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PC Game Reviews

3 days ago

Feature: Needs a stool

Halo: Reach review

I'm bad at liking old shooters, because I struggle to see through the ways they've been surpassed. Modern games look better. They feel better. They have bumslides. They are generally obliged to develop their protagonists into something more than a number and a helmet. These are all problems for the nine-year-old Halo: Reach, but I've ultimately enjoyed myself despite them. There is wisdom in the…

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6 days ago

Feature: Creature creep

Phoenix Point review

Please stay in your seats if, at times during this review, you notice a presence in the shadows. Don’t be alarmed, in fact, should you notice a silhouette wearing a suit and tie - he’s just here to make his influence known. And if he seems familiar, there's a good reason: the council of XCOM looms over Phoenix Point, and they won’t let you forget…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Quakey quakey rise and shine

Premature Evaluation – Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin

Who remembers the 90s? Princess Diana alive and well and driving around London in her open-topped Bentley, throwing fistfuls of rare Pogs to her adoring public. Tony Blair flying around the sky in his personalised Concorde, throwing hundreds of rare Pogs down to his adoring public. Bill Clinton, unimpeached and still full of beans, kicking back in the Oval Office, proudly showing off his collection…

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Feature: Wax on, drift off

Shenmue 3 review

Nothing better captures the magic of Shenmue III than its save files. On one line, the current date and time; above it, the date and time this particular save will whisk you back to. Because that’s what Shenmue is: time travel. The opportunity to visit a very specific moment in history. In the case of Shenmue III, China in the spring of 1987. Of course,…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Atelier is french for "adventure"

Atelier Ryza review

When I told a friend of mine that I was reviewing the latest entry in Gust’s long-running Atelier series, she remarked, “wait, which one of those fanservice-y JRPG games is that?” While I did assuage her fears that it was not, in fact, “the boob game” (that would be Senran Kagura), I can’t exactly fault her for her confusion. Atelier first came to Europe and…

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Feature: Toilet horror

The Legend Of Bum-Bo review

Bum-bo has to deal with a lot of crap. Sometimes that crap is very literal, sentient, and coming straight for him. Sometimes, the crap is still literal, but it's his tool and his shield. It fuels his nightmares, and his special abilities. It's his deuce in the hole. Crap jokes feel inevitable here, because The Legend Of Bum-Bo is a prequel to The Binding Of…

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Feature: Shadows Jedi twice

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review

Many of us don't want much thought from our warring among the stars. We merely want to spend a few days, brainlessly force-pushing stormtroopers into a bottomless pit. We want to be infantilsed and reassured by a cosy multi-million-dollar franchise. We want a kindly alien dockworker called Prouf to rock us to sleep in his big strong arms, and gurgle amusing words as shiny space…

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Feature: Dee aye why

Premature Evaluation: The Endless Mission

Few things fill me with dread more than a blank canvas, especially one that’s aching with untold potential, or even worse, infinite possibility. I'm talking about Little Big Planet, Super Mario Maker, and now this, The Endless Mission; games in which you are thrust into the role of the world’s omnipotent architect, an unpaid and underqualified level designer shackled with the burdensome responsibility of creation.…

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Feature: "I hate Mondays"

Garfield Kart Furious Racing review

I cannot say, in truth, that I played Garfield Kart Furious Racing. In the plainest terms, I would say I participated in it: I offered my own myopic contribution, alongside millions of others, to form the baroque gestalt of the work as a whole. Because GKFR, you see, is a collaborative effort - directed, certainly, by its developers at Artefacts Studio, but only comprehensible as…

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Feature: I'll be whack

We erased Terminator: Resistance from history and reviewed what got made instead

The nicest thing I can say about Terminator: Resistance is that if a Terminator were sent back in time to wipe out its code, the timeline of gaming in general would almost certainly proceed unchanged. Confused by the apparent failure, Skynet would keep on sending Arnies back to delete it, unaware that the job was already done, and that its agents were just piling up…

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Feature: I hope the furries are happy

Blacksad: Under the Skin review

For reasons unclear to me, detective work seems to be a popular choice for enterprising animals keen to enter the gig economy. Indeed, creatures of all kinds have been sleuthing it up recently - just this year we had the pleasure of meeting a Goat Detective, a Frog Detective and a Raccoon Detective, and we heard about the arrival of the Chicken Police. And now…

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Feature: Call a somnambulance

Superliminal review

It must be daunting, making a first person puzzle game about messing with physics. Do I even need to name the shadow looming over this whole genre? Superliminal is a short, linear showcase of puzzles built around the creative use of perspective. You're a volunteer, testing an experimental sleep therapy based on inducing dreams you can muck about in. Gentle, soothing jazz plinkles away in…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Bigger than before

Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition review

Age Of Empires 2 is, as far as I’m concerned, the greatest real-time strategy game of all time. And with the release of Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, it’s… well, it’s still that. But now, there’s a lot more of it. It’s brilliant. Still, virtually every design decision its quality rests on was made twenty years ago, and what few changes have been to…

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Feature: Make the hive look alive

Bee Simulator review

I flew into a cobweb to see what would happen. There was a game in a magazine I had as a kid, you see, where you played as a spider. And if you caught a bee, you had to cut it loose in a panic before it could hurt you or damage your web. Here though, albeit seen from the other point of view, it's…

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Feature: Mountains out of molecules

Premature Evaluation: Molek-Syntez

A chemistry teacher once tried to teach me what a molecule is, but it didn’t stick, thanks to my chronically slippery brain which refuses to retain useful information. Please correct me in the comments below, but as far as I understand the situation, molecules are like atoms but larger and with some fun accessories. If atoms are footballs, let’s say, then molecules are those big…

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1 month ago

Feature: How the west was fun

Red Dead Redemption 2 review

Reviewing Red Dead Redemption 2 a year after its console release is like happening upon a frontier homestead after it's been attacked by bandits. It’s a game that has been subjected to every take under the sun, and stripped to the bone by internet vultures; every last secret dug up, every mechanic scalped and scrutinised, until no magic remains. I, adopting the role of world-weary…

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Feature: Not much to sea

Abandon Ship review

I cruised through dozens of fights before disaster struck. A scuffle with a cultist saw my ship scuttled, thanks to me forgetting to man the water pumps. A foolish oversight, but I’d at least had the foresight to buy a lifeboat, which saved me and my crew from a quick and merciful death. The days dragged in that tiny boat, as we drifted in diminishing…

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Feature: Head banger

MO Astray review

I’m almost tempted to celebrate the appallingly named MO: Astray for not being a Metroidvania. I loves me some Metroiding, but it’s proved a real pleasure to play an action-platformer that focuses on continuous progression without a trace of backtracking. It’s especially a pleasure when it happens in a game as precisely designed as this.

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Feature: Turn again

Manifold Garden review

Manifold Garden has been described as a 3D puzzle game, but everyone who says that is wrong, because it is actually a horror game. Oh, it might be in disguise as a puzzle game. It has special doors and pressure pads, and you manoeuvre the right coloured blocks onto the right coloured things by walking up walls and changing the gravity and what have you.…

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Feature: Always wear your meatbelt

Premature Evaluation: 10 Miles To Safety

Just outside of my hometown there’s an air rifle shooting club owned and operated by large men whose disposition barred them from joining their local territorial army. You know the men, they smell like sawdust and are all named Colm and wear tattered promotional t-shirts from a local shotgun pellet and rat poison manufacturer called “MAD DOG FIREARMS AND FARMING SUPPLIES” and whose logo is…

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