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Carl Phillips

Game Night | Supraball - The Return

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Game Night, PC games, Supra Games, Supraball

Having not played it in quite a while, the Dealspwn trio decided to jump back into the eSports arena that is Supraball for this week's Game Night. However, with Carl, Matt and Jon out of practice, and with the game having several tweaks since they last played, their performance was... well... not prime? See for yourself in today's episode, with highlights such as an insanely skilled opponent, Matt screaming at everything, and Carl trying to get his goalkeeping mojo back.

Dreamfall Chapters – Book One: Reborn Review | The Journey Resumed

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, Dreamfall Chapters, Dreamfall Chapters Book One - Reborn, Red Thread Games

Dreamfall Chapters – Book One: Reborn Review | The Journey Resumed

A range of emotions flowed over me on Monday morning. You see, after an eight-year wait with a damn cliffhanger, the next instalment of The Longest Journey saga was finally here. The stories of April Ryan and Zoe Castillo, of Stark and Arcadia, of order and chaos, are ones that have resonated with me ever since I played them years ago, and I have craved more. Thankfully, patience is one of my better virtues, although seeing the game in action and speaking to some of the main people behind the magic as helped make the wait a little less painful (and to this day, Tornquist still refers to me as the “wang guy.” See the reason why here.) So while this next statement shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, in the interest of full disclosure I’d like to state that I backed Dreamfall Chapters during its Kickstarter campaign. While I see no reason why it should affect matters, at least we’re all on the same page going into this review. It’s up to you to decide if it impedes my judgement.

Although if you think it does, you’re wrong and I’m removing your interneting privileges.

To recap the story would require far more space than I can afford, so here’s my best attempt at a quick overview. Dreamfall Chapters follows the adventures of Zoe Castillo, known as the Dreamer, and Kian Alvane, a former Apostle / assassin turned traitor, as they try to find their place in the twin worlds of Stark, a futuristic dystopian Earth, and Arcadia, a world of magic. With both of these worlds in grave danger, Book One: Reborn charges players with guiding both characters through their rebirth into the story, and begin their journey to save Stark & Arcadia from certain doom.

Dreamfall Chapters – Book One: Reborn Review | The Journey Resumed

Click here to read more...

World of Warcraft 6.0.2 Impressions | Extreme Makeover Edition

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Blizzard Entertainment, Impressions, MMORPGs, PC games, World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft 6.0.2 Impressions | Extreme Makeover Edition

Long-time readers will know I have a soft spot for the Warcraft franchise, especially World of Warcraft. As a day-one player who has experienced everything the game has offered, including the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I’ve seen it go through a fair few changes. New races being added, enhanced weather and lighting systems being introduced, a new class thrown into the mix, talent points being redesigned, and a constant stream of rebalancing for everything involved, That said, some things have stayed the same in the face of change. New abilities would continue to crowd up toolbars, the rise of damage and health numbers for players and NPCs alike spiralling up exponentially, and the models for the playable races becoming more and more dated as the years went by. With the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor approaching, Blizzard saw it as an opportunity to fix these things, and so with patch 6.0.2 being unleashed last week I returned to the MMO behemoth for the first time in nine months. It was time to see if the game that sent the genre mainstream still had the ability to pull in new punters and veterans alike.

I’ll tell you one thing though – WildStar’s combat and traversal systems have spoiled me rotten compared to WoW's seemingly archaic mechanics, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

The inclusion of the Worgen, Goblin and Pandaren made it quite clear that the original race models needed an update. The blocky, expressionless and (in the case of humans) hairlipped choices on offer just didn’t blend with the rest of the updated visuals of the game. Thankfully, after years of waiting the update has arrived – except for Blood Elves, who will have to wait a little while longer to be made more beautiful. If I’m honest, I really shouldn’t be impressed by the new visuals and animations considering what the competition has produced elsewhere in the genre, but I really am.

World of Warcraft 6.0.2 Impressions | Extreme Makeover Edition

Click here to read more...

Game Night | Delving into the Dungeon Of The Endless

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Amplitude Studios, Dungeon Of The Endless, Game Night

In this week's episode of Game Night, Carl and Jon try their luck at surviving Dungeon Of The Endless, the current Early Access project from Amplitude Studios. Part RPG, part roguelike, part 4X strategy, and all parts punishing, see how this genre-mash-up is shaping up whilst the duo flee in fear from huge hordes of enemies.

Be sure to check out Jon's hands-on impressions of Dungeon of the Endless here.

Star Citizen Gameplay | Racing in Arena Commander

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Arena Commander, Chris Roberts, Cloud Imperium, Gameplay, PC, Racing, Star Citizen

Following on from our video earlier today, we continue our look at the current build of Star Citizen's Arena Commander by checking out the racing mode. Carl attempts to put the pedal to the metal by taking the Origin Jumpworks 350R for a spin in the recently unlocked gametype, gawping at the floating prefabs and trying not to crash, before seeing how he fairs in an online race against other players. The results are... messy. Don't take my word for it - give it a watch and see for yourself.

If you missed it earlier, be sure to check out our video which takes a look at the roster of ships currently available in Arena Commander.

Star Citizen Gameplay | The ships of Arena Commander

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Arena Commander, Chris Roberts, Cloud Imperium, Gameplay, PC games, Star Citizen

Star Citizen Gameplay | The ships of Arena Commander

For Star Citizen, the last seven days have been rather eventful. CitizenCon took place over the weekend with fans getting a first look at some of the ships being made, and the planetside module was shown publicly for the first time. On top of this, multiple stretch goals have been reached as recently as last night (yep, we're up to an eye-watering $58 million now.)

Of course, not everyone could make it over to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the project's existence, so the folks at Cloud Imperium opened up all the currently-flyable ships to all backers of Star Citizen for seven days. So Carl, who has only flown the Anvil Aerospace Hornet up until now, wasn't going to miss an opportunity to sample the other flyable craft in the game. Heading into the Vanduul Swarm mode, Carl recorded his experiences with three of the available ships - the RSI Aurora LX, the Origin Jumpworks M50, and the Origin Jumpworks 300i.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our previous videos to see the Hornet fighter in action, and stay tuned to the site as we'll be showing off the final ship not featured here - the Origin Jumpworks 350R - in a video that focuses on the racing mode of Arena Commander.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #6

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #6

It's make or break time for Carl in the final episode of our Shadow of Mordor mini-series. After an age of killing Orcs, bodyguards, and himself, we're here - the final Warchief has arrived, and he's got a taste for ranger blood. See how the fight ends in the thrilling* conclusion to... THE HUNT.

*Your definition of "thrilling" may vary.

Didn't back Dreamfall Chapters? GOG have a season pass pre-order now available

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Dreamfall Chapters, Dreamfall Chapters Book One - Reborn, Pre-order, Red Thread Games

Didn't back Dreamfall Chapters? GOG have a season pass pre-order now available

Special Edition contains extra goodies

Less than two weeks. That's all that remains until the long-awaited Dreamfall Chapters is in the hands of its backers. But what if you didn't back it? Well, Red Thread Games has just announced that GOG.com are now taking pre-orders for a special edition of the season pass, which will cost £22.99 ahead of its release on October 21st. Alongside the main episodic game (DRM-free, of course) it comes with a bunch of extras:

Reborn: The Art of Dreamfall Chapters Book One — a digital art book featuring concept art and illustrations from the first episode of Dreamfall Chapters
Journeys Birth — two short stories in PDF and ebook formats, set in The Longest Journey universe and leading up to the events in Dreamfall Chapters (available October 20th)
Digital soundtrack featuring music from Dreamfall Chapters Book One in FLAC and MP3 format(available November 1st)
Digital Europolis tourist map! Sponsored by Niyom Media and presented by Crowboy, everyone’s favourite crow cowboy (coming soon!)
7 HD wallpapers
5 digital avatars featuring characters from Dreamfall Chapters.

Today's update to Kickstarter backers also revealed that listings on Steam and the Humble Bundle store would be available soon. An announcement of the final crowdfunding total, comprising of both Kickstarter campaign and pledges that have been made on the Red Thread Games website via PayPal, will be made in the near future as well.

In the meantime, if you wish to learn more about Dreamfall Chapters you can always check out our gameplay walkthrough from Gamescom, or check out our recent interview with Dag Scheve and Ragnar Tørnquist. We will of course bring you our thoughts on one of our most anticipated games of this year as soon as it's in our grubby mitts, although in fairness most of it will probably be Carl screaming in excitement of it finally being here.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #5

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #5

So here we are - the final Warchief of our four targets, and it's the toughest one yet. With no immediately obvious weakeness, this could be Carl's greatest challenge yet in our Shadow of Mordor mini-series. Of course, he'll have to deal with the bodyguard first, but then it's a case of luring out his final target... but that could be easier said than done. See for yourself in our latest episode!

Stay tuned for our final installment of... THE HUNT.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #4

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #4

With two Warchief now slain, Carl sets his sights on his third target as we continue our Shadow of Mordor mini-series, the Hunt. In today's episode, Carl interrupts an execution, unleashes some bees, and generally causes plenty of havoc on the path road to assassination glory.

Stay tuned for the next installment of... THE HUNT.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #3

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #3

One Warchief has been slain, but the second target proved that the numbers game can be more than punishing in Shadow of Mordor. So, in today's episode of The Hunt, Carl dusts himself off after a rather fruitless effort and starts again out new bodyguards whilst trying to avoid yet another embarrassing defeat.

Stay tuned for our next episode of... THE HUNT.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #2

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #2

So, the first attempt to take out a Warchief didn't go to plan.

Still, Carl returns with a taste for revenge in our second episode of our Shadow of Mordor mini-series... THE HUNT. With the board now shaken up thanks to enemies rising through the ranks, Carl tries again in his attempt to take down Sauron's Warchiefs, before looking at his next target.

And things get messy. Quickly.

Stay tuned for our next episode of... THE HUNT.

First Contact | How to (not) survive in The Long Dark

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, First Contact, Gameplay, Hinterland Studio, PC games, Survival Sandbox, The Long Dark

First Contact | How to (not) survive in The Long Dark

Survival sandbox titles have been popping up all over the place in recent years, so to stand out within the genre takes something a little special. Hinterland Studio reckons it has the right stuff with The Long Dark, and so I grabbed my nearest warm coat and along with testing out the game for the first time, attempted to see if I could survive the harsh Canadian wilderness.

My efforts were... erm... not great, but the game itself not only has a very charming aesthetic, it also manages to capture the feeling of loneliness and isolation perfectly. Especially when everything goes wrong. Which is did. A lot. See for yourself in our latest episode of First Contact!

You can learn more about The Long Dark, which is currently in early access, by visiting the official website.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #1

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, The Hunt, Warner Bros. Interactive

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | The Hunt #1
Taking out the big players in Sauron's army is the main objective in Shadow of Mordor, guiding Talion as he slaughters the Warchiefs. It's made all the better by the Nemesis system, which generates enemies unique to your playthrough. Seeing as he has reached a point in his playthrough where he is tasked with killing them all, Carl has chronicled his adventures in taking down the Warchiefs in a new mini-series we are calling... THE HUNT.

In our first episode, Carl gathers intel on the 5th Warchief, before taking out some bodyguards and striking his first target. Do be warned - this episode contains moments of light jazz.

Stay tuned for the next installment off... THE HUNT.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor | Dealing out vengeance in the Vendetta missions

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive


The Nemesis system within Shadow of Mordor helps to create an emergent personal narratives for each player, but it doesn't stop there. When a player is killed by one of the enemies in their game, a Vendetta mission type is created for others to deal out some belated vengeance within their own game. To highlight this, Carl takes on one such mission in our latest look at Monolith Production's open world Orc-slaughtering simulator.

Stay tuned to the site for our upcoming Shadow of Mordor mini-series, The Hunt.

Game Night | The Dealspwn Showdown in Quake Live

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Game Night, Gameplay, id Software, PC games, Quake Live

For this week's Game Night, the trio decided to try out Quake Live - the free to play version of the FPS franchise. The thing is, as soon as they got in they learned quickly that they had utterly forgotten how to handle the fast-paced frag-fest. Highlights include much death, much taunting, and plenty of boomstick-based action.

First Contact | Travelling light & hunting Orc in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
First Contact, Gameplay, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive

First Contact | Travelling light & hunting Orc in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Following my preview session of it at Gamescom, my feelings towards Shadow of Mordor had been that of cautious optimism. Yes, the gameplay looked incredibly familiar, but the Nemesis system had the potential to elevate the game to something special. In fact, at the time I even stated it could perhaps even generate anecdotal gold. All I needed to know now was that it felt satisfying to play.

Well, I've finally got hold of a copy, and while the review won't be landing on Dealspwn until next week I can say that my first steps have been rather entertaining. You can see for yourself by watching our latest episode of First Contact, as I assume the role of Talion and go get some ranger-like justice on some dastardly Uruk.

Stay tuned to the site, as we'll have more gameplay footage ahead of our review next week!

COMPETITION! Win some in-game WildStar swag!

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Carbine Studios, Competitions, MMORPGs, NCsoft, WildStar

COMPETITION! Win some in-game WildStar swag!

If you're a fan of that WildStar game that I wouldn't shut up about for 3 years, you may have seen many opportunities for get hold of some exclusive in-game goodies that were handed out at this year's Gamescom. They were quite the dapper pieces of swag, providing a top hat and monocle costume piece, a rather executive looking table for your house, and a unique dye to give your avatar a special look. You may have thought that your last chance to grab one has past... but I think you'll find that's not true. You see, I managed to procure 10 EU codes to give away, and we're going to have a little fun in the process.

So, how do you go about getting one of these codes? Simple - amuse me!

Click this link to find out how to win >>

Only 3 weeks to go until Dreamfall Chapters Book One

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Adventure Games, Dreamfall Chapters, Dreamfall Chapters Book One - Reborn, Red Thread Games, release date

The team at Red Thread Games had said the first part of the long-awaited sequel would arrive before November, but yesterday they announced via a developer vlog that Dreamfall Chapters Book One - Reborn would finally be released on October 21st. Kickstarter backers will receive a digital download version at that time, although a season pass will also be available at various online stores as well if you were heinous enough to not support it. It's okay. I'll forgive you in time.

That gives you three weeks to either buy and / or replay the original two games in the series, but if you don't have time for that you're in luck. Creative director Ragnar Tørnquist confirmed on twitter that the team are working on a recap for fans and newcomers alike ahead of the game's release, so everyone will understand who Brian Westhouse is, how a bird is the second greatest sidekick ever, and why even the most powerful villains should fear calculators.

In the meantime, if you wish to learn more about Dreamfall Chapters you can always check out our gameplay walkthrough from Gamescom, or check out our recent interview with Dag Scheve and Ragnar Tørnquist. We will of course bring you our thoughts on one of our most anticipated games of this year as soon as it's in our grubby mitts.

First Contact | Carl Vs Over 9000 Zombies!

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
First Contact, Gameplay, Loren Lemcke, Mastertronic, Over 9000 Zombies!

First Contact | Carl Vs Over 9000 Zombies!
When it comes to zombie games, those developers do like to put a lot of zombies in them. After all, there's nothing quite like a large horde of the undead shuffling towards a player to get the action going (or to cause much panic and headless-chicken-ing.) That said, we rarely get over a hundred of the brain-eating thralls coming for us at once. While that might be enough for some developers, Loren Lemcke decided that wasn't good enough, and so his current Early Access project - Over 9000 Zombies! - aims to deliver exactly what it says on tin.

Essentially a twin-stick top-down shooter, players do their best to slay wave upon wave of undead, picking up weapons, health kits, and power-ups, using any opportunity they can to build barricades or automated turrets by spending metal scraps they find. It's a simple premise that seems to match the graphical presentation, but once the action gets going what appears to be a collection of tried and tested game mechanics ends up being rather fun and addictive. So, to see if he could survive his first seven days in the game, we sent Carl in to find out if he could handle the copious amounts of flesh-eaters in our latest First Contact video.

Check out the official website here.