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  1. The Time Extend on the Order 1886 is interesting; I like reading someone's thoughts about a game that not many people particularly like but they love, especially when it's the kind of lavish failure that the Order was. That kind of article can easily turn into that cliched 'you know that thing you hate - actually, it's good' smug-fest, but this was a lovely piece. It's nice hearing about how a game randomly struck a real chord with someone, and can kind of see what they mean about the game, even if I thought it was absolute bobbins - it's got a unique vibe that does a really good job of capturing a sense of Englishness, and of suggesting a bigger, baroquely detailed world outside (when it's not dealing with vampire industrialists and pitting King Arthur's steampunk knights against werewolves). It's like someone made a game out of a forgotten but much-loved early 90s pen and paper RPG.
  2. It feels like cheating slightly to just have a cassette playing over the top of a Spectrum game, although it's part of the game so I guess it counts. Starglider was 1986. Is there a previous example of a game with music, with vocals, that the computer is actually playing with its own hardware?
  3. They keep selling more and more Xboxes and PS4s, so there's a constant supply of new people to sell GTAV to.
  4. Looks amazing. I wish it had more of an Exile aesthetic, as I don’t care about wizards and the whole idea of the game is so close to my notional perfect game that tiny stuff like whether the game is about spacemen or wizards really starts to matter. Presumably there’s no chance of this coming out on current-gen consoles given the CPU-heavy nature of the simulation?
  5. K

    Trials Rising

    Case in point: I was trying out the new tracks last night, and on the race menu there was a notification saying “petrolgirls has beaten one of your times!”. But you can’t just select the notification and press X to load up the track and try and beat it. As far as I could tell, there was no easy way of even seeing which track it was you beat my time on. It’s ironic that all the extra mechanics around contracts and gear crates and unlocking cosmetics were put in to add longevity to the game, but seem to have had the exact opposite effect. They’ve just obscured the competitive element, which felt to me like the main reason people played it for so long.
  6. They’re good at wry, ironic love songs, but man, the Pet Shop Boys really stink the place up when they go for overt satire. Political cartoonist levels of subtlety, and they always seem to hold back their shittest tunes for the times when they decide the internet needs satirising.
  7. Wow, the new single is really good. I'm surprised, as the Agenda EP was not great; Pet Shop Boys keep tricking me into thinking they've fallen off, and then they come back with absolute bangers like this.
  8. Isn't there already an exploration-only mode in the most recent couple of Assassin's Creed games?
  9. “Why would they start this shit up again?” I'm in complete agreement, gruff character actor man. Looks more like a Dark Knight series than a Watchmen series, and it looks very generic in the way that it resembles a lot of other tv series that take genre stories and do them in a very self-consciously serious and gritty style because they’re Mature Televisual Graphic Novels, but at least it’s different to the original comic, I suppose.
  10. Ted, Borat and Anchorman. Some odd choices in there - like going round to someone’s house and wincing a bit at their DVDs.
  11. I’m amazed that Play lasted that long, I’ve never read it or really had a sense of what it was like; I guess I was unlikely to buy a single format mag that didn’t have a cover disk back in the day. Once I’d spent £5.99 on Official PlayStation Magazine so I could play Rage Racer - big money in 1997 - I can’t see myself paying more money for different reviews and previews of the same games.
  12. K

    Trials Rising

    The UI has to be a strong contender for the worst I've ever seen in a game. It's a complete mess of icons, where it's impossible to tell what you've already done, how to progress, what you could or should do next, and what if anything any of the people on your friends list have done. It's so bad that it's genuinely very hard to even select some races unless you remove some of the icons, as there are so many packed into such a small space. Plus, on top of that, it's buggy, slow, full of annoying animations, and juddery with it. Sometimes icons don't load. It's an appalling mess. I'm surprised they haven't just removed it in a patch, and replaced it with a list of tracks. The actual game is fantastic, although plagued with its own technical problems, like juddering, screen-tearing, texture pop-in, inexplicable pauses, and glacial load times. It's genuinely incredible how badly they fucked up everything except the track design and handling, and equally incredible that it's still a pretty good game with all that stacked against it.
  13. There’s a few, here and there. William Gibson worked on a game called MEG 9, which seemed to disappear without trace. Richard Morgan and Peter Watts worked on Crysis 2 (doing dialogue and working out the biology for the aliens, respectively). Alex Garland co-wrote Enslaved and consulted on DmC. Orson Scott Card wrote some of the dialogue for the Dig, Secret of Monkey Island, and did the backstory for Shadow Complex.
  14. I can see the benefit of this kind of mode in something like Bloodborne. There’s not really much story or padding in that game, but I’m not sure it’s fair to assume that story is all you would get out of a mode like this. Games are unique in that even if there’s no challenge in the conventional sense, you can still get a lot out of them just from the fact you’re interacting with a virtual world. That would cover stuff like tearing round the map in Need for Speed, or parkouring round the city in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, where there’s a conventional game element in drifting round a motorway flyover at speed without crashing or skilfully negotiating a tricky ascent of a building without falling, but it would also cover stuff like just walking round the village in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, or riding your horse, Neil Tennant, round the world in Red Dead 2, where there’s no real conventional game element of challenge. Maybe it’s just me, but I periodically just load up games and just wander around the game world. I’ve even done it with games like Destiny and Halo, where I’ll play a custom game on a multiplayer map and just walk around on my own, taking in the detail and the worldbuilding. Even in less extreme cases like walking simulators, where the walking around is the whole point, the act of exploring the world is something fun that you couldn’t get in any other medium, and couldn’t get from watching somebody else play it on YouTube. On the specifics of Bloodborne, one of the great things about that game is the incredible architecture and the sheer amount of thought that’s gone into crafting the world, and the way that the story and the history of that world is told through little fragments of text hidden in item descriptions. The player has to take all those assorted fragments, and put the story together themselves. I can totally see how someone would get a lot out of the game purely through those aspects in some kind of no-enemies / no death mode. Not me obviously, I finished the game on my first go using the Steel Battalion controller, with no deaths. I am the best at playing games.
  15. K

    Gears 5

    I didn't think the AI could revive you in the original Gears. In single player, didn't you just die when the omen filled up?
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