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Matt Cox

Today

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The Monday Papers

Mondays are for eating your housemate's (freely given) banana bread. I wish I was the type who spent their weekends actually baking banana bread, but here we are instead, reading the best writing about videogames from the past week. For EGM, Mark Hill spoke to the authors of Second Life's official guides, which include titles like "The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life: Making Money in…

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3 days ago

Feature: Needs a stool

Halo: Reach review

I'm bad at liking old shooters, because I struggle to see through the ways they've been surpassed. Modern games look better. They feel better. They have bumslides. They are generally obliged to develop their protagonists into something more than a number and a helmet. These are all problems for the nine-year-old Halo: Reach, but I've ultimately enjoyed myself despite them. There is wisdom in the…

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Riot Games have pulled in other studios to make games in the LoL-iverse

The other day I realised how long I'd spent in the Dota-verse. It was during my 50th hour of Dota Underlords, after 100 hours of Artifact and nearly 4000 in Dota 2. There are characters I have spent years with, albeit while treating them more as clusters of abilities than personalities. I've seen that world from half a dozen different angles, over the years, between…

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4 days ago

Steven Universe and pals are in Brawlhalla now

You! Are the Crystal Gems! You'll always save the day! And if you think you can't, you'll have to stump up £10.40 for one of the Steven Universe characters Brawlhalla just added. Last night's update to the platform fighting game also introduced a new mode where you punch the opposing team to trap them in bubbles, as is Steven's wont. I haven't played much Brawlhalla…

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5 days ago

Feature: They're fun guys

Dead Cells first paid DLC will let you get tossed by mushroom men

You can be killed by many things in run 'n' stab roguelike Dead Cells. There are pirate captains, football-sized assassins and horrible worms. There are robots that summon corpse flies, and skeletons in hats that turn into knife tornadoes. If you spend $5 on Dead Cells' first whack of paid DLC this January, you can also be chucked at spiky walls by mushroom men. They're…

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Firewatch devs put In The Valley Of Gods on hold

It is a sad day for pretend archaeology. Firewatch developers Campo Santo have placed In The Valley Of Gods on hold, instead choosing to work on Half-Life: Alyx, Dota Underlords, and other Valve projects. This follows their move to Valve last year, which John (RPS in peace) quizzed them on at length in 2018. That means we've got a weird, melancholy portal into when Campo…

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6 days ago

Riot Games to settle gender discrimination suit for $10 million

We already knew that League Of Legends developers Riot Games had agreed to settle a class action gender discrimination law suit against them. Last night, the Los Angeles Times reported the figure (pending court approval) will be $10 million, or roughly £7.7 million. Once the lawyers have all been paid, this amounts to over $6 million (£4.6 million) that will be shared between female employees…

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1 week ago

Speed Dating For Ghosts free expansion lets you date a ghost dog

I have been dead for roughly thirty seconds. I'm floating across the table from a nervous fellow ghost who is recounting his own introduction to the afterlife, when he was too agitated to figure out how the ground works and sank down through the Earth's mantle. It's a horrible, horrible story. I tell him so, then the bell rings and I meet my next date.…

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Have You Played… Tabletop Simulator?

The first thing you need to know about Tabletop Simulator is that it isn't goofy physics nonsense, in the vein of goat or bread. It's an earnest attempt to let you play board games over the internet, recreating each component rather than translating games into a digital interface. The second thing you need to know is that, for the most part, it works.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for finally going to the climbing place you and your housemate keep saying you'll check out. Probably. Here's the best writing about video games from the past week. Holly Gramazio has been writing a series on how to play games, and I'm ashamed I only just noticed. The fourth installment is about how to play with people who are better than you, namely…

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Apex Legends will soon let you tuck into more Apex Packs

Apex Legends has failed to adequately expand its repertoire of bird-based disasters. That's got nothing to do with the news, which is that they're about to start throwing more Apex Packs at everyone. I'm just annoyed and astonished that my calls to action have gone ignored, apart from the addition of a fabulous skydiving emote that I'll never own because there's still no way I'm…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Brain drain

Staving off exhaustion in The Quiet Sleep is too exhausting

Your first goal in The Quiet Sleep is to wake up. You do this by connecting that goal to a willpower mine, which is itself linked to an energy spring via a train of thought. This is very confusing, especially if you're attempting to understand how this works while frazzled on a Friday afternoon. That confusion isn't ideal in a game that deliberately hides its…

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Teenager identifies over 14,000 CS:GO cheaters with homebrewed AI

Algorithms aren't the answer to everything, but they can help you catch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cheaters. A teenager going by "2Eggs" has apparently identified 14,000 of the buggers, knocking together an AI that can analyse reports of potential cheaters in a fraction of the time it would take a human. He's called it HestiaNet, after the Greek goddess "of hearth and fire". I'm happy enough…

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This Mordhau mod will let you whack players with lutes to form bands

For as long as Mordhau's had lutes, its had people willing to play them in the midst of war. Bards are a common site on battlefields, uniting friend and foe through instruments that can play proper notes and everything. It's taboo to touch them. With a lute equipped, you can mangle out a tune by waggling your mouse up and down - but you can…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for starting on your Christmas shopping, if we're being ambitious. Or more likely just lounging around your living room all day with tea, books, and the best writing about videogames from the past week. I stopped reading Alastair Hadden's Medium post about Disco Elysium's worldview when it got spoilery, but I'll be sure to go back when I'm done detecting. I'm not convinced…

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Barotrauma adds a whopping new submarine, plus more monsters to feed your friends to

There is now a too big monster in Barotrauma. It lurches at you from the depths, headbutting your submarine with its colossal and rotten flesh. This flesh then disintegrates, unleashing a horde of what I'm inclined to believe are human-sized parasitic worms. The scariest part is that your best friend might be egging the worms on. Barotrauma is a multiplayer game about piloting a submarine…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Just let me be RoboCop, jeez

Narcos: Rise Of The Cartels shoots itself in the foot, one unit at a time

I have never watched Narcos, the television program about bad drugsmen with guns being stopped by maybe-not-as-bad lawsmen with guns. After playing the recently-released turn-based tactics 'em up Narcos: Rise Of The Cartel, I have little desire to. I mean, this could be one of those times where TV is all nuanced and considered, while videogames just toss out lines like "pick off those rats…

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