World of Warships has added Godzilla and King Kong. The rest of the words in this paragraph are probably meaningless because you’re now trying to imagine that. I could just talk about my cat for a few sentences, but professionalism, and Graham, forces me to keep on track. The twin titans of the best movie of 2021 are available as commanders for the F2P naval battle sim, where they’ll stand on top of a pair of new battleships like badly misshapen sails.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
The director of the 2013 found footage horror film Frankenstein's Army has accused Capcom of using one of his monster designs in Resident Evil Village. I won't say too much more before the cut, because there are big spoilers for the game (and the film, I guess) in this post. But I will say: I did a little giggle when I saw the monster. I'm sorry, maybe it's very scary with more context around it. You tell me Resi players and Frankie's Army watchers: do these beasts give you The Fear?
Riot Games seem to be experimenting with another less competitive game mode in their guns 'n wizards FPS Valorant. Replication is a new best-of-nine Spike planting mode with a rather chaotic gimmick - players on the same team will all have to play as the same agent. I know what you're thinking: 'Oh god, I'm going to be perpetually blinded by five Breaches'. But thankfully, Riot are adding in a little feature called Flashguard that should at least let you see for a couple of seconds.
It's big news in laptop land today, as the launch of Intel's 11th Gen Tiger Lake H-Series CPUs for laptops and Nvidia's RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPUs has prompted a whole new swathe of gaming laptop announcements. I got to see two of them early in an online demo presentation: the 16in mega screen of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (pictured above), and its large desktop replacement sibling, the Asus ROG Zephryus S17 (pictured above, right). Both look like very fine gaming laptops indeed, but it's the super narrow bezels on all four sides of the Zephyrus M16's display that have really caught my eye here. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I don't think I've seen a more impressive-looking display in all my years of tech journaling.
Our guides team is changing. Ollie Toms is stepping up to become guides editor, after two years of writing some of the best game guides in the industry. He's filling the role left vacant by Jake Green, who hopped onto RPS after USG's closure last year and has now departed for pastures new. And James Law, who similarly joined RPS last year, is likewise leaving for some new adventures.
That means we're now hiring for two new guides writers. Come, congratulate Ollie, sing farewell to James, and find out where you can apply to work for RPS.
A couple of weeks ago, the 1TB model of the excellent Crucial MX500 SSD hit a new all-time low price of £67 in the UK. Alas, the deal lasted all of twenty seconds before it shot back up to its usual price of around £84. Thankfully, this cut-price SSD deal has now resurfaced thanks to Amazon UK's big gaming week sale, giving you another chance to pick up this nippy SATA drive for the same low price of £67.
Hot on the heels of Intel's 11th Gen Tiger Lake laptop CPU launch, Nvidia are also announcing a new swathe of RTX 30-series gaming laptops today powered by their new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPUs. These new entry-level RTX laptops will start from $799 in the US (UK pricing TBC), bringing Nvidia's ray tracing and DLSS technology to the mainstream.
Intel have finally unveiled their full line-up of 11th Gen Tiger Lake H-series laptop CPUs today, and with it a fresh wave of over 80 new gaming laptops to be released over the coming weeks. These high-performance laptop CPUs will succeed Intel's ubiquitous 10th Gen Comet Lake chips such as the Core i7-10750H and Core i9-10980HK, bringing with them up to 19% gen-on-gen multithreaded performance improvements, PCIe 4.0 support and the latest wireless connectivity standards. Here's everything you need to know.
The pair of Shadow Warrior 3 trailers below are intense and ridiculous. Like modern Doom, but instead of Hell’s spawn spewing onto Mars they’ve accidentally invaded a ‘90s children’s quiz show set. There are eyeballs popping out of maws and gleefully killing everything, and each arena has vast killing devices that grinds enemies into a fine paste. If the gore was green slime instead of viscera it would probably be a big hit on Nickelodeon.
There are some game traits which you will know, if you have read a moderate number of my posts, are surefire Nate-bait. Settings which go big on the stark, WW1-evoking side of the “dieselpunk” identifier? Yes please. Bafflingly utilitarian, diegetic UIs covered in clunkers and switcheroos? Like and subscribe. Baroque, crypto-feudal science fiction cultures, where archaic royal houses persist in the middle of mechanised warfare on a chilling scale? Here’s my credit card number.
HighFleet - which is slated to come out in Q2, so sometime in the next few months - plots a course straight through this maelstrom of tropes, and comes out in a blaze of glory. And, admittedly, in a blaze of fire. But in a good way. Mostly.
Reading Football Club are the exact kind of team absolutely no one cares about. They put the supporters through an emotional Gladiator gauntlet whilst the rest of the world walks on by, unaware of the fact that the team somehow failed to score against a Yeovil Town team with three red cards.
After 20 years as a console game, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is getting a PC port. (Not to be confused with D&D: Dark Alliance, the new spiritual successor coming this summer.) Baldur's Alliance is the 2001 co-op hack and slasher set in yon Forgotten Realms. The re-release has just landed on consoles but Black Isle Studios have now announced that the game is getting a PC port for the first time too.
Resident Evil Village modders have been working frighteningly fast. Not long after the game's free demo was available on PC, they'd already put Thomas The Tank Engine's head on very tall Lady Dimitrescu and also turned enemies into Barney. Those are funny, don't get me wrong, but they're part of the expected suite of PC mods these days. Someone always adds Thomas, right? Resident Evil Village has properly launched now, and things are getting weirder very quickly, as proven by Ethan and Mia Winters' terrible baby Chris Redfield.
Gears 5 has been out for nearly a couple years now, but don't start thinking about Gears 6, or Gears anything, for a while. The Coalition still have plans to bring more maps and characters to Gears 5 in two more Operations, they say, but the studio is also focusing on transitioning to the newest Unreal Engine. That's going to take most of their attention, so we shouldn't be expecting to hear about new Gears games for a while, they've warned.
Games whose various bits are made by hand in physical space before they enter digispace continue to be a delight. Papercrafted adventure game Papetura is out now and it looks absolutely lovely, as do the gorgeous paper sculptures that were built to construct its world. This little point and click 'em up adventure is all about little paper creatures trying to save their homes from fire. It's out now, so you can enter the fold whenever you'd like.
Amazon's Gaming Week is in full force - and we've already posted about the £70 discount to one of the best gaming monitors available. This week's promotions go far beyond monitors though, so in this piece we're going to round up the best deals going for PC peripherals like mice, keyboards and headsets.
We've already gotten a frighteningly good look at the wild peacock suit coming to Hitman 3 today in its new Season Of Pride. Io Interactive have now laid out their full roadmap for the season in a new trailer, including all the free pride-themed contracts coming throughout the month. Along with all the official Hitmaning, contracts made by your fellow agents are arriving in June as well.
A couple of weeks before the Epic vs Apple trial kicked off, Epic added the Itch.io app to the Epic Games Store. It seemed like a move to show how inclusive and happy Epic were to host another storefront on their store, but now Apple have used this as ammunition against them. Last Friday, during the fifth day of the trial, Apple made it sound like the excellent indie-focused store is an evil demon app that sells games "so offensive" they couldn't possibly speak about them in court.
Twelve Minutes - which you may remember as one of those games that came to your attention the best part of a decade ago, and whenever you see it pop up again with a new trailer you're like "Oh yeah, that time-loop puzzle game, with the husband and wife and policeman!" - is still not finished. At this point, though, Twelve Minutes is the closest to not not being finished it's ever been. Director Luis Antonio tells me it's going to be out "really soon", and that they're just at QA and bug fixing right now.
I got to play a small bit of it recently, and it's as intriguing as ever. It's a story of violence and domestic intimacy shouldered by just three characters: you, controlling a husband (voiced by James McAvoy), must protect your wife (Daisy Ridley) and home from a violent intruder claiming to be a cop (Willem Dafoe), who bursts into your flat and accuses your wife of murder. Most intriguing is that you're actually able to figure out how to overcome Detective Dafoe pretty quickly, Antonio tells me. "The game becomes more than stopping this guy, and more about understanding each character," he explains.
We need to make a pact. Let’s you and I never, everrrr download and play this Noita mod called Flesh Biome. We can’t be encouraging this sort of thing. Noita’s depths are already terrible as it is without adding the meat tunnels and digestive system gases that’ll consume your wands and dreams. Wizards shouldn't have to run their robes through a 'viscera' cycle.
VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh released a free new game that he built in Roblox. Climb The Giant Man Obby is a platformer, and though the title tells you that you’re climbing a giant man, it doesn’t tell you that there are puzzley bits, jumpy bits, and more. It’s a fun way to accidentally play a game instead of eating your lunch, because I just did that. Now I must eat.
As you may or may not be aware, I spent all of last week in a small house in a converted seedbarn. There were a non-zero number of rooms with black mold. There were also no activities to engage in, and I couldn't carry my PC tower down there, so I just had my MacBook. My games that week mostly consisted of watching the overfed young blackbird I named The Idiot Child (who fledged but didn't want to leave and kept trying to get back into his nest; I assume he thought if he managed it his parents would just shrug and keep bringing him food forever).
Luckily, my laptop can also run Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions. This is a jigsaw game inspired by stained glass windows, and I love it because those stained glass windows are from the most ridiculous church ever dreamed of. I played a billion hours of it last week.
I will preface this by saying that Glass Masquerade 2 is a genuinely good puzzle game. There are different difficulty levels, so you can have the game automatically show you where to place some edgy bits if you need help getting started. At the same time, the shapes you end up placing are very unlike standard jigsaw puzzle pieces, so it's a fun little challenge no matter what difficulty you choose.
While I was looking the other way Hood: Outlaws & Legends released to pre-orders on PC. The Robin Hood PvPvE game, where two teams try to outwit AI, steal loot from each other, and flee with their tights intact, snuck out on Friday. A bold move, really. Everyone else was running away from the large lady vamp with the delightful smile, but Hood took a sneaky route onto the hard-drives of people who had already purchased it. The rest of us can play it later today.
If you've ever done a long drive in the English countryside, you may have seen one of our giant chalk figures. They're huge drawings made on the sides of hills that typically represent a story from local history or some sort of legend. Most notably we have loads White Horses and one guy with his willy out. But shaking things up a little bit, Capcom have drawn a chalk lycan to promote Resident Evil Village. Ah, what a lovely piece of British history.
Amazon UK are holding a big gaming sale this week, and one of the hottest deals of the day is on LG's UltraGear 27GL83A-B gaming monitor, a 27in, 2560x1440 screen with a 144Hz refresh rate that's one of Nvidia's officially certified G-Sync Compatible monitors. Normally £430, this excellent screen can now be had for a new all-time low price of £370, saving you a very agreeable £70.
Sundays are for blending coffee beans in your flat and being acutely aware that it's very, very loud. Before you spin the blades, let's read this week's best writing about games.
I'll be honest, friends: I'm thick with cold and I'd like this day to end. Maybe you can help me make that happen. Once I'm done here, I'm going to crawl under a blanket and play something comforting that will distract me until bedtime.
So I'm here to ask: what's your comfort gaming for when you're sick?
Last month, Wolfire Games - developers of bunny kung-fu game Overgrowth - filed an antitrust suit against Valve. In the suit, Wolfire Games and two other plaintiffs allege that Valve have employed "anti-competitive practices" to "protect its market dominance."
In a new blog post published May 6th, Wolfire Games co-founder David Rosen writes that he felt he had "no choice" in bringing the suit, after Valve told him "that they would remove Overgrowth from Steam if I allowed it to be sold at a lower price anywhere."
Videogame awards are good for three things: they encourage people to continue creating new work; they direct attention towards particular pebbles among the otherwise amorphous landslide of new game releases; and they give bystanders like me something of mercifully little consequence to gripe about when nominations don't align with our personal tastes.
I'm sad to report that the Independent Games Festival has delivered only two out of three in 2021. The nominations for this year's IGF Awards were announced yesterday, but they have left me little to gripe about.
When I last wrote about Slipways, I called it the best demo of the Steam festival and lamented that it was no longer available. Good news! It's back, and in expanded form. There's now a public beta of this wonderful, pocket-sized grand strategy game which you can play via Steam until May 10th.
Apparently in the UK May is National Walking Month, neatly coinciding with me being in a tiny village with no wired internet, where the chief entertainment is "going for a walk." Well, I refuse. You can't make me, dammit. Instead I shall stay as inside-sitting-still as possible, and play games while ignoring my mum periodically coming in to tell me I'm going to get blood clots because that's the sort of thing she routinely does.
Let's find out what the rest of the cheery ol' RPS gang are playing this weekend, eh? I predict a few mentions of Resident Evil Village.
It sure feels like deck-based games are having a moment right now, and if that's something you're into maybe spare one of your moments to look at Cross Blitz. The developers of this RPG card-battle game say it's inspired by the likes of Dragon Quest and Slay The Spire, among other games. Oh and it's got concerningly burly lion pirates too, which might be another thing folks are into. The developers have just announced Cross Blitz with a new trailer and are planning an early access launch later in 2021.
In case there was any doubt, the studio that makes Borderlands games is working on another Borderlands game. Gearbox Entertainment CEO Randy Pitchford shot down some rumors about the studio co-developing a new vault hunter game by saying "Gearbox is lead dev of any future games in the Borderlands franchise". He followed up to add that the Borderlands 3 developers are "working on the big one". The next one is pretty much always "the big one" when it comes to game developers, but perhaps Gearbox are considering teasing their plans this summer.
The next big expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is just around the corner, meaning plenty of folks will be grouping up to take on the new Oblivion-themed zones. Some of us prefer playing our MMO's solo though, and for us ZeniMax Online Studios are introducing the new companion system for ESO. These new recruitable characters will join you in combat so you don't have to go it alone, which honestly might be the most exciting ESO feature for me in a long time.
CD Projekt Red announced last year that they'll be releasing a big next-gen (now-gen) update to The Witcher 3, which PC players will get as a free game update too. We still don't know when that'll be arriving just yet, but when it does it may include the work of modders. CDPR have confirmed that they're in talkes with mod creators whose work may wind up being used in the facy new release. I don't expect it'll include the ones that turn Geralt into Henry Cavill though.
240Hz gaming monitors remain some of the most expensive screens you can buy today, and the BenQ Zowie XL2546K is no exception. Costing a hefty £459 / $499, this 240Hz, 1080p esports-focused display is probably one of the costliest monitors I've tested in some time. It's a far cry from the £270 / $280 price of my current 240Hz pick in my best budget gaming monitor round-up, the AOC C27G2ZU, and in terms of overall image quality, the AOC still has the BenQ beat (more on that in a sec).
Yakuza series developers Ryu Ga Gotoku revealed a sequel to their spinoff series Judgement today. The announcement came and went without any mention of a PC release though, alas. It did produce an interesting detail about the future of the Yakuza series. After turning the traditionally beat 'em up brawler games on their head by switching to turn-based combat in Yakuza: Like A Dragon, RGG say that the series will continue in that style while the Judgement series carries the action game banner. Intriguing!
The Epic Games vs Apple antitrust trial has been in full swing this week, bringing up all sorts of confidential info, and showing poor legal people just how confusing the games industry can be. Yesterday, during the fourth day of the trial, Apple found themselves getting caught up in a few contradictions when defining what a game actually is - and it's all because of Roblox.