A Load Of Hot Air: SimCity’s Airships DLC

Oh, SimCity. Its launch was far from smooth and yet the powers that be now believe it would be wise to unmoor a series of airships, allowing them to drift into the skies above the game’s colourful sort-of-simulated neighbourhoods. The blimps and balloons cost $8.99, which seems expensive, but at least they don’t have giant adverts printed on the side. I must admit, I was concerned that SimCity might receive a series of pricey add-ons that actually improved the game, making its meager municipal offering rather more sinister, an intentionally hobbled creation awaiting a costly cure-all. In a way, this gust of hot air is preferable. Video below!

Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Commander’s Call To Arms Pre-Order


Divnity: Dragon Commander looks special. It looks mad and it looks silly. And it also looks like you can get into the beta right now if you pre-order. Adam has already played it, and he says: “I’d planned for dragons with jetpacks strapped to their backsides, but I hadn’t expected a skeleton to rebuke me for refusing to discriminate on grounds of gender and sexuality.”

Latest developer video below. Aren’t they handsome?
Read the rest of this entry »

That’s No Wicket: SWTOR’s Ewok Companion Revealed


Reports have appeared on our Ewok-o-tron that suggests Ewoks will soon be available as companion characters in SWTOR, via the 2.3 patch. To unlock the ‘wok, you need 1 million space cash and a legacy level of 40, apparently. Tweek, for that is her Ewok name, will be a tanky/healer sort of companion. That, I know, will make someone in this world very happy.

You can watch said Ewok in action below. Spoilers of a kind, natch.
Read the rest of this entry »

Star Citizen Certainly Has Some Spacecrafting


You can tell when the RPS readership is genuinely excited about something, because the “Hey, have you seen…” emails to our mailboxes spike. They’ve done this repeatedly for one particular space game. The most recent livestream of Star Citizen‘s creation showed us frankly Too Much Information about the building of spacecraft for the mega-crowdfunded game, but it’s worth focusing in on a ten-minute fragment (below) which shows off some of the ship detail. Why is it worthwhile? Because of the insane standard which is being exacted in terms of detail and simulation. Even if you have the most nebulous interest in space games, it’s worth taking stock of what Roberts is aiming to achieve here.

Even with the millions they’ve raised, it seems like a herculean undertaking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kickstarter Katchup – June 30th 2013

Last week I was at Rezzed instead of looking at Kickstarter pages but I’ve made up for it by spending most of today browsing through projects. Thoughts of Kickstarter’s purpose have been hanging in the air (on twitter and in chatrooms that I frequent) and I have been pondering how I see the site. I have backed projects knowing that I’m essentially pre-ordering something that I assume will be released and will be as expected, based on the team’s previous work and a comfortable place in a familiar genre. But I mostly back smaller projects that I want to support and to play because they are different, risky and challenging. There’s a great deal of innovation among the nostalgia.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers


Sundays are for taking the time to do something properly. You’ve been rushing about all week, not taking any time to study or think, so just pause for a moment. Perhaps do some reading.

Telekinetic President: Saints Row IV Footage

He's got my vote.
If a trailer starts off with a West Wing inspired walk and talk, and ends with the American President telekinetically throwing a cosplayer through a neon sign, then by any standards it is a good trailer. This ten minute look at Saint’s Row IV has that going for it, though there’s a chunk of it set during an alien invasion at the White House that could probably have been cut. I know, it sets the scene of the giant alien lizard things arrival on Earth, but who cares about story and setting in an open-world game of presidential punk pummeling? I came for the superpowers.
Read the rest of this entry »

Awooga! FTL Boarded Garry’s Mod


If gathering friends to play Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a bit cumbersome, and if you find FTL a bit lonely, then I’ve found the perfect game for you. Final Frontier is the result of a nasty transporter accident between the pair, where the Heisenberg compensators decoupled and they arrived on the SS GMOD screaming and inside out. The sick bay did its best, but all it could do is stabilise the life signs. To be honest, the gristly lump that was spat out looks pretty amazing.
Read the rest of this entry »

Watch: My Hands & Your Eyes On Space Hulk

Hands, check. On something, check. Space Hulk, check.

At Rezzed, I managed to say hello to Full Control’s Thomas Lund, who you’ve met in text form before here, and then talk him into dereliction of duty. And so it was that he abandoned the Space Hulk stand on the show floor to let me have a play with and a natter about this new adaptation of Games Workshop’s timeless humans vs aliens boardgame in relative privacy. I now choose to SHATTER that privacy by sharing a half hour of me stomping down corridors and burning the heretic below. Sadly we’d stopped filming by the point that we persuaded Thomas to show us how well they’d rendered Terminators’ ironclad buttocks, but I did manage to grab a cheeky photo.
Read the rest of this entry »

Rome II Will Conquer 35 GB Of Your Hard Drive

Creative Assembly need to tell you something. The Horsham-based developer has been trying to let the world know how large Total War: Rome II is for ages now, showing off its enormous battlefields, the thousands of men rushing around the place, the naval units that lurk offshore. The elephants. Having played the game myself at Rezzed, I can confirm that the wars do appear to be total, stretching from one exquisitely rendered horizon to the other. To communicate and celebrate the game’s grand proportions, another of those massive screenshots has appeared, showing a ruckus down by the Nile. Oh, and the hefty system specs have been confirmed. 35 GB of HD space is probably around a megabyte per elephant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mercy Me: It’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist Versus Trailer

How did he miss that shot?
I know it’s not cool to be excited about a new Splinter Cell game, but I think I’ve proven time and time again that being cool isn’t the first thing on my mind. So this post is a judgement free zone: feel free to declare yourself a fan of a series that people get rolly-eyed at. Be proud of your allegiances! So I am excited about Splinter Cell: Blacklist, because it looks like Splinter Cell’s greatest hits. They’ve taken all the good bits of Splinter Cell and crammed them together in the Conviction engine. One of those bits is the awesome Spies vs Mercs multiplayer. Want to see it?
Read the rest of this entry »

Bogart Game: Face Noir

I was half way through my first cup of coffee when she walked in. Face Noir. The kind of dame who makes you want to drop everything, starting with that photo of the little lady back home that leans, nicotine-stained, at a corner of the desk. A sweep of the arm clatters it into the drawer, her face scarred by splintered glass. Face Noir points in my direction, clicks her fingers and begins to speak. For some reason I’d expected a German accent but the lady is Italian. I expect a tale of woe – the souse of a husband with no brains at all, or too many brains in all the wrong places – but she loses me. “Few years had been enough for people to show their real side: false, mean and, above all, open to bribery. But the one thing I would have never imagined is how far corruption had gone; so far that somebody would actually try to bribe God.” Oh.

Read the rest of this entry »

Profit Storming: Valve Shares Revenue With Toolmakers

I'll bet real-world hat sales don't pass money onto the loom makers.
When they’re not spinning around and around in their expensive chairs, weaving hats, or thinking up other ways to not make games that people want (“Shall we all got to Hawaii this week, or shall we crack open that HL3 design document?” “Aloha! Aloha! Aloha!”), Valve’s brain drones are at least attempting to create a community of people that can earn a living from making and contributing to games. Sometimes it’s a bit broken, like Greenlight is right now. Other times it can be so successful that Valve can afford to share the wealth between organisations that contributed to the success, but had no way to monetise their involvement. So now, when a community item in Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2 is sold in either game’s store, it’s possible for some of Valve’s take to be directed to the likes of Blender and Polycount. Ooh, just thought up a new word for it: Valvetruism.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hey Stampede, How About Some Poems: Coin Opera 2

If you choose to spend your time reading RPS, you’ve surely noticed that the site is made of words. There are pictures too, but if you visit here just to look at them, you’re missing the point. Hopefully you enjoy the words and chances are you probably enjoy games as well, and that means you may well be the target audience for a book of poetry about games. Poems are structural – a sort of word architecture – which makes them far more complicated than my paragraphs of witter. I don’t write cathedrals, I write party poppers. I do like reading poems though and when I received an email about an entire book of carefully arranged words about games, I was intrigued. Coin Opera 2: Fulminare’s Revenge has taken to Kickstarter to raise money for printing and you can read more on its page, or below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monkey See, Monkey Post: Gun Monkeys Out Now

Oh, he just had to release this just as the RPS Hivemind was about to slump into its weekend-long coma, didn’t he? The punishment for that is a shorter post free from our usual witticisms. Actually, no, I’m going to twist the knife and say ‘bum monkeys more like’.

I don’t know if Gun Monkeys is fun or bum in fact, as I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play it – it was at Rezzed, but I was dashing about like a monkey with its bum on fire so I didn’t get the chance. The people who did seemed to be having a good time however, but maybe that’s just because they enjoying harming monkeys. Anyway, this “procedurally–Generated, physics-based, online deathmatch platform game”, starring murderous simians and the voice of the actor Kevin Eldon, comes from the studio behind Time Gentlemen, Please, Privates and the upcoming The Swindle, so it bears investigation, I’d say.
Read the rest of this entry »

Get This Man Up To Speed: PC Gaming Right Now


I don’t know your name, Man, but you came up to me at Rezzed and said the most surprising thing (for someone who had bought a ticket to a PC games event). You said this: “I haven’t played any games since about 1998. I think the last game I bought was Half-Life. What should I play to get myself up to speed with gaming today?”

Caught off guard, I just vaguely gestured at the show floor, and said “uhh”. Eventually I recommended you read this website. But wow. Okay. This article is for you.

And, given our audience, possibly you alone.
Read the rest of this entry »

Speediest Racer: TrackMania 2: Valley Out Next Week!

Look at us, dad! Vrooom!
I know the TrackMania games are known for being speedy, but this is making a mockery of everything I know about game development, as well as the laws of time and space. It was only last Friday that TrackMania 2: Stadium was released, and now they’ve announced the release date of TrackMania 2: Valley. It is coming out on July 4th, 2013. The new addition has 65 new tracks for the new rally style handling mode, and all the building blocks you’d expect from one of their games. Just, you know, next week rather than a few months from now.
Read the rest of this entry »