PC/Mac • It’s the flight model. No, no, it’s the visuals. Wait, it’s the muted pokka-pokka-pokka of the cannon. Whatever it is about recent shmup revelation Furious Angels, I’m ensconced in its cocktail of arena shootery like nothing else. As such, I reached to the man behind the game for a quick goosey at where, why and how.
PC • Eugen Systems are back. Seventy-three years back. As you might have picked up on the battalion squawk, the French powerhouse are returning to World War II with the Paradox-published Steel Division: Normandy 44. What’s old is very, very new again.
PC/Mac • That’s me, pretending I played more than five-odd minutes of Devil Daggers, 2016’s gothic arena chest-hair simulator. It gained immense traction with its collision of deft art direction and lean, mean shooter gameplay. Too crazy for me, but akin to many other folk, it was an easy purchase to make. One to have on the digital shelf, say they were part of, and move on. But Furious Angels? Now we’re talking.
Windows • If I whisper the words ‘solid’ and ‘snake’, you’ve got a fifty-fifty chance you’re not being charged four dollars ninety-nine a minute. ‘Sam Fisher’, you know you’re dealing with a shadowy Michael Ironside and his counter-productive tri-bulb NV goggles. But if I say ‘David Llewellyn Jones’, you just might be stumped. UK politican? Author? Welsh choralist? How about the stony protagonist in Innerloop’s tactical FPS Project I.G.I.? Because what we’ve got in Polygon Art‘s Beyond Enemy Lines is the distant fan-made descendant of that fabulous forgotten franchise.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • The Games Workshop licensing bonanza continues. Crazy Warehouse Man says all licenses must go by midnight tonight! No exceptions. Battlefleet Gothic: SOLD! Man-o-War: Bring your floaties, we’ve got the flintlocks! Necromunda: It just makes such perfect sense! And don’t think we forgot about your massed armour fans! Sadly, that’s as excited as I’ll ever get when discussing HexWar’s absolutely perfunctory turn-based effort. I’m beginning to think they’ve kept the art team on and sent the coders home. What makes The Horus Heresy: Battle of Tallarn a tough one to level criticism at is a by-the-book approach to both source material and its tactical crunch. If ever a game felt like it was helping a studio reach a monthly quota, Battle of Tallarn is it.
PS4, Vita • Mention the title ‘Dynasty Warriors’ and some folk blanch at the prospect of once again scything to hair-metal through hordes of hesitant Han. Truth is, the Dynasty Warriors games are actually pretty damn good, and they’re one of the last bastions of the moribund beat ’em up genre. I’m here to talk about one specific spin-off for PS4 and Vita in Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers, a fresh turn-based twist on the long-running series. The Omega Force gang were said to have been jonesing to create something like Godseekers for a while, give the series hasn’t seen a tactics game since the PS2, largely honing their Han-themed crowd control simulators. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and time in the wilderness has justified the return to cogitative griddery. Cutting to the chase, Godseekers is absolutely terrific and the rest of year ought to get its tactical act together, because this is 2017’s turn-based strategy to beat.
Cricket, or baseball with less chewing tobacco. Second only to soccer in terms of global attendance and popularity, but a game of impregnable mystery to our North American friends. [Up until this article, my nearest brush with cricket has been watching Ian Faith smash his cricket bat into a television. -ed.] It was also a sport done a decade-long cycle of digital travesty in the 2000s, so much so that a game heralding one of cricket’s greatest clashes was released in such a state, it was removed from sight and beaten to death with a Gray-Nicolls.
Good news, everyone! Cyberstorm is back! And by back, I mean rescued from relative obscurity and decay in the wastes of abandonware.
Ah, the day after Christmas, the day when the Lords of Avarice settle down for their year-long slumber. Oh, wait, I forgot about the Steam Winter Sale. Perhaps we can keep the door to the Vaults of Greed open for a few more days. Here are the top five Stately Picks currently at a low, low price. Treat yourself, buy one for a close relative, or soften up that enemy with unsuspected magnanimity.
Cheaper than a bag of Perry miniatures, more bang for your buck than a Legend of the Five Rings starter deck; Warbands: Bushido is a lightning-quick slice of Early Access turn-based multiplayer tactics. And it is素晴らしい*. * bloody good gear.