Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Route Zero’

Best PC gaming deals of the week

Another week has gone by and with it came the news of Destiny 2, a Witcher TV show and a whole stack of new gaming deals to check out. Conveniently enough, I’m here to take a closer look at that last thing and it’s about the only thing that’s keeping me from playing more Prey. Without further hesitation, let’s go ahead and check out what’s on offer this week, shall we?

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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The 23 best bite-size games for busy lives

I am dad, hear me whinge. Too many games, not enough spare time, for all my non-work hours are spent kissing grazed knees, explaining why you cannot eat the food in that cupboard, constructing awful Lion King dioramas out of toilet roll tubes and being terrified that the next jump from the sofa to the armchair will go fatally wrong. I’m lucky in that my job to some extent involves playing games, so by and large if there’s something I really want to check out I can find a way to, but I appreciate that there are many long-time, older or otherwise time-starved readers for whom RPS is a daily tease of wondrous things they cannot play.

Now, clearly I cannot magically truncate The Witcher 3 into three hours for you, but what I can do is suggest a few games from across the length and breadth of recent PC gaming that can either be completed within a few hours or dipped into now and again without being unduly punished because you’ve lost your muscle-memory. Read the rest of this entry »

In their haste to make “soulslikes”, devs have forgotten what makes Dark Souls unique – its level design

I finally completed Dark Souls III [official site] last week, a world that I have been dipping in and out of between bouts of listlessness since its release in April last year. It didn’t grip me like the first revered Dark Souls, but it still made me sad to know it was all over. Where could I go now for my Souls fix? The answer, it turns out, is loads of places. The games industry is quietly reverberating with the series’ influence. From small games boasting “souls-like” combat, to bigger games doing weird things with death and player messages. Meanwhile, our PlayStation brethren got Nioh, which took the “pocket full o’ souls” idea and simply renamed them “Amrita”. There is a popular complaint that everything in the industry is now being compared to Dark Souls, and it’s easy to forget that games embraced difficulty and strangeness long before the Bed of Chaos made you weep with frustration. Nevertheless, the mechanics and the tone of Miyazaki’s magnum opus is leaking into games everywhere.

That there’s an influx of Soulsian disciples out there isn’t a problem to me. My problem is that they are learning all the wrong lessons. At least, they are neglecting the most important one. But first let’s look at what sly tricks are being lifted from the series, and who is lifting them. Read the rest of this entry »

Kentucky Route Zero, Fez on sale fundraising for ACLU

Kentucky Route Zero, the game so good we declared it our game of the year back when only two of its episodes were out, is currently half-price. That’s always worth pointing out, that. Sales from this latest sale will go to the American Civil Liberties Union, joining similar fundraisers with other cracking games. Also joining in are the delightful Fez, frightful treasures from Kitty Horrorshow, and the next game from Tetrageddon dev Nathalie Lawhead. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Kentucky Route Zero?

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

I don’t want to say too much – the power of offbeat road trip adventure Kentucky Route Zero is in discovering its twisting tale and flabbergasting sights for yourself. Instead, I wish to make a plea.
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Wot I Think: Kentucky Route Zero Act IV

I don’t think I could name a more beautiful game. I don’t use ‘beauty’ in the straightforward sense of Kentucky Route Zero [official site]’s appearance, although its bold geometric shapes and flat-wash colour absolutely qualifies, as does its wonderful architecture – Americana infused with magic realism. There is the soundtrack and the sounds too, ambience and steel guitar and the lonely sound of engines – gentle sonic beauty, but again that is on the surface.

In fact there is beauty woven through the core of KRZ: its love of images, its love of words, its love of the American landscape, and perhaps most of all in its preoccupation with the warmer side of the human mind. Whether that be conviviality and the coming together of sympathetic souls, or pulling solace from solitude and from the road. This has been a theme, of sorts, throughout KRZ’s first three acts, but the fourth arguably pushes it more to the fore, consciously slowing down and allowing its expanding cast to idle, to find themselves in idyllic rather than unsettling locales. This could be a good life, if they wanted it.

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Finally! Kentucky Route Zero Act IV Released

Act IV of Kentucky Route Zero [official site] is finally here, continuing the magical realist journey through subterranean Americana. It’s a pretty flipping special game. We declared the first two episodes our favourites of 2013 and 2014’s Act III was just as lovely but the wait for IV has been long. But doesn’t KRZ teach patience, to enjoy slowness and quiet? It’s here now, and that’s just fine. Settle down with a bottle of Wild Turkey for a lovely evening.

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Our Steam Sale Picks, Round 3!

We’re coming to the end of the Summer Steam Sale so chances are you’ve picked up the things you’d already got your eye on, but there are always games that sneak under the radar or come from genres you might usually ignore. That’s why we’ve put together our final recommendation list. Here’s a whole list of things we love and why we think they’re worth your time! (Don’t forget to check out our earlier picks and the comments, though – I picked up a bunch of games that had escaped my own notice through reader enthusiasm…)

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What Makes Kentucky Route Zero’s Dialogue So Good?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Kentucky Route Zero [official site].

I haven’t a lot of patience for dialogue in games. Weighted by exposition and lumpen characterisation, it tends to lumber, but I love the dialogue in Kentucky Route Zero. Telling a story which balances the bizarre with the everyday, it communicates so much with so few words. And the technology that lies behind them is ancient, wielded by games pretty much since their advent. But Kentucky Route Zero employs a twist of design that makes a world of difference:

THE MECHANIC: Multiple choice
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Kentucky Route Zero Act IV Is “Almost Done”

Oh, happy day! Act IV of Kentucky Route Zero [official site] is “almost done”, say developers Cardboard Computer. They have a picture of a wee boat and everything. It’s a lovely boat. It’s not that we believed Act IV wouldn’t come, as apparently some had started to mutter after more than a year between acts, it’s just grand to hear from it again and know we’re not too far from playing. Even with only two of five planned acts out, KRZ was our game of 2013.

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Walking, Driving, Flying, Seeing, Looking, Watching: Tourist Simulators

I’ve been on holiday, which means I’ve spent more energy walking around and looking at things, than I do when I’m at work. It’s a tricky thing, this holiday business. How am I supposed to enjoy the majesty of nature (and the cold pint in a country pub that waits at the end of nature) when my muscles are aching, the sweat is like an oil slick on my brow, and I’ve fallen into the habit of checking my maps every fifteen minutes because I’m convinced I’m walking in the wrong direction.

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A Psychogeography Of Games #1: Kentucky Route Zero

This article is a part of a series based on 6 months as resident speaker at VideoBrains called A Psychogeography of Games. Psychogeography is a big chewy word put together by drunk French dudes in 1955 to talk about how the landscape of our lives affects how we feel, think and act. Here, I’m particularly interested in how the geography of our lives affects how we make games – the psychogeography of our games. So, in 2015, I’m going on a series of walks with some of my favourite game designers, in places that have affected how they think about what they make, and turning these into talks and articles.

This first piece is about a walk with Jake Elliott (Kentucky Route Zero [official site]). Except that because I don’t fly, the first walk happened in two different continents – we walked on the same day, on different continents, to similar places.

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The 25 Best Adventure Games Ever Made

You know that there are adventure games, and you know that some of those adventure games are better than others. But do you know which one is best, and which one is twenty-fifth best? Well, at last you can find out, with our definitive, unimpeachable breakdown of adventure gaming’s best moments.

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Kentucky Route Pitstop: Here And There Along The Echo

Kentucky Route Zero isn’t just gaming’s finest slice of magical realism and shaggy dog symphonies, it’s also a magnificent feat of myth-making. Like so much Americana, it straddles the line between fact and folk tale, and finds recognisable unrealities along the road to the grave. If the melancholic dramas of the main episodes take place at centre stage, the occasional interludes aren’t the entertainment in between acts, they’re happening somewhere in the wings, backstage or downriver. The latest free offering, Here And There Along The Echo, has a sinister setup – a telephone that can only dial one number – but turns out to be the closest the series has come to revealing its own absurd comedic heart.

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Wot I Think: Kentucky Route Zero – Act III

Here at RPS, we’re quite fond of Cardboard Computer’s magical realist adventure. Kentucky Route Zero took the final spot in our 2013 Advent Calendar and while the wait for the third act has been longer than I would have liked, it’s good to have Conway and his companions back in my life. The new chapter of gaming’s strangest trip since Sam and Max hit the road contains a musical performance worthy of Lynch, a whiskey-soaked underworld and enough melancholic mystery to fuel a new generation of the blues. Here’s wot I think.

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Open Road: Kentucky Route Zero Act III Out Now

An old time radio crackles into life, the dial set between nowhere in particular and somewhere else entirely. The voice that speaks could warble with the best of them but it catches on the hooks and snags of age. The accompaniment is the picking of a banjo and the wail of a harmonica. A boot thumping against a dusty floorboard, that’s percussion. This is how we learn that Kentucky Route Zero Act III has been released.

I actually heard about it through Twitter, at which point I loaded up my copy of the game (through Steam) and saw that the new act is already available to play, right from the menu. Guess I know what I’m doing tonight.

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Introducing Last Life, Aka ‘Kentucky Route Zero In Space’

You might remember that we liked sleepy-as-the-night, sharp-as-a-knife adventure Kentucky Route Zero quite a lot. We even gave it game of the year, doncha know. So when Last Life creator Sam Farmer told me his game was best described as “Kentucky Route Zero in space,” I nearly warbled with glee. The noir-themed tale of a detective trying to solve the mystery of his own murder has Double Fine‘s blessing and backing, and it’s taking to Kickstarter for one more boost. I sat down with Farmer for what turned out to be his first interview ever, and we discussed Last Life’s universe and story, Sherlock-style inspection mechanics, Double Fine’s involvement, what it means to be “noir,” and transhumanism. It’s all below.

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Still Not On The Road To Kentucky Route Zero Act III

[Waves arms wildly]I DON’T HAVE RELEASE DATE FOR YOU DON’T GET EXCITED[/waves arms wildly]

Wolf Among Us isn’t the only recent episodic game playing silly buggers with our expectations: there’s still no sign of when the passenger door episode III to RPS GOTY 2013 Kentucky Route Zero will open and offer us a ride down its strange, whip-smart highway. To some degree I’m less troubled by the wait than I was by WAU’s, as I’m not really in KRZ for the plot – it’s more of an experiential thing for me, as wanky as that might sound. I would like more of it and soon, though.

Devs Cardboard Computer have attempted to allay fears that something terrible has happened behind the scenes, and explained why no KRZE3 date yet. Apparently it will be “significantly more involved than the first two acts.” Maybe that means it’ll have guns! Or a jump button! Or microtransactions!
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The Amazing & Astonishing RPS Advent Calendar: Day 24

This is it. The 24th door. The panel behind which every developer on Earth desperately hopes to be. Last year it was Far Cry 3. In 2011 it was Skyrim. 2010 saw Minecraft grab it, 2009 went to Dragon Age, in 2008 it was World Of Goo, and the very first was Portal in 2007.

So what is it this time? Did you guess?

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Insanity: 30 Games From Hotline, KRZ, More Devs For $15

I have no idea what's going on here, but I really, really want to find out.

This is probably the most exciting game-related anything I’ve seen in months. And yes, as the headline suggests, it’s entirely bonkers. Remember Zineth developer Arcane Kids’ Tribes-meets-Tony-Hawk thing Perfect Stride? Well, it’s just one of 30+ games (23 of which are already finished and playable) that’ll immediately be yours if you hand LA Game Space a pithy 15 of your bacteria-and-filth-ridden Human Dollars. Experimental Game Pack 01 also includes entirely new projects from the likes of Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, Adventure Time (yes, the TV show) maestro Pendleton Ward, Hotline Miami madman Cactus, Kentucky Route Zero devs Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy, and sooooooooooo many more. I’m not even going to pretend to be impartial on this one. Buy it. Buy it because duh.

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