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Posts tagged “preview”

Feature: Swedes, you are being hunted

Generation Zero rises above the doubts about its concept

The plan was idiot proof. One of us would lob the flares we’d snagged from the church tower to distract the bipedal machine almost as imposingly tall as the church itself, while the other sprinted toward a nearby car and dumped out a backpack full of gas canisters. The firearms we’d collected were so many makeshift plastic straw pea shooters against the hulking automaton’s thick…

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Feature: War makes monsters of us all

A Year Of Rain is an accessible if ambitious upcoming co-op RTS

I was nervous, sitting down to play A Year Of Rain. I don’t have a lot of experience with real-time strategy games, and even though technical director Nick Prühs had explained some of the accessibility features, it still looked intimidating. Plus, as a co-op and a competitive game, it has twice the number of people available to embarrass myself in front of. As I dug…

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Feature: First-person Factorio

Mega-building game Satisfactory is shaping up to be far, far more than satisfactory

Satisfactory, the Factorio-style automated building game from Coffee Stain, is going to be huge. It's going to be huge because there are going to be so many videos of huge things built within it, and we're all going to look at those and think "now I want to make something huge." The overriding question here was always whether or not Satisfactory could successfully transpose the…

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Feature: Edison was just an ass who electrocuted an elephant

Close To The Sun is a horror game that’s definitely not BioShock with Tesla

These days, a lot of people love Nikola Tesla. Tesla deserved Edison’s success and recognition, they say, and should not have died penniless and obsessed with pigeons. His achievements remained pretty obscure for many years after his death, so the resurgence in Tesla-mania over the past couple of decades is fortunate for Close To The Sun, a fact acknowledged by Joel Hakalax, game designer at…

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Feature: Words' worth

Heaven’s Vault preview: an ouroboros of wordery

I love words, me. They’re so expressive and weird and can do so much. I think of people who are very good at word-balling as like conductors mixed with magicians. They marshall all these weird squiggles into a specific order that make other people spontaneously feel real feelings, in whatever order they want. Madness! And the origins and cross-pollinations of language, especially one as terrible…

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Feature: ICE TO MEET YOU

Subnautica: Below Zero thrills with its chills, even at this early stage

Subnautica is one of the great early access success stories. Not just because of its financial achievements - still dwarfed by some of the bigger names - but because of how it used the process to build and refine an exquisitely good game. Co-created with its players, but confident enough to maintain its creative direction, the result is one of the best games of the…

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Feature: Bulls in a China shop

Three hours in Total War: Three Kingdoms, the first Total War soap opera

Once about people in the aggregate, Total War is increasingly a series about the antics of individuals. There's something of the slippage from RTS to MOBA in how Creative Assembly has edged towards a more intimate breed of strategy, built around asymmetrical relationships between overdressed oddballs rather than mere economic considerations or the splash of army on army. Total Warhammer is the obvious play-maker there,…

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Feature: Time's on our side

Katana Zero makes time for more interesting twitch combat

Katana Zero is much more than it first appears. And it first appears to be plenty. A side-scrolling reflexy beat 'em up, painted in very pretty pixels, with a character who cannot take a hit. It's a surprisingly interesting weakness to give your ninja-esque mass murderer, who is fast-paced, all dashes and slides, rolls and manic combat. And yet on top of that there's the…

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Feature: Mad to the maximum

Metro Exodus’s summer map is fun, but it’s at its best when you go back underground

I was told before playing Metro Exodus that, as with the previous Metro games, it is important to think before you act. Seize every quiet opportunity to craft another med kit, a molotov, another filter for your mask. Continually take stock of your, er, stock. And it’s true, there is grim satisfaction in sneaking up behind a weird anti-electricity pseudo-Christian cultist and knocking him out…

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Feature: Rock Hard

Druidstone: The Secret Of The Menhir Forest is making me take RPG battles seriously

The last thing I was expecting Druidstone: The Secret Of The Menhir Forest to remind me of was a deck-builder. Not least because it doesn't feature any decks. And yet, there's something about this deeply tactical isometric RPG, from Legend Of Grimrock's creators, that contains the same spirit of gradually gaining a deeper and more refined understanding of a limited set of tools, through repeated…

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Feature: Veni, videogame, vici

Imperator: Rome finds the difference between obstruction and intimidation

Bugger me, Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy games are a lot, right? If I could put that even more in bold, I would have fattened up like a sacrificial pig before god-appeasing slaughter, because they really are. My experience with Crusader Kings II, for example, mainly involved me staring at menus for half an hour then crushing half a pack of ibuprofen into a fine powder,…

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Feature: I'm so sorry, GLaDOS

Playing Observation has made me question my treatment of rogue AIs

Whenever I ask Siri -- other virtual helpers are available -- to do something for me, I always say please and thank you. I tell people this is because I don’t want to get into the habit of barking orders at Siri, and thus people in real life. The actual reason is that I want Siri to think of me kindly when they gain sentience…

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Feature: Apoc Epoch

Aeon Of Sands has the smartest opening

I doubt it's just me who finds it incredibly hard to take in the infodump that begins most games. I try! I read, "It was the final day of the third season of the Sharmani, so Reslator gathered his bag and made his way down the Triamblate Path..." and I'm already just staring at letters, not absorbing information. It's just made up names in made…

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Feature: Lfg

For a WoW veteran, World of Warcraft: Classic is like coming home

When I was in my late twenties, I went back to visit the house I’d grown up in. It felt strange, walking into rooms filled with memories, where everything felt smaller, older. It wasn’t a bad house, but my view of it was compromised by all the other places I’d lived since. It was also the house where, on Christmas Eve 2005, I came home…

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Feature: Pretty vacant

Gris looks just so beautiful, but just so empty

I am so torn by the huge stretch of Gris that I've played. Vastly more than we'd usually expect from a preview, given to us peculiarly close to its 13th December release. I've seen an awful lot of this enemy-less platformer, and yet I still can't tell whether it's beautiful enough to forgive all else, or just too dull to excuse.

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Feature: Taking a Nova shot at it

‘You can’t just apply Eve onto an FPS’ – Hands on with Project Nova

“It’s the most hyper capitalistic place in the world.” I’m sitting at the Las Vegas Linq hotel bar with Snorri Árnason, game director of Project Nova, the sci-fi shooter spin-off of Eve Online. We’re here to talk about the tactical shooter he's showing off at Eve Vegas, a yearly gathering of spaceship scoundrels. But first, I have to know. Of all the places in the…

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Feature: Armored Brigade inspected

The Flare Path: Iron Curtain Call

Before the Su-17s showed up, the defence of Großenlüder was going like clockwork. Dug in behind wire and minefields, my Chieftains were dominating. Their poppy-brushing 120mm guns had barcoded the eastern horizon with pillars of black smoke. Nothing of Soviet manufacture had made it as far as the village, and nothing looked likely to. But then the napalm came. Tumbling canisters of molten lava delivered…

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Feature: Choose your own adventure

Metro Exodus wants you to feel liberated from all those trips through the tunnels

It’s deathly quiet in the forest. Then the silence gives way to a man shouting for help. He's tied to a post and trying to fend off a ravenous wolf. A single crossbow bolt takes the feral creature out. The shirtless man pleads for my help to free him, cussing as he explains his predicament. I choose to cut him loose. “I owe you my…

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Feature: Latin beats

Going to war in Imperator: Rome means convincing the Senate

Watching all of Imperator: Rome’s wars, trade deals and politicking play out is a lot like viewing a highlight reel of Paradox’s current generation of grand strategy epics. The upcoming strategy game has Crusader King 2’s detailed characters, Europa Universalis 4’s broad national scope, Victoria 2’s demographics and even Hearts of Iron 4’s wargame sensibilities, all transposed to the world of antiquity. It's the latter…

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