PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usFri, 09 Oct 2015 23:46:53 +0000yesThe Asus ROG watercooled laptop is surprisingly thin (and surprisingly heavy)http://www.pcgamer.com/the-asus-rog-watercooled-laptop-is-surprisingly-thin-and-surprisingly-heavy/Up close and personal with Asus' beastly GX700 gaming laptop.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:46:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-asus-rog-watercooled-laptop-is-surprisingly-thin-and-surprisingly-heavy/ASUSgaming laptopHardwareNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lxfG771gT0ay.JPG" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/M_Qn-jbkzzMb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Asus GX700 laptop side"></p><p>Asus trotted out the GX700 watercooled laptop at an event in San Francisco on Friday, giving us our first good look at the system <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-asus-gx700-is-an-insane-looking-watercooled-4k-laptop/">since it was announced at IFA</a>. The GX700 was definitely the star of the show at the event thanks to its watercooling dock and overclocking potential when icy cold liquid is passing through its guts. I spent a few minutes hands-on with the laptop, and realized it’s very different than the usual laptop-with-base-station configuration. Namely, it’s still a seriously heavy system even when it’s detached.</p><p>In the last year or two, we’ve seen companies like MSI design <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/msi-gs30-2m-shadow-with-gaming-dock-review/">thin, extremely portable laptops that dock into a graphics card base station</a>. Detached, their gaming performance is dramatically limited by relying on integrated graphics. Docked, they get most of the performance of a desktop graphics card over PCIe. The GX700 is not that kind of laptop.</p><p>It’s a dense, eight pound (3.6 kilogram) laptop with some serious components:</p><ul><li>Intel Skylake i7-6820HK CPU clocked at 2.7GHz (turbo to 3.6GHz)</li><li>17.3-inch IPS display, configurable up to 4K display (baseline 1080p)</li><li><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-is-putting-desktop-caliber-gtx-980-gpus-in-laptops/">Nvidia GTX 980 desktop-grade GPU</a></li><li>Support for up to 64GB DDR4 RAM</li></ul><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uTf24ZLcS1ua.JPG" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ohV-_XnBcIfX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Asus RoG GX700 dock"></p><p>It’s going to be a high-end gaming laptop even detached from the base station, but cooling for those components will still be a challenge, like it is with any gaming laptop. The GX700 doesn’t have the massive rear cooling vents of Asus’s G751, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-gaming-laptops-1/">our favorite gaming laptop</a>, but that’s where the dock comes in. We asked Asus a bit about the docking mechanism, and they assured us the quick release nozzles are designed to keep any water from spilling out during a sudden ejection.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2991413/computers/asus-gx700-deep-dive-heres-whats-inside-the-worlds-first-water-cooled-gaming-laptop.html">PC World’s got more details on the hybrid cooling system in the GX700</a>, which uses a standard heat pipe system alongside the watercooling pipes to give the laptop decent cooling on air, too.</p><p>The GX700 is a surprisingly thin laptop for everything it’s packing, even if it is a heavy eight-pounder of a system. As extreme as the watercooling here is, we think Asus has room to go further. Maybe the second iteration will pair its desktop-grade GPU with a desktop CPU, tool.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qTKeIwwzT_CQ.JPG" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V1_iZsgz3kkm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dsc07018"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4mj6EUNuTxym.JPG" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GIEgRxqlbK_1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Asus ROG GX700"></p> The week's highs and lows in PC gaming http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Oct9_2015-2/Every Friday the PC Gamer team puts their power rings together and collectively bellow ‘HOT TAKES ACTIVATE!’Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:30:34 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Oct9_2015-2/highs and lows <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_s0QKOCHRDeE.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ho5Bxaj8U7lW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p> <strong>THE HIGHS</strong></p><p> <b style="background-color: initial;">Phil Savage: A far cry from Far Cry<br></b>I wasn't expecting <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-officially-unveiled-coming-in-early-2016/">Far Cry Primal</a> to be, well, Far Cry Primal. It's Far Cry without guns or vehicles. It's Far Cry with a greater emphasis on survival against deadly animals. It's, all being well, Far Cry without having to do missions for a bunch of pricks in order to kill some other prick. But is a pre-civilisation Far Cry really a good idea?</p><p> Hopefully, yes. Based on the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-poll-hints-at-future-far-cry-settings/">setting suggestions</a> Ubisoft was floating at the start of the year, I think they've landed on a good theme. If it was a choice between this and “a Far Cry game that is set during a zombie outbreak,” then I'll take the one with saber-toothed tigers every time. More exciting is the idea that this is a Far Cry that can't fit neatly into the template set by Far Cry 3. I found Blood Dragon to be a huge disappointment, and Far Cry 4 to be a great&mdash;albeit predictable&mdash;iteration on the series' ideas. Primal is directly targeted at certain Far Cry tropes&mdash;specifically hunting and crafting&mdash;but there's a lot of familiar elements that won't fit. Hopefully, Ubisoft will instead fill that gap with some fresh ideas.</p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Riding a wave<br></strong>A few weeks ago I was on a boat. Specifically: a Blizzard boat. There I got to speak not only with the Hearthstone design team, but also a number of players and streamers. I’ve been writing up those chats for our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">Pro channel</a>, so far including <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstones-savjz-on-rng-tilt-and-the-mistakes-ladder-players-make/">Savjz</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-interview-hearthstone/">Brian Kibler</a>, and this week, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/forsen-i-havent-been-happy-playing-hearthstone-in-a-long-time/">Forsen</a>. Next up is Reynad. It was great to spend a little time speaking to them all, but also a little strange. I spend so much of my time watching these people play on Twitch, that it felt like I already had an established relationship with them. But from their perspective I was, of course, a stranger. Actually, the most interesting thing was seeing how they interact with each other. The in jokes, the enthusiasm for discussing strategy, and the optimism about the game’s future. It’s a great scene and one I love covering. Hopefully that comes through in the articles. This weekend, I'll be at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pro-gaming-to-watch-this-weekend-3/">the Americas</a>! Say hi if you're there Sunday.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uC_unJb2R8W7.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_H79fmF6YQgq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront Slide"></p><p> <strong>Samuel Roberts: Some like it Hoth<br></strong>The Star Wars Battlefront beta is in motion now&mdash;chances are, a lot of you will be spending your weekend playing it, which is nice, as it’s a generous slab of game they’ve put out there. I had <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/touring-the-simple-spectacular-battlefields-star-wars-battlefront/">a chance to sample it </a>in Stockholm ahead of release, and I think it’ll divide players just by how simple it all is. Guns don’t reload, they cool down. Sniper rifles are ability bonuses, not weapons in your inventory. Getting used to that, and the thinking behind those decisions, will take some work for players&mdash;but I really enjoyed what I played, even if I think hardcore shooter fans might struggle to love it.</p><p> Perhaps this weekend will prove me wrong. How are you finding the new Battlefront so far? Do you miss being able to climb in snowspeeders and take off? I do a little bit.</p><p> <strong>Tyler Wilde: Spaceships blowing up<br></strong>Star Citizen has had a rough couple of weeks, with claims of mismanagement and accusations that it's some kind of scam or impossible project. It's a difficult situation. On the one hand, <a href="https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14979-Chairmans-Response-To-The-Escapist">Cloud Imperium Games’ response</a> to its accusers has been heavy-handed. On the other, we currently have nothing but hearsay against the company, which it refutes, combined with a temperamental crusade from a (now ex) backer.</p><p> But here <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-video-shows-spaceships-exploding-spectacularly/">we have exploding spaceships</a>. These exploding spaceships are really cool. It's reassuring that despite its recent problems, CIG is communicating its progress to backers as usual, and also making spaceships blow up. I want to play what Chris Roberts and CIG have set out to make, and so I hope it’s being made scrupulously&mdash;this messy fight, however, hasn’t convinced me of anything, except that it’s a mess. At least we have these great explosions.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qIlxorKdTo2q.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O9UUF6tIKrrm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Slide"></p><p> <strong>Tom Senior: Human Evolution<br></strong>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-best-deus-ex-yet/">new Deus Ex</a> is great. The modern engine and a refined art style (goodbye, brown filter) gives the series the fidelity boost it needed, while smart design decisions successfully address fans’ problems with Human Revolution. The energy limits have been relaxed, and Jensen’s augs can be adapted to fit both lethal and non-lethal playstyles.</p><p> It’s also a lot slicker than I was expecting, thanks to a bunch of small changes that feel oddly familiar. You can trace the speed-hacking mechanics back to Bioshock 2's hack darts, which also used a quick rhythm minigame to let you disable cameras. You can look at your gun and tweak its properties, Crysis style. The new dash behaves a little bit like Dishonored's blink move. The stealth alert system, which uses gradually filling white arcs to let you know where you're in danger of being spotted, is very similar to the recent Far Cry games. This isn't a bad thing. All those systems worked well, and they translate perfectly into Deus Ex’ gritty sci-fi universe. Bring on the February launch.</p><p> <strong>James Davenport: Samorost Glee<br></strong>During my deep dive into musical moments in PC gaming (coming tomorrow!), I revisited some of my favorite soundtracks not only in gaming, but ever. Two primary highlights are Ben Babbitt’s work on Kentucky Route Zero and nearly all of Amanita Design’s music. While revisiting the latter's catalog, I was reminded that <a href="http://samorost3.net/">Samorost 3 is still slated for this year </a>*melts* and noticed that a series of "pre-remixes" was released, presumably meaning they're remixes of early music from the game. They're all amazing. Take a listen in the embed below. And if the art is any indication, Samorost 3 isn't only going to sound great, it's going to turn my eyeballs into mush too.&nbsp;</p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/210623368&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UeQxMMMXTI2R.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y5IdWUErfGKS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars"></p><p><strong>THE LOWS</strong></p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: Specs-Wing<br></strong>I upgraded my PC just over a year ago to what seemed like a fairly solid i5/GTX 780 combo, and over the last year, I’ve raised an eyebrow or two at some increasingly demanding PC specs. This week it was the turn of Star Wars Battlefront, which <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-system-requirements-released/">recommends a ludicrous 16GB</a> RAM to play it, a proper Imaginary Land requirement for many players that immediately made me worry the port wasn’t going to be particularly well-optimised.</p><p>Luckily, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dont-be-too-intimidated-by-battlefronts-recommended-specs/">Tyler investigated</a> and found that things weren’t quite as grim if you didn’t necessarily hit the recommended specs, but even so, it doesn’t send the most reassuring message. Hopefully Battlefront will run without issue on modest PCs.</p><p><strong>Tom Senior: Jessica Curry leaves The Chinese Room<br></strong>Today brings the sad news that Jessica Curry will be stepping back from The Chinese Room. Her moving <a href="http://www.thechineseroom.co.uk/blog/blog/why-im-sort-of-leaving-the-chinese-room">blog post</a> speaks for itself, outlining her struggle with illness, the difficulties of working with a publisher, being sidelined in coverage of The Chinese Room’s games, and more. If you haven’t already, check out her extraordinary compositions for Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. The soundtrack is on <a href="https://play.spotify.com/album/0gmge9DFfEc5VSi87yiXyM">Spotify</a>,<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/everybodys-gone-to-rapture/id1023734262"> iTunes</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Everybodys-Gone-Rapture-Original-Soundtrack/dp/B012JM7FA4">Amazon</a>, and you can hear some snippets <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9vJlgtWRS0">here</a>. The good news is that Curry is “about to embark on a large-scale music project” with UK poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, so we’ll hopefully be hearing more of her work in due course.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g4pp2YsbRIGg.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/24HNB3KydQ7-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rise of the Tomb Raider Slide"></p><p><strong>James Davenport: Rise of the Price of the Tomb Raider<br></strong>I’m super excited for Rise of the Tomb Raider. The reboot was a lovely refresh that nailed light exploration and action, a marriage of my favorite Metroid-y ideas with some disturbing archery. It was a lovely, self-contained game, but we’re getting some new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/new-tomb-raider-to-offer-300-game-altering-microtransactions/">Systems&trade;</a> in the sequel I’m not too jazzed about.</p><p>Expedition Cards to give the player a bunch of modifiers or advantages, which sounds fine on their own. You play the game, earn in game XP, points, Survival Scars, or whatever they call ‘em this go around, and use them to purchase new cards that do dopey tricks. Sure! Fine! But, you can also buy the cards with real money. </p><p>Oh, damnit. I get that games are expensive, I just wish perks and extras weren’t held behind what is likely going to be some highly throttled progression. The publisher will want you motivated to buy those cards, so expect unlocks and status bars in your face all the time, and expect the unlocks to slow down quickly. There has to be some candy behind the glass to get your mouth watering. Is it curmudgeonly to complain about microtransactions and expect the worst? Maybe. I’m all for change and experimentation when it comes to how we buy our games, but this feels a bit too grabby for a game like Tomb Raider. </p><p><strong>Tyler Wilde: Valve texted us an ambiguous winky smile<br></strong>I’m a bit tired of covering the mystery of Half-Life 3. I still sort of enjoy all the goofy theories and clues, but it was getting old before even “the cake is a lie” was getting old. And then Valve goes and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hl3-txt-dota-2-update/">drops ‘hl3.txt’ into a Dota 2 update</a>, and here I am again, scouring it for clues. I can’t just ignore something like that, especially when the file actually references “combine” stuff.</p><p>To be fair, complaints that no one should care anymore are just as tiring. I don’t want to be the grumpy guy who goes “ugh, just get over it” when everyone’s having fun playing sleuth&mdash;I’m not sure a bunch of fans eagerly anticipating something is anything to complain about. But if Half-Life 3 ever is announced, <em>for real</em>, I’m not sure how I’ll feel. Its existence has become a joke, and no joke is endlessly funny.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HTU2w3DHQLCB.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nB1xBHErCAyh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlecry Slide"></p><p><strong>Phil Savage: Shedding a tear for the Battlecry team<br></strong>I'd hate to be working on Battlecry right now. It can't be a good feeling when your publisher publicly <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-has-concerns-about-battlecry-and-is-evaluating-it/">voices its “concerns”</a>. But for us&mdash;the consumers&mdash;it's a healthy thing to see. Battlecry's E3 appearance didn't dampen Bethesda's press conference (it was no Pelé,) but it also wasn't a highlight. And Evan didn't <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-hands-on-swinging-blades-in-bethesdas-new-f2p-action-game/">sound overly impressed</a> after his hands-on time with the game. The hyper-colourful team-based shooter is going to have a busy year, thanks to games like Overwatch and Paladin. If you want to compete against that calibre of competition, you have to be pretty damn good.</p><p>There was a time when Bethesda would have released it anyway. Remember the games Wet and Rogue Warrior? Bethesda may not have the best history with quality control, but more recently&mdash;probably since Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim helped them to earn all of the money in the world&mdash;they have demonstrated a commitment to not releasing heaping piles of shit.* It's nice to see that in a publisher, even if it must be awful for the developers involved.</p><p>*What do you mean, “The Elder Scrolls Online”?</p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Mo’ music, mo’ problems<br></strong>I made the bitter mistake about 10 years ago of trusting iTunes with all the music I own. Having migrated a library which contains about 200 GB of tracks and north of 100 playlists (“Hey girl, let me make you a mixtape”) between four successive Macs, it’s now in a nightmare realm of permission errors that kills any new install. Even the backups are rotten with some sort of digital palsy. I mention it here because, well, I had to moan about something, and also my plan is to remove the music from what I now regard to be Apple’s blighted ecosystem and stick it somewhere safe on my PC, ideally with playlists intact. Any advice in terms of doing that will be gratefully received. I might even make you a CDR.</p> The Force can't stop Luke Skywalker getting pubstomped into pastehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-force-cant-stop-luke-skywalker-getting-pubstomped-into-paste/Watch where you're Skywalking!Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:29:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-force-cant-stop-luke-skywalker-getting-pubstomped-into-paste/FPSNewsStar Wars BattlefrontVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CnqtUAg4hkw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/" target="_blank">Star Wars&nbsp;Battlefront</a>'s hero units are powerful, which means that the guy in this video&nbsp;doesn't have a chance against Luke Skywalker... Unless, of course, Luke Skywalker doesn't watch where he's Luke Skywalking. This is very much&nbsp;the sort of Battlefront we like to see: silly, ridiculous&nbsp;Battlefront.</p><p>There are still a few more days to play&nbsp;<a href="http://starwars.ea.com/starwars/battlefront/beta" target="_blank">the beta</a>. If you've tried it out already, how&nbsp;are you liking it so far?</p><p>(Thanks, <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/star-wars-battlefront-look-before-leap/?tag=grsocial-20">GamesRadar</a>.)</p> Obsidian's Armored Warfare is now in open betahttp://www.pcgamer.com/obsidians-armored-warfare-is-now-in-open-beta/Armored Warfare is a free-to-play online armored combat game. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:58:58 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidians-armored-warfare-is-now-in-open-beta/Armored WarfareNewsObsidian Entertainment <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fKBZI6JDRju7.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_cFePpkxg0bv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Armored Warfare"></p><p>Obsidian's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/armored-warfare/">Armored Warfare</a> seemed a little odd to me when it was <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-announces-tactical-tank-mmo-armored-warfare/">announced</a> back in mid-2014, and it still seems that way now. Obsidian, after all, is known primarily for RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-new-vegas/">Fallout: New Vegas</a>, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity/">Pillars of Eternity</a>. In that light, a free-to-play online armored combat game seemed to come from out of nowhere. But odd or not, it's finally time to give it a try.</p><p>Armored Warfare is <a href="http://aw.my.com/us/news/general/open-beta-here">now in open beta</a>, meaning that anyone who wants to give it a shot can now jump into the action without any restrictions. Even better, the studio said there will be no further progress wipes, so everything you earn, you keep.</p><p>"Open beta is a big step forward for us, and it's one that will bring new challenges, as we test our game services and features with more gamers than ever before. However, these are challenges that we are really looking forward to with Armored Warfare," CEO Feargus Urquhart said. "Getting to make the game better based how you play the game, and your insights, is something we have been looking forward to for months and months."</p><p>The beta will include more than 60 upgradeable vehicles spread across five different classes&mdash;Main Battle Tanks, Light Tanks, Armored Fighting Vehicles, Tank Destroyers, and Self-Propelled Guns&mdash;fighting on nine unique PvP maps from locales around the world, 25 PvE maps, a 15-on-15 battle mode, and individual military bases offering various bonuses and discounts.</p><p>This is what you'll need to play:</p><p>Minimum system requirements:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10 32 or 64 bit<br>CPU: 2.6 GHz Intel Celeron (yes, Celeron) E3400<br>RAM: 2 GB<br>Video: Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT with 512MB VRAM</p><p>Recommended requirements:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10 32 or 64 bit<br>CPU: 3.2 GHz Intel Pentium G3420<br>RAM: 4 GB<br>Video: Nvidia GeForce GT 440 with 1GB VRAM</p><p>You really don't see system requirements like that anymore, do you? The Armored Warfare beta client is roughly 30GB in size, so be prepared to spend at least a few minutes downloading that sucker. Grab it at <a href="http://aw.my.com/us">aw.my.com</a>.</p><p>Thanks, <a href="http://www.vg247.com/2015/10/09/obsidians-armored-warfare-now-in-open-beta/">VG247</a>.</p> EA is adding more Star Wars Battlefront servers to cope with the loadhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ea-is-adding-more-star-wars-battlefront-servers-to-cope-with-the-load/Some players are apparently having difficulty finding or staying connected to multiplayer games.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:09:04 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ea-is-adding-more-star-wars-battlefront-servers-to-cope-with-the-load/Electronic ArtsFPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kUip-QRBQY-b.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o-FtZy5FfKSw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p> Electronic Arts says it's adding more servers to the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/">Star Wars Battlefront</a> beta to address complaints that players are having trouble finding or staying connected to multiplayer matches.</p><p> EA first acknowledged the issue yesterday, when it <a href="https://twitter.com/EAStarWars/status/652152979428999168">tweeted</a>, "A lot of interest around the beta. We're bringing more PC servers online and appreciate your patience." It followed that up with another <a href="https://twitter.com/EAStarWars/status/652307688454516736">tweet</a> earlier today stating, "We're aware a small number of players may be unable to join a Multiplayer match and are working to resolve for those affected."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/BaronVonGamez">@BaronVonGamez</a> We're aware that a number of players may be unable to join a Multiplayer match. We're working to resolve that, keep trying.</p><p>&mdash; EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) <a href="https://twitter.com/EAStarWars/status/652359647920152576">October 9, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> We've actually had pretty good luck with the Star Wars Battlefront beta so far, and I was just now able to sink a few minutes into a battle with the villainous forces of the Empire myself. But online gaming can be a tricky business&mdash;it works, then it doesn't work, and then it works again. The problem may or may not be resolved at this point, in other words, although really, this is kind of the point of a beta test, isn't it?</p><p> The Star Wars Battlefront beta is live now and runs until October 12, and it's <a href="https://www.origin.com/en-ca/store/free-games/demos-betas">open to everyone</a>. If you've tried it, let us know how it's working in the comments&mdash;and what you think about what you've seen so far.</p> Forsen: “I haven’t been happy playing Hearthstone in a long time”http://www.pcgamer.com/forsen-i-havent-been-happy-playing-hearthstone-in-a-long-time/On RNG, the forsenboys, and why being popular matters more than winning.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:35:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/forsen-i-havent-been-happy-playing-hearthstone-in-a-long-time/Blizzard EntertainmentCard GameesportsHearthstoneProTwitch <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wt2TAceWreQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> There was a time when Sebastian "Forsen" Fors was best known for being one of Hearthstone’s most skilled Miracle Rogue experts. These days he can&nbsp;also plausibly claim to be the best Freeze Mage player in the world, but it’s the explosive popularity of his Twitch channel that has made him one of the biggest draws in the game, as much in demand as a caster as a competitor.</p><p> Forsen has a unique relationship with the fans&nbsp;who frequent his channel&mdash;they call themselves the&nbsp;forsenboys and&nbsp;refer to him in chat as ‘dad’&mdash;and the result is chaotic, often boozy, streams, in which the rapidfire barrage of copy pasta memes and relentless Plug DJ ‘cancer’ music are likely to terrify the uninitiated. I caught up with him a couple of weeks ago as part of a Blizzard get together, and we spoke about how he feels about Hearthstone, his fans, and never, ever being lucky.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title"> Sebastian "Forsen" Fors </h5> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DLyw6jDuSiuq.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pOxaW8gwi_9d.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Forsen"></p><p> <em style="background-color: initial;">Picture&nbsp;via ESL/ASUS ROG</em><em style="background-color: initial;">.</em> </p> <p> Unusually for a player of his high profile, Forsen isn’t part of a team. However, he did join forces with <a href="https://twitter.com/Chakki_HS?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">Chakki</a> of Team Dignitas and <a href="https://twitter.com/naviostkaka" target="_blank">Ostkaka</a> (now of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/navi-makes-its-move-into-hearthstone/" target="_blank">Na’Vi</a>) to form the Forsen Boys (of course) to compete in the Archon Team League. Check out his back and forth BM in the series with Team Archon in the video embedded further down the page. Forsen can be found on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ForsenSC2?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor" target="_blank">here</a> and on Twitch <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/forsenlol" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> </div><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>What would you say are the most&nbsp;common mistakes you see players on ladder making?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>Well, they’re focused too much on copying other players’ decks without actually thinking for themselves about why it might be a good deck and what the point of the deck is. It usually takes a lot of time to understand the purpose of a deck, and watching streamers can actually help out with that. But they just go to a streamer and say “oh he’s getting this rank with this deck”, but don’t really understand how to play it. That’s one of the biggest problems.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> If you could delete any one card from Hearthstone, what would it be?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>Warsong Commander. For obvious reasons.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>Who do you think is the most creative deck builder in the world.</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> There are a lot of really good players, but the best players are not usually the best deck builders. I would think that <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/strifecro" target="_blank">StrifeCro</a> is one of the best deck builders in the world. I wouldn’t say Kolento is any more, he’s just one of those [players] who copies a really good deck from someone else and then plays it perfectly anyway. He doesn’t need to create his own decks anymore. I would say StrifeCro and maybe&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/lifecoach1981">Lifecoach</a>.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> If Twitch let you have a global emote, what would it be?</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/2vjil8/where_did_tuck_frump_originate/" target="_blank">Tuck Frump</a>.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> What’s was your first legendary card?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>It may have been Ragnaros I think.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> How do you avoid tilt when you’re streaming?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>I don’t. I just get tilted. As a streamer it’s really hard to avoid tilt because you know that at least 50 percent of the time the people you’re playing are watching the stream. It’s super hard to avoid it. I mean you can put on delay or something like that, but that ruins the stream quality so I just deal with it. I get pissed, but I accept it.</p><div><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bIoiYa7mwkQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 16px;"></iframe></div><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>You’re probably the most popular Hearthstone streamer, what do you put the growth of your stream down to?</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> Pretty much having a unique personality compared to the standard nerdy personality of Hearthstone. Like, I’m actually a pretty good player, but I’m not a fucking nerd like most top streamers.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>Do you feel like you have a sense of responsibility having your army of ‘forsenboys’?</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> I mean, I don’t use them as a personal army. I think of them as my loyal fanbase basically. I don’t really feel responsible for their actions whenever they do something bad, and I don’t take credit for whenever they do something good.</p><blockquote> The game doesn’t really amuse me anymore at all. It’s too much RNG. </blockquote><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> What’s been your happiest Hearthstone moment so far?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>That’s a hard one. I haven’t been happy playing Hearthstone in a long time.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>You haven’t?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>No.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> Why?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>Because the game doesn’t really amuse me anymore at all. It’s too much RNG. I come from StarCraft II where it’s all about skill, and I play Hearthstone and get rekt by some guy who’s getting lucky you know? 10 levels beneath me in skill.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> And of course you’re never lucky.</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> Yeah, exactly. I dunno, probably when I played the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=5&amp;v=AnbAPg9IFa8">Fight Night series</a> a year ago. Kind of the first Hearthstone tournament. I won that.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KdKqrOtEX1M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>Do you think the amount of RNG in the game is going to keep holding it back?</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> Oh, not at all. The more RNG there is, the more casual the game is&mdash;and the more casual the game is, the more viewers it has. So it’s a good thing for the community. I don’t personally enjoy it, but I enjoy having a big community around Hearthstone, because that’s the main game I stream.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>And what would you say has been your lowest moment in relation to Hearthstone?</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> Everything has been going upwards for me, so I can’t really pick a lowest moment. But I guess whenever you feel like everything is going against you on a stream, that’s like one of the most horrible experiences ever. You have to keep streaming even though you’re fucking feeling so bad because of all the stream snipers, bad RNG, and all that shit. But I wouldn’t say I’ve had a lowest moment.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>Are you still interested in competing in tournaments? You famously slept through the Last Call qualifier for the Hearthstone European championship.</p><p> <strong>Forsen:</strong> I mean, I’m not tryharding. If I get invited to stuff I’ll play for my fans, but not because I want to win. So that’s pretty much it when it comes to tournaments for me.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer:</strong> If you were [Team 5 senior game designer] Ben Brode for a day, what would you do?</p><p> <strong>Forsen: </strong>I would probably see a doctor for my throat, because that would be hurting like shit from <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3wR6x_4c40" target="_blank">all the laughing</a>. That guy is insane.&nbsp;</p><p> <em>Other recent&nbsp;Hearthstone interviews with pro players and streamers&nbsp;include&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-interview-hearthstone/" target="_blank"><em>Brian Kibler</em></a><em>,&nbsp;</em><em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstones-savjz-on-rng-tilt-and-the-mistakes-ladder-players-make/" target="_blank">Savjz</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/meet-the-14-year-old-who-hit-1-legend-in-hearthstone-without-spending-a-cent/" target="_blank">Amnesiac</a>. Also check out our lengthy chat with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstones-ben-brode-on-rng-esports-and-the-rise-of-secret-paladin/" target="_blank">Hearthstone's senior game&nbsp;designer Ben Brode</a>.</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstones-savjz-on-rng-tilt-and-the-mistakes-ladder-players-make/" target="_blank"></a></p><hr><p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/" target="_blank">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> What's a file named 'hl3.txt' doing in Dota 2's latest update?http://www.pcgamer.com/hl3-txt-dota-2-update/Can these actually be related to Half-Life 3?Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:26:46 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hl3-txt-dota-2-update/Dota 2Half Life 3News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vW3FlTBJQUOH.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9ozjW1yEtTAT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hl3"></p><p>Um, what's this, Valve?&nbsp;SteamDB&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SteamDB/status/652584292422406148" target="_blank">noticed some interesting&nbsp;new files</a> added to Dota 2, and we've downloaded them&nbsp;and verified that they exist. The files are: hl3.txt, rpg.txt, and&nbsp;ai_basenpc.txt.</p><p>Here's a line from hl3.txt:&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>string m_HelpText = "Combine Pulse Ceiling Turret"</em></p><p>The files, which appear to be help text for a development tool, also refer to vehicles, NPC behaviors, squad behaviors, ziplines, and quests. Here's another example:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>string m_HelpText = "NPCs that are in the same squad (i.e. have matching squad names) will share information about enemies, and will take turns attacking and covering each other."<br></em></p><p>Are these just some old files that were misplaced and have nothing to do with anything, or do they have to do with Dota 2? Or are they actual files related to the development of Half-Life 3?&nbsp;Here are the files so you can look for yourself:&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/SteamDatabase/GameTracking/blob/0dd82bbf7db9c0bde3f045e337544eeeb7038595/373301/game/core/tools/help/fgd/hl3.txt" target="_blank">hl3.txt</a> /&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/SteamDatabase/GameTracking/blob/0dd82bbf7db9c0bde3f045e337544eeeb7038595/373301/game/core/tools/help/fgd/rpg.txt" target="_blank">rpg.txt</a> /&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/SteamDatabase/GameTracking/blob/0dd82bbf7db9c0bde3f045e337544eeeb7038595/373301/game/core/tools/help/fgd/ai_basenpc.txt" target="_blank">ai_basenpc.txt</a>.</p><p>Fox Mulder was unavailable to comment, but a spokesperson for the FBI tells us that he wants to believe.</p> Cougar QBX tested: an incredibly compact mini-ITX casehttp://www.pcgamer.com/cougar-qbx-tested-an-incredibly-compact-mini-itx-case/I fit a full-size graphics card and ATX power supply into this tiny case. It's a killer deal at $55.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:33:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cougar-qbx-tested-an-incredibly-compact-mini-itx-case/CasesHardware Mordheim: City of the Damned gets an "overview trailer"http://www.pcgamer.com/mordheim-city-of-the-damned-gets-an-overview-trailer/Mordheim: City of the Damned is coming next month.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:22:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mordheim-city-of-the-damned-gets-an-overview-trailer/Focus Home InteractiveMordheim: City of the DamnedNewsStrategyVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2XovFypFTR0?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> It's been a&nbsp;while since we've talked about <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mordheim-city-of-the-damned/">Mordheim: City of the Damned</a>, the turn-based tactical combat game set in Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy universe. Which means this is an ideal time to have a look at the newly-released "overview trailer," which succinctly breaks down everything that Mordheim has to offer.</p><p> In Mordheim, you'll take control of one of four warbands&mdash;the Human Mercenaries, the Skaven Clan Eshin, the Sisters of Sigmar, or the Cult of the Possessed&mdash;select classes and assets, and then lead them into turn-based battles through the streets of a city shattered by a falling comet. It offers single-player campaigns, with unique stories for each of the four warbands, and online battles against other humans on procedurally-generated maps.</p><p> Turn-based combat games don't always translate to video particularly well, but as much as it's possible to judge such things, I think Mordheim looks good. The response on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/276810/">Steam</a>&mdash;it's been in Early Access release since late 2014&mdash;is pretty positive too. Have you tried it&mdash;and if so, what do you think?</p><p> Mordheim: City of the Damned is slated to come out "during the first weeks of November."</p> Minecraft streamer buys $4.5 million mansionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-streamer-buys-45-million-mansion/Jordan Maron's new house isn't far from Notch's place.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:21:43 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-streamer-buys-45-million-mansion/MinecraftNews <p>It turns out that Notch isn't the only guy who can afford to splurge on some <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/notch-now-owns-a-70m-megamansion-in-beverly-hills/">swanky digs</a> thanks to the magic of Minecraft. 23-year-old YouTuber Jordan "CaptainSparklez" Maron recently splurged on a $4.5 million pad above the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and while it may not be in the league of Casa Notch, Maron didn't make Minecraft&mdash;he just <em>plays</em> it.</p><p>The house is 4100 square feet, according to <a href="http://variety.com/2015/dirt/news/youtube-star-jordan-maron-buys-sunset-strip-house-1201610482/">Variety</a>, with three bedrooms, five baths, glass-railed terraces on each of the three floors, an outdoor fireplace, sunken wet bar, and a terrace with a stainless-steel barbecue, "party-sized spa," and infinity swimming pool. Suddenly <a href="https://todayshistorylesson.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/john-carmack-computer-gaming-legend/">John Carmack's Ferrari</a> seems a bit trite, doesn't it?</p><p><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-star-buys-45-million-la-home-2015-10?op=1">Business Insider</a> has the photos from the Nicholas Property Group listing. Keep on streaming, kids. Keep on streaming.</p><p><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-star-buys-45-million-la-home-2015-10?op=1"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3txTg_SQTJuo.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lwnzsz6szMl_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sV6i5tmIToWL.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9oXhPNWsed5V.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dgoQM5jPRy2J.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zKLYv7h_AZNb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8cac1b2XSWGX.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GQ7LSXazG8_h.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mWwsHlzMT_SZ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ab31IsgQAtH8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oa0ZkJb8T5O9.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6w0Ayi4L0oTT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/611vJYLcQ7i0.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cfKnshf3mQNq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5Wpyeo2sSrus.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Dc9uGpT5OA63.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KdjFijUsSsme.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fbHDYdL2Gi5_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6aKuvTAqRwWQ.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WFiwN3uAWeFz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="House"></p> Busting out of a Star Wars jail in Prison Architect's Escape Modehttp://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escape-mode-2/With aStar Wars mod and a Wookie named Moon,I try out Prison Architect's newescape mode.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escape-mode-2/Introversion SoftwareModsPrison Architectsim G2A calls League of Legends sponsorship ban "an aggressive attack"http://www.pcgamer.com/g2a-calls-league-of-legends-sponsorship-ban-an-aggressive-attack/Game key reseller G2A has been officially banned from sponsoring pro LoL teams.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:54:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/g2a-calls-league-of-legends-sponsorship-ban-an-aggressive-attack/esportsLeague of LegendsMOBANewsProRiot Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VFKTVjeXRFCY.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SQk0DJgQs6oG.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="League of Legends World Championships1"></p><p>Earlier this week, Riot Games asked teams sponsored by game key reseller G2A to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-teams-asked-to-remove-g2a-logo-at-2015-world-championship/">remove the company's logo</a> from their merchandise at the 2015 League of Legends World Championship, as a result of G2A's ongoing sales of leveled LoL accounts and Elo boosts. It later confirmed on <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/3npuh2/riot_asks_teams_to_remove_g2a_logos_as_it_mulls/cvqczr0">Reddit</a> that G2A had been formally banned in September, and that Riot has "no plans to reconsider the decision at this time."</p><p>"This was NOT a decision we made lightly, and came after many weeks of back and fourth conversations with G2A to find a resolution, which we were not able to reach an agreement on," Riot's J. Eckert wrote. "We do not at all enjoy affecting the income of the teams, but the LCS rules include guidelines specifically against this sort of thing. We did however keep teams in the loop during the process in an attempt to avoid any surprises."</p><p>G2A has now responded to the ban in a press release posted by <a href="http://esportsobserver.com/g2a-battles-riot-for-e-sports-rights-to-grow/">eSports Observer</a>, and it pulls no punches. The statement describes Riot's behavior as "heavy handed and potentially damaging," saying it has "launched an aggressive attack directed towards the entire global esports community in a failed attempt to dominate and control the industry."</p><p>"The [ban notification] e-mail came after G2A tried many friendly ways to meet with Riot, to try and work with them so as not to spoil things for e-sporters; to find a win-win solution. We tried to give them what they wanted, we suspended account selling and Elo Boosting of Accounts, but there were only more and more demands from Riot," G2A said. "No positive answer to several propositions of how to empower the e-sport industry together, in favor of gamers. Riot even asked G2A to remove helpful tools for players such as game guides."</p><p>G2A is now seeking feedback from esports fans on how the ban will impact them. "Tell us your feelings, and we will try in whatever way we can to make things better," G2A esports manager Josh Cabrera said. Based on Riot's language in the email notifying G2A of the ban, however, it doesn't sound like it has much room to maneuver.</p><p>"I can find no other option than to officially instruct our League Operations team to revoke G2A's approval as an official sponsor for LCS teams," Riot's developer relations manager wrote. "This decision, however, is final as regards G2A visual sponsorship at Worlds 2015."</p><p>The League of Legends 2015 World Championship group stage is underway now. Get the heads-up on who's who in our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lol-2015-world-championship-get-ready-for-the-group-stage/">group stage preview</a>, and follow along with all our eports coverage at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a>.</p> Deus Ex: Mankind Divided won't have a 'multiple choice' endinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-wont-have-a-multiple-choice-ending/Your actions in Mankind Divided will have a greater affecton the game's ending than they did in Human Revolution.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:40:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-wont-have-a-multiple-choice-ending/Deus Ex: Mankind DividedEidos MontrealFPSNewsRPGSquare Enix <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-human-revolution/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5_v-ldRTS8Oo.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kugZ0Kv3JjU_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex 3"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-human-revolution/">Deus Ex: Human Revolution</a> wrapped up with a multiple-choice finish. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't yet crossed the finish line, but the relevant point is that you, as Adam Jensen, have to make a pretty big decision about the future of humanity. It all felt a bit abrupt to me, to be honest, similar to the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-deus-ex-decision-which-ending-did-you-choose/">conclusion of the original Deus Ex</a> but less organic somehow. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided/">Mankind Divided</a> will conclude in a different sort of fashion.</p><p>"On Human Revolution, we were having it all come down to that moment where there's a button press at the end of the game, and it triggers one of the different endings. But on [Mankind Divided], we actually are looking at, 'Okay, we're going to give you different actions and different choices, and you go different paths, and how does that go?'" Mary DeMarle, the executive narrative director on Mankind Divided and lead writer on Human Revolution, said in an interview with our friends at <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-endings/">GamesRadar</a>.</p><p>"So when you're embracing all those multifaceted, branching choices, et cetera, it gets hard enough. And then to pull in that fulfillment of what the character wants, it does get very challenging," she said. "And I can't really give you a formula for doing it, it all comes down to constant iteration, constant play, and constant feel for the character and the player experience."</p><p>That's not to say that you'll be straitjacketed by your early game choices. In a separate chat with <a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided/deus-ex-mankind-divided-doesnt-have-a-choose-your-ending-finale-but-it-is-decided-in-the-last-level">PCGamesN</a>, Producer Olivier Proulx said there are "a few" different endings, "and obviously the choices in the last map in the game will have a big impact." The final mission, he added, is what will ultimately determine how the game ends. </p><p>We took our own look at Deus Ex: Mankind Divided <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-best-deus-ex-yet/">earlier this week</a>, and it sounds very promising indeed&mdash;maybe even the best yet. </p> Heroes of the Storm’s new support is the best healer since TF2’s Medichttp://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-of-the-storms-new-support-is-the-best-healer-since-tf2s-medic/What kind of power would make you need to target a support before a carry?Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:18:31 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-of-the-storms-new-support-is-the-best-healer-since-tf2s-medic/Blizzard EntertainmentHeroes of the StormMOBAOpinionPro <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KbDLg_t_TCGz.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C5S-WC62FTEd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heroes of the Storm Lt Morales Medic 6"></p><p> Lt. Morales&mdash;a Medic from StarCraft&mdash;has just been added&nbsp;to Heroes of the Storm, and already people know the drill. I load into a match on Dragon Shire and an ally spells out the game plan in chat. “Alright, kill their Morales and we win,” they declare, before following up with “and make sure our Morales doesn’t die.” I am the Morales in this situation, and the enemy team has been reading from a similar playbook.</p><p> I’ve almost exclusively played support roles since I started playing MOBAs six years ago&mdash;and in other genres before that&mdash;but I’ve never felt more like a carry while playing support than I do with Lt. Morales. Her Healing Beam is so ridiculously fast that she can make an ally close to unkillable. So the logical response to that kind of power is simple: make sure you kill Lt. Morales first, even if you have to ignore the enemy’s actual carries to do it. But Lt. Morales isn’t a great support just because of her healing power; she’s great because playing as her put me&nbsp;out of my comfort zone and into danger&mdash;and she’s one of the few support characters since Team Fortress 2’s Medic who feels important enough to target over the damage dealers.</p><p> I’ve played strong healers in other MOBAs before, so I know supports having a big red target on their back isn’t unique to this Medic, but when I'm Lt. Morales it feels like I'm&nbsp;constantly at the top of the kill list. Instead of being prioritized over tanks, warriors, and bruisers simply because I am squishy and easier&nbsp;to kill, I’m generating enough threat from a single ability to warrant an immediate response.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KePCgX8D9Uk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> That response is funny from my end because, honestly, I think she has a pretty boring set of support abilities, especially compared to the other support characters in Heroes of the Storm. She’s got a regular ol’ heal (powerful though it is), a damage resistance buff, a knockback, and two heroics that amount to buffing or quickly moving allies. Admittedly, the Medivac Heroic&mdash;which calls in an airship to transport you and your team across the map&mdash;is exciting as there hasn’t been anything else quite like it in HotS, but none of her basic abilities are particularly unique or interesting. Using them is a straightforward game of healing low-health allies and shielding endangered ones, with the knockback being the only ability that requires some level of forethought.</p><p> Instead, what makes Lt. Morales engaging to play is mostly mana management and positioning during fights. Her Healing Beam is strong, but overusing it ran me out of mana so fast that at first I&nbsp;only noticed by the time I was&nbsp;nearly empty. Her passive trait keeps her at high health outside of fights, but I frequently found myself tapping&nbsp;Healing Fountains while undamaged just to get the mana. Misusing her other abilities, especially during the early levels, would&nbsp;cause her to run out of juice and possibly prevent her from&nbsp;healing an ally at a critical time.&nbsp;</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/arW3ubbzSjGC.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xNDaXs2Rxx59.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heroes of the Storm Lt Morales Medic 3 Cropped"></p><p> But positioning is really what determines how effective you can be with Lt. Morales. It’s a tightrope walk of being close enough to heal those who need it while simultaneously running away from the assassins who make it their mission to turn you inside-out as fast as possible. I was constantly the first to die in team fights, helplessly watching as the enemy team would run straight past our carries to kill me&mdash;because they knew full well that if they didn’t, I'd do everything I could to keep those carries alive. Because of her low maximum health and inability to heal herself until level 13, staying alive myself was just as important as keeping my team’s health bars topped off.</p><p> In spite of her bland kit, I’m having a ton of fun playing as Lt. Morales. The strength or her Healing Beam can make for some incredibly exciting saves, but I&nbsp;mostly like her&nbsp;because she provides a support experience I rarely see. I get to&nbsp;focus on different aspects of the game than I usually would in the support role. I need to be on my toes, and not just because I have a smaller health pool than my allies. Lt. Morales has a presence so imposing that the enemy targets me like a carry while I’m playing as a support&mdash;and&nbsp;it's the most important I've felt in the support role since Ubering a Heavy in TF2.&nbsp;</p><hr id="horizontalrule"> <p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Ark: Survival Evolved has sold two million copieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-has-sold-two-million/Think of all the dino dollars.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:01:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-has-sold-two-million/Ark: Survival EvolvedNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/92ZuA7nWQ5eV.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c42TyiVVKhd5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ark Survival Evolved"></p><p>Ark: Survival Evolved launched in early access on Steam in June this year, and within a month&nbsp;had sold&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-sells-one-million-copies-in-less-than-a-month/">a million copies</a>. Now, as reported by Studio Wildcard&nbsp;co-founder Jesse Rapczak in a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/3o0ecn/iama_cofounder_for_recently_launched_early_access/">Reddit AMA</a>, Ark has sold two million copies.</p><p>The game hasn't escaped controversy, however.&nbsp;For those concerned about&nbsp;the technical performance of Ark, which is something that has come up in the comments on previous articles, some of the answers on that AMA may be of interest. For instance, when asked if Studio Wildcard is holding back on a DX12 update for AMD, Rapczak said:</p><p><em>DX12 is a new technology and it's very complicated even for the largest teams to get everything working smoothly. We care greatly about this but want the experience to be extremely polished and exactly what people expect. The DX11 technology the engine is built on is extremely mature and DX12 just isn't ready for us yet for a variety of reasons.</em></p><p>Other answers cover upcoming features, like the team's plan to implement group and&nbsp;hierarchy-based behaviours for some creatures. There's also&nbsp;important info on hatching and raising&nbsp;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/3o0ecn/iama_cofounder_for_recently_launched_early_access/cvsv70o">baby dinosaurs</a>.</p><p>Ark: Survival Evolved is set to receive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-updates-will-come-more-slowly-as-full-release-nears/">fewer updates</a> as it nears proper release, though only&nbsp;last week the game was updated with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-got-two-new-biomes-today/">two new biomes</a>. If it's already managed to sell two million copies in four months, how many will it have sold before it comes out of early access next year?</p> The best pro gaming to watch this weekendhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pro-gaming-to-watch-this-weekend-3/International Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and League of Legends lead the charge this weekend.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pro-gaming-to-watch-this-weekend-3/Card GameCounter-Strike: Global OffensiveDota 2esportsFPSHearthstoneLeague of LegendsMOBAProSmite <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S1jgRpjJQC6x.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hABUGnj1uEOl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="LoL Worlds 2015 Groups Week 2" class=""><figcaption>Photo credit:&nbsp;Riot Games.</figcaption></figure><p> This weekend is all about warm-ups. League of Legends’ ongoing group stages heat up in Paris; Blizzcon gets its latest pair of Hearthstone competitors; the Dota 2 Frankfurt Major begins its massive international qualifier process; the Smite Pro League rumbles on. Fancy something different? Try the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive World Championships 2015, a rare example of a competition featuring national teams rather than established orgs.</p><hr> <h3>League of Legends: LCS Worlds Group Stages</h3><p> This has been arguably the most dramatic group stage in the history of the League of Legends World Championship. The action continues this weekend, with matches between Team SoloMid, Origen, KT Rolster, LGD Gaming, Invictus Gaming, ahq e-Sports Club, Fnatic, and Cloud 9. Games run from approximately 10:00 BST/02:00 PDT on Saturday and from 08:00 BST/00:00 PDT on Sunday. Find a full schedule <a href="http://worlds.lolesports.com/en_US/worlds/schedule/round_robin/paris-day-7">right here</a>, and follow the action on the <a href="http://watch.euw.lolesports.com/en_GB#/livestream">official livestream</a>. Need to catch up on the teams? Check out our massive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lol-2015-world-championship-get-ready-for-the-group-stage/">group stage preview</a>.</p><h3>2015 Hearthstone Americas Championship</h3><p> Hot on the heels of last week's European Road to Blizzcon, the best Hearthstone players in the Americas head to San Francisco to compete for a prize pool of $25,000 and one of two spots at the World Championship at Blizzcon. Play is scheduled to occur all day on Pacific time, and you can follow it all on the <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/playhearthstone">official stream</a>.</p><h3>Dota 2: The Frankfurt Major 2015 Regional Qualifiers</h3><p> The first Dota 2 Major will find its final set of teams this weekend as all four regional qualifiers happen at once. This includes teams that qualified through the open qualifiers, which have been running all week. There are big names mixed in with the newcomers - Invictus Gaming in China, Na'Vi, Alliance and Ninjas in Pyjamas in Europe, Fnatic and MVP Phoenix in South East Asia. It'll be difficult to follow the entire thing, so I recommend picking a region and sticking with it. Play starts on Saturday at the following times:</p><ul> <li>USA: 18:00 BST/10:00 PDT.</li> <li>South East Asia: 03:00 BST/19:00 PDT (Friday night in the USA.)</li> <li>Europe: 11:00 BST/03:00 PDT.</li></ul><p> In China, the games start on Sunday at 03:00 BST/19:00 PDT (Friday night in the USA.)</p><p> Games can be spectated in the client, or check the <a href="http://www.thefrankfurtmajor.com/">official site</a> for Stream info.</p><h3>Counter-Strike: The World Championships 2015</h3><p> They may well have called this 'Technically The World Championships 2015'. TWC is one of the few esports events to involve national teams rather than sponsored squads. As such, it's a bit of a novelty: a chance to see the USA face off against Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Sweden and so on. Most players are drawn from multiple esports orgs, with a bunch of free agents in the mix to round things out. The winner takes home $50,000. The group stages are happening right now, with the main bracket to be played over the course of the weekend. Scheduling info isn't currently available that far ahead on the <a href="http://twc.e-frag.net/coverage/the-world-championships-2015">official site</a>, but you can watch the stream <a href="http://twc.e-frag.net/streams/efragtv">here</a> when the time comes.</p><h3>Smite: SPL Fall Split Week 8</h3><p> Smite's Super Regional draws closer as the Fall Split marches on. Play starts at 18:00 BST/10:00 PDT on both Saturday and Sunday, and all of the games will be streamed on the <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/smitegame">official Smite Twitch</a> and available afterwards on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDBofwsppusJeitUyKpkB5g">YouTube</a>. Look out for Cloud9 vs. COG on Sunday. C9 is made up of the players who won the first Smite World Championship under the COG Gaming label earlier in the year: they face off against the team brought in to replace them.</p><hr> <p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Street Fighter 5 reveals the electric Laurahttp://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-reveals-the-electric-laura/Shocking.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:04:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-reveals-the-electric-laura/NewsStreet Fighter V <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y0U49aqA2MM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>As spotted by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-10-09-street-fighter-5s-laura-announced-officially-this-time">Eurogamer</a>,&nbsp;Capcom chose the Brasil Game Show to announce the fourteenth (and third new, along with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-trailer-introduces-a-brand-new-fighter/">Necalli</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-trailer-introduces-new-character-rashid/">Rashid</a>) character for the&nbsp;Street Fighter 5 roster: Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu expert&nbsp;Laura. She comes from Brazil and, like fellow Brazilian Blanka, can harness the power of electricity. Her main fighting style is a "methodical grapple", as you can see in her reveal trailer.</p><p>Here are the official descriptions of Laura's V-Skill (Linear Movement) and V-Trigger (Spark Show):</p><p><em>By holding either back or forward and pressing medium punch + medium kick, Laura moves in the corresponding direction, getting her in and out of the opponent's range at will. If no direction is held during the V-Skill activation, she will perform an overhead kick.</em></p><p><em>Laura gets ready to zap the competition when she activates Spark Show. During her electrifying state, Laura's Thunder Clap projectile flies further, she deals more stun on her attacks and grabs, and moves around further during her Linear Movements.</em></p><p>Want to give her a try? There's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-beta-hits-the-pc-in-two-weeks/">beta</a> coming to PC&nbsp;in a couple of weeks.&nbsp;Check out the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-system-requirements-announced/">system requirements</a> to make sure you're good to go.</p> A visual novel is the most fun way to enjoy competitive StarCrafthttp://www.pcgamer.com/sc2vn-starcraft-visual-novel/"Why do you want to be better at StarCraft?" isa question that most serious SC2fans have probably asked themselves at one point.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/sc2vn-starcraft-visual-novel/AdventureesportsProRTSStarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hkyaoDKkSAWH.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0D2iam8LXEXe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sc2vn 2015-10-02 02-55-30-89"></p><p> Early in&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/404480/">SC2VN</a>, a free&nbsp;visual novel about trying to become a pro StarCraft 2 player in the game's early days in Korea, a character named Jett poses the question that SC2VN will spend most of its length trying to answer.</p><p> "Why do you want to be better at StarCraft?"</p><p> Jett is the resident hardass-with-a-heart-of-gold in SC2VN, which tends to paint its characters in broad strokes. She wants the main character, Mach, to have an answer to this question before she agrees to help Mach practice.</p><p> It's a question that most serious StarCraft fans have probably asked themselves at one point or another. Because despite being an affectionate and somewhat idealized portrait of the early days of the Wings of Liberty progaming scene, SC2VN does not pull any punches when it comes to the emotional toll of playing StarCraft at a high competitive level. It might also be one of the most insightful critiques of the game and the subculture that grew up around it, a story that's as much about StarCraft's eventual decline as it is about its rise.</p><p> SC2VN is about an aspiring western pro player, Mach, who is trying to make a name for himself or herself during the early days of Wings of Liberty. The game opens as Mach fails to qualify for VSL, a fictionalized version of the premier StarCraft 2 league in Korea, and confronts the very real possibility of returning home a failure to a chorus of I-told-you-sos.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iDjIRt7ZQR-H.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BSc9OxU8qaVh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sc2vn 2015-10-02 02-40-37-49"></p><p> But Mach's life is changed forever after meeting a friendly Korean Terran player named Accel, who immediately recognizes Mach's talent and offers mentoring. In no time at all, Mach has been pulled into the highest echelons of the StarCraft 2 scene, helping big-name players form a new team and recruiting up-and-coming stars from around the Korean ladder. Eventually, Mach is pulled into a grudge match against an arrogant Brood War legend, with the fate of Mach's new team riding on the outcome.</p><p> The real conflict, however, is inside Mach's head. Mach is scared of failure, alienated from friends and family back home, and plagued by doubts. Most importantly, even as the game begins, Mach has moved beyond the point where StarCraft 2 is fun.</p><blockquote>"SC2VN does not pull any punches when it comes to the emotional toll of playing StarCraft at a high competitive level."</blockquote><p> Jett's question, why do you want to be better at StarCraft, only gets more resonant as the game continues. It's revealing that the smartest and perhaps most talented character in the story, a reclusive amateur named Reva, eventually reveals that she doesn't actually enjoy playing StarCraft. It's just the only way she sees of becoming a progamer, which seems better than more conventional options, even if she's not sure why.</p><p> It's revealing to compare SC2VN with another masterpiece of eSports interactive fiction, Owen Hill's <a href="http://csstory.net/#">CS Story</a>. CS Story, admittedly, has levity that SC2VN lacks. But it also reflects a different kind of fandom. CS Story is about requited love, where the correct answer is to give in and just play the game you really know you want to play, with all of your friends. SC2VN, on the other hand, is a fundamentally a game of agonizing, lonely self-doubt.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a16SNu_zQj6Q.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/t-c4iz5n2JJx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sc2vn 2015-10-02 03-31-18-54"></p><p> I've spent a good portion of the last two years following professional StarCraft and talking to players, and while SC2VN is certainly full of broad, archetypal characters, a lot of the words that come out of their mouths are not so very far from the things I've heard in countless interviews. Even among its greatest practitioners, StarCraft is a game to be loved, but not necessarily enjoyed.</p><p> SC2VN has a fairy-tale ending, if you are a virtuous progamer and only play standard macro games rather than resorting to dishonorable, exploitative ‘cheese’ plays. Spoilers: Mach defeats the villain and joins a new team with all of Mach's new StarCraft friends.</p><p> But what's really remarkable about SC2VN is the fact that it paints a loving-yet-unsparing portrait of StarCraft 2 at its highest levels. SC2VN tells us that StarCraft is a beautiful, demanding game whose victories are some of the sweetest you can imagine&hellip; when it's not busy making you hate yourself.</p><p> When Jett asks, "Why do you want to be better at StarCraft?" she's not just asking a question, but also answering why so many people eventually quit.</p> GameMaker: inside gaming's most user-friendly design toolhttp://www.pcgamer.com/gamemaker-the-making-of-gamings-most-user-friendly-design-tool/How GameMaker wasmade, who uses it, and what's next for YoYo Games' creation.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:54:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gamemaker-the-making-of-gamings-most-user-friendly-design-tool/ <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qrMK7rBmQn-p.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UHPrmPxNPy2T.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker top"></p><p>Many tools have been released over the years that claimed to make game development accessible to all. Software like Klik ‘n’ Play and DarkBASIC promised an easy route into game design, either through simplified programming languages or avoiding coding altogether. But there’s a difference between making game design accessible, and making professional game design accessible.</p><p> That’s where the other apps fell short, and where GameMaker: Studio is different. “I think that when we released Studio, the product changed and the user-base changed,” says Stuart Poole, head of production at YoYo&nbsp;Games, the makers of GameMaker: Studio. “People are now using this as a tool to make a living.”</p><p> Once a hobbyist development tool, lately GameMaker has formed the basis of several massively successful games, including Hotline Miami, Nuclear Throne, and the original version of Spelunky. Since 2012 its user-base has grown significantly, attracting professional programmers to its simple interface alongside curious first-timers. This success hasn’t come quickly or easily. For almost a decade GameMaker was supported by just one person, and its lengthy and somewhat eccentric development means YoYo&nbsp;Games has spent the last few years working with one hand tied behind its back. Nevertheless, GameMaker seems, finally, to be making its mark.</p><p> GameMaker was created in 1999 by Dutch computer scientist Marc Overmars. Originally conceived as a 2D animation program called Animo, GameMaker gradually evolved into a simple-to-use game-design toolset.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IaRPLES2Su2U.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KPV0NQ_FR5pu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker 2"></p><p> The core of Overmars’ idea was to make game design simple, and in pursuit of this he created the two features which remain most prominent in GameMaker today. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to quickly put together simple 2D games with no knowledge of coding required (technically GameMaker can build 3D games, but few developers have explored that avenue). Through a simple series of button presses, you can define actions such as movement and jumping, and attach those actions to objects in the game world. For more confident users who want greater control, GameMaker facilitates programming through its GML scripting language, which combines colour-coded commands with rigorous error-checking and a detailed help library to make coding as straightforward as it can feasibly be.</p><p> For the best part of a decade, Overmars worked on GameMaker alone, chipping away at updates and fostering a small but amiable community of enthusiasts. Then in 2007 he partnered with Dundee-based outfit YoYo&nbsp;Games, with the intent of expanding GameMaker’s potential from getting people interested in game&nbsp;development to getting them building and releasing full commercial games.</p><blockquote>For the best part of a decade, Overmars worked on GameMaker alone.</blockquote><p> “What we had before was that folk would kind of grow up with GameMaker, and then they would hit this ceiling,” says Mike Dailly, head of engineering at YoYo&nbsp;Games. “Whether it was just they felt they were struggling with it or ‘it’s time to grow up and use a big-boy’s tool now’, and then they would move on. With GameMaker: Studio, we made a conscious effort to get rid of that ceiling so you could just keep going.”</p><p> Released in 2012, the development of GameMaker: Studio involved several threads. Prior to Studio, GameMaker could only run games on Windows, so the team at YoYo&nbsp;Games wrote a new runner component to make it compatible with other platforms. They also designed a new compiler component to connect the maker and the runner, so games didn’t just compile their entire source-code on start-up, (making them extremely vulnerable to piracy). Lastly, they added a host of new features to the Maker itself, including a room editor for the quick construction of 2D environments. “There was a couple of hundred thousand lines in the original, and we’ve added a million and a bit with Studio,” says Dailly.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z7Dh7BSdTY29.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8LgDt0-VxcDT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker 3"></p><p>The aim was to make GameMaker commercially viable for developers over the duration of a project, and that work seems to have paid off. Not only are popular and successful games being created with GameMaker now, but YoYo&nbsp;Games itself has expanded considerably since 2007. When they first partnered with Overmars, the GameMaker development team consisted of just two people working in a basement near the University of Abertay. Now YoYo&nbsp;Games employs 30 people in a spacious office overlooking the Firth of Tay. This is still a small team compared to those employed by engine behemoths likeUnity and Unreal, but demand for their product is increasing all the time.</p><p>Bar a few extra features, the version of GameMaker: Studio released in 2012 is fairly similar to the one available now. We’ll go into the reasons behind this shortly. But in its current form, what is GameMaker like to use from the perspective of a developer?</p><p>Tom Francis is a former PC Gamer writer who became a full-time developer after the release of his first, GameMaker-made game, Gunpoint. Francis was attracted to GameMaker after learning that the original version of Spelunky had been created with it. “I didn’t really do any further research to find out if it was the absolute best choice,” Francis says. “If it was good enough for Derek Yu, the only question was whether it was easy enough for me. And after doing his and GameMaker’s own tutorials, I found it was.”</p><p>Gunpoint&mdash;a sidescrolling stealth game about spies and hacking&mdash;formed gradually out of Francis’ experimentation with the software, initially through the drag-and-drop icons and by following tutorials. “I learnt almost everything else by reading reference docs,” he says. “That’s daunting, so it was great to be able to do it only a bit at a time, and keep working with the very basic icon-based stuff to keep it interesting as I went.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/P9ySpIXeQU6H.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nfnk-leLfH7q.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker 5"></p><p>His experience with GameMaker raises a couple of interesting points. At the time of his initial encounters with it, GameMaker still wasn’t entirely adept at explaining itself to newcomers, especially the transition from drag and drop to GML coding. Indeed, Francis decided to create&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUtKzyIe0aB2HjpmBhnsHpK7ig0z7ohWw">his own tutorials</a> for GameMaker after experimenting with Unity between projects and finding it a struggle. “By far the most helpful thing I found were&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEEAEA1E6B11B4DAE">Alec Holowka’s videos</a> on it,” Francis says.&nbsp;(Holowka is a Canadian independent developer who in the past has collaborated with Derek Yu). “I realised if I’d had videos like Alec’s for GameMaker, I probably could have jumped straight into the coding side of things and it would have been much quicker.”</p><p>Francis also decided to stick with GameMaker for his next game, which is significant considering that a big part of thinking behind GameMaker: Studio was to encourage this. Nor is Heat Signature a typical GameMaker game. It’s a space exploration game that involves large open environments and makes heavy use of procedural generation. Francis had some reservations regarding how well GameMaker would cope, but found it&nbsp;surprisingly accommodating. “I was expecting to have to fake a lot of stuff to make a big space game in GameMaker. Switch you to a separate map mode instead of zooming out, despawn anything off-screen, have a generic infinite universe instead of anything with persistent places. But actually it’s handled it all rather well."</p><p>With Studio’s attempt to professionalise GameMaker a success, the main ambition now is to modernise it. Overmars programmed GameMaker in a language called Delphi. “It’s effectively an engine that has grown up from 1999,” says Dailly. “So the codebase is just spaghetti inside. Change one thing over here, five things break over there. You try to fix them and another twenty things break.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o8_wAFn_TBCj.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eNgNSo2mgIT4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker 4"></p><p> Since the release of Studio, YoYo&nbsp;Games’ priority has been to completely rewrite GameMaker in C#, to make it more stable and above all faster to iterate with. “We’ve had cases where something in C# that would take us ten minutes, would take us four hours in Delphi. So the simplest thing just takes forever,” Dailly says. YoYo&nbsp;Games is also using this as an opportunity to update and introduce new features to the program.</p><p> Building a tool for other people to make games with is something of an odd position to be in. Yet aside from being a little less creative and a little more&nbsp;pragmatic, the principles behind doing so aren’t vastly different from game development. You figure out where the software’s limitations are and what developers want from it by speaking to users and testing the program extensively yourself. “I use it a lot at home, and because I use it a lot at home, I know all the bits that really annoy me for the current one,” Dailly says, “That’s why we’re talking to developers, to make sure that my most hated bits are theirs as well, and we’re all more or less aligned.”</p><p> That said, GameMaker has the extra problem of being intended as an entry-level program, which means altering or expanding its capabilities must be done without compromising its accessibility. In future, YoYo&nbsp;Games plans to approach this by retaining a basic vanilla program, while separating out the more complex functions as plugins.</p><p> “Long-term, we’re looking at reducing the core of GM, but having more of these&nbsp;things as extensions rather than just the core,” says Russell Kay, chief technology officer at YoYo&nbsp;Games. “So we’re trying to simplify things down, but also expand what we can actually do.” These extensions won’t have to be manually installed, either. YoYo&nbsp;Games hopes to have GameMaker automatically target required extensions so the developer doesn’t have to seek them out.</p><p> The last stage in modernising GameMaker is to increase its technical fortitude. YoYo&nbsp;Games has already added a couple of features with this in mind, namely liquid-physics simulation and programmable shaders. The latter are a good example of how YoYo&nbsp;Games is introducing more complex programming into GameMaker. “Each of the shader languages has its own syntax, to the point where OpenGL and DirectX are basically two different programming languages,” says Dailly. “So what we do is let you program in OpenGL ES [a subset of OpenGL used by smartphones, etc], and then we will automatically convert and generate these other ones. So you’re only having to learn an initial language.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iH_NNJbCSGy4.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HLq-Yspgh3uU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Maker 6"></p><p> For those wanting to avoid more complex tasks like shader programming completely, YoYo&nbsp;Games recently introduced the GameMaker Marketplace, where developers can buy, sell or share technology, including shaders. The results are already beginning to emerge. One of the more visually impressive GameMaker games currently in development is Orphan, a 2D platformer about a young boy in the midst of an alien invasion. “I had&nbsp;always wanted to make a game but thought programming was too difficult for me,” says Brandon Goins, creator of Orphan. “I watched a video tutorial on YouTube about basic platforming and literally laughed out loud at how easy it was using GameMaker.”</p><p> Orphan’s visual style is a combination of Goins’ experience in graphic design, and taking advantage of GameMaker’s simplicity. “Many parts of Orphan originate from photographs, whether it’s simply a photo dropped into GM as a background, or part of a photograph that I’ve traced to create some small object in the game,” Goins explains. “In the end I’ve been able to get all the graphics effects I wanted from pure raster graphics and the only shaders I’ve used so far were ones I got from the GameMaker Marketplace for distortion and blur effects.”</p><p> Goins is extremely happy with how GameMaker has enabled him to create agame for the first time&mdash;he even goes so far to describe it as “life-changing”. However, there are certain aspects he would like to see improved. “The universal complaint people have about GameMaker is the room editor and I have to agree. It needs support for separate object layers as well as group selection tools.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/d_w0DZpHR0GF.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i19_TOQgDPh-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game maker bottom"></p><p> Tom Francis also has one or two issues he’d like to see addressed. “The only way to save the code or resource you’re working on without saving the whole project is to close the window and open it&nbsp;again, which is pretty mad,” he says. “And faster compile times, or some built-in tool to live-edit certain variables, would be great for tweaking aesthetic things.”</p><p> YoYo&nbsp;Games is reluctant to discuss specific features of the upcoming C# version of GameMaker right now. But they confirm that a new room editor is coming, and there are rumblings that other editors, such as the sprite editor, will be getting an update too. The dev team recently did a closed-doors showing of the new version at Develop, and they claim the response was positive.</p><p> “Fundamentally, we’re going to be doing Studio 1.x as the next one,” Dailly says, “with a very solid foundation that can expand&mdash;but modernise all the editors that are in it. So it’s like a modern 1.x. Then we can scale up.”</p><p> Given how much GameMaker’s reputation has grown while running on such outdated code, it will be fascinating to see what a completely modern version is capable of.</p> Chaos Reborn leaves Early Access this monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/chaos-reborn-leaves-early-access-this-month/Out of early access, it is... reborn.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:20:54 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/chaos-reborn-leaves-early-access-this-month/Chaos RebornNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ezaWrZWLT7OS.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Q4Ti_vm4yQFf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chaos Reborn"></p><p>A year and a half ago, X-COM creator&nbsp;Julian Gollop&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/chaos-reborn-gets-photo-finish-funding-and-multi-language-translations/">raised</a> $210,000 on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1206403106/chaos-reborn-from-the-creator-of-the-original-x-co/description">Kickstarter</a> to create a fast-paced tactical RPG called Chaos Reborn. At the end of last year the game entered&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/chaos-reborn-trailer-heralds-december-early-access-release/">early access</a>, got single player and multiplayer modes. Nearly a year later it's finally due for a proper release later this month: October 26.</p><p>According to Gollop's&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1206403106/chaos-reborn-from-the-creator-of-the-original-x-co/posts/1376452">update</a>, a few features promised during the Kickstarter campaign aren't yet implemented, "most significantly the demigod and god roles", but they'll be added within the first couple of months after launch. The version launched on October 26 will be version 1.0, but the team will continue to provide updates and add new content.</p><p>If you've been playing Chaos Reborn in early access, the launch will see all accounts reset so that new and existing players start from the same place. There'll also be an "extensive" tutorial and improved interface to help those newbies get stuck in.</p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/10/09/chaos-reborn-release-date-2/#more-320215">RPS</a>.</p> Just Cause 3 trailer contextualises destructionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/just-cause-3-trailer-contextualises-destruction/It's not just mayhem; it's a mission.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:34:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/just-cause-3-trailer-contextualises-destruction/Just Cause 3News <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HB8nQJItnq0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>This new trailer for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/just-cause-3/">Just Cause 3</a> is called "On A Mission", and represents an attempt to provide some&nbsp;context for the player's actions, though after watching it I'm still not sure I understand&nbsp;quite why Rico needs to blow up so many buildings. And cars. And planes. And bridges.</p><p>Still, at least he's enjoying himself, flying around in his wingsuit with a missile launcher on his back. You get to see demonstrations of his new ability to shoot people while parachuting, and how he can use his grapple to pull himself into or away from danger depending on his mood.</p><p>But mostly you get to see him blow stuff up. Just 'cause.</p> Star Citizen video shows spaceships exploding spectacularlyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-video-shows-spaceships-exploding-spectacularly/RSI explains how its spaceships will die.Fri, 09 Oct 2015 00:33:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-video-shows-spaceships-exploding-spectacularly/NewssimStar Citizen <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/10TAH5LVCow" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>According to an ancient scientific study, the awesomeness of a spaceship can be measured by how spectacularly it explodes. Given <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen/">Star Citizen</a>'s status as the most ambitious space sim in development it needs to observe this widely-held truth – and judging from the video above, it does.</p><p>The clip above is a small segment from a recent – and much longer – <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pWIeT33C-g&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=19m32s">Star Citizen showcase video</a>. RSI explosions expert Matthew Intrieri talks us through the spectacle, pointing out that explosions aren't just a puff of effects over a damaged spacecraft – they're actually dynamic events.</p><p>"We're making these effects systemic," Intrieri said. "We're gonna motivate these effects through the components on the ship. Literally, what we see in the video is electrical feedback, small explosions, and then a wait, and then a kaboom!"</p><p>A kaboom indeed.</p> Astroneer challenges you to get rich or die alone in the cold void of spacehttp://www.pcgamer.com/astroneer-challenges-you-to-get-rich-or-die-alone-in-the-cold-void-of-space/The explore-and-exploit game is expected to hit Early Access early next year.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:03:08 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/astroneer-challenges-you-to-get-rich-or-die-alone-in-the-cold-void-of-space/ActionAstroneerNewsVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cv7xbHkLdGw?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Astroneer, as it's described on its website, is an interstellar recreation of the Klondike Gold Rush. Humanity has, for reasons unknown, very suddenly developed technology that enables fast, cheap travel to the stars, and now the giant conglomerate Exo Dynamics is offering flights to anyone daring enough to explore and exploit distant worlds as an Astroneer.</p><p> The site is actually quite thin on detail, but it does carry a number of lovely screens, and an intriguing reveal trailer as well. There's a faint <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lifeless-planet/">Lifeless Planet</a> vibe to it at first, but the action starts to take a different, and seemingly deeper, direction around the 30 second mark. There's some terraforming, and some base-building, and then what appears to be a spot of dying cold and alone, and then a storm whips up and everything goes to hell. And then a friend shows up! And there's a spaceship, and a dune buggy, and it starts to feel again like everything's going to be alright.</p><p>Speaking of a lonely death far from home, the Astroneer site has a certain portentous tone to it, too. "As an Astroneer, you must find a way to dig out a life on one of a multitude of harsh new worlds. Blast through the terrain to uncover precious artifacts and materials you can use to fuel your quest to become a wealthy baron in the stars. Along the way, discover oddities, raise questions, and uncover mysteries," it says. "Perhaps not all is as it seems."</p><p> The <a href="http://blog.astroneer.space/">Astroneer blog</a> offers a bit more detail about what's going on. Planets will range from small asteroids to huge worlds with atmospheres and landscapes, each one procedurally generated and unique. You'll have to "excavate and deform the land, uncover precious resources, jury-rig equipment to suit your taste and needs, create industrial scale extraction and manufacturing facilities, and locate rare items and artifacts," either alone or as part of a small team. In either case, you'll be "insufficiently trained and equipped by unscrupulous outfitters," but get rich or die trying, right? Probably more of the latter, if we're being honest with ourselves, but best not to dwell on that.</p><p> Astroneer is being developed in Unreal Engine 4, and is expected to go into Early Access release in the first quarter of 2016. For now, you can subscribe to the mailing list at <a href="http://astroneer.space/">Astroneer.space</a>.</p><p> Thanks, <a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/10/08/astroneer-trailer/">Rock, Paper, Shotgun</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/djUEYtMSTIyX.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k8lx29G64TIr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-A5fmh8TQgW4.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9BCaGR-836QP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C9-E37eoSXCw.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fEx_VtOh-xha.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2Oax6za2TB2F.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AJ7cKxu-Ufhw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xwTCLubuTFes.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gxtGdkpps7To.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5bylHQj9QCyH.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FV-6EbzkmzU0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GoWKQeaUQ7-1.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7nejZ7_VUPXy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Astroneer"></p> Broforce's Ballad of Rambro is an anthem to unite all freedom-loving broshttp://www.pcgamer.com/broforces-ballad-of-rambro-is-an-anthem-to-unite-all-freedom-loving-bros/It's like Toby Keith, but even more bro-tastic.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:59:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/broforces-ballad-of-rambro-is-an-anthem-to-unite-all-freedom-loving-bros/ActionBroforceDevolver DigitalFree LivesNewsPlatformerVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q_-J3Jv8kfE?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> It was over a year ago that we rustled up an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broforce-review-early-access/">Early Access review</a> of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broforce/">Broforce</a>, the machismo-soaked side-scrolling massacre simulator from the star-spangled&nbsp;stand up guys&nbsp;at Free Lives and Devolver Digital. There have been a couple of fairly significant updates since then, one bringing us an <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broforce-update-brings-an-alien-infestation/">Alien Infestation</a> and the other, simple, glorious <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-broforce-freedom-update-adds-two-new-bros-and-combat-flexing/">Freedom</a>. Somehow, it's remained in <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/274190/">Early Access</a> through all that&mdash;a situation which is about&nbsp;to change. And to celebrate the magic moment, Devolver has released what may be the most 'merican promotional video of all time: The Ballad of Rambro.</p><p> The full release of Broforce will include a new set of campaign missions pitting the bro-team against Satan. Yes, <em>that</em> Satan. Anyone who purchases the game during the Early Access period will also get the ultra-patriotic Freedom EP, which contains five tracks including the Broforce theme song and the full version of The Ballad of Rambro.</p><p> Broforce will come out of Early Access on October 15. Enjoy the music, bro.</p> New Tomb Raider to offer 300 game-altering microtransactionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/new-tomb-raider-to-offer-300-game-altering-microtransactions/"Expedition Cards" will confer a wide variety of bonuses and effects.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:35:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-tomb-raider-to-offer-300-game-altering-microtransactions/ActionCrystal DynamicsNewsRise of the Tomb RaiderSquare Enix <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-2/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3NFqAErVQ9OK.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b-1NeVrNTtL5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rise of the Tomb Raider ice climb"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-2/">Rise of the Tomb Raider</a> still doesn't have a solid <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-coming-to-pc-early-2016/">release date</a> on the PC, but what it does (or will) have is microtransactions. Yes, we're delighted too.&nbsp;Creative Director Noah Hughes explained on the <a href="http://news.xbox.com/2015/10/games-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-season-pass-and-game-mode-details-revealed">Xbox Wire</a> that&nbsp;players will be able to use "Expedition Cards" to gain various modifiers or advantages, and while those cards <i style="background-color: initial;">can</i> be acquired with credits earned in the game, they'll also be sold&nbsp;for real&nbsp;money.</p><p>"Expedition Cards offer hundreds of ways to customize your Rise of the Tomb Raider experience. You can also set up challenges for your friends to see if they can beat your scores with the same card setup," Hughes said. "We’ll have about 300 cards available at launch, and more will be added in the weeks that follow."</p><p>Cards will come in two types: Foil, which provides the "strongest or strangest" effects and have unlimited uses, and the less powerful Common, which can be used only once. Some of the cards are "humorous," such as one that enables Big Head Mode, while others have a more meaningful impact on gameplay: The "Bullet Resistance" card, for instance, which confers (as you may have already put together) bonus resistance to gunfire.</p><p>A Rise of the Tomb Raider season pass will also be offered, with three "major releases," which I take to mean DLC&mdash;Endurance Mode, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, and Cold Darkness Awakened&mdash;on tap along with "a steady stream of outfits, weapons, and Expedition Cards beginning on day one and continuing over four months." The season pass will sell for $30 over the $60 price for the standard release of the game.</p><p>Bear in mind that this is all specific to the <a href="http://www.xbox.com/en-us/Search?q=rise+of+the+tomb+raider">Xbox editions</a> of the game, since those are the only ones that have an actual release date at this point. I asked Square Enix if all of the above will apply to the PC version as well and was told only that more details will be revealed "soon," but in the absence of any information to the contrary&nbsp;it's reasonable to assume that Expedition Cards, and the season pass, will be an across-the-board proposition.</p><p>Thanks, <a href="http://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/10/08/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-has-microtransactions-dlc-detailed">IGN</a>.</p> Corsair Void Wireless Dolby 7.1 headset reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/corsair-void-wireless-dolby-71-headset-review/A great-feeling pair of cans with stellar battery life marred by poor virtual surround and software issues.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/corsair-void-wireless-dolby-71-headset-review/Corsairgaming headsetHardwareHeadset <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Specs</h5><p><strong>Headset Specs<br></strong>Type: Dolby Headphone 7.1 positional audio<br>Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz<br>Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz<br>Sensitivity: 107dB (+/-3dB)<br>Drivers: 50mm<br>Wireless range: up to 40 feet (12m)<br>Battery life: Up to 16 hours</p><p><strong>Microphone Specs<br></strong>Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser<br>Impedance: 2.2k Ohms<br>Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz<br>Sensitivity: -38dB (+/-3dB)</p></div><p>It's hard to write a pointedly bad word against Corsair's Void Wireless Dolby 7.1 headset. It has pleasing sound, excellent battery life, a comfortable fit, and tasteful RGB lighting effects. And yet, it's not a standout gaming headset, thanks to weak virtual&nbsp;surround sound and a number of tiny details. You can improve the experience by using the latest beta version of its companion software, but even that scenario comes with caveats. Placing these cans in your shopping cart is more an expression of faith in software and firmware updates than it is a commitment to immediate, superb audio quality.</p><p>That's not to say the Void sounds terrible. When using the official release of its companion software (version 1.10.67 at the time of this writing), it provided clean audio across music, movies, and games, with a fair balance between lows and mids. Mids and highs do lack a crispness that would help make background details more distinct, though; some get softened to the point where it can be hard to pick them out. Bass isn't the strongest, either. If you're hunting for pounding lows, look elsewhere. What you hear on the "pure" (non-adjusted) preset is about as much bass as you'll get, even after&nbsp;fiddling with EQ settings in the companion software.</p><p>That applies when the Void's surround&nbsp;sound mode is on, too. You won't want to spend much time with it on, though. Turning on surround when using the official version of the Corsair Utility Engine causes a drop in audio quality: voices become more distant and harder to make out, and you don't get clearer and finer directional cues to make up for it. It's simply a better listening experience with the virtual surround off.</p><p>The same advice applies to the "Sidetone" feature for the microphone, which allows you to hear yourself through the headphones while talking so you don't sound muffled to your ears. It also&nbsp;introduces a persistent buzzing that only gets louder as you increase the volume. Since you can't really hear yourself with Sidetone set to a lower volume, the best experience is to avoid it all together. You'll still be able to make out your voice reasonably well, since the earcups don't tightly block out nearby external sound, and you won't hear that nasty buzz.</p><p>Some of these shortcomings can be solved by instead installing the latest beta version of CUE (currently version 1.11.85). Bass gets punched up a bit; background details gain more clarity; Sidetone's buzzing gets quieter; voices are less distant in surround-sound mode. The beta version of CUE also fixes a host of oddities that we encountered with the official release software (and even one quirk identified by Corsair as a likely firmware issue).</p><p>During our tests using CUE v1.10.67, the headset volume inexplicably jumped down at one point when someone began talking in during a Google Hangouts video chat. We got occasional pops and crackles in running audio despite being within a foot of the receiver with a clear line of sight. And strangely, every press of the microphone's mute button (regardless if you're muting or unmuting) lowered the headset's volume; in one instance, it flat-out muted incoming audio. We ran our tests on a Windows 7 machine, which is listed as supported by the headset, so it was all very puzzling.</p><div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">More on headsets</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m8yJ6GjoQ-G0.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Jqb8MQJD6pRg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="HyperX Cloud II KHX-HSCP-RD _red_HX_cloud_7.1_side_RED_hr_16_01_2015 18_51"> </p> <p> For recommendations on our favorite gaming headsets after dozens of tests, check out our guide to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-gaming-headsets/">the best gaming headsets</a>. </p> </div><p>These issues all disappeared when we tried CUE v1.11.85. The problem is that right now,&nbsp;easy access to this beta software doesn't appear to exist. If you search the Corsair website and its forums, it doesn't turn up. We were provided the direct link and have asked if it's publicly available, but Corsair was unable to confirm if it's been posted in its forums. The company did indicate that these tweaks will become public in the near future, though.</p><p> Regardless of when updated software arrives, there are aspects of using the Void that remain the same no matter which version of the software you install. Build quality is very nice&mdash;these cans feel sturdy without being excessively heavy, and are among the more comfortable we've worn. The Void does leak more audio than other headsets in its class, though, and as mentioned earlier, it also doesn't block out much nearby external sound.</p><p> It's also a loud headset&mdash;impressively so. We never exceeded a Windows sound volume of 20 when we had these on, and if you crank things all the way up to 100, you can use the Void as a quiet pair of speakers with minimal distortion. (Though for context, blasting music through an OnePlus One Android phone at max volume was still louder. But also far less clean.)</p><p> Equally notable is the Void's battery life, which exceeded Corsair's rating of "up to 16" hours in our actual-use tests. Its longest run went just over 17 hours when we kept the volume to 20. It hits a full recharge at a reasonable rate too, with just a few hours dedicated hours needed. If that's not fast enough, you can use the headset while juicing up.</p><p> You won't always be able to accurately determine how much battery life you have left or the headset's charging state, though. Both versions of CUE couldn't faithfully monitor either. At one point, we saw a sudden drop from 95% to 91% using CUE v1.10.67; another time with CUE v1.11.85, we got reports of the battery being at 33% and then 43% after a few repeated instances of plugging and unplugging in the charging cable. And while plugged in, we had to restart both software versions more than once for it to report the headset's charging status.</p><p> And that's just one of the assorted issues that remain constant. Regardless of which software version you use, the microphone sounds distant (though clear) to people you chat with if it's not bent in toward your mouth; if you do move it closer, then your breathing becomes audible. The Void's range also doesn't extend very far, as a solid wall or door can shorten how far you can wander quite dramatically; audio dies instantly once you cross an invisible threshold. It does, however, instantly reconnect the moment you step back in range.</p><p> There are lingering oddities, too&mdash;like Corsair's strange choice of having the Void show an initial rotating set of colors before CUE is installed, then switching over to a default RGB profile of blinking red lights once the software is active. If you don't remember to set the headset as your default playback device, you may mistakenly think the headset has an issue. And folks seeking a proper user manual have to head to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.corsair.com/en-us/void-usb-dolby-7-1-gaming-headset">Void's dedicated webpage</a> and not follow either of the two user manual links in CUE&mdash;they send you to Corsair's downloads page, which only offers CUE itself.</p><p> It's a pity that the Void feels like a work-in-progress. Its good points are solid, but its quirks and disappointments drag it down. The headset's software and firmware need more polish, and it appears that those tweaks will come in time, but currently, you won't get an outstanding headset. Some aspects of these cans may never change, too&mdash;like the overall mediocre quality&nbsp;of its surround-sound. At $140 for the standard model, and $160 for the special edition "Yellowjacket" model, you can find competing headsets in the same price range with similar features and stronger performance. They just won't glow softly in the dark, pulsing in time with a beat that you set yourself.</p> Researchers carve channels into CPU for direct liquid coolinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-have-moved-liquid-cooling-directly-onto-the-chip/New technology could mean the end of large heat sinks.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:23:15 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-have-moved-liquid-cooling-directly-onto-the-chip/HardwareNewsWatercooling <p>We thought&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Editorial/Delidding-your-Intel-Haswell-CPU">CPU delidding</a> was serious business, but researchers at the <a href="http://www.news.gatech.edu/2015/10/05/liquid-cooling-moves-chip-denser-electronics">Georgia Institute of Technology</a> have just taken CPU cooling a step further. They're&nbsp;looking to make big water&nbsp;cooling blocks a thing of the past by moving liquid cooling directly onto the chip.</p><p>Associate professor Muhannad Bakir along with graduate student Thomas Sarvey removed the heat sink and heat-spreading materials from an Altera field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chip. Then, they "etched cooling passages into the silicon, incorporating silicon cylinders approximately 100 microns in diameter to improve heat transmission into the liquid. A silicon layer was then placed over the flow passages, and ports were attached for the connection of water tubes."</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CaVHrvbBS6Sf.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/By4yyo6igmOY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Image via GATech.edu" class=""> <figcaption>Image via GATech.edu</figcaption></figure><p>By feeding 20 degree Celsius water into the tubes at a rate of 147 ml per minute, the chip operated at a temperature of less than 24 degrees Celsius, while a normal air-cooled model would operate at around 60 degrees. </p><p>Bakir said that the same technology could be applied to CPUs and GPUs.&nbsp;What this means is that we could be seeing denser and more powerful systems in the future, given how much less space this sort of liquid cooling would take up compared with current cooling solutions.&nbsp;</p><p>“We have eliminated the heat sink atop the silicon die by moving liquid cooling just a few hundred microns away from the transistors,” said Bakir. “We believe that reliably integrating microfluidic cooling directly on the silicon will be a disruptive technology for a new generation of electronics.”</p><p><a href="http://www.pcper.com/news/General-Tech/die-watercooling">Thanks to PCPer for the tip</a>.</p> What does it take to go pro in League of Legends?http://www.pcgamer.com/what-does-it-take-to-go-pro-in-league-of-legends/Team Renegades explain their amazing journey from ranked ladder to the LCS.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-does-it-take-to-go-pro-in-league-of-legends/esportsLeague of LegendsMOBAPro <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9hNbBtiPQLev.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5emlIQElMusl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="RenegadeWIN" class=""> <figcaption>Renegades demonstrated that the dream CAN be real.</figcaption></figure><p> If you follow competitive League of Legends, chances are you’re paying attention to what’s going down at Worlds&mdash;Riot’s month-long international event in Europe. The stream garners more than 500,000 concurrent viewers as fans from every time zone tune in. For some, having to get up at four in the morning is a small price to pay to watch the best teams from all over the world duke it out.</p><p> For every pro player, winning Worlds is the dream, the end goal: irrefutable proof that at one point, you were the best and proved it. It’s a tough task. Most players don’t even get to try before retiring, but for all the players that are there representing their regions right now, there was always a beginning. At point, the dream was not to win a championship: it was to go pro.</p><p> The fact is, going pro in video games isn’t something you can just poof into reality, even with hard work and some talent. If you’re good at something in life&mdash;math, for example example&mdash;you can channel that and become an engineer. In esports, being good at shooters does not automatically translate to a spot on an FPS pro team. There are hurdles. Whether it’s time, money, or just not catching a break, some gamers give up everything and still get nowhere. Often, being paid to play video games really is too good to be true.</p><p> But now that esports is starting to boom, opportunities for newcomers arise with greater frequency. The League of Legends Challenger Series is the best example of this&mdash;that’s where any ragtag amateur team can play for their chance to go pro. On paper, it’s easy: find some players, start a team, join the circuit. But with the costs, time required, and risks involved with chasing the gaming dream, making it happen often feels impossible.</p><blockquote>These fresh Challenger teams fight battle-tested LCS teams in a duel to the virtual death</blockquote><h3>A new challenger</h3><p> In League of Legends, the ‘Challenger’ tier is the upper echelon of the ranked ladder. Spots are limited to 200 individuals, usually pros and top-level streamers. That works the same way for ranked 5 vs. 5 team play, where teams at the Diamond level often encompass individual players from Challenger.</p><p> To qualify for the Challenger Series, however, your team must be placed in the top 20 of the whole ladder by the designated cut-off time. The top four of those teams are given auto-qualification into the Expansion Tournament, the assumption being that they’re good enough to compete at the pro level if they perform well. For the other 16, they must brave the murky waters of the Season Qualifier, a three week long gauntlet, before they can join the pre-qualified teams.</p><p> The good news is that the ladder itself is accessible to everyone, but obviously you’d be hard-pressed to compete if you’re new to the game. Still, it’s not enough to just be in the top 20, win the qualifier, the tournament, and then ride off into the sunset. Riot’s format dictates that the top teams of this tournament will eventually fight the bottom LCS teams for their spot&mdash;yes, these fresh Challenger teams fight battle-tested LCS teams in a duel to the virtual death with everything on the line. It’s brutal.</p><p> At some point, players within these Challenger teams must realize that they’re competing against teams with structure, staff, sponsors, and bigger names. Again, the risks continue to grow and the chance of success feels like it’s dwindling away. The rules start to seem less fair, and the pressure starts to sink in. And the pressure doesn’t start there. Before you do anything else, you have to actually find a team.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2WhdOlXlTuWB.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xEbqZVHEq02a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Challenger Series" class=""> <figcaption>"That's a chunkyfresh steelback moon-baby, mancloud" sounds like bad cyberpunk writing.</figcaption></figure><h3>Looking for group</h3><p> The great thing about competitive online games is that it’s fairly easy to mingle with players at your skill level. The culture around online gaming and the systems behind ranked ladders ensures that good players eventually get matched with equally-skilled players. Ultimately, they’ll fall in with pro players if they reach the top. Often, that’s enough to get you noticed and perhaps get picked up by a team. Most of the time, however, it isn’t.</p><p> Maria 'Remilia' Creveling, support player for the upcoming LCS team Renegades, has seen the road less travelled&mdash;and it wasn’t always pretty. From forming a Challenger team to winning the final game that solidified Renegades’ future in the LCS, she’s seen the whole process of going pro in League of Legends. Recalling days before Renegades was even a thing, she stresses the importance of networking.</p><p> “Getting on a team in the Challenger scene was really difficult for me,” Remilia says. “It involves a lot of networking and that's something I'm not particularly good at. When you play with the top players, if you aren't making friends with the best, then you're missing a lot of opportunities to create teams.”</p><p> While networking is important, most of a gamer’s skill comes from climbing the solo queue ladder. Coming from experience, it’s not easy to make friends along the way. You play your game and then you play another one; you don’t often see the same teammates again.</p><p> Remilia continues, “I am entirely a solo player. I played this game for six years alone, was awful at networking, and got a few lucky breaks with teams willing to give me a shot. In order for me to really thrive in a team environment, I need the perfect type of teammates to make me feel comfortable. I am non-confrontational, I really hate conflict but it's hard to avoid in this profession.”</p><p> “I took the opportunities that were given, even if they seemed sketchy or too good to be true,” Remilia says. “I moved across the country and supported myself for almost a year while trying to go pro, and I got a random offer from [Team Dragon Knights] that involved me moving to a gaming house the next day. I jumped at opportunities like that since I lived and supported myself for a long time. I'm not afraid to take risks. I even went to China to [train and play] with Roar.”</p><p> <em> On the next page: Renegades have to play like the best to beat the best.</em></p><h3><br> <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fFjQmGGQQ0C-.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WFwswYhDOTJ1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Challenger Series is taken seriously: this is a huge " class=""> <figcaption>The Challenger Series is taken pretty seriously: this represents a huge opportunity.</figcaption></figure></h3><h3>No pain, no game</h3><p> Of the 20 teams competing in the Challenger Series, only three can potentially make it to the LCS. Of those three, at least two will have to fight former pro teams. In that sense, going pro feels more like a ladder where each rung becomes progressively more difficult to reach.</p><p> Alberto ‘Crumbz’ Rengifo, former Jungler for the LCS Team Dignitas who now joins Remilia as Renegades’ experienced veteran, has received his fair share of criticism during his career. He fully understands the pressures of being put in the spotlight. As Renegades began to claw their way out of the depths of Challenger, a lot of the pressure that comes from being a pro was relieved by online play.</p><p> “The team felt like they knew what they were getting into,” Crumbz says. “No one was overly excited [to be a Challenger Team]. We just did our thing and kept improving. I think what led to this mentality is that because the games are played online up until the finals you don't get the feeling of much pressure on you.”</p><blockquote>There’s something about getting a group of people that no one believes in and proving people wrong</blockquote><p> Still, going pro means competing with the best, so you have to play and act like a pro team. Renegades played two or three scrim blocks every day, each encompassing a best of three or best of five format against pro, challenger, and even lesser teams. They practiced no less than an LCS team would&mdash;several hours a day, non-stop. “If you want to take the spot of an LCS team, you need to play the same or longer, because playing less or practicing on an easier schedule just isn't going to cut it,” Crumbz says.</p><p> With the skill gap between pros and the rest of us steadily increasing, it’s not enough to just be good, to grab talented players and throw them together under one banner. The best teams have structure, supporting staff, and of course, the funding to keep them. New players and teams usually do not, and since the bare minimum starts with a gaming house for the whole team to practice together, it’s tough to figure out where to start.</p><p> “We had a support staff a bit smaller than an LCS team but it's there now,” Crumbz says. “For the failures we have, we mediate any emotions through our coach who created a friendly environment between the players. We just put emotions aside and think of the game. That is enough.”</p><p> But when you want to win, and when one loss can end your entire journey, the pressure can sometimes get to you. “Frustration pretty much defined our practice leading up to the NACS Finals,” Remilia says. “There were internal issues and our team was generally playing poorly. There is nothing more frustrating than losing all of your practice games a week before your most important match.” Crumbz continues. “Playing the semi-finals was the exact same as staying up 24 hours before the ranked 5's ladder lock. Those prior games were not the best.”</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vvk1ADG9vAo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><h3>Worth</h3><p> Of the 16 teams that entered the Challenger Series, Renegades was one of two Challenger teams to make it into the LCS. Making it must be a relief, especially in a volatile circuit.</p><p> “The experience with Renegades really makes me feel like I am worth my weight,” Crumbz says, looking back at his years spent as a pro gamer. “I had to work and fight for what I wanted. As opposed to Dignitas, which I joined back when there was no competition, almost no one played so I was not challenged for the spot on DIG. It's just what I needed to keep going as a player.”</p><p> Remilia shares Crumbz' feelings. For her, it was a big win, especially after living on her own. Now she lives with her team. “There’s something about getting a group of people that no one believes in and proving people wrong, that's pretty inspiring,” she says. “The hard work going from nothing to LCS, all the laddering and matches, it's all enjoyable because you have people around you that you care about and want to succeed. The gaming house is my home now, my teammates are my family.”</p><p> When you finally do cross that finish line, Remilia says, the sense of accomplishment is unbelievable. “That feeling when you're about to win the last game of a best of five series, cementing your future for the next few months, that's a pretty nice payoff.”</p><p><em>Photo credit: Riot Games.</em></p><hr> <p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/PES-2016-review/PES finally finds the balance between stout sim and accessible arcade, but a poor port mars an otherwise great game.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:56:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/PES-2016-review/ReviewsSports <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong>&nbsp;A simulation football game that’s actually fun to play. <br> <strong>Expect to pay:</strong> $50/£40 <br> <strong>Developer:</strong>&nbsp;PES Productions <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong>&nbsp;Konami <br> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong> Intel i7-3990x @3.50GHz, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 980 TI <br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong>&nbsp;Up to 22 <br> <strong>Link:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://pes.konami.com" target="_blank">pes.konami.com</a> </p> </div><p>In most sports games, instant replays are made to be skipped. In PES 2016, however, you’ll savour every crunching challenge, every kick, flick and fumble. Watching them back in super slow-mo is a genuinely disruptive compulsion, but then even the most minor moments in PES 2016 impress.</p><p>After years in flux, unsure whether to pursue a slick arcade experience or weigh it down with lengthy animations, PES Productions finally finds the answer: do both. There are three times as many animations here but they're sped up and cut down so the window of time in which you cede control is drastically reduced. As a result, matches consistently throw up surprises, but not at the expenses of reducing your feeling of involvement in the action.</p><p>After many hours of play I'm still seeing new moves, whether it’s Pogba improvising to volley an awkward hip-high ball or Lahm riding a challenge before seamlessly repositioning his feet and blasting it wide like a dummkopf. So numerous and natural are these bespoke motions, all used in the right time and the right context, they almost seem like the player's organic reactions rather than the computer picking from a bank of appropriate actions.</p><p>That said, it can feel almost too mechanical at times, particularly shooting. For some reason I hit the crossbar seven times in the same match&mdash;seven!&mdash;suggesting there’s a limited number of outcomes. While player collisions feel meaty, there’s no compelling feedback on shots. They just seem to travel stoically through space like spherical incarnations of the Silver Surfer.</p><p>PES doesn't enforce or promote a particular playstyle, though. You can play this like the PES games of old, kicking the computer down to easy and giving yourself a platform to express yourself with ridiculous runs, outrageous skill moves, and 70% possession, or you can notch the difficulty up and answer its fearsome but not unfair challenge. A stream of thrilling moments make the former consistently exciting, and incredible tactical depth makes the latter more rewarding.</p><p>Strategy offers extra dimension, and on higher difficulties a keen managerial mind is equally important as players’ physicality. During one tense encounter against FC Bayern I command Man United’s Rojo to mark danger man Lewandowski order formally rampaging midfielders Depay and Fellaini to stay back, and make my entire team keep a disciplined shape to contain the play. Instructions are simple to use and immediately noticeable.</p><h2>Poor portsmanship</h2><p>Where PES 2016 falls down, however, is this port’s surprisingly poor quality. It practically runs in slow motion (I actually had to whack the game speed on ‘fast’ just to bring it up to standard), and textures are hideous. Football boots look like blurred lumps of clay, logos across formally crisp kits are stretched and ugly, and the pitchside police basically waltzed in from a Playmobil set. Konami's other Fox Engine game, The Phantom Pain, performs excellently on PC, and even the last PES was solid, so why this looks and runs like a PS3/360 game is a mystery. It seems Konami can’t wait to ditch videogames and storm the pachinko market.</p><p>Still, in this curious mix of last-gen and new-gen, there is detail to be found. Sweat runs, kits muddy, players grimace during jostles, and there are some great contextual goal celebrations. At one point I run over to the advertising hoarding and my player jumps on it, arms pumping. License-wise the UEFA Champions League remains a coup, but the omission of most of the Bundesliga, and a lack of official Premier League teams aside from Manchester United, cheapens the experience. You can, however, import edited strips, logos and team files.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3uiVVTWYQY-x.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WfrEn3Qnrb3q.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Now button commands let you control celebrations. I like to run around inappropriately before jumping high. It’s a classic." class=""> <figcaption>Now button commands let you control celebrations. I like to run around inappropriately before jumping high. It’s a classic.</figcaption></figure><p>The lack of authenticity continues to hurt the Master League career mode. Select Chelsea, for instance, and you’ll manage a team called London FC who play out of a generic toilet bowl stadium. Diego Costa just doesn't look right in canary yellow. MyClub makes more sense by focusing on the fundamentals of squad building. Unlike in FIFA Ultimate Team, where players form chemistry with each other based on nationalities, here it’s how well they gel with the manager’s style, and while hunting for superstars can start to cost actual money, there are cheaper routes to building your dream team, whether utilising training or getting lucky with a scout. There’s a strong sense of ownership over your developing squad as you lead them into battle offline and on.</p><p>On consoles, PES 2016 successfully captures football’s complexities in the fastest, freshest and most responsive entry in years. On PC? It looks dated and runs slower. It’s still PES Productions’ best effort in some time, but the poor port is a bitter letdown.</p> The Witcher 3 1.10 patch is out, and it's hugehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-110-patch-is-out-and-its-huge/The latest update makes 600 individual changes to the game.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:36:02 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-110-patch-is-out-and-its-huge/CD ProjektNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xVRkW22QS1Cx.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5UhGvxNI2iCw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witcher 3 melted face Slide"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/">The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt</a> 1.10 patch is now live, and it's what you might call a big one&mdash;as in, the&nbsp;biggest&nbsp;yet. </p><p>"All told, it packs a pretty impressive six hundred changes," CD Projekt's Marcin Momot wrote on the <a href="http://forums.cdprojektred.com/threads/58733-Patch-1-10-Changelog?p=1930462#post1930462">Witcher 3 forums</a>, "including fixes for a load of quests, optimizations that'll make things smoother on PC and consoles, over one hundred fifty stability improvements to iron out hiccups, additional conversations with key characters that will enhance your relationships with them as well as the story as a whole, and a major and much-awaited fix that should take a good bit of the pain out of dealing with items in the Inventory by improving how items are ordered and sorted."</p><p>A full breakdown of the 1.10 patch is available in a 13-page PDF file, which you may <a href="http://bit.ly/patch110log">download here</a>. There doesn't appear to be any one major, must-have fix contained therein, but it does cover a tremendous breadth of material. The list of updates to quests alone takes up a full six pages in the PDF. Somewhat surprisingly, the list of changes apparently isn't complete, according to Momot, who noted that while it's detailed, "it's hardly exhaustive."</p><p>It's also, as you might expect, a whopper of a download. Momot said on <a href="https://twitter.com/Marcin360/status/652131063792336896">Twitter</a> the download will clock in between six and 15 GB in size, depending on your distribution platform. </p> Worlds Adrift, the MMO with sky-high ambitions, will be pay-once-to-playhttp://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-adrift-the-mmo-with-sky-high-ambitions-will-be-pay-once-to-play/An in-game store will offer cosmetic and convenience items, but nothing that will impact gameplay.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:52:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-adrift-the-mmo-with-sky-high-ambitions-will-be-pay-once-to-play/Bossa StudiosMMONewsWorlds Adrift <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DcKHPIzORROD.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bR-jh_9AT2pu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Worlds Adrift"></p><p>Bossa Studios revealed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-adrift/">Worlds Adrift</a>, a physics-based MMO in which players build great wooden airships and then use them to blow each other up, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-adrift-is-a-physics-based-multiplayer-game-from-the-i-am-bread-studio/">late last year</a>. It was something of an unexpected announcement, coming as it did from the guys who&nbsp;made <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/i-am-bread/">I Am Bread</a>, but the game uses the potentially-groundbreaking <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-probable-future-for-the-mmo-worlds-adrift-and-improbable-tech/">Improbable technology</a>, and at this point it looks very promising.&nbsp;</p><p>However,&nbsp;Bossa has apparently been struggling for awhile to settle on a business model for the game. In the end it's&nbsp;decided to go with the new and interesting "pay once and play" model, which allows gamers to "buy" a thing and then play as much as they want, without the need for further payments. Weird, eh? </p><p>Exactly what the price will be hasn't been determined, but <a href="https://www.worldsadrift.com/forums/topic/official-details-on-the-worlds-adrift-pay-model/">the studio said</a> it will be "competitive to the biggest survival games out there." There will be an in-game store for cosmetic and convenience items, but Bossa said&nbsp;nothing that will affect the balance of the game or "mess with the experience of other players" will be offered, nor will there be any "pay walls" blocking off content. For players who want to get a leg up on things, Founders Packs of various sorts will be offered, the contents of which will be determined based on feedback from users.</p><p>Those survival games the studio mentioned would presumably include <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rust/">Rust</a> ($20), <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved/">Ark: Survival Evolved</a> ($26), <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/day-z/">DayZ</a> ($35), and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/h1z1/">H1Z1</a> ($20), which leaves us with a fairly wide range of pricing possibilities. Also vague is the forthcoming Early Access launch date, which will be in 2016 and not later this year, as was previously expected. It's not much to go on, but given the look of this <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-adrift-gameplay-trailer-soars-in-reminds-us-it-exists/">gameplay trailer</a> from last month, I'm willing to be patient.</p> Dell upgrades XPS 15 laptop with Skylake, gorgeous screenhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dell-upgrades-xps-15-laptop-with-skylake-gorgeous-screen/You can now get a Dell XPS 15 with a Skylake processor, Nvidia graphics and and an edge-to-edge display.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:41:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dell-upgrades-xps-15-laptop-with-skylake-gorgeous-screen/DellHardwareNews <p>Dell has redesigned the XPS 15 laptop, and it’s available today <a href="http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-15-9550-laptop/pd?p=xps-15-9550-laptop&amp;view=pdetails&amp;isredir=true">starting at $1,000</a> for the base model, and up to $1,700 if you want something with a little more power.</p><p>Dell has added its edge-to-edge "InfinityEdge" display to the XPS 15, much like the display in its popular XPS 13, and it’s looking extra nice. You’ll have the option of a 1920x1080 resolution&nbsp;or the 3840x2160&nbsp;4K touch display. Another cutting edge inclusion: a USB 3.1 Type-C port (also compatible with Thunderbolt 3).</p><p>An added bonus of the narrow bezel is that the 15.6-inch display now fits roughly into the size of an average 14-inch laptop. Its dimensions are 11-17mm x 357mm x 235mm, and it weighs 3.9 lbs for the non-touch, and 4.4lbs for the touch version.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V7TA3O8hReiB.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hWfSuKoZV5ci.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="xps15"></p><p>Dell has also upgraded to Skylake processors, letting you choose between the 2.7 GHz Core i3-6100G, the quad-core 3.2 GHz Core i5-6300HQ, and the quad-core 3.5 GHz i7-6700HQ. As for graphics, you’ll be choosing between Intel HD Graphics 530 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M. The latter isn’t the most powerful card out there, but it's capable of good 1080p gaming performance&mdash;it's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook-gpus/geforce-gtx-960m/specifications">roughly equivalent to a desktop 750 Ti</a>.</p><p>8GB DDR4 memory at 2133 MHz comes with most of the options, with 16GB on the most expensive i7 model, but you can upgrade up to 32GB if you want. For storage, you’ve got the options of a 500GB HDD + 32GB Flash, or 1TB HDD + 32GB Flash. Solid State Drives are also available, with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB PCIe options.</p><p>Dell claims the XPS 15 should be able to get&nbsp;<a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/dell-refreshes-xps-13-and-xps-15-and-debuts-xps-12-tablet-hybrid/">up to 16 hours of battery life</a>, depending on configuration. Expect to get less than that when you're gaming, of course.</p> What did ESL One New York reveal about Dota 2's new pro metagame?http://www.pcgamer.com/what-did-esl-one-new-york-reveal-about-dota-2s-new-pro-metagame/The first tournament on version6.85 hinted at the future of professional Dota 2.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-did-esl-one-new-york-reveal-about-dota-2s-new-pro-metagame/Dota 2esportsMOBAPro <p> <img1, official="" dota="" artwork=""></img1,></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RhQ61PNnRhqc.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/efva5LYUF_gw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Queen of Pain Mushi" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p> ESL One New York came and went this past weekend, bringing the world its first Dota 2 LAN on the 6.85 patch. Eight teams representing North America, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Russia came together for a prize pool over $280,000. ESL One New York isn’t going to be the biggest tournament on this patch, but it marks a return from the summer break that started after The International 5. Dota 2 is back in session with both spectators and players learning what the new patch brings to the scene.</p><h3>Early tournament confusion</h3><p> Despite 6.85 not containing fundamental game changes, there was still anticipation that this patch could dramatically alter professional play - but no one was quite sure how, and early picks reflect this. Throughout the four quarter final series there was a random-seeming diversity of hero picks spanning multiple years of International metagames. By far the oddest combination of heroes was played by Team Archon, who chose Chaos Knight, Medusa, Winter Wyvern, Nyx Assassin, and Doom. Oddly enough, Chaos Knight was played as a semi-support in an effort utilize his stun and the new armor reduction on Chaos Strike. However, the Team Archon goof troop couldn’t handle CDEC’s somewhat more traditional lineup of Rubick, Clockwerk, Bounty Hunter, Queen of Pain, and Sniper.</p><p> The TI5 runner-ups delivered a reality check - the Chaos Knight and Medusa meta hasn’t suddenly taken over Dota 2. The lack of dramatic changes in the 6.85 patch means that the meta is going to have a much slower pace compared to previous patches, and crazy team compositions need a basis in real principles. Still, CDEC did pick Sniper - a pick that was a lot less common in 6.84. By picking a long-range carry and multiple heroes with disengage potential, Sniper could either force Team Archon to dive him, or take pot-shots from a distance and carry his team to victory. Even if the zany composition from Team Archon didn’t work, CDEC still utilized a non-traditional pick, indicating a willingness to try new ideas.</p><h3>The queen of New York</h3><p> <img2, official="" dota="" artwork=""></img2,></p><p> These changes in thinking are fairly evident with some of 6.84’s top picks, like Leshrac and Storm Spirit. Leshrac has fallen from grace, with a scant three picks and no wins. There aren’t even stats for Storm Spirit since he was never picked. In fact, the jolly man wasn’t even banned. ESL One New York worked as a sieve for the top tier picks, separating the gold from the rest of the dirt. Queen of Pain was the most chosen hero, serving her standard role as a consistent laner with high potential to control a game. Lots of other heroes have retained their 6.84-era popularity. Gyrocopter, Shadow Fiend, Clockwerk, Dazzle: these picks aren’t redefining the meta.</p><p> You can’t measure which heroes are strongest entirely through picks, though, as they’ll have been banned too frequently. The pros are truly scared of walruses and spiders, with Tusk and Broodmother receiving 13 and 10 bans respectively. In every game of ESL One, Tusk was either picked or banned. This follows the 6.84 trend of removing heroes that could reliably dominate an early game and snowball into the midgame (literally, in Tusk’s case.) Broodmother, formerly a niche pick, can similarly control the laning phase and open up space for the rest of her team. Even if counters for Broodmother are locked in, she can still put enough pressure to cause heavy rotations and keep her team in-control. A third hero charted high in the ban rates as well, and for good reason.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S9lU-vQmT7mw.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dFRj2hV03uQY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Vega Victory"></p><h3>A new hot pick</h3><p> <img3, official="" dota="" artwork=""></img3,></p><p> Alongside Broodmother, the new breakout hero seems to be Ember Spirit. He was picked fairly frequently at TI5, but nowhere near as much as Gyrocopter or Queen of Pain. Part of this is due to the patch nerfing many of the counters for the ridiculously low-armor hero, and the opportunity afforded for teams to lane him outside the middle lane. Additionally, Ember Spirit has a new popular build that involves purchasing an early Boots of Travel so he can constantly farm, heal, and join team fights. The only time Ember Spirit is inactive is when he’s dead. This is a stark contrast to 6.84, where he would be chosen as a viable mid-game fighter but most teams focused on getting him farm and split-pushing. While this build does give him the option to split push and build for the late-game, his insanely high early game damage is being used to control games like former top bans. The counter to Ember Spirit’s success was to start banning him or lose, as he won all five games he played.</p><h3>The grand finale’s grand choices</h3><p> <img4, taken="" from="" stream=""></img4,></p><p> Game one of the finals between Vega Squadron and Team Secret showed that both finalists were willing to experiment. Team Secret drafted around stall tactics with Anti-Mage, Elder Titan, Dark Seer, Windranger, and Crystal Maiden. Vega Squadron drafted around pure unadulterated aggression with Io, Tiny, Clockwerk, Disruptor, and Slardar. Both teams had four common 6.84 picks, but their 6.85 choices played a pivotal role in the team. Optimally, Elder Titan would be able to constantly disrupt Vega Squadron’s initiation with Echo Stomp and set up easy kills on Io. Meanwhile, Slardar proved to be a fine pick for the safe lane duo, and would fill the role of more aggressive follow-up to Vega’s already offensive team.</p><p> After losing, Team Secret ran Meepo and Enchantress against a traditional team. In part this is because w33 is a fantastic Meepo player, but also because Meepo was a viable pick. They not only won game two, they crushed it. Aggression across the board led to a sub-30 minute victory, as Meepo netted and murdered Queen of Pain while Enchantress ran around the map providing ganks and lane support. Team Secret would eventually take the approach Team Archon did and go for an unconventional draft with Razor, Templar Assassin, Mirana, Naga Siren, and Crystal Maiden. Unfortunately this lineup contained no reliable crowd control, and Vega Squadron’s Ember Spirit was able to do whatever he wanted. This mistake opened the door for Vega Squadron to claim the top spot.</p><h3>What does this all mean?</h3><p> One of the biggest surprises has been the how little time the pros actually spent playing. Average game length has been shorter than The International 5, and part of this shift can be ascribed to teams adapting to the new drafts and picking poorly. At the same time, only one game was longer than 50 minutes, and no game reached the hour mark, a rarity for Dota 2. It’s possible that teams are becoming more aggressive in an attempt to hold onto early game leads, and game-defining moments are occurring around the 20 minute mark instead of during sustained pushes later on.</p><p> In the end, the Dota 2 of 6.85 isn’t all that different from the Dota 2 of 6.84. In light of that, professional teams are showing a willingness to experiment and incorporate unsung heroes, and a major meta shift is still possible. Alchemist has become a viable choice, and even Elder Titan is seeing play. The question is: if this is the meta now, will Tusk, Broodmother, and Ember Spirit dominate the Frankfurt Major?</p><hr> <p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Tales from the Borderlands finale out this monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands-finale-out-this-month/In a couple of weeks it'll all be over.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:02:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands-finale-out-this-month/NewsTales from the Borderlands <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vZgGp6dua48" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Telltale Games has broken its tradition of making its episodic games five chapters long with Game of Thrones, but Tales from the Borderlands sticks to the five-episode format and that means that the next episode will be its last. As Telltale just&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/telltalegames/status/652134015932100608">tweeted</a>, that finale will be released on October 20, just over two weeks from now.</p><p>This trailer looks like it's about the first episode, but that's just because episode one is now available for free on consoles and mobile. It's actually a teaser for episode five, called "The Vault of the Traveler".</p><p>Telltale Games is busy this month. A week before episode 5 of Tales from the Borderlands comes out,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-episode-one-release-date/">Minecraft: Story Mode</a> is released.&nbsp;How soon before Telltale has fingers in all the pies, making episodic games in every video game universe there is? Where will they go next?</p> Armikrog reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/armikrog-review/Armikrog’s dislike for logic and obvious incompleteness is a waste of good Claymation.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:53:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/armikrog-review/AdventureArmikrogReviews <p>Armikrog feels like a lot of the children’s games that were foisted on me by non-gaming relatives in the ‘90s, and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I were 15 years younger. At that age I was so excited to be playing games at all that I could innocently interpret a string of trivial but illogical obstacles as mysterious rather than a sign of shoddy production. Delayed twice, Armikrog is still chock full of padding, which is remarkable considering it’s just four hours long, closer to what an early publisher might pump out to fill a hole than a Kickstarted labour of love.</p><p>The opening cutscene (that is, the Claymation cutscene after the hand-drawn musical number that attempts to introduce the story) got my hopes up. Pencil Test Studios’ Claymation is rich and fluid, the fingerprints in the clay that studios like Aardman edit out giving earthy authenticity to the stop motion. Spaceman Tommynaut and his psychic dog Beak Beak crawl from their crashed spaceship only to be accosted by the local wildlife in a slapstick sequence worthy of any Saturday morning cartoon. Then they run inside a nearby tower and slam the door on a promising start.</p><p>Facial animation is the first thing I noticed was missing. When Beak Beak and Tommy chat, the sound spouts from a nonspecific location, but as there’s precious little conversation to begin with, you stop seeing it quickly. That’s odd for an adventure game. Usually they lean on dialogue to energise static scenes, but Tommy and Beak Beak proceed in silence, as if the introduction had interrupted a lovers’ tiff and they’re waiting for the other to apologise. Instead, you hear the occasional ‘thank you’ when Beak Beak weighs down a button or retches up an item he swallowed.</p><p>It’s not just about flavour&mdash;muteness is a mechanical problem. Neither character will indicate when a problem requires their intervention. A button at waist height might need either Tommy or Beak Beak to press it, or it could need powering on elsewhere, but you can’t know unless you try with both. Every time. This is part of a larger problem that Armikrog has with clarity and finesse. It uses the default Windows cursor for a start, incongruous in a world of clay, and offers not the slightest hint at which objects are interactive and which are not or which character must do the dirty work. Worse, some buttons become interactive only when they’re good and ready for you, masquerading as static scenery until a later time. On others, the haste with which Armikrog must have been thrown together is betrayed by the tell-tale halo of a green screen.</p><p>Maybe I’m grateful for the silence. “Greetings, friend! I am Abrah-ant Lincoln” chatters an ant in a top hat before clicking out a puzzle. That’s all he says. There’s also Thomas Jeffers-ant, complete with Declaration of Independ-ants (that’s one of mine) and what might have been a Roosevelt, but he doesn’t talk long enough to deliver an ant-based pun&mdash;the very height of humour on this baffling plane of existence. As to why there is a stream US presid-ants (hire me), Armikrog doesn’t much care. It’s the random comedic grasping of a child learning to structure a joke.</p><p>Armikrog operates internal logic divorced from any school of human thought. It’s not about problem solving but completing the same set of isolated, artificial tasks three times over before the final showdown. It makes the first round of puzzles quite mystifying: push the orange monster to the right to open a secret door. Who cares why? Use the psychic dog to talk to the tentacle creature, who will deliver a cutscene entirely in a made-up language before spitting out a machine part. For reasons. Use a lever to enter a cable car, but make sure it’s the right lever and not the one that just looks like the right lever because the model is bugged. Solve a sliding block puzzle for the third time, because that’s what counts as a lock around here. Armikrog is beaten through learned behaviour, not deductive reasoning.</p><p>The chasm between Armikrog logic and real logic is embodied by the baby puzzle. Early on you find an abandoned infant, and to stop the blighter crying you need to complete a memory test, hooking toys to a mobile as an off-key jingle nibbles at your sanity. If the jingle completes a full rendition without anything falling, you receive a vital, story-progressing item. Otherwise, you have to rearrange the toys and sit through a tortuous encore. This vestigial excuse for a puzzle is wheeled out thrice&nbsp;to kill time.</p><p>Armikrog treats the chain of causality with contempt, beholden to nothing but its own sporadic attempts to challenge the player. It succeeds in getting in your way. Your first encounter with any given puzzle provides the solution to the lot, if only you weren’t confronted with the arduous task of implementing it.</p> Fallout 4 system requirements releasedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-system-requirements-released/It's not the end of the world.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:20:58 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-system-requirements-released/Fallout 4News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pzqQ-bbySX68.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7fMcsJgHNile.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fallout 4"></p><p>Fallout 4 is out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-is-releasing-in-november/">really soon</a>&mdash;in just over a month&mdash;and after working on them&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-system-requirements/">for a while</a> Bethesda finally has the system requirements ready for your nervous perusal. Can your machine handle the wasteland?</p><p><strong>Minimum</strong><br>Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)<br>Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent<br>8 GB RAM<br>30 GB free HDD space<br>NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent</p><p><strong>Recommended</strong><br>Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)<br>Intel Core i7 4790 3.6 GHz/AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz or equivalent<br>8 GB RAM<br>30 GB free HDD space<br>NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB or equivalent</p><p>Thankfully, these are more reasonable than those for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-system-requirements-released/">Battlefront</a> and my PC&nbsp;should do the job, which is excellent news.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://bethesda.net/#en/events/game/prepare-for-the-future-fallout-4-important-release-info/2015/10/08/35">update</a> from Bethesda also includes news on exact&nbsp;release time: 12:01am in most territories (EST if you're in North America). You can also see which languages the game will support in your region. Naturally, you can play with an Xbox One/360 controller if you really want to, the game supports Steam Achievements, and there's some information about pre-order bonuses and the Pip-Boy app.</p> Wadjet Eye announces post-apocalyptic adventure, Shardlighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/wadjet-eye-announces-post-apocalyptic-adventure-shardlight/Point-and-click plague cure search.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:30:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/wadjet-eye-announces-post-apocalyptic-adventure-shardlight/News <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/G_ciFhL-KnQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Wadjet Eye has a knack for producing solid point-and-click adventure games: the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blackwell-epiphany-review/">Blackwell</a> games,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/primordia-review/">Primordia</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-golden-wake-gets-a-demo-ahead-of-release-next-week/">A Golden Wake</a>, and many more. So even though there must be a million post-apocalyptic video games nowadays, I trust that they can put a new spin on it.</p><p><a href="http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/games/shardlight/">Shardlight's</a> setting sounds familiar enough: "The world ended on the day the bombs fell. Since then, it's always been like this: disease, hunger, death." There's an oligarchy called the Aristrocrats that controls the planet's resources, which is particularly important&mdash;aside from food and water the citizens also need vaccinations for a particularly prevalent plague.</p><p>The protagonist, Amy Wellard, has symptoms, and is working for the government (reluctantly, the description points out) so that she can qualify for the vaccine lottery. However, she believes there to be a cure to the plague, and her adventure to find it is the basis for the game&mdash;a&nbsp;more interesting premise than the usual post-apocalyptic man with gun scenarios.</p><p>As is Wadjet's way, the art is pretty great too, so I've included some screenshots below. Shardlight is due out in spring 2016.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wb3GPby_Qy2s.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5wc3pj4GQXLU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 1"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/z65ANOKgSXSo.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/L8SOG76W3K4m.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 2"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/d5ATujDVRQav.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x-kvi265n4FV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 3"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1hPEwypwSlqJ.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oJVSxZmJN6dQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 4"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1PTd5gMZRQiC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W_gH_g5RDMHl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 5"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AEFr1Sx3Q6ml.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yMe_3j4os3_u.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shardlight 6"></p> Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-rising-tide-review/Sci-fi Civ's first expansion doesn’t quite lift all boats.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:17:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-rising-tide-review/Civilization: Beyond EarthReviewsStrategy <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Need to know</h5><p><strong>What is it?</strong> The first expansion pack for Beyond Earth, adding new factions, biomes and a few new features like aquatic cities, as well as shaking up the existing diplomacy system.<br><strong>Expect to pay: </strong>£25 / $30<br><strong>Developer: </strong>Firaxis<br><strong>Publisher:</strong> 2K Games<br><strong>Reviewed on:</strong> i7, GTX 970,<br>8GB RAM<br><strong>Link:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.civilization.com/en/games/civilization-beyond-earth/">Official site</a></p></div><p>Even hardcore fans mostly agree, if Beyond Earth taught us anything, it’s that you’ve got to go further than merely another solar system to escape the shadow of Alpha Centauri. With that in mind, Rising Tide is a smartly put together expansion. It doesn’t make Beyond Earth the game that some of us wanted, especially in terms of finding its own groove instead of just being Civ in space, but it does at least put its focus on the biggest criticisms instead of simply bolting on a few more toys and random cool features. It’s closer. Not there, but a good deal closer.</p><p>For me, one of the changes I most appreciate is the reworking of Affinities. In the original Beyond Earth, these had your society developing down one of three paths&mdash;Purity, Supremacy or Harmony. I personally loathed this system, not for the core mechanical idea, but because it philosophically felt less like charting a future for humanity than signing it up to one of three dogmatic space cults, complete with silly space robes. Rising Tide allows for Hybrid Affinities, mixing and matching them. This opens up new options, but more than that, it feels endlessly more appropriate. Why wouldn’t you combine technology and aliens? It’s just slightly morbid common sense.</p><p>This is essentially Rising Tide’s approach across the board: big changes, important changes, but not necessarily dramatic changes that completely overhaul what came before. It’s a more appropriate name than it might sound, and not really referring to its new aquatic cities. They’re fun to play with, both in their new mechanic of acquiring territory by moving around the ocean, and a rare example of something feeling like future tech instead of just modern military equipment with a chrome finish. They’re still one of the least important fundamental changes Rising Tide makes.</p><p>Other similar offerings include four new factions (one sea based, totally unlike Alien Crossfire, one spy based, totally unlike Alien Crossfire, and two others focused on diplomacy and production respectively). Worlds are now peppered with Artifacts that can be combined in groups of three to unlock bonuses, and brand new Marvels&mdash;huge alien structures that start quests for everyone once discovered. Neither cancels out the basic problem of these worlds usually feeling like Earth if our canyons were randomly full of melted cheese (and despite two new biomes, Frigid and Primeval, Fungal remains the only really alien feeling one), but they’re decent low impact additions to the main game that contribute to the feel of a series finally heading in the right direction.</p><p>That direction being Alpha Centauri, it’s no surprise that the diplomacy section has seen the biggest overhaul. The new system has two basic goals, to make things more transparent, and to give the leaders more personality. Sorry, typo. I mean <em>any</em> personality, rather than them being just a load of cardboard cutouts. Unfortunately, while they do have more than they did, Beyond Earth continues being more comfortable with the numbers side of humanity than its humans.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x6XAJde7Qeqw.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KBHmstN2Jw2U.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civ1" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>The more mechanical side works better. Each faction now has a Fear and Respect bar, the first based on your strength and the latter based on how your actions mesh with their philosophies, such as worrying about your peoples’ health. Everyone also now has Traits that offer direct upgrades, and advantages that others can buy into using the new Diplomatic Capital resource&mdash;a stipend each turn in exchange for a boost. You can have up to four in play, and swap them out, as well as spend DC to purchase units and buildings outright. Combined, all this opens up a much more interesting diplomatic metagame of mutual favours and reasons to side with specific leaders, without ruling out making deals with assorted devils if the need arises. It’s also now much easier to read them, and see when you’re clashing with someone or they’re likely to bail on a deal.</p><p>Rising Tide doesn’t turn Beyond Earth into a whole new game. Expect that, and you’ll be disappointed. It does however move it closer to what it should have been, with its understanding of some of the big problems helping to at least soften the blow of their lingering disappointment first time around. It’s the expansion it needed to do first, both in terms of building on the game if you are in the mood for more, and showing that the series has the right course in mind.</p> Mankind Divided is shaping up to be the best Deus Ex yethttp://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-best-deus-ex-yet/Bad news for guards:Adam Jensen's had a serious upgrade.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:40:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-best-deus-ex-yet/Deus Ex: Mankind DividedFPS <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B7HAADe1Q3Ci.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FM6jWOjoeIx5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex 1"></p><p>I keep forgetting I'm superhuman. Toward the end of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's tutorial mission, set in&nbsp;hot, dusty Dubai, I emerge on the top level of a huge multi-storey&nbsp;atrium. A couple of gangs are doing an arms deal on the ground level far below. As a special forces operative working for Interpol, it's my job to get down there and break it up.</p><p>Stupidly, I call the elevator. After about ten seconds of waiting politely I remember I'm Adam goddamn Jensen, a bionic commando with a heart of plastic, fists of metal, and catwalk-approved shades melded into my skull. Adam goddamn Jensen does not take elevators. I take a run up and jump over the edge as a sandstorm blasts in. After a few seconds of freefall the Icarus Landing System kicks in, the view pops into third person, and Jensen's fall is cushioned by a bubble of crackling golden light. God, I love Deus Ex.</p><p>In Human Revolution the fancy landing would put my other abilities out of commission for a while. Human Revolution was two things: a&nbsp;great immersive sim set in exactly the sort of cyberpunk dystopia that I want to explore&nbsp;in games, and a&nbsp;hardcore snacking simulator. Want to punch a guy with your metal death hands? Eat an energy bar. Three seconds of cloak? Have another energy bar. The energy bar&mdash;the handy snack that lets you attack&mdash;is now a sort of battery cell, and you won't have to consume them anywhere near as often.</p><p>Instead of the old energy pip system, which consumed one of your pips whenever you used an augmentation, Jensen now has an energy pool. Activating an ability deletes a chunk of it. If it's a sustained ability like cloak, what remains of the bar will be temporarily drained, but then recover a few seconds later. The lowest chunk of the bar can never be permanently depleted. That means a spree of chained abilities will limit your options (until you crunch an energy cell), but you've always got a little left in the tank to play with.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5_v-ldRTS8Oo.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kugZ0Kv3JjU_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex 3" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>This means Jensen can punch more than one or two people (brutal third-person close combat takedowns are back, by the way, and as satisfying as before). It also means you can chain augs together, or use them simultaneously. The excellent Icarus Dash electrically propels you forward at great speed, which is ideal for&nbsp;quick traversal, and for suddenly KO-ing&nbsp;very surprised men. Combine it with the silent movement aug and you've got a great stealth tool. Alternatively, use it to get into a group of enemies and activate Jensen's spinning typhoon attack to spray the area with bombs.</p><p>This makes Jensen very powerful, but he should be. Dishonored shows that in sandbox sims, it's better to&nbsp;be a little overpowered and have lots of options. A&nbsp;clever rethink of the augmentation system gives you those options. Many augs&nbsp;now have lethal and non-lethal variants, or can be used in different ways to suit lethal and non-lethal players. The typhoon attack can be altered to scatter gas grenades instead of warheads. Your retractable arm-chisels can now be fired at enemies to impale them at range (or blow them up, if you charge the shot). Or you can use them to create a noisy distraction. Choosing a playstyle no longer limits you to a small subsection of Jensen's abilities. That means you have more ways to tailor your own approach, and that's what Deus Ex is all about.</p><p>The level design supports that too, of course. Dubai was a relatively linear mission designed to teach crouching, jumping, punching and elevator-calling.&nbsp;The dark, rainy&nbsp;Prague level I also played was a more traditional Deus Ex area. Eidos Montreal walled off one corner of a much larger hub and invited me to infiltrate a theatre occupied by a criminal gang.&nbsp;</p><p>There are many ways in. A series of ladders lead to the rooftop (I killed a sniper, took his gun and cleared out the lobby from street-level in one playthrough). There's a vent up there that drops you deep into the building. You can walk in through the front door if you want to fight. An open window presents a quieter route.&nbsp;I thought it&nbsp;would be remiss of me not to find a way to get in by stacking boxes, so I used a construction platform to carry a huge box onto a ledge, and then put it on top of another huge box to find another way up to the rooftop. Then I reached back and picked up the box, so I could throw it at a guard.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_b6DEniXSp6Z.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H_aJbIBK32ED.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex 2" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>Once inside I had plenty of fun messing up the guards, luring them into the toilets and tranquilising them, creating distractions and cloaking around them.&nbsp;It's now much easier to change your approach mid-mission.&nbsp;You can&nbsp;modify your guns to add or remove scopes, silencers and laser targeting systems without dipping into a menu screen. You can now hack some devices at range with the right upgrades, which means you can use it in the middle of a firefight. Complete a quick rhythm task and your target, whether a security camera or a guard bot, is temporarily disabled.&nbsp;</p><p>For more complex devices like workstations you need to beat&nbsp;a prettier version of Human Revolution's node-capture minigame. This gets you into people's emails, which are full of background lore, jokes, and the occasional door code. There are new storytelling devices, too.&nbsp;In the middle of the theatre I stopped to watch an entire news report presented by returning news anchor&nbsp;Eliza Cassan. Human Revolution fans may detect the merest hint of biased reporting here.</p><p>There will be a lot more talking throughout the game. The team have used more than a hundred voice actors for Mankind Divided. The new engine doubles the number of NPCs that the team can put on screen, which ought to help&nbsp;hub areas feel livelier than HR's, though Eidos Montreal hasn't shown those&nbsp;yet.</p><p>It certainly looks better. The Dawn engine is a heavily modified version of IO's Glacier engine, and it allows for far more detail than Human Revolution. It also supports lots of clutter, much of which can be picked up and thrown to cause distractions. Prague and Dubai looked and felt completely different, one wet and grimy, the other arid and airy. The removal of Human Revolution's gold filter allows the team to create places that feel more varied, though the neat cyber-renaissance&nbsp;style of HR&mdash;triangles, lovely coats, the occasional ruff&mdash;thankfully remain. It still feels like Deus Ex, but with all of Human Revolution's flaws addressed. It's going to be great.</p> Umbrella Corps video shows man kill man in a zombie-infested worldhttp://www.pcgamer.com/umbrella-corps-video-shows-man-kill-man-in-a-zombie-infested-world/You'd think they'd have better things to do.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:56:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/umbrella-corps-video-shows-man-kill-man-in-a-zombie-infested-world/NewsUmbrella Corps <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z7c66LFI4qU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>The creators of fiction set in zombie-populated worlds seem determined to paint a particular picture of humanity: that even though you'd think having zombies to worry about would stop us from killing each other, it wouldn't. Umbrella Corps, the multiplayer third-person shooter that Capcom announced&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/umbrella-corps-is-a-third-person-online-shooter-set-in-the-resident-evil-universe/">last month</a>, is no exception.</p><p>Umbrella Corps is technically a Resident Evil game, despite its obvious differences from the rest of them, so when you load up a multiplayer match you'll enter a world full of zombies. But while you can kill the undead they're not your main threat: your opponents, controlled by other players, are human beings.</p><p>This video showcases a mode that works well as a gameplay trailer: a three-minute 3v3 team battle called One Life Match Mode. As the name would suggest, you don't get to respawn.</p><p>The video is commentated by two guys, one of whom calls himself "Mad Skills Mike" and then cracks a joke about "kills" being his middle name. As always, if that's not your kind of thing maybe watch with the sound off. Since this is a trailer, they're not really there to commentate as much as point out features for the benefit of potential consumers: "And with a few moments remaining the teams are hammering out their strategies using the tactical icons", for example.</p><p>They also highlight things like the jammer that prevents zombies from attacking, until it gets broken. But are features like that enough to make Umbrella Corps worth trying when there are already so many popular multiplayer shooters out there?</p> The Sims 4 Get Together delayed until Decemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-together-delayed-until-december/Join the club.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:55:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-together-delayed-until-december/NewsThe Sims 4 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6440xBZnRY2k.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4sKPU6N8o3im.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Sims 4 Get Together"></p><p>Get Together, the second proper expansion for The Sims 4 after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-to-work-review/">Get to Work</a>, was announced back in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-together-brings-new-ways-to-have-fun-with-a-friend/">August</a>. Its main feature is the introduction of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-togethers-clubs-introduce-peer-pressure/">Clubs</a> that your Sims can join based on their interests and personalities, but it looks like now Get to Work&nbsp;is joining its own club: the rapidly growing&nbsp;club of delayed games.</p><p>The original release was supposed to come in November, but the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thesims.com/news/get-together-release-date">latest news</a> from EA pushes that back to December 8 (in North America anyway; the rest of us will get it some time later that same week). I guess at least that makes it a better fit for your Christmas list, which is definitely a better way of getting these expensive expansions than paying for them yourself.</p><p>The update explains the delay in the same way these things are normally explained: they needed more time to "add more polish and depth". They also say they're adding some new features, and since they haven't mentioned them before that might even be true. One is a board game called Don't Wake the Llama that made me think of that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/DP-Dont-Wake-Action-Reflex/dp/B00VC1ERTG/ref=sr_1_1/278-8074995-3117840?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1444304364&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=don%27t+wake+dad">Don't Wake Dad</a> game I used to see advertised on television&nbsp;every Christmas but looks from the screenshot to be a Jenga clone.</p><p>Not sure Llama-themed Jenga is worth a purchase? We'll get to find out more about the expansion at the beginning of next month.</p> Bethesda has 'concerns' about Battlecry and is 'evaluating' ithttp://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-has-concerns-about-battlecry-and-is-evaluating-it/Free-to-play action game may not be in good shape.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 05:57:34 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-has-concerns-about-battlecry-and-is-evaluating-it/BattlecryFPSNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bLH59aFAT1eS.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RLnTfilF85K2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlecry"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry/">Battlecry</a> hasn't managed to wow audiences quite like other Bethesda-published titles, and Bethesda seems to have noticed. At least, an official statement from the company has acknowledged that it has concerns about the third-person free-to-play action game.</p><p>"We have concerns about the Battlecry game and whether it is meeting the objectives we have for it," the company's statement reads. "We are evaluating what improvements the game needs to meet our quality standards. The studio remains busy during this process on multiple projects."</p><p><a href="http://progressbar.com.au/2015/10/whats-happened-to-battlecry/">Progress Bar</a> was the original recipient of the statement, but I received it separately after contacting Bethesda's Sydney office.&nbsp;</p><p>The last we heard from Battlecry was Bethesda's E3 announcement that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-beta-sign-ups-are-now-open/">beta sign-ups were open</a> – but the beta never happened. Our hands-on with the game wasn't exactly awe-inspiring, though Evan <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-hands-on-swinging-blades-in-bethesdas-new-f2p-action-game/">did see some promise</a>, writing that "uninspiring as this first hands-on was, I ended the demo with some appreciation for how agile characters are in Battlecry."</p> Massive Chalice lead Brad Muir is moving over to Valvehttp://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-lead-brad-muir-is-moving-over-to-valve/Half-Life 3 still not confirmed.Thu, 08 Oct 2015 04:04:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-lead-brad-muir-is-moving-over-to-valve/Massive ChaliceNewsValve <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/27Sx0t0oSOO_.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sie8AcB_w3N_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="bradmuir"></p><p>That cheerful looking fellow pictured above is Brad Muir, former Double Fine project lead on Massive Chalice and Iron Brigade. Though the photo was taken years ago Muir's smile could easily apply today, as he's just announced he'll be joining Valve later this year – though in what capacity, no one knows.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-i-game-brad-muir/">our interview with Muir</a>, he's been with the company for over ten years. In addition to the titles listed above he's also worked on Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. That interview also mentions Muir's affection for Dota 2, so he's gone to the right place.</p><p>Inevitable question: will he be working on Half-Life 3? I don't know! Valve only appears willing to say <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valve-writer-says-half-life-3-will-not-be-a-vr-game/">what HL3 will not be</a> at the moment. </p> PC Gamer confesses: our secret shamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-confesses-our-secret-shame/James hates reading, and other confessions.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 23:27:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-confesses-our-secret-shame/ActionAdventureFPSRPG This is what a Crisis looks like in Torment: Tides of Numenerahttp://www.pcgamer.com/this-is-what-a-crisis-looks-like-in-torment-tides-of-numenera/A Crisis is a "hand-crafted" encounter with a wide range of choices and consequences.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 22:20:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/this-is-what-a-crisis-looks-like-in-torment-tides-of-numenera/inXile EntertainmentNewsRPGTorment: Tides of NumeneraVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WU-Hi7xHnSk?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> A Crisis, in the context of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/torment-tides-of-numenera/">Torment: Tides of Numenera</a>, is an attempt to "bring the same sense of reactivity and choice and consequence that is the hallmark of Torment dialog into our turn-based gameplay," as Lead Crisis Designer Jeremy Kopman explains in this new gameplay video. "When a Crisis kicks in, your goals aren't limited to bashing in the brains of your enemies."</p><p> The video begins with what looks like a fairly straightforward fight, but things get interesting once the fists start flying. In one instance, the death of an enemy NPC leads to a dangerous situation that must be addressed while the fight is still underway; in another, the same NPC opts to surrender when he sees the battle turn against him. It's even possible to engage him in conversation, although probably not of the friendly sort, in the middle of the fight.</p><p> Each Crisis will be a "hand-crafted scenario where we can offer high levels of reactivity, shifting states, and human-feeling AI," Kopman says. "There won't necessarily be one best solution in any Crisis, and your tools will range from brute strength to unique Numenera abilities to social skills and conversation. All of these will influence the outcome and let you pick your play style."</p><p>It's more than a little reminiscent of the famous boss fight at the end of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/planescape-torment-review/">Planescape: Torment</a>, which with some luck and skill could be talked through rather than actually fought. Even though Numenera is still in&nbsp;"early alpha," this video looks very promising&mdash;and definitely the kind of Torment I'm looking for.</p> It sucks when your first time is your besthttp://www.pcgamer.com/it-sucks-when-your-first-time-is-your-best/Ever have your first score be your high score?Wed, 07 Oct 2015 22:15:15 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/it-sucks-when-your-first-time-is-your-best/RoguelikeSkyhillStrategySurvival <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uVNaWP0ORN63.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KQ1Ul_vMg9Df.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skyhill"></p><p>In&nbsp;my first game of&nbsp;<a href="http://mandragoragames.com/skyhill/index.html">Skyhill</a> I felt like I did pretty good. Little did I know that it was that rarest of occasions where the first time you play a game you do better than you <em>ever will again</em>. Compared to my subsequent games I didn't just&nbsp;do pretty good my first time, I did great, and I've been playing it obsessively since, baffled as to why I can never seem to match that&nbsp;very first performance.</p><p>Skyhill is a turn-based&nbsp;survival crafting&nbsp;point-and-click&nbsp;roguelite (man, games are getting complicated to describe)&nbsp;about reaching the ground floor of a randomly generated&nbsp;100 story hotel. You begin at the top, where you've been trapped during a biological weapons attack that has turned everyone into mutants. As you descend floor by floor and explore the two rooms on each level, you loot&nbsp;supplies, craft weapons and first aid items, battle monsters in turn-based combat, and try to keep your health and food meters full.</p><p>My first time playing I made&nbsp;it down to the 52nd floor, almost halfway to freedom. I managed this despite being barfed on by a mutant up on floor 90, whose poison puke leeched my&nbsp;health points every turn from then on.&nbsp;I was unable to craft an antidote until I made it down&nbsp;to the 66th floor where I finally found&nbsp;the requisite supplies. I also made several trips back up to the penthouse (if you find a working elevator and repair power panels on your way down, you can ride to the top floor&nbsp;and back) where there's a crafting table and a health-restoring&nbsp;bed. I finally died on 52 after fighting another puke monster, though he defeated me by whipping me with one of his gross arms&nbsp;instead of puking on me.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RwmOukA7Qu-i.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bmCHBONoH73u.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skyhill" style="background-color: initial;" class=""> <figcaption>I don't think the giant hammer monster will either.</figcaption></figure><p>My second time I thought I'd do better, especially since my first game unlocked some new perks, like an immunity to poison. It didn't save me: I never encountered a barfer but was slain after encountering floor after floor of stairwell zombies. The next time I went with a perk that reduced damage taken in stairwell fights, since they're common and&nbsp;unavoidable: I wound up dying in a room fight with a hammer monster on 76. I've played a bunch more since then and&nbsp;still have&nbsp;never&nbsp;come close to making it back down to the 52nd floor again. Why are the gods of random generation so displeased with me? And why were they so initially agreeable?</p><p>Combat in Skyhill is both frequent and simple: you and a monster take turns whacking each other, or&nbsp;you can choose to&nbsp;target a specific&nbsp;part of its monster body based on potential damage and to-hit chance.&nbsp;You can level yourself up with XP, and put points into offensive skills like strength,&nbsp;speed, or dexterity that boosts the damage done by a weapon that relies on that stat. My first time through I didn't even realize this, and yet knowing how it works hasn't helped me top the success of that first game.&nbsp;The next time I played&nbsp;I got punched to death on 66 by a giant-fisted monster dressed like a janitor. Following that I only made it four floors down, to 96, before perishing in a stairwell fight. The next game: 92. Then 63, by that big-fisted monster again.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ekc1PagoQ46c.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NBF1lL6EG0XJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skyhill" class=""> <figcaption>Finding keys on lower floors can give you access to locked room on higher floors.</figcaption></figure><p>Maybe it's for the best?&nbsp;I'd definitely&nbsp;be disappointed if in&nbsp;my second game I made it down to the 20th floor, and the third game took me all the way to the bottom. It's just, you know,&nbsp;dang it! Why'd I have to do so well on that very first try? And why haven't I ever been able to do better, or even as nearly good? It's <em>vexing</em>. I think I'd still be playing the game either way, because it's fun, but there's definitely an added incentive. I must survive past 52.&nbsp;</p><p>At least once.&nbsp;I must!</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fnYal_BwR2eh.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/po4hpYgGp4dA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skyhill" class=""><figcaption>Someday I will die on you again. Someday.</figcaption></figure> Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 trailer showcases "Cybercore" abiltieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-trailer-showcases-cybercore-abilties/Let's bring the noise! And the bees! And the vomit!Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:53:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-trailer-showcases-cybercore-abilties/ActivisionCall of Duty: Black Ops 3FPSNewsTreyarchVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ivx1V7kkdVs?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p>"Cybercore." Is it the home of the Transformers? The company that invented Terminators? The long-awaited follow-up to the album that killed Billy Idol's career? No! It's the term for special "cybernetic abilities" that players may wield in the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/">Call of Duty: Black Ops 3</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The Cybercore abilities revealed in this new trailer have swanky names like Wide-Area Misdirect, Adaptive Immolation, and Enhanced Sonic A.P., but I think it's handier to describe them as they actually are: Electro-punch, Bomb Zapper, Bees!, and Noisemaker. They give players a way to kill stuff without having to make use of the standard tools of stuff-killing, ie., guns.</p><p> They are also, at least to my eyes, very BioShock-ish in nature, especially Firefly Swarm, which by all appearances is an almost direct lift of the <a href="http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Insect_Swarm">Insect Swarm</a> plasmid. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, just interesting. It also represents an even greater shift away from the <a href="http://www.theonion.com/video/ultra-realistic-modern-warfare-game-features-await-14382">realism</a> that's been the hallmark of its Call of Duty cousin, Modern Warfare.</p><p> Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 hits the shelves on November 6.</p> Street Fighter 5 beta hits the PC in two weekshttp://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-beta-hits-the-pc-in-two-weeks/This will actually be the second SF5 beta, with all-new characters and a number of new features enabled.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 19:26:13 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-beta-hits-the-pc-in-two-weeks/CapcomFightingNewsStreet Fighter V <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QFr2JotfRf6w.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BgV17S3Lm8Ac.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Street Fighter V"></p><p>Capcom has announced that the second <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-v/">Street Fighter 5</a> beta test, which will actually be the first beta on the PC, will kick off on October 22 and run through October 25. </p><p>The beta will include PC/PlayStation 4 cross-platform playtesting, as well as new characters to try, including <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ken-joins-street-fighter-v-roster-plus-new-fighter-teased/">Ken</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-trailer-introduces-a-brand-new-fighter/">Necalli</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-trailer-reveals-vega/">Vega</a>, R. Mika, and then <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-trailer-introduces-new-character-rashid/">Rashid</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/karin-flips-into-street-fighter-5-capcom-fighters-network-teased/">Karin</a>, who will be released on the second and third days of the testing period. Players will also be able to take advantage of unlockables this time around, including titles and possibly the Kanzuki Estate stage. Leaderboards will also be live, although&mdash;sorry, folks&mdash;none of it will carry over into the next beta or final release.</p><p>The precise start and end times of the beta will be announced later, and Capcom warned that, as an actual beta test, things may not go entirely as planned. It also reiterated its caution from a couple of weeks ago that, while the minimum <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/street-fighter-5-system-requirements-announced/">system requirements</a> will let you play the game, you'll really need the recommended spec if you want to play it properly.&nbsp;</p><p>The beta is technically closed but, as is so often the case these days,&nbsp;access can be had by preordering. Relevant links and other details are up at the <a href="http://www.capcom-unity.com/combofiend/blog/2015/10/07/street-fighter-v-beta-2-details">Capcom blog</a>. Street Fighter 5 is currently expected to come out in the spring of 2016.</p> What we want from Far Cry Primalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/what-we-want-from-far-cry-primal/Better animals, real hunting, and a return to the best map in video games.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 19:01:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-we-want-from-far-cry-primal/Far Cry PrimalFPSUbisoft <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_4XYMJupRZOY.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X6szMqZSkJVy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-officially-unveiled-coming-in-early-2016/">We've seen the reveal trailer</a> and learned a little bit about&nbsp;Far Cry Primal, and&nbsp;it seems&nbsp;clear that this isn't simply Far Cry 4.5. No guns and no vehicles? That's a pretty big and bold departure for a series that&nbsp;was quickly becoming a formula. We're intrigued, at the very&nbsp;least, and we're already&nbsp;thinking about what we hope Primal will be. Here are the things I&nbsp;want from Far Cry Primal.</p><h2>A real hunting system</h2><p> Let's face it, hunting for your next wallet in the last two Far Cry games was generally a matter of going to marked spot on a map, injecting&nbsp;a magic animal-spotting&nbsp;potion, and violently&nbsp;deducting hit points from the nearest fur-based life form&nbsp;until its skin could be stripped and&nbsp;stuffed with cash. With what appears to be more of a focus on hunting, I hope the hunting in Primal&nbsp;is less like following an icon&nbsp;on the screen for thirty seconds and more like, y'know, hunting.</p><p>Hunting is a combination of patience and detective work. Looking for signs of your prey, carefully gathering clues about its size and&nbsp;what direction it's heading and how recently it was heading there, following, and looking for more signs. I know it sounds a trifle boring, creeping around looking for saber-tooth tiger&nbsp;poop and squinting at footprints, but a&nbsp;long, careful hunt is an extremely rewarding experience. Plus, don't worry, it's still&nbsp;Far Cry: there will be giant owls&nbsp;and venomous snakes and angry&nbsp;lizards leaping out of the bushes every few minutes&nbsp;to break up the fun-slash-monotony of the hunt. Which brings me to my next point:</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_s0QKOCHRDeE.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ho5Bxaj8U7lW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal" class=""> <figcaption>Starting to miss my grenade launcher already.</figcaption></figure><h2>More realistic animal behavior</h2><p> The animals in Far Cry 3 and 4 were fun, no doubt, especially when they were horribly mauling your foes. Not really much fun to fight yourself, though, and not particularly interesting as animals: they were all basically eternally&nbsp;angry hitboxes with teeth. Some more realistic animal behavior is in order, because even the most vicious creatures in the wild don't act like the animals do in Far Cry,&nbsp;charging right at you no matter what.</p><p> One thing I always appreciated in the Stalker series were the irradiated dogs. They were supremely unsettling and unpredictable because they didn't always attack. Sometimes they'd run away. Sometimes they'd run at you, then run away.&nbsp;Sometimes they'd circle&nbsp;for a while, barking, before attacking. Sometimes they'd just be hanging out by a tree, like un-irradiated&nbsp;dogs (also known as dogs).&nbsp;You never quite knew what they'd do, just like you never quite know what an animal will do in real life. I'd like some of that unpredictability in Primal.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n-6wTuzzT2y2.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6p1CgymmEp1h.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal" class=""> <figcaption>I have other hobbies besides killing cavemen, you know.</figcaption></figure><h2>A return to a real in-game map</h2><p> For all the complaints levied against Far Cry 2 (many&nbsp;of them completely valid) it's hard to find fault with its&nbsp;in-game&nbsp;map. It functioned like a physical object: if you wanted to use it, you held it in your hand and looked down at it&nbsp;(often leading to comical misadventures while driving). There was a real effort made in Far Cry 2 to keep you in the game, to never break that immediate&nbsp;first-person experience, and while a lot of that has carried over to the last two games, the map certainly hasn't.</p><p>I assume there will be a map in Primal&mdash;the primitives can paint on a cave wall, no reason they can't smudge up&nbsp;a strip&nbsp;of leather&mdash;and rather than the sprawling, game-pausing, overly-cluttered, effects-riddled maps we've been getting, I'd love to see something simpler, something that you hold in your virtual hand&nbsp;and&nbsp;look at in real time, just like real cavemen did when they were hunting for 221&nbsp;briefcases that contained between one and three diamonds.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9CzlF6pFQnO6.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bDB346No5s74.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Map" class=""> <figcaption>Those aren't train tracks, they're... mammoth... paths. Or something.</figcaption></figure><h2></h2><h2>No towers</h2><p>This may sound like a given considering the low-tech reality of the game, but I wouldn't put it past Ubisoft to think up something tall&mdash;temples made of&nbsp;stone columns with leather-bound wood&nbsp;scaffolding or a&nbsp;jungle-gym of elephant&nbsp;bones at the top of a massive tree-village&nbsp;or&nbsp;some shit&mdash;and then make you climb it. And I don't really mind the towers in the other games! Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3 and 4, they were all fine climbing experiences.&nbsp;I just&nbsp;think we're about <em>done</em> with scrambling up the sides of tall things specifically&nbsp;to trigger a swooping camera that reveals new locations. It's&nbsp;begun to feel like some sort of contractual obligation in Ubi&nbsp;games.</p><p>We can just discover things by discovering things! If you've made a beautiful world, players will want to explore it, even if you don't populate their map as a reward for shimmying up a caveman's radio tower (there's no radio, they&nbsp;just go up there and yell&nbsp;at other villages through cupped hands). And if we do want to scale a cliff, we can discover things the old fashioned way: by reaching the top and&nbsp;looking down.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/43xVFnJxTyqF.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/j5F7SGIWgfCp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal" class=""> <figcaption>I could climb that hut. No complaints.</figcaption></figure><h2>No guns means no guns</h2><p>It's one thing to say there's no guns, and another thing to allow players to craft a 15-round miniature wrist-mounted auto-loading explosive&nbsp;arrow launcher and then pretend&nbsp;it's not&nbsp;a gun. Bows and arrows don't particularly thrill me personally, but if we're going Stone Age, let's go all-in.</p><p>I fully expect explosives:&nbsp;wrapping 'boom powder' in leaves and twine and and lighting it with a torch and then flinging it&nbsp;at a buncha jerks.&nbsp;I'm okay with that only because explosions are cool and blowing up jerks is fun and&nbsp;the Far Cry series typically does a good job with fire. But let's not take&nbsp;wooden tubes and stuff them with boom powder and pebbles&nbsp;and blast the flesh off someone's face with it and pretend it's not a shotgun.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_yancummT5O6.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8mIQUQ3TcCQS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal" class=""> <figcaption>Not to discredit your fire spear, but my money is on the guy with the tusks.</figcaption></figure><h2>Melee that matters</h2><p>By the end of the Far Cry games I'm basically a special-kill machine, sliding from victim to victim, inserting machete&nbsp;blades into bodies&nbsp;so fast it's like I'm loading a dishwasher after a party that went on far too long. Special kills are cool,&nbsp;but most of these moves are learned by gathering XP&nbsp;and executed with&nbsp;simple button presses performed&nbsp;when prompts appear. It'd be great to see a real melee system,&nbsp;with blocks, feints, dodges, and&nbsp;more attacks than just clicking the 'Kill Man' button on your mouse until you have killed the man.</p><p>I want to&nbsp;face off with an enemy. Circle him warily while he does the same. Bluff, move, lunge, bash,&nbsp;retreat. Instead of giving me dozens of tribal goons to take down, give me three or four but make each of them a real&nbsp;challenge. Providing a real melee combat system that can be learned and then mastered will make me feel like the baddest caveman in Caveman Times more than earning enough XP to ram a tiger-tooth shiv&nbsp;through an enemy's throat&nbsp;by pressing 'F' will.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_RxYPd20T3OW.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i6fqGY61-elD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal" style="background-color: initial;" class=""> <figcaption>When club technology falls into the wrong hands.</figcaption></figure><h2></h2><h2>Crafting?</h2><p>There's gonna be crafting of weapons and ammo and pouches and probably whatever mix of herbs/flowers/bark that gives you heightened senses so you can spot the mongoose you need to skin so you&nbsp;have a sheath for a&nbsp;third throwing knife. Crafting in the last couple Far Cry games, mechanically, has been nothing to speak of, which in a way is nice because it's quick and painless. Just click the thing you want and it makes it for you.&nbsp;</p><p>The other option is a more complex crafting system which will come at the expense of delaying all that mammoth-piloting you're gonna wanna be doing. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I want from crafting. Either something I never have to think about, or something that I enjoy thinking about. One of the two. Just don't make it complicated <em>and </em>dull.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aKMymxNKRKWf.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PgNZtxtZRjjm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fc4" class=""><figcaption>I don't even know what the hell this thing is.</figcaption></figure><h2>Dino DLC</h2><p> I was really happy to see no sign of dinosaurs in the Primal trailer. Just because people are running around in loincloths with stone axes doesn't mean we need to shoehorn dinosaurs into the world 65 million years after they all died of asteroid-related illnesses. But given the ridiculous&nbsp;Blood Dragon expansion for Far Cry 3 and Attack of the Yetis (or whatever it was called) for Far Cry 4, I think there's plenty of&nbsp;room for a crazy dinosaur-riding expansion for Primal as well. As long as dinos aren't mandatory, I'm fine with 'em arriving later.</p> New Fallout 4 SPECIAL video highlights the importance of having big old brainshttp://www.pcgamer.com/new-fallout-4-special-video-highlights-the-importance-of-having-big-old-brains/Sometimes it's not a bad idea to think before you shoot.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 18:25:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-fallout-4-special-video-highlights-the-importance-of-having-big-old-brains/Bethesda SoftworksFallout 4FPSNewsRPGVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H6yt-43Vp1M?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> The post-apocalytpic wasteland of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a> is an unimaginably dangerous place. Mutants, raiders, and all manner of misshapen beasts roam the irradiated landscape, and they'd all like nothing more than to eat your face for lunch. You have to be tough if you want to survive. But sometimes it pays to stop and think for a minute before blowing everything up.</p><p> Based on Bethesda's latest SPECIAL video, the Intelligence trait will have an impact on&nbsp;crafting, medicine, chemistry, and navigation skills. In previous games, and I would imagine in Fallout 4 as well, it also affects the number of skill points gained per level: More intelligence means more skill points, which is why I'm usually willing to sacrifice other stats in order to crank it up.</p><p> It's probably wishful thinking, but the suggestion that Fallout 4 might offer drivable cars is also very intriguing. Neither Fallout 3 nor New Vegas included&nbsp; them, but they were present in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. Is it possible that they'll make a return? I certainly hope so. There's nothing quite so satisfying as the&nbsp;'clunk' of mutant torso against the hood of a Cadillac.&nbsp;</p><p> Fallout 4 comes out on November 10. And if you've missed the previous SPECIAL vids, here you go: <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-special-video-explains-strength/">Strength</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-special-video-series-continues-with-perception/">Perception</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4s-third-special-video-focuses-on-endurance/">Endurance</a>, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4s-4th-special-trait-charisma/">Charisma</a>.&nbsp;</p> A beginner's guide to case moddinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-beginners-guide-to-case-modding/Step one: Build your PC. Step two: Bling out your PC.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 18:13:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-beginners-guide-to-case-modding/Case modsHardware <p><em>Article by Craig Ferrie,&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/MTMods"><em>Moraytech Mods</em></a></p><p>Building a PC is easier than ever. Even if you're a complete newcomer, you can follow&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-build-a-gaming-pc-a-beginners-guide/">a guide like ours</a> and have a PC up and running in a couple hours.&nbsp;But building that PC is just step one. Step two is making it beautiful.</p><p>If you lust after a PC that exudes style (and dazzling lights), it’s time to dip your toes into the world of case modding. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Modding can be as involved as building custom parts, or as simple as a new paint job.</p><p>Either way, case modding can quickly become addictive. Once you start, it’s difficult to stop. To ease your way into the modding world, here are some of our favorite components and techniques for blinging out your PC&mdash;no major case surgery required.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lFyUMezQQkKG.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a_Z3yMoMt9LD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Graphics Cards"></p><h3>GPU</h3><p>The GPU takes centre stage in a gaming build, so making the right choice is a critical first step to creating the look you want. Some GPUs are easier to modify than others. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V4HY522/?tag=pcgedit-20">MSI GTX 960 4G</a> is a great choice for modding thanks to its LED logo, which will brighten up your system. With&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ATJSDGK/?tag=pcgedit-20">coloured glass paint</a>, you can change that glow to fit your rig. And if you want to get more advanced, you can buy a single 12v LED online for as little as a dollar, then re-wire the graphics card’s LED with the LED of your choosing.</p><p>The second modifiable element here is the cooler; simply remove the screws to release the cooler for painting. Any paint will do, but use&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00407RRPK/?tag=pcgedit-20">automotive spraypaints</a> for best results: they’re tougher and withstand heat more effectively than Plastikote paints.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1U-0cK0QTyCV.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yPY1cy2szSBJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Avexir Ram"></p><h3>RAM</h3><p>There are some crazy RAM modifications out there, but matching your RAM color to the rest of your build is a good starting point. We recommend the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820011043&amp;cm_re=avexir_ram-_-20-011-043-_-Product">Blitz series from Avexir</a>. Avexir Blitz has LED-topped RAM available in a wide range of colours and includes a random flashing sequence. It’s easy to remove the top casings just by taking out 2 screws. The sides can be removed with a butter knife. If you have the white LED sticks, then changing the LED colour is again achieved by gently touching the LED with some coloured glass paint and letting it set. For painting the side panels, we recommended a gloss finish to reflect the motherboard and LEDs.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yFdP_C6IRke3.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fL266wDTyDkt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Motherboard"></p><h3>Motherboard</h3><p>Armour-plated motherboards are ideally suited to modding. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132264R&amp;cm_re=asus_formula-_-13-132-264R-_-Product">Asus Maximus&nbsp;Formula</a>, or the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132565">Asus Maximus Hero</a> pictured above,&nbsp;is a good example: just remove the armour and you’re ready to paint. Another benefit of armour boards is the gap between the board and the back-plate; this provides space to fit some cool LED strips. Just slide the LEDs in that game on the right and bottom sides of the board and you have some awesome backlighting. Glow-in-the-dark or UV reactive paints can also give your motherboard a distinctive look. Just make sure to match your colours!</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VTghsfLRRB-9.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i78cBtHSuu8C.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Led Lights 2"></p><h3>LEDs</h3><p>Internal lighting and under-glow case lights really add life to your computer. Our personal favorites are the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/premium-modding/alchemy2-magnetic-led-strips/">Bitfenix Alchemy LED strips</a>, which are bright and available in waterproof and magnetic varieties.</p><p>The most common placement for LED strips is inside the case at the top and bottom. Colour choice is crucial, because the colour can make or break the overall look of the project. Avoid the common mistake of using too much of the same colour. Select contrasting or complimentary colours instead. For example, pair white LEDs with an entirely orange internal setup; the white light provides a brighter highlighting effect on the orange elements rather than becoming too intensely orange. With a black or white build, we recommend using RGB LEDs so you can change the lighting with the touch of a button.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/niMaBffvTjy9.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Fk2NIEJ21fAW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Liquid Coolant"></p><h3>Watercooling</h3><p>Liquid cooling your PC leaves you wide open to customization. Choices include: what tubing to use, hard-line (rigid) or PVC; what colours of fittings and coolant; which fittings; and what reservoir is best suited for your project.</p><p><a href="http://www.mayhems.co.uk/mayhems/index.php/products/specialist-coolants/mayhems-aurora">Mayhem's Aurora coolant</a> is popular among modders, and for good reason: it’s fascinating to look at. Aurora contains fine glitter that creates an aura in your system, reflecting the colours of your LEDs. Although the Mayhem Aurora looks great, it shouldn't really be used as a permanent coolant, as it gradually blocks the pump over time. If you want a permanent coolant, we highly recommend the Mayhem Pastel range. They have vibrant and iridescent colours that really stand out.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7rmtbxd_RAC1.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RDh2EVq-25q9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Case Modding Braided Cables"></p><h3>Cables</h3><p>Savvy, stylish cable management is a key part of any custom PC build. You can customize cables yourself, but that means a major investment of time and dollars into specialized tools. We like&nbsp;<a href="http://nanoxia-world.com/en/products/cables/">CoolForce Nanoxia cables</a>: they’re excellent quality and available in a rainbow of colours, including multi-coloured versions.</p><p>For example, in a blue PC build with white RAM, the best cables would be a matching blue and white. Without coloured braided cables, your modded PC will look unfinished; it’s easy to underestimate the visual value of braided cables.</p><p>If you decide to do the cables yourself, you will need the following: braided sleeving, a pin remover tool, heat shrink, and a heat gun.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tweaktown.com/guides/5175/case-smithing-getting-started-with-diy-cable-sleeving/index3.html">Here's a guide to check out</a>.&nbsp;But if you’re just doing a single build, buying some gorgeous cables is the way to go.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/teAYj8LwSz6-.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_6VkAQMxOWVv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Alaw Quakecon Cases"></p><h3>Paints</h3><p>Painting the case and/or components is a pivotal part of PC modding, but it can be a challenge. Your first priority is to prime the component you plan to paint, following the instructions for the best primer for the paint you have selected to use (usually printed on the can). We always recommend using&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00407RRPK/?tag=pcgedit-20">car/auto spray paints</a> as they provide the best finish. Don’t use a brush, as this will leave you with visible brush strokes and an amateur finish. Once you've primed and painted your parts, we suggest using a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043B7UQY/?tag=pcgedit-20">2K clear coat</a> finish (clear lacquer) to seal and finish the job.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qTRRhxgDRTuC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X3hHFFnwbmmK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Vinyl Roll"></p><h3>Decals / Stickers</h3><p>So you've got a pretty epic looking computer, using good branded components, and want to add that extra flourish to the look. Why not try your hand at making your own logos or graphics (or our old reliable fallback: flaming skulls) for the case? You’ll need a roll of vinyl (available on eBay&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00331S0GO/?tag=pcgedit-20">or on Amazon</a> at whatever length or colour you want) and a scalpel to cut it with. Simply draw your design on the back of the vinyl and cut it out. Practice (and patience) makes perfect here, since cutting vinyl isn't quite as easy as it looks.</p><h3>Time to start modding</h3><p>Once you've put together a case mod&nbsp;plan using some of the elements above, all that's left is&nbsp;to dive into the actual work. If that still feels intimidating, though, never fear: there are plenty of guides to modding out there! Check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.modders-inc.com/how-to-case-mod/">the how-tos at Modders Inc.</a> or the wealth of instructive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.instructables.com/howto/case+mod/">guides at Instructables</a> to pick up some pro tips.</p><p><em>A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to stores like Amazon. These online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which helps support our work evaluating PC components.</em></p> Lovely Planet's sequel will ditch the Y-axis and Sunshine Gunhttp://www.pcgamer.com/lovely-planets-sequel-will-ditch-the-y-axis-and-sunshine-gun/The Sunshine Gun is also being replaced, and a level editor is on the table.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 18:08:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lovely-planets-sequel-will-ditch-the-y-axis-and-sunshine-gun/FPSLovely PlanetNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x3L1KBlwTE2W.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oTC1odctG2Vs.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lovely Planet 4"></p><p>Lovely Planet was one of my&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lovely-planet-review/">favorite games of 2014</a>.&nbsp;You fire slow-moving bullets&mdash;purple cubes, really&mdash;as you bolt through a level and must&nbsp;hit every enemy and trap&nbsp;along the way.&nbsp;It demands speed and precision, with small levels meant to be repeated to perfection. I probably played some of them 100 times before succeeding.</p><p>Good news for me, then, that creator&nbsp;Vidhvat Madan is working on a sequel&mdash;but it won't be exactly like Lovely Planet. In&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.vidhvat.com/2015/10/lovely-planet-curious-case-of-sequelitis.html" target="_blank">a blog post today</a>, Madan says that he's getting rid of the Y-axis in the sequel, making it "much like Wolfenstein 3D but adorable."</p><p>Madan says that stripping a&nbsp;dimension will help him balance flexibility with "tight and snappy shooting," and give him new level and enemy design possibilities.</p><p>"This oversimplification of working in a two dimensional space makes room for more variety in other mechanics like the jump, which is more important now than it was in the original game," writes Madan.&nbsp;"This opens the door for enemy types and obstacles that understand the playing field better, I have a long list of enemies, traps and gizmos that populate the levels but I'll wait till later to share more about them."</p><p>The bit about jumps is ambiguous&mdash;I take it to mean there will be&nbsp;vertical space, but we won't be able to look up or down. (Update: Madan has&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/_vidhvat/status/651841951918985216" target="_blank">a little more to say</a> about it.)&nbsp;Madan also says that, though he can't guarantee that the sequel will come with a "production quality level editor" at release, he will be designing one for his own use, so it's a&nbsp;possibility.</p><p>Strangely, given the tone of Lovely Planet, its sequel will also replace the weird&nbsp;Sunshine Gun with "a dull grey nine millimeter handgun." That Madan&nbsp;admits the gun is&nbsp;dull suggests, at least, that there's more to the decision than we can see yet. The change is "for good reason," says Madan, adding that&nbsp;"the iconic rifle with the giant rotating star can't be matched."</p><p>There's no projected release date, but Madan notes that&nbsp;he still has time to&nbsp;"pack more fun into it" while his publisher remains focused on the original Lovely Planet.</p> Pathologic Classic HD is coming later this fallhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic-classic-hd-is-coming-later-this-fall/The HD "remaster" is separate from the Pathologic remake that was Kickstarted last year.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:40:15 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic-classic-hd-is-coming-later-this-fall/AdventureIce-Pick LodgeNewsPathologicVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DV02RsYR9Qg?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic/"></a></p><p>Originally released in 2005, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic/">Pathologic</a> is a first-person horror-adventure in which you play one of three characters investigating a plague that has gripped an ancient, isolated village in the Russian Steppe. Science can't help, prayer can't help, and most likely you can't help either, but here you are anyway. It's a game that inspires something similar to, but just short of, excitement in a very small number of gamers, for reasons <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic-remake-confirmed-will-launch-on-kickstarter-this-september/">Phil cited</a> a couple of years ago: It's interesting, ambitious, and intensely strange.&nbsp;</p><p>It was also, as he noted, broken in a great many ways, from straight-up bugs to wonky translations from the original Russian. It's why I have such high hopes for the Pathologic remake that was <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic-remake-hits-first-stretch-goal-enters-last-day-of-funding/">successfully Kicktarted</a> last year, and why I was really happy to learn that Pathologic Classic HD is on its way to <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/384110">Steam</a>, GOG, and Humble.</p><p> Pathologic Classic HD is a "fully remastered" do-over, with updated graphics, innumerable bug fixes, and a completely redone English script, with new voiceovers and restored dialog. That's really the biggest bit of news here; bugs can be fixed, after all, but pervasive incoherence is an entirely separate matter. The fact that the new English script is cited as the first enhancement on Steam&mdash;"The game has cast off the major issue that had previously disallowed international audiences from accessing it," it says&mdash;speaks volumes.</p><p>To be clear, this is an entirely separate release from the Pathologic remake, which developer Ice-Pick Lodge is still working on. Pathologic Classic HD is being handled by General Arcade, which has previously restored the original <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/225160/">Shadow Warrior</a> and <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/225140/">Duke Nukem 3D</a>. Ice-Pick Lodge said in a statement that it decided to re-release Pathologic because some elements of the remake "have strayed rather far from the original," and it doesn't want to exclude players who prefer the game in its original state.</p><p> "This way, the original Pathologic will always be available to you even if you come to disagree with the changes made in the Remake," the studio said. "And if you haven't played it at all, you'll have a chance to get to know the game that has defined us as a studio in a definitive way."</p><p> Pathologic Classic HD is slated to come out later this fall. Pricing hasn't been announced,</p> Defuse bombs with friends in Keep Talking And Nobody Explodeshttp://www.pcgamer.com/defuse-bombs-with-friends-in-keep-talking-and-nobody-explodes/Hopefully, anyway.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:31:16 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/defuse-bombs-with-friends-in-keep-talking-and-nobody-explodes/IndieNewsOculus Rift <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kkdbzFV1NoQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> We mentioned Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/put-on-the-oculus-rift-keep-talking-and-nobody-explodes/">at the start of last year</a>, back when it was just a wee&nbsp;<a href="http://globalgamejam.org/">game jam</a> baby. The full version comes out&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/341800/">on Steam</a> tomorrow.</p><p>Unsurprisingly, it's a game about talking: one player has to desperately describe a bomb to the other players, who are the only ones with the instructions to disarm it.&nbsp;</p><p> Which, simply put, sounds brilliant. While I've no doubt it'll be at its best with an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift/">Oculus rift</a>, VR is completely optional. I do&nbsp;like a good bomb&nbsp;defusing movie&nbsp;scene, and now I finally get to recreate them&nbsp;with all the tension and pressure that videogames can provide. It's so perfect I'm surprised no ones made a co-op bomb disposal game before.</p><p>Here's a full game on hardcore mode, played by scarily competent&nbsp;people who could probably defuse actual bombs.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5BhHkvHcUfo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> Deus Ex celebrates 15th birthday with animated trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-celebrates-15th-birthday-with-animated-trailer/Nobody made me a cartoon for my 15th.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:29:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-celebrates-15th-birthday-with-animated-trailer/Deus ExDeus Ex: Mankind DividedFPSNews <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HOcTxxyJJlw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It's been 15 years since the launch of the original Deus Ex, and to mark the occasion (and to set the scene for the&nbsp;upcoming&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided/">Mankind Divided</a>)&nbsp;Square Enix has made the animated trailer above.</p><p>We pretty much got all the same scene setting&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-officially-announced-with-trailer/">with the reveal trailer back in April</a>, so there's not much there in the way of new information. Nevertheless,&nbsp;it's still&nbsp;worth a watch for the pretty gold lights and grandiose conspiracy talk. It's all very Deus Ex.</p><p>For more Deus excitement, you can check out the E3 trailer&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-releases-in-early-2016/">here</a> and our breakdown of some of the new abilities&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/five-new-deus-ex-mankind-divided-abilities-revealed/">here</a>. Mankind Divided is out February 23, 2016.</p><p>Feel free to let me know in the comments if you spot anything tucked away in the new trailer.</p> The weighty doors and switches of Somahttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-weighty-doors-and-switches-of-soma/The excellent mouse system that everyone should copy.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:21:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weighty-doors-and-switches-of-soma/SOMAWhy I Love <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XS-4sQ83Ri2m.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GjnAILxjrty_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Soma" style="background-color: initial;"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">WHY I LOVE</h5> <p> In <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love/">Why I Love</a>, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Tom opens and closes drawers in Soma while giggling like a child.</p> </div><p> It took me a while to make it out of Soma's first room. Not because of monsters or scary noises&mdash;Soma starts in an ordinary apartment&mdash;but because your first task encourages you to rummage through the place using Frictional's delightful click-and-drag interactions. Instead of pressing the open button on a cupboard, you 'grab' it with left click, and drag it open. Let go of the mouse and the cupboard door drifts a little under its own momentum.</p><p> It's a small thing, but this column is frequently about small things that just work perfectly. The grabbed object doesn't just cling to your cursor, it lags behind your motion, creating a sense of weight, as though some physical effort is going into the action. The same applies to doors, cranks, and switches. Sometimes when you open a draw quickly, the things inside rattle and roll around. I'm still used to seeing game&nbsp;props as static, carefully placed clutter,&nbsp;unaffected&nbsp;by physics. Soma's packed, high-fidelity apartment feels intriguing. I want to look inside everything and throw cups on the floor.</p><p> Frictional knows how good it feels to poke around. Soma's convoluted locks and strange machines require more involved click-and-drag motions that evoke the delightful fiddling of&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/288160/">The Room</a>, a puzzle game that challenges you to&nbsp;break into beautiful impossible boxes by sliding tabs, rotating rune-inscribed surfaces and twiddling lenses.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qgDmHoYRSlOb.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3PnwwB0fyn7i.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Soma"></p><p> The Room was initially developed for touch control on iPads, but Frictional's games have been showing for years that similar interactions work very well with a mouse. It works because the&nbsp;dragging gesture&nbsp;vaguely emulates the real world motion, of course, though it does sometimes feel as though you're gently waving a door open like a&nbsp;lazy Jedi. Still, it's much more involving than a binary button press.&nbsp;I can imagine it working in virtual reality environments as well, where it's more important to counteract the&nbsp;weightless incorporeal nature of virtual objects</p><p>It might be a lot harder to implement than it looks, of course. A lot of physic clutter can lean heavily on system resources, which is why you rarely see such fidelity on a large sandbox scale. Nonetheless, this is one of those systems I'd like to see more games shamelessly copy. Maybe a rushed theft sim&mdash;Ready, Steady, Burgle!&mdash;or a chaotic high-poly team PvP version of Finders Keepers. There's always the entertaining chaos of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/job-simulator-makes-office-life-and-puking-a-blast-in-vr/">Job Simulator</a> to look forward to.</p> Prison Architect escapes Early Accesshttp://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escapes-early-access/Build your own sordid slammer.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:48:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escapes-early-access/IndieNewsPrison Architectsim <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fBCW8svKOgE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Prison Architect has finally&nbsp;tunneled its way out of Early Access, after 3 long years of additions and improvements. Check out the trailer above for the pitch, plus some stylish country scat.</p><p>With the now widespread popularity of the Early Access model, for many people&nbsp;this may well be one of those 'oh&nbsp;I thought that was out&nbsp;already' releases. If you're the type who likes to&nbsp;wait until devs tell you their game is 'done', however, this is your cue to start building some prisons.</p><p>There's been all sorts of excited chatter about&nbsp;Prison Architect since before the alpha was even available,&nbsp;Introversion blending&nbsp;free-form construction and personality into a compelling&nbsp;management sim. Look, like this:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O2dhP7-jRo-0.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cD7IGNnvJH6t.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Startrekprison"></p><p>I'm still waiting for the (sadly non-existent)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/democracy-3-review/" target="_blank">Democracy 3</a> tie in that lets you choose whether to&nbsp;give&nbsp;prisoners the right to vote.</p> Team Fortress 2 Invasion update lands todayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-invasion-update-lands-today/You can get a UFO drunk.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:43:44 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-invasion-update-lands-today/FPSNewsTeam Fortress 2Valve <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-yQlDnIAR14" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>In the latest of TF2's seemingly&nbsp;eternal supply of updates, the mercs are faced with their most outlandish threat yet.&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/invasion/" target="_blank">update</a> brings four new community created maps, some of them 'Invaded' versions of existing maps and others entirely new. The&nbsp;<a href="https://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Watergate">Watergate map</a> introduces a new 'player destruction' mode, in which both teams have to collect beer from dead players and deliver it to a UFO in the middle of the map.</p><p>It's set up in much the same way as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-update-ushers-in-contracts-new-maps-and-more/">Gun Mettle Update</a>, with an 'Invasion Community Update Pass' available from the store which gives you a coin that tracks kills on invaded maps for the month that the event lasts. You don't need to buy it to access the maps, and all the money raised goes to the update's community creators.</p><p>Buying the pass also makes you eligible for random drops of&nbsp;'Space Cases' that can contain anyone of a bunch of the new cosmetics that have also been added. When Valve have done&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-launches-operation-vanguard/">similar things with CS:GO</a>, I've often been able to make back the money by selling my first couple of crate drops&mdash;so long as it's in the first day or two before the price of them comes crashing down on the community market.</p><p>I still dip in to TF2 every now and then, and updates like this one are a great excuse for you to do the same.&nbsp;</p> Sonic Lost World coming to PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/sonic-lost-world-coming-to-pc/Gotta go fastWed, 07 Oct 2015 12:34:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/sonic-lost-world-coming-to-pc/ActionNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C7iUoBIxRIqE.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aJPiXzSkHNSN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Soniclostworldstonedcactus" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>A PC port of&nbsp;Sonic Lost World has been announced, with the release date set for November 2. Here's the info straight from the press release.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>Originally released for Wii U in 2013, the PC port of Sonic Lost World will feature full controller support, Steam Achievements, Cloud Save, leaderboard functionality, interchangeable keyboard prompts depending on whether you play with controller or mouse and keyboard and widescreen and high resolution implementation. More importantly though, it will feature the Nightmare DLC and the whole package will cost just £19.99/$24.99/€22.99.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>Sonic Lost World sees Dr. Eggman harnessing the power of six menacing creatures known as the Deadly Six, but when the Deadly Six rise up against their master, Sonic has to unite with his arch nemesis in order to take on the new enemies head-to-head. Using his dynamic new parkour moves and improved Colour Powers, Sonic must run, jump and race through a variety of ever changing terrains in order to defeat the Deadly Six.</em></p><p>I haven't played the Wii version, but&nbsp;I like the sound of "dynamic new parkour moves"&mdash;Sonic could really do with a new toolset to keep up with the competition. There's been a real focus on dynamic movement in games these past few years, with&nbsp;the likes of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmjJl2y1c7Q">Far Cry</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5WGkbBcRUk">Assassin's Creed</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOjVComJHeg">Dying Light</a> (and now&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecrafts-adventure-mode-is-getting-a-flying-cape/">Minecraft</a>) stealing Sonic's limelight.</p><p>Pre-ordering will net you a free copy of the excellent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tf2s-pyro-spy-and-heavy-join-sonic-all-stars-racing-transformed/">Sonic &amp; All-Stars Racing Transformed</a>, which is like Mario Kart but better and with planes and boats.&nbsp;</p> Hearts of Iron IV: streamlined WW2 strategyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hearts-of-iron-iv-streamlined-ww2-strategy/Just as complex, but far more accessible. Unleash the tanks!Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hearts-of-iron-iv-streamlined-ww2-strategy/Hearts of Iron 4Strategy <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yDfxFwQERGWi.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Wtv6P0M_BkpW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearts of Iron 4"></p><p>Hearts of Iron IV is a game that asks ‘what if?’ It’s a historical wargame featuring myriad ways for history to fork off into theoretical directions. What if France had declared war in response to Germany’s remilitarisation of the Rhineland? What if Poland had become part of the Axis? What if Einstein had gone back in time to&mdash;no, wait, that was Red Alert</p><p> Then there’s the biggest ‘what if’ of all. What if Paradox took its World War II grand strategy series and tidied it up with a clean, easy to understand interface? My own attempts to play Hearts of Iron III have always ended in failure, thanks largely to the nested menus, mess of icons and dry, text-heavy tutorial. There’s an interesting strategy game there, but it’s always felt out of reach.</p><p> Hearts of Iron IV is far simpler to understand. The primary interface is the main map and even compared to Paradox’s recent, more accessible grand strategies that interface has been further refined. For instance, players won’t be required to switch between multiple different map overlays. Instead, 90% of the action takes place on a single, scaling map screen that contains everything from political divisions to weather and terrain.</p><blockquote>Paradox is keen to avoid excessive micromanagement.</blockquote><p> The map shifts as you zoom in and out. At its widest level, you can see a political overview, letting you know who’s in control of each region. As you zoom back in, the abstracted elements fade away and the specifics of the map emerge. It’s a slick-looking system and a nice way to transition between high-level strategy and tactical options.</p><p>There are more tactical elements to consider, and returning ones such as the time of day and weather conditions have been improved. But&nbsp;Paradox is keen to avoid excessive micromanagement. There are more provinces, but they’re bundled into larger states, and construction is performed and managed at the state level, curtailing the busywork of production.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GE4pvjC5QU-7.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HFPZsvl7az31.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearts of Iron IV"></p><p>Every returning element has been similarly re-evaluated for size and scope&mdash;increasing the detail in some places, while reducing it in others. Air superiority is a telling example: more planes are being simulated, but they’re fighting over much larger zones to invoke a feeling of heroes in the skies turning the tide of battle. That wasn’t possible when each skirmish was being fought in a more granular airspace.</p><p> Troop orders are also given from the map. Zoomed out, you see your units stacked together based on the states they’ve occupied. Zoomed in, they separate out into each of their provinces.&nbsp;Unlike Paradox’s other grand strategies, victory in Hearts of Iron IV isn’t a matter of moving a huge stack of soldiers. Unit positioning is key and performed by ‘painting’ battle plans. These let you evenly space troops across a single front. From there, you can create arrows into enemy territory that your divisions will follow. You can also alter movement on the fly, giving you the chance to encircle the enemy’s territory.</p><p> By simplifying the interface, Paradox has shifted the action to what makes grand strategy games exciting: the big ‘what if’ questions. HoI IV will also let the player tailor the AI’s preference for historical accuracy. Historical mode ensures a computer-controlled France won’t suddenly develop a fondness for fascism.</p><p> It gives you the chance to shape the war according to your own historical tweaks. Alternatively you can turn it off&mdash;plunging the world into a more chaotic conflict with a less predictable outcome. Hearts of Iron IV may only simulate about ten years of history, but Paradox wants to fill that timespan with an enormous amount of breadth and replayability.</p> Minecraft's Adventure Mode is getting a flying capehttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecrafts-adventure-mode-is-getting-a-flying-cape/Take to the skies in the next Minecraft Snapshot.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:22:12 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecrafts-adventure-mode-is-getting-a-flying-cape/AdventureMinecraftMojangNews <p> You've always been able to take flight in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft/">Minecraft'</a>s creative mode, but in a forthcoming update Mojang will roll out a new cape for the sandbox's Adventure Mode. This cape will allow flight, and judging by the animated .gif below it'll be a much more graceful and fluid mode of traversal than Creative's stilted method.</p><p> Check it out:</p><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/LeadingIndolentGangesdolphin" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="610" height="480" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> That .gif is via Mojang's Jens Bergensten. He&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/jeb_">Tweeted</a> that the cape folds when your character is standing on solid ground, and is a findable object: ie, you can't craft it. It's due to come in the next Minecraft Snapshot, which hasn't been dated yet.</p><p>As you wait, why not check out this work-in-progress attempt to get&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-genius-building-working-pokemon-game-one-block-at-a-time/">Pokemon running in Minecraft</a>?</p><h1></h1> Don't be too intimidated by Battlefront's recommended specshttp://www.pcgamer.com/dont-be-too-intimidated-by-battlefronts-recommended-specs/We testedStar Wars Battlefront to see how demanding it is.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:10:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dont-be-too-intimidated-by-battlefronts-recommended-specs/FPSStar Wars Battlefront <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FVgWdjJyRL27.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/97LZ0rkfYLC6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Starwarsbattlefront 2015-10-06 15-19-04-94"></p><p>My work PC, which I mostly use for writing and cluttering with open browser tabs, runs like crap. Its specs are decent&mdash;a Core i7-990X @ 3.47GHz, 12 GB of RAM, and a Radeon R7 260X&mdash;but I've been using it since 2011 and it's a bit of a mess, and the R7 260X isn't exactly top-of-the-line. With early access to the Star Wars Battlefront beta today, I took my abused, four-year-old PC to Tatooine to see how it fared given the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-system-requirements-released/">high recommended system requirements</a>.</p><p>It survived. With all graphics settings on 'Ultra' at 1080p, I was getting 30-48 fps. Dropping them down to 'High' and 'Medium' got me between 40-55. On 'Low,' I was hovering just above 60, occasionally dropping below. That's not <em>great</em>, but Battlefront doesn't look totally awful&nbsp;on&nbsp;'Low.' It's not as crisp,&nbsp;you lose lighting complexity, and there's some annoying geometry pop-in,&nbsp;but it's not like it turns into Dark Forces or anything. The only thing I didn't test is what happens if there are a ton of characters on-screen.</p><p>But considering that the recommended specs call for 16GB RAM and a Radeon R9 290 4GB or GeForce GTX 970, I thought it'd do worse. It was quick to start up, I had no problems alt-tabbing, and while lower than desirable, the framerates were stable&mdash;I didn't notice any big&nbsp;dips. If it's 60 or&nbsp;144&nbsp;fps or nothing for you, then yeah, you'll absolutely need a newer GPU. It's definitely&nbsp;a demanding game, but&nbsp;an R7 260X is actually a tier below the minimum recommended HD 7850, and it was plenty playable.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ngR7IolbRw6Q.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Dk1PTbmtlUdK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront with all graphics settings on 'Low.'" class=""> <figcaption>Battlefront with all graphics settings on 'Low.'</figcaption></figure><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VkNZmsQ8SQuz.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4VeTr5Df8dzu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront with all graphics settings on 'Ultra.'" class=""> <figcaption>Battlefront with all graphics settings on 'Ultra.'</figcaption></figure><p>But what if you have an even older card? Unfortunately, I don't have&nbsp;a lower-end desktop on hand&nbsp;to test Battlefront on, but I <em style="background-color: initial;">do</em> have a laptop. This little&nbsp;guy's got an Intel Core i7-4800MQ @ 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, and a&nbsp;GeForce GTX 765M. It didn't do quite so well. It was totally stable, but couldn't&nbsp;manage more than 28 fps and mostly sat at around 17 with the graphics on 'Low.' That's what I expected.</p><p>The minimum specs seem pretty close to the true bare minimum you want:&nbsp;an&nbsp;Intel i3 6300T, 8GB RAM, and a&nbsp;GeForce GTX 660/Radeon HD 7850.&nbsp;As for the recommended specs, though,&nbsp;I definitely don't think a GTX 970 is required for 1080p/60fps. Once the beta is available to the public and a bunch of systems are running it, we'll know&nbsp;what sort of card you want to be looking at depending on your desired resolution and framerate.</p><p>A few other things to note: there's&nbsp;a&nbsp;resolution scale setting that goes from 25% to 200%&nbsp;for easy up and&nbsp;downsampling, and&nbsp;yes, there is an FOV slider, though it adjusts&nbsp;vertical FOV, so finding your usual preference will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rjdown.co.uk/projects/bfbc2/fovcalculator.php" target="_blank">take some calculating</a>.&nbsp;There are also colorblindness settings for deuteranopia, protanopia, and tritanopia, which I'm glad to see.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9ZKiHnI7Rx-9.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AEP7pJVAATV_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The FOV at its lowest setting." class=""> <figcaption>The FOV at its lowest setting.</figcaption></figure><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MQCECRurSQ-e.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6i59Y3BaBbDS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The FOV at its highest setting." class=""> <figcaption>The FOV at its highest setting.</figcaption></figure><p>The keybindings are, of course, remappable, and the HUD is customizable and can be fully turned off (good for habitual pretty&nbsp;screenshot takers). There's a toggle between stereo and&nbsp;5.1/7.1 surround sound, as well as wide, medium, narrow, and 'headphone' dynamic range settings.</p><p>As for playing the actual thing, all I've done is jump into survival mode alone. I had&nbsp;fun blasting stormtroopers, but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/touring-the-simple-spectacular-battlefields-star-wars-battlefront/" target="_blank">Sam's coverage</a> is where you want to look to get some in-depth&nbsp;impressions. I'm just here to tell you that Battlefront has nice-looking rocks and didn't melt my PC.</p> This War of Mine gets revamped Scenario Editor, modding tools forthcominghttp://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-gets-revamped-scenario-editor-modding-tools-forthcoming/Steam Workshop support included.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 01:30:18 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-gets-revamped-scenario-editor-modding-tools-forthcoming/NewsStrategySurvivalThis War of Mine <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ay19Xs_DT8KE.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SVqwAVT1uNUm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="This War Of Mine"></p><p>Fans of oppressively miserable survival games rejoice, because creating diabolical scenarios in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-review/">This War of Mine</a> is now a lot easier. The recently rolled out&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/282070/announcements/detail/87050215193050677">patch 1.4</a> has implemented Steam Workshop support, allowing users to share the scenarios they create in the game's editor. That editor has been updated as well, with "more diverse" characters. More details on that in the video below.</p><p>Interestingly, 11 Bit Studios is also working on modding tools, which the spokesperson says will offer "lots of new possibilities" for creating stories in the game. In the meantime,&nbsp;it's worth browsing what's already on the Workshop using the built-in editor, including this&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=530698079">Gabe Newell mod</a>. It was inevitable, but boy was that quick.</p><p>If you've not played This War of Mine yet, you should. "A stark statement about war delivered through deftly designed stealth survival and resource management. Important, but unrelentingly cruel," Tamoor Hussain wrote&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-review/">in his review</a>.</p><iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dKxg6of03BE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> The PC Gamer Show: guest Paul Neurath, Far Cry Primalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-guest-paul-neurath-far-cry-primal_Podcast/We were joined by legendary game designer Paul Neurath, along with Joe Fielder, to talk about their newest game, Underworld Ascendant.Wed, 07 Oct 2015 00:49:39 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-guest-paul-neurath-far-cry-primal_Podcast/podcastThe PC Gamer ShowUnderworld Ascendant Metal Gear Solid 5 update adds "FOB insurance" paid for with real moneyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-update-adds-fob-insurance-paid-for-with-real-money/Tired of jerks stealing your stuff? Get some insurance!Tue, 06 Oct 2015 22:47:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-update-adds-fob-insurance-paid-for-with-real-money/KonamiMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sYXIq-aqQyCe.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/w3b_RkVIWRXf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain"></p><p>Forward Operating Bases are a core element of the multiplayer action in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v/">Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain</a>. They are, as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLoge6QzcGY">George Carlin</a> put it, a place for your stuff; every player has one, and&mdash;this is where it gets interesting&mdash;you can bust into other players' FOBs and take their stuff for your own. Of course, other players can do the same to you, and being burgled by a super soldier&nbsp;isn't as&nbsp;much fun when you're on the receiving end, is it? </p><p>Players who are tired of dealing with losing their stuff may now take advantage of "FOB Insurance," a new service added to the game as part of the latest update. Other players can still take your stuff, but if you have insurance, then the stuff they take will actually remain on your base. Everything is effectively doubled: They get your stuff, but you get to keep your stuff. It's like magic!</p><p>The downside is that, just like real-life insurance, it's not a once-and-done deal. Instead, you'll have to maintain a subscription to the service with "MB Coins," which are purchased with&mdash;you guessed it&mdash;real money. It's possible to earn the coins in-game, but the process is very slow&mdash;daily bonuses vary but are generally quite tiny&mdash;and according to a <a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1120872&amp;page=2">NeoGAF</a> user, insurance isn't cheap: A single day of insurance costs 50 coins, three days is 100 coins, a week is 200 coins, and two weeks is 300 coins. Furthermore, not everything is covered: Stuff that isn't fully yours, wounded staff, staffed deployed in defense of your FOB, and nuclear weapons will not be covered by the policy.</p><p>But the real bite, I think it's safe to say, is that this exists at all. Konami specifically designed the MGS5 multiplayer experience&nbsp;around this element of competition between bases&mdash;you take my stuff, I take yours&mdash;and now, for a price, are offering a way to avoid most of the negative consequences of being on the losing end of a fight. People are free to spend their money in whatever way they see fit, but this strikes me as very much on the sketchy side of the microtransaction spectrum: Optional, sure,&nbsp;but hardcore&nbsp;players may feel like it's a necessity to have.</p><p>The update also&nbsp;brings a number of other changes to the game, including developer-generated "Event FOB" missions, a greater range of missions in Combat Deployment (Online) with better and more varied rewards, new weapons and a new top-tier performance grade, night vision equipment for your security staff, a proper "ghost mode" for FOB infiltration that enables stealthy players to do an entire FOB mission without alerting the enemy player, an option to reduce the amount of time required for FOB expansions (also paid for with MB Coins), and various smaller tweaks and fixes. </p><p>We recently <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/stealing-from-defenseless-mgs-players-isnt-as-fun-as-i-hoped/">took a closer look</a> at the pre-update state of the&nbsp;FOB multiplayer mode, and came away from the experience not entirely satisfied. It's a cool idea, but "doesn’t feel aligned with what’s great about the game... As a standalone mode it could work, given more nuance in terms of how players personalize their bases and interact. Right now, FOBbin’ is too inconsistent to recommend." Perhaps the update will help address some of those shortcoming.</p><p>The new Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain update is slated to go live today. Full details are up at <a href="http://www.konami.jp/mgs5/tpp/en/news/day30.php5">Konami.jp</a>.</p> Cyberpunk 2077 will be even bigger than The Witcher 3http://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077-will-be-even-bigger-than-the-witcher-3/The cyberpunk RPG will be the biggest thing CD Projekt has ever done.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 21:19:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077-will-be-even-bigger-than-the-witcher-3/CD ProjektCyberpunk 2077NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BCdSA-s4RmaX.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xokuf0J4owBl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="cyberpunk_new"></p><p>CD Projekt pledged earlier this year to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cd-projekt-stays-mum-on-cyberpunk-2077/">keep quiet</a> about its next RPG project, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077/">Cyberpunk 2077</a>, and so far it's done a good job of sticking to&nbsp;that promise. Recently, however, visual effects artist Jose Teixeira let slip that it's going to be a big game&mdash;even bigger than The Witcher 3.</p><p>"Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before," Teixeira told <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/cd-projekt-red-cyberpunk-2077-is-far-far-bigger-than-the-witcher-3/0156903">MCV</a>. "Far, far bigger. We're really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter."</p><p>That sounds mildly alarming, like the sort of thing Brent Spiner might say upon learning that the Earth is being invaded by hostile aliens. Fortunately, Teixeira said <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/">The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt</a>, which was a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-revealed-an-open-world-rpg-bigger-than-skyrim/">massive undertaking</a> in its own right, helped prepare the studio to take on such an enormous job.</p><p>"If anything, working on The Witcher 3 was a really good and often brutal learning experience. Cyberpunk is going to benefit greatly from it. I can almost guarantee it," he said. "I have a lot of things that I want to change and do better the next time around, and I can guarantee that almost everyone in that studio has something that they go, 'I did this this time, next time I can do it differently, I can do it better'."</p><p>Alas, there's still no hint of a release date, although Teixeira said the studio is aiming to have it out by 2077. I suspect he wasn't being entirely serious.</p> Here's the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt "Hearts of Stone" launch trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/heres-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-hearts-of-stone-launch-trailer/"Not dying does not mean eternally living your life to the full."Tue, 06 Oct 2015 21:17:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-hearts-of-stone-launch-trailer/CD ProjektNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild HuntVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ffdxS9R6NTE?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> One thing you can't deny about CD Projekt: It gives good trailer. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-trailer-shows-carefully-choreographed-combat/">Killing Monsters</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-launch-cinematic-is-here/">A Night to Remember</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/old-friends-return-in-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-launch-trailer/">Go Your Way</a>, and even the old Cyberpunk 2077 <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077-trailer-mass-murdering-robot-lady-versus-cyborg-cop/">teaser</a> and Witcher 2 <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-2-enhanced-edition-trailer-shows-assassination-on-ice-bombed-boat/">intro</a> are fine bits of digital cinema that I enjoy watching entirely for their own sake. The launch trailer for the Witcher 3 expansion Hearts of Stone is a little different from those, since it's more focused on a specific element of Geralt's adventures, but that also makes it more interesting because it's a much more specific look at what he&mdash;that is, you&mdash;will be getting into.&nbsp;</p><p>We got some <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/love-giant-frog-monsters-and-ghost-parties-in-the-witcher-3s-first-expansion/">hands-on time</a> with Hearts of Stone last month, and between the giant frogs, wedding crashers, the return of Shani, and a guy who's surprisingly hard to kill (even though he's not named Geralt), it sounds like a lot of fun. And that's just the first two hours! But <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-expansion-hearts-of-stone-starts-at-level-30/">high-level</a> monster-hunters only, please. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt "Hearts of Stone" comes out on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-hearts-of-stone-expansion-release-date-announced/">October 13</a>.</p> Stealing from defenseless MGS5 players isn't as fun as I hopedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/stealing-from-defenseless-mgs-players-isnt-as-fun-as-i-hoped/In which Big Boss becomes a Big Bully after a series of FOB invasions.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 20:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/stealing-from-defenseless-mgs-players-isnt-as-fun-as-i-hoped/Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainStealth <figure><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/qEVthhiJDkJMQ3cuVvxCrVrMr2exYTVPUygVgabZWRiG4G5ytgaVmPofGZ5VtOWCm6Pph8TvBy2C_7yxRLMJP6YSrU202jZqmZfDKJlwGIOQp-wO-y5Lz_pb2E7Mb26FvmNI4slt" width="441px;" height="248px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad); background-color: initial;" alt="Putting on my FOBbin' face. " class=""> <figcaption>Putting on my FOBbin' face. </figcaption></figure><p> Metal Gear Solid 5 is already a sprawling&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-review/" target="_blank">stealth masterpiece</a>, but less discussed is its FOB multiplayer mode. Players have an opportunity to build Forward Operating Bases, which function as risky but rewarding extensions of their Mother Base. You can invade other player’s FOBs and steal their stuff, so long as you can sneak by their guards and defensive gadgetry. Get discovered and&nbsp;that player can enter the fight and try to take you out. Fail completely, and they can invade your FOB at a chance for revenge. If you get in and out undetected, they can’t retaliate.</p><p> After finishing the campaign, I set out to see if FOB invasions were more than just a novel idea, but in my heart, I knew I was heading out there to make sure my rivals would remember the name Barb: Cosmic Mom.</p><h2>Operation Pipe Dream</h2><p> I’m targeting a mid-level Medical Pavilion, my first choice for a reason: it’s not guarded by drones, cameras, or IR sensors&mdash;at least that I can see. So far, I’ve only seen an outfit of ill-equipped guards and myself. Reaching the base core should be a cinch. I take a few steps before an on-screen notification informs me that my rival, The Joy is approaching. I panic.</p><p> My first good idea is to climb one of those large pipes and remain there motionless until I win. My second is realizing that this is not a good idea, so I dislodge myself from the pipe and am spotted immediately. My last good idea is to use my immense upper-body strength to hang precariously from the side of the base over the open ocean.</p><p> <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_fPIJLyfA_q6X_BOgNhruj4nngGsHSWEiAtorSX1L7G3ycGAGSJoQScsvK9xUTj7EIYoxiEVm9f1CbK5Y1vpaW4WwJ1SSFBerBio2ZqN_qkMpLFHiTmZCTkY0_SOSQgvK2dr--33" width="447px;" height="252px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);"></p><p> My rival's feet clank on the walkways above. They’re sprinting aimlessly, shooting at the sky. My decision to hang from the first floor railing on the edge of their FOB wasn’t without reason. I can’t be spotted easily from here, and luring guards down to this platform only to pop up and blow them into the ocean with C4 has technically kept me alive and hidden. I’m not sure that sending those boys to their watery death qualifies as espionage exactly, but what is stealth, truly? For them, it was a life of indentured servitude or the long sleep. My human and robot hands are clean. This is stealth. I am a stealth master.</p><p>I hang off the edge for 20 minutes, listening to The Joy take pot shots at the sky. Magazine after magazine, emptied into nothing. A timer ticks down on-screen. If it gets to zero, I lose. A stealth master can’t lose.</p><p> I let go and join The Joy’s boys.</p><h2>Operation Wormholed</h2><p> The next four invasions followed a similar pattern. Perhaps I was selling myself short. Sure, I failed a series of simple level 14 invasions, but maybe I stunted my natural skill and instinct by setting my sights so low. Why not start from the top? I invaded a level 40 platform.</p><figure><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9-VBmeSEf2EKd6sW-9pyse1NZHD2jJyy5ev-XADcPjsXyyOGc24UdAAGn5p5Zi338SATIrtCECWHIRQOQYrJFOxa-rO82Kr0GAYmyorI0wDwE_GYoHm8h910M8SChWKu_TrHYhCL" width="484px;" height="303px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);" alt="My signature strategy." class=""><figcaption>My signature strategy.</figcaption></figure><p> I revisit the climb-a-pipe-and-win plan, but it fails again. A tranquilizer dart hits me from somewhere offscreen and I fall down, which ignites a small quicktime event. The Y-button nearly melts under my thumb and I shake the control stick as my eyelids close in blurry first-person perspective. There’s a metaphor here about my enthusiasm.</p><p> Sprinting aimlessly only draws more attention. I see pipes, I resist. Somehow I manage to fulton two containers and a guard before my rival, The Leviathan, pops into the game to defend their base. Again, from somewhere offscreen a smoke thing hits me. I continue my get up and run strategy, albeit with a bit more urgency knowing The Leviathan is out there. The smoke follows, a drone shoots from above, everything on screen becomes oversaturated and blurred, and a final tranq knocks me to the ground. My rival appears and fultons me into a wormhole.</p><p> <img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/4HYop7tTCy8lfWHE0_RPyY6OBVqmmeYvF0G0DIyyfyIKE9Di3Vm4u8ZswPe6BrsenrbUA42wF_jn6pedUBk_kTxIANkEdDBleS_KLaeNx0YTkS1TT6eCEpoTHdGu9-0UEdnPrtby" width="481px;" height="296px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);"></p><p> After a few more failures on higher-level bases, I give up for the day. But it wasn’t my fault, the game is just unfair. If drones outfitted with cameras circle the base, guards can spot you from across the map and fill you with tranqs or lather you with smoke, then I’m not to blame, right?</p><h2>Operation Gunk Junker</h2><p> My inability to win is eating away at my confidence. If I can’t succeed in a single FOB encounter, what does that say about me? In order to succeed (and to prevent a meltdown) I have to redefine success itself. So naturally, I prey on some brand new players.</p><p> Before I tackle my next FOB to prove to the rest of PC&nbsp;Gamer that&nbsp;I'm a Real Gamer, I rearrange my staff to their optimal positions. The process is automated, so it usually means your security unit is emptied out and leveled down in favor of boosting the vital single-player units. NowWhen I search for FOBs with a low-level security unit, there are nothing but low-level, empty bases to invade&mdash;MGS5’s own rudimentary form of matchmaking. Convenient.</p><p> The next eight invasions all play out the same way: I climb a pipe, dislodge from the pipe, and ‘sneak’ to the base core, a victory condition. A bunch of screens show me data and tell me I did a good job. Various numbers associated with persistent game stuff and leaderboard information I can’t parse beeps and grows. I feel good.</p><figure><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/ULmtuUSJnvGen89s70R-aEeglF1RTTlNXfJEfRpX0tCO9PvOwdS-655Ic8HGeDwf3sAy2itC1AFBo3jCqhqE44XG4Cqnky0oKmxrjwDWzCJEP4p9maKRJBuvgb6sgSbJwqgtBAic" width="416px;" height="292px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);" alt="The game tries to fade to black before you can appreciate Big Boss’ smile. A stealth crime." class=""><figcaption>The game tries to fade to black before you can appreciate Big Boss’ smile. A stealth crime.</figcaption></figure><p> Most of the bases I invade during The Weak Streak still have a default “DD” emblem. Chances are, they barely started playing the game. I began to project. Maybe these are good folks, working late to support their family of four to fourteen Mother Base recruits. Metal Gear was the one game they bought this year. Imagine: they’re pining all day for a few minutes with Big Boss, and the first thing they see upon loading in is a notification that Barb: Cosmic Mom rolled in like a sneaky mean guy, gunked up their junk, and they can’t do a damn thing about it.</p><p> What monster is this?</p><h2>Mission Debriefing </h2><p>I am not a stealth master. Turns out, I was barking up the wrong tree&mdash;or, climbing up the wrong pipe. FOB mode is strictly for the bossest bosses, and I’m still a clumsy stealth boy. But that I only found real fun by stepping outside of the mode’s intended methods of play isn't only because I was bad a tiptoeing (but maybe a little), it’s a reflection of the mode’s well-intended, but half-baked ideas.</p><p> FOB invasions are a novel, but super niche affair. Finding an FOB that poses a fair challenge feels like a crapshoot. There might be low-level bases with a few soldiers that, if alerted, pose a huge threat. On the other hand, there may be a high-level base stocked with no soldiers, but all sorts of gadgetry that's relatively easy to disable or skirt around. And what each base is stocked with resource-wise doesn’t seem related to their defenses.</p><blockquote> Finding an FOB that poses a fair challenge feels like a crapshoot. </blockquote><p> The onus is on the defending player to stock their FOBs with adequate soldiers and defenses, but since they’re buried so deep in the single-player game’s progression, most bases will be insufficiently defended. Conversely, players who are deep into the FOB mode will have bases that are seemingly impossible to infiltrate. I found it hard to find a base somewhere between the extremes. For the few hardcore FOBbers, I’m sure they’re happy. For the happy-go-lucky, lackadaisical stealth children of the world, you’re best off playing around in the open world or waiting for a more refined take on the mode.</p><figure><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/UsKVgdBuhNJQ-odTnKUNAq1uLGwEN04uobJqRJrx2zlUOdJHz_lXhjxiwp1Wm6KEJZCnwA7GjrPSmBRTDKY-0f5jkqbjx-Ie8jqB-VVlgiffmrCMNjb9RXTCFRSUh6dzuaQ2jrih" width="451px;" height="253px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);" alt="Coward Chicken didn't deserve this." class=""><figcaption>Coward Chicken didn't deserve this.</figcaption></figure><p> I love the idea of invading a stranger's base and wrecking something they built. There's a teenage vandal sensibility at play, with a real risk of retaliation.&nbsp;But the mode comes in too late during the single-player campaign to support an involved, diverse player base, and customizing your defenses is too restrained for any of it to feel personal or worthwhile. As it stands, FOB invasions are a cool addition that don’t harm the rest of MGS5, the implementation just doesn’t feel aligned with what’s great about the game. None of it feels playful and any small error is severely punished, which may be fair, but expect everyone but the most skilled to jump ship. As a standalone mode it could work, given more nuance in terms of how players personalize their bases and interact. Right now, FOBbin’ is too inconsistent to recommend.</p><p> Hope remains: Incremental updates are coming and MGS5 has yet to launch its fully-featured multiplayer mode. Metal Gear Online, on PC in January 2016, looks to be more traditional in the way it pits teams of players against one another, and from the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-online-video-shows-classes-tactics-fulton-extraction/">footage we’ve seen</a> so far, it appears to embrace the inventiveness and variety from the single-player campaign. Let's just hope the only way for me to win isn't by picking on inexperienced players.</p> How to overclock your AMD processorhttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-amd-cpu-processor/Hungry for performance from your AMD rig between now and Zen? Prod your processor for an instant overclock upgrade.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-amd-cpu-processor/AMDHardwareOverclocking <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7NB5W-YNRBKB.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B_q8DZh3GQwm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="" class=""> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">What about intel?</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mMEDJ42wT5qG.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KLTcbjS_fQfX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Intel Broadwell Cpu"> </p> <p> Looking for advice on overclocking an Intel CPU? We've got you covered.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-your-cpu-processor/">Here's our Intel overclocking guide.</a> </p> </div><p>With AMD’s new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/amds-next-gen-zen-cpu-due-in-2016/">Zen architecture</a> delayed until late next year and <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd-officially-unveils-its-carrizo-apu/">Carrizo</a> a virtual no-show for desktops, enthusiasts looking for more performance from current AMD systems need to take matters into their own hands. Fortunately, there’s plenty of extra headroom to be found in AMD’s current processor lineup, if you have the tools and know-how to extract it.</p><p> The recently released <a href="http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Processors-3-9GHz-Socket-AD787KXDJCBOX/dp/B00Y1AJLS2">A10-7870K</a> is Kaveri’s refresh and the perfect CPU pick for this guide. Dubbed Godavari by engineers and enthusiasts alike, it’s designed from the ground up for overclocking, with a spec sheet that reads like a greatest hits album from AMD. While we’ll be focusing on the A10-7870K for this guide, these same basic overclocking techniques can be used for most modern AMD CPUs. Only the voltages and iGPU data change per the features of each specific model.</p><p> With a high voltage tolerance and improved thermal design, Godavari pushes clockspeeds several hundred MHz higher than Kaveri and responds well to third-party air and water cooling. The name may sound like heaven, but this chip goes like the devil.</p><p> Motherboards play an outsized role in AMD overclocking results, far greater than their Intel counterparts. Realizing the full potential of an AMD build requires a high-quality, digital VRM implementation and a flexible BIOS since there are so many clockspeed dials to twist.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/etJ9Zx3lS6-m.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-xsM7zjvlfhr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Asus’s A88x Pro is the perfect partner in crime for APU overclocking." class=""><figcaption>Asus’s A88x Pro is the perfect partner in crime for APU overclocking.</figcaption></figure><p> This has both upsides and downsides. If you didn’t pull the best chip in the silicon lottery, your motherboard can still compensate and provide an impressive overclock if component quality is up to snuff. Of course if you go cheap, be prepared for that decision to drag you down no matter how good any CPU sample turns out to be. The ASUS A88x Pro used here is the top pick for FM2+ in our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-gaming-motherboards/">motherboard guide</a> and serves as an excellent foundation for any APU-based system.</p><p> APU aficionados also have memory speed to keep in mind. An afterthought on most platforms, fast DRAM is critically important for integrated GPUs to flex their muscle. A pair of GSKILL’s easily overclockable <a href="http://www.gskill.com/en/product/f3-2400c10q-16gtx">TridentX DDR3 sticks</a> rated at 2400 MHz filled this role admirably, providing all the bandwidth Godavari’s IMC (integrated memory controller) could handle during testing. When you add it all up, there’s a whole a lot more than cores to consider when overclocking AMD.</p><p>Note: if you're new to PC tweaking in general and there are a whole lot of words and acronyms in here you don't understand, pull up our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-visual-pc-parts-guide/">visual PC parts guide</a> as a reference.</p><h3>Where to start: BIOS, board makers or AMD?</h3><p> First on that list of considerations is picking the right overclocking tool for the tuning job ahead. BIOS overclocks are generally preferable for stability, but there are exceptions and FM2+ happens to be one of them. Incorrect temperature readings and ignored voltage settings were common complaints with early BIOS implementations on many motherboards and frequently repeat themselves when new APUs are released. Fortunately the situation has improved, but if BIOS overclocking yield poor results, don’t be discouraged. There are alternatives.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yW089eoPS6qZ.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KGk86hj8IRmy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deeper BIOS options are nowhere to be found but Overdrive covers all the basics, along with some handy extras." class=""><figcaption>Deeper BIOS options are nowhere to be found but Overdrive covers all the basics, along with some handy extras.</figcaption></figure><p> AMD’s free <a href="http://www.amd.com/en-us/innovations/software-technologies/technologies-gaming/over-drive">Overdrive</a> software distills most overclocking controls into a desktop utility and includes handy benchmark and stability tests alongside the basics for quick feedback during tuning sessions. There are practical advantages as well; Overdrive provides more granular control over iGPU clocks than ASUS’s BIOS normally allows, for example. No need for reboots either, as most changes take effect as soon as they are applied.</p><p> The utility also features a reasonably accurate core temperature monitor, one of the few available that reports newer model APU thermals properly. It’s worth installing for this feature alone.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eBxqRYSUQySi.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/37DejPDguvtD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="OverdriveTemps"></p><p> If neither of these options appeal, there’s always the motherboard manufacturer’s own overclocking suite. These packages are hit and miss, but like Overdrive they often provide additional features and produce different results than BIOS tuning, so they may be worth exploring when other methods come up short.&nbsp;</p><p> For example, ASUS’s desktop AISuite includes more tuning options than Overdrive and includes the easy-to-use FanExpert software, which can increase overclocking results indirectly by improving heat dissipation.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/73LfyuVyS4Ob.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hbv8-a-G4Vl0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AISuiteScreens"></p><h3>Time to turn the clocks forward</h3><p> Overclocking procedures start with the same basics used on Intel platforms. Clear any fan obstructions, vacuum up dust and check to make sure heat sinks are seated properly. Since AMD’s stock thermal modules are barely adequate for normal operations, much less overclocking, you’ll want to go with a $20-30 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-20PK-R2/dp/B005O65JXI">Coolermaster Hyper212 Evo</a> or similar cooler as a starting point. Don’t begrudge the investment; good cooling solutions are a requirement for any overclocked platform.</p><p> If your case supports a side panel fan, consider adding it even if no discrete graphics card is planned. The extra ventilation across the motherboard helps keep VRMs and other components cool.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Update your bios</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/z1hu77CjQiOs.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/j9202wy0D2k4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BIOS Save profiles" style="background-color: initial;"> </p> </div><p> Godavari prefers temperatures under 72c but most other AMD processors such as the FX line have much lower thresholds for heat, usually around 65c or so. Monitor temperatures carefully as you tune your system and dial back settings if they start going overboard.</p><p> Boot into BIOS and save or record any current settings in case you need to return to them later. Most motherboards have an option to save profiles locally, but you can always just take a photo of the screen for a quick and dirty copy.</p><p> While you’re here, make sure the latest BIOS version is installed, especially when running new APUs. Most AMD motherboards were released well before Kaveri and its variants came to market, and require BIOS updates to recognize and support these CPUs properly. Once that’s done, it’s time to open the throttle.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-amd-cpu-processor/#page-2">On the next page: How to reach a stable CPU and memory overclock.</a></p><h3></h3><h3> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7NB5W-YNRBKB.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B_q8DZh3GQwm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A88XFM2Socket"></p></h3><h3>Know your limits</h3><p> FM2+ is a tweaking dream platform aimed directly at budget-conscious gamers. APU setups have plenty of clocks to crank and enough headroom to keep enthusiasts happily twirling dials for a month of weekends. Intel offers better overall performance, but Skylake’s more restrictive platform experience and higher costs take a lot of fun out of the tuning and exploration process.</p><p> That said, there are some limits to keep in mind when overclocking Godavari. The upper ceiling for stable CPU core performance is around <strong>4.6–4.8 GHz</strong>, with the integrated GPU giving up at 1Ghz and memory flaking out beyond 2400MHz. Higher numbers are possible with pricey cooling solutions or excellent samples, but this represents the bulk of Godavari’s meaningful potential, and performance gains trail off sharply past this point.</p><h3>Setting the Stage</h3><p> To prep, disable turbo and sleep modes in BIOS and set a manual voltage of 1.48, which is default for the A10-7870K. Remember that other APUs will be able to handle different voltages; Kaveri defaults at 1.35 volts.</p><p> Leave the BCLK at 100 for now and select “Auto” for memory and Northbridge speeds. Integrated GPU settings should be&nbsp;left at 866 (default) or auto. Most of these numbers will see a bump later, but first we need to establish the CPU’s top operating frequency.</p><p> Next, change Load Line Calibration (LLC) to “high” for the CPU and the CPU/NB. Raise the current capability of both to 110–120% to cover any potential overclocking needs. Also set DRAM phase control to High. Some of these options will increase CPU temperature, but Godavari’s superior thermal characteristics mean heat isn’t as big a problem for the platform as in the past. Thermals should remain manageable assuming you're using a decent cooler.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qlHC7roRQ_yG.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fa82GJLgRNub.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BIOSInitialTuneSetup01"></p><h3>Multiplier Manipulations</h3><p> Starting with 42 (one over turbo), gradually increase the multiplier and test the results after each change with a quick benchmark using a system tool like <a href="http://www.aida64.com/">AIDA64</a>. APUs at the limit frequently display soft crashing behavior, such as application abnormalities or drops to the desktop, rather than blue screens or hard reboots, so stick around to observe a few benchmark runs for any glitches that indicate instability that won’t show up on test results.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Stability testing</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3RY_mE_qR4i0.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lpGgNQi-U0mB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AIDA64StablityTest01" style="background-color: initial;"> </p> </div><p> Overclocked APUs are power hungry so if you start experiencing lock-ups while testing, try increasing voltage to the CPU slightly. This should help stabilize borderline overclocks. Don’t push Godavari vcore past 1.53–1.55 to avoid damage to the CPU.</p><p> Problems generally start to creep in around 4.5 GHz. Find the sweet spot and stress test with AIDA64’s system stability tool. Once you have a stable multiplier, reduce it by one to share a bit of overhead with the rest of the APU’s subsystems and reboot into BIOS.</p><p> Now it’s time to tune memory.</p><h3>Total Recall – Memory comes before iGPU</h3><p> DRAM speed increases take priority over iGPU clock tweaks on all APUs since the Radeon cores are merely loafing at default desktop DDR3 frequencies. Look for motherboard-certified kits in the 2400 MHz range and don’t rely on built-in timing profiles for stability. You may need to enter the values manually for proper operation.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hs0yd6L6Rkml.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6gkvTpP5COXb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Overdrive provides memory options, but stick to BIOS when tuning DRAM"> <figcaption>Overdrive provides memory options, but stick to BIOS when tuning DRAM.</figcaption></figure><p> When all else fails, try loosening the primary timing values a little before reducing speed. Latency is less important than bandwidth for overall APU performance. Keep in mind that FM2+ only supports up to 2133 DDR3 officially, with provisions for 2400 dependent entirely on BIOS. For memory speeds beyond 2400 MHz you’ll need to tweak the BCLK speed past 100.</p><p> Godavari’s IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) is an incremental improvement over previous iterations but remains one of the weaker aspects of the architecture. Fast memory support is hit and miss, a shame since these processors thrive on bandwidth. Switch slots or reduce from four sticks to two when dealing with uncooperative DRAM situations. Consider a dedicated <a href="http://www.ocbase.com/">overclocking stress utility</a> if issues persist, as these can expose subtle problems hidden by more general system tests. Another trick is reducing DIMM voltage to 1.5, which lowers pressure on the IMC and can improve results.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KkCyzpPTSiCw.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/29FdkLBhButt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AIDA cache and memory score before and after. Overclocked results on the right."> <figcaption>AIDA cache and memory score before and after. Overclocked results on the right.</figcaption></figure><p> Once memory speeds are set, it’s time to see what the iGPU can pull off with whatever headroom remains. While the A10-7870K defaults to an already speedy 866 MHz, jumps past 1.1 GHz are possible with Northbridge voltage increases to the 1.27–1.3v range. Settings around 1 GHz are more likely to be successful however, so start with 950 MHz&nbsp;and go up from there.</p><p> <a href="https://unigine.com/products/benchmarks/heaven/">Unigine’s Heaven</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark">3DMark’s Firestrike</a> are good iGPU stability tests; both tend to quickly quit or freeze up when run with borderline overclocks, but many in-game benchmarks such as the ones found in GTA V or Bioshock Infinite also work well.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dRNJT6nxTdyM.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/z-S2l2JZUiV3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="FinalBIOSCPUSettings"></p><h3>Polished Performance – BCLK tuning, RAM latency and Northbridge</h3><p> Most of the gains from here on out deal with fine tuning and provide comparatively minor benefits, but are worth consideration for dedicated enthusiasts. BCLK adjustments allow DRAM to go beyond the chipset’s 2400 MHz maximum specification, but don’t expect to jump all the way to 2600 without plenty of luck. The best the GSKILL sticks on hand could manage was around 2500–2550 MHz.</p><p> At BCLK 106 or so, motherboard components stop working reliably, and past 108 you’ll be lucky to get beyond the BIOS screen without alterations to the boot setup. A bump to 104–105 will net a small but measurable bit of gaming performance in the form of increased bandwidth to the iGPU, but keep in mind the CPU multiplier may need to be reduced to keep core clockspeeds in check.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8fEgssFRT6mF.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/12AnKWs8I0s0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AIDA’s GPGPU benchmark results before and after overclocking. Default scores on the left."> <figcaption>AIDA’s GPGPU benchmark results before and after overclocking. Default scores on the left.</figcaption></figure><p> AM3+ motherboards sport a default BCLK value of 200 and have more options regarding front side bus (FSB) tuning if you’re willing to give up a few features for speed. Many AMD FX processors will happily run with extreme BCLK settings of 240 or more if you put the storage controller into the slower IDE mode rather than AHCI, although this gives up the speed, features and flexibility of the newer storage protocol.</p><p> Before SSDs were common, this tradeoff made plenty of sense, but these days the extra performance gained from SSDs and retaining AHCI’s TRIM support are more valuable than any gains provided by extreme BCLK tuning. Only try if you’re still running on a mechanical hard disk, although I’d recommend upgrading to an SSD and keeping AHCI instead.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Cinebench results</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vNRJKU7sQoSa.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4G46zUHHt_nx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="CinebenchBeforeandAfter" style="background-color: initial;"> </p> <p> <em>Cinebench results, overclocked on the right. OpenGL results jump 15 FPS.</em> </p> </div><p> If you don’t want to play with BCLK adjustments, or you feel like going beyond them, you can tighten DRAM timing to improve latency. This has less effect than increasing bandwidth, but helps with CPU core performance and raises minimum framerates. Increasing Northbridge and HyperTransport (AM3+ only) speeds to 2000–2400 can also result in modest gains, but these increases often come at the expense of other clocks so tread with care. AM3+ system tend to gain more ground than FM2+ here.</p><p> As a rule of thumb, adjust Northbridge and HyperTransport to improve an overclock on AM3+, and adjust Northbridge to stabilize one on FM2+. Linking these clocks together along with DRAM speed can also improve stability, although results vary. On our test system the best results with Godavari were gained by leaving this setting on Auto.</p><p> Last but not least, check to see if you can regain that multiplier set aside for headroom at the beginning of the process. Don’t push too hard for this one, as it’s more a check to make sure no performance is left on the table. These BCLK adjustments, tighter timings and the other small improvements can give an otherwise fully tuned system a noticeable edge.</p><p> After establishing and saving the full overclock profile, consider easing settings back from the edge on daily-use hardware to provide a safety margin and save electricity. Leave turbo off, but try enabling sleep and low power modes to see if they cause problems. Both of these are worth having around if they don’t interfere with stability, since they lower temperatures and power usage.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c3yN4wPiRBSl.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZsOoBwymsko7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Any way you look at it, Godavari holds up its end of the overclocking bargain."> <figcaption>Any way you look at it, Godavari holds up its end of the overclocking bargain.</figcaption></figure><p> Results are predictably impressive, given the sizable clock boosts involved. CPU speeds nearing 5 GHz improve benchmarks by a third or more and help alleviate AMD’s single-core performance deficits. On the GPU side framerates jump even further, giving most games enough muscle for increased detail settings or resolution to go along with the FPS boost.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Topping the charts</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V0tapJjcTCuy.PNG" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Vt6Lr44jMGL5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Firestrike02.7870K" style="background-color: initial;"> </p> </div><p> The proof is in the pudding. The test system for this guide started with a decidedly milquetoast 1461 Firestrike score using default motherboard settings. After overclocking, this same system literally shot to the top of the charts, scoring over 2000 points and capturing the number one slot on <a href="http://www.3dmark.com/fs/6096932">3DMark</a> for this CPU/motherboard combination.</p><p> That performance jump is more than double what you could expect from a typical upgrade so if there’s anyone left asking whether overclocking is worth it, the verdict is in and the answer is a resounding yes.</p> ​Your Dota 2 questions answered, vol. 3: with PyrionFlax!http://www.pcgamer.com/your-dota-2-questions-answered-vol-3-with-pyrionflax/Some Dota problems are easy to solve. Others, not so much.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:44:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/your-dota-2-questions-answered-vol-3-with-pyrionflax/Dota 2MOBAPro <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/viaVk4bBSgK-.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HO0raXeDsS7L.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Windranger Array of Tranquility" class=""><figcaption>Image: The&nbsp;<a href="http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Array_of_Tranquility">Arrray of Tranquility</a> set for Windranger.</figcaption></figure><p> Every two&nbsp;weeks, PC Gamer Pro takes your deepest, most personal Dota questions and delivers them to the personalities that can help. You can find last week's set <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/your-dota-2-questions-answered-vol-2-with-pyrionflax/">right here</a>. This week, PyrionFlax talks in-game voice, the removal of guilds, right clicking exactly one time, and why your MMR is probably right even though you don’t want it to be.</p><p> If you'd like to send us a question for next week, email <strong>pcgamerpro@pcgamer.com</strong> with 'GAME IS HARD' in your subject line. It would be awesome if it was either (a) not a tech support query directed at Valve or (b) not about why your MMR is wrong.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Ted 'Pyrionflax' Forsyth</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AtDd6LShSwS8.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zCskKJPmHmEw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="PyrionFlax"> </p> <p> Pyrion’s life as a Dotaman began with his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1FcZWF2Bstqelx_7SkiaJEjkvS8hGZDL">expertly illustrated, pro-quality hero guides</a> and continued through an <a href="http://www.dota2.com/store/itemdetails/20170">announcer pack</a> and subsequent appearances at pretty much every Dota event on the planet. We once played in a games industry Dota tournament together, which is notable for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBxsFV43lVY">this moment</a>, possibly shane’s finest hour (warning: NSFW language.) Pyrion currently has a new Dota 2 series in the works, Lanin’ ‘n’ Complainin’ with TotalBiscuit. </p> <p> <strong>Twitter</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/PyrionFlax">@pyrionflax</a><br> <strong>Twitch</strong> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/pyrionflax">pyrionflax</a> </p> </div><p> <strong>From Marina:</strong></p><p> <em>I've got a question regarding communication: I'm a girl and I'm completely terrified of using the in-game mic, as I've had a couple of matches completely ruined because of that. I usually just type in chat my intentions but I don't feel like that's enough. I just really, really want to win a match, but my teammates are busy throwing games and calling me names instead of cooperating. Do you have any advice for that?</em></p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> I want to return to this topic&nbsp;when I’ve been able to bring in the viewpoints of more female players, but I figured it was worth discussing here too.</p><p> <strong>PyrionFlax:</strong> I’ve played Dota in solo queue when there’s been a girl and it’s been exactly as she described. I’ve also played where it hasn’t made a difference because we’re in a five-stack and we’re not dicks. The idea that she deserves to be called out because she’s a woman is bullshit. I hope that for the most part it’s kids doing it. I have no idea how to overcome it except to hope that those people mature into something a bit more decent. It’s bullshit. You wouldn’t do that in your day-to-day life. Just because you’re on the internet, let’s not turn into arseholes.</p><p> Sadly, she’s just going to have to hope that eventually it stops happening. What’s she going to do? Get a voice modulator and hope that she sounds like a dude? Perhaps she should do that&mdash;get some bass in her voice, like when people call up for a ransom. ‘I AM GANKING TOP LANE’, something like that. But the best thing I can suggest is to play with friends, not with strangers. There are good communities out there -&nbsp; <a href="http://www.dotanoobs.com/">DotaNoobs</a> is a good community. I point a lot of people at this community, a lot of people play in this community, a lot of women play in this community, you will be welcome.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> If voice chat is a write-off because of the regular community, what are the most effective ways to use chat? I&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/learning-to-communicate-more-effectively-in-dota-2/">wrote something about this last week</a>, but is there some other magic trick?</p><p> <strong>PFlax:</strong> Just use the chat wheel and if anybody complains, say you don’t have a microphone. Most of the things people say in Dota don’t need to be said&mdash;they’re self-evident. If you ping to smoke, people get that. If you buy a smoke, people get that. You can convey what you need to. Loads of pro players manage to play without using in-game chat very much, so it is possible&mdash;I’d just say that I’m sorry that her experience in-game has been shitty, and good luck.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Very different tack, now. This person writes to us with a subject line that is just the word ‘GUILDS?!’ I am not fully sure that he knows what is happening.</p><p> <strong>From Marian:</strong></p><p> <em>I don't understand why you have disabled guild from Dota 2. I was a member of one of the best guilds in the world at Dota 2. It was called Minimis created by Baumi. It had around 4000 members. There were discussions and many other things like creating new teams, new friendships, new strategies so on. It is a nice patch but I had a bug like seeing a Storm Spirit walking in his ulti. I wish to have guild on this patch. Thank you! Have a nice day!</em></p><p> <strong>PFlax:</strong> First of all, I apologise for removing guilds from the game. It was my call. I code Dota 2. Secretly, I’m IceFrog and so on.</p><p> I actually spoke to Bruno about this and he said, and I quote, “people aren’t using it.” I said that all of the streamers I know use it, and he said that we must be the only ones. Like, there are ten million people playing Dota and most of the guilds are based around a few community people whose viewers want a guild. There may be a few others but on the whole, guild chat was just not something that was being used according to Valve. Although your experience was different to theirs, I’m sure they’ve done the numbers on it. As far as I’m aware they have no intention of adding guilds back in.</p><p> It’s screwed me over because I used to do sub games a lot, I could add people from the guild and now I have to use Steam groups and it’s a pain in the arse. So I apologise for removing them, but I assure you I wouldn’t have done it if I had anything to do with it.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> It feels like the weakness in saying “nobody’s using it, so let’s cut it” is when the 1% that <em>are</em>&nbsp;using it represent the most engaged players.</p><p> <strong>PFlax:</strong> I completely agree. I wish they hadn’t&mdash;I used it every single day. You had all of these communities. It’s almost like they want to minimise that part of it&mdash;you saw, when Reborn came out, that the friends bit was tiny! It was all about your ‘feed’, which is garbage. I’ve got Twitter for that kind of shit. I’m in ‘London’ chat now. I don’t want to be in London chat. I want guilds. I’m in London 14, where all they do is talk about which area of London is the shittest.</p><p> <strong>PCG: </strong>You should see the Bristol chat, it’s bouncing.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ochqZDANTYyT.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gEMV_NeqIEMk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bane"></p><p> <strong>From Alexey:</strong></p><p> <em>My question is why Windranger's shackleshot doesn't count as assist???&nbsp;</em><em>I really like this hero, have about 400 games played as Windranger and I've faced this situation more than once: I stun enemy hero for 3.5 sec, my teammate solo kills him and gets all the gold. Its unfair you know, without my stun he never could have a chance to kill enemy, and I don't even get f*ckng assist gold!!!</em></p><p> <strong>PFlax: </strong>I’m pretty sure you need to do damage to get an assist, so shoot him once. If he’s shackled for 3.5 seconds, shoot him once. Problem solved. Boom.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Yeah. What was he doing all that time?</p><p> <strong>PFlax:</strong> Just help out! Shoot him!</p><p> <strong>PCG: </strong>‘Right click once’ is the answer to this question.</p><p> Okay, this is a long one.</p><p> <strong>From Ayan:</strong></p><p> <em>I've been into Dota since the DotA 1 days. Ever since the MMR thing came out &nbsp;I've been grinding&nbsp;matches on my smurf to get myself on a 'decent' bracket. But the thing that worries me is when I hear my friends claiming that the MMR system is broken and it needs to be fixed.</em></p><p> <em>Actually I didn't give it much thought until I started to realize this myself. I got calibrated at 4.4k in my smurf and every time I reach 4.7k I seem to get into a losing streak back to 4.2k and then again on a winning streak to 4.7 and back to 4.2 or even 4.1. Previously I had read an article&nbsp;where Valve claimed that there is no such thing as losing streak in the matchmaking algorithm and they DO NOT want us to be in a losing streak.</em></p><p> <em>One of the few upsides of the Reborn client is that you can check others' match history.&nbsp;So recently when I&nbsp;happened to be on the losing streak&nbsp;(again) I started to check the match history of the other 9 players in the game. And to my great surprise, I&nbsp;found that most of the players on my team (including myself) were on a losing streak of 4-5 matches and on the other hand most of the opponents were on a winning streak. Thus most of the matches happen to be vigorously one-sided and there is a lot of negativity coming from the losing-streakers.</em></p><p> <em>So my main question is, is there any criteria set into the matchmaking algorithm to take win/loss streak of players into account? If no,&nbsp;then how does 4-5 losing streakers get matched into the same team one match after the other?</em></p><p> <strong>PFlax:</strong> If you get into this kind of detail, it’s all supposition. “I lose because the MMR system is broken, matchmaking is rigged”&hellip; why would they do that? What incentive is there for them to force you to win or lose matches? There’s none! Somebody has to win or lose the game, but they don’t care who&mdash;because it doesn’t affect Dota either way. There is no benefit to holding you back from your ‘true MMR’ with a clever piece of code. There’s no reason for them to do it. You’re making something out of meaningless numbers.</p><p> Maybe you played too many damn games in a row and you need to take a break. Maybe you won too many times in a row and settled into a comfort zone. People are so quick to associate their success or failure, even as a team, with some outside factor. It’s very rarely that. It’s always you who won or lost the game with your team, and that’s it.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> The thing I want to get printed on a giant rainbow banner is “MMR is an average.” Your MMR is not how good you are in total&mdash;if you’re a 4.5k player, you sometimes will play like a 5k player and sometimes like a 3.5k player. You veer up and down all the time. The idea is that you average out where you should be. If this guy calibrated at 4.4 and veers between 4.7 and 4.2, then it kind of suggests that he was calibrated in the right place.</p><p> <strong>PFlax: </strong>Also, your MMR being two or three hundred points higher isn’t a big deal compared to being in the higher brackets. The difference when you get to 6k-7k players is godlike: I’ve seen this with Blitz. He’ll queue into a game and be like “oh, it’s this guy and this guy.” He knows them, because the community of players that they can be matched with is so small that they bump into each other again and again. That’s how people get headhunted.</p><p> The chances of your MMR being wrong by a few hundred isn’t going to matter, because you’re in this huge pool of people that are actually pretty similar in skill level. It’s only when you get up to the absolute top that you realise this huge gulf in class. Honestly, though, I just can’t believe he’s reading that much into it.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> I suspect that we’re going to get “is my MMR wrong” questions for as long as this column exists.</p><hr><p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> The PC Gamer Show: guest Paul Neurath, Far Cry Primalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-guest-paul-neurath-far-cry-primal-crpgs/The show starts live at 1pm Pacific, with special guest Paul Neurath.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-guest-paul-neurath-far-cry-primal-crpgs/The PC Gamer Show <iframe src="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer/embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="378" width="620"> </iframe><p> Every Tuesday at 1 PM Pacific we broadcast <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show" target="_blank">The PC Gamer Show</a> live from our office. It's your chance to get your questions answered live on Twitch, and hear us talk about gaming news, hardware, and what we're playing.</p><p> This week we'll be joined by legendary game designer Paul Neurath, one of the founders of Looking Glass Studios and a&nbsp;creative mind behind Ultima Underworld, Thief (the original), System Shock 2, and many more classic RPGs. He'll be with us for the podcast portion and then&nbsp;telling us about his newest game, Underworld Ascendant, after the show.</p><p>Today,&nbsp;we'll be talking about what makes a good stealth game, the recently announced Far Cry: Primal, the return of cRPGs, Undertale, and more&mdash;including an RPG themed&nbsp;Catfantastic quiz and our usual Twitch chat Q&amp;A.</p><p> Watch along today <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer" target="_blank">on Twitch</a>, and toss us some feedback on <a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or here in the comments!</p><p> <em>You can also listen to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-prison-architect-devs-vr-twitchcon/" target="_blank">last week's episode right here</a></em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jAdLaSjxT5ay.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mzoZprWyxlC4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="PC Gamer Show Coconut Monkey"></p><p> <em><u></u></em></p> LoL teams asked to remove G2A logo at 2015 World Championshiphttp://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-teams-asked-to-remove-g2a-logo-at-2015-world-championship/Riot Games is reportedly considering an outright ban on G2A sponsorships.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:54:16 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-teams-asked-to-remove-g2a-logo-at-2015-world-championship/esportsLeague of LegendsMOBANewsProRiot Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bEqI6ndTS36F.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FhL6yxhYlUTE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="League of Legends"></p><p>Among the many offerings on tap at game key reseller G2A are leveled <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends/">League of Legends</a> accounts and Elo boosting, both of which contravene Riot Games' terms of service and the LoL Championship Series rules. Because of that, according to <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/esports/riot-g2a-sponsorship-ban/">The Daily Dot</a>, Riot has asked all professional LoL teams that are sponsored by the company to remove the G2A logo from their merchandise at the 2015 World Championships.</p><p>This is a big deal, impacting not only G2A but also some high-profile teams, including Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, H2K, and paiN Gaming, all of which have agreed to remove the logo at the event. Riot made the move as it considers an outright ban on G2A sponsorships, the report says, while G2A has said if it can't resolve the situation, it will eliminate them "across the board." That would make it the second key reseller to drop pro gaming sponsorships: Kinguin made a similar move earlier this year, although that was apparently the result of a corporate restructuring rather than a conflict with a third-party.</p><p>The 2015 League of Legends World Championship group stage kicked off last week. Catch up with everything that's happened (and an awful lot has) <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-turns-the-league-of-legends-scene-on-its-head/">right here</a>, and follow our ongoing coverage of the month-long event at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a>.</p> Microsoft's Surface Book 2-in-1 includes Skylake and an Nvidia GPUhttp://www.pcgamer.com/microsofts-surface-book-2-in-1-includes-skylake-and-an-nvidia-gpu/Microsoft's making its first laptop, and it looks pretty killer. It's also not cheap.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:47:46 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/microsofts-surface-book-2-in-1-includes-skylake-and-an-nvidia-gpu/HardwareMicrosoftNews <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KeDCmhZQ7KI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Microsoft announced a major addition to the Surface line at an event in New York on Tuesday: the Surface Book, a 13.5-inch laptop/tablet hybrid with some serious hardware inside.&nbsp;It's Microsoft's first laptop.&nbsp;The Surface Book includes an Intel Skylake Core i5 CPU&nbsp;(or&nbsp;i7 in more expensive models)&nbsp;CPU, Nvidia GPU and&nbsp;a claimed 12 hours of battery life.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/surface-book-microsofts-first-laptop-coming-october-26-starting-at-1499/">According to ZDNet</a>, the Surface models will come with 128GB-512GB SSDs and 8GB-16GB of RAM (although the video above claims up to 1TB of storage).</p><p>The Surface Book's display detaches from its keyboard base, which houses the GPU and ports, to become a 13.5-inch tablet. The "fulcrum hinge," as Microsoft calls it, can also bend backwards to support the screen in a tablet position.</p><p>The 128GB, Core i5 configuration of the Surface Book starts at $1500, and models scale up to $2700.</p><p>We don't know what Nvidia GPU Microsoft's put in the Surface Book, but having a discrete GPU already makes it a much more promising gaming system than most hybrid tablet systems out there. Unfortunately, the base model doesn't contain the Nvidia GPU. As shown from ZDNet's pricing info, you'll have to step up to the $1900 model to get dedicated graphics.</p><p>The Surface Book will be&nbsp;available on October 26.</p><p>Microsoft also announced the smaller Surface Pro 4 for $900. It won't be as powerful a gaming system, but you can read more about it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/surface-pro-4-and-surface-book-laptop-highlight-microsofts-hardware-event/">over on MaximumPC</a>.</p> Microsoft unveils wearable holograms in Project X-Ray for HoloLenshttp://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-unveils-wearable-holograms-in-project-x-ray/Project X-Ray is a game for Hololens which features wearable holograms.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:49:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-unveils-wearable-holograms-in-project-x-ray/HardwareHoloLensMicrosoftNews <p> Microsoft has unveiled Project X-Ray for Hololens, which is a virtual reality game that offers “wearable holograms.” Microsoft demonstrated Project X-Ray on stage today at its October Event.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E78op-DtQZiv.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YJjKZUMul-ya.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="project xray"></p><p> In the demo, a&nbsp;weapon formed around the player’s hand, and followed him wherever he moved around the room. The room itself was transformed into a virtual play space, with robots smashing through walls and climbing over furniture that was already in the room.</p><p> He was then able to shoot lasers at the robots, or suck them in and fire them back out again using “vortex mode.” The player was also able to duck down behind a shield that emanated from his hologram to avoid incoming fire.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/enRgvA36TsWF.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/arYYYsaKDo-g.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2015-10-06 10 20 56-Greenshot"></p><p> The developer kit for HoloLens (i.e. not a consumer version) will be available in Q1 2016 for $3,000. When we've tried HoloLens, it's been a cool experience,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hololens-offers-imperfect-but-impressive-augmented-reality/">but with a much more limited field of view than the video demonstrations let on</a>.</p> PC gaming’s toughest prisonshttp://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamings-toughest-prisons/You don’t want to end up in these virtual slammers.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:43:18 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamings-toughest-prisons/Gallery Far Cry Primal officially unveiled, coming in early 2016http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-officially-unveiled-coming-in-early-2016/Far Cry Primal is a first-person caveman simulator.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:33:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-officially-unveiled-coming-in-early-2016/Far Cry PrimalFPSNewsUbisoft <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LJ2iH57Fs3M?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"> </iframe><p> Ubisoft has finally lifted the lid on what this <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-announcement/">Far Cry Primal</a> business is all about: It's a first-person "shooter" set in the Stone Age and scheduled for release in March 2016.</p><p> "Welcome to the Stone Age, a time of extreme danger and limitless adventure, when giant mammoths and saber-toothed tigers ruled the Earth, and humanity was at the bottom of the food chain," the description at <a href="http://www.farcrygame.com">FarCryGame.com</a> states. "You will play as Takkar, a seasoned hunter and the last surviving member of your group. You have one goal: survival in a world where you are the prey. Grow your tribe and hone your skills to lead your people, conquer the land of Oros, and become the apex predator. Encounter a cast of memorable characters who can help push back the dangers of the wild. Face enemy tribes who will do anything to eradicate you and your allies."</p><p> The reveal trailer is more of a table-setting than a meaningful look at what's in store, but Ubisoft was kind enough to also provide a "behind-the-scenes" video, playing below, that digs deeper into the game. Oros is a "savage and primitive world," filled with numerous dangers, which Takkar will arrive in alone, exhausted, and unarmed. Instead of purchasing weapons, players must craft them, first with wood and stone, and later with more and different resources, for more advanced and powerful equipment, like spears, bows, blades, and clubs. The game world will be large but "dense" with various interacting systems, some of which will be "greatly affected" by the day/night cycle.</p><p> So it's Far Cry, but with no firearms and no vehicles. That's a bold move, but one I'm looking forward to, even if it might not be as exciting (no dinosaurs) as some of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-predictions/">yesterday's predictions</a>. Far Cry Primal is set to come out in March 2016. Don't miss the screens underneath the trailer!</p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T5Ds5kLQn5k?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n-6wTuzzT2y2.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6p1CgymmEp1h.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_s0QKOCHRDeE.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ho5Bxaj8U7lW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_RxYPd20T3OW.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i6fqGY61-elD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_4XYMJupRZOY.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X6szMqZSkJVy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p> The Witcher 3's Gwent was invented in the bathhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3s-gwent-was-invented-in-the-bath/The Witcher 3's eureka moment.Baths: 1. Showers: 0.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:46:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3s-gwent-was-invented-in-the-bath/NewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ORYYQ4b9Qhma.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dzPXQpju0Ihv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witcher 3"></p><p>You can do so much in the bath: read a book; listen to music; pretend to be a mermaid; or&nbsp;invent whole new card games for use in your upcoming RPG. At least, that's what The Witcher 3's senior gameplay designer Damien Monnier did with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/witcher-3-expansion-is-coming-soon-and-so-is-good-news-about-gwent/">Gwent</a>.</p><p>In an interview with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2015/10/06/witcher-3-designer-came-up-with-gwent-in-the-bath">Kotaku</a>, Monnier says that he&nbsp;was given one weekend to come up with a new game for The Witcher 3 to fit where the dice poker game had fit in The Witcher 2. On Sunday evening he had a bath, and while he was in the tub the basic idea washed over him:</p><p>"You have a number that's higher than the other person's number, then you have things that will affect that number. Some cards double it, some cards lower it, and ultimately the challenge comes from the initial hand. So, it's about managing your initial hand and bluffing."</p><p>By the time he was done with his bath, he had the basic rules. He mocked up some cards and took them into work to play with the studio director Adam Badowski, and it was a hit.</p><p>The interview also has some more interesting tidbits about the game itself&mdash;apparently it was originally going to be&nbsp;three-player but it didn't look right in the game, and while the physical version is fair the digital version gives the player an unfair advantage&mdash;but the bath bit is definitely key here. Clearly baths are very important to game development.</p><p>Unfortunately we don't get any details as to the specific kind of bath Monnier had, but if you too want to be a successful game designer you should probably start experimenting with water temperatures and bath products tonight. As you can see, the witcher himself favours a freestanding wooden keg variety.&nbsp;Let me know when you hit on the formula for success.</p> Star Wars Battlefront system requirements releasedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-system-requirements-released/I really should buy a new hard drive.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:51:04 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-system-requirements-released/NewsStar Wars Battlefront <p>The Star Wars: Battlefront beta is on its way&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-beta-is-coming-in-october/">very soon</a>, this&nbsp;Thursday (October 8) according to&nbsp;<a href="http://starwars.ea.com/starwars/battlefront/news/the-star-wars-battlefront-beta-is-coming-october-8th">EA</a>, and if you plan on trying it out you'll want to know what kind of a PC you'll need to run it. Fortunately, EA has now released the system requirements for Battlefront, and it looks like I really should get around to getting that new hard drive. And some more RAM.</p><p>Here they are:</p><p><strong>Minimum PC System Requirements</strong></p><p><strong>OS:</strong> 64-bit Windows 7 or later<br><strong>Processor (Intel):</strong> Intel i3 6300T or equivalent<br><strong>Memory:</strong> 8GB RAM<br><strong>Hard Drive:</strong> At least 40 GB of free space<br><strong>Graphics card (NVIDIA):</strong> nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB<br><strong>Graphics card (ATI):</strong> ATI Radeon HD 7850 2GB<br><strong>DirectX:</strong> 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent<br><strong>Online Connection Requirements:</strong> 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection</p><p><strong>Recommended PC System Requirements</strong></p><p><strong>OS:</strong> 64-bit Windows 10 or later<br><strong>Processor (Intel):</strong> Intel i5 6600 or equivalent<br><strong>Memory:</strong> 16GB RAM<br><strong>Hard Drive:</strong> At least 40 GB of free space<br><strong>Graphics card (NVIDIA):</strong> nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB<br><strong>Graphics card (AMD):</strong> AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB<br><strong>DirectX:</strong> 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent<br><strong>Online Connection Requirements:</strong> 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection</p><p>Do you also need a new machine to hit even the minimum specs? Before you start picking out graphics cards, check out Sam's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-beta-is-coming-in-october/">hands-on</a> to see if it's really worth it.</p> Team invites announced for the first Dota 2 Majorhttp://www.pcgamer.com/team-invites-announced-for-the-first-dota-2-major/The first eight contenders line up to win that golden eagle thing.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:32:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/team-invites-announced-for-the-first-dota-2-major/Dota 2ESLesportsMOBANewsPro <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V0jGreq1SlOp.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rTb2z4sd5U60.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Frankfurt Major"></p><p> Last night, ESL and Valve announced the eight teams being invited to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thefrankfurtmajor.com/">The Frankfurt Major</a>&mdash;the first of Valve's new series of 'mini-Internationals' spanning the year-long gap between Dota 2's world championships. The European Major will be held in Frankfurt (if that wasn't obvious) from the 16th-21st of November. This is a world championship-level event, by anyone's standards, and if you're in the area then you can attend for free. Only the Saturday, when the finals take place, will require a ticket.</p><p> The invites are, for the most part, fairly predictable. International champions EG are a given, as are CDEC, LGD, Vici Gaming, EHOME and Virtus.Pro&mdash;in that order, these teams make up the top 6 places at TI5. Team Secret's new roster gets the next spot, followed by Vega Squadron&mdash;the surprise winners of last weekend's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/five-highlights-from-dota-2-at-esl-one-new-york/">ESL One New York 2015 tournament</a>.</p><p> Instinctively, it feels like the plan was always to invite the TI5 top six and then settle on the last two places based on ESL One New York: given how early Vega were eliminated from the International, it'd be an amazing act of foresight to invite them prior to this most recent result. Similarly, Secret's 2nd-place finish in New York proved the potential of their new lineup, something that wasn't guaranteed before.</p><p> The remaining eight places will be determined by four regional qualifiers&mdash;Americas, Southeast Asia, China, and Europe. There are open spots in each of these qualifiers, with anybody able to enter a massive bracket this week to compete for a space. The odds of a Cool Runnings-type result where a group of unknowns enters the open qualifier and goes on to sweep the entire thing are incredibly low, but if you're entering your team&mdash;good luck!</p><p> The prize pool is $3m and not, as the image above might suggest, some kind of giant golden bust of a peacock. That peacock is, in fact, supposed to be an eagle, and the thing that it's attached to is an item from Dota 2 called an Eaglesong. You may think that it looks like the top of a recurve bow, but it is, in fact, a horn&mdash;a horn that grants bonus agility, for some reason. This is confusing because, in DotA 1, Eaglesong was called Eaglehorn&mdash;a reference to, of all things, a bow from the Diablo series. That's right! The bow named after a horn became a horn that looks like a bow, and nobody in this process figured out what an eagle's neck looks like.</p><p> This is arguably the least confusing thing about Dota.</p> Homeless dog sim Home Free hits Kickstarter goalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/homeless-dog-sim-home-free-hits-kickstarter-goal/Good boy!Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:01:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/homeless-dog-sim-home-free-hits-kickstarter-goal/News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i_KUHcAGRZSk.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ca1VQYtlwXIi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Home Free"></p><p>A confession: I don't like dogs.&nbsp;Being a person who doesn't like dogs, however,&nbsp;has made me aware of just how many of you do. So for your sake I've checked out the Kickstarter campaign for this homeless dog simulator&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/home-free-is-a-heartbreaking-lost-dog-simulator/">Home Free</a> and bring you the news that it has bounded past its Kickstarter goal, which means that as long as developer Kevin Canine... sorry, Cancienne, is good people then this game will actually exist&nbsp;at some point.</p><p>Home Free raised its initial target of $50,000 in five days, but there are still more than three weeks left in the campaign, and you know what that means: stretch goals!</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gr8iNybRQQmX.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fhdPISw8kuOX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Slinky Toy Story"></p><p>The first stretch goal has already been hit: $55,000 for "new tricks". This means that you can make your life as a stray dog a little easier by learning tricks to perform to&nbsp;convince humans in the procedurally generated&nbsp;city of Home Free to give you food. I guess "play dead" probably won't be very effective here.</p><p>The next stretch goal, at $65,000,&nbsp;is for a new area to the city: Dockside. Expect fish, boats, and "undulating low-poly water". Also, if the campaign hits $80,000, cats. Apparently they'll hang out at the docks, presumably because of the fish, and while they won't be playable I'm sure you'll get to do more than look at them.</p><p>No, I know what you're thinking, but I'm not a cat person either.</p> Hello Games won't even tell Colbert when No Man's Sky is outhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hello-games-wont-even-tell-colbert-when-no-mans-sky-is-out/But he does name a solar system after him.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:56:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hello-games-wont-even-tell-colbert-when-no-mans-sky-is-out/NewsNo Man's Sky <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZqeN6hj4dZU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>"I thought Morgan Freeman was God," Stephen Colbert told Sean Murray last Friday, You're actually my second God."</p><p>My favourite thing about Sean Murray's appearance on The Late Show is that Stephen Colbert has clearly done his research. I know it's a presenter's job to know enough about their guest's work to have a proper conversation, but I've seen and heard and read so many people try to talk about games without much knowledge to back it up that I get a little apprehensive when I hear about video games being discussed in a non-gaming context. So Colbert's leading questions are a welcome change:</p><p>"By entire universe," He asks,&nbsp;"Do you mean something the size of... the universe?"</p><p>Here are some new things I learned from watching the eight minutes of footage available on YouTube:</p><ul> <li>Hello Games created a new&nbsp;periodic table for the game that has "oxycen" instead of oxygen (is oxygen trademarked?).</li><li>Spaceships heat up as they enter the atmosphere.</li><li>You can&nbsp;point something that looks like a gun at animals to name them, and you get money for doing so.</li><li>You can walk around underwater.</li><li>The only way to know what your avatar looks like is for somebody else to see you, though the chance of running into somebody else is very rare.</li></ul><p>Worth a watch&nbsp;for Sean Murray naming a solar system after Stephen Colbert, and for the bit where the audience gets the scope of what Hello Games is doing with No Man's Sky and applauds.</p> The Beginner's Guide reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-beginners-guide-review/A peculiar experience that’s personal, sincere, and full of questions to unpack, though it asks them far too bluntly.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 02:09:29 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-beginners-guide-review/ReviewsThe Beginner's Guide <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong>&nbsp;Creator Davey Wreden narrates a look at an apparently troubled friend's game design experiments. <br> <strong>Expect to pay:</strong> $10/£7 <br> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Developer:</strong> Everything Unlimited Ltd. <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong>&nbsp;Everything Unlimited Ltd. <br> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong> Intel i7 @ 3.47GHz, 12GB RAM,&nbsp;Radeon R7 260X <br> <strong>Link: </strong><a href="http://www.thebeginnersgui.de/" target="_blank">thebeginnersgui.de</a> </p> </div><p> The Beginner’s Guide, Davey Wreden’s followup to 2013’s The Stanley Parable, is most outwardly about the relationship between game creator and game player. Wreden even offers his email address at the beginning so you can tell him what you think. He’s going to get some colorful notes, I’m sure.</p><p> It’s a very personal expression&mdash;a diary, almost&mdash;which some in the Steam reviews interpret as self-absorption (or, more bluntly, “San Francisco hipster bullshit”). I don’t. I like that Wreden is sincerely exploring his own creative struggles, and I especially like that he’s made something even more peculiar than The Stanley Parable, even if it isn’t nearly as successful. The only thing the two games really share (aside from being the sort of 'not a game' games that draw so much ire)&nbsp;is an unconventional narrator.</p><p> In The Beginner’s Guide, Wreden, as himself, narrates a tour of experimental Source engine games ostensibly made by his friend, Coda. That’s the first quirk: Wreden is talking to us, not to a character. It’s like a documentary, but it feels illicit&mdash;we’re experiencing someone’s personal projects, a collection that was never meant to be shared. The first few games are convincingly the plain work of a beginner, but Wreden finds exciting creativity and mystery in each as he tries to decode Coda’s thoughts. It’s enchantingly genuine. I thought of my own folders of false starts and documents called ‘story.txt’ and ‘test.png.’</p><p> The first project is a slightly-odd Counter-Strike level, and then we visit a shooter with no enemies, and onward to iterations of a strange prison and experiments with dialogue. Sometimes Wreden has to activate a cheat he inserted to advance the game, as several are designed not to be played. One, for instance, would have required us to wait an hour for a door to open.&nbsp;</p><h2>Snooping sim</h2><p>The games are about walking and listening to Wreden talk and little more, which is interesting enough for about half of the roughly 90-minute experience. Just buying into the concept that these are someone else’s games, and we’re going to prowl through all of them for clues about what’s going on in their head, is exciting. But as the games become more complex and more explicit about their meaning, Coda loses his charm. The fiction that he, and not Wreden, created these vignettes starts to crack as I notice Wreden’s own voice in them, and whether or not that's intentional, they just aren't very good.&nbsp;The curious, mostly wordless poems of the beginning become frustrated diary entries. They feel like parodies of artsy games, but not funny ones.&nbsp;</p><p>It’s disappointing. I was looking forward to seeing what strange, subversive games Wreden could come up with&mdash;the whole conceit of The Beginner’s Guide lets him make unplayable things we’d never see otherwise&mdash;but the cleverness is lost to serve the story. I’m willing to expand the meaning of interactivity in games to include interpretation that I experience internally, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/her-story-review/">Her Story</a> did that in a really interesting way, but there’s not much to interpret here. The metaphors are blunt&mdash;a social anxiety theater, a literal creative machine&mdash;and Wreden’s narration becomes overbearing and utterly on the nose.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_CeCKTu6Slaz.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kWFMrtIXQWXh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="I like that the levels are ugly. They bring me back to my own experiments with Source's Hammer editor." class=""> <figcaption>I like that the levels are ugly&mdash;they bring me back to my own experiments with Source's Hammer editor.</figcaption></figure><p>But The Beginner’s Guide doesn’t indulge for long, ending before I could start feeling too nostalgic for its beginning, and before its melodrama became unendurable. And there's plenty to talk about, because even though it’s not at all subtle about its themes, there’s such a great jumble of them that they can be puzzled together into plenty of interpretations. It can be about depression and isolation, how&nbsp;art and fear are inextricable, the debate over authorial intention, how we compromise our work for&nbsp;external validation, or, at the very surface, the pressure Wreden felt to deliver another hit game after The Stanley Parable. If the latter is what you take away, I doubt you’ll like it much, because then it’s just another artist who follows up a hit with musings on the creative process. It’s the album after the breakout album that's all&nbsp;about how hard it is to make more songs that everyone likes.</p><p>I don't really mind the musing, and when I ignore some of the plot turns and&nbsp;obvious metaphors, I appreciate how The Beginner’s Guide expresses the impossible frustration of trying to understand depression in ourselves and&nbsp;others, and the errors we commit in trying to ‘fix’ it. That’s what I took away, and while it’s heavy-handed, Wreden’s candidness is really appealing at times. But I mainly recommend The Beginner's Guide for the experience of playing an experiment&mdash;a conceptually adventurous way to tell a story that doesn’t really succeed, but is enjoyable for its commitment to being new. If it brings&nbsp;you to tears, which many say it has, then there's a bonus.</p> Far Cry: Primal predictionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-predictions/Will we be hang gliding from pterodactyls or giant owls?Tue, 06 Oct 2015 01:04:23 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-predictions/Far Cry: PrimalFPS <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_4XYMJupRZOY.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X6szMqZSkJVy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry Primal"></p><p> When we woke up this morning, there was no such thing as Far Cry: Primal. What we had instead was a Ubisoft <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-announcement/">YouTube stream</a> teasing some sort of announcement by (very) slowly panning out to reveal an assortment of cave paintings. Inevitably (this being Ubisoft) the news leaked&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-announcement/">within hours</a>&mdash;in this case via IGN Turkey’s Twitter account&mdash;that the game in question was Far Cry: Primal.&nbsp;</p><p> We still don’t know much beyond the image above, other than that the game seemingly takes place in a prehistoric era and will feature early man presumably doing Far Cry things like climbing, shooting, knocking over the ancient equivalent of outposts,&nbsp;and skinning animals. But having so little to go on&nbsp;sparked our curiosity, igniting&nbsp;our hot takes on exactly what Far Cry: Primal might entail. Help us fill in the gaps in the comments.</p><h3>James Davenport: Poop fire generation</h3><p> Far Cry: Primal is going to be like ARK: Survival Evolved for earnest but out of touch parents. ARK is a misunderstood and maligned game from those who don’t ‘get’ the survival genre and thrill of Early Access patch-surfing (me), but it throws the player into a sandbox full of dinosaurs. I think the appeal is the possibility, not necessarily the second-to-second play. My guess is that Far Cry: Primal will likely be a good Far Cry game, in that it puts you in a different sandbox, gives you some fun tools, some dangerous variables (dinosaurs, mammoths?), and says go. I just can’t help but think of the mismatched expectations and ensuing conversations a few families will have. Moms and Dads, latching onto a thing they can finally connect with their #teens through. It has cave-folks, jungulature, survival? I’m hip, good, happening&mdash;right?</p><p> But then young Sally or Jimmy asks why you can’t <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dinos-dodos-and-doo-doos-my-first-day-in-ark/">collect your poop</a> and save it for later and you’re back to square one.</p><h3></h3><h3>Wes Fenlon:&nbsp;</h3><p> <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/WINocCaqct-Zxnzb7hlfC2VWrZ-5LD1njdQnYNSVV6Ei0HfrQkKcRGv04Y6jz0R6ZKlR2uFxozobEHUWaS_ClLm7JMNnLO-PjGEg2CLF_GXl0fv3UrQVRnIWkUvBBOITB5I3kLUe" width="624px;" height="499px;" style="border-style: none; border-width: initial; transform: rotate(0rad);"></p><p> Basically.</p><h3>Tim Clark: Cave guns, please</h3><p> Not for the first time today, I’m confused. My initial reaction from the art was that Far Cry: Primal is going to be an Open World version of Mel Gibson’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngWBddVNVZs">Apocalypto</a>. And if so, okay, I guess I’m in. (Although for maximum artsiness, I would have prefered the Aztec bits from <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAuxryJ6pv8">The Fountain</a> as inspiration.) Having looked at it properly, now what I want to know is whether Primal is set entirely in ye olden cavetimes, in which case does that mean there are going to be no guns at all? If so, hmm, maybe I’m out. Without wanting to come across too Chuck Heston at a ‘git gud with guns’ mixer, my favourite part of Far Cry 3 was collecting all the signature weapons. I’m not sure a signature sling shot would be quite as compelling. Unless maybe you’re a time traveller or something, and the game is a riff on the hella popular survival genre, but only your character is allowed to have high calibre weaponry. In which case:&nbsp;definitely back in.</p><h3>Evan Lahti: Liberate the template</h3><p> Judging by the single screenshot that we’ve seen, apparently Ubisoft has found a way to make ‘the oppression of a group people’ into a theme again, which will be a bit disappointing to me if it happens to be true. ‘Liberate a bunch of outposts and similar things on a map’ is fun enough as a template, but this dive deep into human history is a huge opportunity to explore new structures. That’s my main hope for Primal: that it’ll be much more than Far Cry with a fancy melee system.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7wJ5_oq_RJOz.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UhQE8gTT2Fbn.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Photo credit: Hanna-Barbera" class=""> <figcaption>Photo credit: Hanna-Barbera</figcaption></figure><p> Traversal is a big question for me, too: if dinosaurs aren’t a thing, I have to assume we’ll be exploring on horses (which were being used to drive chariots <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestication_of_the_horse#Driving_versus_riding">as early as 2000 BC</a>), but god, I also hope it’s dinosaurs. Pterodactyls are nature’s hang gliders, after all.</p><h3>Tom Marks: Hope extinction</h3><p> All I know is that if I can’t ride a dinosaur I will be severely let down. When Ubisoft’s cave art teaser video first went live, it got me excited at the potential of a big budget dinosaur game, but the leaked image above and the ever expanding wall of art is making me lose hope for my stego-riding dreams. Ignoring the fact that cavemen never actually lived with dinosaurs, the characters in the teaser image look like they come from a later time period than the dinosaur taming type. Another shadow cast on my hopes takes the form of a rhino, <a href="http://i.imgur.com/MUJZGHL.jpg" class="hoverZoomLink">now visible</a> in the reveal video. Why would they be hunting rhinos when they could be hunting dinosaurs? So my prediction, as much as it pains me to make it, is no dinosaurs. I sure hope I’m wrong.</p> 10 grenade throws you must know in CS:GOhttp://www.pcgamer.com/csgo-grenade-guide-video/In CS:GO, a good grenade is a key that turns a lock.Tue, 06 Oct 2015 01:03:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/csgo-grenade-guide-video/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveFPSProTriggernometry <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dxo5AohyTO2r.bmp" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EGJwuw5S_KSL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Csgo 2015-02-23 12-33-34-54"></p><p> In CS:GO,&nbsp;a good grenade is a key that turns a lock. Flashbangs open doors,&nbsp;blinding opponents so that your team can make entry to an area of the map. Grenades&nbsp;also&nbsp;close doors, blocking off a lane with smoke or fire to discourage movement.</p><p> Part of becoming a better CS:GO player means mastering individual techniques that will help you survive the game's most&nbsp;common situations.&nbsp;For this week, we're concerned with everyday plays on&nbsp;Dust2, Mirage, and Cache, three of the most-played maps in the rotation.&nbsp;If you play CS:GO even a few dozen hours, you'll have hundreds of opportunities to execute these plays, and knowing the right 'nade for the right situation can be the difference between death and&nbsp; <a href="http://gfycat.com/EquatorialFatDevilfish">your best round ever</a>.&nbsp;</p><p> Naturally, you'll make most&nbsp;of these grenade throws&nbsp;as the Terrorists, the attacking team in CS:GO’s defusal maps. Terrorists necessarily have to change the state of the game in order to win.</p><h3>de_dust2</h3><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Moving into Long A from Terrorist spawn</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FiN9ZFpWFS0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> As the CTs, blocking&nbsp;an early&nbsp;A rush without running all the way to long A</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjJwGYAcpBQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong>&nbsp;From CT spawn, crossing mid to avoid getting AWPed</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5rhAZBHrFhA?start=174" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Situation: </strong>Rushing into B as the Terrorists from tunnel</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9LkmWXSpr14?start=46" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><h3>de_mirage</h3><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Gaining control of mid as the Terrorists</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2-jvPoUakcI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Entering A from ramp as the Terrorists</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BNKJTH6sU5A?start=247" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Attacking B from apartments as the Terrorists, smoking off bench</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kvkm02pFTs?start=262" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><h3>de_cache</h3><p> <strong>Situation:</strong>&nbsp;Attacking A as the Terrorists, blocking off truck and a portion of mid</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zx7oIaZSqGg?start=447" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Attacking A as the Terrorists, blocking off truck and a portion of mid</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6-3UP_m_1eo?start=25" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong>Situation:</strong> Flashing or molotoving bombsite A ('quad') from squeaky door as the Terrorists</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5MIF3BUr540?start=31" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><hr><p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is a new channel dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Trackmania Turbo delayed to 2016http://www.pcgamer.com/trackmania-turbo-delayed-to-2016/The new Trackmania was supposed to be out later this year.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:32:45 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/trackmania-turbo-delayed-to-2016/NewsRacingTrackmania TurboUbisoftVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3piye62BYf4?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Trackmania debuted in 2003, and in the decade-plus since has evolved from a silly little confection to a gorgeous, stupidly-fast arcade racing game with a thriving online community. The latest addition to the series, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trackmania-turbo/">Trackmania Turbo</a>, was announced <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trackmania-turbo-arrives-in-november/">earlier this year</a> and slated to come out in either <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trackmania-turbo-shows-off-its-moves-in-new-gameplay-trailer/">November or December</a>. Today, however, Ubisoft announced that, because it loves you, it's decided to delay the game into early 2016.</p><p> "During the additional months, we plan to enhance the campaign and the game’s interface. Since multiplayer is such a strong component of the Trackmania experience, we also plan to continue improving Trackmania Turbo’s multiplayer mode," Ubisoft <a href="http://blog.ubi.com/trackmania-turbo-gets-a-new-release-date/">explained on its blog</a>. "The extra time will give us an opportunity to make sure that the online infrastructure is stable and that the online experience is a smooth one."</p><p> Ubi is also working in a new mode for user-made tracks that it says will "spur competition between players," and will further fine-tune the random generator feature and improve the Trackbuilder to it more "accessible and complete."</p><p> It's a bit dated at this point&mdash;it was released in 2008&mdash;but <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/11020/">Trackmania Nations Forever</a> is a great way to get a full-on taste of the Trackmania experience if you've missed out on it so far. It offers single-player (which isn't great) and multiplayer (which is fantastic) racing action, with a ton of tracks to tear around on. And it's free! Can't go too wrong at that price.</p><p> Thanks, <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-10-01-trackmania-turbo-delayed-until-early-2016">Eurogamer</a>.</p> Watch the Hearthstone misplay that cost a chance to go to BlizzConhttp://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-disastrous-hearthstone-misplay-that-cost-a-chance-to-go-to-blizzcon/Mistakes were made.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:03:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-disastrous-hearthstone-misplay-that-cost-a-chance-to-go-to-blizzcon/BlizzardBlizzconCard GameesportsHearthstoneNewsPro <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rYcjqBSZsaE?vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>Luck might be the biggest determinant in who wins Hearthstone games between two equally skilled pro-level players, but even so you still have to play your hand absolutely perfectly. Even a minor mistake will cost you most games. The mistake <a href="http://wiki.teamliquid.net/hearthstone/Pavel">Pavel</a> made in this weekend’s Hearthstone <a href="http://wiki.teamliquid.net/hearthstone/2015_Hearthstone_World_Championship/Qualifier/Europe#Reusults">European World Championship</a> was most definitely not minor. </p><p>Pavel was playing against <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/lifecoach1981">Lifecoach</a> in Group B, with four places at this year’s World Championship at BlizzCon and a prize pool of $25,000 up for grabs. Having gone 2-0 down in the best of five, he has clawed one game back and stands on the brink of levelling the series and potentially completing the reverse sweep.&nbsp;</p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">sylvanas windrunner</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B7BtqpTySl2C.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JTLjLy5T_4pe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sylv Card"></p><p>The face that launched a thousand misclicks.&nbsp;</p></div><p>First though, he needs to clear Sylvanas Windrunner from Lifecoach’s side of the board, using a Mortal Coil to kill his own Defender of Argus and draw a card before trading into Sylvanas with Loatheb, thereby preventing the undead elf from stealing a minion when she dies.</p><p>Only he gets the order all wrong. Pavel drops his Dr Boom before making the Loatheb trade, and it should go without saying that of the three targets now on the board, her deathrattle picks the juicy 7/7 to steal. The crowd goes absolutely nuts, and Lifecoach&mdash;<a href="https://twitter.com/TempoHyped/status/636982991575580672">who’s never been one to hide his emotions</a>&mdash;clearly can’t believe his luck. Even Pavel’s free Molten Giant isn’t enough to prevent lethal next turn. </p><p>A pity for Pavel, and before we get too hopped up on schadenfreude, let’s remember he’s only 17. But perhaps he should have taken a leaf from Lifecoach’s book and taken his turn a little more glacially. Still, it’s nice to know that this kind of colossal misplay can happen to the best of players, because most of us will be familiar with making exactly this sort of mess while playing on ladder. </p><p>Having finished second in his group, Lifecoach qualified for BlizzCon, where he will represent Europe alongside <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/neirea">Neirea</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/naviostkaka">Ostkaka</a> (who recently joined <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/navi-makes-its-move-into-hearthstone/">Na’Vi’s new team</a>), and his Nihilum teammate <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/thijshs">Thijs</a>, who went on to be crowned European Champion. After the tournament, Maverick&mdash;who missed out on a BlizzCon spot&mdash;announced that he has <a href="http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1snjiud">quit the competitive scene</a>. In his lengthy message he explained that whatever happened the decision had already been made. He now plans&nbsp;to focus on his studies. </p><p>This weekend will see the climax of the <a href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19817944/road-to-the-americas-championship-8-11-2015">Americas Championship</a>, with more BlizzCon places up for grabs. I’ll be there to gasp dramatically when someone gets King Krush from Ram Wrangler, then forgets to attack.</p> Build of the week: The Black Dreamhttp://www.pcgamer.com/build-of-the-week-the-black-dream/It has portholes, a grill, could beat up a toddler, and can probably navigate the fourth dimension.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/build-of-the-week-the-black-dream/Build of the weekHardware Star Wars Battlefront will not use microtransactionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-will-not-use-microtransactions/The "credits" used to acquire better weaponry can only be earned through in-game performance.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:56:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-will-not-use-microtransactions/DICEElectronic ArtsFPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V-RiSPc1RRKR.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-Zz1s8-oJVAf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront Drop Zone"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/">Star Wars Battlefront</a> will use a "two-tier currency system" of points and credits, which sounds like the sort of thing that inevitably leads to microtransactions. This is especially true since, as <a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/no-microtransactions-in-star-wars-battlefront-says/1100-6431154/">GameSpot</a> explained, credits are used to acquire better, deadlier weaponry as you struggle to free the galaxy from the Empire's black-gloved&nbsp;grip (or, uh, look to tighten that grip, if you're playing on Team&nbsp;Dark Side). But design director Niklas Fegraeus says that's not going to be the case this time around.</p><p>"The currency system is based on your game performance. The credits that you use to buy things in the game are earned. You play the game, complete challenges, and that's how you get credits," Fegraeus said. When pressed, he emphasized that the only way to earn credits, "absolutely," is through playing the game.</p><p>"[Microtransactions are] not part of the core design of how it works," he said. "This is a progression system based on your gameplay performance."</p><p>To which I say, good! I'm not one to believe that microtransactions are inherently evil, but I do think that they're appropriate primarily for free-to-play games, and not those for which I pay $70 plus applicable sales taxes.</p><p>We talked with Fegraeus recently about why the studio opted to forgo a server browser in favor of a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefront-is-matchmaking-only-to-ensure-fair-and-even-playground/">matchmaking system</a>. (The answer will shock you!) Star Wars Battlefront comes out on November 17, but the beta&mdash;open to all, don't forget&mdash;begins in just <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ea-nails-down-star-wars-battlefront-open-beta-dates/">a few days</a>. </p> Valve brings "Steam Sections" to GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Gameshttp://www.pcgamer.com/valve-brings-steam-sections-to-gamestop-game-uk-and-eb-games/The retail "Steam Sections" will offer Steam Hardware and prepaid cards.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:28:23 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valve-brings-steam-sections-to-gamestop-game-uk-and-eb-games/HardwareNewsSteam ControllerSteam LinkSteam MachinesValve <p>Valve has joined with GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games to bring dedicated "Steam Sections" to their stores in the US, UK, and Canada later this fall. The new sections will feature Steam Hardware devices, including the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/steam-controller/">Controller</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/steam-link/">Link</a>, and a number of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/steam-machines/">Steam Machines</a>, as well as Steam prepaid cards in various denominations.</p><p>"GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games are leading retail destinations for core gamers and early adopters," Valve Supremo Gabe Newell said in a statement. "Creating a 'store within a store' across North America and the UK is a significant win for getting the first generation of Steam Hardware products into gamers' hands."</p><p>"Steam has helped grow PC gaming into a leading platform for games," GameStop SVP of Merchandising Bob Puzon added. "With millions of gamers already enjoying the Steam desktop experience, we anticipate a strong demand for the upcoming Steam Hardware products and are looking forward to serving as the exclusive non-digital retail launch partner."</p><p>That last reminder about GameStop being Valve's "exclusive" partner in this venture (in the US) is very much marketing-speak, but still worth quoting because it's true. The PC has re-emerged as an important, perhaps even dominant, gaming platform largely through the strength of the digital marketplace, which is of course anathema to brick-and-mortar retailers: GAME underwent a painful <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/store-closures-begin-at-game-and-gamestation/093365">contraction</a> a few years back, and I gave up on EB Games ages ago because it no longer offers anything to attract the PC crowd. If they, and GameStop, can successfully incorporate the Steam brand into their operations, then they might not be quite as inevitably doomed as they previously appeared.</p><p>Steam Hardware is currently "targeted for release" on November 10. </p><p>Thanks, <a href="https://steamdb.info/blog/steam-sections-coming-to-retailers/">SteamDB</a>.</p> Worlds turns the League of Legends scene on its headhttp://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-turns-the-league-of-legends-scene-on-its-head/A run of upsets marks the most dramatic LoL group stage ever.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/worlds-turns-the-league-of-legends-scene-on-its-head/esportsLeague of LegendsMOBAPro <div> <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LWkD714ORyOa.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1PBu2QvFiNjO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="C9 celebration" class=""><figcaption>Photos via Riot's&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/100899330@N03/">Flickr</a>.</figcaption></figure> </div><p> We're only just&nbsp;past the first week of the League of Legends 2015 World Championship, and it's hard to believe what's happened so far. For the last two years, the narrative was straightforward: the spotlight was all on the Korean and Chinese teams to demonstrate how the game should really be played, while the western LCS sideshows tussled with the wild card teams for fan appeasement sets. </p><p> And this year? Oh, boy, this year. Hard to decide where to begin. In four days, most of our assumptions about relative regional strength has been tossed out the window. Everybody's attempts at picking the group results have been left in shambles as formerly-strong teams and regions fall short of their reputations and the true powers step out of the shadows of obscurity. Some of the teams currently facing the ignoble prospect of group stage elimination were expected to win the tournament and title outright&mdash;begging the question as to what happened since the Mid-Season Invitational, which largely stuck to the script.</p><p> The first lesson learned:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-logic-gaming-talk-the-past-and-future-of-north-american-league-of-legends/">Aphromoo was right</a>.</p><h3>Not for sale</h3><p> Money can buy a lot of things. When you count a few million as pocket change thanks to dynasties that have benefited significantly from the nation's economic investments, it can buy you a lot of neat and useful things in esports. Huge and fancy gaming houses, high-quality uniforms, legions of analysts to crunch the numbers for you... even loyalty.</p><p> Money can buy talent, coaches, individual players. It can't seem to buy China an actual team.</p><p> I interviewed Counter Logic Gaming support player Zaqueri 'Aphromoo' Black just over a week ago, and it was his claim that the Chinese teams were overrated despite a successful victory over legendary 2013 world champion team SKT T1 back during the MSI. The core of his claim was communications issues&mdash;Korean and Mandarin are not mutually intelligible languages, and while codified phrases can help bridge the gap (as well as plain old game sense and lots of practice together), it can only go so far for them. Nuanced shotcalling will be lost: tactical inflexibility might not be a huge detriment against fellow LPL teams, as they've played them dozens of times and know their strengths and weaknesses inside and out, but it proved to be absolutely lethal on the international level.</p><p> It's not as if the players are bad. China got what they paid for: the Korean players have mechanics, have lane pressure, and can win a straight-up one-on-one. Too bad that the 2015 meta, and the overall design direction for Patch 5.18, severely limits how much a single player's contribution is worth in terms of overall victory. Even the much-lamented Juggernaut reworks have been thoroughly exposed: sure, Darius and Fiora are deadly adversaries if they can get up close and personal. 'If'. Most of the time, they'll be slowed by Gnar's boomerang, bedazzled by Lulu's Glitterlance, outright knocked away by Azir's Emperor's Divide... a crafty player (and one conservative in their Flash expenditures) can work around these obstacles, but only with a team to further support them and make those opportunities possible.</p><p> That requires on-the-fly tactical play, and that's exactly why China's first seed, LGD Gaming, is doing even worse than both of their Taiwanese counterparts. It's why Invictus Gaming was made to look miserable by both Cloud 9 and Fnatic. And why, on Patch 5.18, Edward Gaming can no longer handle Korea's SKT T1.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a4I_oEBZTw-f.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cG_3MWiqEkh2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lol Worlds S5"></p><h3>Heads held Hai</h3><p> Not to say that Korea's safe. Just as Edward Gaming is the only Chinese team with a positive win rate so far, so is SKT T1 the only Korean team not actively worrying about their group stage performance. China's 2014 post-season ploy was to strengthen themselves by defanging South Korea&mdash;and while they largely failed the first half of that mission, the second half was undeniably successful. The traditional fear that accompanies a matchup against a KeSPA team is notably missing this year, and it's demonstrated not only in results but gameplay as well, with all teams much more willing to engage aggressively and making gambits that they would've shied away from in previous encounters.</p><p> Granted, all that still makes South Korea a powerhouse region. KOO Tigers' loss to Flash Wolves and KT Rolster's defeat in the hands of EU LCS's Origen were unexpected, but they still come out of Week One with a 2-1 lead. So far, all three Korean teams are on track to make it out of the group stages, therefore giving KeSPA the best odds of all regions to once again claim the world championship title. But while statistics and results might say one thing, their actual in-game performance is not nearly as confident or as crushing as it was in the last two years&mdash;especially versus the western representatives.</p><p> Has it finally happened? Has the west caught up? To the shock of all in attendance, Cloud 9&mdash;ranked 7th in North America after a disastrous summer split&mdash;ends their first Worlds week undefeated by the likes of Invictus Gaming, ahq E-Sports Club and Fnatic. Team captain Hai Lam may go down in esports history as League of Legend's number one most successful player-leader, demonstrating not only jungle mechanics in excess of what was expected of the former (and ailing) mid laner, but also well above the mark for a player that was planning to retire. There is all the chance in the world (and many more chances than initially expected) that he comes out of this as a messianic figure for North American LoL, recovering three proverbial days after a career-ending death from a collapsed chest, ruined wrists and declared retirement to lift his team and region to the Olympian heights of the playoff brackets.</p><p> And this after slaughtering the North American regionals in back-to-back reverse-sweep upsets. What a man. What a player. What a <em>leader</em>.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OfbxYXWYSICP.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pwJXUG0Igad1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Origen 2"></p><p> Meanwhile, the figureheads for EU LCS are pretty familiar, if even more successful. xPeke's world championship buff is now a thing of legend, and demand is white-hot for a baguette-wielding Fiora skin to honor top laner and France's native son sOAZ's contribution to Origen's 3-0 lead over both LGD Gaming and KT Rolster, the #1 and #3 seeds of China and Korea, respectively. In fact, the overall performance of EU mid laners&mdash;both on EU and NA LCS rosters, thanks to Bjergsen and Incarnati0n&mdash;have been markedly impressive, with the region producing this year's mechanically scariest players not named Faker. In Bjergsen's case, excepting a relieving victory over LGD Gaming, he's also the <em>only</em> player on his team to be doing well.</p><p> Something strange is definitely in the air. It's as if being on Old World soil is giving the west a significant stats boost in and out of game. A diet of French cuisine and blisteringly angry EU West solo queue has had a transformative effect on regions that thought they were going to be second-tiers against the eastern hemisphere for however long League of Legends lasts as an esport. In truth, of course, it's the result of hard, laborious investments&mdash;the culmination of two year's determined development of infrastructure, coaching practices, analytical support and player development to produce equals or near-equals worthy of challenging the eastern tyranny. And this month, we get to witness the harvest.</p><p> Against Faker, you need miracle-makers. And it might be appropriate, indeed, for a western miracle to be borne on western soil.</p><hr><p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Ubisoft's big announcement accidentally revealed as Far Cry Primalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-announcement/A cave paintingwhat could it mean?Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:45:05 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-primal-announcement/NewsUbisoftVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eAQmt-60nUY?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"> </iframe><p> Ubisoft is teasing an imminent announcement of something on its <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAQmt-60nUY">YouTube channel</a> with what appears to be a livestream of a cave painting.</p><p> Seriously, at this moment, that's all we've got: A cave painting of a man&mdash;or man-like creature&mdash;holding a bow and large torch, or perhaps a spear, while in the background, another bowman and a spearman appear to be leaning toward off-screen prey. There's also a silhouette of a hand, sparks flying from a fire, and ominous, primitive music.</p><p> A caveman <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4/">Far Cry</a>&mdash;Far Cro-Magnon, perhaps? Or could it be Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time 2? A BC's Quest for Tires reboot? Has Ubi bought out the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved/">Ark: Survival Evolved</a> guys? Or is it something entirely new?</p><p> We'll keep you posted!</p><p> <strong>Update: </strong>It's not official, but Ubisoft's big announcement, as unintentionally revealed by the <a href="https://twitter.com/igntrkiye">IGN Turkey Twitter</a> account, is a new Far Cry game called Far Cry Primal. The post itself is gone, but the <a href="https://twitter.com/igntrkiye/status/651107690433912832">tweet</a> remains, along with an image that bears, to my mind at least, a more-than-passing resemblance to the bizarre <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/zeno-clash-2/">Zeno Clash</a>.</p><p> We're still waiting for the word from Ubisoft, but there you have it: A new and potentially very interesting take on Far Cry is on the way.</p><p> <strong> </strong></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="tr">Far Cry Primal'dan ilk görseller geldi <a href="http://t.co/zDhuundsVD">http://t.co/zDhuundsVD</a></p><p>&mdash; IGN Türkiye (@igntrkiye) <a href="https://twitter.com/igntrkiye/status/651107690433912832">October 5, 2015</a></p></blockquote> Ludicrous GTA 5 ramp truck will consume all in its rampy wakehttp://www.pcgamer.com/ludicrous-gta-5-ramp-truck-will-consume-all-in-its-rampy-wake/When The Rampture comes for you, do not despair or fleeembrace your fate.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:41:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ludicrous-gta-5-ramp-truck-will-consume-all-in-its-rampy-wake/Grand Theft Auto 5NewsVideo <iframe width="670" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/--MeKE_OUNU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Throughout history, welding one thing to another thing has produced monumental&nbsp;innovations. The beer helmet.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kusashoes.com/?product=whenever-2">Grass sandals</a>.&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Gunblade_(Weapon_Type)">gunblade</a>. Now, making use of&nbsp;sjaak327's&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gta5-mods.com/scripts/simple-trainer-for-gtav">Simple Trainer</a> GTA 5&nbsp;mod, YouTuber and madman&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy332GE6lcMVP612IUs7ODw">BlackSmoke Billy</a> has birthed a truck that hurls cars tens of feet into the air against their will. What a time to be alive.</p><p>Things really heat up around 1:18 once Billy discovers he can affix an even more massive, curved&nbsp;object from GTA's world to the front bumper of his&nbsp;truck in order&nbsp;to fashion&nbsp;a six-lane-spanning Omega Ramp from which there is no escape. When The Rampture comes for you, do not despair or flee&mdash;relinquish your mortal cares and&nbsp;embrace that you, like that SUV that was driving in front of you,&nbsp;will soon&nbsp;be hurled to heaven. (And then,&nbsp;promptly,&nbsp;back down&nbsp;to the Los Santos asphalt.)&nbsp;♫&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtubedoubler.com/?video1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D--MeKE_OUNU&amp;start1=85&amp;video2=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D3G72NucLEGM&amp;start2=0&amp;authorName=pc+gamer"><em>Aaaama-ziinnng grace...</em></a><i style="background-color: initial;">&nbsp;</i>♫</p><p>Surely this inspirational work&nbsp;will find a home on&nbsp;our list of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwjCju2o76vIAhUBLIgKHdKcB2k&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcgamer.com%2Fthe-best-gta-5-mods%2F&amp;usg=AFQjCNGtLp02I3oydSjj5EST5owQnqUhdg&amp;bvm=bv.104317490,d.cGU">best GTA mods</a>.</p> The Elder Scrolls Online opens the doors to Orsinium in Novemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-opens-the-doors-to-orsinium-in-november/Let's visit the Orcs!Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:22:01 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-opens-the-doors-to-orsinium-in-november/Bethesda SoftworksMMONewsThe Elder Scrolls OnlineVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6eQO8eWkjdw?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online/">Elder Scrolls Online</a> players will soon have the opportunity to trek to the ancient homeland of the Orcs by way of the upcoming DLC package entitled Orsinium,&nbsp;which&nbsp;goes live on November 2. The Orcish capital lies in ruins, but King Kurog has put out the word that intrepid adventures are welcome to come to his realm and help restore its lost glory.</p><p> Bethesda says Orsinium will be the biggest Elder Scrolls Online DLC release yet (although it's also only the second, so take that for what it's worth), comprising a "vast new zone" with new enemies, allies, quests, dungeons, intrigue, and the Maelstrom Arena. And while it will no doubt take some time, the great city of Orsinium <em>will</em> be rebuilt. "Your efforts and actions while in Orsinium and the mountains of Wrothgar have a direct impact on the reconstruction effort," Bethesda said in the announcement. "The city will visibly transform."</p><p> Orsinium will be free for players with an active Elder Scrolls Online Plus subscription, or can be purchased from the Crown Store for 3000 crowns for the standard edition, or 5000 crowns for the Collector's Bundle, which comes with the Cave Bear Mount, the Cave Bear Cub, and five Crown Experience Scrolls. Bethesda is also whipping up a free "base-game patch" for release at the same time, which will incorporate gamepad support for the PC, subtitles for all platforms, shield dyeing, improvements to battle leveling, and various fixes and tweaks. Launch details and other such information may be found on <a href="http://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/news/post/2015/10/05/orsinium-launch-details-and-new-video">The Elder Scrolls Online website</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iobV6N4_RtiD.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8xcz4COcC45G.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Orsinium"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/q3PFyNiBRE20.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gqpnS8cXkGvL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Orsinium"></p> This week’s PC gaming dealshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pc-game-deals/The best PC gaming deals of the week.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:10:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pc-game-deals/DealsHardware <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PULBFWNXSiar.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1PBAHOzkjSLj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="This week’s PC gaming deals"></p><p> We like cheap PC components and accessories. But you know what we like even more? Expensive PC components and accessories that are on sale! Each week, we have our&nbsp;bargainmeisters bring you a list of the best component, accessory, and software sales for PC gamers.</p><p>Some highlights of this week: In the build up for StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm are each half off. There are a couple of low latency monitors on sale, one of which is 144hz. the Radeon R9 390X with a back plate has dropped below $400. Stardock is having a huge sale on nearly all of its games over at Green Man Gaming. Valkyria Chronicles has dropped to a measly $5, an absolute steal for a fantastic game.&nbsp;</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Sb1EiqSTRwCB.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xogsAmxSJHmE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hardware Deals"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>MSI Radeon R9 390X GPU with a back plate</strong> is down to <a href="http://fave.co/1OTahck" target="_blank">$370 on Newegg</a> after a $30 rebate.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>If you get <strong>two 8GB sticks (16GB total) of HyperX Fury DDR4 2133 RAM</strong> together, the price drops to <a href="http://fave.co/1OTaCvs" target="_blank">$88 on Newegg</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>Asus VE248Q 24” 1080p 2ms monitor</strong> is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BZNDHQ/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$159 on Amazon</a> after a $20 rebate.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>Alternatively, the <strong>AOC G2770PQU 27” 144hz 1ms monitor</strong> is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8LTB3W/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$304 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22 headset</strong> is down to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BDS415I/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$48 on Amazon</a>.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong></strong></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zH9aHn-LRL6I.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b_1wP4rcanyg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Deals"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>In anticipation of StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012JJ37U4/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012JJTK9G/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm</a> for $10 each on Amazon.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Valkyria Chronicles</strong>, which we gave an <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-review/" target="_blank">89/100 in our review</a> last November, is only <a href="http://fave.co/1KWd1Sj" target="_blank">$5 on GamersGate</a>. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Killer is Dead - Nightmare Edition</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1OT87cL" target="_blank">$10 on Green Man Gaming</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>Green Man Gaming also has <a href="http://fave.co/1KWeoR1" target="_blank">Stardock Bundle that contains eight games for $50</a>. Or you can get <a href="http://fave.co/1KWelEQ" target="_blank">Offworld Trading Company for $20</a>, or <a href="http://fave.co/1KWeloo" target="_blank">Galactic Civilizations 3 for $25</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>And of course, we’re giving away Steam keys for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/grab-a-free-steam-key-for-tactical-mech-game-bionic-dues/" target="_blank">Bionic Dues completely free</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to online stores. These online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which help support our work evaluating components and games.</em></p> Five highlights from Dota 2 at ESL One New Yorkhttp://www.pcgamer.com/five-highlights-from-dota-2-at-esl-one-new-york/Clutch escapes, lunar wrecking balls, and an Anti-Mage that just can't catch a break.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/five-highlights-from-dota-2-at-esl-one-new-york/Dota 2ESLesportsMOBAPro <p> <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i45WsRgvR32v.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/62-pBwrduNeB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ESL One New York (ESL)" class=""><figcaption>Photo credit: ESL</figcaption></figure></p><p> The long road to next year's International begins in earnest with the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-dota-2-frankfurt-major-is-coming-in-november/">Frankfurt Major</a>, but ESL One New York was the first chance to see the world's best Dota 2 teams play the latest patch with serious money on the line. Given how much was going on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pro-gaming-to-watch-this-weekend-2/">this last weekend</a> in League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, you'd be forgiven for missing the best bits.</p><h3>An unlikely escape: Team Secret vs. Fnatic</h3><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/WindyGloriousGuernseycow" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2/v/18945724?t=8m5s">Watch the entire match here.</a></p><p> Team Secret shook things up on the tournament's first day by picking Bane, Necrophos, and Io. The unconventional trio paid off quickly, drawing first and second blood in just over a minute. Unfortunately, this left the latter two heroes stranded between a forest and enemy territory. Their opponents, Fnatic, sent the heavy-hitting Spirit Breaker bounding across the map to capitalize on their vulnerability.</p><p> Necrophos and Io didn't stick around to let him. Rather than trek around hostile towers and heroes they went through the forest. Necrophos consumed the first tree with his last restorative Tango. Io, meanwhile, knocked down the rest of the offending foliage using his ability to pull himself towards his ally. It was a move that had to be executed just right. It was, keeping Fnatic from what should have been easy revenge.</p><h3>Luna drops the moon on Slardar: Virtus Pro vs. Invictus Gaming</h3><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/UntimelyFlashyAustraliancattledog" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2/v/18965304?t=255m45s">Watch the entire match here.</a></p><p> Luna's ultimate ability, Eclipse, is a tricky thing. Its destructive beams of moonlight are devastating, but the way it selects its targets at random can be frustrating. Of course, that's not an issue when there's only one target in range.</p><p> Invictus Gaming had just lost the latest in a string of bad fights with Virtus.Pro when they chased Luna into their own jungle. Luna, played by VP's Illidan, was in no condition to fight. She had just a sliver of health after the successful battle. Slardar, played by IG's Rabbit, was just the opposite. He was freshly respawned and looking to get absolutely anything in return for his fallen comrades.</p><p> Maybe that's why he made such a severe mistake. By chasing Illidan up into the jungle's high ground Rabbit lost sight of his opponent. This gave Illidan plenty of time to line up the perfect ult. With just the one target, Eclipse chewed through the desperate fish-man like he was slathered in tartar sauce.</p><h3>Elder Titan says no: CDEC Gaming vs. Team Secret</h3><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/FalseJaggedEasteuropeanshepherd" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2/v/19099651?t=54m25s">Watch the whole match here.</a></p><p> At ESL One New York, Team Secret picked the lesser-spotted Elder Titan. More than that, they actually won. Convincingly. The match wasn't exactly borne on the shoulders of team captain Puppey's actions through the hero, but he had his moments. Moments like the one depicted above.</p><p> Using his stomp, Puppey put his opponent Shiki to sleep an instant before he would have destroyed a middle tower. Puppey denied him the satisfaction (as well as gold and experience) by demolishing the structure himself. That's when Team Secret's w33 appeared. Taking advantage of Puppey's lengthy setup, he shackled Shiki to a nearby tree and together the two annihilated the CDEC Gaming player.</p><p> The whole exchange was over before the tower's rubble cleared, but Elder Titan proponents will likely point to it for weeks to come.</p><h3>Windranger gets tossed into jail: Vega Squadron vs. Team Secret</h3><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/LeanAjarAntarcticfurseal" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2/v/19150025?t=78m55s">Watch the whole match here.</a></p><p> Io and Tiny is a combination with enduring popularity. The former is the wheelman, the latter is the muscle: the two complement each other perfectly. Case in point: the first game of the ESL One New York grand finals.</p><p> It was a sight audiences have seen a hundred times, but with a twist. Vega Squadron's Io teleported his partner nearly on top of Team Secret's Windranger. The classic one-two punch followed. Tiny first stunned, then tossed his prey to a nearby ally. As always, the damage was enormous, but there was a chance, however small, that Windranger could have escaped. That is if the third party hadn't been Clockwerk, who snapped her up in a whirling prison of cogs almost as soon as she landed.</p><h3>Anti-Mage can't catch a break: Vega Squadron vs. Team Secret</h3><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/SelfassuredUncomfortableImperatorangel" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2/v/19150025?t=78m55s">Watch the whole match here.</a></p><p> Anti-Mage can be hard to catch, thanks to his ability to blink at will. That's doubly true in the case of a player&nbsp; <a href="http://www.dotabuff.com/players/43276219">as experienced with the hero</a> as Team Secret's EternalEnvy. Trapping him takes determination. Vega Squadron's Mag seems to have that, at least.</p><p> After he caught EternalEnvy farming Vega's side of the map Mag blindly harpooned himself to the already fleeing burglar. This canceled EternalEnvy's attempt to teleport home, and gave Mag's teammate Solo time to enter the fray. Together they dropped Anti-Mage to just sliver of health, but it didn't end there.</p><p> EternalEnvy blinked away again&mdash;this time to higher ground. Not about to lose him, Mag fired himself upwards using Force Staff. Unfortunately, he overshot and went right past his quarry. Still not giving up, he summoned a row of cogs to push Anti-Mage back towards Solo. Just one push away from toppling over, EternalEnvy used the last of Anti-Mage's energy to hop away a final time&mdash;into the waiting arms of an ally with a healing item.</p><hr> <p> <img class="pulled-image pull-left" style="margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udJMoWhiR6uK.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EOXQtbQL9-vi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pcgp Logo Red Small"> <strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pro/">PC Gamer Pro</a></strong> is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!</p> Is there any difference between Rocket League's cars?http://www.pcgamer.com/is-there-any-difference-between-rocket-leagues-cars/The devs say no, but the internet says yes.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:17:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/is-there-any-difference-between-rocket-leagues-cars/ProRocket LeagueSports <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c2KDXCUCQMWP.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UiiZLcR67TF5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nbnxq3iwagqmllhmdduq"></p><p>According to developer Psyonix, the only difference between the&nbsp;cars in Rocket League&nbsp;are their hit&nbsp;boxes&mdash;that is, the invisible 'box' around them that determines how they collide with things.&nbsp;Here's a&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/rocketleague/status/621181614773571588" target="_blank">tweet</a> from July confirming this.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i3w2cZpTSmq-.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nPQx_z4ZbhWX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="1"></p><p>But is this the case? Google 'Rocket League car differences' and you'll find a mass of conflicting information. There's this&nbsp;<a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ca_CziO64oy12QViMYHHvtK4sW3hIIO3oexvr0yhs6A/htmlview?pli=1&amp;sle=true#gid=0" target="_blank">elaborate spreadsheet</a> by <em>Tamoketh</em>, which indicates that certain factors vary between cars including turning radius and maneuvering. There's no way to confirm the 'science' of the tests they conducted to compile these stats, but it's compelling nonetheless.</p><p>This video by <em>1edzeppelin </em>seems to show&nbsp;differences in&nbsp;the power of each car's 'kick', and after watching it, it does seem like there's something going on.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rkyJE8Q3SI0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>And this video by&nbsp;<em>Evil Tuinhek</em>&nbsp;seems to show varying turning circles.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0MDVt0lu9Hs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If the cars in Rocket League do indeed have hidden stats, this seems like a strange design decision. I've definitely noticed people online using the same handful of car types&mdash;especially the van-like Merc. But if there is a difference, it probably isn't major enough to mess up the balance of the game. You never feel like one player has the edge because of the car they're using.&nbsp;</p><p>We&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rocket-league-dev-exploring-mod-support-working-on-crazy-different-maps/" target="_blank">spoke with Psyonix President Dave Hagewood in August</a>, and he told us that "statistically so far we have not seen one car beating another." Hagewood continued, saying the differences are more subtle than people think. "Some advantages people think they might be getting with a particular car, might be an advantage with their style of play, but it’s not an advantage with everybody else’s style of play."</p><p>What do you think?</p> Battlefront is matchmaking-only to ensure "fair and even playground"http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefront-is-matchmaking-only-to-ensure-fair-and-even-playground/We ask Battlefront's design director about the lack of server browsers.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:01:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefront-is-matchmaking-only-to-ensure-fair-and-even-playground/FPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rH8uvuVVQW-h.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SUIS19upiZHF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 2"></p><p>A while back DICE revealed that Star Wars Battlefront would use a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-has-no-server-browser/">matchmaking system</a> to get players into games, with no server browser option. We wondered if it was an accessibility decision to cater to the&nbsp;more casually inclined general Star Wars audience. Sam recently had a chance to ask design director Niklas&nbsp;Fegraeus about that very matter. Here is what he said.</p><hr> <p><strong>PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>You guys have announced you're not supporting server browsing in the game. This got a heated response from our readers. I was wondering if you could explain that decision?</strong></p><p><strong>Fegraeus:&nbsp;</strong>The nature of the matchmaker that we have is to just ensure that people have a fair and even playground. That's the thing. We want all Star Wars fans to be able to play this game and have a good time, and in doing that, we want to make sure that whenever players jump in, they get matchmade to players of their own level, their own skill, so they can have fun and a fair playing field. That's a really important thing when it comes to the quality of experience for the wide audience of Star Wars fans out there. </p><p><strong>PC Gamer:&nbsp;Is it</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">&nbsp;about Star Wars specifically in terms of its audience?</strong></p><p><strong>Fegraeus:&nbsp;</strong>Well, it doesn't have to be, it can have to do with any type of casual or less experienced audience, and so on. It's just a general statement of, what do you want the first experience to be, and what do you want the general experience to be when you play?</p><hr id="horizontalrule"> <p>The matchmaking system will let you specify which map you'd like to play on, which goes further than Titanfall's endless playlist rotations. What do you think? Would a lack of server browsers hurt your experience with the game?</p> Touring the simple, spectacular battlefields of Star Wars Battlefront http://www.pcgamer.com/touring-the-simple-spectacular-battlefields-star-wars-battlefront/"What LucasArts failed to do in eight years, DICE has brought together in just over two."Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/touring-the-simple-spectacular-battlefields-star-wars-battlefront/FPSStar Wars Battlefront <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LIFYAvpbTry4.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VfmYlR9q3ph2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 1"></p><p> I’ve played through a lot of Battle of Hoths in my lifetime, but Battlefront has the best one. Forget Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron and 2005’s Battlefront II&mdash;EA’s version has a Battle of Hoth that blows all previous efforts clean out of the snowscape. It’s the varied geography, the movie-accurate colour palette and the obvious fact that it’s had a ton of money thrown at it. This is what I always hoped Star Wars games would someday look like when I was a kid: battles taking place on land and in the sky, with star destroyers looming in the planet’s atmosphere. There’s so much Star Wars going on at any one time. If you’re excited about Episode VII this year and you want a game that captures the bright, fast and fun nature of a Star Wars set piece, then this is absolutely a game that does that.</p><p> Battlefield fans hoping this will function like the newest entry in that series might find themselves a bit disappointed, however. I think it’s younger people, or those more invested in Star Wars than in hardcore shooters, who will really love Battlefront. There are no classes or squads, for example. Sniper rifles are an unlockable ability with several seconds of cooldown after each shot. So are grenades. Your primary weapon can be upgraded to have different values for range or damage, but it’ll still be a variation on a blaster rifle. This weapon can kill stormtroopers or rebels, but it can also damage an AT-ST or a turret&mdash;it seems to be a one-size-fits-all gun. This might not please gamers who like a more complicated synergy between players.</p><p> I’m increasingly OK with this direction. Wes noted in his preview a few months ago that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-fun-sprawling-and-worryingly-simple/">Battlefront was worryingly simple</a>&mdash;I felt that too when I played the Hoth level at E3. But after multiple hours with this week’s beta at a recent press event in Stockholm, I’ve come around to the idea that simplicity might also be a strength.</p><p> I sampled the three modes of the beta in those hours: the Tatooine-set Survival (Battlefront’s variant on horde mode revealed at E3); Walker Assault (the Hoth battle); and a new mode called Dropzone, which takes place on Sullust. There are numerous maps across the game’s four planets (Endor being the fourth) depending on the mode; Survival and Dropzone feature maps that are a little smaller than Walker Assault’s 40vs40 Hoth battle.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qzOJCSFSoNI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> In Survival, I faced six waves of imperial troops out of the 15 that will spawn in the final game. They alternated between long-range types, heavy blaster-wielders and AT-ST walkers, and sometimes a mix of these. To beat them, I had three of the game’s Star Cards (bonus abilities, seen in the bottom right-hand side of the HUD): a grenade launcher, a brief buff on gun precision, and a jetpack. The jetpack and grenades are one-shot deals, and make scrapping with an AT-ST feel particularly cool, especially if you manage to jet off into the air and damage it at the same time.</p><p> I found Survival initially enjoyable but it held up quite badly on repeat playthroughs&mdash;there didn’t seem to be much of an effort to rejig enemy positions or tactics, so it became a pigeon shoot. With no option to play Walker Assault with bots, I’m not entirely won over to Survival as an alternative to a more expansive singleplayer option. Part of the joy of old Battlefront is leaping into Instant Action to do large-scale Battle of Hoth or Endor with some admittedly stupid bots&mdash;it seems a shame that’s not an option any more.</p><p> I asked design director Niklas Fegraeus about the thinking behind approaching single and co-op modes like this. “What we have done is to try to design singleplayer experiences you can play alone or cooperatively... You can play the survival mission we showed in the open beta, for example, where you can take on waves of enemies and you finish them as fast as you can. But there are other types of engagements as well: the battles, training missions. The goal of the missions is to provide a very interesting palette of different player experiences that you can also play cooperatively with a friend.”</p><p> There’s a generous selection of other modes in the main menu, and you can select what planet you want to play them on. I asked Fegraeus if there was a map variant per planet for every mode. “If you look at Hoth, you have very large snow surfaces, then on Endor there’s trees and rocks all over the place. So they cater to very different types of gameplay. Lots of cover versus not so much cover, distance versus close quarters and so on. But in general we’ve made it so there’s a map design available on each planet for the modes.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7WT8K44XS7qx.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZmZCTg80vgXh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 3"></p><p> The other two modes in the beta more than made up for Survival. For Dropzone, Battlefront’s King of the Hill variant, I found myself on the volcanic surface of Sullust, a planet that I believe was mentioned once in the original trilogy and now probably has a Wookieepedia page that’s longer than entire books about real places. The layout is very different to that of the Hoth and Tatooine maps, suggesting each planet will have its own identity. This map is full of small cliffs and outcrops of rock players can use as sniping or hiding spots. Dropzone sends pods to random parts of the map, and both teams have to compete to hold the pod for a certain amount of time before scoring a point. Between spawn points there’s X-Wing wreckage, a parked Imperial shuttle and other reminders you’re in the Star Wars universe&mdash;including a giant space war going on overhead between Star Destroyers and Calamari cruisers.</p><p> Dropzone is a fun mode because you don’t have to stand particularly close to the pod after you’ve captured it to maintain control. You can pick a hiding spot, wait for players to run in, then shoot them in the back as they try to capture it for themselves. Admittedly I fell afoul of this more than I benefited from it, but I got steadily better, as I did at using my grenades to take out clumps of enemies after figuring out their positions.</p><p> Walker Assault is undeniably the main event. It evokes Empire Strikes Back perfectly&mdash;not just the sight of the Ion Cannon, or AT-ATs marching ominously towards Echo Base, but also small details like the colour filter inside the Rebel hangar, or seeing a downed starfighter on the outskirts of the map. This was the mode that made me say “woah!” out loud. TIE Fighters, X-Wings, A-Wings, Y-Wings flying in and bombing AT-ATs. It’s the real deal: a full-on Star Wars battle built with impressive modern graphics technology. What LucasArts failed to do in eight years, DICE has brought together in just over two.</p><p> The main battlefield is extraordinary. Laser fire everywhere, and walkers bombarding the battle lines and trenches where Imperials are taking potshots at my Rebel comrades. Grenades don’t have much use here, so everyone’s trying to land headshots with the sniper rifle. The first thing I do is sprint to a token on the map that activates the X-Wing. Being in the sky feels amazing: it’s pretty damn obvious where the battlefield is, since the map is blank white outside of the conflict zone, but seeing Hoth from overhead in real-time as the two sides exchange laser fire is still so cool. The scale is as wide as you could hope for, although steering the ship feels stiff with the default sensitivity&mdash;I have to move the mouse a hell of a lot to turn around. I fly towards the AT-AT, put some laser fire on it, fire two proton torpedoes then collide with it as I fail to pull up in time for another pass. Brilliant.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3iCRWsafQxSM.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tJzFQUGtfLQW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 4"></p><p> I saw a lot of players crash in a similar fashion, leading me to believe the default stiffness of the fighter controls is an issue with the game&mdash;but it’s one DICE can easily fix, and can hopefully be tweaked in the menus anyway. Flying an X-Wing should feel arcadey: this isn’t a sim. I had more success later in the nippier A-Wing craft, where I took out an AT-ST from above with laser fire (as well as another collision that I somehow survived), and had a brief dogfight with a TIE Fighter. The ships have Star Cards, too&mdash;in the A-Wing’s case a shield buff and concussion missiles. I can’t deny that flying a ship is very empowering in Battlefront, and more of an influential position to hold in battle than being a foot soldier.</p><p> In Walker Assault, the goal is to stop the AT-ATs from advancing, which requires calling in Y-Wings to disable their shields before everyone turns fire on them. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader wander around the place, striking down less fortunate cannon fodder, though I didn’t really encounter either of them. I think there’s a lot of mileage in this map&mdash;I didn’t feel like I’d seen every part of it even after three playthroughs. If I have one complaint, it’s that turrets are overpowered right now&mdash;I managed to get 15 kills in one life, which I promise you is laughably unrepresentative of my ability. This streak was only ended when a particularly annoyed player crashed a Snowspeeder into me, which I probably deserved for camping.</p><p> The blaster rifle feels nice and chunky&mdash;headshots and zooming-in absolutely matter, but you can get along OK without working that hard to do either. There’s just about enough room for you to figure out a personal strategy with the Star Cards, but the progression doesn’t seem massively in-depth (most of it is gated off for the beta anyway, of course). More cards unlock as your rank increases, bringing in new and different weapons. It’s all very simple to figure out, though, underlining my earlier assertion that this game is deliberately uncomplicated in order to appeal to Star Wars fans rather than the shooter devotees who’ve played Battlefield 4 for 1,000 hours.</p><p> “I think that’s a good summary of our approach,” says Fegraeus when I ask him about this. “We are trying to provide for Star Wars fans across the board... flying X-Wings, being a Jedi, being stormtroopers and so on. But at its heart this is a Battlefront game, which means that it’s also a first-person shooter, and kind of a third-person shooter, which is another important aspect of the franchise. So we are trying to mix the things that are the most important for those audiences.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xq1U6Ni4Squk.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Sje9HlVk1uhW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 5"></p><p> Not everything from old Battlefront has been translated wholesale. The vehicle tokens take a little bit of the sandbox feel out of the game&mdash;previously in Pandemic’s Battlefront you could actually go up to a vehicle and take off, a valuable part of the experience that’s now automated.</p><p> “It’s a very large and complicated design philosophy in terms of how to make the modes balanced, how to make it interesting,” Fegraeus says. “What the power-up system does give us is this democratic, free way of emergent tactics... it gives the game an explorative component. I can head to the objective, for example, and try to do something, or I can actually take the flanking route and go around here, and there’s a power-up there that gives me an even bigger ability or weapon, or whatever it might be, to actually take my objective... So it’s emergent strategies and tactics, including vehicles as power-ups, that give this a really interesting type of gameplay.”</p><p> It doesn’t lose a lot from handling vehicles this way, but it sure was nice to be given the ability take off in a snowspeeder in Battlefront 2, with the option to get out at any time. The trade-off is how much more refined everything is&mdash;Pandemic’s Battlefront was rougher in pretty much every other way, and the balancing of classes was all over the place.</p><p> Aside from a lack of server browsing, which DICE explains away as a by-product of their matchmaking system and keeping things easy to navigate, I was pretty impressed by how Battlefront runs on PC. I tinkered with the key mapping during my preview and had a poke around the other options, and I stumbled across one nice, accidental moment of fun when I remapped the interact button to the celebrate emote on the keyboard. It meant that every time I captured a pod in Dropzone, my Rebel character would cheer in third-person while doing it&mdash;I enjoyed that. Star Wars, after all, is at its best when it’s hitting 60% drama and 40% comedy. No shame in having a bit of fun with it. It also shows that the PC version hasn’t been hastily thrown together&mdash;there’s a nice suite of graphics options alongside the option to remap, which is what you’d hope for from DICE.</p><p> I’m half-expecting new Battlefront to be a game that I enjoy more for the Star Wars than the actual shooting. But that’s a reflection of the target audience, and I have to admit that streamlining the core ideas of Battlefield has some merit in a game based on a film series as broad as this. I can sense it filling the Titanfall hole in my gaming&mdash;something I’ll play for 20 hours or so at launch, then sporadically throughout 2016, but perhaps not forever. This is one for people who just want to see an AT-AT storm towards Echo Base, take out a TIE Fighter in an X-Wing, or, if you’re me, crash an A-Wing into a chicken walker. Already excited at the thought of Episode VII arriving in December, after a much-needed decade-long break from Star Wars, I find that an enticing proposition.</p> Star Wars Battlefront PC graphics optionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-pc-graphics-options/What will you be able to tweak in DICE's upcoming shooter?Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-pc-graphics-options/BattlefrontNews <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YTQ4LaA9Rjud.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G2Mzx8gwwo4a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p> Sam spent a few hours with the PC edition of Star Wars Battlefront recently. You can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/touring-the-simple-spectacular-battlefields-star-wars-battlefront/">read his impressions</a> of the game, or listen to us chat about it&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzOJCSFSoNI" target="_blank">over footage of Sam</a> slaying rebel scum.&nbsp;</p><p>Sam took a break from playing to make a note of all the graphics options, in case you were interested. Naturally, things may change a little between now and release, but it looks like a pretty complete suite of options is in place already.</p><p> Fullscreen Monitor <br> Fullscreen Resolution <br> Fullscreen Mode <br> Fullscreen Refresh Rate <br> Vertical Sync - on/off <br motion="" blue="" amount<br=""> Resolution Scale<br>FOV Slider<br>Motion Blur Amount</p><p> The following&nbsp;settings were all set to ultra for the demo.</p><p> Graphics Quality <br> Texture Quality <br> Lighting Quality <br> Shadow Quality <br> Effects Quality <br> Post Process Quality <br> Mesh Quality <br> Terrain Quality <br> Terrain Groundcover <br> Anti-aliasing: FXAA High for the demo<br> Ambient Occlusion</p><p>I'm not precisely sure what groundcover is, but it might set the detail of foliage, which doesn't really apply to Hoth.&nbsp;</p><p>Battlefront is out on November 17.</p><p><em>Edit: there's also an FOV slider and motion blur amount settings. These have been added above.</em></p> Asylum Jam challenges mental health stereotypeshttp://www.pcgamer.com/asylum-jam-challenges-mental-health-stereotypes/Make games for good.Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:54:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/asylum-jam-challenges-mental-health-stereotypes/game jamNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/59VrnLuTTrmr.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GTNMDwgz0t0Z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="1"></p><p>The rules of&nbsp;<a href="http://asylumjam.tumblr.com/">Asylum Jam</a> are as follows:</p><p><em>"Join game developers challenging themselves to make a horror game on Halloween without utilizing negative mental health stereotypes in just 48 hours!"</em></p><p>The idea being that horror developers&nbsp;often trivialise&mdash;and villainise&mdash;people with mental health issues&nbsp;by setting their&nbsp;games in creepy asylums filled with murderous patients. Asylum Jam wants to prove that you can make a horror&nbsp;game without relying on&nbsp;these harmful, archaic stereotypes.</p><p>"Stigma prevents people from reaching out and seeking help," organiser Lucy Morris told&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/10/05/asylum-jam-2015/" target="_blank">Rock, Paper, Shotgun</a>.&nbsp;"It makes people feel ashamed and embarrassed. Media perpetuates a lot of this stigma in the form of inaccurate and sometimes harmful stereotypes, and that’s what Asylum Jam is here for&mdash;to explore horror gaming outside of tired, negative tropes."</p><p>Asylum Jam runs from November 6-9, and will be hosted by&nbsp;<a href="http://gamejolt.com/" target="_blank">Game Jolt</a>.</p>