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Portal 2

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

A Portal game without portals? “Why, that’s like removing puppies from the Puppy Bowl,” you might say. “What is even the point?” The point, fellow small dog enthusiast, is paint. Physics-affecting paints (think bouncy gel, etc) were part of Portal 2, but they weren’t the main focus. Paid standalone mod/game Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative puts them front and center, and it looks like sticky, slippery, hundreds-of-feet-in-the-air-hurtling fun. It’s out now, and a trailer’s below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

You don't need money, don't take fame

An oversized revolver, a chunky pump-action shotgun, a bolt-action rifle, and seeing my own legs: the four things I most want to see in first-person games. Perhaps the first three wouldn’t fit too cleanly into Portal 2 but that fourth, yes, certainly! And joy of joys, a new mod has added that very feature, so I spent half an hour this morning running around staring at Chell’s toes as if the mod turned Valve’s puzzle-platformer into Kyphosis Simulator 2014.

I suppose technically the ‘main feature’ in the Thinking with Time Machine mod is a time machine which’ll have you creating time loops to solve puzzles with the aid of your past self, which is great and all but look, LEGS.

… [visit site to read more]

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

We’ve heard tell of the Steam controller‘s ins and outs (and ups and downs and lefts and rights and Bs and As and starts) from many a developer, but still skepticism reigns. And with good reason: Valve’s haptics-powered Franken-pad is kinda bonkers. But now, at the very least, we can see – with eyes or echolocation – how it functions moment-to-moment. Go below to see it power through Portal 2, Civilization V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Papers Please.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

I do love a strangely shaped worldPortal 2 wasn’t nearly as messed-up as it could have been. I loved it, and still pop in now and again to enjoy the physics and writing, but I always wish they’d went further and curly-wurlied the gravity and surroundings. Every time a room was fixed in front of me, I wished the same tech was used to just turn everything upside down, inside out, or that it would twist the testing chambers into odd, broken configurations. I am a very needy person. With that in mind, I’m interested in this Greenlight begging puzzle game, Tri. A FPS puzzle game where you drag out triangular walkways to cross the world. (more…)

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

It's like they say: you can't squeeze blood from a stone. You have to use a really, really big axe.

You might remember that DOTA 2 officially launched not too long ago. This may in part be due to the fact that it’s one of the biggest PC games ever>, making it difficult to forget about in the same way that a herd of rhinoceroses just kind of hanging out in your living room would at least spend a fair amount of time in your peripheral vision. It is, of course, already quite good, but Valve plans to continue updating it until the Earth molts away its wriggly organic shell, leaving behind naught but dust and roaches. The first step in that process? A (very) soon-to-be-launched update fittingly titled First Blood. It includes LAN play! Also lots of other things, including Portal’s own wise-cracking cracker of psyches GLaDOS as an announcer. Details below.

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

Words by Hamish Todd.>

Portal has the best-designed first-person puzzles I’ve ever seen. They’re surprising, focused, and concise. They are also designed very perceptively, and we can learn a lot from looking at this perceptiveness. Read on for an analysis of Portal’s level design, and some lessons about what learning from it can do to improve game design.

BE WARNED: This article uses multiple animated .gif images on the same page, and might be tough to load on slower connections. (more…)

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

They do something

We’re waiting for you, Valve. In the sweat chamber. Show us what your mad wearable computing tech can do, instead of all this teasing. Latest report is that they’ve come up with kit which can measure assorted bodily responses, including heart rate, facial expression, brain waves, eye movement, pupil dilation, body temperature and, indeed, sweatability. Based on how you appear to be feeling, the game will alter factors such as difficulty and intensity to suit. (more…)

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

Don't look down don't look down don't look down.

I preemptively think I’m gonna be sick. Don’t get me wrong: there are few things in this world I want more than Oculus Rift virtual reality for my mad dash through Mirror’s Edge‘s theme park of parkour, but now that it’s probably going to happen, I realize that I should probably bid farewell to any lunches I’ve had in the past couple months. And who will I have to thank for my sudden bouts of violent nausea? Interestingly, it won’t be EA. Instead, a third-party toolset called Vireio Perception is primed to add Rift support to Mirror’s Edge and other older titles.

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

Clearly, he is acting in the spirit of Mechsgiving. Whatever that actually means.

I don’t think it’s possible to have any misgivings over an update officially titled “Mechsgiving.” As for Portalmas, well, that one’s a bit more up for debate, seeing as it’s just a word I made up. But generosity’s officially in the air, and both Piranha and Valve are doling out fairly significant updates to their breadwinners, MechWarrior Online and Portal 2. Unfortunately, neither involves gigantic mechanized turkeys, but I suppose beggars in the midst of celebrating a decadent holiday of feasting and lethargy can’t be choosers. Still though, that’s far from a reason to mope. So let’s look under the ol’ turkey tree and see what we got.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dan Griliopoulos)

Interrupted while coiling his precious cables, the sound guy glowers at me. “Scarface? What?” Now, the way you can tell games journalists aren’t like other journalists is our shame. We’re shy, we lack the killer instinct, mostly, that enables tabloid hacks to doorstep grieving families and hack murdered children’s phones. I’m a case in point – 6′ 1″, 13 stone – and I’m being intimidated by a diminutive roadie. “His assistant is called Scarface,” I repeat. The roadie shrugs. As he shuffles away, he’s obviously assigned me to the same aberrant category as everyone else still hanging around at the Jonathan Coulton gig – No 1 Fans, all of them.

After the gig, from the gallery of Union Chapel, I look down on the accretion disc of fandom. They’re loitering but not mingling, in the hope of catching another sight of their hero. With its non-conformist heritage, this old Gothic church is a strangely perfect venue for Jonathan Coulton, whose music is packed full of liberality, anti-authoritarianism, irony and inclusiveness – and for his reverential fans. While he’s best known in gaming circles for endlessly singable Portal ditty Still Alive, Coulton is the high priest of geek music. This former programmer’s songs about geek culture are so well known he was made ‘Contributing Troubador’ at Popular Science magazine. (more…)

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