Dungeon Of The Endless may only be in early access, but Amplitude Studios' genre hybrid already looks beautiful and plays beautifully.
Halfway between a roguelike and a dungeon defence game, you'll lead a team of heroes though procedurally-generated levels, exploring and gradually uncovering unpredictable environments full of traps and deadly creatures. However, you'll also have to defend a crystal to stay alive: a power generator that lets you transform the dungeon into a powerful fortification bristling with turrets and defences. Constantly changing pace and hitting you where you least expect, this is very much more than the sum of its already-impressive RPG, roguelike, strategy and defensive parts; including elements we'd only traditionally expect from 4X games. Well, they did develop Endless Space after all.
Not to put too fine a point on things, but Dungeon of The Endless also looks drop-dead gorgeous despite being v.0.1.3.
You don't have to take my word for it, since I've recorded some video impressions for your eager delectation. This is very much a first contact video recorded in effectively one take (including live voiceover), so more detailed intel will follow soon!
How To Survive isn't the most magnificent example of the ARPG genre you'll ever see, but Brendan reckons that there's a compelling little time sink to be found here. His biggest gripe was the price tag, which isn't an issue now that Uplay are practically giving it awa with the 10THANKS voucher. It's reportedly a Steam code too!
Thanks and credit to vietnoboi @ HUKD, who found this before I did!
Two great savings to be had here, on two great big time sinks. Universe Sandbox is maddeningly deep, great for just killing time and kicking back, while Eador delivers a seriously impressive amount of fantasy-themed turn based strategy.
Papers, Please deserves your attention, though it's only a slim 60p saving vs GOG (who'll give you a DRM-free copy). Decisions, decisions.
On the second day of Christmas, my digital distribution platform flogged to me... Shogun 2 and the definition of insaniteeeeeee!
Okay, you do better. The second day of Steam's holiday sale brings us big savings on Fez, Far Cry 3, Final Fantasy VII, Train Simulator 2014 and other varied delights. The main attraction, though, is Hard Reset's flash deal, which lets you get a gorgeous and utterly manic old-school FPS for £1.49.
Omerta: City Of Gangsters | £7.49 (save a fair bit, but isn't worth much more)
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare | £4.74 (not the cheapest we've seen, but bloody fun on a ruddy bun)
Total War: Shogun 2 | £6.24 (75% off)
Crysis 2: Maximum Edition | £6.24 (pretty... boring)
Train Simulator 2014 | £6.29 (a big saving)
Fez | £1.74 (peanuts, well worth buying)
Final Fantasy VII | £3.39 (save £6.60)
Nether (early access) | £8.99 (save £6, but I can't vouch for the quality)
Hard Reset | £1.49 (just buy it while waiting for a Shadow Warrior sale, old-school FPS fans)
Music Creator 6 | £13.59 (a substantial saving, if you're in the market)
Project Zomboid | £7.49 (save £2)
Divinity: Dragon Commander | £14.99 (save £6 vs GamersGate)
EVE Online Starter Pack | £1.29 (addiction this way lies)
The latest Humble Weekly Sale includes Puppy Games' back catalogue, letting us pay whatever we want for their superb retro-themed shooters and superb tower defence masterpiece Revenge Of The Titans. You'll get DRM-free downloads, but if for some reason you also crave Steam codes, you'll need to beat the average price. Doing so will score you a slight saving vs Steam's discounted sale price (saving roughly £1.60 at the time of writing).
As always, pay what you feel the developers deserve if you can.
Super Mario 3D World | ShopTo | £29.86 (save £10)
Gosh. This is a seriously excellent price for what is, by all accounts, probably the best game of Christmas 2013. But will it arrive in time for Christmas?
It's almost certainly worth rolling the dice. Many thanks to the suitably festive RedTurkey at HUKD!
All eyes may be currently be on Steam, but Groupees are running a neat little deal that undercuts Valve on several games and includes a few titles not available on the service.
As an example, you can get both Avernum: Escape From The Pit and QUBE for £0.61 minimum, which will save you over £4 compared to Steam's discounted prices! Also be sure to check out Driftmoon, Blood Of The Werewolf, Gateways and Ethan: Metor Hunter. Reviews through the links.
You'll need to pick at least two games for a single dollar, then earn a cumulative saving as you add more games to the pile. Be sure to read those reviews and cherry pick the few that float your boat!
Zoo Tycoon isn't the most advanced simulation you'll ever play, but it sure is fun and shows off Kinect to full advantage. Playing with your animals via the camera or barking out convenient voice commands to the interface works brilliantly. Also: fuzzly wuzzly cutey wooty animals aww. If you've got kids or just fancy a change of pace on your Xbox One, Zoo Tycoon is surprisingly enjoyable - and much better value at £39.85.
Thanks to mangoblank @ HUKD! We reckon it's a decent saving.
Death Ray Manta | Gameolith | £0.77 (RRP: £2.50)
This is the only kind of DRM we like. Death Ray Manta. Geddit? Either way, this arcade shooter is some of the most zany fun I've had in ages, put together by the magnificently twisted and unmistakeably British mind of Rob Fearon.
However, if you want to download Game Maker Studio's free version on Steam, you can legally get DRM for free here (if you know what you're doing).
'Twas the week before Christmas,
when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring,
apart from Gabe Newell greedily rifling through your wallet and extracting every single note therein.
We don't mind at all, though, because Steam's Holiday Sale is always cause for festive cheer and big fat savings! Holiday Sale 2013 is now live until January 3rd, providing new deals each day and flash sales a go-go.
As always it's worth holding out for games to go into daily sales, flash deals or an encore, before buying - even if they're already discounted. Here's what to expect from today's offering...
NB: Sadly a short-lived misprice for the BioShock Infinite Season Pass has already been corrected. Speaking of, don't buy BioShock Infinite here. Get it from GAME instead. Arkham Origins isn't really a saving either, to be honest.
As always, the epic Hot UK Deals community are already on the case. Relative newcomers should note out the Steam Sale house rules in the comments section, since you'll end up saving even more by following a few basic tips. Naturally we'll try to keep an eye on the smartest bargains - so tell us what you're buying!
Developer: Silicon Studio
Publisher: Square Enix
Without the Final Fantasy label holding it back, Bravely Default is free to inject new life into the stagnating JRPG formula.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Final Fantasy really needs to take a break for a while, giving Square Enix room to experiment with exciting new ideas. Bravely Default is this year's case in point, a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes Of Light that gives us the comfortable airship-sailing, crystal-locating, power-levelling experience we know and love, yet pushes the boat out on sweeping innovations to the combat, underlying RPG systems and 3DS hardware features. Legendary artist Akihiko Yoshida has run rampant, creating a breathtaking watercolour world to explore and enjoy.
Blending the old with the new was a risky business, but the result is truly superb... and yet another reason why you probably ought to own a 3DS. Seriously. I won't stop banging on about it until I Streetpass you.
Click here to read more...
Is BioShock Infinite a masterpiece or the most overrated game of this generation? Well, you can now get involved in the debate thanks to GAME, who are flogging Steam codes for a fiver. That really is incredibly cheap, especially considering that the PC version graphically annihilates the console ports. Thanks to pRxda at HUKD for finding this sensational saving!
UPDATE: Regular reader Late points out that GAME are also offering the same price for the BioShock Infinite Plus edition, which includes some throwaway DLC. I've changed the links over. Thanks to mrcyco @ HUKD!
Nintendo has announced a new developer crossover that literally no-one expected. A Project Aces-developed Starwing sequel? A Platinum/Metroid crossover? Nope. Instead, they've farmed out the Zelda license to Tecmo Koei who'll roughly shove it into the Dynasty Warriors mould, shave off the puzzles and adventuring, then release the following monstrosity onto Wii U.
I don't know whether to laugh, cry or spend another ten minutes headbutting the newsdesk... and whether Nintendo's top brass are pulling off an absolute coup or require immediate sectioning. What we can agree on, though, is that its remixed rock soundtrack will probably be worth the price of admission by itself.
Trailer below. You know you want to see this.Click here to read more...
We've danced this dance a thousand times before, but once more for the road: just look at these games. Baldur's Gate Complete. Baldur's Gate II Complete Edition. Icewind Dale Complete Edition. Icewind Dale II Complete Edition. Planescape Torment. (And The Temple Of Elemental Evil, more's the pity).
Now buy them. Even GOG can't match GamersGate's big fat bundle.
Not a deal so much as a stock notification, really. ShopTo has Xbox One day one editions back in stock, including the excellent Forza 5, branded controller and achievement (woo!). I'm loving the system thus far - especially Kinect's voice commands and Dead Rising 3 - though Microsoft needs to address some UI gripes going forward.
We don't know how long this will last. Thanks to dead4red69 @ HUKD!
This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow! I mean, Edward Kenway. Excuses to shoehorn classic Lonely Island skits into my deals aside, GAME are offering a cheap deal for their special Assassin's Creed IV edition on Wii U and last-gen platforms that's unlikely to be beaten until the new year. It's generally reckoned to be one of 2013's very best games.
Many thanks to SAMBOUK00 @ HUKD!
The 3DS has enjoyed a golden year of truly excellent games, so it's fitting that you can buy a special edition that glints and gleams like a shiny Triforce. Better yet, it comes with one of this year's highest-rated games - Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - and you can save £20 by getting it from ShopTo. I got a much bigger kick out of Bravely Default, mind, when it comes to Christmas games.
There are cheaper deals floating about for regular 3DS XL consoles and game bundles... but can you resist the black and gold motif? It's like Adam Jensen's handheld. Or C-3DS. Credit to Wool_Sheep @ HUKD, who found this before I did!
2013 has been a stupendous year for gaming. The next console generation is finally upon us. Handhelds bloomed and blossomed, resulting in a truly golden year for the Nintendo 3DS and a great start for the PlayStation Vita. And as always, the PC was on hand to offer a wild and exciting range of games in every genre you could possibly imagine.
Mind you, this has also been a year of extremes. Lofty highs were matched with painful, often-embarrassing lows; games that absolutely failed to reach our lofty expectations alongside controversies aplenty.
But looking back, 2013's biggest problem was that there were just too many great games to play and nowhere near enough time to play them.
Fire Emblem Awakening is a game of rare quality.
The series' trademark strategic gameplay is as gripping, taxing and tense as ever; newly revitalised by a gloriously flexible class system and numerous smart tweaks to the formula. Awakening looks fantastic, plays brilliantly in short commutes or hand-cramping marathons, lasts for dozens of hours and opens itself up to more casual players with its generous newcomer mode, which removes the compulsive desire to reset the game every few minutes when a character dies. Let's be honest: we all do it.
But for me, Fire Emblem Awakening trounces is competition thanks to the characters, its roster of unforgettable soldiers who lived, loved, fought and died on the battlefield. It was a personal story full of little quirks and big personalities. Frederick, Sully, Panne, Tharja, Lon'qu, Chrom, Libra, Gaius, Owain and so many more besides are more memorable - more real and human - than any number of motion-captured 3D models. I revelled in their victories, punched the air when they fell in love through gameplay rather than pre-ordained cutscenes, and genuinely despaired when they fell due to my tactical mistakes.
Whether you're looking for sublime strategy or impeccable roleplaying, you owe it to yourself to experience this magnificent saga of love and death.Click here to read more...
Christmas is coming early thanks to PlayStation Plus, who are updating the Instant Game Collection on Christmas Eve with some absolutely cracking titles.
Yeah. Not the worst selection of stocking fillers we've ever seen, to put things very very mildly. Klei's Don't Starve will also be free for PS4 PS+ members from January.