Every Monday, Rob Zacny … Early Access … a worthy in-progress game.
Last Days of Old Earth [official site] has tons of potential to be a great strategy game, in much the way a story outline has the potential to be a literary masterpiece.
RPS Feature Potential but as yet unrealised
‘Can we make a game like Mad Max: Fury Road before everyone forgets about it or a massive backlash starts up?’ is probably a question on a lot of developers’ lips right now. Pure momentum, minimal exposition, a whirlwind of wordless world-building: this is the stuff digital dreams are made of. Avalanche are working on an official game, but I think it’s the games which react to the finished film rather than were made contemporaneously which are more likely to evoke some of the George Miller film’s breakneck ferocity and backstory-by-implication. We’ll see. In the meantime, while we’re still thirsty for more, here’s another latter-day adaptation of the 1980s concept of the post-apocalypse. Games Workshop’s road combat boardgame Dark Future. Witness it:
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I never played Games Workshop’s Chainsaw Warrior (or had even heard of it), but I dig the idea: a single-player board game using dice and cards to recreate a big daft zombie-filled action movie over an hour of real time. Auroch Digital turned the board game into video game back in 2013, and now they’ve released a sequel which changes the original formula a little as well as bringing a new story. Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night [Steam page] arrived yesterday at £4.79.
With today’s modern video game technology, we can chainsaw a zombie into procedural hunks and release a spray of ichor that runs fluid-simulated down walls and gathers into glossy black puddles. Y’know, if we wanted to. Back in 1987, a little imagination was required to see such things.
I never played board game Chainsaw Warrior, but it sounds a lot like a man vs. demons gory single-player FPS simulated with two decks of cards and a couple of dice. Auroch Digital were faithful to Games Workshop’s original in their video game adaptation last year, but have announced they’re expanding on it in a sequel, Lords of the Night.
Auroch Digital’s adaptation of Chainsaw Warrior has arrived on Steam. I hadn’t heard of the game until the digital version was announced but I don’t think I’m alone in having this particular gap in my Games Workshop knowledge. It’s a solo card game, in which the player must save New York from the ‘orrible monsters that are spilling through a dimensional tear in Manhattan. Encounter cards are drawn from a deck, and usually involve a zombie or a mutant that requires a swift chainsaw to the face. Every action takes up 30 seconds of in-game time and when a full hour has passed, Darkness consumes the city. Devilishly difficult, it seems a game of luck and theme rather than skill and strategy. Trailer below.
There are three immediate things to note about Chainsaw Warrior:
1) Despite claims that they are violent, computerised games have managed to exist for ages without Chainsaw Warrior becoming a best-selling franchise. Gears of War doesn’t count.
2) The game is a digital adaptation of a 1987 Games Workshop boardgame for one player. I have never heard of that game but I did adapt Cluedo for solo play when I was a youngster. It was rubbish. If I had a time machine, I’d risk some sort of paradoxsplosion in order to introduce my younger self to Chainsaw Warrior.
3) Killing monsters with a chainsaw is a good thing to do.
We’ve established that I’d like to be a heroic lumberjack and had an odd childhood, but what is Chainsaw Warrior?
I’ve had a quick game of Endgame: Syria, a game that came to my attention after being rejected by Apple for the app store because it dares to include decisions about a real world conflict. There are no such restrictions on the PC, obviously. Apple are queasy about any game that “solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity”, which is basically the remit of developers Auroch Digital. They’ve been making news-based games over at GameTheNews for a few months now, rapidly prototyping games that deal with world events. In this case, Endgame: Syria is about the unfolding horror in Syria.
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