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Alice Bell

3 days ago

Feature: "This is the sequel you have been waiting for"

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is happening! It’s real!

Imagine, dear reader, my delight upon learning that Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, a game about which I have said “...but it’ll never happen” several times, is, in fact, happening. More than that, I have seen, hands off, the first half an hour of it and have spoken to senior writer Cara Ellison (late of this RPS parish), as well as Hardsuit Labs co-founder…

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6 days ago

Feature: Herding cats

How a Valve veteran and a former Riot designer want to ‘change the culture’ of making games

Stray Bombay are going to make co-op games. Dr. Kimberly Voll, (PhD in computer science and AI, first class honours degree in Cognitive Science, experienced game designer, VR researcher, expert in player dynamics, and former professor of computer science) and Chet Faliszek (man who worked at Valve and has made some games you’ve probably heard of) have co-founded this new game studio. It’s called Stray…

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7 days ago

Feature: More like AriBEST!

Have You Played… Neverwinter Nights?

Neverwinter Nights is a Dungeons & Dragons RPG from the early 2000s and it very handily got an enhanced edition last year. What timing! There’s a sequel where you have prettier character models, but I still prefer the first one. This is party because I like complex RPGs, but mostly because of Aribeth.

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1 week ago

Feature: Lukewarm coffee; pie optional

Trüberbrook review

I’ve mentioned before that I love miniatures. The best part of travelling on planes is buying the teeny tiny versions of shampoo bottles that are allowed through security. It’s like my shampoo at home, but smaller! So I was immediately drawn to the idea of ‘handmade’ adventure games like Trüberbrook (or the still to be released Harold Halibut). You see Trüberbrook, a point ‘n’ click…

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Feature: I'll take it

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines accidentally gave me a power fantasy

Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines has been written about a lot on this site (far more than one would expect from a game with both a colon and a hyphen in the title, which should be made a crime). It’s a clunky, unfinished mess of an action RPG that runs better today than it did on release in 2005 only by the grace of a…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Also what I call my washing basket

Have You Played… Layers Of Fear?

Remember when P.T. came out on the PS4 and everyone went wild for it, because Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima had made the scariest thing ever? And then Konami cancelled Silent Hills and removed P.T. from the PlayStation store? Well, if you’re hankering for a version of P.T. about an obsessive artist making a painting from bits of his dead wife, then boy, do…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Acceptable in the 80s

The Occupation review

The Occupation is a game easily described as ‘flawed but interesting’, which I do agree with, but then you wouldn’t appreciate it if a friend said the same thing about your homemade lasagne, would you? I didn’t technically finish playing The Occupation, because in the final cutscene I didn’t get the pivotal dialogue option. The characters, who I was supposed to be choosing sides between,…

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Feature: When will there be a Star Peace Treaty?

Have You Played… Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II – The Sith Lords?

Someone has already bagged the original Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, but KOTOR 2 (as the kids call it, because putting the full name in the title of this post made me realise how absurdly long it is) is honestly pretty great. This is partly because, even though KOTOR 2 wasn't made by BioWare, it has a very similar plot and structure to…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Current trends say apes are in, actually

Ape Out review

Once I went to the zoo in San Diego, and a load of people were banging on the glass at an orangutan and its baby instead of just being appropriately (quietly) awed. One man in particular was hollering at what was a very sad looking ape, and honestly if there was justice in the world the orangutan would have smashed free and liquified that man’s…

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Feature: Anthem? I hardly knew 'em!

Anthem review

Hello, it’s me, the resident BioLiker, here to tell you wot I think of Anthem, a game about which you probably already have opinions, whether you’ve played it or not. Anthem is a shoot 'n' loot online game where you, a hero mercenary with a special mech suit, and a squad of matchmade or real life buddies save a lush alien world from certain alien…

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1 month ago

Feature: Edison was just an ass who electrocuted an elephant

Close To The Sun is a horror game that’s definitely not BioShock with Tesla

These days, a lot of people love Nikola Tesla. Tesla deserved Edison’s success and recognition, they say, and should not have died penniless and obsessed with pigeons. His achievements remained pretty obscure for many years after his death, so the resurgence in Tesla-mania over the past couple of decades is fortunate for Close To The Sun, a fact acknowledged by Joel Hakalax, game designer at…

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Feature: Day one is a flexible term now

In Anthem’s first week, screw everything except the Storm javelin, TBQH

I was forming opinions about Anthem, EA's jetpacks-and-loot Destinylike, when they said that they’re dropping a big ‘day one’ update before the 22nd that supposedly changes and/or fixes a load of things. It’s downloading as I write this, making it technically a day one minus two patch, but it still bloody well say day one patch in the notes. I’m sure Origin Premier users feel…

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Feature: WELL?

What are we all playing this weekend?

Alice is on holiday, so this week it's me, Alice, filling in for Alice. We're deep in the trenches now, the game trenches, the February onslaught of releases. Metro is only just in our rear view mirror, and Brendan is almost a broken man. Anthem is in its bizarre week of early release for people who'll pay for EA's special version of Origins. Apelegs is…

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Feature: Words' worth

Heaven’s Vault preview: an ouroboros of wordery

I love words, me. They’re so expressive and weird and can do so much. I think of people who are very good at word-balling as like conductors mixed with magicians. They marshall all these weird squiggles into a specific order that make other people spontaneously feel real feelings, in whatever order they want. Madness! And the origins and cross-pollinations of language, especially one as terrible…

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Feature: You know when I'm down to just my socks, what time it is

Breach was nearly made at EA, but then business happened (twice)

Action RPG meets MMO Breach is currently finding its feet in early access. It’s the sort of thing that will definitely be someone’s favourite game, if only they a) realise it exists and b) can figure out what it is. Currently the main barrier to this seems to be that it’s wrestling with ongoing performance issues; Matt really enjoyed playing its asymmetrical PvP as the…

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2 months ago

Feature: Just make up your own joke about pussy, I can't be bothered

Romancing The Code: do not think about having sex with a cat in Purrfect Date

Purrfect Date describes itself as “a cross between a Visual Novel, a Dating Sim, and a dark British Comedy”. If I was given that as an elevator pitch for a game with no context, I would have assumed that it was about the cast of Monty Python trying to snog Gundam suits. Purrfect Date does have the kind of humour where characters suffer from cat-themed…

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Feature: Redistribution of assets that don't belong to you

Have You Played… Thief: The Dark Project?

The original Thief is one of the first games I remember playing. I was at my mate’s house, because he had a proper computer (and one of those old school mice with the little ball in that you had to take out and blow on if it got stuck). I remember doing the tutorial; being taught to hide in shadows and avoid the light. I…

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