Wot I Think – Battlefield: Hardline

By Alec Meer on March 20th, 2015.

No don't shoot I've got something really important to say which will lead to an entirely abritrary plot twist

Concluding what turned out to be a two-part review-in-progress of EA’s latest big noisy man-shooter – part 1 is here. I wrote it in pieces purely because we didn’t have code until US release day and I wanted to be useful to people thinking of buying the game ASAP; there’ll probably be more of that sort of thing here.

Battlefield: Hardline is a stupid game. Clanging, colossal, cacophonous stupidity. It’s a morally ugly one too, implicitly endorsing the idea that American police should be Judge Dredd, free to take as many lives as they feel like without consequence, fighting the war on drugs as a literal war, celebrating American policing’s increasing shift towards the openly militaristic. Though, quite frankly, all that might just be a consequence of its unbridled stupidity. It really is very stupid.

I quite like it.

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Wot I Think: Vietnam 65

By Tim Stone on March 20th, 2015.

A lot of water, flip-flops, and dead dogs have passed under PC wargaming’s pontoon bridge in the three decades since Johan Nagel coded the Vietnam 65 [official site] prototype on his Commodore 64. Can a military TBS conceived in 1985 really cut it in a world awash with Combat Missions, Tiller titles and Paradoxiana? Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Nvidia’s New Titan X Uber-GPU Good Enough?

By Jeremy Laird on March 19th, 2015.

All in black: Nvidia's big new beastie

The same. But different. In a good way. That’s the take-home from the launch of Nvidia’s new Titan X graphics. Yes, it’s another $1,000 graphics card and thus priced well beyond relevance for most of us. And yet it’s different enough, philosophically, from Nvidia’s previous big-dollar Titans to signal something that does matter to all of us. The focus with Titan X has moved back to pure gaming and away from doing other variously worthy and unworthy stuff on GPUs, like folding proteins or, I dunno, surveying for oil.
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RPS Chat: Why Proc Gen Poetry Matters In Dwarf Fortress

By RPS on March 19th, 2015.

Dwarf Fortress is a titan of PC games, famous for among other things its complexity, its decades-long development plan and its procedural world generation. In light of some coming additions – procedural, culture-specific forms of poetry and dance – Adam and Graham decided to discuss why such seemingly minor detail is exciting and important.

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What I’d Like To See Happen With Virtual Reality

By Graham Smith on March 19th, 2015.

Using Valve and HTC’s Vive headset was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with entertainment in any form, but that’s not to say that it’s perfect. There are obvious limitations in the hardware, obvious ways in which it will inevitably be improved in the years to come, and plenty of potential not yet realised in any of the prototypes I’ve played.

So I’ve been thinking. Here’s five (wholly serious) things I’d like to see Valve, HTC, Oculus or really anyone do with virtual reality.

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Dote Night: Possibly The Worst Dota 2 Setup On Earth

By Philippa Warr on March 18th, 2015.

No, really. It's a disaster.

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. Today, however, is not that day. Today is the story of the worst Dota setup known to man. Worse than Fear’s desk in the Free To Play movie.

Whenever I go traveling for work I have my trusty laptop in tow. It’s an old Macbook – old enough that persuading it to do anything useful feels like the digital equivalent of dragging a recalcitrant cat through a river of molasses to a vet appointment.

It wheezes and whirs and can’t hold battery charge for the length of time it takes to write a Dote Night column. At one point, though, it was my main gaming machine and I forced it to run Dota 2.

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The RPS Verdict: Hotline Miami 2

By Alec Meer on March 18th, 2015.

Adam’s already run his review of Dennaton’s sequel to neon-hued tactical murder party Hotline Miami, but while he’s a big fan, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number hasn’t been met with universal praise. Alec, more cautious about the game, joins Adam to discuss what may and may not be deliberate about its design choices, its bewildering story and its bugs.

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Wot I Think: Ori And The Blind Forest

By Philippa Warr on March 18th, 2015.

Forest loveliness

Ori and the Blind Forest [official site] is a beautiful game. That’s the first thing you’ll notice. The extended intro sequence plays out like a vaguely interactive Studio Ghibli animation as your character – a glowing mouse-like guardian spirit called Ori – is cared for by adopted bear-like parent Naru after she falls into the forest from the Spirit Tree. The animation is luxurious as Ori perches on Naru’s shoulders as they seek apples and while the pair build a bridge over a pool. It’s the first cut scene in a long time where I’ve sat back and watched rather than mash buttons in order to move the action along.

As the intro draws to a close the story and the forest darken. A gigantic angry-looking owl has disturbed the natural order of things, ripping the light from the woods and from the Spirit Tree which cares for the area. It’s at this point that the game proper begins with Ori stranded in a tangled wilderness, needing to heal or repair the damage to the land.

From this point you’ll find a tight, polished Metroidvania-style platformer with echoes of Ocarina of Time.

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Have You Played… Audiosurf?

By Graham Smith on March 18th, 2015.

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

Girls Aloud song Biology isn’t just a piece of music to me, it’s a landscape. This because of the hours spent playing it over and over in Audiosurf [Steam page], an obstacle-dodging score attack game that captivated everyone in my social circle (and RPS) in 2008.

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12 Observations About SteamVR

By Alec Meer on March 18th, 2015.

Through a series of fortunate events, I found myself in a backroom at EGX Rezzed last week, wearing a plastic box on my face, clutching a wand-shaped controller in each hand and walking around digital worlds. I was trying out SteamVR, aka the HTC Vive, and it was… well, in the longer term I need to go and have a hard think about how to meaningfully convey experiences* with essentially involve perceiving new realities. For now, I’ll be merely practical.
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Wot I Think: White Night

By Adam Smith on March 18th, 2015.

White Night [official site] is an eye-catching game and no mistake. I’ve been attracted to it since the first screenshots appeared but I always feared that the remarkable graphics might be a beautifully crafted shroud on top of a mouldy corpse. Not so. This is a slight but satisfying horror game built around a consistently impressive monochrome lighting technique.

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Cardboard Children – Star Wars: Imperial Assault

By Robert Florence on March 17th, 2015.

Hello youse.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a giant box of board game stuff that lets you play two different types of game. One of them is a big campaign thing, with side-missions and a developing story. The other is a skirmish game, where you fling lots of little plastic Star Wars toys on a board, roll lots of dice, and try to come out on top. A campaign-based game is a difficult thing to review. Sure, I could just cover the mechanics and the first few missions, but often problems in a campaign game’s structure only become clear as things develop. The skirmish game is different. I can cover that right now.

And I will.

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Screw Balance: How Warlords Battlecry 3 Blended Genres

By Sin Vega on March 17th, 2015.

There’s this obscure game called StarCraft – you probably haven’t heard of it. It was one of those games that was so well designed that for years afterwards, most that came after its throne were either failed experiments or pale imitations, and even those that succeeded were just more of the same. Here are a few factions, they’re unique but equal; here’s a campaign where you fight each other faction then a civil war, with each level unlocking more stuff. Get unit x to position y, hold your ground for 30 minutes, insert tab A into slot B. You must construct additional… Mylons. Yeah, that’ll do.

StarCraft numbed me to the RTS for years. Everything wanted to be it, but I’d already played it. Even to this day, I find very little to recommend from that era. In a shock twist, however, there’s an exception in Warlords Battlecry 3.

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