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Graham Smith

4 months ago

Would you give up your Xbox controller to use the new PS5 DualSense instead?

The Xbox controller long ago became the de facto standard for playing PC games with a pad, but Sony's DualShock 4 also got PC support a long time ago via Steam or a piece of software called DS4Windows. The DS4 a fine controller and I've used it every so often on PC, particularly when dabbling with PlayStation Now, Sony's remote play service on PC. Sony…

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Riot’s new game Valorant is already breaking Fortnite’s records

There are currently 1.7 million people watching Valorant on Twitch, which means it's matched the game streaming platform's all-time record for the number of people watching a single game at the same time. That's not bad when you consider the previous record holder was Fortnite, a global phenomenon, and Valorant has only just entered closed beta. Maybe people are watching because they're excited for a…

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5 months ago

Feature: The Half-Life game you wanted

Half-Life: Alyx review

Half-Life: Alyx is the Half-Life game you've been waiting for, even if it's not the one you were expecting - and even if you'll never play it. Valve's first full virtual reality game is a masterclass of first-person shooter design that makes clear the company haven't forgotten anything about making these kinds of games in the nine years since Portal 2, or the 13 years…

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Feature: Spit and shine, Mr. Freeman

Black Mesa review

What is the half-life of Half-Life? I would have long ago described Valve's first-person shooter as my favourite game, but revisiting it last month in preparation for Half-Life: Alyx made clear how many parts of its design have aged. Enter Black Mesa, a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life, inside Half-Life 2's Source engine. Over 8 years since we first reviewed its earliest release, the…

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You can walk around some Half-Life: Alyx environments in VR now, so I have

Half-Life: Alyx is so close I've started rearranging furniture in my house so I'll have more space to play it. I don't need to wait any longer if I want to visit a couple of the game's environments with my headset, however. Last night, Valve released two areas from HL: Alyx for use in SteamVR Home - that's the staging area you appear inside when…

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6 months ago

Feature: Roll on Half-Life: Alyx

It’s the simple actions that make Half-Life 1 in VR so convincing

A new Half-Life game is only a few weeks away, but it occurred to me that there was no reason to wait for Half-Life: Alyx if I wanted to experience Vortigaunts in VR. I thus spent some time this weekend fussing around Black Mesa in the Valve Index, using a Half-Life 1 VR mod. It's impressively feature packed and easy to set up, but it…

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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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7 months 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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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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8 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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9 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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