Dear Esther - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The Chinese Room, the studio behind Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Dear Esther as well as Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, have laid off their development team and are “going dark” for a bit while they figure out “what happens next”. Financial and personal pressures were too much, see, so they’re taking a break. When they come back, they say, it won’t be to make walking sims. I don’t know why they mention walk ’em ups after Pip and I settled once and for all that Dear Esther and Rapture are not walking simulators, but there you go. (more…)

The Journey Down: Chapter One - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

“Episodic adventure” is a term that, aside from the grisly churn of Telltale’s erratic model, has pretty much been abandoned by the industry. Tried it, didn’t work. And it was especially risky for small indie studios who all discovered, simultaneously, that it takes a really, really long time to make an adventure game, even if you split up the task. Hence the really superb The Journey Down [official site] having its first chapter appear in 2012, its second a hefty two years later in 2014, and now it’s third and final a whopping three years later than that. This was never the plan. But it’s complete! And out now, with a trailer below. (more…)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

A funny old week in the charts, which is to say, H1Z1 and The Witcher 3 have been shoved out by the hatrick of appearances from Stellaris. Also it’s worth noting that Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider has disappeared after just one week, which seems a bit of a shame.

Oh, and as correctly predicted last week, absolutely no sign of XCOM 2 making nearly as much money now it’s back to 34.99 for both the base game and> the War of the Chosen expansion. Shocking! (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Sundays are for celebrating apples, if the weather is good enough, and bumming around town with the family if not. Good games writing comes rain or shine though.

Fortnite is moving into Plunkbat territory, to the consternation of Plunkers. Fortnite fan Janine Hawkins has a different issue though: that a battle royale mode misses what makes Fortnite special. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

ultimaonlineanniversary

I’ll never forget where I was when I heard that Lord British had been killed.

The character, Ultima creator Richard Garriott’s alter-ego and in-game avatar, burned to a crisp during a beta test of Ultima Online on August 9th, 1997. The game officially launched a month and a half later, twenty years ago today, and I loved it in a way that has kept me from loving any massively multiplayer RPG released since. It might not look like much now, but back then it looked like the future and I could only imagine the kind of worlds I’d be building an alternate online life in twenty years down the line. I can still only imagine them because the spirit of Ultima Online, at least what it meant to me, seemed to wither on the vine.

(more…)

Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

car-mechanic-simulator-2018-upate

Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 [official site], the curiously zen-like, genre-defying game of hypnotic vehicular repair, is very much back on the road these days, but it was not ever thus. CMS18 launched in a rather troubled state, rife with bugs and interface peculiarities, but to the credit of both developers and players, it was rapidly and repeatedly patched, backlash was restrained and the result is an excellent game that’s rarely far from the upper reaches of the Steam best-sellers chart.

But what, exactly happened – and are the developers now confident that CMS is ship-shape? Also: what is it about this superficially car-nerds-only game that makes it so compelling to almost anyone willing to pick up a virtual wrench? (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Welcome to autumn! This is the first weekend of the season, a time to sit on a park bench watching leaves rust and tutting at those which are already falling. A few weeks from now, we’ll be gaily kicking through leafy streets and puffing little clouds of steam. A few days after that, we’ll be unleashing big steamy puffs as we cuss up a storm at the damn fool sodden leafmash that made us fall on our jacksie.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. (more…)

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The makers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] today effectively puffed their chest, pointed at Epic Games, and growled “I’m watching you, sunshine.” They’ve issued a statement addressing comparisons between Battlegrounds and Epic’s new Battle Royale mode in Fortnite, saying that some players have pointed out similarities and now Bluehole are “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.” Which is foolishness, of course. Even creator Brendan ‘Playerunknown’ Greene himself has told us he doesn’t “claim ownership” over Battle Royale modes. Bluehole muttering about contemplating “further action” seems a hollow threat but hey, maybe by making it they’ll save face. (more…)

DEFCON - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

spawn-pont-company-of-heroes

Hello. This is Spawn Point, a new not-quite-regular feature in which we take a genre, series or other facet of gaming culture, and try to convince you to give it a shot. It might be those hero shooters you ve always wanted to get into, or that terrifying space game played by thousands of jerks. We ll briefly explain the thing, followed by some ways for you to breach it.

First up, it s… the real-time strategy. (more…)

Screamer 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

best-new-steam-games-sep-17

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best overlooked new releases on Steam.

This week: choose your own trousers, Devil Daggers on a motorbike, forgotten rally classics and No Meow’s Sky. (more…)

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