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  • Riot-shielded special forces get into a confrontation in Tactical Breach Wizards.

    We’ll never know exactly what sort of fiction Tom Clancy would have written if he was less interested in the calibre of specific bullets and their effiency at dismantling burgeoning socialist governments, and more so in the specific sigils required to blast a riot cop through a third story window. While charity shops across the land mourn this devasting loss to their paperback shelves to this very day, we do at least have a glimpse into what such a literary venture may have looked like. Oh, did you like that door? Was it your favourite door? Soz, pal. Strategy game Tactical Breach Wizards just hexed right through it with a new demo as part of Steam Next Fest. I’ve played it, and it’s very exciting stuff, not least for how differently it plays than what I’d expected.

  • An explosion wipes out some enemies in Card Bard (or Wildcard? The name of the game is not clear...)

    Update: Card Bard appears to be a copy of a game by another developer, Dire Decks by kindanice. Dire Decks was released in 2023 on and was well received there. Kindanice has pointed out the direct likeness between their game and the one released on Steam under another name. Yikes. Thanks to our diligent commenters for catching this. We'll try to find out more.

    Original article: The onslaught of fun Steam Next Fest demos you can play right now continues and will not relent. Card Bard is a deckbuilding roguelike shooter in which your wee gunman is seemingly frozen in abject terror as little pill-shaped baddies creep towards him like bacteria on a petri dish. Good thing you have a hand of cards, each one showing how many bullets will bop forth from your body when you select it. It's surprisingly tough for something so pastel-paletted. I'm 10th on the leaderboard. You can probably beat that, right?

  • A Helldivers 2 player looking out the window of their destroyer at a purple-rimmed black hole

    Honestly, I turn my back on shooter-of-note Helldivers 2 for (checks calendar)... one, maybe two weeks, and you all go and transform a planet into a black hole. "You" being the players who completed the metagame's last Major Order and successfully pumped the Terminid supercolony of Meridia full of an experimental "Dark Fluid" - which Super-Earth, incidentally, pinched from the Illuminate faction during the First Galactic War, aka Helldivers 1.

    Now, Meridia has imploded and become a radiant, wailing, purple-fringed disc of pure nothingness, with triumphant players rudely ejected from orbit via emergency hyperspace jump, but subsequently allowed to return and gaze into the dark heart of their victory. Great work, Inferno-plungers. I'm sure the consequences of this will be neither cosmic nor horrible.

  • An attack helicopter flies through the desert amid many explosions in Megacopter.

    In EA's Desert Strike - released way back in the dim salvages of 1992 - you are a helicopter pilot scooting around a Sylvester Stallone reinvention of Iraq, shooting down tanks and fighters with guns and missiles while rescuing VIPs and fretting constantly about your wafer-thin armour and espresso-sized fuel reserves. It was a no-frills piece of Gulf War fanfic, complete with George Bush ending cameo, and a well-made shooter that used to drive me nuts on Sega Mega Drive.

    Megacopter: Blades Of The Goddess is Desert Strike, but heavily Blood-Dragonified and with a big dollop of Airwolf to boot. Here, the enemy troops are naughty Reptoid aliens, the writing is scattershot-satirical (upgrades are bought with pizza tokens) and your helicopter houses the soul of a blood-drinking "AZ-TECH" goddess. Is it a nuanced parody of the Strike series? It doesn't feel like it. Did I enjoy the demo? Yes. Does it have a crawling tentacle boss called Queen Oildusa? Also yes, and will you please stop asking questions so I can write the rest of this article.

  • Geoff Keighley talks to viewers during a Twitch livestream.

    Since the death of E3, June has descended into a chaotic clusterfunk of trailers, broadcasts, announcements, and a generalised frenzy of publicity-seeking barking noises. Summer Game Fest has emerged as a hub for a lot of developers seeking eyes. The 2-hour show hosted by marketing man Geoff Keighley will be broadcasting on Friday, blasting you in the ocular nerves with, probably, a lot of games. However, most of these games will not be brand new, exciting reveals, said Keighley himself in a fresh Twitch Q & A. "There will be, definitely, new announcements," he said, "but the show is largely focused on, I think, existing games that have new updates for fans." He's mentioning this ahead of time, he said, to set expectations.

  • Edders Sheeran wins a skill check to pull Gale out of the portal in Baldur's Gate 3.

    I'm sure you could fill a bottomless pit with the things Larian decided not to add to Baldur's Gate 3. One of those things was, in fact, a bottomless pit. Not just a bottomless pit, but a conveniently portable, Looney Tunes-esque hole into which you could seemingly chuck everything from items and equipment to characters. Speaking to me during the same interview in which they discussed long-abandoned plans for bringing back Baldur’s Gate 1’s Candlekeep, Larian CEO Swen Vincke and Baldur’s Gate 3 lead writer Adam Smith (RPS in peace) touched on the subject with tantalising brevity. Argh, if only I hadn’t had to run off and catch a taxi, I’d still be there now, discussing the many applications of a portable hole. Bypassing carrying capacity limits would just be the start of it.

  • A cottage in Tiny Glade with sheep in the foreground.

    I made the witchy cottage of my dreams in Tiny Glade

    I could listen to these clicky clacks all day

    If you love cosy games where the biggest challenge is choosing between which farm utensil to place next to your barn doors, then Tiny Glade may be just the game for you. It's a creative building game like The Sims 4 but with none of the fuss of actually controlling lives - and no quests, combat or arbitrary challenges of any kind.

    Instead, Tiny Glade simply offers a meadow and tools with which to build. The vibe of the game is cottage-core at its finest, with enough whimsigoth finery that you'll soon lament that you can't actually live inside your glorious creations. I've played the charming demo as part of Steam Next Fest, and you'll find some thoughts from my time with it below.

  • An engineer pilots a homemade tank simulator controller with World of Tanks.

    A DIY engineer has created a realistic tank simulator that puts the average haptic controller to shame. The mechanical monster is jury-rigged to the top of an office desk and must be reloaded with a new shell after every shot. The recoil is terrifying. It's operated by three people: one person drives the tank with a steering wheel and levers, another uses cranks to aim the gun barrel, and a third reloads the shells that eject automatically from the chamber after every desk-lifting blast. The "shells" in question are 2-litre bottles of fizzy drink, and the crew has set up a whole rack of these bottles for panicked reloading. If you are the kind of person who yearns for the immersion of the legendary Steel Battalion controller then you will get a definite buzz from watching the death machine in action below.

  • A lion tamer in a cage holding off several lions with a remarkably chilled-out expression

    The Maw - 3rd-9th June

    This week's most auspicious game releases, plus our weekly news liveblog


    This week is the week of Summer Game Fest 2024. Ah, SGF! The Geoffers, as they call it down Los Angeles way. The Not-E3s. The Midsomer Keighleys. Jumping G.K's Game-a-Palooza. The AAAArghs. The Second Fall Of Babel. Trailarmageddon. The Sparkling Stink. SGF is sort of already in motion - last week, Sony kicked off the proceedings with their latest State of Play showcase, but you can expect the majority of new videogame announcements from Friday 7th June with the Summer Game Fest 2024 Opening Showcase, a two-hour livestreamed event which starts at 10pm UK, 5pm ET and 2pm PT. I'll be out there covering the whole sorry affair in LA from Thursday to Monday while the remainder of Rock Paper Shotgun hold the fort on London time.

  • A lady reads a book in Eugène Grasset's Poster for the Librairie Romantique

    Hello reader who is also a reader, and welcome back to Booked For The Week - our regular Sunday chat with a selection of cool industry folks about books! Did you know that the word 'book' was originally spelled with several extra 'o's in it? This was changed when it was collectively decided that telling someone to "please, just read a book" was resulting in several more murders a year than anyone could be bothered to keep track of. This week, it’s Obsidian vet and Pentiment creator Josh Sawyer! Cheers Josh! Mind if we have a nose at your bookshelf?

  • A plain white mug of black tea or coffee, next to a broadsheet paper on a table, in black and white. It's the header for Sunday Papers!

    Sundays are for counting down the days to the new Doom reveal, unless it's happened already? In which case, wow, bold of Hugo Martin to cast himself as the Doom Slayer, but I like the moxy. Before I barge into the comments uninvited and argue with no-one in particular that Doom Eternal’s lateral expansion of its gameplay loop was ultimately a fantastic choice for the long-term health of the series, you swine, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things!)

  • A 3D kart racer with pixellated textures in a gothic setting in Nightmare Kart.

    I haven't played Bloodborne and so references to its world or characters mean little to me. Kart racers, meanwhile? There I'm in my element due to a lifetime of Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. It's those games that make me interested in Nightmare Kart, a PSX-aesthetic racing game which was formerly known as Bloodborne Kart, and which is out now.

  • A screen of a story beat in Wildermyth showing two party members discussing a duck

    Turn-based tactical RPG Wildermyth is one of the best games Sin has ever played. It got a second DLC, Omenroad, which turned it into a roguelike earlier this month.

    Omenroad turns out to be the end of the road, however, both for Wildermyth and - for now - for the team that made it, Worldwalker Games.

  • Wolcen: Lords Of Mayhem won't receive new updates and its multiplayer will switch off in September

    It feels as if every action-RPG can be described in terms of its relationship to genre daddy Diablo. Wolcen:Lords Of Mayhem, for example, launched a few months after Diablo 4 was announced and helped to satiate some early click cravings. Briefly.

    Early positive sentiment was quickly scuppered by bugs, slow updates and more. Now its developers say that they're ending support for the game, and multiplayer functionality will be switched off this September.

  • Old vintage illustration of a waterfall cascading into a pond surrounded by a water mill and various buildings.

    Merry weekends, everyone! It's time for a chill couple of days, I think. A bunch of us have recently returned from trips down to the Brighton office to meet some new faces. Weird to think I'm now the most far-flung of the lot, living way up here in Glasgow. Maybe that's why I elected to take over these Playing This Weekend posts, to help fill the friendless void growing inside my heart.

    So just know that if you don't sound off in the comments below with news of what you're playing this weekend, the void in my heart will grow, until one day it consumes me. And then who will write these posts? Here's what we're clicking on this weekend!

  • A screenshot from Redfall which shows the player looking at a huge, glowing heart.

    Arkane Austin's ailing vampire shooter Redfall has received its final update, as the developers themselves are purged by parent company Microsoft. Announced a few weeks back, Redfall game update 4 introduces a much-requested offline mode and single-player pausing, together with some new progression features and activities: a Community Standing bar whereby Support currency can be spent on rewards from the Safehouse Skill tree, and Elder Nests, aka vampire nests with specially modified vampire bosses. That's in addition to new enemy encounters in Redfall Commons, improved AI and a new Unrivaled Weapon.

  • A person sinks into the abyss having been chucked off a boat in Skald: Against The Black Priory.

    I regret not covering Skald Colon Against The Black Priory when its developer told us about it 2019. I'd get to be so smug now.

    Skald is terrific. I've tried to come up with a clever angle on its journey, but they all wind up saying the same thing: For all its retro stylings (right down to party portraits taking up an unnecessary quarter of the screen at all times), it's an accessible, charming treat, and the best modernisation of 80s RPGs that I've ever played.

  • A group of divers in their home submarine in Murky Divers

    Co-op horror comedy Murky Divers smashes Lethal Company into Subnautica

    Another bottom-up homage to last year's dingy multiplayer hit

    I fear we may have swum the Rubicon of diminishing returns where multiplayer horror games inspired by Lethal Company are concerned. The recent Content Warning has sucked up all the remaining oxygen in the room, and oxygen is pretty important in Murky Divers, for reasons that are hopefully self-evident. Still, Murky Divers has some fairly eye-catching USPs. It's got underwater physics, of course, and it puts you and - unhelpfully - your friends in charge of a submarine.

  • The player reloads their firearm in retro shooter Selaco.

    There is a time for perfect clarity in a shooter, for clean walls and clear-cut character silhouettes. But this is not it. Retro first-person gunwaltzer Selaco is a messy machine gun dash through an office exploding with glass, concrete, splinters, and sparks. The glock-toting wreckage 'em up first hit our radar when it was announced as a modern combination of F.E.A.R. and Doom, promising both the fiendish AI enemies of the former and the satisfying blasting of the latter. Well, it's out today. Bursting forth into the corporate lobby of early access with uzis akimbo, peppering the walls with angry bullets. Good, I say.

  • The cast of Severance, looking unsettled at something off-camera.

    In Mike Judge’s 1999 cult comedy Office Space, there’s a scene where Ron Livingston’s Peter - a programmer working a tedious corporate job - visits a hypnotist. “Is there any way that you could, sorta, just zonk me out so I don’t know that I’m at work, in here,” Peter asks of the hypnotist, pointing to his head. “Could I come home and think that I’ve been fishing all day, or something?”. That’s basically the high-level concept for brilliant sci-fi comedy show Severance, right there. Not wanting to spoil any more than I absolutely have to, I’ll present you with two facts up top. 1. It features a touching queer relationship between John Turturro and Christopher Walken and 2. It’s some of the best television I’ve seen in the last few years. Throw in some Stanley Parable, Control, Gilliam’s Brazil, and some more meta undertones of general musing on gamified reward loops, and you’ve got Severance.

  • A brawl unfolds in Office Fight.

    Possess office equipment and batter your coworkers in Office Fight

    I’m going to need those TPS reports attached to a haunted monitor

    Between this, my supporter post later, and the fact I decided to watch Office Space again this week, I’d like to make it clear to any colleagues or management reading that I value and love them all dearly, and am 110% committed to the eternal grind machine of covering videogames online. Workday malaise is universal, however, whether or not you’re lucky enough to enjoy your job as much as I do. Enter Office Fight, a stylish physics action game where you, a ghost, posess office equipment to cause as much physics-based chaos as possible. The PR did some Office Space jokes in the email, so I pretty much had to cover it. At least once I realised what they were doing, after initially just thinking they were being a massive donkey.

  • A singing bird summons an audience during a battle in Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands.

    So ends another month of the RPS Game Club, which means another chance to gather together and swap video game opinions like scary stories ‘round the campfire. The topic, comedy rock RPG/door-kicking sim Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands, was picked by a sadly absent Alice B, but you know what they say when beloved colleagues become ensnared in the kind of Kafkaesque employment limbo that only a corporate acquisition can engineer: the show must go on. We’re therefore sticking to the schedule, and will launch the liveblog at 4pm BST today, Friday May 31st.

  • A promotional image for Valorant

    Riot games have committed to a series of new measures to curtail harassment and hate-speech in the Valorant community. In a video entitled ‘Keeping Our Community Healthy // Dev Updates,” studio head Anna Donlon took to Xitter to outline the new measures for the competitive FPS. Below is a graphic detailing the changes, which include new penalties such as hardware bans for offenders, and an expanded role for the game's Voice Evaluation tech, which monitors chat for bad behaviour. “If you want to make evil statements under the guise of '[naughty word SEO doesn't like being in the first paragraph] talk', you aren't welcome here,” writes the official Valorant account.

  • A hunter swings a greatsword at two massive lion-bear things in Monster Hunter Wilds.

    Capcom's upcoming entry in the lizard pants-making sim, Monster Hunter Wilds, got a new trailer at last night's State Of Play. It showed off more of how its lovely desert environments morph to fit the weather and how its inhabitants largely don't get on. We also got a look at some cursed lions, an armoured frog with an unsettling tongue and a rideable Chocobo-esque mount that lets you ping arrows on the fly. Let me break it down for you readers, as someone who is increasingly excited at the prospect of more colourful pants.

  • A rat with a humanoid head talking about death in Centum

    Jailrat horror adventure Centum was the wrong game to play on this crowded London Underground train

    The gods may be merciful, the children keep invading my personal space

    This piece is being written on a train as I trundle towards our very first staff meeting with Rock Paper Shotgun's new overlords. The morning is cloudy but bright and calm, the north London suburbs are a blissful checkerboard of red roofs and flourishing lawns, hope glistens faintly in the gutters and ditches beside the tube. How unlike the innards of Centum, a point-and-click horror game (Steam page here) that begins with a dreary retro desktop interface on which there are curious text files, curioser decryption tools and most curious of all, an .exe of some kind that drops you into a simulation consisting of a stone prison chamber. Hang on, I'm changing trains...

  • A big hairy dog monster in Monster Hunter Wilds

    My PC has a big white case, and sometimes, I sit and think: “big white box good!” But other times, I glance over to my PS5 and think: “other big white box also good!” Then I start getting fanciful and imagine a lovely future where they can both combine into one. Keeping track of two big white boxes is hard! Luckily, I only have to write about one of those big white boxes for RPS the vast majority of the time. Today is one of the rare occasions I do have to cover both, so here’s everything announced at yesterday’s Playstation State Of Play that you, the discerning big white box owner, might find relevant:

  • Logo art for PlayStation shooter Concord, showing three characters arranged cross-wise brandishing their guns

    Sony have dropped a trailer and release date for Concord at their latest State Of Play, Concord being a new 5V5 multiplayer FPS in which you play a bunch of freegans carrying out heists on various loudly coloured alien planets. Sorry, not freegans - freegunners. Freeganism is a portmanteau of "free" and "vegan" referring to people who fish jars of near-spoiled hummus out of supermarket dumpsters according to an ideology of minimal resource consumption. Freegunners, meanwhile, are lairy Guardians Of The Galaxy-alike mercenaries with phat guns and playstyle-defining secondary abilities. They do not consume hummus as far as I know. The game is out 23rd August 2024, with a beta happening in July, and I've got an overview trailer for you below.

  • Kratos brings up his shield to block an attack from a horned enemy in God Of War Ragnarök

    Per last night’s Sony State of Play, PS5 darling and supposedly rather good action-dad adventure God of War Ragnarök is coming to PC on September 19th 2024. The good news is that the port, co-developed by Jetpack Interactive and original makers Santa Monica Studio, will pack in all the DLSS 3, FSR 3, and ultrawide what-have-yous that one might expect from a big, monied PC release. The bad, silly, clearly pointless news is that it will need a PlayStation Network (PSN) account, despite the complete lack of multiplayer.

  • Sin's character in Bellwright, an archer and manager.

    I should be further in than this. My supposed rebellion has thus far eked out a territory that could be described as "where?". My personal reputation is great only among people who love mushrooms and hate deer. It's been long enough that I should probably be a fierce warlord running a large chunk of the kingdom in opposition by now, but instead, I have the skillset of fifty peasants, and the outstanding work of fifty three. And I know why. Bellwright has taught me what I already knew in theory, but had not truly appreciated:

    Good managers are rare and precious. And I'm not one of them.

  • The new Dread enemies coming in Destiny 2's The Final Shape expansion

    Did I ever tell you about the time I was smuggling pears and USB-C cords through the Spanish Main? Was during the great USB-C shortage of 1687, you see. Apple had just released their new electric barnacle scrubber, and sailors everywhere were trading sacks of freshly minted coins just for a solitary sweet sniff at one of the delightfully compact and sleekly designed charger cables. Of course, too-many-toes Jackson and myself had seen tell of this upcoming gold rush, written in crab trails on the sand, which is what we had instead of the stock market in them days.