Cities Skylines: Mass Transit and the war on cars

I’ve done a lot of terrible things in my two year quest to ruin as many lives as possible in Cities: Skylines [official site]. I’ve allowed the dead to fester in their homes, I’ve turned off heating and electricity in the dead of winter, and once, I made an entire city drink its own poo. But with the launch of the Mass Transit expansion, I’m turning over a new leaf. Instead of making things worse, I’m going to fix my city’s awful congestion problems and be hailed a hero of the people.

At least that’s the plan.

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IEM drops League of Legends from its 2017 schedule

League of Legends

League of Legends [official site] has been dropped from Intel Extreme Masters pro-gaming events as it is no longer viable to try to work around LoL developer Riot’s own pro-gaming calendar. IEM is a professional gaming tournament season run by the ESL organisation. It features a varied lineup of games and hosts high-profile LAN competitions in various locations around the world. The huge shindig in Katowice, Poland, where the season culminates in a world championship is potentially the best-known.

Now, according ESL’s VP of pro-gaming, Michal Blicharz, who takes care of IEM, League of Legends is being benched for the 2017-18 season because it’s simply too hard to work around Riot’s own leagues, competitions and team transfer periods. Read the rest of this entry »

Aztez starts biff-o-strategising this summer

The unlikely combo of hexy turn-based strategy and real-time beat ’em up will coalesce in Aztez [official site] this summer, developers Team Colorblind have announced. Sure, you might have strategised as the Aztec Empire before but probably not also taken to the battlefield yourself to shred enemies and shower in blood with mid-air mega-combos. It’s a curious idea, though it does seem relatively tame after you remember Team Colorblind were formed by core members of Off-Road Velociraptor Safari and Minotaur China Shop team Flashbang Studios. Here, look at Aztez in this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Blasphemous is a beautifully grotesque platformer

Sometimes a game can sell itself to me with a single image or animation. Blasphemous [Kickstarter page], a non-linear 2D platformer from the creators of The Last Door, is one such game. It’s like Hieronymus Bosch and Castlevania had a baby, and the baby was gigantic and it tore the arms off any pilgrims who wandered too close. There’s a Kickstarter running but even at this early stage, the $50,000 target is within touching distance. That doesn’t surprise me at all because it really does look gloriously horrible.

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Have You Played… Doom II: Hell on Earth?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I change my mind whenever anyone asks me (important: no-one ever asks me) whether Doom or Doom II is the best Doom game, but one thing that was always certain was that Doom II was the best Doom sequel. Nowadays, I’m not so sure. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Steel Division – Normandy 44

There are two wars raging within Steel Division [official site]. While the Axis and Allies are going at it hammer and tongs in the très jolie fields and lanes of NW France, behind the scenes ‘Plausibility’ and ‘Populism’ – or ‘Wargame’ and ‘RTS’ if you prefer – are scrapping just as energetically for control of the soul of Eugen’s latest offering. Most of the time the fight is close and the game is great as a result. It’s only when Populism/RTS starts gaining the upper hand – something that happens most noticeably during the three short singleplayer campaigns – that things go awry for the mostly excellent Steel Division. Read the rest of this entry »

Verdun expandalone Tannenberg hits WW1 Eastern Front

World War 1 FPS Verdun is off to the Eastern Front in a standalone expansion this year, developers Blackmill Games and M2H have announced. Named simply Tannenberg [official site], after 1914’s Battle of Tannenberg, it’ll see the Russian Empire scrapping with the Central Powers from forest to plains. Verdun is fairly serious as shooters go, more Red Orchestra than Battlefield, and Tannenberg will continue that with new men, maps, weapons, tactics, and all that. Check out the announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind unlock times announced

If you’re of a certain age and disposition, one of your main concerns might be: when can I return to Morrowind and pretend the past fifteen years never happened? Steady on there, creaky clogs. You might know The Elder Scrolls Online [official site] will launch its Morrowind expansion on Tuesday June 6th and you might have seen ZeniMax Online muttering about launch times but wait! It’s essentially already out!

As of Monday, anyone who pre-orders Morrowind can play it now. You might want to wait until the 6th for reviews, and the larger number of players which should follow those, but if you really want to party like it’s 2002 you can. Read the rest of this entry »

Exo One channels Kubrick, Dear Esther and Carl Sagan

Exo One

Whenever I post about the delightful 3D sci-fi momentum-based explorer Exo One [official site] on RPS the comments are always interested and enthusiastic. With that in mind I figured you might be interested in a video with dev commentary which digs a bit further into the game’s structure/chill-ness and developer Jay Weston’s influences – everything from Dear Esther to Carl Sagan’s novel, Contact:

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Operation Hydra hits Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

A rotating selection of special modes have arrived in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] with the launch of Operation Hydra. You’ll get to collect dog tags from enemies, play 2v2, fight in low gravity with snipers, only be able to buy each weapon once per match, romp around in a bomb suit, or other such fun. These modes are free for all players to try, as are the Operation’s new maps, though folks can buy the new £5 Operation pass to get new cooperative missions, new weapon skins, and all that jazz. Read the rest of this entry »

Mirage: Arcane Warfare’s magical bust-ups out now

Aspelliarus! That’s a magic spell from the popular series of children’s books, Harry Potts. Another thing that features deadly magical nonsense is Mirage: Arcane Warfare [official site], the multiplayer first-person shooter from the makers of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. You swan around with swords, spears and maces while partaking in some feisty wizardry as one of six distinct classes of murderous mage. I’m telling you all this because it’s out now, innit.

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Premature Evaluation: Rokh

Every week we send Brendan down to the rocky surface of the early access wastes. This time, the Martian survivalism of Rokh [official site].

I only lasted two hours on Mars. I didn’t die of radiation sickness, nor did I succumb to thirst or hunger. I didn’t get struck down by a wayward meteorite, or run out of oxygen and suffocate in my own spacesuit. All of these things are possible in this crafting-heavy survive-em-up. But my time on the red planet was brought to an end by a much more ordinary killer: tedium. Rokh is an absolute masterclass in how NOT to do survival games.
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Trackmania 2 Lagoon roars out

Ah, a tropical getaway! Sun, sand, surf, and speeding through loop-de-loops into corkscrews at 300mph until you sick up your sangria. That’s the fun offered by Trackmania 2 Lagoon [official site], which launched today. The latest in Nadeo’s wonderfully silly racing series takes the tropical environment from 2016’s Trackmania Turbo and whacks it into the interconnected ecosystem of Trackmania 2, bringing new modes and whatnot too. It looks like a good time. Check out the launch trailer.
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Overwatch celebrates birthday with new loot, game sale

Genji

In case any of you were keeping an eye out for a price dip during which to pick up Overwatch [official site] there’s one happening right now. It’s part of a seasonal event celebration which is essentially a three-week birthday party for the game and involves a weekend trial and new digital loot like anniversary skins and three new arena maps.

I don’t know about you but I definitely like to celebrate my birthday by spending the best part of a month sloughing off my old skin to reveal a shiny new look and some emotes. It’s what we millennials do instead of jelly and ice cream nowadays. I also Instagram the whole thing, my iridescent scales falling photogenically into my flat white, the little buds of my newly grown ears peeking out from behind the old ones and ripening over a series of selfies… Read the rest of this entry »

Warframe devs announce Keystone, a new F2P FPS

Digital Extremes, the developers behind wildly popular free-to-play robocrustacean action-RPG Warframe, have announced a new F2P first-person shooter. Keystone [official site] is its name and blending FPS with deck-building is its game. Players will get to journey around a mystical board game, shooting baddies with the help of abilities and weapons from their decks. Quite how it works is a mystery for now but this is pre-E3: we don’t need no stinking details, only pure hype injected right into our eyeballs, baby! Ah. Well. All I can really show you is that ↑ artwork. It’ll have to do. Read the rest of this entry »