Is silicon doomed? IBM invests in quest to find alternative

Dave James at

The days of silicon sitting inside our CPUs and GPUs are numbered, according to a recent announcement by chip giant, IBM. They’re betting a cool $3 billion dollars on being able to find a decent alternative before silicon starts to hinder hardware progress.


Dragon Age: Inquisition hands-on: fighting dragons in BioWare's biggest RPG ever

Emanuel Maiberg at

My Dragon Age: Inquisition demo was supposed to last 30 minutes, but it was clear after five that we would go way over. Just standing at the edge of its world, its scope and depth immediately started to suck me in, making time disappear in that way that makes immersive, sprawling RPGs so enjoyable and dangerous to productivity.


Alien: Isolation pre-order DLC will be available for purchase after release

Phil Savage at

Alien: Isolation's pre-order reward is two bonus missions based on scenes from the original film. Since learning of those missions, fans have been in an increasingly sickly state—made weak by the conflict between desirable extras and sensible pre-order scepticism. Now, bursting explosively from their chests, is the information that those missions—which feature original cast members reprising their roles—will also be released as DLC, to be made available after the game's launch.


PayDay studio Overkill Software is preparing to announce something

Shaun Prescott at

PayDay developer Overkill Software has posted a big counter on its website. It's more than a month until we find out what it's counting down to, which suggests something significant. What could it be? Well, it's going to be a video game, probably. Hopefully it's not just more PayDay 2 content, or a big song and dance about the PS4 and Xbox One editions of that game, because that's not very signficant.


Skullgirls studio outs pirate on Twitter with strange end-game message

Andy Chalk at

"What is the square root of a fish?" the message at the end of the Skullgirls single-player campaign asked. "Now I'm sad." Perhaps thinking he'd discovered some kind of oddball Easter egg, player Dan Hibiki took to Twitter to ask what it meant. But the answer, he was dismayed to learn, was that it meant he'd pirated the game.


Powerhoof announces delay for Crawl with an apologetic gif

PC Gamer at

If you have to admit you’ve made a mistake, it’s best to do it in a blaze of pixelated glory. At least, that’s the tactic Powerhoof used to announce the delay of its upcoming dungeon crawler, the aptly named Crawl. With the game set to release on Steam Early Access in just a week, Powerhoof was forced to push back the game’s launch. Then the two-man team decided to pacify the inevitable anger by breaking the news in the form of a gif, and boy did it work.


Wasteland 2 Early Access sales helped double the game's Kickstarter budget

Andy Chalk at

Early Access releases on Steam can be a bit dicey, the state of pre-release games always being something of a crapshoot, but there are sometimes big upsides, too. Wasteland 2 is one example of a game that was particularly well-served by its Early Access release late last year: In the most recent Kickstarter update, project lead Chris Keenan wrote that "every penny" earned through pre-release sales was put back into the game, which has helped double its initial Kickstarter budget.


Three Lane Highway: unstoppable forces, immovable objects, and other thoughts on the metagame

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.

'Metagame' is a sharp, cyberpunkish word for a pretty cloudy and unscientific concept. Which is not to say that it's impossible to get an exact read on a game's competitive landscape, but that sense of certainty is usually unsustainable. The moment a team does something that nobody expects and it works, questions are raised. Figuring out the answers to those questions - or watching other people do it - is one of the major draws of this part of the hobby. It's natural to chase certainty, to be sure, but it's doubt that creates drama.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty prices dropped to $20 on Battle.net

Andy Chalk at

If you've been holding off on picking up StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (or, for that matter, Wings of Liberty) out of poverty, cheapness or a plain old lack of interest, today may be a good day to reconsider your position.


Cliff Bleszinski talks a blue streak in a BlueStreak AMA

Andy Chalk at

Former Gears of War guy Cliff Bleszinski didn't have much to say about his return to game development beyond the fact that he's doing it with a free-to-play arena shooter called BlueStreak. But yesterday he took to Reddit for an AMA in which he touched on topics ranging from how he'll handle the "pay to win" challenge to how he ended up in a publishing deal with the company behind Maple Story.


Assassin's Creed Unity marks a "new narrative start" for the series

Phil Savage at

Assassin's Creed is a video game series about a procession of rakish rogues (and Connor) exterminating historical wrong'uns. Assassin's Creed is also, for some reason, a video game series about magic internet wizards, an evil corporation and using improbable VR machines to stop the Sun from breaking. For Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft have wisely decided to drop much of their meta-fictional baggage, marking what they say is the series' "best entry point" since the first game.


Kerbal Space Program's next update to add contracts, budget and reputation systems

Phil Savage at

There's something about Kerbal Space Program's current update path that I find extremely charming. They've already added the ship-building, space exploring, physics simulation stuff; now they're slowly adding the admin. The next update for SQUAD's space program, titled First Contract, will further expand the career mode with a mission system that ties into new Funds and Reputation systems.


Shattered Planet review

Richard Cobbett at

What’s a roguelike? It’s getting harder to find an answer these days, with more and more games taking the basic idea of randomly generated worlds and adding enough of a spin that a single pseudo-genre can’t really cover it. Shattered Planet features most of the tropes, including randomised worlds full of painful death. You play as a series of disposable clones, sent down from a spaceship to Planet Hey, Isn’t This Bastion? to document wildlife and hunt for treasure on behalf of an occasionally generous employer. Where most roguelikes treat each life as a fresh, all-inclusive experience, here the currency found on each jaunt can be spent on permanent character upgrades. Does that disqualify it? Who knows. But it certainly helps when facing an army of killer aliens for the fiftieth time.


The Elder Scrolls Online trailer shows the fancy guild features of Update 3

Phil Savage at

In any MMO, a sense of commonality can develop among its players. It's a genre that encourages you to expend significant time and, occasionally, money, and so which MMO you choose can say a lot about the type of experiences you prefer. Of course, that kinship doesn't stop you from then further splitting into smaller groups for the purpose of more micro-conflict. Hence guilds, the focus of The Elder Scrolls Online's third major post-launch update.


Battlefield 4: DICE announce Battlefest in-game event

Phil Savage at

DICE are launching Battlefest, an event they describe as a "festival built for gamers". Picture crowds gathered in massive tents, raising their lighters in appreciation of an on-stage presentation on the merits of mid-range firefights with an AR160. And now forget that image, because this "festival" takes place entirely in-game. It begins this Saturday with a double-XP weekend.


Dragon Age: Inquisition E3 video emerges with 16 minutes of gameplay

Shaun Prescott at

October is several months away, so if you're eager to play Dragon Age: Inquisition then the anticipation may be starting to bother you. Well, here's a bone for you: 16 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay footage has been released. Originally aired behind-closed-doors at E3 last month, it shows exploration, tactical and not-so-tactical combat, and the freezing of bears to death.


Epigenesis gets official release date and dreamy new trailer

Shaun Prescott at

Shooter or basketball aberration? Either way, Epigenesis is an uncategorisable team-based game set for release on August 1st. Two teams battle it out over a single ball, which needs to be tossed through the opponent's hoop. Once completed, the successful team can claim one of the grids in the arena. Chain these grids in a line all the way to your opponent's endzone and you're the winner.


The Wolf Among Us review (season one)

Tyler Wilde at

Rather than review the finale alone, we're reviewing the entire season of The Wolf Among Us, which is sold as a package of five episodes. We've avoided major plot details, but some spoilers are unavoidable, especially for episodes one and two. Also, no, we don't know if there will be a second season, but we're calling this "season one" in the event that there is.

I don’t like hitting the ‘Q’ key very quickly to do things. In The Wolf Among Us, abusing the Star Trek antagonist—to win a fight, to transform into a wolf, to lift a car—ties the violence of sheriff Bigby Wolf to the strain on my finger. That interactive connection is a reason to include button mashing and quicktime events, but it’s not a great solution. I enjoyed all five episodes of The Wolf Among Us—a lot—but I’m disappointed that it holds onto some of the conventions established in The Walking Dead.

Divinity: Original Sin developer turned off global chat to silence trolls

Andy Chalk at

If you played Divinity: Original Sin in its pre-release days, you may have noticed a very active little chat window down in the corner of the screen. You may also have noticed that in the full release edition, it's no longer there. Larian Studios actually revealed on Steam last week that it had switched off the global chat "as there was just a bit too much profanity and insulting," but as studio boss Swen Vincke told Kotaku, the real situation was a bit more than just a bit much.


Microsoft Flight Simulator X and X-Plane 10 are winging their way to Steam

Andy Chalk at

There was a time when Microsoft Flight Simulator ruled the world. That time was the 1980s, admittedly, an era when a primitive but reasonably accurate flight simulator could provide untold hours of entertainment. Those glory days are long behind us, but good news has come out this week for fans of that particular kind of fun: The studio behind Train Simulator has signed a deal to bring Flight Simulator X to Steam, and the more recent (and apparently popular) X-Plane 10 is on its way too.