ArcaniA: Gothic 4

You can’t help but admire ArcaniA from afar. The soft curves of her hilly regions, draw distance that seems to go on for miles, and a vibrancy that you don’t come across that often. You exchange furtive glances, and right now, she seems like the fantasy game you’ve always wanted. A dream, even.

But looks aren’t enough on which to base a relationship, and if you think you can get yourself emotionally invested with ArcaniA, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. She might seduce you with all that prettiness, lure you into her world and make you enjoy it all that much more, but if you’re going in here looking for a Gothic game, or even an RPG, she’s going to leave the space beside you on the bed cold by morning.

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Hunted: The Demon's Forge

I’d forgive you if you saw Hunted: The Demon’s Forge and laughed. A guffaw, even, might be understandable. You see, the premise is kind of a stereotype. A cliche, if you will. You’ve got the big, burly chap with the sword and shield and the lack of armour on his upper half. And you’ve got the slim, agile elven girl with a lack of armour in her upper and lower halves. A lack of armour everywhere, really. And they’re in a dungeon.

However, like the comedical masterpiece that is Demolition Man, while the characters are entirely straight, it’s the world around them that creates the humour, and that’s something that Max Kaufman, the Game Director of Hunted, says that InXile are very aware of.

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A voice calls out from the back: “Don't you think Rage is looking a lot like Borderlands?”

Tim Willits shrugs, that bulletproof smile brushing off the question like so much chaff. “Well, we're not set on an alien planet for one.” The crowd laughs. But really, they're all thinking the same thing.

Rage is confident, but no one has any idea if it has any right to be.

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The Mission is simple. The Resistance have a bio-weapon, and being the terrorist mouth-breathers that they are, they’re probably going to use it somewhere in the Arc, and we need to stop them before that happens. Escort the defusal bot to the heart of Container City, get the bio-weapon, and hightail it out of there. Got it?

The Mission is simple. The Security forces have been withholding vaccine, doling it out to the elite and leaving us alone and diseased. So we’ve got ourselves some, by force, and now they want it back. We can’t let that happen. Who are they to dictate who should and shouldn’t be vaccinated? No, let them come, and we’ll stop them. Got it?

The Mission is never simple.

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The Silver Lining Episode Two: Two Households (PC)

Reviewing a game like The Silver Lining Episode Two: Two Households is a tricky proposition. It's essentially a new trip in an old car, which means that much of what there is to say about it has already been said. And while Two Households is most definitely an improvement over the first episode, the inevitable bad news is that it still suffers from many of the same failings that plagued its predecessor.

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Games for Lunch: Minecraft Alpha

Games for Lunch chronicles the first hour of a different game every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each hour ends with the answer to the only question that matters at that point: Do I want to keep playing? For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

Developer: Markus Persson
Publisher: Markus Persson
Release Date: May 17, 2009 (Alpha)
System: PC
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Web site

In a nutshell: I'm almost entirely sure I'm doing this wrong.

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Elemental: War of Magic (PC)

Elemental is at its strongest when treated with the same finicky attention to detail and sense of ownership with which people regard RPG characters. The traits and statistics that kingdoms, heroes, and units possess are not trivial window-dressing, but play a major role in shaping strategy. Elemental might offer a variety of pre-made races and units, but it's a better game if you take the time to create exactly what you want. This is a strategy-RPG, and neither element should be ignored. Especially because neither half of the game is strong enough to stand on its own.

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