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Rich McCormick

6 months ago

Feature: Stomp the yard

Has BattleTech been improved by its updates?

“If I had asked people what they wanted,” father of the assembly line and horrible anti-semite Henry Ford supposedly said, “they would have said faster horses.” As cool as nitrous-enabled horses sound, I think old Hitler-fancier Ford was trying to insinuate that the masses can’t imagine the next technological revolution; they can only think of a better version of what they’ve got. Maybe that’s why…

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Feature: Over and over

Has Overwatch been improved by its updates?

“I came in like a wrecking ball,” sang Miley Cyrus. “Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung.” She was, of course, talking about Overwatch’s playable hamster, Hammond, referred to as “Wrecking Ball” in Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter thanks to his control of a spherical, grappling-hook-equipped mech.

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7 months ago

Feature: Fort for the day

Has Fortnite been improved by its updates?

Play games online and you’ll be familiar with the idea of a “skill ceiling”: the concept of how good it's possible to be at something, before there's no more room to improve. Fortnite Battle Royale has one too, except it’s a literal ceiling. I’m trapped underneath it — a flat pane of patchwork brick — by a bunnyhopping bear-person with a shotgun. I try to…

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Feature: Dote call it a comeback

Has Dota 2 been improved by its updates?

I try not to make a habit of internalising internet comments, but I’ll always remember one left on PC Gamer’s Dota 2 review that came in when I worked there. “Nobody should be reviewing Dota unless they have more than 500 hours played.” The reviewer in question, the inimitable Chris Thursten, had north of 650 hours of Dota played at the time, and we told…

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8 months ago

Feature: Siege war: fair

Has Rainbow Six Siege been improved by its updates — 2019 edition

Of course the Australian has his own spiders. New playable character Mozzie arrived into Rainbow Six Siege last month packing an Aussie accent and three “Pest” robots: little multi-limbed minibeasties capable of automatically leaping onto, and taking control of, the attacking team’s reconnaissance drones. Plop them down in doorways and vent exits, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to blunt the opposing team’s…

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9 months ago

Feature: Apex upon your house

Has Apex Legends been improved by its updates?

If Overwatch slash fiction existed [it obviously does - ed.], and there were posited romances between Junkrat and Roadhog [there are so many - ed.], then their lovechild [I believe that would be "mpreg" - ed.] would be Apex Legends’ newest character, Octane. Masked, shrieking, obsessed with goo and stimulants, and sprinting on two metal legs after an explosion stole his flesh ones, Octane looks…

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Feature: Island in the gun

Has Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds been improved by its updates?

Who says games aren’t educational? When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know the Korean word for “Red Zone.” That’s “Red Zone” as in, the randomly selected section of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds’ map that becomes an artillery test site for a time every few minutes, and “Red Zone” as in “the roving death circle that you really don’t want to be stuck inside.” Now, thanks…

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10 months ago

Feature: Highway to the danger zone

Has Counter-Strike: Global Offensive been improved by its updates?

Excuse me while I come to terms with the fact that I’ve been playing de_dust2 for 18 years. If my playing Dust2 was a person, I realise, it could legally drink, vote, and join the army in the UK. My playing Dust2 could have its university picked out, could be settling into a career path. It could have moved out. I could have driven it,…

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Feature: Turn up the heat

Has Frostpunk been improved by its updates?

My people are fed, my homes are warm, my resources are abundant, and my generator is purring like a well-fed cat. For the first time in Frostpunk, things aren’t looking so bleak. It’s a strange feeling. Typically by this point in 11-Bit Studios’ icebound strategy game, I’ve lost half my populace to sickness and the other half are so ravaged by frostbite that I can…

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11 months ago

Feature: An update on the update man

Rich McCormick’s 5 best games of 2018

I realise, at the end of 2018, that I’ve spent much of the year digging back over games released in 2017 and earlier. That’s in part because I’ve been subject to the demands of evil overlord Graham, but also because I’ve been trapped in the gravity well of monster timesinks like Destiny 2 and Divinity 2. When I did reach escape velocity, I cherished my…

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1 year ago

Feature: Pict your battles

Has A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia been improved by its updates?

Sound the horns, call in the bannermen, and prepare for the funeral rites. Fothad, governor of Circenn, is dead. It’s fine though, I’ve got another Fothad. I’ve actually got another two Fothads, just sat around in my kingdom’s court, the apparent result of some spectacularly uncreative naming conventions in 9th Century Scotland. It’s not just Fothads that I rack up on my playthrough of A…

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Feature: It's raining (molten rock) men

Has Northgard been improved by its updates?

It turned out that the end of the world came with a bang and a whimper. The bang came from the volcano at the centre of Northgard’s map — a new feature added to the Viking-themed strategy game as part of its free Ragnarok update. The whimper was me, realising that the blobs of molten rock that its eruption deposited around my territory would soon…

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Feature:

Has Destiny 2 been improved by its updates?

Humanity is a self-destructive species, and Destiny 2: Forsaken is credible evidence that we’re probably doomed. Fortunately, Forsaken is also the best update possible for Bungie’s MMO-lite shooter, adding fantastic new modes, new weapons, new missions, and new purpose to a game that had fallen flat a few months after launch even amongst its most hardcore fans.So there’s some good news, at least. To understand…

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Feature: God Damn

Has Divinity: Original Sin 2 been improved by its updates?

I’m being stalked by six-legged space demons, I’m on the run from the fantasy police, and my chosen deity is being slowed squeezed to death by a spectral tree, but my biggest problem in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a talking squirrel. Not just any talking squirrel. Sir Lora is — he says — a preeminent wizard, in addition to being the target of an…

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Feature: Wherefore art thou, Rome-o?

Has Total War: Rome II been improved by its updates?

Back before Rome became the big boss of the Mediterranean civilizations, it was just one of many cities on the Italian peninsula, distinguished primarily by being founded by a murderer with a taste for dog milk. It’s this early phase in Rome’s existence that’s the setting for The Creative Assembly’s new Total War: Rome II DLC, Rise of the Republic. The £12 pack whisks players…

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Feature: Welcome to the Gungeon, we've got puns and games

Has Enter the Gungeon been improved by its updates?

Enter the Gungeon’s new update overhauls the 2016 roguelike shooter, adding more movement options, smoothing out progression between its multi-room floors, and providing earlier access to better guns. It should, theoretically, make surviving the randomly generated Gungeon easier. Like (bullet) hell does it. In practice, it took me five hours of beating my guns against its unforgiving walls before I even saw the third of…

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Feature: A step back in time

Has Call of Duty: WW2 been improved by its updates?

After so many Warfares of the Modern, Advanced, and Totally Wacky variety, there was something comforting about Call of Duty going back to World War 2. Playing Call of Duty: WW2’s multiplayer mode now, nine months after launch, is like slipping on an old boot — albeit a boot covered in mud, masonry dust, and the blood of tens of millions of people.

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Feature: Update Night

Has GTA Online been improved by its updates?

Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they've been changed for better or worse. I’ve only been in Los Santos a day and I’ve already been taken advantage of by a greedy CEO. Welcome to modern America, I guess.

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Feature: Update Night

Has Quake Champions been improved by its updates?

Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they've been changed for better or worse. If, for some reason, you needed reminding of Quake Champions’ 90s heritage, then you need look no further than Anarki. One of Quake Champions’ 12 playable characters, Anarki (1) rides a hovering skateboard, (2) has a pink-dyed mohawk, (3) sports a pair of…

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Feature: More space sulk, really

Has Space Hulk: Deathwing been improved by its updates?

Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they've been changed for better or worse. Bolters are the standard-issue weapons of Warhammer 40,000’s Space Marines, and they fire bolts. But they’re not just bolts — not really. As befitting the grim darkness of 40K’s far future, the bullets that Space Marines fire are individual rocket-propelled grenades, each backloaded…

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