Texture-mapped 3D graphics and convincing character animations are the high points of Bio forge.

While it had suffered from major delays throughout its production, Bioforge proved that good things come to those who wait. The outstanding 3D-rendered graphics and convincing character animations are reason enough to start playing Bio forge, but you'll keep playing it because of its dark, intriguing story, intense action, and clever puzzles.

It's an amazing hybrid: part graphic adventure, part arcade game, part movie - and all entertaining.

Story Mode Facts for Parents and Kids

As a parent, you are likely to have heard about Minecraft in recent years and this has probably led to the acquisition of the game. However, what is this ‘story mode’ that they are now talking about and should you be buying this too? How does story mode compare to Minecraft for free? Luckily for you, we have an extensive review including all of the important details.

Developer - Available on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, and iOS, Minecraft: Story Mode has been developed by Telltale Games which is known for Back to the Future, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. Initially released as separate chapters, the whole story can now be bought from physical games stores as well as the online stores.

Background - Essentially, the story revolves around a male or female character called Jesse who has to fight zombies, solve puzzles, and talk to characters in order to progress. In each conversation that the player has, there are numerous options and the chosen response impacts the story. Rather than walking around doing whatever you want, this story mode follows an episodic adventure.

Story - As mentioned, Jesse is the controllable character and they are joined by a group of friends who are looking for The Order of the Stone, a group of adventurers. In the Order, there are four specialists in the world of Minecraft - Grief-er, Architect, Warrior, and Redstone Engineer.

Difficulty - As all facets of Minecraft have been designed for all ages, the story is easy to follow and doesn’t offer too many extremely difficult moments. With each episode around two hours long, the whole story will take some investment to complete. Over the story, there is a focus on the narrative but some decisions will be required within a certain time limit which needs quick reactions. If no option is chosen, the character in-game will have ‘no response’.
Age Range - In both the UK and the US, this game has been given an age rating of 12 years and over. With a PEGI 12 rating, the developers have suggested that the mild bad language mean that it shouldn’t be played by those younger than twelve. For Minecraft itself, their rating is 7+ so it was a surprise to many that the story mode version was only available to 12+. However, the developers have said that they were looking towards an older audience. Although the rating has been given mainly for the mild bad language, there are also some suspenseful moments and zombie attacks that may scare younger audiences.

- Overall, this has been a stunning addition to the game and one that has proven to be popular. When kids start to tell you that they are bored with the main game because they have ‘done everything’, this would be a great purchase to keep the fun coming!

Now you know what story mode is about, just make sure you talk to your kids about time management before they play their heads off.

Entombed Review

Enter a world where your wits are the only thing to save you from an untimely death. In Entombed, you must pit yourself against the deviousness of an ancient people as you seek to discover their fate — and protect your own life in the bargain.

You play an archeologist who, while conducting a dig in a remote part of Tarsus, fell into a dark cavern when a portion of the ground he stood on collapsed. He discovered a musty book, and when he opened it, he learned that it was the journal of a Dr. Henry Who, a fellow archeologist who disappeared several years ago.

You find out that the cavern he is in dates back to ancient Egyptian times, and the people who created it were a very secretive and paranoid race. The underground realm you are about to explore contains an abundance of traps and puzzles, and you must solve each one in order to survive.

Fortunately, Dr. Who has provided you with his notes and clues about the puzzles. Although they won’t give you the answer directly, his notes will help keep you alive for some time.

This demo will take you through level one of this puzzling world and you’ll be challenged with tasks ranging from turning on the lights to bypassing floor traps. It won’t be easy, so make sure you use the journal you found as much as possible.

With some stunning graphics and challenging puzzle-play along the lines of Myst or Jewels of the Oracle, Entombed is sure to push your puzzle solving prowess to its limits.

Abuse Review

There’s not a whole lot of story behind the game Abuse. But with stunning graphics, smooth play control, and lots of nasty monsters to kill, this looks like one of the best platform shooters we’ve seen since Blackthorne. And with a foundation like that, who needs story?

Your goal, basically, is to kill everything in sight and get out alive. You move your character with the arrow keys, using the mouse to aim your weapon by placing the cross-hairs where you want to shoot, and pressing the left mouse button to let the lead fly.

In the tradition of great shareware gaming, there are five levels here for you to try out. The first is a sort of “training” level, and the others will pit you against leaping aliens and deadly machines. Five levels may not seem like much, but you’ll find secrets and hidden passages that’ll keep you busy for a good, long time.

When you gather more than one weapon, you can switch between them by putting the cursor over the desired arsenal on the bottom of the screen and pressing the right mouse button. Or you can cycle through them with the Control and Insert keys.

In order to save your game, you have to locate a save game console.

There are many of them scattered through the levels, and almost always one at the beginning of a level. You can then load them by clicking on the floppy disc icon at the main menu.

You can play this demo in several resolutions, from the default 320x200 to 1280x1024, depending on the capabilities of your monitor, although you better have a Pentium if you want to play at the higher resolutions. It’s suggested that you first play in 320x200 to finish the game, though, because you’ll be able to see things that will give the secrets away in anything over low resolution. You can change the resolution by typing “abuse -size?” for your options, or, if you know your monitor is capable of it, the resolution you want to play in. I.e., if you wanted to play in 640x480, you would type “abuse - size 640 480.”

Knowing the success of id with the customizable levels of Doom, Doom II, and Heretic, Crack dot Corn went a bit further with Abuse. Where you needed to have the registered version of Doom in order to play the modified levels, you don’t have that restriction with the shareware version of Abuse. Also, they have included a LISP interpreter. In other words, you can use the level editing capabilities in Abuse to change the laws of physics, lighting, and rules of Abuse. Not only that, but if you use it correctly, you could create a whole new game that can be ported to any platform. You can access the editor by typing ‘abuse -edit at the command prompt. It is menu driven, but you should check out the ABUSE.DOC file that is installed on your hard drive for instructions on how to use it.

What would an action game be without some great looking explosions of the enemy? Even at low resolution, this game looks great.

Greed is Good - Sometimes

Whoever said “It’s better to give than receive’ must’ve gotten a lot of underwear and ugly ties for the holidays. One thing’s for certain; he didn’t get a really good game or gadget for his PC, or he wouldn’t be so confused about this whole giving-getting thing.

We called our Holiday Extravaganza a “gift guide, as if you were going to study it carefully and find the perfect present for each of those friends and relatives who love computer games. But you’re the PC Gamer reader. We know when you check out our cover feature, you’ll be doing the same thing we did when we wrote it — putting together a holiday wish list you can Xerox and give to all your loved ones.

You’ve been good all year; now’s the time to ask for that new joystick.

Holiday Extravaganza

‘Tis the season to be jolly and what could make you jollier than a great, big holiday gift guide from your friends at PC Gamer? Join us as we take a look at the hottest games; review some of the best in hardware, from joysticks to virtual reality; and examine the coolest multimedia we could get our hands on. All this, plus twenty previews of the newest games for the holidays, should keep you busy until the New Year!

FIFA Soccer '96

Just when you were convinced that it couldn't get any better than FIFA International Soccer, a 1994 PC Gamer Award winner, along comes FIFA Soccer '96. Using their new virtual stadium technology, Electronic Arts has improved on an already great game. You can watch the game from just about anywhere in the stadium, and the views change to follow the action. The commentary is just as thrilling, and the gameplay is as smooth as ever with some fantastically modeled players.

This demo will let you pit your skills against either Brazil or Italy, but you can still scroll through the different teams to see what the full version has in store. You'll have one two-minute half to see just how good a player you are.

There are several camera views to choose from, as well as many gameplay options such as skill level, turning fouls on and off, and setting whether or not your players can be injured during gameplay. You can access these controls through the menus presented to you when you start a game.

We recommend using a gamepad for control. Use button one and a direction to pass, and button two to shoot at the goal. Keyboard controls consist of the directional and shift keys. Press and hold Alt and a direction to pass, and press the spacebar to shoot. Pressing control or A will lob the ball up the field, and if the ball is in the air, the spacebar will make your player bicycle-kick or head the ball. Check out the README file in the FIFADEMO directory on the CD-ROM for more information.

Select the different camera angles by hitting the Escape key during play, and use the menu to choose how you want to watch the action (see sidebar). Or you can use the function keys to cycle between the different views. We've found that the Tele angle gives you the most comprehensive view of the field. We thought this game was so cool, we gave it an Editors' Choice Award.