News

Oculus Connect developer conference announced, Carmack and Luckey to keynote

Shaun Prescott at

Oculus VR will host its first developer conference this September. Oculus Connect will bring together "engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world" to discuss virtual reality technology. Best of all, the conference will sate our annual urge to see John Carmack speak at length about his work, given that he won't be attending QuakeCon this year as per usual.


Star Wars: The Old Republic 'Galactic Strongholds' player housing detailed

Shaun Prescott at

Announced back in March, the SW:TOR Galactic Strongholds expansion will introduce player housing to the space opera MMO. While the expansion's Early Access was recently delayed until August, a new BioWare update provides some nitty-gritty on how the free expansion will work and all the fancy things you'll be able to do with your virtual digs.


Paradox Interactive CEO explains why he hates DRM

Andy Chalk at

Just about everyone has an opinion about "digital rights management," better known by its acronym DRM. Most gamers don't like it, unless it's Steam, in which case they love it; CD Projekt and GOG have spoken out against it for years, while Square Enix recently said DRM is "essential for the foreseeable future." Now Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester has waded into the fray, saying he believes that the only effective way to prevent piracy is to make legal copies of games a better option.


Epic unleashes new Unreal Tournament concept art, development podcast

Andy Chalk at

Epic Games has posted more than a dozen pieces of concept art from its upcoming FPS Unreal Tournament. It's all very early-stage stuff, but the images give us a glimpse of who we'll be shooting at, with what, and where.


Bundle in a Box comes to an end next month

Andy Chalk at

Kyttaro Games, the studio behind the Bundle in a Box, says that despite its best efforts, the evolution of game bundles from occasional indie phenomenon to ubiquitous mainstream sales tool has left it unable to maintain the effort.


Minecraft meets Civilization in fan-made CivilizationCraft mod

Andy Chalk at

"CivilizationCraft" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but I don't imagine too many players will get hung up on the name. After all, an open-source multiplayer mod that recreates a very Civilization-like experience in Minecraft is such a good idea, it's almost dangerous.


Mighty No. 9 launches new crowdfunding campaign for English voice acting

Andy Chalk at

Keiji Inafune's Mega Man follow-up Mighty No. 9 was one of the most successful videogame Kickstarters ever, pulling in $3.85 million last year, more than four times its original goal. Combined with money earned through a separate PayPal campaign, the total funding amount broke $4 million, enough to nail every stretch goal the Comcept development team could cook up. But full English voice acting wasn't included among those goals, and so now a new crowdfunding campaign has been launched seeking another $100,000 to get it in there.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Project CARS

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Not to downplay my heroics or anything, but Project CARS isn't hard to make look nice. It's the Kate Moss of videogames. If it's not native 4K support or a bevvy of visual options making my job easier, then it's the incredibly useful hotkeys: ctrl + F triggers free cam, ctrl + P cycles through filters, and P stops time entirely. You can even put the AI in charge of your car with ctrl + I to free up your camera-clicking fingers.

Spelunky SD mod introduces online co-op to the classic roguelike platformer

Phil Savage at

Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.


League of Legends to get Intro Bots mode, designed to help new players

Phil Savage at

Lane-pushing games are notoriously difficult to learn. There are basic principles, sure—kill things; don't be killed by things—but beyond that, there are a multitude of quirks, rules and abilities to learn. It's a process that can take hundreds of hours, which means, for a game's newbiest players, some form of tutorial is essential. In a recent post, Riot admit that their existing methods to teach new players aren't entirely adequate—something they hope to fix with their upcoming Intro Bots mode.


Wings of Saint Nazaire is a retro space combat game, available to try in free open alpha

Phil Savage at

Thanks largely to Kickstarter's ability to capitalise on nostalgic desire, space combat sims are in a much healthier place than they were. From Star Citizen to Elite, the days of not pretending to be in space are nearly at an end. But if your desire for a successor to Wing Commander or X-Wing extends to aesthetics, as well as genre, then maybe you'll be interested in Wings of Saint Nazaire—a deliberately retro-styled shooter that's currently in open alpha.


Here's how Battlefield 4 celebrated Independence Day

Phil Savage at

For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.


Half-Life 2 mod NeoTokyo released as standalone package on Steam

Phil Savage at

Competitive first-person shooters love to depict the gritty 'realism' of soldiers locked in an endless war of explosions and swearing. NeoTokyo isn't entirely different, but supplements its urgent shooting with cyberpunk and a nice soundtrack. After being successfully Greenlit in 2012, the Half-Life 2 mod is finally available to download directly from Steam—now entirely free from its SDK dependencies.


Dota 2 gets its own kart racer in the form of 'Dota Dash'

Shaun Prescott at

2014 will go down in history as the year Very Serious PC games got a karting mode. First it was Arma 3, and now Dota 2. While 'Dota Dash' doesn't look like the most polished karting game, it will no doubt please those who, for some reason, desire to burn around Dota 2 maps collecting power-ups and dropping bananas.


Kinect for Windows v2 to release July 15

Shaun Prescott at

The second iteration of Kinect will launch for PC this month, according to a listing on the Microsoft store. The updated motion sensor technology hasn't exactly set the console world alight, with Microsoft finally opting to release its Xbox One console without the sensor. In addition, there's barely any software that utilises it in any meaningful way. Still, it's there if you want it for US $199.


Doom needs to prove itself all over again, says Bethesda's Pete Hines

Shaun Prescott at

The biggest question hanging over Doom 4 is what it will actually be. Can id Software get away with another slow-paced horror shooter in the vein of Doom 3, or will they return to the simpler and more brutal template of Doom 1 and 2? Whatever the answer (and it'll most likely be neither of these), there's a fair bit of pressure on id Software to make good on their long-in-hibernation series. Just ask Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines.


Command and Conquer series saved from GameSpy shutdown thanks to community effort

Tom Sykes at

Games for Windows Live might kinda sorta still be going for the time being (despite rumours that its death would occur on July 1st), but multiplayer server thingamajig GameSpy is definitely, definitely dead. EA's Command & Conquer games were among the casualties, but after only a short amount of downtime, C&C3 and Kane's Wrath, Red Alert 3, Generals and Generals: Zero Hour are once again playable online. This isn't EA's doing, but rather a community effort over at the aptly named C&C: Online. Details below.


Train Simulator devs tackling fishing next with Dovetail Games Fishing

Tom Sykes at

For every chortle-worthy rock or goat or shrub or pig or despair or ennui simulator, there are a dozen more based on a thing people might actually want simulating - activities such as operating a train, or driving a big truck through Europe. Dovetail Games - formerly RailSimulator.com - are responsible for the DLC-heavy Train Simulator series, that latest of which will set you back a staggering £2,404.24 if you decided to purchase the game and all of its downloadable content. Leaving locomotives and their old name behind, the team's latest simulation venture is the aptly named Dovetail Games Fishing.

As you might have guessed, this is game about fishing. The initial release will focus on carp, leaving the other types of fishing - bass, fly, comically dredging up submerged boots - to be added later as DLC. Tech talk and a tiddly trailer after the break.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

In honour of Glitch Jam, I've clipped through my floor and I'm currently hurtling into the void beneath the world. Luckily I thought to bring along my laptop for the journey, so I'm able to bring you a few highlights of the jam, mid-hurtle, including super-purple glitch tourism, buggy medieval dungeoneering, and some other stuff that isn't quite so messed up. Now that I've typed the word 'glitch' so much it's beginning to disassociate in my memory, let us begin.


Meridian: New World demo offers a slice of traditional RTS action

Tom Sykes at

You couldn't move for real-time strategy games back in the day, but (Starcraft 2 aside) the genre seems to have fallen by the wayside of late, and it's not entirely clear why. Planetary Annihilation and Meridian: New World are two of the biggest names in what could be a space sim-style renaissance - just as soon as both games are released, naturally. While the former requires a £30 Early Access fee to sample its gigantic galactic tactical action, the relatively humble Meridian now has a demo, in addition to its slightly cheaper Early Access tithe. Yep: Meridian is two rare things all at once: an old-fashioned RTS, with an old-fashioned free playable demo. You can grab it from the website or from its Steam page.