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Matt Cox

1 week ago

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for joining the bourgeoi-ski in Austria. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week, which will hopefully keep until I'm back. For TechRadar, Vic Hood spoke with the inventors of Simlish. She even spoke Simlish with the inventors of Simlish, which is delightful to imagine. As are the many hours the inventors originally spent angrily gibbering about wine.

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Feature: Top stabbing

Elderborn is a melee combat game with a liberal dollop of dashing

An arrow is flying at my face, but it's more of an opportunity than a problem. I swat it out the air, dash forward, and crush the skeletal archer with one swift counterstrike. His mummy friend comes leaping at me, scythes flailing, but I'm already dodging to the side, charging up a heavy attack and bringing my spear down on the space I just occupied.…

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Wargroove has added a new cooperative campaign for free

It takes two to war-tango. Turn-based tactics 'em up Wargroove has popped out its free Double Trouble DLC, whisking you and friend away for a big fantasy heist. You can still play by yourself if you don't have a partner in crime, though it has been designed with friendship in mind. It'd be like rocking up to a Ferris wheel by yourself, the experience diminished…

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2 weeks ago

Nab board games Carcassonne and Ticket To Ride free from the Epic Game Store

Board games don't belong on computers. They're a refuge from the screens that bore into our eyeballs and our lives, a chance to bask in the musky glow of fleshy humans. But sometimes those humans are far away, and sometimes stores give digitised board games away for free. The Epic Games Store is handing out the tile-laying town-planning sheep-appreciating Carcassonne, along with the railway-building Ticket…

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Apex Season 4 is live, new Legend has an infuriating off button

The wheel of time has turned around World's Edge, bringing a new Season's worth of changes to Apex Legends. The frozen city has been cleft in twain. The Turbocharger attachment has been done away with. There's a new sniper rifle, and a new Legend called Revenent, skulking around with a button that turns other abilities off. I am not a fan of that button. The…

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Feature: Fun is elusive

I’ve stopped goofing around with mushrooms in Runeterra and it sucks

When I wrote about Legends Of Runeterra last week, I was having a whale of a time. The whale was formed of mushrooms, and the time was spent filling enemy decks with poisonous puffcaps. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I could still eke out my share of wins. One week on, I've left my mushrooms by the wayside. I'm playing with…

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Surreal Russian immersive sim Atomic Heart reveals robotic resurrection bees and telekinesis

In the world of Atomic Heart, too many things have tendrils. They're on the computers. They dangle from the robotic resurrection bees. They're in your hand, squirming outwards in some heinous fashion that grants you telekinesis. Every peek we get into Mundfish's upcoming Russian immersive sim makes me want to get my squirming telekinesis hands on it sooner. The news comes courtesy of YouTuber Alexey…

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Feature: Starch contrast

Zombie Army 4: Dead War review

Some games are like chips. Sin imparted these wise and useful words as I stared at this empty intro, struggling to convey the mildly-satisfying beigeness of Zombie Army 4: Dead War. It's about shooting many zombies, in a way that you may have done many times before. The zombies pop and crumble, as they should. The guns have punch and the punch has gumption, and…

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Mordhau players are playing cricket with shields for balls and I love them

You never know what you're going to see on a Mordhau duel server. People dress as Shreks and gnomes. Others hold up their arms in eternal 'come at me' gestures, constantly braying rather than fighting. I once joined a server where everyone wielded lightsabers and force-jumps. It's a weird frontier. Sadly, I have never hopped into a server full of people playing cricket using shields…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for convincing your housemates to play The Quest For El Dorado with you again. Board games are way better than videogames, but here you are, reading the best writing about them from the past week. Sucker. For Polygon, Simone de Rochefort struggled to fish while roleplaying as Ernest Hemingway in Stardew Valley. This is the best kind of videogame criticism: the kind that…

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Wizards Of The Coast’s new studio is making a sci-fi RPG with ex-BioWare devs

Last year, D&D & Magic The Gathering publishers Wizards Of The Coast hired James Ohlen to head up a new studio. He was the creative director/lead designer on Dragon Age: Origins and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, so naturally I am tracking his movements. We now know a teensy bit more about Archetype Entertainment's debut project, which will be set in an "all-new…

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3 weeks ago

The Pedestrian strolls out

The opening of puzzle-platformer The Pedestrian plays like a Disney short. It's got that same sense of polished wonder, in a world like ours but the rules are a bit different. You start as a smudge on a whiteboard, then venture rightwards into a world of rearrangeable street signs. You're the man from the toilet sign. The bloke struggling with the umbrella. You're Helvetica man…

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Feature: ...and the decks of my enemies with mushrooms

Legends Of Runeterra’s mushroom man fills my heart with glee

There is a man in Riot's new card combat game whose job is to throw mushrooms into my opponent's deck. He is really, really into it. "Have a mushroom!", he shouts. "Have three!" Whenever my opponents draw a card with a mushroom attached, their nexus takes direct damage. This is a sneaky and deplorable way to win matches, as evinced by the smug expression on…

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Dota 2’s International 2019 documentary lured me in as a non-sports watcher

"They're like monkey business men", says Team Liquid member Kuroky, "they will GO". Liquid are gathered around for a quick smoke before the Dota 2 International 2019 finale, about to face Team OG. They're visibly nervous, despite Kuroky's repeated insistence that they should "feel free", and treat this like a scrim. Another team member insists that it IS a scrim, and Kuroky immediately reneges on…

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Might & Magic: Chess Royale review

I'm used to autobattlers giving me a headache. They're a swirl of intense decision-making - puzzle boxes you've got to pry open and reassemble, while your opponents do the same thing. My first dozen hours with Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords were painful, but rewarding. I remember hacking away at an edifice of shifting understanding, slowly mastering the nuances of gold and wizard management. It…

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Bethesda repatriate Fallout 76 theft victims through in-game clone meetups

Last month, hackers stole Fallout 76 items from player inventories while they were inside the game, literally pinching the shirts from their backs. Bethesda's solution has been to create clones of affected players with their pre-theft inventories intact. If victims want to keep the gear they've gained since the hack and not switch to a month-old backup, Bethesda are offering an unusual experience: they'll log…

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Feature: Bug-eyed moansters

Journey To The Savage Planet review

My clone wakes up in the hell pod for the dozenth time, and I am immediately desperate to leave. Martin Tweed, proud president of the universe's 4th best space exploration company, yells at me from inside a cheesy company FMV memo. The ship's computer lectures me about our dwindling supplies of resurrection goop. The Grob machine will not stop bleeting. Fortunately, there's a planet out…

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Rumour: EA are bringing back Knights Of The Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic was the first big boy game I played, so the possibility that EA are working on a remake/sequel/some sort of sequelley remake does make me go a bit tingly. One of the two tipsters claiming to be in the know has been right about Star Wars goss before, and they say it's a straight up remake. Another source…

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