Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is a coming-of-age tragedy

Zack Garriss wants you to feel guilty when bad things happen to good people. The lead writer of Life is Strange prequel Before the Storm is as passionate as any writer I’ve ever met on the subject of interactive storytelling and he has some strong opinions about the future of the medium. Guilt and grief might be the main course, but there’s a side order of emotional highs and the occasional bout of expletive-laden insult swordfighting, minus the swords.

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Have You Played… Dofus?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I don’t remember why I started playing Dofus, but there must have been something to this cartoony isometric MMO that kept me coming back to pick flax and cut crops. Maybe it was the grid-based tactical fights that meant combat had a slower, more thoughtful pace. Maybe it was standing around with your bags full of goodies in the marketplace, selling rubbish loot. Maybe it was simply because the game was free and it would run on any stuttering computer. Does Dofus still exist? Let me check.

It does. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Friday 2017: What to expect and the deals to look out for

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If you’re saving up to buy a new graphics card or you want a bigger, better monitor, one date should be marked in your calendar: Black Friday. The ‘day’ of deals (which confusingly lasts for at least a week) is a great time to upgrade your current rig, or splash out on some shiny pay day peripherals.

From the deals to look out for to tips on where to browse, here’s everything you need to know about the bargain bonanza. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday To Us: We Are 10!

Ten years ago yesterday, four of Britain’s loveliest, most adorable games hacks got together and said, “YES! Our time has come! Our hour is nigh! Our moment is born!” In a ritual that violates all decency, the giant meat-lever was pulled, and Rock Paper Shotgun Dot Com went live. The internet finally had purpose, PC gaming was about to have its day. Happy Birthday To Us. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Total War: Warhammer – Norsca DLC

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From the unpleasantly chilly northern edge of Total War: Warhammer’s [official site] Old World comes its final DLC faction: Norsca. These mammoth-loving Viking analogues, despite being a minor faction that don’t quite have the star power of the Orcs or Empire, manage to encapsulate and then build on all that’s great about Creative Assembly’s post-release armies. They’re aggressive, experimental and blessed with an exotic and intimidating roster of warriors and monsters.

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Steam Charts: A Learning Experience

You want to know which are the top ten selling games on Steam this week, but you also still don’t know the capital city of Turkmenistan. What is a person to do? Well worry not, because here at Steam Charts HQ, we’ve got you covered! All the games that are in the top ten games in the Steam top ten games chart, and all the facts you need for that surprise government test!

Join us today as we laugh and learn. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Confession time! I’m not the biggest fan of Homeworld. I played it on original release and bounced off it like a meteor off a deflector shield. I liked it more when the HD remakes landed a couple of years ago, but it was still more admiration than love. I’m not sure what exactly I found unsatisfying about them, but it may well have something to do with trying to think tactically in 3D space, because while I didn’t enjoy the original Homeworlds, I loved the recent prequel, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak [official site]. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for hanging out with your kid, taking them somewhere fun, and hoping they’ll play on their own for at least a few minutes while you browse on your phone. Quick, before he or she notices the phone in your hand – click these links to the week’s best games writing.

The lovely Rab Florence, our former Cardboard Children columnist, is launching a new tabletop game review show. It sounds very Rab: Cast The Bones is described as, “a Lovecraftian horror satire about a dead board game review.” I will definitely watch this. It’s currently up on Patreon and at the time of writing a little more than halfway towards its funding goal.

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What are we all playing this weekend?

Here’s a game I call Reboot, Remake, Rip Off. It works like Flip, Marry, Kill but with video games and without putting your genitals near anything, being more about which of the options you would most like to see rebooted, remade, and widely copied from, yeah? Let’s start with some neglected first-person shooters.

Reboot, remake, rip off: Red Faction, F.E.A.R., and Sin?

Answers and arguments in the comments, gang.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

You’re not the hero of Pyre’s revolution, and that’s the point

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How many times have you played as The Hero of the Revolution? Where you get to lead the charge against an evil government, backed by a rag-tag rebel group, as a rough, gruff outsider. You’re the one who drives the action, at the head of every important rebel action – it’s your guts and your guns that will win glory for the revolution. You’re the face of change, in that you literally show up on all the WANTED posters. The rebels cheer for you when you walk close. Everyone assures you history will remember your name.

Pyre’s not that game. You’re just a hero of the revolution, no capital letters, and certainly no glory. No one will remember your face, much less your name.

Extensive spoilers for Pyre follow. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Observer

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In Observer [official site], AKA David Cronenberg’s Bladerunner, Rutger Hauer is having a very bad day. It begins with a phone call, some family problems, and ends in blood and regret. Hauer lends his voice to the player character, who is the titular Observer, a special kind of cop who can jack into suspects’ memories, hopes and fears as a means of interrogation. To do so, he inserts a cable into a chip lodged in their brain and connects it to his own gray matter.

Around a quarter of the way through this particular grim night, he dives into the mind of a person who has just died, an act of necro-hacking that is totally against protocol. That’s when things get really weird.

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Have You Played… Metal Gear Solid?

Why did the soldier dies without being alarmed? Because it was SOCOM

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Was Metal Gear Solid ever on PC? I have feverishly Googled for the answer and discovered: yes! It was ported in 2001 with slightly prettified graphics and some updated VR missions. That means I can write about it. Sweet PC port of the past, you have given me a fine gift this day. The gift of not scouring my brain for videogames that aren’t already on our 700+ list of things we’ve already covered for this column.
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The Flare Path: Mostly Positive

Ultimate General: Civil War has travelled a fair-old distance since I Early Accessed it late last year. Game-Labs’ spectacular sprite slaughterhouse is now bigger, better, and even more approachable. I like it a lot, but not quite enough to pin a prestigious RPS Recommended rosette on its breast. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

It’s the end of another week and what a week it has been. I think we’re all ready for a little old fashioned video game escapism, and what better way to get cracking on that than with a look at some of the best gaming and techy type deals of the past week. As always, we’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.

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Update: AMD’s new graphics and CPU awesomeness

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It’s all kicking off at AMD, peeps. The new Vega graphics chip is now more than merely a press release and has finally been released into the wild. Meanwhile, the insane ThreadRipper CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads has also landed. It’s all a far cry from just a few months ago when AMD was soldiering on with an elderly graphics product and a deadbeat CPU line up. Time to catch up with AMD’s latest hardware awesomeness. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: this week’s Steam new release highlights

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best new but under-reported games released on Steam over the past seven days.

This week: SF startup simulation, nihilistic Tetris, toilet humour and fantasy RPG Tinder.
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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Gamescom, The Long Dark and Plunkbat

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Toss another podcast episode upon the fire, stranger. The cold is closing in but the Electronic Wireless Show will keep us warm. Pip, Alice and Adam gather round the podfire this week to talk about the lies (Adam tells) at Gamescom, the icy reception to The Long Dark‘s story mode, the cleansing rain of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and the deadly climates of No Man’s Sky.

We then turn to you, listeners, to discuss your favourite in-game weather. And somewhere in the middle there’s also a long discussion about karaoke, for some reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Zuma Deluxe?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The lesser loved of Popcap’s moreish games, lacking the bombast of Peggle, character of Plants vs. Zombies or the pure relaxation of Bejeweled. Still, I love Zuma, a game about a frog spitting balls at a big line of balls. Read the rest of this entry »

Campaigning with Total War: Warhammer 2’s Skaven

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When Great Warlord Queek Headtaker fell in battle, it wasn’t a particularly heroic end. Nor was it especially brave; he was fleeing from the battlefield when an enraged dinosaur trampled him. But the Skaven, Total War: Warhammer 2’s [official site] long-teased and recently revealed fourth race, don’t have much use for bravery or heroism. They’re sneaky, untrustworthy rodents, and for 30 turns of the campaign, I led them to several unchivalrous victories and one devastating defeat.

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LawBreakers is a zero-gravity FPS that nearly touches the sky

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It’s hard not to get excited about LawBreakers‘ [official site] simple hook: flying military grunts with rockets strapped to their feet zip around zero gravity arenas dodging grenades and pumping bullets into each other. I’m happy to report that it’s as fun as it sounds, and its ideas set it apart from other games in the genre. Yet what has impressed me more is how polished it is away from those aerial segments, which actually only make up part of the action. Far from a one-trick pony, LawBreakers is a rock solid shooter with game modes that necessitate team play, and although it’s not fully complete yet (there’s ranked play coming soon) it’s got enough variety to keep me coming back for more. Read the rest of this entry »