Insane Robots is a hybrid card game/roguelite that truly believes it’s wacky and zany and kerrayzee, in the manner of a middle-aged insurance salesman who kicks back by wearing a t-shirt reading “I’m bonkers, me!” while manning his six-burner gas barbecue with temperature gauge, modular hotplate and removable drip tray.
Just don’t make eye contact, yeah? It is, however, an entirely proficient game of turn-based hitpoint-nobbling, with a simmering sense of dilemma about whether to attack, defend or defuse. The escalating lethal frenzies of Slay The Spire it is not, but rather a series of frighteningly equally-matched battles, with nice sideline in bluff and gamble.
Sonic Mania brought back Sega’s blue hedgehog in style, fully deserving of applause. Now it’s delivering an encore performance as DLC today. Part of the new Sonic Mania Plus re-release, the Encore DLC lets us existing owners ride again. It features two new playable characters – Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo – but the real main event is the titular Encore Mode. A remixed, re-lit and harder second trip through the game with some new surprises along the way. I’ve played a few stages of it, and have had a ton of fun so far.
Mothergunship is about big, stupid, hand-crafted guns and exploding robots. Successor to Terrible Posture Games’ Tower of Guns and co-developed by Czech studio Grip Digital, it’s a roguelike-ish “Bullet Hell” FPS about raiding procedurally generated alien spaceships, hoarding gun-barrels and bolting them onto your remarkably agile power armour. A denser game than its predecessor, its complex systems are dressed up in breezy, comedic style, but its many turning gears grind against each other far too often.
Excellent soulsyvania platformer Hollow Knight is just about ready to emerge from its chrysalis and spread its wings, reformed and fat with free DLC. The last of its Kickstarter stretch-goal expansions – Gods & Glory – is rolling out next month, and is set to conclude the story of The Knight. It’ll be launching on August 23rd. Below, a very boss-heavy announcement trailer.
We’ve been writing about crazy-bonkers puzzler GNOG in its various forms since 2014. Originally called GNAH!, Graham immediately loved the look of it. Then a year later developers KO_OP Mode declared that they were scrapping everything and starting over, renaming the game GNOG.
Since then we’ve been patiently waiting, seeing the game come out on iOS, then PS4, and finally now it’s out on PC. And it was worth the wait. (more…)
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War‘s much-maligned loot boxes are gone for good, thanks to a major patch today. The blood-splattered Assassin’s Creed/Batman/Pokemon hybrid no longer crams orcs into chests to be sold for cash. If you want them to join your army now, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way; beating them up and forcing them to. The massive patch notes also include some game-changing tweaks. Below, my thoughts on some of the bigger changes.
Quite large space jaunt No Man’s Sky is getting an update next week that adds a “full multiplayer experience” to the game, allowing players to help and hurt one another across the procedural planets. No Man’s Sky Next is the biggest update to the game since its release two years ago, say developers Hello Games. We’ve already been told it was incoming but now we have a more solid idea of what you and your spacemates will be able to do, including better base building and frigate commanding. As you can see in the trailer below, it also lets you play in third-person, both in-ship and on foot. (more…)
When I saw that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds had given everyone on its test servers the ability to create custom matches, I shrugged. I’m sure some are interested in fiddling with circle behaviour, loadouts and vehicle spawns, but not I. I was content to continue with vanilla Plunking, especially when today’s update also includes a car and a new DMR for my favourite map.
Then I learned about Zombie mode. (more…)
It might have a naff name, but four-player squad nightmare GTFO also has some scary monsters. This is that foggy, cavern-diving co-op shooter from some former Payday developers at 10 Chambers, remember? It was also one of the better bullet-dispensers I saw at E3 last month. However, I didn’t see this absolute night terror made manifest. It’s a new enemy which looks like a shadow, and only appears when you pass your flashlight over it. See it in the video below. It’s also got a screech like a good fork scraping across a bad plate. I hate it. Get it away from me. (more…)
This year’s Amazon Prime Day is almost at an end. At midnight tonight, Amazon’s big day o’ deals will be over for another year (or, you know, until Black Friday in November), so if you had a look at the deals yesterday and thought, ‘Hmm… I could do with a new SSD or graphics card’, then you’ve still got time to pick one up.
I know Amazon is evil etc, but just in case you do fancy picking up a bargain, I’ve put together a list of all the best of the best PC Prime Day deals right here, covering hardware and games alike. Happy hunting.
Rival Games’s episodic sneak-thief comic adaptation Thief of Thieves has successfully infiltrated stores today, or at least the first volumes of this particular season has. It’s based on Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) comic of the same name, and our man Alec is currently casing the joint for a full review. Those feeling a little daring can take a peek for themselves at the launch trailer within.
We’ve known for a while that Ubisoft have been trying to curb toxicity in Rainbow Six Siege, but their latest phase in their war against awful people brightened up my weekend. The popular tactical FPS now automatically and immediately issues short-term bans for racist and homophobic slurs in text-chat, and the frequently amusing results across social media speak for themselves.
Be warned, there’s probably going to be some foul and stupid language on this one.
A sack is placed over your head. A voice, alarmingly close, barks that you are the next test subject. Your hands are bound and you are led, still hooded, to another room where your attendant tells you, as he straps you into a chair, that you will come to no physical harm. The hood is removed and you are welcomed to a claustrophobic cell by a steampunk fascist scientist. After a few sentences of world building he brings out his torture device, and places it over your head. It’s a little awkward to have this device adjusted and focused by someone else, but the process might not be entirely unfamiliar, since the torture device is a VR headset. In this case an Oculus Rift.
Earlier this year I acted in something that was described as a hyper-reality horror experience – a research project from The Tom Sawyer Effect called The Pendulum. I played that evil scientist. It alternated between live performance and VR video with added synchronized physical sensations. (more…)
I’ve been meaning to spend more time with offbeat first-person swashbuckling roguelike City of Brass, and today’s update is exactly the excuse I needed to come back to it. While the launch version of the Arabian Nights-inspired smash n’ grab was perhaps a little limited it its scope, today’s “Fortune’s Rivals” update broadens its horizons with two new playable character classes, as well as the option to swap the original protagonist’s gender.
Wayward Souls: Curse of Shadow, a story-driven and SNES-inspired action RPG (with procedurally generated dungeons, of course) is out now on PC in early access. An enhanced port of Rocketcat’s 2014 mobile RPG, I’ve been meaning to try it after hearing good things about it – what you’d expect from the developers of the excellent Death Road to Canada. (more…)
“By the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, freedom was dead in America.”
This is the opening line of Metal Wolf Chaos. But before the player can decide whether or not such a statement was prophetic back when this bullet-spraying action game came out 14 years ago, the 47th President of the United States, a man called Michael Wilson, erupts from the White House in a fully-armed battle mech, shouting: “OK! Let’s partyyyyy!”
The strangeness and humour of this half-forgotten game by Dark Souls creators From Software is clear from the start, and it raises two questions. How did we miss it? And how did it end up being remastered by Devolver more than a decade after it was made? (more…)
Sneaky new crossbows and throwing knives have arrived in Hunt: Showdown‘s latest update, for monster-hunters who enjoy having to recover ammo by yanking it out their foe’s face. For me, basically – from Heavy Bullets to Skyrim, I do enjoy having to collect my ammo – and risking running out. Apparently you can even restock your Showdown knives by yanking out ones that other players in the PvPvE shooter helpfully throw your way. Thanks, pal! Today’s update also adds a spectator mode so you can see what your teamie gets up to after you die (or vice versa), a foggy weather variant, a few other new weapons, and a number of balance tweaks.
Final Fantasy XIV and Monster Hunter: World are both games near and dear to my heart, and colliding in a major crossover event next month, at least in the case of Final Fantasy XIV. While I’m hopeful that this crossover will accompany the PC release of Monster Hunter: World on August 9th, we’re poking Capcom for confirmation either way.
Headed to Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is the ever-cranky wyvern Rathalos, while Monster Hunter: World is to be visited by Moogles and Cactuars and stomped all over by a Behemoth, one of the Final Fantasy series’s recurring boss beasties. Below, a pair of trailers that charmingly ape each other’s styles.
Instances of dillholes jerking up Overwatch multiplayer matches with abusive chat have dropped by around a quarter since Blizzard added player endorsement and ‘looking for group’ systems last month, according to numbers shared by game director Jeff Kaplan. As social engineering in this cyberhell goes, that seems a fair result. Blizzard still haven’t replied to my suggestion that they partner with gaming chair manufacturers on a line which include pop-out misters to spray players with water if they misbehave and a sweetie dispenser for when they’re good, but this is a start. (more…)