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

Strap it on. Do you see? Like a sex toy. They mean a sex toy.

A mistake Saints Row: The Third didn’t make, but always seemed horribly likely to, was promise more than it could deliver. Those trailers, those terrifying spoof gameshows, the hype of such a scale of silliness and violence, was all delivered. Which is one of the many reasons why it was one of 2011′s best games. But how do you follow it up? With a weird cat-thing and his twisted competitive event, Genkibowl VII.

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

A brown place in the zone

Lost Alpha is an ambitious mod for Shadow of Chernobyl that aims to recreate all the content that was cut from the game between alpha and release. New (old) areas and new (old) mutants are the main additions, with the bulk of the mod being recreations of the cut locations. The team are aiming to stick as close to the original versions of the cut content as they can based on known info and it’s all looking mighty impressive. After a long time in development, release is closer than ever, which has of course been true every minute since it was first announced. We should have a date in February. In the meantime, here’s a trailer and a FAQ.

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

You know, we remember playing Saints Row 3. It could have been such a good game if it hadn't been so straight-laced all the time...

Celebrated crazy-em-up Saints Row: The Third is handing out a freebie to all Steam players tomorrow, and going a teeny-tiny bit further than most. You know how Team Fortress 2 likes to gives you hats from other games? Saints Row 3 gives you the TF2 gang’s entire heads>, to wear and do with as you will. Fight, dance, love, laugh. The first and the last ones at least.

But you know what else can you expect from this TF2 intrusion?

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

The screenshot-based 'light in the darkness' metaphors will continue unabated

“The Stalker team is extremely happy! Why? Because we are continuing work on Stalker 2 after the holidays.>” That makes me extremely happy too. That’s the official line from GSC, although it’s not quite as simple as that. Speaking to Edge, the studio’s Oleg Yavorsky reveals that “We are still in the process of seeking funding to back up the project. We are hopeful things turn out well eventually.” Which still sounds pretty precarious, but given the situation last month was that the studio and the game were flat-out closing down, it’s still a good day for Stalker fans.

Let’s hope they find a funder in time. Anyone got a few million bucks to spare? Notch, are you reading this? Alternatively, have I got any long-lost billionaire uncles who’ve been waiting for an excuse to get in touch with me?

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

The saddest of the pandas.

Next Tuesday will see the release of the first DLC for last year’s fantastic Saints Row: The Third, Genki Bowl VII. What is it? According to the details we’ve received, it’s some sort of in-game event that will feature a number of games. And they are… Sexy Kitten Yarngasm, Sad Panda Skyblazing, Angry Tiger’s Apocalypse Genki, and Super Ethical PR Opportunity. Yes indeed. There’s a teaser trailer and some screenshots below.

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

I moved house this year, away from a similar neighbourhood to this.

I’m just pulling together some rambly thoughts about my year in games for the site. Which reminds me that I wrote about one of my faves for Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell over at EG towers, and makes me think I could link to it as an aperitif or something. And I totally can. Lots on Saints Row: The Third and yours truly. I didn’t even get into my apostrophe confusion, which could be another couple of thousand words, but would be less sex obsessed.

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

What light from yonder Ukraine breaks?

A surprise Christmas present from GSC, at which there appears to remain some life despite the awful news that they (and with them Stalker 2) had apparently been shut down earlier this month:

“Dear Stalkers: We will not be releasing any official news until around mid January. However there is cause for hope! Good hunting!”>

That is all. But that is something. And it’s the second claim that all might not yet be lost in as many weeks, meaning the rescue operation is hopefully bearing fruit. Good luck, brave Ukrainians.

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

'that's what we do to rumour-reporters'

Could it really be that Relic are at last working on some manner of follow-up to their very well-received and very well-realised World War II RTS Company of Heroes? It could, claims PC Gamer’s print edition, claims Kotaku, claims VG247. I cannot verify this, but on this slowest of slow news days I shall report it nonetheless. There are no details because this is mere rumour, but though PCG are in the habit of eating live babies they aren’t generally in the habit of being scurrilous, so let’s hope they’re on the money here. (more…)

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

How many men clad only in socks have been gunned down by a woman in a raincoat?

Despite its grotesquely high bodycount and the horrible and humiliating ways in which it rises, the utter absurdity of Saints Row: The Third makes it one of the silliest games of this or any other year. In celebration of the ludicrous actions that the inhabitants of Steelport are performing, Volition have added a map with a live feed of actions across the city to the game’s website. Unfortunately, because so many people are playing, it’s mostly updating with run of the mill vehicular manslaughter and lethal blows to the balls. But the far more entertaining stat tracker has captured some frankly alarming information about what’s happened since launch.

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

This year has been unusually rich in the kind of game that I most enjoy: those that are open-ended, or provide a sandbox world for me to mess about in. We usually get a couple of these every year, but in 2011 we seem to have run into a minor bounty of the open stuff, which is good news for explorers and meanderers alike. I’ve gone into a bit more detail about why this pleases me below. >

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