Rock, Paper, Shotgun

The weird folk horror of Mundaun

1 month 1 week ago

One of the first things that may strike you about Mundaun, a very unsettling horror game that released earlier this year, is just how comfortable with weirdness it is. There are hay people hunting you in the night, monstrous masks inspired by traditional Swiss carnival costumes, and the decapitated head of the goat Allegria, bleating and chattering from your backpack.

Many horror games either try to establish a sense of mundane familiarity in a recognisable, contemporary world before shattering that familiarity, or else rely on the dusty, done-to-death setting of haunted manors. In most cases, neither approach does much to surprise. Horror often relies on the grotesque, but Mundaun’s weirdness is different. It is an earthy kind of weirdness, a strangeness with roots so deep that it might be confused with familiarity. It’s a horror that smells not of blood, but of hay and dung, snow and soot.

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Author
Andreas Inderwildi

What are we all playing this weekend?

1 month 1 week ago

Happy Halloween weekend, gang! Oh, hang on, I meant to say: BOO! Alright, there we go. But the greatest horror this weekend isn't any ghost or ghoulie, it's UK clocks switching back to GMT this weekend. Sure, your phone and computer will automatically update, but your heating will be irksome until you again dig out the manual to remember how to change it. And a secondary blast of horror comes from the fact that not every country changes their clocks just yet, so if you deal with business across timezones... good luck, pal. But, what are you playing this weekend?

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Author
Alice O'Connor

When did horror games become team sports?

1 month 1 week ago

By the time you read this I'll be playing Back 4 Blood, gunning down hordes of the undead until viscera and gore cake my player’s clothes, and my eyes become infinite pools of horror that have seen more than enough death for one lifetime. Or perhaps I’ll be creeping around a haunted house in Phasmophobia, my smudge stick in-hand and a cavalcade of petrified friends whimpering down their mics. Maybe I’ll be running from Pyramid Head in Dead By Daylight with my pals in tow. A thought has been brewing in the cold recesses of my mind for a while now, and it is simply this: when did horror become a team game?

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Author
Andrew Heaton

$220 for a 27-in 1440p 144Hz ViewSonic monitor is an absolute steal

1 month 1 week ago

It's rare to see a legitimately good 1440p 144Hz monitor for less than $250, but right now ViewSonic's VX2758-2KP-MHD is on sale at Newegg for $220 - a stunning $110 (33%) reduction from its original price of $330.

This 'Shell Shocker' sale ends in just a few hours, so do pick this up if you're in the market for a high-end gaming monitor at bargain basement prices!

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Author
Will Judd

Mushrooms, mould and killer plants: the best horror isn't animal, it's vegetable

1 month 1 week ago

Ever since I witnessed a little red-and-blue plumber-man tumble into the gnashing jaws of a Piranha Plant, I knew vegetables weren’t to be trusted. I see my suspicion of all things green and floral as a natural, even instinctual thing. We ourselves aren’t vegetable, and differences so often motivate our deepest fears. The vegetal realm is entirely inaccessible to us, its behaviour strange and habitats dark. From the carnivorous Venus flytrap to the bleeding tooth fungus, from plants that smell like rotting corpses to one's that trap prey and dissolve them with digestive fluids, it’s an unknown, often dangerous world, and one that overlaps closely with our own. And it makes for a compelling game.

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Author
Ewan Wilson

How to convince the Worldmind in Guardians Of The Galaxy

1 month 1 week ago

Want to know how to convince the Worldmind in Guardians Of The Galaxy? The adventure to save the galaxy doesn’t just involve shooting Chitauri and cracking jokes. Throughout Guardians Of The Galaxy, you engage in conversations with various characters, in which you can make decisions that will alter the course of the game. Most of these have small, fairly insignificant consequences. However, the conversation with the Worldmind in Chapter 9 could help you get some crucial help in a difficult fight later in the game.

This guide will show you the correct choices to make to convince the Worldmind that Raker can be defeated in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

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Author
Hayden Hefford

An ode to Kain from Blood Omen and his Legacy - including Untitled Goose Game

1 month 1 week ago

Steam user genre tags can be awful. Cyberpunk 2077 was, for example, tagged ‘masterpiece’ for months before the first gameplay trailer, while the much more reasonable and catchy ‘looks cool sure but too early to say anything definitive if we’re being adults about it’ tag was strangely absent. Happily, they are sometimes wonderful, like the tag alongside ‘comedy’ and ‘indie’ that categorises avian arsehole adventure Untitled Goose Game as having a ‘villain protagonist’.

I’ve been thinking about villain protagonists a fair amount this week because GOG just graced our collective thinking tellies with 1996 Zelda-like Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, in all its richly overwrought, gothic, inimitably voice-acted splendour. I would estimate this news finds you, reader, in one of two categories: those who give not a fig, and those who give so many figs they are currently scrabbling the world’s few remaining fig-bearing trees, searching vainly for an adequate quantity of figs.

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Author
Nic Reuben

PUBG company buying Subnautica studio Unknown Worlds

1 month 1 week ago

Krafton, the South Korean company behind Plunkbat and Tera, today announced that they're buying Unknown Worlds, the studio splendid subaquatic survival sim series Subnautica and the fantastic FPS-RTS hybrid Natural Selection. Huh! The professed plan is for them to keep on as usual, still working on the Subnauticae as well as a mystery game debuting next year.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Ultimate Audio Bang #17: weird and wonderful FPS vocab

1 month 1 week ago

This time, I've returned from a trip to Devon having spent too much time ignoring my friends and playing Hollow Knight instead. But what about FPSes? Well, I didn't play any of those. Thankfully Imogen has all of us covered on this week's episode of the Ultimate Audio Bang, with a news segment rammed with lots of exciting announcements. Namely, Apex Legends gets a new Legend and map, Halo Infinite sees a new trailer, and Call Of Duty's new anti-cheat Ricochet leaks early.

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Author
Ed Thorn

How long is the Guardians Of The Galaxy game?

1 month 1 week ago

Want to know how long it takes to beat Guardians Of The Galaxy? This planet-hopping adventure takes you on the cosmic ride of your life in an original Guardians Of The Galaxy story, involving plenty of punching, shooting, and generally jumping around with jet boots. Throughout the adventure, you'll come across many classic characters, such as Cosmo the spacedog, Adam Warlock, Mantis, Fin Fang Foom, and Lady Hellbender. However, since it isn't based directly on a certain comic storyline or movie, it can be hard to judge how long you'll actually spend playing Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy.

This guide will break down how long it takes to beat Guardians Of The Galaxy, including a list of chapters so that you can figure out how far you are through the adventure.

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Author
Hayden Hefford

Carve pumpkins for a virtual pumpkin festival in this free indie game

1 month 1 week ago

Last Halloween, Alice Bee visited Ghost Town's 999th Annual Pumpkin Festival, carving a pumpkin of her own to place amongst the spooky virtual showcase. It was a lovely little indie game from Adam "Adamgryu" Robinson-Yu, creator of the much-adored A Short Hike. Well, Halloween is upon us again, and Mayor Bones has returned with another gourd-o-rama, putting servers back online and inviting us to contribute new pumpkins. It's still lovely.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Hitman 3 and The Riftbreaker are the first games with Intel XeSS support

1 month 1 week ago

Amidst all the excitement of Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, let’s not forget that the first Intel dedicated graphics cards are on their way. Codenamed Arc Alchemist, these GPUs will launch alongside XeSS (Xe Super Sampling), an Nvidia DLSS-style upscaling/anti-aliasing piece of tech that promises to boost performance while sharpening up those jagged edges. And we now know the first two games that will support XeSS: Hitman 3 and The Riftbreaker.

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Author
James Archer

Where are all the good Stephen King games?

1 month 1 week ago

Halloweekend is almost upon us and sitting on my coffee table is my battered old paperback copy of Skeleton Crew, a 1985 collection of short horror stories by Stephen King. Back in my wild teenage years I binged King's entire back-catalogue of published fiction, and now that it's been long enough for me to have forgotten most of the details, I'm treating myself to some selective re-reads. Fair to say some of his stuff hasn't aged brilliantly, but despite many rough edges he undeniably remains one of my all-time favourite authors. I am, after all, a self-confessed horror nerd.

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Author
Rebecca Jones

The Rally Point: The Riftbreaker is light on strategy but carries a lot with it

1 month 1 week ago

I hesitated. Not to play The Riftbreaker, you understand. I'd played its demo last year, which was enough to sell me on playing the full game. But to cover it as a strategy game is another matter.

It does games in particular a disservice to get prescriptive with genre, but there's no question that Riftbreaker falls under 'action strategy', with an even greater emphasis on action than, say, Hostile Waters or Sacrifice. But then, it also has detailed base building, tower defence, and a tonne of resource management. I've given up trying to categorise it, and it will always be distinct from most strategy games, but I think its peers could still learn a few things from it.

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Author
Sin Vega

Facebook parent company now named Meta, unveiling vision of a metaverse

1 month 1 week ago

The company behind Facebook and Oculus, previously known as Facebook, have unveiled a new name: Meta. Oh christ. Yes, it is named after the metaverse, because tech megacorps can't resist the delusion that their platform to sell adverts is elevating humanity to a new plane of existence. Mark Zuckerberg suggests that in the future they're building, you'll experience everything through virtual and augmented reality, and that definitely won't be a horrible world devoid of intimacy, okay, it'll be great.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

The WD Black SN750 1TB NVMe SSD is £87 for 1TB: good deal

1 month 1 week ago

The WD Black SN750 is a super-fast PCIe 3.0 SSD - and the 1TB model is down to £87 at Amazon UK, a historic low price. That's a fantastic price for what was once among the fastest NVMe SSDs on the planet, with read speeds up to nearly 3500MB/s... before the advent of faster (and more expensive) PCIe 4.0 drives in the last couple of years.

Still, in terms of value for money, this TLC drive with a DRAM cache is going to be hard to beat - especially as the only real competitors tend to come with QLC NAND or without a DRAM cache, both of which sacrifice performance to hit lower price points!

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Author
Will Judd

Razer's Viper Ultimate mouse is nearly £100 off at Amazon UK

1 month 1 week ago

As I've mentioned before, the Razer Viper is one of my favourite ultralight gaming mice of all time, and today the Ultimate wireless version is marked it down from £170 all the way to £73 at Amazon UK.

That's an incredibly good price considering this is the model that comes with a handy charging dock to ensure your mouse is always topped up without ever fussing with a cable.

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Author
Will Judd

Activision Blizzard CEO commits to waiving forced arbitration, and a temporary paycut

1 month 1 week ago

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has detailed plans for the company to rebuild itself following numerous legal cases and protests over alleged harrassment, discrimination, and retaliation at the company. Key points include a policy of zero-tolerance for harassment and an end to forced abitration in claims of sexual harrassment and discrimination. An employee group call this "a huge win". And Kotick himself has volunteered to take a huge pay cut until they achieve their stated goals.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Apex Legends' new hero Ash hunts squads with Titanfall-inspired abilities

1 month 1 week ago

Apex Legends' next season, Escape, kicks off next week, and it introduces the new playable character Ash. She's a simulacrum (read: human brain in robot body) that you might recognise as the evil pilot from Titanfall 2's Into The Abyss level, or as the overseer of Apex Legends' 3v3 Arenas mode. Now she's descending into the Apex games herself, and having taken her for a spin already, I reckon she has some delightfully aggressive abilities that Wraith players in particular are going to enjoy.

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Author
Imogen Beckhelling

Apex Legends CAR SMG stats [Season 11]

1 month 1 week ago

Looking for up-to-date and accurate CAR SMG stats for Apex Legends? The CAR is Season 11's addition to the Apex Legends weapons arsenal, and it's got a very impressive array of stats to show off. But what's truly unique about the CAR is its ability to use both Heavy and Light Ammo, and toggle between them at the touch of a button.

Keep reading for an in-depth look at the CAR SMG in Apex Legends, along with detailed stats covering everything from damage profiles and shots to kill to reload times and attachment slots.

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Author
Ollie Toms

Apex Legends' new map Stormpoint comes with vicious wildlife and excellent cannons

1 month 1 week ago

Beach map! Beach map! Beach map! Apex Legends' next season, Escape, is right around the corner, and it's bringing a tropical island to fight on. It's also bringing a the new Legend Ash, the CAR SMG and more, but most importantly: beach map! I had a chance to play a little of Respawn's battle royale in this new arena, and it is delightful. Named Stormpoint, it's the FPS's fourth map, and not only is it lovely to look at, but it's full of cool locations to explore and dangerous wildlife to dodge.

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Author
Imogen Beckhelling

Apex Legends Ash abilities

1 month 1 week ago

Want to know about Ash's abilities in Apex Legends? The upcoming addition to the Apex Legends roster will arrive next week, along with a brand new map, the new CAR SMG, and a host of weapon and Legend balance changes. Ash is turning a lot of heads thanks both to her complex and fascinating backstory and to her powerful and versatile array of abilities.

Below we'll walk you through how each of Ash's abilities work in detail, so you can get off to a great start with her once Season 11 drops. We'll also detail Ash's backstory for those who need to know every last detail about this dangerous new Legend.

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Author
Ollie Toms

Inscryption is horrifying because it does things games aren't supposed to

1 month 1 week ago

Daniel Mullins says he's not sure that "horror" is the most accurate way to describe his gruesome new card battler Inscryption. He immediately follows this up by telling me a friend of his had nightmares because of the menacing figure you play cards against, so yeah, maybe it's a bit horror-like. But I kind of understand his point.

At the start, Inscryption is like a hostage situation, where you're forced to play a card-based roguelike against a sinister games master. Then, just as you start getting the hang of things, the game evolves into something way more complex. If you've played Mullins' other games you'll know his work can go to some weird, meta places. I won't say more above the cut, because I'd hate to spoil it. But for those of you who've already played, read on for more detail on how Mullins created an excellently unsettling world.

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Author
Imogen Beckhelling

Square Enix announce Star Ocean The Divine Force

1 month 1 week ago

Tri-Ace's action-RPG series Star Ocean will return with a new game next year, Square Enix have announced. Though the series started 25 years ago on the SNES, you needn't concern yourself with that history because Squeenix say Star Ocean The Divine Force will tell a new story with new characters. Come meet them and see some of the sci-fantasy world in the trailer below.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Forget Far Cry 6, the bugs in Hollow Knight can send me snarky emails anytime

1 month 1 week ago

Recently, I've heard tales of Far Cry 6 players receiving snarky emails from Ubisoft about how much time they've spent in-game. They're supposed to read as if Anton Castillo, the game's evil dictator, is mocking you for not investing enough of it toppling his regime.

And even if you've spent a lot of time clearing Castillo's map markers, he'll still send you emails anyway. They feature stats like time played, checkpoints cleared, that sort of thing. Many people don't seem to like this, which I totally understand. But a part of me wishes these rude marketing emails were more of a thing. Specifically, I'd like it if the bugs from Hollow Knight spun some my way.

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Author
Ed Thorn

Guardians Of The Galaxy tips

1 month 1 week ago

Want to know some tips and tricks for Guardians Of The Galaxy? The adventure will take you across the vast galaxy in search of fortune, fun, and a whole lot of kicking ass, but you won’t make it far without a solid grasp of the mechanics in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

This guide will offer some tips and tricks that you’ll need to get familiar with if you want to turn your rag-tag group of misfits into a heroic team to be feared. We'll cover tips for all of the main aspects of the game, including combat, exploring, and all of the chats that you'll have with your teammates during your adventure.

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Author
Hayden Hefford

Can my Darkest Dungeon 2 party please shut up for five minutes

1 month 1 week ago

In time, you will know the tragic extent of my failings, but in Darkest Dungeon 2 goodness me you'll hear about everyone's failings constantly. The horrific dungeon-crawling sequel entered early access yesterday, and my initial impression is that I'm surrounded by squabbling children. Managing the stress of your heroes is more important than ever, because if anyone is even mildly irked they will interrupt every fight to shout about how their squadmate is a kill-stealing dick. I'm this close to turning the stagecoach back around and embracing the impending apocalypse.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

All I want for spook month is more classic survival horror

1 month 1 week ago

Listen. Outside your window, the chill wind chuckles in raspy glee at autumn’s death rattle. The branches of dying trees rake their gnarled fingers against the glass. You are spooked. You turn to the warm glow of your monitor for comfort. Instead, you find the most terrifying thing imaginable: an unpopular opinion about a videogame. On the internet, no less. You blink and rub your eyes in disbelief. Still, the words remain. Stark. Unforgiving. Undeniably spicy: “Resident Evil Village was disappointing and its success does not bode well for the future of survival horror.”

You go to type a comment but, uh, your fingers are gone, or something. Just hear me out.

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Author
Nic Reuben

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs announced: everything you need to know

1 month 1 week ago

After a months-long spin around the rumour mill, the first batch of Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs is official. Despite the 11th Gen Rocket Lake chips only launching earlier this year, Alder Lake represents the biggest generational jump for Intel in over half a decade, thanks to its completely redesigned “hybrid” architecture and DDR5 memory support.

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Author
James Archer