Posted on 11th Oct 2011 at 07:30 by Joe Martin with 31 comments
Painkiller is a game about frenzy, about being 'in the zone' and about bunny-hopping at 100 miles an hour around gothic castles packed with skeletons and cackling witches. It's a game about violence and speed; the satisfying buzz of a well-executed headshot performed from the hip.
Or, to put it another way, it's a game about 'THUNK!' That's the noise it makes when you fire half a pool-cue across the map and it lands, pinning your enemy's collapsed body to the floor.
Posted on 6th Oct 2011 at 11:42 by Harry Butler with 131 comments
Since its announcement and subsequent inclusion as a pre-requisite to play Battlefield 3, EA’s re-branded online store, Origin, has been causing plenty of discussion. Opponents argue that Steam already serves as an online digital distribution service, as well as a match-making system, day-one DRM system and game browser; with Steam already providing these services, why must EA force Origin on us?
Posted on 24th Sep 2011 at 11:16 by Iain Farquhar with 26 comments
When I was offered the chance to review the upcoming game Men of War: Vietnam, I initially leapt at the chance, but with the disc came a warning:
‘These games are bloody hard,' Harry said loudly, repeatedly, while looming behind me and staring at my laptop screen. 'Probably the closest thing to digital masochism I’ve ever seen.’
But I was determined to impress the office with my analytical skill and unbiased opinions and, besides, I had never come across a game that I couldn't bend to my will after a few hours. With anticipation in full flow, I started the game and prepared to give my best.
Three hours later, I still hadn’t completed the first mission. The first mission. I tried lowering the difficulty settings. I tried different approaches. With a mounting sense of failure and humiliation, I considered downloading the demo of the original Men of War so I could practice at home before a second attempt. And it was at that point I realised something...
Posted on 30th Aug 2011 at 08:36 by Clive Webster with 4 comments
While the name is overly ambitious, and it could be more helpful for novices, 10 Min Space Strategy
is a rather good 4X (Expand, Explore, Exterminate and Research, or something like that) game that you can play for free.
Posted on 18th Aug 2011 at 14:59 by Clive Webster with 36 comments
The news that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will definitely use Steamworks
rather than Games For Windows Live has shot around the Internet today, but (and with the greatest of respect to those reporting the story) it doesn’t appear as if Skyrim was ever going to use GFWL.
Posted on 26th Jun 2011 at 10:44 by David Hing with 9 comments
Back when mobile phones were still thought of as a new idea, Nokia's 3210 was highly sought after in many circles for its built in version of the highly addictive game Snake. Fast forward a decade, and Hard Lines is attempting to be a worthy successor to that classic title.
The mechanics of Hard Lines are simple. With simple directional strokes of your finger, you steer a line around the screen towards randomly spawning markers, accruing points while avoiding other lines that enter from the sides of the screen.
Slick and neatly designed, Hard Lines is clearly influenced by the Light Cycles from Tron, yet it doesn't limit itself to that one style of play; there are several variations. In some modes, you gain points by getting opposing lines to crash into you or the walls; in others you race against the clock, or just try to last for as long as possible. There are also some good bonuses, such as the occasional power up that enables you to crash through any other competing lines without killing yourself.
Posted on 13th Jun 2011 at 07:29 by Clive Webster with 24 comments
The latest trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic has been released and it’s freaking awesome. This follows previous cut-scene and video releases that have been similarly impressive, engaging and enjoyable. However, with the game looking a bit duff
, I’m wondering if Electronic Arts, Bioware and LucasArts could be persuaded into releasing a cut-scene-only version? I’d happily pay to watch a short film made from them.
Posted on 11th Jun 2011 at 10:06 by David Hing with 35 comments
Three of my five weapons were offline and leaving small ion trails in space, my cargo hold was full of rare and expensive artefacts and a band of pirates was chasing me down a frantically plotted and improvised course. With a route that picked its way in and out of asteroid fields through systems that were well and truly off the charts, it is fair to say I was panicking. I was also pretty sure that my eyes had stopped blinking.
I loved Freelancer; Microsoft's space trading open world game. It resembled an extremely stripped down Eve Online, but with gameplay replacing the spreadsheets. I'm aware that it was a
condensed version of games that did the same thing better and with more depth many years before, but I found it to be a deep and beautifully realised sandbox. In fact, I'm convinced that most players only ever scratched its surface.
Posted on 7th Jun 2011 at 07:53 by David Hing with 5 comments
In Gaming Digits' Chicks vs. Kittens you’re charged with ensuring the safety of a mother bird defending her nest against a hoard of poultry-hungry kittens. This is achieved by hatching chicks and weaponising your offspring against the feline invaders. As you do.
Games for iOS live and die by their personality, though, not whether their premises make sense, and Chicks vs. Kittens has plenty of personality. Your ammunition flaps around happily while it waits to drop onto enemies, while the climbing kittens are more lovable than sneezing baby pandas, with animations that are clear and crisp even when they’re blown up to iPad size.
As far as the controls and gameplay go, Chicks vs. Kittens is a simple reaction test with a little bit of tower defence strategy thrown in to boot. The influence of the latter is manifested in the way you equip your chicks to perform different roles through the use of hats. Hats can be used to increase the strength of chicks, to upgrade your leaf-based economy or to change the way they attack kittens. Variations are constantly added throughout the game.
Posted on 5th Jun 2011 at 11:50 by Joe Martin with 31 comments
I’ve been playing Star Wars: Jedi Academy lately. I didn’t play it when it first came out, but good word of mouth and a budget Steam price proved hard to resist. Overall, it’s a pretty good game too, although I’ll never be as effusive about it as my pals. One thing I can’t get over, though, is how incredibly dated the game looks.
It’s been hard for me to pin down exactly why Jedi Academy feels so dated, as the graphics actually hold up very well for a seven year old game using the twelve year old id Tech 3 engine. Lately, I’ve come to think that it’s the sparseness of the levels that makes it feel archaic. There are too many empty desks in the cantinas, too many barren walls; there’s not enough clutter in the world.