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Cold War cover-shooting in CounterSpy

CounterSpy isn't afraid to throw game mechanics at the wall in order to see what sticks.There's stealth, platforming, exploration, sidescrolling shooting, cover-based shooting and more — but not every mechanic is firing on all cylinders. For instance, maintaining a mission-long stealth combo is super satisfying, but to have it broken by a roomful of all-seeing grunts is about as frustrating as it gets. For more on what works and what doesn't in CounterSpy, check out the Overview video above.
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Rescuing an elephant egg-bird in a haunted water park in Hohokum

Absurd as that headline may be, it is also completely accurate, and an extremely concise summary of The Hohokum Experience.It's a game about exploring almost entirely for exploration's sake — which may not be everyone's cup of tea, as our review details. However, for dyed-in-the-wool explorers, Hohokum is an experience really unlike any other. Case in point: Sometimes there are water parks with customers who will hop astride you, and ride you like a slithering, soaring bicycle. Sometimes those water parks are haunted. Sometimes, in their haunted forms, they house endangered elephant egg-bird monsters. In the Overview video above, Russ and I visit one such water park, revive one such egg-bird ... thing, and then go spelunking with Lucario in a cavernous disco treasure vault.
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Exploring Firefall's exotic locales, seemingly endless supply of spiders

Firefall gets you all dressed up without really giving you anywhere to go.The free-to-play MMO-shooter gets some important stuff right — its got a slick, Tribes-esque locomotion, blending jetpacks and downhill momentum into a fun, twitchy package. The game's tropical setting is eye catching and original. Unfortunately, though it gives you neat ways to move around a neat world, there's not a ton of variety in what your character does in Firefall. Case in point: Nearly every mission I've gone on so far required me to kill spiders (or crabs) to complete a fetch quest. It's a regular Earth Defense Force party up in here. Check out the Overview video above to see Charlie and I play through a mission in Firefall while trying to find anything, anything with a vertebrae.
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Sacred 3 is light on loot, rich in nonsense dialogue

Sacred 3 is a departure from the series' action-RPG roots, but that's not why it's not very fun to play.After all, franchises can deviate from their past installments and survive the transition — the problem with Sacred 3 is that its new, arcadey beat-'em-up design is kind of half-baked. There's far too much repetition in its campaign, and far too few carrots to keep you invested in your character. The game's nearly constant attempts at humor also almost ubiquitously fall short the first time you hear them, and do not get especially funnier the next time they pop up, or the next time, or the next time, and so on, ad infinitum. Check out the Overview above to watch Phil and me play through a few multiplayer challenges in Sacred 3, surviving waves of enemies and salvos of terrible...
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Watch as we stride into war atop a cave dragon in Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress is as fascinating as it is confusing, but we want to unravel its mysteries. Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter 2: Dwarf Fortress, which received its first major update in two years last month, is difficult to describe and challenging to begin. The product of a team of brothers, Tarn and Zach Adams, it looks like it might have been released in the 1980s. But its graphical simplicity masks a game that can span hundreds of miles, thousands of characters and multiple races. And all of Dwarf Fortress is displayed as simple ASCII text so impressive that it's on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Yes, in Dwarf Fortress, you play as a dwarf and there are certainly fortresses, but that's hardly a fair description. Today, Charlie Hall will be our guide into a game so...
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Hurling children to solve puzzles in Road Not Taken

Road Not Taken's premise is simple: You need to toss children at adults while turning ghosts into potions and breeding boars into domesticity and ... okay, let's start over.In the same vein as Spry Fox's iconic matching puzzle game Triple Town, Road Not Taken allows you to combine objects in the environment into other objects — sometimes helpful, sometimes deadly. Though the end goal is the same each time you play (rescue children without dying in the woods), the way you achieve it is different, based entirely on how creative you can get with those combinations. Turn three fire spirits into an axe, which you launch into trees to create wood, which you combine to make a campfire, upon which you roast a pig? Now you're literally cooking. Confused? That's completely understandable — check...
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Adventure and a silent death await in Elite: Dangerous

Polygon's Charlie Hall invited Ben Kuchera to join him for a few sorties in Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous. It's a hardcore space sim that will allow players to plot their own course through a realistic Milky Way galaxy. This split-screen video shows how a flight stick, throttle and Track IR helps maneuver in 3D space. Now in formal beta, Elite: Dangerous is the crowdfunded successor to the classic Elite, published for the first time in 1984. David Braben, one of the original designers, is leading the effort and has met some criticism from the broader gaming public for charging $150 for access to the alpha, a maneuver Braben says was intended to create a smaller, more manageable and more dedicated player base to build the game with. Beta access is available now for $75....
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Crawl is the slickest, meanest dungeon crawler you've ever played

In Crawl, you attempt to harvest your friends' blood, which you can turn into money and purchase weapons with which to stab their hideous, Lovecraftian forms.That should tell you everything you need to know about Crawl, which launches on Steam this week. It's a four-player competitive dungeon crawler, in which one player is in control of a human explorer, and the other players control the traps and monsters that populate the world. If you manage to kill the hero, you become the hero, although that reversal of fortune probably won't last especially long. It's a game where you literally live long enough to see yourself become the villain. In this Overview, Russ and I take a trip through the catacombs of Crawl, hacking and slashing our way to an uncommon victory. We also debate our...
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Rogue Legacy - Overview video

Still wondering whether you should jump on the Rogue Legacy bandwagon? Hopefully this episode of Overview will help you decide. Griffin McElroy and Russ Frushtick attempt to delve into the dangerous halls of Rogue Legacy, which mashes Castlevania with Metroid with a Roguelike. It is a fine stew indeed.
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The Long Dark is a quieter take on DayZ, and it's still terrifying

The Long Dark will make you shout with joy over finding an unopened bag of beef jerky.It's an open-world survivor game in the ilk of Rust or DayZ, but with a much quieter tone and much simpler scope. In its early alpha build, you're not a wasteland survivor, building fortresses to protect yourself from oncoming waves of enemy marauders — you're just a person, vulnerable to real person stuff like cold exposure, starvation, dehydration, third-degree burns, compound fractures and so, so much more. For a glimpse at The Long Dark's fatal possibilities and occasionally beautiful vistas, check out the Overview video posted above.
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Freedom Planet - Overview video

If Treasure made a Sonic game, it would probably look a lot like this.Freedom Planet is just dripping with authenticity, with a presentation and indescribable feel that hearkens back to the Sega Genesis days of old. It manages to pull off a difficult balancing act, borrowing and transforming elements from games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Rocket Knight Adventures without coming off as derivative. It's got bipedal, talking animal hybrids — a staple of platformers from the era. It has so many things, which we try to outline in the Overview video posted above.
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Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty - Overview video

Many, many Mudokons died to bring you this Overview video.I mean, it's not really our fault; in Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty, those little guys are squirreled away all over the place. Also, if they step on one landmine, they're toast. Drop one crate on 'em, and they're goo. Shoot them just a few times with a possessed enemy, and they drop like a sack of bricks. It's like, come on, Mudokons! It's like you're not even trying to get rescued. To see our absolute failure as saviors in action, check out the Overview video posted above.
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The Crew closed beta - Overview video

Grab your Funyuns and your Yoo-hoo, because we're going on a road trip. There's a lot to do in Ubisoft's open-world driving game The Crew — even in the game's closed beta test, which went live earlier this week. You can buy cars, equip them with different specialties and performance-boosting upgrades, and plaster them with tribal tattoos. You can go through story-based missions, or drive around looking for the dynamic challenges that pepper the nation's roadways. My favorite activity, though, is just driving through our hyper-condensed country, and seeing what cities made the cut. (Congratulations to Greenup, Illinois!) In the half-hour Overview above, Chris Plante and I hit the open road, taking a leisurely drive from Detroit to St. Louis. If our chattering is making it difficult to...
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Abyss Odyssey - Overview video

Abyss Odyssey doesn't really apply to labels, y'all.It's found inspiration from beat 'em ups, fighting games, role-playing games and Metroidvanias in equal measure, making it a tricky title to define. That's kind of Ace Team's style though — it's not like Zeno Clash or Rock of Ages squeezed comfortably into any kind of classification, either. To see Abyss Odyssey's monster juggling, character customization and infuriating spears in action, check out the Overview video posted above.
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Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake - Overview video

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake's motivations are straightforward — get cake! — but little else about the game is.It starts out slow, tasking you with pushing blocks over switches in order to clear paths towards cake; easy enough. Each level, though, throws a new playable character, a new puzzle mechanic or a new objective into the mix, enough to keep you on your toes, or on your claws, on the off chance you're controlling a toe-free character. In this Overview video, Chris Plante and I take a stab at a few early levels in Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake. Make sure to take time to really enjoy that soundtrack — as much as you can, at least, with us squawking all over it. Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is out now on Steam, as well as iOS and Android.
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Gods Will Be Watching - Overview video

Some decisions are harder than others.Determining whether that unboxed Hot Pocket hiding in the back of your refrigerator is beyond its designated eating-age is a tricky one, but it's doable. Choosing which of the hostages you've wrangled to sacrifice in order to buy yourself time to complete your world-saving mission — that is considerably more difficult. It's also something you'll be doing every ten seconds or so in Gods Will Be Watching, which can be, as you might imagine, a pretty stressful experience. Check out the Overview above to see Justin and I give the game's first level a (spoiler: horribly failed) attempt.
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