Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Dead In Vinland

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A man finds a severed bull’s head and flees from the worms crawling in its rotten cranium. Dead in Vinland is a management/survival RPG in which you’re tasked with leading a family of exiled vikings as they attempt to keep themselves alive and sane in a strange new land. Strange is the operative word, and in between managing resources and relationships, you’ll be dealing with all kinds of oddities.

Sometimes it’s weird and wonderful, but sometimes it’s a low-brow parade of weak jokes that don’t fit the setting. Through it all, there are interesting choices to be made though.

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Premature Evaluation: Make Sail

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s setting off in a rickety boat in Make Sail. It looks a bit like Wind Waker, but you get to build your own vessel. Sadly, it doesn’t talk.

Once a year, usually around the time of Gamescom, I slink off. I stop writing, disconnect from Twitter and flee to the coast of a sun-soaked country that I can comfortably sail around while sipping the cheapest gin and rum I can find. It’s what I look forward to most, every year, and when I return I’m always a more upbeat, raring-to-go kind of guy. It’s safe to say that I love sailing.

Make Sail has tested that love.

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The Flare Path: Tank Clashes and Manx Dashes

How annoying. As Wikipedia is adamant Field Marshal Wavell didn’t dote on a Manx cat called Matilda during his time in North Africa, and the 1947 sidecar TT wasn’t won by Rommel’s twin sons riding a stripped-down, souped-up BMW R75, it looks like I’m going to have to introduce this week’s pieces on TT Isle of Man and Desert War 1940-42 with an admission that this week’s pieces on TT Isle of Man and Desert War 1940-42 have flip-all in common. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: A Way Out

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At its very best, two player co-op game A Way Out explores a counterintuitive truth: that conflict is a necessary step towards good teamwork. It’s a prison break game about two men, Vincent and Leo, incarcerated in an American prison. Vincent is a cool-headed strategist who solves problems using his words rather than his fists, while Leo is a young hothead who would rather strike first and ask questions later.

The most remarkable thing about this second game from Josef Fares, writer/director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, is how it encourages both participants to roleplay as those strong personalities. Vincent and Leo are set in stone; unlike in games such as Telltale’s The Walking Dead, you cannot affect their character through in-game choices. You and another player surrender to the narrative, while the game aims to involve you through action rather than intent. It’s a game that sacrifices freedom for character work. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Minit

Minit is that most rare of joyful things: A really good idea, done really well.

In Minit you play a little bird-like pixel character who lives in a black and white pixel world, and is cursed with only ever living for a single minute. And yet despite this limitation, it presents a little RPG. HOW?! you ask, in your belligerent way. Hush, I shall tell you. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Far Cry 5

Ah, a new Far Cry has appeared! Having torn up the Himalayas, Polynesia, Central Africa and The Past, in Far Cry 5 Ubisoft’s lidlessly searing eye for endless open-world violence has turned to the USA. Specifically, we’re in Montana, where Ubisoft have conjured a new set of colourfully monologuing nemeses who toy with you as they enact their Bad Plans while you try to ignore them so you can get on with the important business of hanging out with animal pals. Which particular brand of environment and Kurtz-like do we get this time? Let’s find out.

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Far Cry 5 review in progress

Having been supplied code for Far Cry 5 late, I haven’t yet had time to play enough to write the full Wot I Think, but since it’s out today, I thought I’d give you a whiff of its flavour so far. (tl;dr: It’s mostly pine needles and burning flesh.)

After 9 hours and 15 minutes of Far Cry 5, I’ve killed 912 enemies. That’s 1.6 kills a minute, including cutscenes and wandering plains, forests and mountains of Hope County, Montana. It even includes a spot of salmon fishing. There is a lot of killing in Far Cry 5, which is a game that does not like to leave you alone for a goddamned minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: World of Tanks 1.0

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The heavy metal thunderdome that is World of Tanks has finally hit 1.0, heralded by the sound of explosive shells and colliding war machines. It’s not 1.0 in a conventional sense, but it does give us the excuse to finally give it the ol’ review treatment. Here’s wot I think, eight years late. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Sea of Thieves

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On the one hand, Sea of Thieves is a game so empty that recommending it feels like a dereliction of duty. On the other hand, I just chased down a man who killed me and threw a bucket of my own grog-induced vomit over him by way of revenge.

It’s the small things like that that can make Sea of Thieves triumphant, which is just as well, seeing as there’s just an empty mass of very pretty water where the big things should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

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Most RPGs cast you as an intrepid interloper, the Only One Who Can Help a series of desperate quest-givers beset by increasingly elaborate problems. Personally, I’ve gotten a little sick of piloting a party of unlikely heroes as they roam from ruined land to ruined land in search of these conundrums, slaying worthy foes and draining tombs of ancient loot. When the scourge of the realm falls at my feet and the last coins of its horde lie safely in my pocket, I find myself wondering: should I really leave matters in the hands of the feckless village chief who can’t even summon up the will to leave his house and take care of the slime-infested meadow over the hill? Well, probably not, but I don’t get a choice. The mysteries of government and management aren’t my field, and besides, there’s a Big Bad lurking over the mountains who’s plotting to blast everything to smithereens unless we get a move on.

Enter Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Darwin Project

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser is trying to put on a good show in chilly Canadian battle royale romp, Darwin Project. Are you not entertained?

I want every game to be good, but I confess that I was ready to hate Darwin Project. See, it’s unashamedly a game for streamers and their hungry audiences. Even the main menu, where the ability to link your Twitch or Mixer account is the most prominent option, makes this abundantly clear. Audience participation is built into the very fabric of the game, to the point where players become entertainers. Colour me surprised, then, that not only do I like it, I like it in part because of its pandering to video boys and girls.

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Eat the rich (flaky pastry): Pastry Lovers review

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Join Ella McConnell for Waifu Material, a monthly column in which she navigates the murky, cherry-blossom-strewn waters of visual novels, dating sims, and everything in between (reader masochism not required but strongly recommended). [Content warning: brief discussion of sketchy consent stuff.]

Pasty Lovers is another game I picked up in the latest Steam sale after it wormed its way into my increasingly otome-flavoured recommendations section. Theme-wise, it’s perhaps one of the most masochistic purchases I’ve made yet considering I’m intolerant to pretty much everything in pastry. However, at the princely sum of 39p (£3.99 full price) and with the promise of being able to live vicariously through a fictional character who can inhale a packet of doughnuts without spending the next few days suffering, who was I to refuse?

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The Flare Path: Battle-Scarred

Check Your Six! vs Panzer Strategy. In the ‘Battle of the Wargames Wot Have Hit Steam in the Past Week and Feature Hexagons and WW2 and Suchlike’ there can be only one, two, or zero winners. If you’re happy to adopt the role of Reader for the next five minutes, I’ll don the mantle of Critic and, using screenshots and conglomerations of letters arranged in sequence and separated with punctuation marks and spaces of varying lengths, liberally dust you with my novichok-strength opinions. Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost Of A Tale is a stealthy RPG with bright whiskers

Ghost Of A Tale is out of early access, letting you squeak your way past an army of rats, in a rodent stealth-cum-RPG. Is it the big cheese, or lost in the rat race? And considering these incredibly obvious puns, why on Earth isn’t it called “Ghost Of A Tail”? Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Surviving Mars

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I shed a surprising amount of tears during the founding of my first red planet colony in Surviving Mars. None of those tears had anything to do with the pipe leak that killed 58 people, I hasten to add. For those, I just swore at my repair drones and made more colonists work gruelling night-shifts at the polymer factory so we could patch up the air tubes.

My tears, I’m afraid, came instead at testaments to my own magnificence: when a dusty patch of sand patrolled by listless worker robots and automated factories saw the construction of its first bio-dome, when the first humans from Earth arrived to stake out a new life in this place I had built for them, when the first non-Earth baby was born. Live inside my work, ye Martians, and try not get caught inside a meteor storm.

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Wot I Think – Warhammer: Vermintide 2

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I don’t tend to think about how many things I murder in a murder-related videogame. I just remove whatever obstacles are in the way and move on, in the time-honoured tradition of solving problems in action games. In co-op online stabber-shooter Warhammer: Vermintide 2, I’m unusually conscious of the body count. It is, if you’ll forgive a little early-90s melodrama, extreme. That’s just one reason why Vermintide 2 successfully escapes the shadow of ‘it’s just Left 4 Dead but with Games Workshop’ faint-praise damning that its predecessor stood within.

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Wot I Think: Northgard

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My clan folk are starving, freezing and diseased. It was a harsh winter, and the rats that raided our food supply in January have forced me to butcher my only remaining sheep. The future looks grim, but my people’s suffering is curtailed when one of my opponents becomes so famous that he wins the game outright. Losing is a strange kind of mercy.

Despite its harshness, Northgard is a superb RTS that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. That may be an overused phrase, but it’s justified here – let me tell you why. Hurry up, winter is coming.

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Wot I Think: Picrastination

I get quite a few picross/nonogram puzzle games sent my way of late, which is really quite a splendid state of affairs. One of the best puzzle types in existence, there have been few truly great versions, starting with Mario Picross on GameBoy, then Picross E on 3DS, and most recently Pictopix on PC. There are also an awful lot of duds, and out of kindness I quietly pass on most of them I see. Picrastination is a good, solid picross game that falls in the space between. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

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The story of Final Fantasy XV is a tricky one to unpick. There’s the story about how it took ten years to actually come out, transforming from a Final Fantasy XIII spin-off into the boyband roadtrip-stag-do adventure we know today. There’s also the story of what happened after it came out, where a large chunk of its third act was almost completely rewritten and streamlined after people started complaining about how linear it had suddenly become after spending hours and hours on the glorious open road.

Then there’s the story of the game itself, which, at this point, has been spread across so many different forms of media, including a film, four anime episodes, four bits of DLC, a mobile spin-off and a multiplayer expansion (with even more to come, no less), that only three people in the entire universe actually understand it and would be able to recite it to you from start to finish.

But the story of four lads saving their home from an invading imperial army isn’t really what Final Fantasy XV is about. In fact, it’s arguably the least memorable thing about it. That might sound blasphemous for a JRPG, where the story is traditionally one of the most important parts of a game, but every conservation I’ve had about Final Fantasy XV over the last sixteen months always boils down to one of three things: food, photos and friendship. And it’s those that make it one of the best and most interesting goddamn JRPGs of the last decade.

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