– I think this game is probably extraordinary
– I am not having any fun playing this game
RPS Feature 10 PRINT "BOOBIES", 20 GOTO 10
RPS Feature Bleary Road
I’m trying to work out what I think of the early hours of Mad Max [official site] through a fog of flu and headaches, which is something I’d hoped might help enliven an interpretation of George Miller’s ultra-violent feverish post-apocalyptic peculiarity. Oddly, I’m increasingly convinced that my fever is the closest this massive open desert world will get to capturing that distinct tone of the films. But what about the rest? The driving, the punching, the quest for silence?
RPS Feature Mooned
A new phenomenon of modern games criticism is playing a game for a bit, then stopping to double-check if you missed its being in early access. That’s certainly something I did when playing Corpse Of Discovery [official site]. (The punning title rendered even more clumsy when a character pronounces its near-homograph with a hard ‘ps’.) But no, despite a growing certainty as I started playing, this is entirely released. That might not be for the best.
RPS Feature Early Access impressions
“Best elevator pitch ever” was my response to a colleague’s description of Bounty Train as ‘Elite with steam trains’ when we first heard about it. There’s a game I want to play. Now, Daedelic’s train management/trading/roleplaying/ gunfighting game has pulled up at the Early Access station. Keen to know if dreams can come true, I hitched a ride to hands-on impressions town.
RPS Feature Time moves when you do.
Superhot [official site] is the first-person shooter deconstructed. You don’t move and shoot, jump and dodge. You move then shoot, jump then dodge. The reason for your turn-based decision making is that time only moves when you do. I’ve been playing the beta for the past week, and it’s superb.
RPS Feature The Martianing
RPS Feature More early access tree-punching
Forgive the prosaic X+Y headline but, y’know, it is. Savage Lands (released on Steam Early Access back in March, but suddenly doing rather well for itself in the charts) is built entirely from other game’s ideas, but in a such a way that I can’t help but think, “Yeah, of course that would be popular, and why didn’t anyone do it sooner?”
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RPS Feature Shhhhhhh
The final expansion for StarCraft II, Legacy Of The Void [official site], is expected to appear before the end of 2015. But in the meantime, those who pre-order the game (don’t pre-order – Ed) can gain immediate access to the beta for prologue missions, Whispers Of Oblivion. We sent Rob Zacny in to take a look at both that short campaign, and the multiplayer for the expansion.
Perhaps it was unfair to expect too much from Whispers Of Oblivion. It’s a Legacy Of The Void pre-order bonus that will be free for everyone when the game launches later this year. It’s the StarCraft equivalent of a Happy Meal toy. I might have enjoyed it more, except that I started replaying the Wings of Liberty campaign, and thinking about all the places StarCraft 2 has gone — and hasn’t gone — in the last five years.
No Pineapple Left Behind [official site] is nominally about magical teachers managing a farcical school, but in reality it’s a grim indictment of an education system which prioritises funding and grades over personal development. This means that gags about casting spells to transform unruly pupils into obedient but homogeneous pineapples are about as far as the humour goes, at least in the very early alpha version I’ve been playing. In other words, if you’re here solely because of fruit-based gags, you either need to adjust your expectations or walk away now.
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RPS Feature Sleepy
RPS Feature Survival game from ex-BioShock folk
The Flame In The Flood [official site] is a ‘post-society’ survival game from The Molasses Flood, a new studio formed from the ashes of Irrational. It was successfully Kickstarted last October, and just sent out its first, very early and not at all finished build to backers (and press). I thought I’d have a look and see how it’s coming along.
Don’t starve. Don’t freeze. Don’t drown. Don’t dehydrate. Don’t drink suspicious water. Don’t break all your bones. Don’t ram your raft into a boulder. Don’t get mauled by wolves. Definitely don’t leave the game alt-tabbed without having hit pause first, because then you’ll definitely starve.
RPS Feature LA LA LA-LA LA-LAAAA
As is my wont of an early morning, I like to look through the new puzzle games appearing on Steam, in search of treats to share with you, my bestest internet friends. I’m not sure my pre-8am brain was quite ready for the extraordinary cheerfulness that occupies every moment of Prismatica [official site]. Ostensibly a game about rotating overlapping hexagons to move coloured tiles around, its real impact comes from the joyful bursts of colour and sound. Oh, such ludicrous joy.
RPS Feature Big Bad Boss Wizards
Slow and steady wins the race. No wild promises, but plenty of apparently practical plans for the future, has long been X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s approach with his Kickstarted comeback, Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access). While it sadly doesn’t seem to attract quite the same adulation/scrutiny as other returning 90s devs’ crowdfunded career reboots, what it has done is reliably get on with things, meeting its initial promises one-by-one. So here we are with the first components of its singleplayer mode – perhaps the strategic wizard-battler’s biggest break with its multiplayer-only, Spectrum ZX past. On the one hand, that’s probably what X-COM fans want more than anything (other than a true blue X-COM follow-up, of course). On the other hand, what is chess without a human opponent? All depends on structure – how can a series of disconnected, turn-based battles with random spells be made into a meaningful campaign?