Posts Tagged ‘hands on’

Hands On: Dying Light – The Following

I’m the resident cheerleader for Dying Light [official site] round these parts. Techland’s zombies ‘n’ parkour urban playground was one of my favourite action games of 2015, and a few hours with enormous expansion The Following have convinced me that the entire game is far smarter than the surface suggests. Rather than distracting from the free-running and scavenging, the addition of a vehicle and rural map bring out the best in the existing systems.

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Hands On: Shardlight

While the world got over-excited at the prospect of old men and women emerging from their dusty tombs to make adventure games again, one indie production company quietly continued putting out the best in the business. Dave Gilbert’s Wadjet Eye diverged from his self-created Blackwell series to producing adventures made by other individuals or tiny teams. The results have been splendid games like Technobabylon, Resonance and Gemini Rue. While I’ve only played the first third, it’s looking very hopeful we will be able to include Shardlight [official site] in that list of successes. The post-apocalyptic adventure from developer Francisco Gonzalez presents an intriguing story in an immediately embellished and believable post-apocalyptic world.

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A Tactical ARPG: Hands-On With The Division

The Division [official site] is, initially, a confusing game. All of the individual pieces make a certain kind of sense, but the combination doesn’t quite hang together. It’s like ordering tempura and getting a thick, creamy, eggy mayonnaise on the side in place of a good Tentsuyu dipping sauce. Both parts of the dish are enticing on their own but the combination is an acquired taste at best. I spent three hours playing the game this week and I’m still not sure if this is a taste I’ll ever be fully on board with – it’s an unusual game though and far more interesting than it’s gruff near-future shootybangs had led me to expect.

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Hands On: XCOM 2’s Brutal Difficulty And Superb Tactical Overhaul

Nobody gets left behind. That was my XCOM: Enemy Unknown rule and it was a rule that I adhered to in almost every one of the hundreds of missions I oversaw. If a squad fell in combat, they fell side by side.

XCOM 2 [official site] has made me break my one rule. Repeatedly. Deviously. Tragically. It’s hard as nails, and superbly distorts the tactics and strategies that were successful in its predecessor. I’m smitten.

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Hands On: XCOM 2’s Strategy And Tactics Dissected

With XCOM 2 [official site], Firaxis are not resting on their laurels. The studio’s reboot of the license had a great deal to prove – primarily, it had to satisfactorily answer the question as to why the much-loved series needed to be revived at all.

That obstacle overcome, the sequel is on safer ground and it might have been enough to reskin and reshape ever so slightly. A new setting, a new gang of aliens, and a few new weapons and hairstyles for the defenders of the Earth. Instead, there’s a degree of role-reversal, with the player now attempting to take the planet back from an occupying force rather than protecting it from invaders. There’s a new approach to the strategic side of the game, the return of randomised maps and an in-depth suite of soldier customisation tools.

After a couple of hours with the sequel, I’m more excited about XCOM than I’ve been since the announcement of the reboot.

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How Is Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s PC Port?

Review code for the PC version of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate [official site] activated this evening and I’ve spent the hours since playing through the opening sections and fiddling with various settings to see how it all holds together. In short, it runs beautifully and looks a treat. Details and early thoughts about my trip to the Big Smoke are below.

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Exhuming The Past: The Town Of Light

The Town of Light [official site] is a fascinating game. Initial trailers suggested it would be another in a long line of horror stories playing on the abandoned asylum setting. I expected jump scares, deformed creatures forced into straitjackets and maniacal laughter. Instead, as Alec discovered when he spoke to the developers earlier this year, this is a game concerned with “the true meaning of mental illness”.

As revealed today, the game will be released on February 23rd and I’ve spent a few hours exploring an early build.

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