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So often the bleeding edge of games tech, yet so often fundamentally the same underneath: there’s a reason we can’t get enough of pretend shooting pretend people in their pretend faces. It is a pure test of skill and reflex, a game about movement at least as much as it is about violence, and done right it is absolutely delightful>. And hey, sometimes you get a decent gimmick or story thrown into the mix.
These are our favourite 50 first-person shooters on PC, from 1993-2017. Your favourite is at number 51.
There s something about trying to wrestle a monitor from your desk with the express intention of hurling it out of a window, only to find said window has long been painted shut, that really makes you stop and think: what am I doing? Mirror s Edge inspires many such moments. Moments of pure rage. But in among them, there s something else. Something special that keeps you from drowning this game in acid.
In a game of (often literal) highs and lows, Jacknife, Mirror s Edge s second chapter and its longest, remains a flawed gem for me. It has made me angrier than any level bar the last, but when I sit back and regard the game in its entirety, it s always Jacknife that I come back to as the standout.
While a good slice of the action of this game takes place on rooftops, Jacknife offers a blistering run through some truly memorable alternate locations. From the streets and the depths of the storm drains back up to the heights again, diversity is shovelled at you like coal into a fire.
I think that s what appeals to me the most. As beautiful as the rooftops are, some breathing room is always a good thing. And what better way to contrast the sharp, primary look of the roofs and pristine offices than going down to the streets and underworld. Alleyways and cement trenches lead to grimy maintenance rooms, there s a brief taste of the clean outside world, then you plunge into the maw of the storm drains.
The chore of getting down there while a helicopter vomits bullets at you is infuriating when you re exploring and pathfinding for the first time. If you re masochistic enough to be speed-running the level it s ten times worse. And that helicopter seriously? Can those guys spell waste of public resources ?
At first I was appalled at where I found myself. What the hell am I supposed to do here? Where are the rooftops? Where are the brilliant dashes of colour against the sea of white? What have they done? I despised it. I hated struggling to navigate the perilous gantries of the imposing underground chamber, with its glistening columns stretching to infinity, let alone avoiding the searching beams of the snipers on the upper levels.
Struggling and feeling lost here feeds your resentment. But then, slowly, as muscle memory developed and my pathfinding improved (often thanks to some useful YouTube speed-run videos) I started to appreciate the location. Despite it being such a dank, lonely place, in which you re made to feel so small, I began to enjoy the little touches. The lighting, the water, the scuffling and squeaking of my shoes as I wall-ran and short-cutted, and occasionally managed to double jump beams.
Gliding down a slope in a sheet of water cast in a Halloweeny green was one moment that became a favourite. Right up until I realised I d have to scramble back out of another drain, amid platforms and pipes. And then, bliss, I was back up to the rooftops with their jumble of air-con units and architectural bric-a-brac.
It isn t just the paying out of such contrasting places that stands out. It s the pace. Had I the chance to indulge my usual gaming habits and lollygag, meander, and generally faff about, the level may well have lost some of its charm. But taken as it is, at near breakneck pace, it transcends the string of locations to become a fluid, urgent tour, doused in panic.
The level practically drags you along before suddenly thrusting you into the role of pursuer as you set off across the rooftops after the titular Jacknife. This switch from hunted to hunter is masterful and exhilarating, used again later in the boat chapter, but to lesser effect.
The more I examined this chapter, and the more I allowed myself to become immersed (largely through self-imposed repetition) the more the negativity fell away, leaving only a deep appreciation and respect for the level design. A design that undulates beautifully through changing locales, playing with pace and testing your abilities at every turn.
Like the game itself, Jacknife isn t for everyone, and it will stretch your patience to breaking point, especially with the numerous glitches. But love it or loathe it, it remains the most memorable chapter in a flawed but brilliant and original game.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst was good, but not quite as good as we all hoped it would be: As close to a definitive version of a Mirror's Edge game as we're likely to get, Samuel wrote in his review, despite retaining some of the first game's issues. If you don't happen to be familiar with those issues, you might want to point yourself at GOG, which now has Mirror's Edge and two other not-exactly-recent EA releases, all of them currently on sale.
That means the original Mirror's Edge for $10, the Spore Collection for $12, and The Saboteur for $10. Mirror's Edge is probably the marquee game in the list, but Spore is the real deal: The regular price of Mirror's Edge and The Saboteur is the same on GOG as it is on Origin, but GOG's Spore Collection normally lists for $30, while the combined cost of the Spore titles on Origin (which doesn't offer them in a bundle) is a whopping $70. GOG's listing may be a sign that EA's prices are about to change, but unless and until that happens, if you want to buy Spore, you'll probably want to do it on GOG.
The only downside, at least when compared to classic GOG releases, is that the bundled extras are very spare. Mirror's Edge includes two wallpapers and two avatars, while Spore and Saboteur have nothing. (The manuals are listed as included goodies but I tend to view them as something that's included because they're part of the game. Call me old-fashioned, I guess.) Still, sale prices and DRM-free are nothing to sneeze at. All three games are available now, and will remain on sale until September 29.
I’ve got two VR headsets in my inappropriately small home, and I spend more time feeling guilty that I’m not using them than I do using them. Conceptually I love the tech, and I sporadically have a fine time with ‘experiences’ – i.e. virtual tourism to real or made-up places – when it comes to games-games I’m yet to get all that much out of it. But what about non-VR games rendered after-the-fact in VR? Could this be the full-fat virtual reality gaming I’d imagined when these headsets were first announced? … [visit site to read more]
You might have noticed all your friends’ avatars and profile pictures turning into comic book drawings or impressionistic paintings over the last few weeks. That’s because of Prisma, a photo editing app for iOS and Android that let’s you apply a couple of dozen filters to images you feed it. The app goes further than simply messing with the hue like Instagram does, using a process similar to Google Deep Dream to warp and twist photographs – without shoving fucked up dogs in every corner.
I spent last night feeding it game screenshots, to find out what No Man’s Sky, Half-Life 2, SimCity and more would look like if their artists abandoned realism.
We already chose 13 of our favourite games in the current Summer Steam sale, but more games have been discounted since. So, based on the entirely correct hypothesis that you all have completed every single one of our first round games and are now thirsting for more, here are 18 more to throw your spare change at. Everyone on the RPS team has picked three stone-cold personal favourites, making for a grand old set of excellent PC games: here’s what we chose and why.
I’m not clear to what extent ‘optioned’ means ‘actually making’ vs ‘we gave the folk who own the thing some cash to stop them from selling the rights to someone else’, particularly in an age where every TV firm wants its own Game Of Thrones or Walking Dead and so speculatively hoovers up rights to anything with name-recognition (I’m open to offers for Ian Football, by the by). In any case, EA’s Mirror’s Edge has been optioned by Endemol, and I can understand why. … [visit site to read more]
Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be bouncing onto PCs and consoles early next month, after which Faith's next stop seems to be her own TV show. A Deadline report says Endemol Shine Studios, the scripted division of Endemol Shine North America, home of such fine fare as Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, and MasterChef Junior, has acquired the rights to adapt the property into a female-centered action series.
We clearly see Mirror s Edge as a franchise for the global TV audience, Endemol Shine Studios President Sharon Hall said. It has a strong female protagonist, a wildly rabid fan base and a worldwide brand that Electronic Arts and EA DICE have done an amazing job establishing.
Statements from involved parties in the early stages of creative projects generally veer towards the hyperbolic, but even bearing that in mind I'm not sure that describing Mirror's Edge fans as wildly rabid is really the sweetspot in terms of PR mots justes. The game was more of a cult classic than a smash hit, and while there are plenty of people dearly hoping that Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be a satisfying sequel, it's not like we're talking about the Call of Duty crowd here.
Nonetheless, at least the reception isn't like to be worse than the one the Warcraft movie is receiving, right? Right?
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] might not be out for another two weeks, but that’s not stopping EA from showcasing some cryptic cutscenes in this suave new launch trailer. It’s got the standard dramatic swell of music punctuated by all-too-serious clipped together dialogue, but I actually like the way it blends in with the serene ambiance of the first game. You should probably just watch and see for yourself.