Jack King-Spooner described Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum via email as "a kind of album with a game attached", and that's a fair assessment. It's an album of catchy dubby music, beautiful and horrible and just plain weird scenes, and hard-to-follow dialogue chock-full of meaning - a bit like the previous Sluggish Morsses, then. Conceived as a backer freebie for King-Spooner's successfully Kickstarted Beeswing, Ad Infinitum can be 'ad by the rest of us for the measly sum of £3/$4.95. Expect a sci-fi collage filled with creepy revolving doll heads, chilled out clay creatures and dozens of collectible coins.
With early access becoming more and more popular, you don't need to wait for games to be complete to start playing them. And, with mods, you don't need to wait for games to be complete before you start changing them, either. The Mass Effect Edition mod for Starbound (which is currently in early access beta) lets you play as a Turian or an Asari, gives you control of the Normandy SR-1, lets you craft some of Mass Effect's guns and armor, and even includes biotic powers.
Well I said Blackguards would be releasing in January, and I was (just about) right: Daedalic's turn-based, tactical RPG is out now on yer actual Steam. To coincide with the release, a combat-heavy trailer has been released into the wild. See spells fly, and baddies get incinerated after the break.
I've just left my wife and kids home alone so I can rob one of my neighbors, John Gordon Buffington. I bring a backpack stuffed with tools: some sturdy clubs for smashing windows, a saw to hack through wood paneling, and because my part of town is full of clever and dangerous people, water to short-out the security system and some drugged meat to fling at any guard dogs I run into. I expect I'll have to deal with more than one angry pit bull before I can break into the Buffington vault.
This week's Best Free Games of the Week is brought to you by detachable robot heads, two plastic dolls doing it, a procedural ninja, “these are small, but the ones out there are far away”, a unique perspective on puzzle games, and an even uniquier perspective on science fiction. It's been a particularly good week for free games, and below you'll find the pick of the harvest.
SOE have deployed the alpha for EverQuest Next Landmark, which you'll remember is the crafty/Photoshoppy prototype-type thing for their super-voxelly sequel to EverQuest 2. It's not the sort of alpha you can just download, however - you'll have to purchase a 'Founder's Pack' first. The cheapest tier of Founder's Pack with alpha access will set you back a whopping $60, so it's worth having a bit of a think before you decide whether or not to dive in. (Our hands-on preview from way back when might help.) EverQuest Next Landmark will be free-to-play when it eventually releases for real.
It's been a long time not coming, but The Wolf Among Us' second episode finally has a release date: February 4th. That's around four months since the first part hit last October. Four months. Why the delay? I put that question to King Joffrey, star of Telltale's upcoming Game of Thrones series, and now I don't have a head. I can still somehow type, however, so scroll down to see the news in tweet form.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Well, half-right.
When the first warrior looked at the very first sword, he was heard to muse "One day, there will be a game in which people can pretend to wield these." For his prognostication, he was then burned at the stake, obviously. But the words remained, echoing down the years, in the dreams of everyone who heard about the Nintendo Wii before actually playing something like Red Steel, and the Kickstarter of at least and in fact probably no more than one famous science fiction writer with a love of clashing blades and an audience demanding to know why his Metaverse idea turned into Second Life's red light district.
Then in 1998, one company answered the call. But was the PC's first and only mainstream attempt to give conventional controls the chop an inspiring tale of triumph over boring controls... or just an epic flail?
It's possible that you haven't played the last six Sherlock Holmes games from Frogwares Studios, but you might want to pay attention to the upcoming Crimes and Punishments. It looks gorgeous in this most recent trailer, and adds some novel ideas to the adventure genre, like going inside Sherlock's brain to solve mysteries.
The global PC games market is healthier than it’s ever been, according to a new report from DFC Intelligence, as reported by GamesIndustry International. PC gamers are “willing to spend more money than ever,” and new free-to-play titles are bringing in new gamers by the truckload.
I spawn into every life of Strike Vector like a missile out of hell. Jets flaring, blurred periphery, hurtling toward a futuristic metal landscape. Other Vectors come for me, firing rockets and mini guns, dropping mines, zapping me from miles away with plasma snipers. I need to pull up, maybe slow down for a better shot and risk being an easy target. I need to figure it out quick or I’ll crash into something and explode.
Youtuber Antti Kokkonen, who uploads Let's Plays to Youtube under the username Zemalf, is one of the best XCOM players in the world. On January 11, he finished a 50 hour run of XCOM: Enemy Within on Impossible Ironman difficulty without losing a single country. Or Interceptor. Or mission. Or soldier.
It was a perfect run on the game's hardest difficulty (and his first time through the game). On Ironman, XCOM is limited to a single save file. No do-overs. Beating the game on Impossible Ironman is a rare feat, but beating it without losing a single soldier? That really does sound impossible. But Zemalf did it, and he recorded it all across 58 Let's Play videos.
"I consider myself an okay player, but the run did go really well," he told PC Gamer. With Zemalf's help, we've broken down this achievement in XCOM mastery, dissecting his 58 part series into the key moments that defined the run.
It's a shame to let a good engine go to waste, especially when it can expertly handle a huge, beautiful open world. DayZ is the most obvious example, but Ubisoft clearly understood this as well when it made Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which used the Far Cry 3 engine to build an '80s-themed spoof that was just as fun as the original game. The Far Cry 3 Z-DAY mod sounds a little too familiar, but the gameplay footage and explanation from the developer might win you over.
Just because we weren't the biggest fans of Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn't mean it isn't still immensely popular. It has a huge, highly competitive following, big enough to serve as a primary attraction to Major League Gaming's eSports streaming service, MLG.TV. Those players care passionately about details in the game the average player won't even notice, which would explain why Infinity Ward's latest update focuses on eSports and balancing.
Octodad is a doting father and loving husband who mows the lawn, does the family's grocery shopping, and cooks the kids' dinners. He's also an octopus. That's the actually pretty funny premise behind Dadliest Catch, a physics playground and sort-of-puzzle game by new indie studio Young Horses, Inc. The joke is that even though he's literally an octopus in a suit, flopping around clumsily and knocking things over, no one ever acknowledges it. To his inexplicably human family, and everyone else, he's just a regular guy.
The first two levels are brilliant. Your tasks are mundane - weed the garden, grill burgers on the barbecue, pour your daughter a glass of milk, make coffee - but it doesn't matter, because you're an octopus. You control four of Octodad's limbs independently, which are ostensibly his arms and legs. Something as simple as opening the fridge, picking up the milk, carrying it into the living room, and pouring into the glass is rendered hilarious by his lack of a spine and wildly flailing appendages. Rooms are reduced to piles of rubble as you crash through them.
You'd expect the studio behind The Secret World to be a fan of mystery and conspiracy, but I doubt this is what the game's developers had in mind. On Wednesday, Funcom were temporarily suspended from the Oslo Stock Exchange, and they were charged under "suspicion of infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act," regarding Secret World finances reported from August 2011 to September 2012. The charges also led to Økokrim, the Norwegian economic crime unit, raiding Funcom's Oslo office and seizing boxes of documents.
Despite these events, Funcom say that things are back to business as usual. In a statement to Massively, director of communications Erling Ellingsen explained that yesterday's events were not expected to have an effect on either The Secret World or any of the studio's other games. Ellingsen also confirmed that Fumcom were fully co-operating with Økokrim's investigation.
PC Gamer reviews free-to-play games when they're available to the public and charging real money - not, necessarily, when the 'beta' label is lifted.
"Lucky son of a bitch."
I'm playing against a mage. He has two hitpoints left, I have six. This is one of those games you look forward to - hard-fought, tense, down to the wire. I've got a taunt card in play, which means that my opponent's minions can't attack me directly. He needs to do direct damage with spell cards if he wants to end the game this turn. If he doesn't end the game this turn, I'll finish him.
If I've learned anything from prison dramas, it's that sometimes a stern talking to just doesn't do the trick. You also need plenty of hard-work, a commitment to understand your prisoners, and a rousing and inspirational third-act speech, in which you learn that, actually, it was them teaching you all along. Alternatively, you need guns. For Prison Architect's seventeenth alpha update, Introversion have gone for the second option.
Of all the seemingly unspectacular next-gen console launch titles, LocoCycle was among the least spectacular of them all. Reviews of the arcade motorcycle brawler ranged from "hmm", to "meh", to "ugh". Despite its reception, makers Twisted Pixel are planning to bring the game to PC through a Steam released scheduled for February 14th. After all, nothing says Valentine's romance like a sentient motorbike using its captive mechanic to pummel attacking soldiers.
It's Codemasters turn to flaunt their goods on Humble's digital sale shelf. Seven games, including various DiRTs, Overlords and Operation Flashpoints, have been bundled together, in a genre mash-up that has tiny imps erratically driving rally cars away from hyper-efficient snipers. Okay, so it's not that - it's the more traditional bundle of games collected for a pay-what-you-want price.
It's a good package, specifically for the quirky Overlord series, the excellent DiRT 3, and the kinda-fun DiRT Showdown. Unfortunately, the bundle does still necessitate a warning. With GfW Live's rumoured July 1st shutdown, both Operation Flashpoint: Red River and DiRT 3 could potentially stop working. While Codemasters have confirmed that DiRT 3 will be getting the Steamworks treatment, they've made no comment on their plans for Red River.