Football Manager was a huge part of my life growing up and remains so to this day. Many times did I successfully master the challenge of taking my beloved Derby County from the doldrums of the Championship to Champion’s League glory in the space of a couple of days (signing talents like Lee Trundle almost guarantees you overnight success in the Championship). But as the series moved on each year, I found myself having to manage an increasing burden of tasks and responsibilities in each iteration and the series felt more like a chore than a pleasure to play.
Sports Interactive have evidently listened to my anguished cries of “WHY CAN’T MY TEAM SCORE ANY MORE???” with Football Manager 2013, the ninth instalment in the Football Manager franchise, because the key new features revolve around simplifying gameplay in the manner of classic FM titles. Continue reading →
One of the frustrating aspects to many story-driven games is just how linear they are in gameplay terms. From FPS titles like Call of Duty to more open-world affairs like Dead Island, the player is given a set of instructions and controls and told to approach the game world in a specific way to succeed.
How refreshing then to see a game that not only leaves the method of achieving objectives completely up to the player, but promises different consequences for each of their decisions. Dishonored is a sandbox RPG from Arkane Studios and though it incorporates magic, stealth and combat, there is no set formula to completing the game. Continue reading →
“I emerge from the famous Monaco tunnel at just under 180mph and readjust to the light before dropping four gears and braking heavily into the Nouvelle chicane. I ease gently round the tight left-hander just ahead then throw the car through turns 13-16, before braking heavily approaching La Rascasse and turn in slowly. My McLaren threatens to hit the barrier as I battle a wobble of oversteer from applying the throttle too early. One more corner now, slowing to 50mph to take the Anthony Noghes turn before straightening the car and pressing my foot to the throttle, activating the DRS and deploying what remaining KERS I have left…approaching the finish line…is it pole position…?”
F1 2012 is Codemasters Racing’s third outing in their BAFTA-winning Formula One series and, not unlike a Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix, arrives with a raft of upgrades aimed at keeping it at the head of its field. The introduction described my emotions as I took my first lap around the notoriously difficult Monte Carlo circuit and highlights just what F1 2012 does best: immersing the player into feeling like a Formula One driver. Each of the 12 teams, 24 drivers and 20 circuits (including the as-yet incomplete Circuit of the Americas in Texas) are realistically represented inF1 2012, but Codemasters’ focus isn’t on them, it’s on your experience in the world of Formula One. Continue reading →
MechWarrior: Tactical Command is a real-time strategy game by Personae Studios based on the popular BattleTech franchise. It contains some of the best looking cutscenes I’ve seen on the iPad and unlike previous MechWarrior games, actually comes with a full cast of characters and a detailed narrative.
Unfortunately that’s about it as far as positives go, because MechWarrior: Tactical Command has an abundance of problems that suggest it should have been tested a lot more stringently than it was. Major game crashes, black screens, unmovable characters, and poor game design were just some of the many problems encountered. Continue reading →
The Simpsons have enjoyed a rocky relationship with the videogame world, from the brilliant The Simpsons: Hit & Run to the god-awful The Simpsons Wrestling. But as the show continues to plunge to the very depths of television’s rock-bottom, it’s reassuring to know that the franchise is still capable of moments of genius in this industry.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a city-building simulator like fellow EA staple Sim City but it plays more like Facebook favourite FarmVille. It was initially released in late-February on iOS but was withdrawn from the App Store a few weeks later after users reported a multitude of bugs and connection issues. Apparently having got to grips with the teething troubles, EA have now re-released Tapped Out and it plays superbly. Continue reading →