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Rock Paper Shotgun – PC Game Reviews, Previews, Subjectivity

Eliza review

We hate the technology

54

Best PC gaming deals of the week

Cheap games, graphics cards, monitors and more

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Untitled Goose Game review

A wild goose chase

30

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for decamping to London for board game fun. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week.

Kotaku's Cecilia D'Anastasio chronicled the impact of Gamestop, strip malls and early social media on her teenage self. It's an open, disarming examination of everything that seems important in those tumultuous years, and how we're all shaped by the machinations of massive industries. There's also a very good anecdote involving Red Bull cans and some cops.

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Karaoke is sort of choose your own adventure already, but Evergreen Blues aims to make it more so, allowing you and a friend to build the lyrics to the song as you go. It’s also taking out the pesky bit where you actually have to sing, since your character will do that for you, which is a big plus. You can see how it works in the trailer below.

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We as a society already decided that golf was too dry, and subsequently invented mini golf. But clearly mini golf is now also a bore, and we’re onto What The Golf? which lets you putt a whole array of chaos, including your breakfast, your house, and yourself. It’s a radical acceleration in how we spice up older pastimes for the insatiable attention appetite of the youth, and I for one can’t wait to see where we go from here. For now, though, here’s a trailer.

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Battle-royale-slash-ginormous-advertising-platform Fortnite has confirmed its Batman partnership in a blink and you’ll miss it livestream. Luckily, as is the power of online video, you can watch it again at your leisure, including right below. Or you can hop right into the game, where there are doubtless many bats competing to be the last one standing.

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Sometimes you read a game synopsis and have to blink and remind yourself it's not a high-concept metal album, because blimey. Two buds trapped in hell earning their freedom by out-drinking the devil sounds like the sorta thing that'd have some killer riffs. Ah, well. Afterparty still looks bloody incredible. With a release date marked for the end of next month, you don't have to wait long before drinking the lord of darkness under the table.

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Modern Warfare is almost upon us, again. This year's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is much more modern than those other Modern Warfares (all three of them) which, in hindsight, aren't quite so modern anymore. Things are gritty and real this time around, which is both much more modern and far more war than before. See? Open the Blizzard launcher and take a look for yourself. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's big cross-platform open beta kicks off this weekend. Assuming, of course, you're not fighting in it already.

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Best PC gaming deals of the week – 20th September 2019

All the games ever created in the history of the world seemed to have arrived all at once this week, and your deals herald's been hard at work trying to find all the best PC gaming deals she can to help ease the aching soul of your soon to be depleted wallet. We've got deals on the lovely Mutazione that Alice B reviewed yesterday, and don't forget that everyone's favourite horrible goose from House House's Untitled Goose Game will be getting a special discounted launch price of £13.49/$14.99/€14.99 for two weeks over on the Epic Games Store. But that's just the tip of the deals-berg this week, as we've also got loads of discounts on graphics cards, CPUs, keyboards and monitors, plus loads of other games, too. So let's quite honking around and fly straight into those sweet, delicious deals.

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Read our finest PC game reviews

Borderlands 3 review

The real loot was the friends we made along the way

89

Wilmot's Warehouse review

This is your brain on Wilmot

50

GreedFall review

Let the greed hit the floor

33

Are road trips even fun? It's certainly a nice thought, tearing down a sunlit road with your mates, chugging brews in the back and tunes on the CD player. But I can't think of any I've been on that aren't outright misery, crammed in the back on a family jaunt across the country, parents arguing over a map while the sausage rolls start stinking up the cab. Still, could be worse. Unlike Overland's unfortunate nomads, I don't recall ever fending off wild dogs with a 2x4 every time we stopped for petrol.

But Finji are finally ready to make the trip. Fill 'er up and pack your bags, Overland hits the road.

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Untitled Goose Game review

What's the deal with geese? It's a question I've been asking myself for the better part of a decade. Admittedly, it's a rather odd question to have been mulling over for so many years, but for my whole time at university I lived in extreme proximity to them, and it had an impact. My campus was stuffed with the things. As I'd fall asleep at night I'd hear them honking away outside, having a right old laugh with the resident ducks and swans. Those cackling honks would also be the first sounds I'd hear waking up in the morning, too, the conversation no doubt still flowing about their daring escapades playing chicken against cyclists, or snapping at drunks in the night.

They were, and are, obnoxious, belligerent birds (except barnacle geese, beautiful creatures about which I will not have a bad word said), and even now I still feel a small shudder in my soul whenever I catch sight of one. But those ungainly birds of years gone by have nothing on the goose from Untitled Goose Game. That hulking white menace is evil incarnate. And I absolutely love it.

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Adventures With Anxiety is a free work of interactive fiction by Nicky Case. It's about Sergeant Jack Magnum, elite leader of the deadly facepunch squad. Or it's about anxiety, whatever.

You play as the anxiety. It's a little red dog that clings to its human like a raincoat, but detaches when it detects danger it must warn them about. It'll take about half an hour and it's pretty nice.

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Our first impressions of PlanetSide Arena’s chaotic team battle royale

Raise the purple flag, comrades. PlanetSide Arena came out yesterday, bringing some royale to PlanetSide 2’s vast battles in a spin-off game of jeeps and jetpacks. Its big thing is that everyone has a quad in their back pocket, but another major draw are the big 12-person team battles. That’s in keeping with the scale of the bottomless futurewar, but is it as shooty and adrenal-gland-taxing as other battle royale games? Sin and Brendy crash landed on the murderplanet and joined some big fights to find out.

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After Rockstar launched their new wee store client doodad this week, folks who wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V offline on PC were finding themselves unable to. Did Rockstar sneak in a new DRM measure when wedging the new Rockstar Games Launcher into the game's guts? Naw, they say it was a bug, and now it's fixed. The fix does involve going online one last time, mind.

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Termie's quite a busy robot these days. The nonspecific robot skeleton has been popping up in other people's fights with startling frequency lately. Need someone to help chainswordgun an alien bug in half in Gears 5? Terminator's there. Bashing interdimensional martial artists in a bloody tournament with cold, metal fists in Mortal Kombat 11? Yeah, sure, a gruffer Arnie-shaped Termie's there too. It's probably about time ol' T got his own game and stopped mooching off others.

Well, cor blimey, they've only gone and announced Terminator: Resistance, haven't they?

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Logitech G915 Lightspeed review: Wireless keyboard perfection

Spending over a hundred quid on a keyboard is a big ask at the best of times, which is partly why half the entries currently populating my best gaming keyboard list all come in well below that. Over two hundred quid, though? That's positively extortionate. But man alive does the £210 / $250 Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless make an incredibly strong case for itself.

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Like any good hacker, Crypto - not to be confused with Krypto, The Superdog - has been quietly operating behind the scenes for a long time. He's taken the spotlight before, blowing up the dinosaur-b-gone tower that kicked off Apex Legends' first season, but we've never caught sight of this mysterious bad boy. In the last few days, that's begun to change. After making fleeting appearances and BSOD'ing terminals all around Kings Canyon, Crypto is ready to take a one-way trip to Apex Legends on October 1st.

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The Flare Path: An Invisible Insurgency

I've been superintending Saracens, Saladins, and Scouts in the Fulda Gap for the last few days courtesy of Armored Brigade (this column concludes with some thoughts on the current state of the game plus a competition with two expanded copies as prizes). This restricted play diet in combination with some compelling TV documentaries has turned my thoughts to the Troubles, a conflict that my extensive wargame library insists never happened.

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Little Misfortune review

The thing about Misfortune Ramirez Hernandez, the titular protagonist of Little Misfortune, is that she only has a few animations, and one of them is falling flat on her face. That’s part of the lot she’s been handed in life, and as her thematically appropriate name might suggest, the rest of it isn’t great either.

But for every time she takes a spill, she also has an animation for getting back up. And for everything else, there is glitter.

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Don't miss our superb hardware coverage

If you've been bumming about Borderlands 3 with a handful of stuttering frames to your name, I have some underwhelming news. Developers Gearbox have released a hotfix that "does not include issues that the community is immediately concerned with", along with a statement to say they're working on those. They've also posted a list of (possibly) helpful tips to help with framerates and deal with saves if they're still not working after Monday's save-specific hotfix. (Psst. Just turn cloud saves off.)

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Eliza review

Eliza is a visual novel about Evelyn, a woman starting work as a 'proxy' for the eponymous service. The service is counselling by algorithm. The proxies sit and listen, while clients say whatever they have to say, and the system takes measurements of things like heart rate, vocal stress and such, before analysing keywords used and delivering a reply. You read the script it generates, and nothing more. That's the job.

The game itself is about everything to do with that. Counselling. Crunch in the tech industry. Ethics and isolation and empathy, and Men In Tech. And it's about recovery. You get dialogue options here and there, but until the final act there's not a lot in the way of big decisions. I mulled over those closing decisions for longer than I've thought about many I've made in real life. Indeed, if it seems I'm sticking to the slightly dry facts in this intro, it's because if I start talking about how much this game has spoken to me, I don't know if I'll be able to stop. It is doing so much. I have lost sleep thinking about it. And I am glad.

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Have You Played… Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

That's the name for this sort of thing, isn't it? Though it needn't be confined to just Kevin Bacon. If you're good with names and faces and you're after a fun little game to play with a friend or two to pass the time, "Six Degrees" is perfect. Here's the best way to play.

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You can today hop behind the wheel of the final human-driven taxis in our near-future in a new demo for Neo Cab. That's the chat-o-driver we've cooed at a few times since its announcement in 2018, and it's finally almost here. As well as releasing the demo, developers Chance Agency today announced a release date of October 3rd. Have a peek in the new trailer below.

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It's been quite a while since we caught up with young Jenny LeClue - Detectivú. RPS exile John was quite taken by the game's demo back in 2015, following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. And then, she went silent. Sleuthing, I reckon, hiding in the shadows to unravel the case of the unfinished adventure game. Now, four years later, Jenny's solved the mystery and is submitting her evidence to Steam and GOG.

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Light the candles, roast the goose, Father Epic has come to town. Bearing gifts of cost-free games, he's telling tale of a masked menace from a far-off metropolis. Clad in black and the cowl of a bat - what delightful nonsense! For the younger children, a toy-like series of marvels await in the Lego Batman trilogy. Ah, and for you older rascals, the Arkham series awaits with a devilish tale of detectives, criminals and fast-flying fists. But make up your mind quick, there's only a week to spare.

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Steam's been a bit of a naff place for finding new games for a long time now. The boffins down at Valve Headquarters seem to agree, too - over two months into their experimental Steam Labs projects, we're seeing the gang at Bellevue throwing plenty of ideas at the wall. The Automatic Show might still be absolute pants, and Micro Trailers is more satisfying as a Twitter curiosity than part of Steam proper, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how well other experiments are panning out.

Today, the eggheads at Steam Labs are unveiling two more projects to help Steam players filter through the noise.

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So what are we calling PlanetSide Arena? You've got Playerunknown's Battlegrounds tying off nicely into Plunkbat, Apex Legends more uncomfortably squeezed into ApeLegs. Fortnite never got one, but then it's probably a genre traitor for not picking some unwieldy moniker. Plarena? Plasiren? I'm struggling here, y'all. These all sound like nondescript medical brands. We've not got long to decide, either: PlanetSide Arena, Daybreak's massive answer to all of the above, entered early access as free-to-play today. These opening hours are vital.

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Podcast: Why we can’t stop playing Wilmot’s Warehouse

You are handed a box. Inside, another hour of ceaseless chatter from three folks on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. Oh no, where re you supposed to put this? Maybe it should go next to the knives in the "dangerous items" pile. Or you could store it beside the tennis rackets in "hobby equipment". Oh hell, let's just make a whole new category for it: "things to listen to in the car".

Can you guess what our special Can't Stop Playing podcast is this month? Yes, it's minimalist sort 'em up Wilmot's Warehouse.

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