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Posts tagged “impressions”

Feature: Suspending disbelief for another year

Football Manager 2019 preview: a meaningful step forward for the series

“When you’re working on annual iterative titles, it is difficult,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive. “You’re always going to get people turning around saying ‘you haven’t added anything.’ And no matter how much you add, you’re still going to get people saying that.” That’s the challenge that the Football Manager series faces every year. It remains, as it always will be, a…

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Feature: New Corrupt cards, less corrupt payment model

Faeria’s Fall Of Everlife DLC might be weird enough to work

Every digital card game has to have a party trick. Hearthstone's party trick is being Hearthstone. Ta-da! Meanwhile, The Elder Scrolls: Legends cut its board in half, which some might say is a drastic approach, but fair enough, it got my attention. Shadowverse added the ability to evolve minions, and made many of these minions cute anime girls. Faeria's party trick is a clever board…

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Feature: Letting in the light

Vermintide 2 is grimdark ultraviolence at a spectacular scale

We're planning on a full review next week, but seeing as the weekend, and with it the tortured paralysis of what to play, looms so close, I thought I'd share some initial thoughts on the newly-released, Warhammer vs Left 4 Dead rat-splatting sequel Vermintide 2. In short: it's the same co-op survival formula, but now writ very, very large and very, very bloody.

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Feature: Leaps and bounds

Dandara puts a fresh new idea in very familiar settings

Dandara does something important. It has an original idea. And then very smartly puts that original idea inside lots of very familiar ones. It’s a metroidvania where you cannot walk, run, jump, let alone double-jump. Instead you move by zapping yourself from surface to surface, only able to stand on the white-marked ground, while the enemies have free reign.

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Feature: Isometric climbing and jumping and lunging in

Seven: The Days Long Gone ruined all other RPGs for me

Truth be told, I really wasn't sure what Seven: The Days Long Gone, a stealth-centric roleplaying game from a studio lead by ex-Witcher folk, was until I played it. Was it a traditional isometric RPG starring a sole rogue? Was it isometric Assassin's Creed? Hell, was it sci-fi or was it fantasy? The answer turns out to be 'all of the above' - to the…

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Feature: What do you want from a dinosaur simulator?

Beautiful but barebones dino-sim Saurian is the anti-Ark

Ark: Survival Evolved, the current king of dinosaur hill, is not a simulation of any kind. Saurian meanwhile, new on Steam Early Access this week after a successful Kickstarting a while back, is a survival game that similarly appeals to our first childhood love, but wants to be more Walking With Dinosaurs than Jurassic World. Which is to say, a dinosaur life simulation based on…

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Feature: All's well that Roswell

A postcard from the perverted America of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus [official site] is a tale of corrupted icons and waylaid motifs, as Hitler's propaganda machinery sinks its teeth into the pop memorabilia of 1960s America, and there's no more wicked instance of that than “Elite Hans” - the Nazi action hero who glares from book stalls, toystores and pinball machines in the game's Roswell level, which I had a little play…

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Feature: Foot-to-ball: The Game

Behold The Kickmen can’t escape the problems of football games

Behold The Kickmen [official site] is an almost-football sportsball game: there's a ball and two teams trying to get it in each other's goal via tackling, sprinting, passing and kicking. It's only almost-football though because it has been designed by someone with a wilfull ignorance of football's details, and who dislikes the sport but did enjoy playing classic football Amiga game Sensible Soccer. Footballers become…

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Feature: Get in lane

Nadia Was Here is an RPG with some fascinating combat

It's not enormously likely you've heard of Nadia Was Here [official site]. It came out at the end of last month and I'm not sure anyone noticed. Turns out, after stumbling on it today, everyone really should have. My early impressions are that this pixel RPG is something rather special. And that's a lot to do with some completely intriguing combat.

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Feature: Eat, love Prey

Prey’s opening hours show that the setting is the star

I thought the monsters and mimicry would be the stars of Prey [official site], but I was wrong. The real star is the Talos-I space station, which manages to be a convincing functional space and a delightful collection of hidden routes and challenges. In my first couple of hours with the game, I thought the setting was a too-predictable mixture of offices and industrial machinery,…

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Feature: Rings a little

Hollow Knight feels too familiar, despite being a solid metroidvania

Hollow Knight [official site] presents a peculiar issue. What do you do with a game that is genuinely good, but rather unoriginal? A game that is so, so similar to others that have come recently before it, but is still a beautifully drawn, solidly built metroidvania? Do you say, "Get this one, because it's the most recent?" That's not a coherent argument. Unfortunately for Hollow…

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Feature: Thoughts on the first couple of hours

Initial thoughts on Resi 7’s performance & Evil Deadiness

Adam's handling our full Resident Evil 7 [official site] review, but in the meantime I thought I'd share some more immediate thoughts on how it runs, what it looks and feels like and if it seems at all on course to be the series reinvention it strove for. (By which I mean: I really, really wanted to play it too and this is how I…

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Feature: But is it worth learning to play?

Atlas Reactor is a MOBA that doesn’t require reflexes

If Frozen Synapse and Battlerite had a baby, it would bear an uncanny resemblance to Atlas Reactor. Think turn-based MOBA-style combat with an emphasis on predicting and responding to your opponent's’ next move. If you’re not sure what ‘MOBA-style combat’ really means, have no fear: Atlas Reactor is a unique creature, and experience with its genre-spanning inspirations won’t give you much of a competitive edge.…

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Feature: Pros and cons of the new Civ

17 Day-One Observations About Civilization VI

Unlike Adam, I've not been lucky enough to spend the last month soaking in a deep Civilization VI [official site] bath, so I leave it to him to give you the complete picture. I've spent a big chunk of today with Firaxis' latest historical turn-based strategy epic though, and already it's filled me up with things to say about it. I'm genuinely surprised by how…

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Feature: Go go finger guns

Serious Sam VR Is VR At Its Most Stupid & Most Brilliant

I guess I don't feel entirely comfortable saying that a game about nothin' but shooting restored some of my damaged faith in VR, but what the hell: yee-haw! In my fond imagining, VR was going to take me to brand new places, not strand me in the blood-strewn alleys of modern videogaming's norm. There's no avoiding it, though: Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope [official…

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Feature: Shadowy

Aragami’s Stealthy Shadows Contain Few Thrills

As a professional ninja, I'm constantly frustrated by the representation of my noble traditions in video games. There is so much more to our art than teleportation and sneaky backstabs. Where is the game that shows our penchant for wicker work? When shall I see the portrayal of every ninja's natural instinct for Polynesian cookery? Yet again, this is all ignored in Aragami [official site].

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Feature: Too Corny

Maize Is A First-Person Puzzler Starring Talking Corn

My major question when first-person-puzzler Maize [official site] got announced was not "lolwut talking corn???' but rather 'what even is this game?' We knew there was anthropomorphic crop but not a lot else. I like not knowing what something is when I come to play it, as it spares me from worrying 'what if it just does this again or gets that thing wrong?' So…

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