Nate Crowley


37 games reviewed
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Nov 12, 2021

Jurassic World Evolution 2 makes significant changes to the DNA of its predecessor, but ends up right back where it started: a magnificent feat of adaptation stretched over the bones of an inconsistent management game.

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Unscored - Humankind
Sep 13, 2021

Humankind is, by and large, exactly what I hoped: a heavyweight alternative to Civilization in the world of historical strategy. Its mechanics take some getting used to, but there's genius at its heart.

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Oct 28, 2020

While I may not identify with any of my guerrillas and their grab-bag backstories, nor feel any sense of real investment in the fate of DedSec as a whole, I’m still attached to this strange band of possessed berserkers. We’ve had a good time together, in this nonsense dystopian playground.

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Unscored - Partisans 1941
Oct 14, 2020

That story, of a vast civilian population forced into a total war footing, Partisans tells very well indeed. If you’ve got even a passing interest in the war on the Eastern front, or you enjoyed the various Commandos, Desperados and Shadow Tacticses of this world, I’d recommend it without hesitation. This machine kills fascists, one quicksave at a time.

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Unscored - Space Crew
Oct 13, 2020

All of these issues are fixable (some quite easily, I’d hope), and just a little extra content could do so much to hide the edges of the game. I hope it comes. Because the compulsion reactor at the heart of Space Crew is putting out more power than is currently being used.

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Oct 7, 2020

The central experience – of being a pilot in a Star Wars – is masterfully crafted, and I can’t find much to fault with it. Squadrons is probably the most fun I’ve had with any piece of Star Wars media since my teens, in fact, and it frequently invokes a joy I haven’t felt since playing TIE Fighter in 1995.

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So there you go. If you like XCOM-ish things, The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk should be in your library – just so long as you don’t mind a bit of hamfisted zaniness. I don’t think it’s one you’ll want to replay again and again, but it’s a substantial, well-crafted effort that’s definitely worth your time.

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Aug 31, 2020

I think I’ll need another year of playing it to work out exactly what I think of it. But that’s another way of saying I want to play it for a year, so it must be pretty good.

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Aug 13, 2020

This is a good Total War game.

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Not the most innovative game in the world by any means, but one of the best adventures you can go on inside a telly, and one of the most beautiful, too – especially now that telly is a PC.

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Unscored - Fight Crab
Jul 30, 2020

Much like crabs themselves, I am tremendously glad this game exists, but it’s something I’d rather appreciate at a distance.

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Unscored - Beyond Blue
Jun 15, 2020

Worst of all, so much of the effort that’s gone into making the very deepest locales seem melancholy and strange is wasted, as there’s no sense of scale. Thanks to handwaved technology, Morai is capable of diving in her regular suit even at abyssal depths, and there’s no real sense in having to travel to get there. The madness-inviting vertical isolation of the deeps, the monstrous cold and the pressure, are all absent. These lonely pits feel like any of the other levels: roughly oval patches of water, about so high and so wide, with a certain number of fish spawned within them. It’s not that I’m unimpressed, or ungrateful, you understand. I just think the developers set themselves a near-impossible task.

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In the end, I’ve abandoned every single one of my campaign playthroughs shockingly early, and returned to the sandbox mode to muck around with the things I learned in the wars. And admittedly, I’m better every time I return.

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May 22, 2020

It’s a robust piece of design that you could well consider a triumph, given just how many ways in which the concept of an ARPG based on a construction game phenomenon could have ended in disaster. And I’m confident in recommending it as worth its price to even the most jaded click-stabber, especially one with even a passing familiarity with Minecraft. But the fact it’s been executed so competently leaves me wishing the developers had been a bit more reckless, frankly.

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Unscored - Maneater
May 22, 2020

The overwhelming impression is that the game doesn’t really know what it’s trying to say, and can’t convincingly pass the mess off as satire. So it would probably be best off saying nothing.

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Unscored - Gears Tactics
Apr 27, 2020

This is 100% a Gears Of War game, that also happens to be a top flight strategy effort.

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Apr 17, 2020

Fallout 76 is being rebuilt, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. But then, Rome wasn’t hastily reconstructed from an out-of-season caravan park in Skegness either, which is kind of what it felt like Wastelanders had to do with the base game.

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Unscored - Stela
Apr 3, 2020

It took me the best part of a month to come back to Stela in order to finish this review. I’m glad I did, as it still had some astonishing sights left to show me. But it was a close call.

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Unscored - Resident Evil 3
Mar 31, 2020

I liked it! More than I expected to like it. But at the same time, after six hours of it, I’ve had enough.

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Mar 6, 2020

Here is a completely unhyped, completely straightforward expansion – in the old-school sense of the term – that adds a few strong new systems to the game, as well as a whole bunch of new variables to feed into its various narrative generation mechanics. And thanks to the endlessly repeatable, emergence-focused creature that RimWorld is, it’s enough to completely refresh your sense of compulsion, even if you felt you’d done it all to death with RimWorld 1.0.

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