Posts Tagged ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’

Middle-earth: Shadow Of War removing loot boxes

Monolith have announced plans to remove loot boxes from Middle-earth: Shadow Of War in July, eight months after the open-world enslave-o-stabber launched. They’ve realised that they make the game worse, they say. The ‘War Chest’ loot boxes in Shadow Of War contain random items, orc slaves, and bits, and are sold for either the virtuacash earned in-game or for a microtransaction currency bought with real money. Monolith say the loot boxes cause people who buy them to miss out on the experience of the game’s Nemesis system – and even if you don’t buy them, their presence detracts from the game. Neither realisation is remotely surprising. Read the rest of this entry »

Loot Crate debate escalates, Hawaiian lawmakers speak

Loot Boxes

Last year’s explosion of negative press regarding loot crates in games (especially regarding their impact on Star Wars: Battlefront 2) is still being heard around the world. Now, the issue has reached the ears of a growing number of lawmakers.

As covered by the Hawaii Tribune Herald, the latest force to get involved is the Hawaiian state government, members of which have proposed two new laws that could have massive repercussions on the industry if they were to become nationwide law.

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Shadow Of War’s Blade Of Galadriel expansion out today, along with free nemesis system update

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My favourite Middle-earth: Shadow Of War nemesis story isn’t my own, but one I found on Reddit. It was about a musician Orc who the player mercilessly humiliated time and time again, until his mind had broken and all he could do was murmur about how he’d “lost his song”. It’s tragic stuff, and while the new behaviours added in today’s patch might not generate the same heart-wrenching tales, they should mix things up if you’ve found those encounters have grown stale.

The Blade Of Galadriel expansion is also out today, and lets you step into the Elven shoes of Eltariel, one of Talion’s sidekicks from the main game. She’s better known as the Blade Of Galadriel, so expect to run around stabbing Nazguls in the name of freedom, justice, or whatever it is that Galadriel actually stands for. Bright white lights, maybe.

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2017 Steam Award winners include PUBG, Cuphead & Witcher

We’ve already seen which games sold best on Steam last year, but a perhaps more meaningful insight into movin’ and a-shakin’ in PC-land is the games that people feel warmest and snuggliest about. To that end, Valve have announced the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards, a fully community-voted affair which names the most-loved games across categories including best post-launch support, most player agency, exceeding pre-release expectations and most head-messing-with. Vintage cartoon-themed reflex-tester Cuphead leads the charge with two gongs, but ol’ Plunkbat and The Witcher series also do rather well – as do a host of other games from 2017’s great and good.

Full winners and runners-up below, with links to our previous coverage of each game if you’re so-minded. Plus: I reveal which game I’d have gone for in each category.
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These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017

Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.

Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.

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Cyber Monday 2017: The best deals on PC games, graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and more

Cyber Monday 2017

After a weekend of gorging yourself on turkey and elbowing people in the face to get that last discounted something or other in the shops, now it’s time to settle in and continue those deal hunts from the comfort of your own home. For today is Cyber Monday, the day that’s reserved for purely online-only deals following the shopping bonanza that was Black Friday.

This year, we’ve done the hard work for you, as we’ve scoured the web for the best Cyber Monday deals money can buy. These aren’t just re-heated Black Friday deals, either, as most retailers usually have completely separate discounts running today, making it a great time to pick up another bargain if none of the deals last week took your fancy. As always, we’ll be updating this article throughout the day, so make sure to check back at regular intervals just in case something new appears. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.

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The 42 best Black Friday 2017 deals for PC gamers

Best Black Friday deals

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Black Friday 2017 may have come and gone, but the deals just keep on coming. Many of them, in fact, are still running until Monday November 27th (the delightfully-named Cyber Monday for those fluent in Black Friday parlance), with many more carrying on until the end of the month.

We’ll be highlighting the best Cyber Monday deals at the beginning of next week, but before then we thought we’d gather together the very best Black Friday deals from the week all in one place, saving you the hassle of reading through our admittedly gigantic Black Friday hub list (sorry), or searching through our respective graphics cards, SSDs, monitors and mouse, keyboard and headset articles. With that in mind, then, let’s get straight to the best of the best of what Black Friday still has to offer.

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Black Friday 2017: The best deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and more

1080ti

The sale event to end all sale events is here. That’s right, folks, Black Friday 2017 is here, and this year’s sales frenzy is set to be bigger than ever as we head into the Christmas shopping period. In all honesty, they should just rename it Black November, as there have been deals going on throughout the month in preparation for the big day.

To save you trawling through the web in search of a good bargain, we’ve created this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a new graphics card, a bigger and better monitor, want to splash out on a fast SSD or upgrade your gaming headset and get a more reliable mouse and keyboard, this is the place to be. We’ll be updating this hub page on a regular basis as new deals get announced, too, so make sure to keep it in your bookmarks if you fancy grabbing yourself a bit of a bargain before Christmas. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.

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Podcast: Into The Breach, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and “running away”

Tactical retreats

Cowardice is a virtue. So says the team on this week’s RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. That’s because our theme is “running away” – games that encourage you to flee from danger, or that give you a choice between fight and flight. Adam will run from the soldiers of Arma or the post-apocalyptic antagonists of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Brendan will scarper from poor odds in For Honor or Overwatch, while Alice only pretends to run away in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, tricking her foes into giving chase before ambushing them like some kind of velociraptor. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-earth: Shadow of War unveils its DLC plans

middleearth

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a very big game, full of very big Orcs. It’s probably big enough. Regardless, it’s getting a slew of DLC, introducing two new Orc tribes and some story expansions that let you play as the tale’s secondary characters. The tribal addition is due next month, and you can get a brief taste of all the upcoming DLC in the trailer below. Read the rest of this entry »

When are you done with a game?

Spelunky Complete

Some games can be finished, completed, defeated or beaten. They have an end-point, even though they might be replayable. Others have the potential to go on forever. Whatever the case, there always comes a point when you’re done with a game, and it might be long before the credits roll, or it might be after that one update that breaks a habit that has lasted for years. Why do we stop playing?

Let’s get one potential answer out of the way: ‘when we stop having fun’. While there’s definitely something to that idea, it doesn’t take into account temporary frustration caused by difficulty spikes, or the satisfaction – a related cousin of ‘fun’ – from seeing a narrative through to its end. It’s a sentiment that might work for multiplayer games, but I’m not convinced it can be applied more broadly than that. With a look at Shadow of War, Spelunky and Caveblazers among others, here are some thoughts on the end of play.

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Steam Charts: New Entries Edition!

People, people of Earth, for the second week in a row GTA V isn’t in the Steam Charts! And for the first time in human history, this week nor is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive! What’s happened? I’ll tell you what’s happened. Everyone’s got a copy now. Phew.

So instead, here are eight other games and Plunkbat, and one plastic box, in ascending order of dollar-eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Middle-earth: Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2 and our nemeses

Nemesis this

Who’s your worst nemesis? This week the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about our most reviled enemies, against whom we hold deep, lasting grudges. Matt harbours a lasting bitterness for Silencer, the magic-cancelling war jerk of Dota 2. Adam is fuelled by a dark hatred for the final boss of Ancient Domains of Mystery, a giant ‘@’ symbol called Andor Drakon. And I still maintain a grievance against an entire electricity company in Final Fantasy VII. They killed my friends.

And speaking of nemeses, we’ve had plenty of time to play Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the icon-hoovering game of anti-establishment orcs, which has us divided. The Evil Within 2 also gets some attention, as Adam runs from spectres and fails to stealth-kill hideous monsters, and I am publicly shamed in Tekken 7 by a robot who takes off her head and throws it at me.
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Middle-earth: Shadow of War due endless Shadow Wars

War, I’m told, war never changes – and nor need it end. Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] will add the option to endlessly play Shadow Wars, the fortress-assaulting mode that’s the focus of the game’s fourth act. Leif Johnson told us he grew bored of Shadow Wars before the end of the chapter but hey, if you want to endlessly attack and defend, you will get that option. Read the rest of this entry »

UK government responds to loot box questions (vaguely)

Playing the loot

The UK government has responded to two questions posed by a Cambridge MP about loot boxes and gambling laws. It is a very very very very boring answer, and says basically nothing apart from highlighting current regulations about gambling. That’s not much of a surprise, although the speed at which the government has “answered” suggests an awareness that the issue of loot crates is smoldering upon the floor of the industry, like a flaming paper bag with a poo in it. Something might have to be done about it, sure, but nobody wants to volunteer their boot. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam charts: it’s the end of the world

Wotcha gang. Your old chum Alice here for this week’s charts, as everyone else has been fired. Out of a cannon. Blown into a jillion little pieces. Hence the Apocalyptic yellow tone to the skies today. Hold your breath when outside, and hold your breath while we count down last week’s top ten of the top-selling games on Steam.

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Loot box questions brought up in UK parliament

Spooky loot

“Loot” used to be such a nice word. It brought to mind coffers piled with doubloons. Today it is often followed by the word “crate” and an expression of disgust. After recent controversies over the inclusion of loot boxes in games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront 2, the issue of this psychologically iffy practice has been brought up in the UK parliament in the form of two written questions submitted by a Cambridge MP. In short, they ask the government: what do you plan to do about “in-game gambling”?
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There’s a free HD texture DLC for Shadow Of War (but you probably don’t need it)

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You may well already know this, but going on the basis that most of the RPS team weren’t aware of it, let’s put the word out anew. As if 65 gigabytes of PC Middle-earth: Shadow Of War weren’t enough, there’s also an optional extra, free 10Gb download, comprising what’s officially called a ‘High Resolution Texture Pack.’ In other words, it in theory makes the grime, squalor and butchered viscera of Mordor that little bit more grimy, squalid and visceral butchered viscera-y.

It’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. Join me as I investigate whether installing ten gig of ‘Ultra’ textures really makes a difference to your nemesising. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War shows that revenge is a dish best served re-heated

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Nothing does revenge quite like Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War [official site]. But more games really really should.

When Shadow Of Mordor came out in 2014, no one was really expecting it to be good. But it was great. And the greatest thing about it was its Nemesis system. Because your character is already dead, and possessed by a grey, grey ghost, getting killed by an enemy was not your end. Instead you woke up at a respawn tower, with vengeance on your mind. The orc that killed you would automatically be given a promotion, a ranking among the orc leadership in the area, and greater abilities. He’d also be given a personality, strengths and weaknesses, and most of all, a name. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Destiny 2, Steamworld Dig 2 and binge gaming

'ello Traveller

Oh heavens look at you, you’ve been bingeing on videogames again. Pumping platformers into your veins and shoving shooters into your piehole. That’s fine, so have we. This week’s edition of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is all about binge gaming. Alec joins us to talk about chomping down on numbers-go-up alien-zapper Destiny 2, which Adam has also been gorging on. Meanwhile, I’ve been happily dig-dugging my way through robotic metroidvania Steamworld Dig 2, which as far as I’m concerned is far healthier and wiser.
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