I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
Run, run, run you fools, it’s the end of the world…again. Lately though, I feel that if the apocalypse came tomorrow I would have absolutely no issues in surviving. I’ve played many a game, read many a book, watched many a film and TV series - all of which will see me able to survive quite comfortably should the worst happen. I would craft make-shift weapons out of toilet rolls, build a car out of a lawnmower and wear trendy end of the world clothing from Gap or Diesel. I feel the real end of the world is going to be a bit of a disappointment and it will hurt...a lot.
When I first heard I was reviewing Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition I thought I might be, by the sound of the title, viewing a late night dirty movie on Channel 5. Luckily for all of us concerned it’s not anything like that. Unlike soft pornography this game reminds me of the past in a fond way, harking back to the grand old days of games like “Baldur’s Gate” and early “Diablo” efforts. A tabletop RPG adventure where you control the usual suspects of magic, sword and might to compete in turn based dungeon and dragon adventures.
So it’s that time of year again, as regular as Christmas, as reliable as the Easter bunny and as predictable as certain famous Premier League managers having hissy-fit meltdowns. It’s time to put on that hood, strap a big knife to your wrist and climb up some of the most famous buildings from the past. Yes that’s right it’s Assassin’s Creed time.
There was a club that I used to go to in the mid 90’s called Laserlife. The music was a mix of trip hop and Brit pop, the drinks were a pound and there was a meat raffle on a Tuesday night. Laserlife the game has none of the above, except the trip hop music, but it does feel like a game, much like the club, which is set firmly in the past.
Space has a lot to offer. Wormholes, exploding dying suns, Matt Damon stranded on planets and, of course, loads and loads of…space. I’ve heard it's very big. Remember that photograph of the entire universe that NASA produced and we on Earth were shown as a tiny microdot in the corner? Well now that whole playground, the whole galaxy indeed, is yours to explore in Elite Dangerous.
I have previously stated that I have, and will never have, any kind of rhythm. I have no swing, no soul, or any kind of inner beat. I would be voted off Strictly Come Dancing before they even switch the cameras on. So it’s with fear and pure loathing that I load up Seaven Studios new game Inside My Radio.
When I first saw the title of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, it reminded me of an 80’s new wave pop band or a folk group who were all divorced. Luckily it is neither of these. But what is it? Well the good news is Canadian developers Asteroid Base have produced a 2D shooter that is unique, weird and fun.
I hate being made to rush. I like to take my own sweet time in the doing of all things leisure. Whether it’s having that morning coffee slowly whilst being late for work or taking my time watching episodes of The Walking Dead while avoiding spoilers on twitter; I am the tortoise sticking two fingers up at the hare speeding by. So when a game tells me that there is a time limit in order to complete it, a reaction happens. I get nervous and I feel under pressure, because it feels like being at work with terrifying deadlines looming.
I want to admit something now, in front of you all, and that is, I have no rhythm whatsoever. I am a terrible dancer and wannabe musician. I just don’t understand the beat. In gaming terms I have avoided all the Guitar Hero/Rock band/DJ hero type clones knowing fully well that I would suck at them.
So it is with great trepidation that I stumble into what I thought was one of the above type of games. I was very wrong; it’s something else completely and that something is very good. Music is still the main ingredient and inspiration for the game, but it’s used in such an interesting way that even a two left-footed, tone-deaf idiot like myself can play it.
It was with great excitement and nostalgia that I sat down to play the first chapter of a new adventure in King’s Quest with the promise of five downloadable chunks coming over the next year.
Am I disappointed? Does it still excite me? Does it make me want to cry into a bottle of whiskey late at night in the dark remembering my lost youth? The answers are no, yes and yes, but I normally do that anyway on a Thursday.
It all starts with you looking out of a small window, hurtling away from earth at thousands of miles per hour. You’re an astronaut in a spacecraft watching the earth getting smaller and smaller until it’s a tiny dot. A picture of a loved one blu-tacked to the side of the spacecraft window. Who is she? Your mission? Unknown. Blackout. Instantly you find yourself hurtling down towards the atmosphere of a small planet, is it Earth? Blackout. You’re now standing on this planet, in your spacesuit; your craft is destroyed behind you. The world is beautiful, but barren and as the title says…lifeless. Your oxygen levels are dangerously low and you see something flashing in the distance.
In the late 1980’s you might have found me in your local arcade with a fistful of 10 pence's. Games like R-TYPE were my drugs, where I would start the game, play frantically for five minutes, get killed five times, then GAME OVER. Without blinking, the next ten pence would be put in and I would start the process over again, maybe getting a bit further and a bit older. It was fun, adrenaline pumping and addictive.
So when after 25 years later I got a chance to play Project Root by OPQAM, a table top shooter that promised the old style game I knew so well, but with new free roaming, open world action, I was so excited, I even considered growing a mullet again.
It’s just past midnight and I am settling down to play Slender The Arrival. Ten minutes later and I find myself slightly sweaty with goose bumps appearing all over my legs and arms. Five minutes more and I am now frowning heavily, while feeling very scared, looking behind me, glancing out of the window nervously and jumping suddenly, even through I know it’s just a game. Repeat, it’s just a game
It's coming up to two months since the Xbox One launched. Our first 168 hours with the Xbox One turned out to be rather successful but now, over 1000 hours later we've started to notice the really great things
Currently in Early Access on PC, Merge Games have announced the full release date for their teeny tiny open-world multiplayer survival game - Smalland: Survive the Wilds. And as they do so, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions are confirmed.