Control - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

The sphere is loose. A spiky black void, jittering between realities as it loafs towards me like a murderous billiard ball from a higher dimension. It’s one of many paranormal horrors to break out of the Bureau s containment, and I do not like it one bit.

Except I do, because weird balls and their ilk are the main reason I m excited about Control. Those, and all the telekinesis.

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FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

After thirteen years of development, the saga of Final Fantasy XV today draws to an abrupt close with the launch of its final story DLC, Episode Ardyrn. Square Enix had planned to release another three episodes after this, each focusing on a different character, but they cut that plan short and here we are at the end, my only friend, the end. Episode Ardyn focuses on the spooky cowboy and his dark past. Here, have some dramatic soliloquising in the launch trailer.

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

Most battles may be fought royalley nowadays, but some still like to fight in the olden ways. Team Fortress 2 is alive, kicking, and hosting a 6v6 tournament explicitly for beginners. It’s called the Fresh Meat Challenge 2, it begins in a couple of weeks, and if you’ve ever thought about playing competitive TF2 then you should absolutely consider signing up. I dipped my toes into those waters many years ago, and it was wild.

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HITMAN™ - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

HDR on PC continues to be a bit of a mess these days, but provided you haven’t been put off by the astronomical prices of the [cms-block]s for HDR or, indeed, the ongoing debacle surrounding Windows 10 support for it, then the next step on your path to high dynamic range glory is to get an HDR compatible graphics card.

Below, you’ll find a complete list of all the Nvidia and AMD graphics cards that have built-in support for HDR, as well as everything you need to know about getting one that also supports Nvidia and AMD’s own HDR standards, G-Sync HDR and FreeSync 2. I’ve also put together a list of all the PC games that support HDR as well. There aren’t many of them, all told, but I’ll be updating this list with more titles as and when they come out so it’s always up to date.

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

Dystopic pointer-clickerer Beneath A Steel Sky is very much in the 90s PC pantheon, even if it’s not necessarily the first name people reach for when turning all misty-eyed about using x on y. With a creative team that included Broken Sword’s Charles Cecil and Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, while its puzzles don’t exactly stake a claim to immortality, its oppressive vision of tomorrow certainly left an impression in an age when so many of its peers were all zombie pirates and frontier psychiatrists.

A certain vintage of PC types have been baying for a sequel since 1994, and hey, whaddaya know? It’s finally happening – as revealed by Apple, of all megacorps.

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The Outer Worlds - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ollie Toms)

If you were at all paying attention to the new titles announced back in The Game Awards 2018, you’ll likely have noticed Obsidian Entertainment’s latest singleplayer RPG (they’re quite good at those). The Outer Worlds will fling its players across the galaxy to the corpocratic Halcyon colony, where opportunities for forging alliances and slicing up bad guys with lazer scythes are undoubtedly rich and abundant. In preparation for its release, we’ve compiled the below The Outer Worlds guide, where you can find everything you need to know before diving into this massive new world, including The Outer Worlds release date information, details on combat and exploration in The Outer Worlds, and all The Outer Worlds trailers and videos you might want to take a look at.

The Outer Worlds release date and platforms

We’re promised The Outer Worlds will be released in 2019, but when exactly in the year remains a mystery for now. When the game does arrive it’ll appear exclusively on the Epic Store and Microsoft Store for its first year, before arriving on Steam in 2020. It’ll also be available on PS4 and Xbox platforms when it first releases on PC.

The Outer Worlds trailer details – all trailers and videos

Below you can find both the announcement video from Obsidian themselves, and a 15-minute gameplay video from The Outer Worlds with commentary from the folks over at Game Informer.

The Outer Worlds setting

The premise of The Outer Worlds is that you were one of many cryo-sleepy colonists shipped off to the – ahem – outer worlds> of known space, where a corporation-dominated dual-planet colony called Halcyon was supposedly waiting to receive you. But your ship was lost in transit, with the result that you remained a human popsicle for a lot longer than is strictly healthy. Unfrozen at last, you set off on your journey across Halcyon and its two associated celestial bodies.

According to Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, the game’s directors, one of the colony’s two planets has been terraformed but the other has not, which means there is likely to be a whole host of hungry beasties and other dangers on that world. To travel between the two planets you’ll need to find and regain control of your ship, which is where The Outer Worlds starts sounding very familiar to Mass Effect fans, with the ship serving as your home base and rest area where you can get to know your crew and companions, and take stock of your objectives.

There are companions in The Outer Worlds? And conversations?

The Outer Worlds will indeed feature living breathing companions with unique motives, quests, and attitudes towards life, Halcyon, and you. And you can have in-depth role-playing conversations with them to figure all this stuff out using a dialogue system similar to Obsidian’s isometric titles such as Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny. The protagonist appears to be unvoiced (at least for now), but can choose between a variety of options for not just what you say but how you say it (“Dumb” responses are sure to bring hilarity to such encounters).

Your companions will also have things to say about the actions you take during your journey across Halcyon. If you deviate from their goals, they will be critical; and if you cross their line, they’ll abandon you and head back to the ship.

Combat in The Outer Worlds

It looks as though The Outer Worlds’ combat will appeal particularly to those of us who had a jolly time killing things in BioShock. One of the new features the Obsidian folks were keen to show off was the “time dilation” mechanic, which slows everything to a bassy crawl giving you time to line up that perfect headshot. We’re promised a diverse array of weapons with which to dispense your own personal brand of justice, including a selection of fabulously lightsaber-esque melee energy weapons for when gunplay doesn’t get you close enough to the action. There are apparently even a class of aptly named “science weapons” which include hilarious-sounding options such as shrink rays.

As with BioShock, drugs will play an important part in The Outer Worlds, both the driving force behind certain missions across Halcyon and also a viable option during combat to help you survive longer or dish out more damage. The leveling and stats system will help with that too, comprising six different skills such as strength and intelligence, and unlockable perks which activate as you pour more points into these skills.

An associated feature that Obsidian have implemented for this RPG is what they call the “Flaws” system. Flaws are neat little optional traits which are brought about by the game monitoring your experiences throughout Halcyon and noting if you have trouble with a particular enemy or thing>. If this happens enough, you may be offered the option to give yourself a flaw based on this antagonist, which gives you a debuff during future similar experiences.

The game compensates you for this choice by allowing you to choose an extra character perk immediately. So if there’s a certain type of beast over on Danger-Planet that you keep dying to, you are given the option to ingrain this shortcoming into your character’s narrative in a way that the game understands. According to Cain, he’s been wanting to put this system into a game for years.

Player choice in The Outer Worlds

Many RPGs these days involve an element of player choice, where the world and its inhabitants react according to various choices made. The Outer Worlds doesn’t look to be an exception, with multiple branching paths appearing in one of the very first quests in the game. The man who rescues you from your icy slumber asks you to procure certain chemicals which will enable him to help your fellow colonists.

Which you can do, if you choose. Or, you can take the objectively more fun alternative, and turn the poor fellow in to the bureaucops over on the Halcyon corporate board, for what Cain promises will be a “lot of money”. So there’ll evidently be a fair amount of scope for larger branching paths during quests, in addition to the large number of branching dialogue options and the general open-world-ness of the game which will enable you to choose which location or quest you’d like to seek out next.

Will there be romance options?

Alas, though Cain and Boyarsky said they considered the prospect of Bioware-esque love- and lust-fuelled chapters of your colonist’s journey, they ultimately decided against it. So for those of you hoping to woo that outlaw, you know, the one with the eyes, or that corporate clone with that distinctive waddle – I’m afraid you’re outta luck.

For now, that’s all we’ve got. But as more news arrives we’ll be updating this page to reflect all the juicy details of Obsidian’s new offering. So make sure you keep checking back here as we soar ever nearer to The Outer Worlds and all that awaits us there.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Tom Francis)

At GDC this week, Prey’s lead level designer Rich Wilson explained why their team decided to change the immersive sim formula for its Mooncrash DLC. Mooncrash is a fasinating artifact: it blends the immersive first-person exploration and triple-A production values of its parent game with experimental, permadeath, randomised elements pulled from roguelikes. It’s a marriage that could not be more targeted to my personal tastes, but confusingly, Rich did not cite pleasing me personally as their primary motive.

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One Night Stand - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

One Night Stand is a perfect study in awkwardness. When you wake up in a stranger’s bed with a stinking hangover and no memory of the night before, just what is> the polite thing to do? Get dressed and leave as quickly as possible? Pry into her wallet to try to find out her name so you don’t look like a total jerk? Or perhaps you make a go at some small talk, chatting about the stacks of books and records on her shelves to try to establish a better relationship? Or maybe you get caught trying on her underwear and get turfed out the door in the nip. All things are possible in this beautifully observed visual novel, where feeling intensely uncomfortable has never felt so damn right>.

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

The good news is that Observation – the intense-looking sci-fi thriller from Stories Untold developers No Code – has a release date. Announced during Sony’s PS4-centric “State Of Play” stream, it’ll be out on May 21st. The concerning news is that the game’s Steam store page has vanished, as has any mention of Steam (or any PC storefront, for that matter) on its official page. Publisher Devolver make no mention of a PC version in their Twitter release date announcement, either. Below, the new trailer for the PS4 version of the game, which admittedly looks very nice.

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No Man's Sky - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

At least half of the joy of No Man’s Sky is soaking in its strange alien landscapes that its algorithms have generated for you. I reckon that sightseeing should be all the more impressive in virtual reality. During a Sony live-stream, Hello Games unveiled one more feature of their upcoming free expansion, Beyond – full VR support. Players with existing saves can put on a pair of space-goggles and immediately go virtual, and even play with other people online whether or not they have expensive headsets, too. Take a look at the new VR mode with its new, tactile controls below.

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