gamesread – Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam releases

gamesread - Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam releases

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the most excellent hidden gems we dug up from the past week of new releases on Steam.

This week: botany simulation, electro-tanks, skeletal Wolverine and automatic Starship Troopers.

The Red Front

($5.99/£4.79)

File under ‘games I feel kinda guilty about including here’ because, y’know, it’s about as smart as a Twitter execs’ boardmeeting. I can’t help but like The Red Front nonetheless. It’s a twin stick shooter of sorts, in which you play as a Russian tank, trying to survive against waves of Axis soldiers, armoured cars, tanks and what not. Some of ’em will drop weapon upgrades, and before long you have yourself a tank firing deathclouds and electric rays and all sorts. That’s it: that’s literally it. But it involves unblinking top-down carnage, has pleasantly ponderous tank movement, you can get stuck in trees and it finds a fairly sweet spot between raining hell and having to constantly manoeuvre your way out of trouble.

Very, very stupid, but the Russian marching band music helps a lot.

The Botanist

($6.99/£4.99)

A lovely concept (one we posted about back in its Greenlight days) that’s both a very pleasant timesink and a slightly missed opportunity. You, in your apartment, don the mantle of a botanist – growing and cataloguing an effectively infinite array of new plants, procedurally-generated when you type in a name of your choice – ‘New Coke’, ‘Dale Cooper’, ‘Megatron’ or whatever. You can obtain upgrades – fancier pots and more space and the like – by meeting plant enthusiasts’ requests, e.g. by growing a purple flower or an orange grass – and these low-pressure, chummy challenges create a suitably gentle sense of compulsion. The highlight is always finding out what kind of plant you’re going to get from a new seed, although I think The Botanist’s biggest mistake is to have seeds grow instantly into full-size flora. Even having to wait just one in-game day would create a stronger sense of anticipation.

The weird interface, all from a first person perspective but with you fixed in place throughout, is a bit of a shame too – how much nicer it would be to physically wander over to a plant to gaze at it, rather than simply click on it and have it magically teleported across the room to you. Still, tranquil, pleasant and filled with tiny moments of joy.

Alien Hallway 2

($9.99/£6.99)

It’s bit of a week for stupid, and ain’t nothing wrong with that. This is the sequel to a very stupid top-down shooter-cum-inverse tower defence jobbie from seven years ago (I am so old), which is essentially Starship Troopers – i.e. a few good men and women versus squillions and squillions of insectoid aliens. Your dudes auto-fire in the main, but you can direct them to focus on specific targets, such as gigantic bosses or exploding cannisters full of resources off to the side of the screen.

The key ‘strategy’ if you can call it that, is spending said resources on reinforcements, which is where the inverse tower defence element comes in – hoping your lads survive long enough for you to afford new chums for them to fight with. Yeah, it’s a hamster wheel of unlocks and loot-gathering, but the scale of the enemy swarms it chucks you is a bit of a treat, and it’s very, very difficult to stop watching ’em pop.

After Death

($13.99/£10.59)

Pretty solid-seeming Metroidvania, with some lovely gothic 2D art and a particularly agreeable Vangelis-y soundtrack. As is always the case with an Unknown Pleasure, I’ve only played a bit of it so can’t attest for how well it holds together as levels sprawl further, powers grow and bosses get all bossy, but certainly it feels like one I’d like to stick with. The audio-visual aesthetic’s great, and it’s dark’n’demony without getting all Deviant Art about it.

Also, you basically play as Skeletal Wolverine.

Twickles


($6.99/£4.99)

This week, our weekly Minimalist Puzzle Game Of The Week in this, the week of October 6, 40th week of the 52 weeks of the year, is… well, it fits the mould with worrying precision. Skeletal piano soundtrack, monochrome art, and interactions that don’t go beyond rotating things. But it’s tranquil and pretty and has its own take on a broadly familiar theme, which is Pipemania-style parts-rotation to get a ball from one end to another. The twist here is that, as well as the pipe-pieces themselves, you can also rotate the whole construction at once, in order to make gravity do its thing and usher your ball to the exit. So it’s all about figuring out twin combinations – starts easy, grows more challenging, but pretty much stays relaxing. Most pleasant.

Pick of the week iiiiiiiissssss: well, with the very strong proviso that I’ve only seen a bit of it, I’m going to go for After Death. I just really dig its vibe, man.

gamesread – Pictured: Policewoman found 'murdered' in beauty spot lake

Ms McKie leaves behind three young children; two little girls and a boy (Picture: Facebook)

A policewoman who was found ‘murdered’ in the early hours of the morning has been pictured for the first time.

The body of Leanne McKie, 39, a serving officer with Greater Manchester Police, was found at Poynton Lake at around 3.45am this morning.

Record £167 million up for grabs in next EuroMillions draw

Cheshire Police were called to the beauty spot in Cheshire following reports that a body had been found.

A 43-year-old man from Wilmslow has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held in police custody.

Ms McKie leaves behind three young children; two little girls and a boy.

The body of Leanne McKie, 39, a serving officer with Greater Manchester Police, was found at Poynton Lake at around 3.45am this morning. (Picture: MEN)
She was found at Poynton Lake at around 3.45am this morning (Picture: MEN)
Cheshire Police were called to the beauty spot in Cheshire following reports that a body had been found. (Picture: MEN)

Detective Inspector Adam Waller said: ‘Investigations into her death are currently ongoing and we are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

‘We are aware of a number of rumours circulating in relation to the identity of the victim and, whilst formal identification has not year taken place, we do believe that the victim is 39-year-old Leanne McKie, from Wilmslow.

John Lewis has started Christmas…in September

‘Leanne was a mother of three young children and a serving police officer in Greater Manchester Police.

‘Our thoughts at this difficult time are with Leanne’s family, friends and colleagues.

‘I would like to reassure local residents that at this stage this appears to be an isolated incident and we are not looking for anyone else in relation to her death.’

Anyone with information is asked to call Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 93 of September 29, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Introducing the Character Builder – gamesread.com

With the launch of Albion Online, we have also launched a brand-new feature on the website: the Albion Online Character Builder. This new tool allows you to not only explore and plan new builds, but to also share these builds with the rest of the Albion community!

In the Character Builder you can browse through builds and articles created by players, organized in two lists: “Popular & Featured” and “Recent & Trending”. Looking for something specific? There are several categories you can use to narrow down your search, or you can simply use the search bar to find exactly what you want.

In order to create builds and articles Character Builder, you need an account with an active Founder or Starter Pack. However, anyone may browse and read the articles on the site and share them with others through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit.

You can find the Character Builder on our website under “Tools”, or simply click here!

Solo Builds

Solo Builds are the backbone of the Character Builder. After all, you are what you wear and your unique combination of weapons and armor pieces is what establishes your role. Create your own Solo Build to showcase your favorite gear set designed for either PvP, PvE, Ganking, Escape/Gathering or Other – for those builds that just refuse to be categorized.

Click on any empty gear slot to select the Weapon or Armor piece of your choice. From there, select the skills and passives used in your build. You can even select the Food and Potions you favor.

Once you've got your build complete, describe the build's design choices and options for customization based on situation or opponent below.  You can also use this space to add items, images and even videos of your build in action.

With your Build complete, click “Publish Build” to share it with the Albion community!

Group Builds

Whether you are planning for a Guild vs Guild grudge match, your next epic Zerg vs Zerg battle, or roaming the open world with a small group of highwaymen, team composition and build synergy plays a major role in your upcoming glorious victory, or your crushing defeat.

With builds for groups of 3, 5, 10 or 20, the Group Builds allows you to search through published Solo Builds in the Character Builder and add them to your team comp. This gives you the opportunity to look over your entire team's composition, complete with spells, and find any synergy issues or missing roles.

Already know the best group composition? Create a Group Build and share it, perhaps with a description and videos of your team annihilating the competition.

Articles

The Character Builder is also a place for you to create or browse articles on any topic in Albion. Whether you want to show the most efficient way to plan your farms, the best places to gather, or create a basic guide for new guild members explaining the essentials of the game, the Articles section gives you a place to share your knowledge or gain from the knowledge and experience of others.

What do you think of the Character Builder? Have you already published your own builds? Let us know in the comments below or on our forums!

gamesread | FIFA 18 Pre-Order Offers – ICON, Ronaldo and Standard Edition

Posted June 5th at 3:00pm.

The countdown is on! FIFA 18 releases worldwide on September 29th 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Pre-order now to get incredible offers, including three days early access with the Ronaldo (Deluxe) and ICON (Super Deluxe) Editions. Plus, kick off your FIFA Ultimate Team™ season early with special bonuses and items.

Find out what’s on offer in each version of FIFA 18:

 

ICON EDITION

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (two per week over 20 weeks – worth up to $120)
  • 3 match FUT Team of the Week loan player (one three match loan player for 20 weeks)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • Ronaldo Nazário FUT Icon loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists
Digital Only. Pre-order for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
 
 

RONALDO EDITION

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 20 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for 20 weeks – worth up to $60)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4,  Xbox One, and  PC

 

STANDARD EDITION

  • Up to 5 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for five weeks – worth up to $15)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists
Pre-order for PlayStation 4,  Xbox One, and  PC

FIFA 18 LEGACY EDITION

  • Up to five FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for five weeks – worth up to $15)
Pre-order for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
 
 
* Click here to view FIFA 18’s Pre-Order Terms and Conditions.


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FIFA 18 Release Date Details – Sept. 29, 2017 Worldwide on gamesread

Posted June 5th at 3:00pm.

Count it down, FIFA 18 officially launches worldwide on Friday 29th September across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Pre-order the ICON or Ronaldo Edition and get three days early access to FIFA 18, enabling you to play from September 26th, up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo Nazário FUT Loan items, Team of the Week loan players and other great content! Learn more about our available pre-order offers. 

Powered by Frostbite™, FIFA 18 blurs the line between the virtual and real bringing to life the heroes, teams, and atmospheres of the world’s game.

EA Access members on Xbox One and Origin Access members on PC can play the game from September 21 with Play First Trials.

FROSTBITE GAME ENGINE TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE ON XBOX ONE, PLAYSTATION 4 AND PC PLATFORM VERSIONS ONLY. NOT ALL FEATURES AVAILABLE ON ALL PLATFORMS

Mario+Rabbids Creator: It’s About The ‘What The F***’ Element Of Surprise Between These Two Brands – gamesread.com

Mario+Rabbids Creator: It’s About The ‘What The F***’ Element Of Surprise Between These Two Brands - gamesread.com

Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle drew a lot of ire from everyone when it was initially leaked, but some extremely strong E3 showings, coupled with the game’s creators’ earnestness, has since made everyone to come around on it, and it is now one of the most anticipated games of the year.

But it’s still such an odd game- a Mario and Rabbids crossover? What? Why? Why would you even do such a thing? How did the idea even come about? According to Xavier Manzanares, producer on the game, that very element of unusual surprise is what works so strongly in the game’s favor.

“It’s… a “what the f***” element between two brands and sets of characters, and it works. It fits, and reminiscent of what people know about Mario in terms of art, animation, accessibility etc as if it were from Nintendo. But then there’s the twist with the Rabbids, this is something different and players might want to see how far it’ll go. It’s an ongoing “what’s’ next” experience as you play, an interest in what can be surprising,” he said to Nintendo Life.

He is right, in a sense- a lot of the intrigue I have for the game is just to see how far they will go with blending these two very disparate universes together. Crossovers can be a powerful thing if done right – see also Super Smash Bros. – and it’s very clear that this game is being done right. Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle launches exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on August 29.

Black Desert Kamasilve Expansion Part 2 to Launch in Korea This Week on gamesread

Black Desert Kamasilve Expansion Part 2 to Launch in Korea This Week on gamesread

The Amazing Adventure continues in Black Desert (KR). The developer Pearl Abyss' strategy is to gradually add new content to the game across the summer. Today they announced the second part of the huge Kamasilve expansion called Light of Healing will be released on June 29 in South Korea.

With the second part of Kamasilve expansion the game will finally offer the complete region of the Elf world located in the south of Calpheon. The game world will be greatly expanded, and if you are wondering how large the new region will be, watch the 8-minute-long fly through trailer below.


 

Black Desert Kamasilve Expansion Part 2 to Launch in Korea This Week on gamesread

gamesread – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Standalone Releases on June 27th

gamesread - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Standalone Releases on June 27th

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered has finally been announced to release on June 27th as a standalone game. It will come to PS4 first and then head to Xbox One and PC later. It will retail for $39.99 in the United States.

Along with the campaign and all 16 multiplayer maps at launch, PS4 players will also have a chance to participate in the “Days of Summer” event. This event will last for five weeks and will include XP events, new playlists, in-game giveaways and so on with a new Summer map available throughout. More information will be revealed on Tuesday for the same.

It should be noted that the Variety Map Pack will not be included with the game. This must be purchased separately for $14.99 and will include four maps – Broadcast, Chinatown, Creek and Killhouse – along with 10 Rare Supply Drops.

What are your thoughts on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered finally getting a standalone release? Let us know below.