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The more I see of Total Warhammer [official site], the more I know that I’m going to struggle to resist its charms even if it’s an imperfect creation. The latest dev walkthrough shows an Empire campaign walkthrough, picking up at the 71st turn and giving an overview of various features, and a tour of the current worldstate. There are Vampires on the borders and Chaos is encroaching from the north.
Remedy (Max Payne, Alan Wake) have been making gorgeous, violent games about angry-sad men for years now. When they announced their latest, Quantum Break [official site], it was revealed as an Xbox One exclusive. Moments ago, they announced that the time-troubling action game will also be coming to PCs. As long as those PCs are running Windows 10. There’s a proper trailer below, along with a newly released live action thing.
I do like ‘the Paradox approach’ to expansions, where the paid additions are accompanied by big free updates with new things for all players. So sure, city-building sim Cities: Skylines [official site] will be playing with snow and trams in the Snowfall expansion next Thursday, but developers Colossal Order are also working on new things for everyone. I do like the look of the ‘Theme Editor’ letting folks retheme the world to look like, say, another planet. Or covering it in Dolph Lundgren. Have a look:
A big ugly fly in XCOM 2 [official site]’s deliciously deadly ointment is that Firaxis’ game runs like a Psy-Zombie on quite a few folks’ PCs – even those with relatively monster systems. It’s not universal woe – for instance, it runs fine for Adam, hence his only mentioning passing problems in his review, but on my slightly superior PC I can’t even hit the golden 60 frames at minimum settings, while high sees it drop to single digits. In either case there are huge, frustrating lag-spikes throughout, and my PC’s running so uncharacteristically hot that I’m pretty sure I could roast a marshmallow over the rear vent.
I’m far from alone, as a glance at the Steam forums, official boards or Reddit will very quickly reveal. It’s a damn shame, crossing the line from ultimately meaningless visual sacrifices into actively annoying slowness. Firaxis and 2K aren’t giving anything away about what the problem is or when a fix will land, though they do tell us that they’re “aware some players have experienced performance issues” and that they’re looking into it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in the meantime – including one particular off-the-beaten-track fix which damn-near doubled my own frame rate. … [visit site to read more]
“You can imagine the editor as a military-themed Mario Maker on PC,” says one Bohemian in a video showing off the new editor coming to Arma 3 [official site] later this month. It certainly looks a lot friendlier than Arma editors of yore. Sure, folks have already managed to turn Arma into everything from a zombie apocalypses to a job simulator, but more approachable tools mean even more people making stuff. I am always in favour of more people making things. The more readme files the merrier, I always say. Missions and mods too, I suppose. Here, have a look at the new editor:
Firaxis have unveiled an XCOM 2 [official site] stat-tracking page that shows how many soldiers have died, how many aliens have been killed and other such details. Four and a half million XCOM soldiers dead in less than a week since launch. Good work, Commanders. Five percent of those soldiers met their end at the hands and teeth of a zombie. Really great work, Commanders, seriously. You are nailing it. The stats page currently tells me that none of you have managed to complete the game but that is, apparently, an error.
Riot Games are “retiring” the Dominion mode from League of Legends [official site]. They launched the control point-capturing mode in 2011 to shake up LoL’s three-lane pushing with shorter, more murdersome rounds, for people who just wanted to hop on and kill some wizards. But with “fewer than 0.5% of players” actively playing Dominion, according to Riot, it’s in a death spiral of long queue times and imbalance. It’s sad in any game when a mode goes to a home. So long. Ta-ra. We may come visit.
Yes, no, don’t worry, I will get to The Sisters of Mercy in a bit.
The Flame in the Flood [official site], out Feb 24th, is a wilderness survival game with a difference. Several differences, actually. First of all, it doesn’t involve lots of first-person tree-punching and is more about isometric exploration than campfire crafting. And then there’s the setting – you’re in a drowned world, travelling by raft from one location to the next, searching for food, warmth and – just possibly – signs of life. Human life, that is. Because, as the trailer below shows, the wildlife is deadly.
Inspired by recent experiences with The Witness’ [official site] puzzles, Robert Zak has been reminiscing about the art of note-taking while playing games. From graph paper for dungeon crawlers to suspicions and clues for Her Story [official site], many genres are represented, with only the noble pen and paper to hold them together.>
[This edition was originally published on 2 Feb]>
I just got back from the Maltese edition of the Global Game Jam (not to do with RPS work exactly, I was just doing the keynote and being interested in what all the students were up to). There were some neat things and I’ll write about them if I get time but in the meantime here are a few of the articles I’ve been reading: