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Posts tagged “review”

Feature: Achilles' feels

A Total War Saga: Troy review

Let's pretend there was no such thing as the Total War series of games. Let's pretend A Total War Saga: Troy was just called Super Iliad Guys - which it should be called anyway - but had otherwise come out of the blue exactly as it is. In this mythical world, I would be completely blown away by Super Iliad Guys, with its astonishing two-for-one…

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Feature: A bit damp

Risk Of Rain 2 review

I was ready to give up on Risk Of Rain 2. On the face of it that doesn't make much sense, because it's a 3D followup to an excellent platforming roguelike where possibility spills from cascading item combos. It's like if The Binding Of Isaac was a third-person shooter set on an alien planet where dinosaurs, ghosts and automatons team up to kill you. I…

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Feature: Bouncing beans burn brightly, but briefly

Fall Guys review

Videogames make me squeal a lot. Most people I've lived with have commented on this fact, with varying degrees of approval. Mostly people say it's nice, because they're usually squeals of joy, and usually come immediately after a pal has just done something ridiculous in Valorant or something. Even so, when I tell you that I spent my first half an hour or so with…

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Feature: Barbarossa boiled down

The Flare Path: Stirs Cauldrons

Are we capable of coding an AI that will play this game competently and plausibly? I wish more wargame developers asked themselves this question early in the design process, and treated answers of “possibly” and “not sure” as reasons to head back to the drawing board. If they did we'd have less warfare fare but more games that convince and challenge the way Cauldrons of War:…

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Feature: Battering an iron ostrich to pieces never felt so good

Horizon Zero Dawn PC review

If you've read anything I've had to say about Horizon Zero Dawn to date - and I've eulogised it twice already - the tone of this review shouldn't come as a surprise. I knew the PC port would have to be either unplayable, or introduce an inexplicable wisecracking pelican as Aloy's sidekick, to change my opinion of what's probably my favourite ever action game. And…

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Feature: Finlandia or Appalachian Spring?

The Flare Path Letter Page

Dear Simon, Your Dad sounds like a chap after my own heart. It's quite possible we were both in the Kerovian Republic at the same time. We might even have shared the same aviodyne gondola or stood atop the same stinking jagiphant carcass! In answer to your birthday present recommendations question, as it happens I have recent play experience of both of the titles you…

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Feature: It's over now, the music of the night

Maid Of Sker review

Maid Of Sker is a first-person survival horror game, which makes the name a bit confusing because it's pronounced like "Made Of Scare". Sadly, this isn't a very good description of Maid Of Sker, because although there are some good and creepsome bits in it, this isn't a game made for jump scare compilations on YouTube, nor it is suffused with a creeping, lingering dread.…

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Feature: Hidden folks

Röki review

How refreshing it is to have a Scandinavian-inspired story that isn't about detectives in woolly jumpers unearthing all manner of grisly nasties from the crisp white snow. Röki's young heroine Tove does do her fair share of digging in Polygon Treehouse's gorgeous point and click adventure, but instead of dead bodies she's collecting celestial stone discs, strange sophorus flowers, and jars of sticky black goo…

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Feature: Ordering up a nice steaming cuppa feelings

Necrobarista review

I’ve had the luxury of a few days to sit with my thoughts on Necrobarista before having to tell you wot I think, and wot I think is this: the game tricked me in the best possible way. Of course it’s a game about death, it’s set in a café that predominantly serves the recently deceased. Many of its characters are wrestling with their own…

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Feature: Square strategy

Plebby Quest: The Crusades review

Plebby Quest: The Crusades and I did not get off to the best start. This is partly because it’s called “Plebby Quest”, a dreadful title that has little to do with the game itself. Neither "plebs" nor questing featuring prominently. Instead, Plebby Quest is more like a diet Crusader Kings, offering a similarly grand medieval strategy in a package less likely to pack on the…

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Feature: The wood is very visible actually

Among Trees review (early access)

I don't usually like survival games. I like the idea of survival games - the idea of making a safe home out of the wilderness and learning to make my own boots out of rabbit skin, and so on. I would never be able to do this in real life, obviously, because I am small and fragile and I don't really enjoy even the most…

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Feature: Break it down

Hardspace: Shipbreaker review (early access)

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game about peeling open spaceships like they’re massive tin cans to reveal the abandoned detritus inside. The belongings of long departed crews hang in the darkness like deep sea fish. Cola bottles and crisp packets wander past your visor, disturbed into aimless tumbles by the change in air pressure when you popped open the airlock like a champagne cork. The only…

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Feature: Jung people these days

Persona 4 Golden review

Most roleplaying games span continents, planets, even galaxies. Persona 4 Golden – the first of Atlus's celebrated RPGs to make a belated landfall on PC - is set almost entirely inside a single town. It's not even a very memorable town: neither a wistful Chosen One Village nor a bustling world hub, but a wilting suburb done up in Google Map shades of tarmac and…

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Feature: I'm so sorry, Bina

Griftlands review (early access)

Christ, I'm not sure what to make of Griftlands. At first I was close to adoration. It's an unusually story-focused deckbuilding roguelike - and it's from Klei, of Oxygen Not Included and Don't Starve fame. That sounded wild to me even before I learnt that it's about moseying around as a bounty hunter in an alien city, doing odd jobs for the locals and building…

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Feature: First-person shooting meets light strategy

Disintegration review

Disintegration has a good line in names. Across its campaign missions, you play Gravcycle pilot and - yes - television presenter called Romer Shoal in a rebellion against "integrated" human-robot hybrids led by Black Shuck. If those names aren't fun enough to roll around in your mouth, consider that the TV show Romer presented was called "Cradle 2 The Grav".If only there was as much…

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Feature: Aye, robot

Main Assembly review (early access)

Main Assembly is a physics-based puzzle sandbox in which you build specialised robots to carry out different tasks, like ferrying a washing machine across a busy railway track or rescuing crash test dummies from burning buildings. It’s a kind of Kerbal Everything Program, powered by a comprehensive suite of easy-to-use creative tools that let you construct pretty much anything you can imagine: spring-loaded catapults, rocket-powered…

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Feature: A relaxing katabasis

Beyond Blue review

So many are the dignities heaped upon Beyond Blue, that it's somewhat hard to get at the game beneath. When I began playing, I knew that it had been made in association with the filmmakers behind the Blue Planet II series, and in consultation with a host of marine scientists. I knew that it promised a sober and ultra-realistic exploration of the oceans, and that…

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Feature: Cull cussing cowboys creatively

Desperados 3 review

Claymore Game Studios, the newly formed outfit tasked with reviving the Commandos franchise, is in need of an Unreal Engine expert, a 3D artist, a 3D animator, and a senior level designer. Whoever secures the latter job will, if they are sensible, do nothing their first week except watch old war movies and play Desperados III. Proving that the superb Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun…

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