Posts Tagged ‘retrospective’

CD Projekt Red On The Making Of The Witcher 1:
“We thought we could accomplish anything.”

By Rob Zacny on July 15th, 2015.

The Witcher 3 [official site] brings to a close one of the strangest trilogies in games. Unlike a series like Mass Effect, where the first game’s design laid a foundation for each subsequent instalment, The Witcher series completely reinvented itself at every turn. Yet despite the way CD Projekt Red lurched from one design to another, the series also retained an undeniably unique and consistent identity.

How much of The Witcher series’ evolution was by design, and how much was improvised? It’s hard to say, even for the CDP veterans who oversaw Geralt’s video game odyssey from beginning to end. I know because I asked.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

65 Comments »

Race Around The Clock: Remembering Street Rod

By Jody Macgregor on July 8th, 2015.

A lot of our ideas about the 1950s and early ’60s come from the era’s nostalgic revival years later. Grease, Happy Days, and American Graffiti give us our stereotypical image of the period’s cool cats, but those are all from the 1970s. They represent a fictionalised version of the time that was unrecognisable to people who lived through it – even the word “greaser” wasn’t contemporary, but comes from S. E. Hinton’s 1967 novel The Outsiders. In their day the kids with quiffs would have been called juvenile delinquents or hoods.

I didn’t have a car when I was a teenager but I did have a Commodore 64, and it was as temperamental, arcane, and hard to get working as anyone’s first used car would be. A hand-me-down from my stepbrother, it came with a pile of dubious floppy disks, plus a few cassettes that rarely worked, and one of those floppies had Street Rod on it.

Street Rod is a game made in 1989 and set in 1963 but nostalgic for the 1950s. It’s also, by dint of its marriage of street racing with plot, mundane car maintenance, and the time limit of a single summer, a more progressive and interesting forebear to the modern Need For Speed.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

29 Comments »

Why Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri Is Looking Glass’s Forgotten Classic

By Rob Zacny on July 3rd, 2015.

Released in 1996, tactical mech simulator Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri [GOG page] was one of Looking Glass’s most interesting games – and one of their biggest commercial failures. We asked Rob Zacny to explore what made the game so interesting in the wake of its recent addition to GOG.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

30 Comments »

Remembering City Of Heroes

By John Walker on July 2nd, 2015.

Sometimes you can wait too long, think it’s okay to put off saying that important thing to the game you love, and then they’re gone. Then time goes on, and it becomes less and less relevant to say. Then you never say it.

City Of Heroes shut off its servers about two and a half years ago. Alec had the sense to eulogise it then. I never got around to it. And yet my memories of the game still buzz around in my head, the fondness for the MMO that really was responsible for forming RPS, years before there was an RPS, all with no outlet. The game can’t really be included in Top X lists, since it’s unplayable. It doesn’t make good use of time or SEO to dedicate a feature to it on a major gaming website. So what to do? Waste some time, I say. Here are my memories of the long-lost City Of Heroes.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

40 Comments »

18 Years Later, Why Are People Still Playing Ultima Online?

By Jake Tucker on June 30th, 2015.

Later this year, Ultima Online [official site] will turn 18 years old. In the genre of MMOs, that makes the game positively ancient – and it’s even more remarkable when you consider that it’s still funded via a subscription model.

I’ve never played an Ultima game, much less one that’s nearly my age. I wanted to find out what the game is like to play today as a newcomer, and to ask people why they’ve continued visiting Britannia for nearly two decades.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

106 Comments »

Deus Ex Is 15: Memories Of Ion Storm’s Classic FPS

By RPS on June 23rd, 2015.

Deus Ex is 15 years old, which means it’s almost old enough to move out of our house and stop having to do what we say. For now though, John, Alec, Adam and Alice decided to celebrate the relentless passing of time by jotting down some memories of Ion Storm’s beloved immersive sim.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

65 Comments »

Doing Comics Justice: Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich

By Sin Vega on June 19th, 2015.

Superheroes are, my dear mole cave people recently thawed following a decades-long slumber, very much in vogue right now. Films about whiny teenagers with the least interesting powers of an arachnid are ten a penny, but video games of this kind have been oddly lacking. The superhero games we do have – for example, the Arkham series – are mainly about specific superheroes, not about the idea or the spirit of their original format, the comic book.

I have a strange bias here, as I’m one of the fifty people on earth who loves games but never cared about comics or superheroes. So I say this without exaggerating or clutching at straws: Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich [Wikipedia page], a real-time, squad-based tactical beat ‘em up from 2005, is the only game that truly shows why people love comics.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

41 Comments »

One vs. One In Sniper Elite Is Still As Tense As Games Get

By Joseph Dwan on June 17th, 2015.

The everlasting threat of a single bullet, the terrifying glint of a sniper scope in your eyes, and the darkness that covers your enemy make Sniper Elite V2 [official site] one of the most gripping gaming experiences I’ve had. You can’t take your eyes off the screen for a second; instead, you must remain calm, remain patient, and study your environment. Was that sliver of movement in the corner of your eye the enemy or foliage shifting in the wind? Does that scope glint signal impending death or did they fail to see you as you had failed to see them?

The tension is greatest in a one-on-one deathmatch fight, in which one wrong move can be your end. The skills of a sniper are your only help.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

14 Comments »

The Ambitious Failure Of Cybervamp RPG BloodNet

By Sin Vega on June 3rd, 2015.

I’m known for writing about old games that are worth playing today. This is something of a departure, as I can’t really recommend Bloodnet [Wikipedia page] with a clear conscience. It isn’t a good game. But it’s been lurking in my mind for the better part of 20 years.

It’s a rare game that would excite a traditional RPG fan as well as a genre cynic like me – an unforgiving, non-linear, party-based adventure with turn-based combat and minimal handholding, set in a world devoid of goddamn elves. Instead, it’s set in the kind of future that only the early 1990s could conjure up.

Cast as Ransom Stark, you’re a ‘disgrunt’ – a former employee of evil megacorporation du jour, TransTechnicals, discarded when your work made you sick. Now you’re one of many surviving the dystopian microcosm of Manhattan via illegal activities like ‘decking’ (unauthorised Matrix use. No, not that one. Well, actually….), theft, espionage, and of course murder. Then you’re bitten by a vampire.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

24 Comments »

Imperial: Revisiting X-Wing And TIE Fighter

By Rob Zacny on May 22nd, 2015.

To commemorate the digital release of classic Lucasarts games X-Wing and TIE Fighter [Steam or GOG for the best versions here and here], we commissioned Rob Zacny to take a trip down memory lane and into the laser-singed spaces between the stars. He came back with extensive thoughts as to the quality of the games, and their place in Star Wars lore and legend.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , .

62 Comments »

Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever? The Conclusion

By John Walker on April 29th, 2015.

This took rather longer than we thought. But after five entries, and two weeks, I’ve come to my conclusions. You can read the whole saga here, if you’ve not yet caught up, as I chronicle my experience of replaying Deus Ex – a game I’ve always maintained is the Best Game Ever – fifteen years later. Was I wrong? Is it even possible for me to be wrong? Read on.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , .

120 Comments »

Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?
Part Five: Living, Playing, Ending

By John Walker on April 23rd, 2015.

My chronicle of returning to Deus Ex fifteen years later, to see if I’m right when I tell anyone who comes near that it’s the best game ever, is nearing its end. You can read the whole saga here.

In this fifth part I contemplate the significant change in approach in the last third of the game, and then make my choice for the ending.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , .

69 Comments »

Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?
Part Four: Fratricide, Gratified And Dissatisfied

By John Walker on April 21st, 2015.

And so continues my chronicle of returning to Deus Ex fifteen years later, to see if I’m right when I tell anyone who comes near that it’s the best game ever. You can read the whole saga here.

In this fourth edition, I once more fail to save my brother, become increasingly frustrated with the limits of the game’s intelligence, and ponder whether real choice is actually usefully conveyed to the player.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , .

84 Comments »