Posts Tagged ‘Update Night’

Has Overwatch been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

You’d not think that a dude who calls himself “Doomfist” would be a particularly complex personality, but returning to Overwatch for the first time since Blizzard started adding new heroes to its team shooter, I found him the hardest to understand. That’s no bad thing. It’s a pleasure to return to a game and find new characters who aren’t simply the Ken to an existing Ryu. Overwatch’s new characters add a variety of playstyles, and have made the game more interesting and challenging. Despite the challenge of all this new variety, it might even have become a friendlier place to spend time since I last played.

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Has Planet Coaster been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

“Your love is like a rollercoaster baby, baby I wanna ride,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers famously sang on their awful song Love Rollercoaster. Unlike the Red Hot Chili Peppers, though, I don’t want to make a Rollercoaster of Love.

I want to make a Rollercoaster of Hate. I want to make something so fast, so rickety, and so nauseating that its riders feel as uneasy as I do when I think about the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Love Rollercoaster. Planet Coaster is largely accommodating of these dark urges. Frontier’s game — the spiritual successor to the glorious Rollercoaster Tycoon series — lets players construct their own coasters, noodling on every twist, turn, and terrifying drop to squeeze the most vomit out of its riders. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Starbound been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

I’ve got a robot chicken in the shed that parps out batteries. Do you want to have a look? No, seriously, she’s next to the electrical sheep, and she’s a proper money maker. Every day I teleport down to my little farm, collect all the wheat and cotton and kiwi fruits that have grown overnight, and fill my pockets with double-As.

The penguins at the spaceport pay loads for batteries, you see. They love electrical wool, too, but it’s the metal chicken that’s allowed me to give my bipedal mech a better drill arm, as well as giving me the funds to buy a few bars of tungsten and add another wing to my starship. A wing that I’m planning to fill with chickens, of course. Read the rest of this entry »

Has No Man’s Sky been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

I died fifty times before I felt the hand of god.

Trapped on an unbearably hot world in No Man’s Sky’s survival mode, I died to the teeth of a stubby legged Tyrannosaur. I died to a roving band of sentinel robots, upset that I dared to plunder their planet for ore and isotopes. I died during blazing storms, the already extreme temperature ratcheting up to 300 degrees celsius, and cooking me alive in my space suit. Most often, I simply died from exposure as my suit’s life support drained away and left me without any oxygen to breathe.

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Has Smite been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of the Hindu faith, is legendarily generous, wise, and optimistic. He’s a patron of the arts and sciences, and busies himself by working to remove obstacles in the path of honest and caring people.

It’s not really on then, I’d say, to call him a “fucking idiot.”

That’s just what my teammates in deity-themed MOBA Smite kept doing, though. Maybe they had it in for the kind, gentle, and benevolent god? Maybe that was why they spent half an hour just absolutely roasting him? Or maybe it was my fault. You see, this was my first time playing Smite as fairly recent addition Ganesha, and I didn’t really get how he worked. I died. I died a lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Has World of Tanks: Blitz been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

The tanks of World of Tanks are an evolutionary success story. Not only did they manage to build a functional society on their planet despite the lack of opposable thumbs — or appendages in general — but out in the reaches of space, far from Earth, they were also able to split their organised conflicts up into two forms: the bigger battles represented by the original World of Tanks, and smaller seven-on-seven conflicts seen in the simplified and mobile-friendly World of Tanks: Blitz. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Darkest Dungeon been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

Down a dark, dark road, through a dark, dark forest, under a dark, dark town, in a dark, dark — darkest — dungeon, there’s a new easy mode.

Darkest Dungeon developer Red Hook Studios introduced “Radiant” difficulty to their infamously tough sidescrolling slog ‘em up early last year, making it quicker and cheaper for the game’s gang of highwaymen, lepers, grave robbers, and other playable miscreants to gain new skills. The new mode reduces gold costs for upgrades, provides more cash for dungeon visits, and bumps experience gains, with the effect of dragging the time of a playthrough down from the 80 hours quoted by its developers to a more manageable 40 hours. But in a game renowned for its punishing difficulty and mind-shattering horrors, how does an easy mode even work?

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Has Gwent been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

I should’ve been out killing griffins, goblins, and other gribblies, but for much of my Witcher 3 save file, it was Gwent that had its claws in me. It says something about me, I guess, that I preferred to stay in the pub and play cards than go out into the dangerous world outside, but it’s clear that CD Projekt RED hit on something fairly special with its throwaway minigame. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Paladins been improved by its updates?

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Playing Paladins is like walking into a supermarket in another country: you recognise most of the stuff in there, but everything is slightly wrong. But where exotic hypermarches have tubes of Prângles, cartons of Jiffy Cakes, and peanut-flavoured toothpaste, Paladins has bizarro versions of characters from Dota 2, Team Fortress, and Overwatch. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Rainbow Six Siege been improved by its updates?

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Ah, hello, and welcome to Rainbow Six Siege’s restaurant of blowing the shit out of walls. I’ll get you a menu shortly, but first, today’s specials.

Would ma’am like a breaching charge, unfurled and exploded so as to knock out a person-sized section? Or would she prefer to use burrowing grenades to excavate a perfect head-height peephole, through which she can take potshots? And for sir, may I suggest a thermite detonation powerful enough to punch through even reinforced barriers? Of course, one may choose to do the work oneself: to rip a hole in patchy plywood with a hail of bullets and make a gap either small enough to press an eye against, or big enough to pop a grenade through. All selections are excellent today — just as they were at launch. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Rocket League been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

Rocket League feels less like a game that was designed and more like something that was discovered. Like car football had always existed, floating around in the ether as a conceptual form that humans just get, and that developers Psyonix was simply the first to capture it in digital amber.

It’s that perfection of form that made Rocket League such a joy to play on its release in 2015. But it’s also that that initial perfection that makes the game difficult to mechanically improve with patches and updates. It’s car football — what else do you need to add? Read the rest of this entry »

Has Stellaris been improved by its updates?

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Hi! I’m an incredibly charismatic space otter, and I love you! Not just you! I love everyone, be they otter analogues, bird people, or particularly advanced fungal infections! I even love murderous robots, which I’m aware is not a great idea because they’re murderous robots!

At least that’s what StellarisScyldari would say, if they could do anything apart from bat their ears adorably on the game’s menu screens. Paradox’s Stellaris is freeform grand strategy, in the mould of the developer’s other games Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings, and as such is much more about numbers and menus than cut-scenes or narrative arcs. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Killing Floor 2 been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

Gaming’s greatest gun is still Doom’s double-barrelled shotgun. We have to all say that, right? For my money, though, slots two, three, four — all the way down to about 15 in the list of Top However Many Shootiest Guns in Videogames — belong to Killing Floor 2.

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Has Team Fortress 2 been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray — but in reverse. Read the rest of this entry »

Has For Honor been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

The burly girls and boys of For Honor might make a big show of their bravery, grunting and screaming their way to ignominious defeats and glorious victories, but their brutal hand-to-hand fights aren’t actually for hono(u)r. They’re for “Renown Points,” for “Steel,” for “Reputation,” for “Feats,” for “Salvage,” and for “War Assets.” They’re for a whole mess of currencies and awards that, six months after release, make For Honor feel as cluttered and clumsy as it was at launch.

This is a Ubisoft game, after all, so unless Hono(u)r can be capitalised, counted in blocks of 100, and displayed on an overly busy user interface, it’s hard to see where it would fit. There’s so much superfluous stuff going on already, with an overarching war map, TV-like seasons of conflict, and a complicated upgrade system obfuscating the core of the game: a historically improbable three-way thunderdome between samurai, knights, and vikings.

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Has Dead by Daylight been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a new fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

I’m starting to sympathise with Freddy Krueger. Here I am — a monstrous serial killer, armed with unheimlich powers and a wickedly sharp axe — and I’m being given the run-around by a gaggle of teens and twerps in dirty T-shirts. Why won’t they stay still? Why do they keep hiding? All I want to do is chase them down, beat them around the skull, and then heft them onto a rusted meat hook as an offering to the evil god that compels me to kill.

I’m playing Dead by Daylight as the Huntress: a bunny-masked murderer with a set of hatchets and an ooky habit of humming to herself. She’s one of the game’s newest killers, introduced last month in DLC released on the game’s first anniversary, and joins a collection of new characters that have kept the already enjoyable Dead by Daylight from spoiling over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Update Night – H1Z1: King of the Kill

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Update Night is a new fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse through ongoing development.

I had assumed that, were I trapped in a kill-or-be-killed nightmare future Battle Royale-type dealie, camouflage would be important. In a world where everyone very quickly gets their hands on some form of weapon, I’d want to take lessons from that Hunger Games kid and dress up as a rock, or — at the very least — find a nice pair of neutral khakis that would help me blend into the environment.

But the player-controlled murderers of H1Z1: King of the Kill [official site] don’t subscribe to that kind of wisdom. I’ve been killed by people in tie-dye leggings, by people in unicorn masks, and by one particularly memorable opponent who seemed to be cosplaying as a gorilla. They’ve killed me with luminous green shotguns and pearlescent assault rifles, and rather than pause to consider the emotional impact of taking another life, they’ve stood over my limp body, crotch-chopping like 1990s WWF wrestler.

I braved all this and more in order to appraise the game’s current condition. Has H1Z1: King of the Kill been improved by recent patches, and is it yet worth your time and money? Read the rest of this entry »