Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Best PC gaming deals of the week

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Like the little robot up there says, it’s time for more exciting things from the darkest and often weirdest parts of the internet. While I continue to resist my now-weekly urge to reinstall the first Dark Souls (since I apparently cannot wait for the remastered edition to show up), there have been plenty of gaming deals that have reared their heads over the past few days.

So, while we’re all gathered here, we may as well take a look at what’s on offer. Let’s do that. As always, 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.

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Video: 8 toasty tactics I wish I’d known before starting Frostpunk

A bitter end for a bitter man.

With just ten hours left on Frostpunk’s clock, the people of my city decided to steam me alive. I got those ingrates just ten hours away from the final daybreak, and they treated me like human dim sum. Some of them even clapped with prosthetic hands I had built for them during the harshest of winters. The last thought that popped into my boiled mind? I wish I had watched a YouTube video explaining eight ways to survive the cold in Frostpunk.

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Path of Exile’s Incursion league is where it’s ziggurat

Path of Exile

As much fun as collecting critters was in Path of Exile‘s Bestiary league, it perhaps got a bit away from the heart of the free-to-play action RPG: running around dungeons, kicking stuff over and hoarding the loot. The next league – Incursion – starting on June 1st brings us back to basics with a twist: travel to the past to violently carve out your own perfect side-dungeon, then pick its bones clean in the future.

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What Works And Why: Mentoring in Far Cry 5

Far Cry Mentors

What Works And Why is a monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game or mechanic and analyses what makes it good.

Far Cry 5 is a mixed bag, but one of the bigger, shinier objects in that bag is its companions system. It’s a crossbreed of Far Cry Primal’s pets – you can summon them and direct their attacks at will; and Far Cry 2’s buddies – they can revive you if you get taken down. Nine of the companions available are starring characters: people or creatures you meet and recruit through main story missions with backstories and (when human) dialogue. But I don’t really care about eight of those, and I only care about the ninth because he is a dog, which gives him three key advantages:

1. He is, again, a dog.
2. He never alerts enemies if I’m being stealthy.
3. He never speaks, a big plus in a world where almost everything anyone says makes you like them less. Read the rest of this entry »

The rise and fall of Super Monday Night Combat helped make me better

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I don’t think many will mourn the death of Super Monday Night Combat. Uber Entertainment’s free-to-play follow-up to XBLA smash Monday Night Combat was something of a hidden gem, albeit one with its die-hard fans. It still sits at the top of my Steam most-played list, and I promise this piece isn’t just an excuse for dumping over a thousand hours in a game few people bothered to look at.

The fact is, the writing was already on the wall back in 2013. Servers might have kept running for another five years, but concurrent players have struggled to break double digits in all that time. Uber Entertainment cite the recent GDPR ruling from the European Union in finally killing off SMNC, but it feels like Kirkland studio shut the door on the game a half-decade ago – and only now remembered to turn off the lights. Nobody’s mourning, because we all moved on years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: What do we play with our kids?

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The dadification of games continues. So we’re going full Dad this week on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, as we’ve been asked to talk about the games we play with our children.

Alec’s daughter is excited by the unlockable characters in Rayman Legends (and she’s also strangely fascinated by Battletech). John’s son is a bit younger and likes to watch his dad diving in Abzu and Subnautica (but also manages to sneak glimpses of God of War’s quiet moments on the TV – naughty!). Brendan doesn’t have children, only a cat. She can’t stand games and thinks they are a waste of time. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPS Verdict: Frostpunk

"We are united again! No more division! Frostpunk is good!"

Snow and coal simulator Frostpunk has gripped a few of us in its cold prosthetic claws over the past week. We especially like the warm feeling it gives us when you switch to heatmap mode and see the temperature rise in your new houses. But it also isn’t the steam-powered morality trolley it often tries to be. Here, city bosses Katharine, Matt and Brendan discuss how they kept their people alive and whether they’ll play again. SPOILER WARNING: Cold details of the story await.

Brendan [sniffing]: Hello, friends. Hello.

Katharine: Were you also playing Frostpunk into the early hours, Brendan? Did you feel the cold creep into your weary, weary bones?

Brendan: I might’ve been. I built a big church and now my people want the priests to be in charge of crime and punishment.

Matt: What could possibly go wrong? Read the rest of this entry »

How to take SpyParty from a 1000-hour to a 5000-hour game

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they’ve taken to make their games. This time, SpyParty [official site].

If Chris Hecker was going to make a mistake with SpyParty, he wanted it to be the opposite mistake to the one Spore made. The way Hecker sees it, Spore’s problem was that it was all accessibility and no depth. And he’d know because he was a lead engineer and designer on Spore. So when he began to make his own game, SpyParty, which after eight years of development has finally hit Steam Early Access, he said to himself, “I’m going to go really hard on the depth.”

And so Hecker did, putting enough depth in this asymmetric two-player competitive game to satisfy 1000 hours of matches from its most dedicated players. But it’s not enough. He wants to push SpyParty to becoming 5000-hour game, and the way he plans to do it is by building his characters. Read the rest of this entry »

Theme Hospital successor Two Point Hospital is very much 1997 wearing 2018’s clothes

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The main thing I thought as I began to play Two Point Hospital, spiritual sequel to 90s medical management hit Theme Hospital, is that I barely had to think at all. Some alchemy of 90s sim game muscle memory and slick, thoroughly 21st century building assists meant I hit the ground running, immediately in my happy place of dragging out room sizes, rotating machinery and the time-honored architectural Tetris of making all this fit inside a finite space. It felt good – but how much of this was this the placebo effect of nostalgia?
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Interview: Campo Santo talk to us about moving to Valve

Campo Santo, creators of Firewatch and the forthcoming In The Valley Of Gods, announced last month that all twelve members of their studio were packing their bags and moving to Valve. The team are all currently in the process of relocating to Seattle, where Valley Of The Gods will be finished in Valve’s Bellevue tower as a Valve game. So we caught up with studio heads Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin to find out much more. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 / 2700X review: A tense showdown with Intel’s Coffee Lake Core i7s

Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD’s 2nd Gen Ryzen+ CPUs have put on a pretty impressive show so far, from the entry-level Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G with integrated Radeon Vega graphics right up to the mid-range Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X – which for my money are better buys than Intel’s current crop of Core i5 chips. Now it’s time to look at AMD’s pair of flagship processors for 2018, the Ryzen 7 2700 and its souped-up counterpart, the 2700X.

With eight cores and 16 threads each, these top-end CPUs are AMD’s answer to Intel’s fancy 8th Gen Core i7 Coffee Lake chips, most notably the Core i7-8700 and its unlocked, overclockable sibling, the Core i7-8700K. Can AMD pull off that coveted hat-trick of CPU brilliance? The answer would appear to be…sort of, just about, but also not quite.

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Jeff Freezos: a Frostpunk diary of careless cruelty, part 2

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Continuing an increasingly doomed attempt to survive the endless winter of Frostpunk.

Overwork and hunger: the very bedrock of a failed society. Strained beyond belief mere days into proceedings, my people fall ill faster than the attendees of a three-year-old’s birthday party in an airless room. We need all hands on deck to gather supplies for the building of a hunter’s shack and cookhouse, but the only way to achieve this is to forcibly remove a few hands. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Maelstrom

Maelstrom

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s running away from sea monsters and hunting down galleons in nautical battle royale, Maelstrom.

I wasn’t a happy pirate. I wasn’t any kind of pirate, really; not with only a series of failed fights and a major lack of booty to my name. It was all a little embarrassing. So when I saw the Dwarven ship on the horizon, there was a storm brewing inside me, and I pointed my shark-drawn Orc ship at the stumpy corsairs and increased speed. Wood and metal and, of course, shark collided, followed by a barrage of cannonfire.

This would be it. I knew it. My first victory in Maelstrom.

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Fnatic Clutch 2 review: The right-handed version of the (still right-handed) Flick 2

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After making a strong impression with their pair of Streak mechanical keyboards and lightweight, symmetrical Flick 2 mouse, Fnatic are rounding out their second gen peripheral line-up with the decidedly right-handed gaming mouse, the Clutch 2. Featuring the same Pixart 3360 sensor, Omron switches and more or less all the same specs as its Flick sibling, is this one a better buy? Let’s find out.

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Artifact feels like Valve’s solution to post-Hearthstone card games

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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 »

Review In Progress: Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars Of Eternity II is seemingly infinity hours long. Despite a week of playing, I’m still going, so here’s my in-depth thoughts about the game excluding the impact of its ending. I will update later.

What a lot Pillars Of Eternity II feels like it has to do. It needs to be a completely new dozens-of-hours-long RPG, while it also needs to be a sequel to 2015’s stunning first outing, while it needs to feel like it’s evolved from then, while it needs to feel like it’s faithful, while it… In many ways, it succeeds despite being tugged in all these directions. And in others, it feels wearily stretched from the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Being a fan of esports’ pioneering women is complicated

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It’s two o’clock in the morning and I’m watching the Overwatch League stadium erupt for Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon.

As the camera pans down the line-up of her team, the Shanghai Dragons, it’s always her that gets the loudest cheer, and by a wide margin. Because she’s a fantastic off-tank and because she’s one of the new additions that have so greatly improved the (admittedly still winless) Dragons. But also, unavoidably, because she’s the first and only woman in the League. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: surviving the Frostpunk bots of Britannia

Hullo! John is preoccupied with wizards right now, so I’m taking over for the rundown of last week’s top ten on Steam. It was an interesting week, bringing back some welcome old games and slamming in some shiny new ones. Largely, it’s all about robots and survival.

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Jeff Freezos: a diary of Frostpunk doom, part 1

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The fate of humanity, or at least a slim and freezing remainder of it, rests upon the bewildered shoulders of someone who can’t even keep a basil plant alive for more than 24 hours. Frostpunk does not forgive. Frostpunk does not have mercy. Frostpunk will kill everyone. Unless I can stop it.
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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are (sometimes) for relishing the very un-Sunday-ish feeling of having a whole extra day off work ahead of you, and regretting not ordering God of War early enough for it to arrive in time.

Jennifer Allen’s article on Eurogamer about establishing rules for a gaming friendship is great, and I’d love to know how many people relate to it. Me and my childhood gaming friend never set up any rules, though maybe if we had he wouldn’t have grabbed the keyboard away from me in the middle of a velociraptor fight in Jurrassic Park: Danger Zone when I refused to stop spamming the tail-whip button.

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