Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda’

Wot I Think – Elder Scrolls: Legends

scrollslegends1

It’s a card game! As discussed on this week’s podcast, I’ve been somehow saddled with the reputation of being “the collectible cards game guy” at RPS. This is partly my own fault due to my Duelyst-ing but also partly due to my fellow journos typecasting me, like some kind of grubby-fingered Bryan Cranston. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember when I became “the tanks guy” because I once asked too many questions about tanks?
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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talk replayability, Slime Rancher and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

The hosts of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, know neither respite nor shame. This week we have a chat about “replayability” – what games are the most replayable? Why do we always go back to our “comfort games”? Exactly how many hours has Adam spent in Crusader Kings II? Hint: QUITE LOTS. Meanwhile, Pip attempts to cultivate the excrement of wet monsters in Slime Rancher, Adam tells us about his cowardice in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and I am slumming it with another collectible card game, this time The Elder Scrolls: Legends. We’ve also got some reader questions and comments, all based on replaying old favourites. It’s a theme! Read the rest of this entry »

Arkane’s founder on why he’s ready to leave Prey devs

Raphael Colantonio, president and founder of Arkane Studios, announced that he was leaving the company earlier this week. Colantonio started Arkane in 1999 and was most recently the creative director on Prey [official site]. Today, at Gamelab Barcelona, he reflected on his time at Arkane and what prompted his departure.

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Prey’s creative director and founder of Arkane Studios, Raphael Colantonio, steps down

Raphael Colantonio, the founder and president of Arkane Studios and creative director of recent fuzzy alien basher Prey, has stepped down from the studio after 18 years. “It is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son,” he wrote in a statement, “and reflect on what is important to me and my future.” Colantonio was also the co-creative director on Dishonored, and the man who once referred to us grubby journalists as “press sneak fucks”.
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State of the Art: The monsters of Prey

Prey's Typhon

I’m only a little way into Prey [official site] at the moment but one of the most interesting aspects for me is the monster design. I love pausing the trailers to peer more closely at their glitchy, weird forms without worrying about being killed. The monsters in question are these hostile lifeforms which all come under the bracket of “Typhon” but there are different species of Typhon within that.

The differing shapes, sizes and movements make it easy to distinguish one species from another. There are the scuttling spidery, crabby Mimics, the tentacled, floating Telepaths, the humanoid Phantoms… But there’s a common visual thread – all of them are these glitchy, threatening oilslicks whose forms never quite settle. Even when dead their surfaces ripple and shimmer. Emmanuel Petit (lead visual designer) and Jason Timmons (lead visual effects artist) offered their expertise so we could unpack the design of these writhing oddities. Read on to find out why the idea of colour palettes makes the team laugh and how they repurposed foliage tools for monster silhouettes! Read the rest of this entry »

Golf things into existence with Fallout 4’s ‘creation club’

Hurr hurr. Inspired by the name of Bethesda’s upcoming method for selling bespoke mods, the ‘Creation Club’ is a weapon mod for Fallout 4 in the form of a golf club that spawns random items, enemies and NPCs when you swing it. It’s a silly jape taken to its logical conclusion – one that the golf club’s creator says isn’t intended as a criticism of Bethesda’s plan. “This mod is based on a pun,” he says, “A wordplay… It’s just a simple joke.”
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The compassion & cruelty of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The early stages of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus [official site] show the same blood, guts and heart that were key to the first game’s success. Described by Bethesda’s Pete Hines as “fucking bananas”, it’s a game of extremes, but it’s the care that it shows for its characters and setting that stand out as unique in the field of alt-history Nazi war-shooters. Alongside the silliness, the gore and the pulp fiction roots, there’s a core concern for humanity and its loss.

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Dad Schlock: The Evil Within 2’s gameplay trailer

The Evil Within [official site] clicked for me the second time I played it, which makes me regret my slightly sniffy review when I read it back. It’s a schlocky tour through all kinds of horrors, riffing on director Miyakami’s own Resident Evil past as well as a host of other subgenres and tropes. Even though there’s a central plot underneath all the reality shifts, it almost feels like an anthology.

Yesterday’s cgi-heavy reveal trailer didn’t tell me a whole lot about what to expect from the sequel, but today’s “gameplay trailer” gives a better idea despite using some of the same scenes. It looks gorgeous, in that grisly, grimy sort of way.

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Dishonored 2 New Game Plus mode coming today

Exciting Dishonored 2 [official site] news arrives in the form of an update that adds new stuff to the game rather than fixing what is already there. First of all, there’s a new game plus mode, allowing you to start fresh with all the abilities and bonecharms you’ve discovered at the end of a playthrough carried across into the next one. In a wonderful turn of events, you can play as either character in your new game plus, but will have access to both Emily and Corvo’s powers, allowing you to mix and match. The update will be available in beta later today and launches proper on Monday.

In January, a second free update will add a mission select screen, for replaying your favourite areas, and customisable difficulty modes. Read the rest of this entry »

RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 13th: DOOM

SKULLS AND CHAINSAWS AND SHOTGUNS AND HELLFIRE. Day thirteen of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, brings…

It’s the year’s second-best Hell, DOOM [official site]!

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Wot I Think: Pinball FX2 – Bethesda Pinball

DOOM, Skyrim and Fallout have been recreated as Pinball FX2 [official site] tables. Because nobody else at RPS has the flippin’ guts to take on such a massive task, I’ve spent a couple of hours with each, and have now judged them. Short version, I like them about as much as I like the games they’re based on, which means one is great, and the other two are a bit of a ballache. To find out precisely what I mean by that, join me below.

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DoomRL becomes DRL and goes open source after legal warning from ZeniMax

The creator of hell-inspired roguelike DoomRL [official site] has changed the game’s name to DRL and shared its source code with the world after receiving a legal warning from ZeniMax, the owners of the Doom trademark, late last week. The letter had demanded the removal of “all ZeniMax trademarks from meta tags, keywords, media, and other visible or concealed text that are connected to [the] website”. And that’s why the website now looks like this.
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Mugs and mayhem: eight minutes of Prey

Prey [official site] is the game where you can turn into a mug. It’s a sign of developer Arkane’s reputation as Makers of Interesting Games that it isn’t simply known as “That Game Where You Turn Into A Mug”. Eight minutes of footage, some of which you may have seen before, shows other reasons to be excited about this sci-fi thriller. There’s the shadowy creatures, the gloopy gun-gadget, some handsome environmental design, and the kind of combo-chaining of abilities that Dishonored 2 does so well.

And, yes, a mug trundling around a space station.

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DoomRL dev receives legal letter from ZeniMax

Fan projects based on existing games are always at risk from publishers and other trademark holders who might decide to take legal action, removing a piece of media from distribution, or taking other less punitive measures. There’s a line of thought I see circulating among game journos whenever a decent fan project starts to receive attention: “Writing about this is worthwhile because it is great, but we would be summoning the Eye of Sauron.”

DoomRL [official site], the Doom-themed roguelike, has had press attention for years now, but ZeniMax hadn’t made any legal demands in relation to the Doom trademark until late last night. Now they have, but it doesn’t look like the end of the world.

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Dishonored 2 patch 1.3 hits Steam beta

Dishonored 2

There’s a – oh no! I just dropped a big toast crumb into my keyboard and the number four is now unavailable to me! Let’s start again and I’ll deal with that in a moment. There’s a Dishonored 2 [official site] PC patch currently being tested on the beta branch of the game in Steam which is aiming to help with the performance issues some PC players have been reporting. This is just a housekeeping patch so no sign of a mission select option for now. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2: The unconscious body piles exhibition

I took last week off to play Dishonored 2 [official site]. That might seem strange, but this was a game I didn’t want to play for work. I wanted to approach it completely differently, play it like I would play games when I was a teenager, no pressures to produce copy by a deadline, no weighing up pros and cons as I went, and most of all, the liberty to luxuriate in playing slowly, meticulously, without worrying that I’d not reach the ending before the internet had moved on. So of course I’ve got so much to write about it now, because apparently I can’t switch off the work bit of my brain. I’ve got a few features half developed, but I thought I’d get the most important and pressing article done straight away. Here’s a gallery of the piles of unconscious bodies I left on my way.

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Best Skyrim Special Edition mods

As I’m sure is the case with many of you, returning to Skyrim years after letting it go has been a strange experience at times. Assuming you applied mods to the original, which I’m sure most of you did, the newly released Special Edition has likely been a touch underwhelming in that much of its stock visual ‘improvements’ present a step down from most modded games. Alec devised a way to transfer old saves to the latest variation, however many older mods remain incompatible – even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid crashes in the process.

SkyUI, for example, hasn’t made the jump yet in the absence of the SKSE (Skryim Script Extender) and while there are other options out there, they’re far less sophisticated and thus feel more like stopgap measures. The mods on this list have made the jump, however, and should help make your transition into New Skyrim easier, prettier and more enjoyable.

Moving forward, support for mods old and new will almost certainly befall Skyrim’s Special Edition – so we’ll be sure to revisit this list at some point down the line. Until then, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2 beta patch out, may or may not help

Arkane have been very open since almost the start that they fully intend to fix Dishonored 2 [official site]’s performance problems, so kudos there. G’dang it’s a shame they didn’t nail this stuff down prior to release though, because in any just world the Dishonored 2 story would have been “Yeah, it’s ace” rather than “Oh God no.” The game runs pretty atrociously on my PC – yes, I can get it to playable with rock-bottom settings and non-native resolutions, but it looks like someone wiped a used nappy down my screen and still feels jerky and sluggish.

Goodish news: a patch has now landed (as an opt-in public beta), which begins to tackle the problems. Its fixes sound very promising on paper, but haven’t helped me in practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 [official site] creates a greater sense of place than just about any other game I’ve played. That’s true whether you’re standing on a balcony, looking out toward a distant objective across the chaos of the city streets between you and it, or picking through an apartment building, floor by floor, and seeing all the signs of life you’d expect to find. It’s a remarkable game, and in many ways a true heir to the legacy of Looking Glass’ immersive sims, and it features some of the most spectacular world-building you’ll ever see.

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A Few Petty Grievances About Dishonored 2

I hate to be the Dunwall Downer, to be honest. Any other week I perhaps wouldn’t do this, but bloody hell, what a week. (Not you too, Leonard. Not you too). I desperately needed something to feel good about, and I’d hoped Dishonored 2 [official site] would be it. It still might be, but I’m one of those who is enduring a particularly bad dose of its increasingly notorious technical woes. A knock-on effect of that is that, because my immersion is generally and near-constantly disrupted by the shonky performance, design and presentation faults which might otherwise have been minor seem that much more glaring.
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