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Hardspace: Shipbreaker – The Verdict

Hardspace: Shipbreaker – The Verdict

Hardspace Shipbreaker is certainly not the first game to concern itself with reducing spaceships to their component parts, but it is certainly one of the most methodical in its approach. The usual method generally consists of flying around high intensity combat situations, dodging missiles and lasers and to be honest, sometimes it can feel like a bit much.

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Nighthawks – Wishlist before the rat gets you

Nighthawks – Wishlist before the rat gets you

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about Nighthawks, the vampire RPG from the mind of Richard Cobbett. The narrative driven journey through a world where vampires are known in the wider world was successfully Kickstarted a couple of years ago, but most recently the Steam page went live ready for you to wishlist ahead of its 2021 release. But that’s not the only Nighthawks related shenanigans that have happened recently as the game was featured during The Escapist’s mega indie showcase this past weekend.

Having stayed up deep into the vampire hours, when I saw Richard talk the Escapist team through combat against a rat, I had to find out more. Could you, a mighty vampire, fall at the feet of a rat? The answer might surprise, hit the break to find out about that rat, and watch Nighthawks on the indie showcase.

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Deathloop – Dishonored developers move forwards

Deathloop – Dishonored developers move forwards

I’m a massive fan of the Dishonored games from Arkane Lyon, with both titles appearing my Year in Games lists, and I can’t hide my disappointment that Dishonored 2 didn’t do the numbers to allow for another entry, with the series currently “resting”. Fortunately Arkane Lyon haven’t been resting, and are moving forwards with DEATHLOOP coming this holiday season for PlayStation 5 and PC. For me, DEATHLOOP was the highlight of Sony’s big PlayStation 5 unveiling, read on to find out why.

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The indie hits keep coming to the Switch

The indie hits keep coming to the Switch

Indie games are indeed everywhere, they’re no longer confined to the PC landscape with the three console manufacturers all expanding their investment in the indie gaming scene. So the news that two indie hits are coming to the Switch shouldn’t be surprising, but when it is Behold the Kickmen and Yes, Your Grace, I feel the need to let the world know that soon they will be landing on the Switch.

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Adventure in Aellion Beta, Release Date(!)

Adventure in Aellion Beta, Release Date(!)

You might remember that back in January, when life was normal, I previewed Adventure in Aellion based on my hands-on time with it at EGX last year and a chat with Luke O’Donoghue, director of developers The Game Product Company. I described it back then as “a Zelda-like with drop-in drop-out multiplayer”, and if you want to check it out yourself a beta is now available, with all the details and a new trailer below the cut.

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Card Fight! Fights in Tight Spaces

Card Fight! Fights in Tight Spaces

In these Corona filled times, sporting events and leagues across the country are being postponed. One such example is the Elite Ice Hockey League, the best place to go to watch some hard hitting brawling with a dash of ice hockey. Where might I find something than can quench my desire for some fighting? Later this year, Fights in Tight Spaces might fill the puck-shaped hole in my heart.

Coming from Ground Shatter, with publishing duties helmed by Mode 7 (Frozen Synapse, Tokyo 42)Fights is a card-based tactical fighting game that looks extremely stylish.

With over 150 cards to choose from, you’ll be able to create a fighting style that suits you down to the ground. Along the wy you will pick up injuries or enhancements, all while bringing down criminal organisations across the world.

For me, as long as I can get fighting like this, I’ll be happy.

 

Football Manager 2020 – Welcome to the Cymru Leagues!

Football Manager 2020 – Welcome to the Cymru Leagues!

There’s a new Football Manager due for full release in a little over a week, but of course anyone who pre-ordered will already have access to the Beta on Steam. I’ve been trying my hand at the new version, there’s lots of things which look good. But the most important for me is the expanded Cymru Leagues (Welsh Leagues for you everyday folk).

Most of my time in Football Manager is spent with clubs such as The New Saints and hometown club, Cardiff Metropolitan University. I always have fun, but without any leagues below the old Welsh Premier, there wasn’t the depth I craved.

However, following the restructuring of the Welsh pyramid and associated rebranding, the Cymru Leagues are now present and correct in Football Manager. That means you have the Cymru Premier, along with Cymru North and Cymru South sitting below the top division. All the teams are there, and as you can probably tell from my video walkthrough of the leagues, I’m very pleased about this development.

There’s no doubting that Welsh football is at the bottom of the football land in Britain, with the Irish leagues getting more exposure on a regular basis, with thanks to their clubs recently appearing in Europa League group stages. Welsh football has been performing better in Europe in recent seasons, and the Cymru Premier is becoming ever more competitive thanks to the resurgence of Barry and consistent performers elsewhere. It’s true though that TV coverage is minimal, and mainstream press coverage doesn’t exist beyond coverage of Cardiff Met’s European adventures this season, and that’s largely because they’re students.

All this means that a big round of applause goes out to Matthew Burgess who is the new Head Researcher for Wales for Football Manager. It must have been tireless work for him to collate as much information as has on the teams below the Cymru Premier, and he has a must-read blog about his adventures in this role. I’m looking forward to the final data updates that will come with the final release next week and getting stuck into a proper career.

Cymru am byth!

Northgard – The Verdict

Northgard – The Verdict

The first time I played Northgard was on the PC in December 2018. For reasons still lost to me, I didn’t try to start off in the story mode, but instead jumped straight into a singleplayer game against three AI opponents without any idea of what was going on. I didn’t last long, but the aesthetic and setting of the game still appealed.

When I heard that Shiro Games were bringing their Norse strategy survival game to the Switch, I was extremely keen on taking another look. I didn’t make the same mistake as last year this time around; this time stepping into the story mode to try and get myself a foothold in the game.

Your clan at the start of the game. So happy and friendly.

Filled with Norse mythology, the story sets you in the shoes of Rig, Viking son of the High King who must search for a new home for his clan in the new continent of Northgard. The first couple of story missions are a gentle introduction to the mechanics of Northgard, that is until the third level where the brutality of this new land starts to be revealed.

Fortunately, the console version of Northgard is more welcoming than the classic PC version. As you start a new level, you don’t have to fear about being lost as to what to build to get your clan going. An array in the centre of your screen gives you a contextual view of the buildings that might be suitable for construction.

There dynamic control wheel opens up a wider range of options, open it when on a clear part of a zone and you see the full build menu, while opening it on a building gives you the requisite choices for upgrading a building or setting production targets. At the press of another button you can choose to see details of what your clan members are up to or refresh yourself with your victory conditions.

Working away hard at the forge.

It’s easy to control and got me involved quicker to a much greater extent than on the PC. There is still great depth to the seemingly easy job of looking after your friendly clan. As the year progresses towards winter, you want to ensure you have adequate supplies of food and wood to keep your horde happy and healthy.

Balancing your resources in the early game against the need to expand your reach around the map is a key challenge. With each zone on the map only supporting a limited number of buildings, you need to expand to build the houses you need to increase your population limit, but each additional zone you want to bring into your domain requires more food to acquire.

Even when you think you’ve got a grip of things, the world of Northgard itself throws challenges at you. You’ve got a good thing going with a farm and some sheep being tended to? Rats will appear requiring silos to keep your food safe and healers to prevent the spread of disease among the clan. A severe winter will eat into your resource supplies quicker than ever, while Draugr can rise from demonic portals and wreak havoc where you were previously safe.

You can’t afford to let your guard drop at any point in Northgard with the tables able to be turned on you at any moment. It’s almost crying out for an Easy mode so I can explore a map and work my way up the Lore tree and build more breweries to keep my people happy.

While it is disappointing that the latest free content updates that have appeared on the PC version haven’t yet made their way over to Switch, it’s clear that Shiro Games have already spent a lot of time and effort ensuring their console adaptation is as good as it should be, they’ve done a great job with this console version.

The Verdict – Headshot

Platforms Available – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed – Switch

For more on our scoring policy, please read this post. Review based on code supplied by PR.