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Interstellar 4X strategy game Endless Space 2 [official site] will launch onto Steam Early Access on Thursday next week, October 6th, developers Amplitude Studios announced today – narrowly missing its planned September launch. The initial release will only come with half of its factions, but that’s early access for you – it’s not finished, yeah? Fraser Brown dug a preview version he played, so it sounds like it’ll have a good heart. Spacefingers crossed, anyway.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
When I first played Mortal Online [official site] in the dim February of 2013, I described it as a free-to-play MMO about living in a fantasy world and not being very good at anything . I stick by that assessment, not because I have gone back to that online otherworld and found it just the same, but because I am afraid to.
My son is six-months-old, but my daughter is almost fully grown. She’s a homemaker, which is fine, but it’s not what I had in mind when god bestowed the child upon me. I spent all our money on magic lessons, after all.
This is how most of my experiences go in Princess Maker 2, a life simulator from 1993 that’s by turns moreish, compellingly daft, and creepy. Previously the only way to play it outside of Japan has been by grabbing it from an abandonware site and applying an unofficial translation patch, but 23 years later it’s getting an English and HD rerelease on Steam called Princess Maker 2: Refine [official site].
Episode 5 of Hitman [official site] is now upon us, sending Ian Hitman to Colorado. ‘Mother of Rivers’, some call the state, which is a lovely nickname. I’m a bit jealous. But he’s not here to swim in Little Snake River, Green River, the Rio Grande, or even the mighty Colorado – he’s here on neck-snapping business. Episode 5 sends him into a farm compound filled with naughty militia members someone wants whacked. Check it out in the launch trailer:
There is perhaps very little that’s original about Lazors – a puzzle game where laser beams must be redirected around a tiled grid to reach a goal – but sometimes an old idea done right is just the tonic.
John is a fan of the ARG-y puzzle games of Alice & Smith [not our Alice, Adam, or Graham, honest guv -ed.]>, looking at games like The Black Watchmen as part of his Bleeding Edges series, but their latest demands the attentions of a specialist. ‘5up d00dz’, as we ‘l33t’ planet-hackers say on the ol’ datanet.
NITE Team 4 [official site] is a hacking RPG about military hackers and cyberwarfare. As well as probing and jacking computers remotely, hackers will get to send out a military unit for field work, which is an intriguing combination. If you’re interested, hey, Alice & Smith have launched a Kickstarter to fund finishing it.
I’m trying to think who it could be. I don’t really have enemies any more, or not knowingly so. Some forgotten bully from school who never left our hometown and is still obsessed with tormenting me? A fellow journalist whose article I might have drunkenly tweeted something rude about in 2009? Someone I unfollowed or unfriended because they were tiresome or awful? You Know, Those Guys? Or: all of them, working together. Pooling their life savings to buy as many copies of a certain game as they can. Make no mistake: someone’s out to get me. It’s the only possible explanation.
Australia’s natural car ecosystem was ruined by the arrival of European invaders and the foreign cars which stowed away on their ships. Facing no natural predators, car species like the BMW M3 and Reliant three-wheelers quickly dominated all biomes. Forza Horizon 3 [official site], as I understand it, is a game about subtly stamping out those invasive species by driving them quite quickly and unsafely. ‘Racing’, the pest controllers call it. Now we can join in, as the Australian open-world racer is out today on Windows 10. Hark, a launch trailer:
Sorry, it s the US remake of Oldboy, starring Josh Brolin. Still, didn t see that coming, did you? Yes, the creators of countryside hike-em-up Firewatch [official site] have partnered with production company Good Universe to make a movie about the game, as well as work together on future projects, says the Hollywood Reporter. There aren t many details about the movie itself, or what these ‘future projects’ might be, but come and read some exciting soundbites from all the people involved!
As the kingdom of Zhou burned to ashes around me on the map, I took a moment to reflect on what had been a bad year. A peasants revolt, a devastating war, cities lost to disease and fire, and an incurable case of bandits. Oriental Empires seems to have everything I want in a game disaster, bad decisions and angry serfs. So why did I only get as far as the second X in this 4X strategy before I turned away, frustrated and fed up? Perhaps it’s because – as terrible as my year has been – I ve lived it all before.