Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Mortal Empires is Total War’s best grand campaign

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Mortal Empires is Total War’s grandest of grand campaigns: a stunningly huge global war with over 100 factions and 35 leaders duking it out over multiple continents. In terms of scale, it’s the series at its most ambitious, and its most daunting. It took me an hour of second-guessing and two false starts before I finally settled on a faction and leader. It’s excessive, really. I love it.

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Have You Played… Nuclear Throne?

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

Nuclear Throne [official site] is a bullet hell, twin-stick shooter roguelike set in an apocalyptic wasteland. Like, seriously apocalyptic – playable characters include a telekinetic sack of eyeballs, a mutated plant that’s 90% mouth, and a blob of radioactive gloop. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

Rats

Hello, hi there, and welcome to yet another round-up of the week’s very best PC gaming deals. This week, we’ve got everything from samurai to cyberpunk to giant, malevolent rat people, which is quite the varied range. There’s a couple of top hardware deals here as well if that’s your thing. All of this shows that various PC gaming Black Friday deals are starting earlier every year and while we’ve still got a couple of weeks left before that madness kicks off, here are the best deals of this week.

As usual, 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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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2018

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Nobody listens to a word I say. I might be a legend of the game and one of the most beloved footballers of my generation but as soon as I stick my nose in at half-time, all the energy is sucked out of the dressing room.

Football Manager 2018 gives me all of the data I need to understand why the team are uninterested or unhappy, but I’m not convinced it gives me any meaningful or interesting tools to address those factors. On the pitch, I’m enjoying it as much as I ever have, but whether it’s a reflection of reality or not, I find the basics of dealing with a squad of sulks as tedious as Ashley Cole’s autobiography.

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The last Week In Tech

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Apparently, Intel will soon be selling CPUs with onboard AMD graphics. I have now, officially, seen everything. Yes, that includes a man eating his own head. I’m therefore leaving immediately for Nepal, where I intend to live as a goat. Which reminds me. It’s been nearly six years since my very first story and I’d like to think I’m unrivalled on RPS when it comes to the shameless recycling of other people’s gags. But, whatever. This is, ladies and germs, goodbye-ee. It’s also time to consider what’s become of the gaming PC over the last half-decade or so… Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy Of swimming in Assassin’s Creed Origins

My three year old rates games based on whether the character goes into water, and if they do, do they swim underneath. My personal rating systems are a little more nuanced, but it turns out that Assassin’s Creed Origins‘ swimming is so astoundingly atmospheric I’m willing to forgive it a dozen other foibles. In all of gaming, water has never felt wetter. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Call of Duty WWII and Assassin’s Creed Origins

WAR. Huh. Yeah! Huh? What? Who is... what? Sorry

WAR. The men and women of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, are doing their part, but are you doing yours? We have shown bravery among the bullets and beaches of Call of Duty WWII, with John popping helmets in the “quite good” single player campaign, and Matt hiding in the bloodied crater of multiplayer. I’ve done sweet foxtrot alpha on the frontlines, so to make up for it I’ve invented another minigame for my fellow hosts. On top of that we’ve been horsing around (or unicorning around) in the Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins, appreciating our friend the eagle and taking nice photos of the ancient civilisation. Come listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… The Talos Principle?

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

What was the logical next step for the developers of dual machine gun toting, beheaded bomber slaying Serious Sam? A thoughtful, philosophical puzzler in the vein of Portal, of course.

In The Talos Principle [official site] you play as a robot, guided through the game by a disembodied voice calling itself Elohim. Imagine the Stanley Parable narrator but with more pompous severity and you’ll have a good idea what you’re in for. Read the rest of this entry »

American Truck Simulator New Mexico pursues a real America, not a Hollywood America

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American Truck SimulatorNew Mexico is the latest and first paid expansion for SCS Software’s remarkable fusion of dreamlike roadtrip game and business simulation, which is one of my favourite videogames of all time despite my having almost no interest in motor vehicles. New Mexico adds one of the largest but least-populated states into the mix, with cities including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell. I’ve been playing it ahead of its release tomorrow.

This New Mexico is not the America of the movies – at least not all those cowboy movies and 60s road movies that are evoked by American Truck Simulator’s initial California/Nevada/Arizona stomping grounds. New Mexico is more the America of modern television. There’s the Breaking Bad connection, of course, given that Albuquerque is one of the major cities in this latest, state-sized expansion, but it’s more than that. This is anyplace America, not a cinematographer’s America.
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Asus ROG Swift PG248Q review: A 180Hz miracle monitor?

Asus PG248Q

Buying a monitor used to be a fairly simple affair. You’d pick one black rectangle from the dozens of other black rectangles, and if you really pushed the boat out you might get one with an adjustable stand, or, heaven forbid, a rotating screen.

These days, there’s a lot more going on. You can still opt for the faithful black rectangle, but if you’re the type of person who likes rainbow-coloured keyboards, mice and motherboards, you can now get a monitor to match. Take Asus’ ROG Swift PG248Q. This 24in display has a glowing red ring round the base of the stand, as if the resulting monitor has arrived from another dimension inside its slate-like base. Thankfully, it can be turned off via the surprisingly easy-to-use menu buttons on the rear of the screen, but at least the option’s there if you happen to like that sort of thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Transistor?

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

The mission statement of Supergiant, the developers behind Bastion, Pyre and Transistor [official site], is “to make games that spark your imagination like the games you played as a kid.” They’ve got a knack for doing just that. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tale Of Two Tardigrades

“I felt my dream was ripped away from me in front of the world,” indie developer Anas Abdin told me, when I asked him about the bizarre circumstances in which he’s found himself over the last couple of weeks. “I felt violated, stripped from my own game. Most of all, I felt that my fans and friends had so many questions regarding my authenticity.”

Imagine the situation. You’ve been working on your unreleased indie sci-fi adventure game for over three years, only to see a major new TV show launch using the same specific idea as its core space travel concept. That’s the peculiar situation in which independent developer Anas Abdin found himself in when he watched the first few episodes of CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery. He’s been making a game called Tardigrades, and now Discovery has come along, he’s really not sure what to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Call of Duty: WW2 Multiplayer

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Call of Duty WW2 takes the series back to its roots, stripping out the jetpacks and wallrunning from the recent futuristic iterations. As Sledgehammer Games enthusiastically say, the game is back to being ‘boots on the ground’. It’s certainly a change of pace, but I was happier when my boots were sailing through the air at 50mph.

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Premature Evaluation: Epic Tavern

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Fraser has found himself the owner of a filthy pub in this week’s Premature Evaluation. He’s been playing Epic Tavern, an RPG management game filled with beer and rats.

I now own a tavern, and it feels like I’m finally living out my dream life. I always said, if I wasn’t writing about video games… well I’d probably still be project managing charity events. But if I wasn’t doing that… actually I did consider sticking around at university and getting a PhD. But if I wasn’t trapped in academia, becoming an astronaut or getting paid to be a ghost writer (as in a writer for ghosts), then I’d almost definitely own a pub. So yeah, I’ve really made it. Welcome to The Thirsty Kobold.

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Wot I Think: Nioh – Complete Edition

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Describing a game as X meets Dark Souls is a sure way to invite mockery and contempt. It’s lazy critical short-hand, people will say, and they’re often correct. Well, prepare to mock. But only a little.

I promise I’m not being lazy when I say that Nioh is Dark Souls meets Sengoku period Japan though, and to prove it I’m going to use that short-hand as a starting point rather than an end-point. Fortunately, where Nioh differs from Dark Souls is far more interesting than where the two games overlap.

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Sennheiser GSP 350 review: great surround sound for just over £100

Sennheiser GSP 350

Trying to find a comfortable pair of headphones has become a war of attrition for me over the last couple of years. Either I have the world’s most sensitive skull, or my head’s unbeknowingly shaped like a Minecraft block beneath my hair, as every over-ear headset I’ve used has only brought me pain and cranial-based misery.

They’re always innocent enough to start off with, but somewhere around the 30-45 minute mark, the dreaded head pinch begins, and those pesky headbands start sinking their tiny little teeth into the top of my head. After an hour, I’ve usually had enough, which obviously isn’t ideal if I want to spend a lazy Saturday playing games, or co-ordinate my weekly dose of Destiny 2 with my trusty fire squad.

Alas, Sennheiser’s GSP 350 barely made it to half an hour before I had to start shuffling them round my head to alleviate some of the pressure, but that’s not to say you should stop reading here. In fact, there’s plenty to like about this £115 headset, and I’m sure those with less sensitive noggins will get on with them just fine. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy of belonging in ABZÛ

In ABZÛ, you play as a diver who is exploring the sublime and vibrant depths of the ocean. As you dive further down you heal and restore areas that have mysteriously decayed and help bring back their natural beauty. It’s a wonderful and emotional game that can turn even the clunkiest of players into a graceful aqua-dancer. Yet while moving through ABZÛ’s world makes you familiar with it, it is when you stop and absorb the surroundings that you start to get a sense of belonging. Read the rest of this entry »

How 25 years of AI development and messy reality shape Football Manager

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This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Football Manager [official site].

Do want to play a cavernously deep simulation of a world of viciously competing factions? Do you dream of leading your people to glory and dominating all comers? Do you relish bending complex systems of law to your advantage? Do you savour the idea of surveying the world for the sharpest operators and spying on your rivals’ smallest decisions?

Forget Crusader Kings 2. Its network of aristocratic machinations is a kid’s toy next to Football Manager. And nothing in Football Manager is quite as vast and encompassing as the transfer market, in which hundreds of thousands of players, scouts, agents, and managers live out digital careers in an international scene of countries and leagues. 25 years in the making, Football Manager’s transfer system is a blend of artificial intelligence, maths and hard data, and it’s designed to simulate the real business of football, behaving credibly into an infinite future of football. “We haven’t perfected it,” director Miles Jacobson tells me. “But we’re pretty close.”

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Interactive Fiction Competition 2017

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Fans of interactive fiction! IF Comp 2017 is currently in progress, with 79 entries — the largest field in the competition’s more-than-20-year history.

The selection includes parser, choice, and hypertext stories, a PDF gamebook, a joke game from the perspective of the grues, two parser games of Viking-era menace, three branching narratives translated from Chinese, and a game where part of the intended play experience is to read the source code.

If you feel overwhelmed by all that bounty, here are a few standouts:

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