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Posts tagged “preview”

Feature: Beware negative splendor

Crusader Kings 3 is basically a Game of Thrones RPG in disguise

The Crusader Kings franchise has always had a massive Game of Thrones vibe. Indeed, the first two games in the series got their own Westeros mods, and our own Adam Smith called CK2’s “such a blindingly obvious combination of worlds and mechanics that it simply had to exist”. Now, however, looking into the new dynasty mechanics for Crusader Kings 3, it’s clear what Paradox are…

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Feature: A new way to tell the same story

Overwatch 2 focuses on the story, but doesn’t seem to correct any of its issues

If you’ve played one of Overwatch’s lore PvE events, you probably know what to expect from the bulk of the new stuff that’s unique in Overwatch 2. The mostly-sequel format of its release means that a cleaner UI, new heroes, and a new map type will be added to the first game at the same time that the sequel launches, leaving a new look for…

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Feature: It's always online again

Diablo 4 mixes up the darkness of its dungeons with a varied overworld

Diablo 4 was revealed yesterday in a swirl of blood and grime and men talking about the lure of the darkness both in the trailer and onstage. I chatted with a couple of the developers about the new world they’ve created, the monsters they filled it up with, and their painterly inspirations. And I played a bit. It was surprisingly well lit.

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Feature: Built in a day, etc, etc

Imperator: Rome is getting proper story campaigns – and elephant husbandry logistics

When Imperator: Rome was released in April this year, I really enjoyed it. My colleague Ghoastus absolutely loved it. To be honest, both of us were happy with it as it was. Nevertheless, in response to a good deal of player roaring on launch, Paradox have been working hell for leather to rebuild whole sections of the game, and after two big free patches, we're…

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Feature: More poros please

Legends Of Runeterra already has a meta after its first preview patch

Riot’s freshly announced card game Legends Of Runeterra just finished its first testing period. Though I had some hands on with it at a preview event, it wasn’t an especially natural setting, with all the cards unlocked and a narrow pool of opponents, so I came back to investigate the Preview Patch event to see how well it stands up in its first tentative steps…

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Feature: Bad day for the squidmen

In the new Stellaris expansion, you can turn your home planet into a bomb

One of my favourite tropes in Science Fiction is aliens whose cultures are built around some hangover from the time before they made it to the stars. Take the Kelpiens from Star Trek: Discovery, whose existence is dominated by the inbuilt anxiety that comes from having once been prey species. Or Iain M Banks’s Idirans, the “top monster on a whole planetful of monsters'”, who…

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Feature: When you're king, there are no bad ideas

In Crusader Kings 3, character is everything

Crusader Kings 2 isn’t the easiest game to define. It mixes Paradox’s grand strategy formula with a big bucket of RPG flavour, creating something that’s just as playable as an emergent storytelling toy as it is as a wargame. Crusader Kings 3, its freshly-announced sequel, has this same mix of ingredients. But from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like it might just have…

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Feature: But yes I am still enamoured with Cal's backpack

I want to explore the worlds of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but maybe not its story

I want to explore. Like, everywhere. I didn’t expect that to be the main takeaway of my Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order hands-on preview, but here we are: amongst the windswept vistas of Zeffo, or careening down its ice caves, or clambering around the crumbling red stone of a temple on Dathomir. The team behind Titanfall 2 have built some more beautiful worlds for me…

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Feature: A whole new way to fall in love with Teemo

Legends Of Runeterra is a CCG shuffling up some of League Of Legends’ familiar faces

League Of Legends developer Riot Games are making a collectable card game called Legends Of Runeterra. I got to speak to some of the developers and do some shuffling myself at their Dublin offices a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve got the scoop: Yes, there are poro cards, yes, you can build a deck to synergise with them, and yes, the board features a…

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Feature: Enough room to bake a cat

Magic: The Gathering Arena’s new Throne Of Eldraine set is a big fairytale food fight

On my third or fourth game with Throne Of Eldraine, I realised I was going to lose if my opponent just kept stuffing his own damn cat into an oven again and again. Throne Of Eldraine is the newest Magic: The Gathering set, coming to both the physical game and, more importantly for our purposes, Magic: The Gathering Arena. It's a mix of Arthurian high…

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Feature: Close Combat is back

The Flare Path: Thicker Than Water

How much of Close Combat's charm emanated from its blood-spattered sprites and non-negotiable shoegazy camera? We're about to find out. Close Combat: The Bloody First, Matrix Games' seven-years-in-development 3D sequel releases next Thursday. In preparation for the big day, I've been playing the heck out of a preview build that contains a third of the game's full complement of 36 battles. While my time in…

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Feature: And minotaurs into big scary blokes

A Total War Saga: Troy imagines the truth behind the myths, turning wooden horses into earthquakes

According to the Iliad, the sacking of Troy only happened after a very specific set of things occurred in the right order. So, I asked Todor Nikolov, lead game designer at Creative Assembly Sofia, would players have to set up the same set of circumstances? "You're probably talking about the Trojan Horse?" he replied. HahaHAHAHha yes of course, that's what I was talking about, it…

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Feature: Cast the first stone

Empire Of Sin is looking so good it should be illegal

In Romero Games' Empire Of Sin, you play a prohibition era crime lord in Chicago, organising your rackets and engaging in turn-based combat with rivals. It's an era developer Brenda Romero has always been fascinated by. She grew up in a town in New York state called Ogdensburg, which hadn't, historically, had a lot going for it until US prohibition started in 1920, triggering 13…

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Feature: My favourite 3D geometric shape, after a cone

The Eternal Cylinder seems powerfully weird, and therefore worth your time

Back in 2015, we posted about a prototype called The Endless Cylinder, from ACE Team, in which a small long-nosed animal wanders around a surreal planet. This prototype has now reemerged as The Eternal Cylinder, and is a proper game and everything. Although it's all more polished, not a whole lot has changed from that original proof of concept (showing that it was probably a…

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Feature: Tremere-king me very thirsty

Watch us do a stealthy, bitey run in this deep demo of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

If you hold the shift key to slide down the RPS treehouse’s rickety ropeladder, you’ll get ropeburn, but you’ll also get to the bottom of the tree. There, you’ll find a trap door that requires a pulley and a rubber chicken to open, and at the bottom of the gaping chasm, you’ll find me, a ball and chain fastened to my ankle and purple and…

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Feature: First impressions of Fantasy General 2

The Flare Path: Operation Barbarouser

Stukas in ill-fitting Roc costumes, Sturmtigers with “I am a Stone Giant” painted on their sides, Wirbelwinds in long blonde wigs, talking pidgin Elvish... there was a slight danger Fantasy General II was going to end up inheriting more DNA from its publisher's back catalogue than the 1996 classic I eulogised in May. Having roamed Aer aggressively and quizzically for the past two days, I'm…

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Feature: Start new turn

A first look at Humankind, Amplitude’s new historical 4X beast

To the untrained eye (eyes that haven't spent many an hour trained on an exquisitely detailed topographical map, checking on all corners of your immense empire), Humankind probably looks like any other 4X game where you shuffle units around and micromanage different settlements. But according to the hands-off demonstration shown at Gamescom this year, it ain't. 4X stands for explore, expand, exploit and exterminate, the…

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Feature: Feed me, Seymour

Atomicrops: hands on with the twin-stick Stardew Valley game you didn’t know you wanted

I have been telling people I played this game called Atomicrops, and they go “Huh, haven’t heard of that one, what is it?” And then I go “It’s sort of… twin-stick Stardew Valley?” because so far that is the best shorthand I can come up with. Although it describes itself as an action roguelite farming simulator, which may be more helpful for you. The framing…

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Feature:

Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City strives to be a unique and grounded cyberpunk city

Marthe Jonkers is a senior concept artist at CD Projeckt Red working on Cyberpunk 2077. Jonkers actually designed the location in the first very first teaser trailer for the game back in 2013, featuring the cyberbabe with mantis arms, and was resigned to the fact that nobody was really looking at the building behind her. Jonkers' team work on locations and interiors, and even the…

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Feature: Putting the fiery coat back on

Borderlands 3’s creative director on funs and guns

It's amazing how quickly you get back into a routine, even when you've been out of it a while. I got to play a bit of the Proving Grounds, one of Borderlands 3's endgame challenges where you run a timed gauntlet and try to survive waves of high-level enemies and/or kill them efficiently. It was like putting on a big explodey coat. Which is not…

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