Pixel Boost: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

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Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month Wes guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each Pixel Boost guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

When it comes to Star Wars games, they don't make 'em like they used to. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight series married fun first-person action—full of iconic weapons and sound effects—with stories and characters from a larger fictional world. Kyle Katarn! Mara Jade! Luke Skywalker! They were all there, and the games they were in were good. After the first two Dark Forces, LucasArts handed the reigns to Raven Software, who amped up the lightsaber combat and multiplayer. All of the Jedi Knight games are available on Steam, so I relived my childhood Star Wars fandom with Jedi Outcast and took 25 4K screenshots in the process.

Dark Souls 2 PC port: mod god Durante's verdict

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PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles.

After an initial outing on PC which was barely serviceable—rendering at 1024x720, locked at 30 FPS with unusable mouse controls—From Software and Namco Bandai have a lot to prove with this sequel. For Dark Souls 2, PC was reportedly considered a major target platform from the start. In this article, I'll first investigate the technical quality of the port compared to Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition and the console versions of Dark Souls 2. Then I'll have a closer look at the options included in the game and analyze their impact.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter first look: become a paranormal detective in the American midwest

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Andy Kelly at

A lot has been written about The Astronauts’ use of photogrammetry technology to create Ethan Carter’s environments. Their artists take thousands of photos of an object, like a rock or a bridge, then feed it into software that turns it into a minutely detailed 3D model. The results are remarkable, but what about the game itself? I’ve seen an early build in action—roughly the first hour of the game—and it has some interesting ideas to go alongside those handsome visuals.


Three Lane Highway: how to communicate effectively in solo ranked matchmaking

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Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes earnest, sometimes silly column about Dota 2.

It's scary, talking to strangers. You probably spent the first ten years of your life being told not to do it, the second ten years of your life trying to summon the courage to do it, and the third ten years of your life doing it but wishing that you were somewhere else. Playing Dota 2 by yourself complicates this already complicated scenario. Language differences. Age differences. Wildly divergent opinions on topics like 'who's fault was that' and 'what are reports for'.

How I got my GTX 750 Ti running silently with an old cooler and some simple surgery

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Dave James at

I've spent a lot of time recently playing around with some old hardware to see if any old parts still have use. Thanks to a mixture of Nvidia’s latest Maxwell GPU, in GTX 750 Ti reference form, and an expired Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate I found something very good indeed: an efficient, relatively powerful, silent gaming graphics card.


The Evil Within screenshots show more monstrous beasts

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Tom Senior at

I've had to stop myself from counting the horror clichés in The Evil Within trailers, as it was putting me off a survival horror game that ought to have much to recommend it. It's from Shinji Mikami, who made Resident Evil, and in a quite unrelated genre occupied only by itself, God Hand. But then he also worked on Dino Crisis. But then he also worked on the excellent Vanquish and Killer 7. I am so confused. Will these new Evil Within screenshots clarify matters? The main with a box for a head suggests "no".


Alien: Isolation trailer shows highly scientific VHS-mangling visual techniques

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Tom Senior at

Pity the user interface elements of Alien: Isolation, for they have been through a terrible ordeal. Pristine, unblemished versions of the game's icons were printed onto VHS tapes, scratched, shoved into an old player, and played on an old CRT telly while the cable input was twisted. The tortured images were then ported back into the game, producing imagery suitably distorted enough to fit with the low technology of the Alien films. You can watch the results of the process in the latest developer diary, which explains some of the other techniques the Creative Assembly have used to try to capture Ridley Scott's vision of a future made out of big '70s pocket calculators.


Concursion demo offers playable piece of Puuba's strange genre mashup

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Tom Senior at

Patches of altered reality drift in bubbles and waves across Concursion's environments, and each reality offers you a window into a different game. One moment you're a space-suited adventurer in a sidescrolling blaster, the next you can fall down a pit into a top-down Zelda-esque adventure. Moments later you might find yourself playing a space shooter, or as a ninja in a forest full of enemies.


Vlambeer prototypes include Wild West story experiment, a new take on tower defence and "Space Murder"

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Tom Senior at

Vlambeer are known for making fast, satisfying action games. In Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing and the upcoming Nuclear Throne, you will know Vlambeer by the uncompromising crunch of every bullet fired and fish hooked. They're a prolific team, as well, and Kotaku UK have taken a look at their incomplete prototypes, which see them playing with gentler concepts, as well as "Space Murder" and a game they simply call "GTA II in space".


The Earl Octopusor is a beautiful free aquatic adventure game

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Tom Senior at

Are you a sailor? This is your regular reminder to keep your giant octopus insurance policy up-to-date. In free adventure game, The Earl Octopusor, one of the squiggly fiends mugs an innocent sailor, who dispatches a last-second call for help to adventurer, Miss Libellule. As said adventurer, you dive underwater to hunt for the Octopus' treasure by completing puzzles in a beautifully illustrated aquatic realm.


Trials Fusion review

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Ben Griffin at

Trials Fusion has one of the most brutally honest trailers of all time. Ignore the early dubstep-fuelled montages of rad dudes doing cool stuff, because that’s only part of the game. Mostly, you’ll be biting it hard.

The trailer, called ‘Competition’, presents an ignoble reel of crashes, spills and tumbles. After each wipe out, the player’s name plummets down a leaderboard. It captures the spirit of a game devious enough to continuously knock you on your backside, but compelling enough to make you rise to your feet.


What's Hearthstone like on iPad?

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Tim Clark at

The iPad version of Blizzard's all-conquering card-'em-up has just arrived on Apple's American and UK App Stores, having already been soft launched in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. You can get it by clicking here. But is the mobile version any good? And why, as PC gamers, should you care?


Curious Expedition interview: making a hardcore browser game people will pay for

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Ian Birnbaum at

The developers of Curious Expedition have had a heady winter. After their devlog landed on TigSource and blew up across the gaming media, the two-person team won a €50,000 grant from the German government to finish developing the game, an exploration roguelike inspired by pioneers and the fiction of Jules Verne. Riad Djemili and Johannes Kistmann then left their day jobs to work full-time on Curious Expedition and bring it to retail.


Jedi Knight 2 HD remake mod in the works

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Omri Petitte at

One of the best memories from my Star Wars gaming holocron is loading up a LAN multiplayer match in Jedi Knight 2 with a low-gravity mutation switched on and a lightsabers-only weapon restriction. It was silly loads of fun, but the Force wasn't with publisher LucasArts' wishes to continue the series, as Disney closed the studio last April. Our only hope lies with the power of JK2's lingering community, where a brave modder is taking on the huge task of uplifting the entirety of the game's graphics in a HD remake mod.


The Elder Scrolls Online patch details quest bug fixes, upcoming gameplay changes

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Patrick Carlson at

The Elder Scrolls Online's latest patch takes aim at a list of frustrating quest bugs that have surfaced since the game launched earlier this month. Although flat-out broken quests weren't highlighted as an issue in our recent review of ESO, if you've spent any time in-game during the last two weeks, it's likely you've run into a few buggy roadblocks.


Batman: Arkham Knight screenshot blowout

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Tim Clark at

Batman is the Dr Dre of classic superheroes. Just when you think you might have forgotten about him – Bam! – he's back to remind you why having no superpower is the coolest of all the superpowers. So it goes with these new shots from Arkham Knight, which is due out in October. Holy resolutions, Robin…


Dark Souls 2 4K screenshots

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Wes Fenlon at

Dark Souls II is a gorgeous game. Except when it's an ugly game. It's a little weird that way—some environments are absolutely breathtaking, while others stand out with dated, blocky geometry. This gallery mostly reflects the former, capturing some of Dark Souls II's most breathtaking vistas and immaculate art direction. There are no bosses or secrets in sight, so don't fear spoilers.

The theme of this gallery is "stoic." Or perhaps "pensive." Or "ooh, pretty lighting." Now feast your eyes on 40 screenshots captured at 3840x2160.


Reinstall: Brothers in Arms

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Ben Griffin at

Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Ben relearns World War 2 tactics in Brothers in Arms.

Find, fix, flank and finish. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 calls them The Four F’s, and almost ten years since its release, I haven’t forgotten. But this is more than a catchy slogan. This authentic military manoeuvre is the game’s backbone, the reason it stands tall among a mid-naughties glut of brain-dead war shooters. Whenever I think about Gearbox’s squad-based FPS, I find myself repeating it like a mantra.

Choice Chamber gets a helping hand from Twitch

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Phil Savage at

If there's one group of people I don't trust, it's everyone on the internet. Not you, of course. You're lovely. But the others? For all I know, they're an army of terrifying psychopaths. It's for that exact reason that Choice Chamber—a game that puts your success directly into the hands of anonymous Twitch viewers—promises to be so entertaining. Fittingly, given the game's streaming symbiosis, Twitch have announced that they're now supporting its development.


The Early Access Report: Contraption Maker, Broforce and Centration

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Craig Pearson at

Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games of the moment. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-ravaged time wasters.

Steam's so big that it's possible for games to be forgotten, like lost civilisations cut off from the rest of the world, never receiving any visitors and wondering who'll eat the special biscuits? But a recent-ish update enables games that have been patched space on the coveted front-page. Anything can land there, as long as it's received a major update, and it works well for Early Access because they're always being updated. That how you /make/ games. That's how I remembered Contraption Maker existed, and that's how a friend ended up playing Broforce and demanding I join him. I also ended up playing Centration so you don't have to.