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Rock Paper Shotgun – PC Game Reviews, Previews, Subjectivity

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It's been but a single week since Fall Guys came out, and the internet is filled with all kinds of delightful fan art of those wobbly racing jelly beans. One of the fun things about Mediatonic's colourful battle royale, is that you're able to dress up your little player characters in all kinds of silly outfits, so a lot of this fan art has brought us some wonderful concepts for potential skins, including crossovers with other games.

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Feature: Achilles' feels

A Total War Saga: Troy review

Let's pretend there was no such thing as the Total War series of games. Let's pretend A Total War Saga: Troy was just called Super Iliad Guys - which it should be called anyway - but had otherwise come out of the blue exactly as it is. In this mythical world, I would be completely blown away by Super Iliad Guys, with its astonishing two-for-one of a cracking RTS game stacked on top of a sweeping military 4X game, and its first class, ochre-heavy art direction. But I would also wonder why, after all the time and effort it had clearly taken to make something so impressive, its makers hadn't taken another year and made it perfect.

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War totally continues today with the launch of A Total War Saga: Troy, the latest strategic rumble from Creative Assembly. The Saga subseries focuses on particular regions, in this case the Bronze Age dust-up round the city of Troy as told in The Iliad (I think it's an episode of The Simpsons?). Troy is initially an Epic exclusive but: this deal means the game is fully free to keep forever for the first 24 hours. That's quite nice.

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Intel have confirmed that their first discrete Xe GPU is still on track to release before the end of 2020. Code-named DG1, the graphics card is currently in production and will begin shipping before the end of the year, just in time for an almighty showdown between the upcoming Nvidia Ampere cards and the next-generation of AMD Navi GPUs.

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Feature: A bit damp

Risk Of Rain 2 review

I was ready to give up on Risk Of Rain 2. On the face of it that doesn't make much sense, because it's a 3D followup to an excellent platforming roguelike where possibility spills from cascading item combos. It's like if The Binding Of Isaac was a third-person shooter set on an alien planet where dinosaurs, ghosts and automatons team up to kill you. I wanted to like it, but a too-long crawl towards new characters and a tendency for levels to flip from 'chill murder pottering' to 'instant death' put me off.

These are still very big problems with the full version. But then I unlocked the robot with a grappling hook.

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If managing an unruly colony of idiots on an alien planet filled with hostile wildlife, raiders, aliens, and robots has somehow become easy for you: good news, you can now make RimWorld more difficult. Thanks to this week's free patch, you can fiddle with over two dozen difficulty settings to create your own 'playstyle' - everything from trades prices and friendly fire to the rates of disease and nasty enemy spawns. Some of the settings can make the game easier, but mostly this has been added for serious super-survivors.

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Looks like graphics aren't the only thing being updated in the upcoming remaster of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. One of the game's famous tricks, the "mute grab", will be getting a name change to better represent the person that came up with it.

The trick was first performed by a deaf skater named Chris Weddle in 1981, who, at the time, was referred to by some as the "quiet, mute guy". But deaf and mute and two very different things, so to better honour his legacy, it'll now be known as the "Weddle grab".

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Everyone loves a good distillery tour, right? Gawk at the big barrels, sample the products and all. Not so much in the latest update to Dead Cells, which adds an area called the Derelict Distillery. In this house of horrors the barrels explode and the products are death—your death specifically. The new update is out now, adding new enemies, weapons, and mimics—oh my!

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You know when you see a game and just know "oh yes, that is for me"? I knew just from a screenshot of As Far As The Eye that it would be my wheelhouse. Hexagonal tiles, turn numbers, and resource counts tell me it's a turn-based strategy game while the vibrant colors and giant, fluffy creatures give me that tingly feeling in my heart. Fortunately, you and I won't have to wait long to try it out. As Far As The Eye will launch on September 10th according to its new gameplay video.

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Franz Kafka novels aren't sitting anywhere near the top five on the list of things I'd expect or want game adaptations of, and yet here's Metamorphosis. It's a game spun off from the story of Kafka's novel by the same title with a bit of his other story The Trial thrown in for good measure. It's a surreal adventure told through the eyes and legs of a bug, which you can try on for size now that it's out.

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The Sims series has a reputation for being inclusive and always striving to let players create Sims that represent themselves. For years though, Black players have been pointing out that The Sims 4 could really stand to do better with its dark skin tones that look desaturated compared to the skin of actual people. Thanks in part to a Twitter hashtag and a petition, Maxis have agreed to fix the current options available for dark skin tones and add more this year.

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Feature: Bad to the bone

How evil can you actually be in The Outer Worlds? Find out here, live!

I know I'm probably biased, but for my pocket change you won't have a better time on a Wednesday night than watching our dear VidBuds Matthew and Colm hammering the heads off people in The Outer Worlds. The thing is that even in RPGs with deep choice systems, like Obsidian's space cowboy adventure, most of us don't actually do the evil thing, do we?

This is why Matthew and Colm are taking it upon themselves to be as nasty as possible and see where it gets them. They're hoping to get the worst, most horrible ending they can, the big corpo scumbags. Let us take on the karmic tarnish to your soul so you don't have to - that's the RPS guarantee! And you can watch them stream this live, right here, at 6pm BST!

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Valve plan to hold another Steam Game Festival this autumn, running from October 7th to the 13th, and I'm a bit afraid of it. A Steam Game Festival, you see, is a short period of time where Steam releases a whole bunch of demos for upcoming games. But during the summer festival Steam released an unholy number, giving us 900 to try and get through.

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Microsoft have announced plans to stop selling Forza Horizon 3 on September 27th, though the game will still be playable and multiplayer will remain online. If Horizon 4 got you into the open-world racing series and you fancy scenery sunnier than old Blighty (lord knows the English are griping about temperatures right now), you might fancy a trip to Virtuaustralia? Microsoft have cut the price of all editions drastically ahead of that ominous-sounding "end of life" date, so it might be worth a look. It's only £7.

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Creepy Soviet sci-fi romp Atomic Heart has been in the works for a while but it's still ticking away. A new seven minute gameplay video has protagonist P3 smashing and exterminating his way through a museum overrun by plant creatures and robot vacuums before eventually coming face-to-mace with a very spooky boss creature that'll smack ya right off your feet.

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Remedy Entertainment have confirmed that their spooky interdimensional shooter, Control, will launch on Steam on August 27th. We kind of expected that this would be the case, seeing as it had a one-year Epic exclusivity deal which logically would come to an end on that date, but it's nice to finally have it official. The game will release on Valve's storefront in the form of an Ultimate Edition, which will have the base game as well as both expansions.

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Yesterday, I highlighted some great SSD deals going on over at Ebay UK at the moment, but there are also some rather excellent graphics card deals happening as well. Chief among them is a GTX 1660 Super for just £183, which is by far the cheapest price I've ever seen for this 1080p-oriented GPU, and £60 off various RTX 2070 Supers. If you're looking for a GPU bargain before Nvidia announce their next-gen RTX 3000 cards at the end of the month, now's the time to do it.

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A wee balance patch has dropped into Call Of Duty: Warzone (and Modern Warfare too, obvs), with the most notable change a nerf of an all-round super-murder machinegun, the Bruen Mk9. With a cut to its damage range, maybe it's back down closer to regular-murder status. A few other weapons got tweaked too: the FAL, M91, and Holger-26. And some bugs got fixed. Not a giant patch, but one you'll want to know about to inform your murderplans.

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Feature: When graphics cards go wrong

I accidentally unlocked Horizon Zero Dawn’s N64 mode

Over the last week, I've sat through Horizon Zero Dawn's lengthy optimisation process more times than I care to count. Most people will only ever have to do this once when they play Horizon, but in my attempts to benchmark the game with lots of different graphics cards, it meant sitting through that 10-15 minute start-up sequence every time I put a new card inside my PC. Most times, it worked absolutely fine. But there was one occasion when something had clearly gone horribly, horribly wrong. I'd accidentally turned Horizon Zero Dawn into an N64 game.

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Valve's strict new anti-cheat system was powerless to protect Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players from a very simple trick that let perpetrators see everyone through walls. Until last week, players could make a single file tweak that gave them a huge, cheatily cheat advantage. It now appears to have been fixed.

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Daybreak Games, the makers of PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest, have bought Cold Iron Studios. Formed in 2015 by former City Of Heroes and Neverwinter developers, Cold Iron have been making a yet-unrevealed shooter set in the Alien universe for several years. While business acquisitions aren't usually that interesting, this one means that mysterious Alien game might actually see the light of day.

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SSD deals of the week – 12th August 2020

If you've been thinking about upgrading your PC with one of today's best SSDs for gaming, you're in the right place, as we've rounded up all the lowest prices in the UK and US from around the web. This week, a new Ebay voucher code means there are some great bargains to be had on Samsung SSDs and WD Blue and Black drives in the UK, and Newegg are also holding a massive WD sale over in the US. Whether you're looking for a cheap SATA drive or a brand-new NVMe SSD, these are the cheapest SSD deals of the week.

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According to the reams of footage on my hard drive dated from the last few days, I have played Post Void.

It is possible I did not start out in this reality. It is possible I have somehow travelled here, to replace this universe's version of me, who started playing Post Void and vanished without a trace. Asked to explain, I can only go by the notes she left behind. They start out lucid enough, but, well.

"Post Void is an FPS that feels like Devil Daggers had a fever dream about Hotline Miami while drowning in a vat of caffeine. It is magnificent.

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I don't know what's more surprising: that someone has set up a Kinect to control aeroplanes in Grand Theft Auto V by holding his arms out like a kid pretending to be a plane on the playground, or that he didn't make speed controlled by how loudly he shouted "Nyoom!" This is the latest work of Eric "Insert Controller Here" Heckman, a YouTuber known for his weird custom controllers (including one to ragequit by pouring literal salt). Now he's here T-posing, pretending to be a plane through Microsoft's motion sensor. And yes, absolutely he's planning to do this for Microsoft Flight Simulator too.

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Fall Guys is adding a new final round level today

I was today years old when I learned that Mediatonic's bean-based battle royale, Fall Guys, has more than one final level. I've played the game a bunch, and yet I've only ever played the one where you have to jump for that dang crown! Perhaps my luck will change with today's update though, because the game is getting a new level for the final beans to compete in. It's called Jump Showdown, and if you played in the beta you'll likely recognise it.

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Feature: Still never got round to calling it "Twitcher"

Have You Played… The Witcher?

I almost forgot how much everyone raved about The Witcher 2. RPS founder-turned-fugitive Jim Rossignol said in his The Witcher 2 review that "This is one of the most significant games of 2011. Right now it looks like most significant PC-only game of 2011". It's a series that has since become a juggernat, helped made a billionaire, and even overcome the traditionally murderous adaptation to film media.

So I went and played the first one, and never got round to the rest. I really should though.

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Game development can often feel like a locked box. Behind walls of marketing and non-disclosure agreements, we rarely we get an insight into how our favourite games are made. Enter Mixolumia developer Davemakes, who's kept a complete Twitter log of the rhythmic puzzler's development from prototyping to its release this past weekend.

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