Not Fade Away: How Dragon Age Origins Got Evil Right

By Matt Lees on November 17th, 2014.

The difficulty with explaining why Dragon Age: Origins was super-duper top dog stuff is that on a surface level it was all a bit boring. Nasty creatures are coming to destroy your green, faintly damp-looking world! You’ve got to save the realm, perhaps because prophecies? Prophecies might be a thing, I suppose. Also: dwarves and elves and sometimes magic.

Thematically there’s very little going on in Ferelden that hadn’t already been flogged to oblivion by the rest of the genre, which makes Origins an even tougher sell to a culture now fixated with Game of Thrones. Decapitation makes an occasional appearance, but Origins is largely po-faced fare. What helps it succeed anyway is the one cliché it skewers beautifully, through its depiction of evil and a place called ‘the fade’.

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Wot I Think: Dragon Age – Inquisition

By Adam Smith on November 17th, 2014.

Dragon Age: Inquisition might just be my favourite game released this year. Considering my expectations and relationship with recent BioWare games, that’s about as likely as Saturday night’s soggy kebab being my favourite meal of the year. I’ve spent almost sixty hours uncovering as much of Inquisition’s enormous open world and intricate story as possible, and as soon as I have a few days free, I’ll be spending another sixty or eighty hours seeing it all through new eyes.

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Heavily Engaged: On Wargaming, Guilt And Remembrance

By Tim Stone on November 16th, 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, Tim Stone’s piece on grognard guilt, originally published in 2011.

No battle reportage this week. Rather than confuse you with another tale of how Easy Company went east then north a bit then left a bit while Baker Company went west then south then right a bit, I thought I’d try to get to the bottom of a feeling that has gnawed at the edges of my wargaming pleasure for the best part of 30 years. That feeling could be described as unease, or perhaps, disquiet. At a stretch you might even call it guilt.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Hide and Go Chu!

By Cassandra Khaw on November 15th, 2014.

With the holiday season teetering on the edge of existence, it’s weird to even think about recommending games right now. You should wait. Maybe, not forever. But hanging onto your lusts for a few more weeks is definitely an idea to evaluate. That said, I’m plotting to acquire Pokemon and Persona Q the first opportunity I get so who I am to judge? As always, here’s a fresh chapter of cool deals, collated into one blue bucket of bargains. (P.S: No, I totally did not injure anyone for the keys to Castle Shotgun last week. Spoke creatively to, perhaps, but..)

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Wot I Think: Valkyria Chronicles

By Rich Stanton on November 14th, 2014.

Valkyria Chronicles isn’t just a brilliant game, it’s a brilliant Sega game. That means something. Contemporary Sega is a multi-headed beast, doomed to forever bear the wound of its exit from the hardware market, capable of both atrocities (the recent Sonic Boom) and beauties like this. But it has until now, with the honorable exception of publishing the Total War and Football Manager series, never really been a PC developer so much as a PC porter of ambiguous distinction. Valkyria Chronicles suggests that Sega, finally, is bringing its ‘A’ game to the most important platform on the planet.

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Cordial Minuet: Hands On With Rohrer’s Gambling Game

By Philippa Warr on November 14th, 2014.

A Cordial Minuet

“The next step is where you take out your credit card,” says Jason Rohrer.

We’re on the phone for a Cordial Minuet preview session. Cordial Minuet is Rohrer’s current game project – a gambling game based around magic squares into which I must deposit real money if I wish to play, even at this pre-alpha stage.

I deposit $5. I’ll get back to the payment and security side later but for now, let’s concentrate on how the game works.

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Comedy And Tragedy: I Read Readme Files

By Alice O'Connor on November 14th, 2014.

Read-a-read.

Who reads readme files? Me. I do. I read a lot of readme files, from mods specifically. I’ve pored over hundreds, possibly even thousands, looking for weird and wonderful ideas, remnants of history, and fragments of human lives. I’ve kept a blog of interesting readmes for years and even talked about them at conferences, but somehow never really mentioned all this at RPS. Take my hand, dear reader, and soon I hope you’ll stop ignoring these two little words: read me.

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Hands On With Hyper Light Drifter’s Combat

By Graham Smith on November 14th, 2014.

Stop. Slow down. Hyper Light Drifter‘s cape-wearing main character carries a sword whose swipes and slashes can be performed in rapid succession, but that doesn’t mean you can charge your way through its hunched henchman, skittering spiders or gun-wielding grunts. You’ve got to take your time if you want to go fast, as I’ve learned through playing the game’s Kickstarter preview build.

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Wot I Think – Assassin’s Creed Unity

By Alec Meer on November 14th, 2014.

stop crowding me. My processor's agoraphobic

Assassin’s Creed Unity is the latest in Ubisoft’s series of historical-set open world action-adventure games. It stars a French nobleman named Arno Dorian, who becomes an Assassin (stealthy free-running dude battling against an evil conspiracy theory) in 18th century Paris, around the time of the French revolution. It adds co-op and gear customisation to the seven-year-old formula. It’s been out for three days now, and I’ve been playing it for much of that time.

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The Flare Path: And The Disappointed Dervish

By Tim Stone on November 14th, 2014.

In the fast-moving world of Flare Path, new games, like Armour Piercing shells and commandant-impersonating stalag escapees, only get one chance to make a good first impression. This week three titles have trooped into the converted Pickett-Hamilton Fort I use as a workspace, only to troop out again a short time later looking like shellshocked Dragons’ Den survivors. The first of those games was shown the door in under 10 minutes.

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Going Analogue: What MMOs Can Learn From LARPs

By Caelyn Ellis on November 13th, 2014.

In theory, MMORPGs are my favourite PC games in the world. Exploring strange new worlds, dressing up in shiny armour, and kicking butt are my primary gaming motivations and MMORPGs have those in spades. Richard Garriott sold me the dream of a living fantasy world to inhabit in my early PC gaming days and it’s a dream I’ve never quite given up on.

Yet the genre has become stagnant, like the fetid dregs of your drink once you’ve dragged yourself to bed after an all-night raiding binge. Everquest became popular, then World of Warcraft ridiculously so, and the desire for all that subscription money cemented the theme park MMO as the One True Way, with only EVE Online achieving success while stubbornly flying the sandbox flag. Which isn’t much good if you prefer dragons to spaceships. I believe that MMORPGs need a good kick up the arse and I’d like to propose an unconventional Boot of Inspiration: live-action role-playing, better known as LARPing.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2015

By Adam Smith on November 13th, 2014.

Another year, another trip to the dugout. It’s tempting to think of football as nothing more than a billionaire’s playground wracked with corruption and capable of reducing a supporter to tears for all the wrong reasons. The beautiful game can be extremely ugly. But there are still tales of tiny triumphs, of giant killing and last minute survival, and of windswept terraces on a winter’s evening. Football Manager 2015 captures the tears and the triumphs, but this year there’s a somewhat heavier dose of the former. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think – Amphora

By Philippa Warr on November 13th, 2014.

Plenty more fish in the sea

A few weeks ago I was posting about Amphora because it had dropped a delightful trailer on the YouTube landscape, albeit a baffling one involving exploding space jars and Aesop’s Fables. It was released yesterday afternoon so I’ve been playing it through and investigating what actually happens.

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