You can’t deny Overwatch’s exciting gameplay and exceptional polish, but is there a chance for it to thrive in the current FPS landscape?The first person shooter genre has been slowly getting stale. We’ve seen the big series try to survive by mixing in RPG elements, increasing the pace of combat, and augmenting basic actions like walking and jumping with high-powered mods.Yet amidst this seeming renaissance, from Titanfall to Destiny, the class-based shooter genre has all but died. Sure, Battlefield still offers a semblance of it by assigning field jobs to classes, but even that is limited, and is often ignored by most in favour of the more direct approach.Whatever it is that modern shooters can’t or won’t provide, Overwatch is quietly presenting the answer. Oddly enough, the answer is kind of a new take on a game that’s been right here for years: Team Fortress 2. Of course, as is often the case with these statements, this is only partially true. The … [Read more...] about Overwatch is a brilliant class-based shooter, but who is it for?
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Doom's legacy of map making can't be understated. There's still dozens of great works released every single year, with even John Romero getting in on the action all these years later. Be it for the first game or its sequel, somebody is always creating a great new set of levels for it using the community tools and hacks that have been created. In the latest iteration, id are planning to support this with SnapMap, their level builder and mode maker. I don't think it's enough, and restricting modding to just it will do active harm to the future of the game and those who want to create something truly special within it. Doom is probably my most anticipated upcoming PC game, at least once XCOM's out of the way. SnapMap's back in the limelight via a new video interview on Game Informer, where game director Marty Stratton goes over what their trying to accomplish with SnapMap. It is a noble goal - they want to make creating maps and modes for Doom as easy as possible, so beginners … [Read more...] about id say Doom’s Snapmap is to support the modding community from beginners up, so why is it the only option?
On August 1, 2016, Wizards of the Coast released the full spoiler for this year’s iteration of the From the Vault Magic: The Gathering collection. From the Vault: Lore is a limited print collectible product, focusing on fifteen cards that all share a central theme—previous From the Vault themes range from Angels to banned cards. These cards use a special foiling process unique to the From the Vault line, and oftentimes will feature new artwork for a select number of cards. From the Vault products also contain a special twenty-sided spindown die (featuring the symbol for that year’s From the Vault theme), and a collector’s guide explaining why each card was chosen. This year’s theme of “Lore” explores story-heavy cards from across the history of Magic: The Gathering.From the Vault: Lore releases on August 19, 2016 and has an MSRP of $34.99.Now, I’m sure many readers are asking themselves, “Is this worth buying?”, which is a … [Read more...] about From the Vault: Lore – Is it Worth Buying?
Adventure game remakes are common. But not everyone likes to see their old favourites revived. Mitch Kocen asked veteran point-and-clickmen Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, among others, when they think it’s OK to remaster the classicsWithout intervention, every video game you have ever loved will eventually become unplayable. The technology that enables the next generation of games cripples the last. At some point, systems simply can’t run slowly enough to support games made decades prior. For many years, it wasn’t possible to (legally) play older games without digging out the old computer gathering dust in your basement. Fortunately, there is a resurgence of classic games on modern hardware. These re-releases often come with new (or improved) graphics and sound, and sometimes include the option to view the game in its original form. Yet some creators are concerned that these changes compromise the game’s original artistic vision.Ron Gilbert is one of them. The … [Read more...] about When is it OK to remake a classic game?
Note: I’ve had quite a few people who either don’t follow games closely or only heard about Star Citizen [official site] relatively late in the day ask me to explain it to them. This piece is intended to break down a complicated situation for those people and others like them. If you already know the ins and outs of this most unprecedented tale of crowdfunding, spaceships and controversies, it will be of little use to you, though please do help to cast more light on the affair in comments below. What is Star Citizen?Well, that’s a question with a least two answers. The first, and simplest, one, is that it’s a sci-fi simulation, combat, trading and to some extent roleplaying game from Chris Roberts, the lead designer of Wing Commander, the 1990s series of PC spaceship games. Those fondly-remembered DOS titles are as famous for their full-motion video cutscenes starring Mark Hamill and some lion-men as they are for their cosmic dogfights.Star Citizen, initially … [Read more...] about Star Citizen 101: What Is It And Why Is It Controversial?
The professor takes you into his basement laboratory. Rows of jars are lined against the wall and the smell of formaldehyde is overpowering. You ignore the professor’s chattering and look at some of the glass baubles. Inside, twisted ganglia and membranes lie perfectly still, preserved. What are they?“Free games,” says the professor, appearing behind you. “A life form we struggle to comprehend.” Passpartout by FlamebaitStruggling artist simulator. One half Recettear and one half MS Paint, Passpartout sees you racing to pump out as many good paintings as possible to fend off the everlasting threat of poverty (as measured in wine and baguettes). As well as being strangely relaxing, I’d wager it recreates the frustration of artists fairly well. Days can go by without a sale and then all of a sudden you’re en vogue. People always buy the canvas full of vomit you spent two minutes working on, probably because it’s 25 quid. But nobody wants … [Read more...] about Free Loaders: It’s Art But Is It Free?
For the next few weeks, RPS chum James Carey will investigate games on that other PC platform, Linux. He’s dabbled in Linux before, but is exploring this from the perspective of a veteran PC gamer trying gaming seriously on the platform for the first time.With Windows 8 causing PC prophets to forecast doom in the lands of PC gaming, with its philosophy of freedom and rightness, and with Valve getting behind it, Linux, the open operating system, is clearly the future of PC gaming.* But is it still a total pain in the ass? Turns out it really isn’t… I know! I was surprised. Here’s what happened.*Maybe.would say that, because games are what I DO with computers. I’m sure you’re the same. If not, why are you here? But there’s a problem: Linux has always been a nightmare for those who don’t want to make time to learn its inner workings. The last time I made any serious effort to use it was Hardy Heron, about 4 years ago. It was getting easier … [Read more...] about How Easy Is It To Play Windows Games On Linux?
To be perfectly honest, I can't muster much enthusiasm for most of the issues people are having with Mass Effect 3. If you want to rail against homosexuality or sequels or unhappy endings, then to you I say, "OK," and then, "I'll be over here." The problem here--the real problem--with Mass Effect 3 can probably best be summed up by the question, "Who the hell is James Vega?" In the beginning of Mass Effect 3, there's me, Commander Shepard, messianic intergalactic badass on a bit of a tear, up in my office, alone. I'm staring out the window at a small boy playing in a nearby park. Why? That's not important. James walks in. "Commander." "You're not supposed to call me that anymore, James." "Not supposed to salute you, either…" First of all, who is this hulking Herc of a man that's in my office? Second of all, why is he talking to me like he knows me? Third of all, why am I in an office and not on the Normandy? Fourth of all, how long will that child be alone? And … [Read more...] about Who the Hell Is James Vega?
Earlier this month 343 Industries announced an update to Halo 5: Guardians that will bring back the community-made gametype known as Grifball. You can watch the first footage in our exclusive video above. The free update, which doesn't yet have a release date, will include all the weapons, maps and matchmaking infrastructure to make the melee-based sport work.But what in the world is Grifball? Where did it come from and how will gameplay change with the new mobility features found in the latest version of Halo? Polygon gathered a blue-ribbon panel to find out.As it turns out, the origin of the name "Grifball" comes from a throw-away line that opened episode 59 of the now famous machinima series Red vs. Blue. "Our character Sarge hates this other character, named Grif, who’s on his team," Rooster Teeth Productions' Burnie Burns, co-writer and director of Red vs. Blue, told Polygon. "Sarge is shooting at him one day and Grif is running back and forth on a cliff, almost like a duck … [Read more...] about Halo 5 is bringing back Grifball, but what on earth is it?
During the past week or so, I've spent some time with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Like many of the game's reviewers, I am deeply impressed with the game, its world, its story and its characters.Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't merely about exploring a beautiful and vast world, or fighting through combat challenges, or managing power portfolios of character rigs and skills. It's about hanging out with the game's party members, the dozen or so men and women (human or otherwise) with whom you will be spending an awful lot of time.In this game, BioWare has delivered characters who feel real. They feel real because the writing team, headed up by David Gaider, managed to write them that way. Writing is something BioWare has always done well, but here, the team has excelled, filling an expansive world with stories, ideas, words and people who, together, create an immense fictional entertainment.Put it this way: If you're going to spend a hundred hours with a bunch of people, you'd better enjoy … [Read more...] about Dragon Age: Inquisition’s greatest achievement is its writing