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7:30 PM on 08.30.2013

Evil RPG Blackguards' closed beta starts next week

With Daedalic's peculiar turn-based RPG Blackguards getting closer to release, the developer is opening the doors to beta testers interested in fighting evil with evil. Set in the same universe as Memoria (which I'm already i...

Fraser Brown

4:30 PM on 08.30.2013

Get acquainted with Paradox in the latest Humble Bundle

The latest Humble Weekly Sale is a cracker, putting up a bunch of Paradox Interactive's biggest titles. Pay what you want and you'll get War of the Roses (along with access to the War of the Vikings alpha), Warlock: Mast...

Fraser Brown

3:00 PM on 08.29.2013

Prison Architect update kicks off with a sale

The latest Prison Architect update sees some significant additions infiltrating your lovely prisons. Alpha 13 gives prisoners the ability to dig tunnels, giving guards more things to worry about. Introversion's Mark Morris ex...

Fraser Brown

5:30 PM on 08.26.2013

Pour one out for Precinct

It wasn't that long ago that I was chatting with Jim Walls and Robert Lindsley about Precinct, the spiritual successor to the classic adventure game series Police Quest. The prospect was an exciting one, and both gents were b...

Fraser Brown



New releases: Killers everywhere photo
New releases: Killers everywhere
by Fraser Brown

I'll be spending this week playing catch up, but there's no dearth of new releases. Killer is Dead is tempting me, because bloody hell it looks flashy, but I'll probably leave until I'm not drowning in games. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is notable too, if only because it was originally a shockingly poor MMO and had to be entirely rebuilt. I've not been impressed with the results, and found myself sick of it after a weekend. Others seem to be getting more out of it, however.

Also on the docket this week, we've got Lost Planet 3, which is nice if you're sick of the summer heat; Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons comes to the PC, which pleases me greatly; and some burly American fellows kick a ball around in Madden NFL 25. There's more too, but you'll have to scroll down for that.

Anything floating your boat this week?

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Review: Europa Universalis IV photo
Review: Europa Universalis IV
by Fraser Brown

I've just united Italy after over a century of bloody conflicts. From Doge of The Serene Republic of Venice to the first King of Italy -- it's quite the step up. Along the way, I've upset the gargantuan Holy Roman Empire, gone to war with the Papal State, conquered Serbia, and inadvertently helped France take over most of Spain. Now I've got the vast Ottoman Empire knocking at my door, and I'm about to lose everything.

Europa Universalis IV is a stage for all sorts of savage political and war-time drama. Once upon a time the franchise was the providence of grognards, history aficionados, and lovers of strategy board games, but times have changed. Everybody and their mum seems to love Game of Thrones -- which, with its wars, politics, and intrigue is not so far removed from Europa Universalis -- and Paradox has done the unthinkable by making this fourth iteration user-friendly, opening the doors to the grubby masses. 

It remains daunting, impossibly huge, and unapologetically complex, but it might very well be one of the most scintillating and rewarding strategy games I've plonked myself down to play from sunrise to sunset. I only say "might" because if I said it definitely was, you'd probably just bugger off and play it instead of sitting patiently for me to confirm this at the very end of the review like the terrible tease that I am.  

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5:00 PM on 08.25.2013

Scare yourself stupid with Outlast at PAX

There's nothing I like more than to curl up into a little ball and weep like a wee lassie, and Outlast looks like it's going to give me plenty of opportunities to do so. The pants-wetting survival horror title is due out on S...

Fraser Brown

4:30 PM on 08.19.2013

Police Interrogation: Getting the skinny on Precinct

It's 1987. Politicians are terrifying people with Cold War rhetoric, The Simpsons is born on The Tracy Ullman Show, U2 releases The Joshua Tree, and Bono has yet to become completely intolerable. I'm two years old, ...

Fraser Brown



New releases: Purple is back in style photo
New releases: Purple is back in style
by Fraser Brown

Bloody hell, this week, calm down. A slew of games are clamouring for your attention over the next seven days, some of them really rather good. At the top of the pile, however, is Saints Row IV. I didn't think the series would ever reach the lofty heights of the purple gang's second outing again, but I was dead wrong. I have the tentacle marks to prove it. There just aren't enough games where you can slam into the ground with such power that you cause a nuclear reaction, especially not while dressed up as a giant eagle.

Other games that have the misfortune of fighting the Saints for the top spot are Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which is like Splinter Cell with different vocal chords; The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, which I'm sure we can all agree is a silly name and doesn't look as good as XCOM: Enemy Unknown; Disney Infinity, which looks like crack for children and the cause of bankruptcy for parents; and a whole bunch of other things, but I'm in a rush, so onto the lists and videos. 

What's tickling your fancy this week? Saints Row IV? Good choice.   

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3:00 PM on 08.18.2013

PC Port Report: Spelunky

[Want to know how a developer handled the PC version of a multiplatform game? Check out the PC Port Report for the full scoop.] The original Spelunky, now known as Spelunky Classic, was a freeware PC title, but it was XBLA pl...

Fraser Brown





11:00 PM on 08.16.2013

Dragon Age: Inquisition caters to all races

Am I still going to be derided for admitting that I rather liked Dragon Age II's Hawke? The focus on a human character was more in line with the second outing in Thedas' narrower vision, and I found that I wasn't all that fus...

Fraser Brown



Review: Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches photo
Review: Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches
by Fraser Brown

I'm meant to be playing a cold, calculating murderer -- a man who assassinated an empress and gave her innocent daughter to traitors. So why am I hiding atop a broken chandelier, a mess of tightly wound nerves and sweat? Because I pissed off a witch, that's why. A whole coven of witches, actually. And they are hunting me down, not like nervous gang members searching for a ghost, but like predatory animals. 

The Brigmore Witches, Dishonored's second expansion, might begin mere hours after The Knife of Dunwall ends, but it's a different beast. The horror that existed on the peripheries of the previous outings is now center stage, and with it comes greater challenges while peeling back the layers of Dunwall and the surrounding isles, revealing its darkest elements. This is Dishonored at its very best. 

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New releases: Get your dragon on, and then do it again photo
New releases: Get your dragon on, and then do it again
by Fraser Brown

Apparently it's shark week in the US, but more importantly, it's also dragon week. Dragon's Crown and Dragon Commander -- two extremely different scaley games -- are dropping, and fans of winged reptiles are likely rejoicing. Chris is a big fan of the former, and I've been playing the heck out of the latter for quite some time, and loving every second of it.

Other games are also launching this week, but without the aid of dragons, does anybody really care? Ports, a JRPG, something called Superfrog -- all of these pale in comparison to our graceful dragon overlords. 

Anything tempting you this week?  

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Wargame: AirLand Battle gets some hefty, free DLC photo
Wargame: AirLand Battle gets some hefty, free DLC
by Fraser Brown

I was thoroughly impressed with Eugen Systems' Wargame: AirLand Battle; an extremely complex, realistic take on modern warfare. It's one of the most impressive RTS titles to come out in the last couple of years, and one that was full of content, with a dizzying array of units and factions. 

Yesterday, it was enhanced by a completely free chunk of DLC -- a surprisingly hefty chunk. "Vox Populi" has been designed in response to community feedback, adding a new multiplayer mode, a new campaign mode, five new maps, and 24 extra units. 

The multiplayer mode, Conquest, is a throwback to AirLand Battle's predecessor, European Escalation's mode of the same name, where victory was dependent not on the decimation of enemy forces, but on the capture of territory. The second additional mode allows players to play through the campaign cooperatively, not just in solo or versus modes. 

All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal.  

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3:00 PM on 08.02.2013

Australians rejoice: You're allowed to play Saints Row IV

After a ridiculous amount of faffing about, Saints Row IV has finally been deemed appropriate for adults to buy. Until now, Australian men and women were considered responsible enough to get jobs, buy homes, and get married, ...

Fraser Brown



First footage of Team Bondi's Whore of the Orient appears photo
First footage of Team Bondi's Whore of the Orient appears
by Fraser Brown

Leaked footage of Team Bondi's Whore of the Orient recently surfaced on VideoGamer.com, courtesy of a "trusted source." The gameplay video reveals some awkward fighting, some brisk running, and a lot of hiding behind boxes. 

Whore of the Orient, described by Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara as "one of the great untold stories of the 20th century," was first announced way back through the mists of time, or November 2011, to be more specific. This was after the bankrupt developer was picked up by Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a production company from Sydney. The new IP was dropped by publisher Warner Bros. last year, but before it was ditched, rumors pointed to a 2015 release. 

No publisher has been attached to the struggling title, though KMM are believed to still be looking for one. Despite the bad press, bankruptcy, loss of a publisher, and the recent alleged lay-offs, the Australian government awarded the project $200,000 from the New South Wales' Interactive Media Fund.

Whore of the Orient is being developed for next-gen consoles and PC, but of course no release date has been set. 

Whore of the Orient leaked gameplay footage revealed [VideoGamer.com]

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