Posts Tagged ‘feature’

IF Only: The Works of CEJ Pacian

Weird City cover slice

“Hello,” he adds, a moment later. “I think I’ve found the way in. A small metal door with a fiendish puzzle lock.”

>x lock
There are a large number of small moving parts.

“Yes, quite fiendish indeed,” Peyton says. “And very intricate.”

He draws back a foot and then kicks the door hard. The puzzle lock comes apart with a twang. “Too intricate for its intended purpose, really. Let’s head down when you’re ready.” — Love, Hate, and the Mysterious Ocean Tower

CEJ Pacian is a versatile and prolific IF author, writing with many different tools, mechanics, story lengths and genres. Playing through Pacian’s catalog, I get the sense of an author impatient with intricate puzzle locks that get in the way of story; an author constantly looking for new ways to design around the conventional limits and boundaries of text adventures. Read the rest of this entry »

How Osiris: New Dawn calculates monster crab scuttling

Osiris: New Dawn

Osiris: New Dawn [official site] is a game I’ve dabbled in but not sunk a million hours into yet. The ‘yet’ is important because the game fits the bill of “Things I will potentially sink a million hours into”. There’s the screenshot potential of the ringed gas giants hanging over the horizon of desolate dusty wastelands alongside the type of crafting/exploration loops I sometimes get sucked into when there’s a base I fancy building and a mecha crab to be ridden around like it’s a robo-crustacean rodeo.

I’m dabbling right now rather than plunging in because I’ve burnt out on survival sandboxes and I wanted to wait for more story stuff to appear before getting involved with Osiris. HOWEVER, an interesting conversation about game crab foot maths with developer Fenix Fire’s CEO and Creative Director, Brian McRae means I booted the game up and spent a lot of time watching my own feet and that of a monstrous killer crab.

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Have You Played… The Guild 2: Renaissance?

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

If you’ve never even heard of The Guild 2: Renaissance before, you could be forgiven. It’s a relatively obscure mixture of genres (RPG, strategy, business management and medieval life simulation – Phew!) that flew under a lot of people’s radars – including my own, until recently.

It doesn’t help that virtually all the other Guild games thus far are pretty rough around the edges. (Okay, they’re disasters). Fortunately, though, Renaissance is mostly stable.

Mostly. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Epic’s VR shooter Robo Recall

Invent an exciting new games technology. Imagine all the possibilities. New worlds, new forms of interaction, new creativity mediums, maybe even new ways of humans interacting with each other.

Let’s be honest. It’s going to end up being all about guns, isn’t it?

And so it is that Unreal/Gears of War studio Epic’s Oculus Rift-exclusive first-person shooter Robo Recall [official site] joins Serious Sam VR and SUPERHOT VR in the so-far short roster of virtual reality titles I can see myself revisiting relatively often. What these have in common is, of course, face-shooting. I’m not proud, but I did have a bloody good time.
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The first few hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda are… well they aren’t good

I had, by purpose or distraction, not found out anything about Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] before playing its review build, beyond that it was set in a whole new galaxy. Ooh goody, I thought! A sci-fi RPG series I completely loved, but with a fresh start, baggage shed, and the extraordinary potential of a setting in a galaxy entirely unlike our own.

Yeah, about that. The first few hours of Andromeda are a gruesome trudge through the most trite bilge of the previous three games, smeared out in a setting that’s horribly familiar, burdened with some outstandingly awful writing, buried beneath a UI that appears to have been designed to infuriate in every possible way.

I had gone in assuming this would be more BioWare pleasure. So far – and let’s be clear, there’s lots of room and time for it to pick up and turn things around – the first few hours have been just awful. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Streets of Rogue

Every week we send Brendan out to the slums of early access to see what goodies he can find in the rubbish bins. This time, the absurd chaos of Streets of Rogue [official site].

“You better pay this back,” said the bartender as I took the money from him. I left the bar in silence and went looking for some cocaine. It’s not often you get to play as an investment banker in a roguelike, and I am enjoying it. This one has the special ability to convince shopkeepers and bartenders to lend him money. I made great use of this skill in every bar or shop I came across. “You better pay this back,” each of the donors, er, I mean investors said to me. A couple of levels later, I was suffering withdrawal and trying to find a drug dealer for my fix when a gang of ninjas came out of nowhere and tried to assassinate me for being so deep in debt. “Phew,” I thought as I escaped their attacks and rounded a corner. Then I ran into the killer robot. He was also hunting me, and I’ll say this for him: he has much better aim. Read the rest of this entry »

Hunting the giant monsters of Dauntless

Dauntless [official site] plunges you into the Shattered Isles, a broken, albeit beautiful, fantasy world where hulking Behemoths are hunted by adventurers in a quest for glory and most importantly, excellent loot. It’s a third-person, four player co-op action RPG created by former Bioware and Riot devs. Monster Hunter is a key influence here, as the game’s schtick centers on teaming up with a few pals to fight massive creatures. There are hints of Western RPGs mixed in, though, and the combat, replete with dodge rolls, is reminiscent of Dark Souls. It’s still early days for Dauntless, and though I only got to test my blade against two Behemoths, I was able to get a preliminary glimpse of what the game could become as it heads into beta later this year.

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