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Matthew Castle

4 weeks ago

Feature: DICE with death

The real star of Battlefield V’s battle royale is a giant, roaming bonfire

DICE appeared to drop the ball when they didn't call Battlefield V's upcoming battle royale offering 'Battlefield Royale'. They called it Firestorm instead, which sounds like a terrible Steven Seagal film you'd buy for 99p at a petrol station. Having now played the mode, due as a free update next Monday, I can see why they went with it. The titular blaze dominates the whole…

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2 months ago

Feature:

Introducing The RPS Sessions, the best of EGX Rezzed from the comfort of your home

EGX Rezzed fast approaches. Developers put the finishing touches to their demo builds and the tech team nervously eyes the tangled mountain of eight thousand HDMI cables to be unknotted before the event. For those unfamiliar with it, Rezzed is a celebration of all things gaming-related, but with more of a focus on the indie scene than its bigger EGX brother. You should definitely come…

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Feature: Father, do you love me?

Reviews Roulette: The one with the monkey bird and daddy issues

There is no complaint more sure to induce eyerolls than ‘too many games’, but here we are. There are too many games! It’s not coming from a place of entitlement, but guilt: I’d love to give every Steam key we receive a proper chance, but time limits me to the familiar/most bribe packed. That’s where Reviews Roulette steps in. It’s our new regular video ‘show’…

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3 months ago

Feature: Boxing clever

Have You Played… The Room?

I’ve never understood why The Room is called The Room and not The Box. Yes, the box is in a room, but your eyes are so drawn to this ornate toy that you don’t ponder what is happening around you. And it really is a good game about boxes: the mystery of what’s inside them, the thrill of prising one open and… er, that’s about…

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Feature: The truth will (shoot) out

Have You Played… Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc?

It translates, roughly, as ‘bullet refute’. Danganronpa, that is. Which makes more sense than it sounds, as the game is about taking part in murder trials and literally shooting truth bullets at lies as they spill out of suspects’ mouths. It’s not enough to say “If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit”; the glove has to be loaded into the chamber and fired through…

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4 months ago

Feature: Watson, the game is a bit silly

Have You Played… Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments?

There is a moment in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments where the detective has to identify a brand of cigar. “This scent is familiar to me, but in order to recognise it, I must combine my associations into one picture,” he says. You find yourself swivelling a stink cloud, aligning its wafting lines into a hidden image. Problem is, Holmes’ nose deals in broad stereotypes…

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5 months ago

Feature: Mean Bean Machine

Video: Hitman 2 let me join the illustrious ranks of Sean Bean’s murderers

“For England, James?” “No, for XP.” 2000 XP, to be precise. That’s how much Sean Bean’s life is worth in the first of Hitman 2’s Elusive Targets. These are timed contracts that give you one shot at killing a special guest character - in this case, everyone’s favourite Yorkshire thespian (okay, it’s a toss up between Bean and fellow GoldenEye alumni Judi Dench). Bean, of…

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Feature: Tomb with a view

Have You Played… Tomb Raider: Underworld?

For all the bruisings, beatings and impalings that Lara Croft endures in the recent rebooted trilogy, the real victim was Tomb Raider’s sense of scale. Everything became crushed down to deliver fidelity. There were temples, sure, but you viewed them from cramped tunnels as you scurried past guards, and towering structures were only seen from the extreme close-up of a climbing wall or the long-distance…

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6 months ago

Feature: Nothing to Fallout over

I miss the fake humans, but Fallout 76 feels like Fallout

“Every character you see is a real person,” said Todd Howard at E3, explaining the lack of traditional NPCs in Fallout 76. But I’m not so sure. Does Howard really expect me to believe that ‘CocktimusPrime’ isn’t waiting to greet everyone outside their vault? He’s there as I step into the light, his big, dumb name floating in front of a horizon that’s meant to…

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Feature: Saddle up

Video: 8 cowboy games to play on PC while everyone else plays Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 was made by five million people working nine day weeks, but does it have a duck that collects your discarded throwing knives? Actually, I don’t know, as it’s not on PC. But a game that does feature a magic duck, and can be played on your home computer, is the lovely Luckslinger. It’s one of eight delightful cowboy ‘em ups that…

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Feature: Worse things happen at sea

Return of the Obra Dinn review

Return of the Obra Dinn is a terrible advert for sea travel and a great recruitment tool for the insurance industry. A boat arrives in port, absent a living crew and with too few remains to represent the 60 passengers in the ship’s log. You’re an investigator who has to fill in the gaps by studying this vaguest of crime scenes. I always thought insurance…

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7 months ago

Feature: Your place or mined?

Have You Played… Minesweeper?

For years I thought Minesweeper was a horrible trick. It was hidden in a folder in Windows 95 called Games, but it didn’t look like any game I wanted to play (which was mostly Quake, at the time). Bonus side eyes for Spider Solitaire, which sounds more exciting than it is because of the word ‘spider’.

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Feature: Watch, watch, watch this vid, gently as it streams

Come watch RPS become streaming superstars at EGX 2018

[Update: The first day's streaming is done! But you can still watch us kissing the ground hard in Human Fall Flat in the video below.] That rumbling sound you hear is half of Brighton packing its bags as Gamer Network decamps to Birmingham for EGX 2018. And the Rock, Paper, Shotgun Video Department will be at the show, too. We’ve decided to try our hand…

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8 months ago

Feature: Tactics and hacked bits

Video: Bad North is an RTS that even RTS-haters might enjoy

I’m not sure if Bad North is a strategy game for the inept or the lazy. It does a lot that speaks to both: the islands you’re defending are small, you’ve only a few units to guide and those instructions don’t extend beyond ‘go there’ or ‘hide in that’. When they do get ‘there’ they auto-attack any marauders in reach and pursue the stragglers. It…

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Feature: A metaphor for something sad, probably

Video: Platformer Gris is so delicate I won’t spoil it with my honking voice

I imagine many of you see the word video in the headline and assume it’s just going to be Noa or me gabbling over game footage. And while gabbling/footage hybrids do make up 98% of its output, the RPS Video Department knows when to put a sock in it. One such occasion is the arrival of Gris, a wistful adventure that new Spanish outfit Nomada…

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Feature: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Swoon

Video: Perilous platforming and jaguar extermination makes Shadow of the Tomb Raider classic Croft

I often wonder what freakish individuals were enlisted into focus testing to give publishers the idea that everyone wants things mean and moody. Had they invited me, there would be more games set in cheery pubs where you win by having the best bit of nostalgia about early noughties television. Also, the health system would be built entirely on the consumption of floral gums. There…

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9 months ago

Feature: I fought the law and the law fell into a big custard pie

Video: This Is The Police 2 is like trying to win XCOM with the cast of Police Academy

As a great scientist once said (or maybe it was Jeff Goldblum): “A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.” Meanwhile, in This Is The Police 2 an idiot cop empties pepper spray into their own eyes and a woman burns to death because I don’t have enough law enforcers to answer her distress call.…

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Feature: Hell to the bus driver

Video: Bus Simulator 18’s multiplayer will break your bank balance (and maybe your bones)

The news that Bus Simulator 18 had added a multiplayer mode caused quite the ripple in the RPS treehouse. For one afternoon cat pics and Brendy’s weird GIFs made way for dreams of glorious four bus convoys, all honking horns and sliding open doors in perfect unison. The reality, as I discovered with Noa, is more frightening. This is an unforgiving world where the tiniest…

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