Trespasser: Jurassic Park is such an outrageously fantastic game. It’s as much a primeval, primordial walking sim as it is a survival-lite FPS, served on a revolutionary bed of fully-realised physics. It has wonderful environmental story-telling; audiologs and internal monologues that don’t strain atmosphere. It offers a natural sense of physicality. Hell, it did the two-weapon limit before Halo. Trespasser: Jurassic Park is also a broken, under-baked mess. Twenty years on, there hasn’t really been a game quite like Trespasser. There have been games better than it in some of its aspirations, but DreamWorks Interactive’s ungainly opus is more than the sum of its oft-busted parts. What follows is a record of certain events in which I took part between the years 1980 and 1997, on an island I will call Site B – Hammond
PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One • Everyone is kickstarting something these days. You, me, this guy. But King Art Games are crowd-funding something rather special; an RTS based on the fire-and-steel pulp of Jakub Różalski‘s 1920+ world [This is the same setting you’ll find in the board game Scythe, as well as its upcoming digital port. -ed.]. Think pot-bellied, soot-blasting mechanica. Cast-iron monstrosities a continuation of Victorian pomp and Edwardian arms development. The Iron Harvest is upon us.
PC/Mac/Linux • [Today we’re starting a new type of article that looks at older games we never got around to looking at when they were still new and shiny. Not sure how regular they’ll be, but will erupt occasionally when one of the writers get an itch to write about an older game. It happens more than you’d think. Writers getting itches, that is. We have an unguent, but it’s expensive. -ed.] The future used to be something to look forward to. Detective Daniel Lazarski, likeness and voice provided by Rutger Hauer, is tasked with solving a series of grisly murders in future Poland. There’s something amiss in this socially-stratified place, and nothing is quite as it seems. Cue intrigue.
PC • We’ve been pulling on the same pair of jeans for twenty five-odd years when it comes to space empire builders. The comfortable fit of a SimTex stonewash is time-tested, and its reliable density drags all and sundry towards the event horizon. As such, you wouldn’t be alone in feeling a wee twig of ennui towards the galactic overlord genre. The outliers are few, but one new tantalising project is tilting at trading the star lane traipse for something different. A little more, ahem, stately. [Dave, take note. This is how we use the word “stately”. -ed.]
[Right around New Year’s, I’d asked all the writers to pen something about games they’re looking forward to in 2018. I had assumed one or two from everyone, which would lead to a single article with everyone’s picks and that would be it. Instead, each writer sent me a bevy of games making me realize that one article probably wouldn’t cut it. Hey, I love 4000 word articles as much as the next guy, but it’s easy for games to get lost in something that vast. So, I decided to split it all up and give each member of the Stately Staff their own day to shine. Today, Alex. -ed.]
PC • Uppercut Games dropped City of Brass into Early Access last week, and after having spent a good few hours with their Arabian Nights gauntlet simulator, I’m here to give it a mighty thumbs up from the bottom of a spiked pit.
PC/Mac/Linux • INTRODUCE Capped off 12 East Games’ Trackless some days ago. Still thinking about 12 East Games‘ Trackless today. Surely a very good sign. CONTINUE
PC/Mac • Psst. Hello there. My access card still works at Stately HQ, so I’ve slipped the after-hours cleaning staff a fiver to wax floors elsewhere and jumped on Dave’s terminal. Password: daStatel1est. You see, one of the blokes behind Quakey roguelite Teleglitch has a new one in the pipe. Influences front and center, if you’re champing for more FTL all these years later, Shortest Trip To Earth is a right old trek.
PC, Consoles • The Surge is out, and by a piston’s hiss, is it grand. For good or ill, Deck13‘s futuristic brawler will be known as ‘that robot Dark Souls‘, and if it helps cut to the chase, then I’m all for it. FROM Software’s punitive dark fantasy has laid the groundwork for what has now been coined Soulslike, a tidy riff on the descendants and pretenders to Rogue. Soulslike it is. Industrial body horror Soulslike, even better.
PC, Mac, Linux • World-class style isn’t just reserved for the catwalk in Milan. Going by the likes of Mixed Bag, Santa Ragione and now Antab Studios, Milanese game development is about matching substance with impeccable visual kung fu. Having had my senses tickled by the likes of forma.8 (currently on sale, you know what to do), Futuridium (first-person or bust) and FOTONICA (PC or iOS; a personal pick for endless runner), it’s time to stir a little Last Starfighter into Lawrence Angelo’s coffee. Behold, the freshly-released GRIDD: Retroenhanced.