Category Archives: gaming

Thoughts: Cold Waters

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Cold Waters is a game that certainly seems to know its audience. In the little headline box underneath the game logo on its Steam page, right where most other games would put a quick, attention-grabbing summary of what their game is about and why you should read further, developers Killerfish have instead written this, and only this:

Spiritual Successor to the Microprose Classic “Red Storm Rising”.

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Thoughts: Pinball FX3 (Williams Table Pack)

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In which I write another 2,000 words about computer pinball. You have been warned. Again.

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Thoughts: Thronebreaker

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Thronebreaker is a single-player campaign for the Witcher’s Gwent cardgame spinoff that I think would be much improved if you removed the cardgame component from it.

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Thoughts: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

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This is something that may not come across in my reviews of their games, but I have a lot of respect for the various Ubisoft development studios. They work to deadlines that would put nearly every other game developer to shame, and if you ignore the writing (which is practically required when dealing with anything under the Tom Clancy name) there’s a refreshing lack of pretension about the games they’re making. They scope out what they’re going to make at a very early stage during development, and once it’s defined they don’t muck about with spending years bogged down in ridiculous scope creep such as accurately-modelled horse testicles; they just knuckle down and make the game they planned in the first place. They’ve mastered the process of developing games better than any other company in the triple-A space — things such as efficient content pipelines, consistent design philosophy and effective project management across all of their games1 — which is how they’ve been able to publish a whopping eleven Assassin’s Creed games in eleven years and have only two of them be crap.

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  1. As with all things there are exceptions to the rule; Ubisoft’s exception goes by the name of Beyond Good & Evil 2.
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Thoughts: The Bard’s Tale IV

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Ah, it’s inXile, my favourite developers of middling RPGs funded via Kickstarter. What do you have for me this time, inXile? What’s that? You’ve made a new iteration of Bard’s Tale, an RPG series so old that its last installment was released in 1988 and which even I would never have heard of if my flatmate didn’t keep going on about it all the time? Ah, well, given the highly uneven quality of Wasteland 2 and Torment and my complete lack of caring about the source material I think I might pass this time, thanks.

…wait, it’s a first-person dungeon crawler? Tell me more.

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Thoughts: Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

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God, I’m disappointed with Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. Not because it is particularly bad (it isn’t), or because it’s an almost exact carbon copy of Rise Of The Tomb Raider (it is, even down to the plot), but because I really think this incarnation of Lara Croft would be a much happier woman if she gave up the sham cover story of stealing ancient artifacts from their rightful owners and just accepted the fact that she really, really likes killing people.

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