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Battlefield 1 [official site] will be this year’s new game in EA’s FPS series, set in World War One, earlier than ever before. I suppose this means that all the hilarious jokes people have made about “not playing Battlefield 2142 until they’ve played the previous 2141 games” were actually eerie predictions. All Battlefield games until this have been part of an incredibly ambitious plan to create over two thousand virtual wars. That’s at least four millennia of games at this pace. Heck, the series started with its 1,942nd part – George Lucas can suck an egg. So! Yes, BF1, WW1, coming on October 21.
My review of Stellaris [official site] will be published on Monday. You’ll have to wait until then to read a full judgement and critique of what Paradox have accomplished in the time since that first oh-so-exciting announcement, but I couldn’t resist sharing some stories right now. Here are just a few tales from an infinity of galaxies.>
At this week’s multiplayer event, one journalist was already referring to it as the XCOM event. A galactic empire with expansionist tendencies finds a pre-FTL civilisation and monitors them from orbit, preparing for an eventual invasion. Scientists spy the ship and panic ensues. An international extraterrestrial combat force is formed and they succeed in shooting the UFO out of the sky, celebrating their victory over the invaders.
In this scenario, one of hundreds that can play out, you’re playing as the galactic empire rather than the defenders of Earth (or this particular Earth analogue). What happens to those plucky terrestrials next is entirely up to you. Eliminate them, educate them or leave them be…
Friday evening is the perfect time to do something which is fun and exciting for a bit but doesn’t necessarily mean anything, so let’s gab about how White Wolf recently filed a trademark for “Vampire Bloodlines” specifically in relation to video games.
I realise it’s only been a few weeks since we last crowded around a burning barrel to mutter “Coo yeah, wasn’t Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines lovely? Wasn’t it broken? What could it have been? Where is the first-person immersive sim future I was promised?” so hey, don’t push yourself. Just… quietly nurse a pint for a minute to think about the possibility of a new Bloodlines game.
Hylics is a surreal and beautiful game, a gentle JRPG built of clay, stop-motion photography, drawn animation, and… you know, I’m not even sure. It’s silly and funny and occasionally gruesome (your plasticine head disintegrating when you die is astonishing), and sounds like no other game I’ve played. We showed it at this year’s Mild Rumpus and I happily sat for hours watching puzzled people play on a big screen.
Anyway! Sorry. I was just making up for that fact that we’ve barely mentioned Hylics before, and leading into what this post is actually about: VA DA [official site], a fun weird free animation doodad by Hylics chap Mason Lindroth.
Dark Souls III is a favourite here at RPS, but it hasn’t lit a fire in the hearts of the entire team. Recently, Alec jumped into the game, having observed the series from afar for some time, and shared his thoughts. He, Pip and Adam gathered to discuss the appeal of the series, and talked about its divergence from traditional RPG systems, the intimidation factor and the complicated nature of its much-debated difficulty.>
Adam: Dark Souls III is probably going to be in my top three games of the year, despite the thousands> of good games coming out this year. I m continually surprised to see it selling quite as well as it does though, because so many people that I recommend the series to treat those recommendations as a form of sadism.
I realise sales are now everywhere, all the time, always, every day, 24/7, 100% saletime, live life in the sale lane, welcome to Salecity, hit the salezone, everything must go, ground floor: perfumery, stationary, and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food – going up – but some individual sales are still worth pointing out. For example, ace publishers Devolver Digital currently have a biggun on Steam.
Yes, they recently had a Humble Bundle and are always in the big Steam sales but… they’ve got Downwell for 99p, man. Both Hotlines Miami together are less than 4. Shadow Warrior is 3. The Talos Principle is 8. Titan Souls is 3. I’m sure many have been cheaper at times, but these are all good prices.
There’s a Warcraft movie on the horizon. I know this because I saw a trailer for it while I was at a screening of Captain America: Civil War. I didn’t remember much except a dude landed on an eagledoglion- possibly a griffon. PROBABLY A GRIFFON. Also there was a green baby. Thus it was that I went back and watch a whole wodge of trailers and things to find out more. I have gathered that there is a war between humans-looking people and orcs. Also an Odd Couple kind of love plot maybe.
But what ELSE could you do with the franchise? What treats might future screen visits to Azeroth yield? I am going to look at the medium of reality television for potential WoW-ing.
I only just found out May the 4th was a special day for Star Wars: the 40th anniversary of that fateful day George Lucas was struck with inspiration for a space-hairdresser made of LEGO. Sat beneath a starfruit tree, Lucas was knocked in the noggin by a falling fruit then leapt to his feet shrieking “Death to stars!” The rest is history.
That’s why Titanfall devs Respawn announced they’re making a Star Wars game, why Alec declared some other Star Wars game was blah, and why DICE’s third-person shooter Star Wars Battlefront [official site] now has a free timed trial.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
Emulation often feels like a similarly shady cousin of piracy, but where one means you don’t give money to currently jobbing developers, the other is often an act of preserving and making accessible games that otherwise would be borderline or outright unplayable. I confess I feel little guilt about having taken money away from opportunistic eBayers, and considerable gratitude that my PC unlocked gaming’s history even beyond its own platform borders.
I’m going to mention a name soon, and I want you to resist your gut reaction to pull a dirty face and scroll past this post. This series is good and interesting and you might well like to play it but, well, the game’s named Space Pirates And Zombies 2 [official site] and- no no, come back, come on now. I know, I do. It’s a space shooter where players build their own motherships by snapping together modules then roam across a living galaxy, scavenging, fighting, building bases, and forming factions – against two hundred AI-controlled spaceship captains each doing exactly the same. And it’ll hit Steam Early Access this month.