Have You Played… Game Of Thrones: The RPG?

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

No, not that Game Of Thrones game. The other one. The one no-one talked about. The RPG one. The one that was, confusing, based mostly on the books but had some TV people making plastic-faced cameos in it. The one a whole mess of people said was rubbish, but, aha! It was not, I tell you, it was not.
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Hands On: Civilization VI Is Exciting, Complex & Aggressive

The barbarians are at the gates. They’re not here to kick the gates down and storm the city though; instead, they retreat, in the direction of the camp that spawned them.

“You might want to send a warrior after those barbarian scouts,” Firaxis’ Pete Murray advises, watching the screen over my shoulder. “They’ll fetch a raiding party if they manage to get home.”

That’s new. It’s the tip of the iceberg as far as changes go, but it’s an illustrative example of what the early stages of this game are all about. Civilization VI [official site], at this stage of its development, is host to the most reactive AI that I can remember in the series’ long history. Lead designer Ed Beach and his team are building a Civ game that they hope will pry long-time players out of their established comfort zones, and a too-brief 60 turns with the game last week showed plenty of evidence that they’ll achieve that goal.

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Wot I Think: The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is one of the best RPGs ever made, and the first DLC, Hearts of Stone, certainly didn’t let the side down. Now, Geralt’s final adventure comes to an end in a terrorised land. Is it a fitting finale? Here’s Wot I Think.

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The Great Outdoors: The Flame In The Flood

The Flame in the Flood’s [official site] lead designer, Forrest Dowling seemed like an ideal candidate for my ongoing investigation of outdoor worlds in videogames both because of his name and because of his survival game. The Flame And The Flood sees you play as Scout, a woman trying to stay alive as she navigates her way along a fiercely flowing river. It manages to be a strangely cosy version of the outdoors with a wonderful, evocative colour palette and soundtrack. Here’s how it works:

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DOOM’s Best SnapMaps

Id’s spectacular DOOM reboot has been out for less than a fortnight, but its SnapMap level editor has quickly captured the imaginations of its community. Already there are hundreds of custom built maps and missions available. But finding one that’s worth playing can be tricky. The vast majority are slightly wonky first attempts at mapmaking, while the “most popular” lists are plagued by a host of cheap and nasty maps designed to exploit the SnapMap points system.

Hence RPS sent me on a special mission to punch my way into the bowels of SnapMap and rip out something that’s worth your time. With that in mind, here are five of the best and most interesting user-made experiences, alongside a few other suggestions.

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Premature Evaluation – PULSAR: Lost Colony

Hello everybody! Rob is away so Brendan has been drafted in to prematurely evaluate this week. He has decided to go into deep space (again). Only this time, he has a team of cohorts helping him out in PULSAR: Lost Colony. Will the crew become famous throughout the galaxy? Or will they die in a fiery blaze of unimportance? Read on to find out!

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Overwatch’s Michael Chu On Lore And Storytelling

With Blizzard’s first-person shooter, Overwatch’s [official site] launch a few hours away, senior game designer, Michael Chu, has come to London as part of the game’s global release activities. I assume it’s been a very similar experience for him to playing the game’s UK map, King’s Row, although he tells me there have been “fewer hover-buses”. I was about to explain about the joys of “driving” the Docklands Light Railway but thought I should probably ask Overwatch-related questions instead. Maybe he will drive the DLR tomorrow.

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