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Feature: A collection of nearly-missed gems

Priceless Play – 19 January

Before I started my PhD, I was an Inbox Zero kind of person. I used labels. Folders. Conditional filtering! These days, I might as well have a permanent out-of-office message. This isn't to say that I never read my e-mails, but rather that they get filed into a section of my brain which I have deemed, "Later." Within the distant confines of Later, I promise…

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Feature: WELL?

What are we all playing this weekend?

Remember remember, the nineteenth of January, with gunfire, treason, and- hang on, this must be a misprint in my 'On This Day...' cat calendar. Let's see. Ah! Wikipedia says January 19th, 1986 saw the release of the first IBM PC virus. Sadly that's not in The Malware Museum and Wikipedia doesn't list a catchy song to commemorate the event so I guess we're about done…

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21 hours ago

Feature: Fish markets and snail wisdom

Into the Bruxnerverse: getting to know the frogs and aliens of Grace Bruxner

Grace Bruxner almost delayed the release of her latest game, The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game, which is a cute adventure about a frog trying to find a ghost. But then she changed her mind because she wanted to make sure it released near Hitman 2. Close enough that news stories mentioning both would be on gaming sites at the same time. "Like, it'll…

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23 hours ago

Feature: Time's on our side

Katana Zero makes time for more interesting twitch combat

Katana Zero is much more than it first appears. And it first appears to be plenty. A side-scrolling reflexy beat 'em up, painted in very pretty pixels, with a character who cannot take a hit. It's a surprisingly interesting weakness to give your ninja-esque mass murderer, who is fast-paced, all dashes and slides, rolls and manic combat. And yet on top of that there's the…

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1 day ago

Feature: A tourist's take on quadcopter sims

The Flare Path: Drones On

Need to paralyse an international airport, drop hand grenades on infidels, or shoot a spectacular intro sequence for a puffin documentary? You, Sir/Madam, require a drone and drone operator. In preparation for the day when the majority of jobs in the UK involve quadcopters, I've spent the past week learning how to manoeuvre faithful digital facsimiles of these agile aerial peeping Thomases. Thanks to a…

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2 days ago

Feature: Listen now or don't, see if I care

Podcast: What games are we looking forward to in 2019?

 New year, old friends. The boys and girls of the RPS podcast have not been reborn, they have no resolutions, no ambitious goal to learn German or eat more spinach. They just want to play more videogames. Unbelievable. So let’s listen to them chat about the shooters and RPGs that have them most excited. That’s what they do on these podcasts, you know, they…

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Feature: Working together

Smarter Than I: Angelina and automated games design

“The software should be an entity that you are interested in, invested in, and feel an engagement with. That’s the idea.” That’s one of the many ways Michael Cook describes Angelina, his “artificial intelligence-powered research project that designs videogames”. It's not the world’s only experiment in automated games design, and it’s not going to rob any human developers of their jobs. Mike doesn’t want it…

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Feature: Flambé zombé

The Joy of burning zombos in Resident Evil HD Remaster

Resident Evil HD Remaster is a three-year-old shine-job of a 17-year-old remake of a 23-year-old console game that I’d have little problem believing was a modern release if those corridor dogs weren’t seared into my memory and stained into my underoos. That those corridor dogs are stained into our collective underoos (the vast interconnected underoo network that binds us all) suggests that Resident Evil is…

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Feature: Get me out of here

Escape From Tarkov is brutal, stressful and exhausting

*Click*, went my gun. Not the good, Richard Beymer kind of click. The "you're out of ammo and definitely dead" kind of click. The survivor in my sights had shrugged off my first few shotgun blasts, leaving me at the mercy of his assault rifle. He turned, shouted, and aimed. Then his gun clicked too, and I charged him with my tomahawk. It was a…

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3 days ago

Feature:

How 40K: Mechanicus reinvented tactics for Warhammer’s cyber-monks

The Adeptus Mechanicus are one heck of a Warhammer 40K faction. These shadowy racist warrior monks are more machine than human and worship a trinity of machine gods. They say stuff like, “From the moment I understood the weakness of my flesh, it disgusted me. I prayed for the strength and certainty of steel. I aspired to the purity of the blessed machine.” Those words…

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Feature: Mad to the maximum

Metro Exodus’s summer map is fun, but it’s at its best when you go back underground

I was told before playing Metro Exodus that, as with the previous Metro games, it is important to think before you act. Seize every quiet opportunity to craft another med kit, a molotov, another filter for your mask. Continually take stock of your, er, stock. And it’s true, there is grim satisfaction in sneaking up behind a weird anti-electricity pseudo-Christian cultist and knocking him out…

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Feature: Let me, the king of skateboarding, explain

Skater XL claims to be a skateboarding sim, but is it realistic?

I am an excellent skateboarder. In the year 2000, I took my skateboard to school and showed everyone in class what the “trucks” were. They were astounded and definitely did not ridicule me. Since Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I have been an eminent skateperson in the virtual realm too. I am the 44th best player of OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Ollywood (on the PlayStation 4).…

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Feature: Push with your knees, not your back

The Joy Of shoving people in Hitman: Blood Money

The first time I pushed someone downstairs in Hitman: Blood Money, I felt faintly guilty. Not because I'd just killed a person, but because The Agency, my bar-coded assassin's employers, had gone to the trouble of providing me with a wealth of lethal equipment. Yet here I was, sending people to their deaths without touching a single item. Was I putting someone out of a…

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Feature: Justice for Seth

Have You Played… ReCore?

Sometimes, there are game announcements that sound perfect. The creator of Mega Man and the director of Metroid Prime? Yes please. I don't care what it's about. Whatever it is, I want it. Then you see another trailer, and another, and you think: "Hmm… this isn't quite what I had in mind when I imagined a Metroid Prime meets Mega Man mash-up, but I'm sure…

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4 days ago

Feature: Pre-prepared to die

Have you played… Knight Lore?

A few days ago, I gave up on outwardly promising surrealist RPG Nashbored an embarrassingly short way in, due to a wildly misjudged trap-dodging section (one part of which reset me back to the start of the banal puzzle if I failed to skip past any one of its five rows of patrolling doomblades - you know the sort). I mean, sure, whoever designed that…

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5 days ago

Feature: How Ignis makes you want to experiment with food yourself

Overthinking Games: Final Fantasy XV’s love of food

For the sake of snappy videogame design, eating is often the first thing that falls by the wayside. After all, food and all the associated processes take time, time that in most games is better spent elsewhere. Just like in real life, having to hunt around for food in the middle of an adventure often tampers with the pacing. There are exceptions, but food prep…

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