Escape From Tarkov: The guide starts here

Escape From Tarkov: The guide starts here

Escape from Tarkov has been available since July 2017 and has come a long way since then. It’s been constantly developed and updated by BattleState Games, and is turning into something very special indeed having exploded in popularity through some genius marketing on Twitch.

I’ve been playing it since late 2018 and have put in a ridiculous amount of time in it- I’m not exactly sure how much as the stats are reset each wipe, but the last time I checked I was at over 100 hours in the last wipe alone. What?!?! Don’t look at me like that….

So given that, I decided it was time to start pulling my experience together into a guide that will hopefully stop people making some of the mistakes I made during my early Tarkov life, and bridge some of the middle ground between newbie and pro.

It helps though to understand why Tarkov is such a great game. One of these reasons is that it generates truly memorable experiences like the one I had just the other day.

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F1 2020 – The Verdict

F1 2020 – The Verdict

Right or wrong, Formula 1 came back this past weekend with a stonking good race in Austria, and this week Codemasters also return with F1 2020, a tour-de-force of a racing game.

It’s been a few years since I last delivered my Verdict on one of the F1 titles, but with a raft of eye-catching new features lined up for F1 2020 I had to take a closer look. Normally I would have been playing this on the PC, but the new splitscreen mode made my choice of platforms for me, PlayStation 4 it was.

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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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Deus Ex – A Tale of Two Women

Deus Ex – A Tale of Two Women

Last week Ion Storm’s classic first-person RPG Deus Ex turned 20. The week before that I had written about the game for the first time, having played it through again over the winter, totally unaware of its imminent birthday. I don’t know why it took me just shy of two decades to write about given its enormous influence on my creative life (I first picked it up in…2002, by which time it had made its way into the Sold-Out Software range). It might be that I owe it something of a debt.

But so much has been written about Deus Ex over the years that I knew there was little value in going over the usual talking points. I decided instead to explore what it was like to be a part of this most immersive of games, with its rich, conspiracy-laden world. It meant venturing into the margins of its story, where a surprising amount of Deus Ex’s…let’s say purpose resides. And it meant talking about two characters that have always stuck with me and to whom I wished, in some small way, to tip my hat.

So, here it is. Happy birthday, Deus Ex. This was for you, in more ways than I knew.

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West of Dead – The Verdict

West of Dead – The Verdict

“This is not how death is supposed to be.”

So intones the recently deceased William Mason upon finding himself in purgatory and not…where, exactly? Collectively, we’ve lots of ideas on what the afterlife – should there be one – has in store for us. But we don’t know. It’s what makes this mortal plane of ours such a terrifying thrill.

Not so with video games. We know where death leads us: back to the last checkpoint or a swift return to the previous quick save. Death is a momentary impediment to progress, which is just as well because there’s often a shitload of baddies determined to scrub us from existence.

Weep for William Mason, then, who certainly didn’t bank on the afterlife being chock full of gun-toting ghouls and monsters. But then he probably hadn’t expected to look like a stylish cross between Ghost Rider and Overwatch’s McCree, either. You could do worse. Swings and roundabouts ‘an all that.

Slipping into Mason’s dusty boots I push my way into an empty saloon, which serves as the gateway to purgatory: a waiting room within a waiting room. I’ve little idea of what’s in store for me. I came here for West of Dead’s striking cel-shaded aesthetics, which create a world that often feels like a thick layer of ash caught in a time loop – forever frittering away without losing an inch. There’s farms and mines and towns, but in the words of one of our latter day cowboys, they’re more like someone’s faded memory of farms and mines and towns.

And that’s it as far as my knowledge is concerned. I was just excited to play something new.

The saloon’s sole occupant, the barman, doesn’t give any hints. He might have said “roguelike” and provided a definition, but instead seemed merely content to muse there’s east and there’s west.

East for the good souls.

West for the bad. Of course.

I’ll be going west, then.

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Nighthawks – The Vampire Themed Interview – Part Two

Nighthawks – The Vampire Themed Interview – Part Two

Earlier this week, we had a massive preview of Nighthawks, the vampire RPG with a narrative drive reminiscent of Sunless Seas and Skies. In the first part of our interview with creator Richard Cobbett, we covered Richard’s influences and the Kickstarter campaign. This time, we dive into the NPCs of the Nighthawks world, that crucial part of any vampire story…sex. We also cover life as a nightclub owner and talk more about the story of Nighthawks. Hit the break for all of part two.

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Nighthawks – The Vampire Themed Interview – Part One

Nighthawks – The Vampire Themed Interview – Part One

Last week, I brought the key news that in Nighthawks, the vampire RPG from Richard Cobbett, has a scene where a rat can kill you. Important information, I’m sure you can all agree that shaped my massive preview. That though was just one part of an extensive conversation I had with Richard, one so extensive that I’ve split it into two parts. In this first part, Richard talks about the influences behind Nighthawks, the Kickstarter campaign the allowed him to focus his efforts on it, and of course we cover combat and the aforementioned rat. Hit the break and find out more.

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