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Ancient Space photo
Ancient Space

Ancient Space is a new space RTS from Paradox Interactive


Dwight Schultz is in it! Murdock from the A-team!!
Aug 21
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're anxiously waiting for that Homeworld HD remake to arrive, we can console ourselves with another nice-looking space-based RTS game in Ancient Space which will dock with us later in the autumn for PC and Mac. Develop...
Story Bundle photo
Story Bundle

The Video Game 4.0 collection from Story Bundle is out now


There's two music albums included too
Aug 20
// Alasdair Duncan
I've barely finished reading the titles I bought with the last videogame-themed offer from Story Bundle and now the fourth one is here for us to enjoy. As always, there's a great mix of books on offer and for the first time, ...
Hotline Miami 2 photo
Hotline Miami 2

Here's 80 minutes of leaked Hotline Miami 2 footage


Guess what, it looks a lot like Hotline Miami
Aug 20
// Alasdair Duncan
A YouTube user named LennyReviews has stumbled across some alpha footage of Hotline Miami 2 and has posted a whopping 80-minute-plus video of the hotly anticipated release from Dennatron and Devolver Digital. This is suppose...
PC games photo
PC games

Anyone surprised to hear 92% of all PC game sales are digital?


Digital sales are up 16% over 2012
Aug 19
// Alasdair Duncan
To the surprise of probably no one, it looks like the vast majority of PC games that are sold are through digital channels. PC site PCR has been told by analyst DFC Intelligence that in 2013, 92% of games sold were digital, w...
Humble Bundle photo
Humble Bundle

The Humble Jumbo Bundle includes Terraria, Deadlight, and more


There's $210 worth of games on offer
Aug 19
// Alasdair Duncan
The Humble Bundle is always good value for money but it differs for person to person; is it worth buying a bundle that includes several games you already own? Maybe, but I know I'll be getting the new Humble Jumbo Bundle for ...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 will be released on September 19


Just one month to go for the post-apocalyptic RPG
Aug 19
// Alasdair Duncan
Just a few weeks ago, we let you know that the much anticipated Wasteland 2 was being delayed a few weeks into September. Now we've gotten word from inXile head Brian Fargo that the game will finally be with us on September 1...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

Star Citizen breaks the $50 million mark


All aboard your $350 luxury space craft
Aug 18
// Alasdair Duncan
Remember that animated .gif of Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata holding a DS and proclaiming "It prints money"? You could probably do the same with a picture of Chris Roberts and his pet project Star Citizen. The ambitious ...
Sacred 3 photo
Sacred 3

A Sacred 3 developer apologizes for the game


It is currently sitting at zero positive reviews on Steam
Aug 18
// Alasdair Duncan
Sacred 3 wasn't a very well received game; I felt it was an average and uninspired hack-'n'-slash game with some terrible attempts at humor. Comments on my review either sided on "hey, it's not too bad in co-op," to "this is ...
Pro Evolution photo
Pro Evolution

Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 declares 'the pitch is ours' in November


CGI Mario Götze is freaking me out
Aug 13
// Alasdair Duncan
I'll be honest, I haven't played a Pro Evolution Soccer game since the PlayStation 2 days but after the series lagged behind EA's FIFA juggernaut for the last few years, I'm keen to try the series again on a current-gen platf...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Phil Spencer wants the Xbox One to 'win' this generation's console war


Gotta lot of work to do, then
Aug 13
// Alasdair Duncan
The idea of the console war -- that the big console makers are locked in this all-or-nothing struggle for hearts and minds -- has gotten sillier as I've gotten older. Still, Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer has told Game Informe...
Hideo Kojima photo
Hideo Kojima

Hideo Kojima not keen on remaking his previous games


If he had to choose MGS 1 would be the one
Aug 13
// Alasdair Duncan
Considering most of the Metal Gear Solid games have been re-released in various fashions over the years, it's surprising that Hideo Kojima isn't too keen on remaking his older games. When asked at Konami's Metal Gear Solid V ...
Forza Horizon 2 photo
Forza Horizon 2

This Forza Horizon 2 trailer uses the word 'social' too much


Social, connected, social, connected
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Okay, maybe the snarky headline was a bit mean but the devs behind Forza Horizon 2 are really making sure that you know that the game is social and connected. Aside from those buzzwords, what does that actually mean in terms...
PS4 photo
PS4

PS4 update will let friends join games they don't own


Share Play feature will roll out in the Autumn
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Included in Sony's big fall update will be the ability to join in with your friends' gaming experience, even if you don't own the game itself. Share Play is being described as a "virtual couch" and is online co-op multiplayer...
WiLD photo
WiLD

Rayman creator Michel Ancel unveils WiLD, a caveman Monster Hunter


It has wolf puppies!
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Folk have been wondering what Michel Ancel's new project is and today we got our answer, WiLD. We saw a lovely looking trailer with lush forest, verdant grasslands and a pair of hunters trying to live off the land.  Anc...
Driveclub photo
Driveclub

I'm not the first to say this but Driveclub looks gorgeous


Team-based racing sounds really appealing
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
The last racing game to really hook me was Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit thanks, in no small measure, to the Autolog. Racing against friends was compulsive and really fun, so if Driveclub can do the same but let me race with m...
Shadow of Mordor photo
Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor looks good but is it Lord of the Rings?


No hobbits here, sir
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has gotten a lot of people excited because of its seemingly great combat and interesting reputation system but is it me, or does it just look like a generic dark fantasy game? I'll be honest, m...
Hellblade photo
Hellblade

Hellblade is the new game from Ninja Theory


Really, that's it's name?
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Yay! A new game from Ninja Theory that's been straddled with one of the most unimaginative names I can remember. Hellblade? Sure, there's not been a game called that already? No release date so far but it will be a console exclusive on PS4. 
Ethan Carter photo
Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has me intrigued


Ghosts!
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
I still don't know a lot about The Vanishing of Ethan Carter apart from some beautiful screenshots and an intriguing name. Thankfully this gamescom trailer from Sony's press conference didn't give a lot away; is it a supernatural murder mystery game? Sure, sign me up for some that.
Little Big Planet photo
Little Big Planet

LittleBigPlanet 3 gets a new gamescom trailer


Sackboy's back
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
LittleBigPlanet is coming back to a Sony console, with LittleBigPlanet 3 coming to PS4 on November 18. Sackboy is back and he's brought some new friends with him -- Oddsock, Swoop, and Toggle -- which will hopefully mean we'll see unique characters used in co-op games, instead of lots of Sackboys (cute as they are). Check out the new trailer above.
Origin PCs photo
Origin PCs

Origin is offering 4K-ready PCs for less than $4K


Which is still a lot of money
Aug 11
// Alasdair Duncan
True story time, kids: On Friday, there was a power outage in my apartment complex and when it was restored a few hours later, my PC refused to boot. I'm hoping it's just the PSU that's blown but my suspicions are that my mot...
gamescom photo
gamescom

Here's a look at what's happening at gamescom


There's a bevy of press conferences happening in Germany
Aug 11
// Alasdair Duncan
We've already gotten the news from Activision's Call of Duty event earlier today but there's plenty of big things happening at gamescom this week. Here's an idea of when you're going to hear all the news from Microsoft, Sony,...
Hotline Miami photo
Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is bludgeoning its way onto PS4


Still no word on a release date for the sequel
Aug 11
// Alasdair Duncan
I know one of the ways I'm going to fill the gap between now and the release of Hotline Miami 2 later this year is.... by playing more Hotline Miami. Especially now as Devolver Digital is releasing the original Hotline Miami...
Activision photo
Activision

Activision: Pre-orders are declining, Call of Duty 'not immune'


This is despite Destiny's high pre-order numbers
Aug 06
// Alasdair Duncan
Pre-orders seem like they're part and parcel of videogame culture -- retailers want your money as soon as possible and publishers like to gauge how many people want a particular game. However, Activision Publishing president ...

Review: Sacred 3

Aug 06 // Alasdair Duncan
Sacred 3 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Keen GamesPublisher: Deep SilverMRSP: $59.99/£39.99Release: August 1, 2014 (Europe) / August 5, 2014 (North America) Where to begin? Let's start with the story that has the Dark Elf lord Zane invading the peaceful region of Arcania where a sacred artifact is held. Standing in his way are a band of heroes who are committed to foiling his plans, along with a powerful telepath Aria. It's all fairly standard fantasy stuff but there's a real disconnect between the fantasy trope of invading dark army/plucky band of unique heroes and the tone of how it all plays out.  From the chirpy voice over to the silly dialog that robs villains of any sense of dread or malevolence, Sacred 3 seems to be in search of whether to play it straight or not. The first few levels have your hero chasing Karr Tel, a pirate and slaver who is evil enough to destroy an entire city but silly enough to taunt you about how bad scurvy is. One character even uses the term "noob. The lighthearted tone permeates some parts of the game (look at some of the silliness in the characters' bio pages) but not all of them. There's nothing wrong with humor in a game like this but why not go all the way and make the character's special moves funny or satirical? Sacred 3 is happy enough to have a horny wizard shout remarks about threeways but most of the game is played totally straight and the attempts at humor are jarring and just not funny. [embed]279030:55135:0[/embed] There are four heroes to choose from: Claire the Seraphim, a swift swordswoman; Alithea the Lancer, a ranged warrior; Marak the Safari, a tough tank class; and Vajra the Archer who deals in ranged damage. All the classes do handle slightly differently but you'll spend a good deal of your time left clicking on things until they die or blow up, which is what you'd expect from an action-RPG. You are, however, limited to just a two supplemental attacks -- one light and one heavy. As you unlock them by progressing through the game, each hero will have three or four to select from but progression is really slow; to fully unlock one of Alithea's starting skills (which only has four levels), you'll need to progress to level 33 which is a real slog. Gating progression is expected but usually there's plenty of leeway in customizing your character's skills and talents; in Sacred 3, you're really only presented with a single option every time you level up.  What's also missing is all the sweet loot that you'd normally crave. Weapons are dished out at the end of a level but you're left with one main weapon for an entire mission. Having limited weapons does mean that they all feel slightly distinctive, and picking one for an entire mission means you have time to get used to it, but there's a lack of weight to the combat. Some bonuses that are bestowed by captured spirits can buff certain attacks and do make a difference and it's neat that there are bonuses and penalties that will affect your character and party, so there's room for some customization. Like a lot of games, there's more enjoyment to be had here in co-op, especially if there's some good cooperation between players as to controlling large groups of enemies and targeting specific champions.  It's a shame that for every good thing that game does, there's two or three things dragging it down. The charge-up gust that's mapped to the right mouse button is a great addition as allows you to break enemy shields, disrupt traps, and knock over smaller enemies but aiming is done with the mouse so you have to constantly adjust your character's position with the keyboard. The dodge command is mapped to the space bar but again, you'll dodge in the direction the mouse cursor is pointing. This does take a lot of getting used to and once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to zip round the battlefield.  Playing with a controller works just fine as an alternative rather than using the WASD keys for movement. Visually, the game does a decent job of presenting itself. Shown mainly from an isometric viewpoint, the character models are distinct but there's plenty of times when there's so much happening it's hard to make out how many enemies you're facing. There's a nice scale to the levels -- these aren't your dank dungeons as most are happening outside during the daylight. Occasionally, the camera will shift to an alternate angle. There's an impressive amount of things happening on lower levels, like trolls tossing rocks at a city or a mass jailbreak happening. The character design is so-so but it's fairly easy to tell each hero apart on the battlefield when you're playing co-op. As I mentioned earlier, it seems churlish to criticize Sacred 3 for breaking away from the series' APRG roots but the problem is that there's nothing that quite fills the gap of leveling up your character or voraciously guzzling loot drops. For all its streamlining of the leveling systems and loot, Sacred 3 just feels lightweight and simplistic. That's not even mentioning the flat attempts at humor and some crude jokes that you'll be putting up with in the early levels. As it stands, Sacred 3 feels distinctly average. The game works well enough at what it presents and is largely annoyance-free (though the checkpointing system could be better and I had a save-game issue where my progress wasn't saved from one session to another) but there's better and more rewarding games out there right now that you should seek out first.
Sacred 3 review photo
Taking the action and RPG out of an ARPG
"I love it." The specter of Diablo looms large over the action-RPG genre; most games borrow heavily from Blizzard's seminal game and those games' success is usually judged on how close they stick to the formula and how well t...

Point Perfect photo
Point Perfect

Point Perfect makes clicking and dragging fun


Get your mouse hand limbered up
Aug 04
// Alasdair Duncan
There aren't too many games that can promise a "less is more" experience. Most of the time, games are trying to cram more and more features and controls to build a well-rounded experience. Point Perfect is a bit different; t...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Final version of Wasteland 2 likely delayed into September


The delay is due to manufacturing physical versions
Aug 04
// Alasdair Duncan
Another day, another delay. It turns out that Wasteland 2 will be likely be missing the August launch date for a release in the first half of September instead. An update on the game's Kickstarter page revealed the delay is d...

Review: Gods Will Be Watching

Aug 01 // Alasdair Duncan
Gods Will Be Watching (PC [reviewed], Mac, Linux)Developer: DeconstucteamPublisher: Devolver DigitalMRSP: $9.99 / £6.99Released: July 24, 2014 Gods Will Be Watching is one of the most grueling gaming experiences you can have. It puts you in charge of characters who are in a real tough spot and tasks you to simply survive. It's not easy and you'll gnash your teeth at the frustration of it all but it's worth grinding through -- there's a good story here about survival, camaraderie, and what a person will do to stay alive. Set against a backdrop of rebellion in an oppressive intergalactic empire (they've banned coffee!), Sgt. Burden must keep his group of researchers alive while stranded on an icy planet. The narrative jumps around between different time periods so pay attention, as there's some plot details that are easy to miss if you're just clicking through all the dialogue. The game will put you in a number of scenarios that you'll have to "manage," for lack of a better term, to succeed. Although Gods Will Be Watching controls like a point-'n'-click adventure game, it doesn't play like one. The challenge comes not from puzzle solving, but from keeping track of different factors in the scenario that you have to balance to succeed. Take the opening situation, which sees you control a Xenolifer rebel called Abraham. He's tasked with keeping a group of hostages under control as the rebel leader Liam tries to hack into a secure database. While he's doing that, a security team is slowing inching its way forward and if it gets to the door, it's curtains for the rebels. [embed]278671:55107:0[/embed] The key here is balance. You need to make sure the hostages are fairly calm -- but not so calm that they get confident and try to take Abraham out -- and not too scared that they decide to make a run for it. You can berate and kick them to keep them in line and even shoot them in the legs if you decide it's necessary. Rebel member Jack is keeping watch at the door and can fire a few shots to get the security team to back off or try and threaten them to stay put or the hostages will die. The former will scare the hostages but will force the security team to retreat while negotiating will make them hold their position but won't rattle your captives. You must maintain the situation while Liam is hacking the database and it just feels like it takes so long for that progress bar to move on. Let's get this out of the way here: you will fail this mission the first time you try it. You'll also fail the second time, the third, and most likely the fourth. Maybe at the fifth attempt you'll get close to completing the hack. The most important thing to note is the turn process which isn't labelled on any HUD but shows up on your list of options as either red or cyan. Red options will usually move the scenario forward, like for instance the security team will move along the corridor in the hostage situation if you select a red action. Cyan options tend to have no consequence or don't put anything at risk, like alternating the security camera or non-critical dialogue options. Understanding the difference between the two and realizing that you have a set amount of turns to last, or manage, is key to succeeding. It does take away some of the immersion in the experience though as scenarios become more like working out an optimal order in which to have your actions play out. That's not to say that there's a fixed way of getting through things as characters' responses will vary and it certainly doesn't feel like the same things play themselves out time after time. While each scenario is designed to be replayed, it can get frustrating having to play an entire sequence repeatedly only to fail right at the end. The story is really interesting, full of intrigue and deception and the dialogue is pretty well written but once you see the same lines pop up again and again, some of that freshness starts to drip away. What also diminishes the drama is the flatness of presentation; while the art style is well executed and colorful, everything is presented in flat text so it can be hard to gauge any kind of nuance or subtlety in a conversation. This just adds to the mechanical feel of each chapter, which isn't there the first time you play a scenario; it's just, each time you fail, the game feels more and more mechanical. There are effective bits of sound design that are sparingly used, including one wince-inducing moment involving a hammer and some teeth. Gods Will Be Watching is a tough sell as it's a game that only gives out as much as you put into it. When you fail, take a step back, examine the scenario, and work out a better strategy. Then just keep at it and you'll find you're able to make progress and unravel a rewarding story. There aren't that many chapters in total, so while it's short in structure you are going to play each chapter over and over again. Achievements add little challenges to each scenario but please don't try for them on your first round. There is an easy mode which isn't the default and it's still rather hard; consider knocking down the difficulty if you start to enter double digits for the first few chapters, at least until you get an idea of what strategy you'll need. This is a unique game, presented as a traditional point-'n'-click adventure title but more focused on strategy and planning instead of puzzle solving. If you push on and don't give up, you'll be rewarded -- just expect a few heartbreaking moments first.
Gods Will Be Watching photo
There are no easy answers
Gods Will Be Watching is a tough game. It puts the player in positions that they'd rather not be in and asks them to make difficult choices. In order to succeed at a mission, you may have to do unthinkable things, betray your morals, and become a monster just to survive a little longer. It's also tough in another sense: the game is bloody hard. 

Sailor's Dream photo
Sailor's Dream

The Sailor's Dream is the new iOS title from Simogo


The follow-up to Device 6 will be released in late 2014
Jul 28
// Alasdair Duncan
Swedish developer Simogo has put out two of my favorite iOS titles -- Year Walk and last year's Device 6 -- so I'm really happy to hear that the studio will have a new game out this year. The title is The Sailor's Dream and ...
Sherlock Holmes photo
Sherlock Holmes

Here's a full 23 minutes of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments


You can now customise your own Holmes!
Jul 26
// Alasdair Duncan
There are "gameplay trailers" and then there's this trailer for Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments that shows off a whopping 23 minutes of gameplay from Frogware and Focus Interactive's upcoming adventure game. Follow...






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