Reduxing On Early Access: Exodus Of Sol

By Ben Barrett on August 1st, 2014.

Exactly now may not be the best time for another space sim to go into early access. Elite entered Beta this week and Star Citizen is still consuming wallets at an unimaginable pace. Between those and the swarms of smaller projects that have launched or started development in the past couple of years, you’ve got plenty of options for your spacecash. Bit Planet Games are giving it a shot anyway with Exodus of Sol, a remake of 2012 space-blam SOL: Exodus. They’re looking to improve along the lines that Adam suggested but I’ve got my doubts.

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Aegis Defenders Hoping To Be Money Makers On Kickstarter

By Ben Barrett on July 31st, 2014.

Aegis Defenders is the latest game to prove that you can pretty much just roll a pair of dice to determine two genres to slam together. The tower defense platformer is absolutely gorgeous, set on a post-ruination Earth ruled by a few remaining AIs. Most technology is viewed as dark magic so main characters Bart and his granddaughter Clu naturally have a fascination and need for it. They’re ‘Ruinhunters’ attempting to save their village, but won’t be able to without an ancient artifact (and $65,000 from the generous public). It’s made by the extraordinarily-named GUTS Department and you can see their pitch video plus thoughts on a preview demo below.

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Computational! Prison Architect Adds Logic Circuits

By Alice O'Connor on July 31st, 2014.

Logical.

Logic can be dangerous. Minecraft players have built everything from room-sized games of Pong to autocannons with its redstone logic circuits, and that’s a relatively peaceful game. If you combined logic circuits with, say, the prison-industrial complex, I dread to imagine what dehumanising mechanisms might be built around inmates. So let’s see what happens now Prison Architect has done just that.

It’s fine, though. Prison Architect isn’t quite so freeform, and Introversion imagine the new automation and logic tools will be used for things like remote door control systems and sharing clock signals. Which does almost sound like a challenge.

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POE Face: Path Of Exile – Forsaken Masters

By Adam Smith on July 31st, 2014.

I was one of the first to walk to the Path of Exile but one of the last to submit a complete traveller’s guide. Of course, the term ‘complete’ is meaningless when developers insist on releasing new (free) content for their (free) games. Lonely Planet guide writers don’t have this problem – it’s not as if a country would suddenly expand its borders to bring in new attractions, resources and skillsets. Forsaken Masters adds NPCs who provide players with missions in exchange for training, as well as customisable hideouts.

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Nyyoooom: F1 2014 And 2015 Announced

By Alice O'Connor on July 31st, 2014.

That's, like, SO last-gen.

In the way that mood cycles can revolve around Christmas or birthdays, do diehard game fans slip into emotional rhythms around marketing cycles? Do Call of Duty fans start to feel excited around the start of May, fidgeting and laughing more than usual, expecting the announcement of the next annualised sequel? Is E3 why I grow increasingly angry and desperate to flee to a forest over May?

Late July brings announcements from Codemasters of their next Formula 1 race ‘em up, which is why you may have been anxiously checking your phone and inbox. But as well as F1 2014, today they announced another game too. One breaking the rhythm. A “next-gen” F1 game is coming earlier than usual next year. What does this mean? And how do you feel?

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Colin McRae Rally Released On Steam, Sort Of, Not Really

By Graham Smith on July 31st, 2014.

Content from the sequel, named after the original, actually a re-release of a mobile game.

It’s easy to think that simulation and sports game are advancing along a straight line of progress, each sequel or yearly iteration delivering a game with better physics models, more polygons, and all towards some objective perfection. To this strawman that exists within my brain I say: not true! As would have been interestingly demonstrated by Codemasters releasing Colin McRae Rally 2.0 on Steam today. The game, a precursor to the modern Dirt series, was originally released in 2000. It was good.

Except that’s not what has happened here. This game, called simply Colin McRae Rally, is only “based on” that old game. Instead this is the PC release of last year’s mobile version, which used tracks, cars and audio from the older games but was otherwise its own thing. Is that misleading? It certainly confused me for a bit.

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No Longer A Mirage: LA Cops Early Access

By Adam Smith on July 31st, 2014.

LA Cops contains more comedy moustaches per screen than the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage video and Anchorman put together. It’s a celebration of facial furniture, with Syndicate-inspired shooting in between bouts of Handsome Cop Admiration. As well as moustaches, the game includes destructible scenery and a buddy system that allows a single player to control a two-cop team, implementing tactics to lure bad guys onto the disco killing floor. The Early Access version, which is available now, contains a single four scene level (taken from the planned eight levels, with a total of twenty scenes). Each of the available cops has a story to tell, a favoured ‘stache shampoo and attributes to upgrade.

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League Of Legends Preps For World Finals With Latest Patch

By Ben Barrett on July 31st, 2014.

With The International fading into memory like so many forgotten creeps, MOBA-neutrals such as myself look forward to their next dose of hype. Riot will be the providers, with the League of Legends World Championship kicking off in September and the Grand Final on October 19th. In preperation for their season finale, Riot’s latest patch focuses on ‘strategic diversity’ within the game, ensuring enough characters are viable come the big day. They’re also introducing a new one, League’s 120th champion, Gnar.

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Crisis On Infinite Games: Team Indie

By Ben Barrett on July 31st, 2014.

Ah, crossovers! Characters and universes colliding to settle scores or combine powers and, not for the first time, indie game mascots are at it too. Brightside Games are bringing indie characters together to solve puzzles and assist an accidentally cyberspaced cat in their platformer Team Indie. It uses the Braid/Super Time Force single-player co-op method, where characters combine their ‘unique skills’ to assist each other to the exit. Trailer and thoughts on a preview build below.

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Freeware Garden: Hets

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on July 31st, 2014.

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

I take it hets isn’t a reference to the Argentinean Querandí mountain tribe of the Pampas. It probably isn’t even aware of Bergman’s 1944 short movie either, though there’s definitely something sadistic to it. I mean, teasing a “very evil final boss” really isn’t such a nice thing to do, especially considering I’ll never get to meet the thing. So, yeah, sadism and thus also a unique kind of pleasure.

hets is unashamedly, brutally and in a way wisely hard. Or, at the very least, it does feel so to me.

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AI Interference: Space Social Sim Human Orbit

By Alice O'Connor on July 31st, 2014.

No, those are statues, you daft pattern recognition algorithm. The humans are the small ones.

If any AI researchers reading RPS need a human mind to digitise and put in control of a space station, I humbly volunteer. I would be a good caretaker AI. I’m responsible about turning lights off. Each day with me in charge brings a new fun holiday with its own mandatory customs. Yes, I would fake work orders to put plants and fountains everywhere, but people would like that. I label deadly laser grids clearly. And I’d only read your e-mail because I care.

Should our readers prove disappointments, I suppose I’ll make do with playing Human Orbit when it comes out, a “sci-fi social simulator” with the promise of “procedurally-generated storytelling.”

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Interfacing! In! Space! – J.U.L.I.A.: Among The Stars

By Ben Barrett on July 31st, 2014.

It’s taken me no small amount of time just to work out what J.U.L.I.A.: Among The Stars is (no thanks to the title – meaningless acronym AND subtitle? Come on now). Contrary to screenshots, it’s a full adventure game rather than a hidden object one. The plot follows Rachel Manners, an astro-biologist, who wakes from cryo-sleep to find she’s the only member of her expedition still alive. Because it’s a video game, the ship’s also damaged and the titular AI is temperamental. The game’s actually a remake of one from 2012, which Adam had a gander at, funded through IndieGoGo.

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Marginally Beta Price: Elite Dangerous Standard Beta Out

By Graham Smith on July 31st, 2014.

This didn't end well for me.

It’s been a little hard to keep track of the different ways to buy access to Elite: Dangerous, but it’s a lot simpler since yesterday’s launch of the Standard Beta. Players who want to start fighting and flying in the space-faring sequel immediately can now do so for £50/$75, and those willing to wait for the finished game can pay £35 to pre-order. The higher or additional costs of the Premium Beta and Lifetime Expansion Pass are no longer available.

What does that mean? Another notch along Elite Dangerous’s attempts to make a space game with 400 billion star systems. I’ve outlined some of the notable Standard Beta patch notes below.

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