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PC Game Reviews

1 week ago

Feature: Square strategy

Plebby Quest: The Crusades review

Plebby Quest: The Crusades and I did not get off to the best start. This is partly because it’s called “Plebby Quest”, a dreadful title that has little to do with the game itself. Neither "plebs" nor questing featuring prominently. Instead, Plebby Quest is more like a diet Crusader Kings, offering a similarly grand medieval strategy in a package less likely to pack on the…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: The wood is very visible actually

Among Trees review (early access)

I don't usually like survival games. I like the idea of survival games - the idea of making a safe home out of the wilderness and learning to make my own boots out of rabbit skin, and so on. I would never be able to do this in real life, obviously, because I am small and fragile and I don't really enjoy even the most…

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Feature: Break it down

Hardspace: Shipbreaker review (early access)

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game about peeling open spaceships like they’re massive tin cans to reveal the abandoned detritus inside. The belongings of long departed crews hang in the darkness like deep sea fish. Cola bottles and crisp packets wander past your visor, disturbed into aimless tumbles by the change in air pressure when you popped open the airlock like a champagne cork. The only…

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Feature: Jung people these days

Persona 4 Golden review

Most roleplaying games span continents, planets, even galaxies. Persona 4 Golden – the first of Atlus's celebrated RPGs to make a belated landfall on PC - is set almost entirely inside a single town. It's not even a very memorable town: neither a wistful Chosen One Village nor a bustling world hub, but a wilting suburb done up in Google Map shades of tarmac and…

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Feature: I'm so sorry, Bina

Griftlands review (early access)

Christ, I'm not sure what to make of Griftlands. At first I was close to adoration. It's an unusually story-focused deckbuilding roguelike - and it's from Klei, of Oxygen Not Included and Don't Starve fame. That sounded wild to me even before I learnt that it's about moseying around as a bounty hunter in an alien city, doing odd jobs for the locals and building…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: First-person shooting meets light strategy

Disintegration review

Disintegration has a good line in names. Across its campaign missions, you play Gravcycle pilot and - yes - television presenter called Romer Shoal in a rebellion against "integrated" human-robot hybrids led by Black Shuck. If those names aren't fun enough to roll around in your mouth, consider that the TV show Romer presented was called "Cradle 2 The Grav".If only there was as much…

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Feature: Aye, robot

Main Assembly review (early access)

Main Assembly is a physics-based puzzle sandbox in which you build specialised robots to carry out different tasks, like ferrying a washing machine across a busy railway track or rescuing crash test dummies from burning buildings. It’s a kind of Kerbal Everything Program, powered by a comprehensive suite of easy-to-use creative tools that let you construct pretty much anything you can imagine: spring-loaded catapults, rocket-powered…

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Feature: A relaxing katabasis

Beyond Blue review

So many are the dignities heaped upon Beyond Blue, that it's somewhat hard to get at the game beneath. When I began playing, I knew that it had been made in association with the filmmakers behind the Blue Planet II series, and in consultation with a host of marine scientists. I knew that it promised a sober and ultra-realistic exploration of the oceans, and that…

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1 month ago

Feature: Cull cussing cowboys creatively

Desperados 3 review

Claymore Game Studios, the newly formed outfit tasked with reviving the Commandos franchise, is in need of an Unreal Engine expert, a 3D artist, a 3D animator, and a senior level designer. Whoever secures the latter job will, if they are sensible, do nothing their first week except watch old war movies and play Desperados III. Proving that the superb Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun…

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Feature: Red dwarf fortress

Space Haven review (early access)

Colony simulators can be overwhelming. Games like Dwarf Fortress and RimWorld use migration as both a fuel and a pressure valve, delivering caravan after caravan of fresh colonists at regular intervals to ensure the centre of balance of your community is always tipping forwards. Space Haven, which is set not on the filthy ground but in that big empty boob we call space, flip-turns the…

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Feature: A lean, mean, greenin' machine

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle review

A while back politicians in the UK identified the environment as a key battleground to fight over, and all started riding around on those tiny bikes you can fold up and carry around London to prove they cared about trees. Not to be outdone, EA have, ten years later, released their latest expansion to blockbuster tiny-person life simulation series The Sims 4 along a green…

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Feature: Zhuzh it up, commander

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection review

Who remembers the 90s? Teachers cowering under their desks, living in constant fear of gunge reprisal. Dave Benson Phillips stomping a Furby to death behind a Woolworths. Princess Diana slowly opening her mouth on live television to reveal the very first Tamagotchi. And then there was you, a horrid greasy goblin person hunched over a yellowing CRT monitor in the corner of the living room.…

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Feature: Coal-hearted

Satisfactory review (early access)

There it is, the trans-planetary pipeline. One long tube of metal scarring a rural alien planet. It brings coal and water to my power stations, and electricity to my factories. It has taken a day of planning, construction and pumping. Now, the pipeline stands before me, a snaking behemoth of energy consumption. Suddenly, a thought comes. Why didn't I just build coal stations next to…

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Feature: Chrono Trigger Finger

Quantum League review (early access)

Each fifteen seconds of a match of competitive FPS Quantum League repeats, creating its own timeline of player actions which persist until the end of the third run, or until that timeline is interrupted by the actions of a player in a subsequent run. It’s Clock Blockers, basically. Sometimes, you pull off supremely tactical synchronized plays with versions of your past self. Sometimes, you have…

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Feature: It's an old world after all

Old World review (early access)

Old World has been developed by a clutch of Civilization vets. So it’s hardly a surprise that, at a glance, it appears to be a very familiar strategy epic. You’ve got your usual slate of hexagons, littered with 100 foot tall soldiers and crabs the size of mountains. You’ve got your turn-by-turn freestyle jazz remix of ancient history, a revisionist mess in which the Romans…

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Feature: Sad shooty wizards

Valorant review

Valorant is Riot's newfangled hybrid of CS:GO and Overwatch, where teams of five run around shooting very deadly weapons while deploying character-based abilities. It's very, very similar to CS:GO, right down to the round structure and individual weapons. If you've ever defused a bomb in Counter-Strike, there's a good chance you'll already be a crack shot here. It's basically the same, but with more mind…

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Feature: A bridge not far enough

Poly Bridge 2 review

I'm so interested in how expectation affects our experience of games. Whether it's from over-ambitious promotional materials, peculiarly unhelpful reviews, or completely misreading the game's description before buying it, what we're hoping for before we start really colours how we receive the game. I was convinced that Poly Bridge 2 was a goofy physics puzzler, something somewhere between Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and Crayon Physics…

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Feature: Behold the Shatterpillar

Nimbatus review

Nimbatus is about building spaceships. More accurately, it's about learning to build spaceships. And if we're being completely honest, it's a game about learning how not to build them. At its heart is one of the most flexible digital construction toys I've come across, which allows for enormous complexity despite a relatively unforgiving learning curve, and Nimbatus would be a worthy purchase if its freestyle…

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Feature: No we didn't like it, but we tried to fight it

Wildfire review

Stealth games tend to come in two flavours. Nowadays most are systemic playgrounds, in which players are presented with a range of options for how to deal with any given situation, and errors are forgiven after the few seconds it takes a guard to decide it was probably rats. A handful of others are more rigid, with only one correct way to play, and each…

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