Jan 20, 2013
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

Sundays are for rising from the dead. I have returned from the bleak wilderness of zero connectivity to light the blazing beacon of light reading on Mount Internet. Soon beacons will appear all across the skyline of the digital world, and writing about games will be read by thousands. It is a beautiful new era.

  • Over at Edge Online Steven Poole noted that the UK’s premier sesquipedalian, Will Self, had written an essay on videogames, and that – while flawed and inexpert re the medium – made some interesting points, such as why nazi zombies might not be good game fodder, and why being hunted might be a good theme for a game. (And it really is.) Thus: “Self’s essay muses on the theme of predation, endorsing the argument of Paul Trout that “our earliest mythologies” are based “in the experience not of being hunters, but of being hunted” by jawed megafauna such as the sabre-toothed tiger. He finds this a refreshing counter to the modern shooter that tells its customers they are alpha predators. But videogames have long played precisely on a tense alternation between being predated upon and doing the predating. (As Self could have noticed even in Pac-Man.) If we were only prey in games, they would be too depressing a phantasmagorical allegory of real life, since most of us are fundamentally prey to the rapacious dance of global capital, to crypto-psychopathic bosses, to barbarous bureaucracy.”
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Naturally, Heavy's boat is propelled by miniguns.

You can’t make this stuff up. Well, I mean, I suppose it’s technically possible. I could tell you, right now, that the puck from Ricochet will be getting its own talk show on Adult Swim this fall. But is it really that> much more preposterous than a Football Manager (no, not player) plying some variety of ball-based voodoo magic  in Sonic And All Stars Racing: Transformed? With Team Fortress 2′s Heavy, Spy, and Pyro, and Shogun: Total War 2′s, er, Shogun in tow, no less? Here, though, is the absolute craziest part of all: The blue-blur-themed kart racer’s apparently kind of amazing.

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

Recently, I think we’ve seen a fairly wide shift back to treating beta tests like, well, tests. Admittedly, things still get a little dicey when games like MechWarrior Online or, most notoriously, The War Z charge for early admittance, sometimes barely disguising toothy bear traps of vague terminology. In short, “foundation release.” But I digress. Apparently, SimCity didn’t get the memo, because its closed beta will be three days long. Is it a glorified demo? Probably. But oh well. You still (maybe) get to strap into your snazzy mayoral suspenders for a weekend, and Maxis will come away with some> form of valuable data, at least. Details on registration and content after the break.

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

NEVER AGAIN.

The PC version of the original Halo was actually pretty strong, all things considered. Fun fact: it was the first Halo game anywhere> to have official online multiplayer. Halo 2, however, didn’t manage such a sterling performance. Mainly, it was meant to be Windows Vista’s killer app, and Vista – at least, at launch – just let people with a desire to kill. As a result of that exclusivity, Master Chief’s Covenant-bomb-giving-back-est adventure went largely ignored and was left to the ravages of time – which brings us to today. According to Microsoft, it’s now got 20 players. Yes, 20 – concurrently, at least. Unsurprisingly, they’ve declared it time to pull the plug.

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

When you stare into the void, etc.

Insert Title Here‘s a very bizarre game. It’s also a bit annoying – in part because it repeatedly prattles on about how it’s not sure if it even is a game, like an insecure teenager who’s trying way, way, way too hard to cover up the fact that they’re completely uncomfortable in their own acne-ridden skin. But in the 20-or-so-minute first-person thing>‘s better moments, it’s so effortlessly strange that I didn’t care. In short, it positions itself as an “experiment,” sending you on an oddly stifling stroll through a variety of themed rooms to see how you – the player – will react. Sometimes, it gets super meta. Other times, it asks you to evaluate yourself as a human being. There are a couple potentially problematic moments, but I appreciated it for the patently uncomfortable state of mind it put me in.

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

Have you been saving your pennies recently? I hope so, because right here is RPS’s weekly dose of download discounts, where you could turn a little bit of money into lots of games. There’s discounts from all across the internet compiled into on convenient place, so you can spend less time running around looking for games you want to buy, and more time playing them. Get over to SavyGamer.co.uk if this lot isn’t enough for you. (more…)

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

You’d need a six dimensional tongue to describe Alexander Bruce’s Antichamber. It is a game and a psychological experiment. I’m not even sure if writing about it is a good idea, or if it’s somehow judging from it’s non-euclidean dimension. It exists in a potential form right now, but it’ll soon exist in exchange for money and a few frazzled braincells. Bruce has descended from the higher plane, where time is of no consequence and everyone has both completed Antichamber and yet never played it, to let us earthly types know it’s out on in the fifth quadrangle of hex space, just before the Platnar’s ascendance. That is a fixed point in time. I’m just running it through the un-gibbernator to let you know. Put on ze goggles. (more…)

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

Typewriter ready?

The gaming guide is something of a lost art form. Back in the day, they were the only way to find out how to get past that bloody goat in Broken Sword, aside from phoning Uncle Charles and asking him on his goat hotline. Now it’s all Google, Youtube, wikis, or skywriters. You can’t look at a sunset without the best StarCraft 2 build orders getting in the way. Valve are as angry as I am at those damn pilots, and have just un-betafied their newest Steam Community creation: Steam Guides. (more…)

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

Yes, this is exactly what it looks like.

I think the best way I can classify Neo Aquarium 2: Ace of Seafood is “fish-person shooter.” Or, alternatively, I suppose I can just go with “completely fucking bonkers.” In short, it’s an over-the-shoulder (fish do not have shoulders; gaming lexicon, you have failed me) third-person shooter where you’re a fish that fires lasers in an attempt to blow up worms, fish, and any other foolish bottom-feeder that dares cross your path (fish do not have paths; colloquial lexicon, you have also failed me; language is not powerful enough to handle this game). Everything explodes upon death, and it’s amazing. Also, there was totally a Neo Aquarium 1 before this. The fact that I never knew about it until now proves there is no god.

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

Think about what those words mean. Disney. Everything. Everywhere. Mostly in your wallet, though. Disney Infinity is the frightening new concept from Disney, tying in games and real-world toy figurines into a confusing and vaguely terrifying thing>. I’ve read about it several times now, and I’m making the face a cat makes during fireworks night. A cat that’s just been explained the various components of Disney Infinity, and it just happens to be Guy Fawkes Night. HE IS ALREADY CONFUSED IS WHAT I’M GETTING AT. At least the trailer below is sort of descriptive.

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