How Crawl found the fun in unfairness

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Crawl [official site].

Crawl is a game about cooperation, betrayal and murder and accumulating enough eldritch power to kill a god. Made by Australian indie Powerhoof, it’s a couch multiplayer game played with up to three friends, but only one of you can be the hero. Everyone else is playing a monster, but when a monster kills the hero, it takes their place. This loop, of ganging up, competing to strike the final blow and then turning on your friends, captures the essential heart of the best local multiplayer games. It’s that delicious tension of power and powerlessness, of ruthlessness and submission, of laughter and jeering. At the centre of Crawl is a lovely bit of:

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Revisiting and rating Total War: Warhammer and its DLC

Since launching last year, Total War: Warhammer’s [official site] digital facsimile of Games Workshop’s weird fantasy universe has grown considerably. The Old World’s become nice and fat with new factions, campaigns, units and mechanics, and now it’s finished. So this is a pretty good time to jump in, especially if you’ve been holding out for every piece of DLC. But oh no! There’s so much of it! If you get the wrong one, you might never forgive yourself. That’s why you’d best stick with me to find out which ones are crackers and which are stinkers.

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Dawn of War III WAAAGH!s are the best WAAAGHs!

It’s still early days for me in Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War 3 [official site] , and, truth be told, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. It’s tricksy beast, a little higher-maintenance than I’m used to from this series, with less attachment to any individual squad/unit, but the pay-off for that is far vaster armies and a more spectular sense of Only War than ever before.

The stand-out element for me so far, though, is the Ork Waaagh! Dem boyz really go to town when they hear the call to war.
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The Flare Path: Maghrebian Musings

Graviteam’s reputation for martial eccentricity is under threat. Their next standalone dual-layer wargame isn’t set in a cobwebby corner of the Eastern Front. It doesn’t simulate an operation in the Bangladesh Liberation War or the Western Sahara Conflict. Manned exclusively by German and US personnel, the monikered-with-a-mallet Tank Warfare: Tunisia 1943 (out on Monday, price TBA) has at its hub an operation that is almost a household name compared with the likes of Operations Zvesda and Hooper. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

Somehow, through sheer force of will, we’ve collectively managed to make it until the end of April. That means Prey is out next week and I can barely contain myself. It might not be as ‘gritty’ or ‘visceral’ as some other titles up there but I’ll take my Bioshock influenced horror games gladly. Anyways, we’ve got a whole new batch of the best PC gaming deals to take a look at, so let’s get started.

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AMD’s not-really-new Radeon RX 500 graphics

And lo on the 18th day of the fourth month, verily did AMD wheel out its latest but not necessarily greatest new graphics cards. I give you the new AMD Radeon RX 580, 570, 560 and 550 – precision engineered to smite the evil Nvidia. Except they’re not really new. Instead, they’re basically dirty old re-badges of existing graphics cards. That doesn’t automatically mean they’re not of interest. But it does mean we’ll have to wait a little longer for something really revolutionary from AMD.
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