Author Archive

The Long Dark’s Vigilante Flame update sees the splendid survival game better than ever before

The thing I thought I wanted most from The Long Dark proved to be the thing I wanted least. For the many years I’ve been returning to this truly brilliant and most brutal of survival sims, I so wanted them to deliver on the Story Mode the title screen would always promise. To have a narrative motivation to persist against the odds and the elements seemed perfect. Then Wintermute was released and “perfect” wasn’t exactly a word being bandied around.

So I know now that what I really want from The Long Dark is just more of it. And now there is! Along with tweaks and an overhaul to cooking, a whole new region has just been added in, called Hushed Valley River, and it’s absolutely savage. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: What The Heck Is Happening Edition

The identity of this dinosaur has been hidden for his own protection. His roars are provided by an actor.

As you stare out into the world, at the tumult and turmoil, perhaps you feel the only hope is to turn to the Steam Charts for its comforting predictability and stability. I’m sorry folks, but it’s all gone batshit crazy in here too. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey’s new game modes are an odd bunch

Goodness me, I’d forgotten how brilliant the opening of Prey is. Bluffs and misdirects, some delivered on immediately, others saving surprises up for later, it’s an ever-backward-pulling camera as your complex situation begins to dawn upon you.

And thank goodness it is quite so good, because if you want to play Prey’s New Game+, or it’s Story Mode, you’re going to have to go through it in its vanilla mode before you can see the differences. There’s just some question about how much either adds. As for Survival Mode – well, it’s great, but it’s not a survival mode. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey: Mooncrash offers a surprising amount to do in a deceptively small space

Prey: Mooncrash is a game of refinement. It’s a piece of DLC that uses an economy of space by asking you to replay the same sprawling collection of areas repeatedly, with varying characters, varying skillsets, and an ever-changing threat to combat. It’s a game that will make you play Prey differently than you have before, and you’ll be grateful of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: Change Is Possible Edition

Apparently they probably had big spines on their necks, making them a far less enticing prospect for slides.

“Miss, Miss, it’s so sunny, can we have Steam Charts on the field?”

“NO. Sit down and write about popular PC games in this oppressively hot room until the DAY YOU DIE.” Read the rest of this entry »

Valve’s abdication of responsibility over Steam is the worst possible solution

Valve’s announcement last night that their forthcoming policy for Steam releases is that anything goes, unless it’s illegal or “straight up trolling”, has obviously caused all manner of ruckus. Takes are hot, and coming from all angles. But the main issue, roaring over all other discussion following this peculiar statement and its possible consequences, is that Valve’s rationale for their latest position is incredibly cowardly and stupid. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Moonlighter

It took a little while to get going, but goodness me I’m hooked on Moonlighter now. Take a good dose of rogue-lite action-RPG, add in permanence of equipment, and then delicately smother in a shopkeeping sim. It’s a game about raiding dungeons at night, then working in the days to sell the loot from your store. Read the rest of this entry »

Raft’s early access is a solid and splendid survival sim

When the waves build, when the wind gathers, and the briny water sloshes over the deck of your precarious floating home, there is absolutely nothing like Raft. While the former Itch.io star shares inevitable comparisons with a few other aquatic survival sims – Stranded Deep, Subnautica, Salt – this dramatic overhaul that has recently arrived into Steam’s early access is very much its own thing. And a joyful and splendid thing it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Spiderweb Software launch Kickstarter for new series, Queen’s Wish

Spiderweb Software have been producing huge elaborate RPG series since 1994, and yet there’s still a good chance you’ve not heard of them. Created chiefly by one guy, Jeff Vogel, his series like Avadon, Avernum and Geneforge have incredibly dedicated followings, and we’ve covered them a bunch before. The Avadon series concluded in 2016, and they finished remaking all the Avernums earlier this year, and now, for the first time in seven years, Spiderweb are announcing a new series: Queen’s Wish. And a Kickstarter too. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: A New Hope Edition

It's arguable Raft still has a couple of bugs to fix.

Please sit down. Make sure you have a friend with you, or available on the telephone. Plunkbat isn’t at number one. Somehow, it’s something even more boring. But the rest of the charts are a splendid sight! No GTA, no CS:GO, no Witcher 3, no Skyrim! Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Unforeseen Incidents

Oh my! Oh what an actual proper treat. Ladies, gentlemen, humans of Earth, I have for you a really good point-and-click adventure game! It’s Unforeseen Incidents, and here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Forest

I’ve loved The Forest when I’ve played it in the past. I first took a look in 2014, finding it limited but a lot of fun. I then went back in 2015 to discover it was hugely improved and far more involved. I even videoed half an hour of my inept ambling. I have been back since then, but not written any more, but it’s probably close to two years since I really dug into it. Now it’s out in a final version, I’m surprised how little has changed in the last three years, but also pleased to find the same mix of survivor and terror. Not quite so pleased to discover so many of the classic bugs are still there. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: Flipping Great Edition

A live feed of the RPS offices

A pleasingly fresh collection of games dominating the top ten Steam moneymakers this week, along with the shock absence of Counter-Strike: GO! No shocks at the #1 spot, but a couple of surprising appearances in the top 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Campo Santo talk to us about moving to Valve

Campo Santo, creators of Firewatch and the forthcoming In The Valley Of Gods, announced last month that all twelve members of their studio were packing their bags and moving to Valve. The team are all currently in the process of relocating to Seattle, where Valley Of The Gods will be finished in Valve’s Bellevue tower as a Valve game. So we caught up with studio heads Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin to find out much more. Read the rest of this entry »

Review In Progress: Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars Of Eternity II is seemingly infinity hours long. Despite a week of playing, I’m still going, so here’s my in-depth thoughts about the game excluding the impact of its ending. I will update later.

What a lot Pillars Of Eternity II feels like it has to do. It needs to be a completely new dozens-of-hours-long RPG, while it also needs to be a sequel to 2015’s stunning first outing, while it needs to feel like it’s evolved from then, while it needs to feel like it’s faithful, while it… In many ways, it succeeds despite being tugged in all these directions. And in others, it feels wearily stretched from the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Rusty Lake Paradox is a movie/game crossover, seeking funds

You might have noticed that RPS is rather fond of the Rusty Lake series. A collection of free room escape games, and so far three longer adventure games, each introduces aspects of a deeply bizarre and unsettling tale. Twin Peaks meets Ancestry.com. Now the two guys behind the prolific series are making a movie/game crossover for the series, and Kickstarting the project. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: Actual Hope Edition

As I drag my groggy-faced body to the monitor at 6.30 each Monday morning, I click the bookmark for my Steam Charts RSS and scrunch up my face so my forehead and nose curl over my eyes. How bad will it be? How familiar will the list of five-year-old games be? How will I think of… BUT WHAT IS THIS?!!?! FOUR new entries! Far Cry 5 taking up only one slot! No Witcher 3! No Skyrim! It’s like Christmas, where Christmas is a day you just about get through without things being as bad as they were last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Beckett is an extraordinary multimedia collage of terror

It’s safe to say you’ve played few games like Beckett. A multimedia collage piece about futility and hopelessness, it’s utterly fascinating in many ways. To call it a visual novel is to suggest far too many ideas that aren’t relevant here, so let’s instead call it a “narrative experience”. Parts Kafkaesque, parts Lynchian, parts bad sixth form poetry, it’s really quite something. Read the rest of this entry »