I always used to think I wasn’t a fan of collectible card games, for so long I dismissed them, but games like Fights in Tight Spaces have started to change my mind. With my horizons being broadened, when I saw a press release revealing that Cardaclysm was going to be leaving Early Access on the 26th February, my interest was piqued. The mention of fighting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse might have had something to do with that.
Thanks in some small part to starting to watch Parks and Rec, and my recent trip into the Railgrade demo, I’ve recently returned to tycoon game Rise of Industry which I first checked out three years ago during Early Access. The game has come a long way since there with a couple of major updates, and a futuristic expansion taking you to 2130. The team at Dapper Penguin Studios are celebrating the second anniversary of the release of the full game out of Early Access. While thanking the fans and wannabe industrial tycoons, the team have also revealed that their next project will be a restaurant simulation game, but with a twist. I know full well how good Rise of Industry is, and I’m going to be keeping an eye out for future teases of Dapper Penguin’s next adventure.
When I read a press release with a subject title starting “Celebrated’ I tend to roll my eyes. When it’s regarding For the King though, a smile comes to my face as it actually is celebrated. I wrote back in May 2019 that the Switch release “brought new life to what is a gem of an RPG“, and I am very pleased to read that the game now has over 3 million players across the numerous platforms it released on, success which has brought about an expansion which releases today on PC.
Stylish card-based fighting game, Fights in Tight Spaces has today been confirmed for an Early Access release date of 24th February, and the free Prologue has also been updated. Exciting times indeed for a game that I’ve long been interested in. With over 20,000 players trying out the Prologue, the team at Groundshelter and Mode 7 Games must be looking forward to seeing the reaction when the Early Access version is available. The game is pretty much feature complete, with the developers expecting about 40-hours of play from the Early Access edition. While the Daily Challenges won’t feature in the Early Access version at launch, the team expect to use their time in Early Access to introduce a new character and further balance the game based on player feedback.
I played the Prologue back in December and was left very impressed with the style of the game, and the action was pretty damn good to. The Prologue has been updated with a refresher UI and replay system to check out all of your best hits. You can find Fights on Steam here, and while you wait for Early Access to launch, you can find the free Prologue right here.
As part of the Steam Games Festival, I stumbled across a demo for Railgrade, a construction strategy set around building railway lines on a far-flung colony cut-off from Earth. The demo is painfully short giving the briefest of a tease as to what the full game will offer. But it was just enough to pique my interest.
The big news this week was the big unveiling of the Mass Effect remaster. It is a series which defined a generation, and is going to be returning with plenty of lens flare and a bit less sexualisation of FemShep. There’s a lengthy interview on Eurogamer which is very much worth a read.
If you want some other Sunday reading, I’d point you in the direction of this GI.biz article which looks into the broader consequences of Google’s decision to close their internal Stadia development teams. Streaming certainly has a future, but what it looks like is still very much up for debate.
And now, on with Our Week in Games.
The release of Hitman 3 has been met with high praise from critics, but not all as gone entirely smoothly with friction around integrating with the previous titles in the trilogy causing concern, especially for the PC community. It leads me to wonder whether IO Interactive missed a trick by moving away from Hitman 2016’s episodic release structure?
The return of the Command & Conquer brand last year with the remasters of the Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert was met with a warm reception, and served to breathe new life into the C&C forums on Reddit. My casual monitoring of those sub-reddits led me to stumbling across a post about Commanding Nations. This is a prospective indie RTS from a team known as Seven Volts Games which is drawing inspiration from Command & Conquer: Generals, what was a divisive game in the community at one point but has had its image rehabilitated following the disaster of Tiberian Twilight.
From looking at the official site, Commanding Nations is at a very early stage in development, but the team will be launching a Kickstarter soon. I’ll be keen to see how things pan out once the Kickstarter launches, and whether the team gets the funding they need to push on with development. For those who yearn for a certain era of RTS though, this might be one worth keeping track of.
I wrote the other day about Half-Life: Opposing Force, an article which inspired me to return to the 1998 classic. I wrote about Half-Life at length back in 2019 where I talked about some of the joys and downright headscratching moments. My recent foray back to the Black Mesa complex took me to the Surface Tension chapter, it’s a strange one which has some highlights, lowlights and more of those moments where you wonder what Valve were doing.
When you talk to someone about their favourite moments of the Half-Life series, people will often cite the opening tram ride through Black Mesa in the original or the G-Man’s prep talk during the Half-Life 2 opening. There might be some souls who favoured Xen with others who would dig deep into the back catalogue and mention something from Blue Shift. It would be a rare fan indeed who would have a favourite moment from Opposing Force, the first expansion to Valve’s masterpiece, but coming from Gearbox Software. I was a fan of this alternative take on the Black Mesa incident, but YouTuber BAST Brushie is a true fan, having created a reworked introduction for Opposing Force using the latest Source engine tech.