Just Cause

There is one thing that Just Cause 3 captures flawlessly: the feeling of a huge open space. Here you can sit in a bomber, take off a few kilometers up, jump out of the cabin, not be able to cover the whole archipelago, and then half a minute to fall and land in a field of sunflowers near any village, the name of which you will never remember. And let the entire Medici archipelago be built up with the same houses with orange tiles-this is an amazing place. And it’s really cool to blow things up.

Collateral damage

Why did people play Just Cause 2? Because there is obtained on the go to jump from one plane to another, throw the pilot to take the wheel to jerk in the direction of some of the tank farm, at the last moment to jump out, unfold the infinite parachute and watch as you back everything up into the air. Just Cause 3 does everything to make such situations more. It spits on realism, logic, common sense, and delivers it all as a solar game about Kirby, where you can descend from the sky sixty-meter cargo plane in a container of five to ten.

Story? Need for background. Rico Rodriguez has arrived to the next island state (this time — the Mediterranean Medici) to overthrow the next bloody dictator (Sebastiano di Ravello-is dressed as Gaddafi, usat as Stalin). The idea is that somewhere here Rico grew up, so it is surrounded by friends and acquaintances of childhood, and even far the theme of the past curses Rodriguez. But barely noticeable. Just so the townspeople die, the future change of di Ravello seems no less vile-no one cares.

Gotta. Blow. Belongings.

Avalanche has chosen priorities. Their game is about explosions and flights. In trailers, at exhibitions — everywhere-developers showed how beautifully cars, gas stations, transformers and fuel tanks blow up and in how many ways it is possible to demolish a monument to di Ravello.

And all this, of course, great, but the main new feature — it’s wingsuit. Walking in the past Just Cause was the most boring, but somehow had to. Now it is not necessary: alternating parachute, cat-hook and wingsuit, you can, without touching the ground, to cross at least the entire archipelago, and in the way to shoot down a few helicopters, blow up a couple of tanks, to spread the checkpoint and steal a fighter, immersed on a passing train. In the air it became possible to do much more beautiful things.

Medici’s a pleasure to fly. Of the meaningful cases here – only a penny test, opening access to new features of gadgets, and the base, which you need to capture, but Just Cause nothing more and do not need. The structure of the bases finally adjusted to the ability of Rico-now they are much more vertical, and you can not just land from the air, spread explosives, to jerk and fly: you have to constantly maneuver between the high columns, move from one height to another. This is exactly what this series has been missing from the start.

The real problems are deeper.

Sanctioned revolution

Here’s the thing: for a game about chaos, explosions, and rebellion against power, Just Cause 3 is too fond of quotas and limits. Free four provinces to advance through the story. Capture five bases to free the province. Blow up all the objects painted in red to capture the base. It would not bother if the mandatory goals do not have to look for a long time. It turns out that five minutes of Rico Rodriguez is on a rampage, killing people, blowing up the gas station and laughing like a child, ten — seek in the folds of the enemy Outpost, he read the release region. First, Just Cause 3 picks up momentum, and then takes and just scatters it.

Everything you need to make Just Cause 3 interesting is on your hands. The wingsuit, grappling hook, infinite explosives (can be supplemented with charges small jet engines), cutting cables, all sorts of rocket-propelled grenades and military equipment — that’s enough to build the greatest Goldberg machine to get it going and put the recording on YouTube. You plan, build, press the detonator button and watch as the infrastructure of the base flies into the air in one carefully constructed cascade of explosions.

But, to make sense of it, you need to take Just Cause 3 as a construction sandbox on the contrary — that is, want to blow up beautiful different things, just so they beautifully exploded. Otherwise, in the “creative” approach, which is emphasized in the annotations, makes little sense: in a couple of story missions, it was nice to find that I can blow up the bridge and cut off the path for some reinforcements, but only. Normally well — tightened, put the bomb away, blew up and repeated until, until there’s nothing left. This is the easiest, tedious, but reliable way in which the probability of a misfire is the least.

It’s very difficult to kill Rico Rodriguez. He is almost invulnerable and dies more often than not just from the fact that you decide to become insolent and do not do everything the way you usually do, and then accidentally break on the rocks. In nine out of ten cases, there’s no reason to be a spectacular Rico Rodriguez because the boring Rico Rodriguez is much more comfortable.

Rico’s too cool for this place. Faced with him, allegedly prudent dictator, years held the power of the iron grip, can only helplessly shake the air and vent anger at the extras. There are no situations when something goes wrong. Rather, they are, but they almost do not attach importance. Like they’re not even there.

In all its manifestations, Just Cause 3-a game about how to bend a world that has already come to terms with everything. It’s fun-a little more fun than playing GTA with cheats-but you have to make a big effort not to accidentally interrupt the agony of junta di Ravello in the fastest way.

And Yes. It’s cool to blow things up.

Surviving Mars

Paradox Interactive has long been impossible to call a company with a narrow specialization. Yes, as long as no one makes a global historical strategy of better (and does it at all?), than the Swedes, but now they are known as publishers of projects of a variety of genres: from arcades to role-playing games.

 

This time, the paradoxes decided to return to the urban theme: three years ago, they were already the publisher of a very successful Cities: Skylines, and now under their command was published Surviving Mars, in which everyone can build the city of their dreams on the red planet. The developer is also once again not necessary to represent-it’s a well-known Studio Haemimont Games, which we love for the last three parts of Tropico. Perfect team? I guess so. But this is not a guarantee of a good game.

Robots are working hard

 

The Martian mission begins much earlier than the rocket leaves the starting table. First, you have to choose the conditions that affect what, in fact, we will fly to our neighbor in the Solar system. The funding, the number of available missiles and other features of the upcoming trip depend on the company-organizer and leader of the expedition. The choice of the payload is also important: to take more polymers and spare parts or better to immerse the whole plant in the rocket, and to do the Assembly of mechanisms already in place? If there is only a couple of missiles and meager funding (as, for example, in the game for Russia), the filling of the cargo compartment makes a good smash his head. Finally, the last preparation – you need to choose the landing site, focusing on tips that indicate the expected location of resources and possible difficulties (dust storms, cold, meteor showers).

 

Is it risky to fly to Mars to create an entire colony without properly scouting the terrain and creating the infrastructure of the future settlement in advance? Of course! Colonizers in the Surviving Mars of the same opinion, so the first rocket people are not allowed. The initial training stage is entirely in the hands of the manipulators of the whole construction team of Autonomous drones. They do not need oxygen and food, only electricity is enough. There are building materials-it means that there will be work: the construction of resource extractors and plants for their processing, the construction of power plants and batteries, repair and maintenance of mechanisms…

 

Nevertheless, we cannot do without people: robots are not able to provide a full production cycle. They do a great job with the usual work, but can not produce metals and rare minerals. The latter are also used for trade with Land — this allows the colony to reach self-sufficiency and even make a profit. Well, in the end, we want to create human settlement beyond Earth and not the colony for the heartless piece of iron?

 

After these hardware built habitable dome, it will be connected to pipelines with oxygen and water, it is possible to order the following start — with future Martians.

Is there life on Mars?

 

As in any other self-respecting urban simulator, in Surviving Mars residents have certain skills and character traits. It is logical to assume that the best of the best will be selected for the first extraterrestrial colony, but in fact it is not so. Applicants who want to go on a long journey, under a hundred, but not everyone will be an ideal colonist. Fortunately, the player can choose the future residents on their own, based on their own ideas about who exactly should entrust such a responsible thing.

 

However, you can not bother with the study of each applicant, and set the parameters-for example, to take on Board only male vegetarians of middle age. Especially convenient in the later stages, when too lazy to mess with each candidate separately. But the first batch still want to take his own-the pioneers of Mars must meet such a high rank.

 

People are much more capricious than robots. And it’s not just the need to provide them with breathable air, clean water and food. In addition to natural needs, there are not so mundane-people need both work and a place to relax, comfortable temperature in the dome and safety inside and outside.

 

If all basic needs are met, the number of settlers may increase naturally — and the “indigenous” Martians will begin to emerge very soon. However, there are enough volunteers on the Ground who want to go on a flight — there would be missiles.

The larger the population of the colony, the more problems with the maintenance of buildings and structures and meet the needs of the colonists. And those, and others becomes very much, and it is not easy to keep track of everything. But much more sad that you have to fight not so much with a variety of gameplay difficulties that are designed to entertain the player, but with an inconvenient interface, meager mechanics and the lack of normal statistics and other data.

If you compare Surviving Mars with similar strategies, it is still closer to RimWorld or Dwarf Fortress, rather than to the classic urban SIM like SimCity. We have not tens of thousands of residents and hundreds of homes, but much smaller scale. Resources — not abstract “money” or “building materials”, and quite concrete: metals, concrete, spare parts and other, being on concrete warehouses. Each resident can be studied in detail — what he does, what character traits has and what specifically satisfied or annoyed.

 

But how inconvenient it is implemented! We do not have a list of colonists — you have to look for the right or through his place of work, or choose any and sort them out one by one until you get to the right. Another option — literally catch on the street, poking the mouse.

 

This is not the worst thing — the need to deal with an individual settler does not occur so often. The main problem is much more complicated and is inherent in the very essence of the game mechanics. The fact is that the drones, which are engaged in the main work, are tied to special control centers. The latter are stationary, in the form of special buildings, and are on missiles. A third variant of the transport vehicle. The robots assigned to the TSU will perform work only within the range of this TSU. Everything seems to be logical, but in practice the difficulties begin immediately after the colony grows a little.

Colonists can only work near the dome. We saw promising deposits of rare metals-so we have to build a dome in the immediate vicinity of the mines. We put the second TSU or we overtake the carrier of drones on the place of future building-the existing control center any more “finishes” on such distance. You think the drones will get to work? It was not there – for the construction of resources that are in warehouses somewhere in the center of the colony (or not unloaded from the rocket). And if the warehouse is outside the scope of the new TSU (and it will be), the drones simply do not see it.

 

Well, you can drag and drop resources with a special machine — to do it once is not difficult. And what next? Resources are spent on maintenance and repair, they are consumed by factories and industrial buildings. It is very easy to miss the moment of scarcity of materials in a particular area of the settlement. The colony is simply not able to distribute resources between the warehouses on its own! The storage does not even have a banal system of priorities — only manual orders to transport drones.

Root of evil

 

Further-more. The usual thing: in a residential dome lights out — not enough energy. Clearly, we’ve screwed up the power system somewhere, but where exactly? Even if you have two or more closed circuits of power supply, you can only see the overall figure (deficit or surplus) of the entire colony as a whole. Similar to the reserves of oxygen and water — no detailed graphs or special layers of resource availability, which have become the standard for the genre. You have to calculate everything manually, “Poselkovaya” each building.

 

In fact, we will not be able to create one large colony — it turns out to be a network of small, self-supporting settlements, sometimes even unrelated to each other. Otherwise will drown in the micro. However, you and so it drown: it is still unknown that it is easier — to manage three or four villages, each of which must be provided with all kinds of resources for Autonomous existence, or to distribute these resources manually within one large city.

On top of that, the colonization of the planet takes place at a very leisurely pace. Studies are drawn and drawn, some new mechanic is added very little, and in the colony itself almost nothing happens, despite the promised dangers like dust storms or meteorite fall. Yes, these natural disasters do occur, but they are not as frightening as the routine and the need to control everything manually — with far from the most convenient interface. Finally, the lack of detailed statistics puts an end to long-term planning and the possibility of comfortable development of their colony.

Surviving Mars, despite the excellent picture and the lack of serious bugs, gives the impression not even a beta version, but a prototype. You can play it, but to have fun — with great difficulty. Perhaps the situation will get better over time: Paradox Interactive likes to fix the shortcomings of the release with a variety of DLC. However, at the moment colonize Mars is better in some other game.

 

We Happy Few

This is a game about survival in the open world

In fact, the genre of the game no one really hid. Developers often gave interviews and directly said that there is no adventure action in We Happy Fewi in sight, and that the game is about survival in hostile territory. But it was too late-the trailers misrepresented the essence of the game, and the public had a false impression.

 

Which reminds me of ” more. Utopia„

Here, too, there is a strange city that lives by its own laws, and the inhabitants are divided into castes and change the attitude of the player depending on his actions. In the final version of the game will be three main characters-two men and one girl. Everyone has their own story, but they all intersect with each other. Playing for one character, you are sure to meet the other two — all in the “Sea”. Not to die, you need to eat, to drink, to sleep, to heal from the plague and be able to defend themselves — the weapon breaks, and rare stick is better not to spend an optional fight.

With a randomly generated city

There are a few neighborhoods and a lot of places tied to certain quests in Wellington. Tasks each time the same, but where after the start of a new game will be located key house or area — decides the case.

I found instructions on how to prepare a cure for a deadly disease, but I couldn’t find all the ingredients in time. This is both a problem and a plus of the procedurally generated world. On the one hand, each player will have a slightly different city, and therefore unique situations more. On the other — too much depends on luck: the resources to perform the first tasks can be two steps from the exit of the shelter or in the devil’s horns.

And not too thoughtful crafting

Simple recipes can be unlocked by picking the right ingredients.

They score inventory, so you have to constantly run to the shelter and throw off the ballast (well, do not throw them!). This is a routine that increases the duration of the game. I hope that the output of the game will correct this.

In We Happy Few interesting setting

In the alternate universe We Happy Few, the Soviet Union invaded Britain during world war II. Residents of the town of Wellington wells were able to drive themselves invaders, but it had to do something so terrible, what everyone wanted to forget. This prompted the government to create a drug “Joy”, which drives away bad memories and makes the world brighter — in the literal sense, even after one pill dirty gray-brown streets are filled with colors, a rainbow appears in the sky. In short, the world looks like what the future of science fiction writers of the middle of the last century imagined.

And the plot is written based on the novels “1984” and ” about the brave new world»

Being high is the sacred duty of every citizen of Wellington. The editor of the local newspaper Arthur accidentally stumbled upon a note about himself and his brother during the war, and it knocked him out of the drug trip. Realizing that all this time the pills deprived him of freedom of thought and conscience, he went against the system — stopped swallowing “Joy” and began to plan an escape from the city.

We Happy Few is an anti-utopia based on the iconic novels of British writers George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. All the main elements of the plot are inspired by their works. Wellington is a consumer society in which there are several strata of the population, and the higher castes hate and despise the lower. Drug ” Joy “— is an analogue of the catfish of” the brave new world”, they have exactly the same properties, purpose and even advertising” chants “just rooted in speech under the guise of sayings:” Catfish gram-and no drama!”

But in early access there are no story missions — only the prologue

And when will — is unknown. But there is a wonderful set of prologue, it outlines the reigning laws in this city and create intrigue. Make “Joy” we are obliged, and those who forgets or ignores the pill, forced to swallow a horse pill, thus returning a person needs set of values.

In the prologue, Arthur refuses to take hallucinogen and begins to gradually see the light: he notices that the colleague has not returned from vacation, and watches as in a nearby office, a tall man in a hat and a cloak forcibly sticks something to the employee. Shocked Arthur quickly gives himself up and goes on the run.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

The Dragon Ball franchise consists of forty eight volumes of a manga, several anime series, one screen version and a heap of accompanying production. Alone games on Dragon Ball came out for almost a hundred pieces. Here you and jRPG, and platformers, but most of all it is fighting games — they began to go about the same time as the “comics”. And now, in 2018, the Studio Arc system workswas Another. What’s different? The fact that this Dragon Ball-almost the perfect representative of the genre.

Arc System Works has been fighting games for decades. They have created and produce super popular and almost reference series BlazBlue and Guilty Gear. The new brainchild of Japanese is tricky in terms of combat system, but no less colorful and animelee.

Without sebangan not to gain Gongfu

A new game franchise — is a 3-on-3 fighting game according to the rules of Tag Team. That is, you can at any time of the fight to change the character or use a single attacking or defensive action of other team members, as in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Tekken Tag Tournament. Such an approach expands tactical possibilities and gives scope for experiments.

And you want to experiment here, and how! Because the combat mechanics in Dragon Ball Fighter are simple and deep. On the one hand, if you press all the buttons in a row, the result will be the same as with the conscious manner of play: the screen will be created a complete chaos, anime-psychedelic theater of special effects. But FightersZ encourages to learn how to play “correctly” and understand the basics to know the charm of the suit. This process, the work on the basics, the Chinese call the word “jibengong”. And without it, “Gunta” — the technique — do not work enough

Each fighter has a weak, medium and strong punches. There are also long — range attacks (projectiles), the ability to instantly reduce the distance and teleport the enemy behind his back-especially good it works if the enemy only does that gets you from afar.

MSY-list of heroes about the same. If you master one character, learning to fight others will not be a problem. Particularly pleased that superataka can smoothly be combined with a melee combo it makes battles verified from the point of view of variability and approaches.

In the game you need to constantly change tactics, quickly retreat and accurately calculate the attack time. The enemy is teleported without stopping, then tries to throw in the air and carry out a long series of strikes, then at the speed of the comet is at a very close distance… every millisecond matters. In addition, he, like you, can at any time change the fighters and use their one-time abilities. All this was already in other representatives of the genre, but in DB FighterZ each component of the battle implemented “hurrah.”

There are a couple of mechanics that are specific only to the universe of Dragon Ball. It is the life energy of Ki (or, in Chinese tradition, Chi) and the counter of “dragon pearl”. Ki accumulates during the fight and is used for special receptions. And the gems you get for every drop of your opponent. Collected seven pieces-so it’s time to call the dragon, which will fill up and Ki, and health strip.

Appearance and modes

Dragon Ball FighterZ shocking picture — she looks like a very expensive anime with sophisticated detail and distinctive style of Akira Toriyama. The game is dominated by bright colors, great special effects and “kupusina” choreography of the fights. Why are only the animation of throwing the enemy into the air and then beating in the heavens. Opponents can be thrown on the rocks, and they break through skyscrapers. The action looks pretentious and epic-as befits the world Dragon Ball.

The developers decided to make the game is not a standard menu, and the lobby, in which the player moves the Chibi-version of Goku — the main character of Dragon Ball. On the local square, he will meet special NPC and “rooms” with modes — from here we go to the story campaign, hone skills, fight locally on one screen or go online. The lobby is surprisingly comfortable. The same applies to all menus, submenus, sections — Yes, all the game as a whole.

But the network code is not happy. In the online mode, you can wait a very long time to connect in private matches. At the same time, the selection of players is more or less stable in the standard rating battles. Most likely, the developers will patch the online problem with patches. In the meantime, the most stable online in the lobby area teeming with players who constantly communicate with stickers and boast of avatars, bought for real or in-game currency.

Yes, FighterZ not bypassed and system luchboxes (here they look like capsules). For gold or silver coins you can buy original stickers and avatars. Silver doubloons virtual fighter gets by completing quests and passing game modes, and gold bought for real money. In fairness – in the process of passing you will have time to earn so much silver that get out of your pocket wallet will make little sense. You’ll get a lot of options for character customization.

Not without arcade mode. There is no plot, only fights with enemy teams with one purpose — to become the best, to get the highest rank, to beat out the next achivka. By the way, the arcade mode itself is quite interesting. It has only five battles, but, depending on your performances, you meet with different opponents. With a perfect performance with each new battle, you will increase the level of difficulty and reach the final boss. But it is necessary to act not very well or, worse, to lose — and your way will turn completely in the other direction.

History without history

Battles are simple and clear, but the story — not quite. In the world of Dragon Ball a lot of characters and story arches. Over the years of the franchise’s existence, a lot has happened here, and the average players are not familiar with all this. And many fans of the series consider the history of FighterZ a kind of fan fiction.

The game has three long and intricate story arches. In this story, we’re flying a spaceship, looking for ally friends and trying to solve the mystery of the appearance of the dark clones of the heroes. We’re also being hunted by some androids. The plot is given through scenes on the game engine-beautiful and incomprehensible to anyone except fans of the franchise. The map of the story campaign is dotted with a lot of points on which we move, we study the subtleties of mechanics, find secrets and bonuses, fight with enemies and learn the continuation of the story.

All the characters FighterZ possess a strong charisma and personality. Hairstyles-their, perhaps, the only noticeable similarity. But it is not laziness of artists, and feature of Akira Toriyama’s style — the concept artist and the ideological inspirer of Dragon Ball and a cult series Dragon Quest. By the way, he also created a unique character for the game — Android-21.

Because of the not very good presentation of the plot FighterZ can hardly be called an ideal game for the first acquaintance with the cultural phenomenon of Dragon Ball. But as a fighting game it is incredibly good.

Anyway, are we fighting games or something?! Since when do we see their story as an important unit?! Last year, of course, there were two fighting games in which the plot was really important — it’s Tekken 7 and Injustice 2. But is it really enough to make the story so important element in the genre? Write in the comments, how do you feel about this trend!

Dragon Ball FighterZ-a great representative of the genre. It is very easy to learn, but it is quite hardcore. The plot is not something that fascinates or tries to seem serious, but the visual component and mechanics completely capture the player and immerse him in the excellent anime world of the genre senen. In the battle scenes occasionally sags footage, but it does not interfere. And Yes — animeforum it is better to bypass the game side. And fans of high-quality fighting games and Japanese animation – do not miss it in any case!

 

Days Gone

The hapless Haitian slaves could buy not only themselves, but also their plantations, if they took care to issue a patent for the mystical beliefs taken out of their Africa. And so living dead from the dark voodoo cults went to the people, and who only they do not use to this day, no one asking. However, over and over again, the African origin of the merciless and inexhaustible threat is trying to disguise. In The Last of Us would blame fungal spores, and in the Days Gone that we were not zombies, no. See for yourself, it’s frickers!

Yes, we see, we see. The revived dead, who instead of brains-insatiable stomach, willing to eat all those who turn up under the tooth, and drive the survivors to the fortified camp without any benefits of civilization. Of course, nothing in common.

What do you call a zombie

It does not matter how the zombies are called in the next post-apocalyptic action movie. The main thing-how we will deal with them

The first show Days Gone a year ago was dedicated to a fun catch-up with the endless hordes of energetic dead. The main character, deacon St. John, on the fly change in tactics of extermination fricker: piled their logs, burned with Molotov cocktails that blew up the eternal as WASD, red barrels, lured on rotten floors and austere was fired from a machine gun. Along the way, deacon showed himself to be an inventive craftsman, organizing himself a silencer from the part of the car engine, and his “driver” had to demonstrate knowledge of buttons on the controller for the successful passage of numerous QTE. The first demo version of the game we discussed in detail in the preliminary review a year ago. And then almost managed to forget about the game, because the Studio Bend was doing anything except news about Days Gone. But here again, the time has come, E3, and zombie action is back to us. Pretty grown-up.

My buddy rider

Deacon St. John, a thug, mercenary and bounty hunter, still looks like Joel’s half-brother, who took the role model of Norman Reedus ‘ hero from the Walking dead. He rides a motorcycle (where, interestingly, takes gasoline?), owns all kinds of weapons, including his own fists, and seems to prefer to act alone. A year ago, his main goal was to catch a bearded man on an abandoned sawmill. This time deacon goes to rescue a missing friend. And we from the first minutes make sure that the narrative is tailored to the most modern models: the story videos smoothly flow into the real gameplay and just as smoothly arise in the form of short inserts.

Deacon rushes on a motorcycle on a well-preserved road, on the way, shooting the undead wolf. And then he falls into the trap of two bandits! In a spectacular brawl character reveals not only have we seen a year ago skills, it is also pleasing to the skilful handling of the rope: an improvised garrote is not worse than that of agent 47, incapacitate hapless hoptopia. A little further, found an abandoned motorcycle. And deacon turns on his witchy instincts to determine which way the rider went. Yes, detective techniques in Days Gone are different from their counterparts except that the visual effect: the trail is not red, like Geralt, not pink, like Eloy, and green. But before we sent the scan of the fifty-fricker, nothing wrong with this Convention, we do not see. The trail of the lost leads to the bandit camps. The version of deacon St. John shown at the official presentation does not enter into an open confrontation in the spirit of “Commandos”. Mercenary initially successfully distracts the attention of enemies, luring one of them in a bear trap. And then, blowing up the fence, arranges the remaining bandits warm welcome with strolling nearby the phreakers.

And here is the prisoner released, and battle won. But the war is just beginning. From the nearest forest comes out, staggering, hung with scraps of barbed wire bear zombie!

When a Blizzard screams like an animal

The demonstration of the possibilities of using the environment came out very convincing. But the developers are not satisfied with this. On the special panel showed us other options through deacon met with obstacles.

To begin with, the time of day and weather have changed. Different natural conditions have different effects on the gameplay. It is clear that at night it is easier to remain unnoticed, and during a rain it is better not to drive a motorcycle. But, it turns out, in the cold, you have to be twice as careful, because the frozen zombies are much stronger!

Instead of hurtling down the track towards the trap, the deacon turns on the dirt path and soon notice the lurking bandits and blocking the road the rope. Quietly getting close, he eliminates one of the raiders, and then calmly deals with the second. Note that the wolves do not rush to pursue the chosen workaround hero!

The change of weather and time of day affects the world. We see that the trapped bandit lures the crowd of zombies walking nearby with his cry, and instead of tiptoe through the camp of bandits, probably full of wonderful supplies, the hero arranges a blood bath for them. Phreakers down in flames from a Molotov cocktail, frantically screaming of the victim kill the bandits themselves to stop the inflow of intruders and surviving deacon is cut by several shots.

Changed and final segment of the passage: – together fricker migrated somewhere into the distance, and to incite the bandits turned out to be nobody. But the absence of a zombie threat made it possible to use a terribly noisy, but very effective assault rifle.

And at this stage, the game showed that it may well be a third-person shooter! The stock of cartridges quickly melts, but, as it should be, in secluded places there is a hidden Arsenal. Everything is in full accordance with the game balance: the more you spend, the more you get, and if you cost yourself, then there is no need to replenish ammunition.

My friend motorcycle

The developers will release us into a dynamic open world and provide a wide range of options for passing. So far, all of the above reinforces these promises: the environment is constantly changing, and the second passage of the same mission does not necessarily look like the first. In addition to rigidly pinned to the floor inserts like the attack of a hanging corpse, there will be random events. Here is one of them: bandit teases chained to the tree of fricker. Why not shoot the castle and play in the death of the trainer?

We don’t know how inclusive the local ecosystem will be, but we can see the snow driving the wolves into the den. Phreakers wander a friendly crowd on the roads and off-road to any one of them driven goals, and only find enough food to eat, stop to rest. And then they hit the road again when they run out of food. The bandits also don’t sit still, at least while the weather allows. Although the sudden meeting in the impassable snow may well greatly revive what is happening. So far, the untold about the game is much more than what we have shown. We know absolutely nothing about the motorcycle deacon, who the developers themselves called a full hero of the game. We see that it runs out of fuel, and we know that it can break. But how much unproven craft system will interact with it? Can we see in Days Gone echoes of Magnum Opus from Mad Max? When the Deacon Saint John will be roleplaying, but no allocated skill points. According to the developers, skills and abilities will improve in the process of use. But how big is the clip of available skills and how wide are they scattered across the scale?

Stingy bastions on the main plot are as follows: the main character, who lost a lot and lost confidence in life, turned into a ruthless thug, but in the course of the game he will have to reconsider his attitude to life. Yes, I should add here Ellie, and you get a completely different game!

And in General-what Days Gone is not exactly amazing, so it’s original. And the Last of Us with Horizon Zero Dawn — only the first came to mind the analogy, for which the crowd in the queue games, movies and TV shows about zombies, the Apocalypse and the harsh mercenaries with a gentle soul. Although it is not particularly alarming. After all, we have already received Horizon Zero Dawn, which did not come up with any revolutionary mechanics, but managed to bring all available to perfection. If Days Gone will repeat this feat, it can already begin to wait.

In fact, the only major problem so far is the expectation. Sony is not ready to name not that release date, but even a year. And innuendo can be concluded that a meeting with fricker we are not waiting for early 2019.

And during this time, so much can change!

 

Artifact

 

You can often see that the characters in science fiction stories play a seemingly impossible game, such as a multi-dimensional space chess, and this is, basically, that represents the Artifact, the upcoming card game based on Valve’s Dota 2. This is an ambitious hybrid of the Studio and MOBA Magic: The Gathering, and he is doing a fantastic job. So much so that it only took me two games to get myself understood and on Board Valve’s vision.

It is only known that the Board Artifact, like Dota, is divided into three lines. In my second game, I played the blue/green deck against the red/black artificial intelligence, and after a few moves, I felt like I was playing three, totally different games at once. On my left line, I used green heroes and positive effects to create a crowd of creeps and crush my opponent — you know, like a card mess. On the center line, I used my blue resources to slow down the opponent and gain time for important remote spells (similar to a control deck). And on the right line, I used a combination of green and blue to match my opponent’s moves, going for valuable exchanges like the Central deck.

It was one of the most dynamic and intense things I’ve ever played, and when I was completely destroyed at the end of the demo, I was also excited to talk to the programmers of Artifact-Bruno Carlucci and Jeep Barnett, who — God bless them — led me through the first two games. It’s a good thing I wasn’t alone: in no small part, because it’s so different from other card games that Artifact is initially overwhelming, even if some of the rules will be familiar to Dota fans.

There are three lines and on each of them there is one enemy tower and one allied tower. To win, you need to destroy two enemy towers. You can also win by destroying the Throne that appears when you destroy the first tower, but it has 80 health and the tower has 40, so you’ll have to deal more damage overall. Too much investment on one line leaves you vulnerable in other places. According to Barnett, more than 90 percent of the games are won after the destruction of the two towers.

I like this system because it prevents you from just attacking on one line, and that was something I always felt compelled to do in The Elder Scrolls: Legends. Even after you have destroyed the enemy tower, you still have to defend your tower on this line. Similarly, you can’t just give up when you lose it, otherwise your opponent will destroy your Throne. The best way to win is to destroy two towers that hold pressure and make players interact, and both of those ideas are Central to Artifact.

The main obstacle for card game players is that Artifact doesn’t really make traditional moves. Instead, you play in rounds. The round consists of actions and battles on all three lines, starting with the left. You can only play one card at a time — a creep, a line gain or ability, an item to equip a hero, or a spell — because whenever you make a move, the initiative moves to the opponent. Then he plays the card, you again, and so on, until you have nothing left, and you both pass. Then the heroes and the creeps on the line, usually attack everything that is right in front of them. If there is nothing in front of them, they attack the tower.

For me, the round system of Artifact moves is a good middle between Hearthstone, where your opponent never acts during your turn, and Magic, where your opponent almost always moves. I understand that a lot of skill goes into predicting and catching your opponent’s lunges in Magic, but I hate to wait to see what he does every time a card is played. This slows down the games, and it’s just not funny when your cards are “closed” before they do anything. At the same time, Hearthstone sometimes makes me feel helpless because I can’t stop my opponent’s game plan during his turn. All I can do is wait for him to go and then try to put out the fire as best I can.

While playing Artifact, I’m still tense, and card prediction is still important, but I never had to pray that my opponent would let me do what I wanted. The card I want to play goes. Only then can my opponent answer that, and then I can answer him. It’s a much more transparent and convenient chain of events, preserving the exciting stupidity of both players who respond with mutual lunges like clowns pulling strings of handkerchiefs from their mouths. This is a normal move transfer to Artifact, but when the moves get heated by the time you’re both out of breath because of the “shawls”, the transition to the battle stage is completely gripping. In this regard, it’s very similar to team battles in Dota.

Heroes are critical to such explosive moments because they determine what spells you can use. Each line has its own mana. Your lines start with three mana units and of course get one mana in each round. You can spend it on spells of colors represented in this band. In other words, if I want to use a green spell on my left line, I need to have a green hero there.

“The way you put your heroes is one of the most important strategic decisions in the game,” Barnett said. — You can lose the game, putting the hero is not on the right line»

The deck consists of five characters. Three are at the beginning of the game, then you put the fourth on the fourth course, and the fifth — on the fifth. From there, you’ll always have access to all your heroes; you don’t draw them from your deck like normal cards. When heroes die, they go to the reviving Fountain. With the exception of the new character, Rix, who instantly appears, all the characters that I saw had a timer of repeated rebirth in one turn, meaning that if they die on the fourth move, they appear at the beginning of the sixth round. When heroes are reborn, you choose the position of their placement. It may be the same line they died on, but the heroes jump between them regularly. The trick is that the hero’s placement is double-blinded: no player can see where the other places the heroes until the round starts.

This is one of the many ways that Artifact creates prospects for brilliant players. Not only do you have to think about your opponent’s deck based on the heroes he chooses and “read” his hand based on the actions he takes — you also have to predict where he will place his heroes. The character moving from center line to left could be a “game changer” as I learned when the enemy red hero did this and took down my aforementioned army of dudes. At the same time, this system prevents mana from being obtained, according to the classic tediousness of Magic. If you do not have access to the correct colors, due to the fact that you choose, is not placed or did not protect their heroes. And here, Artifact is more complex than Heartstone, but more direct than Magic, and I like it.

Heroes also directly determine the composition of your deck. “Each character has a main spell that goes with it,” Barnett explained, ” and they have three included in the deck. So between your five heroes, 15 of your cards come on them. And it’s a minimum 40-card deck, so the other 25 come from the cards you choose.”

“The main maps are interesting because it’s a kind of kit,” added Carlucci. – If you really like The fury of the Thunder God but don’t like Zeus, you won’t get this option. It’s part of the compromise you take when you turn on the hero.”

The main cards of the hero are often as important as they are. For example, in my second game, I was constantly fighting to protect my blue hero, Luna. I needed her to be she’s alive, so her passive ability could amplify her spell over the area, Eclipse, so I could use it to sweep the center line. If she had died, I would have had to wait for a move to relocate her, and by then the center line could have been lost.

Naturally, I played to the full extent. First I increased the health of Luna, so she survived the attack of enemy creeps. But then my opponent swapped the creep for Phantom Assassin, a black hero who specializes in killing other heroes by framing Luna again. I responded by disarming Phantom Assassin with a blue spell, not letting her attack per turn. This gave my hero enough time to improve Eclipse to the point where he could erase the center. And here’s the strategic cherry on the cake: the move that Eclipse was used in, I intentionally (read: with the help of Carlucci) did nothing but walk the left line to keep the initiative And make the first move in the center, ensuring the Eclipse shot. There are countless tactical difficulties like this, and the limit of skill in Artifact seems high enough.

My second game really showed me how lines can interact, and it helped shape the themes and strengths of the four colors of Artifact, which have 12 heroes and about 75 cards in the starting card pool. Fortunately, you can include as many colors as you want. You can run five green heroes and not worry about having the “right” mana, or play four green heroes and release one black hero. Or, well, you can just play a four-color deck. This limitless approach has repeatedly emerged during my time in the game. Carlucci said that best of all: “in General, if you have a question like’ what is the limit for X?”then the answer will be: it is not.”

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

I recently bought a PlayStation 4 and seemingly completely switched to the dark side of the Force, changing my old “baking” habits. What strategies, what indie and isometric RPG, when there is a wonderful new world-God of War, Heavy Rain, Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn… but for two days in a row the gamepad is discharged sirotlessly somewhere on the couch, a new console is covered with dust, and Kratos with Atreem somewhere there, on the other side of the large-format TV, feel betrayed and abandoned me to fend for themselves in the woods. Well, excuse me, got Pillars of Eternity III: Deadfire, and the laptop is again not just a typewriter: with red sleepless eyes I’ve been on the seas for a huge statue, a doll possessed by a dead (supposedly) God Eotas.

On land and sea

It was by the grace of the God of sun and light Eotas who returned to life that the citadel of the main character of the first part, the Guardian, able to see the souls of the dead and read their memories, was destroyed, and he himself died. But the other gods returned him to his mortal body and charged him with tracking eotas to find out where He was going and what he was up to — the only way we can get back some of his stolen soul.

 

In pursuit of a huge statue we go on our own ship, because the giant rushed straight to the archipelago of Dead Fire, where a lot of water, Islands and wild… natives. From my preview of the beta version, you already know that the ship in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is not a luxury, but a real vehicle with which you can and need to explore the world, discover new Islands, coming up with their names, and fight with pirates. Therefore, I will remind you only briefly: the ship can be repaired and upgraded and it is necessary to hire a team, choosing from more or less experienced sailors, boatswains, gunners and other specialists of Maritime Affairs.

 

For ship have to buy guns and core, repair kits and sails for the team — food, water, medicines. And, of course, wards regularly ask for salary. All this, including even the quality of food, affects their morale and affects the outcome of sea battles, which are implemented here in the form of unique text quests.

 

However, this does not mean that the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire turned into a sort of isometric “Corsairs”. This is still an “old-school” party RPG in its essence-with detailed character generation, including the choice of biography and origin, with a bunch of chatty companions, a solid role-playing system and familiar battles: in real time, but with a controlled pause.

 

Most of the time we spend on land, but the appearance of the sea and ships really opened up an additional layer in the gameplay, adding diversity and interesting research of the world. You leave the port and head on the right in the story the island, but on the way out of the clouds emerges the other Islands of land, which clearly can be something to profit, you will meet pirates, the head of which is assigned a reward. Or the corsairs find you and ask you to deal with someone by sneaking into the Fort on the other end of the map. And all this you want to do, all this is incredibly addictive, teasing your inner pirate and sailor and promising new adventures.

Non-stop adventures

 

Well, there, on the plot of the island, you spend hours exploring the six areas of the huge city and happy to see how swells from the job your magazine. You can work for different trading companies, whose interests clearly intersect, the local native power, smugglers, you can look for food and medicines for the caste of the poor and the poor, help to find peace of mind, to fish for information from local prostitutes, to steal rich estates or to catch thieves who robbed one of the shops.

 

And I just about one island, they say — but there are others, with their settlements and quests. And companions – as friends in the first part, and new faces — are always ready to throw problems. Our old friend Eder, for example, wants to find his girlfriend, lost somewhere on the Islands, and a new servant of the order Of Dawn asks to help her collect the lost souls, which she catches in her strange lantern.

At the same time, each quest here is sure to have its own back side and twist. If someone was beaten and robbed, you will certainly find out that he asked for it, and you still have to decide who is right and who is to blame. If the spirit of the deceased woman asks to cremate her body, be sure: she was not just left to die alone and refused to put on fire. If you take to help a large mother to sail off the island on the ship, the captain of the ship there are only three empty seats for six of her children — and this problem will also have to deal with you.

I got this role

 

And in each case, each dialogue is a bunch of checks for compliance with the level of skills that would help to find a solution or get more information. In Pillars of Eternity II valued diplomacy, bluff, intimidation, religion, knowledge of the streets, history, athletics and even metaphysics.

 

Accordingly, almost every quest we solve differently. The problem of food for the poor can be solved in three different ways. And to get medicine for sick sea fever, or you need to kill one of the merchants or wait until night and Rob another (after overhearing the conversation of the guards and find they nights go for a walk to the pub), or just buy a drug, if a lot of money. Or hire a killer, so he dealt with the shopkeepers for you.

 

This, of course, is not Tyranny, which immediately forced to decide the fate of entire Nations and put the hardest moral dilemmas, but here, even deciding whether to give the widow a purse with the money of her dead husband or leave it to yourself, you still play the role — money in the game is always not enough, and conscience torments. And such situations arise constantly.

All of us

And all this in the sequel is supported by the fact that the game has become better, it has become easier to play, more comfortable and interesting. Useful skills, as I said, there are more, and the skills of the party members are formed in a common Treasury, allowing hope not only for themselves but also for their comrades. There was an opportunity already at the start to create multi-class characters, getting instead of the usual, for example, a paladin of some pastor, intercessor, fanatic or knight-magician. In addition, now immediately visible all the abilities in each branch of talent — it allows you to plan in advance how and in what direction to develop.

 

In battles you are free to use all available spells and skills, without fear that any of them will be unavailable until the next rest. Fights thanks to it became more dynamic and spectacular. Especially given the fact that once a fight for any reception or “spell” can be strengthened 10 times.

All the important dialogues voiced, expressive, and quests no longer scare the young people with walls of dense text — all became shorter, and the case is not lost in this depth and literary flair.

 

From other “amenities in the room” I note the modified interface, the appearance of hyperlinks to unfamiliar names and names in the dialogues and a new reputation screen, which you clearly show with whom and why you are friends, what actions, topics and words each of the partners can cause irritation, and which — approval. So now you can pick up a point party, so no one quarreled, for example, on religion. Or, on the contrary, to pit all, then to the cynical grin to watch the showdown — so even more fun. Thanks to such a detailed system of values for each member of the party partners in the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire look even more alive — they are more often, emotionally respond to all the words and deeds, which directly affects the relationship with the main character, and with each other.

 

The authors care so much about the player that they even allow, as I said, to hire a killer to solve the problems for us. This does not mean that the game has become very much easier. No, at high levels of difficulty, and even in the “Test of iron”, where exactly one save is available, hardcore is still enough. Just play became more comfortable and more pleasant.

Leaving behind the eternal problems of Obsidian with the technical implementation (crashes here happen, but it is quite fixable things), we can say that the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire looks like a perfect sequel. Moreover-as an ideal isometric RPG from Obsidian in principle: it is felt that the authors have accumulated all their rich experience and made the game, which found a place for all the “old-school” joys and traditions, and for new trends and mechanics. And all this is well adjusted to each other — there is nothing superfluous, and the game itself tries to do everything to make the public comfortable, convenient and wildly interesting.

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World we are called in the editorial ” damn game.”

The first author to whom it fell into the hands, shamelessly failed all possible embargoes and deadlines, long delayed the change, and then completely changed his mind to finish the review. The following handled it much faster, but the text we rejected ourselves and have decided that it is better to fail in time, but will ensure that the review was sensible. Third it took to write Ksenia Atasheva… but she did not have time to the desired date, falling with temperature.

And now, a month and a half after the release, the review is finally ready!

Yes, all decent terms of publication have long passed-but we are just glad that this epic is finally over.

The fact that Monster Hunter: World will be successful at home, there was no doubt: the new part of the game series with a fourteen-year history, comics and anime based on simply could not go unnoticed. And on advertising in February Capcom not stingy — in Tokyo Monster Hunter: World was everywhere. Videos from the game played on TV in electronics stores, advertising posters were hung with all the shops of games and hobby products. Even vitamins on TV advertised not vigorous office workers, and hunters beating with a dragon.

But the fact that the transition to a modern home platform will allow the series to finally get out of the ghetto for the strange Japanese games and become an international hit, was hard to believe. And in vain: Capcom managed to dispel prejudices and create a game that is interesting to players of all sexes, ages and nationalities.

In Monster Hunter, the player tries on the role of a hunter who tracks down and kills monsters, and then makes them fangs, claws, skins and other parts of weapons and equipment to be able to fight even more fierce creatures. The cycle is repeated many times until the game runs out of new monsters, and the player does not collect raw materials to create all the necessary things.

This will have more than once or twice to go for the same trophy: one skin to get dressed from head to toe, of course, is not enough. And no luck here can not do: as in a multiplayer RPG, falling out of monsters raw materials have a different degree of rarity, so special items must be knocked out for a long time. The game, of course, has a through story, served in the form of a series of pathos rollers. But let’s be honest: any turn in the end leads to another battle with the monster.

This endless grind does not turn into a mortal boredom only due to the fact that every monster, except for the little things that are confused underfoot, is a special boss. Any huge creature must have several types of attacks, from which you need to learn to Dodge, and weaknesses, where it is worth aiming, and some parts of the body (most often — the tail) can be cut off to get an additional reward.

Many monsters in addition beat a current, spit poison and burn the hunter therefore at the first meeting it is necessary to be especially accurate, and at the subsequent — not to be lazy to change into the armor blocking a damage from a certain element. Encounters with monsters are like boss battles in Dark Souls, God Eater and other adventure and role-playing games where the hero has to dance around a huge enemy.

There is where to turn

However, the battles in Monster Hunter: World also has its own highlight. If most of these games (and in the last part of the series) boss fights take place in small arenas, here the battlefield is a vast location where you can find both useful for hunting devices and unnecessary trouble. Monsters do not stand still: having received significant damage, they run away to later give the hunter a rebuff in the open area, or, on the contrary, hide in the lair, where the hunter is more difficult to avoid meeting with their teeth and claws. Monsters are smart enough to use the environment to their advantage: they can climb a hill and jump on the hunter from above or, for example, to roll in the mud to their thick skin was harder to break.

Hunter such tricks are also not alien. The monster can be brought to the thickets of vines, in which he gets confused, or to the shaky stones that fall and temporarily immobilize him. The Firefly is able to blind enemies, toad-paralyze, and from the cut plant will flow a puddle of poison, poison anyone who comes into it. Giving a monster a fight in a clearing full of medicinal herbs and insects is also a good idea: they heal faster and more effectively than potions. You can use home-made traps, but you can do to pit the two monsters to each other and to sit quietly in the bushes. Monster Hunter: World encourages observation and ingenuity, and it’s great variety of gameplay.

Young naturalist

The interactivity of the environment plunges into the atmosphere of the game: majestic forests, mountains and coasts are perceived not as a background, but as real ecosystems, where in addition to giant monsters full of all living creatures, vegetation, secret paths and mysterious messages.

At first glance, it seems that their realism they owe only to the schedule. The picture here is really amazing: artists and programmers Capcom with all responsibility approached to development and managed to create at the same time plausible, bright and original world. The Monster Hunter series has always had an unusual design, combining primitive and fantasy motifs, and now it can finally be seen in all its glory on the big screen.

Bizarre monsters like dinosaurs and dragons are extremely convincing thanks to the gorgeous animation: the threat coming from them is felt in every movement, every look. Impressive and attention to detail: the corners of the dark caves flickering glowing moss, on the branches of trees in the woods sitting beetles, trunks grow mushrooms and herbs, insects scurrying in the air, from under the feet sprinkle all sorts of newts, lizards and protein-like rodents. Day changes night, and the view of the dawn in the mountains or evening twilight in the jungle is breathtaking.

What is especially nice, most of this splendor-not the scenery, and resources to create potions, traps, shells and other useful things. The game tries not to leave the hunter idle for a minute: in addition to the next subject task which will somehow lead to collision with the monster, it is always ready to offer a heap of side. Quests range from killing or capturing one or more monsters to gathering resources: mushrooms, for example, or skins of small animals. It’s nice sometimes to take a break from the battles and just wander through the picturesque places — as well as to visit with a new outfit in the lair of a recently seemed dangerous monster and literally sweep the floor with it.

And today I will play bagpipes!

Although Monster Hunter: World refer to role-playing games, the characteristics of the character here can not be affected. The levels in the game replace the hunter’s rank, which increases as the story progresses, and the abilities are completely dependent on the equipment. It consists of five parts — each is created separately, has its own indicators of protection from different elements and a special skill.

Skills are very different: they can, for example, increase the strength or speed of the attack, increase the damage from the elements, block attacks, increase the probability of loss of raw materials after the murder. The power of these boosts can be increased if you wear things with the same or related skills at the same time. And that I have not mentioned about amulets and capes, which can be created or received as a reward for completing tasks. In General, the imagination of the player is limited only by the presence of his free time and the desire to repeatedly beat out of the monsters materials.

Classes in the game, too. But there are fourteen types of weapons for every taste, each — several options for improvement. So, twin swords allow you to hit fast designed komboudary, but not allowed to defend themselves and are forced to stay close to the monster. The spear is slow, but it can be applied powerful strikes from a distance, Glaive allows you to attack the enemy in the air, and bow — fire at him from afar.

Some weapons are better suited for single player, others-for the team, and some are so tricky combo that they will require a lot of concentration and practice. But here the game does not think anyone limit: all types of weapons are available from the beginning, with each you can practice, having studied all the nuances. And to go on a mission with other weapons, too, at any time. Only, as it is easy to guess, poking a simple piece of iron in a strong monster is not very effective — and therefore have to go again and collect resources for improvement.

Oh, it’s hard

Although Monster Hunter: World looks like a modern international game, some still classify it as a strange and complex creations of the Japanese IGROPROM. The position is controversial, but, admittedly, not groundless. The gameplay itself can not be called difficult: the blows, as well as evasion of attacks, do not require a second and millimeter accuracy, and the open nature of the locations allows you to escape from the monster and calmly recover. Gathering resources for endless improvements of weapons and armor can be called a chore — but it’s the whole essence of the game. And it again is not so rare: in multiplayer role-playing games farm and grindit have constantly, and team shooters like Warframe often sin. In Monster Hunter World, at least, all players are equal: there are no microtransactions and luchboxes, all produced exclusively by honest labor.

Eastern roots, as well as a considerable age of the series, are easily guessed only by the bulky menu. From multi-level tabs, even the veteran role-playing eyes twitch — what can we say about beginners. Capcom tried to make an interface familiar to longtime fans but friendly to newcomers — and failed. Tasks, subtasks, and mission resource orders are recorded in different sections. To improve the weapons of iron and bone should go to the menu in different ways. The way skills will be summed up from wearing armor, too, is not obvious… all these little things, but they are great annoying and also take time.

Agony

 

The authors of Agony, the developers of Madmind Studio, have found a third way — to make the game with the most challenging and provocative visuals. The first screenshots and trailers have caused quite a mixed feeling: something like disgust and morbid curiosity. Blood, meat, pieces of bodies, half-naked (and completely naked) people writhing in pain, unknown and aggressive creatures… Whatever it was, to attract the attention of the developers turned out — the campaign on Kickstarter allowed to collect donations almost three times more than originally requested (66 666 dollars — estimate the amount).

It’s a small matter — to make an interesting game. Got it? Let’s see.

Welcome to Hell

 

As we all know, hell is a very inhospitable place and it is better not to get there. It turns out not at all-the main character of Agony that did not work. Who is he, what sins were in hell — no one to explain not in a hurry. There are no memories of his former life. What to do next, too, is unclear-the game is very reluctant to reveal the plot, doing it with the help of small notes scattered on the locations (and they do not clarify much), and short conversations with other inhabitants of this cursed place.

 

Ruled by a Certain red Goddess, which is rumored to give salvation to someone who can get to her and make a proper impression. It is not easy to do this — in hell it is easy to get lost and on the way to fall into the clutches of many local residents who are just waiting for the opportunity to get a new victim.

 

The main character has a little more chances to cope with this task thanks to one feature that distinguishes him from the rest of the same poor, doomed to eternal torment — after death (Yes, even in hell, you can die again — which everyone is very afraid), the soul of our unfortunate sinner for some time can move freely around the neighborhood. If on the way there is the same bag of bones, you will have a chance to take a new body shell. Further — more, over time, control can be taken not only of the defenseless and weak people, but strong and agile demons, which will allow you to reach those places where ordinary people it was impossible to enter.

Damn beautiful.

 

Leave out the question about where the developers (especially designers) Adapatable inspiration, but hell they did that is necessary. There are levels of a more or less traditional kind-like ice caves or fire desert. But there are also more exotic options that are not easy to describe in words. Sometimes locations created from something living or once living. In order of things, a tunnel in the form of giant jaws or a cave entrance, similar to… well, similar.

 

In General, every kind of sexually colored subtext in the game is enough-Rust and Conan Exiles (physics of individual parts of the body in Agony is not worse than in “Conan”) is not dreamed of. Demons and demons like to flaunt naked (and they have something to show), scraps of clothing of ordinary people practically do not hide anything, and the love of designers of locations to naturalism and “nudity” is worthy of a separate article — in a medical magazine.

 

Hell would not be hell if it were not for the constant torment of sinners. With this, there is also a complete order — at every corner someone is impaled on a stake, cut into pieces, set on fire, tear apart and scoff at the victims of dozens of other, no less interesting ways. Everywhere parts of half-decayed bodies and fresh, still oozing blood limbs. The sound corresponds to-the cries of the tortured do not stop for a minute, heard strange sounds, catching up with horror, and even the manner of communication of those few who wish to talk with the main character, vividly remind stories about patients of mental hospitals.

 

But, oddly enough, the game does not scare very. Whether the authors set themselves a goal — a typical cheap tricks, like jumping right in the face of terrible creature, almost did not find — that if not managed properly can create stress. Perhaps the reason banal the abundance of all the wealth of the horrors of the underworld. It is disgusting only the first minutes, then you get used to, but it does not become scary at all, although at first you are looking forward to when you have already begun to scare.

From point A to point B at the same time came the succubus and sinner…

 

Yes, and the gameplay, unfortunately, quite a strong hit on immersion in the atmosphere of the underworld. Before us is not a slasher, not a fighter, and dull (as soon as you get used to the blood, meat and other nasty things) simulator walk, interspersed with small puzzles from the series “How do I open the door?” As a rule, there are only two ways to solve it — either to find the parts of the body (heart, hands, legs or skull) and place them on the altar, or to draw a special symbol on the door (which one-will be prompted by the pictures nearby).

Level design leaves much to be desired — often do not understand where to go and what to do, even though there is a special pointer. Often it turns out that the passage of the location is almost random — especially if you run away from all sorts of bad creatures. By the way, escape is the best strategy in almost any situation. While in the guise of an ordinary person, the protagonist is almost helpless, so a kind of “speedrun” through the whole level is justified. Of course, it is tempting to take control of the demon, moving into his body, but in this case will not work to interact with the environment (for example, open the door or activate the save point), and the migration is limited in time.

The save system, which is especially annoying during the final level, is worth a separate mention. It is made very stupid. Control points that the player activates (and during this action you can kill any demon), are very rare. But after the death of progress is not reset — open doors remain open, and destroyed enemies do not respawn. Sometimes it helps a little, because most often the main problem will not be the enemies, but the actual level — through the intricate mazes to find a way out is not immediately possible. Remember where you ran five minutes earlier, given the extraordinary design-that’s still a problem.

 

It is noticeable that the developers wanted to increase the variability of the passage — locations branched, you can pass them in different ways. But in practice, this leads to the fact that the player does not understand whether he is moving there. The study of the world? Well, if the information about this world is not limited to obscure notes and conversations with five or six laconic interlocutors (the whole story!) then it would make sense. But there are a few endings.

 

After completion of the campaign mode opens the succubus that adds the ability to play nice for a demoness with sharp fangs and claws. The idea of the gameplay should change-now we are no longer a defenseless piece of meat, but a fully capable subject who feels quite comfortable in hell. Unfortunately, the essence remains the same-running from one “checkpoint” to another and simple puzzles. Unless the opportunity to visit previously inaccessible places is added.

 

Another mode, “Agony”, is open at once. It is necessary to perform tasks in a procedurally generated environment. Statistics and global rating are present, but such fun much more suitable full-fledged cooperative, which is not brought. Alone wander through hell quickly bored, especially that nothing radically new to pamper here will not.

Agony managed to cause a reaction from the public – the game predicted the glory of the most disgusting and most challenging project of the year. There was a well-founded fear that this scandal will stop. In fact, even this did not happen — all these bloody Tits do not shock at all. Yeah, too bad the scene was cut before release, but Agony does not look better. Discarding all the bloody tinsel, we get a banal “Walker” with a bunch of bugs and flaws.

 

Games-they are still about the gameplay, action, sometimes-about a beautiful picture and an interesting story. In “Agony” we are dealing only with naked shock at the mediocre performance of everything else. Suitable for a maximum of a line in the portfolio of authors of the crazy visual style.

 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The day before yesterday, square Enix publishing house held the so — called presentation event in the heart of London-a large-scale event dedicated to Shadow of the Tomb Raider. A huge crowd of journalists and bloggers from around the world allowed forty minutes to play in the new issue of the restarted adventure series about the most charming tomb raider. And since I was among them, it’s time to share my impressions of the new portion of the adventures of miss Croft. The most important thing to understand-this is not a new game. Fresh ideas and gameplay elements reviewers in it, it seems, will have to look under a microscope, and it is not a fact that there are. The canadian Studio Eidos Montreal acted as such apprentice (for Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, I will remind, responsible Crystal Dynamics) and decided not to invent the wheel. However, perhaps the chosen strategy is reasonable, because the franchise and so recently restarted.. Canadians took the developments of the past parts and on their basis create another fascinating story about the noble tomb raider — with a bunch of puzzles, mandatory archery and brand crawling on steep walls with ice axes. From the point of view of the production in the game, everything is still changed only the scenery: this time it is Mexico. On city streets (of course, through the corridor, what the fork?) noisy colorful celebration of death. It was at this time, Lara decides to find the ancient and, importantly, the underground Mayan pyramid, to unravel the tangle of secrets — the Eclipse, the resurrection of otherworldly forces, the onset of Eternal Darkness and further on the list.

Prevent the main character contracted well known to us in the last part and the recent film organization “Trinity”, the leaders of which also want to get to the sacred place within their villainous interests. And the developers casually mentioned that a little screen time will take a couple of old friends miss Croft-Sam and Reyes.

Lara will have to remember everything she was taught two games in a row.

Bend the fingers. Crawling through trenches and sneaking up from the back, stabbing enemies? Got it! For a long time to hold your breath and swim under water, overcoming the long underground tunnels of ancient tombs? Where without it! To walk on steep walls is not worse than another Prince, to swing on a rope and waving through bottomless abyss? Ask!

To stick ice picks in the spongy areas of rocks? You didn’t even have to mention it! Shoot straight from the bow (by the way, the position of the camera in these moments, a bit corrected)? Yes, without a quiver of arrows, Lara is on street a foot! The demo shuffled all these familiar elements together, changing the scenes from careful walks around the city to performing acrobatic sketches among the tropics.

At the tactile level, it feels exactly the same as before. Almost took the leap — hammering on QTE-button the girl managed to cling to the ledge. Not enough swung the rope-happily jumped into the abyss. You want to climb the steep slope faster? Is to move short spurts up, not melancholy to move the axes one after the other.

And the old mechanics of removing obstacles on the spot: buried in a log barrier, wrapped in ropes-one shot from a bow with a special arrow with a rope, and Lara powerful jerk break the log.

If you’ve been through it all, the game can painlessly “to speedrun this game” on the machine: to analyze my actions at all to anything. The spinal cord and muscle memory work.

As for the above-mentioned top-secret underground pyramid-temple, there is a long time to suffer, too, did not have to. Puzzle with suspended from the ceiling bells in wooden boxes and pushing the cart-weights solved elementary – I want to believe that the players are waiting for more complex tasks ahead, tied to the physics of the surrounding elements. The main thing that I have