Attention, Writers: RPS Is Recruiting

By Alec Meer on June 29th, 2011 at 2:59 pm.

We won't really treat you like this. You won't be allowed to wear clothes, for one thing.

UPDATE: Applications are now closed. Dear grud, we’ve got a lot of very long emails to read.

RPS is expanding! For (sort of) the first time ever, we’re looking to bring another regular writer, or perhaps even writers, into the warm, loving but formerly closed fold that is Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Trouble is… well, we’re not entirely sure what kind of recruit(s) we want. Do we want someone full-time, part-time or sporadic? Do we want an experienced magazine section editor? Do we want a crazy young buck who’s never been published outside of their own blog? Do we want a super-smart game dev who fancies a change? Do we want a fervent newshound, an indie and mods fanatic, a simulation obsessive, an essayist, a reviewer, an interviewer, a lover, a fighter?

All of the above. Some of the above. None of the above. The important thing is we want someone who’s going to make the site a better place. We’ll know what we’re looking for, and we’ll recognise it (or you) when we see it.
Read on for more details and how to apply…

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun Goes Free-To-Read!

By John Walker on June 29th, 2011 at 1:58 pm.

Premium users can pay three times as much!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd. announces Rock, Paper, Shotgun is to go free-to-read, introduces new NanoPayment™ Technology™

BATH, UK, 29 June, 2011 – In a move once more demonstrating that Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd is at the forefront of online PC gaming news development initiatives, the organisation is delighted to announce that as of the 1st July 2011 www.rockpapershotgun.com will be going free-to-read.

“Once again Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd has proven that it’s ahead of the curve, pushing forward new synergic stratagems for dynamic reader integration,” explained RPS representative, Dave Tosser. “We believe that by moving RPS forward in this free-to-read direction, our web enterprise once again advances the scheme for all interactive users on a broad dynamic scale.”

Pay just $1.49 to read the rest of this entry

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Interview: XCOM Tells The “Origin Story”

By Dan Grill on June 29th, 2011 at 12:00 pm.


Recently we had a chance to look at 2K’s intriguing reboot of XCOM – and a full XCOM preview is coming up soon – but first there’s an interview which explains a bit about the world, and the intention to tell a story about the origin of the XCOM alien invasion in the setting of 1960s America.

In the depths of a bunker packed with strange humanoids that communicated almost entirely using the words “like”, “totally” and “hella” we spoke to something that claimed to be Jonathan Pelling, Creative Director at 2K Marin, developers of XCOM. Here’s what he had to say…
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EA Say F2P Competes With Consoles

By John Walker on June 29th, 2011 at 11:19 am.

I'm too tired to do better.

When archaeologists dig through the layer marked “early two thousands” they will notice a change in the colour of the rocks at the beginning of the second decade. (Yes, this IS how archaeology works.) Eventually one monocled genius will identify this as the time the games started going free. With news of online stalwarts such as Team Fortress 2 and World Of Warcraft catching the bug, this is no longer the domain of seedy half-arsed MMOs my lord, but increasingly a mainstream option. It’s a significant shift for the PC, and one that I think it’s safe to say everyone is pretty wary of. But it’s one that EA are claiming can be as profitable as the console market. And that’s a big deal.

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Might & Magic 25th Anniversary Trailer, Beta

By Jim Rossignol on June 29th, 2011 at 11:00 am.


QUESTION: Steam claims you can “play the beta now” but it LIES. Is it US only or something?

The Might & Magic series is twenty-five years old. That is a fact that makes me as Old As Time. To celebrate the series’ agedness Ubisoft (for they own the name these days) have put out a trailer, which you can see below. There’s also word that the Might & Magic Heroes 6 beta kicks off this week. It doesn’t look like you can still get a beta key, but that might change. Ooh, I’ll poke Ubi and see if we can get some.
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How I Nearly Starred In Ultima Online 2

By Alec Meer on June 29th, 2011 at 10:59 am.

Better posture than I have in real life

This is by far the most egomaniacal RPS post I’ve ever written (and that’s even though I’ve found plenty of vague excuses to run pictures of my cat and my girlfriend here previously). But I can’t pass this one up. I can’t. Massively’s investigation into what the long-cancelled (OR IS IT?) (It is. That version of it, anyway). Ultima Online 2 would have been like turns up a key fact. The game would have contained just three playable races at launch, a step down from UO1. However! These races were to be bog-standard humans, the warrior-like Juka and the magical Meer. Man! That would have done so much good for RPS’ Google rank.

Now, you must call me The Magical Meer. The Magical Meer demands it.
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Touring Cars: Dirt 3 Monte Carlo DLC

By Andrew Smee on June 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am.

All I want is a VW Beetle with a Herbie liverie. Is that so much to ask?

According to Codemasters, players have spent 292 years playing Dirt 3, neatly pre-dating the invention of the internal combustion engine. To add on a couple of centuries, here’s the first fully-fledged chunk of content for Codemaster’s superb rally racer, improving on the rather typical showing of extra cars already available. Centring on the Monte Carlo Rally, you can expect snow and tarmac courses through the Alps, changing it up some from faffing around a disused ironworks in Michigan.

The DLC should be available for purchase in the GFWL Marketplace soon is out now for £6.75, and a trailer for Monte Carlo is after the jump.

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Hero Worship: Driver 5 Loves Tanner

By Alec Meer on June 29th, 2011 at 9:35 am.

ICONIC HANDS

I’m quite looking forward to Driver: San Francisco – partly because I do like to see a fallen series redeem itself, and partly because it puts me in mind of an aggressive Test Drive Unlimited. All driving, no on-foot stuff, trying to re-carve its own niche rather than put an unconvincing GTA costume.

That said, I can’t entirely get on board with this scene-setting dev diary’s repeated claims that protagonist Tanner and antagonist Jericho are “iconic, historic characters.” Iconic how? Historic what-now? Surely they’re just more gruff men in videogames’ endless archive of gruff men? Can’t say they’re burned into my memory. Just give me the cars and the city and I’ll be a happy little motorised sociopath.
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WoW’s Trial Now A Free “Starter Edition”

By Jim Rossignol on June 29th, 2011 at 8:56 am.

Is it hot in here, or am I an anthropomorphic wolf creature?
Yesterday I was wondering out loud about whether World of Warcraft was being significantly worried by the free-to-play revolution, and now they’re expanding the trial to have no time limit on the first twenty levels (which was my favourite bit of the game.) They’re calling it the World Of Warcraft Starter Edition, and it’s still limited by other trial aspects, such as not being able to use the auction house, and suffers a few other caps such as a limit of 10 gold. If trialees get to level 20 and want to open up their game and keep playing then it’s possible to to purchase the Burning Crusade for $20 and subscribe for the normal amount. The Burning Crusade has also now been unlocked for free for anyone who owned the original game.

There’s a detailed FAQ about the Starter Edition here.

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Minecraft To See “Experimental Gameplay”

By Jim Rossignol on June 28th, 2011 at 7:00 pm.


Notch has previously mentioned that he’d like to have “monster towns” in Minecraft, but today he described what he’s expecting to put into the 1.8 update as “npc villages”. I’d imagine these will be much the same thing, but perhaps the idea has moved on and we’ll get more than just a monster hub? Interesting possibilities there. If survival mode is missing anything, it’s someone to trade your crafted wares with. It’d be really something to be able to trade up a load of lesser resources for diamond or something. Notch’s teaser post also mentioned that 1.8 will contain “at least one new mob, some interesting new combat mechanics, a new lighting engine… interesting farming, bigger incentives to explore.”

It’s looking like quite the update, but is clearly going to take some time to appear, too.

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Exile Victorious? The Portal 2 Music Videos

By Alec Meer on June 28th, 2011 at 5:53 pm.

Overall theme: everyone is very sad

Speaking of Portal-based competitions, it’s about time we took a look at how things are progressing with Valve’s other challenge – to make a music video for gloomy The National song Exile Vilify, which played a minor role in the game. There aren’t quite as many submissions as I’d have expected so far (either that or people keeping forgetting to tag their Youtube videos with PORTAL2NATIONALEXILE), but I’ve gone through and picked out a few below to demonstrate both the variety and, in some cases, the skill on offer.

Featured: cats, lego, crying, animation, more crying, stop-motion, yet more crying, Half-Life 2, wow these people are unhappy, Mirror’s Edge, CHEER UP and penguins.

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Portal 2 Summer Mapping Initiative Winners

By Andrew Smee on June 28th, 2011 at 4:45 pm.

I wonder what Excursion Funnels taste like. Blood, probably
Ah, summer. The lazy days, the warm breezes, the gigantic storm clouds, rain showers and lightning storms ravaging the local area. You know, I think I’d be better off staying inside. But that’s alright, because the Portal 2 Summer Mapping Initiative winners have been announced! Or rather, one winner and two plucky runner ups have been chosen from the 280 entries into the grand map-making competition for the well-received physics-bending puzzler. Who’s it going to be? Drumroll, please…

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A Storm of Swords: Stronghold 3 Preview

By Alec Meer on June 28th, 2011 at 4:00 pm.

I'd never build a castle that neat. NEVER.

I went to see Firefly’s long-awaited strategy sequel Stronghold 3 last week. It’s a game about constructing some castles and destroying others, and it looks rather jolly. But jolly in a ‘squalid medieval life and constant war’ kind of way. Here’s some details, impressions and even some trailers for you…

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