Posts Tagged ‘feature’

XCOM 2: Lucky Men & Lousy Hackers

I’m playing and diarising XCOM 2 on Commander difficulty in Iron Man mode, using characters based on the staff of RPS, replaced by readers as and when they die or go out of action. Full explanation and intro here, download the characters for your own game here.

Important lessons learned: Alice is a dangerously incompetent hacker, Pip can’t run very far and Adam is a dirty, dirty boy.

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Wot I Think: Unravel

I’d guess most people first encountered earnest puzzle platformer Unravel [official site] during EA’s E3 press conference. The creative director of Coldwood Studios, Martin Sahlin, took to the stage with slightly shaking hands and a doll he’d made of the main character, Yarny. “We put our hearts into [Unravel],” he concluded, “and we hope that when you play it you will feel that.” Let’s find out as I tell you Wot I Think.

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What’s Going On With XCOM 2’s Performance? Plus: A Partial Fix & More Tips

A big ugly fly in XCOM 2 [official site]’s deliciously deadly ointment is that Firaxis’ game runs like a Psy-Zombie on quite a few folks’ PCs – even those with relatively monster systems. It’s not universal woe – for instance, it runs fine for Adam, hence his only mentioning passing problems in his review, but on my slightly superior PC I can’t even hit the golden 60 frames at minimum settings, while high sees it drop to single digits. In either case there are huge, frustrating lag-spikes throughout, and my PC’s running so uncharacteristically hot that I’m pretty sure I could roast a marshmallow over the rear vent.

I’m far from alone, as a glance at the Steam forums, official boards or Reddit will very quickly reveal. It’s a damn shame, crossing the line from ultimately meaningless visual sacrifices into actively annoying slowness. Firaxis and 2K aren’t giving anything away about what the problem is or when a fix will land, though they do tell us that they’re “aware some players have experienced performance issues” and that they’re looking into it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in the meantime – including one particular off-the-beaten-track fix which damn-near doubled my own frame rate.
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The Witness And The Joy Of Note-Taking

Inspired by recent experiences with The Witness’ [official site] puzzles, Robert Zak has been reminiscing about the art of note-taking while playing games. From graph paper for dungeon crawlers to suspicions and clues for Her Story [official site], many genres are represented, with only the noble pen and paper to hold them together.

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An XCOM 2 Diary: The Wizened + The Doomed, Day 1

It’s tradition now: when an XCOM game comes out, you recreate your friends, colleagues and record-collection-stealing former lovers then send them out to be murdered by aliens. Basically, it’s the Sims with Sectoids rather than sex.

So let’s do it again: an XCOM 2 [official site] Iron Man/perma-death diary starring the staff of RPS, who you can download and add to your game below.

But they’ll only star briefly. Whenever someone dies, they’ll be replaced by one of this site’s readers. Who will also almost certainly die. That’s how much we love you.
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Have You Played… Commander Blood?

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

Bob Morlock, the oldest being in the known universe, in is about to pass away. Before he departs this mortal plane, he wants to see the Big Bang. Yeah, that Big Bang. It’s your job to take him there using a high-tech ship known only as the Ark. In fact, that’s why you were created. Better get to it, then.

That’s the gist of 1994’s Commander Blood, easily one of the most bizarre experiences one could ever have in PC gaming.
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Hitman Aims For Freedom But Misses The Mark

After Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47 is in need of another subtitle. Redemption, perhaps, or Contrition. His upcoming adventure has already made headlines thanks to its now-confirmed episodic release schedule but it also seemed to be a game made with the awareness that the previous hadn’t given fans of the series quite what they wanted. I was eager to get my hands on it after seeing a promising demo at Gamescom last year and now that I have, I’m in two minds.

Hitman [official site] contains just about everything I want from the series but all of the ingredients have become a little muddled.

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Cardboard Children: The Cull Part One

Hello youse.

Well, the cull is underway. Actually, I’m going to capitalise this… Yes, The Cull is underway. I have too many board games, not enough time to play them all, and not enough room to store them all. So some of them have to go. And I thought it might be interesting to document that process here over the months ahead. As this is primarily a column about board game recommendations, perhaps it would be a worthwhile thing to explore why certain games will be leaving my collection. What has happened to these games over time? Is it me or them? Why are they facing The Cull?

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Digital Horror: IMSCARED Breaks All The Rules

If you’re at all interested in horror games and haven’t already played IMSCARED [Steam Page], you should go and play it right now. The version released on Steam just over a week ago is longer than the free version that you can play on Game Jolt, and I’d be tempted to jump straight into the main course, but the 2012 release is still a beauty.

‘Beauty’ might seem like the wrong word. Even if you’re a fan of retro graphics, and the subtitle “A Pixelated Nightmare” tells you what to expect in that regard, IMSCARED is a grainy and grim beast. The reason I suggest you trust my recommendation and play it right away is that to know too much before starting would be a shame. IMSCARED wants to surprise you and it does some very unusual things to achieve its goal.

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Poop And Profit: Slime Rancher’s Fantastic Farming

Slime Rancher [official site] is the cutest game about selling shit ever made. Admittedly it’s probably the only game about selling shit ever made, but I don’t know for certain and googling “Shit­selling games” tends to bring up commercial flops like Bulletstorm rather than games that literally involve the flogging of faecal matter.

If you’ve seen anything of Monomi Park’s debut, which slithered onto Early Access a couple of weeks back leaving a silvery trail in its wake, then its love for excrement may come as a surprise. Aesthetically Slime Rancher is a thundering wave of colour, like a circus struck by a tsunami, and the eponymous slimes are so clearly designed to be child­friendly that it’s surprising to discover they have any orifices at all.

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