Posts Tagged ‘review’

The Flare Path: Mostly Positive

Ultimate General: Civil War has travelled a fair-old distance since I Early Accessed it late last year. Game-Labs’ spectacular sprite slaughterhouse is now bigger, better, and even more approachable. I like it a lot, but not quite enough to pin a prestigious RPS Recommended rosette on its breast. Read the rest of this entry »

LawBreakers is a zero-gravity FPS that nearly touches the sky

LawBreakers header

It’s hard not to get excited about LawBreakers‘ [official site] simple hook: flying military grunts with rockets strapped to their feet zip around zero gravity arenas dodging grenades and pumping bullets into each other. I’m happy to report that it’s as fun as it sounds, and its ideas set it apart from other games in the genre. Yet what has impressed me more is how polished it is away from those aerial segments, which actually only make up part of the action. Far from a one-trick pony, LawBreakers is a rock solid shooter with game modes that necessitate team play, and although it’s not fully complete yet (there’s ranked play coming soon) it’s got enough variety to keep me coming back for more. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nidhogg 2

nidhoggheader

Abstract multiplayer fencing game Nidhogg didn’t need its minimalist style to be buried under a splatter of aggressively grotesque paint and gore. It didn’t need extra weapons to upset the perfect balance and precision of its two-button combat. It certainly didn’t need its titular wurms to chew the air with stumpy rotten teeth.

All a Nidhogg sequel really needs, to justify its existence entirely, is better netcode and maybe a couple of new modes to play with. By messing with the original formula, particularly with that divisive visual switch, Nidhogg 2 [official site] risks proving that more can sometimes be less. Here’s wot I think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rez Infinite is the greatest VR game to date

rez6

I’ll defer from any commentary on the health of the VR industry and speak only personally: until today, there was enough dust on my goggles to craft a life-size Jeff Fahey statue. With the shock release of ur-console musical shooter Rez Infinite [official site] on PC last week, that’s all changed. Whatever the future might hold for VR, the blissful lines, colours and rhythm of Rez writ wraparound and gigantic is a moment of redemption for the whole concept.
Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Agents Of Mayhem

Agents Of Mayhem [official site] should not be judged for not being a Saints Row game. Volition are under no obligation to keep making that series, even after they struck on such extraordinary gold with SR III and IV. Agents Of Mayhem loosely shares the same universe, albeit mostly via the presence of the colour purple and fleurs-de-lis. There are also a few half-familiar character names, and a DLC that lets you add Johnny Gat into the mix, but beyond this AoM and SR are separate games. Different types of games. You can’t measure Agents Of Mayhem against Saints Row in a sensible way. Still, it doesn’t stop them trying, and, well, you know, it’s nowhere near as good as the recent Saints Row games. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade Senua 1

The voices won’t stop. They’re whispering in my ear, gnawing at my skull from all angles. “Turn back”, one says. “They’re watching you”. “She falls for their tricks every time,” says another, cackling while Senua screams. More than once during Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice [official site] I had to fight the urge to rip the headphones from my ears. As a portrayal of how harrowing it is to live with psychosis it undoubtedly succeeds, and it uses Senua’s illness as a route into an excellent eight-hour story about love and loss. But, sometimes, especially in its combat segments, it’s also difficult to play for the wrong reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: West of Loathing

wolr

When I play games, my face (oh, it is tired) spends 90% of the time entirely inert, and the remaining 10% wincing or eye-rolling when something kills me and/or I fall off some ledge to my doom. Neither is from a lack of enjoyment, but just from being lost in an internal world of pursuing goals. You almost certainly look equally unsettling when you’re gaming.

In West of Loathing [official site], I would estimate I spent 95% of the time smiling. If you knew me (and you don’t – only my cat truly knows me) you’d know that’s highly unusual. West Of Loathing, a lovely, warm comedy RPG set in an only slightly supernatural wild west, makes me feel so happy.
Read the rest of this entry »

In Foxhole’s war the truck drivers are the real heroes

foxhole2

For the third day in a row, our outpost was under attack. Some enterprising yanks had discovered they could take opportunistic raiding parties through an undefended snowy field and get within grenade-throwing distance of our forward operating base – a walled-in barracks full of tiny toy soldiers all sitting around grunting that they didn’t have enough rifles, ammo, or best friends to clutch to their breasts as they died in the snow. Someone lowered the iron gate for me and I drove the truck into the compound, during a mercifully quiet and shrapnel-free moment.

“Who wants b-mats!” I shouted, employing the shorthand for ‘basic materials’ I’d learned from wiser, fightier men. “Get your b-mats here!”

Everyone in the compound rushed to the truck.

“Oh YES,” said an engineer, as he unloaded the essentials he needed to build up defences and do his own job. “Buddy, you are the real MVP.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Update Night – H1Z1: King of the Kill

kotk2

Update Night is a new fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse through ongoing development.

I had assumed that, were I trapped in a kill-or-be-killed nightmare future Battle Royale-type dealie, camouflage would be important. In a world where everyone very quickly gets their hands on some form of weapon, I’d want to take lessons from that Hunger Games kid and dress up as a rock, or — at the very least — find a nice pair of neutral khakis that would help me blend into the environment.

But the player-controlled murderers of H1Z1: King of the Kill [official site] don’t subscribe to that kind of wisdom. I’ve been killed by people in tie-dye leggings, by people in unicorn masks, and by one particularly memorable opponent who seemed to be cosplaying as a gorilla. They’ve killed me with luminous green shotguns and pearlescent assault rifles, and rather than pause to consider the emotional impact of taking another life, they’ve stood over my limp body, crotch-chopping like 1990s WWF wrestler.

I braved all this and more in order to appraise the game’s current condition. Has H1Z1: King of the Kill been improved by recent patches, and is it yet worth your time and money? Read the rest of this entry »

Sundered is a gorgeously drawn Metroidvania

Sundered [official site] is the ridiculously beautiful Metroidvania from the people who brought us the ridiculously beautiful Jotun. In a busy genre, does it do enough to stand out? Here are my thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Fortnite

fortnite1b

It’d be easy for me to describe Fortnite [official site] as “DIY Left 4 Dead”. It’s the recent free-to-play zombie shooter from Epic Games [correction: it will be free-to-play but it’s non-sale price is currently £34.99 for a ‘Founder’s Pack’], tasking you and three pals with building defences and scavenging supplies between waves of cartoonish undead, all spawned into existence by a paranormal purple storm. But to compare it so readily to Valve’s co-op shooter would evoke a brilliance it simply lacks. Fortnite is one of the most obnoxiously loud and over-designed games I’ve played in a long while.
Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Long Dark’s Story Mode – Wintermute Episode 2

The Long Dark

After a save game mishap I’ve tagged in for the WIT of The Long Dark‘s [official site] second story mode episode. Don’t worry – the save game thing was a review build issue, not a thing for regular game owners to fret over! But it’s meant I’ve needed to try to marshal my frustrations and pleasures with the game into something approaching coherence. Stay with me as I pick through Wot I Think:

Right now I think a bear ate my shoes. Read the rest of this entry »

Tower Of Time is a splendid RPG with tactical real-time combat

You have to respect clever, and clever is oozing out of Tower Of Time [official site]. Not just an RPG with the guts to try its very own combat system far more intricate than us dungeon crawlers are used to, but also the use of Early Access in a way that makes it seem like an advantage to the player rather than the developer. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: corporate espionage adventure The Low Road

Who hasn’t dreamed of the exciting world of corporate espionage? The Low Road [official site] is an adventure about business spying in the 1970s, but does it survive inspection under a magnifying glass? Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Long Dark’s Story Mode – Wintermute Episode 1

The Long Dark‘s [official site] story mode, Wintermute, is finally with us. Well, the first two fifths are, of what developers Hinterland are calling the first season. Due to review code only showing up yesterday, I’ve been able to complete the first (“Do Not Go Gentle”) of the two eps before launch, so below am reviewing that episode on its own. I’ll be back with more details about episode two (“Luminance Fugue”), very soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Tacoma

Tacoma

Tacoma is… a beautifully designed lift-the-flap book for grownups? An interactive theatrical novella set somewhere between now and a far-future cyberpunk dystopia? A mysterious soap opera? A snoop-sim? A basket of Easter eggs being used to make a sci-fi omelette? I found it to be a rewarding, tightly edited mix of all of the above, but you probably want to know a bit more so here’s Wot I Think… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher

When I go to my exercise class in the evening sometimes the matter of what I do for a living comes up in pre-class chat. Usually I can be like, “This is a credible grown-up profession. I absolutely pinky swear this to be true!” The last few days I have spent 30 hours corralling adorable bouncing blobs and selling their poop on the stock market or funnelling it into science. Maybe I’ll pretend I’ve lost my voice at class this evening. But Slime Rancher [official site] is so cute I also want to tell everyone about it! Here’s Wot I Think… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Darkside Detective

darksideheader

Officer Dooley is the best point and click character I’ve met in ages, and I say that having thoroughly enjoyed the company of Thimbleweed Park’s misfits and misanthropes. Dooley is on a different level though. Maybe it’s that he’s unvoiced and yet so smartly written that I can hear his every word, or maybe it’s that he’s secretly the world’s laziest anarchist trapped inside the uniform of a policeman.

He’s the best thing about The Darkside Detective [official site], a small but perfectly formed paranormal adventure that is full of good things.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Pyre

WIT_pyre1

A purgatorial fantasy sport is not the direction I expected Supergiant Games, creators of Bastion and Transistor, to go with their next game. Then again, expectations seem increasingly useless when it comes to a studio such as this. Pyre [official site] is set in a world where literacy is banned and punishable by exile – banishment to a dangerous land called the Downside, cut off from the home realm of the Commonwealth. This underworld is where you find yourself. But you soon make new friends and, to earn your freedom, you start to compete in a quasi-religious tournament of orb-throwing and goal-scoring.

The sport of Pyreball itself has caused me to curse and sigh many times, but I can’t accuse it of being uninventive. That goes double for the story of this band of exile-sinners, told through visual novel-style interjections and dialogue choices. It’s a great story. One I often wish didn’t have fantasy netball clinging to it.

Read the rest of this entry »