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Posts tagged “review”

Feature: Electric sheepdog

Cloudpunk review

Cloudpunk could have been a lot of things, many of them disappointing. It could have taken itself far too seriously. It could have been far too lightweight or by-the-numbers. It could have been a miserably realistic sisyphean chore. If I wanted to be cruel, I'd say it could have been a lot more than it is, too. But that's not because I think it's not…

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Feature: The perfect name

Premature Evaluation: Industries Of Titan

Industries Of Titan has a refreshing attitude towards dirt and grime. Most city builders prefer to clutch their pearls when it comes to the unpleasant matter of pollution, chastising mayors as they construct the elaborate sewage networks required in order to pump vast quantities of human gunk into whichever unfortunate body of water happens to be farthest from your town hall. Hand-wringing civic advisors wag…

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Feature: Turns out war does change actually

Fallout 76: Wastelanders review

“People have returned to Appalachia in droves,” proclaim the patch notes for Fallout 76’s Wastelanders expansion, in what is both a reasonable summary of the troubled RPG’s third free expansion and, I suspect, a spirited attempt at self-fulfilling prophecy. Of all the gripes players (including this guy) had with baseline F76, by far the most prevalent was that it felt abandoned at launch. With human…

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Feature: Press E, V, Z, Z, Z, Z, Z, E, F to reload

Receiver 2 review

If you get your gun out too quickly in Receiver 2, you'll shoot yourself. Pop a bullet through a window while you're standing too close, and you're asking for a shard to slash through your jugular. Or maybe for the debris to jam up your rounds, leading to deadly miscalculation the next time you run up against a turret. Bleep. Click. Dead.The slightest mistake can…

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Feature: Champagne superMMOva

Premature Evaluation: Last Oasis

Sometimes I worry that open world survival sims are romanticising the very real challenges involved in carving out a nomadic existence on a planet that’s stopped rotating by constructing elaborate wooden spider-cars and captaining them across vast deserts, forming clans and trading limited resources to take control of the world’s remaining oases. When the world eventually does stop turning, I fear that this generation, spoon-fed…

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Feature: Very animated

The Procession To Calvary review

"Your mileage may vary" is a term writers use a lot because it does a lot of heavy lifting. It can helpfully mean either "I liked it but I can see why others would not", or exactly the inverse of that. I can't help but feel, though, that it was a phrase invented for weirdo Renaissance painting point-and-click adventure The Procession To Calvary, because I…

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Feature: All sowing, no reaping

Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories review

Renowned children’s TV presenter Mister Rogers once said, “when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would tell me to look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” The red-cardigan-rocking moral compass of a nation offered this small succour in the face of tragedy: that whenever disaster struck you would also find the…

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Feature: Fug of war

Radio General review

Is now the moment to commit my reserve? Should I send my infantry down the road or through the forest? Do I have sufficient resources to take both villages or should I settle for just one? Many of the questions Radio General asks are as old as the Apennines. You will have encountered them countless times before. It's novel noggin warmers like “Where on earth is…

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Feature: Band of bothers

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (early access) review

The best thing I can say about this, the most eagerly awaited medieval ARPG of all time, is that I want to keep playing it. I have played exactly four million games, a number which is only possible when you learn to drop something you're playing without hesitation. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, for all its teething problems, will probably be brilliant when it's finished.

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Feature: Build a better roomba

Premature Evaluation: Good Company

Ah, industry. You gotta love it. Men with twirly moustaches posing in front of giant chains. Women standing next to teetering piles of code used to send astronauts to the moon. Countless ghosts of mangled Victorian children haunting the greased cogs of matchbox factories. Elon Musk riding atop a tiny submarine like a cowboy to the bottom of the Mariana Trench to rescue his frisbee.…

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Feature: Featuring: more gorilla chat

Stela review

I heard a lovely story from a primatologist once, about how different apes tend to respond when faced with tricky wooden puzzle boxes. Orangutans, apparently, will sit and think for a while when stumped, and then work carefully at a new angle on the problem. Chimps, meanwhile, will typically lose their tempers, smashing the offending puzzle to splinters with their hellish fists. But gorillas -…

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Feature: Blunted

Bleeding Edge review

Bleeding Edge is a third-person 4v4 brawler with a line-up that includes a woman who turns into a motorcycle, a snake who inhabits a zombie, and - soon to be introduced - a dolphin in a mechsuit. There's a feathery, mechanical raptor-lady. There's a fire-breathing goth. There's a grandma, who is also a witch, leashed to a mini hot air balloon. Most of the combatants…

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Feature: All hands on deck

Premature Evaluation: For The Warp

Early access deck builder For The Warp doesn’t so much wear its FTL influences on its sleeve, as it does creep into FTL’s bedroom when it’s out to try on FTL’s lipstick and stare dead-eyed into a vanity mirror while muttering “I’m a very pretty spacefaring roguelike, yes I am”. If FTL ever goes missing while out for a late night jog, odds are that…

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Feature: Sea to shining sea

In Other Waters review

In Other Waters is a little game about a xenobiologist named Ellery Vas exploring an alien sea, and finding it (unexpectedly) teeming with life. You don't play the biologist, you play an artificial intelligence powering and controlling her advanced diving suit, but you are essential in helping Ellery to observe and classify these new species, to collect specimens, and to navigate the seabed. Despite what…

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Feature: The brute of all evil

Resident Evil 3 review

Honestly, I’m glad Resident Evil 3 is a short game, because it was really, really, stressful to play. After six hours of it, I was thoroughly jangled, and just wanted a break from things trying to messily dismantle me. Which, to be fair, means it did exactly what I wanted it to do. Before my nerves tattered and I evolved into a Strategy Dad, you…

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Feature: Funderlords

Wot I Think (now it’s left beta): Dota Underlords

I'm in a good place with Dota Underlords. We're long past that initial rush, those halcyon days where layers of the puzzle kept peeling away, one after the other. We're past the rough patch, too, when it seemed like we were over. That long plateau. We're comfortable, now. I can see the path that leads from here, the subtle ways I can improve. So what…

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Feature: Panzer Corps 2 reconnoitred

The Flare Path: Unhexceptional

What do Slitherine's latest piece of hexiana and the coronavirus crisis have in common? They both invite comparisons with WW2, but, on close inspection, bear little resemblance to the 1939-45 conflict. Panzer Corps 2 is as stout as a Sturmtiger and perfectly capable of accelerating clock hands and monopolising cerebra, but loyalty to its predecessors means most of the time it feels more like a…

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Feature: Hover bored

Premature Evaluation: Comanche

The latest in a long list of topics I have hurled myself into these past two weeks in the naive hope of distracting my anxiety for even just a few minutes, helicopters are all I’m choosing to think about right now. Wow, how do they work? The world is coming to an end. They’re such an exciting way to get around! Hovering celebrity death traps.…

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Feature: The Half-Life game you wanted

Half-Life: Alyx review

Half-Life: Alyx is the Half-Life game you've been waiting for, even if it's not the one you were expecting - and even if you'll never play it. Valve's first full virtual reality game is a masterclass of first-person shooter design that makes clear the company haven't forgotten anything about making these kinds of games in the nine years since Portal 2, or the 13 years…

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