Archive for the 'multiwinia – survival of the flattest' Category

Left 4 Dead demo – for a limited time only

November 7, 2008

Valve have released the demo for their upcoming co-operative zombie survival FPS Left 4 Dead to pre-order customers, and according to 1UP will be opening it to everyone from the 11th November. Unusually, the demo’s multiplayer mode will be shut off when the game releases on the 18th, giving most players just one week to try it out. We’ll see if this experiment to prevent people sticking with the demo indefinitely causes grief or goes by without complaint; the reaction to the absence of multiplayer in the Multiwinia demo recently caused developers Introversion to relent and release a new online-enabled edition. It’s worth remembering that Valve typically have occasional free weekends for their multiplayer shooters, so other opportunities to evaluate the game should come up.

The Left 4 Dead demo is available on Steam, and the new Multiwinia demo can be downloaded from Introversion. We reviewed the original demo earlier, and found it interesting if not very deep.


September 24, 2008

Multiwinia is a curiosity. It’s a lightweight RTS that ignores many genre conventions: no fog of war, no map, unusual controls apparently ported from the console version and only one unit type. All of the variety and much of the skill comes from the use of Mariokart-style power-ups, and by default there is strong rubber-band style balancing. The demo starts off well with great tutorials that are fun to play, because they actually are standard games with hints floating above suggested interaction points. Sadly, there’s not a lot past the tutorials, with a handful of skirmish maps covering two gametypes (zone control and a Pikmin-influenced CTF), and no human-vs-human play. There are a decent selection of options ensuring that you’ll want to play each map in a few different ways, and discovering new power-ups is interesting while it lasts. Ultimately, the Multiwinia demo is more of an oddball than an essential. It’s absolutely recommended for RTS fans interested in what forms the genre can take, but a bit too lightweight and self-consciously weird for most.

1/3 – For fans only

Tech details:

Size: 50 MB (preloads the game)

System Requirements: 2 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 60 MB disk space, 32 MB GeForce 6 series/Radeon 9600, Windows XP/Vista