Steel Division 2 doesn’t just put a single division under your control like its predecessor, Steel Division: Normandy 44, but instead gives you command of an entire army. Set during Operation Bagration, the World War 2 Soviet campaign, real-time battles are connected by a huge dynamic campaign maps. It’s an RTS built inside a turn-based wargame, with everything recreated on a 1:1 scale, from the size of the tanks to the maps. One minute you’ll be commanding tens of thousands of troops across 150x100km warzones, the next you’ll be so close to the action that you’ll see the tank treads churning up dirt as they charge towards the enemy.During a remote demo, I watch as Eugen Systems game director Alexis Le Dressay sends in columns of Soviet vehicles, clogging the arteries that flow into Minsk and the surrounding towns. They are on their way to liberate the city, but only if they can smash through the entrenched Germans. It will take more than one attempt. This … [Read more...] about Steel Division 2 is a 1:1 scale RTS inside a massive turn-based wargame
Large scale definition
When it comes to Nintendo franchises, The Legend of Zelda has been one of those series that has usually stuck to tradition for the better part of three decades. While Mario has gone go-karting and partying and Pokemon has done everything from wildlife photography to private detective work, Zelda has mainly stuck to epic journeys and big adventures as we’ve seen from the series’ classics like Ocarina of Time, to as recently as last year’s masterful Breath of the Wild. However, the upcoming release of Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition shows there is plenty of fun to be had from eschewing some of the Zelda series’ traditions and going in a completely different and over-the-top direction. Following in the footsteps of numerous Wii U ports coming to the Switch in the past year, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition brings over one of the few Zelda spin-off titles to come in the past few generations to Nintendo’s newest … [Read more...] about Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition Review — The Sharpest Version of the Zelda-Musou Crossover Yet
Built on a relatively low budget compared to the triple-A heavyweights, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice still impresses as one of the generation's most striking games. Miraculously, a core team of 14 people at Ninja Theory created something greater than the sum of its parts - marrying beautiful art direction with Unreal Engine 4's cutting-edge feature-set. It certainly impressed on PS4 and PC when it debuted in late 2017, and with the recently released Xbox One X version, we have the best console version of the game bar none.It's also a highly accomplished tech showcase across all platforms. With titles likes Heavenly Sword and Enslaved on the studio's CV, it's no surprise that motion capture plays a big part in Hellblade's storytelling. It quite literally screams at you from the start, though adds a crucial element of humanity to the script. Each grimace and cry of the lead actress is keyed in - synchronised with her body movements - using a camera as a reference point. It's one half of … [Read more...] about Does Hellblade on Xbox One X deliver the definitive console experience?
We’re planning on a full review next week, but seeing as the weekend, and with it the tortured paralysis of what to play, looms so close, I thought I’d share some initial thoughts on the newly-released, Warhammer vs Left 4 Dead rat-splatting sequel Vermintide 2. In short: it’s the same co-op survival formula, but now writ very, very large and very, very bloody. The biggest change to this first-person co-op survival action boogaloo is that, where the first Vermintide could feel overly-murky and sometimes claustrophobic, the sequel often lifts the roof off. There’s still no shortage of blood-red Skaven eyes glinting from dark corners, but there’s also an awful lot of daylight, and with some spectacular backdrops, like these Misty Mountains-alike: The actual space you get to run around in probably isn’t any bigger than V1’s, and there’s still a vaguely irksome element of having to discern a very particular door or set of stairs from the … [Read more...] about Vermintide 2 is grimdark ultraviolence at a spectacular scale
It may be over 20 years since Age of Empires first conquered our PC screens, but the Pelasgians are still monumental gits. After a relatively straightforward time guiding the Egyptians to supremacy, the campaign mode tasks you with building a Greek state, starting with a small agricultural hub. Yet you've barely erected your town centre when those red-skirted sods come to smash it with their clubs. Guys, I'm trying to build the foundation of western culture here. Take your caveman antics elsewhere. The stone age is so last week. Naturally those gurning Neanderthals pay no heed, constantly harrying your perfectly innocuous attempt to dominate the entire Aegean peninsula. It's almost like they don't want to be homogenised into a civilisation built on slaves that will eventually be subjugated by another civilisation built on slaves. When did imperialism get so darned difficult? Of course, Age of Empires has always been a challenging game. It's just that my fusty old brain has forgotten … [Read more...] about Age of Empires: Definitive Edition review