Posts Tagged ‘review’

Getting axed in the neck in The Division’s Survival mode

The baseball bat guys got me again. Here I am, lying face down in the snow, surrounded by hooded and bloodthirsty punks, who smashed my bones until I died. It has been a hard life. I almost froze to death, scavenged the belongings of fallen players, and somehow reached the most dangerous part of blizzard-stricken New York all by myself. Now, I am dead. The anti-virals I was told to retrieve are less than ten yards away. This is The Division’s new survival mode. In many ways, it is what the shooter’s original Dark Zone should have been.
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Premature Evaluation – Ultimate General: Civil War

Every week we dispatch Brendan onto the battlefields of early access alongside a battalion of eager troops. This week, he attempts to become a renowned tactician for the Union in Ultimate General: Civil War [official site].

I don’t know much about this period of American history, except that Abraham Lincoln was the goodie and Clint Eastwood won the war by blowing up a bridge with a Mexican friend. But I do like a good strategy game, the practice of shunting little toy soldiers about and watching as long bits of geometry engulf other, smaller bits of geometry. So come with me if you want to see what it’s like to “draw” a war.
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Cities: Skylines’ new Natural Disasters expansion is spectacularly horrifying

I’m impressed they waited this long. Using earthquakes and hurricanes to play skyscraper dominoes has long been the alpha and the omega feature of citybuilder games (if you didn’t trash the suburbs with an alien invasion, you weren’t playing Sim City 2000 right). It’s taken Cities: Skylines [official site] 19 months to do the entirely obvious thing, and I’m glad to say it’s done it in style. Its new natural disasters are absolutely terrifying.
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Google Earth VR is a Vive must-have, but…

Got a Vive? Gotta have this, then. Google’s VR mod of its long-running planet-modelling app was one of the things that was shown to devs and us media types back when Valve were first demoing the Vive. It’s now finally passed on to you, the consumer and/or unwitting sharer of vast amounts of personal data, as Google Earth VR, a free download via Steam. It’s a lovely thing, allowing you to have a giant’s eye view of anywhere in the world, much of it rendered in 3D.

Clearly, visiting a blurry version of Monument Valley and looking down at its smudged textures from 100 foot above is no substitute for a real visit to canyon country, but it’s a neat shortcut for reminding oneself of the majesty of nature. And a recent ‘flight’ over Tokyo or Hawaii is good for questioning one’s life choices as one trudges home through the November rain.
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Premature Evaluation: Delver

Every Monday, we arm Brendan with a tiny dagger and push him into the early access ruins. This week, the catacombs of retro dungeon-crawler Delver [official site].

I stabbed the green man in a panic, and he hit me back with a big stick. Wow, you don’t get that much health to start with, I thought, and kept stabbing. I stabbed until he fell down in a pile of pixelly blood and meat. But something else also fell out of him. It was shining and warbling. That must be loot. I moved to pick it up. The warbling got louder. The warbling increased to a high pitch, the item started to flash rapidly. Huh? I thought, as the piece of loot exploded and killed me.
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Wot I Think: Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 [official site] is brought to us by the colour red, with the claustrophobic corridors and ruined streets of this multiplayer FPS painted in blood, viscera and the grisly remains of a thousand dead zombie mutants. It revels in gore and over-the-top, frenetic cartoon violence, encouraging the mayhem with an ear-pounding metal and industrial soundtrack. I feel like I should be rolling my eyes, but instead I’m shouting expletives at a mad, German mecha-scientist and whooping as another zombie explodes in a shower of guts and bone.

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Wot I Think: Planet Coaster

During tumultuous times, there’s comfort to be found in games that peddle nostalgia or task you with making people happy and keeping them entertained. Frontier’s theme park management game, Planet Coaster [official site], does both, letting you create theme parks where the worst thing that can happen is lots of people vomiting.

It is also a game that inspired me to spend an entire hour constructing a toilet, which inexplicably left me very satisfied.

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