Meet the Gurpsons
Every week we cast Brendan into the early access badlands in nothing but rags. This time, the hot mess of genre that is survival-strategy-city-builder-RPG Kenshi [official site]
You could call Kenshi an RPG, you could call it a survival game. Or you could call it a chaotic jumble of good ideas stitched together via a user interface that would make a Wurm player eat their keyboard in a blind rage. I mention Wurm Online only because this feels like the closest comparison. Except this isn’t online. It’s set in a single-player fantasy Japanese world of skeletal robots and bony animals of burden and it’s got a reputation for toughness. My favourite line in the trailer is: “nobody will help you when the fog-men are eating your legs”. A line both frank and representative. How would I fare in this hostile landscape? Let me tell you the saga of the Gurpson clan.
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Tense, tactical, and rough
As soon as I peek out over the wall, bullets zip past my head and ricochet off the bricks around me. I duck back down, my screen blurring. I’m pinned down. That is, until the artillery comes down on the enemy trench, its screeches echoed by the cries of the Americans caught in the blasts. I pop my head back up to have a look at the light show and my screen turns black. A second later the kill feed updates. I was shot in the head, apparently.
This ends up happening a lot in Rising Storm 2: Vietnam [official site]. The original Rising Storm, a spinoff from Tripwire’s Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, was an unforgiving shooter and this is no different. Being a beginner in this game is a struggle. You’ll die in one shot, often from an unseen enemy. You’ll kill teammates by accident and get shouted at in chat. But if you’re willing to get over the initial bumps and you’re happy to play it the way it’s supposed to be played, then the payoff is more than worth it. Read the rest of this entry »
An automotive expert reviews
This is my first time contributing to RPS, so I’m going to start out with a little (pertinent) information: I’ve driven a lot of cars. As an automotive journalist I’ve sat behind the wheels of everything from the aggressively unremarkable Dodge Dart to brilliant machines like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, the Subaru WRX STi, the Audi R8 V10, a rally-prepped Ford Fiesta, and even a pair of formula cars. I’m pretty quick on tarmac.
Dirt 4 isn’t about tarmac, so I knew it would be a learning experience. In fact, I drove that Fiesta I mentioned a moment ago about 100 meters onto a rally stage, with Tim O’Neil and Ken Block on board, before I valiantly steered it into a ditch. Once I got it out of the ditch and en route again I made it down another half of the stage before reacquainting myself with the ditch. I swore to do better next time, but next time never came.
“Close enough”, I thought when I got this assignment, so I set up my sim gear and got to racing. Read the rest of this entry »
A space dungeon crawler
StarCrawlers [official site] is a game about punks and rebels – people eking out a living on the edge of space by stealing, smuggling and doing odd jobs for the shady corporate entities that run the galaxy. It’s cyberpunk, but with the soul of Firefly and the mechanics of Eye of the Beholder. These different inspirations fit together neatly, rather than competing, resulting in a cohesive and ambitious party-based dungeon-crawler. Read the rest of this entry »
You can have any genre as long as its Sim
Every week we send Brendan to inspect the factory floor of early access and scribble angry notes about the development carousel. This time, the conveyor belts of Production Line [official site].
Hello, discerning motorist. Set your eyes on the epitome of motorway luxury: the Safe Family Car Xtreme. It is our debut vehicle and comes complete with an engine and wing mirrors. You might think our car company is behind the competition because there is no air conditioning, no cruise control, and no means of listening to music while driving. But don’t worry, we have 16 of our best scientists working round the clock to come up with a CD player right now. There is no reason to be alarmed. No, I mean that literally. The Family Car Xtreme has no car alarm.
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Many reasons to Rime
A third-person exploration game that eschews combat to finally prove Tomb Raider never needed the guns. RiME [official site] is a beautiful, magical game – here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »