She drank for six weeks straight. That is, except for the week she inexplicably spent fighting crime in the slums. That was weird. But any other time you’d have found her in the tavern, throwing back pints and spilling conversation all over the place.
Gripping episodes like A House Divided are why we play The Walking Dead. They're why we gather online and around a lunch table to whisper about who we saved and who we lied to and why we feel terrible about it. In the second episode of its second season, Telltale has crafted an episode of The Walking Dead every bit as compelling and tense as anything in Lee Everett's first season.
A great power fantasy can be a wonderful thing, and in this respect, Strider should have been one of the best. This resurrection of the 1989 arcade game follows a ninja so fast and skilled that he’s able to cut down a squad of enemies without ever slowing to a walk, and at full speed with a swinging sword, Strider's raw energy is a joy to control.
I killed a lot of people in Banished. I saw them born and I watched my decisions kill them. Stripping the land, building homes, and planting vast swaths of crops seemed like a good idea, but things got ugly when a hard winter set in. Firewood stockpiles were meager and the distance to new trees was too great to keep up with demand. Then tools started to break, and I don't know what happened to all the iron but there wasn't any for the blacksmith, so folks just did the best they could, which wasn't very good at all. From there, the colony didn't take long to spiral down into my own private Roanoke.
I didn’t so much play The LEGO Movie Videogame as I did gently prod it toward a conclusion. I pushed the buttons that appeared on screen to automatically transform scattered pieces into spaceships and trampolines, performed mindless quick time events, and beat up enemies, though there was never a reason to use anything but the jump attack.
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.
I don't really know who he was—an ambassador, perhaps, or a spy—but I know we let him down. The VIP mission was simple: escort him across town and deliver him to an extraction point. No chance. They were on us in seconds, firing from grubby apartment windows, and we all died on the asphalt. Game over.
I’ll never forget the day my free Native American kingdom kicked the French completely off of our continent over a diplomatic insult. While playing as Native Americans in vanilla Europa Universalis IV was an exercise in patience (and in eventually getting your land stolen), Conquest of Paradise has completely revamped the gameplay for its expanded roster of playable tribes. The pacing has been improved, giving you incremental goals to work toward, without opening up the unrealistic possibility that you might have guns already when the Europeans show up.
A boy and a girl sit back-to-back in different worlds, neither knowing of the other's existence nor that they're linked by an invisible story yet to be told. Her name is Vella, stealing a brief moment to herself on the most important—and the last—day of her life. He is Shay: passenger, prince, and prisoner of an overprotective spaceship devoted to giving him everything he wants, except the freedom to finally grow up. Today, both face a rite of passage, and nothing will ever be the same again. But in a nostalgic way, at once familiar and fresh to anyone who fondly remembers point and clicking through the adventures of old.
My first day on the island did not go well. Waking after some unknown calamity, it was only a few minutes before I stumbled upon a man-made structure and encountered its owner, working diligently to expand and improve his home. He was somewhat less pleased to see me, however, than I was to meet him. "Leave or I kill," he said, four short words I failed to take sufficiently seriously, and a few seconds later he hit me in the face with a hatchet, and then again, and I was dead. That’s life—and death—in Rust, an open-world survival game that falls somewhere between DayZ and Minecraft and has a way of bringing out both the best and the worst in its players.
If you're familiar with Spike's "Deadliest Warrior" television show, then you know what's in store with Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior, the newest DLC release for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It pits six warrior archetypes from throughout history—Samurai, Ninja, Viking, Knight, Spartan, and Pirate—against one another in brutal online multiplayer combat, the hook being that each class brings unique strengths and weaknesses to the battlefield. Heavily armored knights are slow and lumbering but hit like an angry Hulk, while Ninja are protected by nothing but speed and smoke but will kill you five times before you hit the ground.
A dogfighting multiplayer game focused on the aircraft of World War 2 and Korea never seemed like a natural fit for mouse and keyboard. World of Warplanes faced an almost insurmountable dilemma: if it was easy to control, it wouldn't feel like actual flying and dogfighting, and if it did feel authentic, then it would probably exclude most of its intended audience.
Bigby Wolf isn't worried about survival. Before he left the Homeland, he was the Big Bad Wolf. The one who terrorized the Three Little Pigs. The one who schemed to have Little Red Riding Hood for dinner. He can handle himself. But he is worried about his job as the sheriff of Fabletown, a community of fairytale immigrants hiding in plain sight in 1980s New York. And as Bigby looms over The Wind in the Willows' Mr. Toad, separate button prompts for questioning Toad and hitting him in the face force me to decide what kind of sheriff Bigby really is. I'm sure as hell worried about my reputation.
The original Rise of the Triad is a relic of the early ages of PC gaming. It didn’t ask you to aim up or down, quick save every few minutes, or worry about fiddling with graphics settings. It did, however, beg you to explode, shoot, and instagib everything.
Interceptor Entertainment’s 2013 remake is an earnest love letter to the original—warts and all. There are no quick saves, for example. There’s no regenerating health. The game doesn’t even have actual cutscenes aside from the intro. What it does have is an undeniable charm. This is Quake on steroids. Things move faster, explosions are bigger, and the giblets are greater.
Around a dozen hours into my time with Defiance, I realised that I was having fun. Not the kind of fun that warrants an unreserved recommendation, but I had acclimated to the vagaries of Trion’s sci-fi MMO shooter in such a way that I was getting something out of it. My early impressions, however, were not good. When I started playing, I scooted around on a quadbike and blasted mutants and noticed all of the game’s faults.
As I work on our final SimCity review (which I'll post on Friday), I've been documenting my observations and criticisms of the complex simulation and servers we're required to connect to if we want to play it. My analysis and opinions may change as I keep playing, but these notes represent the thought path that will lead to the final verdict.
This page covers the early game and medium-density cities, page two covers city specializations, multiplayer regions, and a failed high-density city, page three covers the always-online requirement, and page four tells the story of a metropolis with just one road.
Late in the campaign you find yourself fighting through the xenomorph-haunted hallways of Hadley’s Hope. You are accompanied by Private O’Neal, a smartgun-toting jarhead. He’s the model of an FPS sidekick: a bottomless font of bullets and exposition who always knows what the plot requires him to know and occasionally - just occasionally - needs you to watch his back while he hacks a door. The two of you turn a corner in time to see an anonymous marine get hoisted into a ventilation shaft by a xenomorph’s lunging tail-spike.
The original Monday Night Combat existed in limbo between the third-person shooter and MOBA genres, with the lane-pushing of Defense of the Ancients saddled onto shootouts between a scant six classes. Super takes everything that was good about the first game (constant activity, dynamic quips from a clichéd play-by-play commentator, and irreverent character design) but puts more of its chips into MOBA design.
Chin up CPU fans, Intel has launched its latest batch of processors out into the world today. On this fine anniversary of Shakespeare's birthday an infinite number of monkeys has been hard at work producing a replacement for the entire Core i7 and Core i5 range - not that they needed it - and Intel have crossed over Sandy Bridge and are onto a new Ivy Bridge design.
And we've had one of these new chips in the office to play with for a couple of weeks. Want to know what we think? Read on.