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Britain has a holiday on Monday so we’ll be back in full force on Tuesday, though we will trickle some odds and ends your way over the long weekend. And what a weekend it looks to be! Some might say discussing the weather is trite but mate, if you’re not excited by the unofficial start of the British summer giving us glorious sunshine transitioning into storms, I don’t want to talk to you.
What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. … [visit site to read more]
I m camped at the end of a large hall, hoping my view over a tunnel leading to the capture point covers the enemy team s entry through the large windows and skylights. Distant gunfire rattles from the other end of the map and I see grenades popping on the point. And yep, I m right. Someone jumps down from above and I shoot, taking them by surprise – 100 XP – but not before a buddy spawns on them. I m down, killed by an AUG HBAR with Coyote Sight, Muzzle Brake, Angled Grip and Green Laser.
Roblox [official site] has come on some lately. Phantom Forces is a full-featured modern FPS that runs on Roblox, offering multiple map types with 32 players, a daily login bonus and ranks. It tracks kill-death ratios, its guns feature bullet drop dynamics, sprints into slide moves, Battlefield-style spotting, and hundreds of weapons and attachments. And you can be playing it, for free, in seconds from launching via a link on its Roblox web page, and it ll run smoothly on a basic PC. On the Thursday morning I try it out, nearly 4000 other players are online with me, and since it was launched in September 2015, it s been played over 120 million times.
Friday the 13th [official site] is occasionally tense and often hilarious in the way that long-running horror franchises tend to be. As Jason, your objective is to kill every player-controlled counsellor, and as a counsellor you’re trying to escape, call the cops, or simply survive until the end of the round. I’ve only played for a few hours but I’m already hooked. There are frustrating bugs and the matchmaking won’t let you play Jason as much as you might want to, but Friday the 13th cleverly uses the tropes of slasher films to build its ruleset, and when it all comes together, it’s fantastic.
It’s my first time with the high-speed bumslides and endless robo-armies of Bayonetta and Nier: Automata dev Platinum’s third-person shooter Vanquish [official site], newly released on PC a full seven years after its console versions. I like to think that this means I see it with clear eyes, unclouded either by nostalgia or a predisposition to root for an underappreciated underdog.
Of course, it may instead mean that I’m unfairly holding a 2010 game to 2017 standards. That may be why I want to say things like “Vanquish looks and sounds exactly like the kind of shallow, noisy, appallingly-written, hyper-macho low culture that people who don’t play videogames think all videogames are like”. Then again, the reasons that people have kept its flame burning for the best part of the decade are surely the same reasons that make me want to say things like “yeah, Vanquish is brillo.” … [visit site to read more]
Kam! Zonk! Wappo! Seeing as Marvel’s own crossovers are usually over-serious affairs, both on paper and the silver screen, I’m glad that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 [official site] is coming to smoosh supermen together in silly ways. The sequel to the game John called “bloody brilliant” will jump across space and time, visiting places and characters from Sakaar to Spider-Man 2099. Also it’ll have your regular plain old Avengers and seed babies and rubbish burglars and all that rabble. The game is due on November 14th/17th but now, a week after its announcement, here’s a new trailer showing a load of supermen: … [visit site to read more]
Reviewing games of the sort Matthew Brown creates Hexcells, SquareCells, and now CrossCells [official site] can be a strange task. His niche is numerical logic. There are elements of things like Sudoku but basic maths creeps in, making it closer to a subgenre of Sudoku: Killer Sudoku. Their pleasures come from whether you can sink into the deductive mindset you need to find a foothold and then to progress and the difficulty curves vary from person to person. When I reviewed SquareCells, once I’d described how the basic elements worked it became more a task of communicating how a solution made me feel and whether the UI was any good lest I spoil any of the actual game by talking about specific niggles or posting screenshots.
Given the puzzles are so much about individual feel it felt like a good idea to make this review more of a chat between John and me. We were both supposed to be doing other things when the code for CrossCells turned up and it’s a testament to our mutual fondness for Brown’s work that we pretty much instantly booted it up and sidelined our actual work. Here’s Wot We Think: … [visit site to read more]
Prey has, I think, been the game I’ve most enjoyed this year so far – something I never saw coming. Steam tells me I’ve poured over 30 hours into it, which comprised far too many unhealthily late nights, my attention turning inevitably to Talos after work and childcare and adult responsibilities were done. I am at last in its final mile, with no room left unlocked to me, a surfeit of superhuman powers and the stormclouds of denouement gathering.
I think I shall stop playing now. … [visit site to read more]
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives and PC miscellany. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.>
My favourite thing about Star Trek The Videogame [official site] is definitely the name. That’s partly because everything else about it is a whopping bumturd the size of a mountain, but also because of the ridiculous marketing mess it describes. … [visit site to read more]
Far Cry 5’s [official site] first full-length trailer is heavy on the plot, showing a cult that will bring people into its fold “by force if necessary” and all the grimness that entails, but it’s also packed full of colourful car-chases, wide open countryside, and there’s a bit where a man is being chased by a bear. Oh, and planes. There will be planes. The game will be out February 27th 2018 and you can see the trailer below.
The WW2 Pacific Theater FPS action of Red Orchestra spin-off Rising Storm [official site] is yours to grab for free right now. The Humble Store are giving the game away to celebrate the impending end of their spring sale. Tim Stone will tell you that Rising Storm is one of the best simulation games and Alec will add that it’s one of the best FPSs, which seems a strong pair of endorsements for a free game. Rising Storm 2 will launch in only a few days, on the 30th, so do come see what the series is about. … [visit site to read more]