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

‘Project Louisiana’ is the name of oft-revered RPG studio Obsidian’s next game, they’ve revealed, along with a graphic implying farmlands and a quote about facing up to some grim reality. Now, last summer rumours flew that a ‘Fallout: New Orleans’ was in the offing, based on an unverified and subsequently removed European trademark registration.

A whole mess of people looked at Obsidian expectantly, given that they were behind – don’t mention the war> – well-received Fallout 3 spin-off New Vegas. They all but shot down the idea – but now they’ve pointedly codenamed their new’un after New Orleans’ home state. … [visit site to read more]

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

The new Fallout 4 mod Revolted [Nexus page] combines past and present in an impressive yet horrifying combination by adding a rude ‘tude ’90s FPS to the apocalyptoworld as an in-game video game. The checklist:

A growling protagonist? With politeness issues? And a cigar welded to his teeth? Crates? Barrels? Colour-coded locked doors? First-person platforming?

The nuked-out world of tomorrow is more grim than ever before. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

If you've grown a little bored with Fallout 4's holotape minigames, here's something a bit more entertaining. It's a mod called Revolted, and it gives you a custom retro 1990s-style corridor shooter that you can play inside Fallout 4. The mod, created by Cohagen, has a pulse-pounding chiptune soundtrack, wonderfully stilted and over-serious voice acting, and some 2D digitized sprites sprinkled into the 3D levels for some added nostalgia.

With the mod installed, head to Concord, where inside the Speakeasy you'll find a computer terminal on the second floor. Activate it, and you can play Revolted. In the mingame, you inhabit an ass-kicking, cigar-chomping Overseer with a gravelly voice and no patience for mutants, perhaps inspired by Duke Nukem.  The door to your vault has been opened, allowing monsters inside, and your job is to close it again, while blasting your way through zombies and other enemies. 

You're not just shooting, mind you: There are a few interactions with NPCs (also deliberately poorly voiced), some of that shitty '90s platforming that was always shoehorned into shooters of that era, and of course, you'll have to hunt for colored keycards to open various progress-blocking doors.

It's an impressive mod, both fun and funny, as well as a bit profane (there are a number of references to male genitalia). The awkward dialogue and voice acting, plus the music and sound effects, perfectly reflect shooters of the '90s.

It's also got a few surprises I won't spoil, other than to say that there's an amusing boss battle near the end. And when you decide you're finished with the minigame, take care: it might not be finished with you. 

You'll find Revolted over at Nexus Mods.

PC Gamer

Picture the world of Fallout 4, only instead of centuries after the apocalypse it's the time period just after the bombs fell. The overworld is still heavily radioactive and will quickly kill any unprotected human, so the few survivors remaining cluster underground in subway tunnels along with freshly-created ghouls and mutated dogs. The NPCs and story you know from Fallout 4 aren't present, and there's only a single quest: don't die.

It's a mod called Frost Survival Simulator, and as you'll see below I repeatedly failed that one quest. The mod is pre-alpha, though very playable and extremely difficult. It's also pretty darn fun playing Fallout 4 with the story stripped away, some survival elements added, combat overhauled, and the challenge ramped through the roof.

Naturally, my first inclination was to see just how deadly Frost was above ground. Since the mod starts you in front of a few doors, one of which leads to the surface, I take a quick stroll outside. It is a bit Metro 2033 out there, and I immediately begin taking a large dose of rads. I don't die from the radiation, though, thanks to a bug that scuttles over and quickly (and explosively) chews one of my arms off.

Okay! I'll be sticking to the subway tunnels then, at least until I've got some rad-proof gear and maybe a small tank to deal with the wildlife. After some scrounging, I come away with a mildly protective outfit, a smiley-face mask, and some odds-and-ends for crafting. The mod makes resources scarce, so don't expect to quickly load your pockets with useful gear. I'm a fan of this: there's just so much junk in vanilla Fallout that few things feel really precious. In Frost, every empty bottle feels like a treasure.

I skulk over to a door, open it, and find myself staring at a pack of ghouls who are dining on the remains of some poor former survivor. I'm spotted and decide to crabwalk away as fast as I can, since I haven't found so much as a letter opener to defend myself with yet. I manage to elude the ghouls and finally find a weapon: a frag mine. Unfortunately, I find it by stepping on it. There goes my arm again.

I'm skulking far too quickly, I decide. I need to slow down even more if I'm going to have any chance of making it. Eventually, I locate a pipe wrench, and even enough cloth and antiseptic to craft some bandages at a chemistry bench. Then I continue skulking.

Apparently there are factions you can interact with in Frost, but my only interactions thus far have involved a free exchange of head wounds. Every NPC I've met has immediately brandished a weapon: while scurrying around, I come across a small collection of survivors who have made a home out of a subway station. One of them immediately detects me and charges, though I'm able to drop a frag mine I've scavenged and blow him up as I'm backpedaling away.

In a somewhat comical fashion, I'm introduced to the rest of the gang as they emerge one by one over the battlements, like prairie dogs. 

Enemy AI has been tweaked in Frost. NPCs don't have unlimited ammo: they have a fixed amount and can only shoot as long as they have shells. Plus, low-level enemies will fire a bit more inaccurately than high-level ones. I'm grateful for this: one of the gang members takes a few shots at me, but misses.

I do what any sensible person would do with the odds stacked against them: I take a nap. Since the only way to save my progress is by sleeping in a bed, and the only bed I've found is in the mod's starting chamber, I run all the way back through the tunnels and sleep for an hour before returning to fight the crowd.

When I return, I figure I'll just chuck a Molotov into the room and set everyone on fire, but I wind up hitting the raised floor right in front of my face, which drops me instantly.

Reloading from nap-time, I manage to kill another two survivors with a better throw, but there are still a few left, including the one with the gun.

I'm a fan of mods that make combat damage more realistic. While it's not exactly fun to be dropped with one shot, it feels fair, especially when your enemies are subject to the same damage models. Bash someone's torso with a pipe wrench in Frost and they'll probably keep coming at you (especially if they're a ghoul). Bash their unprotected head, though, and they drop like a stone. With a little accuracy, you can mow through a crowd of goons in a matter of seconds. But then again, your own head is much softer too. You can barely see it below, but after clonking two goons into the sweet beyond, the remaining one gets off a lucky swipe with his stick. Again, my arm falls off. Why is my arm always falling off?

I give up on trying to take down the survivor colony, and head in a different direction. I manage to beat some mutated dogs to death, and even wipe out that first collection of ghouls I encountered with a well-thrown frag grenade. Unfortunately, another ghoul, who drops through a hole in the ceiling, pummels me to death (this time it's my head that gets detached). I'll spare you the gif: I'm pretty sure you get the point by now. This mod is tough.

Frost is the successor to Dust, a mod that gave Fallout: New Vegas a similar survival overhaul. It's got revised perks, rebalanced combat, and changes to the crafting and settlement systems, which I would write about at length if I could only survive long enough to check them out. While it's still in its early stages of development, I think the mod is both fun and challenging. If Fallout 4's vanilla survival mode doesn't feel tough enough for you, I'd recommend checking out Frost. You can find it right here at Nexus Mods.

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

Valve capped off 2016 by revealing the year’s 100 highest-grossing games on Steam, which is a pretty interesting list. If you’ve been following Alec’s prolonged breakdown over the weekly charts you’ll not be shocked by revelations that Grand Theft Auto V and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are near the top, but you might not expect them to be joined by the likes of No Man’s Sky or the free-to-play Dota 2.

When I asked Alec if he fancied writing up this chart too, he began hissing “The Venga Bus is coming the Venga Bus IS coming the Venga Bus is coming to take me away ho-ho hee-hee ha-haaa” so you get me and my GIFs instead. … [visit site to read more]

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

Out with the old, in with the new. By which I mean ‘and our weekly Steam Charts, showing the ten games which sold best over the previous week, returns – replete with most of the same names as last year.’

SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT AND NEVER BROUGHT TO MIND?

Welcome back. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

It'd be pretty hard for the Russians to hack America using the computers in Fallout 4. For one, the computers in Fallout 4 are not connected to the internet: in Bethesda's alternative history, America never makes it that far into the future. Another obstacle stopping Russia from hacking America via the computers in Fallout 4 is that, no matter how you approach it, it'd simply be impossible.

That hasn't stopped CNN using footage of a Fallout 4 computer in a story about Russian hacking, though. It's not a huge faux pas on the news outlet's part: it's simply used as B-Roll footage, after all. But it's still pretty amusing, especially in light of how often TV news co-opts video game footage. A recent example includes ITV passing Arma 2 footage off as real.

Spotted by vigilant redditor Poofylicious, the CNN footage aired on December 28, and can be seen at about the one minute mark in the first video over here

PC Gamer

Bethesda Game Studios executive producer and game director Todd Howard, the driving force behind the mega-popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, has been announced as the 22nd inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Howard "has created some of the industry's most success games by pioneering open-world gameplay," the AIAS said, adding that the games he's headed up "have been recipients of numerous DICE Awards throughout the years." 

Howard has been with Bethesda since the early '90s, beginning as a producer and designer on The Terminator: Future Shock. From there, he did design work on Daggerfall and Skynet in 1996, and then ascended to project leader on The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard in 1998, and Morrowind in 2002. Every major Bethesda RPG since then (which is to say, all of them) bears his name as either executive producer or game director.   

"Todd's impact on his studio, our company, and the gaming industry as a whole has been truly remarkable," Bethesda VP Pete Hines said. "When you look at the very best game developers of all time—the 21 members of the AIAS Hall of Fame—I think Todd deserves to have his name right alongside of them as the best of the best." 

Howard will be joining the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, John Carmack, Will Wright, Richard Garriott, Gabe Newell, Hideo Kojima, and numerous other industry luminaries as a member of the HOF. It's an impressive list of names by any measure, and a fitting end to a remarkable year: Howard also earned a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th annual GDC, while Fallout 4 claimed the Game of the Year award at the 19th DICE Awards, along with the nod for Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction—another accolade for Howard, who served as game director.   

"Todd is revered by legions of fans not just for his creative leadership over the years but for his humility and humor,” AIAS vice chairman Ted Price said. “Despite the fact that he’s helmed several of the most successful franchises in the history of our industry, he consistently defers praise to others and is the quintessential team player. Yet it’s Todd’s vision and strong direction that has brought Tamriel and the Commonwealth to life for millions around the world."

Howard will be presented with the Hall of Fame Award during a ceremony at the 20th DICE Awards on February 23, 2017, at the Mandalay Convention Center in Las Vegas—ironically, the setting for the one major Bethesda-era Fallout RPG that he didn't work on. 

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

As mentioned last week, it’s been one of those years. Lots of the biggest RPGs that we were expecting decided to spend a few more months in bed, or simply skip 2016. Can’t blame them! It’ll mean an awesome 2017, even if looking back there’s only been a few big names to pick from. Still, tradition is tradition! This week, another year marks another set of the RPG genre’s most fiercely fought-over fictional awards.

(Disclaimer: Actual fighting may also be fictional, all awards are based on the incredibly scientific principle of Wot I Think, awards cannot be exchanged for money, goods or services unless they too are entirely fictional. Please write all questions or complaints onto the back of a Myst CD using a Sharpie, break it into four pieces and bury them in interesting points around the globe for future treasure hunters to encounter, reforge, and then gag “Oh, god, Myst…” Or indeed, not. Completely your choice!)>

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

This week on the Mod Roundup, we've got the best mod for Fallout 4 ever, because it lets you shove Preston Garvey, Mama Murphy, and any other followers or NPCs you don't like. In fact, it's so much fun that the Roundup, which usually consists of a few different mods, is only focusing on the shoving one. Because shoving is great.

It's called Get Out Of My Face, created by modder cdante, and you can find it here at Nexus Mods.

Followers standing to close? Shove 'em. Mutated cow in your way? Shove it. Enemies, too? Yes, shove them! Maybe someone is blocking a doorway, maybe they're just being annoying, or maybe, like me, you're just a cruel and sadistic person. Whatever the reason, give 'em a shove and watch 'em fly. It's as if Skyrim's Fus-Ro-Dah has been imported into Fallout 4. It's fun. A lot of fun.

The mod adds a ranked shoving perk. At Rank 1, you can shove your current follower. Rank 2 adds the ability to shove anyone at any of your settlements, including brahmin. Rank 3 lets you push any friendly NPC, no matter where they are in the game. At Rank 4 it becomes a combat move so you can shove enemies.

To shove someone, simply walk up to them. In addition to the on-screen prompt to speak with them, you'll see a 'Push!' prompt, which is bound to your reload key (typically R). Press it, and watch the target of your ire go flying. In addition to the shoving animation, there's a selection of voiced lines like "Get out of my face!" and "Move!"

The mod is customizable via a holotape you can stick in your Pip-Boy (with the mod installed, you'll find the tape under your 'misc' inventory, at the very bottom of the list). You can turn the push-related dialogue on and off, select the distance at which someone is within shoving range, and you can even choose the force at which you shove someone. The default is set at five, though in the two preceding gifs above you can see it set to 20. Whee!

You can also select the Rank you'd like from your Pip-Boy. I'd suggest turning them all on immediately, because you never know when you'll be in the mood to shove someone. Do you have the Pacify perk? Point your gun at someone, wait until they surrender and raise their arms, and then shove 'em. Frankly, it's hard to think of a situation where shoving someone isn't the perfect move.

Note: shoving currently doesn't work if your character is wearing power armor, but the modder is working on a fix for that.

Just for kicks, I turned the pushing force up to 40 and gave Preston Garvey one more shove (which you can see below). You'd think he'd get the hint, but when he regained consciousness and got to his feet, he came running back over. Guy doesn't know when to quit.

Looking for more Fallout 4 mods? Here's our list of the best ones we could find.

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