Author Archive

Planetside: The 1%

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 142-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Quintin’s tale of Planetside heroism, originally published September 2008.

Planetside, then. Do I have any veterans in the audience? At ease, gentlemen.

It might not have dredged up the subscribers Sony were hoping for, and you personally might have found it a disappointment, a bully, a bastard, or most unforgivably, a bore. The developers were perhaps overambitious, and in any case they managed to screw up both on paper and in practice. But their game has achieved one beautiful thing, and that’s the creation of the same invisible veterans’ club that results from a real life war. If you played Planetside you might have already encountered this phenomenon: the mutual respect that instantly exists once you find out someone’s an ex-Planetside player. Since I can’t think of a name for this whole process, I’m going to dub it “I WAS THERE, MAN” syndrome.

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Action Half-Life: The 5AM

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 142-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Quintin’s brush with one of gaming’s most fearsome map secrets, originally published March 31st, 2010.

Strangest game I ever played?

Well, okay.

It started when we met in the underpass at dawn. The memory’s hazy now but I remember it was the underpass, and I remember it was dawn, because it was always dawn in AHL_5am.

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Butchering Pathologic – Part 1: The Body

Yeah, probably not many jokes on these images.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, since the Kickstarter for the remake ends in two days, part one of Quinns celebration and dismantling of Pathologic. This post was originally published on April 10, 2008.

Okay.

…okay.

I’m going to explain, right now, why a Russian FPS/RPG called Pathologic is the single best and most important game that you’ve never played.

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Sojourn ‘Em Up: Walden, A Game


“I’m in the front row at New York University’s last “Practice” developer talks, staring at the projector with intense wariness. A trap?”

Walden, A Game could not be any more RPS*. Developed on an arts grant, this is the upcoming tie-in game to Henry Thoreau’s 1854 philosophy book Walden. A book detailing the author’s experience of escaping modern life by living in the woods near Lake Walden, Massachusetts, for two years.

In other words, it’s a first person sojourn simulator.

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Wot I Think: Dungeonbowl

Dungeon, schmungeon.
I’ve always wanted to try Blood Bowl, mostly due to Kieron’s amazing diary of his Skaven team’s inaugural season, so you can imagine my delight when Jim asked me to review stand-alone expansion Dungeonbowl. At last! I was so happy I tucked my t-shirt over my face and performed the traditional foot-to-ball “Frivolous Dance”.

My flat’s a bit small for it, mind, and I ended up putting my foot in my dinner, but the point is I went into Dungeonbowl with an open mind. Also, a sock that smelled of beef. Both of which were probably unwise.
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Lords of War: EVE Interview, Part Two


We’re catching up with our favourite, maddest, favourite and most mad MMORPG, EVE Online. If you missed part 1 of our interview with EVE’s Lead Game Designer, Senior Producer and Community Developer, click right here. Then you can blast on through to part 2, featuring player-run universities, Nicholas Cage, and an answer to the taxing question of how one runs the largest-scale arms race videogames have ever seen.
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Lords of War: EVE Interview, Part One


EVE Online! Since the servers first rumbled to life nine years ago the deeply political, single-shard MMO has been a source of endless fascination for RPS, on a par with helicopters. How do they stay in the air?

But what’s happening in EVE? Last we heard, some of its most famous chaps were grumbling or rioting, followed by something that continues to feel like a controlled peace. We needed an update, and so it was that CCP sent over a crate containing Senior Producer Jon Lander, Lead Game Designer Kristoffer Touborg and Community Developer Sveinn Kjarval. Together, we would get to the truth.
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Planetside: The 1%

Next up from the dusty annals of prehistoric RPS is a 2008 barnstormer of a tale from our all-too-quickly-departed gentleman caller Quintin Smith, and probably the best thing you’ll ever read about the one-time greatest videogame in the history of existence, Planetside.

Planetside, then. Do I have any veterans in the audience? At ease, gentlemen.

It might not have dredged up the subscribers Sony were hoping for, and you personally might have found it a disappointment, a bully, a bastard, or most unforgivably, a bore. The developers were perhaps overambitious, and in any case they managed to screw up both on paper and in practice. But their game has achieved one beautiful thing, and that’s the creation of the same invisible veterans’ club that results from a real life war. If you played Planetside you might have already encountered this phenomenon- the mutual respect that instantly exists once you find out someone’s an ex-Planetside player. Since I can’t think of a name for this whole process, I’m going to dub it “I WAS THERE, MAN” syndrome.
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Chaos All-Stars: Space Marine Hands-On

Space Marines are a bit like lamp posts with vendettas
Multiplayer, eh? Bit of fun! Having a laugh with friends. Persistent unlocks. Leaderboards. And all I can think as Relic demo Space Marine’s multiplayer component to me, is this: Frivolity! The Emperor would not approve. My tune was, however, changed slightly following several hours and a dozen matches of hands-on.
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Reaping The Benefits: Darksiders 2 Preview

Their big front teeth are each the size of a human
Death, the second horseman (and hoarse man) of the Apocalypse is locked in battle with an enormous beetle. Deftly rolling out of the way of its charge attack with an agility never showcased by War in the first game, Death promptly delivers a series of all-business, blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em slashes with his scythe. And what should come tumbling out from the beetle? Viscous, nightshade-coloured ichor? No. Numbers. For Darksiders 2, Vigil are taking the first game’s paltry handful of RPG elements and pushing them as hard as they can.
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Announcing: Quindependence Day

EXCITEMENT!

Hello, ladies! Men.

I joined the RPS team this time last year. Following almost twelve months of PC gaming news, reviews, thrills and spills, some of which the RPS server was actually up for, I’m announcing that today, the fourth of July, or Quindependance day, will be my last day on the site. I’m going back to ordinary freelancing. But before I go, I’d quickly like to say thanks.
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Ibb And Obb Give Quinns A Headache

Steve and Peter In Anti-World, that's what I would have called it

The best indie games are the ones that immediately make you feel slightly unwell, clearly. Braid. Narbacular Drop. Space Funeral. Here’s a new one with more in common with the gravity flipper VVVVVV than anything else – ibb and obb is an entirely co-operative platformer where players can leap through gaps in the floor to walk on the topsy-turvy version of the world. It’s more than a little mind-bending watch two players solve the game’s puzzles in tandem, as you’ll see in the video after the jump. The full game’s due out in early 2012.

Check this out, though. After receiving a 7+ age rating in Europe and 12+ in Japan, the American ESRB have given the preview build of ibb and obb a 17+ “Mature” rating, stating, among other things, that the “main characters sexual preference is perceived as ambiguous and not suitable for all audiences”.

EDIT: Oh OK it’s an April Fools joke. Wow it’s even funnier being caught out by that stuff when it’s not April 1st.
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BOOM! The RPS Social Club Rides Again

Alec really does have the best handwriting

BOOM! That is the noise of the drinking drum, summoning you lot into action, because the London branch of the Rock, Paper, Shotgun Social Club has finalised the dates for its next three meets. Including, no kidding, a Ladies Night.

What are you doing on Saturday the 16th of July, Saturday the 13th of August and Saturday the 27th of August? That’s a trick question, by the way.
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This Just In: Bioware Unsure On Tali’s Face

But what happens when she sneezes?

I love these strange burps and backdrafts of information that aren’t really stories, yet they are.

Bioware art director Derek Watts has revealed in an interview with CVG that the studio is having trouble deciding whether to finally reveal the face of party member Tali in Mass Effect 3. Tali has, up till now, sheltered behind the mask that characterises her space-faring people with their terrible immune systems, and in the process has become something of a seductive enigma in the Mass Effect community, as a quick (NSFW) Google image search will prove.
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Not Cardboard Children: Tobago

Bloody stoners.

Last week at least a couple of you complained that it’s been ages since our weekly Cardboard Children column covered a board game you could reasonably be expected to take home to meet your mother or non-gamer friends. Something that didn’t feature goblins anywhere at all. Not even in an expansion.

Have you all really bought Survive! already? Well, here’s another one anyway: Tobago. A game of archaeology, buried treasure and open betrayal.
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Fever Fray: First Fray Screens, Interview

Fray, you can be my hex-girlfriend

Indie squad tactics game Fray seems purpose-built to secure a place on RPS’s radar, and since we have impeccable taste, that means you should be keeping an eye on it too. Not only is it going to offer top-down squad strategy, they’re appealing to RPS’s love of paradoxes- that same squad strategy will be real-time and turn-based. Don’t think about that too hard, because (1) you’ll get a headache, and (2), we’ve got an interview with French developers Brain Candy explaining just what Fray is after the jump, as well as the first ever screenshots.
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You Should Be Reading: Matul Remrit

It's Dwarves Vs. Heights in the ultimate crossover battle!

What makes Matul Remrit the Dwarf Fortress diary you should be reading? So many things. The fact that it’s a collaboration between a writer, editor, artist and musician. The bleak and deeply weird tone of it that could not be more true to the game (as opposed to Tim Denee’s stuff, which makes the game comparatively accessible). The glimmering quality of it.

I meant to post about it forever ago and evidently forgot, but I’ve just been jolted into action by their posting an update containing a 36,000 pixel tall comic depicting the fortress’ most epic battle yet. All that bizarre, abstract text? That’s taken from the game’s combat logs. Go read. And then use the links to the left of it to jump back to the beginning. This one’s worth your time.

DC Universe Gets Microtransaction Shop

The sword: $1. The cape: $0.75. Ganking someone while also showing that you're wealthier than them: priceless.

Are all the MMORPGs in the world swapping to microtransactions and freemium payment models? The writing is on the wall, and the writing says “Give us your money! Give us your money in smaller increments, and with less constancy!” Which is a crazy thing to see written on any wall.

Anyway, Massively report that Sony have just unlocked DC Universe’s in-game marketplace. Players now have the option of spending their real-world money on Vault Tickets, allowing them to access a special Vault instance at $1 each time, or Proto Repair-Bots, also costing $1, which patch up your character wherever you are. That is all. Nothing to see here, gents. Move along.

The Shell Game: New Red Orchestra 2 Shots

USB sticks were difficult to handle prior to miniaturisation

I’m quite glad. Stalinglad, in fact, and it’s all because I have these new shots of upcoming gritty multiplayer FPS Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalinglad. Grad. Stalingrad. Look, give me a minute, I’m still reeling from that Call of Duty convention thing.
We will not give you a minute! We demand INFORMATION!