Premature Evaluation: Space Rogue

By Marsh Davies on May 25th, 2015.

One of the most charming things about Space Rogue is its stylistic nod to 50s retrofuturism - a vision of the future that simultaneously remembers the past’s quaint anticipation for that future. This is a very new thing in human history - for two reasons: firstly, futuristic fiction itself hasn’t been around for long; secondly, technological progress has only in the last century achieved such a speed that we are able to scoff at or feel nostalgic for predictions made during our own life-times. Perhaps this is why retro-futurism currently operates in just three rapidly well-worn modes: steampunk born of Jules Verne’s fantastic voyages and assorted Victoriana; Space Age Americana of The Jetsons kind; and cyberpunk, replete with jacked matrices and augmented beards.

Each week Marsh Davies beams aboard the hostile vessel of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find or otherwise lasers the life support system and surrenders himself to the cold grip of the vacuum. This week, he succumbs to randomised interplanetary peril in Space Rogue, a rogue-like game set in space and strong contender for RPS’s Most Literal Title Award 2015.

Space Rogue is a lot like FTL. Let’s get that out the way. Your ship travels from planet to planet, encountering and resolving brief randomised events. Many of these involve ship-to-ship combat, during which you micromanage your crew – fixing hull breaches, putting out fires, fighting off boarding parties – while ensuring your arsenal is trained upon your opponent’s most vulnerable systems. Here are the two main ways in which it isn’t like FTL: 1) you are free to explore without a fleet of ships chasing you onward and 2) it has 3D graphics.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on May 24th, 2015.

Sundays are for watching as many final games of the football season simultaneously as possible. But you don’t care about that. You care only for the fine writing about videogames.

  • Any Key To Start is a blog dedicated to reviewing game interfaces, such as Shadowrun, Shadow of Mordor, or Hearthstone.
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    The RPS Bargain Bucket: Bundles of Happiness

    By Cassandra Khaw on May 23rd, 2015.

    Buckets of fun.

    ‘Tis the season for game bundling, money-money-money. We’ve got good games a-plenty, ka-ka-ka-ka-ching-ka-ching. *ahem* With both the United Kingdoms and the United States celebrating various holidays on Monday, it seems like an excellent time to put diversions within easy reach. The Bargain Bucket usually squints appraisingly at individual deals, but it feels like a time to poke at the bigger, badder things on the discount market right now. (Enjoy dosbox’s plushie! And send me new ones!)

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    Imperial: Revisiting X-Wing And TIE Fighter

    By Rob Zacny on May 22nd, 2015.

    To commemorate the digital release of classic Lucasarts games X-Wing and TIE Fighter [Steam or GOG for the best versions here and here], we commissioned Rob Zacny to take a trip down memory lane and into the laser-singed spaces between the stars. He came back with extensive thoughts as to the quality of the games, and their place in Star Wars lore and legend.

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    Wot I Think: NEON STRUCT

    By Alec Meer on May 22nd, 2015.

    NEON STRUCT is a first-person stealth game from the makers of the excellent Eldritch. You play as a federal agent who falls foul of high-level conspiracy when an apparently routine mission goes wrong. It’s out now.

    It might have lacked much of what made later stages of Ion Storm’s game so beloved, but first level Liberty Island was also the freeform Deus Ex promise writ largest: a wide-open playground for action and most especially evasion. While what followed introduced more ways to kill, people to talk to, secrets to find and decisions to agonise over, it downscaled the sandbox, live by your wits promise. What if Deus Ex had been like Liberty Island throughout?

    NEON STRUCT.
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    Wot I Think: Loop

    By John Walker on May 22nd, 2015.

    Previously released on itch.io, puzzle game Loop arrives on Steam today. I’ve been creating order from chaos, to tell you wot I think.

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    The Flare Path: Eras Of Judgement

    By Tim Stone on May 22nd, 2015.

    Last week while I was busy snubbing Stock Car Extreme, Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator, Deer Hunter: The 2005 Season, and countless other quality simulations, Australian developers N3V were busy outshopping Trainz: A New Era. According to their cock-a-hoop copywriter it’s ‘the best Train Simulation experience ever’! Unfortunately, the laptop that I’m toting round the West Country at present, begs to differ/dither. Flare Path’s TANE verdict will have to wait until I’m reunited with a more muscular rig. The best I can do right now is mull over what others are saying about this aspiring TS2015 toppler and recommend for a second time rapidly maturing roguelike Armoured Commander. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Can AMD Make Gaming CPUs A Two-Horse Race Again?

    By Jeremy Laird on May 21st, 2015.

    This. Is. Zen. Probably

    The roulette wheel of rumours that is PC hardware news is usually pretty pointless, unless bun fights over shader specs or clock speeds are your bag. But, occasionally, something really significant for the future moves into view. This is one of those times. AMD has been talking about its upcoming PC products and technologies in the last week or two, including a completely new CPU core and some fancy memory technology that might dramatically change the way we all think about integrated graphics and gaming. Is Intel’s stranglehold about to be loosened?
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    Wot I Think: Sunset

    By Philippa Warr on May 21st, 2015.

    Ortega's front room

    I like Sunset [official site] for its sense of place, for its lighting, for its drip feed of story, for the emphasis on subtle change and human scale in an event games tend to deal with via guns and power fantasies and super tech. But when it comes to the relationship building which lies at the centre of the game Sunset can stumble. Here’s Wot I Think.

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    COGWATCH – 6. Sunless Sea

    By Quintin Smith on May 21st, 2015.

    Hey! It’s a new and final episode of COGWATCH, a weekly video series in which Quintin Smith examines one mechanic in one game. This week, the BOSS COG that is miserabilist, boat-bound roguelike Sunless Sea [official site].

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    (I’m Not Sure) Wot I Think: Epanalepsis

    By John Walker on May 21st, 2015.

    Most of all, I’m not sure wot I think of Epanalepsis. I’ve played it through three times now. I still have very little idea what it’s about, both in terms of its cloaked narrative, and its reason for being. And yet I find myself looking at it somewhat fondly.

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    A Witcher 3 Diary, Day 2: Hanging’s Too Bad

    By Alec Meer on May 21st, 2015.

    YOUR MUM

    Continuing a (mostly) in-character diary of my adventures in The Witcher 3. Probably contains spoilers. N.B. critical opinion & technical complaints are happening elsewhere on the site.

    I got a man hanged today.

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    Wot I Think: Technobabylon

    By John Walker on May 21st, 2015.

    I’d almost forgotten the feeling. I’d begun to wonder if maybe, just maybe, I was deluded in my belief that adventure games could create coherent pathways, difficult yet fun puzzles, and characters whose motivations extended beyond the need to reach the next screen. What a relief it is, then, to play sci-fi dystopia Technobabylon. Here’s wot I think.

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