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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Babies and Games

By Alec Meer on November 13th, 2014.

If the dragon's age was 18 months it'd be even worse

Edit – this feature was supposed to be purely for our Supporter Program, but I messed up and it temporarily went public. In hindsight I don’t want to seem like a terrible tease, so it’s open to all again.

No Raised By Screens this week as I’ve been up since 4am looking after a rampaging toddler, and frankly I’m just not up to it. Instead, a relevant lament of sorts. Apologies in advance.
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Dote Night: The Perfect Crowd

By Philippa Warr on November 12th, 2014.

My favourite musician from League of Legends' Worlds final

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.

This column usually focuses on Dota 2 exclusively but today I’m looking at the experience of going to live eSports events so it’ll dip into League of Legends territory. I’m not sorry!

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The Elitist, Part Four: Spacer, Miner, Robber, Jerk

By Brendan Caldwell on November 12th, 2014.

Brendan’s misadventures in deep space continue in our Elite: Dangerous diary. This week, he tries out the new features of Elite’s Beta 3.0.

I was lounging in Alison City station listening to to the Lauren Laverne show when the call came in. I say “when the call came in” to give you the image of a space rat in his natural habitat, feet up on the sensor monitor, drinking spiced wine and flicking the dust off the thruster in boredom until his screen lights up with “INCOMING MESSAGE” and he dives for the comms panel. What I really mean is: “when the bulletin board lit up”. The bulletin board marks all the jobs in Elite’s many space stations. My eyes fell from one job to the other – dead, fed-up eyes – then faltered and stopped as they saw a plain-looking advert marked “Light cargo transports required”.

I slouched closer to the screen, utilising the powerful hunch that would inevitably give me repetitive strain injury. This can’t be right, I thought. 174,000 credits for one job? That’s crazy. I’d be lucky to get 20,000 for a single gig. I clicked on the ad. The orders: take 18 tonnes of gold to Foucault Landing. Good lord, is that all? I instantly accepted the job and smiled an obnoxious, greedy smile. Then I looked at my mission screen. That’s where I saw the catch.

I had 14 minutes to get there.

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The RPS Verdict – Civilization: Beyond Earth

By Alec Meer on November 12th, 2014.

There’s a Meerman, waiting over there, he’d like to come and talk to Adam about Civilization: Beyond Earth but he thinks it’ll take some time.
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Wot I Think: Crowntakers

By Adam Smith on November 12th, 2014.

A brief description of Crowntakers reads like an exercise in box-ticking. “Roguelike turn-based strategy meets RPG”, says the Steam page, “alternative endings…resources…companions…mighty equipment…hexagonal battlefields.” Behind all of that is a game that strips down almost every aspect of its design to present something half-way between a solo boardgame and a coffee break take on Heroes of Might and Magic. It’s a clever game, though not without its frustrations. Here’s wot I think.

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Interview: Robin Arnott On Biofeedback

By Philippa Warr on November 11th, 2014.

Beepity beep

Image by Ken Fager (used under CC license)

One of the fascinating things about the Oculus Rift headset is the way it forces players and developers to consider the body in relation to a game. A lot of the talk is about how to represent your avatar’s body. There are questions like whether it’s a problem when you look down and see “your” body but in the wrong clothes, and fascinating art projects designed around you being in someone else’s skin. But another avenue of exploration when it comes to incorporating bodies in gaming is biofeedback.

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Games For Humanity, Part 2

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2014.

Continuing and concluding our round-up of PC games to show people who feel that all games are culturally worthless, or are otherwise entirely uninterested in them. Part One is here, and I do strongly suggest you read it before this one if you missed it.
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