Rock, Paper, Shotgun
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.