Posts Tagged ‘wot i think’

The Flare Path: Mostly Positive

Ultimate General: Civil War has travelled a fair-old distance since I Early Accessed it late last year. Game-Labs’ spectacular sprite slaughterhouse is now bigger, better, and even more approachable. I like it a lot, but not quite enough to pin a prestigious RPS Recommended rosette on its breast. Read the rest of this entry »

LawBreakers is a zero-gravity FPS that nearly touches the sky

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It’s hard not to get excited about LawBreakers‘ [official site] simple hook: flying military grunts with rockets strapped to their feet zip around zero gravity arenas dodging grenades and pumping bullets into each other. I’m happy to report that it’s as fun as it sounds, and its ideas set it apart from other games in the genre. Yet what has impressed me more is how polished it is away from those aerial segments, which actually only make up part of the action. Far from a one-trick pony, LawBreakers is a rock solid shooter with game modes that necessitate team play, and although it’s not fully complete yet (there’s ranked play coming soon) it’s got enough variety to keep me coming back for more. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nidhogg 2

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Abstract multiplayer fencing game Nidhogg didn’t need its minimalist style to be buried under a splatter of aggressively grotesque paint and gore. It didn’t need extra weapons to upset the perfect balance and precision of its two-button combat. It certainly didn’t need its titular wurms to chew the air with stumpy rotten teeth.

All a Nidhogg sequel really needs, to justify its existence entirely, is better netcode and maybe a couple of new modes to play with. By messing with the original formula, particularly with that divisive visual switch, Nidhogg 2 [official site] risks proving that more can sometimes be less. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Agents Of Mayhem

Agents Of Mayhem [official site] should not be judged for not being a Saints Row game. Volition are under no obligation to keep making that series, even after they struck on such extraordinary gold with SR III and IV. Agents Of Mayhem loosely shares the same universe, albeit mostly via the presence of the colour purple and fleurs-de-lis. There are also a few half-familiar character names, and a DLC that lets you add Johnny Gat into the mix, but beyond this AoM and SR are separate games. Different types of games. You can’t measure Agents Of Mayhem against Saints Row in a sensible way. Still, it doesn’t stop them trying, and, well, you know, it’s nowhere near as good as the recent Saints Row games. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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The voices won’t stop. They’re whispering in my ear, gnawing at my skull from all angles. “Turn back”, one says. “They’re watching you”. “She falls for their tricks every time,” says another, cackling while Senua screams. More than once during Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice [official site] I had to fight the urge to rip the headphones from my ears. As a portrayal of how harrowing it is to live with psychosis it undoubtedly succeeds, and it uses Senua’s illness as a route into an excellent eight-hour story about love and loss. But, sometimes, especially in its combat segments, it’s also difficult to play for the wrong reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: West of Loathing

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When I play games, my face (oh, it is tired) spends 90% of the time entirely inert, and the remaining 10% wincing or eye-rolling when something kills me and/or I fall off some ledge to my doom. Neither is from a lack of enjoyment, but just from being lost in an internal world of pursuing goals. You almost certainly look equally unsettling when you’re gaming.

In West of Loathing [official site], I would estimate I spent 95% of the time smiling. If you knew me (and you don’t – only my cat truly knows me) you’d know that’s highly unusual. West Of Loathing, a lovely, warm comedy RPG set in an only slightly supernatural wild west, makes me feel so happy.
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Wot I Think: corporate espionage adventure The Low Road

Who hasn’t dreamed of the exciting world of corporate espionage? The Low Road [official site] is an adventure about business spying in the 1970s, but does it survive inspection under a magnifying glass? Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Long Dark’s Story Mode – Wintermute Episode 1

The Long Dark‘s [official site] story mode, Wintermute, is finally with us. Well, the first two fifths are, of what developers Hinterland are calling the first season. Due to review code only showing up yesterday, I’ve been able to complete the first (“Do Not Go Gentle”) of the two eps before launch, so below am reviewing that episode on its own. I’ll be back with more details about episode two (“Luminance Fugue”), very soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Darkside Detective

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Officer Dooley is the best point and click character I’ve met in ages, and I say that having thoroughly enjoyed the company of Thimbleweed Park’s misfits and misanthropes. Dooley is on a different level though. Maybe it’s that he’s unvoiced and yet so smartly written that I can hear his every word, or maybe it’s that he’s secretly the world’s laziest anarchist trapped inside the uniform of a policeman.

He’s the best thing about The Darkside Detective [official site], a small but perfectly formed paranormal adventure that is full of good things.

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Wot I Think: Solstice Chronicles: MIA

I have a fairly sketchy history of what, for want of a proper genre name, we’ll call Alien Breed-like games. They’re top-down or isometric shooters in which you contend with onslaughts of skittery or lumbery alien enemies, while hoovering up weapons and ammo and dashing about opening doors. They peaked, I think it’s fair to say, with Frozenbyte’s Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor, and Valve’s freebie Alien Swarm in 2010 gave us the best co-op incarnation of the form. But despite being able to pluck out examples from various years (not least Sigma Team’s series of Alien Shooter and Zombie Shooter series spanning a decade of releases) it still seems a very under-served format, not least in terms of experimentation and evolution.

Solstice Chronicles: MIA [official site] arrives to offer an attempt at the former, but unfortunately doesn’t much succeed at the latter.

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Wot I Think: The Automatician

Hyperbolic responses to you successfully completing a challenge are a perennial issue in puzzle games. When it comes to no-frills mobile puzzling, and for no sensible reason it throws up the word “OUTSTANDING!” at you no matter how tricky the conundrum, it’s pleasantly silly. But when a game tries to add an element of narrative to the situation, where characters fall over themselves to bestow you with accolades on clicking through a mundane brain-teaser with little effort. “Astonishing!” they ejaculate after you turn all three lights green or whatmaybe. “You truly are the chosen one! Have my firstborn!” It starts to feel more than a little disingenuous. It is unfortunate that such nonsense runs through the core of The Automatician [official site]. It doesn’t help that the main puzzle idea itself just isn’t that good. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Aven Colony

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My stint as the governor of an off-world colony has gone a bit pear-shaped. I’ve got aliens to worry about, toxic fumes are floating in from the east, lightning has set fire to my farms and shards are falling from the heavens, smashing into my vulnerable habitats. If that’s not enough of a pain in the arse, protesters have taken to the streets, complete with massive holographic slogans. Playing Aven Colony [official site] is like trying to make a house of cards next to an open window.

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Wot I Think: The End Is Nigh

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You can’t walljump. For me, this is what defines The End Is Nigh [official site], the hardcore platformer from Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel. McMillen’s last co-created platformer was Super Meat Boy, a game that made simply moving left and right a kinetic joy. The End Is Nigh is by comparison a slower but no less difficult game. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Kingsway

Goodness me, Kingsway [official site] is clever. It’s clever in so, so many ways. It’s clever in its absolutely spectacular presentation, but it’s far too clever to let that just be a gimmick – its peculiar appearance as a mid-90s Windows desktop could so easily have been a cute idea that hid an ordinary roguelite RPG, but instead it so very brilliantly influences how you play, and indeed the foibles of such an interface become crucial to how you experience it. It’s also really bloody tough. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Unturned

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I’ve been wondering for a while what kinds of games kids who grew up playing Minecraft and Roblox would go on to make for themselves. This is a generation that’s been immersed in modding culture and open objectives since it could grasp a mouse, and I’m fascinated to see how that might have formed new attitudes to games in general.

One particular answer is Unturned [official site], a free-to-play Day-Glo take on DayZ. Made by a Canadian school student, it’s just come out of Early Access, where it attracted nearly 25 million players. But was that simply because it’s free, or is there more to uncover in Unturned? Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Yonder – The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Ignore the silly name, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles [official site] is pretty special. A combat-free, risk-free game of exploration and meandering, farming and cat-gathering, questing and lazily fishing. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Serial Cleaner

I don’t like it when I don’t know if I like something or not. After this many years of wibbling about games, I feel as though my Iron Hammer Of Judgement should be absolute. With 70s-styled stealth puzzle game Serial Cleaner [official site], though, I am confounded. Time and again, I fire it up and my brain clearly tells me “yeah, I really dig this”, but a few minutes later I’ve alt-F4ed right outta Dodge and am busy making a colleague endure my shower of invective about the game.

I tried to come up with a more insightful way of putting this, but all I’ve ended up with is this: Serial Cleaner is a really good game put inside the shell of a bad one. Or maybe vice-versa. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Elder Scrolls: Legends

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It’s a card game! As discussed on this week’s podcast, I’ve been somehow saddled with the reputation of being “the collectible cards game guy” at RPS. This is partly my own fault due to my Duelyst-ing but also partly due to my fellow journos typecasting me, like some kind of grubby-fingered Bryan Cranston. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember when I became “the tanks guy” because I once asked too many questions about tanks?
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Wot I Think: thievery digital boardgame Antihero

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The quintessential element of boardgaming, I would argue, is the OH YOU BASTARD moment. When your world falls apart because long-brewed plans are coldly destroyed by another player’s action that you never saw coming. When, just for a blood-red second, you genuinely wish sudden death upon them.

Sure, multiplayer videogames frequently involve such emotions, but there’s a more transitory quality to them – you lost that round, that base got swiped, that idiot shot you in the back of the head. You move onto some other priority almost immediately. Turn-based strategy games are closer, but even then they generally work on such a scale that you’ve got something else to focus on when disaster strikes.

Boardgames, often briefer, often dependent on one core plan, will rip your heart out. Antihero [official site]? Yeah, that does that. Even if you’re playing it on your own. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Black The Fall

In development for quite a while, Black The Fall [official site] meandered through Early Access (then removed), Kickstarter, and Square Enix’s Collective indie publishing label. And today it’s finally out. But can it survive its inevitable comparisons to Limbo and Inside? Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »