Posts Tagged ‘feature’

The Sunday Papers


Sundays are for feverish last minute packing, and attempts to justify including Cosmic Encounter in your luggage.

On Kotaku, Patrick Redford reviewed the climbing walls in an Overwatch map. It’s a project that’s as daft as it is entertaining, and gave me flashbacks to a climbing centre trip where my own fragile little game journalist arms failed me after half a dozen ascents. Read the rest of this entry »

Free games of the week


Remember in school when your teacher would have you play those typing games, just to learn how to use a keyboard? Imagine if instead of your teacher it was filmmaker David Lynch teaching you everything you need to know about typing. Maybe then you would have paid more attention! You can find out if that’s the case via one of this week’s free games. However, If you already know how to type, you could also learn how to play a new type of golf, explore a puzzle filled dungeon, start your own conspiracies through Twitter, or lead a team through a post-disaster world. All of these amazing worlds are buried below. Read the rest of this entry »

Roccat Khan Aimo review: Better for bass lovers

Roccat Khan Aimo

The Khan Aimo is the final piece of Roccat’s smart RGB peripheral puzzle – or at least it is so far, anyway. Like their Horde Aimo keyboard and Kone Aimo mouse before it, the Khan Aimo uses Roccat’s intelligent RGB system to create a synchronised light show that adapts to the way you work and play, rippling and fading with every click, tap and pause across each of your devices.

Of course, unless you regularly have out-of-body-experiences when you’re playing games, the RGB effect on the headset will be pretty much lost on you, as there’s no way to actually see any of it once you’ve put it on. Not that it’s particularly overt in the first place, with only a thin strip down the side of each ear cup and a tiny little sliver at the base of headband, but at least your mates will think you’re “Très Cool” when you rock up with everything at your next LAN party. Okay, so the lighting might be a bit pointless, but to dismiss the Khan Aimo on those grounds alone would be short-sighted, as this is also another Hi Res audio certified headset just like the Steelseries Arctis Pro. It can also do Hi Res and surround sound at the same time – something the Arctis Pro is decidedly lacking.  Read the rest of this entry »

We spoke to Shiro Games about the future of Northgard


Northgard is a splendid RTS about rearing a clan of vikings in a punishing climate that makes every decision matter. But you’ve read my review, and you already know all that. Northgard is a fantastic game in the present, but what does its future hold? I spoke to CEO of Shiro Games and Northgard dev Sebastien Vidal about what we’ll see in the next update, competitive play, and expansion plans for further down the line.

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Have You Played… The Hidden?

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

The Hidden is crying out for a standalone revival. Released just over ten years ago, it was an asymmetrical Half-Life 2 multiplayer mod that turned a squad of machinegun-wielding military grunts into fragile prey for one invisible player. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

Welcome back, weary travellers, to another batch of the week’s absolute best PC gaming deals, which this week also includes a few bits of other ‘this is rather nice’ offers. There’s even a Raspberry Pi deal in there somewhere, for all of you who might want to do more than just slap an Amiga emulator on one of those things.

Anyway, onto the deals! We’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.

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All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth


Civilization VI: Rise and Fall wants to solve a problem. That problem is perpetual growth, and it plagues many 4X games. Whether your aim is world conquest or cultural hegemony, victory in Civilization and many of its cohorts depends on domination. However peacefully you try to play, you’re often straight-jacketed into a utilitarian-psychotic view where all resources and people are just raw material to be assimilated, Borg-like, until the whole map is monochrome.

But as the early excitement of exploration and expansion ebbs to late game stagnation, the fun runs out. Historically, stagnating empires tend to fragment and collapse. But in Civilization VI, like many games, you’re the star of the show – and there’s nowhere to go but up.

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Ghost Of A Tale is a stealthy RPG with bright whiskers

Ghost Of A Tale is out of early access, letting you squeak your way past an army of rats, in a rodent stealth-cum-RPG. Is it the big cheese, or lost in the rat race? And considering these incredibly obvious puns, why on Earth isn’t it called “Ghost Of A Tail”? Read the rest of this entry »

Steelseries Rival 600 review: Worth its weight in gold?

Steelseries Rival 600 mouse

How much would you normally spend on a mouse? £10? $20? Maybe even £30 if I’d been particularly stung (or should that be bitten?) by a dodgy mouse in the past, but it would have to be a really good one for me to consider spending more. Indeed, if you thought shelling out £70 for the Asus ROG Gladius II was a bit steep, then the £80 / $75 Steelseries Rival 600 has an even greater mountain to climb before it starts looking even vaguely palatable.

Fortunately, there is method to its slightly mad pricing. If you’ve ever felt like your mouse was too heavy (like the monstrous Corsair Scimitar Pro), too light (a la Steelseries’ own Rival 110), or just not quite right for your liking, the Steelseries Rival 600 has a remedy – and that’s eight little 4g weights you can slot into each side of the mouse, giving you as many as 256 different weight and balance configurations.

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Podcast: Remembering all the rats we’ve killed


Leave no rodent behind – that’s the motto of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. With the release of Warhammer: Vermintide 2, we decided to celebrate the lovable dirtbag of videogames. The lowly, filthy, wonderful rat. Whether you are murdering five of them in cold blood for an RPG hotel owner, or pledging your sword to a disgusting subterranean monarch, there’s room in your heart for the humble rat.

And your intestine. And lung. Basically, shove over, organs. Make room for the rats.

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Have You Played… Mission Nutrition?


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

It was called Mission Kellogg’s outside of the UK, but we got the much better name so I’m gonna run with that. It’s a platformer made by some people that also make cereal! About cereal! That came on a CD in a packet of cereal!

Excuse me, I’ve got some nostalgia I need to work through. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Surviving Mars


I shed a surprising amount of tears during the founding of my first red planet colony in Surviving Mars. None of those tears had anything to do with the pipe leak that killed 58 people, I hasten to add. For those, I just swore at my repair drones and made more colonists work gruelling night-shifts at the polymer factory so we could patch up the air tubes.

My tears, I’m afraid, came instead at testaments to my own magnificence: when a dusty patch of sand patrolled by listless worker robots and automated factories saw the construction of its first bio-dome, when the first humans from Earth arrived to stake out a new life in this place I had built for them, when the first non-Earth baby was born. Live inside my work, ye Martians, and try not get caught inside a meteor storm.

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Wot I Think – Warhammer: Vermintide 2


I don’t tend to think about how many things I murder in a murder-related videogame. I just remove whatever obstacles are in the way and move on, in the time-honoured tradition of solving problems in action games. In co-op online stabber-shooter Warhammer: Vermintide 2, I’m unusually conscious of the body count. It is, if you’ll forgive a little early-90s melodrama, extreme. That’s just one reason why Vermintide 2 successfully escapes the shadow of ‘it’s just Left 4 Dead but with Games Workshop’ faint-praise damning that its predecessor stood within.

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Why users write Steam reviews

bukowski 1

One of the most interesting and controversial features of Steam’s user reviews is the system’s open-ended nature. Reviews can can range from a couple of lines to thousands of words, can adopt virtually any style, and only need to possess passing relevance to the game in question. What results is a system where thoughtfully written reviews reside alongside jokey one-liners, incoherent rants, and political rallying cries.

This issue has led for some developers to call for more stringent moderation of reviews, either to separate them into different categories or remove certain kinds of reviews entirely. Yet while the opinions of user reviewers are visible for everyone to see, why users are compelled to leave the kinds of reviews they do in the first place is less obvious. Hence, I reached out to several very different reviewers, each of whom has posted a large number of reviews, to find out their motivations behind what they write and why they write it. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Theft Auto V’s diorama mods are delightful

Though Grand Theft Auto V mods like Iron Man armour and makeovers get a lot of attention, what’s most caught my eye lately is little dioramas with staged scenes. I’ve been wandering murder investigations, highway checkpoints, a Presidential rally, and even recordings of a ghost-hunting TV show. As a fan of little things, I’m pleasantly reminded of dollhouses, model villages, terrarium scenes, and especially Germany’s massive Miniatur Wunderland. Read the rest of this entry »

Corsair K68 RGB review: A spill resistant keyboard that only wants to get its toes wet

Corsair K68 RGB

We’ve all done it. I’ve even ruined a rather expensive gaming laptop doing it. And yet, I still keep a long, tall glass of water on my desk every day (not to mention multiple mugs of tea) because I’m an idiot who can’t learn from her own mistakes. Right next to my keyboard. One accidental swipe of my arm, or a mad dash across my desk from one of my cats (as they are increasingly wont to do these days), and it could all end in ruin.

I’m a fool, I know – which is why Corsair’s new K68 RGB keyboard may be the answer to our collective drink-related woes. It’s IP32 water and dust-resistant, you see, which means it’s got some mild protection against accidental spillages, making it a bit more durable than your typical mechanical keyboard. I’ve got the RGB version here, which costs £120 in the UK, but it’s also available in plain old red LEDs for a lot less (£87 or $88). Let’s see what it’s made of.

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Wot I Think: Northgard


My clan folk are starving, freezing and diseased. It was a harsh winter, and the rats that raided our food supply in January have forced me to butcher my only remaining sheep. The future looks grim, but my people’s suffering is curtailed when one of my opponents becomes so famous that he wins the game outright. Losing is a strange kind of mercy.

Despite its harshness, Northgard is a superb RTS that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. That may be an overused phrase, but it’s justified here – let me tell you why. Hurry up, winter is coming.

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Have you played… Slay The Spire?

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

Still very much a going concern around these parts, but screw it, I’ve not yet written about Slay The Spire, a game that has consumed most of my waking thoughts these past couple of months, so here we go. Read the rest of this entry »

What developers think of Steam reviews


Since 2013, Steam has allowed its users to leave reviews on the Steam page of games they have purchased. Using the system, players can leave a written description of the game in question, and then award it a binary “Recommended” or “Not Recommended” rating. These reviews are then aggregated into “recent” and “overall” ratings for the game which are displayed on the game’s Steam page. These ratings range from “Overwhelmingly Positive” to “Mostly Negative.”

Because of Steam’s ubiquity on the PC, Steam reviews have become one of the main ways that developers receive feedback on their games. But how do developers feel about the system itself? Do Steam reviews provide a beneficial service that can help improve games? Or is it a perpetual nuisance warped by review bombing and ‘joke’ reviews that cause stress and confusion to the people who make the games we play? Read the rest of this entry »

Steelseries Arctis Pro review: The best headset just got better, at a cost

Steelseries Arctis Pro

Ever since the Steelseries Arctis 7 rocked my eardrums at the end of last year, no other gaming headset has even come close to matching its supreme comfort or exceptional sound quality – until now. Enter its brand-new shiny upmarket sibling, the Arctis Pro.

Borrowing the same understated design and ski goggle headband as the rest of the Arctis line, the Pro takes everything up a notch, introducing Hi Res audio support, a dash of RGB lighting around the ear cups and some primo build quality to make it extra feel durable and luxurious.

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