Magic.

It was a while before I discovered proper wizards. When I was young, magic was a benign thing: lighthearted entertainment for early evening television. The magicians made things disappear or convinced you that the card you were holding wasn’t what you thought. In Magicka: Wizard Wars, you can cast spells that will make people explode into chunks of bloody meat.

It’s a kind of magic.

I’m technically on holiday right now and I wrote copy for this a little while back. However, I did do some proper video games reporting the other day, jumping at the chance to report on a particularly special story. I contributed to this reporting on the Pillars of Eternity Paradox/Obsidian partnership and then followed it by contributing to this news story, after a chat with Fred Wester and Feargus Urquhart.

Penguins.

I’m quietly optimistic about Age of Wonders 3 and after having spent some lovely evenings amidst its shimmering spires, creaking forests and flitting faeries, I’ve very much enjoyed myself, but I must make it clear to you that it’s a little bit silly.

I was a big fan of the classic (and terribly unbalanced) Master of Magic, something that has kept me interested in fantasy 4x games ever since. Not that many have come along. Not that many have appealed. I’m hoping Age of Wonders 3 might be what I’m waiting for and, boy, that AI can be pretty wicked. It’s given me the run around plenty of times.

Infinite Crisis.

The power of the DC Comics license will have certainly contributed to Infinite Crisis’ profile, lifting it above many of its wannabe peers and giving it a strong head start. It’s also given it a quite unique selling point: it’s not so much a Batman game as a game with multiple Batmans (Batmen?). But no such license was ever necessary for Dota 2 or League of Legends to hook their millions.

I just want to be Bane and do the voice all the time.

A war. With some Vikings.

'We really wanted her to look like someone who would go into a fight in that time period and be dressed properly for that. Not to be dressed for Comic Con,' explains Van Dyke, who has a lot to say about the character design and the concept of women warriors coming from a society that wasn't 'Christian and patriarchal' and which sometimes trained women in combat. 'These women wouldn't have been running around pushing their cleavage out. They were there to fight, to succeed, and you need to reflect that.'

War of the Roses ended up being a game I enjoyed rather a lot, so I’m interested to see how this follow up will do. I also very much like GvD’s comments on the right sort of things to wear in a fight, and a warrior’s ability being what matters, not their gender. I enjoyed hearing him say that.

A probably slightly post-produced screenshot.

Thief is going to be different. Of course, the series is being rebooted, reimagined after ten years in the shadows, so it’s bound to step forward cloaked in a very different mantle, and it’s unreasonable not to expect some substantial changes. Nevertheless, pull that hood back and you may not recognise the face that stares back.

I had very mixed feelings but, then again, this may just not be a game for me. I feel like it will alienate fans of the previous Thief games, but that doesn’t mean it can’t entertain other people. I wouldn’t hold your breath for something particularly subtle or non-linear, but who knows? This is a preview, after all.

I’m also massively angry at myself for leaving in the double use of “back” in that sentence.

Hiding.

Everything about Sir is either silly or scary. I’ll come to the scary part in a moment, but first I need to explain to you that this is a game of tweed and tea.

This went up a while ago and I failed to notice because I’m old and confused. I’m also sure I can write better than this, but I’m bloody exhausted lately and I want to do something that isn’t making words to a deadline.

A flying pancake.

World of Tanks had a much slower pace, thanks to the very nature of its cast of squat, earthbound war-boxes. It was much more about tactics than twitch gaming, giving players time to think and to plan, to flank and to hide. World of Warplanes’ sky is big and blue and wide open, its aircraft naked, fragile and, in some cases, very fast.

I missed this going live too, as I think I had my nose in something else. Here’s my early impressions of World of Warplanes, a game all about, well…

Before the mess happens.

A quick glance across any battlefield in War of the Roses inevitably identifies at least one or two combatants leaning down to slaughter their foes. It’s the kind of naked violence that would make a tabloid editor perk up like a meerkat and if you’re the victim of it, you have to suffer it all from your first-person perspective.

I think this went up while I was busy travelling, and I didn’t spot it at the time. I’m hoping I might get onto the beta for this. Fingers crossed.

Roam!

Though the scope of the game will broaden considerably, Creative Assembly doesn’t want to add to players’ workloads. They hope to make a grander, more glorious experience than the first Rome, but not one that sucks players into the quicksand of micromanagement.

Last week I went to Horsham and I watched Romans stab and break things. Here is my report.

Can you dig it? (Yes.)

"Dungeons never go out of fashion – not amongst gamers, anyway.  For some reason, the urge to delve deeper burns inside all of us, whether as a party of adventurers or a cadre of miners.

This went up a few days ago, but I actually forgot to link to it…