Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Premature Evaluation: Train Valley

By Marsh Davies on June 29th, 2015.

Train Valley offers quite a focussed and fun optimisation challenge rather than a sprawling simulation of every aspect of rail management. Nonetheless, it makes some efforts at historical accuracy - at least in terms of the style of the engines you use - setting its challenges across two centuries of rail transport in Europe, America, Russia and (when it gets a later content patch) Japan. The Gold Rush gets a hat tip, as does World War 2 - so it was with a tiny amount of completely irrational sadness that the date of 1864 came and went while playing the game’s European levels, and there was no mention of the One Thing I Know About Railways: the first British railway murder.

Each week Marsh Davies boards the Steam locomotive as it chugs its way through Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or is cannibalised by rabid commuters while delayed in a siding. This week he’s played Train Valley, a chirpy but challenging rail construction sim.

My attempts to run a railway system make a good case for nationalisation: the absurd delays as I reverse trains back and forth over a switch in the track, somehow making the same signalling error each time; the piles of cargo that end up in the wrong town, or so late that its value has completely expired; the destruction to wildlife, farmland and neolithic monuments; the forced relocation of indigenous people. Oh, and the massive loss of life, too, I suppose. At the end of it all, I go bankrupt – and yet they keep giving me another chance.

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We Happy Few’s Fledgling Dystopian Survival Experience

By Philippa Warr on June 29th, 2015.

Punch ups are a reglar occurance for me

We Happy Few [official site] is, I think, the only survival game with permadeath whose conceit has intrigued me enough that I’ve wanted to stick with it in spite of the insistence that humans lose water at the rate of your average sieve and that anyone can build advanced machinery with enough scavenged scrap metal. That said, I’ve just died for the sixth time and I’m feeling ever-more like the desperate and downcast character I’m playing.

We Happy Few is Compulsion Games’ current project. Its world is the city of Wellington Wells, where a perky, authoritarian bubble called Hamlyn is separated from World War II ruins known as the Garden District by a series of bridges and security checkpoints. The checkpoints are designed to keep Downers – people who aren’t taking their happy pills (“Joy” in the game parlance) – on the ruined side of the river. The idea is to find a way from the ruins where you spawn to the other side of the river and then figure out a way to escape.

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Returning To World Of Warcraft With Patch 6.2

By Ben Barrett on June 29th, 2015.

Featuring my friend Mair, his cat-man follower Leorajh, *his* skeleton dinosaur mount and some plant-based hallucinogens. Video games.

I’ve been playing WoW on and off for most of my adult life and quite a bit more besides. It is my comfort game, a warm blanket of mob-killing, number-crunching and loot-grabbing that has always been there when I’ve needed it. Latest expansion Warlords of Draenor [official site] was, on release, the best the game has ever been in terms of quality, though rather quickly ran out of interesting things to do once max level was reached. I burnt out early this year but 6.2 and its laundry list of changes and additions piqued my interest and pulled me back in. Here’s how it played out.

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RPS Community Update: What You Did in ARK,
Guild Wars 2, Hearthstone and Warframe

By Scott Constantine on June 29th, 2015.

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s time for the monthly recap of what the RPS community have been up to. June saw action in ARK: Survival Evolved [official site] (dinosaurs!), Guild Wars 2 [official site] (crowds!), Hearthstone [official site] (cards!) and Warframe [official site] (ninjas!). Oh, and a reminder about our Steam group too.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Exciting Upcoming Updates

By Richard Cobbett on June 29th, 2015.

One of the most gratifying things about the recent-ish RPG revival is that they’ve almost all done well enough to warrant developer interest after release. (Oh, if only the adventure one had been as… no, no. Wrong column.) Call them Enhanced Editions, Director’s Cuts or whatever else, they give their creators a second chance to fix mistakes or expand their worlds – and that’s pretty cool for fans. But what are the main ones on the way? I put together this quick list of ones to look forward to.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on June 28th, 2015.

Sundays are for getting back to Gamer Maker after a few weeks of accomplishing little, and after making a to-do list and realising you’ve got about two years of work left. Sundays are also for gathering the week’s best writing about videogames, so let’s get started.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Witch Witcher is Which?

By Cassandra Khaw on June 27th, 2015.

Want the week’s best gaming deals? Step below. Includes the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the odd Remember Me, and the final version of Dark Souls II.

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Immaculate Conception: Thomas Scholes

By Marsh Davies on June 26th, 2015.

In this (probably) monthly column, I’ll be looking at the inspiration and techniques of the industry’s greatest concept artists. This month, I talk to environment specialist Thomas Scholes.

One of the things I like so much about Scholes’ work is his ability to blend impressionistic brushwork with a keen sense of three-dimensionality. His paintings are sometimes ambiguous and the textures within them ignore finicky detail, and yet somehow they convey an incredible sense of luminosity and depth that completely enwraps you in the fantasy of that space. Looking at them, you somehow know what it would be like to step into them, what the air would taste like, what it would feel like on your skin.

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BeamNG.drive Makes Car Crashes Fun And Frightening

By Graham Smith on June 26th, 2015.

Bending, twisting, crumpling, crunching metal. That’s what BeamNG.drive [official site] offers in its current incarnation. What started as a physics prototype that rendered cars with soft body physics has gained the .drive suffix to its name and is on its way towards becoming an ambitious, robust driving simulator, with umpteen cars, tracks and an an open world mode.

For now, the joys of BeamNG are what they always were: crashing two or more objects together and watching them split apart in glorious detail. What the additions so far have brought is something unexpected: the fear of crashing two or more objects together.

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Journeys In Games: Let’s Talk About Fast Travel

By Brendan Caldwell on June 26th, 2015.

I first noticed the feeling when I stopped at an inn. They had a roaring fire, plenty of food and wine, and there was a dog lying at my feet. Skyrim had never felt more welcoming. I was replaying the game with some mods installed. One mod took away all the dragonborn stuff and left me starting as a simple bandit schmuck. Another mod made the world of Skyrim cold and harsh to survive in, so I had to light fires to keep myself warm and make sure I didn’t fall into any water lest I catch my literal hypothermic death. But one of these mods had a side option, which was to turn fast travel off. On a whim, I did. It was only days later, in the warm glow of this inn that the feeling began to come over me. And I realised something. Something that all my gaming life I’d never even thought about.

I HATE fast travel. Let me tell you why.

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Artful Dodging: Why Invisible, Inc.’s Rewind Button Is Great

By Alex Spencer on June 26th, 2015.

Are you the kind of person who finds the stealthy route through every Deus Ex level, and who strives to ghost and no-kill every Dishonored level? Me too, but recently I’ve started to realise there’s a cost to playing this way. A perfect ghost run requires just that: perfection. Being spotted is a blemish on my record that I just can’t abide – so the second a guard sounds the alarm or raises their weapon, my finger is on the quick-load button, breaking the flow of my own experience and snapping the fiction of whatever game I’m playing.

But Invisible, Inc. [official site] does something miraculous. It solves that problem with a single button, because when my favourite agent finds themselves at the business end of a guard’s semi-automatic with no chance of escape, there’s always another option: rewind.

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Why I Love Hidden Object Adventures

By Philippa Warr on June 25th, 2015.

A totally ordinary room

Until my mid 20s I loved doing jigsaw puzzles. It was an act which baffled my sister. She would wander into the living room at Christmas to find me sifting through pieces, sorting them into piles, as Midsomer Murders played on the telly. “It’s a con!” she would yell, hoping to make me see the light. “They took a nice picture, ruined it by chopping it up, and now you’re PAYING THEM to allow you to put it back together WORSE than before.”

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In Conversation: RPS Discusses Her Story

By RPS on June 25th, 2015.

Now that Her Story [official site] is available, Adam, John and Pip have gathered to discuss the structure and plot of the extraordinary FMV crime game. There are spoilers throughout and as much of the game revolves around the secrets and lies surrounding a criminal case, please don’t read on if you haven’t already played. Our spoiler-free review and interview should help you to decide if you do want to play.

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