The cassette tape in Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy [official site] is called ‘Rad Mix’ instead of ‘Awesome Mix.’ A crueller man than I might observe that this is all we really need to know about Telltale’s not-based-on-the-film-and-yet-kinda-is spin on the adventures of Rocket, Groot and chums. I.e., that it really, really wants to be be just like what is arguably the most purely entertaining superhero film on the past decade, but it can’t quite pull it off.
I’m not that cruel. Not quite. Read the rest of this entry »
Puttin' My Lips on That
Full Throttle Remastered [official site] is the return of perhaps the most under-appreciated of the classic 90s LucasArts adventures. Double Fine’s remastering will hopefully go a long way to seeing it gain a reputation among a new generation. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »
1000 vikings versus 1 penguin
Every week we pit Brendan against the thousands of half-formed games of early access in a doomed battle for supremacy. This time, the huge and ridiculous fights of Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator.
There’s not much in UEBS that isn’t possible in any of the Total War series. I mean, if you discount the ability to pit masterly Chickens against a force of Orcs. Apart from that, it’s still about arranging vast (or small) armies on large maps and having them go at each other until one force comes out of the meat grinder without losing all their wee men. In fact, it’s hundreds of times more limited than a real strategy game. But many would say that’s not the point. What you have here is a toy, something that aims for the simplicity of its Deadliest Warrior conceit and – just barely – hits the mark. But what kind of brawls can you create? Well, here’s four epic battles we threw together to find out.
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Avost ye, land libbers!
Every week we send Brendan onto the high seas of early access to see what booty he can plunder. This time, the maritime multiplayer mayhem of Blackwake [official site].
Harrrr. Shiver my own timbers. [Aside: What else do pirates say?] Ahoy friendy! If you want to be a true-to-life sea dog just like me, the firey bosom of Blackwake awaits. It’s large-scale naval warfare with crews of up to 16 people. It’s what I’d call a ‘Hall-of-the-Mountain-King-like’, because that’s the royalty-free music that early access games often use in their trailer to invoke a sense of chaos and silliness, a musical composition that has, as a result, become a coded signal for games which are roughewn and therefore “funny”. Read the rest of this entry »
Gladiator but if Russell Crowe died immediately
A Roman-themed arena combat game that rams home the point that rogueliteish characters are entirely disposable, Domina [official site] is all about feeding meat to the grinder in the name of keeping your precarious bloodsports empire afloat. Even if you somehow keep one of your fragile gladiators alive for long, chances are they’ll be begging for release from their horrific slavery before long anyway. A game of numbers as much as it is a game of death, it might just have a point to make if it weren’t also rubbing its hands together with salacious glee. Read the rest of this entry »
A great free update, a good DLC
Utopia is the first major expansion for Stellaris, Paradox Development Studio’s 4X, grand strategy space hydra. It’s a term that normally conjures up images of a perfect society, all green and chill and maybe a little like Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets. That’s nice, I guess, but what if your idea of perfection is building a civilization on the backs of robotic slaves? And what about a monstrous hive of ravenous beasties that won’t rest until all matter in the universe has been consumed? What would its utopia look like? I’ve been experimenting with a galaxy-sized petri dish to find out. Read the rest of this entry »