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Brendan Caldwell

6 days ago

2 weeks ago

Feature: Fighting back

Have You Played… For Honor?

When For Honor first pummelled its way onto the parapets of PC gaming, it was frustrating. The blow-by-blow of this ahistorical brawler presented a tough fighting game with all sorts of dastardly antics thrown in. Ledges, spikes, traps, ladders. But the gamey infrastructure around it was a disaster. Disconnections, lag, crappy matchmaking, and that all-too-common stinginess when it came to post-match rewards. A rusty pair…

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Feature: In honour of His Souliness

The 10 best games like Dark Souls

Sorry, definition nerds. “Soulslike” is a word now. Disgusting, I know, but this is how genres are made. Along comes a giant like Dark Souls that everybody won’t stop bleating about and soon it has copycats. Before you know it, a swarm of like-minded games with sparse checkpoints and lethal attacks are scuttling around, leaving slime trails and biting your ankles for surprisingly massive damage.…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Well?

What are we all playing this weekend?

Yet another economy cycle of time has passed, leaving us all washed-out and limp in the laundry basket of life. What better way to bring some faded colour back to the coarse fabric of your delicate body than to play a videogame with friends. Or even without friends. These two days of precious freedom are yours, weird clothes-person. I won't tell you what to do.…

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Feature: Look in your CD tray

Have You Played… The Crimson Room?

Before escape rooms leaked into the dread jelly of everyday crises we call reality, they were confined to the flashy realms of Newgrounds and other free game websites. But the one I remember best was The Crimson Room, much more than its clue-hunting follow-up The Viridian Room anyway. Or, heaven forbid, The Blue Chamber.

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Feature: Resurgent

The Surge 2 review

Ten hours into The Surge 2 I was still finding new shortcuts back to the cybernetic medical bay I called home. This to me is what makes a good Soulslike. I'm now 30 hours deep and have uncovered tons of unlockable gates, hidden paths, magnetic lifts, and zoomy zipwires, all criss-crossing one another like the pastry pattern on a nice, hot pie. The desolated sci-fi…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: If I die before I wake...

Session’s ragdolls and replays are a strong skateboarding combo

Skater bois and skater goils, rejoice. There is a new skateboarding game rolling around. Session is an early access ollie 'em up with a familiar twin-stick setup and a big concrete playground to cruise around in. Steve did not enjoy it in his early access review. But for me, "the QWOP of skateboarding games" sounds perfect. And as the only person in the RPS treehouse…

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1 month ago

Feature: Click-click-click

Have You Played… Copter?

Speak not to me of your Flappy Bird, childling. I only sup from the finest Flash cup. In here? Why, it's fully liquidised Copter. Please, have a taste. Ah yes, I can tell from your crinkling nose and gurning, twisted mouth that you do not see anything special about this crude single-click game of helicoptering through a simplistic cavern of lime green walls. Please, go…

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Feature: Unboxing the message

Wilmot’s Warehouse’s motivational posters are a deadpan anti-reward

Could you pass me that block of cheese? No, the other one, the blue one. No, that's a slice of cake. The chee-- oh, for heaven's sake, I'll get it myself. Honestly, you shouldn't be playing sorting simulator Wilmot's Warehouse with an attitude like that. You're clearly not enthusiastic about the minimalist pile 'em up we can't stop playing. Maybe a few of its motivational…

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Zafina the astrologist turns her hand to Tekken 7, plus new moves for everyone else

Hello biffers, your Mars is in ascendance. That astrologist you consulted about your mortgage now has a relatable character to use in punchsome fighting game Tekken 7. Zafina is a purple clad fighter with a keen interest in the stars circling your head after she knocks you the flip out. She also has a giant claw for a hand, because what self-respecting Gemini doesn't have…

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Feature: Bang-a-lore

Apex Legends: a complete and 100% accurate guide to all characters’ backstories

Hello leg ends. A new event has come to the royale battlefield of Apex Legends this week, all themed around the character Wraith, who has the power to hear when you are talking about her, so let's say for the record how fabulous and strong she is. Anyway, alongside the update, the developers have released a lore trailer in which our favourite white-eyed warrior is…

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Feature: Speedy delivery

Timelapses in Wilmot’s Warehouse are supremely satisfying

If you do not understand the low-key cerebral pleasure of inventory management, then what are you even doing playing videogames? Get out. Everyone else, welcome to Wilmot's Warehouse. A whole game about fiddling with your inventory and wrestling for space amid piles of bananas and hair dryers. It's basically a giant version of that suitcase in Resident Evil 4 that holds all of Leon Kennedy's…

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2 months ago

Feature: Meh witch

Blair Witch review

The best thing about Blair Witch is that the main character carries a knock-off Nokia phone. I spent the first 15 minutes of this horror game fiddling with a 1990s mobile, calling a pizzeria, snooping through old texts, and collecting tiny squares in an off-brand version of Snake called "Cobra Masters". It's such a good facsimile of the crap phones of yesteryear, I found myself…

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Feature: "Obey zee rulez"

Have You Played… Prisoner Of War?

Absurdly bad German accents. That’s what happened in this game. Prisoner Of War was a stealthy third-person adventure game about breaking out of a POW camp during World War 2. Except every time you broke out of camp, the German army simply caught you and put you in a bigger, worser camp. Eventually, you end up in Colditz, which is like Hogwarts but with Nazis.

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No Man’s Sky explorer makes futuristic museum for alien relics

I won't pretend to understand what a Stabilised Reality Glitch is in spacefaring planet-hopper No Man's Sky, but when I see a bunch of them gathered together on podiums in a remote interplanetary museum, I will say: "cool". A player has done just that, bringing each of the rare trophy items to a minimalist monument and placing them on display, like some sort of curator…

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Feature: Grate apes

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey review

Letting you be an animal is something more games could do. Not a cartoon cat, or a twee fox, but a real non-human brute, forced to live in a realistic natural world, and sup water from stagnant pools because the nice stream has been conquered by snakes. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey takes up that challenge with some ambition and a lot of admiration for the…

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Feature: Taking the Hiss

Control review

Control wasn't what I was expecting. The developers of this third-person psy-shooter have been nattering about “weird fiction” and belabouring the game's literary inspirations. After telekinetically yeeting myself through it, however, I’ve found little insightful storytelling, just a trad conspiracy/mystery story, and lots of colourful excuses as to how someone can suddenly develop superpowers. But when it feels this satisfying to lift an office chair…

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