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No. Let’s not be ridiculous. But there are so many examples of bad survival games that it s important to remember the good ones. So that s what we are doing on the latest RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. We’re breaking stones over the heads of rubbish survival games, but cooking, salting and eating the delicious ones. Adam wraps himself up in The Long Dark but reluctantly sets Project Zomboid on fire to stay warm. Matt gets sea sickness from Subnautica but wants to swim again anyway. And Brendan freedives into Subnautica too, in an attempt to escape from all the mediocre survival games set on red planets. (more…)
Among Rain World's best tricks is that it doesn't end with you. Fall afoul of the reptiles who coil and flop through its moulting, fungal catacombs and you'll be dragged to a crevice and swiftly guzzled. The restart prompt appears, but you're under no pressure to hit the button, and really, what's your hurry? Death is an opportunity to enjoy Joar Jakobsson's chiselled 16-bit aesthetic and the game's AI ecosystem at leisure, freed from the rat-race of its core mechanics.
Predators come and go from boltholes: depending on where you've copped it, you might even see them fight, tumbling through the muck in a writhing knot, coughing up bright bubbles of neon blood. Light drifts over backdrop layers, burnishing dead machinery and throwing the shadows of unseen structures across the view, an effect that rather uncannily places the environment behind the player, as though you were perched on a rail in the foreground. It's mesmerising and, given Rain World's difficulty, reassuring: where other game worlds turn on the player's motions and decisions, your participation here is never represented as essential. This grotty, inhuman reality was getting on just fine before you arrived, and however hard the rain may fall, it will continue long after you are gone.
Games are fond of ending the world or staging its total corruption, and 2017 has (appropriately enough) delivered a bumper crop of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fantasies - all thrillingly distinct, and each a commentary on or unwitting reflection of historical forces that threaten disaster in reality, from climate change to religious fanaticism. Some of them take a guilty pleasure in the idea. For a role-playing shooter like Destiny 2, the apocalypse continues to be wish-fulfilment for compulsive hoarders and gladiators, a return to a simpler, more permissive "heroic" era, steeped in the pomp and hubris of the Space Race and the work of venerated sci-fi illustrators like Syd Mead and Chesley Bonestell.
The harsh and wet ruins of Rain World are now slightly less harsh (but still just as wet), say developers Videocult. That s good, that s real good. In the summer we learned there d someday be an easier Monk mode for anyone struggling with the game’s “disco lizards”, as well as a harder Hunter mode for anyone who thought death by a dozen leeches did not come quick enough. Well, it’s here in the form of a beta. (more…)
I really liked Rain World, but I'm also really bad at it, and so I ultimately moved on to other things without making very much progress. But now I have a reason to go back—several in fact. The 1.51 update, which was announced in June, is now in open beta on Steam, bringing with it new difficulty levels, multiplayer modes, and "new secrets, strangeness, and hopefully a generally smoother Rain World experience."
The new difficulties actually come in the form of two new playable characters. The Monk, "weak of body but strong of spirit," will round off some of the game's sharper edges: "In tune with the mysteries of the world and empathetic to its creatures, your journey will be a significantly more peaceful one," developer Videocult said.
For those who for some reason think that Rain World wasn't hard enough out of the box, there is the Hunter. "Strong and quick, with a fierce metabolism requiring a steady diet of meat. But the stomach won’t be your only concern, as the path of the hunter is one of extreme peril," the studio warned. Playing as the Hunter will also introduce a number of strange new creatures to eat—or be eaten by.
The update will also introduce a four-player competitive mode, in which players earn points by catching bats and spearing creatures (including each other), and a sandbox mode, also for up to four players, that enables creatures and items to be placed and played with so players can experiment and learn more about how they behave and how to deal with them.
To access the Rain World 1.51 update, right-click the game listing in your Steam library, hit Properties from the menu, and then select the Betas tab. Enter MANYSLUGCATS into the beta key field (I don't know if it actually needs to be in all-caps but that's what they said, so that's what I did) and then check the code. That will make "beta - new release!" available in the dropdown menu—select that, download the 280MB update, and you're all set.
Note that you won't be able to switch difficulties in an existing game: If you want to try the Monk or Hunter, you'll need to start a new game. Fortunately, Rain World has three separate save slots, so you can horse around with all three without having to give up on my progress made.
When we looked at survival platformer Rain World [official site] we found a gorgeous and intriguing world but one that often felt too brutal to fully enjoy. So it s good news that an upcoming expansion will add an easier mode, where you play as a yellow slugcat nicknamed The Monk who needs less food to survive and doesn t provoke the ire of as many of the world s vicious animals. Namaste, little Monkcat.
This is only one feature of the upcoming update, say developers Videocult. Also planned are a level editor, multiplayer arenas and perhaps most exciting a host of new creatures. Come peep at the deets. … [visit site to read more]
For those who bounced straight off Rain World due to its difficulty, the game's forthcoming expansion will be a good reason to return. Among other things, the update will usher in two new playable characters, basically coloured variations of the game's slugcat protagonist.
The new yellow slugcat (aka The Monk) will attract less ire from the game world's volatile inhabitants and is, overall, "more at peace with nature". Meanwhile, the new pink slugcat (aka The Hunter) will up the difficulty further. "The hunter must make predators into prey, killing and eating larger creatures such as lizards to survive," so says the description.
"Its heightened metabolism makes it faster, stronger and more dangerous, but also means that it requires significantly more food to survive hibernation." Good luck with that, masochists, though the hunter will be able to carry more spears.
New creatures, flora and fauna will be added too, and will feature depending on which of the three slugcat varieties you're playing as. But most interestingly, a new multiplayer mode will be introduced. It's a four-player arena-style mode which take place in "over 50 unlockable new rooms".
Finally, Steamworks compatibility is being worked on too, with a level editor scheduled to roll out with the update. As for when that happens, there's no official date yet, but we'll let you know. Read the full update post over here, or read my review of the game.
Here s some cheapo games because you like cheapo things and you re a cheapo person. Don t give me that look, I m just being honest. The same folks that do this sort of thing all the time are Humbling Bundling survival platformer Rain World together with Glittermitten Grove, which is a fairy management sim and definitely not hiding any other amphibious videogames inside its slimy belly sac, if that s what you re thinking. This is all part of the Adult Swim bundle, which includes some other bits and bobs. … [visit site to read more]
Hark! It’s the sound of our sweet voices taking up an hour of your precious time. The RPS podcast of old, the Electronic Wireless Show, has returned in a fresh new body. We’ve got news, interviews and silly features, as well as some of the traditional idle chat.
This week, Pip, Adam and I are chatting about Far Cry 5‘s “Last Supper” image, the recent layoffs at Hitman developer IO Interactive, and enjoying a jaunt through melancholy puzzler Old Man’s Journey. There’s also some Quickfire Questions with the developers of survival puzzler Rain World, news from Paradox Con and lots more. … [visit site to read more]
I finally completed Dark Souls III [official site] last week, a world that I have been dipping in and out of between bouts of listlessness since its release in April last year. It didn t grip me like the first revered Dark Souls, but it still made me sad to know it was all over. Where could I go now for my Souls fix? The answer, it turns out, is loads of places. The games industry is quietly reverberating with the series influence. From small games boasting souls-like combat, to bigger games doing weird things with death and player messages. Meanwhile, our PlayStation brethren got Nioh, which took the pocket full o souls idea and simply renamed them Amrita . There is a popular complaint that everything in the industry is now being compared to Dark Souls, and it’s easy to forget that games embraced difficulty and strangeness long before the Bed of Chaos made you weep with frustration. Nevertheless, the mechanics and the tone of Miyazaki s magnum opus is leaking into games everywhere.
That there’s an influx of Soulsian disciples out there isn t a problem to me. My problem is that they are learning all the wrong lessons. At least, they are neglecting the most important one. But first let s look at what sly tricks are being lifted from the series, and who is lifting them. … [visit site to read more]