Darkest Dungeon 2 is out now in early access
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 12:16 pm

Darkest Dungeon 2 has launched in early access, inviting us all on a delightfully stressful wagon ride. The sequel to Red Hook Studios' dark roguelike moves away from expeditions in the gloomy Hamlet, and instead sends you on a journey through horrific lands to stop an apocalypse. The devs recently told me about why they're taking their gothic tale on the road, and it has something to do with wanting to emulate a rather uncomfortable road trip.

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Rad roguelike Caves Of Qud has added friendlier modes
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 9:52 am

I've heard a lot about sci-fantasy roguelike Caves Of Qud, split between "This game is amazing" and "This game sounds amazing but what am I doing and why do I keep dying?" Good news for both types: the latest early access update has added new areas, factions, and items for experienced players to enjoy, while also adding two new friendlier modes. Character creation is overhauled too, complete with some helpful presets.

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Step back from the brink in Precipice
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 10:00 am

Brinkmanship doesn't get explored all that much in games. Precipice is almost certainly derived from Balance of Power, a political strategy simulation from 1985 about the Cold War powers and their winner-armageddons-all staring contest. It was impressively original, complex, and completely unplayable. Happily, Precipice has kept most of what made that game interesting to begin with, and dumped the baggage.

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You can batter people with fish in Chivalry 2's new tavern brawl mode
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 11:04 am

Swords are cool and all but the medieval fight I find a delight is a tavern brawl, so I'm chuffed to heck to see Chivalry 2 focus on them in a new mode. 'Brawl' mode has players rumble through feasts and halls, fighting with found weapons including chairs, steins, and giant fish. Oh yes, thank you. Also in the field of delightful foolishness is a new headbutt move for armless players to launch one desperate last attack.

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How to enable Auto HDR in Windows 11
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 11:32 am

Windows 11 may not be an essential upgrade yet, but its Auto HDR feature is mightily impressive: in games that don’t support HDR (high dynamic range) natively, it can apply similar brightness-boosting, colour-emboldening effects. There’s no performance loss, so if you’ve going to upgrade to Windows 11 on your gaming rig, it’s worth giving Auto HDR a try – and this guide will show you how to enable it.

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Lo-fi horror and the allure of an uncanny Bitsy
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 8:00 am

A glitched out corner, textures too-smooth in some places and too-rough in others. Play some distorted audio, and add some film grain. That’s lo-fi horror, baby, and the lo-fi games that fit this brief can prey on the valley between the uncanny and the unknown. It’s no secret that the unknown is the scariest part of any horror media. Well, aside from that clown with extremely sharp and pointy teeth - but that’s a kind of unknown. Like... Who’s their dentist? Where’d they get that axe? You know what... I take it back. I don’t want to know that one. Let’s get back to those lo-fi videogames.

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Phasmophobia has added a haunted campsite and new ghosts
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 6:14 am

If Halloween is best spent doing scary things with pals, Phasmophobia is one of the best games to play this Halloween. The cooperative game sends us to investigate haunted places, trying to capture evidence of ghosts without getting murdered by them. And now it's even more Halloween-y (well, technically Friday The 13th-y) thanks to a big new early access update, which has added a new map set in a haunted campground, new types of ghost, and new spooky weather. Great, just what I wanted in a game I'm already too scared to play.

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Best LAPA loadout in Warzone Season 6
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 4:36 am

Looking for the best LAPA loadout in Warzone Season 6? Treyarch and Raven Software are sending Cold War out with a bang, adding a series of unusual, interesting weapons in the final seasons. The LAPA SMG is the latest, and one of the most intriguing yet. Several of its barrel attachments alter the LAPA’s damage and fire rate. That variety makes the LAPA a very fun gun to customize and play around with. Of course, there is always a best configuration. Once you’ve had your fun and are ready to sweat, we’re here to help.

The LAPA’s range isn’t great, but up close it has monstrous potential. Its high neck and head multipliers make for a skill-dependant weapon, but in the right hands, with the right build, the LAPA fries. Here’s our build of choice:

As usual, we’re starting off with an Agency Suppressor. Added range and bullet velocity on a suppressor remain nigh-impossible to pass up. As long as you’re using a Cold War weapon, you’ll want this attachment. Things get interesting with the barrel. We’ve gone with the Rifled Barrel, which provides the most consistent damage profile. The LAPA very much relies on chest, neck, and headshots, but the Rifled Barrel helps even out the damage to the stomach and limbs. All of the barrels are frankly pretty close in power though, so try a few and see what feels right.

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Valve confirm Steam autumn, winter, and Halloween sale dates
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 October 2021, 5:07 am

Valve can't keep sales secret. Every year, the big dates leak well in advance, whether whispered by devs or blasted by PayPal newsletters. This year, Valve are apparently content to say them in public where anyone might here. Hey, it's just a sale, why the secrecy? So yup, we now definitely know dates for the Steam Halloween Sale, the Steam Autumn Sale, and the Steam Winter Sale.

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Moonglow Bay review: a relaxing fishing RPG that's all about keeping it reel
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 1:00 pm

Everything in the seaside town of Moonglow Bay has seen better days. That includes you, a middle-aged accountant who’s moved out of the big city for a fresh start. But things never go quite to plan, do they? The moment-to-moment of Moonglow Bay is a chilled-out experience of getting out onto the waves, exploring various biomes, catching fish, and cooking them up to sell or gift to the townspeople. But within that is an exploration of things going awry, and letting go of old dreams in order to build new ones.

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No More Heroes developers Grasshopper bought by NetEase
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 10:36 am

Chinese publishers NetEase have bought Grasshopper Manufacture, the Japanese studio behind stylish, swaggering games including No More Heroes, The Silver Case, and Killer7. While NetEase have roots in mobile games, they have been investing in fancier things. Grasshopper say that with NetEase's cash, they plan to release "three even higher-quality 'Grasshopper Manufacture Games'" over the next decade.

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Please, stop with all the godawful emails about NFT gaming
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 12:21 pm

It started a few months ago: we got an email about shoes designed using 'blockchain technology', and had a good laugh about it as a concept. But in retrospect, this email was merely the ripple on a glass of water that go ahead of a T-Rex's mighty tread. Except in this analogy the T-Rex is one of 10,001 unique dinosaurs programatically generated from different traits. And it's wearing wacky sunglasses and smoking a pipe.

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Halo Infinite campaign trailer shows big levels with bases to capture
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 9:51 am

After focusing a lot of attention on Halo Infinite's multiplayer, Microsoft have turned back to showing off the story campaign. Today's new campaign trailer, sadly, did not give us another hot WWE promo from a space-ape but it did kinda have Far Cry-ish vibes. Watch on for Master Chef zooming around big levels in vehicles, causing big explosions, upgrading his abilities, and bantering with his new Tamagotchi girlfriend.

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"I have a phobia of animal suits, and I have done my entire life," says surreal artist and Spiral Circus' co-founder Tom Mead. I'm listening to him talk about the making of his latest game, Silt, at EGX 2021. First announced at the PC Gaming Show earlier in the year, Silt is a surreal 2D puzzle game in which you play a mysterious diver who can project their soul through the window of their diving helmet to possess nearby fish. Piranhas can chomp through chains and ropes, for example, while hammerhead sharks can help bash crumbling walls to create new pathways. Hand drawn by Mead using a simplified version of his signature cross hatching and fineliner penmanship, Silt instantly calls to mind the likes of Limbo and Inside. And yet the origins of this strange, watery tale stem from a far more innocuous source of inspiration.

"The main influence to any of my work is good old Beatrix Potter, believe it or not," Mead continues. "I blame my mum entirely because she made me and my sister watch this horrible ballet when I was a kid, and I still haven't watched it since then. Over the years, though, I realised that this was one of my main things that fuelled my characters, and the fox man character, I started drawing him and he became my main character for years."

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Overwatch's McCree will be renamed Cole Cassidy
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 8:10 am

Blizzard have announced that Overwatch's McCree will be known as Cole Cassidy going forward. They're renaming the cowboy to distance him from his real-life namesake, former Blizzard employee Jesse McCree. He left the developer due to unknown reasons in August, but his departure came after the State of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging the company fostered a "frat boy" culture of sexual harassment and discrimination. The name change will take effect in-game tomorrow.

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It's Halloween Week on RPS, and we've got a load of horror-themed writing to celebrate
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 8:39 am

Happy Halloween you horrible little monsters! To celebrate the spookiest of all seasons - with the big day itself coming up at the weekend - we've got a whole host of horror-themed articles that you'll see spread out over the week. Like ectoplasm. Or toxic waste. Something thematically oozey.

These will get you in the mood for dressing as a character from a Resident Evil game, or a scary cat of some description. Keep checking the Halloween 2021 tag to see more appearing, out of thin air - like a g-g-g-ghost.

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Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy review: a blast from the past
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 9:00 am

In a video game landscape that's pocked with millions of map markers and vast open worlds, Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy is a linear action adventure game with a clear beginning, middle and an end. It's an approach that feels refreshingly old-school, in the way it guides you smoothly from one story bit to another. But this doesn't mean it's one big flatline without any peaks, troughs, or surprises.

If anything, the game as a whole is a wonderful surprise. Planet-hopping as Star Lord is great fun, made even better by his colourful compatriots and the genuinely funny craic they share. Marvel fan or clueless layman? Doesn't matter, you're in for a good time no matter where you sit on the MCU scale.

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Age Of Empires 4 review: a confident and moreish strategy epic
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 October 2021, 3:01 am

It's tempting to bang on about the history of Age Of Empires, but let's be real here, you already know it well enough. Even if you haven't played them, the Age Of Empires games were a pillar of RTS design, and probably the most popular candidate for a comeback since publishers largely abandoned the genre in the 2000s.

Let's not argue about which of its elements is the defining one. They're base building, four-resource-gathering contests between factions based on historical world powers, and progress throughout a match happens in explicitly tiered eras that loosely represent historical ages. Age Of Empires 4 has all of that, across four 9-mission single player campaigns, 17 skirmish maps (which can be slightly modified with seed numbers, and we're told more map options are coming), and 8 playable, well-differentiated and slightly unequal civilisations. And I kinda like it.

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The Sunday Papers
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 October 2021, 6:00 am

Sundays are for nearly having a heart attack when the toaster pops. Before you jolt awake, let's read this week's best writing about games.

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What are we all playing this weekend?
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 October 2021, 4:00 am

I ate my first mince pie this week, which feels like a betrayal of my belief that Christmastime should not start before Halloween is over. That said, it wasn't a mince puff, so does it really count? Please, tell me about your festive eating. And may as well mention what you're playing this weekend.

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CD Projekt have bought the studio behind The Flame In The Flood
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2021, 12:35 pm

Cyberpunk and Witcher crew CD Projekt have acquired The Molasses Flood, the American studio behind post-apocalyptic raft ride The Flame In The Flood and base-building game Drake Hollow. Huh! The studio will be making a game set in one of CD Projekt's world, which warrants a second: huh! It's all secret for now.

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How to upgrade to Windows 11
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2021, 11:32 am

Alright, fine, here’s how to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10. The current stance of this hardware ed is that Windows 11 has some cool features but is yet to fulfil its potential, largely owing to the missing DirectStorage capability – which, to be fair, could be a very big deal when games start supporting it. For now, then, it’s a free but absolutely not an essential upgrade, and you can think of this post as the RPS equivalent of that video where Valve tore down a Steam Deck: we’re not saying you should do this, just that you can do this.

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How to uninstall Windows 11 and go back to Windows 10
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2021, 11:33 am

Change isn’t for everyone: just ask the 5% of Steam Hardware Survey respondents still using Windows 7. Sadly, even the most eager of early adopters might be looking to find out how to uninstall Windows 11, the very latest of Microsoft’s operating systems. It could be the newly centralised Start menu; it could be the lack of DirectStorage support among games making the best SSDs perform below their full capability; it could just be a single unsquished bug, which remains a risk with the infant OS. Fortunately, if you decide to want to switch back to Windows 10 within 10 days of installing its successor, it’s possible to roll back in just a few, mildly regretful clicks.

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My hunger for games like Warcraft 2 is slowly being sated
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2021, 11:38 am

When I think back to the ggames of my childhood, nothing puts a warm, fuzzy smile on my face like Warcraft 2. As one of the few PC games I had growing up, I ended up playing the campaign over and over again - or at least starting it over and over again - for what felt like actual years. I loved building up my fort and endlessly poking the peasants and peons until they shouted back at me in annoyance, and man alive, there is nothing sweeter than ordering a tooled-up army across the map and absolutely wrecking the enemy in one fell swoop of doom and destruction.

It is something I wish I could play again now with all my heart. I know there's version of it on GOG, but I'd also just quite like, you know, a newer, shinier version with a more up to date UI and all that jazz, and one whose map didn't whizz over to the other side of the screen with a single tap of the arrow key. I'd also like a version that isn't, somehow, made by Activision Blizzard because... *gestures to all their ongoing harassment lawsuits*. Fortunately, I've happened upon a couple of games in recent weeks that have really scratched that old Warcraft 2 itch of mine. I've already written about one of them - Diplomacy Is Not An Option - and the other is Age Of Darkness: Final Stand, a game with the most boring name imaginable, but is secretly very good.

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Doom Eternal's Horde mode arrives next week
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2021, 9:00 am

On Tuesday the 26th of October, Doom Eternal players will be able to rip and tear through the hellish shooter's new horde mode. If you're not quite satisfied with murdering demons in a linear fashion, you'll be able to jump into a match to fight off waves of the beasties instead. It's arriving in the game's 6.66 update, along with two new master levels and Battlemode 2.0.

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