Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Have You Played… Fish!?

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

One of the first games I can remember playing is a piece of interactive fiction that I now believe was intended to be enjoyed while under the influence of something a little more powerful than coco pops. As an eight year old, I did not understand this. Fish! is a psychedelic bowl of text that I struggled to comprehend for months back in the eighties, but now see as a precursor to the likes of Off-Peak.

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Five hours with Mass Effect Andromeda

It’s been five years since BioWare released the final part to their Mass Effect trilogy. Five years of very little information dispersed between huge fan anticipation and speculation. The ending to the trilogy meant a sequel was unlikely, and a prequel was rumoured for a while, but instead Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] has shaken off the shackles of the trilogy’s narrative by setting itself 634 years in the future and in the new galaxy of Andromeda.

After five hours of playing both the first mission and the fourth mission (which takes place roughly 3 hours into the game) of a preview build of Andromeda I’m able to share my experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris’ New Horizons mod is the best Star Trek game

Everything was in place for the Romulan invasion of the United Federation of Planets. Warbirds screeched out of the shipyards of Romulus and Remus on a direct course for the closest Federation worlds, those belonging to the chilly Andorians. The real goal, of course, was neighbouring Vulcan. This was a symbolic war.

As my jade vessels bombarded the frozen Andorian homeworld, the Tal Shiar informed me that yet another Federation ship had been successfully sabotaged. When my Reman shock troops’ boots hit the icy ground, I realised that Star Trek: New Horizons, a Stellaris [official site] mod, was my favourite ever Roddenbery-flavoured game.

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What point and click adventures could learn from hidden object games

Thimbleweed Park

This week I’ve been tinkering with a preview build of Thimbleweed Park which is the point and click murder mystery from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick (them off Maniac Mansion). I used to love playing point and click games when I was little – my siblings and I would play them together over weeks and weeks – but for me they feel so rooted in that time’s technology and gamescape that I don’t think I’ve found any of the modern revamps/revisits/reworks/riffs of interest. Thimbleweed Park’s recent trailers did trigger a little frisson of curiosity though, and I’ve also been tasked with booting up The Dig by John for a new Game Swap. The result of all of this was an unexpected 2am conclusion about what point and clicks can learn from hidden object adventures. Read the rest of this entry »

forma.8 has adorable animations and lovely palettes

forma.8

I don’t know if you remember but a while ago I posted about the lovely little animation touches of Inside. forma.8 [official site] is another game which invites that treatment. It’s a beautiful Metroidvania prospect which uses that sort of flat colour layering that you find in minimalist posters and similar (think WPA posters and the related neo-vintage look you find in Firewatch’s imagery). The first thing I was thinking of pointing to were the colour palettes, some of which are unusual in gaming, but right now there’s just something so pleasing about little animated touches that elevate the world through attention to detail:

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Have You Played… Hitman?

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

When it was announced that the new Hitman would be released one level at a time, the response was confusion or worry. Now that its first season is complete however, we know that it was a success. More developers should follow suit.

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How Morrowindy is Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind?

I will admit to a certain wateriness in my eyes when I heard the music. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was and is, I believe, almost more a state of mind than it is a roleplaying game. A strange and desolate place, built upon a foundation of distrust, it is almost aggressively lonely. As an RPG, the precursor to Oblivion and Skyrim is all over the shop, but that never mattered because it was a place to disappear into. The mist, the mushrooms, the menace. The music. Elder Scrolls games since have been playgrounds first and Other Places second, and I don’t know how they can go back now.

Going back is exactly the plan. Morrowind is a standalone expansion-cum-relaunch of The Elder Scrolls Online [official site] (ESO), Bethesda’s massively multiplayer spin-off of the series that gave us Skyrim. It’s due for release this June and I’ve taken a look.

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