Author Archive

Have You Played… Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The Murder Dog is on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity. He stands charged with the killing of over 1500 people in a brutal attack encompassing the use of toxic gas, a fire engine and a blunt instrument. When these charges are put to the Murder Dog, his opening response is unrepentant and unambiguous: “My Taste For Bloodshed Remains Voluminous.” Welcome to Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog [official site].

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Have You Played… To The Moon?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Truthfully, I don’t remember all the ins and outs of To The Moon’s [official site] lackadaisical storytelling, but perhaps that is funny in itself, considering how important decaying memory is to the tale. But the enduring feeling of the game is one of wistful melancholy. Is “wistful melancholy” a thing? Yes, it is. If RPS was to have a list feature titled “Ten Games Wot Made Us Somewhat Lumpy-Throated”, this game would surely hang within the upper echelons.
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Have You Played… Digital: A Love Story?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

There’s a moment in Digital: A Love Story [official site] when your (in-game) computer starts to crackle. Lines of pixels run across your screen and obscure your view. You’re under attack! Your attacker has manipulated a vulnerability in your system. But… didn’t you upgrade? Didn’t you patch this very vulnerability? Why hasn’t the upgrade been applied? That’s when you realise there’s a simple solution to your hacker problem: turning it off and on again.
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An Anthropological Jaunt Through Ark: Survival Evolved

A tree fell in the distance, lumberjack style, and I knew I would have to investigate. A second tree fell as I approached, then a third. By the time the man in red armour turned and saw me, I had already resolved to die in whatever mundane or horrible fashion he deemed appropriate. Hours of DayZ and Rust had instilled in me an understanding of survival gaming’s harsh realities. Yet, for some reason, all that time spent respawning had never eroded my essential curiousity for the human beings who inhabit these deadly environments. I said hello to the man in red. He held his axe aloft for a moment and stood eerily still. “Hello,” he said. Then he did something entirely unexpected. He took me into his home.

Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] has been straddling the Steam bestsellers list for months since its release. Like the many survival games before it, the dinosaur infested island of Ark has been attracting PC gamers non-stop, as if they really were arriving to its pristine beaches by the boatload. And yet the response of the games media, outside of the YouTube dimension, has been kind of muted. You can understand why. It is another survival game.

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Premature Evaluation: Interstellar Rift

Each week Marsh Davies battles the overwhelming urge to flee, struggles through an Early Access game, and comes back with any stories he can find inside. But this week he’s on holiday, and so in his stead Brendan Caldwell has played Interstellar Rift, a multiplayer starship construction sim.

I spawn on an impossibly advanced spacecraft. We are floating among asteroids and surrounded by a flotilla of other impossibly advanced spacecraft. The computer terminals flicker on and off as I walk past, chirruping for attention. The doors part with a welcoming breeze of pressurised air. The ship’s corridors shine with the glow of futuristic pride. Truly, this is a magnificent time to be alive. A time of scientific glory, a time in which anything and everything is possible.

Hey. This vending machine is broken.

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Journeys In Games: Let’s Talk About Fast Travel

I first noticed the feeling when I stopped at an inn. They had a roaring fire, plenty of food and wine, and there was a dog lying at my feet. Skyrim had never felt more welcoming. I was replaying the game with some mods installed. One mod took away all the dragonborn stuff and left me starting as a simple bandit schmuck. Another mod made the world of Skyrim cold and harsh to survive in, so I had to light fires to keep myself warm and make sure I didn’t fall into any water lest I catch my literal hypothermic death. But one of these mods had a side option, which was to turn fast travel off. On a whim, I did. It was only days later, in the warm glow of this inn that the feeling began to come over me. And I realised something. Something that all my gaming life I’d never even thought about.

I HATE fast travel. Let me tell you why.

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Wot I Think: Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program [official site] is a game about exploration, vehicular design and physics. It involves triumph and tragedy, careful meticulous planning and improvised catastrophe. We asked Brendan to suit up and go forth, in the name of science.

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Wot I Think: Infinite Crisis

My first few hours with Infinite Crisis [official site] convince me it is a terrible game. But I persevere, thinking that part of my dislike may have to do with my lack of skill. Following a particularly bad defeat a teammate collars me in the post-match chat window. “Bredy,” they say, using the username I had misspelled on signing up. “Uninstall this game.”

It was the worst (best) post-game put-down I have ever received. “Uninstall this game.” No anger, no frustration. Just a resigned sigh of a comment, communicating nothing but the undeniable fact of my awfulness. “Uninstall this game.” Sadly, the poo-slinger disappeared shortly afterwards. I had no time to reply and tell them that I already dreadfully, desperately wanted to.

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Job Seeking: An Elite Dangerous Career Guide

A career! Everybody has one. Mine is looking at a keyboard until I black out and coming back to consciousness with 4000 words on my screen about how to get started in Elite: Dangerous [official site]. This guide will give you some pointers about the main careers you can undertake in the game, from vigilante to explorer, from trader to (ugh) miner. We’re basically an interstellar jobcentre. One thing: you’re probably going to want some cash saved for these callings, as outfitting each ship is going to cost a pretty penny, and some of those pennies will be prettier than others. Okay then, let’s get on with it.

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Attention Rookies: Getting Started In Elite Dangerous

This is our guide for absolute beginners. For more detailed advice on a particular space career, look out for our upcoming Careers and Resource Guides.

It may have its flaws but even as undercooked as it is, Elite: Dangerous [official site] still has enough going on that makes it both interesting and difficult to find your feet in the vast galaxy. Trading, bounty hunting, even learning to pilot your ship takes patience and a bit of experimentation. To make things easier as you scrounge together your first few thousand credits (and in anticipation of the upcoming 1.2 update which will finally add useful multiplayer groups), RPS has recruited me to hand out some tips and tricks to get you on your way. So strap in, Commander, and trust in some advice from a man who has learned it the hard way.

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Hands On: Battlefield Hardline

After a mixed reaction to the beta, including from our own Graham, Battlefield Hardline [official site] is looking to prove that it isn’t simply a reskin of Battlefield 4 with policemen instead of soldiermen. In many ways, it looks like it is going to have trouble shaking that assumption. But in one particular way (a single game mode called Hotwire), it is going to come out fighting. I visited EA to take a look.

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Wot I Think – Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous is a big game. It is big because it offers an uncharted galaxy of 400 billion stars to roam around. It is big because its bloodline comes from of one of gaming’s most respected sims. And it is big because it has the ambition of an interstellar Macbeth, backed by over £1.5 million in crowdfunding cash. When Pip asked me in her audio feature what I thought of the game, I responded: “I don’t envy the person who has to review it.” As it turns out, that’s me. So here we go. A big review for a big game. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Party Games: How To Host Your Own Multiplayer Party

Every month, we dispatch Brendan to some of gaming’s best blowouts to schmooze and play games with the partygoers. In part four, some lessons for holding your own shindig.

We’ve been covering a lot of party games at different events over the past few months but what if you don’t want to go out? Let’s say you prefer to sit in your cosy house and have pals over instead. Picture the scene. You’re sipping on a spicy bourbon next to a nice warm fire with a few special friends, enjoying the flow of easy-going conversation and, wait, now that you think about it, you don’t have a fireplace. FIRE. FIRE. SOMEBODY PUT OUT THE FIRE. See, it’s not so easy, is it?

What you want is some sort of RPS guide to party-making, based on our own recent experience. So here you go: how to host your own party without suffering deadly immolation.

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