Dawn of War has learned from MOBAs
Among the many things that might wake you up in the morning – coffee, cigarettes, aggressive thrash metal – nothing really comes close to being chased by a towering Space Marine Titan, spewing out fire and bullets in a wanton display of horrifying aggression as pitiful Orks scatter and flee. Dawn of War 3’s [official site] invigorating multiplayer is like a shot of adrenaline, blood-pumping, loud and messy.
Based on my time with it, there’s a great deal going on in Relic’s latest foray into the grimdark universe of Warhammer 40K. It’s not entirely unlike attempting to play the previous two Dawn of Wars at the same time, a mashup of each game’s best bits, but with more stuff drawn from both the tabletop games and even other genres. Read the rest of this entry »
It fails in fundamental ways
Total War: Warhammer is good at presenting complex information in battles. Your unit of spearmen will tell you when they’re attacked from behind and their banner will flash when they’re about to retreat. Your general glows, and he or she is often comically large compared to regular soldiers. Arrows, cannonballs and spells have brightly coloured trails so you can tell what’s about to hit you.
Outside of battles though, TW: Warhammer has trouble presenting basic information. In particular, the game’s campaign map is a mess which is difficult to parse and frustrating to use. In battles, Creative Assembly make good use of visual shorthand so can you extract relevant information at a glance. The campaign map, meanwhile, is so visually busy that basic information like where your armies are and how far they can move is obscure.
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Nuked from orbit
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You probably haven’t and you probably shouldn’t. A year before the world finally got the Alien game it deserved with Alien: Isolation, the burning wheely bin known as Aliens: Colonial Marines was dragged into public view and stank out the industry with countless bugs, terrible writing, awful levels and magically teleporting NPCs. There were so many problems, they were coming out of the god damn walls. Read the rest of this entry »
Hands on with the weird glass cannons
Let me summarise my highs and lows as a Wood Elf general in one phrase: I’m very much a Dwarf guy. You know where you are with Dwarves. Or rather, you know where they are – all the way over there on that ridge, Ironbreakers in front, Quarrellers behind, Hammerers poised to waddle down the flank like a glacier performing a legal U-turn. Dwarves don’t do manoeuvres, they do gunpowder and big helmets and spurning alliances because somebody’s ancestor forgot to return the lawnmower. Micro? Well, I dare say some of those fancy northern Dawi tribes can find a use for it, but I’ve always set my watch by a good, solid shield-wall.
Wood Elves, it turns out, really, really do micro. When they aren’t doing micro, they also do getting knocked flat by a gentle breeze. A big round of applause, please, for Total War: Warhammer‘s definitive glass cannons. They’re being added to the game via the Realm Of The Wood Elves DLC and I’ve had an early play with them. Read the rest of this entry »
A winning formula?
The sponsors won’t pay out if at least one of my two drivers doesn’t finish in the top six. There are six laps to go and Mustafa El Sadat, my best hope, is in fourth place, and far enough behind the three leaders that it doesn’t seem sensible to adopt an aggressive strategy. If he can maintain his current pace, he should be able to finish fourth and while I’d prefer a podium finish, a season of work has taught me that Motorsport Manager [official site] does not reward over-ambition. This is a game in which to choose your fights carefully and to celebrate every small victory rather than pushing for the big win against the odds.
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