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Posts tagged “hands on”

Feature: They're fun guys

Dead Cells first paid DLC will let you get tossed by mushroom men

You can be killed by many things in run 'n' stab roguelike Dead Cells. There are pirate captains, football-sized assassins and horrible worms. There are robots that summon corpse flies, and skeletons in hats that turn into knife tornadoes. If you spend $5 on Dead Cells' first whack of paid DLC this January, you can also be chucked at spiky walls by mushroom men. They're…

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Feature: For a "shadow" "desert" it was plenty light and lush, actually

Shadow Arena shakes up the battle royale genre with a cast of action heroes

Black Desert Online developers Pearl Abyss are in the process of branching out of their MMO roots, having announced a clutch of new games this week. But while they might be working on games as far removed as a shooter and a cutesy monster catch ‘em up, it’s Black Desert’s battle royale-esque spinoff Shadow Arena that’s furthest through development. I got my hands on it…

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Feature: But yes I am still enamoured with Cal's backpack

I want to explore the worlds of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but maybe not its story

I want to explore. Like, everywhere. I didn’t expect that to be the main takeaway of my Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order hands-on preview, but here we are: amongst the windswept vistas of Zeffo, or careening down its ice caves, or clambering around the crumbling red stone of a temple on Dathomir. The team behind Titanfall 2 have built some more beautiful worlds for me…

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Feature: A whole new way to fall in love with Teemo

Legends Of Runeterra is a CCG shuffling up some of League Of Legends’ familiar faces

League Of Legends developer Riot Games are making a collectable card game called Legends Of Runeterra. I got to speak to some of the developers and do some shuffling myself at their Dublin offices a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve got the scoop: Yes, there are poro cards, yes, you can build a deck to synergise with them, and yes, the board features a…

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Feature: Dead Cells meets Celeste

ScourgeBringer is your next roguelite crush

ScourgeBringer is a game that exists in your fingers. It's an action roguelite fidgetspinner about bish-bash-boshing across single screen levels of enemies. The protagonist Kyhra has a sword for slashing, a drone that can fire a blast of bullets, and a set of movements that feel sublime to control. I've been playing an early alpha ahead of an early access release planned for later this…

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Feature: A game about death but not about killing

Spiritfarer is about death, but it’s how it treats life that makes it unusual

"We all die, everything dies, every living thing dies." Nicolas Guérin is reassuring me. He's the creative director at Thunder Lotus Games and they're working on Spiritfarer, announced at E3 2019 as a "cosy management game about dying." I need reassuring because I've played a 15-minute demo of Spiritfarer and I'm worried that a game that treats death lightly will make light of the suffering…

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Feature: Swedes, you are being hunted

Generation Zero rises above the doubts about its concept

The plan was idiot proof. One of us would lob the flares we’d snagged from the church tower to distract the bipedal machine almost as imposingly tall as the church itself, while the other sprinted toward a nearby car and dumped out a backpack full of gas canisters. The firearms we’d collected were so many makeshift plastic straw pea shooters against the hulking automaton’s thick…

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Feature: War makes monsters of us all

A Year Of Rain is an accessible if ambitious upcoming co-op RTS

I was nervous, sitting down to play A Year Of Rain. I don’t have a lot of experience with real-time strategy games, and even though technical director Nick Prühs had explained some of the accessibility features, it still looked intimidating. Plus, as a co-op and a competitive game, it has twice the number of people available to embarrass myself in front of. As I dug…

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Feature: Edison was just an ass who electrocuted an elephant

Close To The Sun is a horror game that’s definitely not BioShock with Tesla

These days, a lot of people love Nikola Tesla. Tesla deserved Edison’s success and recognition, they say, and should not have died penniless and obsessed with pigeons. His achievements remained pretty obscure for many years after his death, so the resurgence in Tesla-mania over the past couple of decades is fortunate for Close To The Sun, a fact acknowledged by Joel Hakalax, game designer at…

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Feature: A hex of one's own

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is about building empires in the ruins of an empire

Did you ever read about the Ship of Theseus? I'm sure you have – the RPS community is, after all, a bastion of scholarly insight, where people can write about things like digital museums and heraldic devices and attract comments like “actually, Liu Bei's supposed Han ancestry has minimal DNA basis and I'll thank you to use the Harvard referencing system”. But on the off…

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Feature: Time's on our side

Katana Zero makes time for more interesting twitch combat

Katana Zero is much more than it first appears. And it first appears to be plenty. A side-scrolling reflexy beat 'em up, painted in very pretty pixels, with a character who cannot take a hit. It's a surprisingly interesting weakness to give your ninja-esque mass murderer, who is fast-paced, all dashes and slides, rolls and manic combat. And yet on top of that there's the…

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Feature: Mad to the maximum

Metro Exodus’s summer map is fun, but it’s at its best when you go back underground

I was told before playing Metro Exodus that, as with the previous Metro games, it is important to think before you act. Seize every quiet opportunity to craft another med kit, a molotov, another filter for your mask. Continually take stock of your, er, stock. And it’s true, there is grim satisfaction in sneaking up behind a weird anti-electricity pseudo-Christian cultist and knocking him out…

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Feature: Suspending disbelief for another year

Football Manager 2019 preview: a meaningful step forward for the series

“When you’re working on annual iterative titles, it is difficult,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive. “You’re always going to get people turning around saying ‘you haven’t added anything.’ And no matter how much you add, you’re still going to get people saying that.” That’s the challenge that the Football Manager series faces every year. It remains, as it always will be, a…

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Feature: One cool customer

HP Omen’s ear-cooling Mindframe headset is actually sort of brilliant

The HP Omen Mindframe headset is quite possibly the most bonkers piece of audio equipment I've ever seen. It's called MINDFRAME for a start, which is both brilliant and ridiculous in equal measure, but what really sets it apart from other headsets is pretty damn cool - as in literally cool thanks to its thermoelectric ear-cooling earcups. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when…

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Feature: Model behaviour

Trüberbrook looks like a dream and handles like a nightmare

I have never seen Twin Peaks. That’s alright, though, because a lot of people I know really like it. I’ve been around them going on about cherry pie and the red room for long enough that when I am told “And of course there’s some inspiration from Twin Peaks, too!” I know to read it as “This is going to be weird; will probably feature…

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Feature: Another good omen?

The new HP Omen 15 could be the gaming laptop to end all laptops

Out of all the gaming laptops I've tested so far, there have been very few that have justified their often extortionate prices. In fact, the only one I'd consider buying myself right now is Dell's Alienware 13 - and even that's not completely free of flaws. But after seeing the new HP Omen 15 laptop in the flesh, it looks like we might finally have…

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Feature: Devil in the details

It’s the little details that make HP’s new Omen Sequencer keyboard and Reactor mouse so great

I won't lie. When HP announced a string of new Omen peripherals at this year's Computex show in Taiwan, the thing that really caught my eye was its supposed ear-cooling gaming headset. It even had a cool-sounding name and everything. The HP Omen MINDFRAME. Sadly, that was the one thing missing from the HP Omen demo day I went to last week. I did, however,…

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Feature: But is it Artyom

Metro Exodus is a far cry from the tunnel shooter we knew

I didn't realise how much I'd missed Metro's ball bearing rifle till I spent two hours with Metro Exodus, the third in 4A Games' cult series of post-Soviet, post-apocalyptic shooters. Goodness, that rifle. The sheer delight of cranking its Super Soaker handle. The vicious snap of escaping air when you pull the trigger. The rush to make the most of those few seconds of maximum…

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Feature: From deckbuilding to ranked play

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

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…

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Feature: Lane down your cards

Artifact pairs the best ideas of Dota with the best parts of card games

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.

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