The Sunday Papers

Sundays are, if you so inclined, already Christmas day. And why not have Wintermas a week early? You’re (probably) a grown up? There’s literally nothing stopping you. I’m going to have another Christmas in April, too, just for the hell of it. Fuck calendars, I say. No one tells me when to decorate my house with tinsel!

  • Dan throws some water in the well-marketed flames of The Old Republic launch: “Whether SWTOR is any good or not is academic at this stage. It’s a supertanker that can’t turn fast, a holiday resort built in boom times. With its brand and the hype, it’s likely to succeed; but it’s almost certainly the last of its kind.” That will seem true, I think, until a company figure out what we will pay a subscription for again. Could that company be Blizzard? It’ll be interesting to see…
  • RPS largely ignore the f2p MMOs out of Asia, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interesting for a subject of study. Take this piece on cutesy fantasy MMO Lucent Heart, for example.
  • And likewise I don’t often link list features, but this list of cancelled games is a good one to link because it’s a feature I’ve often wanted to write, but never actually made the effort to.
  • The minutiae of game creation.
  • An interview with Douglas Wilson. Some context: “Johann Sebastian Joust is set to the music of Bach, and players must move in accordance with the music while trying to swat each other’s Playstation Move controllers to death. I had a chance to play Joust this year with a group of mostly strangers. My thoughts about the game are mostly included in this interview, but one thing that struck me about the game is how instantly and playfully it destroyed physical boundaries between people.”
  • How much money does TF2’s hat market actually create? Could it be as much as $50m a year? I seriously doubt it, but this chap has tried to do the maths: “Hats also drop randomly, or can be created by merging 3 refined metals. These are the most sought after commodity in the economy. But there is another tier to hats. ‘Unusual hats’ are the same assortment of headgear, simply with a particle effect- think steam coming off it, or it being circled by a love heart. So far so weird. Yet people go crazy for them, with prices ranging from around $25 to $2000. Yes. Thousands of dollars for a virtual hat surrounded by a visual effect.”
  • Total Biscuit explains SOPA.
  • Robin Clarke has written a review of Jane McGonigal’s Reality Is Broken: “As for the book’s stated aims – well, we get a bit about how contrived reward systems can influence behaviour, but there’s no real resolution on the issue of how gaming can “change the world” or “fix reality”, beyond the most abstract and general hints. Rather like WoW, the constant piling up of resources and the dangling carrot of important, empowering revelations never leads to a satisfying conclusion.”
  • Linked everywhere, but this article by an armourer on fantasy lady armour is amusing reading: “Why does my opinion matter? I’m an armorer. I make actual armor that people wear when they hit each other with swords. When making armor I have to strike a balance between comfort, protection, range of motion, and appearance. My experience has made me more than a little opinionated on the subject of fantasy armor. I intend to set the internet straight. See below for how to do it wrong, how to do it right, and why you might care.”
  • Gnomes Lair on Continue, and “The Quest for the perfect online mag. It’s a new online gaming mag from one of the former PC Zone chaps. Should be one to watch.
  • Half-Life has the best start to any videogame. It’s certainly one of the contenders.
  • Strong language and even stronger sentiment in this post by Margaret Robertson, on what she did to avoid sexism in the industry.
  • Frank Lantz at Gambit MIT on “Games as aesthetic form”. He’s a clever.
  • Ten videogame foods made real. I know this sort of thing is popular right now, but those ALL look delicious.
  • The New York Review Of Books has a splendid article on apocalypse in art. It even mentions those videogames! Albeit in a peering-down-nose sort of way: “The posters depict a blasted postapocalyptic urban landscape emblazoned with the name of the game in the form of four towering burned-out structures that conveniently spell out the title in capital letters and give an instant visual précis of this shoot-‘em-up survival fantasy. The manufacturer describes the storyline of Rage in terms that tap into a pervasive sense of imminent threat and long-term hopelessness felt by many today, and not just those in the usual boys-and-young-males demographic at which most such amusements are targeted.”

Music this week is The Vanishing Lamp from Beloved Dean of Magic by Kellar. Good stuff, via Gillen.


  1. Moni says:

    I think one of the things that sets apart Half-Life’s introduction from other on-the-rails type sections is that you have to be quite active looking around to see everything that’s going on. In that way, it is interactive and engaging.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yes. It’s not entirely a cutscene, nor is it an “interactive” cutscene where the limit of your interaction is to press a button when the bell sounds or get an electric shock.

    • Navagon says:

      What’s sad is that the Half Life intro is was a strong indicator of where FPS where going. On rails. Six minutes long. Entirely scripted. Doors being opened for you. NPCs having more to do than you. As little as possible in the way of player interaction.

      At the time it was a great intro. But modern FPS have spoiled it for me.

    • bear912 says:

      I wanted to write something smart and thoughtful about what Half-Life does so well, but I found my powers of language and analysis to be inadequate, so I’ll just settle with saying that I like Half-Life.

      I like it a lot.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I still remember being round at a mate’s house, and him showing me the start of this new game “Half Life”.
      It starts up, the titles fade up on the screen, and then it fades to the interior of a train car on a monorail.
      Then he reaches out and moves the mouse, spinning the viewpoint round and I realise for the first time that it’s not an FMV section before the main game, it is the game.
      Mind == Blown

      I think that moment would have stuck with me even if the rest of the game hadn’t been great.

    • The Greatness says:

      It would have been, but I didn’t realise you could walk or even look around until right at the end.

    • Zwebbie says:

      I agree with Moni. That’s why, for me, BioShock’s intro falls flat on its face, despite trying to be so much like Half-life – it’s spoon feeding you, while HL is a subtly arranged buffet.
      Half-life 2 isn’t bad with this either: very little of its early walking section is actually directly addressed to the player. Even if you don’t actually listen to the Breencasts, their existence conveys a lot about the setting. The medium is the message, and all that.

    • arqueturus says:

      I sat there like a lemon watching the inside of this cable car wondering what the hell was going on. Totally institutionalised in uninteractive intros it never even crossed my mind. Then I knocked the mouse by accident…

      Gobsmacked wasn’t strong enough a word for the feeling. I restart and took it all in, then restart aagain having called my wife in and even she was impressed as a none gamer.

      That’s what a quantum leap the Half Life intro was.

    • callmecheez says:

      @Navagon – You’re right, it was 6 minutes long, scripted and on-rails. But it was on-rails in a literal sense (it’s a monorail, after all), and completely intentional. I think it worked very well, and still works today. It’s also pretty forgivable, considering the rest of the game is far from on-rails.

    • digitalfoundry says:

      Half life is one of the most overrated games of all time. It was nothing but quake with scientists aliens and soldiers, with all its jumping around and button switching. It´s intro was nothing great, an on-rails sequence where you can look around and jump. And this game lured the entire FPS genre into the whole “realistic shooter” crap we see everywhere now. Before it FPS were inventive, different to each other, and fun. Half life brought this whole “wow, awesome, I can have an AK47/M4A1 in a game” soldier FPS that is everywhere nowadays.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Yeah, stupid Half Life with its stupid realistic weapons like the stupid Barnacle Grapple, stupid Displacer Cannon, stupid Gluon Gun, stupid Spore Launcher and stupid Tau Cannon. And a freakin’ (stupid) crowbar. And all of these obviously, inevitably and stupidly led to CoD. Stupid stupid stupid.

    • digitalfoundry says:

      Yeah, because all those weapons made it to all the hl mods of the day. Oh wait they didnt.

    • Durkonkell says:

      “Blah blah Half-Life caused CoD blah”

      I can’t even adequately COMPREHEND this argument, let alone respond to it.

    • digitalfoundry says:

      Those that fail at comment comprehension and need tl:dr ‘s like Durkonkell :

      Half Life didnt deserve all the praise it got, it was nothing that had been done before by another game called quake, and despite having some imaginative weapons the setting/tone/theme was more or less realistic soldier fps.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Yeah, you’re absolutely right, it’s the game’s fault that the modders decided to use the realistic weapons.

      And you know who else should be blamed? Pong. Stupid thing popularized this interactive medium, which inevitably led to the popularization of interactive games like CoD.

    • Dervish says:

      it was nothing that had been done before by another game called quake

      This is more accurate with the typo than the way you intended it. You can say it’s overrated all you like, but to claim it’s on par with Quake, feature-wise, makes you clueless.



      It sounds like what you’re actually angry about is Counter-Strike.

    • sinister agent says:

      At the time it was a great intro. But modern FPS have spoiled it for me.

      That summarises it for me, really. Now it’s a tiresome cliche to start a game where you have no weapons and no real threat but have to trudge through a “oooh, scene setting” (half-life) or “oooh, scary!” (Unreal) intro level before the game properly starts. In fact you could say the same about a lot of what Half Life did right. Halo too, to a lesser extent (no, I’m not saying Halo was that amazing, but it was innovative, and it’s only in retrospect that its innovations are tedious and repetitive thanks to what followed).

      Even by the time of Half Life 2, I was pretty sick of glorified cut scenes where you had to work as the cameraman. Now they’re often enough for me to exit the game altogether and do something where I’m actually allowed to play first and give a toss later.

    • lurkalisk says:

      COD is Medal of Honor’s and Counterstrike’s fault (mostly MoH).

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @Sinister Agent: Are you honestly saying that the environmental storytelling at the starting in HL2 (like the Breencast that sets up the setting without any annoying cutscene stopping you from progressing without letting you hear all of it, or the ‘Pick it up’ bit where they teach you how to interact with objects at the same time as setting the oppressive totalitarian atmosphere, or the empty playground with the momentary ambient sound of children playing to evoke past memory) did nothing for you?

      As for Halo, it’s still a better FPS than most of the fodder these days (interesting hybrid health system, enemy variety, imaginative story, developers who actually care), but pray, how was innovative?

    • Mman says:

      “As for Halo, it’s still a better FPS than most of the fodder these days (interesting hybrid health system, enemy variety, imaginative story, developers who actually care), but pray, how was innovative?”

      Regenerating health, weapon limits, and FPS controls that worked on consoles (and, to a lesser extent, the “epic” war premise). Yes, multiple games had done those before (outside the controls anyway), but Halo was the obvious source of innumerable games copying those things after it’s release.

    • sinister agent says:


      The background stuff was well done, no question, but I didn’t care for another game where I had to shuffle around doing nothing for half an hour before I could actually play the game. It was a very well done example of that type of introduction, but that type of introduction was already becoming overdone. Then later, you had more of the cut scene stuff where you had to traipse around a room fiddling with props while waiting for people to shut up and get on with it. The bit with Dog, for example, went on far too long. Yes, okay, I get it, tutorial, nice, thanks. Can I play now?

      Very clever and it integrated story and game/tutorial and all that, yes. But frankly I would prefer a cut scene that just admitted it was a cut scene, so that I could skip it if I wanted to. Refusing to let you do anything but jump around while someone drops exposition – however good that exposition is – is still taking you away from the action.

      As for Halo, Mman answered that, though I’d add the ‘instant melee’ as an option with any weapon, and the same being an instant kill from behind/on the unaware. I’m sure you could find games that had some of those things first, but in a Doom/Wolfenstein like way, the one that puts it all together and is more succesful or just generally better often becomes the bigger influence.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Some of the play-the-cameraman cutscenery later into HL2 and its episodes is downright painful, yes.

      Especially every time Alyx stops to deliver a speech while ${WORLD_ENDING_EVENT} is underway and I need to go prevent it. Breen is getting away. Open the lift. Let me open the lift. Stop talking Alyx, I was just getting into the flow of dramatic tension here. Aaaaa why must you ignore my use key, accursed lift. And so on.

      But the D0g tutorial bit was some welcome downtime during your safe moment. Without pacing HL would be a RAMERIEZ DO EVERYTHING NOW NOW FASTER GO-fest, a la the modern manshoot.

      (You know what I was playing earlier today? SiN, that which were overshadowed badly by HL’s release. Quirky old thing…good lordy FPSes used to be much faster.)

  2. WMain00 says:

    Honestly, i’d rather have a subscription based MMO system where I pay per month for the full content of the game I bought, than a free to play based MMO system where I am given only minuscule chunks of content and am expected to pay for any content beyond very simple features.

    I fear that the rise of free to play will eventually result in a Farmville-esque system of paying per content for the full MMO experience. Though I don’t think any company would be as coy as to develop a system where in order to level you need to pay £1, I do think we’ll eventually see a rise of privilege content determining the success of your experience within the MMO.

    I somewhat wish the gaming industry would take a keen eye on the success of NC Soft and Guild Wars, who developed their game on an entirely free to play model, creating money from expansions to the storyline rather than monetary items.

    • Mark says:

      Your fears are justified, because that is exactly what’s happening right now.

    • woodsey says:

      Agreed, I’d much rather just lay down £8 a month then end up paying for scraps here and there. Once I’ve sat down to play the game I want to sit and play it, not consider real world costs at the same time.

    • Roshin says:

      I think F2P MMOG’s will kill themselves pretty quick, unless they get the balance right from the start. Unfortunately, greed will lead devs to try and suck even more money out of players than they ever could with a subscription. When people catch on, they will leave for something else or quit altogether.

    • D3xter says:

      I’ve played a number of F2P games, from League of Legends to DCUO, Spiral Knights, APB Reloaded, Black Prophecy, Age of Empires: Online etc. and while some of them (Spiral Knights, AoE) have a somewhat… unconventional system I never felt “forced” to pay for anything to play or enjoy the game.

      You people should really try some them games before putting them down, it’s also (imo) a much better model than asking people to pay up a large fee of say 50€ or whatever to buy the game and try it to tell if they like it in the first place and not being able to play your character(s) because you haven’t “paid the monthly fee” for a given month. In a F2P game you can take breaks for however long you want and still get back in and play if you feel like it.

      What I find a lot worse is the games like World of Warcraft or Diablo III that want to make you pay a price upfront, a monthly fee and STILL manage to offer “items” and services/things in shops for real money, those are the ones that just “can’t get enough”.

    • John P says:

      Come on, the subscription model is what led to the grinding nightmare that is WoW and its emulators. A subscription requires developers to keep things slightly out of reach, to make players do boring things 95% of the time so they can be ‘rewarded’ with something fun for the other 5%. To keep you paying the next month’s fee, they make players grind as much as they possibly can without actually breaking their will. Free to play usually sucks, but I don’t believe subscription is a better model.

      I hope Guild Wars 2 is successful and others decide to follow that model, where you pay for the game but don’t have to pay anything more. Just like … the great majority of videogames. Revolutionary. (I also hope Guild Wars 2 is more ethical about what goes in the store than other games. The Guild Wars 1 store was fine, mostly cosmetics and extra storage, etc, but the game still felt complete. If GW2 is the same it should be fine too.)

  3. LionsPhil says:

    Food article does not include Wolfenstein 3D roast dinners. I am disappointed.

    However, I was not expecting to see one of Deus Ex’s candybars, so I am also pleasantly surprised.

  4. Lambchops says:

    Cancelled games article definitely shows some lost potential. City of metronome looked really stylish and Dreamers sounded like an interesting concept. It also reminded me that there was supposed to be an Outcast 2.

    Continue appears to have a lot of good people writing stuff, could well be an excellent read.

    • 12kill4 says:

      I would like to applaud RPS for not making the Ye Ole ‘Was gonna write an article on game cancellations, but it got cancelled, haw haw’ joke.

    • yhancik says:

      Awww Outcast 2!
      link to

      When some Appeal members went on to found Elsewhere Entertainment, they had a “Project Alpha” that was supposed to be the spiritual successor of Outcast… then they got bought by 10tacle, had another ambitious project called Totem.. and all that disappeared when 10tacle went bankrupted.

      It seems that the last remains of the team are porting Flash games to smartphones or making crappy Kinect games :(

  5. Beeblebrox says:

    And while you’re reading all this Sunday stuff, be sure to check out Kirk Hamilton’s interesting and fun to read series on best gaming soundtracks of 2011.

    On LA Noire: link to
    and LittleBigPlanet 2: link to

    Would link other pieces, but trying to evade spam filter (has that issue of 3 links and more being marked as spam been solved?)

  6. LTK says:

    Among those cancelled video games is Elveon, ‘inspired by Elven culture’. Err… Elven culture according to whom? They’re a fictional race, and not a very historically consistent fiction at that.

  7. McKnight says:

    You’ve definitely posted about the food thing before!

  8. Inglourious Badger says:

    Agreed, the opening to Half-Life is still THE best game opening. Such a perfect scene-setter. I always thought it’d be neat to create a Mod where the opening plays out without the accident. You just pootle a round for a bit after the experiment and make your way home.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I would love to play that! Someone should make it so!

      And I agree that HL has the best opening in a game. I was almost speechless the first time I played it. Just a kid gawking at all the goings on and realizing that for all the spectacle, I was just on my way to work, running a bit late.

  9. eulescu says:

    no duke nukem 4ever yet? . wot a shame

  10. pmanpman says:

    Thye made a mistake on the 50 million, it’s only 12 mil.

  11. aircool says:

    In many respects, it’s sad to see SWTOR stick the the utterly reliable EQ template, but I don’t think it had much of a choice. However, sticking with the traditional model isn’t a bad thing. Firstly, it means that so many conventions which have become standard can be easily integrated. For example, the user interface is very basic for an mmo, but does exactly what’s required from it. Secondly, it’s instantly familair to people who have dabbled with mmo’s before, and easy to grasp for those new to the genre.

    As for the pay to play business; it works. No doubt EA will follow the trend, and despite what people think about F2P, it’s rarely P2W. Unless Blizzard manages to blind people with their peculiar stance on that subject with Diablo 3.

    Anyway, I do hope it is the last of the old school as current technologies allow for so much more these days. However, there is one thing that SWTOR does incredibly well, and that’s the narrative, whether solo or grouping, all that money of voice acting has paid off. The conversation cutscenes are never laboured, and suck you into the game extremely well. The Imperial Agent is the star of the show. It’s extremely well voiced (british actors for the bad guys) and has plenty of twists and turns, along with some excellent opportunites to flex your good or evil muscles. I’d go as far as to say that the Imperial Agent is worth the boxed price alone, it really is that good.

    Of course, it’s a bit shit to see every Jedi looking similar, with the exact same companions, but that will get better as more customisable options are added. But at the same time, with so many years of mmo conventions in the game, there shouldn’t be too many cock-ups.

    • qrter says:

      The voice-acting didn’t suck me in at all. To me it felt like so much windowdressing, because in the end I would still get a standard MMO-y fetch quest. I know, voice acting in games in general is only really windowdressing for the game’s mechanics, but the quests I’ve played were just so utterly dull, I found myself getting more annoyed with the seemingly endless reams of dialogue.

      I don’t know, the rest of the gameworld is just so ostentatiously game-y and unconvincing, a bit of nice voice acting isn’t going to make the whole thing suddenly come alive, as far as I am concerned.

    • Fox89 says:

      I’m with you. Old Republic is, for what it is, excellent. Yes, it’s a traditional MMO. Yes, it’s World of Warcraft in a Galaxy far far away, and yes it is subscription based. But it is very very good at those things, and although some servers have some long queue times, for the most part the launch has been very well handled with the staggered early access system.

      I couldn’t stand WoW, but the tweaks The Old Republic makes coupled with the voice acting and conversation system helps me really enjoy this. It is certainly the last of its kind, and this is a good thing quite frankly; it is an MMO model that has had its time. But what a swansong. Here’s hoping it makes a ton of money and Bioware put that towards KOTOR 3.

      A man can dream.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Out of curiosity, which gender Agent voice is the one you’re thrilled with? Male or female?

      Man KOTOR 3 would be great, but I rather think this will have the opposite outcome. They’ve repeatedly answered the question with “this IS KOTOR 3, and 4, 5, 6…” And if you look to Blizzard for comparison, even the incredible fountains of money that WoW brought them hasn’t lead to Warcraft 4 being released. We eventually got Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, but just look at how long they took (and the expansion for SC 2 as well).

  12. Cinnamon says:

    Is there a shorter edited version of that games as an aesthetic form lecture somewhere? It’s a bit too over laboured and rambling for casual sunday afternoon perusal. And there is at the back of my mind the quiet screaming desperation of the “please don’t use the words fun and games” people driving him forward.

  13. zeroskill says:

    I was rather shocked by that Total Biscuit video about SOPA. Even more shocked that Electronic Arts is sponsoring that crazy bill. Well, should I really be surprised? Probably not. Gaining a competitive advantage by corporate censorship and getting a stranglehold on open and free channels of promotion sounds exactly what EA would want to do.

    • Orontes says:

      The SOPA bill is one hell of a scary proposition. Just think of what sites will be affected: Youtube, Facebook, blogs, maybe even…RPS.

    • Starky says:

      The worst that will happen is that the entire internet technology landscape will uproot and move to Europe/Russia/Asia (Korea, Japan, Singapore). Resulting in the utter collapse of American tech jobs (the companies will still be American but all the jobs will be overseas).

      Oh and assuming RPS is hosted in the UK/EU it won’t be.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      The way I understand it, the website can be blocked no matter where in the world it’s hosted.

    • pandora says:

      Also, in these matters EU/Japan just do whatever USA tells them (you may want to look up ACTA, as well).

    • Hoaxfish says:

      You can actually watch the whole SOPA debate/hearing/whatever on youtube: link to

      I watched it live (about 10+hrs worth)… the handful of people who were speaking against it, or even trying to compromise and ask for specific amendments, were all well spoken, concise, had done their research etc… the opposition (arguing for SOPA) were just a joke. The problem was, those against SOPA were massively out-numbered. Even the basic idea of consulting with experts was “questioned”, even when they had already met with the music/movie/etc companies who are very invested in “protecting” their copyright.

      SOPA won’t just effect the USA’s internal internet structure, it will also require chunks of the current stuff used world-wide to be rewritten to accommodate “intended failures” in the DNS, etc.

      couple of examples:
      Guy against SOPA: link to
      Guy “for” SOPA: link to (somewhat editted)

    • LTK says:

      Not always. Recently some EU representatives have been very outspoken against the way the US is veering towards becoming a totalitarian state.

      With SOPA, the US government only has the power to block sites in the US, but not outside. But the number of internet businesses that rely on visitors from the US is very large, so even for those of us outside the US (raises hand) the impact may be substantial because of the failure of these American companies to stay in business.

    • Starky says:

      The EU has been pretty damn good about internet laws – the problems in Europe stem from some countries putting in individual laws that are excessive (like France), and it taking years for EU legislation to do anything about it.
      Still there have been some pretty promising ruling in the European high courts when it comes to internet access rights and privacy – it just takes a while for that to filter down.

      As said though, the once thought to be true “where America leads the rest will follow” is really starting to fall apart.
      The rest of the world is pretty sick of it, Bush almost destroyed diplomatic relations – and now that the US is no longer the financial world power it once was it won’t be long before America has about as much political influence as Canada in Europe/Asia.

    • zeroskill says:

      Here is a list of companies from the gaming industry who support and sponsor SOPA:

      Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, Take Two, Sony and some others.

      Companies that do NOT support this bill are Microsoft, Valve, Bethesda and Activision/Blizzard/Vivendi, just to name a few of the bigger ones.

      link to

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @Zeroskill: Misinformation! I don’t see most of them in the list:

      link to

  14. McDan says:

    Excellent opening paragraph Jim! You’re right, RPS celebrate Christmas in April too! You know, ok that first day… And such a wealth of good articles too! You really are spoiling us.

  15. Just Endless says:

    I think I call BS on those Getaway 3 screenshots. I am fairly sure no game looked that good in 05, and if it did, it sure wasn’t running on ps3.

  16. yhancik says:

    I was going to write that cancelled games needed a whole website, and not just an article, but it turns out there is (at least) one link to
    (they also include removed features and stuff, that’s why you’ll see Portal 2 there – for the wall-walking gel).

    This had me thinking about Duality, which I was pretty excited about back then
    link to (it was planned for PC at some point)

    • ThTa says:

      Yeah, I’m familiar with that site, mainly due to their mentioning of Freelancer 2’s unfortunate fate.

      I just get depressed whenever I visit it.

    • Durkonkell says:

      “…mentioning of Freelancer 2′s unfortunate fate.”


      *Quickly closes tab and thinks of lovely landscapes and waves softly lapping against a peaceful shore*

    • Tams80 says:

      “The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit.” Phew! Saved myself from feeling sad there.

      I didn’t realise that there were that many other people who liked Freelancer. Such a great game. =(

  17. Jahkaivah says:

    Half Life’s intro does set the tone for the game ahead wonderfully, which works great for a game so different from the norm back then.

    However when played to today’s standards… well let’s say there is a reason that Half Life 2 and Episode 2 starts at the END of a train ride.

  18. Premium User Badge

    yandexx says:

    Excellent choice in music, sir!

  19. Muzman says:

    RE: Robin Clarke’s review

    “[the final section of the book is] pretty much entirely given over to self-promotion, giving three slightly-distinguishable case studies of The Thing McGonigal Makes Now: … All of these are effectively an atom-thin veneer of game-like activity painted over attempts by think tanks and other non-elected, heavily-funded interests to crowdsource free ideas and promote their values.”


    Positive Psychology identifies six virtues which amusingly and probably unintentionally map to six of the eight virtues of the Ultima games – excluding Humility and Sacrifice.”

    Oh how I did laugh. You heard it here first folks. Ultima: more moral than American pop psychology. (good thing they weren’t trying to gamify moral development at any point I guess. They’d lose it to a prior art claim.)

  20. phenom_x8 says:

    STALKER retrospective from eurogamer kind of make me sad!

    link to

    Despite many coments that said they cannot play it because their hardware arent that capable to handle it was bullshit! My 1st old 2004 rig can handle it well (with prescoot 2,4 ghz and radeon 9550 on DX 8 mode of course), its the atmosphere that make it differents, not its high res textures or effect!

    • qrter says:

      That’s true. My PC is utter, utter shit, an ancient setup if ever you saw one, and I managed to play STALKER just fine. Low res fine, certainly, but with a game like STALKER, that’s more than enough.

  21. Durkonkell says:

    The spam filter has eaten my reply twice, unfortunately. I tried replying and then editing it in, but it obliterated that too. There aren’t even any links in it…

    Edit: Compounded by reply failure!

    • Mman says:

      I had the same problem yesterday. I don’t know what’s wrong with the spam filter but you can email RPS to fix it. Just make sure you don’t try and edit your post after (as it gets labelled spam and instantly deleted).

  22. Aardvarkk says:

    Thanks for linking the Margaret Robertson article, I spent a few hours following the links within. Surprised at seeing Kieron in the comments there.

  23. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    I think SOPA is yet another piece of legislation that affirms the great John Dewey’s statement that ‘Politics is the shadow cast over society by business‘. This legislation is the precise manifestation of the two American political parties being bought by a confluence of corporate interests, in SOPA’s case specifically; Hollywood studios and the MPAA, the RIAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, corporate lawyers and the odious American Legislative Exchange Council.

    How long before people realise that corporations should never be permitted to exercise the legal bribery that is campaign contributions? However given the hideous Citizen’s United ruling by the American supreme court, absurdly affirming that corporations are people and therefore have rights to free speech, and money, absurdly is speech, they can spend unlimited quantities, abrogating the fundamental premise of equality of political power in what is supposed to be a nominal democracy, this cannot occur for the foreseeable future without a mass social movement.

  24. Tams80 says:

    I have Gourmet Gaming bookmarked. Also going to uni near Daniella Zelli; I might just have to make an uninvited visit. OK I won’t. That would be creepy.

    That Lucent Heart article is really interesting. It shows how by being responsive to players and changing a game for them, said game can be successful both in usage, but also commercially. I might just play it if I can as it seems PCC have put so much effort in. They seem to have gone above and beyond most developers.

    Oh, and Jim; you are now personally responsible for the infliction I will now cause on others with the Caramelldansen. *Listening to and doing the Caramelldansen*

  25. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    lol RPS you destroyed the poor guys list! His server has exceeded the bandwidth haha. Poor fellow.

  26. Jambe says:

    Isn’t the peering-down-the-nose at Rage warranted, though? I mean, it’s a cool, tight game (not my favorite, but whatever), but it’s poppy and totally uninspired in terms of its story and setting. Generic and populist as all get-out!