Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Amanda Kerri)

Video games always come with an expectation that the player will suspend disbelief to some extent. Genetically engineered super-soldier clones don t exist, radiation has never and will never work like that, and overweight Italian plumbers could never make that jump. In most cases, if we are unwilling or unable to suspend our disbelief, we may well struggle to enjoy the game and our questioning of the basics of its reality would probably make us insufferable to be around.

There are some games however, where the realities of our world are key to enjoying the game. These are the builders like City Skylines, simulators and sports games like Prison Architect and FIFA, and even crime games like Grand Theft Auto. One genre has a particular problem when it comes to maintaining a foot in the real world yet still creating a setting where one can have fun without becoming mired in morally questionable events and choices: historically based games. And among historical games, few subjects are as complex to represent as slavery. Many have tried, from Europa Universalis IV and Victoria II to Civilization and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, and in this article I’ll investigate the portrayal and use of slavery in these games and more to explore what they get right, what they get wrong, and how games could do better in future.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

The kung fu rabbits of Overgrowth [official site] have been around in a playable form since I was a small and ancient protozoa, so I won t accept the game s sudden switch from alpha to beta as news. But I will take notice when told that the story campaign of its predecessor, Lugaru, has been adapted into the fisticuffs framework of the sequel, meaning there should now be something to do in the game besides biffing anthropomorphic wolves in the skull until they fly across the map in ragdoll pain. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Kate Gray)

Content warning: this review discusses a rape scene.>

Sex in games is a (t)horny issue. Games are predominantly made for and marketed at men, and thus most games that attempt to cause a panic in your battlestations are normally pointing their hormone missiles at your throbbing periscope and not the, uh, hang on, there aren t any vagina analogues in this terrible, tortured metaphor.

Look, Ladykiller in a Bind [official site] is set on a boat. A cruise, in fact – from Halifax, Canada to Southampton, England. For some reason, a bunch of incredibly wealthy, privileged teens are on this cruise. To Southampton>. Obviously, the thought of going shopping in Southampton s glittering WestQuay mall (there s a Swarovski!) is enough to get these teens all riled up in their unwhisperables, and that s where you come in: a handsome, charming, absolute bastard of a boy ready and willing to do whatever it takes (sex) to get what you want (more sex).

… [visit site to read more]

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

Nintendo’s new console, the Swapsie, isn’t even out but word has already leaked of a PC port for flagship game Super Mario Odyssey. A new cut of Odyssey’s trailer shows the PC version, which naturally boasts higher-fidelity graphics and — goodness me! — Nintendo have embraced the ‘mature’ nature of PC gaming. When toonman Mario ventures into the real world on PC, he sparks fisticuffs with pedestrians, gets chased by armed police, visits strip clubs, and suffers terrible accidents. Oh, Mario! Sadly, the PC version also renames New Donk City (the best place name in any video game) to Liberty City. Here, wrap your peepers around this trailer: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Have I ever told you about The Repopulation? *you shake your head, gently, afraid* > The Repopulation [official site] was a science fiction MMO that always smiled. Back in the halcyon days of 2013 it was even considered handsome, rugged, intriguing. It appealed to all those searching for a new Star Wars Galaxies, along with offering en vogue base-building and player-run factions. It swanned into the spotlight, promising a return to the social aspects and grand scale of older MMOs like Ultima Online. *Puts on gloves* >But after just one year in early access it began to decay. The two developers Idea Fabrik and Above and Beyond had a disagreement over royalties, you see. The servers were shut down, leaving its players out in the cold. And ever since, The Repopulation has been lying in its sarcophagus, quiet, peaceful, and mummified.

Until now. … [visit site to read more]

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

“If Frozen Synapse and Battlerite had a baby, it would bear an uncanny resemblance to Atlas Reactor,” said Matt Cox, which reminds me that I’m grossly failing in my duties as his self-appointed moral guardian. I should have given that young lad the ‘copulation’ talk years ago. But if you’re interested in tactical team combat played out through simultaneous turns, you might be interested to hear that developers Trion World have chucked a uey — again — and turned Atlas Reactor [official site] free-to-play. This switch comes alongside the launch of a new season with a new character. … [visit site to read more]

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

Books and syringe boxes both open. Obviously.

Mysterium [official site] is one of my favourite board games. It’s somewhere between Dixit and Cluedo in that you’re a psychic trying to find a murder’s culprit, location and weapon but the only clues you have to go on are these wonderfully illustrated cards given to you by the “ghost” player which form your psychic visions. The game now has an official online version so I’ve been checking it out to see how it translates.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Krogan Warhammer. Not pictured: Krogan.

Hello. I am OSTENSIBLY writing this news post to tell you that Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] will have dedicated melee weapon slots and you can craft and name weapons to put in those slots but SECRETLY* to let you know that IF I do deign to play Massdromeda there will DEFINITELY be a thing called a WARRHAMMER in my game. … [visit site to read more]

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

What I dig so much about Little Nightmares [official site] is that the nightmares aren’t little – you are. Vast hands emerge from the shadows on snaking arms. Clammy chefs bloated like drowned corpses reach for you cowering under tables. A sea of shoes. The world of Tarsier Studios’ puzzle-platformer looks dreadful in the most wonderful way. Adam will tell you it’s pleasing to play too, or at least the preview version he played was. The rest of us will finally get to venture into its undersea dollhouse soon-ish, as Little Nightmares now has a release date: April 28th. … [visit site to read more]

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

She Remembered Caterpillars

She Remembered Caterpillars [official site] is a game I’m currently in the process of reviewing so I’ll be able to tell you Wot I Think shortly. In the meantime here’s your heads up that the game (formerly known as Perlinoid) is out today and features beautifully illustrated colour gate puzzles. … [visit site to read more]

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