I just killed a man by throwing a broadsword at him. Before diving out of a window. Backwards. Followed by a hail of bullets fired from his teammates. I hit the ground back first, flip back onto my feet, and vanish in a shower of gibs and blood as a rocket hits me. This is The Showdown Effect, and despite sounding incredible – I’m actually quite annoyed at it.
An easy description would be to call on such venerable ancestors such as Super Smash Brothers and… basically every side-scrolling action game ever made. It sports a 3D-looking-but-actually-2D world of glass windows (to dive through), weapons (to pick up and swing/shoot), and improbably arranged platforms. A singularly multiplayer experience, you join a team of other like-minded souls and try to kill the other team as often as possible, while dodging or diving around to survive the inevitable retaliation.
There are few things I do well, and cry with dignity is certainly not one of them. The mess, the noise and the looks of sheer terror on the faces of the people around me as I dissolve into my own salty puddle is never good.
I played Richard & Alice over the weekend, and my house is now empty. *Sniff*
A dark night, a delivery to be made and a gas station with no power dominating the scene. It all leaves me very little to go on as Kentucky Route Zero’s first act opens. I knew it was a point and click, I knew it was an indie marvel of some caliber but nothing prepared me for just how weird my next few hours were going to become.
Or just how pretty this game looks when in motion. …
Nostalgia is a strange, bitter-sweet thing. Some say we look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and when it comes to childhood memories involving computer games – the glasses aren’t so much rose-tinted as blacked-out. Our past-selves simply couldn’t comprehend the leaps and bounds of technology and graphical fidelity has made in the past decade or two.
And so, re-playing our cherished memories can be something of a painful experience. …
In 2007, there was a little free game released very quietly on a few of the sites I frequented, and it was referred to as Logi-Gun. Fresh from the mad-cap Portal, I was immediately drawn to the concept – puzzles, thinking, and novelty guns that weren’t for killing. A blurry screenshot did it little justice, so I downloaded, started playing, and lost four hours of my life without even noticing.
Fast forward to the present day. A mail arrives in my inbox, talking of a new indie puzzle game involving guns. It was called LogiGun. The name seemed so familiar… …
Games journalists are a funny breed. They spend so much of their time judging and critiquing those lovely little bits of art and code, that the inevitable happens. The thought streaks across the mind, “I could do better”, and sometimes, they do. Richard & Alice is such an attempt, from the journalistic minds of Lewis Denby and Ashton Raze, and is shaping up to be something rather special.
The snow is deep in the future. Set in a world of massive climate-change, R&A is a point-and-click story of a story, told through two sets of prison bars. Ex-military man-of-decency Richard, caged for an undisclosed breach of rules, suddenly finds the opposite cell occupied for the first time in a long time by the mysterious and distant Alice. Caged for murder, what follows is a series of flashbacks into Alice’s past – surviving the eternal winter plaguing the world, the evil and desperation that has become the norm, and protecting her slightly hyperactive 5 year old son from all of the above. …
Okay, let’s get this out of the way first – that bad Sean Connery imitation has to go. I mean, I know Warlock: Master of the Arcane is set in the same fantasy world as Majesty, but I’m starting to hear that voice in my sleep. Then the real Sir Sean appears on the telly and I weep big salty tears for my homeland.
Valve has recently confirmed what a fair few of us have been expecting – Dota 2 will be a free to play title. It will join Team Fortress 2 as one of Valve’s titles funded exclusively by in-game purchases, all integrated into the rather clever Steam Workshop. The big point in this particular story is Valve’s insistence that purchasable items are cosmetic only – they simply alter the look of your hero character. Unexpected, but very wise – the player-base of Dota has always been a bit tetchy about the intricate balance between the characters. If Valve started charging you to use The Lich, there would be a lot of angry newbies/feeders out there.
After a number of server outages and sporadic connection issues faced by players of Blizzard’s click-and-kill opus Diablo 3, a new monster has raised it’s ugly head – the hacker.
Over the past few days, Blizzard’s forums have been swamped by players claiming to have lost gold, items and characters. Even more worryingly, a number of those affected are claiming to have an authenticator attached to their accounts – a security measure that hypothetically renders an account unhackable by any normal means. A number of theories are circulating on how hackers could have gained access to so many accounts in such a short time. Blizzard, however, put it down to simple timing.