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Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York – The Verdict

Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York – The Verdict

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).

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Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuuun

Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuuun

For a long time I’ve wanted a game based on War of The Worlds. Not the 2005 Hollywood blockbuster featuring Tom Cruise, but something that follows the original novel by HG Wells. I’ve wanted a game that allows me to first-hand experience the terror of alien cylinders crashing into the landscape and disgorging a terrifying force of gigantic unstoppable machines. It would be a game where you spent your time not battling an alien menace, but running for your life, desperately searching for food and shelter as you make your escape.

Believe it or not, someone appears to be making precisely that.

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Partisans 1941 Hands On Preview

Partisans 1941 Hands On Preview

Set during World War II, Partisans 1941* has you controlling Alexey Zorin, a member of the Red Army who escaped from a German prison camp as he builds his band of Partisans and fights back against the German occupation of Russia. The game mixes ideas from a number of genres but primarily consists of real-time strategy, stealth and basic resource and base management.

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Wasteland 3 – The Verdict

Wasteland 3 – The Verdict

After successfully kickstarting development on Wasteland 2 in 2012, InXile Entertainment are back with a third, similarly crowd-funded instalment of the iconic CRPG series, swapping the dusty wastes of Arizona for a Colorado blanketed in irradiated snow.

It’s fair to say that Wasteland 3 and I did not get off to the best of starts. After investing three hours in the game, which was spent acclimatising to turn-based combat and learning the ins-and-outs of its stats system, I returned to find my save files had been erased. I’m still not sure what went wrong. For a game that develops piecemeal, this was upsetting.

I briefly considered whether the snafu had dealt a fatal blow to my objectivity, but reasoning that it had not I resolved to start afresh and move quickly through the opening sections. Unlike my first play-through I was able to save a young Ranger – Pvt. Jodie Bell – from the murderous goon who had taken her hostage, setting me on an altogether different path to the one I had previously embarked upon.

It’s a path that has proven to be one of the richest gaming experiences I’ve had in some time. Which is to say, folks, that Wasteland 3 is very good indeed.

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Our Tales of the Cradle

Our Tales of the Cradle

While Chris was reviewing The Persistence, he made a passing comment that it wasn’t as terror inducing as the Shalebridge Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows. It sparked a conversation in our Discord about our time with Thief, and more specifically The Cradle. As good games journalists, we decided that sharing Our Tales of the Crade with a wider audience would be worthwhile.

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Our Week in Games – Week 112

Our Week in Games – Week 112

Nvidia have found themselves in the news again with the issues surrounding the business of actually getting your hands on one of their new cards. The 3080 in particular has reportedly not had the best launch, with multiple outlets being hit by purchase bots (makes one wonder just how effective those ‘captcha’s’ are……) only for units to be appearing on auction-sites for ten-times the list price. Interestingly there do appear to be people that insane, desperate, mad invested in the tech to be willing to pay those prices. Unless of course that’s all part of the con.

It’s a shame. A number of retailers and Nvidia themselves have published press-releases stating that they are working around the clock to ensure the orders go into the hands of people who are, you know, actually going to use their cards, down to and not excluding the possibility of chasing up each order one at a time to check it’s a genuine purchase. Their dedication is admirable but I don’t envy them that job.

I suppose, when you’ve just released what is arguably the biggest step forward in graphics technology this decade, coupled with an almost unbelievably low price-tag, you can bet they’ll want to get it right.

Intros by Jon

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The Suicide of Rachel Foster – The Verdict

The Suicide of Rachel Foster – The Verdict

The first thing that stikes me about The Suicide of Rachel Foster is the atmosphere of the old hotel. The main character Nicole has arrived under legal obligation to check the condition of the building before selling it, but unfortunately for her a blizzard hits upon arrival and forces her to spend time in a place that holds bad childhood memories. Exploring the hotel Nicole recounts stories from her childhood while wishing she were anywhere else. Every creak of a rotting floorboard and rattle of a loose tile fills me with unease and a chill that seems unnatural even considering the piling snowbanks outside.

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