Beyond Good and Evil 2’s in-engine demo of space flight

Ubisoft showed off the sweary monkeys and multicultural vistas of Beyond Good and Evil 2 [official site] at last week’s E3, but the CGI trailer was light on details. It was a big explodey, gorgeous-looking spectacle with no solid information. Now they’re showing some “in-engine” footage to the public, which was already seen by a few journos at the show, courtesy of Michel Ancel’s video below. He calls it a “mix between a technological demonstration of the engine that we call ‘Voyage’ and the actual game with some gameplay elements”. So, a tech demo then.
Read the rest of this entry »

Armarama! Bohemia launch Argo, add Malden to Arma 3

Because one launch isn’t difficult enough, Arma devs Bohemia Interactive are going for one-and-a-half today. The big one is Argo [official site], their free multiplayer FPS spun off from Arma 3 [official site]. The half is an update for Arma 3 adding a new island to play on, the remake of Operation Flashpoint’s Malden which Bohemia made for Argo. All this is to celebrate the 16th birthday of Flashpoint (or Arma: Cold War Assault, as Bohemia later renamed it) today. Read the rest of this entry »

The strange story of the PC’s not-death

Remember when the PC was dying-going-on-dead? Actually, it’s still dying with analysts prognosticating a further five per cent slippage in PC shipments this year. And yet the PC gaming hardware industry hit record sales in 2016, busting the $30 billion barrier in the process. Meanwhile, the market for innovative PC technology that’s at least ostensibly gaming-relevant has gone positively mental. Not that gaming PCs doing better than regular PCs is breaking news. But I wonder how much we’re all actually benefiting from those 18-core CPUs, VR headsets, 240Hz superwide monitors and 1TB SSDs. How much better, in other words, have your gaming PCs really got? Read the rest of this entry »

Vive ‘Knuckle’ controllers promise five-finger gestures

As much as I still have brief giggles with the occasional VR toy, it’d take something close to a miracle to make me spend more large sums of money on anything goggle-related any time soon. Where once I might have gazed at details about Valve’s upcoming second generation motion controller for the Vive with covetous awe, now I stop short at “huh, that’s kinda cool, I guess.” The ‘Knuckles’ controllers are Valve/HTC’s riposte to the Touch handheld gizmos for the Oculus Rift, and read like a meaty upgrade from the responsive but limited wands that ship with the Vive. Most importantly: these suckers can purportedly track which each finger on each of your hands is up to.
Read the rest of this entry »

Star Trek: Bridge Crew adds voice control

Bossy captains can now order their crew about simply by shouting in Star Trek: Bridge Crew [official site]. No, I know that’s how the VR spaceship-commanding game already how it works in multiplayer, but this is in singleplayer. Ubisoft have rolled in IBM Watson’s voice-recognition technology, which means AI-controlled crewmates can follow orders you holler. Voice control in games is usually a bit wonky but, having watched what happened when Pip & co. played Bridge Crew, I suspect even the worst voice control would be better shipmates than some real people. Read the rest of this entry »

Realm Grinder is the new AdVenture Capitalist, and it’s destroying me

I like to think I am strong. I am not strong. I am weak.

I have fallen for another idle, aka clicker game. I thought I had fallen through the black hole that was infinite money generation game AdVenture Capitalist and come out the other side wiser, armoured and immune against such manipulation of my lizard brain. Then, while researching games for this week’s Unknown Pleasures, I came across Realm Grinder. Yeah, yeah, clue’s in the name.

It fuses that same, insidiously compulsive concept – make numbers get bigger, for ever and ever, in part by furiously clicking on the screen and in the main by automatic accumulation over time – with trace elements of a town management game and a fantasy RPG skin. It has me. Pray for me.
Read the rest of this entry »

Far Cry 5 has a great dog

Far Cry 5 [official site] is a Far Cry game. It’s impossible for me to say whether it’ll be a great Far Cry game, an adequate Far Cry game or a poor Far Cry game, but after playing it at E3, I can definitively state that it is a Far Cry game. Clearing out a town of angry cult members, I sniped, shotgunned, stealthed and ‘sploded my way through a bunch of buildings, and had a jolly good time.

You know about this though. You’ve played a Far Cry game, right? So let’s assume all of the vehicles and guns and missions are working fine, and if not we’ll figure that out when we have review code and can take a proper look. For now, it seems best to talk about the dog. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam’s summer sale has started

Welcome to the Level-Up Mega Zone. Spin your cap backwards, grab your skateboard, and prepare to gleam the cube as Steam’s summer sale goes live. Several thousand video games are now on sale, many of them absurdly cheap. If you want to hang with the keyboard cowboys in the 500+ club, now is your chance to buy a great many video games for not much money. Or to buy one video game you’ve been hoping would become cheaper. Or buy none. It’s your life, pal. Just ask yourself: are you living it to the cybermax?

For people who missed the minigames and guff of some past Steam sales, this year’s summer sale has a sticker book.

Read the rest of this entry »

Machinarium rebuilds robo-buddy in new engine

Machinarium

John is our usual Amanita correspondent but he’s off on hollybobs so I get to poke about in the gorgeous world of Machinarium [official site] this time! The reason the eight-year-old game is back in our newsbox is because it’s swapping Adobe Flash for a custom engine. So far so technical. What does it actually mean?

WELL!

“It’s using DirectX and the game feels much smoother, but most importantly, Machinarium now plays in full screen, even on modern Full HD and 4K displays.”

This sounds DELICIOUS. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Frostpunk, Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War

It’s warm! Luckily the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, have come together to talk cold games, like chilly survivalist city-builder Frostpunk. That’s because Adam is back from E3 and can tell us (Brendan and Pip) all about it. He’s also played Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the lucky sod. Spill the beans, Adam! No wait, don’t. We need those.

This week’s back-to-normal-length episode also sees us talking about Darkest Dungeon‘s latest expansion, The Crimson Court, esoteric desert survival RPG Kenshi, and some news about GTA V and the sad fate of its modders. Also: the return of our patch notes quiz, Patch Adam, this time featuring Dwarf Fortress. Read the rest of this entry »

Team Fortress 2 adds organ harvesting, many nerfs & more open development

Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after.
Read the rest of this entry »

Friday the 13th gives out free clobber in apology for launch woes

When Friday the 13th: The Game [official site] hacked through our door in May, our Adam declared the 1v7 multiplayer game “a smashing slasher sim.” But unexpected horrors lay within. The servers promptly fell over at launch, like that archetypal awful teen who stumbles on a root then lies there screaming for twenty seconds while a fella with a mask and a machete lumbers towards them, and players found a few naughty exploits too. Apologising, the developers are giving away some ’80s-tastic outfits as well as bonus points. Read the rest of this entry »