All posts under Feature

By on June 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Murdered: Soul Suspect feels hollow, and that’s not just because you’re a ghost. Remember the good-looking but detached dalliances you might’ve had with Asura’s Wrath and/or Beyond: Two Souls? This is like that. It has that exact same inconsequential feel of having been intended as a movie, but made by people who ended up in games.

Which sucks even more in this case, because MSS’ narrative is only compelling in so far as it’s a mystery. Every well-worn cinematic cliché and dramatic device of the afterlife is good and accounted for here…

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By on June 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

By now we’ve all heard of Ubisoft Game, and if you haven’t, then you’ve been living under a rock. Ubisoft Game is the latest in a long line of titles from Ubisoft, and with a bigger budget than ever before and no less than 75 of Ubisoft’s 193 global studios working on it, there’s no doubt that this year’s Ubisoft Game is going to be the big one.

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Watch Dogs

By on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 am

If you’ve seen literally any advertising for Watch Dogs at all then you’ve seen what Ubisoft wanted you to see: Aiden Pearce, hacker extraordinaire, clutching his phone in one hand and a pistol in the other. Watch Dogs is Aiden’s story, but because Watch Dogs is an open-world game, Ubisoft have been obliged to fill the world with things that are not Aiden’s story: car races, control point hacks, in-progress crimes, song stealing unlocks, check-in mini-games, blah blah blah blah.

One of these things is the multiplayer invasion scenario, and — despite the millions of dollars that Ubisoft have poured into Watch Dogs — this tiny facet of the game is far and away the most innovate, interesting and exciting thing to come out of Ubisoft’s intended new blockbuster.

That’s not to say that Watch Dogs isn’t good. It’s certainly technically accomplished, very pretty to look at (although the keyboard and mouse support is really bad, and I’m having some amazing texture and flickering issues on PC — yet I’m still one of the lucky ones because I can actually play) and has, at least on paper, all the right ingredients for a good open-world game. So why is it that all I can bring myself to do is fire up the online hacking contract mode again and again?

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Everquest Next Landmark

By on May 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm

“Maybe you’re just tired of the genre?”

Every time I try to communicate my frustration at the glacial pace of innovation within MMOs, somebody comes along and says something similar to the above phrase. After all, when you have millions of active players sharing a pliable world, why should we attempt to widen the length and breadth of our thinking? Why not simply bash away at the same beasts, the same quests and the same dungeons over and over again? Am I right? No, actually. It’s been 15 years since EverQuest created the base line for what a 3D online role playing game should have been, and since then we’ve refined that concept to the point where the model is almost perfect. The problem is the players — they’re no longer happy just being pawns within the walled playground.

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By on May 29, 2014 at 2:01 am

About a year ago, Bethesda assembled a new development team out of alumni from studios including Valve, Treyarch, BioWare, and 343 Studios. We knew they were working on a free-to-play title. Everything else was kept tightly under wraps.

After all the secrecy, the cloth has been whisked aside. The bad is that it isn’t a free-to-play Fallout MMO, one of the most popular guesses from fans.

The good news is that we instead have Battlecry, a new IP that has the potential to be a very interesting contender in the crowded PC free-to-play space.

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The Evil Within

By on May 27, 2014 at 11:31 pm

First things first: at the time of writing, Bethesda popped up out of the hedges and told us out of nowhere that The Evil Within’s release has been pushed back to October, “so Shinji Mikami and his team can even further balance and refine the game.”

This is not a massive surprise. The preview sesh I was at was pretty suspect, consisting of an opening sequence and two E3 demos, both of which were incredibly conspicuous. Why? Because of how utterly random they were.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order

By on May 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Wolfenstein: The New Order is pleasantly straightforward. That’s not to say it’s boring, or uninteresting, or shallow, but rather that, much like the blunt instrument to which main character BJ Blazkowicz is likened, Wolfenstein delivers maximum punch with zero pull, and doesn’t really give a toss whether or not you think that’s a good idea. It’s rare in the year 2014 that you get to fire up a game and literally just blast robot Nazis away with gloriously automatic twin shotguns, and Wolfenstein delivers that in spades while, somehow, managing to remain interesting.

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By on May 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm

One of the (few) luxuries of being a freelance games journalist is that I rarely tend to be uninformed when it comes to most titles. Many of my colleagues are generally across almost every inch of every genre of every platform; meaning I usually know what’s good and what’s not by the time embargo lifts. But every now and again, just like everyone else, I fall head over heels with the idea or the concept, rewatching trailers and gasping at the pure adrenaline of the hype.

Deep down I know it’s a poor idea, with every ounce of logic in my body pushing against the charging train of sheer want. So I preorder. I preorder Sim City.  I preorder X: Rebirth. I preorder Diablo 3.  I beg and plead for early keys from the online grey suppliers, desperate for the bucket of games heroin to quench my nagging thirst. But the payoff, when it finally, initially blissfully, arrives, I’m left wanting: The game is bad.

But the marketplace is not the same arena that it once was, where games came permanently hardcoded onto cartridges, CDs and DVDs. There were no updates, patches, mods or expansions back in the golden days, so if a title was poor, it stayed poor for eternity. Game breaking bugs could destroy the livelihoods of a developer, squandering years of work in a matter of days and weeks as returns and leftovers piled up on store shelves. But in 2014 things are different.

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By on May 21, 2014 at 1:30 am

Atmosphere. Bastion had it in spades, and it’s hard to imagine a reality in which Transistor—the next game from Supergiant Games—would deliver anything less. As Red, a famous singer mysteriously left mute and somehow embroiled in the mess her home city has become, players will find themselves drawn into Transistor as key information about the world is carefully and precisely meted out over the course of six or so hours.

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By on May 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Wolfenstein: The New Order is out today, and its 40 GB download is a clear homage to the days of the original Wolfenstein 3D’s 4MB download. Much like the first download, this one too takes place over an internet connection, although it’s likely that you’re now packing a better connection than you were back in 1992! Probably. If you’re not, well, I don’t even know how you’re reading this. God, I’m sorry.

Anyway, this download is pretty big. Machine Games have really packed a lot of data in those 40 gigabytes, probably more than 40 GB actually. This thing is probably going to expand. The system requirements call for 48 GB of hard drive space, so there’s at least another 8 GB to find in there. What a thrilling introduction to an article. Here’s some stuff you can do while waiting for it to download.

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Skyrim (via Dead End Thrills)

By on May 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

With Bethesda widely expected to announced a major new RPG at this year’s E3 conference next month, we asked the company’s Global Director of PR and Marketing what he thought made Skyrim such a breakout success for the company. While Skyrim did herald major changes to the game’s appearance and continued tweaks to the formula, Hines said that there was more to it than just simple continual upgrades.

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Earth 2066

By on May 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

It’s easy to understand the appeal of crowdfunding, at least on paper — being able to pick and choose the projects that the community feels need direct support, and ensuring that they get a decent chance at completion. The reality, however, is much more fractious and complex. I’ve made it fairly clear over a number of features and editorials on this wonderful website, that crowdfunding of titles and the new regime of pre-funding development isn’t something I feel is a great idea.

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The Elder Scrolls Online

By on May 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm

It’s been a couple of weeks since we last checked in with Grabnadz, the orc mage-tank. When we wrote our last journal entry we’d just hit level 15, and were on our way out of the first zone and into the wider world. Having just dinged 30, I think it’s a good time to make some notes on what’s working in TESO so far and what just really isn’t.

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Bound by Flame

By on May 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

Bound by Flame is the latest RPG from developers Spiders, and is probably their boldest and darkest effort yet. Releasing just today, you play as a mercenary possessed by a flame demon who has to constantly struggle with embracing the dark powers it offers or fighting against it, which sounds like the makings of a good moral struggle — if they can pull it off.

Before you put any money down, why not see the game in action below? Jess picks up her daggers and heads off to hunt a werebeast.

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By on May 8, 2014 at 11:41 am

Survival games are interesting beasts. On the one hand their unforgiving nature, lack of obvious structure or direction, and ability to create unscripted suspense and horror stand as arguably the most redeeming parts of this burgeoning new genre. But on the other, a lack of community or player cohesion and little consequence for griefing, camping and harassment — alongside the absolutely staggering difficulty — scares away hoards of potential players, leaving almost all the power in the hands of a few aggressive individuals, a handful of hackers and a couple of server admins with god complexes.

The latest gladiator to enter this bloody arena is Nether, yet another Early Access title that combines a similar experience to titles like Dust or DayZ but also introduces a number of additional elements, such as world events, objectives and an optional “safezone” (which ironically isn’t actually all that safe). But I digress. Nether is… confusing.

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By on May 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Jess fires up Daylight, the procedurally-generated horror/exploration game from Zombie Studios, for a trip through the bowels of an abandoned hospital.

The idea behind Daylight is that it’s different every time and you need to play a few times to get the full picture, which means lots of exposure to an incredibly tense but also sometimes tedious game environment. Take a look.

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Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

By on May 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Late last week, the next Call of Duty game was leaked ahead of time. Activision later confirmed the leak, revealing Advanced Warfare — which is, essentially, Call of Duty in the near-future with robotic exoskeleton suits and hoverbikes.

But we went a step further than that and actually drove to Activision’s offices to rummage through their trash. Fortunately for us, they forgot to shred one of their scripts, and we’ve wiped the stains off it and transcribed it for you here.

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