Picture of Al Bickham

Al Bickham


Featured articles

Two Worlds II


As fantasy action-RPGs go, 2007's Two Worlds may have been a bit shonky, but it certainly had a lot of heart. The sequel goes one better: it's got a lot of lung.

The Rock And Roll War has rarely painted a successful backdrop for videogames at least, not to the same level as World War II. And I know for a fact there are stalwarts out there still playing Vietcong who'll disagree with some fervour, but the problem has always been rooted in the ground. Namely, foliage.

FeatureWhy I Love... Two Worlds

Shopper's paradise.

Like a cheap sausage roll, any game with an average score of 65 per cent should be approached with caution. There may be a score somewhere in the eighties at the range-apex, but you know it'll exist in elastic tension with a 45 per cent.

FeatureThe Story of X-Com

From the school playground to Laser Squad Nemesis in the words of Julian Gollop.

It's 1983. Thatcher has marched the Conservatives to a landslide victory, the Austin Metro is Britain's best-selling car, and a new BBC Micro game called Time Lords has just launched.


Venetian grind.

With its skill-trees and levelling system, the 16th-century-themed Venetica is unmistakably an RPG. But combat is the main focus, and while there's room for improvement in a lot of areas, it's the hack-and-slash department in which it really excels.

Sonic Colours

Blue shift.

In graphical terms, next-gen consoles have matured to a point where developers are really pushing at the edges of platform capability. It's an arena in which the Wii, with its sub-HD capabilities, was never designed to compete.


Arty essence.

Like any well-planned operation, this article begins with a mission briefing. Here's the wording from one of R.U.S.E.'s one-off scenario missions:


Command and console.

Despite some notable successes, it still doesn't feel like RTS has