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PC Game Reviews

3 weeks ago

Feature: Just because it's over doesn't mean it's really over

Kentucky Route Zero: Act V review

This is the story of a journey’s end. But no homecoming can have meaning in isolation from the voyage that preceded it. This is why offering some critical judgement upon the fifth and (as far as we know) final Act of the interstate dream odyssey that is Kentucky Route Zero is an exercise in absurdity. It cannot be separated from what came before, nor from…

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1 month ago

Feature: Bestest Beasts

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne review

First things first: you need to be Hunter Rank 16 to access Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, which basically means you need to have beaten the base game’s final story boss before you pick it up. I know this is an incredibly dry way to start, but I asked myself what the first thing I’d hope to learn from an Iceborne review would be, and that…

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3 months ago

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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4 months ago

Feature: King of Dragon Surpassed

Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind review

The war chief is dead. Aminai, our wisest herder, took her place but was struck with a deadly illness. Crop after crop failed as the world became darker and colder. Our herds are pitiful, barely half of our people have a horse. Our neighbours, once toasting our clan, raid us without mercy, burning defences and stealing precious cattle. Storm worshippers from the south sense weakness…

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5 months ago

Feature: We hate the technology

Eliza review

Eliza is a visual novel about Evelyn, a woman starting work as a 'proxy' for the eponymous service. The service is counselling by algorithm. The proxies sit and listen, while clients say whatever they have to say, and the system takes measurements of things like heart rate, vocal stress and such, before analysing keywords used and delivering a reply. You read the script it generates,…

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Feature: This is your brain on Wilmot

Wilmot’s Warehouse review

For the first three and a half billion years of its history, life on earth was fairly dull. It was, essentially, a load of little blobs mucking around in a great big sea. But then, five hundred million years ago, the Cambrian Explosion happened. Despite its name, it was not a sick wrestling move, but a sudden evolutionary riot, in which life diversified into a…

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7 months ago

Feature: Apes out

Streets Of Rogue review

The streets are in chaos. There is a police officer beating a slum dweller. A red-shirted gangster has started an ill-advised stabbing match with three members of a rival blue gang. And an ape, recently escaped from captivity, is calmly watching it all, unable to speak the language of these terrible people. Amid such bedlam, what do you do as a player of Streets Of…

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8 months ago

Feature: Katana Zero, My Friend Pedro nil

Katana Zero review

Katana Zero has the juiciest text boxes I've ever seen. During dialogue, words can imply the pace of speech by appearing letter-by-letter or thumping on screen one word at a time. Words and phrases can be highlighted in different colours, and can further suggest intonation by animating wavily or by each letter shaking as if terrified. When in conversation, there's a timer during every player…

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10 months ago

Feature: With a little help from Ghoastus the Roman ghost

Imperator: Rome review

For me, one of the perennial pleasures in PC gaming is clicking ‘new game’ on a fresh Paradox grand strategy game, and having that big ol’ map unrolled before me, freighted with promise and overwhelming complexity. If you’ve not played one of these before - and for all its glories, Imperator: Rome is very much an iteration of the formula established by Europa Universalis in…

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Feature: Supra hella alchemistic exceptionally creative

Supraland review

I had already decided Supraland was my favourite game of 2019 so far before I noticed it was almost entirely made by one man. If you'd asked me to guess, as I played this 20-hour vast, ingenious, hugely entertaining first-person puzzle game, I'd have said it needed to be a team of at least twenty. The art alone is a squad's job, before you get…

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11 months ago

Feature: Islands in the sun

Tropico 6 review

Islands change everything. What would be just a map option to split the landmass into sea-divided blobs in so many other city-builders or strategy games is, in cod-Caribbean management sequel Tropico 6, transformative. For this most conservative of management series - you're a better man than me if you can easily tell the previous three games apart - even the smallest change can make a…

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Feature: Can he do it? Shuriken

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review

Sekiro hurts. It is a painful, graceful game about being a sword-swinging barbarian who must learn how to dance. Even more than its Dark Souls predecessors, it forces you to play on its terms: learn the steps or die. Fools sometimes say suffering leads to wisdom or insight. Well, you won’t gain enlightenment through the hundred deaths of this ninja follow-up. But you will learn…

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Feature: RPS IS YAY

Baba Is You review

I first saw Baba Is You a year ago during the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC, and was -- like everyone else in the crowd -- absolutely blown away. But, of course, with these big novel ideas always comes the fear that it might not translate into a coherent game. Some of the stars of the EGW have gone on to be somewhat flat, their…

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Feature: Y2K Hun?

Hypnospace Outlaw review

Hypnospace Outlaw, if it can be described at all, is a game about policing an alternate-world dream-based internet browsing system in 1999. Oh yes. Accessed by wearing a brain-scanning headband, users can create their own Geocities-like web spaces, interact via a chat app, and share music and images with one another, all via the HypnOS operating system. Think Compuserve, but you're asleep. And, because it's…

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12 months ago

Feature: Current trends say apes are in, actually

Ape Out review

Once I went to the zoo in San Diego, and a load of people were banging on the glass at an orangutan and its baby instead of just being appropriately (quietly) awed. One man in particular was hollering at what was a very sad looking ape, and honestly if there was justice in the world the orangutan would have smashed free and liquified that man’s…

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1 year ago

Feature: Top dog

Apex Legends review

Apex Legends is a dumb name. There. There goes the hat of criticism, back into its box. On goes the hat of unreserved praise. That name is just about the only foot the Titanfall devs have set wrong here, and I expect to be stretching my Apelegs every evening for the foreseeable future. This is the best battle royale game we’re going to see for…

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Feature: A miracle of design

Slay The Spire review

It’s not often I get to play a game for 187 hours before reviewing it. Hell, it's not often I play a game for 187 hours. Deck-building, singleplayer roguelite Slay The Spire, which gets a full release today after just over a year in early access, has me on its hook. Traditionally, I look at a number like that and hate myself – so much…

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Feature: Armless fun

Pikuniku review

Do you remember those jelly-like toy octopuses you had when you were a kid, which you throw at a window or wall? They'd half-stick/half-walk their way down the surface, their legs glooping on and off as they rolled in a semi-controlled fall. That's what the character in the ridiculously delightful Pikuniku most immediately reminds me of. It's just the way he walks. It's the most…

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Feature: For it is in gibbing that we receive

DUSK review

DUSK rather undersells itself when it declares it's "straight outta the '90s". While absolutely going for that Doom/Hexen vibe, with outstandingly fast movement, gorgeous chunky pixel enemies, and big meaty guns that pack a punch, it also has a really quite fantastic amount of good sense where not to be faithful to those mid-90s gibby times. If anything, DUSK feels like the FPS that id,…

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