Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

The Steam Summer Sale is here to rescue us from the same old games! Hooray! Hooray! Hoo-whatnow? Oh for crying out loud, the usual games are all on sale too, aren’t they? … [visit site to read more]

Fallout 4 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Hurr hurr. Inspired by the name of Bethesda s upcoming method for selling bespoke mods, the Creation Club is a weapon mod for Fallout 4 in the form of a golf club that spawns random items, enemies and NPCs when you swing it. It s a silly jape taken to its logical conclusion one that the golf club s creator says isn t intended as a criticism of Bethesda s plan. This mod is based on a pun, he says, A wordplay It’s just a simple joke. … [visit site to read more]

Fallout 4

At E3, Bethesda announced the Creation Club, a marketplace that will sell items and mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition—new content created by hired modders. If you don't feel like waiting for it to arrive, or if you're not interested in buying Creation Club mods, here's the next best thing: a mod for Fallout 4 called "The Creation Club", which is a golf club that creates random items each time you swing it. Bonus: it's free!

The mod, created by CDante and KingTobbe, provides you with a golf club that can be customized, upgraded, and painted, allowing you to add electrical shocks, barbed wire, and other personal touches. The real draw, of course, is that each time you swing The Creation Club there's a chance it will create a new item (along with a little burst of confetti and party-favor sound).

In the video below you can see it in action, as it creates items like a pack of cigarettes, a shopping cart, and a Legendary Mole Rat Brood Mother. Sometimes you'll get more than one item. Sometimes you'll get nothing. Sometimes an alien will appear. Sometimes so many creatures will be created that a small war breaks out. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get when you swing The Creation Club.

The mod is a clever and harmless joke, though the modders are quite careful not to ruffle any feathers. As they say on the mod page, the intention is just to have a bit of fun:

"The mod is not meant to make fun of Bethesda's Creation Club. It's just a simple joke, and I was having the impression that it's not at all offensive to anyone. At least my intention was never to offend Bethesda or anyone on the Nexus."

It did make me chuckle. You can download the mod from its page on Nexus Mods. In game, you'll find The Creation Club at Abernathy Farm, on Mary's grave.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

For a few horrible minutes during E3, it looked like Bethesda might seriously claim that The Elder Scrolls and Fallout were part of the same universe. Thankfully, not. Despite this being an era where Sony wants a Ghostbusters universe and Universal thinks demeaning the Universal Monsters by linking them with a top-sekrit monstah hunting group led by Dr Jekyll is anything other than schoolboy fan-fiction, Bethesda’s Pete Hines has been quick to go “What? No. No! No…>” Phew! Honestly, it’s bad enough that Daggerfall has six endings, ranging from the villain becoming a god to orcs being either defeated or victorious, and canonically all of them are true.>

But at a time when we’re seriously asked to pretend that “Dark Universe” is a thing we should want to see, that unholy union really wasn’t impossible…

… [visit site to read more]

Fallout 4 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The promised VR version of Fallout 4 [official site] will arrive in October for Vive cybergoggs, Bethesda announced during last night’s E3-o-rama. Curiously, Fallout 4 VR [official site] is a separate game rather than an update or add-on – one which will cost twice as much as regular Fallout 4 does.

Bethesda also formally announced Doom VFR [official site], a standalone Doom game made expressly for VR. This is a new game rather than a refit of 2016’s game, a new Doom first-person monster-mash. Have a look in this trailer: … [visit site to read more]

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

In among the game announcements at E3 2017 Bethesda also announced Creation Club, “a collection of new game content for Skyrim and Fallout 4.” That content includes new weapons, armour, crafting and housing features, and changes to core systems, and you buy all of it in-game with ‘credits’ purchased for real money through Steam. Is this a new paid mods system? No, says the FAQ, “Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they d like.” … [visit site to read more]

Fallout 4

In addition to Doom's first foray into VR, at E3 today Bethesda announced a date for the previously announced Fallout 4 VR. The full open world RPG will be playable in VR this October on SteamVR.

"Revealed during the Bethesda E3 2017 Showcase, Fallout 4 VR will be available on PC for the HTC Vive," the description for the trailer above states. No mention of the Oculus Rift, but presumably Fallout 4 will also be playable on future SteamVR-compatible headsets, not just the Vive.

"With the power of VR, you’ll be able to get up-close-and-personal with the dangers of a post-apocalyptic world as you fight for survival. Featuring new combat, crafting and building systems fully reimagined for VR – including VR-enhanced V.A.T.S. – Fallout 4 VR isn’t just a jaunt through the Wasteland, it’s the entire game. The whole world is fully explorable. That includes hundreds of locations, characters and quests. This is your opportunity to step into the Wasteland and experience Fallout 4 in a whole new way. "

Update: Fallout 4 VR is now on Steam for pre-purchase at $60.

Fallout 4

I enjoyed my 70 hours with Fallout 4, but despite finishing Bethesda’s latest open-world RPG around a year ago, I find myself unable to recall much about it. Perhaps this is because it felt so structurally similar to the other 3D Fallouts and Elder Scrolls games, despite looking a lot nicer and having significantly better combat. Or maybe it’s because following up such a rich vision of a postapocalyptic American city was always going to feel like slightly diminishing returns. 

When asked by a friend recently to recall the best bits of the game, two moments came to mind. One was stepping into the heavily irradiated wastes of the Glowing Sea and finding the eerie chassis of a passenger plane destroyed in the epicentre of a nuclear blast. The other was The Silver Shroud quest, where you assume the role of a Dick Tracy/The Shadow pulp hero. It reframes Fallout 4’s systems to fit the exciting life of an in-universe radio serial vigilante—it’s essentially another layer of roleplay within a roleplaying game. This successfully gets you to invest in the game in a different way, even though you’re largely doing the same things you do in every Fallout quest: going to a place, fetching a thing, and killing a bunch of guys. This time, though, you’re doing it in a trilby. 

You start by tuning into The Silver Shroud radio station, where old episodes of the serial are playing on a loop. In these broadcasts, the Shroud stalks the shadows and delivers justice to bastards with a shiny silver machine gun, and it’s performed with the hammy gusto of something broadcast in the first half of the 20th century. Like many players, I understand this frame of reference through secondhand pop culture infl uences, since everyone who remembers listening to American radio in the ’30s is almost certainly dead by now.

The serial leads you to Kent Connolly in the uncouth town of Goodneighbor, who runs the station. He’s a ghoul, sincerely trying to make the town a better place by offering people a slice of yesteryear fiction. “Sometimes you just got to escape a little to make it through the day.” 

Since your character has been cryogenically frozen, you remember listening to the broadcasts live before the war and connect with Connolly over the show. Kent wants The Silver Shroud to come to life, to confront the escalating crime in Goodneighbor and offer people hope. He’s fashioned the character’s machine gun himself, and asks you to retrieve the costume from Hubris Comics in downtown Boston. Kent then asks you to don the outfit and assume the role, since your own comic booky Fallout origin makes you a good fit. 

The quest then has you patrol the streets of the town, murdering thugs and assassins at Kent’s suggestion, while yelling trash talk at them in The Shroud’s exaggerated voice. Your character clearly gets into the role, which is oddly sweet. Meanwhile, residents around the town react to your new getup in amusing ways. “You look like one of the wankers from those posters,” says Whitechapel Charlie, the British Mister Handy bartender working at The Third Rail. Unfortunately, Kent ends up crossing the wrong people, and at the quest’s climax you must track down his kidnapper, Sinjin—and save Kent from execution, if you can, or if you want to.

The nuts and bolts of The Silver Shroud are extremely similar to the game’s other quests, but it demonstrates how context is everything in an RPG. In my experience of the genre, the difference between a good and a bad quest is usually just the writing and the way the world reacts to your actions. Here, Bethesda really makes you feel like you’re stepping into the shoes of The Shroud, having previously spent hours as an ordinary survivor of the wastes. Some NPCs on the streets mock your getup scathingly, but that persona is also powerful enough to scare some of your enemies into thinking this fictional character has actually come to life. It’s magnificent. 

Meanwhile, Kent’s own sincere intentions to improve his hometown make you feel like you’re doing a genuinely good guy a favour, in a world where there aren’t too many decent people around. It’s a convincing simulation of becoming a superhero, and believing in it is the successful combination of a campy costume, daft voice acting and some of Bethesda’s best writing.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Hello. I’ve had this brilliant new idea! Each week I shall tell you which are the top 10 selling games on the PC gaming outlet Steam. No, no, this is nothing like Alec’s idea that he had – he did it on a Tuesday>. This is entirely different. … [visit site to read more]

Fallout 4

My shrewd (some might say superhuman) powers of observation have led me to conclude that superheroes have become a hot ticket in pop-culture over the past few years, no doubt due to a handful of decent superhero movies and a couple pretty good TV shows. And, while Fallout 4 essentially already lets you become pretty darn super-powered, there's a mod that makes it literal by adding a couple dozen exciting mutant powers.

The mod is called, aptly enough, Mutant Powers, and it lets you burst into flames like the Human Torch, run at super speed like The Flash, teleport like Nightcrawler, suck the life out of enemies like Captain Vampire (who I may have just made up), and imbues you with all sorts of other cool abilities, like electrical attacks, energy shields, clairvoyance, ice powers, super jumping, and more. You can even transform yourself into a terrifying shadow monster like everyone's favorite superhero, Captain Terrifying Shadow Monster (also made up, though I'd watch the Netflix show if there was one).

Here's what you can do:

  • Teleportation
  • Super speed
  • Time manipulation
  • Weather control, including wind blast attack
  • Sonic Scream
  • Electric bolts
  • Laser (it's a big laser)
  • Telekinesis
  • Radiation manipulation
  • Cellular regeneration
  • Density (hardened skin)
  • Invisibility
  • Super jump
  • Fire powers
  • Ice powers
  • Chemical powers
  • Umbrakinesis (become a scary shadow monster)
  • Energy shockwave and energy shield
  • Absorb lifeforce
  • Earth manipulation (stagger enemies with a quake)
  • Hypnosis
  • Illusion (summon ghostly monsters)
  • Vortex (a wormhole that explodes near enemies)
  • Clairvoyance (see enemies through walls)
  • Flight
  • Super senses including thermal vision

There's a bit of a downside in that you don't just get to pick and choose which powers you want to play with. You have to go out into the world and kill enemies, which have a chance (standard enemies have a low chance, and bosses have a high chance) of a containing random mutant power. So, you're more of a collector than a mutant, but I suppose a violent scavenger hunt isn't such a terrible thing.

You can find Mutant Powers over at Nexus Mods. Installation requires another mod called Blink Grenades.

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