Listen now or be ignored
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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In the shadow of Shadow Wars
I hate defending fortresses in Middle-earth: Shadow of War. I hate it so much, in fact, that when an army of orcs from the Machine tribe showed up at the gates of my fortress in Núrnen in Mordor’s sunny southeast, I just went to the menu, clicked “Leave Mission,” and let them have it.
And so it often went with Shadow of War’s controversial fourth act – called The Shadow Wars – which involves a 10-stage series of battles over different fortresses before you can reach the “real” ending. Some say it’s essentially impossible to complete without using purchasable loot boxes stuffed with legendary quality gear and orcs for your army if you run out of money, with Polygon going so far as to say that the system is “predatory.” I, on the other hand, said in my own Shadow of War review that I didn’t get the point of the loot boxes. I never felt the need to use them. After playing a lot more of Shadow Wars, I feel the same way, and although I mainly came to that conclusion by pulling stunts like the one above, that “stunt” made the game more fun. I sincerely believe developer Monolith Productions could remove the boxes right now and it’d make little tangible difference to the game. Read the rest of this entry »
Bigger and better
I never thought I’d be playing Pokémon with Tolkienian orcs, but here I am in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, standing with my army before the fortress of Khargukôr amid the snowy peaks of Seregost.
The orc in charge is a dainty fellow who calls himself Krímp the Rhymer, and I can’t help but admire his fashion sense in this grubby world. That immaculately crafted leather jerkin. That bycocket with the two red feathers that match the shafts in his quiver. Such style. I almost want to let him be. Fortunately he shatters that thought when we meet in person and he blurts the cringy battlecry “Your fate has gone from bad to worse / You face an orc who speaks in verse!” Some crimes can’t go unpunished. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen now or fall to pieces
It’s warm! Luckily the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, have come together to talk cold games, like chilly survivalist city-builder Frostpunk. That’s because Adam is back from E3 and can tell us (Brendan and Pip) all about it. He’s also played Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the lucky sod. Spill the beans, Adam! No wait, don’t. We need those.
This week’s back-to-normal-length episode also sees us talking about Darkest Dungeon‘s latest expansion, The Crimson Court, esoteric desert survival RPG Kenshi, and some news about GTA V and the sad fate of its modders. Also: the return of our patch notes quiz, Patch Adam, this time featuring Dwarf Fortress. Read the rest of this entry »
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Maybe it’s the E3 scent in the air or maybe it’s just that I’m craving some big budget biffing, but I’m missing my favourite Multiple-A franchises right now. The Arkham games in particular. Oh, to be the bat-like man once more. Read the rest of this entry »