Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Impressions: Lucius II

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

The Devil might have all the best tunes but his latest game is a stinker. The original Lucius looked like it’d be a sandbox Satanic murder ‘em up but turned out to be something closer to a shonky 3d point and click game, with prescripted kills that required specific inputs, objects and (sometimes) timing. For the sequel [official site], developers Shiver Games have built a game of improvised murder and AI interactions, but in reaching for the stars, they’ve fallen shrieking into the sun.

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Premature Evaluation: Monstrum

By Marsh Davies on February 16th, 2015.

Given how utterly terrifying, unknown and lethal the sea has been to humans throughout recorded history, maritime horror is a remarkably underused setting in games. Perhaps it's a British thing, being an island nation obsessed with naval superiority, that stories of ghost ships and sea monsters are so particularly resonant: the largest percentage of our idioms are nautical references. By and large, if you can’t fathom what a phrase means, it probably comes from sailing. In fact, “by and large” and “fathom” are nautical terms. The same goes for: cut and run, toe the line, know the ropes, touch and go. You can build entire statements out of them alone: “It’s not a hard and fast rule, but anyone who is three sheets to the wind is a bit of a loose cannon and should be given a wide berth, even if, normally, you like the cut of their jib.” Nautical terms pop up in unusual places. Slush fund, for example, comes from the practice of hoarding the rancid fat from boiled meat so that it might be sold on at port. Yummy.

Each week Marsh Davies skittishly edges into the gloomy bowels of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or simply hides in a locker and tries not to cry too loudly. This week he dons his brownest trousers and hopes never to face his fears in Monstrum, a firstperson horror game set on a boat that procedurally reconfigures its layout every time you get eaten.

My, hasn’t the Find Some Things While Being Chased By A Thing genre come a long way? Only two and half years ago it was largely consigned to the realms of shonky boo-scare creepypasta homage. Now we have dozens upon dozens of iteratively-improved indie imitators, and even the lustrously-rendered likes of Alien: Isolation, which took Slender’s sandbox-scare principles to the triple-A firmament. You’d think, after all the shrieky reaction-cams, exhaustively explored lockers and soiled pants, that a new entrant of this genre would have to try ever so hard to be as effective – and, to its credit, Monstrum does give an earnest shake to the basics, inasmuch as the procedurally arranged cabins and corridors give its replays a Roguish unpredictability. But, largely, this is a retreat from the fulsome narrative structures of Alien or Outlast to something more simple and, ahem, slender: a gloomy environment and stuff to find in it, before something finds you and permadeaths you through the brain.

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Hands On: Tale Of Tales’ Sunset

By Philippa Warr on February 16th, 2015.

The Winter Garden of the house

Sunset‘s [official site] preview showcases a game of guiding and shaping rather than explicit storytelling. It’s about gently influencing a relationship with an unseen person according to your own interests against the backdrop of a South American revolution in the 1970s.

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Video: A Return To The Long Dark

By John Walker on February 16th, 2015.

Snowy survival sim, The Long Dark [official site], has recently doubled its landscape, so I thought it time to return to explore this newly fallen content. And video myself being eaten by wolves in the process.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on February 15th, 2015.

Sundays are for packing all your worldly belongings into cardboard boxes, because it’s almost moving time. Look at all those DVDs you haven’t watched since the last time you moved.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Valentine’s Dough

By Cassandra Khaw on February 14th, 2015.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone celebrating it, and to those who are not otherwise entranced by this commercialism of affection, enjoy it as International Book Giving Day! (This is your cue to leave your Amazon wishlists in the comments so others can think about randomly giving you a shiny. I might randomly give you a shiny. Who knows?) Either way, enjoy this week’s bucket, each other, and the fact you are alive and well. Today’s adorable repost plushie is brought to you by Angel Tear and the number 12.

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Electric Dreams, Part 1: The Lost Future Of AI

By Michael Cook on February 13th, 2015.

In 2001 two scientific researchers, John Laird and Michael van Lent, wrote an article for AI Magazine titled ‘Human-Level AI’s Killer Application – Interactive Computer Games’. The magazine, published and distributed by the stern and serious American Association for Artificial Intelligence, went out to universities and laboratories around the world. In their piece, Laird and van Lent described a future for the games industry where cutting-edge artificial intelligence was the selling point for games. “The graphics race seems to have run its course,” they declared. As they saw it, “better AI [is] becoming the point of comparison” for modern games. This didn’t quite work out.

This is a series of posts about artificial intelligence and videogames. It’s also about science, society, the future, the past, YouTube, Elon Musk, and how all of these things can hurt and help the future of the games that we play and love. It’s about how Laird and van Lent’s dream never came true, and probably never will – but it’s also about a new hope that I have for science, research and games, and one that you can be a part of. In a sense, I’m going to claim the same thing that Laird and van Lent did fourteen years ago – that the games industry might be on the brink of major change. It’ll be up to you to decide if I’m repeating the same old failed predictions, or if something is different this time. In this first part, we’re going to look back and ask why nothing happened fourteen years ago, and examine our relationship with better AI in modern games.

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Peter Molyneux Interview: “I haven’t got a reputation in this industry any more”

By John Walker on February 13th, 2015.

When Peter Molyneux agreed to speak to me, I knew the interview was going to be tense. I knew that an article we’d posted on Monday, asking what was going on with the development of Godus, had kicked up an enormous storm for 22cans and its boss, with the rest of the gaming press picking up and running with it. So I assumed, when he agreed to chat, he knew that it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride. I wanted to get to the root of so much that now seems to form the reputation of the developer, the outlandish promises that so often aren’t kept, the ridiculous time-frames claimed, and the often disappointing or lacklustre results. I especially wanted to do this now that the people funding such things aren’t deep-pocketed publishers, but the players themselves. I wasn’t expecting it to take us in the direction of Molyneux’s declaring that I was “driving him out of the games industry”.

We spoke on the phone on Wednesday evening, Molyneux speaking from the Guildford offices of his studio, 22cans. Sounding stressed, but composed, Molyneux asked how I’d like to begin, whether I had questions, or should I just let him talk. I told him I had questions, many questions, and so we began.

RPS: Do you think that you’re a pathological liar?

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SUPERHOT: A Chat With Alice And Pip

By Philippa Warr on February 12th, 2015.

SUPER. HOT.

Alice and Pip are talking about Superhot. It’s one of Pip’s most anticipated games of the year and Alice is pretty amped about anything which makes her look even more cool as she roams the land taking dudes down…

Pip: ALICE

Alice: Oh no.

Pip: What do you mean “Oh no.” You don’t even know what I’m going to say yet. I could be about to tell you of an exciting new pond for you to go swimming in.

Alice: I know you find my ponding more worrying than exciting, so this is cruel teasing for the sake of intro banter. Tell me what we’re talking about.

Pip: It’s only worrying because you can’t feel some of your limbs and appendages nowadays. Also you might get eaten by savage PIKE.

We’re talking about SUPERHOT, by the way.

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Foolish Fancy: Judge Dredd Games

By Alec Meer on February 12th, 2015.

I’ll probably end up doing one of these for every geeky thing I loved as a kid. Last time it was Transformers, but currently I’m deep in a Judge Dredd phase (mostly thanks to this lovely new collection. I’ve subscribed, but every time I think about how much it’s going to cost me if I go the distance I curl into a ball and start weeping uncontrollably). I’m still bitter about how underwhelming Dredd vs Death was, so I’ll try to salve the wound by imaging how games could get Mega-City One’s finest right.
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Dote Night: A Beginner’s Glossary For Dota 2

By Philippa Warr on February 11th, 2015.

Creeps

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

I talk a lot about different MOBAs in this column and a lot of that necessitates a bit of insider vocabulary. I often have to assume a basic familiarity with the genre otherwise every article would use half the word count on explanations of niche terms.

This week I’m going to go into those terms with a glossary of sorts. It will focus on Dota but I’m considering doing the same thing for LoL and Smite. If there’s any terminology not covered here that you’ve heard and been confused by just add it in the comments and I’ll do my best to explain or to add it in to the list below!

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The Making Of Warhammer: Total War (THE MOD)

By Rob Zacny on February 11th, 2015.

Until Total War: Warhammer comes along from Creative Assembly, the most ambitious and comprehensive Warhammer fantasy strategy game is a colossal mod for Rome: Total War called Warhammer: Total War – A Call to Arms. Over the course of five years, a high school student and a handful of volunteers tortured and twisted the aging Rome: Total War engine into becoming a full-fledged Warhammer game.

Powered by an obsolete engine even when the final version was released a couple years back, and soon overshadowed by the news the Sega had acquired the rights to make a Warhammer fantasy game on PC, A Call to Arms could be seen as a classically quixotic modding effort. But if you look past the dated graphics, you’ll find that A Call to Arms might just be the most faithful adaptation Warhammer fantasy will ever receive on PC. It is a sprawling, ambitious, and scarcely-coherent effort to bring every ounce of Warhammer fantasy lore to life as a Total War game – and in doing so it captures the spirit of the old Warhammer fantasy universe better than official games might ever dare.

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Evolve Wot I Think-In-Progress, Part 2: Puny Humans

By Alec Meer on February 11th, 2015.

Editor’s note – we only received review code for Evolve [official site] yesterday. Rather than now wait a week or so to run a review, I’m posting a very short series of my thoughts as I think ‘em, in the hope of providing more timely information to those who want it. Here’s part 1 ICYMI.

I’m into the swing of things now, having tried out all the classes in PvP matches with randoms, and unlocked a couple of new characters. Before I get into that stuff though, let me tackle the singleplayer mode, such as it is, in case anyone online-phobic has been curious about that side of things.
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