Bullet sponge begone
Destiny 2 [official site] comes with a lot of baggage. It’s the PC debut of an enormously successful new series from a mega-developer, and the original is precisely the kind of multiplayer co-op shooter that even some die-hard fans are a little burned out on after nearly three years of DLC and grinding for gear.
Enter Adam. I came to Destiny 2, at E3 last week, with barely enough baggage to fill a pencil case, having only played the demo of the original, and am immediately greedy for more. Whatever more it might offer. Destiny 2 is colour and light and the majestic spectacle of a Saturday morning cartoon and a space opera fused into a punchily satisfying shooter.
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Press 'x' to hear poem
Every game released before 2015 is being destroyed. We only have time to rescue one game from each year. Not those you’ve played to death, or the classics that the industry has already learned from. We’re going to select the games that still have more to give. These are the Saved Games.
There’s a moment just seconds into Interstate ‘76’s intro cinematic that I think neatly captures its spirit: two American hot rods are racing along a desert highway, one firing its roof-mounted machine guns perfectly in sync with the wacka-wacka funk guitar underpinning the scene, while the other weaves from side to side in front of it, also in time with the music. There are probably a total of seventy polygons onscreen, and yet the game’s stylistic vision and world of bizarre menace are communicated instantly.
Set in an alt-history southwestern USA in which the 1973 oil crisis provoked the rise of criminal gangs and a resultant vigilante uprising, Interstate ‘76 is a vehicular combat game as concerned with nailing an aesthetic as it is with the mechanics of cars shooting at one another. It’s a game that achieves remarkable harmony between its visual style, narrative and what you do as the player, and it does so in a world that’s not quite seventies pastiche or fantasy dystopia. Instead, it’s something strange and distinct in between the two. It is the game release of 1997 that should be preserved forevermore. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m now fully caught up on the Destiny 2 [official site] presentation and am wading through the first hands-on footage people are feeding out as videos. The game has a hard release date of 8 September on console (and a smidge of pre-order beta before that) but PC is still a bit of an unknown. It’ll still happen but the exact details are still lurking in the realms of “dunno”. BUT! That gives us some breathing room to get you, the wide-eyed PC player, up to speed. There’s also plenty in the info we now have that excites me and a few niggles I wanted to poke at while they’re still fresh in my mind. Shall we start with an overview of the game and then move on to things like the reworked match-making for raids and so on? It’s my article so I’ll assume you said yes! Read the rest of this entry »
"War is a fun hell"
“Those who do not learn from from history, are doomed to make another World War II videogame.” A famous saying, and one we all know well. So when Activision hosted a live presentation for the reveal trailer of their latest shooter, Call of Duty: WWII [official site], I watched and felt nothing but a tired wave of low-burning resentment for everyone involved. During this presentation the word “visceral” was said a total of eight times and our own news editor Alice silently got up from her desk, walked solemnly out of her house, and never returned. If anyone has seen Alice, please call us. Read the rest of this entry »
Do mention the war
If the rumours are true, and they most likely are, this year we’ll be seeing Call Of Duty: WWII. People have reacted with concern, but I’m here to argue it’s the best possible news.
There was a time when learning a game was set in World War II was deserving of the heaviest of sighs. Not only did it mean that it would be one of seven thousand other games that year plundering the past for an excuse to bob a gun at the bottom of the screen, but it was more likely to be crass and ignorant than a tribute to the bravery and miserable deaths of our ancestors. We got well and truly sick of WW2 games. Then to save us, the march of the zombies began. We had a whole new theme to groan at, and the Second World War has had something of a break.
The temptation of hearing the rumours that the all-conquering shooter series is to return to its own origins is to start sighing once again. But there are some really good reasons not to. In fact, if there’s anything that could save CoD from itself, it’s heading back. Read the rest of this entry »
Call of Duty doing a bad Crysis impression
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You are Kevin Spacey’s surrogate son. Look at those eyes, focused with paternalistic concern. He is placing a hand warmly upon your robot arm, the robot arm he gave you along with robot legs and probably robot other things. It’s a shame, really. It’s a shame you’ll have to kill him later.
This is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Read the rest of this entry »