Still Playing

We tend to stop writing about games when you start playing them. We cover the announcement, we write previews and reviews, but by the time you unwrap a new game we’ve moved on. Still Playing is our bid to address that as staff and contributors go into detail on the games they’ve been playing in their spare time.

Still Playing: FTL – discovering new ways to die in Subset’s challenging space-captain sim

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at 04:00pm April 14 2014

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would probably classify the spiky, metallic Lanius as the one creature in the galaxy you’d least want to meet, largely thanks to their tendency to suck all of the breathable oxygen out of any room they’re standing in. You’d be forgiven for wondering why you’d want one manning the…

Still Playing: Diablo III Reaper of Souls – Blizzard’s revitalised action RPG is deeper than ever

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at 12:00pm April 10 2014

How deep does this go? That’s the question I keep asking myself as I sink another few hours into Diablo III. I’ve been pretty much everywhere several times. I’ve got all the abilities. I’ve nearly hit the new level cap, 70. Surely that’s where things settle out, and the novelty of epic demonic slaughter dribbles…

Still Playing: Dark Souls II – why the Souls games’ supposed difficulty is a damaging myth

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at 02:34pm April 9 2014
Dark Souls II 4

A death tally in excess of 300 might suggest otherwise, but Dark Souls II is not a difficult game. Nor was its predecessor, nor the PS3-exclusive Demon’s Souls. Yes, this is a game in which you die an awful lot, where tutorials are scant, and mistakes are both inevitable and severely punished. But the Souls…

Still Playing: Duet – a frustrating, joyful, beautifully melodic and starkly clinical contradiction

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at 03:37pm March 31 2014

Duet is a game of conflicts and contrasts. It veers between chaos and order, triumph and despair, life and death, never settling on one or the other. You must tackle the game’s endless maze of deadly blocks with calm, surgical precision — anything less brings about a speedy end. The best puzzle games tend to…

Still Playing: Hotline Miami – Vita’s accidental killer app

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at 11:41am March 17 2014
Still Playing hotline miami

I missed Hotline Miami first time around, but it feels so perfectly suited to Vita that it’s difficult to imagine playing it any other way. It’s a magnificent handheld game, despite not being conceived as one; it might just be the best game on Vita, period. Its short, intense bursts of play satisfy quickly, but…

Still Playing: PlanetSide 2 – the unheralded online shooter that could take on Titanfall and Destiny

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at 12:35pm March 11 2014
Engineers can deploy anti-armour and anti-infantry mobile turrets as well as repair damaged vehicles for the good of their team.

Your Battlefield is deserted. Your Destiny is uncertain. Those who answer your Call of Duty lack fervour. As you peek over the parapet of a PlanetSide 2 bunker to see an actual army advancing towards you, a hundred scurrying infantry flanking ponderous tanks and troop carriers, gunships and distant bombers weaving between AA fire, before…

Still Playing: Diablo III – why ditching the Auction House has revitalised Blizzard’s action RPG

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at 10:49am March 10 2014
Diablo III

Do you remember when people used to excitedly compare eBay to a game? The way you’d strategise your bids, nipping in at the very last moment to snatch a win. How you’d dither over a low starting price, always fearful of an undervalued final price but anxious to attract attention. You’d even get a score…

Still Playing: GTAV – forget the killing sprees and find beauty in a digital rambling holiday

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at 03:18pm February 26 2014
GTAV camp dignity

Collectibles may not ruin games, but they don’t exactly help. They’re the tedious make-work at the heart of modern game design that substitutes padding for content, the taunting fraction lurking in some number-ish recess of the pause screen showing you how little you’ve actually achieved. Very few are as tedious as GTAIV’s pigeons. They distort…

Still Playing: Outlast – in praise of linear horror and trusting in good game design

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at 01:55pm February 25 2014
Still Playing Outlast 2_edited-1

Outlast is a game that loves to toy with you. As you skulk about the the corridors of the Mount Massive Asylum, fleeing from murderous patients and hiding at the back of cupboards like a pair of terrified dress shoes, the game offers you regular mocking glimpses of freedom. You’re always just one key, one…

Still Playing: Gran Turismo 6 – why do developers keep slapping L-plates on experienced drivers?

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at 12:00pm February 18 2014

Gran Turismo 6 wants to get you behind a wheel as quickly as possible. Once you’ve placed the disc in your PS3’s drive, all that stands between you and the open road is an intro and the name-entry fields. After this, you’ll find yourself parked in the pits at Brands Hatch, sitting in a Clio…

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