Eternal Threads review: Eastenders meets time travel meets electrical safety

Time travel stories can have pretty high stakes, because usually you only travel in time when you really need to change something. A killer robot is trying to kill a lady because of something her son will eventually do, that kind of thing. My favorite episodes of Doctor Who, by contrast, were always the ones where the Doctor met a miserable dog-alien thousands of years in the future, and the dog alien is like “Not only is the planet about to blow, but my marriage is in trouble, “and then the episode was mostly about the latter issue rather than the former. This is all by way of introduction to Eternal Threads, a puzzle game where you go back in time to stop everyone in a house share dying in a fire.

To save a present that has been rendered apocalyptic by time travel itself, you are part of a team who go back and change tiny things in the past to fix it, in this case 2015. While it is imperative for some reason that the fire does indeed happen, it is just as important that all six occupants live. You can alter small decisions they make in the week running up to the fire, and so save their lives by choosing whether they go to the pub, if they comfort each other in times of need, or what they have arguments about. The beat of a butterfly’s wing, indeed.

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New Saints Row reboot gameplay looks much the same as old Saints Row, just prettier

It’s been about eight months since I first had a hands-off sneak peek at the new and about-to-be-rebooted Saints Row, and six since we’ve heard it was being delayed to August this year. With its late summer release fast approaching, Volition recently showed off a larger chunk of some actual gameplay to press in another remote preview session. It looks almost exactly like what you’d expect it to look like: a fun open world game where you shoot people and smash cars into other cars.

Barring any catastrophic eventualities where this game actually ends up being just a load of bugs propping up other bugs in a fluorescent trenchcoat, I feel almost 100% confident in saying to you that this will be an enjoyable product when it comes out. But I also should be honest and say that the gameplay I saw has congealed into the same kind of sticky morass and blurred whirling lights in my memory as my first all-night benders. It’s a big collage of colors and explosions, and words like “cops”, “switch car” and “plan”, leaving a general impression of fun but, so far, few specifics in its wake. And to be even more frank about it all, I can’t think of a nailed on reason why any of it has to be a Saints Row game.

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Saints Row developers discuss the game’s reveal backlash, and bringing fans back to the series

Following my hands off preview of the Saints Row reboot, I sat down and chatted more with Volition developers Kenzie Lindgren (associate UX designer) and Damien Allen (principal designer). We covered a broad range of topics, including plenty on what’s new for this entry, but we started by discussing why Saints Row aficionados should come … Read more

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong review: mystery, intrigue, and walking about

From the 90s onwards, movies taught me that vampires spend all their time eating and having sex with people (often concurrently). Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong has taught me that they actually spend most of their time walking around looking at things, sometimes stopping to have tense conversations or pick up keycards. There is occasional eating.

This is probably because the three vampires you play as in Swansong aren’t exactly on their down-time. Set in Boston in 2019, you begin in medias res after a sudden violent attack on a party has left the Boston vampire court reeling. The Prince, an Annie Lennox cosplayer called Hazel Iverson, has called three of her most trusted lieutenants in to firstly check on the immediate aftermath, and thereafter investigate the wider fallout and strike against whodunnit. Since the developers Big Bad Wolf are the folks behind The Council, the role you take is not an action hero but different shades of spy and / or detective. Neither leaves you much time to loaf about being all sexy, though.

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Acer’s new portable monitors can make 2D look like 3D

Enlarge / Acer’s SpatialLabs View portable monitor. Acer Good portable monitors improve your computing experience by providing more screen real estate. But two 4K portable monitors announced today, Acer’s SpatialLabs View and SpatialLabs View Pro, have a trick up their sleeves: making content look like it’s coming out of the screen. Using Acer’s proprietary hardware-software … Read more

Google’s DeepMind says it is close to achieving ‘human-level’ artificial intelligence

DeepMind, a British company owned by Google, may be on the verge of achieving human-level artificial intelligence (AI). Nando de Freitas, a research scientist at DeepMind and machine learning professor at Oxford University, has said ‘the game is over’ in regards to solving the hardest challenges in the race to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI). … Read more