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Graham Smith

1 week ago

Feature: It's not Infinite

The best BioShock game turned 10 yesterday

It doesn't have anything to match the first game's memorable twist, but in all other ways BioShock 2 is the best of the three BioShock games. It returned you to the underwater city of Rapture as a prototype Big Daddy, one of the drill-handed protectors you spend the first game hunting. It had better fights, better or equally as memorable world design, and never hits…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Moominvalley In Videogames

It’s fun to think about a Moomin videogame

It was late in the autumn. Snufkin continued towards the south, sometimes he pitched his tent and let the time pass as best it might, he walked around and contemplated things without actually thinking or remembering anything, and he slept quite a lot. He was attentive but not in the least curious, and didn't worry much about where he was going - he just wanted…

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1 month ago

No games are being released in February

This February, the videogame industry has conspired to give you the greatest gift of all: time. Time to clear your backlog, time to finish that needle felting project, time to reconnect with those old friends. That's because there are no huge games coming out that month. When did that last happen - and what will you play, while the game release factory sleeps?

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Say hello to Imogen Beckhelling, our new news reporter

Say hello to RPS's news reporter! Imogen Beckhelling has joined the team to work alongside Alice O in writing all things news. That includes the kind of daily posts we've always had, covering game releases, big updates and culture stories, but it also means we'll be doing more of the in-depth reporting that we've rarely had the resources to pursue in the past. Come help…

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2 months ago

Rhythm game Sayonara Wild Hearts is, without warning, out now

If you're anything like me, you've been planning on playing Sayonara Wild Hearts since it launched on Nintendo Switch and Apple Arcade earlier this year. Now you can feel slightly worse about continuing to not find time for it, as developers Simogo and publishers Annapurna Interactive have just released the game on PC via Steam. This comes just over a week after it was named…

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Total War: Warhammer 2’s latest Lords-a-leaping DLC out now

Total War: Warhammer 2 seems terrifyingly vast already, but Creative Assembly keep adding to it. The latest of their smaller Legendary Lords DLC packs is out as of today, adding two new factions with unique leaders: Deathmaster Snikch of the Skaven's Clan Eshin and Malus Darkblade of the Dark Elf faction Hag Graef. It'll cost you seven of your pounds and there's an introductory trailer…

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Ostranauts looks like RimWorld on spaceships, and it has great nouns

You know what are underrated? Nouns. The new trailer for "noir spaceship life sim" Ostranauts introduces the game's scifi world in which you design a ship, captain its crew, and tinker with control panels, and its full of excellent fictional nouns, both proper and common. "I've smuggled contraband Lusca out of Atlantis," says the narrator, and I instantly want to do the same.

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3 months ago

Feature: It's coming March 2020

What you need to know about Half-Life: Alyx after yesterday’s reveal

It's finally happening. After 12 years, Valve are making another Half-Life game. It's called Half-Life: Alyx, it's a prequel set between Half-Life 1 and 2, and it's only ever coming to VR. There was a bunch of information released about the game yesterday, via its official site, interviews with press and so on. If you weren't desperately sucking up every morsel like a sewer barnacle,…

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Valve: “Back in 2016, when we started this, Half-Life 3 was a terrifyingly daunting prospect”

Earlier this week, a rumour hit the internet - as it has many times before - that a new Half-Life game was going to be announced at The Game Awards next month. That turned out not to be true, and Half-Life: Alyx was revealed today instead. Although the initial reveal didn't end up belonging to The Game Awards and Geoff Keighley, he is involved. He's…

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Feature: Sonic meets Guitar Hero, Graham meets repeated failure

Skybolt Zack is a rhythm-platformer that requires a mastery I can’t give it

One Finger Death Punch is one of the most satisfying games ever made. It's a brawler in which one button attacks enemies to your left, and another attacks enemies to your right. With these simple controls, you tap-tap-tap your way through approaching waves of enemies while your stickman protagonist spins, kicks, punches and slices away in the center of the screen. You slip into a…

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4 months ago

Feature: Life and death advice

Noita rewards you for being reckless, so set everything on fire

Noita is a game about searching for a good death. This is the conclusion I've come to after two weeks of playing it each day. I try and I die and I try again, and when I stop for the evening, it's not because I've reached further than ever before. It's because I have crafted a suitably satisfactory demise.

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Brendan is leaving RPS, come say goodbye

I used to email Brendan regularly trying to offer him freelance work, and he'd always be too busy with other jobs. Little by little we got him doing more and more for us, though - a weekly free games column called Free Loaders here, a weekly Premature Evaluation there, a monthly Ridealong, and plenty more besides. Eventually I looked at our list of freelance commissions…

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5 months ago

Feature: Die and retry

Can’t Stop Playing: Noita

Noita might have come from an alternate universe: one in which we harnessed the forward progress of computer power not to render 3D polygons and open worlds, but to apply greater degrees of simulation to the pixels of a Lemmings or Worms-style 2D world. It's a roguelike in which 'every pixel is simulated', which in reality means that wood burns one pixel at a time,…

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6 months ago

Feature: Plus new tools for developers

Valve are changing how your Steam library looks, and it’s long overdue

Valve are introducing a set of long overdue new features to Steam over the next month. The first of these updates gives developers a new tool called Steam Events and will be released to developers today. New updates and additions to the Steam Labs experiments launched in July are due to follow tomorrow, and then sweeping changes to the software's game library launch into open…

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Alexis Kennedy accused of abuse by multiple women, denies allegations

Alexis Kennedy, co-founder of Failbetter and writer and designer on Fallen London, Sunless Sea and Cultist Simulator, has been accused of being an abuser and "well-known predator" by several prominent women in the games industry, including an allegation from a former colleague at Failbetter. The allegations came as part of a recent wave of similar stories shared on Twitter, among them allegations made against composer…

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Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule and Night In The Woods co-creator Alec Holowka accused of sexual assault

Allegations of abuse have been made against multiple games industry figures in the past 24 hours. On Monday afternoon Nathalie Lawhead, developer of the IGF-winning Tetrageddon Games, wrote a post on her website alleging that Jeremy Soule, the composer of Skyrim, raped her while she was working for an unnamed Vancouver-based games studio. Seven hours later, comics writer and indie developer Zoë Quinn posted tweets…

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7 months ago

Feature: Dead Cells meets Celeste

ScourgeBringer is your next roguelite crush

ScourgeBringer is a game that exists in your fingers. It's an action roguelite fidgetspinner about bish-bash-boshing across single screen levels of enemies. The protagonist Kyhra has a sword for slashing, a drone that can fire a blast of bullets, and a set of movements that feel sublime to control. I've been playing an early alpha ahead of an early access release planned for later this…

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8 months ago

Feature: A game about death but not about killing

Spiritfarer is about death, but it’s how it treats life that makes it unusual

"We all die, everything dies, every living thing dies." Nicolas Guérin is reassuring me. He's the creative director at Thunder Lotus Games and they're working on Spiritfarer, announced at E3 2019 as a "cosy management game about dying." I need reassuring because I've played a 15-minute demo of Spiritfarer and I'm worried that a game that treats death lightly will make light of the suffering…

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