Styx out of ten
A few years ago, I probably would have forgiven Styx: Shards of Darkness [official site] a multitude of sins (and though there is not a multitude, there is one honking great sin). A proper stealth game that isn’t low-rent or poorly balanced, with a choice of paths and abilities but which doesn’t devolve into routine action – we didn’t used to get too many of them.
Recent times have given us new Dishonoreds and Deus Exes and Metal Gear Solids and Hitmen, endless Assassin’s Creeds and even a so-so Thief, the game Styx most resembles. Hell, even the new Zelda game has a functional stealth element to it. We are spoilt for stealth choice, and that makes this fantasy wall-hugging sequel a tough sell. What it’s got on its side is purity. What it has against it is its lead character. Read the rest of this entry »
aka my son is the harbinger of the apocalypse
I’ve been hanging around with a bad crowd, staying up all night, attending weird orgies and torturing rivals until they embrace the teachings of Lucifer. Last night I ate my cousin because the Devil told me to do it. Crusader Kings 2 [official site] has always had a bit of a dark side, but with the new Monks and Mystics DLC, it’s been cranked up to 666.
Ostensibly, Monks and Mystics is all about opening up new roleplaying possibilities in regards to faith. You can join a variety of societies, including monastic orders, secret organisations and devilish cults. These sects offer new ways to interact with the religious side of medieval society and for the adventurous can offer strange powers, forbidden knowledge, and the ability to champion heretical religions. Guess which path I followed?
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"They'll never know we were here"
Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site] is Ubisoft’s latest open-world co-op narco war. I played some of it during the beta, along with Graham, and I came out of it feeling like a tub of old bath water. Lukewarm and slightly dirty. I only knew for certain that I actively disliked it when I was stricken down by one of its insta-fail stealth missions. Cast away from my carefully selected sniping spot on a sandy ridge because of a single stray bullet and dumped on the other side of the mission area, where I would have to repeat the cautious approach, the enemy spotting and the multiple silent kills all over again. It is 2017 and insta-fail stealth missions still exist. Why? Read the rest of this entry »
I suspect that everyone who makes games wishes they’d made Spelunky. Effectively perfect game design, unconstrained by the heavy flab of spectacle. Loot Rascals [official site] takes that game’s random generation, escalating challenge, extreme balancing, minimal explaining and daily runs and applies it all to a slick, playful roguelite and collectable card game hybrid. Then slathers gloriously weird creature design all over it.
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Police, ambulance or fire services?
A few days before Christmas, I was involved in a car accident. No-one was seriously hurt, but I spent 90 minutes stood alone on a central reservation, shaking from both cold and shock, watching car after car after car nearly collide with my own wrecked and dangerously stranded vehicle, waiting for police who never came. I called twice. Both times I was told they’d be right there. They did not show (FYI roadside recovery did eventually, an hour after their ETA). I was as furious as I was terrified.
15 minutes with 911 Operator [official site] was all it took to entirely sympathise with why they didn’t send a car out. Read the rest of this entry »
Wraps up well
For a while there, back in 2014, we were rather excited to see Four Sided Fantasy [official site]. Then things went quiet. And then, er, the game came out last August. Oops. So why now? Well, I was looking up Four Last Things, the bonkers (and a bit annoying, honestly) Renaissance painting adventure, and clicked the wrong button. Yeah. Welcome to RPS.
Crikey, Four Sided Fantasy is rather good. It’s not too late to tell you. Read the rest of this entry »