It was Superhot that first made me think about the old writer's adage, that you do the slow stuff fast and the fast stuff slow. This is the thinking that powers Jack Reacher novels, for example - Lee Child talks about this trick often and with great clarity. If Reacher's doing a bunch of research, you whip through it in a couple of lines. Literary montage! If Reacher's outside a bar, though, and a horseshoe of bad'uns is forming around him, time slows until it forms a thick mineral goop that traps everyone within it. The next few seconds are going to involve the shattering of kneecaps and the bruising of aortas (if aortas are a thing that can be bruised - having typed it, I am unconvinced). The next few seconds are going to be violent and memorable. Crucially, the next few seconds are going to take eight or nine pages to play out, because every move will be examined in great forensic detail. We will count the separate sparks in the air, and be deafened by the clatter of a spent cartridge case rattling on the tarmac. We will be fully present and fully conscious in these terrible, glorious moments.
The nuke is always less than 10 hours away. The debut release from inbetweengames, a studio made up of Yager veterans, All Walls Must Fall transforms the concept of the Doomsday Clock into a grid-based tactical action experience with procedurally generated missions and a focus on time travel - a techno medley of Syndicate, XCOM and Crypt of the Necrodancer. It unfolds in 2089, following an alternate 1980s in which Germany's Peaceful Revolution never occurred and the East and West remain violently polarised. Somebody, somewhere in Berlin is about to set off an atomic bomb, and your task, as one of several cyborg agents, is to comb nightclubs for clues about the culprit while undertaking various missions, using a combination of persuasion, hacking, brutality and good old-fashioned temporal manipulation to work your way into the city's criminal underground.