Posts Tagged ‘preview’

Hitman Aims For Freedom But Misses The Mark

After Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47 is in need of another subtitle. Redemption, perhaps, or Contrition. His upcoming adventure has already made headlines thanks to its now-confirmed episodic release schedule but it also seemed to be a game made with the awareness that the previous hadn’t given fans of the series quite what they wanted. I was eager to get my hands on it after seeing a promising demo at Gamescom last year and now that I have, I’m in two minds.

Hitman [official site] contains just about everything I want from the series but all of the ingredients have become a little muddled.

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Black Desert’s Beauty Could be More Than Skin Deep

We’ve been peering at Korean MMORPG Black Desert Online [official site] with some interest since plans for a western release were announced in 2014. We’ve cooed at trailers, pondered the combat system and applauded the character creation tools. To learn more, we sent Agent Messner into the fray and he returned with exciting news. Could this be the MMO for those of us who are weary of the genre’s formulaic structure?

I am bored to death of MMORPGs. Not their potential mind you, but the execution. The seemingly endless chains of quests, the sole focus on murdering everything that doesn’t give you a quest (and some things that do), and, perhaps most of all, the way developers think that shoving more quests into the meat grinder is the solution to prolonging a game’s lifespan.

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True Horror: The Town Of Light’s Historical Inspirations

Last week, I visited Volterra, an Italian town that is home to the now-derelict Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra, a former psychiatric hospital. Upcoming game The Town of Light [official site] is set in that hospital and its grounds, and I had a chance to explore both the virtual recreation and the actual buildings. I also spoke to the team behind the game and Giampaolo di Piazza, a psychiatrist and Vicepresident of the Italian Society of Phenomenological Psycopatology about the history that informs the game.

This is the story of a game that brushes the tropes of the horror genre aside, and finds its sorrow and terrors in the history of a place and a way of thinking.

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Hands On: Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal is skulking around in the development undergrowth, waiting for the right moment to strike. We sent Brendan to observe its behaviour.

I wasn’t sure if many players would enjoy the Stone Age setting of the new Far Cry, then I saw a man from my tribe taking a painful dump behind a tree in the middle of our settlement, and I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. This is the village of the Wenja, one of three tribes who fight it out in the world of Oros for territory and resources. The story centers on your cave man character, Takkar, as he rebuilds his people from their scattered remnants after a long ice age. There are no explosions in the year 10,000 BC, but you do get to ride around on the back of a sabretooth tiger, so there’s always that.

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Should You Play Torment: Tides Of Numenera’s Beta?

Turns out you can’t play Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] with your eyes closed. So much for my big plan to try and avoid spoilers. It’s simultaneously one of the RPGs I’ve been looking forward to the most, and the one I’ve deliberately learned the least about. Planescape Torment fans should need no explanation as to why, but though I apparently have no self-control, it at least puts me in position to tell you whether the current beta is worth your time now or whether you should wait.

Let’s get hands on with the only game this year allowed to use any variant of a ‘mysterious amnesiac’ story without being pelted with rocks and rotten fruit.

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“A Matter Of Pride” – Massive Talk PC Development, And The Setting And Structure Of The Division

Last week, I spent a few hours playing The Division [official site] in Malmö, hometown of developers Ubisoft Massive. After the play session, I sat down with Creative Director Magnus Jansén to talk about the game’s mechanics and setting, but we also discussed the studio’s history as a PC developer. The latter topic came up because The Division has one of the finest PC-specific version I’ve seen in recent times.

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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 Poirot Preview: The ABC Murders

I’ve been spending some time exercising my little grey cells with a preview build of Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders [publisher website]. It’s a point and click mystery based on the Hercule Poirot story of the same name. But despite the fact the preview is entirely told from Poirot’s point of view you aren’t actually playing as Poirot. Let me explain.

Écoutez!

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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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