My love of sci-fi mingles with my enjoyment of ruining people’s lives through ineffectual planning and general stupidity in Aven Colony, which takes the joys of constructing a city and then throws a thin science fiction theme at it in the vague hopes it’ll stick. Coming from a small team of just five people I wanted to be very clear about my feelings before we even jump in; it’s a good game, and such a small team should be damn proud to have built it from the ground up. They’ve got a bloody good future ahead of them.
Y’know, I’ve killed many people. I’ve also killed many people in videogames, and while I’ve certainly had to spend some time hiding the corpses from the eyes of roving guards I don’t ever remember patiently hoovering up the blood and pocketing any potential evidence I left lying around. Even the bald-headed Aget 47 was never that finicky. Yet that’s what you’ll be doing in Serial Cleaner, a game that casts you as a man who makes his living going to crime scenes in order to grab all the bodies, clean up most of the blood and then scarper with any leftover evidence such as guns or other nonsense, all while the cops patrol the area.
Initially, Aporia seems to fit into the walking-simulator genre, a game based primarily around the exploration of a fallen civilisation, but it doesn’t take long before you’re solving puzzles and even dealing with an enemy that floats around like the much angrier version of Casper the Friendly Ghost. This is fast becoming a popular genre, and it’s fair to say that Aporia doesn’t buck any trends in terms of its design. However, the journey through the valley may very well be worth your time.
Ah, zombies. When in doubt zombies are the answer to a developer’s lack of creativity. Whenever you can’t come up with something unique or even just a fun spin on the standard zombie theme you can simply pile a bunch of generic shamblers into a level, give the player a gun and call it a day. That honestly feels like what happened to Microlith Games , the developers of Dead Purge: Outbreak.
Based on their childhood experiences in the communist-ruled nation of Romania the developers have managed to create a dystopian world that draws from their own memories of a country that only abandoned communist totalitarianism in 1989. Here they’ve taken their history and moulded it into a bleak vision of workers toiling away on dirty machines and stomping mechs that ensure none escape. Those who step out of line risk death at the hands of large supervisors and plentiful automated gun systems. It’s an oppressive atmosphere that is somehow still full of beautiful, bleak moments thanks to a strong visual style.
If Milestone were a MotoGP rider then they’d be the one that comes into the sport brimming with untapped potential before eventually sinking into the middle of the pack, rarely seen again except for an occasional flash of brilliance. Basically, they’d be Bradley Smith. They’ve been putting out thoroughly middle-of-the-road racing games for years, and have thus far developed three official MotoGP games, with the last one I reviewed being MotoGP ’14. Still, last year’s Ride 2 was enjoyable albeit flawed, so I went into this new digital iteration of my favourite sport with high hopes.
Screaming round a dirt bend at speeds no mortal should ever consider while nursing a punctured tire is when DiRT 4 is at its very best, the frantic desire to be the fastest having to be weighed against the need to just finish the stage and get a chance to repair your limping car. But as we’ll find out there are a few problems holding DiRT 4 back from being as good as it could be.