Shadow of War‘s latest expansion, The Desolation of Mordor cuts right to the chase. “Baranor is mortal and carries no Ring of Power. If he does, his story is over. Be careful.” Tackling Shadow of War without Talion’s impressive array of Celebrimbor-backed super powers is an interesting spin on the game’s existing format, pivoting into something that looks a lot like a roguelike. Continue reading Games Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War – The Desolation of Mordor (Xbox One, 2018)
There is an easy way to tell if State of Decay 2 is going to be your thing or not. How do you react when you realise a game feels like bloody hard work? Do you dig in or do you check out? If you tend to dig in, then chances are you’ll find loads to like about State of Decay 2. If you tend to check out, you will probably find yourself bouncing off it pretty hard. Continue reading Games Review: State of Decay 2 (Xbox One, 2018): All work, no play
After being delayed earlier in the year, The Crew 2‘s release date now creeps ever closer which means its time to start those good, good server stress tests. That means a chance to play a little bit of the game early starting on May 31 when The Crew 2‘s closed beta officially opens.... Continue Reading
With Heroes of the Storm‘s Dark Nexus event now in full swing, players are getting to see a side of the game they’ve never gotten a piece of before — one with lore, one that attempts to explain the bizarre confluence of characters and events that make up the game’s central conflicts. With so much happening at once, we spoke to Heroes of the Storm Game Director Alan Dabiri to get a few things straight.
A non-trivial amount of my time as a teenager was spent playing Black Isle Studios RPGs. The entry point for many into the Forgotten Realms campaign setting that is the focus of Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, games like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale remain important industry touchstones. The foundations they laid for creating complex narratives and engaging characters in gaming are part of the industry’s bedrock today. The Enhanced Editions released by Beamdog Software have been wonderful for a touch of nostalgia, but I’ve played them all before. I wanted more, something new. That’s where developer Obsidian came in, building a spiritual successor to those classic titles in Pillars of Eternity. A great success in its own right, a faithful recapturing of what made the Black Isle-era titles great, Obsidian now looks to take the series in a direction that is almost entirely their own in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Continue reading Games Review: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (PC, 2018): Forgotten Realm
Don’t let the new title fool you. Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is still a fully-fledged entry in Creative Assembly’s long-running series of historical strategy games. But where older Total War titles have selected a particular real world empire or historical era to focus on, Total War Saga narrows its scope. It focuses not on the rise and fall of the British Empire (they’ve actually done that one before) but on a specific historical flashpoint: King Alfred the Great’s desperate bid to stop the Viking invasion of Britain at the Battle of Edington in 878 CE, and the years of massive social instability that followed. Continue reading Games Review: Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (PC, 2018): The shape of wars to come
Heroes of the Storm, the hero brawler/MOBA title that mashes all of Blizzard’s most popular heroes together like action figures in a toy box, hasn’t ever really felt the need to explain itself. This set it apart from other Blizzard games where lore and backstory have always played a crucial part in keeping players hooked. With the third anniversary of its launch now on the horizon, Heroes is finally introducing some in-universe lore with its new Dark Nexus event. Continue reading Heroes of the Storm‘s new Dark Nexus event finally opens the door to lore
“When we announced State of Decay 2 last year, we were prepared for cries of ‘Do we really need another zombie game?'” says Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain during his short intro to our little group of games journos at Soultrap Bar in Surry Hills. “Our answer was yes.” It’s the kind of emphatic ‘yes’ I’ve heard before, the kind that only comes from creatives pitching an idea they really believe in. It’s the yes of someone who sees the not only the value, but the point of difference in what they’re trying to make. Strain isn’t wrong to insist his game is different. Within the zombie survival genre, State of Decay 2 is doing things you don’t see that often. Continue reading Games Preview: State of Decay 2 (Xbox One/PC, 2018): Survival of the fittest
I imagine almost everyone who’s ever ridden a motorcycle has heard the same worried refrain from their mum about how motorcycles claim thousands of lives on the road every year. For those who decide to put mum’s mind at rest and stick to a car, TT: Isle of Man is a great consolation prize, an earnest and dedicated tribute to one of the world’s most popular and dangerous sporting events.
You review enough gadgets and speakers and eventually you get a sense for The Order of Things. You can tell a lot about a device just from looking at the promo images — you get an idea of their size, the design philosophy and where their predicted strengths and weaknesses will lie. And sometimes they arrive and you realise that you’re maybe not as smart as you thought you were. Continue reading Tech Review: Razer Nommo Chroma 2.0 Desk Speakers: The sound of cannonfire