Category Archives: PC

Receiver 2 promises to bring the most realistic firearms we’ve ever seen to the new decade

We can’t blame you if you missed Wolfire Games 2012 title Receiver. It was given away free of charge with a purchase of their long anticipated rabbit beat-em-up Overgrowth and after waiting almost 10 years for that game to be released, it’s understandable that a lot of players simply overlooked Receiver and left it to collect dust in their steam libraries.

Although at first only created as part of a 7-day game challenge, Receiver manages to be a fun little game that, although understandably lacking in features, is surprisingly revolutionary in what it has.

A series of randomly generated cybperpunk levels in which the player is tasked with collecting a set of tapes provides an excellent framework for the game’s superb gun simulation. In Receiver, your gun is your most important tool – but it’s also the hardest to master. Intricately modelled, each gun operates almost exactly like a real firearm. You can pull back the slides, cock the hammers and even flick the safety switch. With no on-screen UI, the only way to check something as simple as your magazine capacity being to manually remove it, and one-hit kills firefights with your robotic adversaries are short and extremely tense.

Once you’ve mastered all three available weapons and completed a couple of the levels, Reciever does begin to drag and won’t maintain your interest for more than 5 or 6 hours at most. Wolfire have done an admirable job keeping Receiver up to date, with performance fixes and the occasional minor addition to the game. As a tech demo, Receiver is excellent, but lacks far too many features to truly be considered a “fun” game.

As a result, I was ecstatic to see the Receiver 2‘s announcement appear on my feeds seemingly out of the blue. A snazzy trailer showcases vibrantly enhanced graphics rich in floods of primary coloured light and some truly beautiful cyberpunk scenes that put the original’s blocky aesthetic to shame.

Boasting eight new firearms, “including the Beretta 92FS, Colt Single-Action Army, and the iconic Desert Eagle”, and with an increased level of detail, promising to simulate every “single internal mechanism”, Receiver 2 certainly looks like it will turn out a worthy sequel.

turret_shadow.pngI am certainly very excited to see what Wolfire has in store for this sequel, and how they will apply their wonderful gun simulation technology to a game for the new decade!

Releasing in early 2020, you can keep up with Receiver 2‘s progress by adding it to your wishlist here on Steam or by subscribing to the official newsletter.

Kind Words – a new, more wholesome social media

In an age that seems so consumed by negativity, it’s only natural that this is in social media. Unfortunately, for many of us social media is a form of escapism – allowing us to switch off from the outside world and focus entirely on something else. Being constantly consumed by the negative energies of current affairs, especially in our supposed downtime, is unhealthy and extremely tiresome.

Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) is in many ways almost the antithesis of your regular social media platform. Presented through a warm and cosy virtual room, it’s clear from the get go that Kind Words doesn’t intend to have you scrolling through reams and reams of posts for hours or chasing the highest numbers of likes on your photos.

The minimalistic art-direction bathed in rich pastel colours is highly soothing and compliments the slow and smooth beats of Kind Words’ original soundtrack perfectly.

Centred around the therapeutic writing of letters, you interact with other users through a fantasy postal service. You can send out a letter expressing your thoughts and worries to receive helpful letters from other users or reply to others concerns in an attempt to comfort them.

There is a small element of progression, with the collection of stickers. Receiving letters with stickers you do not yet own adds them to your collection, and allows you to personalise your room with associated items or add them to letters of your own to gift them to others. It’s a nice detail and lets you add your own little splash of colour to the letters you send.

Kind Words is simple, yet deeply moving and, above all else, incredibly important.  Cute and reassuring, with probably the most friendly communities out there, this little gem is a perfect addition to your Steam library – and one you will love to revisit whenever you’re feeling down.

Why you should be excited for the release of SWERY’s ‘The Good Life’

When it comes to video-gaming, the works of no one developer is quite able to compare avant-garde genius of Hidetaka Seuhiro, a Japanese developer also known by the pseudonym SWERY.

Most well known for his gloriously abstract surreal survival horror mystery Deadly Premonition which, despite perplexing reviewers to the point it even won a Guinness World Record, has gained a sizeable cult following. Despite my love of his sillier titles I find the lesser known The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories to be his very best work yet.

A beautiful and poignant exploration into physiological trauma and struggles with personal identity The MISSING cemented my admiration for SWERY. To be able to cohesively create both the single funniest game I had ever played with Deadly Premonition and yet also The MISSING, which  had me crying for hours well after the credits had rolled, demonstrates a sheer versatility that is characteristic of true genius.

I cannot name a single SWERY game that has not been excellent in its own right. As such, I was simply overjoyed when I heard the news that he had successfully crowd-funded a new title, The Good Life, in May of last year.

The Good Life is a third-person heavily stylised RPG that centres around the character of Naomi. In a state of crippling debt, it is her desire to repay this debt that forces Naomi to abandon her snug life as a journalist in New York and move to the fictional English village of Backwoods.

It quickly becomes apparent however that Backwoods, like any rural English village, houses some dark secrets. This includes a gruesome murder which the player must solve and the fact that once a month at the stroke of midnight, everyone in the village inexplicably transforms into a household pet. Yes, really. The Good Life is certainly unmistakably a SWERY game.

Boasting free roaming around a beautifully stylised and, by the looks of it, uncannily accurate village full of unique and charming characters to talk to in addition to a plethora of side activities to pass the time with The Good Life looks to will certainly provide a great deal of things to do.

The game has also benefited in-depth updates published every month since the game was funded and a stream of titbits including character concept art and details of new gameplay additions constantly flowing out of SWERY’s own Twitter posts it is a rare example of an excellently managed Kickstarter project.

Currently available for pre-order, I find The Good Life one of the most exciting and unique concepts to come out of the games industry in certainly the last decade and now, hopefully, you do too.

I bought a huge Steam key bundle on eBay so you don’t have to

Have you ever seen those huge Steam key bundles for shockingly low prices on sites like eBay? Obviously, when I saw the listing of a “50 Steam game key bundle” for only £3.99, I knew that for less than 8p per game it was a bargain far too good to be true. With a product showcase boasting a chance to receive games such as Grand Theft Auto V or the latest Call of Duty – two titles, coincidentally I’m sure, ever popular with extremely gullible young children – curiosity got the better of me. And you know what they say about curiosity.

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First impressions were surprisingly good with a fast delivery placing the keys in my eBay inbox in under an hour. With forty-eight standard keys and two “gold keys” proudly in my possession I whipped open notepad so as to catalogue my spoils and set to work.

Redeeming the “gold keys” first was probably a huge mistake. Seeing that the very best the bundle had to offer was an unplayable first-person-shooter called Infernales and the mediocre driving game Insane Road set a fairly poor precedent.

Insane Road was definitely the strongest of the two “gold” titles. It’s playable with cheerful minimalist graphics – a little bit too similar to the popular Crossy Road to be original – and repetitive game-play that at least lends itself to a few minutes of enjoyment. Infernales is a generic DOOM-inspired shooter. Or it would be if the programmers had actually remembered to program in bullet collision. As it stands, your projectiles simply glide right through enemies rendering completion of the game impossible.

Unfortunately, the two “gold” titles were certainly the best of the bundle. Redeeming the other keys revealed a plethora of barely functioning titles – predominantly titles quickly cobbled together in GameGuru before being shovelled on to the Steam store en masse.

Highlights included Isis Simulator, which had seemingly been pulled from Steam almost as soon as it was released (I can’t think why), and  Make border great again! which seems to involve a super hero re-imagining of US president Donald Trump complete with mask and cape. If you couldn’t tell already, these games aren’t exactly the cream of the crop. In fact, they were all, without exception, unequivocally atrocious to such an extent that I feel wholehearted ashamed to have inflicted them on my account.

In the bundle I counted six obvious review keys, as designated by the listing of “review bundle” or “review copy”, which was extremely disappointing. Fraudulently claiming review copies to sell on the black market is a serious issue and can deeply hurt the relationship developers have with smaller web-based publications. Activities like these create an environment of distrust and can stop larger publishers from collaborating with the independent sites that need it the most.

Of course, some four of the keys were simply fake strings of numbers or had already been redeemed and quite frankly, I expected nothing less.

Would I ever recommend buying bundles like these under any circumstances? Of course not. If you want to pad out your Steam library with more games, why not pay a little more and buy a Humble Bundle. Humble Bundle is an initiative that aims to bring you top qualities titles for a fraction of the price. It’s completely legitimate and approved by publishers, and best of all it is charity-orientated, so you will not only help the games industry but also those in need.

Scene Investigators – An exciting new game from EQ Studios

Las Vegas developer EQ Studios has recently teased some details regarding an exciting upcoming project; Scene Investigators.

If the name EQ Studios rings a bell or two, it’s likely you picked up their previous title, The Painscreek Killings. An incredibly strong debut for the studio, The Painscreek Killings was a deeply stimulating murder mystery set in a deserted rural town. If you want to learn more about The Painscreek Killings, you can conveniently read our glowing review by clicking here.

Promising more mysterious murders, Scene Investigators takes players into the near future where, aided by future technology, a plethora of past cold cases can be meticulously reconstructed and re-examined. The reconstructed cases can be from any time or any place and each present a distinct set of challenges to overcome.

Much like The Painscreek Killings, Scene Investigators tests your lateral thinking and deductive reasoning, with players having to come to conclusions on their own to proceed. By the end of Scene Investigators, players should truly feel like a real detective.

Although information regarding the project is currently scarce, EQ Studios has already demonstrated a clear prowess when it comes to creating poignant digital experiences, and I am excited to see where they go next.

For the latest Scene Investigators news, visit the official site or stay tuned here at Arcadeberry!