Deus Ex: Invisible War gets all-in-one unofficial patch

A new unofficial patch has arrived for Deus Ex: Invisible War, bringing widescreen support and a few fixes to the game that I still think would be remembered quite fondly if it weren’t named ‘Deus Ex’. I found Invisible War technically fiddly and sloppy when I replayed it a few years back, and it sounds like the Visible Upgrade patch by ‘snobel’ fixes most of my gripes. It supports modern aspect ratios, including for folks who tape a dozen screens together, has an adjustable field of view, and fixes a few bugs. Oh, and it includes an optional high-res texture pack. Good stuff! Read the rest of this entry »

Solo’s cel-shaded puzzler seeks love on Fig

Solo

Good golly, Solo [developer website] looks GORGEOUS. It’s a 3D exploration and puzzle game about love but the biggest thing for me is that it has a similar toon-shaded/cel-shaded art style to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. I remember I was hoping that Wind Waker would somehow kick off a spate of those kinds of games and I would have plenty to gawp at but it didn’t really happen.

Anyway, Solo currently has a funding campaign over on Fig where I found out a bit more. Read the rest of this entry »

Halo Wars 2’s Blitz Mode could be its salvation

This is Atriox, your chief adversary. He leads a rogue Covenant faction, the banished – the remaining Covenant races are now at peace with humanity following the events of Halo 2. I know these things because I once had to write a 5000-word Halo timeline.

I was all set to thoroughly dismiss Halo Wars 2 [official site], before I joined Microsoft for a spot of top-down Warthog-baiting earlier in the month, and I’m still not completely convinced. Last year’s Xbox One beta suggested yet another Halo game intent on rebottling the lightning of a departed era – in this case, that fleeting, Quixotic period when the idea of RTS on console sounded like cash in the bank.

Much of what made the original Halo Wars work so well on Xbox 360 has been preserved – the snappy, colourful visual design, the stripped-down resource and research aspects, the adroit translation of Halo’s alien Covenant and human UNSC factions into the language of an Age of Empires spin-off. Startlingly little has been added or changed, whether you’re talking about new units or a fresh approach to the typically leaden business of storytelling in a strategy game. This is exactly what many fans are hoping for, I’m sure, but given Creative Assembly’s success with the Warhammer license and Alien: Isolation, it’s hard not to wish for a shade more, well, magic.

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Obsidian are making a new game and/or trolling us

‘Project Louisiana’ is the name of oft-revered RPG studio Obsidian’s next game, they’ve revealed, along with a graphic implying farmlands and a quote about facing up to some grim reality. Now, last summer rumours flew that a ‘Fallout: New Orleans’ was in the offing, based on an unverified and subsequently removed European trademark registration.

A whole mess of people looked at Obsidian expectantly, given that they were behind – don’t mention the war – well-received Fallout 3 spin-off New Vegas. They all but shot down the idea – but now they’ve pointedly codenamed their new’un after New Orleans’ home state. Read the rest of this entry »

IF Only: Apocalypse Eve

Prospero Cover Clip

Apocalypse is a popular topic of IF. Brian Moriarty’s Trinity explored the threat of nuclear annihilation, back in 1986; Phantom Williams’ 500 Apocalypses got several mentions here last year, from me and from Philippa Warr. Max Kreminski’s Epitaph takes a more Spore-like approach, as you’re allowed to try to nurture procedurally generated civilizations to survive longer than a few turns, and instead (most likely) rack up an impressive collection of failures.

Whatever kind of apocalypse you’re trying to model, interactive fiction probably has something to offer. Here are some of the most interesting.

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Games are best when they ignore you

Tutorials are a lot like first dates. They’re awkward but necessary, can be a total waste of time, and sometimes there’s a lot more hand-holding than you’d like. It would be best for everyone if we just skipped all that uncomfortable small talk and went straight to the middle part. The good part. Unfortunately, you can’t have a good relationship without getting to know someone first, and you can’t have fun with a game if you don’t understand how to play it.

Or can you?

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Timeloop murder mystery The Sexy Brutale out in April

The Sexy Brutale [official site], the murder mystery set within a time loop of the same deadly day, now has a release date. Mark April 12th on your calendar — over and over, gouging circles with your pen until you tear through to May — as the date we’ll get to venture into the eponymous casino and discover why its staff are murdering a ball’s guests every day. It sounds a bit Majora’s Mask, a touch Groundhog Day, and a smidgen The Last Express as players get to understand a little more of the place and people around them each day. Here, check out this new trailer: Read the rest of this entry »