It’s been five years since Half-Life: A Place in the West started life as a free comic available via the official website, four years since it was released on Steam (remember the Greenlight initiative anyone?) and nearly three since Valve granted the team, headed up by Mike Pelletier and our very own Ross Joseph Gardner, use of the Half-Life licence. It’s been a wild ride for the duo and their team, revealing in September that 2020 has, as you can imagine, been a rough old year which has delayed many of their plans for taking the story, and technology, forward. But here they are, finally releasing remasters of Chapters 1 and 2, along with a newly revamped Steam app to read it in.
As the years have gone by, Ubisoft have worked to evolve and iterate the Assassin’s Creed formula, moving away from the city games to vast open world RPGs. There have been self-inflicted wounds along the journey with an unhealthy corporate culture leading to a large restructure in their editorial teams in the summer, but ultimately Valhalla was delivered in time for the launch of the new console generation and it’s a brilliant piece of work. …
Despite trying my hand at most entries in the series, I’m no expert on From Software’s SoulsBorne games. I usually get an hour or so into the game and then come to a stop, take Sekiro for instance which I gave up on shortly after writing some first impressions. With the arrival of the PlayStation 5 though (and more on the console itself here), the big new generation launch title is Demon’s Souls, and I did the right thing by picking up a copy.
Crown Trick is an easy to learn, hard to master turn-based rogue-like with a great presentation and tough but enjoyable combat. It fits into the rogue-like mould with a few standard elements; random encounters, enemies, weapons and dungeon layout but also does enough to make it stand out amongst the wave of rogue-likes that have been releasing on PC recently. In the game you play as Elle, a young girl who finds herself trapped in the realm of Nightmares and with the help of a magic crown, has to stop those responsible for keeping her there.
If we did classic scores rather than Verdict’s, The Outer Worlds would have been given that classic 7/10 score. A rating which indicates a game is well rounded and generally pretty good, without being outstanding. You know, something you might pick up when it’s on offer. Funnily enough, The Outer Worlds has just landed on Steam and GOG after a year of Epic exclusivity with a two week 50% off deal, and for £24.99, I’d suggest it’s something worth your while picking up. …
Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York weaves a familiar tale. Yet it is not a tale familiar out of triteness, but rather in its bleak and despairing contemporaneity. Shadows of New York artfully depicts our 2020 hell-scape, holds it up as a mirror and doesn’t so much ask whether or not we’re fucked as yell it in our faces.
It is a tale of a debauched, grotesquely wealthy elite presiding over a city of broken, desperate people, haunted by an impending apocalypse—climate-induced, technological, viral, pick your horror—precious few seem inclined to curtail, let alone prevent.
And this apocalypse cares not a whit for whether you’re human or vampire; after all, Kindred were once human themselves, and its ruling body, the Camarilla—so intent on maintaining the status quo at all costs—a potent metaphor for a global system that refuses to change, adapt, or evolve.
Even when everything is at stake (soz).