Cardboard Children – Arcadia Quest

By Robert Florence on February 10th, 2015.

Hello youse.

Part 2 of my XCOM: The Board Game coverage will have to wait. I’m yet to sufficiently explore the different player counts. It’s such an interesting game. You can read the first part of my review here, if you missed it. To fill in, I’m going to tell you about a fun new game called Arcadia Quest.

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Evolve Wot I Think-In-Progress, Part 1: Monster Maths

By Alec Meer on February 10th, 2015.

Turtle Rock’s asymmetrical multiplayer shooter Evolve [official site] went live today, though its many and various DLC shenanigans mean I’m not entirely sure just how much of the game is on my hard drive right now. That’s a dilemma for further down the line though: today, I just want to natter about how it’s feeling a few hours in. We didn’t get review code before release day, so any sort of definitive judgement lies further along your puny mortal timeline. Let’s do this as we go along.
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Beyond Looking Glass: Underworld Ascendant Interview

By Adam Smith on February 10th, 2015.

Underworld Ascendant [official site] has some big shoes to fill. Big shoes of Nostalgia +8. As a continuation of the Ultima Underworld series, with a team led by Looking Glass veteran Paul Neurath, Ascendant is picking up where the immersive first-person RPG left off a couple of decades ago. The game is currently well on its way to a $600,000 Kickstarter target and I spoke to Neurath about the project, and how it’s possible to move forward while looking to the past.

“This isn’t Looking Glass 2.0,” he says, even though Looking Glass 2.0 seems like a hell of a good thing to be. “We’re not just looking back and trying to recreate something from the past. We’re hoping to be part of the future.”

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Wot I Think – Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure

By John Walker on February 10th, 2015.

I’m pretty sure Ephemerid [official site] isn’t a very good game. But as a papercraft rock musical about a mayfly, I’m very glad it exists. Here’s wot I think:

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Premature Evaluation: Besiege

By Marsh Davies on February 9th, 2015.

Besiege’s depiction of war is largely that of the middle ages, with a few fanciful additions - flight and the self-powering of your engine being the most obvious. Flamethrowers, though, actually date back quite a lot further: Thucydides attests to something of the sort being used by the Boeotians in the Battle of Delium in 424 BC. It consisted of a large cauldron of pitch suspended at a jaunty angle below a tube through which air was pumped using bellows. The tube curled back into the cauldron’s mouth, farting air into the burning tar and causing huge jets of flame to shriek out, engulfing the wooden defences and anyone foolish enough to be standing on them. Apparently, combined with the erosive infusion of piss and vinegar, the flames would crack stone, too. (The phrase “full of piss and vinegar”, however, seems unrelated, first appearing in John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle some 2360 years later.)

Each week Marsh Davies hurls himself at the colossal walls of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or soaks the earth with the blood of his fallen foes. This week he is catapulted into Besiege, a beautiful, physics-based, build-your-own-ballista game.

Dr Blam is a killing machine. He does not have a medical licence. What he does have is a trio of metal braziers mounted at one end of a large wooden frame, each cupping an oversized explosive ball. The braziers are also attached to springs, stretched taut and fixed to armatures at the other end of the frame. Press a button and the braziers explosively decouple from their moorings while a set of three pistons gives them a little bit of extra lift, the springs contract, and the braziers twang upwards and forwards, slinging their contents in a long arc. Most of the time they even go in the right direction. Dr Blam is not really interested in surgical precision, but if the patient under his tender administration is a castle or a flock of sheep, then a messy lesson in anatomy is guaranteed.

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Return To The Witcher 2: Part 2 – The Not So Good Bits

By Richard Cobbett on February 9th, 2015.

'Geralt, what do we do?' 'I DON'T KNOW THIS IS STILL THE TUTORIAL HOW DO I DRAW MY SWORD AND HIT THINGS!?'

So, last time we looked at The Witcher 2 in all its glory. Today, we’re flipping it round. Where did things go wrong? Before we start, a clarification. While this will inherently be negative, it’s not to bash the game. The game was awesome, and many of the balls it dropped to the ground were at least pretty well gathered up by the Enhanced Edition. This is really more looking at issues to hope won’t be repeated by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site], allowing it to be all we want it to be.

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Evolve Guide: Turtle Rock On Beginner’s Tips For Hunters

By Philippa Warr on February 9th, 2015.

Meet the hunters

Evolve [official site] is Turtle Rock’s monster vs hunters asymmetric multiplayer title. Recently we’ve been more likely to talk about the game for its pre-order content shenanigans or its free-to-play progress promotion app but this time we’re focusing in on how the game actually works. To that end we’ve tracked down Phil Robb – Turtle Rock’s creative director – for a briefing on how each of the characters work. (This is entirely a selfless act and not just a way for Pip to get a tactical advantage over the rest of RPS, by the way.) Here are the fruits of our conversation:

This article focuses on the Hunters. If you’re looking for monster tips you’ll need our Monster guide which will be up soon.

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Oh Godus, What The Hell’s Going On?

By John Walker on February 9th, 2015.

Hey, remember Godus?! It was successfully Kickstarted in 2012, despite launching with no video at all, as the name of “Peter Molyneux” still carried enough currency to raise over half a million pounds for his return to the god game genre. Just over two years have gone by, and mobile free-to-play versions of the game launched last year, but what state is the PC development in now? Molyneux has announced that he’s now working on a new project, a mobile thing called The Trial, suggesting Godus is no longer his focus. And the team currently working on the game have recently acknowledged that they, “simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the kickstarter page.” Uh oh.

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Have You Played… Sokobond?

By Philippa Warr on February 9th, 2015.

Vinegar! (Acetic acid: CH3CO2H)

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

Here’s a lovely game about building molecules correctly.

Sokobond is by Alan Hazelden (A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build) and Harry Lee (Stickets) and it is very much My Kind Of Thing.

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Where Are The Romantic Comedy Videogames?

By John Walker on February 9th, 2015.

When it comes to common genres, videogames have got war and science fiction covered. They’re all over action. Historical fiction is meticulously detailed, and the industry is replete with fantasy. In the last couple of years, even, we’ve finally realised it’s possible to have coming-of-age tales told through the medium (although accompanied by the sort of backlash you might expect had the games been about murdering babies with swastika-shaped knives (which, let’s be honest, isn’t unlikely and wouldn’t receive a tenth of the backlash)). Comedy sort of happens maybe a bit now and then, usually with very poor results. But romantic comedy? There’s none.

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Planetside: The 1%

By Quintin Smith on February 8th, 2015.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 142-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Quintin’s tale of Planetside heroism, originally published September 2008.

Planetside, then. Do I have any veterans in the audience? At ease, gentlemen.

It might not have dredged up the subscribers Sony were hoping for, and you personally might have found it a disappointment, a bully, a bastard, or most unforgivably, a bore. The developers were perhaps overambitious, and in any case they managed to screw up both on paper and in practice. But their game has achieved one beautiful thing, and that’s the creation of the same invisible veterans’ club that results from a real life war. If you played Planetside you might have already encountered this phenomenon: the mutual respect that instantly exists once you find out someone’s an ex-Planetside player. Since I can’t think of a name for this whole process, I’m going to dub it “I WAS THERE, MAN” syndrome.

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The Pipwick Papers

By Philippa Warr on February 8th, 2015.

It seems that enough people liked the Pipwick Papers that I’ve been asked to do it again. Here are a selection of links to writing, pictures and video which exist outside the realms of games journalism. Think of me as a social media slug, slithering through your letterbox in the dead of night and sliming links all over your hallway carpet.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on February 8th, 2015.

Sundays are for scrubbing the oven because you’re moving out and that thing is filthy. At the next place, you promise yourself, you’ll clean it more regularly while living there so you don’t end up in this position for a fifth time. Ack! Let’s put it off by reading some fine writing about videogames.

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