Tags Posts tagged with "PC"

PC

The initial premise for Beyond Earth is simple albeit serious. Humanity has screwed itself. There’s very little explanation but I imagine we all nuked each other or melted the ice caps or something. If my previous Civ games are anything to go by Giant Death Robots and Xcom soldiers probably did it. But never fear! There is an equally complicated solution. Journey to a different planet and recreate civilization from scratch.

At its core Beyond Earth is Civilization V with new features added or altered. Although that may seem like a bad thing to some, Civ V makes a very good platform on which to base another title. After playing Civ V extensively it’s easy to think you know it all due to Beyond Earth’s similarities. It quickly becomes apparent this isn’t the case.

Creating a game is much more like a wizard than ever before, and despite the fact you can still opt to use the advanced options menu for once I actually enjoyed the user friendly version. Although using my previous knowledge of Civ made it difficult to choose the right factions and their abilities. I had a go but realistically it’s only on your second game that you can make an educated decision.

Rather than picking a faction and getting a special ability and a special unit that becomes obsolete by mid game you now have 4 decisions; Sponsor, Colonists, Spacecraft and Cargo. There are some tricky decisions to be made and the amount of potential combinations is massive. The result is far more unique factions that behave much more like different nations than just nations with different names. One such ability allows you to see strategic resources on the map before you unlock the technology for it. Opting for this one allows you to secure huge amounts of resources early and mid game and bag plenty of favours and bargaining power for later on.

Favours are new to Beyond Earth and essential act as a tradable commodity. They can be quite valuable and can create some interesting diplomatic situations. At one point I had around 7 or 8 favours with a nation who I started to have ‘disagreements’ with. I found myself trying to be cautious and at least maintain neutrality until I’d had time to cash in my favours.

The main reason for disagreements between nations are related to your chosen victory condition. The cultural and diplomatic victories are not present but conquest still makes an appearance. A new condition that can be achieved by anyone is the contact victory. After acquiring certain technologies your nation can track a signal and attempt to make contact with an alien race. The other three victory conditions can be seen as factions as each requires specialisation to a particular kind of tech.

The Promised land victory requires you to build a transport gate and bring the survivors from earth to their new home relying mainly on war machines and earth tech. Emancipation pursues high technology and eventual sees your civilization rely on cybernetics and robotic implants. Finally transcendence sees you researching the alien wildlife on the planet and integrating it with your own technology. Each of the three requires a focus in the tech tree that by late game further emphasises the differences between nations to the point were you feel each has fundamental disagreements.

Pursuing the transcendence victory allowed me powerful alien/human hybrid units and eventually a giant bug like monster called the Xeno Titan. Fighting different units rather than just the same unit with a different colour is really refreshing and creates a very welcome change from Civ V.

CivBE_Screenshot_Arid_EarthlingSettler

Another feature that has been totally redesigned is the tech tree. No longer will you have to research everything. No longer is it just a case of choosing which order you research in – now there are actual decisions to make. Rather than a linear tree research is now carried out using the tech web. As the name suggests it sprawls in every direction. It’s very difficult to see what upgrades are important initially and my first game was basically an extended trial and error session.

Your chosen victory condition(s) make a huge bearing on which directions you go in but it’s a little difficult to identify which upgrades you need. On my first game I acquired all the transcendence tech I needed to construct the victory condition building only to find I couldn’t build it. In fact I’d missed a couple of researches out and it turned out I hadn’t paid enough attention to the quest menu which directed me on what to do next. A simple mistake but the researches can be hugely overwhelming at first with no dictated direction. Luckily by my second game I had enough knowledge to use the web properly and research efficiently.

Virtues have essentially replaced the policy system from Civ V but have a few added twists. You are now presented with 4 distinct virtue paths and rewards are granted for having a certain amount of virtues by type and by level. For example you could have a certain amount of virtues at level 3 across any type and gain a free virtue. Or you could have a reward from having 4 virtues in a single type. Or both. There’s some serious though to be put into virtues and the rewards are good enough that you may consider a slightly inferior virtue if it grants access to the reward.

There’s a much lower focus on buildings for your cities than before which becomes an absolute godsend late game. You’re now actually able to catch settlements up with your capital so they can produce things within a reasonable timeframe. There isn’t a need to construct countless buildings just because they’re there. Instead there are far less buildings but each one actually does something significant. As an added bonus building something new will bring up a quest choice which allows you to decide an additional benefit that all buildings of that type will have. For instance you might decide if that building gains +1 production or +1 food. Some of these benefits can be game changers and is another nice way to ensure nations, and repeat games, feel unique.

CivBE_Screenshot_Daoming_Supremacy

It’s impossible not to see Civ V shining through but Beyond Earth is absolutely brimming with style. Units, buildings and tile improvements all look beautifully colourful and sci-fi-ey. With a totally revamped technology tree, virtue system and genuinely unique factions Beyond Earth feels like much more than DLC.

Admittedly there is a lot of Civ V still present but the new features are significant enough to keep veterans interested. They also keep repeat games fresh and combined with new victory conditions I can see Beyond Earth lasting me many, many hours to come. It’s not quite Civ V, it’s not quite Civ VI and it’s not quite DLC but Beyond Earth is certainly worthy of the Civilization name.

 

by -
0

Get ready for a little slice of retro Codies arcade racing like out of the nineties with our new game Toybox Turbos. It’s bursting with multiplayer fun to share with your friends and family, Toybox Turbos takes you to kitchen tables, pool halls and science labs in this manic, miniaturised table top racer!.

The game will be coming out for Windows PC from Steam on 12th November priced at £11.99 / €14.99/ $14.99 and will be coming soon to the Xbox Games Store for the Xbox 360 and to the PlayStation 3 via the online store.

toybox_turbos_16-940x520

Each table top track is full of obstacles and shortcuts and filled with awesome and ridiculous power-ups. Use mines, machines guns and, of course, giant (well technically they are pretty small), car-mounted hammers as you race a selection of 35 super-fun toy vehicles, ranging from sports cars to moon buggies, diggers, ice cream vans and loads more.

For as long as I’ve played video games I’ve played survival horror. Or at least what I call survival horror. It’s not too difficult to come across someone who feels strangely warm and fuzzy when thinking about the gore, death and that unmistakable feeling of isolation. But it was the pure strategy and thought that was needed literally before each pull of the trigger or use of an item that made survival horror something special to me. And for me that game was undoubtedly Resident Evil.

Despite the long period of success that franchise is all but dead to me. Tension has been replaced by excitement and a careful approach to ammo consumption supplanted by an entire arsenal of weaponry that fits nicely into your pockets. And so I join the ranks of horror fans in the search for survival horror. The Evil Within is the first game in a long time that might just recapture some of that survival horror glory. Particularly as the legend that directed Resident Evil right up to Resi 4 (basically all the good ones), Shinji Mikami, is back as director.

While investigating a mental hospital, were some serious mass murdering has gone down, you are unfortunately captured and wake up hanging upside down from a rope. Your newest friend clearly didn’t get that part for Hostel (probably a blessing in disguise) and your escape from him forms the tutorial and prologue. You have no weapons apart from your fists and a machete you managed to acquire from a corpse during your escape.

Instead you’ll have a tense chase based primarily around the games stealth mechanics. Almost entirely really because this guy likes running around with a chainsaw (can’t think when we’ve seen anything like that before) and manages to injure you early meaning you can’t run properly. The tension as you slowly limp away or narrowly make it behind a box to hide is fantastic. It’s one of those moments that makes you curl your toes, knowing your pursuer may be only inches away and there’s nothing you can do to fight him or even check to see were he is.

Unfortunately there are very few other moments like that once the core gameplay starts. Your main form of attack will be using the one hit stealth kill to stab your enemies in the head. It’s effective up to a point but don’t expect to be Agent 47. The attack is slow and leaves you quite vulnerable, as it should. But it doesn’t use ammo and you all but guarantee that the guy you just stuck a knife in won’t be bothering you for a while. You can even throw bottles to create distractions. Getting the balance between speed and silence is tricky but I found stealth to be one of my best strategies throughout the game.

One problem is what you should do when you fudge a stealth takedown. So your target mysteriously turned around at the last minute. What do you do? The Evil Within provides you with several options but if things go really bad it’s often tempting to die and retry from a checkpoint. On occasion it’s difficult to use items knowing you could retry and save yourself a match or a few bullets.

The same goes for health syringes which are rare enough that using them has to be a conscious decision. But you regenerate your health to a minimum point and often it’s easier, and more economical, to just rely on minimum health and fall back on checkpoints if you need them.

Yet another reason your health feels totally pointless is the constant and utterly ridiculous overuse of traps. Especially proximity mines which have a tricky mini-game to disarm them and can easily blow you to pieces kill you instantly, or at least take most of your health off. If you use a syringe only to walk past a mine you didn’t see and get reduced back to critical health you have to wonder if it was worth using.

online_boxman_headshot_1407506480

The weapons are satisfying and well balanced. Nothing ever feels quite good enough that you become complacent but you don’t feel like you’re firing blanks either. Upgrades make a decent difference but a lot of them are unnecessary for most of the game. You’ll likely get to work on increasing the damage of your weapons and the amount of stuff you can carry and then everything else is just a slightly handy perk for late game and new game+. Progression is steady and you always feel like your getting somewhere, even if your not quite sure where.

Although you do have to wonder why the guns the enemies shoot can kill you quite easily. And for that matter why can they aim perfectly? And why the hell do they even have guns? Yet another survival horror that features a gun wielding variety of its particular flavour of zombie/monster. No horror game seems content without having enemies with guns. The game is more tense without them and the gameplay doesn’t benefit at all from their inclusion – especially considering I can’t effectively engage them at range.

I accept, as we all do, that certain realities must be ignored so that video games can work. But when you find yourself standing with a torch (of the wood and fire kind) capable of burning and instantly killing a living enemy, it’s totally bizarre that you can’t use it to burn an enemy on the floor. Instead you rely on your trusty matches which ignite them as if they were made entirely of petrol. Nor can you roll a downed enemy into the camp fire he is laying next to. Why not just leave torches and campfires out of the game? And if you think about the size of a bullet for a revolver how many do you think you could get in your pockets right now? I bet it’s more than 10. For a detective this guy is woefully unequipped. I would have rather had a space or weight limit and instead have to consider limited ammo drops rather than the totally ridiculous (initial) limit of 10 bullets and constantly find ammo I can’t pick up. If you had a pair of combats and a rucksack you’d be sorted. Oh and a jet lighter. Why do they never bring lighters?

online_Laura_sneak_1407506481

The Evil Within really excels with environments. Every new area is creepy and impossibly well detailed. Exploring the areas is a treat, albeit a hesitant one. The backgrounds are beautifully out of focus and catching sight of a stumbling creature as you investigate the foreground is chilling. It looks stunning but more than that the design and workmanship behind every single inch of every room is really amazing. The first few minutes of each section before I started taking out the nasty things were by far my favourite. It’s just a shame so much of that atmosphere is lost once the fighting begins.

There are just these absolutely amazing moments of tension as you soak up the artfully crafted atmosphere. But there’s always something just around the corner to ruin it. The ability to rely on checkpoints takes most of the survival and conservation out of the game unless you actively ignore them. Even if you don’t use the checkpoints they’re always there as a security net. Creeping your way around to defeat enemies and feeling vulnerable and disadvantaged is handled well although personally I’d still rather sacrifice it for the need to use weapons and ammo strategically.

The Evil Within is gory and patiently unnerves you using the fantastic environments and devious enemy design to create a dark atmosphere. Personally I’d rather the challenge came from survival and conservation rather than difficulty but that’s just preference. As an action horror title The Evil Within is the best since Resident Evil 4 but I still felt the survival elements took a back seat. Either way a triumphant return of the great Shinji Mikami to horror and the best hope for the genre in a long time.

by -
0

With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set to release in just a few weeks, and today, PC players will finally know if your current PC will support the game now that its system requirements have been revealed.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

The Steam page for the game was updated to reveal just want kind of specs Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will require in order to be playable.

Here’s the bare minimum you’ll need:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1GB or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 55 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX-compatible

With a new gameplay launch trailer was also released over the weekend, that was showing off some impressive visuals taken directly from in-game footage. We’re also introduced to the “advanced warfare” aspect of the game, which includes the use of drones, exo-skeletons, and jet packs. We’re also treated to some of Kevin Spacey’s impressive motion capture and voice acting chops as he plays the role of Jonathan Irons, who is the leader of the Atlas Corporation.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be released on 4th November on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

After an inconceivably long wait the sequel to Wasteland has finally arrived. Wasteland 2 is a post-apocalyptic top down RPG. So we can expect the usual thugs, bandits and giant mutated creatures of some sort.

The first things you will see is a character creation screen, or more specifically a team creation screen. You’ll have four character slots to fill and rather than creating your protagonist and acquiring team members as you play you create all four from the start. There are also a reasonable selection of premade characters but I can’t see any RPG fans opting in.

WL2_Character_Generation_1

But the offer does become more tempting once you reach the stats page. As usual you are given a certain number of points to assign to different attributes or skills. And as usual it’s difficult to know which are going to be useful and which aren’t. The difference with Wasteland 2 is that there are just so many options for you that initial character creation is rather intimidating. The tooltip descriptions are reasonably helpful but for first time players a quick bit of research is probably in order. It certainly was for me rather than risking playing 10 hours and realising one of your team is useless.

What is nice is having the freedom to create an entire team. All too often you create your character only to find a party member along the way who can do everything better than you. Having to think ahead and tactically distribute skills across four characters, although intimidating, is actually quite refreshing.

Bugs

Throughout the entire game there is this sense that Wasteland 2 is a game from long ago. The help is minimal, the graphics are nothing particularly special and there certainly isn’t any room for advanced facial animations and the like. Not that you really see anybody’s face close up anyway. But what it does offer is a massive amount of freedom and a sense of satisfaction when you figure something out or overcome hurdles.

Even simple things like the first time I bypassed a gate which had an alarm, a trap and a lock. I first inspected the gate using my team leader, who has high perception, and then set him to work defusing the traps – a skill I had assigned him earlier. I then called up my lock picking, alarm cracking second in command and after all was complete the gate opened safely and silently.

It’s the manual nature of the tasks that gave me satisfaction. Having to call up my second knowing that she had the relevant skills and select them from the hotbar is far more satisfying than the cursor changing to the corresponding task automatically whenever you do anything. It’s a look back at the golden age of the RPG before games helped us out and made things easy and even the slight inconvenience of selecting an ability manually is far more rewarding.

But it does make for a steep learning curve. The first mission you are sent on is relatively simple and the level of difficulty is not too high but generally speaking Wasteland 2 is a tough game. And if you’re only used to modern RPGs the early game can be a little rough. But by making sure you save every 3 seconds and learning by trying rather than listening before long you feel confident that you can make it in this harsh world.

WL2_RadioTower_Alarm

Combat is a turn based affair that plays out quite differently from most other top down squad based titles. There’s can be a strangely fast pace to combat considering how easily you can be slaughtered. Each character has a certain amount of AP (action points) to use on abilities each turn. Each character can have two weapons and, assuming you have a balanced team, will hopefully all use different ammo types so there aren’t fights over a certain type of round as you through boxes of unused bullets into a puddle of biological waste.

Early game it’s very easy to get caught up in the pace of the fight and forget that this is a very tactical combat system but as the enemies get tougher you find a need to slow down and think. Selecting abilities, moving characters and anything else you might want to do is simple and the UI helps make sure you don’t lose because of a stray click or an ambiguous cursor. They even decided to have attack and move on different mouse buttons. Sounds like something small but to all those who ever tried to click an enemy to attack them and saw they’re character run right up to him, end their turn and wait to die this kind of thing is a big deal.

Questing is the usual selection of people in trouble, helping those that hate you and fighting half crazed lunatics wearing American football gear. Although most of the dialogue is spoken the main interface for conversations resembles a 90’s printer stuck at the bottom of the screen. Your options for dialogue will appear underneath the transcript and you can either click on them or type the option directly into the UI which is fairly useless – but kind of fun.

The options and dialogue trees are certainly in depth enough that you never feel wanting for more. Often I would find that conversations would end just at the point were I said to myself ‘I seriously hope that was the last branch’. There’s nothing particularly unique about the characters but they do a decent job of filling all the prerequisite roles needed for a post-apocalyptic journey.

WL2_LosAngelesSneakPeek

Wasteland 2 is a throw back to RPGs of old. It’s the sequel to a game that’s 26 years old (and also was released the same year I was born) and definitely looks to the 90s for inspiration. It’s also a game RPG fans want. Sure it can be a rough start but give us the numbers and stats we crave. Give us tactical combat that those stats actually matter in rather than just spectacle. Give us enough quests so we keep coming back for more after 10 hours. Wasteland 2 gives you just that. It doesn’t look the best and doesn’t even try to add new features but it’s just a good, solid RPG. Just like the good old days.

 

by -
0

We gave you the chance to win Pro Rugby Manager 2015 on PC and here are the winners.

2014-09-03_00054_thumb

Developed under license from the biggest rugby union leagues in the world – Aviva Premiership Rugby (England), PRO12 (Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy) and TOP14 / PRO D2 (France), Pro Rugby Manager 2015 will give players the opportunity to manage any of the 54 official teams from these leagues.

Here is the launch trailer:

The Winners

We had three digital copies of Pro Rugby Manager 2015 on PC to give away:

Wendy Procter
Paul Scotland
Tom Baines

And thanks againto our friends at 505 Games for the codes.

by -
0

Today Disney Interactive and Marvel announced has released the Disney Infinity 2.0 for the PC, and it now available globally for players to download for free.

ToyBox_Merida_1

The free game allows players access to demo versions of Marvels’ The Avengers, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy Play Sets and 2.0 Toy Box, where online multiplayer is now available for the first time. In the 2.0 Toy Box 2.0, players can continue to create, edit and share their Toy Box creations across console and PC platforms, making it a truly connected gaming experience.

SpiderMan_ToyBox_2_1402426573

Fans can also experience Daily Challenges, which are randomly generated levels that can be played with any available character. Three characters are always free to play at any one time and will rotate often. Console players who already own Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes and last year’s Disney Infinity can use web code cards that come with their physical retail Play Sets and character figures to unlock those Play Sets and characters in the PC game. More than 45 Disney and Marvel characters from both games are now playable.

Building on last year’s PC release, players can create one-of-a-kind Toy Boxes in the improved 2.0 Toy Box using their favorite Marvel and Disney characters, vehicles, settings and items. Those Toy Boxes can then be shared and played with friends on any platform, regardless of the one it was created on, including the upcoming app for iOS which is launching soon. In-game currency, known as Sparks, can be earned once challenges are completed and can be used to purchase new toys, costumes and upgrades.

Additionally, the PC version introduces a new Friend Recruitment program. Players can send invitation requests to friends, and if their friend accepts and plays for a certain amount of time, a free character will be unlocked for use in-game for the person sending the invite.

Digital Starter Packs and other content can be purchased separately to enhance the gameplay experience. As new characters become available at retail, they will also become available digitally in the PC Shop.

 

by -
65

It’s time for another giveaway on CDW, and this time you can win Pro Rugby Manager 2015 on PC.

2014-09-03_00054

Developed under license from the biggest rugby union leagues in the world – Aviva Premiership Rugby (England), PRO12 (Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy) and TOP14 / PRO D2 (France), Pro Rugby Manager 2015 will give players the opportunity to manage any of the 54 official teams from these leagues.

Here is the launch trailer:

How to enter to win

We have three digital copies of Pro Rugby Manager 2015 on PC to give away!

There are three different ways you can enter to win – for a better chance of winning you can enter using all three!

Via the site

So all you have to do to win is to leave a comment below telling us who your favourite Rugby team is.

Via Twitter

Just retweet the message below, and make sure you are following @aedney on Twitter:

Via Facebook

Like Us on Facebook and leave a comment on the Facebook post:

Usual contest rules apply, and the winners will be selected at random. This contest is open only to those in the UK – sorry!

The contest ends Sunday 12th October, so good luck and thanks to our friends at 505 Games for the codes.

It’s finally time to catch the fever. Since Train Fever has a minimalist design I thought I’d just jump straight in and get started. Starting up a new game brings up the option to play two simple tutorials. The first is for setting up a simple bus route and the other for a train line. Everything went smoothly but after I’d finished both sections of the tutorial I realized I had no money left after my tracks had been automatically built using bridges and tunnels. Not too much of a problem, I merely restarted having learned my lesson and I appreciated the freedom to make mistakes but perhaps such freedom is out of place during a tutorial.

So I started my new map and set about deciding which two towns to connect. I set up my bus routes easily. Each town has a limited amount of road already laid out for you to work with. Placing a bus stop on a section of road creates a point for citizens to wait for a bus to arrive. And then you create a route using however many of these stops you want and assign a vehicle to it. The vehicle then begins work and eventually you should earn money from the route.

Feature_01

There was a certain satisfaction in deciding on how many vehicles to assign for efficiency and cost effectiveness. And making an efficient route isn’t quite as simple as it first appears. Things like placing stops on the correct side of the road can make a significant difference in how long it takes for your busses to complete their route. But ultimately once a route is set up there’s very little for you to do but build new ones.

For train lines it’s a little more complicated. Not because there’s any difficulty, of course you’re route options are rather limited but that should make things easier. And it does once you’ve built the track but the building itself can be a torturous experience at times. Countless times I would drag the track tool only to see it was unavailable due to ‘Terrain alignment’. That’s all the so called help you get. There’s no indication on how to make it right and considering sometimes a bridge or tunnel will be created when needed it’s rather confusing when that doesn’t happen. So many times I found myself dragging the endpoint of my track around like a fool to try and find a valid spot with no success. I also found it frustrating that track would be cut into the scenery at times when it could just as easily have been placed on the surface level.

And creating a long length of track is even worse. To select the correct track to extend you have to have the camera fairly close. Not zoomed right in but still enough that you’re view of the map is limited. And you are unable to move the camera with track selected. So you’ll have to build it up in smaller sections, which quickly becomes a pain.

But the UI is slick even if it’s only because there isn’t much of it. There are very few elements at all and each of them has a purpose. Clicking on an element often opens up a widow in game that can be moved and closed like a window on an operating system. So Train Fever gets a very raw feel. Everything has its place and nothing is there unnecessarily or just to make things look better. Having said that I can’t help but feel this is partly because Train Fever has little more to offer.

Feature_02a

The level of detail is nothing short of amazing. Each coble that makes up a street feels as though someone has carefully placed it. Each citizen has a ‘thought process’ in deciding how long they are willing to wait for their transport or how far they will walk. There’s so much detail embedded in Train Fever but so much of it seems misdirected. For example it’s great that everything looks so good but I’d far rather be able to zoom out with more than around 1 frame every 5 seconds. The map is impressively huge but therefore I need to be able to scroll the map while I have the track building tool selected.

Train Fever has a lot in common with Banished. Banished had no objectives or rewards other than to survive. It was difficult and its lack of accessibility meant it was reserved for those who loved city building. Train Fever is largely the same. Once you’ve built your basic infrastructure you expand and grow. And as time passes you’re transport will become more modern. And the changes in era are impressive as your trains, busses, buildings and technologies become closer to the year 2000. Train Fever’s coverage of time is truly impressive.

But unfortunately were time in-between growth on Banished was spent balancing consumables and keeping people healthy Train Fever offers you very little. You build a new line of either busses or trains and eventually it makes money. Then when you have enough you can build another. I’m glad Train Fever doesn’t lose focus and try to be a full city builder and I love the detail and effort that’s clearly gone into it. But without resource management or people complaining about needing transport or something in between it can quickly become boring. When Banished kept me hooked by making me constantly check supply and demand, population growth and consumption Train Fever allows me to do nothing.

Feature_02b

There’s certainly fun to be had in Train Fever and it’s well designed at least as far as a transport manager goes. It looks great and the attention to detail is incredible. But without objectives Train Fever needs to provide us with something to do. There simply isn’t enough to keep even some hardcore fans interested for too long. On top of that the build tools can be awkward or temperamental and the optimization is far from perfect. Train Fever can be good fun for a little while but anyone other than the hardcore will struggle to find much entertainment value in it after a couple of hours. Nevertheless it’s an incredibly impressive game especially for such a small developer. With a few bits of extra content or maybe some custom scenarios Train Fever could be a great game but as it stands it’s ‘only’ good.

 

by -
0

For those unsure Wikipedia gives a decent explanation of just what exactly Grey Goo is. So it’s something sci-fi fans and gamers should be pretty familiar with. But it’s also the name of an upcoming game. And one that a lot of us will agree is more important than something as silly as the end of the world. I got to play hands on during Gamescom for far longer than I should have done until sadly we had to leave. I mean we were there playing for a long time. And I loved every nanosecond of it.

TheBeta_Screenshot_05

Grey Goo is an RTS that’s stuck in the past in all the right ways and forward thinking in all the others. There’s no way to describe it other than an old-school RTS. The RTS Genre has changed a lot since the golden age of C&C and a few titles still excite me. But nobody ever tried to make a game like the old days just with a few changes. There are so many things I miss from an old-school RTS that could work if only they were updated or tweaked. Enter Grey Goo.

Grey Goo certainly doesn’t fix things that don’t need fixing. So base building is back in a big way. A good base layout can be the difference between success and failure. To gather resources you will build a harvester on a resource point and let the harvester do the work. There are no builder units, thank god, to get constantly pestered by the AI. Aircraft need an airbase to launch from and return to. It all feels incredibly comfortable, familiar and welcome territory.

But Grey Goo’s excellence lies in its factions. Initially I played as the Beta. There isn’t particularly a focus for this faction but they do have the rather nifty ability to socket their robotic walker-like troops into defensive towers and even some epic units. And then I played the humans who make very good turtles. Yes there is actually a faction just for those of us who love to sit there and build bases before crushing our enemies. At last a faction designed for turtling. But the downside is that each building must be attached to a power node which acts like a huge wire that you lay down as you would a wall. Careful base planning is a must for this faction.

Each of these two factions also uses a clever building system where factories and the like are specialized using different nodes that attach to them. For instance you build a factory which is capable of building only basic units. For example attaching a certain node allows it to specialize and build artillery units. For more powerful units you will need multiple nodes and, again, careful planning.

Screenshot_2014-03-11_01

And then there’s the Goo. They don’t have buildings at all. They have a ‘MotherGoo’ at the start which is a giant grey blob (that looks awesome!). To create units or units capable of becoming other units you will have to split off sections of the MotherGoo. To gather resources your goo will sit on a resource pile and just absorb it. It’s hands down the most unique faction I’ve ever seen in an RTS. Ever.

There’s so much depth and so many awesome features that it’s impossible to fit everything into this article. I haven’t seen factions like this since Yuri’s Revenge or C&C Generals: Zero Hour. And even then nothing remotely similar to the Grey Goo ‘faction’. Most of my time at the presentation was spent discussing things that to most would seem trivial. Like “do air units return to base after they’ve used their ammo or reload and return to their previous location?” which the guys had clearly been discussing already. And when I noticed at one point when I built a gate in a wall a unit actually turned around to go on the shorter route. This attention to detail will undoubtedly make Grey Goo a joy to play.

A majority of the crew are ex Westwood guys which makes them responsible for a big portion of my childhood and the main reason I love RTS’s today. Those games were some of the first I ever played and Grey Goo is a chance for that golden age to return. The detailing is just incredible in every respect and the visuals are nothing short of beautiful. And another thing the team is, rightly, proud of is that the AI is highly intelligent and doesn’t cheat to create the challenge. And it’s tough to beat even on the lower difficulties. If you even have a vague interest in RTS’s keep at least one eye firmly on this game.

 

by -
0

Rockstar Games has announced that Grand Theft Auto V will arrive on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the 18th November, with the PC version to follow on 27th January.

gta-v-620x349
Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC has added new features with a range of major visual and technical upgrades to make Los Santos and Blaine County more immersive than ever. In addition to increased draw distances and higher resolution, players can expect a range of additions and improvements including:

–       New activities;
–       New weapons;
–       New vehicles;
–       Additional wildlife;
–       Denser traffic;
–       New foliage system;
–       Enhanced damage and weather effects, and much more.

The new version of Grand Theft Auto V will also add features of enhanced radio selections, with over 100 additional new songs and new DJ mixes from returning DJs across the game’s 17 radio stations.

All players who pre-order the game will receive $1,000,000 in-game cash to spend across Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.

by -
0

When you watch the hero of any 90’s spy thriller they all share one thing in common. They always stand directly in the spotlight and soak up as much of the attention as possible. But what about ‘the guy in the van’. They do at least half the work but never get half the credit. Clandestine looks to set the record straight.

Clandestine is a co-op game by design rather than offering it up as a secondary mode. One member of your partnership plays as the operative and the other as the ‘guy in the van’. If you’re in the van you’ll be tasked with checking cameras to identify enemy locations for your partner, hacking doors to allow your partner to progress or even occasionally using the environment to take out an enemy. This all takes place as if you’re the character sat a computer. So all you see is the interface(s) your character would see.

Meanwhile Sarah (the operative), who has an adequately complex back story, will be sneaking around taking and giving instructions, judo chopping enemies and generally mimicking Sam Fisher; from the original Splinter Cell. For this player the game is completely third person. You’ll be relying entirely on ‘simple’ stealth mechanics using cover and only a few simple gadgets. There’s no ‘stealth cammo’ in Clandestine. Everything you’ll use is basically from the 90’s, or at least movies of the 90’s.

It’s very clear that Clandestine’s stealth is looking back to a time before stealth games became third person action games. For instance there are strict limits on equipment, so you can’t become the walking armoury that Sam Fisher has become. The only guns available to you will be pistols. No rifles at all. You must use proper stealth to complete your objectives. And teamwork.

But by far the most important feature of Clandestine is the possibility of emergent experiences due to the need for cooperation. It’s no good being in the van and not providing your operative with real-time updates. I’ve got visions of counting down to indicate when my friend should sneak behind a patrolling guard. Or panicking to quickly open a door as your operative attempts to avoid detection. Imagine taking fire and having to wait for support with no idea what’s going on, trusting that your partner has your back. These stories and interactions are real. They’re what will make Clandestine a great game.

Clandestine excites me a lot. I miss the old Splinter Cell games. And I’ve never been given the chance to be the person in the earpiece. Clandestine is looking like it will be a great stealth experience but also offer something genuinely new. And that doesn’t happen much these days. Once the game is a little closer to being ready I’m hoping to do a play session with one of the team so stay tuned for that. Clandestine should be in any stealth fans wish list and is due for release exclusively to PC early 2015. Stay tuned for more soon!

SOCIAL

1,850FansLike
5,005FollowersFollow
12,092SubscribersSubscribe

LATEST REVIEWS

0
Classic Lara returns in a new instalment to the Tomb Raider spin off series. I wonder how difficult it is to befriend an Egyptian god?

Web Search