Some pretty grim things have been going on the Dyrwood. A betrothed noblewoman passing through the village on the way to the altar has gone missing. There's a orlan woman holed up in the pub who's apparently guilty of murdering a bunch of babies. Soldiers are clashing with townsfolk and an all out class war is brewing in the streets and in downed flagons of ale.
Oh, and if that wasn't enough, the place is surrounded by bandits and brigands and ogres and a dragon who's gone and burned the face off of the potions merchant.
Into the thick of this omnishambles we stride -- a fiery, horn-topped Godlike Cipher, and a band of nondescript party members -- determined to fix things. I like to try and be honest, I'm a bit of a smartypants at times, and I do like a clever quip here and there. One of the best things about the early parts of the beta, and the conversation options is that you can construct your character's personality through interaction. Will you be reasonable or quick to temper? A cruel mercenary or an honest hero with genuine good will? You can turn off all of the character highlights if you want to make decisions based simply on the writing and the lines of dialogue, and you can choose to have the options unavailable to your particular character build vanish so you don't know what you're missing.
It all depends what sort of role-playing experience you want to have.
Apparently mine involves terribly accented voices performed by yours truly. Pressures of the "record" button and all that jazz. In any case, here's a little walkthrough of what to expect in the first half hour of the Pillars of Eternity backer beta.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot certainly was impressive. And gritty. So very, very gritty.
Thankfully the other Crystal Dynamics team is still making Tomb Raider games based on a confident Lara fighting crazy bad guys, dodging ludicrously silly traps and absolutely loving it; all voiced by the inestimable Keeley Hawes.
In effect, then, Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light feels more like the Tomb Raider games of old, even if it's an isometric puzzly shooter for up to four players. Keen to know more, I interviewed Crystal Dynamics producer Robert Siwiak to learn about the new gameplay elements, economy, story and whether we'd see more ridiculous crossover characters this time around.
Alien Isolation is shaping up nicely. Having spent four solid hours playing the latest Steam build, I can report that its adaptive AI and terrifying unpredictability makes for a very different kind of horror game.
However, the fact that sections starring the original Alien voice cast are only going to be available as pre-order DLC -- or paid DLC down the line -- has got many a hackle up across the internet. I naturally asked lead designer Gary Napper exactly why they'd taken the controversial move.Click here to read more...
Not sure if Borderlands 2 is the right game for you? Pored over our detailed review and still can't make your mind up? Never mind, you most indecisive of gamers, because Gearbox' enormous shoot-and-looter is now free to play on Steam until Sunday evening.
If you get on with it, Steam have slashed their prices down for the standard and GOTY Editions, though we've occasionally seen it cheaper in GMG and Gamefly deals.
I spend an inordinate amount of time creating characters for RPGs. For my first runthrough of any game where you can stamp your personality on proceedings, I always like to play naturally, making decisions that I would make, immersing myself in roles close to my heart depending on whatever I'm feeling at that time. I tend towards offensively capable builds, mixing melee stylings with a bit of magic wherever possible.
I pore over stats and attribute screens, deliberating over single points, trying to give myself wiggle room as a conversationalist. Lockpicking and trap setting nearly always come in second to having the gift of the gab. Talking my way into and out of situations has always been something I've revelled in here in the real world, small wonder that I like my avatars to be able to do the same.
Thankfully, Pillars of Eternity is stuffed with options when it comes to character creation, if the beta is anything to go by. Choosing between the two sexes is straightforward enough, but then there are six races, each with a few sub-races from which to choose too, then you need to choose between the eleven classes on offer, knowing that all of them are relatively flexible when it comes to the next stage: Attributes. The beta dishes out plenty of points, and there's no wrong way to build a character, but that almost makes it worse. The paralysis of choice and all that.
What I love already about Pillars is that there are options here in character creation that barely have any mechanical impact whatsoever, things like determining your cultural background and your place in the world. Chatting with Josh Sawyer, the game's Project Lead, a few weeks ago, it became clear that these sections are almost entirely included to give players a chance to role play in a deeper fashion, fleshing out the backstories and origins of their characters, and creating a deeper, richer narrative that really roots characters in the lore of the game and the world that Obsidian have created.Have an in-depth gander at character creation in Pillars of Eternity >>
I'll say one thing for remasters and HD collections: they certainly push the prices down for the original games. Case in point, reviews for the new Metro Redux Collection are out and Metro: Last Light now costs a mere £4.99 with all of its DLC on Steam. Thanks to ferreirm @ HUKD!
Oh lorks, as my gran used to say, this is a niche little package. Groupees Be Mine Bundle 14 contains a whole raft of disparate genres and titles that vary wildly in quality.
The entry tier contains Meltdown, Little Big Adventure 2 and Legacy for 60p, but as far as I'm concerned the real value stems from throwing in £3 minimum. You'll get Betrayer, a visually striking yet mediocre game that costs £14.99 by itself on Steam, while Consortium is also a shonky yet oddly compelling cyberpunk RPG set on a futuristic jumbo jet.
I told you it was niche, but if you're in the market, there are savings to be made here. UPDATE: Full credit to jaystan @ HUKD, who found this before I did!
There's a new Humble Bundle available for the next fortnight, folks. Pay what you want for Deadlight, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Complete Pack, and Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition ($1 minimum for Steam keys).
Beat the average ($6.05 at the time of writing) to also unlock Terraria,THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII Steam Edition and Crusader Kings II with 3 DLC Unit Packs. Those who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus the Age of Empires Legacy Bundle.
Hit up the Humble Bundle site for more info. As usual, you can adjust the split between developers, charities (Child's Play and the American Red Cross), and Humble Bundle themselves.
Platform: PS Vita (reviewed)
Developer: Wales Interactive
Gravity Badgers joins the illustrious line of rubbish games with fantastic names. Though nowhere near as bad as the genuinely offensive Hyper Fighters, this Angry Birds clone really does the bare minimum to live up to its sensational monicker.
Seriously: Gravity Badgers. Gravity. Badgers. What a waste.
I never, ever, use the term 'clone' lightly, but I'm afraid that Gravity Badgers earns it hands-down. We find ourselves flinging badgers into outer space by virtually pulling back and dragging them across the screen, only instead of castles, they're presented with an array of physics-based obstacles. Critically, celestial bodies can either attract or repel your furry cosmonaut, deflecting their path towards the exit. Judge it right and you can pull off crazy slingshot effects; mis-cue and you'll send your badger into deep space.Click here to read more...
Kerbal Space Program | Greenman Gaming | £9.60 (RRP: £19.99)
Voucher Code: Z4364W-7MR5WA-N5BCOO
One of the earliest Early Access games is also one of the very best, and ironically most content-complete. You're tasked with building rockets in a brutally realistic simulator, watching a thousand embarrassing crashes before finally creating something that can break the atmosphere. Which is where the real fun begins. Part edutainment, part puzzler, part simulator and all awesome, this will keep you going for a long-haul. Save a tenner with GMG's Z4364W-7MR5WA-N5BCOO voucher code.
Thanks to dealfinder extraordinaire jaystan @ HUKD!
Contrast is a short and fun little environmental puzzler with a great aesthetic, though most people know it as "the free PS4 game that replaced DriveClub at the last minute." PC owners can grab a copy for a paltry £3, saving nearly £9 on a Steam code.
Age Of Empires II HD Edition | GMG | £3.74 (RRP: £14.99)
We can probably all agree that Age Of Empires II was a very good RTS indeed. Some would even call it great, and frankly, I'm one of them. However, the jury's also out on whether it's worth paying £14.99 for an HD Edition that doesn't necessarily improve matters all that much.
So good thing GMG are selling it for £3.74, then. Thanks to ferreirm @ HUKD!
If you missed Ninja Theory's
protracted escort mission sci-fi retelling of the classic Chinese tale of Monkey back in 2010, GMG are set to reward your apathy with a serious saving on the Premium Edition. Enslaved is a fun action game with superb art direction and a great storyline, and a steal at less than four quid. Thanks to webmonkey @ HUKD!
Well folks, the doors are closing today on yet another huge Gamescom Expo and just like you, we’re still eagerly devouring all the latest info, trailers and gameplay demos. Carl and Jon have an absolute tonne of previews and interviews to bring you in the near future, so be sure to stay tuned for those. Today is all about the videos though.
Seeing as you’ve probably already seen the videos for the hottest big-name games that you can’t wait to get your hands on (Far Cry 4 and Quantum Break look amazing, no?), we’ve been scouring the net to find those precious gems that slipped through the cracks amidst all the triple A noise. So here’s our picks of the seven best Gamescom videos you may have missed.
The news that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a (timed) Xbox exclusive buried alive Square’s other Tomb Raider game. This was a shame because Temple of Isis is the follow-up to the excellent Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light and it’s looking pretty damn awesome. The co-op options have been doubled from two players to four, which is all sorts of awesome. Plus, it’s the only new Tomb Raider game we’ll see on PlayStation for a while.Click here to read more...
I haven't used a flight stick in years, but there's something incredibly soothing about running my fingers over the firm grip of my new Thrustmaster and jumping headfirst into the Elite: Dangerous beta. There are more button inputs than actual buttons on the Hotas X (and it's not exactly short on those), but Elite is a fiddly game that takes a bit of setting up when you first jump in.
Miy first foray into the vast expanses of space took an abrupt turn for the worst when I confused a Federation police ship for the pirate target I was hunting down, and was promptly blown out of the inky black sky, at which point I thought I'd better take on a few of the combat scenario missions to chip away the years of rust, and get up to speed with the nuances of hurling a Sidewinder around the place.
Click here to read more...
As Jon put it once -- Calling Deus Ex a “Game of the Year” is an understatement of incredible proportions. It’s like calling the Pyramids the ‘rock piles of the week‘.
It’s one of the best games ever made, and Green Man Gaming have dropped it down to £1.24 as they like to do every so often. If you've somehow never played it, make sure you snap it up at this price. It's an utter steal for what is one of the finest gaming experiences ever to be had. Cheers bandwidth bob.
The Witcher 2 is back down under £3 on Steam, and you can pick up the first game for £1.39 as well. One of the finest RPG series to emerge in recent years, if you haven't played them yet, I can assure you that they're probably better than most of the games in your Steam summer backlog.
Thanks ferreirm at HotUkDeals.
Yes, Colonial Marines is a big bag of xenomorph effluence. But sometimes a bad game can be worth dropping two quid on just for the lulz. Alternatively, you can probably buy the DVD of Aliens for this much. Or a little paint tester kit, which you could watch dry.
The disc also makes a great coaster. Thanks to Irah @ HUKD!
To The Moon | Humble Store | £1.19
Ostensibly a retro-flavoured adventure game that see you working backwards through the memories of a dying man to help him die with no regrets, this little indie gem is frankly masterful. It's cheap as chips over on the Humble Store right now, and if you have a small gap in your gaming schedule before silly season kicks off, definitely think about picking it up.