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

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Human Revolution has myriad faults, but they hardly matter to me. Square Enix Montreal’s first crack at replicating Deus Ex is a perfect example of how the right creative decisions can make up for any number of constraints.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - TravisIOI

http://store.steampowered.com/app/236870
For one week (26 Apr - 3 May), anyone who owns Hitman: Absolution on Steam can get 10% off either the HITMAN Intro Pack or Full Experience.

After visiting Paris in the first episode, Agent 47 is taking care of business in the sunny coastal town of Sapienza, Italy in the second episode. Check out the game hub for all the latest news on the game: http://steamcommunity.com/app/236870


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

Any time a new Hitman [official site] game rolls around, I need to know the answer to one question: can I royally screw basically everything up and get away with it? Not for me the Silent Assassin, but more a series of pratfalls, murders performed inadvertently in plain sight, panicked costume changes and awkward scuffles, inevitably culminating in a desperate sprint to the exit with a chain of armed and extremely angry guards pursuing me. So I am delighted to discover that the new Hitman game supports this kind of rolling disaster.

I even managed to complete a mission which began with me choking a man unconscious in front of roughly 200 people who I somehow hadn’t realised were watching me.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

WHY I LOVE

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Phil's blown away by JC2's best weapon.

I was disappointed with Just Cause 3 for many of the same reasons that Andy outlined our 67% review. It s an incredibly repetitive, grindy experience that turns chaotic action into a chore. Overthrowing evil dictators should only feel like a job if it s your actual job. But worse than the failings of JC3 s progression systems is how unimaginative its tools are. 

There are a few exceptions. There s the wingsuit, which is brilliant. There are the tethers, which are ridiculous. There s the opportunity to upgrade your infinite C4 into a rocket-powered physics toy, which is an idea of unparalleled genius. Elsewhere, though, it s all pretty standard. In the context of an absurd action sandbox, the game s many assault rifles feel painfully dull. Putting a stream of bullets into endless waves of people wasn t fun to watch in Rambo IV, and it isn t much fun to do here. 

Fortunately, I don t think JC3 is beyond saving. All you need to do is look at its predecessor. Much like its sequel, Just Cause 2 is surprisingly short on ways to push against the outer limits of creativity. The tools that do exist are even more basic and restrictive. You have a single, weak tether, and a finite amount of regular, non-rocket-powered C4. Its structure is more suited to improvisational violence, but you have only a limited set of options with which to create it. Two things expand that sandbox in delightful ways: mods and DLC. 

It feels strange to praise Just Cause 2 s DLC, because much of it isn t noteworthy. Rather than large content packs, all of the game s optional extras are small, seemingly insignificant microtransactions. Much of them are pure filler, but one small addition—available as part of the preposterously named Black Market Boom Pack—changed how I interacted with that world. 

It s called the Air Propulsion Gun, and, as the name suggest, it shoots air instead of bullets. It s a high-powered short-range burst of force that results in some of the best physics-based mayhem since Half-Life 2 s Gravity Gun. It s not quite on a par—Rico still doesn t have much small-scale agency beyond making things explode—but sending a soldier spiralling into the air with a propulsion blast is funny in a way that doesn t get old. 

It provides the best physics-based mayhem since Half-Life 2 s Gravity Gun.

The problem with guns and explosions is they remove things from play. An enemy helicopter is an interesting problem to tackle, but shooting it down simply takes it out of the equation. That s why the more interesting option is to grapple up and hijack it. The problem has been flipped into a solution, thus forcing the enemy to respond. 

That s also the genius of the air propulsion gun. It doesn t remove things outright. A soldier is sent flying backwards, but the impact won t necessarily kill him. A vehicle can be flung into a group of soldiers, possibly exploding, but maybe not. It s a weapon in form and function, but one that doesn t do direct damage. By shifting the kill to the moment of impact, you re no longer instantly removing the threat. Even if your enemy only exists for a few extra seconds, those lengthened interactions feel more dynamic, surprising and enjoyable. 

It s even better when combined with the community s BOLOPatch trainer—a tool offering invincibility, and infinite ammo and unbreakable tethers. Avalanche has never quite perfected the balance of the Just Cause series, and so I ve always found it better to forego the difficulty for pure, unrestrained action. Military bases are cleared through a constant stream of powerful propulsion. Tens of soldiers dance and flip helplessly through the air in a mass juggling act performed by a petty, unkillable god. It s one of the silliest power fantasies you can play. 

I d hoped Just Cause 3 would build on this amazing DLC gun. So much effort has gone into improving its physics and effects but there s precious little that makes use of such enhancements. Like Just Cause 2, the majority of JC3 s weapons are designed simply to remove aspects of play. I find it really frustrating that the game can be so creative in some aspects, and so tediously restrained in so many others. 

My hope is, just like with JC2, Avalanche is saving its best tools for DLC. If that s the case, it s a shitty business model, but I d still happily pay a few extra pounds for weapons that manipulated the world in more interesting ways. Just Cause 3 falls short of its reputation as a cartoonish action playground. With some more imaginative weapons, it would be instantly, immeasurably more fun.

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

After Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47 is in need of another subtitle. Redemption, perhaps, or Contrition. His upcoming adventure has already made headlines thanks to its now-confirmed episodic release schedule but it also seemed to be a game made with the awareness that the previous hadn’t given fans of the series quite what they wanted. I was eager to get my hands on it after seeing a promising demo at Gamescom last year and now that I have, I’m in two minds.

Hitman [official site] contains just about everything I want from the series but all of the ingredients have become a little muddled.

… [visit site to read more]

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

When I received definitive confirmation that Just Cause 3 [official site] wouldn’t have any multiplayer support out of the box, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. If memory serves, I was talking to one of the game’s producers at the time so it’s entirely possible that I left the room wincing, with a wounded expression on my face. Later in the day, when I’d recovered, Avalanche told me that their dedication to modding support would allow for all manner of enjoyable shenanigans and, sure enough, the team behind the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod have released the first footage of Just Cause 3 Multiplayer. Delicious.

… [visit site to read more]

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

When I received definitive confirmation that Just Cause 3 [official site] wouldn’t have any multiplayer support out of the box, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. If memory serves, I was talking to one of the game’s producers at the time so it’s entirely possible that I left the room wincing, with a wounded expression on my face. Later in the day, when I’d recovered, Avalanche told me that their dedication to modding support would allow for all manner of enjoyable shenanigans and, sure enough, the team behind the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod have released the first footage of Just Cause 3 Multiplayer. Delicious.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

We’d remember Deus Ex: Invisible War more fondly if it weren’t named Deus Ex, wouldn’t we? So let’s imagine that.

Released in 2003 by Ion Storm, Invisible War is a flawed but pretty fun FPS action-RPG, where we get to be a swanky cyborg larking about in that grim cyberpunk future.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Just Cause 2 [official site] doesn’t have a great mission in its entire running length, although it has some pretty OK ones. What it does have is a beautiful, diverse open world in which to wreak havoc of the most over the top kind, with land, sea and air vehicles, a re-usable parachute and a grappling hook.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Square Enix has a pretty massive sale on its online store at the moment. In keeping with the spirit of Black Friday, the publisher has discounted a tonne of its back catalogue, but more importantly, you can get discounts on preorders too. More important than either of those, though, is that you can download Hitman 2: Silent Assassin for zero dollars.

Just head over to the website, make an account, 'purchase' Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and then use the code FreeSilentAssassin when you check out. While you're there you can get 10% discounts on preorders for Just Cause 3 and the new Hitman, among other titles.

The game is available until Sunday, November 29.

...

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