Stop right there, criminal scum! Yes, it is time to return to the Imperial heartland of Tamriel and face the infernal armies of Oblivion once again. Centuries before we ventured north to the frozen continent of Skyrim, we found ourselves flying over the impressive Imperial City, listening to the impressive voice of Patrick Stewart foretell an impressive Doom, and we landed in a familiar setting: a dingy prison cell. From such lowly beginnings all the stories of the Elder Scrolls stem and Number IV offers perhaps the best-told tale in the book.
What could possibly be better than a round of tasty Tapas? That’s right, another round of Tapas! HenchTech’s Indie Tapas, to be precise! In May’s edition we have the delicious mix of a roguish RPG and a survival city-builder type, along with a dash of stealthy goodness and just a little sprinkling from an intergalactic chemistry set. Tuck in as Tom serves up these bite-sized indie delights!
One of the wonders of the modern, digitally-enhanced age is how absurdly easy it has become to make your own game. Anybody so inclined can dip their ladles into the seething broth of tools available online and apply their creative juices to the glutinous potion thereby brought forth, without needing to resort to the stuffy, conservative publishers and their bottom lines.
XCOM is back and in roaring form. Those master craftsmen of turn-based strategy, Firaxis, have been chipping away for the past three years at the rocky edifice of this beloved franchise, knocking off the harsh corners, sanding the edges and carving in increasingly detailed features. As a result, XCOM 2 is a more refined, intricate version of the original, striking the same poses but in much greater style. This sculpted rendition delivers all the nail-biting moments of the first, the long shots and risky gambits, lucky dodges and cries of “Oh come on!”, and also all the methodical dismantling of a superior nemesis and the pleasure buttons that process pushes.
The end of the twelfth century was a tumultuous time. The Third Crusade was in full swing, two great powers of the world clashing at the edge of the Levant for control of the Holy City, Jerusalem. Richard the Lionheart locks horns with the legendary Saladin, bringing all of European Christianity to bear against one of Islam’s greatest and most heroic leaders. By 1191, the Crusaders are in control of Acre and are eyeing their ultimate prize. Tensions couldn’t be higher.
Murky ocean abysses conceal a multitude of secret treasures, chief among which is the paradise city, Rapture: haven of the artist; home to the genius; sanctuary of the visionary. So, dear reader, would you kindly join us beneath the waves to explore this testament to the greatness and brilliance of man? BioShock follows the adventure of Jack, our player character. Cast into the sea from the wreck of a plane, Jack takes refuge in an oddly placed lighthouse, and in doing so stumbles upon the hidden passage to a mysterious utopia. Andrew Ryan has built his impossible metropolis away from the moral confines of the world above and invited only the best humanity has to offer to inhabit his submarinal fortress. But our hero has found his way in, and we quickly find Rapture is not the promised land the obsessed entrepreneur would have you believe.
Back in the waning months of 2007 there was much to raise the excitement of your average attentive gaming acolyte, but perhaps nothing was more potent than The Orange Box. Valve’s titanic Half-Life 2 received its second episodic update, an installment alternating between pumping and rending the hearts of the enthralled slaves innocents might call gamers. They bundled it into a package brimming over with viscous value, including as it did the main game, Episode One and the incomparable classic Team Fortress 2. Oh, and a short experimental game called Portal.