Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Megaton Rainfall

Megaton Rainfall‘s goal is to let you feel like a superhero. Originally created with VR in mind, the earliest build I played years back on an Oculus Rift featured what still makes up the core of the game: swooping around via the gift of flight, trying to blow up alien ships while not accidentally levelling the city around you. Released now in flat-o-vision (I’ve no idea why the PC release is non-VR only, after the PSVR release last month), I find a game containing absolutely astonishing ambition, incredible achievements, beyond comprehension scale and awe, and the weirdest sense that you’re not really being allowed to have fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Star Wars: Battlefront 2 single player campaign

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Star Wars Battlefront 2’s campaign is a gorgeous shooting gallery that takes you to amazing planets, both old and new. But is it any more than that? These are my thoughts on the single player part of the game, and I’ll be following up with a review of the multiplayer after the game properly comes out this Friday.

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Premature Evaluation: Bermuda – Lost Survival

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For this week’s Premature Evaluation, we’ve tossed Fraser into Bermuda – Lost Survival’s unfriendly ocean, where he’ll have to survive on whatever he can steal from the water.

I have, over the last couple of years, misplaced a yacht, crashed a yacht and fallen out of a yacht. You might say that Poseidon and I have a troubled relationship. I just want to go sailing, but he has other plans. I’ve got some experience with nautical misadventures, then, which is why I expect that Bermuda – Lost Survival will be a walk in the park, albeit a very soggy one.

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Mortal Empires is Total War’s best grand campaign

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Mortal Empires is Total War’s grandest of grand campaigns: a stunningly huge global war with over 100 factions and 35 leaders duking it out over multiple continents. In terms of scale, it’s the series at its most ambitious, and its most daunting. It took me an hour of second-guessing and two false starts before I finally settled on a faction and leader. It’s excessive, really. I love it.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2018

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Nobody listens to a word I say. I might be a legend of the game and one of the most beloved footballers of my generation but as soon as I stick my nose in at half-time, all the energy is sucked out of the dressing room.

Football Manager 2018 gives me all of the data I need to understand why the team are uninterested or unhappy, but I’m not convinced it gives me any meaningful or interesting tools to address those factors. On the pitch, I’m enjoying it as much as I ever have, but whether it’s a reflection of reality or not, I find the basics of dealing with a squad of sulks as tedious as Ashley Cole’s autobiography.

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American Truck Simulator New Mexico pursues a real America, not a Hollywood America

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American Truck SimulatorNew Mexico is the latest and first paid expansion for SCS Software’s remarkable fusion of dreamlike roadtrip game and business simulation, which is one of my favourite videogames of all time despite my having almost no interest in motor vehicles. New Mexico adds one of the largest but least-populated states into the mix, with cities including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell. I’ve been playing it ahead of its release tomorrow.

This New Mexico is not the America of the movies – at least not all those cowboy movies and 60s road movies that are evoked by American Truck Simulator’s initial California/Nevada/Arizona stomping grounds. New Mexico is more the America of modern television. There’s the Breaking Bad connection, of course, given that Albuquerque is one of the major cities in this latest, state-sized expansion, but it’s more than that. This is anyplace America, not a cinematographer’s America.
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Wot I Think: Call of Duty: WW2 Multiplayer

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Call of Duty WW2 takes the series back to its roots, stripping out the jetpacks and wallrunning from the recent futuristic iterations. As Sledgehammer Games enthusiastically say, the game is back to being ‘boots on the ground’. It’s certainly a change of pace, but I was happier when my boots were sailing through the air at 50mph.

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Premature Evaluation: Epic Tavern

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Fraser has found himself the owner of a filthy pub in this week’s Premature Evaluation. He’s been playing Epic Tavern, an RPG management game filled with beer and rats.

I now own a tavern, and it feels like I’m finally living out my dream life. I always said, if I wasn’t writing about video games… well I’d probably still be project managing charity events. But if I wasn’t doing that… actually I did consider sticking around at university and getting a PhD. But if I wasn’t trapped in academia, becoming an astronaut or getting paid to be a ghost writer (as in a writer for ghosts), then I’d almost definitely own a pub. So yeah, I’ve really made it. Welcome to The Thirsty Kobold.

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Wot I Think: Nioh – Complete Edition

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Describing a game as X meets Dark Souls is a sure way to invite mockery and contempt. It’s lazy critical short-hand, people will say, and they’re often correct. Well, prepare to mock. But only a little.

I promise I’m not being lazy when I say that Nioh is Dark Souls meets Sengoku period Japan though, and to prove it I’m going to use that short-hand as a starting point rather than an end-point. Fortunately, where Nioh differs from Dark Souls is far more interesting than where the two games overlap.

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Sennheiser GSP 350 review: great surround sound for just over £100

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Trying to find a comfortable pair of headphones has become a war of attrition for me over the last couple of years. Either I have the world’s most sensitive skull, or my head’s unbeknowingly shaped like a Minecraft block beneath my hair, as every over-ear headset I’ve used has only brought me pain and cranial-based misery.

They’re always innocent enough to start off with, but somewhere around the 30-45 minute mark, the dreaded head pinch begins, and those pesky headbands start sinking their tiny little teeth into the top of my head. After an hour, I’ve usually had enough, which obviously isn’t ideal if I want to spend a lazy Saturday playing games, or co-ordinate my weekly dose of Destiny 2 with my trusty fire squad.

Alas, Sennheiser’s GSP 350 barely made it to half an hour before I had to start shuffling them round my head to alleviate some of the pressure, but that’s not to say you should stop reading here. In fact, there’s plenty to like about this £115 headset, and I’m sure those with less sensitive noggins will get on with them just fine. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Hand Of Fate 2

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The great rage is dead within me. I no longer feel hatred. In the first Hand Of Fate (review), a sly and effective singleplayer collision of roguelite and collectible card game, I fought onwards primarily due to a deep and burning desire to wipe the imagined smirk off the face of The Dealer, an AI-controlled dungeon master and nemesis rolled into one, whose e’er-taunting voice was the exact sound of a perpetually-raised eyebrow.

Hand Of Fate 2 is a superior sequel in many respects, but either he’s mellowed or I have. Now, we play the game together, fond old sparring partners rather than eternal enemies.

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Wot I Think: Call Of Duty: WWII Single Player Campaign

Fully expecting another ghastly CoD campaign, I’ve been utterly surprised by the shooter I’ve just played. Be shocked – Call Of Duty: WWII is a decent single-player game. And there’s not a loot drop in sight. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Assassin’s Creed Origins

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A soft reboot four years in the making, Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins is one giant step back in time plus a smaller step forward in terms of world design, a stumble in terms of its levelling system, a sideways hop as regards combat and an exercise in jogging on the spot in terms of missions. This is exactly the kind of complex footwork that leads to messy accidents during parkour sequences, but somehow, the game keeps its balance throughout, though it’s not quite the revival I was hoping for.

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Engare is a beautiful puzzle game of Islamic art and spirographs

In an attempt to teleport some geometric Islamic art from one location to another, developer Mahdi Bahrami failed to notice a spirograph had flown into the telepod. That’s my theory anyway. The result is a very beautiful, very relaxing puzzle game called Engare.

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Wot I Think: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus does not pull its punches. Early in the game a returning villain asks, “is this what a hero looks like?” She’s mocking and threatening a wounded, degraded and broken woman. She’s about to execute that woman.

Wolfenstein’s answer is a defiant “yes”. Its heroes don’t look like any one thing because they are many and they are diverse. They are survivors and fighters and thinkers, black, white, American Jewish, British, German, male, female, disabled, disfigured and powerful. They’re also flawed – sometimes too angry, sometimes too selfish, sometimes too afraid to face up to reality – but they are the kind of people you’d want in your corner if the world went wrong.

They’re also the game’s greatest asset and its most potent weapons.

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Wot I Think: Destiny 2

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It’s 4AM and I’m whispering with strangers in the dark. I found them online through a private channel, arranged a meeting in secret, and set my alarm to wake under cover of night. We’ve already got a plan, but we need to talk it through, to get on board with each other. We need to make sure we won’t get caught this time.

I promised my wife I’d stop doing this, but these are the sacrifices I have to make in order to finish Destiny 2’s Leviathan raid.

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Overgrowth doesn’t feel ready to leave Early Access

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The most satisfying moments in Overgrowth [official site] take place in mid-air. Rabbits are typically good at jumping, but they’ve got nothing on their anthropomorphic cousin, Turner, the martial arts master and hero of this critter-bashing romp. His leaping ability borders on the power of flight. During those seconds, suspended in the skies above the game’s largely empty battlefields, it feels like anything’s possible. Invariably the landing disappoints. Sometimes fatally. That’s Overgrowth: lots of potential, rarely reached.

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Wot I Think: A Hat In Time

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Where Yooka-Laylee attempted to revive Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie formula, A Hat in Time [official site] strikes at a different vein of nostalgia. The 3D platformer attempts to split the difference between the open-ended adventuring of Super Mario 64 and the more guided point-by-point platforming of Super Mario Galaxy. The result is a work of obvious grace and imagination that never attempts to rise above its obvious inspirations, but still consistently delivers the same kind of warm fuzzies that its favorite Italian plumber deals in. Read the rest of this entry »