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Tag: Reviews (page 2 of 32)

“All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

A security-for-hire cyborg becomes self-aware, and secretly names itself “Murderbot”. What can possibly go wrong? Here’s my review of All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests. They are shadowed by their company-supplied cyborg – a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module. The SecUnit is there to provide security, but the operation is quiet and uneventful. At least until a massive creature suddenly crashes out of a crater, and attacks one of the expedition members, Bharadwaj .

The SecUnit barely rescues poor Bharadwaj from being devoured, but not without suffering major damage itself. Using the base’s repair facility, the SecUnit is soon operational again, and an investigation into why a huge predator with no mentioning in any of the provided survey data attacked them begins. The expedition soon realize that their survey package has been tampered with; entire sections of their digital map has been wiped clean of data.

And when they lose contact with another expedition on the planet, things really start to go downhill.

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“Horus Rising” by Dan Abnett

I felt it was time I took a proper dive into the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Here’s my review of Horus Rising by Dan Abnett.

Wow. It’s been a while now since I wrote a book review. The last one I posted was of Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy/detective noir novel Storm Front. That was back in early 2018, and half a year after I’d finished the book. For my Horus Rising review, however, I decided to start writing before I’d reached the final page.

You might not be familiar with the Warhammer 40,000 universe. But if you’re even remotely interested in role playing games, science fiction, role playing games, or anything related to that, there’s a very good chance you’ve crossed paths with Warhammer 40K in one way or another.

Personally, I’ve only casually observed everything with fascination from a safe distance. I’ve never been much of a table-top gamer, but the Warhammer 40K universe and its lore still comes across as something that should be of interest for someone like me.

A natural place to begin was Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. It’s the first book in the Horus Heresy series, which counts no less than 49 books.

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Stellaris 2.2 with MegaCorp

Your favorite science-fiction RTS has received yet another major game mechanics overhaul, and a brand new expansion. Here’s my Stellaris MegaCorp review.

Stellaris was just updated to version 2.2. In the same breath, Paradox also released an accompanying expansion, MegaCorp. The expansion, as the name implies, gives you the opportunity to play as the CEO of a megacorporation, and it adds a new city world planet type, more megastructures, a couple of new ascension perks, and access to the galactic slave market.

The MegaCorp expansion goes hand in hand with the significant changes to the Stellaris economy model, and planetary management mechanics.

Stellaris MegaCorp launch trailer.
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Not Tonight

Brexit is a mess. Thankfully, the game about it is not. Here’s my Not Tonight review.

Papers, Please puts you behind the counter at a border crossing in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. Oh, wait. Wrong game! This is Not Tonight, a paperwork-checking simulator set in a dystopian post-Brexit Britain. It’s the second game released in this genre, with Papers, Please being the genre-defining title1.

To say that Not Tonight is inspired by Lucas Pope‘s 2013 title is an understatement. At first glance, Not Tonight looks and plays like a game that could have been a Papers, Please sequel. The mechanics are more or less the same, and Not Tonight also resorts to the pixel art style we’ve come to associate with indie games. You play as Person of European Heritage #112, currently residing in Relocation Block B. In order to stay in post-Brexit Britain, you have to prove your worth in your designated role as bouncer. If you don’t contribute, you’ll be booted off the island.

Not Tonight: Because you don’t get enough of work at work.
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Black The Fall

Sand Sailor Studio’s dystopian puzzle game reminds me a lot of INSIDE, but does it also have some ideas of its own? Here’s my Black The Fall review.

Black The Fall is yet another one of those Kickstarter games I’ve thrown money at.  The campaign promised a “a sharp, modern action game set in a post-communistindustrial world.” Being a total sucker for any fictitious dystopian setting, I happily backed Bucharest-based Sand Sailor Studio‘s campaign.

Not long after the campaign ended, I received my Steam key. But I’ve stopped playing games that are in alpha, beta, Early Access, or similar stages of development. I spent way too much time doing that with Star Rules 2. Time is a scarce resource these days, so I’d rather play a finished product instead. Then, in July last year, Black The Fall was released. But for no particular reason, I didn’t play it then either.

It wasn’t until a week ago that I finally took the plunge, and booted the game for the first time.

Screenshot from Black The Fall.
Black The Fall by Sand Sailor Studio.
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