Wot I Think: The Evil Within 2

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The Evil Within 2 begins by wearing its heart on its sleeve; here’s a burning house, and oh no, the protagonist’s daughter is inside it. From the outset, it yells in your face that this is going to be a Tragic Dad story, the most beloved of videogame narrative tropes. And it never really rises above this familiar narrative conceit as Sebastian Castellanos explores a horror world filled with bad science and twisted terrors in pursuit of his kidnapped daughter. It’s predictable. In other hands, it could’ve been trite. But The Evil Within 2 revels in its horror b-movieness. It embraces it, telling a surprisingly heartfelt and sincere tale of a man who just wants the best for his loved ones. Even if he has to descend into actual hell and face off against some of the most hideous monsters ever conceived in order to achieve this. Read the rest of this entry »

Humble’s Female Protagonist sale ends today

her story

In case you missed it last week, Humble has been hosting a sale specifically to celebrate games that feature female protagonists. They’re slyly calling it the Female Protagonist Sale. There’s up to 80% off some proper gems here, but today is your last chance to take a look as the sale is set to end at 6pm (BST) tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

Loot box questions brought up in UK parliament

Spooky loot

“Loot” used to be such a nice word. It brought to mind coffers piled with doubloons. Today it is often followed by the word “crate” and an expression of disgust. After recent controversies over the inclusion of loot boxes in games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront 2, the issue of this psychologically iffy practice has been brought up in the UK parliament in the form of two written questions submitted by a Cambridge MP. In short, they ask the government: what do you plan to do about “in-game gambling”?
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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds climbing might hit test servers this month

We might get to clamber and leap around in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] before the end of October, Bluehole Studio said today. The climbing and vaulting system is one of the main features headed to Plunkbat before it leaves early access, along with a new map set in a desert. A new dev update today reaffirms that the Battle Royale-ing multiplayer shooter is still on course to launch by the end of this year, with all that plus optimisations and more. And that desert map ↑ is looking good. Read the rest of this entry »

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition delayed into 2018

Happy birthday, Age of Empires! The historical real-time strategy series turned 20 on Sunday, and the party was supposed to keep on rolling through to Thursday and the launch of launch of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition [official site]. Alas, the revamped and prettied-up release of the first game has been delayed at short notice. It’s now expected in “early 2018”. Sounds like one hold-up is a change of heart over quite how much to change. Remember, AoE: it’s your party and you can cry if you want to. Read the rest of this entry »

Nour wants you to play with your food

NOUR

I have a soft spot for avant-garde experimental games with clean 3D art, messy physics and chill soundtracks. I assume I do, given my multitude of hours sunk into Noby Noby Boy on PS3. Terrifying Jellyfish’s Nour [official site] looks to bring some of that spirit to the table in the most literal sense, promising the simple joy of playing with your food with none of the hassle of cleaning up afterwards. Developer TJ Hughes is seeking funding through Kickstarter to serve up the final dish.

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Raiden V brings my favourite pink bendy lasers to PC

Raiden 5

It’s been a long time coming. First released as an Xbox One exclusive last year, veteran Japanese shmup studio MOSS have been released from whatever contractual obligation that bound them, and have now brought the latest, biggest and boldest game in the 25-year-old Raiden series to multiple systems – including PC – in the form of Raiden V: Director’s Cut [official site].

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The Spicy Meatball is an FPS text adventure

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Salutations, superhero aficionados and text-adventure buffs alike, and welcome to your experimental daily dose of strange new game design. Originally created as part of Itch.io’s Linux Games Jam 2017 and updated into a more polished package, The Spicy Meatball Saves The Day [official site] is a short text adventure adventure about a superhero making a stop on the way home to rescue people from a burning house.

The twist: It controls like an FPS.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for going to your first live football match in years. Ticket? Check. Prawn sandwiches? Check. Great writing about videogames from across the week? Check.

Has 2017 seen the second death of the immersive sim? Poor sales of Prey, Dishonored 2, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Hitman suggest so, and Robert Yang writes about it very well while positing some ideas for third-wave immersive sims. (I also think all of the above games had real marketing problems and failed to effectively communicate what fantasy they were selling.) Read the rest of this entry »

Co-op shooter Relic Hunters Legend turns to Kickstarter

Relic Hunters Legend

Relic Hunters Zero [Steam page] is one of the nicer little surprises on Steam. A completely freeware top-down shooter that feels a bit like an retro-styled hybrid of Borderlands and Halo, with charmingly blocky, pastel-shaded art and an annoyingly catchy soundtrack. It’s grown significantly since launch, adding new modes, characters and Workshop-based mod support, with the most recent update dedicated to squashing a few long-standing bugs. If you’ve not played it, go on. We’ll wait.

Okay, done? Good. Then you’ll probably be happy to hear that there’s a sequel in the works. Brazilian studio Rogue Snail are aiming higher this time, taking their original arcade formula and expanding it into an online co-op action-RPG hybrid called Relic Hunters Legend, and they’re hoping to fund the rest of development through Kickstarter.

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Traveller’s Tales director unveils secrets, turns to mods

Sonic 3D Blast

Jon Burton – founder of prolific studio Traveller’s Tales and executive producer on the LEGO movie – has been working in the games industry for nearly three decades now. You pick up some interesting insights after that long, and now he’s sharing some of that knowledge with us.

Over the past 6 weeks, he’s been detailing coding secrets, unveiling abandoned concepts and demoing unreleased builds of older games on his YouTube channel, GameHut. Today he announced a project to polish up one of his most-maligned games through an unofficial ‘Director’s Cut’ mod.

He’s going to fix 1996’s Sonic 3D Blast.

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The Good Life to try crowdfunding again on Kickstarter

The Good Life

Maybe it was overly optimistic, but I was sure that surreal shape-shifting, debt-repaying, murder-sleuthing adventure The Good Life would have been funded within a week or two of its announcement. Deadly Premonition and D4 director Suehiro ‘Swery65’ Hidetaka is a bit of a wild-card admittedly, but he’s never less than interesting.

Sadly, ‘interesting’ isn’t enough of a hook to raise $1.5m, and so the Fig campaign has officially failed, falling short of $700k after 40 days of funding. It’s not the end yet, though, as plans are being drawn up to try once again on Kickstarter.

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Final Fantasy XIV’s plan to alleviate to housing shortage

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV [official site] has been firing on all cylinders as of late, with the well-received Stormblood expansion recently seguing into patch 4.1: The Legend Returns, the first of several episodic mini-expansions planned between now and the next full retail release.

While the update brought a slew of lovely new additions, including a return to the world of Final Fantasy Tactics in the form of a raid framed as a stage-play, only one thing has continually marred this lovely MMO world: A bizarrely realistic housing crisis.

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GTA Online expands next week with Transform Races

GTA Online Transform

Grand Theft Auto Online [official site] has been growing steadily for a good long while now, adding new missions and competitive mini-games since launch. Only fitting, then, that the multiplayer crime-o-thon is sustained by shameless and continued thievery, with the most recent update – Smugglers Run – adding a Battlegrounds-esque Battle Royale playmode with an up-armored vehicular spin. Previous expansions have introduced Trackmania-esque improbable stunt racing on player-made tracks and Splatoon-y colourful competitions of turf control among other such delights.

Go on. Take a look at the trailer after the jump and tell me what game they’ve nicked the wing-mirrors off of this time.

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What are we all playing this weekend?

With Halloween events and other spookies, the best season is really heating up. Like a cauldron over a fire. Like the opposite of cooling down like a grave, a cold thing. I don’t know anymore. It’s been a long week.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

Riot Games founders return to active game development

Riot Founders

It’s hard to deny the impact of League of Legends [official site] on the modern gaming scene. Instrumental in the foundation of modern game streaming thanks to driving interest to sites such as Twitch, and partly responsible for the enormous success of the MOBA genre as a whole, League itself seems to exist within its own ecosystem, free of networks such as Steam or Battle.net. Riot have built themselves an empire unto themselves, and the twin emperors have grown tired of the view.

In an official announcement, the two leading founders of the company, Marc ‘Tryndamere’ Merrill and Brandon ‘Ryze’ Beck, have announced that they’re stepping away from upper-level management and returning to focus primarily on development.

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It will blow you away: IGN buys Humble Bundle

This week in gaming has seemingly saved its biggest surprise for last. Humble Bundle, the charity-funding bundle organiser/publisher/online store, today announced that it has been bought by IGN. You know, that video game and movie site. Yup. Weird. Humble say they’ll business will continue as usual, or even better than usual thanks to the resources and help of the Ian Games Network (who are owned by Ziff Davis, who are owned by J2 Global). Read the rest of this entry »

Two Fortnite players sued by Epic for making cheats

This man isn't the victim of a cheater, he's just got bad aim

Epic Games, creators of survival-ish zombie game Fortnite [official site], are suing two players for allegedly making and using cheats for the crafty cartoon game, and for “ruining the game playing experience of others who do not cheat”. TorrentFreak got a hold of two complaints filed in a North Carolina court, both of which suggest the developer is bringing out the big lawguns when it comes to hackers and cheatfolk.
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Unknown Pleasures: 5 of the best new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures. Each week, we wade through the chin-deep river of new Steam releases to find five hidden gems that otherwise would have passed most of us by.

This week: Hadoukens & cherry blossoms, a The Flash game without The Flash, sinister bureaucracy and extremely charming elephants. Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny 2 PC system requirements finalised

As Bungie wind up to launch Destiny 2 [official site] for PC on October 24th, they have finalised the system requirements. These are basically the same as the open beta version demanded, though now Bungie go into helpful extra detail on alternatives. Will you be able to play with your chums or is it your destiny to miss out? Destiny, yeah? Wordplay. Look, I’m told people like puns. No, I agree that puns are awful. Yes, I realise the irony of saying that while working for RPS. No, I don’t mean irony in an Alanis Morissette way. All I really want is for you to read the system requirements and be happy. God, no, that wasn’t meant to be an Alanis Morissette joke. You oughta know. Read the rest of this entry »