It wasn’t all that long ago, that when you got a new video game, you got the game as it was, and as it was going to be. If the game was on a disc or especially on a cartridge, you weren’t going to get anything different. If there was a really big problem, a re-release of the game might happen, but patches weren’t a thing. Even as video games started to move into the realm of the internet, updates (which not all that long ago could still be purchacsed on disc) didn’t really do anything. You might get a few more maps for multiplayer, or an expansion, but the base game was still basically the same. But in the past few years, all that’s changed.
I’ve been excited about Phoenix Point, which launches today, for a very long time. And while I still very much am, for the last few months I’ve kind of been forcing myself to not be excited for it, all because of a fiasco that happened back in March. A fiasco called Epic.
Back in the spring, I was planning to do an article documenting my attempt at a more challenging game of Europa Universalis IV. It came about after I got the feeling that all of my EU4 achievements were ones considered either “easy” or “very easy” by the community. And so I thought, “why not try to get a medium level achievement?” An easy medium, of course, because going all-out on my first attempt at a higher level would be, well, hard. And so I picked one I thought I could do: “A Tale of Two Families” Continue reading “I’m a difficulty dweeb, and I’m okay with that”
For years, gamers have dealt with microtransactions in their favorite games – from MMOs to mobile, and more recently in triple-A titles, we’ve seen additional in-game content made to generate long term profit. Some studios and publishers have made sure not to break the first rule of selling content and have limited their offerings to cosmetics and rewards that don’t grant power to players. As such, this is normally not an issue since these purchases are entirely optional and don’t provide advantages in online play, or roadblocks to story progression.
I’ve been playing RimWorld since Alpha 15, almost two years before the full game came out. In that time, I’ve seen a lot of things change. I’ve seen a lot of things added, and I’ve seen a lot of things taken away. For example, I have a nostalgic desire to start using the survival rifle again. It still technically exists with a slight accuracy nerf, it’s just call a bolt-action rifle now. Same with deathfall traps. They still exist with a bigger nerf (they were kind of OP before, so I won’t complain about that) under the name “spike traps”. They’re still super useful, I just really want that name back. It’s a cool name.
‘Member when I said I was going to try getting my review for Civilization VI: Gathering Storm out within a week or two of launch? Yeah, that…obviously didn’t happen. Going back to the “I can play Civ VI for three or four games and then I get turned off it for a while” thing I’ve mentioned before, my latest turn off partway through my first Gathering Storm game. I haven’t played in over two months, and as such, I don’t feel super confident in doing a full-fledged review. I do want to (finally) get it out and get on to new business though, so I’m going to play a little bit and get out a quicker review than I’d normally do. Continue reading “Civ VI: Gathering Storm Quick Review”
As long as games have existed there has been the looming potential for loss. Whether it’s letting one too many pixels slip by, tripping on a wayward koopa shell, playing against a button spamming Raiden, or taking a few too many bullets to the sponge – you die, you fail, you lose, game over. Most games don’t really address losing or dying – you simply reset, respawn, and move on; this I feel is a missed opportunity and designers could find ways to embrace loss in their games. Continue reading “Losing Should be an Option”
I was…less than impressed with Rise & Fall, the first expansion for Civilization VI. I’ll probably get into it more later, but long story short, it did too much to take you down from the path you wanted to go down. I may even turn it off the next time I play Civ VI, I haven’t decided yet. Continue reading “The Things I’m Most Excited For in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm”
This may be my first article for Novus, but if you know me from RUL, there’s probably something you know about me: I absolutely love historical strategy games. The Civilization series is the big one, but I’m also partial to the games produced by Paradox Interactive, like Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II, and Stellaris. Okay, that last one’s not really historical per se, but whatever. Thing is…I’m not super great at some of them. Continue reading “The Fun of Playing Through Failure”
Whilst my internet was recently out for a week I did a number of things I don’t normally do: rip out & replant a whole garden, socialise outdoors with friends, and revisit countless games I thought I’d played to death. You’ll be pleased to know I’m going to be talking about the latter.
Atmosphere is the most powerful element of any story-driven game, but also the most commonly overlooked. In a world where changing game mechanics and drama over design philosophies hogs the limelight, we seem to be missing the “soul” that brings life to so many outstanding titles. Continue reading “The Power of Atmosphere”