Ancient Frontier - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samuel Horti)

Ancient Frontier

Ancient Frontier [official site] is a hexy thing. It’s a space strategy game where you and your ships blast through other fleets to the backdrop of a story about warring factions and intergalactic intrigue. I’m a sucker for hex-based battlefields so I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out, and developers Fair Weather Studios are trying to let the story drive the game, with two campaigns that have fully-voiced dialogue. I don’t have long to wait as Fair Weather have confirmed a release date of September 21st.

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Conan Exiles - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samuel Horti)

Conan Exiles frozen north

Early access survival game Conan Exiles [official site] added a new chilly region called the Frozen North this week. It brings with it new weather types including rain and snow, alongside a temperature system that will affect the whole game: you’ll have to wrap up warm in the new area and strip off in the game’s desserts.

There’s shiny weapons to swing at new beasts, including wolves, bears, frost giants and mammoths, fresh dungeons to crawl and new materials to find and cobble together into shelters and items. Plus, you can now summon an Avatar (Exile’s versions of embodied Gods) called Ymir: Lord of Storm and War, who is a giant frosty dude with a big beard, antler horns and a huge axe that can level whole towns.

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

Sundays are for hanging out with your kid, taking them somewhere fun, and hoping they’ll play on their own for at least a few minutes while you browse on your phone. Quick, before he or she notices the phone in your hand – click these links to the week’s best games writing.

The lovely Rab Florence, our former Cardboard Children columnist, is launching a new tabletop game review show. It sounds very Rab: Cast The Bones is described as, “a Lovecraftian horror satire about a dead board game review.” I will definitely watch this. It’s currently up on Patreon and at the time of writing a little more than halfway towards its funding goal.

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Ogre - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samuel Horti)

Ogre

The video game adaption of Steve Jackson Games’ wargame Ogre [official site], which is about battles between super-powered AI war machines rather than man-eating giants, is coming out on 5 October, developers Auroch Digital have announced.

I haven’t played the tabletop version, but a glance at the rules reference sheet tells me that one player controls a single, immensely powerful Ogre and the other tries to fend it off with armoured hovercraft, big tanks and infantry. The video game version expands that formula with multiple units on both sides taking part in turn-based strategic combat on a hexy battlefield. The Ogres are still as scary, mind (there’s one in the bottom right of the picture above).

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Killing Floor 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samuel Horti)

Killing Floor Incursion

Chop a zombie’s head off with an axe, grab the skull and chuck it at one of his ghoulish friends, all using your own, real-life hands. That’s the kind of thing you can do in Killing Floor: Incursion [official site], which is out now and brings combat based on the excellent Killing Floor games to virtual reality. It’s exclusive to the Rift right now and requires the Oculus Touch to play, so there’s a big barrier to entry, but if you’re already kitted out then it could be a go-er.

The combat looks intense, and you can shoot through the hordes on your own or with a friend in co-op. The Touch gameplay means you can slash your knives in whatever direction and angle you want, or chuck a shotgun to a friend so they can blow the head off a zombie that’s getting too close. Plus, it looks bloody terrifying: the Killing Floor games weren’t exactly scary but being in VR means there’s no escape. Gulp.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

The Norwood Suite

I thought the style looked familiar! The Norwood Suite [official site] is the new game from Off-Peak creator Cosmo D. Off-Peak, you might remember, is the surreal train station experience Alice and I played which I’d tend to describe as an experiential collage more than a game, if you’re into that categorisation. You should definitely play it if you’re looking for a curious project for the weekend – it’s free.

The Norwood Suite seems to have a similar style and is set in the same universe but is about a secluded, mysterious hotel filled with secrets. It now has an official launch date too so Alice and I can pencil in some time to play it simultaneously over the phone! October 2, if you are thinking of doing the same with your pals…

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

Here’s a game I call Reboot, Remake, Rip Off. It works like Flip, Marry, Kill but with video games and without putting your genitals near anything, being more about which of the options you would most like to see rebooted, remade, and widely copied from, yeah? Let’s start with some neglected first-person shooters.

Reboot, remake, rip off: Red Faction, F.E.A.R., and Sin?

Answers and arguments in the comments, gang.

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

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

I had thought Blizzard were about done with big StarCraft II balance changes, or at least had decided which units should be in the game, but nope! This week they announced a load of changes for all factions in multiplayer, redesigning some units and outright removing one. Blizzard explain, “This time around our general focus is to address underused units and abilities while also trying to reduce sudden game ending moments.” The changes are now live for public testing but won’t launch properly until after the current season ends in November. They’ve got a lot to test and think about. (more…)

Pyre - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Claudia Lo)

pyre-revolution-1

How many times have you played as The Hero of the Revolution? Where you get to lead the charge against an evil government, backed by a rag-tag rebel group, as a rough, gruff outsider. You re the one who drives the action, at the head of every important rebel action – it s your guts and your guns that will win glory for the revolution. You re the face of change, in that you literally show up on all the WANTED posters. The rebels cheer for you when you walk close. Everyone assures you history will remember your name.

Pyre s not that game. You re just a hero of the revolution, no capital letters, and certainly no glory. No one will remember your face, much less your name.

Extensive spoilers for Pyre follow. (more…)

Layers of Fear - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

observeheader

In Observer [official site], AKA David Cronenberg’s Bladerunner, Rutger Hauer is having a very bad day. It begins with a phone call, some family problems, and ends in blood and regret. Hauer lends his voice to the player character, who is the titular Observer, a special kind of cop who can jack into suspects’ memories, hopes and fears as a means of interrogation. To do so, he inserts a cable into a chip lodged in their brain and connects it to his own gray matter.

Around a quarter of the way through this particular grim night, he dives into the mind of a person who has just died, an act of necro-hacking that is totally against protocol. That’s when things get really> weird.

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