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

Valve’s Dota 2 [official site] championship The International isn’t until August (though it already has a community-funded prize pool of almost $9 million), but is about to settle the four positions earned through regional qualifiers. Eight days of non-stop professional Dota 2 matches are kicking off on Monday, meaning very little sleep. A large number of prominent Dota 2 players, casters, fans and analysts are taking this opportunity to have join together in Bucharest to cast the whole event.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It takes a very special something to make me excited about a pinball game. I played Pokemon Pinball to death, way back when, but very few pinball games since have really captured my attention. Until now. Until the Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device. It s a Portal themed table for Zen Pinball [official site] and it looks fantastic. See for yourself in the trailer below the cut.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Cap casting at ESLOne Frankfurt 2014

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na Vi s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart. THIS WEEK, however, she will be chatting to Dota 2 caster Capitalist about the upcoming ESLOne competition!>

I went to the inaugural ESLOne Frankfurt event last year. It featured one of the best games of pro Dota 2 I’ve ever watched (Alliance v Cloud9) and, as it took place shortly before Valve’s mega-tournament The International, it was an interesting opportunity to size up some of the competitors before Seattle. This year’s event will offer similar fare big-name teams and a chance to see how they perform on LAN in front of a massive audience but a lot has changed over the past year. Teams have undergone massive shakeups and enchanted mangoes, octarine cores and glimmer capes abound on the battlefield. In case you’ve lost track of competitive Dota 2, here’s caster Austin ‘Capitalist’ Walsh on the current meta, the teams to watch, and the relationship between casters and players.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.

Your favourite game is at number 51.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Now that the commercial version of Half-Life fan remake Black Mesa [official site] is out in Early Access form (and pretty great so far), what’ll happen to the original free mod?

Not that much, really – which is hardly a surprise. Developers Crowbar Collective haven’t given up on it, as they said they wouldn’t, but expect future updates to be more along the lines of bug fixes than big additions. The mod won’t see Xen, for starters. The older version of the Source engine the mod uses isn’t up to handling the pretty Xen they want to make, see, and they can’t change it.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Alt-text is having a week off to recover from the election. Soz.

Each week Marsh Davies latches onto Early Access like a brain-eating alien parisitoid and slurps up any stories he can find. This week we re back in Black Mesa [official site] – the classy fan remake of Half-Life 1 in a hybrid version of the Source engine which was used for its sequels. An incomplete release of the project was made available on Steam for free last year, but the Early Access incarnation is a more polished, ongoing, funded development, with additional chapters planned, multiplayer, workshop integration and modding tools.>

If the past is another country, then it s one under constant mnemonic invasion from the present. This is doubly true of moments from a distant childhood, a time when experience was already enlarged so dramatically by the imagination, when the emotional significance of toys, or books, or games far exceeded their actual sophistication – and it is these responses which then endure in memory, rewriting the reality. 22 years of brain death has sneakily uprezzed my recollection of the original Syndicate, for example, transforming it into a glorious cyberpunk cityscape that its crude, mud-paletted pixels have never really deserved. So when I say Black Mesa is every bit as good as the Half-Life I remember playing 17 years ago, you ll understand that I m praising something much greater than an act of recreation.

… [visit site to read more]

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

There is a peculiar irony to the impression people have of gaming. When videogames are lazily portrayed in the wider world, they inevitably show a soldier being shot through a gun scope. Hell, even within the highest enclave walls, people are wont to dismiss the poor taste of others by snarking, They d probably like it if it had a gun floating at the bottom of the screen. The first-person shooter is the most emblematic genre of gaming, and yet it s now the most under-served, under-developed, and rarest of mainstream releases. There are barely any new non-indie FPS games. And it s all Half-Life s fault.>

… [visit site to read more]

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

The world’s most accurate ranking of the 25 best puzzle games ever to reach a computer. Plucking the peak of PC puzzling, we break down what makes them so special, and put them in the correct order. Read on for more time travel, rearranged tiles, hidden objects and hexed cells than you could ever want.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Get involved!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has one of the friendliest and most active games communities online, but it’s possible that you’ve never peeled back the mask of the frontpage to discover the forums, guilds and game groups that lie beyond.

If you’re intrigued and you’d like to join the forum, find people to play with, or chat with other RPS readers, read on for a guide to what’s happening and instructions on how to get involved.

… [visit site to read more]

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

This one is called Why Did You Abandon Our Game, It Was Still Winnable

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na Vi s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart. THIS WEEK, however, she will be sharing some learnings dealing with chat abuse in Dota 2.>

MOBAs get a lot of flack for having “toxic” communities. I see a fair few commenters and have a number of friends who would approach starting to play a MOBA with the same trepidation as one would have when tasked with finding a mood ring in amongst a swarm of bees. But never fear, I now have a few helpful tips to share. (If anything has worked really well for you, just pop your own strategies in the comments.)

… [visit site to read more]

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