Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Book Reviews

Warhammer 40,000: The Fall of Damnos
Nick Kyme
Black Library/Games Workshop

Available Now - £8.99 (Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

When Damnos is hit by cataclysmic earthquakes, an ancient force is awakened. Deep beneath the earth, the necrons rise from their slumber to decimate the human populace. All appears lost until salvation comes from the heavens - the Ultramarines brave an orbital bombardment to deploy their forces on Damnos, led by two legendary warriors - Captain Cato Sicarius and Chief Librarian Tigurius. They are the planet's last, great hope against the remorseless alien foes, but tensions within their ranks threaten to derail victory. As battle rages on Damnos, and the Ultramarines seek to defeat their soulless enemies, Tigurius receives a terrible vision - a vision telling of the death of a hero...

The Space Marine Battles books are a funny thing to try and critique. They’re all gunfire and explosions and paper-thin characters, but strangely enjoyable nonetheless; and Warhammer 40,000: The Fall of Damnos is no exception. The action scenes are spectacularly well done, almost cinematic in terms of their impact, and – shock horror – there’s actually some good character building scenes in this one, too.

When a squad of Ultramarines is forced to team up with some human survivalists-turned-guerrilla fighters, there’s a fair amount of tension and distrust between the two units, despite the fact that they should be united by a common enemy. Kyme manages to get across the ego of the Adeptus Astartes incredibly well, yet still managing to pain them as the good guys.

Ultimately, though, The Fall of Damnos is still, at its heart , a Battles book, with all the flimsy and shoddily constructed things that implies. It’s great fun while it lasts, but once it’s over, it leaves you wondering what was so fun about it all.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
In the grim darkness of the far future there is only something something.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: An enjoyable entry in the Space Marine Battles series, but nothing spectacular. The Necrons could have done with a touch more description, and there needed to be more time spent on the Dreadnoughts. 7/10


2000 AD #1730
Available from Wednesday 20th April

Review by Brad Harmer

Who’s that drawing Judge Dredd this week? Fuck me, that’s Bryan Talbot!

Judge Dredd this week is one of the best short stories that we’ve had in a long time – and not just thanks to the welcome (although, sadly, one off) return of Bryan Talbot. The artwork is nothing short of spectacular, of course, but the story is what really carries it. Dredd is hardly in it at all, and I can’t say much for fear of spoilers, but I can only hope this moving story is one that heralds the start of another, larger arc.

Pat Mills’ Flesh continues at a strong pace, and I can’t shake the feeling that maybe...just maybe...the artwork seems to be picking up, too.

Dandridge comes to an action packed conclusion this week, and I look forward to its return already.

Another Twisted Tale, another fistful of pretentious wank filling up the pages. Oh, well.

The Red Seas rounds off the issue nicely with strong character development, and a nice addition to the overall folklore of the series. Good stuff.

All in all (apart from the Twisted Tales) this is a really solid issue, and the Judge Dredd story alone is worth the asking price. 8/10


Experience the final chapter of the thrilling and critically acclaimed saga that captured the imagination of the adventure community! The story takes place in the 1990's, twelve years after Black Mirror and just seven minutes after the cliffhanger ending of Black Mirror II. It starts all over again when Darren is arrested and accused of homicide and malicious arson...

Black Mirror 3, like its predecessor, delivers a classic point & click adventure in 2.5D technology. The game uses a combination of stunning two-dimensional backgrounds, and detailed three-dimensional characters, and utilizes the power of the Black Mirror II graphics engine to deliver breathtaking visuals.

The story centers on the Black Mirror castle in Willow Creek, and surrounding areas, thus tracing its roots to the original Black Mirror. Players can explore a total of sixty-two different locations, some of which may be familiar to players of the original game, and all locations have a completely new graphical look.

The story connects with the end of Black Mirror II, and promises a deep, mysterious story, including two playable characters.

After his flight into the woods, Darren stands with a burning torch in his hand, and turns to look back at the blaze engulfing Black Mirror Castle. Confusion reigns...

A short time later, he barely reacts as the handcuffs are closed on his wrists. The police have arrested Darren as their main suspect, and subject him to extensive questioning. But Darren is numb to the events occurring around him, and he withdraws into a deep emptiness.

After three weeks of detention - and tormented by sleepless nights, nightmare-like visions, and the chilling specter of murder and death - Darren is set free. Darren is now alone. He must try to find out what has happened, and lift the veil on his clouded past. What did he really see with those jet black eyes, what does the nightmare mean? Who is the mysterious person who posted bail and set him free? What dark force lies behind the tangled web of riddles, mysterious secrets and entwined relationships?

The answers to all these questions await puzzle fans in the six chapters of this exciting adventure game.

Thanks to our friends at Lace Mamba Global, we've got three copies of Black Mirror 3 to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to emotionally14@hotmail.co.uk before midday on Tuesday 26th April, making sure to put "Black Mirror 3" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Black Mirror 3" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Black Mirror 3 is available from Friday 22nd April, priced £29.99.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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