PC

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I want to like Moebius: Empire Rising, because it has some interesting things going for it. Malachi Rector is an interesting mix of Indiana Jones, Nicolas Cage’s character in National Treasure and Sherlock Holmes. I want to see him on the big screen played by Robert Downey, Jr. or depicted in a comic book, in which low-quality models and animation won’t trample on the atmosphere. And most of all, I want to experience the story and hear Rector’s internal thoughts, without having to sit through an underwhelming set of mechanics to do it. READ MORE

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Mercenary Kings has a lot going for it. The list of features is exhaustive, the number of weapon combinations available is immense and the pixel art is nothing short of jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Mercenary Kings is channeling Metal Slug hard, and it works. The chunky aesthetic fits the military motif very well, but while there are more than enough missions to go on, I wish there was more variety in visited locales to show off the art even more. READ MORE

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RedLynx’ hit series, Trials, began as a web release way back in 2000. It was a simple, mindless distraction, but one many couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t long before the formula begun taking new form, shifting from a basic (albeit addictive) little game into something much larger. Trials Fusion, the latest in this series, features a new, futuristic coat of paint, but maintains everything that made it noteworthy to begin with.

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When examining many recent indie releases, it can be easy to pinpoint their influences, especially since so many proudly focus on them. The same is true of Strike Suit Zero, the first title from Born Ready Games. Following in the footsteps of classics such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Strike Suit Zero is the studio’s attempt to revitalize (and redefine) the space combat genre. It’s a refreshing take on a well-worn formula, although it tends to ignore variety in favor of its particular brand of combat.

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Blizzard has always been able to create great expansion packs, going all the way back to the days when added content for a game was released on discs in stores. Reaper of Souls is no different. Blizzard has done a lot to turn around the flaws of the original, bringing back a lot of the gameplay that made Diablo II and its expansion so well-loved. READ MORE

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Ever since the humble beginnings of the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, we’ve seen releases of large swaths of arcade-style games. These titles, from Geometry Wars to Super Stardust, have populated these services from day one. Vlambeer, the creative team behind Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing, is back with Luftrausers, a 2D action game that feels like it’s a lost gem from a bygone era. It continues the unstoppable trend of arcade-style downloadable games in style.

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The Secret of Monkey Island‘s insult sword fighting. The Walking Dead‘s zombie apocalypse. Myst‘s linking books. All are simple concepts at the center of great adventure games. 1954: Alcatraz adds “escape from Alcatraz” to that list. It manages to draw the player in, not only because a prison escape is impressive, but because escaping from Alcatraz is especially daunting. It’s not all cinderblock walls, corrections officers and time in solitary confinement, though. While Joe is working to break out, his wife Christine is doing her part around San Francisco to unravel the mystery of Joe’s armored truck heist and aid his escape in any way possible. READ MORE

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The original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was a reinvention of the Castlevania formula and story, focusing on the very first Belmont, Gabriel, and his quest to resurrect his wife. It was a surprisingly fantastic game, managing to evolve the Castlevania series in a compelling way while also telling a worthwhile story. Lords of Shadow 2 sets out to complete Gabriel’s story and expand the original game’s formula, and does so with impressive results.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth is meant as an earnest effort by South Park Digital Studios and Obsidian Entertainment to make a game that truly embraces the license of the show. This has certainly been a problem in the past, as the South Park name has been slapped on all manner of horrible things since the series began its run. In this aspect, Stick of Truth is a resounding success: it doesn’t just feel like it’s faithful to the South Park name, it feels like an interactive, especially-long episode of South Park.

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The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.

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