Premature Evaluation: The Deer God

By Marsh Davies on December 15th, 2014.

A staggering vision.

Each week Marsh Davies launches himself into the bestial bloodbath that is Early Access and comes out with whatever stories and/or handfuls of porcupine innards he can find. This week he gets his game on in the weird woodland-themed survival-platformer hybrid that is The Deer God.

And today in Least Fulfillable Game Development Promises: The Deer God “will challenge your religion and your platforming skills”. Presumably they didn’t hit the stretch goal for a full Damascene Conversion, but, still, that’s a loftier aim than making the player John Romero’s bitch. The Kickstarter blurb also mentions that the game is “dedicated to a small cardinal, whom I ran over recently,” which, if taken in the spirit of Thomas More, might well involve a robust challenge to religion – but I think the author probably just means the bird.

In the event, The Deer God has only challenged my patience so far, but it does start out with a little doctrinal shake up: a hunter reaches the Pearly Gates – via a gruesome mauling by wolves – and discovers that God is, in fact, a ruminant. And She isn’t best pleased about his penchant for venison burgers. Cue reincarnation as a baby deer, forced into a fittingly punitive collision of platformer, endless-runner and survival roguelike.

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The Bestest Best Words Of 2014: Sunless Sea

By RPS on December 15th, 2014.

Failbetter have been writing the bestest best words in gaming for a while now and in Sunless Sea they have created a worthy vessel to carry those words to new audiences. There is horror, humour and haunting in the cavernous depths, and through it all, your ship cuts through the waters seeking new mysteries and fresh hells.

Adam: Worse things happen on the Sunless Sea.

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Wot I Think: The Dream Machine Chapter 5

By John Walker on December 15th, 2014.

The Dream Machine‘s episodic structure has been… sporadic. Chapters one and two came out in January 2011, with the rest promised soon after. Chapter 3 appeared in November 2011, taking longer than expected. Which was nothing compared to chapter 4, which finally appeared in August 2013. It was quite a wait, and rather a short entry. It’s been slightly over a year since, and now we have Chapter 5 – the biggest part of the game yet. Here’s wot I think.

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Have You Played… DmC: Devil May Cry?

By Adam Smith on December 15th, 2014.

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

It’s a mark of how much I enjoyed ridiculously named reboot DmC: Devil May Cry that I’m absolutely gutted because there’s no sign of a sequel. It was the daftest game I played in 2013 and one of the deftest as well. Having alienated many fans of the series before release, by featuring a different brand of posturing pretty man than they were used to, Ninja Theory’s gloriously over the top romp seemed doomed to fail, but it’s a beautifully barmy concoction.

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Hands On: Total War – Arena

By Adam Smith on December 15th, 2014.

Total War: Arena reminds me of Magicka: Wizard Wars, a game that I’m extremely fond of. Wizard Wars took the chaotic elemental combos of Magicka and directed them into a team-based multiplayer showdown. If it had simply been a team deathmatch iteration of Arrowhead’s original concept though, it wouldn’t have captured my attention for quite as long as it did. Arena strikes a similar chord because it presents one aspect of Total War intelligently re-imagined as a short-form multiplayer game that hasn’t forgotten its strategic roots. After an hour of play, I’m eager for more.

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The Bestest Best Strategy 2014 – Distant Worlds: Universe

By RPS on December 14th, 2014.

Moving from the earliest steps toward the stars to space operas and sci-fi dreams that could be responsible for an expanded universe of spin-off novels, Distant Worlds has never seen a horizon that it doesn’t want to touch. It copes with the enormous scale by allowing players to pick and choose their responsibilities. Yes, the game was first released four years ago and, yes, it’s an expensive and acquired taste. But this is the most complete version of one of the most unique, enormous and engrossing strategy games ever made.

Adam: They should have sent a poet. And a playwright, and possibly a novelist or two.

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Dark Futures: Clint Hocking

By RPS on December 14th, 2014.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, we re-visit Kieron’s Dark Futures series, which spoke to the leaders of the immersive sim. This is part five, an essay written by Clint Hocking.

Clint Hocking’s career started with sending his resume into Ubisoft Monreal “on a lark”. Six week’s later, he’s working on the original Splinter Cell, ending up as a designer/scriptwriter. After its enormous success, he rose to the position of Creative Director on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2 before leaving this year to chase new horizons. Away from his game design, he’s a prolific essayist on his own blog. And in keeping in that, rather than a traditional interview, Clint has wrote us an essay…

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on December 14th, 2014.

Sundays are for catching up on emails, commissioning words about videogames, and plotting for a Christmas break. Let’s go.

  • Andy Baio – he of Waxy.org – wrote this week about an experiment of sorts he carried out with his son, by introducing him to videogames in chronological order. I’ve seen a lot of different opinions of this, but it seems to me like a lovely story of a parent being active in playing games with their kid.
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    Have You Played… TowerFall Ascension?

    By Graham Smith on December 14th, 2014.

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

    Local multiplayer games have made an unlikely resurgence these past two years, meaning there’s half a dozen I’ve played and loved during the period. Gang Beasts is great though still feels incomplete. Nidhogg is great but I found, after years of playing the free version, that my enjoyment of its full release was shortlived. It’s TowerFall: Ascension, then, that I would recommend to anyone who wanted some single-screen gaming.

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    No, Please No, Not Another Game Player Has Baby Article

    By John Walker on December 14th, 2014.

    Here is my dilemma. It’s nice, I think, to approach supporter posts with a desire to be more personal, more intimate, to shine the light on ourselves a little more brightly. Or to be even more self-indulgent than ever, if you’d prefer to think of it that way. So when considering what to write about in my weekly supporter column, I like to think about what’s going on in my life, pick a lens to look through. Except, four weeks ago my first son was born, and good grief, who wants to hear about that?

    Oh my goodness, how many more games-journalists-becoming-parents can the internet cope with? And who is it for? People without kids are likely far less interested to read about an experience they don’t relate to. People who don’t want kids and never intend to have them can feel marginalised, excluded. People who want kids and haven’t yet, or those who want them and cannot have them, can find the whole topic misery-inducing. (My wife and I were trying for three years before ours came along, and I can testify that it’s really shit.) And people with kids already went through it, roll their eyes at the naivety of it, or don’t want to be reminded of it. Can the internet hold another, “How I game with my kid in my arm” article, without keeling over and just collapsing on the floor?

    Let’s find out!

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    The Bestest Best Worldbuilding Of 2014: Dark Souls 2

    By RPS on December 13th, 2014.

    Dark Souls II may not be the greatest Souls game ever made but despite its flaws, it’s still one of the year’s finest. Behind the hideous enemies and the stern challenge lies a world unlike any other – the combat systems and RPG elements may be at the heart of From’s series, but it’s the world of Drangleic that lingers in the memory.

    Adam: An exercise in archaeology.

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    Have You Played… League Of Legends?

    By Philippa Warr on December 13th, 2014.

    Lols in LoL

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

    A little while back I recommended one of the big-name MOBAs in this Have You Played… stream. Now it’s time for another – League of Legends.

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    The RPS Bargain Bucket: Weekend of Evil

    By Cassandra Khaw on December 13th, 2014.

    So many exciting things happened this week and I wish I could share some of it. Alas, I am instead shepherding 13 drunk people around today as the designated sober person, which may or may not entail me worrying about them falling off buildings. Wish me luck. In celebration of this annual event (and because this is my responsibility), have a bucket of bargains and a happy weekend. (Send me plushie photos, darnit all!)

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