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Sundays are for asking for feedback about the Sunday Papers. See the end of this post.
Imagine this: you re a young game designer in the early 2000s and your first real job in the industry is at Irrational Games new Australian studio, answering to the Americans but given a surprising amount of leeway. You ve been entrusted with writing their new game s script, which you email over to the States, directly to studio head Ken Levine already kind of an intimidating legend for his work on System Shock 2 then wait an entire week for a reply. When it arrives, it s four words long and just says, Formatted wrong. Do again.
Ahead of its The Cossacks expansion release on Tuesday, Europa Universalis IV [official site] developers Paradox have pulled together all of the features the sixth major update has to offer in one handy developer diary. Expect improvements and more in-depth explorations of domestic politics, culture, diplomacy, and maintaining peaceful inter-territorial relations in exchange for a little coin. Running countries, eh? Easy when you know how.
After a balls-up at launch, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 [official site] shipped with a load of out of date team rosters. A subsequent free ‘Data Pack’ released a month later failed to straighten this out, but Konami promised that Data Pack #2 would set things right. Now they’ve confirmed that’ll be with us next week next Thursday, December 3rd.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
If you remember a time when character sprites took up what seemed like half of your screen real estate, and action was solid and punchy, Odallus: The Dark Call [official site] will feel like going home, to a simpler place. The first game I played from Brazilian developers JoyMasher was Oniken, a hard as nails retro action affair that reminded me of Battletoads in its willingness to kill me over and over again. Odallus is reminiscent of another series – Castlevania – but its gothic horrors are nowhere near as challenging as the cyberninjas of Oniken. They’re far more rewarding though.
What a day Mighty Switch Force! Academy [official site] protagonist Patricia Wagon has had. Instead of starting Cadet training with the local police force, she finds herself trapped in a hologram simulating a gravity-defying, system-switching world of 2D puzzles. What a day, right enough. After a short stint in Early Access, Mighty Switch Force! Academy has now graduated to full release on Steam, with Patty in tow.
You turn on the tap in your kitchen only to see a rusty spray of water splutter out. That’s odd. You just had the plumbing fixed last week. You twiddle with the faucet, hoping to do some good when you hear a low moan coming from the plughole. You freeze. You lean in to listen carefully. The gurgling is coming closer… closer… A FREE GAME splurts out of the plughole! It wraps its flagella around your neck, its bioluminescence flickering rapidly, its mandibles undulating wildly by your eyes, oh god, now there are more, coming out of the faucet, out of the dishwasher, out of the fridge. Free games! Free games everywhere! Who keeps doing this to you!?>
Look, don’t even bother reading this. I’ll tell you what most of Team RPS are doing this weekend: coughing and weeping and groaning and wailing in their sickbeds, because they are weak. Yeah, I’ll go on public record saying that. They are weak, and I am strong. I could beat up their dads too. What are you playing this weekend, anyway?
This is the last of my 6 articles in the Psychogeography of Games series on RPS, drawn from a series of performance talks given at Videobrains in London. If you d like to support my on-going games writing, and get a reward of a super cool zine of these collected writings plus images and extras, sign up on patreon.com/hannahnicklin. Thanks for reading. – Hannah>
This is how it starts:With the sea.
I’ve won titles and cups, and I’ve been sacked following a relegation that was more surrender than battle. I’ve found young stars at bargain prices, and built a team of overpaid ego-machines who are ready to down tools as soon as the going gets tough. After tasting success and failure, I’m ready to tell you wot I think about Football Manager 2016 [official site].>
After a spot of D-Day turbulence that saw the Rainbow Six Siege [official site] open beta delayed, Ubisoft’s tactical FPS has pulled itself from the trenches and is now well into its second day of public testing where it’ll be stationed until Sunday. If you can’t manage along, you might want to whet your military whistle with a look at Siege’s Shakespearean launch trailer below before it launches on Tuesday. Ten-hut!