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Article

Advice from Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera is, in its own words, “chewy and full of strangeness.” The game’s beta sets players down in the city of Sagus Cliffs, where weird humans and alien “visitants” live in squalor beside buried spaceships. You meet citizens who can’t stop sprouting extra toes, others who drink and brood about psychic wars, and one who’s trying hard to stop a robot from having babies. They toil in the shadow of countless dead civilizations, as well as the shadow of the monumental Planescape: Torment (1999), whose themes, protagonist, and aversion to short sentences have been carried over intact…

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News

Suits: A Business RPG asks how easily you’ll give in to a corporation

The enemy here is capitalism. Isn’t it always? Suits: A Business RPG is an expedition into the morass that is modern capitalism. Note that it is not a journey through this world. That would presuppose the existence of an escape, and Suits is not that sort of game. The action takes place in a black-and-white corporate dystopia, though the extent to which this world differs from ours is very much up for debate. “Corporations,” the game’s documentation explains, “control the entire global government.” What’s new? You play as a businessman. You are not the worst of people, but you’re also…

goldensun1
Article

The Dualism and Morality of “Golden Sun”

My father always says there are two sides to every story. There’s one party’s side, the opposing party’s side, and then the truth tends to fall somewhere in the middle. Most videogames, however, exist in a vacuum of storytelling, where the player takes control of a set of heroes out to destroy a set of bad guys. Through this, they mostly attempt to capture and tell only one side of a story. Mario is good, and Bowser is bad. Sora wants to save the world, the Heartless want to destroy it. Link is the Hero of Time, Ganon the bringer…

oldhunters1
Review

How do you follow up Bloodborne? Apparently, you don’t

The River of Blood, the Beast Cutter, the Surgery Altar, the Astral Clocktower, the Blood of Adeline, the Nightmare Church, the Underground Corpse Pile, the Holy Moonlight Sword, the Beasthunter Saif: the settings and armaments that furnish The Old Hunters will certainly sound familiar to veterans of Bloodborne. So too will its macabre menagerie: the Bloodlickers and the Parasites, the Winter Lanterns and the Nightmare Executioners. One can well imagine a brainstorming session at From Software, the developers trying to think gloomily as they thumb a dog-eared thesaurus. The Despairing Cutlass? The Infirmary of Sorrow? You half-expect to wander into…

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News

The world of Death Trash is gross, but you won’t be able to look away

Desert punks in a puke bar. Gore on the cave walls. A giant weeping blood into a lava pit. It can only be… Death Trash! Death Trash is an upcoming game pitched as a post-apocalyptic RPG mash-up of Planescape: Torment and Ultima 7, with added helpings of sex, cyberpunk, and horror. At first glance, I’m not personally interested in the role-playing elements—what captivates me most is how casually disgusting this world looks. Sickness and violence seem to be at the heart of this abrasive new society, where sweet-talking, telekinetic punks with shotguns roam and raw, gory meat seems to burst…

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News

Kill ’em with kindness and love in Undertale, an RPG unlike most others

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Undertale (PC, Mac)  BY Toby Fox You might say Undertale is unique due to its passive battle system. Certainly, allowing you to choose whether to flirt or fight with every monster you encounter is unconventional for an RPG. But what makes Undertale a truly notable title is how it makes metaphors out of mechanics. Most videogames give you a sword, creatures to kill, and a reward for doing so. There’s not a lot of room for interpretation. Undertale, mimicking real life, renders conflict a puzzle to be finessed and solved…

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News

Fight monsters or kiss them? Undertale will let you decide when it arrives next week

Kickstarter darling Undertale came into our lives in 2013 with the scent of butterscotch-cinnamon pie. It cradled us in its furry arms, gave us comforting and encouraging glances, before leaving us to rot—cold and alone—for two long years. Now, it’s finally returning next Tuesday the 15th, and I can already feel my heart swelling for the conflict resolution haven that is Undertale‘s world. talking through your feelings with violent enemies  Playing as a naive human child, you find yourself trapped in the Ruins, an underworld where the humans banished all manner of monsters long ago. Luckily, early on in your…

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News

Hiroshima’s Street View for Cats is basically an RPG

“Japan just created a Google Street View for cats,” reports Vox’s Margarita Noriega, which sounds like a pretty good deal. A series of maps and visualizations created by Hiroshima prefecture’s tourism board, show a number of popular routes from the just-above-ground POV of a feline. As you stroll through marketplaces and other thoroughfares in street view, abstracted cat icons indicate the homes of other furry friends. These maps are of no use to Hiroshima’s cats  These maps are, of course, of no use to Hirohsima’s cats, which may appear online with alarming frequency but cannot actually navigate the internet. As the Wall…