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Alice Bell

Today

Feature: And minotaurs into big scary blokes

A Total War Saga: Troy imagines the truth behind the myths, turning wooden horses into earthquakes

According to the Iliad, the sacking of Troy only happened after a very specific set of things occurred in the right order. So, I asked Todor Nikolov, lead game designer at Creative Assembly Sofia, would players have to set up the same set of circumstances? "You're probably talking about the Trojan Horse?" he replied. HahaHAHAHha yes of course, that's what I was talking about, it…

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Feature: Grow, baby, grow

Mutazione review

Nate was talking to me the other day about how weird it is that games are considered, like, one single form of art, because he reviewed Wilmot's Warehouse and then went straight into Borderlands 3. And similarly, while he and Matthew were shnorting 30 hours of a big bombastic looter-shooter like that one kid at school who used to huff entire pixie sticks up his…

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1 week ago

Feature: Cast the first stone

Empire Of Sin is looking so good it should be illegal

In Romero Games' Empire Of Sin, you play a prohibition era crime lord in Chicago, organising your rackets and engaging in turn-based combat with rivals. It's an era developer Brenda Romero has always been fascinated by. She grew up in a town in New York state called Ogdensburg, which hadn't, historically, had a lot going for it until US prohibition started in 1920, triggering 13…

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Feature: Reader beware, you're in for a ware(house)

Can’t Stop Playing: Wilmot’s Warehouse

Time, once again, to reveal our Can't Stop Playing for this month. The announcement is coming a bit late because we had some trouble deciding for September, but then we looked at what we'd been writing about and, shockingly, playing, and there was really only one option. Who could have thought that pushing boxes around a black room would have us so completely in its…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Throw your hands up at me

Gamescom’s best of the rest: the coolest indies round up

This would not be RPS if I didn't return from Gamescom and write minimally about the triple A-xtravaganzas and maximumly about smaller, weirder things wot I saw. So here, have at it: my favourite of the independently made games I saw at this year's show. I flatter myself that the selection is broad enough that it covers genres to suit every taste. Strategy games! Card…

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Feature: Let's give them something to talk about

Bloodlines 2’s dialogue system looks more subtle than the original

As is my wont, I am here to bleat about Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 at you. I got in to see the Gamescom demo build, which they were also showing off at E3, but since Brendy got a punchy vampire run I tried to steer it more towards the sneaking and talking route by yelling things like "play both sides!" at Paradox product manager…

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Feature: My favourite 3D geometric shape, after a cone

The Eternal Cylinder seems powerfully weird, and therefore worth your time

Back in 2015, we posted about a prototype called The Endless Cylinder, from ACE Team, in which a small long-nosed animal wanders around a surreal planet. This prototype has now reemerged as The Eternal Cylinder, and is a proper game and everything. Although it's all more polished, not a whole lot has changed from that original proof of concept (showing that it was probably a…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Start new turn

A first look at Humankind, Amplitude’s new historical 4X beast

To the untrained eye (eyes that haven't spent many an hour trained on an exquisitely detailed topographical map, checking on all corners of your immense empire), Humankind probably looks like any other 4X game where you shuffle units around and micromanage different settlements. But according to the hands-off demonstration shown at Gamescom this year, it ain't. 4X stands for explore, expand, exploit and exterminate, the…

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Feature: Feed me, Seymour

Atomicrops: hands on with the twin-stick Stardew Valley game you didn’t know you wanted

I have been telling people I played this game called Atomicrops, and they go “Huh, haven’t heard of that one, what is it?” And then I go “It’s sort of… twin-stick Stardew Valley?” because so far that is the best shorthand I can come up with. Although it describes itself as an action roguelite farming simulator, which may be more helpful for you. The framing…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Maximum interview

Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith on turning his tabletop game into Cyberpunk 2077

The so new it's not even out yet hotness in games is still Cyberpunk 2077, but as the name suggests, it's not the original Cyberpunk. Although there aren't 2076 previous entries, there is a robust and well loved tabletop roleplaying game to thank for the existence of CD Projekt Red's upcoming RPG. The TRPG was written by Mike Pondsmith, the founder of publisher R. Talsorian…

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Feature:

Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City strives to be a unique and grounded cyberpunk city

Marthe Jonkers is a senior concept artist at CD Projeckt Red working on Cyberpunk 2077. Jonkers actually designed the location in the first very first teaser trailer for the game back in 2013, featuring the cyberbabe with mantis arms, and was resigned to the fact that nobody was really looking at the building behind her. Jonkers' team work on locations and interiors, and even the…

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Feature: Putting the fiery coat back on

Borderlands 3’s creative director on funs and guns

It's amazing how quickly you get back into a routine, even when you've been out of it a while. I got to play a bit of the Proving Grounds, one of Borderlands 3's endgame challenges where you run a timed gauntlet and try to survive waves of high-level enemies and/or kill them efficiently. It was like putting on a big explodey coat. Which is not…

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Feature: Who watches the watchperson?

Telling Lies review

If I was really lazy I would just write "you know Her Story? It's like that but more," and call it a day. But I'm not lazy. I am a diligent and enthusiastic employee of Rock Paper Shotgun, and that sentence would be a bit of an oversimplification of Sam Barlow's new watch videos 'em up Telling Lies.

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Feature: Hacks on, hacks off

Cyberpunk 2077 might secretly be a cool hacker stealth game

Reader, I often tire quickly of the bangs. The shooties. The click click booms. I think it's because damn near every action game has guns, but not many developers make shooters really bloody good. And indeed, I agree with Matt that, at least from what we've seen so far, the guns in Cyberpunk 2077 look mostly like floaty number generators. And yet, as was pointed…

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Feature: I have seen as much of life as the world can show

Watch Dogs Legion’s version of London is surprisingly accurate

As was observed by some guy who used to work here (RPS in peace), it's really weird when bits of the UK turn up in games in an authentic way. Which is to say, in a way that isn't over-the-top Victoriana Steampunk. I say I say. Tea and crumpets. (Not that I don't like crumpets, or drink an amount of tea that means I get…

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1 month ago

2 months ago

Feature: Aim high, shoot low

The Outer Worlds is space cowboying which offers options all the way down

For a while there, when I asked the filing system of my brain for The Outer Worlds it would throw up a card for that just said "The space one that isn't Outer Wilds". I only have so much processing power, and I will still call each of those games by the other's name at least once per time I bring either of them up.…

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Feature: Visit scenic Aliceburg

Lovely medieval city builder Foundation has been updated, so let’s have a tour

Nate's review of Oxygen Not Included made me interested to try it, and I got about ten minutes in before deciding it wasn't for me, very politely, as if I were refusing a slice of immensely complicated fruitcake from a granny. "Look at all nice bits in it!" she is saying. "I know, I respect your talent, but I do not like those bits all…

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Feature: The pursuit of happiness

The Joy of Feldspar in Outer Wilds

I have been skittering around Outer Wilds like one of those birds who lives on a rhino's back and survives by eating rhino dandruff (I have watched both series of Planet Earth). I haven't been able to sit and play it in big sessions, but I've been picking at it and finding interesting morsels, making a bit more progress each time. I'd be making more…

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