The Rally Point

the-rally-point:-putting-mech-engineer-on-trial-(and-error) Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The Rally Point: Putting Mech Engineer on trial (and error)

When you’ve played a lot of games, or seen a lot of films, or probably eaten at a lot of restaurants or generally oversaturated your life with one subject, it’s easy to start making rules and codes for How It Should Be. I given a lot of games a hard time for being opaque and failing to explain themselves. And yet here I am, finally writing about Mech Engineer after watching and playing it for nine months, waiting for it to hit the point where I can almost, sort of, not exactly recommend it… but share my fascination with it….

the-rally-point:-compromise,-or-war-on-the-sea? Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The Rally Point: compromise, or War On The Sea?

I’ve hinted a few times at my dislike of naval antics in strategy games. Since Strategic Mind set me off on a World War 2 kick, this week seemed like a good time to resolve this by picking out a dedicated seaborne war game and making a sincere effort to get over myself. It is time to declare War On The Sea. And thus it is that I gave the order to dive to crush depth with oh wait, no this is a destroyer what have I done. Read more

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The Rally Point – Strategic Mind: Fight For Freedom treads old ground with comfortable boots

Kiev-based studio Starni Games have been knocking out the Strategic Mind series since 2019. From a slightly rocky start with The Pacific (rockier still if you count 2018’s Panzer Strategy) they’ve hit their stride with Fight For Freedom, an entry showing off the American and British led chapters of the Great War reboot. The Western front is frankly overdone in any media, not just games, and I’ll admit I was hesitant. How many times have you run around Normandy with tanks and paratroopers? How many Cockneys and Ohio farmboys have you heard yelling about bunkers and stukas, versus exactly zero…

rally-point:-what-20-years-of-tropico-has-left-me-wanting Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Rally Point: What 20 years of Tropico has left me wanting

Having namedropped Tropico in the very last episode, I discovered two things this week: the happy fluke that it coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first game in the series, and that after years of waiting to use “serendipitous”, it reads far too pompously to open an introduction with it. It’s a perfect opportunity to bring up why I love the series, because that should counter-balance all the complaining I’m going to do. And I’m hinging it on this: I don’t want Tropico 7. I want another Tropico 2. Read more

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Creeper World 4 is a triumph of consistency

Consistency. That’s the word that comes to mind. It’s one to use carefully when talking about a sequel. I’m prone to criticising games, particularly long-running series, for iterating gradually rather than taking bigger chances. I’ve bemoaned Tropico’s rehashes. I’ve whinged about everyone copy-pasting XCOM to a fault. I’ve sent guys to show GTA a picture of Saints Row before throwing it through a window. But here’s Creeper World 4, quietly releasing at the end of 2020 in an already busy month. I can’t say anything about it is revolutionary, or even drastically different to the rest of the series. And…

in-the-war-of-strategy-games,-shadow-empire-has-already-won Rock,Paper,Shotgun

In the war of strategy games, Shadow Empire has already won

When Graham asked me to write a strategy games column, my first challenge was of course to think of how to annoy as many people as possible. “I won’t stretch the definition of ‘strategy’”, I thought, “I’ll warp spacetime itself until all points within it are ‘strategy’”. You have to set goals with these things. But what game would irk the most readers? “The hardcore strategy of Among Us“, maybe. Is there a Mario game on PC? I could get dark gags out of lives as strategic resources. Call Of Duty would surely make it too obvious? I left those…