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Firewatch

7 months ago

Feature: Please, no take downs

How YouTube let’s plays are preserving video game history

It’s a long-observed fact that the phenomenon of the YouTube let’s play has benefits beyond just entertaining viewers and gradually introducing teenagers to neo-Nazism via YouTube's algorithm. For developers, for example, getting a popular YouTuber to play their latest title can be a significant boost to sales. Ryan Clark, developer of roguelike rhythm game Crypt of the Necrodancer told the New York Times that he…

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12 months ago

Feature: Fire talk with me

Firewatch’s walkie-talkie friendship is what made it stand out

First-person walking simulators can be pretty low-budget. That isn’t to say that they can’t look beautiful, as the Hebrides does in Dear Esther, which pioneered the 'walking here for a bit of story there' sub-genre. Making super detailed character models and animations? That’s complicated and resource-heavy. It’s no surprise that an indie developer doing a walking sim might eschew giving their characters actual walk-on parts.…

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1 year ago

Feature: It wasn't all karaoke and killing

Games set in the 1980s don’t need to be painted in neon

I’ve never been myself, but if games have taught me anything about the 80s, it’s that they were wild. Big hair, big clothes, big music – it was all there. If you were to use Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a sole reference for the period, you’d assume that everyone was constantly walking around to the beat of their own pulsing, synth-infused soundtrack. When…

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Feature: Recky with the good hair

Steam Summer Sale recommendations: 2018 edition!

The old quote is wrong: neither death nor taxes are, it seems to me, as terrifyingly certain as the Steam Summer Sale. Yes, once more we can add to the heap that is our backlog by buying games for, what, five quid, on average? But there are so many to choose from that it's easy to get flustered, so who better than the staff of…

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2 years ago

Feature: Why and what's next

Interview: Campo Santo talk to us about moving to Valve

Campo Santo, creators of Firewatch and the forthcoming In The Valley Of Gods, announced last month that all twelve members of their studio were packing their bags and moving to Valve. The team are all currently in the process of relocating to Seattle, where Valley Of The Gods will be finished in Valve's Bellevue tower as a Valve game. So we caught up with studio…

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Feature: Grim peaks.

Have you played… The Vanishing of Ethan Carter?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Watching walking simulators evolve from the waffling emptiness of Dear Esther into remarkable narrative adventures like Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch has been one of my favourite spectator sports as a games journalist. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of the better stepping…

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Feature: Listen now or embrace the void

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talk replayability, Slime Rancher and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

The hosts of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, know neither respite nor shame. This week we have a chat about "replayability" - what games are the most replayable? Why do we always go back to our "comfort games"? Exactly how many hours has Adam spent in Crusader Kings II? Hint: QUITE LOTS. Meanwhile, Pip attempts to cultivate the excrement of wet monsters in…

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3 years ago

Feature: Best of the best of

John’s Favourite Games Of 2016

One of my favourite things about end of year lists on RPS is they never match the personal list of any individual writer. They're a compromise between us all, an erratic, uncoordinated vote where consensus sees games of real worth rising to the top and filling our annual advent calendar. It makes for a list that's far more broad and useful to the largest number…

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Feature: Park life

RPS Advent Calendar, Dec 21st: Firewatch

Where we are, it's cold outside right now. So cold that we're all huddled around the fire, unwilling to explore the winter world. Our Advent Calendar celebrates the best games of 2016 and behind the 21st door you'll find... It's the best use of nature in a game...Firewatch [official site]!

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Feature: Leaving your prints

Firewatch: Why The Official Photos Don’t Quite Work

My official Firewatch [official site] photos arrived a few weeks ago at my parents' house and I've just got around to picking them up. While I was playing the game I also ordered a set of my own screenshots from a photo print service in the UK. I wanted to talk about the differences between the two experiences, not least because paying to have your…

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Feature: Going For A Walk, Man

Firewatch Adding Free Audio Tour, Free Roam Mode

You may think Firewatch [official site], the utterly spectacular first-person adventure from Campo Santo, may not be the most obvious choice for free DLC. But rather than meddling with the original game, Campo are adding a new mode called Audio Tour, a commentary mode in the form of a scavenger hunt! And later this year, the much-requested free-roaming mode will come our way. We've spoken…

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Feature: Retrofitted virtual reality

BioShock, Firewatch, Dishonored & More: How Well Do Non VR Games Work In VR?

I've got two VR headsets in my inappropriately small home, and I spend more time feeling guilty that I'm not using them than I do using them. Conceptually I love the tech, and I sporadically have a fine time with 'experiences' - i.e. virtual tourism to real or made-up places - when it comes to games-games I'm yet to get all that much out of…

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Feature: But where are the caterpillars?

A-flutter: The Butterflies Of Firewatch

Over the weekend I was playing Firewatch [official site]. I actually played it twice because I wanted to spend time in those environments and with those colour palettes. As I spent more and more time in the game it occurred to me that the game's relationship with insects is an interesting one.

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Feature: A bonus bestest best!

The Bestest Best Games Of 2016 So Far

We usually do our enormous GAMES OF THE YEAR posting fest at the end of the year (as would seem logical) but because it seems silly to reserve praise for special occasions we're doing a Games Of The Half Year collection to tell you about everything we've loved playing so far. It can double as a summer holiday recommendations list too! We've listed ours in…

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4 years ago

Feature: Jane Ng on creating the Wyoming Wilderness

The Great Outdoors: Firewatch

While preparing for this year's Game Developers Conference I decided I wanted to learn more about how "outside" works in videogames. By that I mean I wanted to find out how different studios create a sense of space or place that's natural or expansive. Firewatch is not an open world game, but is has these beautiful, expansive vistas, gorgeous trees and a very definite sense…

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Feature: ME ME ME ME ME (and you)

Firewatch And The Selfish Nature Of Romance

In games, romance is often an end-goal. A relationship is the reward at the end of a quest chain or a gift-giving minigame of sorts, or it's the fulfillment of a character's potential and meaning. There are exceptions, of course, but there are few great romances in gaming, doomed or otherwise. And there's very little that would fall into the rom-com category. When I first…

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Feature: Spoilers, theories and criticisms

Am I A Good Man? Thoughts On Firewatch

Contains spoilers and theories which may or may not be spoilers. I spent most of my time with Firewatch wishing I was there, alone and without pressures in its peach-hued Wyoming wilderness. It was all I wanted from life: an escape from glaring screens and beeping devices and an inbox which endlessly refills itself with requests I can't do anything about. Then I turned on…

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5 years ago

Feature: Brush With Danger

Hands On: Firewatch

If you've already seen the Firewatch [official site] footage Alec posted last week, then you've seen what I've played. (Sort of. It's hard to imagine how someone could have played it quite so weirdly, missing out almost all of the best lines, ignoring lots of the things to do). Of course, watching and playing are rarely the same experience. And this is already something pretty…

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Feature: First-person wedding ring

23 Observations On 17 Minutes Of Firewatch

I haven't been entirely sure what to make of Firewatch [official site], the upcoming great outdoors adventure/exploration title from a mini-supergroup of ex-Double Fine/ Telltale/ Lucasarts/ Klei/ Lionhead devs, because I wasn't entirely sure what it was. Having just watched a quarter of an hour of it, I still don't entirely know what it's going to become, but I really, really like it. It seems…

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