The Miskatonic - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Here’s a weird one to start your weekend on. I’ve been following The Miskatonic since its earliest concept drafts as a platform shooter. After a successful Kickstarter, it’s somehow mutated into a grim, grimy and all-too-cheerful visual novel about the students and staff of Arkham’s infamously evil Miskatonic University, and their place in a strange post-Cthulhu world. It’s also out right now.

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Pathfinder: Kingmaker - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Paizo’s pen and paper RPG Pathfinder may not be Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s as close as you can get to it while still being legally distinct, which makes it perfect source material for a Baldur’s Gate-esque old school RPG. Successfully Kickstarted a year ago, Pathfinder: Kingmaker now has a release date – September 25th – and a very fancy new trailer below to accompany the announcement.

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Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Adventure Time remains one of my favourite cartoons ever>, but so far none of the games based on it have done its weird and wonderful world and characters justice. Pirates Of The Enchiridion looks to be closest to the mark so far – a seafaring RPG with turn-based combat, released today. Below, an authentic-looking launch trailer featuring the full TV voice cast.

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

In a little over four weeks, five AI bots will play a team of pro players at The International. OpenAI’s bots have learnt to play Dota 2 almost from scratch, building up an understanding of the game using one of the most advanced reinforcement learning techniques AI researchers have yet devised.

It’s an impressive achievement, regardless of whether the bots manage to crush their flesh and blood opponents. But don’t get too carried away. Last week I told you about Mike Cook’s blog post, where he highlighted both the technical and conceptual limitations surrounding OpenAI’s bots. Mike is best known for Angelina, the game making AI that he’s been tinkering with for the past eight years – but no AI problem can escape his expert gaze. So I called him up and asked if he could explain some more. (more…)

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

If you like your clacky keyboards, Razer’s new Huntsman is going to be right up your street. This thing is LOUD. Much louder, I’d say, than any other keyboard I’ve tested so far, and I’d probably even go as far as saying it’s clickier and clackier than the Cherry MX blue switches found in mechanical keyboards like the Fnatic Streak and HyperX Alloy Elite.

This won’t be a problem if you actually prefer the soothing sound of rapid finger-tapping while playing your favourite games, but for those whose PCs happen to live within ten feet of another human being, the Huntsman probably> isn’t going to be the keyboard for you. Even with my office door closed, my husband and fellow RPS video person Matthew could still just about hear me clacking away from our downstairs living room, so you’re either going to need some very understanding partners/family members if you buy this keyboard, or risk watching your relationships explode in a furious rage. In this case, though, I’m fully prepared for any potential divorce proceedings, because boy does the Huntsman feel good> to type on.

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qrth-phyl - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

What goes around comes back stronger, and goodness me it’s nice to have qrth-phyl come back. Last seen by us in 2012, the arcade Snake-o-dotgobbler from the glowing mind behind Leave Home has returned to us through a Steam release with new modes and online leaderboards. I have bought it, downloaded it, loaded it, burnt a few lives, then closed it because mate this is a bit much for me in the dying hours of my working week. Still pleasant, still colourful, still getting mighty tricky as your snake grows longer and longer coiling over and inside 3D objects. (more…)

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

Overwatch‘s diminutive Swedish engineer Torbj rn is set to get a few whacks from Blizzard’s tuning wrench. Similar to Symmetra’s massive rework recently, Overwatch lead designer Geoff Goodman told VG247 of tentative plans to rebuild the stubborn Swede into a more aggressive character capable of deploying self-upgrading turrets on the go. It also seems likely that his ultimate ability – Molten Core – is to be replaced entirely.

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

The monsters are sleeping. They stand around in dark corners, obscured by a thick dust that hangs in the air. Our squad creeps through the doorway, crouching and tense and heavily armed. Then: a single gunshot. The monsters are awake. They scream, they run at us, they flail and strike with fleshy, twisted limbs, and call out for more of their brothers (sisters?) who come scampering through the cavern toward the noise and gunfire that follows. Eventually, the squad fights them all off, things calm down, the last of the fleshy creatures is killed. All right, asks one of the team playing GTFO with me. Who fired that shot?

Yeah, sorry, I say. That was me. (more…)

Stardew Valley - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

You’ll be able to play relaxing farm life sim Stardew Valley with up to three friends this August 1st. The long-awaited multiplayer mode has been available as an opt-in open beta since late April, but the developers reckon it’s finally ready for prime-time.

The multiplayer update includes some new additions to the world, online or off, including new quests, heart events and (most importantly) hats for horses, as detailed in the (tentative) patch notes here. Below, a trailer giving us a peek at what communal farming looks like in action.

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

Clicker Heroes 2 marks the point that clicker games – y’know, the ones all about making numbers go ever-higher with a minimum of interaction – encroach so far into action-RPG territory that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to play a Diablolike again. The illusion is shattered; the pretence that I play hacker-slashers for any reason beyond numerical embiggening ripped away. Clicker Heroes 2 is master of dopamine, overlord of loot-hunger, god-emperor of unputdownable nothingness.

Until, unexpectedly soon, it isn’t. (more…)

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