Rock, Paper, Shotgun

New Dead Cells update makes it more approachable to newcomers

2 hours ago

Dead Cells has received yet another update, named Practice Makes Perfect, which adds a training area, powerful buffs called Aspects, and other more. The devs say the patch is focused "on improving the ease-of-use and learning curve for everyone (paticularly newcomers & occasional players), without altering the overall difficulty of the game." To facilitate this goal, all the new features are optional – allowing players to execute their sweet dodge rolls with the challenge they prefer.

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Author
Kaan Serin

The making of Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider, and how Arkane killed a god

2 hours 32 minutes ago

Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider is a revenge and redemption tale, only here the target of your revenge is god. 'We're going to kill a god’ might seem like a well-trodden path in JRPG country, but Death Of The Outsider brings something new to the table. Here, the god is a trickster, a victim, and the source of the player's power. He's a figure that has come to define the Dishonored series as a whole, and is both revered and pitied by its players. So how, exactly, do you go about killing a god like this? I spoke to the developers at Arkane to find out.

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Author
Hirun Cryer

Deathloop codes: safe, door, and machine code locations

3 hours 13 minutes ago

Where are all of the codes to open safes and doors and unlock machine terminals in Deathloop? In true Arkane tradition, Deathloop is full of safes and locked doors that can only be accessed with three- and four-digit codes. Some of the secrets hidden within are essential to progressing the story, while others just contain some good loot. Some of the Visionaries have also used codes to protect some of their machines, which you'll need to override in order to bypass their security.

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Author
Rebecca Jones

Ultimate Audio Bang #14: big meaty guns slapping meat

3 hours 21 minutes ago

Predictably, Imogen and I begin this week's episode of Ultimate Audio Bang by getting excited about Deathloop before realising that there's plenty of other newsy bits to cover. Listen to get our hot thoughts on the Call Of Duty: Vanguard reveal, Battlefield 2042's delay, the Overwatch League using an early build of Overwatch 2 in 2022, and plenty more shootery things.

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Author
Ed Thorn

Wuchang: Fallen Feathers looks like a Chinese take on Bloodborne

3 hours 22 minutes ago

Following fawning over the Monkey King violence of Black Myth: Wukong, the latest upcoming Chinese game to turn heads with Souls-inspired action and shiny graphics might be Wuchang: Fallen Feathers. A new gameplay trailer released today gives a long look at a sexy babe fighting against plague-mutated people using her melee weapons, firearms, and gut-gouging counters. Yeah, feeling a lot of Bloodborne inspiration here. Have a look below.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Benchmarking has completely ruined my Steam play time profile

3 hours ago

I don't know if you know this about me, but I love a good list. For the past ten years, I've kept a detailed spreadsheet of all the games I've ever played. The bulk of it catalogues games by platform, but I've also kept a list of all the games I play per year since 2010. Call me crazy, but this document is a great source of joy for me. I love being able to look back and see when I last played a certain game, and it's also interesting to me to see just how many of them I manage to play each year. I also keep similar lists for films I see at the cinema, the books I read, as well as the plays and musicals I see at the theatre. I'm not kidding. I really do love a good list.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm also fascinated by the amount of time I spend playing games, too (and yes, I do have a list for this as well - albeit only for my Nintendo Wii games at the moment). Steam, of course, keeps excellent track of your play time - and because it's always open on my PC, there's no need to keep my own version of it. I can just load up my Steam profile and gaze lovingly at the hours and minutes in my All Games tab. Except I can't anymore, because four years' worth of professional benchmarking has absolutely ruined my play time figures. It upsets me. Because I haven't really spent 130 hours playing Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. Or 38 hours playing Doom. It's all benchmarking, and I wish there was a way to scrub these games clean again so everything can be nice and neat and orderly again, and most of all, accurate.

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Author
Katharine Castle

Give yourself a good day by playing Webbed

4 hours ago

It was 3am and Hucks the cellar spider was finally surrounded by, instead of carrying, her wee hatchlings. Clarice, her slightly dim neighbour, was resting after another hour spent fruitlessly stumbling around after an even dafter flying thingy that would eventually blunder right into her face.

Playing Webbed seemed inevitable for someone who watches her ceiling spiders when she can't sleep or finish an article. But within about a minute of playing, it became clear that it's the kind of game that will bring joy to almost anyone. Webbed is immediately brilliant.

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Author
Sin Vega

Steam Deck dev kit screenshots show a likely Big Picture replacement, SteamOS 3 allegedly leaks

5 hours 28 minutes ago

Whelp, that didn’t take long. Steam Deck dev kits were only sent out to game developers this week, and it looks like Valve’s handheld PC is already getting picked apart. That’s according to SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, who tweeted screenshots of the Steam Deck UI before claiming the entire SteamOS 3 operating system has been leaked.

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Author
James Archer

Clive Sinclair, who brought us the ZX Spectrum, has died

6 hours 22 minutes ago

Clive Sinclair, the founder of the company which brought us the ZX Spectrum computer, has died. The first encounter with PC gaming for many of a certain age in the UK wasn't through any beige box MS-DOS or Windows, it was on that futuristic wee black keyboard with rubbery keys and a colourful stripe, which loaded software from cassette tapes. I'm too young to have seen its glory days but I think the first PC game I played was a Speccy shoot 'em up, a magical experience I didn't believe would actually work when I first saw my pal plug a tape deck into a keyboard.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Tails Of Iron review: a fun 2D Soulslike with a bit too much padding

6 hours 27 minutes ago

As enquiring minds already know, rats are very cute. I've not had pet rats myself, but a bunch of my friends have. Rats have lovely little pin-prick hands and feet, and they will give you wiffly-nose kisses while they assess whether your hair is worth exploring or not.

The rats in Tails Of Iron are cute. Little 2D inhabitants of a feudal rat kingdom, where they get milk from insects that look like cows, and royal succession is determined in trial by combat - which you, Prince Redgi, win, and shortly thereafter become King Redgi when your dad is murdered by frogs right in front of you. Let the amphibian bodies hit the floor. Time to kick this RPG into a side-on soulslike experience. Slice open a frog belly and see the guts spill out. These rats are cute, but also u wot? U wot? Say that again m8. Say that to my face. I'll 'ave you.

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Author
Alice Bell

Titan Quest and Jagged Alliance are free to keep right now

20 hours 50 minutes ago

THQ Nordic are celebrating their 10th anniversary by giving away free games via Steam. Surprisingly enduring action RPG Titan Quest is currently free-to-keep, and so is the ancient turn-based tactics of Jagged Alliance.

Then, if you want something a little more modern, the real-time tactical stealth of Desperados 3 is free-to-try for the next three days.

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Author
Graham Smith

How to overclock your GPU

1 day ago

Learning how to overclock your GPU sounds like it should be one of gaming PC ownership’s essential skills, like knowing how to clean your PC or how to check CPU temperature. And why not? Coaxing extra performance out of a component will get you more frames-per-second at no additional charge, and you can do it with just about every gaming card under the sun. Even the best graphics cards that come with factory overclocks will leave headroom for additional gains to unlock yourself.

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Author
James Archer

Valheim has added a hot tub for Vikings to unwind

1 day ago

Trying to survive in purgatory isn't easy, having to hunt and build and craft everything you need to slay mighty mythical beasts. Thankfully, the Vikings of Valheim can now relax with their pals in a hot tub, one of many fancy household items added in the 'Home & Hearth' early access update today. Sure sure it brings new weapons and new creatures and balance changes and things too, but: hot tub!

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Author
Alice O'Connor

The Yervha: how to beat Deathloop's fiendish trivia machine

1 day 3 hours ago

What are the correct answers to the Yervha's questions in Deathloop? The Yervha, a.k.a. Queen of Riddles, is a trivia machine in Deathloop. If you can answer all 10 of its questions correctly you'll win a prize! A very modest prize, but a prize nonetheless. And who doesn't love a good trivia challenge? You certainly seem to, since you're here!

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Author
Rebecca Jones

EWS podcast episode 156: the best doctors special

1 day 3 hours ago

The recording of this episode of The Electronic Wireless Show podcast turned out to be unfortunately cursed with technical issues, which means I am (probably noticeably) tired and grumpy, and don't let Matthew and Nate reproduce their witty banter from the first time we tried to record. No cold open! Still, nothing to cheer me up like some good bedside manner from a doctor. Oh no, it turns out all game doctors are awful!

We discuss our favourite game medical types, and also discuss why doctors in games are so often evil baddies. The saga of Matthew and his teeth continues, as well as envisioning Matthew as a clown who just turns up to your kids birthday party smeared in his wife's lipstick, drinks all your Fanta, and leaves again. Now that's malpractice.

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Author
Alice Bell

Gamedec review: a great cyberpunk concept undone by a bloated script

1 day 4 hours ago

From the stealth-oriented Foreclosed to the twin-sticky The Ascent, there has been a bumper crop of cyberpunk shooters this year, their endless gun fests typically set amidst a gaudy onslaught of neon-tinged billboards, metallic skyscrapers and indiscriminately-placed Asian motifs.

In spite of its roots, Gamedec initially seems like a reprieve from this recent blitz of cyberpunk games. It sticks steadfastly to its self-imposed, zero-combat rule, instead leaning heavily towards the genre’s crime fiction elements. That’s because in Gamedec, you’re a detective actually carrying out proper investigative work, rather than simply pointing the smokey end of a gun towards your problems. You’ll sleuth around for clues, make deductions based on your discoveries, and draw conclusions that will shape the outcome of your cases.

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Author
Khee Hoon Chan

Best Deathloop trinkets: what every trinket does and which are best for your loadout

1 day 5 hours ago

What are the best trinkets in Deathloop? Trinkets might sound frivolous, but they are in fact Deathloop's answer to mods: applying them provides potentially very powerful combat buffs, and therefore they're actually very important. Deathloop's Trinkets come in two varieties: Character Trinkets (personal mods applied to your player character) and Weapon Trinkets (mods which can be applied individually to every gun in your possession).

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Author
Rebecca Jones

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries gets marriage, melee and mech-switching with its next DLC

1 day 5 hours ago

Don't you just hate it when you're getting married to secure an alliance with a certain faction, but another faction insists on existing in-between your borders? Don't worry, it's a simple fix: send in an army of mechs to conquer them, then you and your betrothed get even more space to share!

This is pretty much the plot of the next MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries DLC, Legend Of The Kestrel Lancers. It's arriving on September 23rd alongside a free update that will finally let players punch other mechs in the face.

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Author
Imogen Beckhelling

The 10 best battle royale games

1 day 7 hours ago

Outlast the rest of the competition and emerge the last person standing, that's the motto for the best battle royale games out there. Often there's a big circle of poison gas pushing people closer together, or like, everyone parachutes in for some reason. Some don't feature any of these things, and opt for obstacle courses, or zany community creations instead. You may have thought battle royale games were quite one-note, but they're actually quite varied. So below I've rounded up some of the best ways to prove you're the fittest survivor of them all.

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Author
Ed Thorn

Skatebird review: tiny hawks win the day in this wonky skating game

1 day 7 hours ago

Skatebird is simultaneously a homage to the Tony Hawk games of old and a celebration of just how stupid birds can be. It's the arcadey kind of kickflipper, handling more like THUG than a Skate game. But don't expect the truly smooth flow of the Hawkster's outings. There's plenty of wobbly physics on show here, much of it intentional and jokey (as you'd expect from a game that seems to have resulted entirely from a single pun). But some of it perhaps not. Still, it's hard to hate on these feathery ones when they squawk so pure, and when their taste in music is im-peck-able.

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Author
Brendan Caldwell

The Amazing American Circus review: I hate to say it, but there are better shows in town

1 day 10 hours ago

By the time Henry Ford rolled up to see my show, I was ready to pack my trunk and say goodbye to the circus. I’d been ready a long time ago, truth be told, some time between inciting industrial action amongst JP Morgan’s workers and nabbing an automaton from Tesla. My troupe spread delight wherever we roamed, but the crowds weren’t to know we’d been plying the same tricks for hour after hour - nor that it had hardly taken one to hone my act to the point where failure was inconceivable. Every meagre juggling trick brought whoops from the crowd and impatience to my heart. With every high-wire act, my spirit sank lower still.

There’s no turn around coming, I’m afraid. The Amazing American Circus is a deckbuilder with some nice ideas, but it’s far more clown than strongman.

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Author
Matt Cox

Corsair's pretty 240mm AiO cooler is going cheap on Amazon UK

1 day 21 hours ago

Liquid CPU coolers are all the rage these days, as they look neat and provide the sort of excellent cooling performance you'd normally only get out of an oversized air cooler. Corsair make some of the best AiOs in the business, and today their (draws breath) iCue H100i Pro XT RGB 240mm CPU cooler (phew) is going cheap. It debuted at £115 and normally costs £90, but today you can pick it up for the relative bargain price of £72.

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Author
Will Judd

Beaver city-builder Timberborn is out in early access now

1 day 23 hours ago

It feels as if the past couple of years have seen a quiet resurgence of Settlers-style town building games, and often those where you're prepping to survive a terrible winter. Timberborn looks like it would sit in that genre but with a distinct twist: all the humans are long dead, and your town is instead inhabited by beavers.

It's out in early access now.

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Author
Graham Smith

Kerbal Space Program developer's Balsa Model Flight Simulator is out now

2 days ago

Building balsa models doesn't have the same immediate appeal as constructing space rockets, and yet Balsa Model Flight Simulator still seems extremely appealing. That's partly because it's from the original developer of Kerbal Space Program, and offers a similar physics construction toolset even if on a more terrestrial scale. It's available now in early access.

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Author
Graham Smith

Solar Ash has a very different take on Mario's Mushroom Kingdom

2 days 2 hours ago

Hey, remember Hyper Light Drifter, your favourite action-RPG of five years ago? The devs Heart Machine are soon to be back with their new game Solar Ash, which is coming out at the end of next month. It is not like Hyper Light Drifer. For starters, Solar Ash is full 3D. Creative director Alx Preston described the elevator pitch to me as "Super Mario Galaxy meets Shadow Of The Colossus, and sprinkle in a bit of Jet Set Radio" during a hands off preview event last week, and on the face of it, it looks fantastic - something that you, too, may have gleaned from one of its recent trailers.

But Solar Ash is a game about motion, something that's very difficult to convey during a remote hands-off demo. I cannot tell you how Solar Ash feels, but I'm also a toddler with a marshmallow: put something that looks fuckin' sweet in front of me and I want to consume it, and snatch it up with my grabby little fingers.

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Author
Alice Bell

Aragami 2 review: a breezy ninja stealth 'em up

2 days 2 hours ago

‘Breezy’ seems like an odd word to slap on a stealth game - a measured, sometimes plodding genre - but it fits ninj-em-up Aragami 2 perfectly. Flow like water, it says; stabby water, with wings. Flow, then, like an irresponsibly sharp ice-sculpture of a hummingbird. Flow imperfectly and playfully, for the same tools that allow you to strike masterfully silent also let you mitigate sloppiness with improvisational glee. If Tenchu was an armoury to select from, and Shadow Tactics a map to study, Aragami 2 is a toybox. Let’s play ninjas, shall we?

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Author
Nic Reuben

Bethesda "actively investigating" Deathloop PC stuttering

2 days 2 hours ago

While Arkane's time-looping supernatural shooter Deathloop is a good'un, the PC release has not gone down well, with many players reporting suffering framerates—the worst type of timejank. The problem still stands, a day-and-a-half after launch, but there is some comfort to be found in at least an official acknowledgment from publishers Bethesda that yes, they know it's a problem. Not nearly as much comfort as a fix would be. Maybe you'll find some meagre comfort in the unlikely source for this acknowledgement: a nice picture of some burgers.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Shashingo helps you learn Japanese through photography and I'd like it now please

2 days 3 hours ago

Despite being half Japanese, I know very, very little of the language. It pains me, it really does. Occasionally I get this urge to learn it, and lately it's bubbled up because I'm planning on jetting over there next year [laughs in covid]. Unfortunately, all my efforts at self-study have gone down the pan.

I've tried learning Japanese using audio courses and textbooks, but my discipline wanes only a couple of months in. There are many reasons why I suck at self-study, but flashcards are one of them. Sorry, but they suck and they are tedious. This is where I hope the upcoming 'edutainment' game Shashingo will change my relationship with them.

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Author
Ed Thorn

Now a union have filed charges against Activision Blizzard too

2 days 3 hours ago

A group of Activision Blizzard workers have teamed up with a union to file charges of unfair labour practices, accusing the company of "intimidation and union busting". This comes less than two months after a California state agency sued the company for alleged discrimination, harrassment, and retaliation. The new charges filed with the labour board claim that Actiblizzard have attempted to stop employees from discussing working conditions or working together to improve them, in violation of labour law.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Watch the I Am Dead devs explain the lovely real world inspirations behind the game

2 days 3 hours ago

Hollow Ponds have released a video detailing the real-world inspirations behind their 2020 puzzle game I Am Dead, a game about a ghost returning to their hometown and view it through new (dead) eyes. The cultural specificity in I Am Dead becomes clear as the two lead developers, Richard Hogg and Ricky Haggett, discuss how the British seaside town of Hastings influenced the creation of the game’s fictional setting Shelmerston. It's 25 minutes long, but it's a lovely watch.

Hogg and Haggett give insights on the various buildings, objects, and jokes from Hastings that infiltrated their way into the game. The video shows off previously unseen concept art, photography, diagrams, maps and mood boards that were used in the development of I Am Dead. You will also learn a lot about the town Hastings.

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Author
Kaan Serin

Deathloop infusion: how to carry over weapons and powers between loops with Residuum

2 days 3 hours ago

How can you carry over weapons and powers in Deathloop? Deathloop is a darkly comedic action-adventure game which sees assassins Colt and Julianna attempting to kill each other time and time again over the course of a single looping day. The titular loop resets itself if the day ends before Colt can kill all eight Visionaries (including Julianna), or if Colt dies three times in a single mission. When this happens, Colt wakes up at the beginning of the day with everything reset — including any weapons, powers, and trinkets he managed to pick up during his last trip through the loop.

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Author
Rebecca Jones

How water-resistant is this water-resistant mouse? A scientific investigation

2 days 3 hours ago

There are lots of spill-resistant keyboards, including some in our best gaming keyboard rankings, but you hardly ever see mice with similar protection. Despite the fact that they’re always right next to the keyboard, and thus just at risk from low-flying beverages. There are at least two, though: The SteelSeries Aerox 3 and Aerox 3 Wireless. According to SteelSeries, these were the first gaming mice on the market to receive IP54 certification, effectively guaranteeing protection against dust ingress and water splashes.

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Author
James Archer