The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for celebrating apples, if the weather is good enough, and bumming around town with the family if not. Good games writing comes rain or shine though.

Fortnite is moving into Plunkbat territory, to the consternation of Plunkers. Fortnite fan Janine Hawkins has a different issue though: that a battle royale mode misses what makes Fortnite special. Read the rest of this entry »

Ultima Online was released twenty years ago today

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I’ll never forget where I was when I heard that Lord British had been killed.

The character, Ultima creator Richard Garriott’s alter-ego and in-game avatar, burned to a crisp during a beta test of Ultima Online on August 9th, 1997. The game officially launched a month and a half later, twenty years ago today, and I loved it in a way that has kept me from loving any massively multiplayer RPG released since. It might not look like much now, but back then it looked like the future and I could only imagine the kind of worlds I’d be building an alternate online life in twenty years down the line. I can still only imagine them because the spirit of Ultima Online, at least what it meant to me, seemed to wither on the vine.

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Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 devs: “it was our great mistake”

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Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 [official site], the curiously zen-like, genre-defying game of hypnotic vehicular repair, is very much back on the road these days, but it was not ever thus. CMS18 launched in a rather troubled state, rife with bugs and interface peculiarities, but to the credit of both developers and players, it was rapidly and repeatedly patched, backlash was restrained and the result is an excellent game that’s rarely far from the upper reaches of the Steam best-sellers chart.

But what, exactly happened – and are the developers now confident that CMS is ship-shape? Also: what is it about this superficially car-nerds-only game that makes it so compelling to almost anyone willing to pick up a virtual wrench?
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What are we all playing this weekend?

Welcome to autumn! This is the first weekend of the season, a time to sit on a park bench watching leaves rust and tutting at those which are already falling. A few weeks from now, we’ll be gaily kicking through leafy streets and puffing little clouds of steam. A few days after that, we’ll be unleashing big steamy puffs as we cuss up a storm at the damn fool sodden leafmash that made us fall on our jacksie.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

Playerunknown’s Battleground devs address Fortnite Battle Royale comparisons

The makers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] today effectively puffed their chest, pointed at Epic Games, and growled “I’m watching you, sunshine.” They’ve issued a statement addressing comparisons between Battlegrounds and Epic’s new Battle Royale mode in Fortnite, saying that some players have pointed out similarities and now Bluehole are “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.” Which is foolishness, of course. Even creator Brendan ‘Playerunknown’ Greene himself has told us he doesn’t “claim ownership” over Battle Royale modes. Bluehole muttering about contemplating “further action” seems a hollow threat but hey, maybe by making it they’ll save face. Read the rest of this entry »

Spawn Point: how to get into real-time strategy

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Hello. This is Spawn Point, a new not-quite-regular feature in which we take a genre, series or other facet of gaming culture, and try to convince you to give it a shot. It might be those hero shooters you’ve always wanted to get into, or that terrifying space game played by thousands of jerks. We’ll briefly explain the thing, followed by some ways for you to breach it.

First up, it’s… the real-time strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam games

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best overlooked new releases on Steam.

This week: choose your own trousers, Devil Daggers on a motorbike, forgotten rally classics and No Meow’s Sky.
Read the rest of this entry »

Figment imagines its way onto PC today

Figment

When you see games partway through the development process they can get frozen in your memory at that point. I saw Figment [official site] a long while ago in a hotel courtyard at GDC and I remember loving its art style but being unsure how the game itself would pan out. I’d catch it out of the corner of my eye at shows – this year’s Rezzed for example – but always managed to hit a busy time and so couldn’t get a hands-on. Fast-forward to today when the game is a) launching on PC and b) playable at EGX and I get to compare my snapshot with Brendy’s and they’ve managed to tangle together!

“If you do a newsie about Figment coming out today you can say I played some at EGX and it is like Pip dreaming of an bird dreaming of a newt dreaming about playing Bastion. A bit slow maybe. But then you never can move fast in a dream.”

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Plunkbat: An Alice and Pip chat

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After what feels like YEARS of making excuses, Pip is finally ready to try Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] with Alice. She knows that there are “bants” and she knows that there’s a “plane” but everything else is veiled in mystery. Alice, meanwhile, has consumed more chicken dinners than you’ve had… hot meals? Everything will be fine…

Pip: ALICE!

Alice: Pip, are you ready to drop spicy, hold Devil Walker, hug the circle, hit Good Houses, and take off your shoes?

Pip: Well, my intro to this piece was going to be that I’d decided to learn a language you understand: Plunkbat. But it seems that I do not know what you are talking about. Are we still talking about Plunkbat? Read the rest of this entry »

Things I want to celebrate about Divinity: Original Sin II

While Adam has the definitive word in his Divinity: Original Sin 2 review, I’ve found myself unable to stop playing in every spare moment, and jotted down some of the very many things that make this game stand out, make it feel so very special. Below I celebrate its extraordinary replayability, the joy of moving furniture, and hideous undulating flesh blobs. Read the rest of this entry »

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire expansion is now out

Arenanet’s MMORPG Guild Wars 2 [official site] has begun its adventure to new (old) lands with the launch of its second expansion. Path of Fire returns to the Crystal Desert and kingdom Elona, from the first game, on a mission to give the god of war a good kicking. To help boot his molten teeth clean out, players will get new mounts, new elite specialisations, and of course new quests and items and all that too. While Guild Wars 2 itself is free these days, the expansions are paid. Read the rest of this entry »

Parp parp! Project CARS 2 released

Slightly Mad Studios flashed the starting lights for their racing game Project CARS 2 [official site] yesterday, sending it roaring into the night and onto Steam. Stirling Matheson celebrated it (with some reservations) in our Project CARS 2 review, and I know I’ll certainly trust the racing opinions of someone with a name like Stirling Matheson. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

PUBG close quarters loadout.

It’s EGX week and I’m currently sat writing this article behind a set of flight cases in an isolated corner of the NEC, so you’ll have to forgive me if I keep this brief. As you may expect, we’ve got more deals to check out again this week, so let’s get right to them, shall we?

As usual, we’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… No Man’s Sky?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

No Man’s Sky has changed a great deal since the initial release, switching from a pure, lonely exploration experience to a game with base building, harder survival-based modes, rudimentary multiplayer and a lot more. I still prefer that original lonely exploration, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds adding VW campervan for lads on tour

If you had any doubt about the near-fact that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] is about lads larking around on a weekend jolly which turns deadly, they will now be quashed by the revelation that it’s adding a vintage Volkswagen Kombi campervan as a driveable vehicle. Round up the lads, fill a level 3 backpack with tinnies (and a few painkillers, to be safe), hop in the bantwagon, and hit the road blasting Men At Work. No word yet on quite when it will be added but creator Brendan ‘Playerunknown’ Greene says another two vehicles are in the works and I’ll be livid if neither is the bicycle teased earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Pipwick Papers: Pip’s last Supporter Post

The Pipwick Papers

As a final supporter post for RPS before I depart, I found myself going back through the archive of stuff I’ve written for this site. At first I was seeking inspiration, going back through old posts in case there was something I wanted to follow up on. But then I started finding things I’d forgotten writing – the conversations with interesting people who make games, the minutes dedicated to atrocious Photoshopping for news articles, the games I’d said I was looking forward to when I started and which still haven’t come out three years later so they’ve become comfy, mythical future companions… and the many conversations with ALL of my talented colleagues, but PARTICULARLY the partnership with Alice.

I’ve collated some of my favourites – favourite people, favourite stories, favourite memories – below the jump – it’s a lovely feeling that there are so many :) Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path Goes Great Western

Happily the unfortunate incident in Nevada early last year that led to the winding up of Flare Path Sky Tours Ltd had no effect on the activities of Flare Path Rail Tours Ltd. I may be banned from owning, leasing, or operating passenger-carrying sim aircraft in perpetuity but sim trains are another matter. Today, if you’ve nothing better to do, you’re welcome to join me and my driver, Roman, for a journey along a 36-mile stretch of British main line with an uncommonly rich and tragic history.

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Team Deathmatch comes to LawBreakers

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Gravity-bothering FPS, LawBreakers [official site] has launched a “significant” patch, boosting player lifespans, dunking in a new map – Namsan – and bundling in a bunch of new features. There’s also a new game mode in the form of Skirmish – Team Deathmatch. I’ll get into a bit more detail on these bits after the jump but basically it’s the start of the developers at Boss Key experimenting with ways to bolster the game’s appeal and build its audience. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Valve chap launches Half-Life mod C.A.G.E.D.

While Valve Software are unable to continue Half-Life in a way they like, some former employees seem drawn back to HL after leaving. Former Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw recently leaked a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 plot idea and now Cayle George has released a new Half-Life mod. Available now free through Steam, C.A.G.E.D. [official site] is a short singleplayer episode set in a prison. I found parts frustrating but if you’ve missed the Half-Life look, feel, and weapons, this is a pretty flashy reason to return. Read the rest of this entry »