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

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which means that it s also a spiritual successor to many of the most tense and glorious hours of my teenage years. Following a successful Kickstarter and a period in Early Access, the game has been available for almost a month now. With its loyal approach to the original design, Xenonauts doesn t step on XCOM s toes, but I wondered if it could succesfully muscle in on the original game’s territory. Several days of playing later, I have the answer. And some anecdotes about intra-squad romance.>

… [visit site to read more]

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

Rarely do I effusively recommend a bundle made up entirely of games I already own, but it’s kinda hard to argue with every BioShock, Spec Ops: The Line, Mafia II, The Darkness II, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, among others. The Humble 2K Bundle does come with a slight catch (a flat rate of $20 if you want a couple of the more recent games), but even then it’s a formidable deal. Unfortunately, this will technically> count as purchasing The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, but don’t worry: I won’t tell anyone.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Lousy spawn-camping Snakemen.

What happy times we live in for fans of old-style X-COM, the way your Gollopmother used to make. The awfully X-COM-y Xenonauts left early access and launched properly only a fortnight ago, and now “open-source clone” OpenXcom has hit version 1.0 after five years of development (“This is your father’s X-COM” goes the tagline in an alternate universe with softer copyright laws).

It’s actually more of a replacement engine for X-COM: UFO Defense, mind, requiring the original game to drop in its data files. As well as improving the interface and fixing old bugs and whatnot, it adds mod support. And with that, you can keep playing new old X-COM for ever and ever and ever.

… [visit site to read more]

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

This man represents open source supporters.

Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?

Probably that last one.

… [visit site to read more]

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

We're not actually feeling skeptical right now. Our faces are just stuck this way from being skeptical so much in the past.

I am glad. Against all odds, Firaxis’ XCOM revival was actually a great turn-based strategy that captured the spirit of the original Gollop games. It wasn’t entirely bereft of blindspots, though. The art style wasn’t super menacing and didn’t allow imagination to fill in the gaps, the game sort of got easier as time went on, tension dissipated over time, etc. Sometimes, you just need a straight-up remake in order to account for everything>. In the case of classic X-Com, that game is Xenonauts. Alec has both written and blathered as much before, and really, is there any greater endorsement? Alec hates everything, even rainbows and my youthful naivete. Someday I’ll earn his approval. Maybe if I become turn-based and prominently feature permadeath, he’ll finally love me too.

… [visit site to read more]

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

With Irrational 20,000 leagues under and Ken Levine off doing his own, significantly smaller thing at 2K, you might think BioShock dead in the water. You would, however, be wrong. Following on from Levine’s original comment that he was leaving the series in 2K’s hands, Take-Two Big Daddy Strauss Zelnick has confirmed at a recent analyst conference that the oft-divisive series will carry on and once-thought-dead BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin will do the honors.

… [visit site to read more]

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

“Why am I playing XCOM through for the sixth time?” is a question I’ve asked myself several times over the last week. There are so many other games I should and would like to play, yet I find myself once again knee-deep in something I by this point know every aspect of. One of the answers to that question is that the game just had a belated Android release, so I found my way to it in waiting rooms and bathroom breaks. Much as it’s a surprisingly natural fit for phone play, the combination of camera control issues, not being able to change the colours of my soldiers’ armour and no Enemy Within expansion drew me to firing up the PC version yet again instead.

Only this time, I switched things up, and have had a completely different experience. A rather more Gollopy experience, one might say. … [visit site to read more]

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

Sometimes you want to charge guns, swords, and words a-blazin into a game world and tame the land until Iron Maiden writes a song about you. Other times, you just want to heft your heavy eyelids, sip a light tea, and gently sail through friendly old places made new again. You’ve got a long day ahead of you, but you don’t have to venture out into the cruel sadlands of life just yet. Remember better days. Here, let me help with videos of the original BioShock and Deus Ex: Human Revolution re-realized in Unreal Engine 4. They’re quite a sight.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Once upon a time Julian Gollop was one of the principle minds behind the original X-Com. Yes, with a dash. A dollop of Gollop’s design wizardry spawned a legendary strategy series, and now – somewhat fittingly, I suppose – he’s making a game about actual wizards. Chaos Reborn is mere days away from casting off its mortal Kickstarter, so Gollop and I are going to play a few rounds of a recent prototype while discussing the ups and downs of running a Kickstarter, the power (and lack thereof) of legacy, what made people fall so madly in love with X-Com, and which of said secret ingredients Chaos Reborn does and doesn’t apply. Expect a heady brew of history and reflection with a powerful note of fuuuuuuture. >We’re kicking off at 10 AM PT/6 PM BST.>

Update: We’re done! And we ended up roping in a special guest: XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead designer Jake Solomon. What followed were some great Chaos Reborn matches followed by an excellent discussion between two of the brightest minds in the turn-based strategy business. Catch it all below.

… [visit site to read more]

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