Some of the games the HITC writers will be playing this weekend.
The review season is upon us and we've been busying ourselves this week with reviews for the new games flooding in, be sure to stay tuned to read about what we think about them. In the meantime here's some of the games we've been playing in between - our newfound loves and long time faves...
Adam – Wasteland 2
I’d love to be one of those people ‘returning to the wasteland’, you know, one of the folks that played the original Wasteland from 1988, and helped fund the sequel - but I’m not one of those people. I first heard talk of the game when its sequel, Wasteland 2, was put up on Kickstarter in 2012. I never looked too deeply into it at the time, but the closer the sequel got to its release, the more I was intrigued. ‘To Wikipedia!’ I thought. So, I brushed up on a little history and discovered that the original Wasteland was pretty much responsible for one of my all-time favourite games series – Fallout. That’s when I took notice.
After reading up a little more on what Wasteland 2 is, what it means to so many fans of the original, and what the first game actually was, I completely sold on buying it. So a couple of weeks ago I did exactly that. I’ve played about 3 hours of the game so far (mainly about a week or so ago), and as a Fallout fan, I was already hooked after creating my first character. The game oozes cool, gritty, post-apocalyptic turn-based appeal. As a Desert Ranger my team and I roam the wasteland helping those in need, fighting mutated wildlife, groups of bandits, and any other insane individuals the barren desert has spawned. There are times when you play a game and it has you, it totally pulls you in and you’re there - for me Wasteland 2 is definitely one of those games, I can’t wait to get back in there this weekend and deal out some wasteland justice.
Steve - Might and Magic Clash of Heros
I haven’t played Clash of Heros for ages but ended up playing it this week when a friend challenged me to a game. I’ve been going through the PS3 recently as well, looking to clear up trophies and I’ve got one left to do on ‘Clash’ where you need to win a 2 v 2 match online, so we’ve agreed to tackle it together this weekend, and have a few battles for good measure. Clash of Heros is another great game for couch multiplayer. It’s a weird blend of puzzler, turn based strategy, RPG and a Magic the Gathering-esque deck building meta-game - all stripped down a bit to make things quick to pick up, but with enough depth to give you plenty to experiment with.
In Clash you play from a selection of different heros that each have their own signature spell and different flavoured fantasy armies at their disposal. The battlefield places your military units in front of you, if an attack breaks through your battlefield unblocked then you take damage. All of your units come in one of three colours and matching a row of three core units creates a wall to defend you while building a column of three charges that unit up to attack. The game randomly throws out your army onto the battlefield when you start, leaving you looking for patterns to exploit to build walls and charge units. Each army also has champion and elite units which require different numbers of the same coloured core units to charge. With all this, each unit takes a number of turns to charge, so your big guns might take 5 turns while your basic grunts take up to 3. To power up your units you can link them together if they’re going to let off their charges on the same turn. The game has you constantly watching your attackers and looking ahead to try and set things up, whilst also flexing the puzzle-solving/pattern-spotting muscle in the brain. The fun to be had once you get to grips with the mechanics is trying out different combinations of units and artifacts (items you unlock that can buff or debuff in various ways) and coming up with different army builds to try out - and there’s enough variety to the armies to give a fair few different strategies.
I checked on PSN and Clash is going for £4.99 at the moment, for that you get about 20 hours of single player story and after that countless hours of very addicting multiplayer, things can get quite competitive, battles can be truly epic and I’ve a few Clash scores still to settle. The game has enough character to make it stand out a bit and has a soundtrack comprising of a lot of grand choral vocals where no one is actually singing any words, which still amuses me.
Matt - Tropico 3
I've always been a massive fan of building sims and discovered Tropico completely by chance while browsing in my local games store. The idea of not only building a civilization but also playing the part of a Dictator appealed to my inner delusions of grandeur. The game itself is a lot harder than I had first anticipated. Firstly there is the issue of terrain, next the issue of what kind of Dictator I would play. Would I be a Religious Despot, a Military Authoritarian or a loveable Anti-Capitalist Rogue. Ultimately no matter how hard I tried my destiny and ultimately that of my people would often be led by their expectations, they are a fickle lot.
The game really is a lot of fun as you build up from a small shanty town to a thriving island resort, deciding what your citizens can and can't do as well as what facilities you care to give them.
You even get to play set scenarios as real dictators, revolutionaries and leaders including Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, John F Kennedy and Vladamir Putin among many others.
I look forward to getting back to this game but I must remind myself to set an alarm as it's easy to loose days without even realizing it.
"All work and no play for El Presidente".
So, there's some of the games we'll be playing this weekend. What games are you getting into at the moment? Have you just bought a shiny new title, or are you playing an older game you've just picked up or have had for ages?