What is worse than coming down with a post-Eurogamer Expo cold? Having a killer hangover. That was how I felt this morning, and it is only now that I feel a tiny bit alive. Thanks go out to Nick for covering the column last week. This week we have some words from Edcrab about classic title StarTopia, hit the jump for Week 12 of Our Week in Games here at The Reticule.
This time next week I’ll have Dishonored to play with (and possibly the new XCOM, depending on if my willpower holds) but in the meantime I’ve revisited a few classics. StarTopia seemed a natural choice, what with FTL rekindling my hunger for space-management games. The realisation that it was over a decade old startled me. Would’ve sworn it hadn’t been so long since I’d first experienced the demo courtesy of a magazine.
Mucky Foot was one of the teams that formed after Bullfrog was absorbed into EA, and there’s a distinct Theme Hospital/Dungeon Keeper flavour to 2001′s StarTopia, which is basically parts of each except IN SPAAACE. You’re brought in to make a string of different space stations viable facilities for various employers, building rooms and recruiting aliens.
And it’s great fun! The camera still irritates me from time to time and to my amazement even my modern PC hiccupped and produced graphical artifacts a few missions in (easily fixed by switching to software rendering, fortunately), but all the enjoyable stuff I remembered is still there too: the depth is impressive, the humour is still… well, good-humoured without trying too hard.
That depth does fight the interface from time to time, and it doesn’t help that higher resolutions shrink the UI to near-invisibility, but it generates a great sense of bustle and scope. And how many other games let me recruit underdressed men to work in my love nest? By finding them in a disco, no less.
In between blowing my nose off my face and coughing my guts up I have had a little bit of time for Borderlands 2 and A Game of Dwarves which I talked about in my hands on preview here. Borderlands 2 though is really great fun, I’m still in the early stages of the game but I love picking up my sniper rifle and popping a few heads. This coming week though is going to be all about Dishonored for myself, and the new XCOM for some others, there is also a small thing called Fable: The Journey, but that seems to have all but disappeared from sight, probably because Kinect really hasn’t caught on as much as it could have.