If you frequently find yourself hankering for high-speed races, or for being strapped into a metal death trap hurtling towards oblivion, then the Humble Store’s racing sale might have something to sate you. It’s going on all week.
RPS Feature 21 Of The Best 7/10 Games
We don’t do scores on RPS, but sometimes we mourn for the inability to deploy a 7/10. The ur-score, the most double-edged of critical swords, the good but not great, the better than it deserves to be, the guilty pleasure, the bungled aspiration, the knows exactly what it is, the straight down the line. One score that can mean so much.
There is one particular type of 7/10 game that heralds joy, not disappointment: the solid, maybe ever so slightly wonky action game with no interest in being anything more than a solid action game.
RPS Feature Sometimes watching isn't enough.
I had twin criteria for this. The first was ‘is it a decent game?’ and the second ‘does it meaningfully evoke the spirit, themes or characters of the movie in addition to having Quite Good Guns And Graphics?’ The second saw quite a few games which would otherwise qualify ruled out. This year’s Mad Max, for instance, was an agreeable murder-romp but it’s much harder to argue that it nails the desperation or oddness of the films it’s based on. Star Wars: Battlefront, meanwhile, is an OK online shooter with marvellous graphics, but it’s too mechanical to ‘feel’ like Star Wars once you get beyond the spectacular presentation. Ah, ‘feel’. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Does a movie game make you feel like you’re a part of that movie’s wider world, or is it just wearing its skin?
It’s that question which most informed this list. I don’t disagree that there are, in some cases, better games-based-on-movies if ‘game’ is the foremost criteria, but these, in no particular order, are the ten games which most understood and even grew my appreciation for their subject matter, rather than simply piggy-backed it. (Additional FYI: I decided not to include any superhero games, reasoning they’re really their own thing rather than innately movie-based).
RPS Feature Tell us
Alice has been away this past week, and so I’d imagine is presumably playing the game of “If I swim to the other side of this loch and run away, perhaps I’ll not have to return to work on Monday.” The rest of us however remain on dry land and I’ve gathered the team to ask them what they’ll be playing this weekend. Leave your own response in the comments below.
RPS Feature Piccolo Opus
RPS Feature Just pretend like your hair's not on fire
Sometimes you just need to take a lot of screenshots of a game’s character ignoring the giant explosions going on behind him. We did this for Just Cause 2, and it seems that it’s happening all over again with Mad Max. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s Max nonchalantly not looking at shit blowing up from a distance that really ought to be frying his bacon skin like bacon.
The weekend crept up on us silently, catching us snoozing or distracted flicking through magazines. But now it’s here! Loudly! In our faces! And has brought a dog! Read on to be wholly surprised by which game many of us are playing this weekend, then why not tell us what you’re clacking away at?
RPS Feature Bleary Road
I’m trying to work out what I think of the early hours of Mad Max [official site] through a fog of flu and headaches, which is something I’d hoped might help enliven an interpretation of George Miller’s ultra-violent feverish post-apocalyptic peculiarity. Oddly, I’m increasingly convinced that my fever is the closest this massive open desert world will get to capturing that distinct tone of the films. But what about the rest? The driving, the punching, the quest for silence?
Mad Max [official site], the open-world apocalypse ’em up from Just Cause devs Avalanche Studios has arrived on Steam, and so has Mad Max, the post-apocalyptic watch ’em up series from Babe director George Miller.
Seeing the four Mad Max films on Steam is quite a surprise, given that Valve’s moving picture offerings so far have mostly been small indie films and documentaries about video games. It helps that Warner Bros. distributed the movies as well as publishing the game, but still, coo, Fury Road! More than ever, I wish Steam’s films were games.
At what point in the market-o-rama before a game’s release are you content you’ve seen enough and will skip over it until you can play yourself? I like to get a broad sense of a game, see an interesting facet or two, then ignore it so I can discover the game myself and be surprised. Sadly, this job rarely allows that. The sacrifices I make…
If your answer is “Everything all of it as much as I possibly can more give me more more!” then you’re in luck with Mad Max [official site], thanks to a new ‘choose your path’ trailery thing and eighty minutes of livestreamed gameplay.
RPS Feature Car combat that doesn't suck.
Lackluster Mad Max [official site] presentations at previous games shows had led me to believe Avalanche’s open world shooter might be empty, fussy, dull. Then I played it and was pleasantly surprised: my 20 minutes of car combat were fun, exciting, and I’m keen to return to it.
I’m a sucker for game footage set to an AC/DC soundtrack. I used to watch this obscure channel on Sky, Game Network, which would often take out of context gameplay footage and set it to completely unrelated, often tonally opposite, music. They had Kameo: Elements of Power set to AC/DC’s Are You Ready and it worked fantastically. Shame the game ended up being terrible. Hopefully Mad Max [official site] won’t suffer the same fate, despite the new E3 trailer having AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells as its soundtrack.
Savage Road, the title of the new Mad Max [official site] story trailer, is strangely similar to the name of that Mad Max movie that released recently. You might not have heard of it, it had kind of a subdued launch and response seems to have been a bit muted so far. Mad Max is so hot right now and Avalanche Studios knows this, as they’ve managed to make it just as fun as any of the Fury Road trailers, complete with guns and explosions and cars and arid wasteland as far as the eye can see. Which pretty much sums up the entire Mad Max experience. In a good way, I mean.
Watching the “gameplay reveal” trailer for Just Cause 3 is like watching the ambitions of every guns, vehicles and explosions game made real. It’s the ludicrously overblown action blockbuster that Uncharted’s scripted events and cutscenes invoke. It’s Far Cry with the stabilisers taken off. GTA V with many of the best mods you can imagine included as standard. It has sunk its grapple hook into my heart.
A Mad Max game from the folks behind Just Cause sounds oh so very exciting. What sort of open-world antics might one get up to in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback? So far we’ve mostly gone on scraps and screenshots from the game named simply Mad Max [official site], but now a new ‘gameplay overview’ trailer shows the sorts of shenanigans the reluctant hero will engage in.
Expect explosions, scavenging, fisticuffs, and fast cars, in short. Have a look:
I am quietly hopeful that we’ll see a grappling hook in Mad Max. Oh sure, probably not the truly wondrous grappling hook its developers Avalanche Studios put in Just Cause 2 to fling enemies, cars, planes, and yourself around with gay abandon, but perhaps something sufficient for a little automotive japery. There’s cinematic precedent for Max and his foes tossing them about, after all, as you know what’s useful when trying to catch and murder other people in cars? Grappling hooks.
But enough about grappling hooks. A new trailer giving a teensy peek at Mad Max and its car combat also casually mentions a 2015 launch, which means plans to release Avalanche’s open-world post-apocalypse ’em up this year are set back. That’s fine. I can wait for a grappling hook.
Following the glorious excesses of Just Cause 2, where a man can dangle a jeep from a helicopter and swing it like an explosive pendulum of doom into a dictator’s face, even Mad Max can seem a bit ordinary. I watched the trailer below feeling that Avalanche might have had their wings clipped a little. That said, it’s exactly what you’d expect: big open world, full of vehicular violence and punches. Max’s double-barreled shotgun showers everyone in buckshot and fire, and cars flip at the slightest nudge. He also appears to have an awesome headbutt.
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The makers of sandbox destruction classic Just Cause 2 + the quintessential movie wasteland setting? Yes please! Er, just one thing… Could you maybe not involve World’s Worst Human BeingTM Mel Gibson? It’d kind of put a downer on things. Read the rest of this entry »