Editorial: Some Subjective Thoughts On Objectivity

By John Walker on September 15th, 2014.

A topic of conversation that is frequently revisited in discussion of gaming and games criticism is that of “objectivity”. It’s an important topic, and it seems worth exploring the subject a little, and in doing so we’ll try to outline RPS’s position on the matter.

First: Rock, Paper, Shotgun, has no desire or aim for objectivity.

If this sounds surprising, then please do read on. We want to explain why our our driving goal is not objectivity, but honesty. Here’s why.

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Why Fuel Is Still A Showroom Of Videogame Possibilities

By Jim Rossignol on September 14th, 2014.

Starting today, every Sunday we’re going to pull out one of the best moments from Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history. This week, Jim’s road trip around post-apocalyptic racing game Fuel, first published June 22nd 2009 with the title, “Fuel: Around The World In Eight Hours”. With The Crew just around the corner, a Mad Max game in-development and open-terrain survival games on the rise, the musings below are still relevant today.

When it was announced that Fuel, Asobo Studios’ apocalyptic open-world racer, boasted a daunting 5,560 square miles of terrain (14,400 km²), I immediately made a mental note to go mental, and drive around the entire world. Last week, having received some PC preview code from publisher Codemasters, I did precisely that.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on September 14th, 2014.

Sundays are for looking. Scrabble around your brimming shelves until you find it down the back of your Gamecube games. A lighter, still full. Flick it on and hold it underneath your monitor till the heat warps the plastic, the frame cracks, and liquid crystals start to dribble on to your desk. Trepanning is the only way to get the madness out.

  • Mark Johnson is working on Ultima Ratio Regum, an ambitious procedurally generated 4X roguelike. Before that, he once tried his hand at making a living as a poker player, and he writes excellently here about the power games have when you invest in them fully. It’s a story about losing.
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    The RPS Bargain Bucket: Flash Frustration

    By Cassandra Khaw on September 13th, 2014.

    I wrote about three games today that were, quite sadly, part of flash sales. In my pizza-birthed delirium, I made the mistake of forgetting to check if the deals would last long enough for me to transfer ownership of this column to an editor. They didn’t. So I am writing this introductory paragraph right now with my eyes carefully narrowed and a frown like thunder. Why, Gods of the Bargain Bucket, why have you forsaken me? I was aiming to introduce an authentic, one-of-a-kind Papa Moomin today as the plushie of the day, but that plan fell apart thanks to a lack of time. Instead, I am going to filch a photo from MadKatrina and show off this awesome snake on a bucket. Honestly, people, why have we not made this wonderful lady into a millionaire yet?
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    S.EXE: Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis

    By Cara Ellison on September 12th, 2014.

    Indiana Jones and the Fate of HIS FACE

    A long time ago, when I was just a fledgeling writer who had just attended her first Game Developer’s Conference and only accidentally brushed shoulders with Tim Schafer at a bar, I was surprised to get a message on Facebook from Noah Falstein. He had noticed that my cover image was of the 1992 LucasArts point and click adventure Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. He saw it on my page thanks to a connection of a friend of a friend. He ‘liked’ it. And I realised: Noah wrote that game.

    I guess that was the moment I knew I was privileged to be able to talk to the people who make the things I care about, and that I should spend my time critiquing their work. This week’s S.EXE is about the ‘team’ narrative strand of Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. It’s got clinches worthy of Hollywood. I’ve not seen a kiss in a game that’s ever topped Sophia and Indy’s frequent tonsil-scraping embraces.

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    Wot I Think: Runers

    By Alec Meer on September 12th, 2014.

    Runers is a top-down, roguelikelikelikelike/shmup hybrid which plays a little like The Binding Of Isaac, but without the nightmare foetuses and with DIY spells instead. It’s out now, and I’ve spent a little time fiddling with its fireballs. Here’s what I made of it.
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    The Flare Path: Bedtime Games

    By Tim Stone on September 12th, 2014.

    Bedtime games are the games you reach for when the cocoa is steaming and the duvet is beckoning. They make allowances for weary hands and tired minds They don’t punish you for over-indulging in the pub. They don’t lead you on and on by leaving long breadcrumb trails in the forest. The perfect bedtime game isn’t loud, gory, or coldhearted; it’s a softly spoken sandman, a ludological lullaby, a sweet dreams seeder. Right now, my bedtime game of choice is Volo Airsport. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Hard Choices: How To Choose The Right CPU

    By Jeremy Laird on September 11th, 2014.

    Apparently, some of you don’t dedicate every waking hour to keeping up with PCI Express lane counts, silicon production nodes and CPU socket redundancy. I know, some people, eh? But with that in mind, plus the tendency for product-driven reportage to get a bit jargon heavy, not to mention some significant recent CPU-related developments from Intel of late, now feels like a good moment to stick a peg in the sand, pull all the current CPU options together, outline the key technologies and issues and then point you in the direct of a few best buys. It’s time for another semi-newbie’s guide to CPUs.
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    The RPS Verdict: Dungeons & Dragons

    By RPS on September 11th, 2014.

    The RPS gang have been playing with dice. Our Dungeons & Dragons campaign (DM’d by Jim) has been slaying goblins and exploring sinister caves for a few months now, so we thought we’d have a chat about it, and consider how it reflected on our many years of playing videogames.

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    Hack ‘N’ Slash: Wot I Think

    By John Walker on September 11th, 2014.

    Double Fine’s devious hacking/programming action puzzler Hack ‘N’ Slash is now out of Early Access and into Version 1.0. I’ve run around jabbing USB sticks into ports all over the place, until I hit a wall of complexity I couldn’t find the will to pass. Here’s wot I think:

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    The Risen 3 Report, Day 9: A Haircut That Means Business

    By Alec Meer on September 11th, 2014.

    This will be the penultimate Risen 3 Report; the next and final one will be a Wot I Think. I’ve held my cards close to my chest about how I feel about this RPG, and very soon it’s time to reveal all.

    Apologies if you wanted these to continue FOREVER or something, but it’s simply time to turn my attention to other games. For now, let’s talk discuss real progress, and forcible haircuts.
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    Dote Night: How Does Dota 2 Matchmaking Work?

    By Philippa Warr on September 10th, 2014.

    Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

    “We do not examine individual win / loss streaks or try to end them,” say Valve staff in a blog about matchmaking and matchmaking ranking (MMR). I believe them. Right now, I am particularly inclined to believe them because I’m thirteen games into a losing streak and Dota 2‘s matchmaking system has not intervened to make my digital wizard experience pleasant or easy even once.

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    Planetside 2: My Favourite Game Of The Past Two Years

    By Jim Rossignol on September 10th, 2014.

    There have been so many beautiful and clever games appear in the past two years that I find myself surprised to be saying this: Planetside 2 is my favourite game of the past two years. Sure, I’ve practically lived off Teleglitch at times, and actually been made to like an adventure game via KRZ, but Planetside’s bright and sparkly sequel has truly colonised my PC. Can a sci-fi shooter sequel really have been the game that held my attention for the longest? There have been prettier games, there have been smarter games, games which were more innovative, moving, or simply better designed. But SOE’s giant red-blue-purple MMOFPS has been the one for me. It’ll be two years old in a couple of months, and I like it more now than I did when it launched.

    What’s going on?

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