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

We live in complex times. When I was a youngster, it was perfectly reasonable to buy a game simply because it had more monsters than the other games. Playing through shooters, RPGs and platformers alike, I’d be tempted to give up when I reached the point where no new enemy types were appearing. The very idea of a game with only one type of enemy, no matter how intelligent and believable, was poison. Give me all of your mutants, demons and aliens>, I cried, give them to me now>.

Here are a few of my favourites, ranging from the first-person shooters of my teenage years to the surreal horrors of my childhood.

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

Modern-day military FPS Insurgency [official site] now has a World War 2 military FPS lurking inside it, like a matryoshka doll made from bullets. Insurgency developers New World Interactive built the foundations of mod Day of Infamy themselves but have opened it up to players to expand it. Yes, obviously it is inspired by Day of Defeat. Infamy required a beta client when it first launched in mid-January, but as of a few days ago it’s compatible with the game’s main branch for everyone to easily play.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Hayden Dingman)

Here’s a bit of nostalgia for you: Sven Co-op [official site] is now on Steam. The seventeen-year-old Half-Life mod is available as a free standalone game, and thanks to a fair bit of generosity on Valve’s part includes all of the Half-Life campaign maps. For free.

That means you can head to Steam, download the game, and start playing co-op Half-Life right now. Again, for free. No need for you or anyone you’re playing with to own Half-Life proper.

… [visit site to read more]

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

After 18 years at Valve, working on everything from Half-Life to Dota 2, writer Marc Laidlaw has confirmed that he’s retired from the company. That’s an eternity for the games industry! He wrote novels before getting into video games, and it sounds like he’s getting back to writing for himself.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

I’ve realised I miss watching other people play games. That’s perhaps a strange thought, given the ubiquity of Twitching live-streams and long plays on YouTube – but that’s really not what I mean. I mean sitting in the same room and watching as someone I know plays the game. It’s just not something that happens to me any more.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Okay, now we’re nearly 300 deep into these recommendations we’re clearly getting a little obscure, a little desperate, but it’s still possible that a few people will have played this oddity. Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, but as there’s been no Half-Life 3 in the eleven years since one can only assume it didn’t sell well.

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

Valve crept in during the night and left a little present under your Christmas PC (I’ve seen it, stuffed full of lights and gingerbread with a case window to show them off), a nice, big Team Fortress 2 [official site] update. Okay, yes, much of Tough Break Update is reserved for people who spend $6 to buy into the Tough Break ‘Campaign’ (a series of challenges like CS:GO’s Operations), and yes the new taunts it also adds are expensive, but the greatest gift of all is free: a look at the TF2 gang doing aerobics (sorry, Mannrobics) together.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Science & Industry was a mod for Half-Life in which two team did battle for control of a limited pool of scientists. Capture one and bring them back to your base and you could put them to work on researching new technologies, which would both aid your team in the fight and earn you money which would ultimately decide the match’s victor.

… [visit site to read more]

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

A free Portal-themed set of cosmetic items and flourishes will arrive in Rocket League [official site] tomorrow. There are gel trails for your nitro boosts, cake hats and decals, and heart-breaking Companion Cube antennae. There’s plenty more along those lines as well, and it’s all free, but I’m perhaps unfairly disappointed by the lack of actual portals. I hadn’t even considered how amazing it would be to attach a portal to the area above my own goalmouth, causing stray shots that enter to emerge right by the opponent’s goal. And if the cars could dash through portals as well? Beautiful chaos.

… [visit site to read more]

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

“Laughter is the best medicine,” say people who are about to discover laughter actually makes a broken nose worse. Laughter’s pretty okay, though, as are other emotions – and creative mediums can help stimulate them. Valve have rolled out the red carpet (it smells rusty?) for the year’s finest Source Filmmaker machinima, little films mostly starring Valve characters, declaring which are the bestest best so you too can easily experience such human emotions as Action, Comedy, Drama, Short, and Extended.

… [visit site to read more]

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