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Featured Articles

6 days ago

Feature: Page turner

How a book binds the Return of the Obra Dinn

Towards the end of Return of the Obra Dinn’s four-and-a-half years in development, Lucas Pope had a friend come over to playtest it. He sat him down, explained how it’s a firstperson mystery game in which you discover the fate of the Obra Dinn, a merchant ship lost on its voyage into the Orient. Then he gave him the controls. “He played for a bit…

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Feature: Tomb with a view

Have You Played… Tomb Raider: Underworld?

For all the bruisings, beatings and impalings that Lara Croft endures in the recent rebooted trilogy, the real victim was Tomb Raider’s sense of scale. Everything became crushed down to deliver fidelity. There were temples, sure, but you viewed them from cramped tunnels as you scurried past guards, and towering structures were only seen from the extreme close-up of a climbing wall or the long-distance…

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1 week ago

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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Feature: Microwaves on legs, lots of rain, balls of light

Have You Played… Flood of Light?

I like little games you can jump in and out of, or play all in one go, and Flood of Light is one of those. It’s a hand-drawn, 2D, adventure puzzle game. And if you know me, you know I love puzzle games. You play a small girl in a big raincoat, called "The Guide", left in a city that is submerged in water. It…

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Feature: It won’t be worth it

Please do not play The Quiet Man with sound

Actual deaf people have played The Quiet Man and found it very much wanting; when you play it you clip into almost every surface available and during fights may suddenly teleport from one punching animation to another with a block of frames missing in between; the main character Dane isn’t a Quiet Man at all and he actually makes a lot of noise. Yes, sure,…

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Feature: Now feat. even more fish!

Steam Charts: Aquatic Craniate Edition

There are weeks when the Steam Charts surprise us! There are weeks when interesting new and old games reappear, pushing out the dreary regulars! And then mostly there are weeks like this one, where it's so depressingly bland that it starts raining outside the moment you glance at it. Not good rain, just bland drizzle.

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Feature: Sup

Have You Played… Faust?

My memory of the late 90s is predominantly reviewing abysmal games for PC Gamer. I found a niche in those early days of what I like to amuse folks by calling a career. And most terriblest of all were the Cryo games. Pre-rendered graphics adventures, each attempting to emulate the awful, awful Myst, and yet each somehow finding new ways to be even more dreadful.…

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Feature: Unless your friends are terrifying

The Blackout Club is more about fun than frights

I'm glad no one heard me whimpering on my first mission for The Blackout Club. I was by myself at this point, scurrying through an underground labyrinth full of sleepwalkers and foreboding. I tiptoed within inches of their sightless faces, all the while pursued by a being I could only see when I closed my eyes. Then my friends joined me, and most of that…

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Feature: Read more

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for walking the North York Moors and going to see Dylan Moran. Maybe I'll read more of the best writing about video games from the past week on the train. Everywhere I looked this week, I found people questioning the value of power fantasies in games. I don't agree with any of them. Let's kick off with Vicky Osterweil's analysis of how socio-economic…

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Feature: WELL?

What are we all playing this weekend?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in that it's dark and I'm eating Christmassy Meal Deals for lunch. First festive feast of this year: Tesco's Vegetable Christmas Dinner wrap, with maple-glazed veg. It's disappointing, with most the roast veg less nice than just plain ol' tatties would be. I'd like more stuffing, more tatties, more cranberry sauce... the good stuff. I'm pushing for…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Having your cake of ethically aware nuance and eating it too

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey presents a ‘softer’ version of slavery

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey attempts to address the historical nuance of a slave’s status through a series of quests. Its presentations are universally sympathetic. In some cases, they’re downright positive. Scheming cultists who mistreat or acquire slaves are exceptions, not the standard. It’s true that slavery in ancient Greece often operated differently than similar systems in the American South. Unfortunately, since Odyssey is a game about…

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Feature: Is that you Captain Howdy?

Have You Played… Faith?

Faith is one of those little treasures you stumble across on your monthly horror binge. You know the kind I'm talking about: lights off, duvet fort built, armed with snacks, something scary, and a pair of trembling hands to cover your eyes a la Ju-On: The Grudge. Obviously, that’s a lot harder to do when you’re playing a horror game.

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Feature: Difficult questions

The Flare Path: History or Victory?

The Special Prize at this year's foxerfest was guest editorship of Flare Path for a day. Winner Peter Arnott has chosen to use his 24 hours of authority to send this column to a locale it has never visited before. This week, in accordance with Peter's wishes, I've been thinking about difficulty in computer wargames. Although the Difficulty Compact between historical wargame creator and historical wargame consumer is…

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Feature: Playing opossum

Fallout 76 beta: finding life, and Mothman’s butt, in the wilderness

While I’ve only experienced a few hours exploring the luscious hillsides of Fallout 76’s West Virginia, I made it my mission to explore as much of the game’s extensive map as I could. It’s an impressive thing, four times the size of Fallout 4’s already expansive landscape, but the locale has all the personality and silly esoterica I’ve come to expect from Fallout games, mixed…

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Feature: Graphics mods, new NPCs and massive overhauls

All the best Skyrim mods on PC

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is as much a platform for mods as it is an open-world RPG about dumb dragons and dumber Vikings. Over the last seven years, an inconceivable number of them have been crafted, and while plenty have fallen by the wayside, others have become essential mainstays in anyone’s mod library. With Skyrim Special Edition, things got a bit more complicated. Some…

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Feature: Classical photography

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey travelogue

Much like its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has snared me with its marvellous camera. With it, I’ve been exploring and snapping Greece, all the way from the Ionian Islands in the west to the Cyclades in the east. I know I should be worrying about wars and parents and magical spears, but that’s all ancillary to the scenes and vignettes playing out on the paved…

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