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Posts tagged “review”

Feature: Quaid, start the reactor

Surviving Mars: Green Planet review

I’m trapped on Mars, and it’s getting cold. Despite the reflective sheeting I’ve hung up to insulate my workspace, night has long since fallen, and the heat is leaching from the glass walls. I’m eating boiled potatoes yet again, and I miss my family like crazy. But there’s no way I can see them again, until I’ve solved a lot of problems So I put…

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Feature: Where Total War meets Crusader Kings

Total War: Three Kingdoms review

My eldest son died horribly at the Battle of Yangzhou in 198 CE. Cao Ang led a small retinue in General Xiahou Yuan’s army. Xiahou’s army was the best I had: disciplined troops, carefully selected and commanded by heroes. At Yangzhou they were mauled by a massive army of peasant rebels led by the Yellow Turban He Yi. My defeated army escaped, but He Yi…

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Feature: Knife to meet you

Once Upon A Crime In The West is a funny murder mystery in a snow-covered bar

Everyone is dead when you arrive at The Mount Inn. Well, almost everyone. Only the bartender is left alive, among a scattering of cowboy corpses. “My memory is little hazy” he says. “Don’t know why.” It’s probably because he has a knife stuck in his head. This is Once Upon A Crime In The West, the third murder mystery game from the folks who made…

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Feature: "Tarty Manymango"

Rage 2 review

Watson Whoopinkoff and Flitwick Mcdimbledick are in an altercation. They're wearing the same (mostly lack of) clothes, and have both taken affront to this. We're in a particularly scummy part of a particularly scummy town, where nobody around pays them much mind. Except me. I stop and watch as insults escalate, until Mcdimble suggests Whoopy stick the robot hand he's holding somewhere untoward. Whoopy knocks…

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Feature: Tracking the greatest prey of all

Premature Evaluation: Pandemic Express – Zombie Escape

Pandemic Express is a game about a bunch of humans escaping a bunch of zombies. The humans, who all resemble French mimes in plague masks, are attempting to board and pilot a train to freedom. The zombies, who all resemble horrible goblins who’ve crept out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, are out to stop them, using their fangs and claws to monch and clonch the…

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Feature: Forsooth, it's good

Astrologaster review

Dramatic irony: the videogame. That’s basically what you’ve got in Astrologaster. It’s a choose-your-own-tragicomedy set in Elizabethan England, where you play an astrologist and “doctor of physik” called Simon Forman, who gives his patients counsel as well as tinctures. Both his advice and potions are of questionable quality. It’s a story reminiscent of Blackadder, dripping with sarcasm, theatrical and funny. At times it doubles up…

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Feature: O' both your houses!

A Plague Tale: Innocence review

I am famously not a fan of children in video games, because I think they mostly dead-eyed haunted dolls that are used as cheap, empty receptacles for player empathy. I don’t even like Clementine in The Walking Dead. Yes, I am a monster, etc. I tell you this so you understand how cute Hugo in A Plague Tale: Innocence must be for me to love…

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Feature: Kiryu-chaaaaaaan!

Yakuza Kiwami 2 review

The first thing you do in Yakuza Kiwami 2 is walk through a graveyard. As caring dad hero, Kiryu, you’re visiting the resting place of those who died at the end of the previous game. It’s a sombre moment, a cemetery visit with your adoptive daughter to pay respects to loved ones killed in terrible circumstances. You bow your head and inspect the graves. Then…

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Feature: Cat eggs and brute grease

Rise Of Industry review

I’ve spent a while trying to think my way round this, but there’s no way I can talk about Rise Of Industry without discussing its intro cinematic. Or more specifically, the voice that narrates it. “For an enterprising tycoon,” it smarms, as dawn breaks over a sleepy town swaddled in polygonal pine forest, “each new day brings new opportunities in your quest for success.” It’s…

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Feature: Love cuts deep

Mordhau review

I'm in love with Mordhau. If I described it as “Chivalry, but there's a button to hold your sword wrong”, I would be both accurate and unjustly reductive. I'd also be giving it a huge compliment, because before last Monday Chivalry was the best multiplayer sword ‘em up in existence. Now Mordhau isn't just that. It's one of the best games in existence, full stop.

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Feature: Burner cards

Premature Evaluation: Trials Of Fire

Trials Of Fire, besides having such a generic sounding title that you forget it every time you’re not looking directly at the words, is a turn-based, single-player, deck-building, choice-driven, procedurally-generated, top-down, role-playing strategy game, set in a post-cataclysmic, dark fantasy world. It’s part The Road, part Tolkien offcuts, as you guide a miserable band of fighters through a blasted wasteland in search of a series…

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Feature: WW1 deserves better than 11-11 Memories Retold

The Flare Path: Poppies and Poppycock

Let's call them “poppies”, the eye-catching, ephemeral moments in 11-11 Memories Retold when you glimpse the brave, powerful game it isn't but could have been. One of the tallest poppies grows from shell-scarified sod about halfway through this big budget, big name 2018 adventure game. In the skin of Kurt, one of the two protagonists, you find yourself in a sprawling German war cemetery, searching…

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Feature: Factor 50 thick

Close To The Sun review

Here is a story. Daedalus was a brilliant inventor, and designed the maze that kept the bloodthirsty Minotaur captive, but he and his son Icarus were themselves both kept as prisoners of King Minos on Crete, so that nobody would learn the secret of the Minotaur's labyrinth. Eventually, Daedalus built wings from feathers and wax, so that he and Icarus could fly to freedom, but…

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Feature: When it comes to the krunch

Mortal Kombat 11 review

It’s got blood and you punch people. There, review over. I sometimes wish this job was as straightforward as that. Mortal Kombat 11 is a biff ‘em up of brutal strength and quick reflexes. It has a bin lorry’s worth of microtransaction trash heaped on top of it, the PC version is lagging behind the console version as regards patches, and it was made at…

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Feature: From the developers of Out There

Premature Evaluation – Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

There are few people I find as fascinating as Mister Julian Assange, the debonair hacker and out-of-work Geralt cosplayer who hid inside an embassy for seven years, skateboarding into the ambassador’s bedroom and demanding to know the new wi-fi password so often that they finally got annoyed and kicked him out. Assange has the campy flare of a mid-tier Drag Race contestant, randomly appearing on…

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Feature: Queen of the second screen

Forager review

This is a public service announcement: if you find yourself on the western edge of the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales anytime soon on the hunt for blackberries, don’t bother - I’ve picked them all. Turns out there’s a twofold satisfaction to foraging that makes it difficult to stop. First there’s the search: looking high and low for collectibles, pushing your body further into the thicket,…

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Feature: Jonesing for better

Pathway review

[To the tune of Indiana Jones.] Dun da da da / Dun da-da / There’s some nazis / In a jeep, oh no / And a boulder / Run away / Give my heart back / It’s my favourite organ. Ah, a classic theme for a classic series. And yet, the last Indiana Jones game I remember playing was a highly irritating Super Star Wars…

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Feature: With a little help from Ghoastus the Roman ghost

Imperator: Rome review

For me, one of the perennial pleasures in PC gaming is clicking ‘new game’ on a fresh Paradox grand strategy game, and having that big ol’ map unrolled before me, freighted with promise and overwhelming complexity. If you’ve not played one of these before - and for all its glories, Imperator: Rome is very much an iteration of the formula established by Europa Universalis in…

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Feature: WW2 with cards

Premature Evaluation: Kards

My nice grandad fought in World War Two, along with all of the other nice grandads, against the fascist grandads who were causing quite the stir around Europe at the time. As far as I can tell my grandad had a relatively pleasant time, romping around in the desert with his fellow grandads, firing some really big guns into the sky until he was captured…

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Feature: Into The Blue Again

Whispers Of A Machine review

You know what? Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a straightforward point-and-click adventure game. And while I'll admit I thought the opening of Whispers Of A Machine suggested this was going to be a big twist on the format, and was pretty thrilled by where it suggested it might be going, I'm actually all good with how clear-cut it eventually felt to play. Because…

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