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Elite: Dangerous’ cosmic vision falls somewhere between a rock and a marketplace

Every work of science fiction has what the Croatian literary critic Darko Suvin called a “novum”: a hypothesis or premise, some new technology, being or social organisation that radically divorces the fiction from reality. Elite: Dangerous’ novum isn’t difficult to identify—you sit inside it for the entire game’s duration. Your spaceship forms the focal point […]

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The fork in the road

In 1941 Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess set off from Germany in a Bf 110 aircraft. His mission was to negotiate peace with Britain. He flew alone and without Hitler’s acknowledgement under the false identity of “Alfred Horn.” He eventually parachuted out from his plane, landing with a broken foot in a farm in Scotland. Still […]

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Divinity: Original Sin Review

“RPGs recently have appeared obsessed over their ability to create the spectacular; cinematic experiences, visceral action and strangely, vast empty land masses that take forever to traverse. Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin presents an alternative, one conscious of the genre’s history, yet not afraid to modernise. Isometric in viewpoint, turn-based in combat and with an […]

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Transistor Review

“Supergiant Games’ action RPG title, Transistor, throws you into the deep from the get go. You play as Red, a pop-music sensation in the futuristic city of Cloudbank, whose night has taken a turn for the worse. You immediately come into the possession of the mysterious weapon, the Transistor, and no sooner than you do, a […]

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Black Flag

I didn’t much care for pirates before playing the latest Assassin’s Creed. Seafaring and swashbuckling, plundering and raiding were all concepts alien to me, as well as being experiences still relatively untapped by games. It’s only now, after playing Black Flag, that I realise the joys of pirate life and what I’ve been missing out […]

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Starbound Impressions

Starbound’s garishly colourful 2D pixelart and intriguing blend of creation, survival and exploration automatically draws comparisons to 2011’s Terraria – but does this particular incarnation further develop the formula? Developed by indie studio Chucklefish, Starbound is a procedurally generated sandbox where you beam down onto planets, dig deep underground, mine ore and uncover lost treasures […]

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Democracy 3

Democracy 3 is a truthful representation of contemporary governmental politics – a slick but depthless experience that unfortunately rings hollow. You can play the role of one of six powerful, western governments, gradually altering policies via sets of sliders, in order to please various factions of voters – a popularity contest if you will. Those looking […]