The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

This week: a painful coming out, a girl named Tess, a subtly improved Swindon, yet more intentional glitches, terrifying shadow monsters in a monochrome mist world, and one more Hitler than the norm. Read on for some great games that won't cost you a penny/dime/credit/gil of your (presumably) hard-earned cash.


Battlefield 4 Dragon's Teeth trailer is 30 seconds of compressed explosive action

Tom Sykes at

This trailer for Battlefield 4's forthcoming Dragon's Teeth DLC might only be 30 seconds long, but only around 10 of those seconds have been wasted showing logos or release dates—the rest is riddled with gunfire and explosions and a bit where a train carriage is knocked clean off a track. (Yes, there is a small explosion resulting from that.) Also pictured: the ballistic shields that will be added in the content pack, along with liberal use of speedboats and quad bikes.


Nadeo release time-limited TrackMania 2 and ShootMania demos

Tom Sykes at

Nadeo's shooty ShootMania and drivey TrackMania 2 games have both been given sizeable new demos, with the intention of increasing the player count in both Mania titles. The demos are pretty generous, offering access to a good number of environments, modes, tracks and the full editing suite in both games, although this unlimited access will expire after 48 hours, to be replaced with something perhaps a little more reasonable (an hour of play every day, or more if the player count falls below 100). Head here to check out the TrackMania 2 demo, and here to check out the ShootMania one, or stick around to hear exactly what you'll be getting.


Saturday Crapshoot: The Palace Of Deceit

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, as Cliff Bleszinski unveils his latest game plans, it's time for a quick round of Before They Were Famous. What happened before the 'overnight' success?

Of course, there's almost never any such thing - almost all success coming from much hard work, effort, a little bit of luck, and often less celebrated success. I for instance have been working on death rays for years, yet still write a weekly column on obscure games rather than composing lists of demands to world leaders. Game developers meanwhile often start with, unsurprisingly, games. They may not be great to begin with, they may have the spark of genius right from the very start, or be somewhere in the middle. All that matters is that when you dare to dream, you never know what might come next. Unless you're talking about the game Dare To Dream, in which case it's probably something really, really goofy.

But we'll get to that one soon enough. First, there's a much more obscure adventure to check out.

The PC Gamer Show episode 1: Killing Floor 2, Nidhogg, 4K gaming

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! For episode one, we talked to Tripwire Interactive about upcoming shooter Killing Floor 2, played a high stakes game of Nidhogg with serious embarrassment on the line, and got our hands on a new Samsung 4K monitor.


PC gaming hardware market worth more than $21.5 billion globally, new report says

Andy Chalk at

The overall demand for PC hardware may be in decline but the market for gaming specific hardware is actually doing quite well, according to a new Jon Peddie Research report (via MCV). The firm pegged the total worldwide market value of PC gaming hardware at more than $21.5 billion, and predicted that it will grow significantly over the next three years.


Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime promises "more diverse heroes and content"

Andy Chalk at

Earlier this month, a blogger who goes by the name of "Starcunning" wrote an open letter to Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. He criticized the studio's move away from quality storytelling, and more specifically the lack of diversity among the characters in its games. Noting that recent comments from Rob Pardo and Dustin Browder seemed to reject the need for greater inclusiveness outright, he called on Blizzard to "makes the choice and commitment to reflect the diversity of their fans in the worlds and games they create." And in a response posted on the blog with his permission, Morhaime said that's exactly what the studio intends to do.


Mighty No. 9 shows off in-game animations in new Kickstarter update

Andy Chalk at

The latest Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter update has the mighty Beck running, climbing and dashing through in-game environments as it explains some of his unique powers, including the ability to absorb the "Xel" of weakened enemies and turn it into power-ups. The second crowdfunding campaign, meanwhile, has been changed up a bit, and now promises both English and Japanese voice acting for another $200,000.


Divinity: Original Sin review

Chris Thursten at

Blood conducts electricity. Of course it does. My supposedly single-target lightning spell arcs from mage to skeleton and on to the ground, where it touches the splattered byproduct of the ongoing melee. From there it reaches my rogue, my warrior, my archer. My entire party is electrocuted in a single moment's miscalculation, and I learn another hard lesson about Divinity: Original Sin's commitment to its own brand of realism.


Pillars of Eternity beta for Kickstarter backers goes live in August

Andy Chalk at

Obsidian's old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity is slowly but surely coming into the home stretch, and in fact the initial round of beta testing isn't much more than a month away—but only for those who backed the game on Kickstarter.


Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows video shows new footage, level editor

Phil Savage at

It's the final week of Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows' Kickstarter campaign, and things aren't looking great for the Tenchu-inspired third-person stealth-'em-up. So far, the game has raised just $25,000 of their $70,000—less than that given to the potato salad guy. Undeterred, the development team have released the first in a series of video updates, showing new footage of both the game and its level editor.


Steelseries talk mouse design, sensors, weight and the wireless future

Wes Fenlon at

A good mouse is instantly forgotten. Whether you prefer a finger-grip or a flat-palm stance, once you've found a good mouse it seems to vanish from consideration the moment you touch it. It's just an extension of your will. A lot of work goes into the design and construction of the modern mouse to achieve this effect, so we asked Steelseries' chief technical officer, Tino Soelberg, what constructors consider when creating new designs, and to speculate a little on the future of these vital peripherals.


Dragon Age: Inquisition second E3 video offers a further fourteen minutes of footage

Phil Savage at

The first part of Bioware's E3 demo for Dragon Age: Inquision was released (in video form) two days ago. It featured a dragon fight and, as such, was exciting. The second part of that demo features a castle. Naturally, it's a little bit less exciting. That's not to say castles aren't still somewhat exciting, but dragons are huge and monstrous and fun to hunt. Luckily for anyone wanting to see fourteen more minutes of the game, inside the castle are bad guys, battles and dialogue choices.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Phil Savage at

Every Friday, the PC Gamer team pile into the war room to fight over the best and worst of the last seven day's in gaming. Up first, the best bits. Read them quick, before the bombs fall...

Mount and Blade: Warband available to try free this weekend, gets Steam workshop support

Phil Savage at

Hold position troops! Before you go charging towards Mount and Blade: Warband's Steam page, at least finish this paragraph. The mostly excellent, somewhat rough-around-the-edges RPG is now free to try until Sunday, 1pm PDT. And for those intent on conquering its brand of questing, troop-management and tactical battling, the game is 75% off until Monday.

In addition, the game now offers Steam Workshop support—hopefully meaning its wealth of great mods will soon be available for easier install.


Is silicon doomed? IBM invests billions 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.