I’m pretty sure Ephemerid [official site] isn’t a very good game. But as a papercraft rock musical about a mayfly, I’m very glad it exists. Here’s wot I think:
By Richard Cobbett on February 9th, 2015.
So, last time we looked at The Witcher 2 in all its glory. Today, we’re flipping it round. Where did things go wrong? Before we start, a clarification. While this will inherently be negative, it’s not to bash the game. The game was awesome, and many of the balls it dropped to the ground were at least pretty well gathered up by the Enhanced Edition. This is really more looking at issues to hope won’t be repeated by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site], allowing it to be all we want it to be.
By John Walker on February 9th, 2015.
Hey, remember Godus?! It was successfully Kickstarted in 2012, despite launching with no video at all, as the name of “Peter Molyneux” still carried enough currency to raise over half a million pounds for his return to the god game genre. Just over two years have gone by, and mobile free-to-play versions of the game launched last year, but what state is the PC development in now? Molyneux has announced that he’s now working on a new project, a mobile thing called The Trial, suggesting Godus is no longer his focus. And the team currently working on the game have recently acknowledged that they, “simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the kickstarter page.” Uh oh.
By John Walker on February 9th, 2015.
When it comes to common genres, videogames have got war and science fiction covered. They’re all over action. Historical fiction is meticulously detailed, and the industry is replete with fantasy. In the last couple of years, even, we’ve finally realised it’s possible to have coming-of-age tales told through the medium (although accompanied by the sort of backlash you might expect had the games been about murdering babies with swastika-shaped knives (which, let’s be honest, isn’t unlikely and wouldn’t receive a tenth of the backlash)). Comedy sort of happens maybe a bit now and then, usually with very poor results. But romantic comedy? There’s none.
By Quintin Smith on February 8th, 2015.
Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 142-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Quintin’s tale of Planetside heroism, originally published September 2008.
Planetside, then. Do I have any veterans in the audience? At ease, gentlemen.
It might not have dredged up the subscribers Sony were hoping for, and you personally might have found it a disappointment, a bully, a bastard, or most unforgivably, a bore. The developers were perhaps overambitious, and in any case they managed to screw up both on paper and in practice. But their game has achieved one beautiful thing, and that’s the creation of the same invisible veterans’ club that results from a real life war. If you played Planetside you might have already encountered this phenomenon: the mutual respect that instantly exists once you find out someone’s an ex-Planetside player. Since I can’t think of a name for this whole process, I’m going to dub it “I WAS THERE, MAN” syndrome.
By Graham Smith on February 8th, 2015.
Sundays are for scrubbing the oven because you’re moving out and that thing is filthy. At the next place, you promise yourself, you’ll clean it more regularly while living there so you don’t end up in this position for a fifth time. Ack! Let’s put it off by reading some fine writing about videogames.
By Cassandra Khaw on February 7th, 2015.
Remember how I was hinting about things I wish I could talk about but just couldn’t? Well, I can tell you now. I’m doing a spot of freelancing for Onyx Path (Woohoo!), the people who are now producing the tabletop World of Darkness games. It’s not much writing yet, per se. But things are happening and you should know this because a) news is better when it is shared and b) disclaimer, Bundle of Holding features the old Vampire: the Masquerade games this time around and I don’t want anyone to accuse me of illegitimate endorsement. Our retro-plushie of the day is from Prolar Bear. Guys, always feel free to send in more.
By Cara Ellison on February 6th, 2015.
In the middle of the sort of teen love you only seem to get in ‘edgy’ Channel Four dramas I heard the Primal Scream track Come Together for the first time. It played at the end of the British rave culture movie Human Traffic. Strange to me to hear such a slow, elated thing in an era where fast pop beats were ruling my life, where Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Beyonce’s Crazy In Love were the things I danced to. It was a time at which euphemisms did not occur to me. Now to the ear Come Together seems so nineties, so optimistic, like it is actually putting up utopian buildings in the mind like they would appear as you scrolled over the world in Populous. It made that one relationship I was in seem like it was constructing a glittering wall around us. “We are together”. “We are unified”. “We are together”, Jesse Jackson says over and over in the track. Here are two games, What We Did, and reProgram, that are about being together. Unified. Together.
By Richard Cobbett on February 6th, 2015.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re really looking forward to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] later this year, and you need to go to the gym a lot more. In anticipation of the first and avoidance of the second, I’ve been replaying the second game to refresh my memory and see a few things that I missed the first time round. With the benefit of hindsight, and a big update, where did it go right and where did it go wrong? Let’s do the negatives tomorrow and start with the positives today, of which it has so many to choose from…
By Alec Meer on February 6th, 2015.
Sunless Sea [official site] is a sort of naval roleplaying game, set in dark fantasy world where London has been whisked away to an underground ocean peopled by assorted monstrosities and governed by strange and delicate politics. The master of your own fragile ship, you must make a living, battle horros and seek a destiny of sorts. It’s been in Early Access since last year, but graduates to a full, finished release today.
I sigh every time Low Barnet appears on the horizon. Low Barnet! A clump of rocks just barely below water, nowhere to dock, nothing to do, but seeing it is like seeing a friend standing on the dock after years at sea. The sigh is part relief, part frustration. If I am at Low Barnet, I am almost home: relief. But if I am at Low Barnet it means this trip is at an end now. I have returned with so little, and must spend what few coins I have on replenishing fuel and food in order to do all this again: frustration.
That clump of rock and that name on a map means so much, because I am a weary traveller who has come to know these waterways intimately, and the sad, sinister settlements scattered about them are both waypoints and friends.
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By Philippa Warr on February 6th, 2015.
You play as Nikandreos, a man tasked with taking back power from the gods after Zeus decides to forsake mankind. You’ll achieve that by visiting the domains of key individual gods from the Greek pantheon and besting them in order to collect their powers as embodied by objects. There’s a hub world structure and between god domains you have access to the agora and agora market where you can buy upgrades for weapons or armour, as well as learning recipes for potions and so on.
The game is styled after the black-figure Greek pottery prevalent about 6 or 7 centuries BC, where black silhouetted figures enacted scenes across the surface of vases. It’s a lovely conceit and one which theoretically lends itself well to a two dimensional side scroller – the game equivalent of twirling a vase to get a story. That’s not quite the reality of Apotheon, though.