Posts Tagged ‘Space Week’

The Thursday Papers

HAWX: probably buff, sweaty men

Hell, any day can be round-up day. Rather than Kieron’s regular Sunday collection of notable word-sciences though, instead this is a one-off, rather more hotchpotch grab-bag of happy happenstances that have caught my eye today, as I fight the urge to pretend this has any relevancy whatsoever to Space Week.

First up, we’ve got the announcement of Tom Clancy’s HAWX, which totally sounds like a group of male strippers, but is actually an aerial combat thingum set in the GRAW universe. Which, for all the oppressively heavy branding, is actually kinda appealing – we don’t get too many dogfighters these days, so it’s nice to see a new big-money attempt at making one for a broad audience.
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SPACE WEEK: Stars Over Half Moon Bay

In a slightly more controlled frame of mind, after the sweary action below, Mr Sims, Rod Humble, of course provided us with a space-themed game last year. Stars Over Half Moon Bay is an altogether far more sedate and serene setting, focusing eyes on the stars, and moods on the chilled.

Sims 4

If you’ve played Humble’s previous game, The Marriage, you’ll know that his private game development doesn’t bear much in common with the day job. While both could be described as “obscure”, Stars is possibly a lot more accessible than Marriage, with a more immediately identifiable means of interaction. Explaining the way the game works goes against the ethos of Humble’s design, so let’s leave it with saying that you’re playing with the stars, first dancing with them, then rescuing them, and finally creating with them. Also, it has the loveliest name of all games ever.

SPACE WEEK: Fuck Space!

Yeah! In the cosmos!

How very rude.

Thank goodness for this game. Fuelled by a cold, and Morgan’s Spiced Rum, my rage was complete upon discovering Space Tripper doesn’t bloody work on my machine. It’s too good or something, meaning the game grinds to an unplayable halt after a couple of minutes. Well bang goes the idea of writing about that for Space Week then. But then what should swoop to the rescue but Cactus’ Fuck Space!, a vertically scrolling shmup of maximum greatitude.

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Making of: System Shock 2

Yeah, see what we did here.
[Since it’s Space Week, it’s a good time to pull my Edge-commissioned Making Of System Shock 2 feature out of Stasis. The material for this was drawn from the lengthy conversation I had with Ken Levine last year. So, yes, before Bioshock. I’m quite fond of this piece, if only as it reveals the secret origin of the Psychic Monkeys…]

The lights are low. Everyone’s panickedly fighting against a seemingly impossible, oppressive deadline. At every turn there’s a crippling lack of resources. Viewed by any objective criteria, the small inexperienced team doesn’t have the skills to achieve their aims. They’re all crammed into a single room – in fact, half of one, since it’s one room bisected with screens. When you look at where and how Irrational worked on their first game, it’s easy to think of the claustrophobic horror of RPG/Shooter System Shock 2 as a pure product of its environment.
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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

I’ve been pleased to see the new Crispy Gamer column about Game-health issues, as we could never write it – despite our previously discussed gaming hypochondria - because we are phenomenally lazy. Steve Steinberg gives some tips to combat Warcraft Back, which includes things which look suspiciously like Yoga. We’re not good at Yoga. We think Yoga taught Luke Skywalker to do that stuff with the Force.

Oh – This is a Space Week post because in Space, Astronauts do exercise and in the Space-future we’ll all be perfectly healthy. Millions now living will never die. Yes. Anyway – anyone got any health tips they’ll recommend? Other than doing anything obviously healthy?

Confessions Of A Shameless Gravitart

Well, not confessions exactly, just me using Space Week as a feeble excuse to recommend fine freeware involving spaceships, cramped tunnels, and towed pods.

TerraFire is the obvious place to start. Creator Owen Thomas deserves a tooth-loosening pat on the back for single-handedly crafting this gem, and a big wet French kiss for cutting the price to £0.00 last summer. DosBox may be required, but so what. The pretty parallax visuals, varied hazards, and perfect pendulum physics are well-worth a minute’s MOUNT C-ing.

Five more twirly spaceship options after the cut.
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Dawn Of War II


It’s official:

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the highly anticipated sequel from one of the industry’s premiere Real-Time Strategy developers, Relic Entertainment, is set to bring the 41st Millennium’s savage warfare to life like never before in spring 2009. Powered by an enhanced version of Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will take players to the brutal frontlines of war where they’ll experience intense action and visceral combat through a non-linear single player experience and a fully co-operative multiplayer campaign.

Soulstorm owners will get access to the multiplayer beta, whenever that might be. More info coming up later in the week, apparently.