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

Click upon me.

Remember Dishonored? No, you’re thinking of BioShock. Dishonored was the one with the Blinking. Yes! Gosh, those were the days. But soon we can relive them again, as Bethesda have announced a series of add-ons (not expansions, and not DLC – “add-ons”) that will be coming out in coming months. First up in December (December?! That’s hundreds of years away!) is Dunwall City Trials, and it’ll cost you €5, or £4, or whatever it is Americans use for bartering these days.

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

Botinacula, since you asked.

Yesterday Jim wrote a superb piece arguing that games are best when everything is going wrong. That the measure of a game’s potential for generating anecdotes, and its depth of connection to the player, is based in the amount of peril it’s able to generate. Citing games like Day Z, FTL and XCOM, Jim’s argument made one small mistake: it was all wrong. Games aren’t best when they’re stressing you out, piling on the pressure, raising your anxiety levels to breaking point! Games are best when they embrace you into their wonderful worlds, telling you great stories, and letting you get away from the incessant worries of real life.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Must have been rats?

With Dishonored reactivating long-dormant stealth glands the world over, now seems a fine time to revisit perhaps its primary ancestor, the Thief games. Doom 3 total conversion The Dark Mod is a mightily ambitious attempt to recreate Thief – its mechanics if not its actual missions – in a more modern, and very much darkness-orientated, engine. It’s just had a major update and a promising new mission added too.

I’m going to insert a ‘Read the rest of this entry’ link now, if that’s okay. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

I once read a suggestion by conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, that you could drop all of culture into two broad categories (I paraphrase): “High culture”, which is best appreciated with some formal education about what is going on with it (difficult literature, opera) and “Low Culture”, which is basically everything in folk, primitive, and pop culture, for which education is not required. Sounds stupid and elitist, doesn’t it? Scruton himself admits many caveats, as I recall. It’s clearly impossible to create two such categories. But recently, well, I’ve started to think that perhaps he’s right about the education thing. At least when it comes to videogames.

I speak with reference to this FT article about a non-gamer judging videogames, and subsequent defences of the same. Actually, no, I don’t think we really need to worry about what non-gamers think of games. And that is because, in this instance, we are the highly educated elite.

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

Stealth game fans pay heed. Over the next two days RPS hosts a conversation between Nels Anderson, Lead Design of Mark Of The Ninja, and a number of other stealth-game luminaries, as they discuss matters of of sneaking and hiding in videogame form. Anderson talks to Patrick Redding, Game Director on Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco, and Raphael Colantonio, co-creative director of Dishonored.

This is part one, part two will appear tomorrow. Onwards! (But stay out of sight…)> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Dishonored is pretty great. Incredible, even – at least, in places. We’ve had many wordthinks about it, and odds are, the future will bring many more. Those, however, are for another time. Today, we’re giving the angular, Viktor-Antonov-designed spotlight over to one of the main minds behind the whale-powered wonder, Harvey Smith. From System Shock to the original Deus Ex to an ill-fated Area 51 reboot to a canceled RTS and even a brief stint in mobile gaming, he’s seen all corners of the gaming industry. But – dare I suggest it – there’s far more to life than videogames. So I sat down with Smith to discuss how and why he does what he does, and as it turns out, he may well be just as incredible as the game he played a crucial role in creating – if not more so.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Saddle up, cuddles

Look at you, hackers. Rummaging through Skyrim’s files and turning up references to what might – but only might – be the game’s next and perhaps most ambitious DLC. If the details revealed and shared hold weight, the next pack could be called Dragonborn, and could include FLYING ON THE BACK OF DRAGONS plus new locations that fall tantalisingly close to the hallowed province of Morrowind on the atlas of Tamriel. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

a queue to buy a turn-based strategy game, yesterday

The UK game retail charts are about as relevant to PC gaming – and indeed gaming as a whole – as Mars Bars are to the red planet, knickers are to a fish or kindness is to the Murdoch dynasty. Nonethless, I feel compelled to mention this week’s, purely because they suggest that even the most mainstream field of games isn’t as resistent to new ideas and thoughtfulness as the moneymen who think Call of Honor is the only profitable game in town might believe.

While the deathless Fédération Internationale de Foot-to-ball Association retained the number one spot, Dishonored snuck straight in to 2 and XCOM to 7. Hurrah for new things doing well! (more…)

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

But Samuel would prefer that we keep rivers.

As RPS has long pointed out, staggered international release dates for games may well please high street stores, but they piss off just about everyone else in the world. The archaic, anachronistic notion that a game should come out on Tuesday in the US, and Friday in Europe, was pretty daft when a trip to the shops was the only way to get a game. To still do it when everything is online is aching stupidity. And it’s a real shame to see games as great as XCOM and Dishonored being sullied by this utter nonsense. You want an extra kick in the teeth? On Wednesday 10th October, a day after the game was released in the US, Bethesda have seen fit to release the “UK Launch Trailer”, two full days before it’s actually out over here.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

Bethesda send word that the latest Skyrim DLC, Hearthfire, arrives on PC today, after its pointless period of exclusivity on whichever console it was. It costs $5. The DLC will enable Skyrimfolk to build their own home – rather than simply buying an existing one – and then furnish it with “an armory, alchemy laboratory, stable, garden” and, as I understand it, adopted children. There’s some more craft stuff in there, too, with workbenches for the fashioning of things from wood and clay. Despite this healthy-sounding shopping list I understand that’s not particularly in-depth, so don’t expect The Sims with cat people.

The trailer lurks below. (more…)

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