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Posts tagged “Bestest Bests”

Feature: Turn-based Stalker, with ducks

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

There are at least 99 ways this could have gone horribly wrong. XCOM-ish turn-based action in an apparently shameless borrow from STALKER’s setting, but starring a talking pig and duck? An overwhelmingly nihilistic tone, but also endless use of the ‘duck sounds a bit like another, naughtier word’ gag? Even the name, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, has that algorithmically-generated SEO jank vibe to…

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Feature: Sing me to life

Wandersong review

You can jump on your bed in Wandersong. You start the game by waking up after a revelation: the end is nigh, and you can’t do anything about it because you’re just a bard, the most useless class ever. The situation doesn’t look good. But before getting out of your house, you can jump on your bed. And in that moment I understood that, despite…

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Feature: Be a weapon

Hitman 2 review

As you sneak through an underground tunnel that you’ve just discovered, taking out cameras and hiding dead bodies that should just be unconscious (but you’re bad at this), it’s easy to forget how clever Hitman 2 is. Discovery begets invention, paving the way for the kill, and although IO’s latest take on their murder-sim doesn’t veer too far from the previous game's reinvention, it spends…

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Feature: Worse things happen at sea

Return of the Obra Dinn review

Return of the Obra Dinn is a terrible advert for sea travel and a great recruitment tool for the insurance industry. A boat arrives in port, absent a living crew and with too few remains to represent the 60 passengers in the ship’s log. You’re an investigator who has to fill in the gaps by studying this vaguest of crime scenes. I always thought insurance…

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Feature: Funky fresh beats

Lethal League Blaze review

Lethal League Blaze is a springy, frenetic future-sport played by an underground league of robots, skaters, mercenaries and a sentient boombox. Imagine baseball, but then strip away all the parts that don’t involve whacking a ball, replacing them with violent duels between two to four brawlers. In these duels, the baseball is the sole weapon. That might be underselling it. The ball is a relentless,…

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Feature: Spice kills - quit now

Star Traders: Frontiers review

Star Traders: Frontiers is a huge stellar sandbox with an evolving galaxy that moves forward with or without you. It’s liberating, not being on the hook for every little problem. As a free-wheeling captain, you can ingratiate yourself with the most important galactic players, becoming embroiled in the highest level of politics, or you can just enjoy the life of a scoundrel, smuggling and stealing…

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Feature: Possessing

Unavowed review

Unavowed is unquestionably one of the most impressive point and click adventures made in many, many years. It's of a scale I wasn't at all expecting, with layer upon layer of complexity and variety in a way the genre has genuinely never seen before. It's also a darned fine yarn of demonic battling across the streets of New York, that tells its story in a…

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Feature: Fast food

Overcooked 2 review

Co-op chef-‘em-up Overcooked 2, much like its predecessor, is less about cooking and more about chaos management. The sequel builds on the solid foundation of the first game, bringing in new recipes, hazardous levels, and online multiplayer for maximum pandemonium. Oh, and you can throw ingredients now, which can be incredibly slick if you sling them across the kitchen and directly into a pan, but…

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Feature: What a handsome rogue

Dead Cells review

Dead Cells gets into your nervous system like a wonderful toxin. If it wasn’t so fast-paced, you could almost feel the electro-chemical effects pulsing through your body, from hand to eye to screen to brain, as your panicked flurry of knife strikes eviscerates another sewer worm. The game began as a “roguevania”, and it was strong even in its early days. But the final version…

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Feature: Yakety yak, Heat attack.

Yakuza 0 review

Many games are defined by the amassing of wealth but few take such an unseemly, predatory relish in the idea as Yakuza 0. The first of Sega's Japanese crime epics to appear on PC, it's an orgy of late 80s materialism in which you don't merely earn cash by defeating opponents but punch it out of their bodies - banknotes blasting from collars and shirt…

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Feature: I am a leaf on the wind

Far: Lone Sails review

This odd little game has blown in out of nowhere for me. I'd not heard a single thing about it before playing but within minutes it had completely won me over. After a few hours I adored it. I've never played anything quite like Far: Lone Sails, and in this turbulent world of ours its meditative and gentle journey was exactly what I needed. And,…

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Feature: Necronom nom nom

Cultist Simulator review

In my time with Cultist Simulator, I’ve browsed hidden book shops for arcane grimoires, sent loyal acolytes on doomed expeditions, and felled nosy investigators with poisoned tea. I’ve been reduced to begging in the street for opium money, and I’ve sacrificed followers with antique daggers in secret rites to restore my vitality. Weather Factory’s first outing is what I imagine playing solitaire with Necronomicon pages…

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Feature: Blast from the past

Ion Maiden review

Ion Maiden Preview Campaign is, without question, brilliant. A mad-speed Build engine project that feels like it was made by present-day time travellers who went back to 1996 to make a game. It's stupid and crass and loud and gory and everything else you could hope for. And this is just the two-mission mini campaign while they finish the full game.

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Feature: A near-perfect turn-based sci-fi strategy game

Into The Breach review

Look not to what high-speed, turn-based, sci-fi strategy wonder Into The Breach shares with its timeless predecessor FTL: Faster Than Light, but instead to how aggressively different it is. Though they share a soul of permadeath and moment-to-moment dilemmas, entire limbs have been lopped off and casually thrown aside, teeth and hair uprooted and plugged back in at strange new angles, eyeballs moved to places…

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Feature: Mountains of sadness

Celeste review

You're climbing a mountain. It's hard, especially when the wind is cutting through you like a knife and angry spikes are pulsing from the walls. Sometimes you're not even sure if the mountain is actually a metaphor for every difficult thing you've ever done in your life. That's how much trouble you're having getting to the peak. That is my brief summary of Celeste, a…

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Feature: Making a splash

Subnautica review

The best survival games are about conquering fear. Last year, when I first splashed about in Subnautica’s alien ocean, I was wary of leaving the shallow reef in which you first crash land. I eyed the hazy green water of the nearby kelp forests with fear, knowing it was full of Stalkers, an aggressive fish whose body is mostly one long croc-like jaw. Today, I…

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Feature: Oh, the transhumanity

The Red Strings Club review

The Red Strings Club is a narrative driven adventure game that explores transhumanism, AI and morality against a cyberpunk backdrop. If you asked me to choose three things that I like to talk and think about, there’s a good chance I’d pick out those three - so Deconstruteam would have been hard pressed to not keep my attention even if they’d somehow failed to take…

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Feature: The dog that finally gets its day

Okami HD review

It's easy to mock Capcom's seemingly endless stream of reboots and re-releases, but if there's one game in the publisher's back catalogue that truly deserves to be reincarnated for the modern age, it's Clover Studio's Okami. While Clover itself has since faded into the mists of time (the remnants going on to form Bayonetta studio PlatinumGames), its ink-washed tale of Japanese sun gods and monstrous…

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