There’s a free HD texture DLC for Shadow Of War (but you probably don’t need it)

shadow-of-war-high-resolution-texture-pack

You may well already know this, but going on the basis that most of the RPS team weren’t aware of it, let’s put the word out anew. As if 65 gigabytes of PC Middle-earth: Shadow Of War weren’t enough, there’s also an optional extra, free 10Gb download, comprising what’s officially called a ‘High Resolution Texture Pack.’ In other words, it in theory makes the grime, squalor and butchered viscera of Mordor that little bit more grimy, squalid and visceral butchered viscera-y.

It’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. Join me as I investigate whether installing ten gig of ‘Ultra’ textures really makes a difference to your nemesising. Read the rest of this entry »

Intel’s Core i5-8400: the new go-to gaming CPU

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Intel’s new 8th Gen Core chips are out and there is much rejoicing. For the first time in about five years, Intel has made an unambiguous step forward with its mainstream CPUs. In short, they’ve bunged in an extra pair of cores across the board. Where once you had two cores or four cores, now you have four cores or six cores. Of course more cores don’t automatically translate into a better gaming experience. But I still think the new Core i5-8400 will become the chip of choice for gamers. Here’s why.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War shows that revenge is a dish best served re-heated

shadowofwar1

Nothing does revenge quite like Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War [official site]. But more games really really should.

When Shadow Of Mordor came out in 2014, no one was really expecting it to be good. But it was great. And the greatest thing about it was its Nemesis system. Because your character is already dead, and possessed by a grey, grey ghost, getting killed by an enemy was not your end. Instead you woke up at a respawn tower, with vengeance on your mind. The orc that killed you would automatically be given a promotion, a ranking among the orc leadership in the area, and greater abilities. He’d also be given a personality, strengths and weaknesses, and most of all, a name. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm episode 2 next week

The misadventures of Chloe and Rachel will continue in Life Is Strange: Before The Storm [official site] next week. Publishers Square Enix today announced that episode 2 of the teen ’em up prequel will launch on Thursday, October 19th, and showed a little of what’ll happen. Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus cut Rift price, announce standalone Go headset

Oculus GO

One of those newfangled windows into cyberspace just got a bit cheaper, with the Oculus Rift (bundled with its motion controllers) now priced at £399/$399. That’s down from the previous $499 price point, and effectively makes the summer sale a permanent deal.

They’ve also announced the Oculus Go, a self-contained VR headset.

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Podcast: Destiny 2, Steamworld Dig 2 and binge gaming

'ello Traveller

Oh heavens look at you, you’ve been bingeing on videogames again. Pumping platformers into your veins and shoving shooters into your piehole. That’s fine, so have we. This week’s edition of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is all about binge gaming. Alec joins us to talk about chomping down on numbers-go-up alien-zapper Destiny 2, which Adam has also been gorging on. Meanwhile, I’ve been happily dig-dugging my way through robotic metroidvania Steamworld Dig 2, which as far as I’m concerned is far healthier and wiser.
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Cure weird illnesses in Wunderdoktor, out now

Become a doctor, they said. Travel the land on a spooky train, they said. Make a difference, they said. You know how much you admire Dick Van Dyke in Diagnosis: Murder, they said. Before long, I’m popping pimples, yanking worms out of arms, popping eyes back into sockets, cutting off horns, dodging a shower of leeches, playing tunes on nostrils, slapping ghosts with a flyswatter, and investigating a shady pharmaceutical company. That’s all in a day’s work in Wunderdoktor [official site], a new doc ’em up released this week. I’ve had a quick bash and heartily enjoyed it. Read the rest of this entry »

Bunny brawler Overgrowth finally coming out next week

*hissssssss*

The rabbit roughhousing of Overgrowth [official site] is finally complete, say developers Wolfire, and a release date is set for Monday next week. The physics-heavy martial arts adventure has been playable for years and years and year, of course, but by giving it a solid date of October 16, Wolfire are saying: right, that’s your lot. Almost a decade of development is quite enough.

So, if you want to kick rats, or punch large cats in the belly, or throw a sword at a wolf’s head while he’s not looking only to see him catch it with a supernatural grace and come barrelling towards you in a carnivorous rage, then this is probably the game for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Overwatch?

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

Overwatch is fun just to think about, which is handy because I spend more time thinking about it than I do playing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Sociable Soccer delayed to next week

Bad news, gang: the match is off. Unlace your boots, refold your kit, suck up all the flob you’ve been spitting on the sideline, return the magic sponge to its reliquary, and unslice the half-time oranges. Sociable Soccer [official site], the new arcade kick ’em up from Sensible Soccer co-designer Jon Hare, was due to launch into early access today but it will not. The development team announced this afternoon, several hours before the planned launch, that something has come up and Sociable Soccer is delayed. We’ll need to wait until next Friday, October 20th, to get kicking. Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost Recon Wildlands free trial weekend starts today

Something for the weekend, madam? Invading anywhere nice? You might want to consider rounding up some chums to maraud across Bolivia in Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site], as the full game is free to play this weekend. Or you could play the open-world sneak-o-shooter on your tod, I suppose. Or against other warmen, as Ubisoft added PvP with the new Ghost War mode this week. Brendan and Graham enjoyed playing co-op together for a few hours, so it might be a lark even if you don’t fancy the full game. A few hours of fun for free is an acceptable prospect. Read the rest of this entry »

Quietly creepy ghost-recording sequel Sylvio 2 is out

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Sylvio is one of my favourite recent horror games. I described it as an “anti-screamer” because it’ll unnerve you with a whisper rather than startling you with a jumpscare. Most of the creepiness comes from listening to recordings of ghosts, playing tracks at various speeds and/or reversing them to hear the voices in the static. It also had bits where you shot giant shadowy figures and blobs. The sequel [official site], which came out yesterday, ditches the shooting and adds video recordings alongside the audio tapes. I’ve had a quick look and listen.

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Griftlands is a ‘pirate sandbox’, says Klei

Go away

We haven’t seen much of sci-fi RPG Griftlands [official site], apart from a short trailer featuring a drunk frog-man getting turned in by his space pal for a sweet bag o’ cash. But developers Klei have a good track record with their cartoony games. So I annoyed them with some questions and got a few more details. As expected, it’s a game of money-grubbing and turn-based battling, but it’s also a world where characters will hold grudges against you, say the creators.
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Grim Dawn summons Ashes of Malmouth expansion

The first words of every summoned skeleton, after dark forces draw their scattered bones together and rebirth them from their warm soilwomb, are “WAHEY! LADS LADS LADS.” Always grinning, this lot live to roll around laughing, pranking, and scrapping – but don’t worry mate, it’s only banter. You can now be a Lad Dad in Grim Dawn [official site], as the action-RPG last night launched its Ashes of Malmouth expansion, which includes a Necromancer class (and an Inquisitor, if you’re more a Stern Dad). It also explores lands through new story chapters, whacks in more items and enemies, and raises the level cap. Read the rest of this entry »

GOG’s 2K sale features old school X-Com among others

terror from the deep

Over at GOG, the reduced-price trips down memory lane continue, only this week there’s a whole lot more X-Com. Specifically, this week’s GOG sale range focuses on a lot of 2K’s older franchises, particularly from the strategy genre. The entire original run of X-Com games can be found here for less than £2 / $2 each, which is nigh-impossible to not recommend. Then there is the 2004 version of Sid Meier’s Pirates, a game I’ve poured more hours into than I really want to think about, and much more.

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Together alone: a misanthrope’s guide to Destiny 2

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Destiny 2 [official site], Bungie’s game of unblinking science-fictional loot acquisition, is due on PC later this month, but it’s already enjoyed a few apparently very successful weeks of online robot-bothering and gun-collecting on console. The Destiny games are most heavily associated with players working together to take down big bosses and obtain the hardest-won loot, but there’s a certain sect of us who aren’t as comfortable communicating with strangers over a microphone. What does Destiny 2 have for us, the folk who like to think of ourselves as too-cool-for-school loners but are considered to be miserable, uncooperative gits by everyone else?

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How (not) to reach platinum ranking as a support in Overwatch

overwatchmercy

When I play Overwatch [official site], my first priority is to do harm, abiding by a sort of anti-Hippocratic Oath. In fact, no matter what game I’m playing, I’ll pick the role that revolves around doing as much damage as I can as quickly as I can. I like mobile, assassin type characters, and playing Genji might be the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer shooter since my halcyon days with the Spy in Team Fortress 2.

I am not, and never have been, a person who plays healers. But, here I am, about to try and reach a platinum ranking in competitive Overwatch using only support heroes.

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Star Control 2 creators finally making sequel

The two lead fellas behind Star Control have announced that, after 25 years, they are now working on a direct sequel to Star Control 2 named Ghosts of the Precursors. Rather than make a mess by ignorantly saying e.g. “Star Control 2 is a science-fiction RPG-a-spaceshoot-o-adventure-y-thingamy-ish game, and many people love it dearly,” I’ll point you towards Cobbo’s Star Control 2 retrospective and leave it at that.

No, ignore the Star Control 3 made by a different studio – this will pretend that didn’t happen and simply follow on from 2. And yup, it’s a different game to Star Control: Origins, the prequel being made by current rights owners Stardock. Read the rest of this entry »

Day of Infamy gets one of those free weekends on Oct 12

Infamy, infamy, they've all got it: infamy

More like days of infamy. A whole weekend of infamy. A holiday of infamy. The team-based world war II shooter Day of Infamy [official site] is seeking to dig some trenches in your Steam account with a free weekend from October 12-16 . Perhaps developers New World Interactive are aware that Call of Duty: WW2 will be parachuting into its territory come early November and are seeking to set up some resistance to this invader. Or perhaps they are just seeking to rescue the last lovers of realistic shooters from the beaches before the wacky warriors of CoD show up to capture them all. Read the rest of this entry »

Abandon Ship: FTL vs Sunless Sea on a deadly-beautiful ocean

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We’ve been gently drifting through a sea of “FTL but in a…” games for a while now, and I see no reason whatsoever for that to stop any time soon. Roguelite + survival + management + fragile vehicular home + TERRIBLE THINGS KEEP HAPPENING is an excellent formula for what feels like a very personal videogame story every time you play. Abandon Ship [official site], which we’ve looked at previously, is an upcoming FTLbut with a Pirates of The Caribbeany sort of vibe (earpiece-directed, rote scenery-chewing not included) – i.e. big ships and bigger monsters.

Previous look-sees at Fireblade Software’s nautical permadeath odyssey have focused on the ship-to-ship and ship-to-kraken combat, but now we get a lengthier look at the aspect which most appeals to me – exploring the wild blue-green yonder, seeing the sights and constantly worrying that an enormous tentacle will suddenly burst from beneath the painterly waves.
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