Call down the thunder: StarCraft is now free

Blizzard’s seminal 1998 strategy game StarCraft [official site] and its expansion, Brood War, are now free for all and sundry. The game that birthed modern digital sports! The game that launched a thousand zerg rushes! The game that still has the best tanks in all RTSland! Blizzard have updated StarCraft a touch to play nicer with modern computers but mostly it’s still just StarCraft (“just StarCraft” she says!). The real overhaul is coming later this summer in the not-free StarCraft Remastered. But for now, free StarCraft for all is just dandy, ta. Read the rest of this entry »

Roguelikelike platformer Flinthook swings out

Grappling hooks are right up there with strafe-jumping, skateboarding, and swimming on The Official List Of Cool Ways To Move so yes, absolutely let’s peek at Flinthook [official site]. The platformer stars a space pirate who swings through procedurally-generated spaceships, blasting enemies, bopping bosses, and plundering booty. Those space pirates really know how to live! “But Alice,” you wonder, “why do you taunt me so with talk of games that are surely three, six, nine, or eighteen months away from mine own very hands?” Mate, it’s out. You can buy and play it now. Or watch this trailer first: Read the rest of this entry »

Immortal Redneck brings roguelite FPS to ancient Egypt

The name, Immortal Redneck [official site], led me to expect a nineties-style daft shooter. Redneck Rampage meets Serious Sam, perhaps, given that the game is set in three increasingly dangerous pyramids, full of mummies, scarab beetles and sentient sarcophagi. Having played the game for a couple of hours now, I’m wholly convinced that the title is an error. This game isn’t dipping its toes into the Build Engine era of parody and design. It’s a very modern shooter in a way. Quake-like in its movement and layout, but borrowing enough roguelite elements to make it more a bedfellow of Ziggurat and Tower of Guns than Redneck Rampage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator

Every week we pit Brendan against the thousands of half-formed games of early access in a doomed battle for supremacy. This time, the huge and ridiculous fights of Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator.

There’s not much in UEBS that isn’t possible in any of the Total War series. I mean, if you discount the ability to pit masterly Chickens against a force of Orcs. Apart from that, it’s still about arranging vast (or small) armies on large maps and having them go at each other until one force comes out of the meat grinder without losing all their wee men. In fact, it’s hundreds of times more limited than a real strategy game. But many would say that’s not the point. What you have here is a toy, something that aims for the simplicity of its Deadliest Warrior conceit and – just barely – hits the mark. But what kind of brawls can you create? Well, here’s four epic battles we threw together to find out.
Read the rest of this entry »

Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy series started today

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series [give over -ed.] Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy [official site] has kicked off with the first episode today. The five-part series sees those wacky spacemisfits saving the galaxy and all that jazz, in the modern Telltale adventure-story way. Adventure! Action! Comedy! A launch trailer! Read the rest of this entry »

Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour is already great before it’s even finished

Croatian developers Croteam have proven themselves a developer of two extremes. For many years they were about dumbfest shooter fun Serious Sam and Serious Sam alone, and then out of absolutely nowhere produced the cerebral and utterly brilliant The Talos Principle. Since then we’ve had a splendid expansion for Talos and a frankly peculiar number of Serious Sam VR games. Now comes Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour [official site], a rather brilliantly titled game resulting from a team-up with indie devs Crackshell, that fits in neither extreme, despite being entrenched in the IP of their most famous protagonist. A top-down twin-stick action game that eschews all the modern stylings of your Hotline Miamis in favour of something much more madcap, frenzied and enormous. Read the rest of this entry »

Total War: Warhammer charges onto Mac

We’re already in the long run-up to the launch of Total Warhammer 2 later this year but hey! Wait! Hold on! The portpeeps at Feral Interactive today tidied up a loose end of the first Total Warhammer [official site], releasing a Mac version. That means users of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux-based personal cogitators can now totally get hammered and get their war on in some kind of fantasy. Read the rest of this entry »

CCP’s Sparc is a smart Tron-like virtual sport

The EVE Fanfest a couple of weeks ago was, as the name suggests, dominated by EVE Online, but developers CCP have other eggs in other baskets. EVE Valkyrie, the dogfighting multiplayer space shooter, is the company’s flagship VR title, and though I’ve only played it at events rather than at home, it might well be my favourite goggle-game. It’s not the only egg in that particular basket though, and the virtual sport Sparc [official site], with its full body dodging and blocking, is even more impressive in its use of the hardware.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Doom 3 Resurrection Of Evil?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

In 2005, Doom wasn’t cool – perhaps for the first time ever. Though criticisms of it are invariably exaggerated, Doom 3 had not been the game the world was waiting for, and was left standing in the tall, more ambitious shadow of Half-Life 2.

Expansion pack Resurrection of Evil was an odd riposte, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

Vroom! Full Throttle Remastered roars out today

Today I’m wearing my leather jacket and trying to convince Cara to bop me with a plank then toss me into a bin, celebrating the launch of Full Throttle Remastered [official site]. Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions have updated and re-released LucasArts’ 1995 stonking adventure game, which Tim Tam led development on back in his LucasArts days. Parts of Full Throttle always niggled and annoyed but it rose well above them, and I’m hopeful that still holds true. I can’t think of any game in the past 22 years which has surpassed Full Throttle’s opening, for starters. Read the rest of this entry »

TumbleSeed rolling out on May 2nd

You know those mazes where you need to roll a marble or ball bearing past obstacles and perilous holes? TumbleSeed [official site] is like that but scrolling up through procedurally-generated levels, with special powers. So a bit like that, but not a load. TumbleSeed is a goodun, a great arcade game turning something simple — rolling a seed up an obstacle course by tilting a guiding bar — into a delightful challenge. I really enjoyed the preview version I played a while back. When will Alex Public get to play? May 2nd, the developers have announced. Have a look: Read the rest of this entry »

Be a baddie in Star Wars Battlefront 2

After a long stretch of mumbling and leaking, EA have formally announced Star Wars Battlefront II [official site] for a November 17th launch. The boldly-going shooter’s big addition is a singleplayer campaign, and a new trailer reveals that it focuses on a baddie whose story winds through thirty years of Star Wars history. She and her merry band of elite spacefascists have been in the cracks of the big stories, and we’ll get to see her meeting big-name characters and whatnot while blasting zapguns. Here, check out the trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Nier DLC will let you fight CEOs of Platinum and Squeenix

DLC adding coliseum battles might sound somewhat unimaginative for a game as endlessly surprising and heartbreaking as Nier: Automata [official site] but that’s what is coming. Oh, wait, and it’ll let those lovable warteens fight the CEOs of Square Enix and PlatinumGames. That’s more like it! The action-RPG’s first DLC, titled ‘3C3C1D119440927’, is coming “soon” with coliseum scraps and rewards including cosmetic doodads like costumes from the first Nier. Here, check out this chief executive beatdown:

(If you haven’t gone through several of Automata’s endings, this post will show some things you may not know about.) Read the rest of this entry »