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  • Sea of Stars, The Messenger devs’ love letter to classic RPGs, sells 100,000 copies on its first day

    Sea of Stars seemed primed for success: it’s got a gorgeous art style, is soaked through with nostalgia for the turn-based (J)RPGs of yore - but with a modern sensibility to its clever gameplay - and comes from the devs behind ingenious platformer The Messenger. Those stars have indeed aligned, as Sabotage Studio announced that the throwback hit has already passed 100,000 sales on its first day.

  • Titus looks out in the Warp as Chaos marines take shots in Space Marine 2 gameplay footage

    We still don’t know when we’ll be able to play the unexpected - but welcome - Warhammer 40k Gears of War-a-like sequel Space Marine 2, but we can at least get a look at who we’ll be shooting in the face when it arrives. 10 minutes of extended gameplay footage have teased the appearance of Chaos marines in the upcoming shooter, along with lots of slow, stompy walking through its grimdark universe.

  • Modern Warfare 2 image showing a close up of a soldier staring down the sights of their gun.

    This year's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will make use of Modulate's ToxMod AI to help moderate voice chat in multiplayer, Activision have revealed. The system won't detect offences in real time, nor will it be able to kick you from games for effing and blinding. It just submits reports of bad behaviour, with Activision staff making the final call on enforcement actions, which might involve reviewing recordings to work out the context of an outburst.

    You can turn off voice chat in Call of Duty to avoid being recorded, but it doesn't look like there's a way to opt out of AI voice moderation in the current/new Call of Duty games at the time of writing. The tech is being beta-tested from today, 30th August in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone in North America, with the English-language worldwide release to land alongside Modern Warfare 3 on 10th November.

  • A pixellated fighter kicks their opponent in the head in Karateka Remastered gameplay

    The first published game by Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner has been given the star treatment in an interactive documentary that includes the original Karateka, its early prototypes, a full remaster with dev commentary and a brand new game.

  • A mesmer in Guild Wars 2.

    Last time, you decided that a stress-free co-op helper is better than timed dialogue choices. A double victory for carefree living, there. I don't understand; how do you get anything done without the constant feeling that everything is about to collapse around you? Weird. Still, we must move on, for science. This week, I ask you to choose between a sharp shock and a deep dive. What's better: interrupt attacks, or a lore codex?

  • The Barelegged Tank mech runs through a ruined city in Custom Mech Wars gameplay

    People are already having fun with Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon’s mech editor, creating robots that look like everything from Grand Theft Auto’s CJ to horrific corporate marketing armed with twin gatling guns. For as amazing as AC6’s mech maker is, though, there’s one thing it can’t create: a tank strutting around on bare legs and heels. Lucky for us, then, that Custom Mech Wars is on the way.

  • songmics electric standing desk

    Deals: This well-reviewed electric sit/stand desk is down to £116 at Amazon UK

    This 120x60cm desk can support up to 80kg.

    Want a cheap and cheerful standing desk for working or PC gaming? This electric option from Songmics has been reduced to £116 when you tick the £20 voucher on the product page and has plenty of five-star reviews, making it a good value pickup.

  • A screenshot of Enter the Chronosphere, showing the player weaving across a sandy orange space island firing bullets at hordes of creatures.

    I like videogame worlds that are somehow vast and busy, yet pleasantly small and legible - Polly Pocket creations that have a lot of flex and bustle, when you look closely. Enter the Chronosphere feels like one of those games. Devised by Melbourne, Australia-based Effort Star, it sees you assembling a crew of alien roughnecks to breach and despoil astral "gigastructures" in top-down view. These gigastructures consist of tightly-packed disc-shaped labyrinths with distinct colour schemes, vegetation and screwy spacetime dynamics.

    One of the PR bulletpoints calls on you to "choose between stabilizing your wounds, or reality itself." You'll also get to "plunder paradoxes" and kill people with wasps. Quite the spread! Let's have a look at the trailer.

  • wd sn850x pcie 4.0 ssd tiled on a coloured background

    Deals: Our top PCIe 4.0 SSD pick is back down to $99.99 for 2TB at Newegg

    The WD SN850x is a tremendous performer.

    A month after the 2TB WD SN850x dropped to a historic low price of $99.99, our top PCIe 4.0 SSD pick has returned to this price over at Newegg when you use code LDCV29378 in your shopping cart. This is an awesome price for this drive, and a worthy pickup for anyone building a new PC or upgrading an existing one with more game storage.

  • A promotion render of the AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT & RX 7800 XT.

    AMD will finally plug a yawning great hole in the middle of their RDNA 3 graphics card lineup, with both the Radeon RX 7700 XT and Radeon RX 7800 XT set to launch in September. Intended as RTX 4060 Ti and RTX 4070 botherers, you can expect these GPUs to put in a shift at high-quality 1440p, with a view towards FSR 3 making up for their lack of Nvidia DLSS 3 support.

  • Player character and special agent Dalila confronting an electric zombie in a dark corridor in Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle.

    Appropriately for third-person shooters featuring icky electric zombies, Invader's Daymare series has crept up on me. The second game, Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle, launches today. It casts you as Dalila Reyes, a special agent of Hexacore Advanced Division for Extraction and Search, aka H.A.D.E.S., and - wait a minute, I know this vibe! That annoying acronym? The washed-out, cadaver-on-concrete set dressing? The gimmicky ice-gun and scanner mode puzzles? The not-so-subtle undertones of Monolith and Midway? Characters with big glowy gadgets on their backs, so you can track them through poorly-lit warehouses?

    For all the 90s setting, this looks to me like a homage to shooters of the early/mid noughties, when every action game took place in an office block, prison or garage, featured some kind of paranormal auxiliary ability, and owed a few cinematic chromosomes to the Matrix. Get a load of that trailer.

  • A robed warrior cradles a baby in Where Winds Meet.

    Where Winds Meet struck me as hugely ambitious action adventure romp set in vast, Ten Kingdom-inspired China. And it was hilariously impossible to summarise in the space of a short, sharp 30-minute appointment. While the elevator pitch started off fairly naturally, there came a point where the elevator rocketed up into the atmosphere and spiralled out of control. I won’t pretend to completely understand what the exact measure of the game is, but I'm both excited to see more and a tad worried it could end up being a disjointed, overstretched mash of things that don't form a cohesive whole.

  • Cayde-6 and Ikora look at a giant pink triangle looming over valley in Destiny 2: The Final Shape's CG trailer.

    The original Destiny storyline opened following the collapse of a vast Terran civilization at the hands of an invading, amorphous Darkness and its various alien accomplices - an advance stymied only by a benevolent Big Dumb Object known as the Traveller. It cast you as an ancient warrior, resurrected by a flying robot to reclaim humankind's old dominions together with their antique, storied weapons and gear. So much of its appeal for me, back in 2014, was the mystique of that reclamation process, bolstered by alternately zany, obnoxious, fragmentary and/or intriguing writing that expanded upon the viral mythological element in Halo.

    Fast-forward nine years, and Destiny 2 has turned the destruction and loss of history wrought by the Darkness into a seasonal - or as it's shortly to become, "episodic" - content "cadence" (a term that stems from the Latin word for falling) of erosion and restoration, with areas, weapons and quests stripped periodically from the game due to a mixture of technical pressures and commercial priorities. It's sort of become the very thing you're fighting, but where the Darkness aims to engulf and extinguish the Guardians of the Light, Destiny wants to keep you engaged.

  • A young Arthur Hastings with a fetching curl in his blond hair, as he appears in Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The London Case, but photoshopped to be against a background from when contestants on Love Island are revealed

    Far bet it from me to complain about Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The London Case introducing more incongruous eye candy, after my previous conniptions over Hot Hipster Poirot with his ankle-grazer trousers and his sexy egg-shaped head, but tick tock, it's himbo Hastings o'clock. Released on Steam this week, The London Case takes young Poirot to, err, London, charged with protecting a famous painting along with a representative of the insurance firm. Naturellement, the painting is stolen from an apparently locked room under everyone's silly noses, and thus begins Poirot and Hastings' first puzzle caper together (for who else is our insurance representative?).

    Technically, of course, they met in The Mysterious Affair At Styles, when Captain Arthur Hastings was on leave from the front during WW1, but one of the things I like about this series is how it takes what it wants and gently buffs away the rest. If you're going to adapt, then adapt! Like The First Cases, which came out in 2021, the game itself is largely a process of pointing and clicking through crime scenes to find clues, and then joining them in a big mind map akin to what you'd find in a Frogwares Sherlock Holmes game. But having Hastings along does make it a bit more fun, because his role is to be a bit of an idiot.

  • Key art from Diablo Immortal's Terror's Tide major update showing a demon facing off against warriors

    Diablo 4 has only made Diablo Immortal more popular, say Blizzard

    Blizzard's Rod Fergusson tells RPS they were "nervous" about Diablo 4 cannibalising Immortal

    Before Diablo 4 came out, Blizzard had concerns that their latest ARPG would tank the popularity of their most recent entry in the series, Diablo Immortal, Blizzard's franchise general manager Rod Fergusson tells RPS. Immortal, which launched last year as a free-to-play MMO game, left quite a bad taste in our mouths when it launched on PC, especially when it came to the prohibitively high cost of its various microtransactions. Despite this, though, the game's continued to enjoy great success over on mobile, but even Blizzard weren't sure whether its popularity would last once Diablo 4 arrived.

    "One of the things that we were kind of nervous about initially was that when Diablo 4 landed it would sort of cannibalise Immortal, and that everyone was just going to be, 'Oh we're just playing Immortal until Diablo 4 comes out'," Fergusson told me at Gamescom. As it turns out, they needn't have been so apprehensive. "In fact, it was the opposite," he says.

  • A screenshot of Qomp2, a "creative sequel" to Pong, showing a ball bouncing around a 2D monochrome labyrinth roamed by angry dino heads.
    When The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was announced a few years back, the general response was "who on Middle-earth would want to play as Gollum". I'm wondering if Atari and Graphite Lab's "creative sequel" to Pong will face a similar reception. Released in the 70s, the original Pong was videogame tennis. In this reinvention - which, confusingly, is also a sequel to Stuffed Wombat's Qomp, with the Pong branding sort of ladled on top - the homely pixel ball has shattered one player's paddle and escaped into an Axiom Verge-esque labyrinth of spikes, energy beams and floating T-Rex heads. Filing this premise somewhere on the "what if" spectrum between the Edge line about talking to the monsters in DOOM and people demanding to land on gas giants in Starfield. Find a trailer through the jump.
  • A nonogram puzzle in Logiart Grimoire.

    There are a lot of Picross-style nonogram games available on PC these days, but many of them fail to inspire the easy, compulsive fugue of Picross itself. I'm hoping Logiart Grimoire will achieve such numbing delights when it launches into Steam Early Access next month. It's got the pedigree for it, given that it's made by Jupiter Corporation, the creator of all those original Picross games for Nintendo devices.

  • A building in construction in dark fantasy roguelite citybuilder Against The Storm.

    If a strategy game gets its hooks into you, it can easily consume hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of your life. That either makes Steam's latest sale of strategy games absurdly good value for money, or an assault upon productivity everywhere.

  • Karlach  introduces herself to the player.

    Baldur's Gate 3 first patch was released last week and fixed over a thousand bugs, but Larian aren't done. In a new post on Steam, Larian have laid out their future plans for updates - including performance improvements, a new Karlach epilogue, and more bug fixes.

  • Preparing to kick an enemy into spikes in a Dark Messiah Of Might & Magic screenshot.

    Released in 2006, Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic made the most of still-novel physics tech by letting you torment orcs with slippy floors, collapsing log piles, and swift kicks directly into spikes. These slapstick delights made it a cult classic, but rights-holders Ubisoft haven't done much with the game since.

    Now a group of modders have been given a "completely blank check" by Ubisoft to do what they want with their efforts to build a modding SDK for the nearly 20-year-old game, and their ambitions include co-op and raytracing.

  • A white man with an unnerving star and extremely yellow pointy hair - the Adoring Fan in Starfield

    You may have heard a little game called Starfield is coming out soon, and that its review embargo is due to lift later this week. Alas, RPS' review won't be among them, as we haven't received code yet.

  • A man holds up a small yellow man above a cheering crowd in Thank Goodness You're Here

    The Opening Night Live trailer for 'comedy slapformer' Thank Goodness You're Here! was a joyous balm in a sea of shoulder shrugs last week. Its bright, cartoon visuals instantly stood out against the grey, ultra-realistic grizzle beards of everything else Geoff had to offer in his Gamescom mega show last Tuesday, and even now I still find myself whistling its jaunty little song around the house. But what exactly is Thank Goodness You're Here!? Well, having played through one of its 15 minute missions now, I can tell you it's a bit like Untitled Goose Game, in that you have a village you can wander about in causing chaos, but it's also much more structured than that, with specific quests and people to help as you guide your tiny travelling salesman through its surreal neighbourhood. Here's what I learned.

  • amd ryzen 7 7800x3d gaming cpu on a coloured background

    Deals: AMD's incredible Ryzen 7 7800X3D gaming CPU drops again, to $354 from Newegg

    That's $85 below its US MSRP, a great discount for a CPU that launched four months ago.

    AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a screaming-fast processor for gaming, and one that I've recommended on many occasions at RPS and beyond. Last week I noted that the CPU had dropped to $385, but now the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is even cheaper: it's just $354 at Walmart, with the unit being sold and shipped by Newegg.

  • The in-game model for  Lara Croft in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, showing the character cocking her two pistols ready to fire.

    Lara Croft is coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone as part of the imminent Season 5 content drop, and... I am not OK with this. I am not OK. The news has been out there for a while, but today's Activision screenshot bulletin is the first I've heard of it, and I am here to tell you that this is a travesty and a disgrace and, excuse me, I'm sorry, I need a moment. What have they done to you, Lara? Oh hell, they've even used your "I only play for sport" quote from the original TR intro as a finishing move catchphrase. Good night, sweet Croft. May flights of angels (of Darkness) sing you to your rest.

  • the solidigm p44 pro nvme ssd

    Deals: Solidigm's P44 Pro 2TB SSD reaches $105 at Newegg in the US

    A high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD that rivals WD's SN850x and Samsung's 990 Pro.

    Solidigm's P44 Pro is one of the most underrated PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market, offering similar performance to the WD SN850x and Samsung 990 Pro while costing significantly less. I've been using this drive for months, and now it's down to $104.99 for a 2TB model at Newegg - from an original price of $170. For context, the last time we saw a deal on this model was $117 back in June.

  • Grady looks at the player, who's just shot a warehouse to bits, in Aperture Desk Job.

    'Allo everyone. Just a reminder that we’ll be live-chatting all about this month’s RPS Game Club game, Aperture Desk Job, this Thursday 31st of August – and you can join us. Simply rock up to the liveblog (post pending) from 4pm BST and share your thoughts on desks, jobs, Cave Johnson’s head, mantis tragedies, and anything else pertaining to Valve’s comedy microgame.

  • The AMD FSR 3 logo on a black and red background.

    AMD FSR 3 demystified: how the next-gen upscaler could upgrade performance on "any" GPU

    A guide to telling your frame generation from your latency reduction

    Apologies to Geoffey K and his GTA 6-loving stage invader, but for me, the torquiest head-turner of Gamescom 2023 was not a game but AMD FSR 3. The Radeon gang’s long awaited answer to DLSS 3 finally got a proper reveal, showcasing how its frame generation feature – called Fluid Motion Frames – could triple performance in supported games. And, while it was revealed alongside two new GPUs – the Radeon RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT – AMD general manager Scott Herkelman suggested that FSR 3 will work "on any graphics card" once it launches.

  • Stacks of archive shelves surround a statue in a courtyard in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

    Shadow Gambit studio Mimimi are closing down "to prioritize our well-being"

    15 years of gamedev has taken "a heavy personal toll on us and our families", say founders

    Sad news, folks. Munich, Germany-based independent developer Mimimi Games have announced that they're closing doors following the release of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, which RPS only recently described as the studio's best work yet. The developer plan to support Shadow Gambit with patches and additions, but are otherwise ceasing development and will "slowly ramp down" in the coming months. Founders Dominik Abé and Johannes Roth are even now trying to relocate the studio's few dozen employees, who will be paid a bonus taken from Shadow Gambit profits to ease the transition.

  • The explorer in Starfield looks at some brown mountains, dusted in what looks like snow, as a ringed planet rises in the sky beyond

    I have consumed Starfield's universe and it tastes of whole milk and cinnamon

    Bethesda literally fed us their space adventure at Gamescom

    "What's better than gazing at the Milky Way?", asks Bethesda. The answer? "Savouring it as well." That's right folks, I may not have laid my hands on big Todd's mega RPG Starfield, but I've actually tasted its universe, in the form of a promotional drink handed out at Gamescom. It’s composed of cinnamon and stardust, with the boundless expanse of space taking on the form of a grey liquid goop. I’ve got to admit, I think it makes for an excellent beverage, and could perhaps have elicited more excitement from me than the game itself will on release.

  • An image of the night sky in Skyrim, with moons appearing through pine trees against a green aurora.

    You may have noticed a mounting squabble between Starfield fans and detractors concerning the game's planetary maps, triggered by some leaks or fake leaks over the past week. Said skirmish has now escalated to "-gate" status, with "Tilegate" doing the rounds on forums and even creeping into search results, presumably much to the alarm of innocent, unaligned ceramics company Tilegate Trading Llc in Florida. The nub of the dispute seems to be thus: some people claim the procedurally generated tiles that comprise many Starfield environments actually glue together into complete globes, so that you can see and walk from one to the other and, indeed, all around the equator, while others claim they're discrete maps with invisible walls, similar to those of the astonishing "dreamable" space sim Noctis.

    Who knows, we might have an under-embargo Starfield review in the works that will lay matters to rest. In the short term, the uncertainty about whether Starfield's planets are actually planets puts me in mind of comparable celestial angst in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls games, where planets are more properly described as planes of existence, conjured by immortal beings, which sort of orbit the mortal world of Tamriel. I've been revisiting how Bethesda's mainstay fantasy games thought about outer space in the run-up to Starfield, and while I'm intrigued by the new game's portrayals of celestial mechanics (latest discovery: the Starfield starmap represents stellar and planetary gravity as dimples on a kind of galactic tarpaulin, as in old Stephen Hawking documentaries), I'll be very surprised if it offers anything quite as wonderfully bizarre.