Posts Tagged ‘preview’

Elite Dangerous Is Adding Space Buses And I Want One

Suggestions of an alien intelligence creeping out of the shadows. Fighter ships, piloted remotely and able to bring down ships many times their size. Beautiful space station interiors that visually reflect the goods or services that they produce.

All very exciting, I’m sure, but I’m here for the cruise liners. Turns out I want every game to be a taxi/bus simulator, and if I can fly tourists around the galaxy, I’m definitely back on board the good ship Elite Dangerous [official site].

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Smartly Reinvents The RPG Party

Divinity: Original Sin is one of my favourite games of recent years. It’s a systemic toybox with the skin of a fantasy RPG. I spent an evening playing the sequel [official site] a couple of weeks ago and it improves almost every area. At the foundations, there’s a more interesting world, with a stronger set of characters, but there are also improvements to combat, and the smartest twist on cooperative multiplayer that I’ve seen since Dark Souls.

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Hands On: Dawn Of War III

Last month, I visited Relic at their home in Vancouver. As well as spending a few hours with a single, complete mission from the Dawn of War III [official site] campaign, I had the chance to sit in on short presentations from various members of the team, demonstrating how their own contributions and creativity become part of the bigger picture. There was a lot to absorb, including enough environmental variety to excite the extraterrestrial explorer in me (ruined temples on jungle planets? Yes please), but one series of brief videos stood out, despite containing nothing that hinted at previously unseen planets or units.

The best of the videos used simple shapes to tell me everything I needed to know about the game’s races, and how well Relic understand them.

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Sudden Strike 4 Is A Slower More Thoughtful RTS

Either RTS games got faster or I got slower. Could be both. Either way, there was a point when war, whether interstellar or historical, became unmanageable for me. Exceptions existed, with Company of Heroes the most splendid of them, but the wider arena of real-time strategy esemed like a thing of my past for a while.

Sudden Strike 4 [official site] is a return to a slower, more thoughtful time.

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Civilization VI: Four Hours Of Wars And Wonders

Last month I spent four hours playing Civilization VI on a very hot day in central London. I came away wishing I could play for another four hundred hours, and also wishing that I had an ice cream. Mint and choc chip preferably.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what Civ VI is doing and how its many systems create a brilliant competitive race through history while also producing some weird tensions around the idea of what a civilization actually is in the context of the game. Are cultures defined by the choices they make, by their surroundings, their neighbours, by determination or by chance? Whatever the answer might be, one thing is sure: Cleopatra hates me.

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Towering Above The Rest: Project Highrise

There are many Sim games I’d like to see resurrected, prime among them SimEarth and SimLife, which were more enjoyable and educational than all of the geography classes I daydreamed through. SimTower is the outside pick though, its blend of construction and basic life sim making for a game as enjoyable to observe as to play.

Project Highrise [official site] is a new take on the formula and after spending some time building a tower of my own, I’m pleased to say Highrise as strong foundations, even if its occupants are a little plain.

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Urban Empire Is A Fascinating Political Citybuilder

Urban Empire [Steam page] is a political citybuilding game that spans two hundred years of European history, from 1820 to 2020. If you’ve enjoyed elements of The Guild, Cities: Skylines, Democracy or Dragon Commander, this is almost certainly going to be a game for you. Dynamic political decisions, elections, blackmail and threats, district management, and a tech ‘cloud’ that is made up of social ideas as well as science. It looks fantastic.

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