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

So yeah. This is an actual game now.

Call of Duty: Black Ops. CODBLOPS. BLOPS. COD. Cod. Heh, that’s a fish.

This is the exact> process every human brain goes through upon trying to create an acronym for Activision’s record-obliterating mega-blockbuster, so it’s only natural that someone would eventually convert that lush, meaningful imagery back into a game. Thus, I bring you Cod of Duty. The basic premise? Evil fish terrorists are planning… something. It involves guns. And barrels. And being in barrels. Yes, this is a game in which you literally shoot fish in a barrel. The commentary, it is palpable. CODPALPS. Or something. I don’t know. Join me for some crunchy, lightly fish-flavored discussion after the break.

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

Kingmaker. Not to be confused with the new hit reality show, King Makeover. It's actually quite heartfelt, if you'll believe it.

War. War never changes.

OK, actually, no. Now look here, ominous Fallout guy: I know what you’re trying to say, but I don’t think you’re accounting for any sort of subtlety or nuance. Sure, we’re still talking about people killing each other, and that’s a nice, grim sentiment, but small changes make ripples in the blood-soaked killing fields too. I’m talking, of course, about thunder-voiced narrators. Case in point: Brian Blessed‘s involvement with Paradox’s War of the Roses. As part of an upcoming DLC pack, these things will happen: “Blessed’s booming voice will inspire knights by announcing in-game events and warnings, giving new meaning to the iconic command to ‘Kill the enemy!’” That’ll cost money. But a stripped down version of the game? That, my friends, is completely free.

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

As if we hadn’t already heard enough from the man who steers the Irrational Zeppelin through developmental waters, Jim also had a long chat with Ken Levine, the creator of Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. Read on for thoughts that span the sadness of cholera, the mystery of condiments, the joy of turn-based historical war, and some stuff about a game set in a flying city.

I’ve marked out some mild spoilers towards the end of the piece. These are non-specific discussions of the plot themes, but you can decide whether to skip.> (more…)

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

It’s been a long, long time since we mentioned that handsome scrolling biff ‘em up Skullgirls was coming to PC. The reason seems to be trouble at the development studio, and indeed it won’t even be brought to us by Reverge Labs, by a new studio Lab Zero. Publishers Autumn and Marvelous AQL are backing the project, so it will now be down to the former Skullgirls team to bring the game to PC. They’ve recently updated to explain what they’re up to, explaining: “We presented Marvelous with two options: a relatively quick port that would mirror the feature set of the console releases, and a slower port with expanded multiplayer functionality such as lobbies. Marvelous AQL has graciously opted for the second option.”

Trailer below, of course. Why wouldn’t there be?> (more…)

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

The news-owls at VG247 spotted that there’s a video (below) of Gabe Newell’s recent talk at the University of Texas. In it he covers a wide range of issues relating to games, and particularly to Steam – discussing things such as the market for Team Fortress 2 hats. But what is perhaps most remarkable is that around 44 minutes, he talks about the problem of Steam being a curated store, and goes on to suggest that Valve are a bottleneck for publishing on the platform, and then even more radically, that they should remove themselves from the equation entirely: “So rather than having this curated store we’re going to say, “OK if we are thinking about this correctly, it really should be sort of a network API.” There should be this publishing model – and yes you have to worry about viruses and malware and stuff like that – but essentially anybody should be able to publish anything through Steam.”

That’s a download from the future right there. And there’s plenty more. Go watch it. (more…)

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

In the first part of an extensive, illuminating and arguably controversial interview with Passage, Sleep is Death and Chain World creator Jason Rohrer, we discussed his new game, the fascinating but sinister home defence MMO The Castle Doctrine, making virtual possessions and people matter and why he chose to include only male protagonists. In this second and final part, we pick up mid-chat about issues of authorship in games, leading to his thoughts on the divisive Far Cry 3. Then we cover his outspoken feelings about gun control, before moving on to how house and trap construction works in The Castle Doctrine, how he thinks he’s made player-generated content meaningful, and, inevitably, whatever happened to his mystery Minecraft mod Chain World.> (more…)

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

We love a bit of Torn Banner’s elegant game of violent multiplayer dismemberment, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, and that romance is made all the sweeter by the gifts it keeps bestowing upon us. The first content update, which has now arrived, brings new game modes, and their relevant maps, as well as a bunch of new environments for the existing game. (And frankly, they look gorgeous.) Then there are new weapons, and a bunch of game tweaks, from being able to swing your weapon differently, to blood splatters on the ground. It’s a wealth of bonus stuff for those of you awash in the unattached parts of your digital enemies.

Get your eyes plucked out as a warning to other games by the latest trailer, below. (more…)

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

Scouse scoundrel David Valjalo gets taken on a tour of one of 2012′s indie highlights, Gravity Bone follow-up Thirty Flights Of Loving, by creator Brendon Chung. Together, they unravel the myriad movie and game references buried deep in this short, sharp burst of first-person, spy-themed adventure.> (more…)

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

I usually hesitate to simply post sales news, because that’s what LewiePs are for. But in the case of RPS space-strategy favourite AI War I will make an exception. It’s 75% off with all the expansions included on Steam. That makes it $4.24 or £2.99 or €4.24, and that’s a fine price for such a huge slab of spaceshipular cleverness. A chunk of the money raised will be given to charity Child’s Play.

To discover why this bundle should be so appealing go here (and lament the unfinishedness), and also check the most recent trailer, below. (more…)

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

We just got through an image and some blurb from CDPR (above, clicky for large), in which they announced their new RPG-building game tech, REDEngine 3. We know that it’s going to power Cyberpunk 2077, but see if this> sounds like The Witcher 3 to you: “Combining a non-linear story and open-world RPG for the first time, CD Projekt RED’s REDengine 3 brings a new level of realism to the gaming experience.” And then there’s CD Projekt RED boss Adam Badowski, saying: “If we look at RPGs nowadays we find two approaches, one which emphasizes the story but limits the game world, and one that builds a vast, open world but hampers and simplifies the story. With the REDengine 3 we combine the positive aspects of both approaches for the first time, creating an open environment with a complex, multi-thread story. Together with believable characters, a captivating tale and a world where players can roam freely without loading times, we will be able to move gaming to a new level with a realistic feel and full player immersion.” Sounds a lot like what we might expect The Witcher 3 hyper to sound like, eh?

So that might not be a screenshot of the as-yet-unannounced-but-totally-happening-soon The Witcher 3, but it’s probably not far off…

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