take…

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2 years 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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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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4 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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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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5 years ago

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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