A cup runneth over
Competitive games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch are at their best when you play them… competitively. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of fun to be had tooling around in casual play – relaxed environments are great for hanging out with friends, or just being silly. It’s how I spend 95% of my time playing those sort of games. That other 5% of the time though? Those comparatively brief periods where I’ve been playing with a full team of people who I know, all on voice coms, all trying their hardest to secure a win? Those are the times when those sort of games have truly shone as games.
That’s why I think League’s upcoming tournament mode, Clash, is going to be a big deal. Starting on May 25th, each online tournament will cost a small amount to enter, run every fortnight, and take place over a full three days of the weekend. I’m a Dota man through and through, but Riot’s plans are starting to make Valve’s automated tournaments look a bit rubbish. Read the rest of this entry »
We asked Valve
I’ve had Artifact on the brain these past few weeks, so I’ve mulled over the phrase “Dota-inspired card game” more times than I count. But what does Dota-inspired really mean? Artifact has lanes and creeps and heroes and also some nifty rectangles if you haven’t heard, but that just makes it a MOBA-inspired card game. What makes it a Dota game? I spoke to Artifact programmers Bruno Carlucci and Jeep Barnett to find out. Read the rest of this entry »
From deckbuilding to ranked play
Collectible card games have been around for decades, but they’ve really been running hot ever since Blizzard unleashed Hearthstone four years ago. Since then, we’ve seen Shadowverse, Gwent, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Duelyst, Faeria – there are a lot of these things, if you haven’t heard. They all put their own spin on rectangles with numbers on ’em, but they also universally take cues from Hearthstone and, just as often, each other, and as a result they regularly run into similar problems, the biggest two being how to balance a competitive system and how to price card packs fairly.
Artifact, Valve’s upcoming Dota-inspired card game, is definitely using some pages from the same books, but it’s also doing enough things differently that it has the potential to solve a lot of those problems. Read the rest of this entry »
A whole rude world
Kevin ‘Purge’ Godec is an ex-pro Dota 2 player turned analyst, commentator and coach, and I recently went to an event in London where me and a few other journos (*puts on Red Bull Esports voice*): “trained under Purge”.
We played a couple of games against people who were far better than us, then listened to a man with near comprehensive knowledge of a stupidly complicated game brutally highlight our every misstep in front of a large crowd of people.
I loved it, though not because of the valuable advice. I loved it because it felt like stepping back into a world that I thought I’d left behind, and realising that I’m eager to get back to exploring. I also hated it, because it brought me face to face with some of that world’s unpleasant inhabitants in a way that I never have been before.
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Lane down your cards
You’ll often see characters in sci-fi stories play seemingly incomprehensible games like multi-dimensional space chess, and that’s basically what it’s like playing Artifact, Valve’s upcoming Dota-inspired card game. It’s an ambitious hybrid of the studio’s MOBA and Magic: The Gathering, and it works shockingly well. So much so that it only took two games for me to understand and get on board with Valve’s vision. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen to us with your brain turned off
Oh no. Somebody sound the “journalists discussing journalism” klaxon. Rattle it as loudly and furiously as possible, because the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about how being a critic changes the way we play. Don’t blame us, blame listener Aleksei, who sent in the theme as a suggestion. But please also forgive Adam, because it’s his last showing on the podcast (he’s leaving RPS next week) so he deserves a bit of self-indulgence. Read the rest of this entry »
The biggest hits of the past 12 months
Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.
Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.
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