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Posts tagged “hands on”

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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Feature: Croft in transit

Shadow of the Tomb Raider appears to be beautiful but a little vacuous

In the course of 45 minutes with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft gatecrashes a fiesta, scales a cliff, wrestles an eel, levels a temple, steals a magic dagger, murders a bunch of dudes in Mariachi skullpaint and drowns a city after triggering the apocalypse. That's quite the evening's work, especially if you factor in all the times I accidentally impaled her on rebars,…

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Feature: No time to chat

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War killed off all the diplomats

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War is an unconventional 4X game that doubles down on the perpetually gloomy universe’s penchant for conflict by cutting out diplomacy entirely. The Space Marines, Astra Militarum, Orks and Necron are all at each other’s throats, leaving them no time to work things out at the negotiating table. War, then, is Gladius’ raison d'être, with Dreadnoughts, Tankbustas and Necron…

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Feature: Lingo a little longer

Learning the ancient language of Heaven’s Vault

“That’s the Ancient word for ‘writer’,” says Jon Ingold, pointing to some indecipherable symbols on his business card. “What it breaks down to is ‘Person-who-speaks-without-speaking.’” Ingold is the writer for Heaven’s Vault, an upcoming sci-fi adventure from Inkle (the folks behind 80 Days and Sorcery!) You play an archaeologist investigating the remains of an ancient civilisation in an otherworldly “Nebula”. He and some others from…

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Feature: Whose footprints are these?

The battle royale of Mavericks is stalking a big game

A man in black scrambles through the overgrowth, looking lost. So I shoot him. Puffs of bloody air erupt from his body, but he runs on. Behind him something explodes from a stray bullet – my bulet or somebody else’s? I don’t know. But the man in black keeps moving, dodging behind some trees, over a ridge. Behind me, a wall of wobbly energy closes…

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Feature: Eternal tank war, now prettier

Everything is the same but different in World of Tanks 1.0

It was only when someone from Wargaming closed the door between the demo and interview areas that I realised everyone could hear me swearing at tanks. Loudly. World of Tanks, which hits version 1.0 today, is the sort of game that makes you forget what’s going on around you. Taking your eye off the ball for even a second guarantees that someone will put a…

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Feature: 4K fantasy

Hands on with Final Fantasy XV in bonkers 4K

There's a moment about half way through Final Fantasy XV where you have to say goodbye to your stag-do-cum-road-trip adventure and actually start saving the world. It's the same point that sees you swap your ridiculously large car and the sweeping fields of Lucis for a boat, and then a train, that carries you, quite literally, in a non-stop line toward the game's conclusion, where…

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