Posts Tagged ‘Gamescom 2017’

I played Monster Hunter World & turned a dino into pants


Forty five minutes with Monster Hunter World [official site] was enough to convince me that people who bang on about the series might have a point. I killed two big beasties in that time, cooked a couple of delicious meals, and fell comfortably into the flow of stalking and stabbing.

It’s violent, but not gory. It has tracking and stalking, but no complex simulation. As a newcomer to the series, which is a newcomer to the PC audience, I found myself thinking of The Witcher, weirdly enough. The Witcher but, you know, for kids. Imagine The Witcher 3 as a Saturday Morning Cartoon and you’re on the right track.

Read the rest of this entry »

Face-ripping & identity theft: Divinity Original Sin 2’s Undead


“And now we just use the Face Ripper on this elven corpse so we can polymorph into an elven form and learn more about what happened by eating the limbs we found earlier.”

At Gamescom, Swen Vincke, CEO of Larian, was showing the playable undead race in Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] for the first time. Faces were ripped, children were startled, feasting on cadavers quickly became routine. I love Divinity but in among all the elves and dwarves, I sometimes forget just how weird it is. When you’re playing a skeleton, it’s going to be weirder than ever.

Read the rest of this entry »

XCOM-like tactical espionage thriller Phantom Doctrine was my Gamescom highlight


At first glance, Phantom Doctrine [Steam page] looks an awful lot like a Cold War flavoured XCOM. That’s quite an exciting prospect and the closer I looked, the more exciting it became. There are agents instead of aliens, and some novel infiltration and reconnaissance systems, but everything from the UI to the cover system is immediately familiar. The tactical missions are hiding unexpected twists though, and zooming out to the campaign map shows that the setting informs every aspect of the game.

It’s early days, and there’s a lot of work to be done, but Phantom Doctrine might well be one of 2018’s strategy highlights.

Read the rest of this entry »

Red means danger: how to survive in Surviving Mars


The people living in my new habitat dome have jobs to do, that’s what brought them to Mars in the first place, but when they finish work they have two choices: they can either go to the casino or the bar. I could have built a gym or some other kind of leisure facility, but I went with the casino and bar combo. It’s what I’d want if I had to live in a dome on a hostile planet.

And make no mistake, Mars is a hostile planet. That’s why Surviving Mars [official site] can be so demanding.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring the dark side of Cities: Skylines – Green Cities


Green Cities might look like urban paradise, but beneath the lush vertical gardens, something sinister is percolating. Sure, the draped greenery clinging to the side of the new high density apartment blocks looks attractive, but it’s also reminiscent of post-human imagery; nature reclaiming the land. Zoom out far enough, so that the little cars and people are less apparent, and it’s not a great leap from green city to Twelve Monkeys, I Am Legend and The Last Of Us.

But forget the future for a moment because the now of Cities: Skylines [official site] upcoming expansion isn’t the paradise it initially seems to be. Your attempts to create an environmentally friendly utopia might end with the construction of a new Silicon Valley. The road to hell is paved with reclaimed wood and good intentions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meteors rain on the Red Planet in Surviving Mars trailer

surviving mars

Surviving Mars [official site] looks like it’s shaping up nicely, if you ask me. Made by Tropico 3 developers Haemimont, it’s a base-building game set on the Red Planet in which you hunt for resources to power settlements housed in giant glass domes.

Judging by the new trailer, featuring the first in-game footage, it’s one to keep an eye on: there’s the snappy animations of games like Cities: Skyline (which shares a publisher – Paradox Interactive) when you place a structure down, be that a twirling generator or a solar panel. And those domes are full of colour and provide a real contrast to the red around them. But, as the trailer suggests, it’s not simply an idyllic space holiday because there will be disasters like meteor strikes to try and get through.

Read the rest of this entry »

Life is Strange creators take on a new narrative project

Dontnod project

1. There is a mysterious narrative adventure game with investigation elements being teased by Bandai Namco and Life is Strange creators Dontnod!

2. The two bits of artwork I have on the matter make the whole thing look like a rural British murder mystery on ITV even though it’s set in the US. “House Exterior” is above and “Town Viewpoint” is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Reigns: Her Majesty coronated later this year

2016’s Reigns crunched the complexities of running a kingdom down to yes/no decisions selected simply by swiping left and right, causing Alec’s Reigns review to declare “Game Of Thrones + Tinder = You Died.” Today developers Nerial announced a sequel, named Reigns: Her Majesty [official site], which jumps forwards in time a little as the focus shifts to queens. A renaissance is upon us but revolution is in the air, and we’ll be swiping for our lives once more. Read the rest of this entry »

Secret of Mana remake announced

In discussions of “What is the bestest best best RPG ever ever ever?” a few common candidates are relatively unknown on PC, as they were released in the age before almost everything came to PC too. One such game is Secret of Mana, released on SNES in 1993. Well, soon we’ll get to be all “Uh, actually, Dark Souls is the bestest best RPG – and yes, I have played Secret of Mana,” as Square Enix have announced they’re remaking Secret of Mana and it will hit PC. The remake will take Secret from 2D to cartoony 3D, as you can see in this here announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon expansion announced

The next expansion for Crusader Kings II [official site] will introduce China as a power offering potential riches or ruin depending on how you play the cards. Paradox today announced the Jade Dragon expansion, “coming soon”. It’s not properly adding China to the world of Crusader Kings II, mind, rather as an “off-map influence” accessed through a “China screen” with the pertinent options and information. No, that’s not nearly as fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Video game tourism alert: Warface is off to Pripyat

Crytek’s free-to-play face-shooter Warface [official site] is off to the city of Pripyat within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone later this year. Is Warface (WARFACE WARFACE WARFACE etc.) any good? Dunno. Am I keen to see this? Oh yes. I always enjoy video games travelling to that spooky abandoned land, from Call of Duty 4’s stealthy visit to the joys of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. Video game tourism is challenging when enemies are trying to shoot your face off, sure, but that’s part of the satisfaction. Would a view from a mountaintop be the same without a climb? Doesn’t a hike make the ruins you reach all the more delightful? Read the rest of this entry »

The Evil Within 2’s feeding scene makes Resident Evil 7 look like CBeebies


It’s the maggots and the split in the skin of the forehead, it’s the creak of a rope and the crack of a bone. In an hour with a couple of chapters of The Evil Within 2 [official site] I saw all kinds of gore and dismemberment, but the most horrifying sights and sounds were all in the quietest moments. One scene in particular ranks among the most disturbing I’ve seen, whether in a film or a game. Read the rest of this entry »

Fe takes you into a gorgeous forest from early 2018


1. Fe [official site] looks beautiful
2. Is it possible to listen to Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men without feeling like you’ve been shunted so hard into 2014 that you could probably claim whiplash compensation from EA after being involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault?
3. It really reminds me of a game I can’t place!
4. While I deal with (3) let’s watch the trailer and contemplate (1) and (2) Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2: I can’t wait to kill The Outsider


I hate The Outsider. Perhaps that’s too strong a word, but I’ve never liked Dishonored’s meddling god. I’ll explain my stance in some detail below, but before I do that I offer an apology to the large chunk of the Dishonored fanbase who will find my opinions here blasphemous and heretical. But I’ve held my silence for long enough and it’s time to admit it: I really really really really want to kill that equivocating little bastard.

Dishonored 2‘s Death of the Outsider [official site] standalone expansion should fit my tastes perfectly, and the hour I played of it was fantastic.

Read the rest of this entry »

Far Cry 5 gameplay vids show off sandbox goofiness

Apparently it is possible to drive a tractor and sneak up on baddies then mulch them mulch with its fearsome mechanical teeth in Far Cry 5 [official site], or at least it is in the new gameplay footage rumbling out of Gamescom this week. Even more importantly, the open-world FPS has a fishing minigame. You might have known this from poring over previews but I was happy to see it, so you may well be too. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound starts oozing in September

Oh so it’s fine for Obsidian to name the first Tyranny [official site] expansion Bastard’s Wound but it’s “inappropriate” and “a sackable offence” for me to rename the RPS news section to Horace’s **** Shower of ****shack Bucket**** [that is correct -ed.]. Wow, what a double standard! Fine then. Bastard’s Wound, you may already know, is off to a new area for ten or so hours of questing and to better get to know several companions. Now publishers Paradox have announced that Bastard’s Wound will launch on September 7th, two weeks away. Read the rest of this entry »

God’s Trigger is cooperative Hotline Miami with a devilish twist

God's Trigger

God’s Trigger killed me at least twenty times in five minutes. Announced at Gamescom this week, it’s a new title from Techland that plays out very much like the two-player cooperative take on Hotline Miami that the trailer suggested it might be. You can see that trailer below, followed by my thoughts after fifteen minutes of play and another forty or fifty bloody deaths.

Read the rest of this entry »

Medieval mayhem in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s multiplayer captain mode


The third death was probably the most painful. Not pain in the normal sense – I can’t feel what the little armoured swordsmen of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord [official site] feel – but the pain of a shameful defeat. I’ve just had a go at TaleWorlds’ upcoming swordfighting-meets-strategy-meets-RPG at Gamescom. Sadly the singleplayer was off limits, but I did get to do some medieval multiplayer mauling. I was stabbed soundly and repeatedly, in case you were wondering, left to die in a pool of blood on the hot sand of a desert map. At this point I would just warp into another soldier. He too was often killed. Read the rest of this entry »

Kel’Thuzad prepares chilly entry to Heroes of the Storm


A cartoon tells me that “Kel’thuzad, Archlich of Naxxramas” has found his way into Heroes of the Storm [official site]. The cartoon also revealed to me that I would have been far more into a He-Man/She-Ra style cartoon featuring these characters than I am into Heroes of the Storm. Read the rest of this entry »

Cities: Skylines erects Green Cities expansion this year

If the recent launch of the Concerts “mini-expansion” for Cities: Skylines [official site] made you wish the city-builder would get something more substantial, good news! Paradox today announced the Green Cities expansion for release later this year. As you might expect, it will let you turn your cities all hippy-dippy with everything from organic shops to plant-clad buildings. It bungs in a load of new assets for these and more, which should be nice for making cities more varied. Have a peek in the trailer: Read the rest of this entry »