Have You Played… Consortium?

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

Consortium [official site] is one of those games that’s kinda hard to recommend… but I really respect and wish more people would play. I know. Contradiction. Let me explain. With words.

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Mockingarchaeopteryx – Ark: Survival Evolved’s New Mode

When we sent Brendan into the dinosaur-infested open-world survival game Ark: Survival Evolved [official site], I imagined that he would get super-killed a dozen times over by players riding 12-metre murderlizards. Instead, he luckily found people helping each other, a whole server of good samaritans (riding 12-metre murderlizards). Well, it’s not all like that.

A new Hunger Games-style (or Battle Royale, if you prefer) mode is coming soon, with last-man-standing permadeath arena action and limited supplies. Developers Studio Wildcard say it’s “specifically balanced for tournament competition”, and plan to debut it through a livestreamed tournament with a $20,000 grand prize.

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Hands On: RymdResa

It’s tough to pin down exactly what sort of game RymdResa [official site] is going to be when it comes out next month, not least because it keeps changing as you go through. Split into three chapters, each slightly varying on the last, it’s a 2D space exploration/thruster-based arcade game, with poetry. You know the sort. I’ve had my hands on some code.

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Dota 2: The International 2015 Cheat Sheet

You are entering a DON'T LET THAT GOAT THROUGH zone

With over $17.5 million on the line Valve’s fifth annual Dota 2 [official site] competition, The International, is the biggest eSports event yet in terms of prize pool. It’s also the last International before the company makes some big structural changes to the Dota 2 competitive scene. I suspect next year’s event will feel substantially different so I’m hoping this year’s games are an end-of-an-era mic drop as monstrous and impressive as the prize pool itself.

Here’s a cheat sheet with all the basic info about the tournament:

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Choices Of A Samurai

You know, I’m not entirely sure that Way of the Samurai 4 [official site] is the most authentic historical game. Not sure what makes me think that. Possibly the British ambassador to Japan being a tiny girl in a Lolita dress. Maybe the stock dialogue option “I’m allowed to kill you if I want to.” At a pinch, maybe the fact that the British Royal Marine Commander’s name is “Melinda Megamelons”. No, no, it’s probably nothing. I’m sure you could use it for homework and walk off with an A.

But as well as being educational, it’s the ideal candidate for an RPG cultural exchange – a pot of great ideas and potential cool things just sitting there for Western games to both play with and pilfer, and a refreshing change from the sprawling norm. If you don’t mind your eyes sometimes rolling so hard that you get a quick peek inside your own skull. Ouch, that gets painful after a bit.

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Speedrun Bonanza: Summer Games Done Quick Now On

Look, it's difficult to get a crisp screencap - they barely ever stop moving.

Summer is here, I’m told, though this weekend I had to buy a hat to keep off this Scottish rain. Still, the festive spirit of summer is alive and well in Summer Games Done Quick, the week-long livestreamed celebration of speedrunning games and raising money for Doctors Without Borders. The event kicked off yesterday, and will end on Sunday.

The schedule includes a good number of PC games with a few oddball choices, the PC lineup including Hotline Miami 2, Unreal, Super Noah’s Ark 3D, Octodad: Dadliest Catch in co-op, and Minecraft. It’s all streaming night and day on Twitch and archived on YouTube if you want to catch up on something.

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Holy Holes, Gaben! Steam Account Hijack Exploit Fixed

Welp I guess that's a Steam logo.

Valve are a taciturn company, which is fair enough. Mercy knows if I received ten thousand e-mails and tweets about Half-Life 3 every day, I’d dedicate my life to obliterating the written word. At times, though, they really should break the silence. They should shout and yell and scream and let everyone know what’s going on. Say, if for five days a security hole had let ne’er-do-wells easily take over people’s accounts. Nope.

Valve have closed the hole, but Steam’s website – including the Store – is down now and I have no idea whether that’s connected, because they aren’t announcing anything about this. Speak up, son.
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Boaty Exploration: Submerged Surfacing Next Week

Yes, please.

Exploring a drowned world on a dinky little boat sounds grand. Not Waterworld drowned, just… end-of-human-civilization-as-we-know-it-don’t-worry-it’s-kinda-peaceful-may-as-well-accept-it drowned. I’ve had my eye on Submerged [official site] for a while, keen to get exploring, and am glad to learn the wait is almost over. For months I’ve been making do the best I can, which was sitting in the bath surrounded by LEGO houses. It’s not the same.

Submerged will arrive next Tuesday, August 4th, developers Uppercut Games have announced. Come see some lovelies in a new trailer:

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Boss Fight: Peek At Wanderlust Adventures’ Enemies

Ah wanderlust, that sweet call to adventure. It’s what drove Kerouak to meander America and Chris McCandless to shake off his dreary middle-class roots. I experienced wanderlust last night myself, when suddenly I was overtaken by the desire to experience something true and real and powerful like a kebab. So overtaken with the desire to reject my phony, humdrum existence without this, my meaty and spiritual totem, that I began an intense four-minute walk to the kebab shop: A story I will impart to my children, and they to their children, for generations. For, as I will say to them wisely, why live without kebabs when you can instead eat a kebab and become one with it?

And with that comes the tenuously linked albeit beautifully wanderful Wanderlust Adventures [official site]. We mentioned it to you just last month: published by the guys behind Starbound, it’s an exploration-heavy with four-player online co-op, all very true to Chucklefish style – free-roaming, randomised dungeons, gerbils.

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Blitzkrieg 3 Gets Its First Real-Time PvP Mode

Blitzkrieg 3 [official site] has got a big ol’ update with a new PvP mode. It’s something called Active Defense, which from my understanding of WWII front line defense – most of which has been gleaned from Nick Frost in Spaced – means the developers at Nival are angling for slightly more realistic combat.

Essentially this means it’s in real-time. Up until this point, Blitzkrieg 3’s multiplayer mode was “asynchronous,” meaning the defending team in its front line were offline players whose forces were controlled by AI. Which is slightly strange. It’s only now that they’ve introduced real-time PvP between attacking and defending players.

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10 Minute Barbarian Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Some people say that Hemingway’s short poem “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” is great because of the enormous size of a story it hints at in such minimalist prose but I think we all know it’s actually good because it’s really, really fast. In this mile-a-minute world of vines and GIFs I just don’t have time for anything that requires more than seven seconds of recollection.

Enter 10 Minute Barbarian [official site], which is exactly what it should be.

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Art Attack: Mondrian – Abstraction In Beauty

Two years ago Lantana Games came out with a little American History centric indie called Children of Liberty. You might remember us mentioning it as a semi-educational stealth game – if you have this on your RPS Bingo Card you may cross it out now! Children of Liberty appears to have set the stage for their next project.

Continuing on the historical theme is Mondrian – Abstraction in Beauty [official site], which is decribed as a 360-degree block-breaking puzzle game that looks at how game art evolved in the 20th century. More specifically, how video game art has evolved.

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Board ‘Em Up: Legions Of Steel Goes From Tabletop To PC

Often when I’m in a pub I’ll regail strangers with great tales of how I’ll one day make my millions by pitching game developers great ideas I’ve stolen from board games I once played in a recroom during the ’90s. It’s a great tragedy that Studio Nyx got there ahead of me with Legions of Steel [official site], which if you’re old enough you might recognise as an old tactical board game about saving humanity from mechanical jerks.

The original rule-set has been recreated for its PC release by the French studio – The game’s out now and you can watch in action below:

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