Author Archive

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Review

I’m going to admit something that most people who write about these sorts of things should probably keep to themselves. I’m not very good at video games. I never use elaborate base-building techniques when I play Starcraft, it didn’t occur me to try listening for footsteps in Counter Strike. When I play shooters, I play ones where you are some giant, hulking hunk of human with guns that fill up half the screen and can mow down everything in site

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC Review

All of the nooks and crannies of Human Revolution’s moments of stunning and not-so-stunning gameplay have been analyzed in enough detail already that they don’t bear repeating. Yes, the game is wonderful to play. Its fatal errors infuriated me because of how stellar the rest of the experience is. Yes, the sudden shifts from first to third-person were disorienting. Yes, the boss fights are frustratingly incongruent with the rest of the gameplay, to the point where I am forced to admit I lowered the difficulty to the easiest level because my stealth-augmented Adam Jensen had no way to defend himself against these sudden onslaughts. These fit so poorly into the pace and nature, not to mention the design, of the game that I was oddly relieved to find out that their production had been outsourced to another developer

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Dead Island PC Review

There is a moment early in the first act of Dead Island that sums up most of this bizarre, almost zen-like zombie-hunting experience of a game. You are driving your character towards an ominously dark tunnel when a woman on the side of the road flags you down. If you get out of the car and go to speak with her, she exasperatedly explains that her car turned over and her husband is still stuck inside. You are then given the option to complete the quest displayed to you on a pen and paper your character conveniently remembered when leaving the house to go slaughter zombies and scavenge for supplies

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Sex Wars in Dead Island

Dead Island, a new survival horror game from developers Techland and Publishers Deep Silver, has been awaited with fevered anticipation by gamers and zombie-lovers alike. Its open world setting and RPG elements promised to many the revitalization of a tired and idiosyncratic sub-genre with innovative gameplay and a refreshing sense of humor. After uncovering an

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Interview: Tripwire VP Talks All Things Red Orchestra 2

Tripwire has gained attention for its innovative use of multiplayer gameplay and challenging first person shooters. Now with the release of the highly anticipated sequel to Red Orchestra due out in little more then a week, we had a chance to speak with Vice President Alan Wilson about the upcoming title, how to make a unique and challenging WWII shooter today, and the history and future of Tripwire

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Free DLC Arrives for Starpoint Gemini

Starport Gemini, a tactical space game with RPG elements will soon be receiving new DLC content. And, publisher Iceberg Interactive announced earlier today, it’s free! The new DLC package, entitled “Gladiators,” has several key features detailed in the press release: • Four new ship designs add to the already large number of unique vessels •

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Bastion Review (PC)

From its first moment, Bastion announces itself as something unusual. “Proper stories supposed to start at the beginning,” an omniscient voice with the gravelly intonations of Tom Waits tells you, “ain’t so simple with this one.” RPGs often begin as gingerly as a first date, as if you and your player character are both trying to decide if you can spend ten to two hundred hours together. Bastion opens on a small room floating amidst a warm, fiery darkness. A small boy with a shock of gray hair and anime-inspired androgyny lays asleep on the bed. Bastion literalizes the player’s hesitance; the boy is not even given a name, referred to simply as The Kid

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From Dust PC Review

Your first word of all was light, and time began. Then for long you were silent. Your second word was man, a fear began, which grips us still. Are you about to speak again? I don’t want your third word. The early levels in From Dust move with a slow, breathtaking beauty that encourages creative

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When Player Characters Tick You Off (Inspired by Limbo)

A few weeks ago on the Brainy Gamer podcast, game critics Tom Bissell and Brian Taylor had an extended banter with host Michael Abbot about the newest game from Rockstar and Team Bondi, LA Noire. I have not played through LA Noire, nor is it (yet) so appropriate for Ironhammers as a console exclusive. But

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Pirates of Black Cove Review

Midway through Pirates of Black Cove, a new, well, Pirate-based game from Paradox Interactive and Nitro Games I was sailing my ship through the world map, to fetch something for one of the game’s three pirate chiefs. Three enemy ships in an ambush suddenly clobbered me. I reloaded several times to the same result. Eventually, I stepped back and tried to find some smaller quests to complete as to gain the experience and upgrades needed to stand up to them. But I had completed all the other available missions. I was, quite literally, trapped on my side of the map with no idea how to make it across

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