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

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, SteamWorld Heist [official site].

SteamWorld Heist is a tactics game about boarding procedural spaceships with a squad of desperado robots and grabbing all the swag you can before they re turned to scrap. It s also a cross-genre oddity, a turn-based platformer, with presentation and polish that comes across a bit like a Nintendo fan fell in love with XCOM.

But while that observation is essentially true and it s a big part of Heist s rust-bucket charm, it ignores the real reason why it s so great. And the reason why SteamWorld Heist so great? It s down to a single simple-sounding feature:

THE MECHANIC: Realtime aiming … [visit site to read more]

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

I do like a nice bit of Americana so I’m quite keen for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine [official site] to arrive later this year. It’s a weird road story from Johnnemann Nordhagen, who previously worked on BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den then Gone Home with fellow 2K splitters, and he’s recently announced an interesting approach to writing the game. Each of the sixteen characters we meet on our travels will be handled by a different writer, and the lineup includes a fair few folks familiar to RPS readers. … [visit site to read more]

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

Subnautica [official site] seems like a nautical holiday wrapped inside a survival game. Swim around a gentle ocean and meet lots of colourful fish, chill out in an underwater forest, sunbathe on top of a little escape pod it all sounds very relaxing. Don t be fooled. Subnautica is, in fact, absolutely terrifying.

I can t quite remember when I realised that the sea was actually a vast world of horrors. Whenever it was, this realisation was undoubtedly confirmed when I was snorkeling off the coast of Australia in my early teens. I broke the surface of the water to be greeted by blood. So much blood. Not mine, thankfully. It belonged to a man who had bumped into some coral, which proceeded to rip open his leg.

Coral! Nobody expects this of all things to tear chunks out of them, but that s what you get when you decide to visit the utterly alien sea. In Subnautica, this is even more pronounced because it s a literal alien sea, an entirely new world, that you re exploring. You re not meant to be there and you re definitely not welcome.

… [visit site to read more]

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

When X-COM cast off its hyphen and complexity to become XCOM, Xenonauts was handily here with old-school alien-busting. Now you can see how its sequel is shaping up, as developers Goldhawk Interactive are releasing development builds of Xenonauts 2 [official site] for free. You can play one single mission right now, then Goldhawk plan to expand this pre-alpha demo fortnightly. They’ll start charging money once the game’s in good enough shape but paying with feedback is peachy-dory for now. … [visit site to read more]

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

Last night, content delivery network and security service Cloudflare reported that a security issue means that it’s possible they accidentally leaked user passwords for websites that use their service. Since RPS is a user of Cloudflare in the operation of our servers, that means that to be on the safe side you should change your RPS website and forum password. We think it’s highly unlikely that any user will be affected but it’s better to be safe than sorry. There’s more information on exactly what’s happened below, along with details of how to change your password.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Ghost Story Games

Given Alice is not interested in any ghost stories which aren’t terrifying movies she can freak herself out with while alone in the house, it falls to me to tell you about Ken Levine and other senior Irrational folk’s new studio, Ghost Story Games [official site].

I’m not sure whether to call it a new studio or a rebrand, actually, as the site seems to position it as a new thing with familiar faces but their announcement tweet is: “The studio formerly known as Irrational Games is now called Ghost Story .” Maybe it’s more of an evolution or transition. … [visit site to read more]

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

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

I wrote the other day that Grim Fandango proved to be a metaphor for the decline from wider relevancy of the point and click adventure game. Well, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is a metaphor for how those games – and others of the era – have mutated in our memory to become something far more than they were. … [visit site to read more]

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

Of all the sports simulations, hockey is the one that makes me think, “god, remember when hockey games used to be fun>?” I haven’t played one for ages, so for all I know EA’s NHL series has more excitement than you can shake a not-so-jolly stick at, but it’s the speedy, punchy games of old that my mind conjures up when I think about hockey. Games like Old Time Hockey [official site], which isn’t actually old at all. It’s so not-old in fact that it isn’t even released until March 28th. It looks great, as you can see below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Goodness me, Genesis Alpha One [official site] is trying to do a lot. Let’s checklist this:

Space exploration Building spaceships Mining Farming Gene-splicing and cloning your crew Fighting alien infestations

Off players go, across the stars, trying to survive long enough to settle new worlds as human-alien hybrids. A roguelikelike survival crafting basebuilding first-person shooter space sim. Have a peek in this trailer: … [visit site to read more]

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

UBOOT, the Das Boot-inspired WW2 sub game with cutaway Type VIIs and fallible submariners, is going to be a few months late. Nudged onto a new course by Kickstarter backers accustomed to Silent Hunter-calibre realism, the Polish devs have spent the last nine months adding features, reworking visuals and poring over copies of Iron Coffins. New thinking means crewmen can now be cajoled in a stem-to-stern first person mode, torpedo slinging will involve target identification, stopwatches and stadimeters, subs can circumnavigate the globe, and UBOOT is to have a cardboard sister game. … [visit site to read more]

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