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Matt Cox

3 months ago

Report from Apex Legends dev shows why work can’t revolve around pre-Covid expectations

Respawn have sought to defend themselves against accusations of crunch, after an anonymous employee wrote a negative review of the company on Glassdoor. The employee writes that they "feel extremely stressed and burnt out trying to keep our seasonal releases on the same aggressive timeline as pre-shelter in place productivity", "work 12-13 hours a day", and are "considering leaving without a better job to go…

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Valorant’s leaked new agent has a turret, which is (potentially) fine

Riot have accidentally leaked footage and ability details about Killjoy, Valorant's upcoming twelfth agent. She's a turret-loving engineer type looking to show up Brimstone, according to the enthusiasm with which she's pitched her talents to the murder squad. Her reveal page briefly went live a few days ago, you see, and we got a peek at Killjoy's portfolio.She's got area denial coming out the wazoo.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for swimming in the sea, as you have been doing most mornings. Nobody tell Alice O. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week.For FanByte, Jay Castello weighed in on the 'not overly-cutesy even though it looks like it' nature of Ooblets. The RPS treehouse arrived at a similar conclusion.

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Feature: Gravitas notwithStranding

I like weird storytelling, but even I think Death Stranding is a bit much

I am big into weird stuff. My tastes lean towards being surprised over being moved, and my favourite games and films and books reflect that. Give me wild fantastical sci-fi first, interesting character arcs second. So far Death Stranding has given me a very quiet yet very grumpy man while frontloading some of the most delightful nonsense I've seen in videogames. I am here for…

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Monster Train’s Wild Mutations update just nerfed your favourite cards

Rejoice, for the Monster Train has been updated. Cry, for your favourite cards are probably worse now. Yesterday's patch to Shiny Shoe's splendid roguelike deckbuilder introduced optional mututators that tweak the rules for each run, but I'm more struck by the balance changes. Shiny Shoe say they've gone after "the outliers", aiming for a state where choosing a certain card is "never a 'no-brainer'". That's…

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Microsoft Flight Simulator will ship on 10 (10!) disks

The physical edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator will ship on 10 disks, and in 2020 this is a very easy thing to mock. I do honestly believe it has been literal years since I have even seen a single disk, and the idea of faffing about with 10 outdated retro-wheels makes me shudder. But it makes total sense! Flight Simulator models a huge portion of…

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Feature: Except when it doesn't, obviously

Hyper Scape feels more like Quake than a battle royale

Oi, you. You saw that Hyper Scape was a battle royale game and immediately lost interest, didn’t you? That’s fine. I understand. But I still want to try and tempt you specifically, because it feels so very different to every royale I've battled in so far. There's very little of that meditative nonsense. No quietly stalking through fields, or merrily yet slowly looting your way…

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Dota 2’s summer event is a free raid-like roguelike

Like it or not, everything is a roguelike now. Dark Souls? Yep. Monster Train? Definitely. The precariously loaded cheese and pickle sandwich I'm about to eat for lunch? May as well be. Dota 2 is joining their ranks with its summer event, which is free and live right now. Aghanim's Labyrinth is a "four-player, cooperative roguelike" where you team up to defeat various nasties lurking…

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Rocket Arena blasts off today

A lot of people are going to describe Rocket Arena as "Quake meets Smash Bros", and they will be accused of being lazy while also being 100% right. The concept and the name started as a Quake mod, after all, although it's now it's own separate thing published by Electronic Arts.This modern incarnation is a 3v3 shooter, out now, with class abilities and rocket-based weapons…

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4 months ago

Feature: NATIONALISE GOOGLE

Have You Played… Democratic Socialism Simulator?

In Democratic Socialism Simulator, a turtle will pop up and ask what you want to do about the housing crisis. Fox News will slander you, and the New Pork Times will demand your comment on "the blackface incident". You're the newly elected president of American, see, and it's your job to bring about socialism. Clock's ticking.

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Feature: Roll up for the stars

Roll For The Galaxy is a hard digo-board game to learn – but it’s worth it!

There was a period about two years ago where I'd play a few games of the digital version of Race For The Galaxy every single day after work. It's a very fiddly board game about conquering space by building planets and industrial developments, as represented by your tableau of up to 13 cards. The game ends when that thirteenth card goes down, at which point…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for juggling while slacklining. This isn't even my final form, etc. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week.For his blog, Nico Tuason chronicled the ten years that have passed since he started making videogames, right from his very first animation. It's remarkable to see so much of someone's life laid out like this, with pivots into parenting, promising egg tart…

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Dead Cells gets a big update, celebrates 3 million sales

We don't really post about big numbers, but sometimes a game lots of us really like boasts about a really really big one. Three million people have bought Dead Cells since it came out on early access in 2017, which is frankly ridiculous. That's three times this many dots, except every dot is a human who chose to sacrifice precious money* so they could enjoy…

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Feature: See you at Kitty Cat

People’s private names for Valorant map spots are delightful

Valorant is great, when it isn't making me sad. So goes my Valorant review. Friends are a key component of Riot's snazzy new wizard FPS, primarily because they won't (usually) swear at you when you do something stupid. A nice side benefit, though, is that you wind up with your own private and superior ways of describing parts of the map. These are important, because…

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This mod turns Dark Souls into a roguelike

It's easy to overemphasise the importance of difficulty to Dark Souls, but I'd still argue it's integral. From Software's gruelling RPGs do loads else that's cool, but part of the appeal is bound up with the same satisfaction you get from climbing a mountain. You want that tension, and the blessed relief of finally beating a boss after chucking yourself betwixt its jaws for the…

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Fortnite: Save The World leaves early access, but isn’t going free-to-play

You will be forgiven for thinking that Fortnite: Save The World had already left early access. This is what many see as a strange appendage to Fortnite Battle Royale, but is actually the original PvE game that arguably birthed an entire epoch - all, apparently, while remaining in early access. It's a brazen assault on the fabric of meaning, but it's also maybe not all…

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