Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Have You Played… Blood II: The Chosen?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Delivered to me on a CD of assorted bootleg delights, a gift from a university friend with ties to the thriving software piracy scene of South Wales in the late 90s, first-person shooter Blood II meant nothing to me. I had not played Monolith’s first Blood, and I found the in-game story to be almost incomprehensible. (Only years later would I discover that Blood II wouldn’t play most of its cutscenes in the event the player did not choose the one canonical option from the four offered playable characters). But I found something uncommonly dark. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Kenshi

Every week we cast Brendan into the early access badlands in nothing but rags. This time, the hot mess of genre that is survival-strategy-city-builder-RPG Kenshi [official site]

You could call Kenshi an RPG, you could call it a survival game. Or you could call it a chaotic jumble of good ideas stitched together via a user interface that would make a Wurm player eat their keyboard in a blind rage. I mention Wurm Online only because this feels like the closest comparison. Except this isn’t online. It’s set in a single-player fantasy Japanese world of skeletal robots and bony animals of burden and it’s got a reputation for toughness. My favourite line in the trailer is: “nobody will help you when the fog-men are eating your legs”. A line both frank and representative. How would I fare in this hostile landscape? Let me tell you the saga of the Gurpson clan.
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XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’s alien champions, lost cities and soldier bonds explained

Fallen cities swarming with the dangerous remnants of their human populations, alien battlefield commanders who resemble fantastical heroes, new rulesets for friendship and fear, and an actual active resistance out on the Geoscape. XCOM 2 [official site] is changing.

The War of the Chosen is “definitely the biggest expansion we’ve ever done”, lead designer Jake Solomon told us at E3. Introducing unique enemy champions doesn’t strike me as an obvious move for XCOM, so I asked Solomon how the concept of the expansion had developed, and whether he’d drawn any inspiration from Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system. And whether we can expect any terrors from the deep in the future.

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Skull and Bones is about being a ship, not a pirate

Skull and Bones [official site] is a game I’ve wanted for a long time. That has nothing to do with its setting or style, though a Black Flag follow-up of sorts is an attractive proposition – but, no, the appeal of Skull and Bones is more abstract. This is the result of Ubisoft having one of their apparently specialist studios build an entire game around their specialism. Almost like a mega-bucks version of the animation experimentations of Grow Home.

In this case, it’s not procedural animation. Here, we’re with Ubisoft Singapore and the wonders of water.

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Have You Played… Strip Poker II?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Now, I never owned a copy of Strip Poker II. It came out in 1988, a year during which I spent most of my time being 10, and a little bit 11. But, I did have the demo. It came on a cover disc (no, too easy) with an Atari magazine, probably ST Format, and what I mostly remember is a confusing mix of feelings. Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny 2 combat is a punchy, kinetic joy

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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Wot I Think: Everspace

Sci-fi dogfighter Everspace [official site] has been stuck in the early access nebula since September last year. But last month it turned up the warp crank and charged the star batteries to “quite full”. Zoom! It’s a roguelike that our Alec took a peep at once before. But it’s properly out now, so I’m going to tell you wot I think.

It’s an arcadey, gun-swapping dance of asteroids and explosions. I’d call all the boosting and lasering and missile-launching a “ballet” but that would imply some finesse on the part of the pilot, whereas I have none. Nevertheless, it’s a better-than-average dogfighting sim – uppercase “DOGFIGHTING”, lowercase “sim”.
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