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I heard you don t like our podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. But have you listened to 76 hours of it yet? Honestly, mate, it opens up after that. The 76-hour mark, that s when it clicks . But I understand if you don t have the time. Just skip ahead to this week s episode, in which we re talking about games about which we changed our minds. Listen in for the platformers we prematurely pooh-poohed and the Souls games that sucked before they were super.
This piece contains spoilers for Sea of Thieves.
For a while, a university friend of mine rented a bedsit in which one of the walls came with the clear ghost of an old door on it. You could run your hand over the plaster and feel the bumps and ridges where a doorway had been filled in. The weird thing is that there was a room-shaped gap on the other side of the wall, and no clear way of getting into it. It wasn't like the owner had decided to move the entrance to the bathroom, say. Instead, there was now a hidden room in the house - not very well hidden, granted - and who knew what was in there?
A hidden room. The effect is uncanny, I think - an intriguing, bewildering word which is even better in the original German, where it's unheimlich. Heimlich itself means secret or concealed, I gather. For years I had it in my head that it meant homelike. (Heim is the thing that got me confused.) Unhomelike is the best of all. What could be less homelike than discovering a hidden room in a place you think you have already come to know well?
Life is hard and so are videogames. So when you do a tough thing, take pride. It doesn t matter if it seems like a small step for other people, if it s a big step for you, go ahead and puff your chest out. But do it quickly, for heaven s sake. We ve only got an hour. This is the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, and we are being especially boastful this week.
Warning: there is also talk of needles and eyeballs in this episode, but hey, at least that means it s not all self-care mumbo-jumbo.
It still amazes me how coherent roguelike platformer Spelunky was, despite its dozens of moving parts. Monsters, traps and players interact with each other in so many ways. Next year, Spelunky 2 is adding a bucketload of new elements and systems to its repertoire, as you can see in action in the new trailer below. There’s physics-driven fluids, arrows you can use as footholds, mounts you can gracefully leap off Yoshi-style just> above deadly pits and a gun that clones kitties. Oh, and online multiplayer – that seems important.
If it looks a lot like Spelunky, that's on purpose, according to Yu. "My opinion about sequels is that they are extensions of the previous games, so I want fans of Spelunky 1 to jump in and feel like they’re playing a continuation, both storywise and mechanically," he says.
Part of that continuation is the ability to play through the entire game with friends via online multiplayer, and with unique characters. Ana Spelunky is the daughter of our original spelunker, Roffy D. Sloth is a man that is also a sloth, Margaret Tunnel looks like a battle-hardened rogue, and Colin Northward is the spitting image of renowned game developer Colin Northway. Besides the new characters and innumerable new gadgets, enemies, and environments, Spelunky 2 will also feature liquid physics. Water, lava, and more will appear in levels, both as a threat and potential tool in the expected Spelunky style.
Spelunky 2 will be playable at PAX West this weekend, which I'll be attending. Expect some hands-on impressions as soon as we can get them.
I have a terrible memory, which is sometimes an asset. It means that every now and then I get to experience a jolt of joy when I remember that Spelunky 2 is a thing – a thing that I’ve little doubt will take over my life in the same way that both the original freeware and the remaster did. If you somehow haven’t played Spelunky, you should know that it’s a 2D platformer that sits atop the throne of systems-driven roguelikes, capable of spinning story after story from parts that click together in masterful ways. You should also know that I envy you deeply, because I’d give up a lot to play Spelunky for the first time again.
Except I just remembered, I sort of can! Spelunky 2 was announced at last year’s Paris Games Week, with a trailer that gave away very little. So little, in fact, that any murmurings from lead developer Derek Yu on the subject count as news in my book. He recently murmured all over the Tone Control podcast with Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor, and said a little about how becoming a father has shaped development. (more…)
Sometimes you need a hand to hold, so we ve updated our list of the 25 best co-op games to play on PC with a headset-wearing friend or a muted stranger.
Everything’s better with a pal or two in tow, from collaborative puzzle solving to sublime double stealth takedowns. Equally sublime are when those takedowns go awry, your partner shrieks in panic and all hands are needed on deck to clear up the mess. Whether local or online, co-op games offer some of the best fun you can have in 2018.