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THQ is dead, long live NordicTHQ. The world’s greatest purveyor of Good 7/10 Action Games sadly succumbed to bankruptcy and closed down in 2013, but most of its assets, studios and franchises were bought up by various other firms. Gearbox got Homeworld, Sega got Relic, Deep Silver got Saints Row and young Swedish publisher Nordic Games got Darksiders, Red Faction, Supreme Commander and a bunch of other stuff left among the ashes. As well as, it transpires, the THQ name. Nordic is now to be known as ‘THQNordic‘. … [visit site to read more]
We don t do scores on RPS, but sometimes we mourn for the inability to deploy a 7/10. The ur-score, the most double-edged of critical swords, the good but not great, the better than it deserves to be, the guilty pleasure, the bungled aspiration, the knows exactly what it is, the straight down the line. One score that can mean so much.
There is one particular type of 7/10 game that heralds joy, not disappointment: the solid, maybe ever so slightly wonky action game with no interest in being anything more than a solid action game.
Titan Quest is my favourite clickety-clicky hack and slash game. It doesn’t have the intelligent dynamic design of Soldak’s games, the meaty character building of Path of Exile or the polish of Diablo III, but it’s mythological worlds and monsters are beautiful. It’s bright where so many are dark (including the creators’ own follow-up Grim Dawn) and now that I’ve mentioned it I want to play through the whole thing again.
At its best, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard [official site] is like Titan Quest transported from Hellenic lands to the frozen axe-grinding of Norse mythology, but the early build I played fumbles some of the ARPG fundamentals.>
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
I suspect> but I don’t know> that Relic’s stompy-squishy-shooty Only War third-person action game Space Marine is one that has aged rather well over the years. I base this on two things: one, occasional enthusiastic chatter on Twitter. Two: a regular, strong urge to revisit it.
2010’s Apocalyptic (that’s with a capital A) hack ‘n’ slash Darksiders [official site] is being revamped for a prettied-up re-release, like its sequel already has. And like the sequel with its ‘Deathinitive Edition’ subtitle, Darksiders is picking up a dreadful title: the Warmastered Edition. Like ‘remastered’, yeah? But War because the game’s about that surly fella out the Four Horseman? The preponderance of puns is the surest sign of the impending end times, if you ask me. But this surely brings us closer to a Darksiders III?
Back in the days of STALKER and its two sequels, I felt like I was the only games hack who didn’t get sent on a tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat. Those who did visit came back with reports of rain and health worries and mystery meats, then shared photographs of them smiling in front of a decaying Ferris wheel or looking sombre in a Marie Celeste classroom. Perhaps it is best that I never went myself. What a strange thing to be a tourist to. Is any possible response appropriate?
The Chernobyl VR Project, essentially finished but for the time being only available for Oculus Rift, with a more refined version due for both that and Vive a little later, gives me my chance to be a tourist, without the background anxiety about background radiation. … [visit site to read more]