Team17 Announce Their Game Again

Team17 have once again announced that they’re making their game once again and- hey, wait, this latest version of Worms will actually do a few things different.

With over twenty Worms games in the bag and few changes to the turn-based annelid artillery annihilation formula in yonks, Team17 are shaking things up a bit with next year’s Worms WMD. It’ll introduce concealing buildings, for starters, only granting internal vision to players with a worm inside. Its new art style is pretty cute too. Oh, and it has tanks. Driveable, hopping tanks.

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The Flare Path: Perpetually Monitoring

Close Combat was PC wargaming’s Hirō Onoda. Years after his comrades emerged from the jungle with hands raised, the turn-spurning CC engine was still busy patrolling… scouting… soldiering. People like me would periodically point our bullhorns at the undergrowth and urge the old fool campaigner to “Jack it in!”, or at the very least learn some new tactics. Usually he’d reply with wild rifle shots or deluded AI improvement boasts.

Now, thank goodness, the decade-long farce is finally over. Last year Slitherine/Matrix announced that they were retiring Atomic’s ancient code tangle and commencing work on Close Combat: The Bloody First, a new 3D-engined-but-still-top-down successor. There’s been no news of that project since, but, in an intriguing development this week, another developer announced that they too intended to take up the CC torch. Read the rest of this entry »

Boost: Rocket League’s Supersonic Fury DLC

Rocket League [official site] is one of the best multiplayer games I’ve ever played. Matches are quick, ricocheting between smart tactical play and chaotic panic, and the pace of the motorised football is perfectly pitched. Adding anything new to the delicate mix would risk upsetting the balance so I met the announcement of a DLC pack with some trepidation. Developers Psyonix are masterful mechanics though. The pack, which will be available next month priced at $3.99, contains new cars and customisation options, but nothing that will split the playerbase or offer paid-for advantages. Trailer and details below.

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Drones, Derelicts And Survival Horror: Duskers

Late last year, I reviewed a game called Deadnaut, which follows gangs of expendable fools exploring derelict vessels in space. Then they die. It wasn’t a big release and its combination of well-pitched glitchy graphics and palindromic doom mood only carried it so far, but I’m glad to have played it. Duskers looks like it’ll be exploring similar territories – murky, poorly lit ship interiors, seen through the optical equipment of drones sent to explore the darkest corners of a world gone dark.

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GOGgles On For Archimedean Dynasty, Albion, Anno 1602

“Anyone have fond memories of Albion?” asks Adam in the RPS treehouse, perched on his stump. “On GOG now.” If we were ’50s newsmen wearing three-piece suits and hats, keeping whiskey in our desk drawer (nowadays, it sits on the desk), staring at our secretary’s gams, and saying ‘scoop’ unironically, we’d call that ‘burying the lede’.

Yes, GOG has added Albion, but as part of a trio of freshly unearthed Ubisoft games from the 1990s that also includes Anno 1602 (or 1602 A.D., for our friends in the colonies) and – here’s the big one for me – Archimedean flipping Dynasty, the sc-fi submarine sim precursor to AquaNox.

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See U Soon: Ubi’s Survival Horror FPS Zombi Comes To PC

One novel exclusive from Ubisoft for the Wii U launch in 2012 was ZombiU, a survival horror FPS set in a zombie-infested London. It was designed a fair bit around the the WiiU tablet controller doodad, but it seemed like this wouldn’t be enough to keep it off other platforms. For a long time, it was. But, late enough that I’m actually surprised by news I had once anticipated, Ubisoft have now announced that ZombiU is coming to Windows. Or Zombi [official site], as it’s now known. Soon, too: August 18th.

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To 4K Or Not 4K? The Pros & Cons Of Ultra-HD Gaming

With Laird Towers currently undergoing major renovations, RPS’s hardware coverage has been forced to retreat to the vaults. But that hasn’t stopped me. No, I’ve battled through the dust, the rubble, the builders lumbering about the place at ungodly hours of the morning (I regard consciousness before 9:30am as rather uncivilised) and the relentless tea-making to bring you some reflections on 4K gaming. We’ve covered several interesting alternatives to 4K of late including curved super-wide monitors, high refresh rates, IPS panels and frame synced screens. So does that experience put a new spin on plain old 4K, aka gaming at a resolution of 3,840×2160? Read the rest of this entry »

Clowning Around: Dropsy Dropping By In September

“OMG” cried our John, showing a new trailer for Dropsy [official site] around the RPS treehouse. For those of you not fluent in middle-aged dad, I’ll translate. I believe he was trying to say “This upcoming adventure game looks funny and trippy and a bit gross and I really dig it but I’m a bit afraid of clowns and don’t want to look at Dropsy’s maw any longer and I don’t like writing news posts, so if someone does like writing news and isn’t afraid of baggy trousers would like to…?”

Hi there.

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Going Going Gone: Race The Sun Is Free For One Day

Zoom zoom.

That there Race the Sun [official site] is a fine game. You skim across abstract landscapes in a solar-powered vehicle, trying desperately to outrun the impending sunset while not smashing into the odd architecture like a ruddy great fool. It’s fast and exciting. I’d recommend you pay money for it, and I’ll certainly recommend you snag it for free.

To celebration the launch of an iOS version (and its new chillout DLC on PC), developers Fippfly have made Race the Sun free for one day. Head on over to Steam to nab it and it’ll be yours forever.

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A Policeman On What Police Games Get Wrong

If you played Ryse: Son of Rome you may remember it for the serviceably clangy combat. My friend “Jack”, a police officer from northern England of several years standing, recalls the game for other reasons. “There are those bits where you join a shield wall – you’re in a tortoise formation. There are public order situations that are like that. Most officers in Yorkshire get riot training, because of the riots in Bradford. And that sense in Ryse of having all your colleagues alongside, you’re all behind your shields, getting pelted with stuff, there are flames going off everywhere and you’ve got your enemies in front of you… That’s real! That happens.”

City riots are, he adds, scenarios that could be “great” in a third-person action game – our wide-ranging conversation is rife with jarring transitions of this sort, where talk of broken bones and drug dealing flips over abruptly into talk of reward mechanics and hardware specs. “Certainly with the advances in technology, the latest consoles and PCs could cope very easily with the amount of animation required, the particle stuff like smoke, all the crap that comes up off the floor, people getting hurt all around you. It’s like that and it’s scary.”

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Wot I Think: Blues and Bullets

Blues and Bullets is an episodic adventure game in the vein of Telltale’s Walking Dead series, and documents the Untouchables’ Eliot Ness alt-reality, post-retirement involvement in a spate of disappearances and murders which seem to involve his old nemesis Al Capone. The first instalment is out now.

Blues and Bullets is a fan of everything. In one scene, it’s preoccupied with grisly cultist murders which evoke True Detective’s Yellow King. Then there’s a bit about a retired Eliott Ness running a burger bar and discussing Blueberry Pie recipes. Then there’s a huge, preposterous gangster shootout which has more than a touch of Max Payne to it. Then it’s a visit to an impossibly decadent, alt-history Hindenberg that’s so heavily Bioshock-inspired that it’s even owned by an A. Ryan. Then it’s a sort of James Bond introduction sequence featuring a monochrome gunfight set amid giant typography. Then it’s an odd couple comedy. Then it’s the gruesome evidence-combing of LA Noire. There’s a monster, a giant submarine and a knife fight with a masked maniac in there too.

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Endless Space 2 Announced, First Trailer Released

Endless Space was a fine 4X strategy game with interesting, distinct races and a best-in-class interface. Then Amplitude Studios’ follow-up was Endless Legend, a fantasy 4X game set within the same universe which was best-in-class in general. In fact, we named it the best game of 2014.

So pardon my excitement for the news that Amplitude are now making Endless Space 2 [official site] and have released the first CG trailer.

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Have You Played… Kerbal Space Program?

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

Most films and books about actual human space exploration are about triumph. There are challenges and accidents along the way, but they’re stories of humans overcoming incredible odds in the noble pursuit of knowledge and exploration. Kerbal Space Program [official site] is different because it’s a game about the failures along the way, rather than the success that comes at the end.

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