Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Have You Played… Space Hulk?

I mean the 90s EA version, not the boardgame-faithful but divisive recent adaptation. Sure, it doesn’t play so well today, but I think it’s too overlooked in discussions of that great early-90s surge of PC shooters. This was one of all too few which eschewed the Doom model in favour of something altogether more ambitious.

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Wot I Think: Ori And The Blind Forest – Definitive Edition

Everyone should be allowed to take two goes at a game. A second pass after a year or so, with gained wisdom and feedback informing changes and new additions. Even a game that was wonderful on release, like Ori & The Blind Forest, has benefited hugely from such treatment, and I’m delighted to report that the Definitive Edition [official site] is sublime. Here’s wot I think:

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for baby baby baby baby bab–

Fridays are for preparing a collection of the week’s (and then some) best games writing. Since I haven’t been around for the past month, some of these articles are a little older than normal.

At Sub-Q – an “interactive magazine for interactive fiction” – A. Johanna DeNiro looks at the work of a forgotten, maybe-bad, maybe-great IF creator, Rybread Celsius.

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How Brutal Doom’s Gore Works

“Saved my hide, it did. The alien’s broad back shielded me as its brethren flung their fiery mucus wads; the fireballs burst, spraying flaming, red liquid that dribbled down my dance partner’s legs to pool on the ground, lighting the room with a hellish, red glaze. I fired nine or ten times, finally blowing a hole clean through the alien … a gory loophole through which I turned on the rest.”

Knee Deep in the Dead, Dafydd Ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver’s novelisation of Doom, is perhaps a little more theatrical than the Doom that played in my head during the summer of 1994. It features a sidekick and talking demons, and dramatised sequences in which protagonist Corporal Flynn Taggart finds ammo and bumps up against walls to find secrets. But it captures something of Doom’s intensely graphic nature. Doom was the first game I played that felt truly fluid and direct.

Playing Brutal Doom [official site] today feels like Doom always did, despite its custom levels and gouts of blood and gore, death animations and chugging live versions of Doom’s MUS originals. It overhauls pretty much every element of the original, and yet it’s the Doom that plays in my memory, amplifying the original’s gore and immediacy to suit a post-COD, Gears of War – heck, Soldier of Fortune – world. For me, the latest version, v20b, reaches a state of the sublime. But while the blood that drips from ceilings and screen-filling viscera are its obvious achievements, something far more prosaic lies at the root of how it works so well.

THE MECHANIC: Hitboxes.

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Wot I Think: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company [official site], the new game from Civ IV lead designer Soren Johnson and his team at Mohawk Games, is a strategic simulation of a sci-fi Martian economy. It’s also one of the smartest strategy games I’ve ever played.

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A Living World: Mount & Blade II – Bannerlord Interview

Mount & Blade: Warband is one of my favourite games but I haven’t played it for a long time. In part, that’s because I’ve been waiting for the sequel, Bannerlord [official site], since it was announced four years ago. After over half a decade of development, details about the game have started to emerge and I spoke to Armagan Yavuz, CEO and Founder of developers TaleWorlds, to find out how the team are aiming to improve on the dynamic world of the original. We talked combat, historical influence, settlement management, co-operative possibilities, modding and AI.

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