PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usMon, 29 Jun 2015 22:52:57 +0000yesSupreme League of Patriots developer offers free game to Batman buyershttp://www.pcgamer.com/supreme-league-of-patriots-developer-offers-free-game-to-batman-buyers/Anyone who purchased Batman: Arkham Knight for the PC is eligible for the freebie.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:52:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/supreme-league-of-patriots-developer-offers-free-game-to-batman-buyers/ActionAdventureBatman: Arkham KnightNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/L4ohOZvzR_G7.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/P4SHcQhLr_WU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Supreme League of Patriots"></p><p>Indie developer No Bull Intentions feels so badly for people who bought <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a> on PC that it's offering to give them the first season of <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/331760/">Supreme League of Patriots</a> at no charge.</p><p>"We think that PC gamers get taken for granted far too often. Those who choose to play on PC are often subjected to shoddy console ports, driver problems, poor optimization and game-breaking bugs, not to mention invasive DRM and launch delays of weeks or even months for some titles," the studio <a href="http://nobullintentions.tumblr.com/post/122762039777/buy-arkham-knight-for-pc-get-supreme-league-of">wrote</a>. "We’re making this offer to show our support for PC gamers."</p><p>Anyone who bought the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight, either retail or digital, before midnight PST on June 30 (which is actually tomorrow) is eligible for the offer. Claims can be made by sending proof of purchase to <a href="mailto:supremeleagueofpatriots@gmail.com">supremeleagueofpatriots@gmail.com</a>.</p><p>"While we have every confidence that Rocksteady and Warner Bros. will keep patching Arkham Knight until it’s the amazing game we all anticipated, that doesn’t take away the disappointment that gamers felt," it continued. "We recognize that our little superhero caper can’t do that either, but we hope the comical adventures of The Purple Patriot will bring a smile to their faces while they’re waiting. After all, The Purple Patriot is possibly the only superhero in history to take himself more seriously than 'the bat'."</p><p>Taking advantage of one developer's misfortune (or incompetence) to draw attention to its own game is obviously an opportunistic move, not terribly unlike what <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-doubles-down-on-destiny-baiting-drink-for-dlc-campaign/">Techland did</a> in response to Destiny's Red Bull promo. And Supreme League of Patriots, as No Bull acknowledged, is hardly in the "league" of the Arkham games. (The good ones, anyway.) But free is free, as they say. And who doesn't like free stuff?</p><p>It's not entirely clear how long the offer is good for. <a href="http://www.vg247.com/2015/06/29/free-game-batman-arkham-knight-on-pc/">VG247</a> says it ends on June 30, but No Bull's original post indicates that that's just the deadline for purchasing Arkham Knight. Either way, it's probably best not to dawdle. Find out more about Supreme League of Patriots and its highly objectionable (in a good way) hero The Purple Patriot in our February feature entitled, tellingly, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-jerk-factor/">The Jerk Factor</a>.</p> Valve's "Get It Early" hardware preorders are sold outhttp://www.pcgamer.com/valves-get-it-early-hardware-preorders-are-sold-out/"Get It Early" preorders will start shipping in October instead of November.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:42:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-get-it-early-hardware-preorders-are-sold-out/Editors PicksHardwareNewsSteamSteam ControllerSteam LinkSteam MachinesValve <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xgTyIQgoTPmW.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y2C8GtRudt8B.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Alienware Steam Machine"></p><p>As the name suggests,&nbsp;Valve's "Get It Early" scheme offered advance access to the company's forthcoming range of&nbsp;hardware to those&nbsp;willing to throw&nbsp;down cash before anyone&nbsp;else. But "only while supplies last," Valve warned earlier this month, when it announced that 35 percent of the stock had already been sold. And now it seems that the remaining 65 percent is gone too.</p><p>Head over to their respective store pages and you'll notice that the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/353370/?cc=us">Controller</a> and <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/353380/?cc=us">Link</a> now list an availability date of November 10, rather than October 16, which is when "get it early" preorders will start shipping. You can still put down your money on them, but you'll have to wait in line with the rest of us before you'll get your hands on the gear.</p><p>Interestingly, as <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/06/valve-sell-out-of-early-bird-pre-orders-for-steam-hardware/">Ars Technica</a> noticed, while the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/353390/?cc=us">Alienware Steam Machine</a> also lists November 10 as the date of availability, the <a href="http://www.sybergaming.com/products/steam-machine.aspx">Syber</a> models have a shipping date of "on or after Oct. 15." That date comes from Syber's own website, however, and not Steam, and it's vague enough to mean just about anything. The <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/sale/steam_machines">remaining Steam Machines</a> carry a less-precise availability date of "November 2015."</p><p>Valve still hasn't said how many of these devices it has&nbsp;actually sold so far, meaning&nbsp;we have no idea if 500 Steam Controllers have been preordered, for instance, or 5000, or 50,000. It's not unreasonable to assume the kit&nbsp;is selling briskly, but without solid numbers it's impossible to get an accurate picture as to just how popular it really is. The one&nbsp;thing we can say for sure right now is that if you wanted to be early, you're too late.</p> Build of the week: Victorian Desktophttp://www.pcgamer.com/build-of-the-week-victorian-desktop/This custom woodworked mATX build started out with a single point of inspiration: a small iron grate.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 21:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/build-of-the-week-victorian-desktop/Build of the weekCase mods Mojang closing Scrollshttp://www.pcgamer.com/mojang-closing-scrolls/There will be no further features or sets added to Scrolls, but the servers will stay online for at least another year.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 21:09:40 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mojang-closing-scrolls/Card GameMicrosoftMojangNewsScrollsStrategy <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/scrolls/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fwlt6gVGRpC6.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/elHN-JMXNmYk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Scrolls deckbuilding"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/scrolls/">Scrolls</a>, Mojang's collectible card/strategy game, is no more. The studio announced today that the game "can no longer sustain continuous development," and while it promised to keep the servers running until at least July of 2016, no new features or card sets will be added. </p><p>The studio implied that smaller updates may still be forthcoming, however, as it is "planning to keep a close eye on game balance." It will also remain available for purchase "for the time being," with funds going to keep Scrolls online and playable for as long as possible.</p><p>"We’ve had a great time working on Scrolls, and appreciate every last player who’s downloaded our game," <a href="https://scrolls.com/2015/06/its-been-a-blast-automaton">Mojang wrote</a>. "Extra big thanks to the most dedicated members of our community; some of you have logged in almost every day since release and dedicated a large portion of your time to dominating the leaderboards and taking care of new players."</p><p>Scrolls has actually been around for quite awhile: It was originally announced in early 2011, and hit alpha a year later. The beta followed a year after that, and it went into full release at the end of 2014. It fared reasonably well in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/scrolls-review/">our review</a>, although Leif noted&mdash;presciently, as it turns out&mdash;that the relative dearth of players "means frightening things for Scrolls' future."</p> The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter adds Chris Avellone as a stretch goalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-bards-tale-iv-kickstarter-adds-chris-avellone-as-a-stretch-goal/Avellone will join the design team if the Kickstarter hits $1.9 million.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:57:05 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-bards-tale-iv-kickstarter-adds-chris-avellone-as-a-stretch-goal/Chris AvelloneinXile EntertainmentNewsRPGThe Bard's Tale IV <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZfqwXmgzRLK6.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1Tg0o1IXM20A.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bard's Tale"></p><p>At this point, famed designer <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/chris-avellone/">Chris Avellone</a> is a de facto member of the team at inXile Entertainment. He took part in the development of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wasteland-2/">Wasteland 2</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/torment-tides-of-numenera/">Torment: Tides of Numenera</a> (which is still in the works), in both cases after funding stretch goals were hit. And now, with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-bards-tale-iv/">The Bard's Tale IV</a> Kickstarter winding down, he's getting ready to make that&nbsp;run&nbsp;three for three.</p><p>As usual, Avellone's participation in Bard's Tale IV is a stretch goal, this time pegged at the $1.9 million mark, which will see him create "an all new dungeon built from the worst things" he can imagine called The Cairn of Horrors. "The Cairn has one purpose," inXile founder Brian Fargo wrote in the latest <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1278468">Kickstarter update</a>, "and that purpose is to kill you."</p><p>"If you’re not familiar with Chris, he and I go back together to the mid-90s when he worked on the legendary cRPGs <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/planescape-torment/">Planescape: Torment</a> (as Lead Designer) and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-series-retrospective/">Fallout 2</a>," Fargo explained. "We have very successfully worked with him before on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, a co-operation that is still ongoing to the joy of both parties!"</p><p>Avellone (who, you'll recall, left his "real job" at Obsidian <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/chris-avellone-leaves-obsidian/">earlier this month</a>) isn't the only potential big-name addition to the design team. At $1.4 million, Numenera creator Monte Cook will create a dungeon of his own, the "RPG Super Team" of Bruce Cordell, Wolfgang Baur, and Sean K. Reynolds will do the same at $1.5 million, and $1.7 million will see Colin McComb, the creative lead on Tides of Numenera, climb on board.</p><p>Interestingly, while The Bard's Tale IV was easily funded, it doesn't appear to be the runaway success of its predecessors. Wasteland 2 pulled in more than $2.9 million on a $900,000 goal, and Torment hit nearly $4.2 million while aiming for the same target. The Bard's Tale, on the other hand, surpassed its $1.25 million goal on June 14 but has only moved to $1.36 million in the two weeks since. The campaign still has 11 days remaining but unless the pace picks up dramatically, the Avellone Three-peat will have to wait.</p> Silence: The Whispered World 2 has a new cinematic trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/silence-the-whispered-world-2-has-a-new-cinematic-trailer/Daedalic Entertainment, prominent German adventure game developers, released a new cinematic trailer for Silence: The Whispered World 2Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:56:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/silence-the-whispered-world-2-has-a-new-cinematic-trailer/AdventureDaedalic EntertainmentNewsSilence: The Whispered World 2 <div style="background-color:#000000;width:640px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"> <iframe src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:gametrailers.com:b84ad0ce-c534-4023-9b19-b2939f1dd0e0" frameborder="0" height="360" width="631"> </iframe> </div> </div><p> Daedalic Entertainment, the German studio best known for their commitment to the point-and-click adventure genre, has released <a href="http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/c63ztu/silence--the-whispered-world-ii-cinematic-trailer">a cinematic trailer for Silence: The Whispered World 2.</a></p><p> A light synopsis from the <a href="http://www.daedalic.de/en/game/Silence" target="_blank">game’s website</a> reads:</p><p> “With completely new 3D visuals, the game will take players back to Silence, a world made of dreams. We accompany Noah, a teenager, who lost his little sister Renie in the hazardous real world and now hopes to find her again in Silence.”</p><p> The trailer contains a fair amount of typical fantasy cues:&nbsp;shards scattered, a silence breaking, a magic mirror doing something magicky, a boy chased through some creepy woods by a wraithlike entity. It all looks nice, and while a touch cliched, the trailer maintains shades of Daedalic's distinct style.</p><p> While I haven’t played The Whispered World, I’m intrigued by the shift in tone from the first game. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVY_bw1Ty-I">The original game’s trailer</a> has a markedly lighter affect, especially pronounced by the hand drawn animated art direction. One can only hope the sequel doesn’t lose the charm in its transition to 3D.&nbsp;Silence: The Whispered World 2 is set to arrive sometime in 2016.</p> The worst launches in PC gaming historyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-worst-pc-game-launches/We take a look at the history of troubled PC game releases.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:57:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-worst-pc-game-launches/Best ofEditors Picks We're playing Terraria's 1.3 update a day earlyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/were-playing-terrarias-13-update-a-day-early/We're livestreaming Terraria's massive 1.3 update a day early, with some of the devs from Re-Logic in Twitch chat. Come watch!Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:38:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/were-playing-terrarias-13-update-a-day-early/livestreamRe-LogicTerrariaVideos <p style="text-align:center"> <iframe src="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer/embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="378" width="620"> </iframe></p><p> Tomorrow,&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/Terraria" target="_blank">Terraria</a> will get&nbsp;its third massive update since it launched in 2011. Once again, the game will be getting a free content drop that adds hundreds of items, new enemies, new modes, updated graphics and sound, and a&nbsp;<em>very&nbsp;</em><a href="http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/1-3-changelog.20617/" target="_blank">long list of&nbsp;more</a>.</p><p> We will be livestreaming the 1.3 update to Terraria in its brand new "Expert Mode" today from 2-5pm PDT, ahead of its official release tomorrow. Come watch as we find as much new stuff as we can (and there is a lot) while some of the devs from&nbsp;Re-Logic hang out in Twitch chat. You can watch on the embed above, or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.com/pcgamer" target="_blank">right here on our Twitch channel</a>.</p> Mafia 3 domain registrations hint at a new game in the workshttp://www.pcgamer.com/mafia-3-domain-registrations-hint-at-a-new-game-in-the-works/A brief and entirely unverified snippet of video on YouTube indicates that Mafia 3 is coming next year. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:22:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mafia-3-domain-registrations-hint-at-a-new-game-in-the-works/2K GamesActionMafia IINews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LoL886uHQZOG.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iklKbi-NqjiP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mafia"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mafia-ii/">Mafia</a> rumor machine is once again picking up speed, thanks to the recent registration of four domains related to Mafia 3. Noticed by <a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1072076">NeoGAF</a>, <a href="http://whois.domaintools.com/mafia3thegame.com">mafia3thegame.com</a>, <a href="http://whois.domaintools.com/mafiaiiithegame.com">mafiaiiithegame.com</a>, <a href="http://whois.domaintools.com/mafiathree.com">mafiathree.com</a>, and <a href="http://whois.domaintools.com/mafiathreethegame.com">mafiathreethegame.com</a> appear to belong to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the publisher of the Mafia series that was last heard from nearly <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mafia-2-review/">five years ago</a>. That makes good timing for an announcement at, or just ahead of, Gamescom, set to take place in August.</p><p> Buttressing the rumor is the video playing below, which purportedly came from IGN before being removed, showing the Mafia 2 logo morphing into Mafia 3, followed by "2016." This too is entirely unverified, but as <a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/mafia-3-domains-registered-by-take-two/1100-6428484/">Gamespot</a> reminded everyone, Mafia 2 voice actor Rick Pasqualone <a href="https://twitter.com/rickyp66/status/552184551733481472">tweeted</a> in January that he "might have some Mafia news very soon!" Put it all together and it certainly starts to look like... well, <em>something</em>.</p><p> Of course, it could be a fake, or it could be simple bookkeeping on 2K's part. We've reached out for more information.</p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PC2rg_qWfYs?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe> This week’s PC gaming dealshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pc-game-deals/The best PC gaming deals of the week.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:00:00 +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: You can get a great Corsair mouse and keyboard combo for the price of just the keyboard. A 23.6" 4K IPS monitor with a&nbsp;low 4ms&nbsp;GtG rate is the cheapest you'll find for an IPS that resolution. The fantastic Samsung 850 EVO SSD has a big discount on its 500GB size. Dragon Age: Inquisition is half off for the disc version, 33% off for the digital download. Bundle Stars has all three F.E.A.R. games and their DLC for only $5 total. And Wasteland 2 is on sale, along with Wasteland 1 only costing the price of a soda.&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><strong></strong><strong>Two 8GB sticks (16GB total) of Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 RAM</strong> is down to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A771ZLO/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$106 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>500GB version of the Samsung 850 EVO SSD</strong> is way lower than usual, for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OBRE5UE/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$164 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>NZXT H440 mid tower case</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1Htfaq9" target="_blank">$120 on Newegg</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong>You can get a combo package of the <strong>Corsair K70 RGB keyboard and the Corsair M65 RGB mouse</strong>, both great options on their own, for <a href="http://fave.co/1eeUpRE" target="_blank">$170 on Newegg</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>Acer K242HQKbmjdp 23.6” 4K IPS monitor</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1HteQHM" target="_blank">$350 on Newegg</a>.</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>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Dragon Age: Inquisition</strong> is only <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JUHZBRG/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$30 on Amazon</a> if you don’t mind the disc version. If you’d prefer a digital download, that’s also <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JU9NV3K/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">on sale for $40</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Wasteland 2</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1eeQxzV" target="_blank">$20 on GamersGate</a>. If you’d like to play the original, that’s <a href="http://fave.co/1eeQvIp" target="_blank">only $1.50</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>If you are still feeling the woes of Arkham Knight, <strong>Batman: Arkham Origins</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1Htbu7C" target="_blank">$20 on Gamestop’s site</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;The <strong>F.E.A.R bundle</strong>&mdash;which includes <strong>F.E.A.R.</strong> and its DLC, <strong>F.E.A.R. 2</strong> and its DLC, and <strong>F.E.A.R. 3</strong>&mdash;is only <a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/all-bundles/fear-bundle/" target="_blank">$5 at Bundle Stars</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>Dark Fall trilogy</strong> is on sale for <a href="http://www.gog.com/promo/weekly_staff_picks_dark_fall_trilogy_290615" target="_blank">$5.47 total on GOG</a>.</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> Heat Signature gameplay trailer showcases randomly-generated galaxieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/heat-signature-gameplay-trailer-showcases-randomly-generated-galaxies/Heat Signature is a game about sneaking aboard spaceships and behaving badly once you're inside.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:33:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heat-signature-gameplay-trailer-showcases-randomly-generated-galaxies/Heat SignatureNewsStrategyTom Francis <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d0-LwSS19iU?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> It has been 220 days since the last <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heat-signature/">Heat Signature</a> trailer, according to designer (and former PC Gamer writer) Tom Francis, and so here's a new one. Trailer is probably the wrong nomeclature, actually, because clocking&nbsp;in at just over&nbsp;11 minutes, the video includes plenty of gameplay detail, with Francis providing running commentary throughout. Of note are the&nbsp;randomly generated galaxies (which are still very pretty), explanation of how factions work, and&nbsp;the dangers posed by an icy, infinite vacuum and the practical value of throwing wrenches in confined spaces.</p><p> What I find especially appealing about Heat Signature is the randomness underlying the whole thing. Francis does pretty well as he plays, as you'd expect from the guy who's making the game, but he still manages to get himself into all kinds of scrapes. In fact, he put some of his more interesting moments together in a much shorter (and swearier) video of Heat Sig <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHHlA66NV1Y">out-takes</a>, saying "the game broke in about 20 different ways" while he was making the trailer.</p><p> "The game now procedurally generates a huge galaxy of colourful nebulae, dotted with hundreds of space stations, linked by trade routes that carry supplies between all the outposts of each faction's empire," Francis explained. "Your take missions to intercept ships flying those routes&mdash;stealing cargo or assassinating VIPs to break the supply chain, leaving space stations isolated and ripe for capture."</p><p> Heat Signature certainly seems to be coming along nicely, and Sam and Tim were suitably impressed by it when they took it for a spin in a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heat-signature-hands-on-embracing-the-void/">March preview</a>. Public testing hasn't begun yet, but you can sign up to be notified when it does at <a href="http://www.heatsig.com/">heatsig.com</a>.</p> Putting the seal on Sivirhttp://www.pcgamer.com/putting-the-seal-on-sivir-2/Has League of Legends over-centralized around Sivir?Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:55:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/putting-the-seal-on-sivir-2/League of LegendsLoLwatchMOBA <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8zuLA3FKR1ue.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OKNpMP-JxM1v.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sivir, League of Legends"></p><p>Does League of Legends currently have a Sivir problem? She's been a dominant presence across multiple continents, boasting a win rate that verges on making her ban-worthy. Yet it's hard to immediately identify why this is so.</p><p>On paper, she isn't the most intimidating AD carry. Her short auto-attack range is relatively unsafe, and though her poke is pretty good, her overall burst damage is usually outmatched by other options. Were it safety in fights, you'd usually want the long auto-attack range from Caitlyn, Jinx, Ashe or Kog'maw&mdash;with a good tank line, it's difficult to trap them with any form of crowd control. Were it raw damage, Vayne, Kalista and Corki offer execution power that leaves Sivir in the pale. Her attack steroids are nothing much to boast of either, compared to the attack speed bonuses offered by other carries.</p><p>Yet to analyze Sivir based off her combat stats alone is to miss the forest for the trees. Certain pro players might dismiss her contributions as "just a Sivir comp," but it says a lot about their own ignorance to treat it with such low priority despite its proven success.</p><h3><strong>Wild Hunt</strong></h3><p>Sivir's team contributions exist along two fronts: map control and power amplification. The first is easy enough to understand: she deletes waves by pressing two buttons. A couple Boomerang Blade and Ricochet combos later, and the enemy bot lane duo's stuck farming under the turret while she's free to roam elsewhere.</p><p>Her wave control is especially relevant in organized play, where two-on-two bot lanes aren't necessarily the guaranteed norm, nor are extended laning phases. Fast and reliable waveclear allows her team to focus on objectives early on and abuse early-game matchup advantages consistently. Either she gets an easy 2v1 lane, or she guarantees that her top laner has the better 1v1 option. In combination with the "sixth-man" pressure from the lane she's pushed up, the enemy team will find themselves regularly split along two fronts, limiting their strategic options.</p><p>If they're the sort of team that needs a long time to ramp up to their power spikes, that's a deadly sort of pressure to face. Tear of the Goddess-using champions like mid lane Kog'maw or Cassiopeia, in particular, are pressed hard to find any sort of relevance&mdash;by the time they can afford to do anything but play defensively, their team will often be down the entire front line of towers as well as multiple Dragons.</p><p>But other AD carries can do a similar job without being nearly as dangerous as Sivir. Corki's burst and poke can smash through minion waves just as well, after all, and he too is a powerful early-game pick. Unlike Sivir, however, Corki only has his own early game to rely on&mdash;he doesn't bring a whole lot to everybody else's kit.</p><p>On The Hunt might secretly be the best ultimate spell in the game. It might not do damage, nor does it offer or affect direct crowd control spells, but the powerful team-wide mobility does two extremely important things. Obviously it tips just-barely-infeasible champions into godlike status: the speed boost makes it much easier for champions like Rumble and Maokai to get into position for their spells, and makes even traditionally kite-able champions like Olaf into a real threat in the face of all of the dashes, blinks and Ghosts that litters the game. In a lot of cases, the <em>only</em> reason why a champion isn't "good" is because of their lack of comparative mobility, and On The Hunt is a teamwide solution to that problem.</p><p>Related to that is the true secret to Sivir's success: if her wave control can be considered a strategic seal on the enemy team, On The Hunt is an indirect form of crowd control that seals their micro-level tactical options too.</p><p>The best way to think about it is as a range extension to her allies' own crowd control effects. Maokai's Twisted Advance, Morgana's Soul Shackles, Gragas's Explosive Cask: it's that much harder to stay out of their radii when Sivir is nearby to bolster their movement speed. Even before the first spell is cast, the enemy team finds their movement options sealed off as surely as if the choke points had been blocked off with Azir's Emperor's Divide.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tMy5fe1WR0Sr.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0MhSp3ymbdAq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Azir, League of Legends" style="width: 668px;"></p><h3><strong>Sealing Technique</strong></h3><p>Coincidentally, Azir's exactly the sort of champion you want to run when facing a Sivir-reliant composition. Mass-knockback spells in general are the best tools versus On The Hunt, opening up vital space and movement options when Sivir's team decides to engage. For that, you'd also want Gragas, Janna or Tristana&mdash;Explosive Cask, Monsoon and Buster Shot respectively.</p><p>Of course, while that opens up your team's skirmish-level options, that doesn't do enough in the face of Sivir's map control&mdash;it's nice to have when her team decides to force fights instead, but stopping them from simply out-rotating you is difficult at best.</p><p>For that, you want to fight fire with fire.</p><p>Righteous Glory's one of the best options you can slap on a tank right now, thanks to the whopping 60% movement speed bonus it provides your team on activation, making it the equivalent of a mid-game On The Hunt. Area of Effect denial, like with Viktor's Gravity Field, pre-empts Sivir's movement options and denies her team critical chokepoints.</p><p>And then there's the option of being so inherently mobile that even On The Hunt can't close the gap for her team. Early-game Warrior junglers like Lee Sin and Jarvan are increasingly popular again, thanks to their huge inherent mobility and efficiency in shutting down Sivir early. But the most interesting choice I've seen so far's back home in Taipei's LoL Master Series, where mid lane maestro Westdoor's fallen back to an old favorite.</p><p>Global and pseudo-global Teleport effects are the best forms of mobility money&mdash;or RP&mdash;can buy. Shen can almost literally be in two places at once, counteracting Sivir's dominant map play, and his energy usage buffs have made the classic tank relevant again. But Twisted Fate is an even more interesting option. At first glance, his reliance on Gold Card to set up kills is a relatively poor choice versus Sivir, as she can simply Spell Shield it into oblivion (and give her extra mana for another Boomerang Blade at that). But the real threat from Twisted Fate is <em>information</em>.</p><p>Destiny is like having free wards up across the map. No matter what Sivir does, or how fast her team rotates, Westdoor's Twisted Fate means they should never be able to catch the enemy team by surprise. Her wave control advantages are largely mitigated if the enemy team doesn't actually have to choose between pushing a lane or fighting over Dragon, but gets to do both at the same time. Theoretically, Pantheon and Gangplank can do the same as well, thanks to their own global effects&mdash;though not Karthus, as Requiem is simply free mana for Sivir.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GsvTh9OWT2OA.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qTaq755lk25f.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Twisted Fate, League of Legends" style="width: 668px;"></p><h3><strong>Threat Level</strong></h3><p>The big question at the moment: should Sivir be nerfed? In the face of her obvious strengths at the professional level, it's tempting to say so. She has an extremely centralizing effect in the game at the moment&mdash;it's hard to say otherwise when she isn't just in every game, but actively sought after in the first couple pick rotations.</p><p>But hold that thought. Sivir's centralization might suck for AD carries that are bored of basically playing a support role, but it's hard to say that she's bad for the game. As mentioned, she increases champion diversity for literally every other role, so even if the AD carries are bored, everybody else is having a grand old time dusting off champions that were formerly held back in a Sivir-less metagame.</p><p>What needs to be done, instead, is to decrease the current meta's reliance on On The Hunt, and Riot's already doing so. Improved gold gains with Ancient Coin makes Talisman of Ascension a much more feasible option for support players. Even better, the soft cap mechanic on movement speeds makes stacking their bonuses highly inefficient anyhow, so it's not as if Sivir teams benefit <em>even more</em> from having the Talisman available on their side too.</p><p>In a rare once-a-year case, I have nothing to criticize about Riot's balance plans... for now. If the lessons we've derived from Sivir's current dominance is anything to go by, the upcoming item rebalances will do a lot to improve the game's overall health.</p> Visceral's Star Wars game similar to Uncharted and 1313http://www.pcgamer.com/viscerals-star-wars-game-similar-to-uncharted-and-1313/Well, Uncharted writer Amy Hennig is working on the game.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:04:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/viscerals-star-wars-game-similar-to-uncharted-and-1313/ActionElectronic ArtsNewsStar WarsVisceral Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UkxgvYYcRlqC.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VBoHul_KodZR.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars 1313"></p><p>That shot up there is from&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_1313" target="_blank">1313</a>, the dark, gritty Star Wars game that was in development before LucasArts was closed down. There isn't much chance of that seeing the light of day now, but its spirit may live on in Visceral's upcoming&nbsp;Star Wars game, which we've known about for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/disney-and-ea-teaming-up-to-make-use-of-the-star-wars-licence/" target="_blank">a while now</a>.</p><p>Voice actor&nbsp;Nolan North revealed some titbits about the game during a panel at Metrocon, which was recorded and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHWChn7AvoQ&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=18m" target="_blank">posted online here</a>. He doesn't appear to be lending his throat to Visceral's game, but he does seem to&nbsp;know a fair bit about it: according to North, it's styled after&nbsp;the Uncharted series. As Uncharted writer Amy Hennig is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/uncharted-writer-amy-hennig-joins-eas-visceral-games-for-star-wars-project/" target="_blank">working on the game</a>, that's not entirely surprising.</p><p>"If you're a big fan of Amy Hennig and her style of story, she's gone to EA and is going to reboot a brand new Star Wars franchise in the style of Uncharted," North said, while talking about Hennig's departure from Naughty Dog. "I happen to know a lot about it and it's going to be awesome."</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j3TZFZ1fHhA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>When asked if Visceral's still-unannounced game was a revived&nbsp;Star Wars 1313, North replied that it was&nbsp;"different" but "along the same lines".</p><p>Visceral's upcoming&nbsp;Star Wars game is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/ea-developing-open-world-star-wars-game/1100-6416442/" target="_blank">rumoured</a> to be open world, but we still barely know anything about it. (Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/uncharted-writers-star-wars-game-along-the-same-li/1100-6428492/" target="_blank">Gamespot</a>.)</p> The Elder Scrolls Online creative director quits to join Gearboxhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-creative-director-quits-to-join-gearbox/Might he be working on Borderlands 3?Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:26:39 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-creative-director-quits-to-join-gearbox/GearboxMMONewsThe Elder Scrolls OnlineZenimax Online Studios <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/85VQOwZNRkuU.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oN71Q0-c66ss.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Borderlands"></p><p>"This Could Be You" reads the above image that was used to&nbsp;advertise&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gearbox-is-recruiting-for-the-next-borderlands/" target="_blank">new positions at Gearbox</a>&mdash;but it's not you, in this instance, it's&nbsp;Paul Sage. Who's Paul Sage?&nbsp;Paul Sage was the creative director of&nbsp;The Elder Scrolls Online, but he's left just, mere weeks&nbsp;after the console launch of that game, to join Gearbox.</p><p>Obviously TESO isn't suddenly going to collapse and shut up shop, but it's not an encouraging sign for the MMO that recently went free-to-play. As&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-06-29-the-elder-scrolls-online-creative-director-quits-joins-gearbox" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a> note, TESO's lead gameplay designer Nicholas Konkle left the team back&nbsp;in April, to join LoL developers Riot Games.</p><p>Is Sage going to be working on Borderlands 3? And if so, does that mean it will feature more&nbsp;MMO elements? We could speculate all day. Meanwhile, TESO&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/have-a-sneak-peak-of-changes-coming-to-the-elder-scrolls-online/" target="_blank">continues to be updated</a>&mdash;and it's come on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-tamriel-unlimited-has-changed-teso-for-the-better/" target="_blank">a long way</a> since launch.</p> Ultima Underworld-inspired roguelike Barony out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ultima-underworld-inspired-roguelike-barony-out-now/"How are you feeling today, Baron Herx?" "I'm feeling a little Barony."Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:08:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ultima-underworld-inspired-roguelike-barony-out-now/BaronyNewsRoguelike <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3Rcw_5eIQtuA.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/l6UMOxVMZUUw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Barony"></p><p>I was pretty excited about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/barony-trailer-shows-ultima-underworld-inspired-multiplayer-roguelike/" target="_blank">Ultima Underworld/System Shock/Nethack-inspired</a> roguelike&nbsp;<a href="http://baronygame.110mb.com/" target="_blank">Barony</a> a while back. And then I promptly&nbsp;forgot about it. And then I cooked a pizza, probably. And, hey, now&nbsp;Barony is out. I was excited because Ultima Underworld is the best thing ever, but&nbsp;with music and controls that make me want to walk into the sea rather than give it another go. System Shock is also the best thing ever, as is Nethack, probably, so a game that smushes them all together must be worth a look, right?</p><p>Barony is&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/371970/" target="_blank">out now on Steam</a>, and if you buy it in the next 30 hours or so you'll get 15% off. Not pushing you to do that, but figured you might want to know, as&nbsp;I'm intrigued enough that I might stump up the cash myself.&nbsp;Sheridan Kane Rathbunhe's game sure is&nbsp;ugly, but it's as ambitious as anything, with four-player online co-op and a level editor&nbsp;sitting atop its randomly generated dungeon.</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XWdmN7p9jcU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If you're wondering why you're in there, well:</p><p>"Barony tells the story of an undead lich named Baron Herx, who terrorized the town of Hamlet in a previous life and is now holding out in a vast subterranean complex known as the Devil's Bastion. As a single hero or a group of adventurers, it is your mission to descend the depths of his abode, confront him in his hellish lair, and destroy him forever. Whether you will simply meet your doom in the dungeons as many have before you or rise to victory against the Baron and his hellspawn is ultimately up to you."</p><p>I'd go for the latter option myself, but horses for courses and all that.</p> Playing with the balance of battle in C&C: Red Alerthttp://www.pcgamer.com/playing-with-the-balance-of-battle-in-cc-red-alert/The Soviets are OP! Or are they?Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/playing-with-the-balance-of-battle-in-cc-red-alert/Now PlayingStrategy <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lad6NWNlRDOo.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qHhc8z5hwcOP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Red alert 2 1"></p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">NOW PLAYING</h5><p>In <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing/">Now Playing</a> PC Gamer writers talk about the game currently dominating their spare time. Today, Sam gets mauled by Soviet might, but unbalance can work both ways.</p></div><p>Our recent&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/best-strategy-games-on-pc/">top&nbsp;20 strategy games</a> list has galvanised my interest in Westwood’s wonderfully unbalanced ’90s RTS. When I was younger, I always had a thing against the Allies because they were total ass compared to their Soviet rivals. Particularly in skirmish mode where they lost exclusivity rights to Tanya, the deadly one-person building-wrecker, which could take out an entire base in about 30 seconds providing there were no unitzapping Tesla coils nearby.&nbsp;</p><p> I gave Red Alert another go with the goal of playing as the Allies in skirmish mode and actually beating the Soviets, which I’m fairly certain I managed zero times back in the day.&nbsp; </p><p> The problem is firepower. In no part of the game do the Allies have an advantage. Where they have light medium tanks, the Soviets have heavy tanks and the mighty HP-recovering mammoth tanks. If you’ve played Red Alert&nbsp;before, you know what I’m talking about – it’s like watching a chihuahua try to take on a cat. Not gonna happen. If an RTS was released with those sorts of balance issues now, the developer would have that shit patched on Steam in 24 hours. </p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tKu9DNnARei7.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eEQyPYtaeURc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Red Alert 2 2"> </p><p> I start the game in the top-right corner of the island-based map (it’s called Island Wars, there are bridges, you may remember it). Quickly I build up my base towards landing a tech centre, which grants full coverage of the map by launching a satellite after a certain time. I’m building as many medium tanks as possible. Intimidatingly, within five minutes, I can hear two armies going at it in the shroud. I send one ill-fated machine gun guy down to investigate, and sure enough, two Soviet armies of about 15 vehicles apiece that vastly exceed my powers are exchanging fire. If one of them wins, I’m close enough to be next.&nbsp; </p><p> That doesn’t happen, though. As my satellite launches into the air minutes later, it turns out the Soviet armies are both depleted after the scrap. I drop a nuke on a barracks to kill some of their remaining soldiers, and later dispatch Tanyas to their base in an APC flanked by medium tanks to clear out their remaining buildings. I overwhelm them and the Tanyas do their thing. It turns out my big scary enemies with the better units peaked too early. The&nbsp;biggest threat is a red-coloured Allied army in the south which is relatively untouched and swarming with similarly pathetic units to mine.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jLB08MrET5iU.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bJp8CchDjxDN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Red Alert 2 3"></p><p> Now it’s my turn to break Red Alert with unbalanced units. I nuke the red Allies then send in two Allied cruisers, by far the best unit my side has. I toast my victory by sending in some of my tiny tanks to wipe out the remaining units. The key to beating the Soviets in Red Alert? Let those assholes wipe each other out. </p> Heroes vs Villains mode seems to be returning for Star Wars Battlefronthttp://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-vs-villains-mode-seems-to-be-returning-for-star-wars-battlefront/Spanish version of the official site blabs.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:33:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-vs-villains-mode-seems-to-be-returning-for-star-wars-battlefront/ActionDICEElectronic ArtsNewsStar Wars Battlefront <iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ptxwWt2JeGQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>We know that EA's upcoming, annoyingly numberless&nbsp;Star Wars Battlefront&nbsp;will feature playable&nbsp;goodies and baddies including Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader&mdash;but what we don't know is whether the celebrated Heroes vs Villains mode will return from Battlefront 2. Well, I <em>say</em> we don't know that, but we kind of do now, thanks to the Spanish version of the official website. It's just blabbed some or all of the multiplayer modes that will be included in the game:&nbsp;Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, Blast, Drop Zone, Cargo and&nbsp;Heroes vs Villains.</p><p>Redditor&nbsp;thementorassassin16&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattlefront/comments/3bbsvg/star_wars_battlefront_will_have_heroes_vs/" target="_blank">noticed said blabbing</a>, translating it from the Spanish thusly:</p><p>"In addition to Walker Assault, Star Wars Battlefront will feature immersive, fun-filled multiplayer modes including Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, Blast, Drop Zone, Cargo, and Heroes vs Villains mode, that will be announced in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more information on these exciting multiplayer modes."</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_QJ370F_TbS6.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_IAIku_vId2c.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p>As&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/star-wars-battlefront/star-wars-battlefront-heroes-vs-villains-mode-confirmed-according-to-official-website" target="_blank">PCGamesN</a> note, you can check the Spanish Battlefront site for&nbsp;yourself, by<a href="http://starwars.ea.com/es_ES/starwars/battlefront/features/game-modes-es" target="_blank"> clicking this link</a> and opening it in an Incognito window in Chrome (or whatever the equivalent is in your browser of choice). Ctrl+F confirms that&nbsp;the words "Héroes contra villanos" are mentioned, which you don't need a degree in Spanish to figure out.</p><p>What was Heroes vs Villains? It was a big deathmatch mode&nbsp;that pitched famous Star Wars good'uns and wrong'uns against each other.</p><p>In other Battlefront news, EA&nbsp;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattlefront/comments/35b0xr/questions_for_the_team_please_post_questions_only/csjetsy?context=3" target="_blank">have confirmed</a> that&nbsp;there won't be a map in the game&nbsp;based on the Death Star. Boo!</p> Interstellaria to colonise Steam in Julyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/interstellaria-to-colonise-steam-in-july/July 17th, to be exact.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:04:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/interstellaria-to-colonise-steam-in-july/IndieInterstellariaNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3T-ea77ZRvil.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9UeLNB0lmqn0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Interstellaria"></p><p>I still haven't played FTL for some reason, but if you think I'm going to compare this latest sidescrolling space game to it, then <i style="background-color: initial;">you're goddamned right</i>.&nbsp;<a href="http://coldricegames.com/interstellar/" target="_blank">Interstellaria</a>, then&mdash;it looks a bit like FTL! But you're heading in the other direction, and you're controlling an entire fleet, and it's properly side-on, and there are on-foot planetside bits and&nbsp;OK, maybe there are lots of differences. I certainly like the look of this "sim/RPG/sandbox" from Cold Rice Games, so it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of reason for me to shell out £6.99 when it launches&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/280360/" target="_blank">on Steam</a> July 17th.</p><p>Oh yeah, that's the headliney part: Interstellaria now has a release date. It also has this natty launch trailer referencing Starship Troopers:</p><p>(Ta,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/06/28/interstellaria-release-date/" target="_blank">RPS</a>.)</p><iframe width="620" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/26yDzR1PxPQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Bombshell, the former Duke Nukem ARPG, gets a new trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/bombshell-the-former-duke-nukem-arpg-gets-a-new-trailer/Release confirmed for later this year.Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:18:39 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bombshell-the-former-duke-nukem-arpg-gets-a-new-trailer/3D RealmsBombshellInterceptor EntertainmentNewsRPG <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VaZDqCF1NoU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If it weren't for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bombshell-a-new-arpg-borne-out-of-a-duke-nukem-lawsuit/">a legal scrap</a> denying publisher 3D Realms access to the Duke Nukem brand, Bombshell would have been the meathead action hero's first foray into the ARPG genre. That&nbsp;may end up a&nbsp;blessing though, because shorn of Duke's baggage the footage above looks pretty promising. It looks like a Duke game in spirit – even some of the sound effects are uncannily familiar – but with a new protagonist and a crisper aesthetic (compared to this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bombshell-gameplay-revealed-in-new-trailer/">earlier trailer</a>), Bombshell looks like it could stand on its own.</p><p>The work of Interceptor (the studio responsible for 2013's&nbsp;rebooted&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-triad-review/">Rise of the Triad</a>), Bombshell will launch later this year. It'll be playable at QuakeCon too, which takes place July 23-26.&nbsp;</p> Baldur's Gate countdown website points to imminent revealhttp://www.pcgamer.com/baldurs-gate-countdown-website-points-to-imminent-reveal/It's not Baldur's Gate III, but it's definitely Baldur's Gate.Sun, 28 Jun 2015 23:13:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/baldurs-gate-countdown-website-points-to-imminent-reveal/Baldur's GateBeamdogNewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FVheDuXsSSWz.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/udQpSVkAQnUL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 8.55.01 am"></p><p>A new Baldur's Gate game will be revealed next week, if a countdown on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.baldursgate.com/">the game's official website</a> is real and not an optical illusion. It's no surprise: Beamdog said back in January that it would unveil the game in Spring, but it looks like they're rolling it out a bit earlier than expected. Taking place between Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, the yet-to-be-named game&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/beamdog-confirms-that-a-new-baldurs-gate-game-is-in-the-works/">is not going to be Baldur's Gate III</a>, but the studio says it is&nbsp;"something bigger than we've ever done before."</p><p>The studio actually said a fair bit about the unannounced game&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/beamdog-confirms-that-a-new-baldurs-gate-game-is-in-the-works/">back in January</a>. The working title is Adventure Y, and it'll run on the Infinity Engine. Indeed, hints about Adventure Y were emerging as far back as 2012, when Beamdog founder Trent Oster promised it would be "intimately linked to the Bhallspawn [sic] storyline".</p><p>In other Beamdog news, it doesn't look likely that Icewind Dale II is going to get the Enhanced Edition treatment any time soon,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nightmares-abound-for-icewind-dale-ii-enhanced-edition-beamdog-boss-says/">according to Oster</a>. "The move to 3rd Edition rules would invalidate all the character classes and require a pretty thorough rework of the entire game to bring in the features from our Infinity Plus Engine," he said.&nbsp;"At minimum, nightmares abound."</p> Batman: Arkham Knight mod unlocks ten playable charactershttp://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight-mod-unlocks-ten-playable-characters/When being the bat isn't enough.Sun, 28 Jun 2015 22:48:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight-mod-unlocks-ten-playable-characters/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightModsNewsRocksteady <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dXeJNHHv-qY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If you managed to buy&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a> before it was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/">removed from sale</a> last week, and if you don't mind grappling with the still-broken game, then a new mod unlocks ten playable characters in Arkham's freeroam mode.&nbsp;Red Hood, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Robin, Azrael, Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Joker and GCPD Officer Owens are all playable if you install the mod shown in the video above.</p><p>Installation instructions are in the YouTube description&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=85&amp;v=dXeJNHHv-qY">here</a>. I haven't tested it myself (make sure you run a virus scan and backup your files), but the footage is interesting on its own terms. If you'd prefer to wait for the game to be completed, Rocksteady has announced it is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rocksteady-working-like-crazy-to-help-fix-arkham-knight/">"working like crazy"</a> to mend the PC port, and the first of many&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/arkham-knight-gets-first-bat-patch-more-fixes-coming/">patches</a> went live at the weekend.</p> Arkham Knight gets first bat-patch, more fixes cominghttp://www.pcgamer.com/arkham-knight-gets-first-bat-patch-more-fixes-coming/Bats more like it.Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/arkham-knight-gets-first-bat-patch-more-fixes-coming/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightNewsRocksteadyWarner Bros <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IM-O-gzmRziV.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/34m-UXkTn14m.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Batman Arkham Knight"></p><p>You know who'd be livid at the shoddy PC version of Arkham Knight? Batman. He'd glide across the city to Warner Bros HQ, and beat up enough goons on a&nbsp;rainy rooftop&nbsp;to make them rethink their ways. Not to denigrate Bats' approach, but I don't think that's necessary this time: a&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/208650/" target="_blank">gajillion negative Steam reviews</a> have done the job just as well. Pretty much everyone involved with Arkham Knight is currently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rocksteady-working-like-crazy-to-help-fix-arkham-knight/" target="_blank">"working like crazy"</a> to fix it, and their efforts are starting to bear fruit.</p><p>The first patch for Batman: Arkham Knight's PC version has arrived, and it's said to fix a few issues including the missing rain effects and ambient occlusion. The patch notes:</p><ul> <li>Fixed a crash that was happening for some users when exiting the game </li><li>Fixed a bug which disabled rain effects and ambient occlusion. We are actively looking into fixing other bugs to improve this further </li><li>Corrected an issue that was causing Steam to re-download the game when verifying the integrity of the game cache through the Steam client </li><li>Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when turning off Motion Blur in BmSystemSettings.ini. A future patch will enable this in the graphics settings menu</li></ul><p>Moreover, Warner Bros' Gary Lake-Schaal has&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/208650/announcements/detail/145587678178226617" target="_blank">posted on Steam</a> to announce the "key areas" that are being worked on to fix the game. Those areas:</p><ul> <li>Support for frame rates above 30FPS in the graphics settings menu </li><li>Fix for low resolution texture bug </li><li>Improve overall performance and framerate hitches </li><li>Add more options to the graphics settings menu </li><li>Improvements to hard drive streaming and hitches </li><li>Address full screen rendering bug on gaming laptops </li><li>Improvements to system memory and VRAM usage </li><li>NVIDIA SLI bug fixes </li><li>Enabling AMD Crossfire </li><li>NVIDIA and AMD updated drivers</li></ul><p>"Rocksteady is leading our team of developers and partners as we work on the PC performance issues that players have been encountering. The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place."</p><p>"While we work on improving performance, we will also continue to make interim patches available to address issues for those still playing the game on PC."</p><p>"We would like to thank our fans for their patience and invaluable feedback. We will continue to monitor and listen for any additional issues."</p><p>Cheers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/batman-arkham-knight/rocksteady-release-first-pc-patch-for-batman-arkham-knight-more-fixes-on-the-way" target="_blank">PCGamesN</a>.</p> Here's some of the new stuff coming to Killing Floor 2http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-some-of-the-new-stuff-coming-to-killing-floor-2/As part of the 'Incinerate 'N Detonate' content pack.Sun, 28 Jun 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-some-of-the-new-stuff-coming-to-killing-floor-2/FPSKilling Floor 2NewsTripwire Interactive <iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xxsGoNE7BeE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>At our very own PC Gaming Show t'other week, Tripwire showed off some of the new content coming to their corpse dismemberment simulator, Killing Floor 2. You've already seen it in action (video of that above), but the devs have now&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tripwireinteractive.com/news/killing-floor-2-update-what-were-up-to.aspx" target="_blank">helpfully detailed</a> a few of the contents&nbsp;of their upcoming 'Incinerate 'N Detonate' pack.</p><p>There are two new maps, for starters, one of which is entitled Evacuation Point. Here's what that looks like:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YxyT5rO8Rrqj.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_fLuT0MBwWEy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Evacuation Point"></p><p>You can probably see why you'd want to evacuate it: it's a right mess. You might also want to get out because of the two new perks coming to the Early Access game's way: Firebug and Demolitions.</p><p>"<strong>Firebug</strong>&nbsp;–&nbsp;BBQer extraordinaire, lover of everything that burns. Known tools of the trade:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Tier 1 –&nbsp;Caulk n’ Burn: Get close, get personal, burn its face off&nbsp;</li><li>Tier 2 –&nbsp;Trench Gun: Incendiary rounds make for a fiery start (and end) to most zeds&nbsp;</li><li>Tier 3 – Flamethrower: The classic burn baby burn&nbsp;</li><li>Grenade –&nbsp;Molotov : Area denial and bon party starter</li></ul><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Demolitions</strong> – If overwhelming firepower isn’t working, you aren’t using enough. Known tools of the trade:</p><ul> <li>Tier 2 – C4</li><li>Tier 4 – RPG 7"</li></ul><p>Annoyingly, the devs stop short of revealing the entire contents of Incinerate 'N Detonate, but they do say that it will add another&nbsp;50% of&nbsp;content to the&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/232090/" target="_blank">Early Access game</a>.</p> Mods let you use European buildings anywhere in Cities: Skylineshttp://www.pcgamer.com/mods-let-you-use-european-buildings-anywhere-in-cities-skylines/The new buildings are no longer confined to the Euromaps.Sun, 28 Jun 2015 09:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mods-let-you-use-european-buildings-anywhere-in-cities-skylines/Cities: SkylinesMod of the WeekModssim <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4zyiBiSfSKuu.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MWinMILVmK8P.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skylines mod"></p><p>We recently received a free update for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-review/">Cities: Skylines</a> in the form of European buildings and maps to use them in. Thing is, these new buildings will <em>only </em>grow&nbsp;in the&nbsp;European-themed maps. They won't show up in&nbsp;the cities you were building before the update, or in maps with other themes.</p><p>Modders, of course, have found a way to eliminate&nbsp;that peculiar&nbsp;restriction. There are two mods you'll need, the first of which is&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=456408505">European Building Unlocker</a>, by modder BloodyPenguin, which unlocks all the new European buildings and props for use in any map you want. This includes the buildings that grow in zoned areas, as well as the ones you place, like the European-style police stations, colleges, and so on. It also allows you to use the original buildings on any of the new Euro maps.</p><p>The second mod is&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=466158459">Building Themes</a> by modder boformer. This mod adds a 'Theme' tab&nbsp;to your districts panel&nbsp;that&nbsp;lets you control which districts the residential, commercial, and industrial European buildings will grow in. If you don't want the European buildings sprouting up all over the place, now you can&nbsp;specify where you'd like to see them.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cVNu4Gz0QraO.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pTPSOa0FPLW4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skylines mod"></p><p>Essentially, you can now play with those cool European buildings in whatever city and map you want, and dictate where they'll appear. Plus, if you change your mind about a district, you can just switch the theme. If there are&nbsp;buildings already in the district, they won't&nbsp;vanish, but will change to match the new theme the next time they level up. Pretty cool.</p><p>I tried the mods out on an old city of mine that I haven't played with in the past few months, and it works great. I just laid down some new residential and commercial zones on the map, used the new European&nbsp;district theme, and waited. Sure enough, European buildings began to grow, and I was able to place specialty buildings like fire stations and schools as well.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4h3XiV8SRniD.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X2a-GK0q6Wcl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skylines mod"></p><p>The Building Theme mod is in beta, and the modder is planning to add a theme manager tool, to allow players to create their own theme that can be used with custom assets. You can subscribe to both the&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=466158459">Building Themes</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=456408505">European Buildings Unlocker</a> mods&nbsp;on the Steam Workshop.</p> Free games of the weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/Get in the hole.Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/browser gamesFree GamesIndieThe Best Free Games of the Week <p>Get in the hole, get locked out of your domicile, wage war and fathom a wilderness this week.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/strategy-sim/wyrmsun/72245/" target="_blank">Wyrmsun by Andrettin</a></h3><iframe width="923" height="515" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VR3Y2AkECg4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Despite a few efforts to bring the genre back, RTS fans aren't terribly well catered for at the moment, I suspect due to its divergence into the MOBA and Tower Defence sub-genres. Wyrmsun isn't Warcraft IV, but it is a decent fantasy RTS featuring heroes, levelling mechanics, a “living environment”, built-in modding support and more appealing things. And, even better, the whole bally thing is available open source, so if you don't like parts of it you can always change them to your liking.</p><h3><a href="http://qbdp.itch.io/tenebris" target="_blank">Tenebris by qbdp</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qKm5-2srR3Oi.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-CYFhq1-emhv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Tenebris"></p><p>A simple, good-looking stealth/horror game that evokes Alan Wake and Lone Survivor. Specifically: you kill monsters with your slowly recharging torch, and you hide behind stuff in the sidescrolling environment to sneak past short-sighted monsters. There's not much more to Tenebris than that, but a bit of Limbo-like moodiness is ever a good thing for your diet, as indie-ticians have been saying for years.</p><h3><a href="http://mortimer.itch.io/gith" target="_blank">Get In The Hole by Mortimer</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xd08l0mLRFWs.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9GY2lQjl-2Yz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Get In The Hole"></p><p>Get In The Hole presents a fissure you <em>want</em> to get into&mdash;you being two siblings that only respond to the Z and X keys on your 'board. It's an auto-runner! But of the rubbing-tummy-while-patting-head variety, meaning you're auto-running in two directions at once. The boy is scampering to the right, while the girl is heading left; you have to leap over various obstacles as both of them.</p><p>There was a fair bit of delay to my key inputs when I played, making GITH almost impossibly difficult when I was hoping it would merely be mildly infuriating. Hopefully that's just an issue with my computer, as this is a funny, well-presented auto-runner with a cracking premise.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/locked-out/75416/" target="_blank">Locked Out by elektron</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6cRpytq8QTqX.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HeY78J_F0tT9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Locked Out"></p><p>Locked Out starts out as a “short game where you must re-collect the keys to your house”, but things soon become a bit weird, I presume on purpose? I like it when games pull the rug from under you, and it came at the right time in elektron's handsome, simple, reflex-based puzzler about a careless smiley face.</p><h3><a href="http://lissar.itch.io/venari" target="_blank">Venari by Aeryne Wright</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NSYNx_qbSsib.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/km_mz_0jaRIj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Venari"></p><p>A lovely, exploration-focused adventure game that deals in serenity and ambiguity and a particularly shrill flute. Figure out the world, collect items, and saunter all over a pleasant isometric wilderness, as soothing, sloshing sound effects trickle out of your speakers. (If you're stuck in the first area like I was for a while, try walking near the dark green patches of grass.)</p> The best videos of the weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-videos-of-the-week/Pee Break ClutchSat, 27 Jun 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-videos-of-the-week/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveFPSGTA 5RPGSingle-playerStrategyWorld of WarcraftXCOM 2 <p>Two weeks after E3 and we're still getting a trickle of videos from the show, but don't worry. The best videos of the week is back to a healthy ratio of incredible Counter-Strike feats and Grand Theft Auto V idiocy.</p><p>Counter-Strike pro tip: Take a bathroom break.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Jew5HrGHn24" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>We're pretty excited for XCOM 2. This 35 minute video from E3 should explain why.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GbvHmsZalfo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Another amazing Dishonored video from that amazing Dishonored player.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9STtshhf9zc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Someone recreated the intro to Arthur in Grand Theft Auto V. Seems...inappropriate somehow, but impressive!</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/urbGnIoGRjw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>World of Warcraft at the endgame, this machinima feels your pain.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/puRtQyclQqA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Ah, yes. Skyrim's striking opening scene, just as I remember it.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/N_Bg-I2aBOc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> RaceRoom's cars free to drive this weekendhttp://www.pcgamer.com/racerooms-cars-free-to-drive-this-weekend/Free-to-play racing game now with free-to-drive cars. For a bit.Sat, 27 Jun 2015 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/racerooms-cars-free-to-drive-this-weekend/NewsRaceRoomRacingSimbin <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/79cE43I4S--h.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7_fhjT4wjAvC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="RaceRoom"></p><p>I'm still waiting for a driving game with the Marge Simpson 'slow and steady wins the race' philosophy, but another 'fast and reckless more realistically wins the race' car game won't hurt in the meantime. It's RaceRoom!&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/raceroom-racing-experience-simbins-attempt-to-leave-no-vroom-for-improvement/" target="_blank">That</a> RaceRoom? Yep, that's the one. I have to admit, it's not a name I've heard before, but the free-to-play driving game has had some good words spilled about it&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/211500/" target="_blank">on Steam</a>.</p><p>If you've not heard of&nbsp;<a href="http://game.raceroom.com/" target="_blank">RaceRoom</a> either, or you've played it and you didn't want to shell out for cars, you might be pleased to hear that it's currently enjoying a free weekend. How can a F2P game have a free weekend? Because it's made all its (previously pay-only)&nbsp;cars available for free. Simple.&nbsp;Cars like those two up there, and probably lots more. (I don't know cars.)</p><p>We last covered RaceRoom two years ago, so I imagine it's changed a bit since then. Here's a recent trailer showing the newest additions to RaceRoom's garage:</p><p>(Ta,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/06/27/everybody-gets-a-car-racerooms-free-weekend/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RockPaperShotgun+%28Rock%2C+Paper%2C+Shotgun%29" target="_blank">RPS</a>.)</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yfx3SNoX_gg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> The Division heads to the Dark Zone with its latest trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-heads-to-the-dark-zone-with-its-latest-trailer/It's a zone, right,that's dark.Sat, 27 Jun 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-heads-to-the-dark-zone-with-its-latest-trailer/MMONewsThe DivisionUbisoft <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FWWu4w_JTQ2L.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wrUQbuO6ic2I.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Division Dark Zone"></p><p>MMO/RPG/MMORPG The Division has player-versus-player combat, but it doesn't seem to get in the way. It's cordoned itself off into a&nbsp;neat little 'dark zone', which is the heaviest affected by the apocalypse what done in New York. (It also has the best loot, natch.)&nbsp;Enter the dark zone and you're basically&nbsp;saying 'oui' to PvP, opening yourself and your team up to attacks from other players.</p><p>If you're still not clear, Ubisoft have released a new trailer explaining what Le Dark Zone is all about. When you're done, you might want to read&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-preview-playing-pvp-in-the-lawless-dark-zone/" target="_blank">Samuel's hands-on</a> impressions, or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-beta-sign-ups-are-open-now/" target="_blank">sign up for the beta</a>. Alternatively, you could go and&nbsp;make a fresh&nbsp;cup of tea. It's probably been a while since your last one.</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8z59Uv_fI1w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Galactic Civilizations 2 war report: part threehttp://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilizations-2-war-report-part-three/The War Bastards meet their match.Sat, 27 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilizations-2-war-report-part-three/Best ofDiaryGalactic Civilizations 2Galactic Civilizations 2 diaryStardockStrategy <p><em>This diary was originally published back in 2007, when this site was just a cosy corner of CVG. We're republishing it here a few entries at a time, every Saturday. You can find the other entries&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilizations-2-diary/"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p><em>Tom has since switched careers to game development, and is now making a space game of his own, <a href="http://www.heatsig.com/">Heat Signature</a>.</em></p><h4>Day 8: A fall from space</h4><p>Some of my craft fought The Blob bravely&mdash;I was right about a large, powerful, tough ship being able to take on many lesser ones in succession. But the Drengin had learned Logistics since we last met, and their ships attacked in squadrons of six or seven at a time. The You Are All So Boneds, themselves in smaller but stronger formations, were still able to dispatch them, but took irreparable damage in each clash. Soon one of their number was lost, and the reduced firepower meant the Drengin's largely unscathed armada shredded the rest without breaking a sweat. </p><p>The Blob lurched on.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ItvpbUShQBGi.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wj4jay18PVJQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GalCiv diary 3 2" class=""> <figcaption>The YAASBo's fought well, but the waves kept coming.</figcaption></figure><p>Who would have thought repeatedly angering and insulting the most powerful race in the galaxy while completely defenceless could have consequences? Who could have known that refusing to end a war with a military over a hundred times the size of your own might lead to tactically tricky situations? Did any among us guess that attacking the heart of their empire with my only craft while the most populous planets in the galaxy lay undefended might ultimately lead to my downfall?</p><p>I paced the war room in my underpants, puzzled.</p><h4>Day 9: War Bastards unite</h4><p>I'm on War Bastards now, the next generation on from You Are All So Boned, with comparable firepower but super-thick armour designed specifically to take spadefuls of punishment from mass-driver class weapons, the type the Drengin invariably use. They look like enormous chrome space-scorpions, and two of them can take on a 10-strong fleet of Drengin Heavy Fighters without losing a craft. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/29YNS-rtRKmo.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ikfpNKQMoevo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GalCiv diary 3 3"></p><p>Which is just as well, because the galaxy is now swarming with 10-strong fleets of Drengin Heavy Fighters. I swoop in and intercept them whenever I can, but I have to exercise caution when a cluster of other fleets are nearby&mdash;successive attacks can easily polish off the most damaged War Bastard, even in a fleet of three or four.</p><p>But I've noticed two surprising things: for one, without really realising it, I've got my Logistics skill up to the point at which I can have five War Bastards in a fleet. It might not sound like much, but the increased firepower per turn should boost the number of Drengin they can smash through almost exponentially.</p><p>The other thing is that according to the figures in the Civilization Manager screen, two of my Research-focused planets would actually make phenomenally good war factories&mdash;in fact, they're <em>already</em> among my most productive worlds, even though I've set them to focus exclusively on books-an'-learnin'.</p><p>Since I wasn't close to getting anything researched anyway, I set them both to Military mode and found that I would now have five shiny new War Bastards in less than two months&mdash;seven turns. Combined as a fleet, and deployed as a one-two punch with my current five, I allowed myself to think this might actually be enough to slay the Blob.</p><h4>Day 10: Outside Context Problem</h4><p>I'd been holding desperately on to that beautiful class-21 world, Petroni I, smack bang in the heart of Drengin territory, and prowling grounds of the Blob. The Blob itself had already smashed the heavy forces I'd posted to defend the planet, but they didn't have any troop transports in the area, so the planet had remained mine.</p><p>I couldn't really do much with it; any ships I built there would be smashed by The Blob before I could build up their numbers, and any planetary improvements I built would only strengthen the enemy when they inevitably conquered it. But I liked having it.</p><p>So I did what I always do when I can't do anything good: I did something stupid. I built a single War Bastard there and launched it immediately at the nearest Drengin colony&mdash;a fairly fertile world with just a few ships in orbit. After smashing its defenders, I would quickly build a troop transport and invade it, achieving no lasting advantage but irritating the Drengin enormously.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5v7yT6chSI6W.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xU3jD0MINCfx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GalCiv diary 3 4"></p><p>I attacked. The planet turned into a ship. The ship destroyed my ship. The ship turned back into a planet. I gaped.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WdLNnmC4Qz-b.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gq3d-Plh46b7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GalCiv diary 3 5"></p><p>I was not, it turns out, the first race in the galaxy to build a Large craft. And I had been pipped to the post at pioneering the Massive hull type too. The type you use to build <em>battleships</em>. I gaped.</p><p>I checked its stats&mdash;it had no armour, but a lot of hitpoints and- wait a minute... <strong>TWO HUNDRED AND <em>THIRTY-THREE</em> GUNS?</strong> I gaped.</p><p>My star player, the War Bastard&mdash;previously thought to be the most powerful craft in the galaxy&mdash;has <em>eight</em>. A five War Bastard fleet, my secret super-weapon to slay the Blob, makes forty. This has <strong>TWO HUNDRED AND <em>THIRTY-THREE.</em></strong> I gaped.</p><p>The Blob, I was starting to realise, wasn't really the issue. I stopped gaping and cancelled the troop transport.</p><h4>Day 11: Three years later...</h4><p>Guurk. Where to begin? Okay, everything that's happened up until now has probably taken place in the space of about eight years. It's now three years later, and things are a little different.</p><p>First, the reason so much time has passed: I was screwed. It turned out my five-strong fleets of War Bastards were nothing like a match for The Blob, and one squadron of them was even destroyed by lesser fleets of Drengin and Yor.</p><p>There were no sensible moves left, and I didn't have the money to do anything stupid, so I did nothing at all. I curled up into a ball and hoped no-one noticed me.</p><p>I kept producing a single tiny, defenceless, one-gun ship on Petroni I so that lone troop transports couldn't invade it, but other than that all military production ceased, and I turned my people's thoughts to academia. I called that little ship The Bongolian Ultra-Prawn, since the single wavy tendril I gave it made it look vaguely crustacean, and it was exploded and rebuilt every two turns.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yCRfXKKKQO2Y.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FFD2w8LHbYpJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GalCiv diary 3 6"></p><p>The Bongolian Ultraprawn bravely kills itself on a Yor fleet.</p><p>The Drengin love to destroy a planet's defences, but I've never actually seen them invade with troop transports, despite my taking this huge and juicy world right in the middle of their territory. The Yor, on the other hand, invade me constantly, but they lack the soldiering skill of the Drengin, so I can almost always fight them off. And if I've lost a lot of citizens, I just drop taxes to 30%, my approval hits the roof and my people screw the losses away in a couple of turns.</p><p>So for three years, I survive. I even hold Petroni I&mdash;the Yor don't dare take it so deep in Drengin territory, and the Drengin just don't seem able or willing to use troops. Instead, they do what they've always done: build up their military.</p><p>Now The Blob is the standard Drengin fleet. Dozens of them swarm the galaxy. Battleships like the one I encountered on Petroni II jet around in pairs. The universe is a sea of red.</p><p>And that's about when the human race declared war on me.</p><p><em>Look for the latest entry every Saturday right here on PCgamer.com.</em></p> Bethesda may not do another E3 press eventhttp://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-may-not-do-another-e3-press-event/Pete Hines says a press conference felt right for 2015, but doesn't know if it will happen again.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:49:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-may-not-do-another-e3-press-event/Bethesda SoftworksNewspete hines <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2KApp699WdE?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Bethesda Softworks held its first-ever E3 press conference this year, and it went over really well. But that doesn't necessarily mean there will be another one; Vice President of Marketing and PR Pete Hines told <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/e3/11695236/Bethesdas-Pete-Hines-Another-publisher-would-be-spitting-out-Skyrim-2-a-year-later.html">The Telegraph</a> that 2015 "felt like the right time to do this kind of thing," but he can't say for certain it'll happen again.</p><p> "I don’t know if we’ll do one next year," he said. "I don’t know if we’ll do one again." I'd be willing to bet that they will, but you can see where he's coming from: Bethesda had <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dishonored-2/">Dishonored 2</a>, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom/">Doom</a> to announce, and a couple of other games as well. That's an impressive lineup, and certainly&nbsp;not the kind Bethesda can bank on rolling out every single year.</p><p> "We do smaller stuff, we don’t publish to scale, we try to publish to quality. Make sure everything we do is noteworthy," Hines explained. "Our approach to that hasn’t differed. Here and there we might change our approach to how it’s presented but we’ve still stuck to who we are."</p><p> Interestingly, especially in light of the powerfully positive fan response to Fallout 4, he also said that he hopes E3 will maintain itself as predominantly an industry-focused event. He'd like to see it be "somewhat inclusive," but doesn't want it to turn into "another <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-east-2015/">PAX</a>."</p><p> "We already have PAX, we already have Eurogamer, Paris Games Week and Gamescom and lots of shows that are for the public," he said. "I think taking a show that still has a very important role as a trade/industry event needs to maintain that. And not suddenly say, here’s another 20,000 fans to throw in. It’s already kind of a mess. There are already lines and it’s difficult to get around."</p><p> If you missed Bethesda's E3 press conference, and you've got a couple hours to spare, we've got it playing for you above.</p> The week's highs and lows in PC gaminghttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_June26_2015/Every week, the PC Gamer team asks Samuel L. Jackson if he wants to star in their new movie: Hot Takes on a Plane.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:09:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_June26_2015/highs and lows <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XldE8Q8CSRuj.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CrxsdWqVCGI0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Her Story"></p><p><strong>THE HIGHS</strong></p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Criminally good<br></strong>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/procedural-quest-why-there-are-so-few-police-procedurals-in-gaming/">lack of good police procedural games</a> continues to baffle me, when you consider how popular the genre is in the rest of pop culture. I’m certain that whoever gets the detect-’em-up right will blow open the doors to a sizeable goldmine. The reason that hasn’t happened so far is probably to do with the difficulty of making the deductive process actually engaging, rather than an onerous admin simulator. Her Story, the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/her-story-review/">rapturously-reviewed</a> indie murder mystery I played this week, manages just that, and whilst it might not be the game to utlimately get the goldmine, it deserves to do very well indeed.</p><p>No doubt the usual blowhards will try to claim that it isn’t a game at all, but to them I say I had more fun with it than anything else I’ve played this year. Certainly no other game has stuck around so determinedly, it’s revelations and inconsistencies rolling around in my head. I played it sat with my other half, both of us making notes as we theory crafted motives, and it got me to think what are the best games played as a couple? Not romantic necessarily, but stuff that just works best experienced as a twosome. Tell me in the comments.</p><p><strong>Tom Sykes: The Division’s companion app is KIA<br></strong>Ubi's apocalyptic MMORPG has been delayed a couple of times since it was announced two years ago, and might actually emerge a better game for it. Not just because it gives the devs more time to polish it before release, but because it will emerge the other side of The Great Ubisoft Drubbing of 2014, in which their fondness for companion apps, microtransactions, and not finishing their games reached boiling point with the catastrophic Assassin’s Creed Unity launch. Announced back in 2013, The Division was of course going to come with its own companion app&mdash;but <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-will-no-longer-have-a-companion-app/">Ubi has revealed</a> that it's now been ditched. (They've also confirmed that there won't be one for this year's Assassin's Creed Syndicate either.)</p><p>Had The Division come out when it was originally supposed to, perhaps it would have been riddled with insidious nonsense in the same way that Unity was at launch&mdash;but I like to think Ubisoft are learning from that particular mistake. (No gimmicky companion apps is certainly an encouraging sign.) In fact, part of me hopes The Division will be delayed even further, to a time when Ubisoft has finally given up on Uplay, towers and samey open worlds. A man can dream. A man can dream.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UmdhMCZ6Rou2.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gr3vilFN9rrs.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Batman Arkham Knight Slide"></p><p><strong>Tom Marks: I would have gotten away with if it weren’t for you meddling kids<br></strong>Sam laments <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knights-launch-appears-to-be-a-disaster/">the debacle</a> that is Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC launch in the lows of the week on the next page, but <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/">the actions</a> Rocksteady and Warner Bros have been forced to take are actually my high. I’m not happy <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/">the PC version was neglected</a>, and I’m definitely not happy that PC gamers were essentially told they didn’t matter by the quality of the port. What I am happy about is that they didn’t get away with it.</p><p>As Chris Thursten mentioned in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broken-bat-finding-the-good-and-bad-in-the-arkham-knight-debacle/">his breakdown</a> of the situation, a game of this size being pulled from sale is unprecedented, which means something has changed. Arkham Knight marks the biggest launch of a broken game since <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/new-steam-refund-policy-lets-you-get-your-thatmoney-back-for-any-reason/">Steam updated its return policy</a>, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that had a large impact on WB’s decision. If that policy means that large developers and publishers are going to finally held accountable for delivering terrible ports, then I’m overjoyed.</p><p>We should all be angry about Arkham Knight on PC. It was unacceptable. But we should also be excited that, for the first time possibly ever, the offending game didn’t get away with a half-hearted: “Sorry, we’ll patch it later.”</p><p><strong>Phil Savage: Taking it back<br></strong>A lot was made about the potential abuse of Steam's refund system, especially with regards to indie games that can be completed before the two hour cut-off point. Whatever problems the system may have, this week we saw why it's ultimately a force for good. Without easy and guaranteed access to refunds, I doubt the Batman debacle would have played out the way it did&mdash;Warner Bros. removing the game from sale in an effort to come back with a better version.</p><p>Arkham Knight's release is a disaster, and, not long ago, it's one that people who had bought the game would have been stuck with. Now they aren't, and that fact will hopefully force publishers to sit up and take note of the quality of their ports. I shouldn't have to praise Valve for finally implementing basic consumer protection, but at least, now that they have, the benefits are clear to see.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gYBa2GaBQt2p.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wd7Zf69fClce.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gang Beasts Slide"></p><p><strong>Evan Lahti: Beast mode<br></strong>One of the great myths about writing-about-gamesology is that we sit around in multicolored ball pits playing stuff all day, only occasionally descending from our Mountain Dew waterslides to assign a number to the newest Total Duty: Honor of War. In reality, we don’t play games nearly enough as a group, but we did carve out a few hours for that this week.</p><p>Some great stuff has come along since the last time we traded our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/best-pc-gaming-chairs/">various chairs</a> for a couch to look at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-living-room-pc-games/">the best local multiplayer games on PC</a>: Duck Game, Knight Squad, <a href="http://powerhoof.itch.io/regular-human-basketball">Regular Human Basketball</a>, and Gang Beasts, which I’d been wanting to play for months. We managed to shove seven people into Boneloaf’s Play-Doh-man brawler, and it was raucous, ludicrous fun. I played plenty of wrestling games growing up on other platforms, but I always did so begrudgingly, at my friends’ houses, frustrated by the button-mashing and weirdly technical gameplay. Gang Beasts just softens and streamlines everything I didn’t like about conventional wrestling games growing up&mdash;even failing miserably is fun because it creates physical comedy for the rest of the group. <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer/v/6619300">Here’s my favorite moment</a> from our couch gamesapalooza.</p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: Free weekends FTW<br></strong>This weekend, Creative Assembly is opening up a big slice of its back catalogue of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-is-having-a-free-weekend-sale/">Total War games for a free weekend</a>, as well as discounting a load of its most recent titles like Attila and Rome 2. It’s the perfect way to gear people up to speed for Total War: Warhammer who might otherwise not be familiar with CA’s unique mixture of turn-based and real-time strategy, but are now jonesing to send orcs to fight men on horseback.&nbsp;</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fPVkHq9JSx2D.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nA9qoJkLiSjw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ugly Batman" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p> <strong>THE LOWS</strong></p><p> <strong>Samuel Roberts: Broken Bat</strong><br> Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader? Arkham Knight launched this week in a poor state, which ended up being the biggest story of the week, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/">resulting in the game being pulled </a>from sale on Steam a few days ago. Rocksteady has its own engineers working on the port now, according to the studio’s Sefton Hill, which hopefully means the end result will work a lot better on a PC with a £300/$400 graphics card than a less powerful console that costs the same price.</p><p> It’s a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broken-bat-finding-the-good-and-bad-in-the-arkham-knight-debacle/">disappointing state of affairs</a>. Warner did not supply advance review code (we asked, many times), and the game’s release ended up being a nasty surprise; particularly as Batman was draped all over Steam this week like its arrival on PC was nothing less than a triumphant event. That part really annoyed me. Someone remembered to get the banners up selling the game but seemingly no-one checked to see if the port was a pile of ass. I’ve played the PS4 version, and there’s a brilliant game underneath&mdash;hopefully we’ll get that in the coming weeks. I also hope this whole thing scares publishers into taking PC ports seriously.&nbsp;</p><p> <strong>Tim Clark: Cut the car<br> </strong>We’ve expounded enough on the state of Batman’s PC port in this piece (tl;dr it’s bollocks) so let’s talk about Arkham Knight’s real crime: the Bat car. Samuel will confirm that I’ve had deep reservations about Bruce Wayne’s combat charabanc ever since we first saw it at GDC last year. Now that I’ve had a chance to play with it (for an about an hour, chugging slightly on my 970) I can confirm the Batmobile is probably the greatest design misstep made by any AAA game in the last 10 years.</p><p> I do not say this lightly, and it’s a topic on which I admit some bias: I also don’t care for the car in the movies or the comics. It invariably gets in the way of the central Bat fantasy of being a brooding misanthrope capable of kicking a man’s hip out of joint from any angle. But the implementation in Arkham Knight is absolutely parlous. It’s like Need for Speed Carbon has been hastily grafted into the core game, only the cars are all rocket-equipped speedboats. And the water is existential dread.</p><p> My complaints about this on Twitter prompted my friend and erstwhile colleague <a href="https://twitter.com/JoelSnape/status/614155214577401856">Joel Snape to suggest</a> that Arkham Knight, among its other undesirable firsts, could also be the game to pioneer a new type of DLC that just lets you pay to remove content you don’t like. I would gladly drop $5 to excise the Batmobile completely. Who wants to shoot robot tanks? Literally no one. Something to bear in mind, Rocksteady, while Arkham Knight is being turned into a quilt of patches.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/p6z4RQ9EQDKm.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HJNLMyW5ot44.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Project Cars 2 Slide"></p><p> <strong>Tom Sykes: Slightly Mad go slightly mad, announce Project Cars 2</strong><br> I can understand the desire to strike while the iron is hot, but <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/slightly-mad-studios-launches-crowdfunding-campaign-for-project-cars-2/">announcing Project Cars 2</a> just a few weeks after your crowdfunded, twice-delayed game finally crosses the finishing line seems, well, slightly mad to me. The developers say they'll support both games simultaneously, but it does seem strange to ask your fans for even more money, only a short time after delivering on your first crowdfunding promise. We all know that sequels are considered as soon as the first game is finished, if not before, but we're rarely asked to invest in them so quickly. Surely it's best to give your fans a breather, some time to enjoy the thing they paid for, before you start eyeing up their wallets?</p><p> <strong>Evan Lahti: Show me the data<br> </strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-of-the-storm-review/">Heroes of the Storm</a> is what I’ve been putting the most time into lately, and as a card-carrying member of its intended audience (people who are variously exhausted by MOBAs), its 20-minute matches, character variety, and potential for comebacks have been treating me well, even despite the fact that I’m an awful 2-8 over my last 10 matches. What’s disappointing me, though, is how Heroes seems misaligned with Blizzard’s own reputation for building great metrics in StarCraft 2, which spits out a sea of helpful data for each match.</p><p> HotS feels incredibly slim on tools to analyze your performance. Other than watching replays, I don’t even get to look back at a breakdown of my previous matches after I’ve left the score screen. Tim tells me that this is a long-standing complaint in Hearthstone as well, which at least has an API that other utilities have tunneled through. I have to assume that Blizzard is using data more granular than win/loss for its own internal analysis&hellip; I’d love to see more transparency on my damage dealt, when and where I’m dying in a match, and how much I’m contributing to team fights.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ygoBiwvAREKD.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3bjUgFj3iFC1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Harvest Moon Seeds of Memories Slide"></p><p> <strong>Tom Marks: Bad memories</strong><br> When it was first announced that Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories would be <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/harvest-moon-seeds-of-memories-takes-root-on-pc-later-this-year/">coming to PC</a>, it sounded too good to be true. Which, it turns out, it was. Wes got a look at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/e3-2015">E3 2015</a> last week, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/harvest-moon-seeds-of-memories-is-not-the-game-youre-hoping-for/">it sounds truly dreadful</a>. It’s only been in development for a month, but comes out this winter and appears to be downright awful. It’s not even made by the same team as the games I fondly remember. Maybe some organic miracle will occur over the coming months, but with plans to simultaneously release on mobile platforms, I’m not holding my breath. I let that ill-advised thing called hope into my heart, and my hubris-filled chickens have quickly roosted.&nbsp;</p><p> <strong>Phil Savage: Dammit, John</strong><br> Like every other sentient being, I was fascinated by Chris's exploration of the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-treasury-of-the-least-popular-gaming-petitions/">least popular gaming petitions</a>. It's a reminder that, whatever's happening on gaming's global stage, the biggest grievances are so often suffered (semi-)silently. Maybe it's a game that everyone is enjoying, but, for whatever reason, just will not work on your machine. Maybe it's the continued erosion through patches of a game you used to love. Or maybe it's just that John won't stop cheating.</p><p> Fuck sake John, give it a rest will you?</p> Ruin your weekend with this disturbing story from We Happy Fewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ruin-your-weekend-with-this-super-disturbing-bedtime-story-from-we-happy-few/Uncle Jack is a creepy guy, and this is a creepy story.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:04:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ruin-your-weekend-with-this-super-disturbing-bedtime-story-from-we-happy-few/ActionCompulsion GamesNewsWe Happy Few <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kxdt2Y0Ias8?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Compulsion Games has released a new live-action video in which Uncle Jack, the preternaturally happy (and creepy) face of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/we-happy-few/">We Happy Few</a>, tells us an unsettling bedtime story about the Pied Piper of Hamlyn.</p><p> "Nighty Night" is just one of a number of different live-action shows in We Happy Few that feature the smiling face of Uncle Jack. Compulsion has already recorded 32 different episodes, and more are planned if the Kickstarter can raise $315,000. That's a long way off&mdash;the campaign has drawn in $231,000 of a $250,000 goal, with seven days remaining&mdash;but I'd like to see it happen, because Jack seems like he has the potential to bring a lot of "flavor" to the game.</p><p> The fairy tale is obviously an allegory for We Happy Few's backstory, which involves the citizens of Wellington Wells doing something so hideously awful during the German occupation of England in an alt-history Second World War that they literally invented a drug to help them forget the horror of their deed. Alas, the mystery remains intact; this is just the first half of the episode, and as usual, all the stuff we really want to know is in part two.</p><p> The <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/112359230/we-happy-few-welcome-to-wellington-wells-you-saucy/description">We Happy Few Kickstarter</a> runs until July 4. Have a look at our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/we-happy-few-preview-blending-in-with-the-drugged-masses/">hands-on preview</a> from earlier this month to find out more about life in Wellington Wells.</p> Star Wars Battlefront closed alpha invitations are in the mailhttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-closed-alpha-invitations-are-in-the-mail/A site to apply for the alpha test is now open, but not everyone can get in.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:35:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-closed-alpha-invitations-are-in-the-mail/Electronic ArtsFPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1ingvVdQS9KF.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GI5FMeonR5ks.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p>Electronic Arts is now sending out invitations to the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/">Star Wars Battlefront</a> closed alpha test, which can be applied for at <a href="http://starwars.ea.com/starwars/battlefront/alpha">starwars.ea.com</a>. However, while anyone can click the "confirm your application" button, not everyone will get past the gate.</p><p>A valid Origin account is required to get into the alpha, but even with that, your application may be rejected. The tricky bit is, we're not entirely sure why: whether it's because the alpha is limited only to people who received an invitation, or to people with specific PC specs or time on a certain game; it's also possible that the alpha is simply already full. The rejection message, which I and several of my fellow PC Gamerites received, says only, "The Star Wars Battlefront Closed Alpha is a technical test and is available for a small number of users. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow our social channels to find out how you might be able to play Star Wars Battlefront before its November 17th release in North America."</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/26/8852325/star-wars-battlefront-alpha-pc-invites">Polygon</a>, system requirements for the alpha are a quad-core CPU, 6 GB RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX-680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 with 2 GB RAM, and 64-bit versions of either Windows 7 or 8. EA also warned that "performance at this stage of development may be inconsistent," and that characters and progress made during the alpha won't transfer to the full game.</p><p>The invitation said that applications will continue to be taken until June 30, but again, the actual eligibility criteria are completely unknown. <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattlefront/comments/3b7kfo/time_to_get_hyped/">Reddit</a> indicates that some people are getting in and some aren't, but again, nobody seems to know why, so let us know if you manage to make it through. Star Wars Battlefront comes out on November 17.</p> Cosmic Star Heroine: recapturing the soul of an SNES RPG in 2015http://www.pcgamer.com/cosmic-star-heroine-recapturing-the-soul-of-an-snes-rpg-in-2015/16-bit RPGs may have been on consoles, not PCs, but Cosmic Star Heroine is bringing back that spirit in 2015.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cosmic-star-heroine-recapturing-the-soul-of-an-snes-rpg-in-2015/E3 2015JRPGRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fqFxYMndSUGS.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rFs3QH7eqKMB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="CSH Jungle Battle 1"></p><p>When I played Chrono Trigger and Lunar: Silver Star Story more than a decade ago, I never suspected to see future games, inspired by their style and spirit, appear on the PC. Then again, I never expected to see Shenmue 3 or a new Metroidvania or any other Japanese games come first and foremost to PC, either. The times, they are a changing, and if that means more games like Cosmic Star Heroine coming to PC, I’m happy for the change.</p><p>Two-man indie team Zeboyd Games got its start lovingly and carefully building small 8-bit-styled RPGs like Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World, full of cheeky humor poking fun at the games of the 80s and early 90s. But Zeboyd’s designer and writer Robert Boyd isn’t just in it for the parody or the homage: in all of his games, he tries to modernize battle systems and mechanics, putting a new twist on an old system with 20 years of scrutiny and hindsight. Cosmic Star Heroine follows that same path, but with a more ambitious target: the RPGs of the 16-bit era.</p><p>With that generational bump for Zeboyd comes far bigger, more expressive sprites, anime-inspired character portraits and detailed pixel art backgrounds. As I discovered playing Cosmic Star Heroine at E3, it also inspired changes in tone, pacing, and character. The 30 minutes I played had Chrono Trigger’s blend of sci-fi and fantasy, but felt more like Lunar: Silver Star Story in tone: light drama interspersed with silly, self-aware writing. And even from my short time with the game, I could tell Cosmic Star Heroine’s characters are going to feel more like people than joke delivery mechanisms for a parody RPG.</p><p>But they still tell a lot of jokes.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LbBnsE9PS8-K.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lk1e18HIPnuD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="CSH Ability Menu"></p><p>Much as Cosmic Star Heroine is inspired by Chrono Trigger, the writing I saw in my demo didn’t have quite the charm or efficient brevity that’s helped make Squaresoft’s RPG so timeless. But Cosmic Star Heroine’s new turn-based battle system (with a turn order display much like Final Fantasy X’s) is already a blast. Each character is outfitted with a set of skills that can usually only be used once before entering a cooldown state. All of those skills can be refreshed by resting a turn. In quick battles, it’s easy to blast through those skills without needing to rest, but in tougher fights, having a heal off cooldown or a more powerful attack is important.</p><p>Cosmic Star Heroine layers a couple other systems into its battles. Characters quickly build up a meter that triggers Hyper Mode, allowing them to do double damage. Enemies have typical weaknesses to elemental attributes, so stacking Hyper damage with the proper heavy elemental attack is key to delivering big damage.</p><p>There are also style points, accrued through doing damage in battle, that up your damage and let a character survive a fatal wound. Throw in one-use-per-battle Program abilities, which are tied to the shield you equip, and a variety of equippable abilities unique to each character, and you’ve got a fun battle system with the legs for a 15 hour adventure, which is about what Zeboyd is shooting for. I didn’t get to use any Chrono Trigger-style combination attacks, but apparently those are in, too.</p><p>Cosmic Star Heroine looks the part of a 1996 RPG, with a welcome dose of modernity pulling the best bits of two decades of RPGs into its battle system. Suikoden, Persona, Final Fantasy, Lunar, Chrono Trigger&mdash;you’re going to find little bits of each of them in this game. I’m just hopeful its story lives up to the pedigree.</p><p>Zeboyd is aiming to have Cosmic Star Heroine out by the end of 2015.</p><p>If your curiosity is piqued, watch a recent playthrough of the same segment of Cosmic Star Heroine I played&nbsp;at E3.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2xwRduJKJwc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Deus Ex doc looks back at 15 yearshttp://www.pcgamer.com/dx15-the-legacy-of-deus-ex-documentary-looks-back-at-15-years/Warren Spector, Chris Norden, and Sheldon Pacotti talk about how it all got started.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 19:00:45 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dx15-the-legacy-of-deus-ex-documentary-looks-back-at-15-years/Deus ExEidos MontrealNewsRPGSquare EnixWarren Spector <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uhNs_C2sSC2D.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W02K0Gh1tN5J.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex"></p><p>The first entry in a four-party documentary about the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-game-of-the-year-edition/">Deus Ex</a> game series called DX15: The Legacy of Deux Ex is now on <a href="http://ca.ign.com/videos/2015/06/26/dx15-the-legacy-of-deus-ex">IGN</a>. The seven-minute video features original Producer and Project Director Warren Spector, Lead Programmer and Assistant Director Chris Norden, and Lead Writer Sheldon Pacotti talking about the origins of the game, its durability, and how the developers were able to successfully predict technologies of the future.</p><p>Spector credits none other than John Romero for enabling the creation of Deus Ex; Romero occasionally takes heat for the fast-and-loose way he ran <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ion-storm/">Ion Storm</a>, but that environment is what convinced Spector to actually get on with making the game he'd been thinking about since 1994. "I got a call from John Romero up in Dallas from Ion Storm, saying, 'How would you like to make the game of your dreams, with no creative interference? No one will ever tell you anything'," he says in the video. "Who says no to that opportunity?"</p><p>It's not any kind of deep dive, as you'd expect given its relative brevity, but it's fun, and I'm really looking forward to the second part, which will train its eye on the maligned sequel, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/new-deus-ex-designer-criticises-invisible-war/">Deus Ex: Invisible War</a>&mdash;not a bad game, but certainly an unlucky one.</p><p>Square Enix also announced today that gamers may now <a href="https://www.deusex.com/micro/vote">vote</a> on some of the bonus loot that will come with the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector's Edition. Ten different items are in the poll including an Adam Jensen statue, a replica Combat Rifle, a lunch box that looks like a Praxis Kit, a tattoo sleeve (please don't vote for that one), and a set of pins. And finally, Square and Eidos Montreal are offering a free copy of the Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut to anyone who donates $1 or more to the <a href="http://www.gamechangercharity.org/cause/dx15-deus-ex-donation-drive/">GameChanger Charity</a>. Donors can direct their contributions to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Miracles for Kids, the Chordoma Foundation, or the Progeria Research Foundation.</p> Cable management 101: how to control cable chaos outside your PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/cable-management-101-how-to-control-cable-chaos-outside-your-pc/Wield these cord wrangling tricks to banish cable chaos and make the space behind your desk nice and tidy.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:58:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cable-management-101-how-to-control-cable-chaos-outside-your-pc/cable managementEditors PicksHardwareMust Read <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RIAM6flZQZKT.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vYajDPShOTVf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cable101.TitleShotAlternate.01"></p><p>Cord tangles quickly take on a life of their own and become a single, writhing mass when left untended. If you like cutting checks, there’s a bottomless well of commercial cord management systems ranging from stylish desktop cable weights to matching raised floors and drop ceilings waiting to soak up those OCD-devoted dollars.</p><p>There's no need to remodel, however. Keep it simple, and stick with taming techniques that don't take a lot of time, extra work or money to implement if you want to avoid doing it all over again next year. Good cord management is a process, not a project. This article will teach you some techniques for managing all the cables <em>outside</em> your PC, not the SATA and molex and fan cables snaking through your case. Inside your case, a lot of planning and a few zipties will go a long way.</p><h3>Under the table &amp; off the floor</h3><p>The first step on the road to desk space redemption is relocating cables and power strips to spaces underneath or behind your work area. Ideally, those spaces&nbsp;are easy to access but hard to see. This is location-dependent but usually includes the underside or rear panel of the desk or table and involves keeping things like power strips and excess cables off the floor, where they're unsightly, collect dust and are prone to accidental&nbsp;kicking.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/f0lxbaoaTL61.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Q0j1VRSu5t-_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="This idea comes from Martha Stewart. No, seriously. Look it up." class=""><figcaption>This idea comes from Martha Stewart. No, seriously. Look it up.</figcaption></figure><p>Many power strips come with mounting holes for this purpose, but there's a better alternative than bolting them down to a single location out of sight. Instead, use laminated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=mug+hooks&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amug+hooks">mug hooks</a> to suspend a basket, like a small kitchen dish rack or office file sorter, and place the power strips inside. Run cables through the basket's gaps, and plugging or unplugging power cords becomes as easy as reaching under the desk. </p><p>Add a few more hooks and you can change location or layout in a minute or two, with the spares acting as guides or anchors for bundled cables that lead to the power strips or tabletop. If your desk or wall aren't suitable for mounting screws or hooks directly in this fashion, you can always attach a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/39617671693014706/">pegboard</a>, wooden panel or similar with an adhesive strip and use that instead. This is an especially handy technique for glass, metal or older antique furniture and lets you move your organizational schemes between work areas without need to rebuild them from scratch. Just remove and mount the board on your new desk.</p><h3>Cable ties that don't bind</h3><p>Bundling large cord runs is essential for keeping wiring under control, although the best method for this remains the subject of hot debate. Zip ties, once the darling of IT professionals, have fallen out of favor in recent years because they require&nbsp;tools to remove and can cause crimping damage when cinched too tightly. Even pros clip wires accidentally. Twist ties are also popular, but often ugly in implementation and aggravating to use.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e7ZwOYAfRtKp.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AwXBhf-EB4OH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The old guard." class=""><figcaption>The old guard.</figcaption></figure><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=velcro+wraps&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Avelcro+wraps">Velcro wraps</a> are a useful and popular substitute, but elastic cord (or hair ties) used as miniature bungees fastened with a box of coat buttons from a craft or cloth store are a cheaper, more stylish and literally more flexible option. They also don't attract lint and pet hair the way Velcro fasteners do. Just push the hair tie or cloth elastic cord through the button and secure it, then loop the tie around the cables and use the button to fasten the other end. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QZMcXwNlQ4-M.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O-42qhZx86fA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The hipster approach. Low rent and high style." class=""><figcaption>The hipster approach. Low rent and high style.</figcaption></figure><p>While handy, single-strap wraparounds aren't suitable for more unruly cord bundles, especially when they run across a desk or are otherwise visible. For this,&nbsp;spiral cable wraps&nbsp;are a better bet. While you can buy these from office supply stores, quick and attractive cable wraps can be made from old spiral telephone handset cords, which come in a variety of colors. These provide control for longer cable runs and present a more uniform appearance.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cyKzpXr2T4-O.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6At0O9mwlVUK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ma Bell would be so proud." class=""><figcaption>Ma Bell would be so proud.</figcaption></figure><p>Thick cord bundles can make individual cables hard to identify, so mark the ends to keep them easy to sort. Manual tags work for this but you can also use metallic markers or color-coded tape to make sure you know what you're plugging in. Save the tags for important cables.</p><h3>Connector control</h3><p>Once the cords reach your work area, the next step is keeping connectors handy and easy to identify while using as little desk space as possible. The classic binder clip is good for this: just attach around the edge of the desk and run the connector through the silver handles. For thicker tables, you can attach the clips to desk caddies, cellphone trays, file sorters or similar items that live on your tabletop.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XJHqVpDfRuWB.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KBLDMWOIxEZw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The classic geek method" class=""><figcaption>The classic geek method</figcaption></figure><p>It’s also simple to make a desktop cord manager out of common stylish storage favorites like hollow, false books. Just clip out a notch in back for the cord bundle to enter and a few notches on the side for each connector type to exit and keep the spare length in the box, which can live under a monitor or in a similar easy to-reach location.</p><p>If you're still eager to spend money, this isn't a bad place to do it, since you'll be looking at your investment all day long. A lot of cute desktop cord-control tchotchkes exist, from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/39617671698116167/">Lego minifigures</a> (which happen to have the perfect grip for USB cables) to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Pinza-np01-Large/dp/B005KSHZVY">brushed metal Pinza cable weights</a>, so knock yourself out. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ja3PUO7uQJuS.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x8IP_kJ9Z5i6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="If you’re going to spend money, do it where you can see it. Better here than nailed under the desk, right?" class=""><figcaption>If you’re going to spend money, do it where you can see it. Better here than nailed under the desk, right?</figcaption></figure><h3>No more junk drawer</h3><p>For every cable you use, there are probably 2-3 more that never leave storage. These all live someplace&mdash;and chances are, it isn't any better organized in that drawer or closet than it is under the table. The easiest way to keep cables straight and organized when stored in a box is not to wrap them, but to bag them, preferably in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=ziploc+bags&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aziploc+bags">clear kitchen plastic bags with quick-close zipper tops</a>. These are cheap, probably in your kitchen already, and they eliminate cable tangles forever. You can also use&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=penda+flex&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apenda+flex">Penda-flex folders</a> to organize the cable bags further, if you don't mind hearing your family occasionally suggest therapy.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Vt_SwdwwS_6Z.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fO-sL1qqxWlo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Therapy not included." class=""> <figcaption>Therapy not included.</figcaption></figure><p>Avoid wrapping cables in tight or overly complex configurations when prepping for storage; loose loops are enough. Pressure applied during wrapping procedures or in storage will cause crimps and other damage, especially as the materials become brittle with age. If you have cables that won't straighten, try hanging them (fold the longer ones in half if required) someplace warm and dry for a while to un-kink them, but badly crimped cables will have shielding problems and short out eventually. Best to plan on replacements and either toss or give crimped cables to people you don't like.</p><h3>Hobo-Chic no more</h3><p>The impact of these cable management techniques&nbsp;is more than cosmetic, and well worth the effort. Having cords handy and off the floor keeps kids and cats from sending laptops flying. It lets you start new projects with ease and takes the drama out of the hardest part in any unboxing ceremony: finding an elusive open power outlet to jack that new toy into. </p><p>But let's be honest here: it also looks awesome. So stow that shame forever and let the streaming masses in. You and your rig are finally ready for your close up.</p> iPhone 6+ and other oversized phones won't fit inside Fallout 4 Pip-Boyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/iphone-6-and-other-oversized-phones-wont-fit-inside-fallout-4-pip-boy/A wearable Pip-Boy is included with the collector's edition of Fallout 4.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:38:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/iphone-6-and-other-oversized-phones-wont-fit-inside-fallout-4-pip-boy/Bethesda SoftworksFallout 4NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/P6lmaV-cRS2C.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5WNYp_1m0K-z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition"></p><p>The wearable Pip-Boy included in the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-is-releasing-in-november/">Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition</a> is sweet hotness, especially since you can stick your phone inside it and do "real" Pip-Boy stuff with a companion app for iPhone and Android devices. But bear this in mind: If you have one of those really big phones that people with no sense of irony sometimes call a phablet, it's not going to fit.</p><p>It's not something that I (and, I would guess, a lot of other people) had thought about, but popular devices like the iPhone 6+ and the Samsung Galaxy Note are simply too big to go inside the Pip-Boy. "The Pip-Boy included will have foam inserts that fit iPhone 6, iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 4/4S, Samsung Galaxy 5, and Samsung Galaxy 4. In addition, using the customizable foam insert you should be able to fit most other popular smartphone devices," Bethesda <a href="http://www.bethblog.com/2015/06/23/fallout-4-pip-boy-edition-available-again-for-a-short-time/">wrote</a>. "As we wanted to stay faithful to the dimensions of the in-game model, any smartphones larger than the models listed will not fit inside the wearable device."</p><p>The good news is that the app will still run fine on oversized devices, so you could maybe build some kind of diorama based on fan-fic about how the Vault Dweller was eating pizza and his fingers got greasy, so he dropped his Pip-Boy and it broke and the screen fell out, and there it lies. The bad news, for those who want the Pip-Boy Edition but haven't got around to picking one up, is that Bethesda says its North American inventory is sold out. Information on European inventories is expected to be available next week.</p><p>Fallout 4 comes out on November 10.</p> The best games of 2015 so farhttp://www.pcgamer.com/new-games-2015/Six months in, and it's already been a great year.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:57:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-games-2015/Editors PicksFeaturedMust Read New LoL champion Tahm Kench revealedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/new-lol-champion-tahm-kench-revealed/He's the River King, and he wears a small top hat.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:49:39 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-lol-champion-tahm-kench-revealed/League of LegendsMOBANewsRiot Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mh8NjodbRoOg.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7V5QBBIaz2uQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Tahm Kench"></p><p>That thing up there is&nbsp;<a href="http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/page/champion-reveal/tahm-kench-river-king" target="_blank">Tahm Kench</a>, AKA The River King, AAKA League of Legends' latest champion. How does that tiny&nbsp;top hat stay atop his head? How did he fashion a couple of tentacles into a sort of moustache? What abilities does he have? These are all fine questions, but Riot only have answers for the last one.</p><p>You'll find the full Tenchian breakdown&nbsp;<a href="http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/page/champion-reveal/tahm-kench-river-king" target="_blank">at this link</a>, but the short version is that he's a tank. A tank whose moveset revolves around his enormous stomach, and of course his&nbsp;enormous&nbsp;appetite. Riot teased The River King&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/riot-teases-the-demonic-aquatic-river-king/" target="_blank">previously</a>, and now he totes exists. Good on him. Are you going to give him a try?</p> Battleborn trailer shows the Borderlandsy MOBA in actionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-trailer-shows-the-borderlandsy-moba-in-action/23 minutes of colourful multiplayer shooting.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:25:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-trailer-shows-the-borderlandsy-moba-in-action/2KbattlebornFPSGearboxMOBANews <iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jUa0VH48mPI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Battleborn might sound like the unholy fusion of Star Wars&nbsp;Battlefront and Bloodborne, but in reality it's Borderlands meets MOBAs, which might be alright? This is certainly looking like&nbsp;a boisterous, cheery and colourful FPS, and the more of those that&nbsp;are in the world the better. Like a lot of things, Battleborn was showcased at this year's&nbsp;E3, and now a 23-minute blast of footage has burst forth from&nbsp;the event.</p><p>Unlike Overwatch's tiresome&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/zarya-goes-into-action-in-new-overwatch-gameplay-video/" target="_blank">trailer-per-character</a> marketing campaign, Gearbox and 2K seem content to load this one, massive trailer with all the character&nbsp;knowledge you could possibly need, surrounding it with loads of gameplay footage and information about how the game plays. If you're curious about Battleborn, and you enjoyed the comedy dialogue of the various&nbsp;Borderlandses, watch it, basically.</p><p> Edwin went hands on with the game a few weeks ago. You can read his&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-a-heroic-royal-rumble-from-gearbox/" target="_blank">wordthoughts about that here</a>.</p> Win a free Steam key for Fearless Fantasyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-steam-key-for-fearless-fantasy/Grab a copy of this thoroughly weird turn-based RPG.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:11:37 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-steam-key-for-fearless-fantasy/Sponsored <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G2RoeQQUTd-c.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WaS58lTLOq86.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fearless"></p><p>In Fearless Fantasy you play as Leon, the world's most dangerous bounty hunter, who&nbsp;embarks on a mission to slay the weirdest creatures the world has to offer. It's an RPG with a combat system as innovative as its monster design&mdash;challenging you to use mouse gestures in order to block attacks and land critical hits. With a 90% positive rating from Steam user reviews, it's well worth taking a look. Luckily, we've got 200,000 Steam keys to give away&nbsp;right now.</p><p>We're giving away these keys in association with <a href="https://www.indiegala.com/">Indie Gala</a>, who are currently running a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.indiegala.com/deadisland" target="_blank">Dead Island Special Bundle</a> for&nbsp;only $5.89, and a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.indiegala.com/magicka" target="_blank">Magicka Mega Bundle</a>&mdash;containing Magicka and 22 DLCs&mdash;for under $4. There's also a massive deal on a selection of indie games as part of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.indiegala.com/monday" target="_blank">Every Monday Bundle</a>, available for under $2.50.</p><p>To claim your free Steam key&nbsp;for Fearless Fantasy, simply follow the instructions in the box below. Enjoy!</p><iframe src="http://woobox.com/mrvsyz" frameborder="0" height="850" width="100%" scrolling="yes"> </iframe> Rocksteady "working like crazy" to help fix Arkham Knighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/rocksteady-working-like-crazy-to-help-fix-arkham-knight/Rocksteady co-founder "totally supported decision to suspend PC version".Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:56:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/rocksteady-working-like-crazy-to-help-fix-arkham-knight/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightNewsRocksteady <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o49MB_nrSOOc.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OZw-4oBUUAGc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Batman: Arkham Knight"></p><p>The Oxford University Press is currently feverishly updating the English Dictionary to re-write their entry for the word 'fiasco'.&nbsp;"noun.&nbsp;A complete failure, especially a ludicrous or humiliating one; the PC version of&nbsp;Batman:&nbsp;Arkham Knight." Meanwhile, Rocksteady, Nvidia, and PC version developers Iron&nbsp;Galaxy are currently feverishly updating Arkham Knight itself.</p><p>Let Arkham Knight director, and Rocksteady co-founder Sefton Hill re-assure you that Rocksteady are "working like crazy" to help fix the game. He posted the following&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Seftonhill/status/614174783819915264" target="_blank">tweet yesterday</a>:</p><div><p>"Totally supported decision to suspend PC version.&nbsp;We have our best engineers at Rocksteady working like crazy to help fix the issues ASAP."</p><p>Graphics card manufacturers&nbsp;Nvidia&nbsp;are helping as well. While adding that the PC version's problems aren't related to Nvidia cards, they told&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-06-25-warner-suspends-batman-arkham-knight-pc-sales" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a> that they're "working with WB Games and the development teams to address the performance issues of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight.&nbsp;We have made our QA and engineering resources available and will provide updates when they are available."</p><p>In the meantime,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/" target="_blank">you can't buy</a> Arkham Knight. Here's Chris Thursten&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/broken-bat-finding-the-good-and-bad-in-the-arkham-knight-debacle/" target="_blank">pondering that</a>.</p></div> Pillars of Eternity update 2.0 adds party AI, solo stealthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-update-20-adds-party-ai-solo-stealth/Patch coincides with release of The White March: Part 1 expansion.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:03:34 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-update-20-adds-party-ai-solo-stealth/NewsObsidianPillars of EternityRPG <iframe width="594" height="334" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/I0GvsA6exuY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Pillars of Eternity is getting a hefty patch to coincide with the release of its&nbsp;expansion, The White March: Part 1. You know it's serious when they bust out the '2.0', and true to that descriptor the update adds several features that should improve the RPG quite a bit. The first is party AI, meaning we'll no longer have to micromanage every facet of combat if we can't be bothered. We can select from several types of AI behaviour, interrupting or switching off&nbsp;the feature as necessary.</p><p>We'll also soon be able to put individual characters into stealth mode, rather than making the whole party creep about at the same time as the rogue. Meanwhile, accuracy indicators above enemy heads should make it easier to determine whether your hits are going to, er, hit.</p><p>Patch 2.0 will&nbsp;release at around the same time as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternitys-first-expansion-is-the-white-march/" target="_blank">The White March: Part 1</a>, but you won't need to grab that in order to download it. The above trailer shows the new features in action.</p> Total War is having a free weekend, salehttp://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-is-having-a-free-weekend-sale/Gold editions of Shogun and Medieval: Total War released too.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 08:57:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-is-having-a-free-weekend-sale/Creative AssemblyNewsStrategyTotal War: Attila <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qD0BRJlvT5i1.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RvyTnZ1kkmGX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War: Attila"></p><p>Attila up there&nbsp;is just <em>over the moon</em> that Creative Assembly are holding a free weekend party for many of their historo-strategy-murderising games. He's also ecstatic about the big sale they've laid on to accompany it, where the likes of Total War: Attila, Total War: Rome 2, and the older&nbsp;games where the titles are reversed are available for cheap. He's so happy that he may even stop killing people for-oh, he's started killing people again.</p><p>Creative Assembly are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Total War series, see. In addition to offering&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/sale/free_total_war_weekend_2015/" target="_blank">free weekends</a> and sales&nbsp;for *deep breath* Shogun 2, Napoleon, Attila, Rome 2, Empire and Medieval 2, they've also released new&nbsp;'Gold' editions of&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/345260/" target="_blank">Medieval: Total War</a>, and of&nbsp;the very first in the series,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/345240/" target="_blank">Shogun: Total War</a>. These package the games and all expansions for £6.99 apiece.</p> I no longer regret my decision: making better choices in Dota 2http://www.pcgamer.com/i-no-longer-regret-my-decision-making-better-choices-in-dota-2/You don't get better at making choices unless you practice.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:19:37 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/i-no-longer-regret-my-decision-making-better-choices-in-dota-2/Dota 2MOBAThree Lane HighwayValve <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Tl4jDikGRcaV.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/t7OoLBU-88zo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bristleback" style="background-color: initial;"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Three Lane Highway</h5> <p> Every week, Chris documents his complex ongoing relationship with Dota 2, Smite, and wizards in general. </p> </div><p> A few days ago, in an&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/looking-ahead-to-the-international-from-esl-one-frankfurt/">article</a> about ESL One Frankfurt, I made a point of praising Team Secret's decision making. This comes up a lot in my thinking about Dota. Something that applies to this game and many other things besides is the way that professionals 'make it look easy'. This is particularly apparent in esports, where the game the pros are playing is exactly the same as the one you play at home. Watching them pull off perfect rotation after perfect rotation, perfect counter-initiation after perfect counter-initiation, it's easy to sit back and think: I could do that.</p><p> I can't, though, because while I can imitate the visible aspect of their performance I can't replicate the thought processes that make it happen. The best players make (and don't make) decisions very quickly, drawing on a massive amount of prior experience to do so. I've written before about how, ultimately, there's no substitute for raw time investment when it comes to getting good. There are, however, a few approaches that I've found helpful while trying to become a better player&mdash;particularly with regards to decision making.</p><p> <strong>Always be running through scenarios in your head</strong></p><p> This started, for me, with trying to get an intuitive grasp of blink dagger's maximum range. Rather than wait for a teamfight to discover that I didn't quite have it down, I'd think about it as I was running around and practice when things were quiet. If I was playing support and had blink, for example, I'd practice while warding. This isn't advisable in serious competitive games but in pubs I think it's a good way of getting your eye in.</p><p> The same applies to skill rotations and other items. If you're always thinking about what your next move might look like then it's far less likely that you'll panic, rush, or screw it up. That might mean something like 'I'm going to blink, hex, stun somebody else, force staff myself out and look for a finger of death opportunity'. Once you've figured that out, check which inventory slots your blink dagger and force staff are in. This is about as basic as advice gets, but the speed at which you make a decision doesn't matter at all if you haven't done the basic groundwork that makes sure you don't fat-finger your dust and force staff yourself in the wrong direction.</p><p> <strong>Say what you're about to do, but don't let that stop you</strong></p><p> I've spent a lot of time over the last year writing about communication&mdash;particularly about the importance of being clear and vocal with your ideas. The flipside to this is that in an idea world you shouldn't need to wait for a reply once you've explained what you're going to do.</p><p> There's another word for this, and it's 'trust'. If you trust that the people you're playing with have your back, then saying 'I'm going to blink-echo slam with the next wave' and then doing it is fine. If it's what you need to do to break their base then it's what you need to do, and it's on them to follow you up. I've seen a lot of teams fall apart due to hesitancy resulting from a committee-ish need to make sure that everybody agrees with the plan before anybody pushes the button.</p><p> If you don't trust the people that you're playing with, arguably you should go for it anyway. They might surprise you: you're just another pub random to them too, after all.</p><p> <strong>Act</strong></p><p> I mentioned hesitancy above. It is, I find, something that intermediate teams really struggle with. This indicates lag in the decision making process&mdash;it's everything to do with thought and communication and very little to do with reactions. Although there are certainly times when rushing in ruins it for everybody, I increasingly believe that you learn more about the game if you're willing to make a move without hesitation.</p><p> Don't get me wrong: this is how many, many matches get thrown away. Ultimately, however, you only learn to make better decisions by making decisions. If you wait for the perfect play, you probably won't make one. If you make no plays, you won't learn&mdash;all that time running through scenarios doesn't mean much if you don't take that knowledge into the wild. This taps into a broader truth&mdash;if you're going to learn, be willing to lose&mdash;but it is specifically relevant here. If you need to blow a long cooldown ult to make sure a kill happens, do it. If you think you can outplay an isolated enemy, try it.</p><p> This might sound a little dumb, but acting more confidently when making a play is the wrong idea helped make me more confident when it was the right idea. It also helped me learn the myriad ways in which an idea can be a bad one. There's no substitute for time, after all, and you cannot learn to make better choices by not choosing.</p><p> <em>To read more Three Lane Highway, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway/">click here</a>.</em></p> Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is definitely getting a zombies modehttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-is-definitely-getting-a-zombies-mode/Shooting zombies still an innate human desire.Fri, 26 Jun 2015 01:33:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-is-definitely-getting-a-zombies-mode/Call of Duty: Black Ops 3FPSNewsTreyarch <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qJwagRWZSKi2.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/krQM1EsCiTT1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Black Ops 3_Ramses Station_Quad Tank"></p><p>What's as reliable as a new Call of Duty game arriving every year? A Call of Duty zombies mode, of course. Aside from that one year when it was aliens instead of zombies, you can pretty much bank on Call of Duty receiving undead DLC, and according to new information that is definitely happening again in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/">Black Ops 3</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The news comes via a&nbsp;<a href="http://comiccon2015.sched.org/event/3f1eae2e72b9f1b251f4f1b38e4b94df?iframe=no#.VYypsF4kUmq">schedule listing</a> for the San Diego ComicCon, which takes place between July 8-12. According to the listing, "Zombies director" Jason Blundell will demonstrate the mode during the convention. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there's a guy at Treyarch with the job title "Zombies director", but I am.</p><p>Activision showed off a bunch of new Black Ops 3 stuff at E3 last week, including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-trailer-shows-co-op-cyborgs/">co-op cyborgs</a> and some interesting additions to the series'&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3-multiplayer-has-robots-teleportation/">multiplayer modes</a>. The game releases November 6.&nbsp;</p> Hands-on with Armikrog's incredible claymation world http://www.pcgamer.com/hands-on-with-armikrogs-incredible-claymation-world/Classic adventure gaming gets a claymation twist inNeverhood’s spiritual successor.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 23:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hands-on-with-armikrogs-incredible-claymation-world/AdventureArmikrogE3 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4fHIgXr3TcWl.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-5fjV7cdeliT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="10" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>Examined on paper, I can easily understand how&nbsp;point-and-click adventure game Armikrog&nbsp;accrued nearly a million dollars&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/i-dream-of-plasticine-neverhood-developer-is-carving-out-a-new-claymation-vision/">during its 2013 crowdfunding campaign</a>: claymation visuals that defy expectation, an offbeat world full of talking dogs and fuzzy monsters, classic puzzle-solving that harkens back to adventure gaming’s golden age.</p><p>And then there’s Armikrog’s pedigree. Indie developer Pencil Test Studios’ core creative team consists of the same people&nbsp;who created Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, the influential cult classic that pioneered Armikrog’s visual style and whose hero bares an uncanny resemblance to this new game’s protagonist, Tommynaut. That team in turn recruited some top voice talent&mdash;including Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Rob Paulsen (Pinky and the Brain), and Michael J. Nelson (Mystery Science Theater 3000)&mdash;to bring its quirky world to life.</p><p>According the the Magic Eight Ball of Expectation, all signs point to the game being excellent.&nbsp;After playing Armikrog on the E3 2015&nbsp;showfloor last week, however, some&nbsp;concerns about the puzzle design brought me back down to earth.&nbsp;But let’s start with the good: The opening cinematic is short and sweet, elegantly framing Tommynaut and his bizarre canine companion Beak Beak as explorers who’ve crash landed on a hostile world. In fleeing from a silly-looking monster, they dive through a portal and a door slams shut behind them, leaving them no choice but to move forward through a series of rooms.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3wH5aNIGSUek.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BO4qd3ipeJkE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="8"></p><p>It’s a fairly basic setup, sure, but at least it avoids tedious exposition. Plus, it fast tracks players to the game’s true star: controlling characters in Armikrog’s world of clay. Screenshots alone may have already sold you on the aesthetic, but seeing it in action confounds all expectations. The animations are just so incredibly smooth and seamless, I could hardly believe the world I was seeing was actually reacting to my inputs. I know this isn’t the first game to utilize stop motion claymation, but I can’t remember anything else that looked quite this good doing it.</p><p>Appropriately, the world itself somehow feels like a natural extension of the art style, embracing all the weird and wonderful quirks of the medium. Tommynaut, for example, stores items by simply shoving them into his squishy clay stomach, and one of the later rooms I encountered during my demo seemed to melt into shape as I entered it. From the character design to the (somewhat limited) dialogue, everything about Armikrog effuses this very particular offbeat quality.</p><p>Unique as the world may be, however, the gameplay still fell flat&mdash;at least in the limited portion I was able to play. I experienced several moments that made me think, “Am I an idiot or was this actually not super well designed?” Maybe I am an idiot, but either way, that thought’s not a great sign. To give you an idea of what I mean: When I walked up to the Armikrog kiosk, the Indiecade rep manning the station was trying desperately to exit a tile puzzle that provided no instructions and that couldn’t be abandoned once players clicked into it. She eventually had to quit out of the game entirely.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-A6KyGNVQhaR.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zyF2qotX0YIn.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="4"></p><p>Once I started a fresh game, the first puzzle consisted of picking up a lever, attaching it to a door, walking through an empty room, pushing a block back the way I came, and finally retrieving the original lever by sending Beak Beak through a hole in the wall. The only challenge came from the fact that I didn’t immediately notice the slot by the second door where I was meant to place the lever, which was&nbsp;more frustrating than challenging. It’s probably safe to assume Armikrog’s puzzles grow more sophisticated as the game progresses, but I didn't get to see evidence of that in the demo.</p><p>Admittedly, the E3 showfloor is far from an ideal setting for first impressions, and the team at Pencil Test Studios still has a few months left to polish (good thing, considering the opening cutscene still consists largely of black and white placeholder sketches). We'll see the complete picture when&nbsp;Armikrog is out on&nbsp;August 18.</p> Zarya goes into action in new Overwatch gameplay videohttp://www.pcgamer.com/zarya-goes-into-action-in-new-overwatch-gameplay-video/Zarya has pink hair, rippling muscles, and a really big gun.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:44:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/zarya-goes-into-action-in-new-overwatch-gameplay-video/BlizzardFPSNewsOverwatch <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E2Jzt0HGixY?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Earlier today, we spent some time with Bastion, an <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch/">Overwatch</a> character who is literally a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch-footage-features-a-transforming-tank/">transforming tank</a>. Now it's time to look at a different kind of tank: Zarya, a muscular, pink-haired Russian who carries a gun the size of a Volkswagen.</p><p> <a href="http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en/heroes/Zarya/">Zarya</a> looks (and sounds) quite a bit like the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-heavy-guide/">Heavy</a> from Team Fortress 2, but as we noted in our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch-new-characters-pax-east-2015/">PAX hands-on</a> in March, her playstyle is quite a bit different. She appears considerably more mobile in combat, and her Particle Cannon is more defensive in nature: Rather than laying down sustained heavy fire, it projects either a short-range particle beam or an energy grenade. It can also emit an energy barrier that shields either Zarya or a teammate from enemy fire, boosting the cannon's power in the process. Her ultimate is a gravity bomb that pulls in enemies and deals damage while they're trapped.</p><p> The Overwatch beta is expected to begin later this year. Put your name in the hat at <a href="https://us.battle.net/account/management/settings/beta-opt-in.html">Battle.net</a>.</p> Fallout 4 preorder paid for with 11 pounds of bottle capshttp://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-preorder-paid-for-with-11-pounds-of-bottle-caps/Fallout 4 sells for roughly 2240 caps in the post-nuclear world.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:06:37 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-preorder-paid-for-with-11-pounds-of-bottle-caps/Bethesda SoftworksFallout 4NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HBPiTY3tQAmX.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6oviKFSwIhvm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Caps"></p><p>It's the kind of idea we all wish we'd come up with: A fellow named Seth placed a preorder for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a> directly from Bethesda Softworks, paying for it entirely with bottle caps. He boxed up roughly 2240 of them, "everything I've been able to save since I played Fallout 3 for the first time," and while he wasn't really sure about the caps-to-dollars exchange rate, he said he hoped his <a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/tYZPO">post on Imgur</a> would become popular enough that "their PR department will be too nervous to turn me down."</p><p>"Fallout 3 was my favorite game for several years, so I made the rational choice to start saving up bottle caps. Turns out 4.5 years of undergrad and 3 years in a Master's program leads to a lot of drinking," he wrote. "It ended up being 11.2 pounds of bottle caps. You don't want to know how much it cost to ship it to Maryland."</p><p>Yesterday, his gambit paid off. He received an email from Matt Grandstaff, Bethesda's global community lead, with a photo of the <a href="https://twitter.com/gstaffinfection/status/613686913178931200">opened boxes of caps</a>, a complaint that his office smells like beer, and a promise that Seth would receive a copy of the game in November because he's "the first person to do this"&mdash;the obvious implication being that anyone else who tries it won't be so lucky.</p><p>"I just wanted to say 'thank you' to everyone who helped in making this happen," Seth <a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/KlqPB/new">wrote in a follow-up</a>. "People were simultaneously worried about my rate of drinking (I'm fine, thanks), and were also disappointed in my lack of drinking (I'm fine, thanks). Someone on imgur even offered to gift me a copy of the game if I didn't get one."</p><p>For those not in the know, and thus missing out on the joke, <a href="http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Bottle_cap">bottle caps</a> are the standard currency in the Fallout universe. Grandstaff said he would deposit the payment at the <a href="http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/People%27s_Bank_of_Point_Lookout">People's Bank of Point Lookout</a>.</p> Peter Moore says EA would delay Star Wars Battlefront if it "isn't right"http://www.pcgamer.com/peter-moore-says-ea-would-delay-star-wars-battlefront-if-it-isnt-right/Moore says EA will "bite the bullet" if it has to.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:57:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/peter-moore-says-ea-would-delay-star-wars-battlefront-if-it-isnt-right/ActionDICEElectronic ArtsNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VzJyoBTKSiek.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZtmIXeLC6MfK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p>Nobody likes it when games are delayed. But nobody likes the PC port of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a>, either. I think most of us would agree that the latter is worse than the former, but even so, games hitting the shelves in various states of not-quite-ready isn't as uncommon a phenomenon as it should be. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4/">Battlefield 4</a> was one such game: Not as disastrous as Arkham Knight, but still "unacceptable," as Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-launch-situation-was-unacceptable-says-ea-ceo/">said last year</a>.</p><p>That could understandably lead to concerns about similar issues with the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/">Star Wars: Battlefront</a>, but Peter Moore, EA's chief operating officer, told <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/ea-we-would-delay-star-wars-battlefront-if-it-wasn-t-right/0151717">MCV</a> that the publisher wouldn't hesitate to push the game back if it has to, just like it did with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline-delayed-to-2015/">Battlefield Hardline</a>. "You can’t ship it if it doesn’t work or the quality isn’t right," he said. "You just bite the bullet. Trust me, shipping Hardline in March was not the easiest thing to do from a business perspective, but it was the right thing to do from a player perspective."</p><p>It's the sort of "gamers first" rhetoric you'd expect to hear from a game company executive, but it fits with Wilson's promise from last year of a "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/electronic-arts-plans-a-fundamental-shift-in-how-it-makes-games-says-ceo/">fundamental shift</a>" in EA's approach to making games, which includes delaying titles that aren't ready for the big time. That could be placed into the "talk is cheap" category too, but sooner or later, EA is going to have to be credited for following through on its promises. </p><p>But there's apparently no need to worry about Star Wars: Battlefront, anyway: Moore said it's already "rock solid," even in 40-player matches, and so a delay "ain't going to happen." Assuming he's right, Star Wars Battlefront will be out on November 17.</p> A treasury of the least popular gaming petitions http://www.pcgamer.com/a-treasury-of-the-least-popular-gaming-petitions/Sign here if you agree. Anyone? Anyone?Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:38:29 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-treasury-of-the-least-popular-gaming-petitions/Gallery Fallout 4 "pretty close to being done"http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-pretty-close-to-being-done/Fallout 4 comes out in November.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:34:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-pretty-close-to-being-done/Bethesda SoftworksFallout 4Newspete hinesRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Iv_FNmP7QnGq.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ul3m-rkkTNzG.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fallout 4 Behemoth"></p><p>To the surprise of pretty much everyone,&nbsp;Bethesda announced at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/e3-2015/">E3</a> that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a> will be out on November 10, forgoing the extended, sometimes years-long pre-launch campaigns we usually see with big&nbsp;game releases. Pete Hines, Bethesda's VP of PR and Marketing, told <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/fallout-4-basically-done/">GamesRadar</a> it was able to pull off&nbsp;that particular mic drop moment&nbsp;because the game is "pretty close to being done."</p><p>That shouldn't come as any great surprise; as Hines himself pointed out, if you say you're going to ship a game like Fallout 4 in five months, it better be just about finished. But he also said that the studio was confident it could get away with such a small window in which to promote the game because it was already such a hype magnet.</p><p>"If we didn’t feel like that was enough time to generate the excitement that we expected and the interest that we wanted, then we would have announced it earlier," he said. "So part of it is because we felt like it was a big enough title that we could get away with it."</p><p>That too makes sense. A new Fallout was clearly in the works&mdash;game studios don't just abandon their biggest franchises&mdash;and there were enough fake teases (one or two of which were <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/that-fallout-countdown-site-was-a-big-fat-hoax-that-cost-its-creator-990/">very convincing</a>) kicking around that Bethesda could leave that kind of low-level buzz generation to the fan base. After all, why get in the way of a self-sustaining PR campaign&mdash;especially if you're having a good time? "It’s really fun to get this far into development and not say anything and then go 'Boo! Here’s all this stuff. Here’s what we’re up to'," Hines said. "Which isn’t even all the full monty, it's just a big wide picture."</p> Dying Light doubles down on Destiny-baiting "Drink For DLC" campaignhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-doubles-down-on-destiny-baiting-drink-for-dlc-campaign/Yesterday's Destiny/Red Bull-inspired DLC freebie now has stretch goals.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:20:04 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-doubles-down-on-destiny-baiting-drink-for-dlc-campaign/ActionDying LightNewsTechland <p>Techland had a little fun at Bungie's expense yesterday, after the Destiny developer&nbsp;rolled out a <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/destiny-taken-king-has-exclusive-quest-red-bull-drinkers/">promotional partnership with Red Bull</a> that offered exclusive DLC to players who purchased, and presumably drank, specially marked cans of the stuff. We didn't bring it up here because Destiny isn't on PC, but <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light/">Dying Light</a> is, so when Techland launched its "Real King of Hydration" campaign, we figured it was <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-dlc-takes-a-jab-at-destinys-red-bull-promotion/">worth a mention</a>.</p><p>It was mostly a gag, albeit one with a payoff: Dying Light players who tweeted a picture of themselves drinking a glass of water&nbsp;at&nbsp;the official <a href="https://twitter.com/DyingLightGame">Dying Light Twitter account</a> with the "DrinkRightDyingLight" hashtag would be given a code for a premium weapon docket. But the response was such that Techland decided to take it further, with a full-on <a href="https://twitter.com/DyingLightGame/status/614100862517047296">Drink For DLC campaign</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The same rules apply&mdash;post a picture of yourself chugging some fine H2O&mdash;but the hashtag is now "DrinkForDLC," and there are multiple stretch goals, beginning with a 50 percent XP boost to player agility for 24 hours on June 28 (which was just hit) and running through four separate pieces of new DLC that will be released free when the various tiers are hit.</p><p>Techland hasn't said anything about the nature of the DLC, quite possibly because it hasn't decided yet&mdash;remember, this is all happening more or less on the fly&mdash;but it has confirmed that pictures of pets drinking water will count toward the final total, as will photos tweeted yesterday with the original hashtag. It's silly, but it's fun, and smart, too; poking fun at an unironically-silly promo campaign while simultaneously handing out free stuff is a great way to build up goodwill among your fan base. Speaking of which, Techland has also delivered the weapon docket, as promised, on the DrinkForDLC image below: TH1RST-1S-R34L. Redeem it at <a href="https://dockets.dyinglightgame.com/">dockets.dyinglightgame.com</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lQ-i5MSBSr2q.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hFLJ8fvSYoNQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dying Light Drink for DLC"></p> Perception is happening, new Silent Night mode announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/perception-is-happening-new-silent-night-mode-announced/Funded and set for next summer, Perception adds functionality that shushes its chatty protagonistThu, 25 Jun 2015 18:09:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/perception-is-happening-new-silent-night-mode-announced/HorrorNewsPerception <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sD3ymF03FNs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Horror gamers can exhale in relief. Perception, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/perception-has-a-fresh-take-on-haunted-house-horror/">a fresh take on haunted house horror starring a blind woman</a>, has met its funding goal. The game ended its campaign at $168,041&mdash;a total that only skimmed the top of a deep pool of stretch goals. In the projected June 2016 release, players can expect globe-spanning localization, an extra area to explore, and True Darkness mode, where the player is restricted to echolocating without her loud cane.</p><p> Of course, included as well is a fully voiced campaign&mdash;well, that is unless you choose to play the recently announced Silent Night mode, a version of the game that shushes an otherwise chatty playable character, except on plot critical lines.</p><p> The option emerged from a significant amount of player feedback. Bill Gardner, creative director at The Deep End Games, <a href="https://youtu.be/sD3ymF03FNs">announced the mode in a recent update video</a>, saying&nbsp;that some players “wanted a more traditional silent protagonist.” The update ends with a Silent Night version of<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuIXiQP9930"> an earlier, fully voiced, gameplay trailer</a>. In both videos, the protagonist stumbles upon a graveyard and some aggressive wraithlike foes. The primary difference is that her comments are limited to reactionary shrieks rather than the thinking-out-loud commentary of the original trailer.</p><p> Having watched both videos, I preferred the Silent Night trailer to the character’s nearly enthusiastic responses to the supernatural phenomena happening around her. But I can only wonder how much of the intended story will be lost without the bulk of the voiceover narration. Will there be enough environmental cues and storytelling devices to allow the player to fill in the gaps? Or is this mode meant to eschew the narrative entirely, to allow for horror players to get their spooks in without lifting any heavy mental weight?</p><p> We’ll find out when Perception takes a shot in the dark next summer.</p> Total War: Warhammer E3 impressionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-e3-impressions/A Warhammer veteran and a Total War fan give their take on Creative Assembly's early demo.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:38:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-e3-impressions/4XE3 2015StrategyTotal WarTotal War: Warhammer <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/015dmIRUQEOO.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kiayDMg9P5w_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer header"></p><p>Why send a single writer to see the most hotly-anticipated strategy game on PC, when you could send two (with wildly differing background knowledge) instead. Hardware editor Wes Fenlon is a long-standing fan of the Total War series, whereas old man global editor-in-chief Tim Clark grew up playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle on a converted ping pong table in his bedroom. (And once got headbutted at a Games Day in the Birmingham NEC over a rules dispute, but that’s another story.)</p><p>At E3 they had the chance to see a choreographed demo of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer/">Total War: Warhammer</a>, in which the Orc horde clashed with Karl Franz’s Empire forces. Here, Wes and Tim give their impressions of that in the form of a cosy fireside chat. Roll the brandy around ostentatiously in your glass and let’s begin&hellip;</p><p><strong>Wes:</strong> I’m going to be a downer and start with the bad first: a scripted flythrough of a Total War battle, with perfectly constructed armies carrying out their coolest attacks right when the camera is on them, isn’t quite indicative of the experience of playing a Total War game. I would’ve loved to see the world map, politics, construction, planning&hellip; all the stuff that goes into making Total War a 4X series.</p><p>Okay, now that that little dose of reality is out of the way&mdash;my god, this looked cool. It’s the kind of perfect, dream franchise mash-up that makes <em>so much sense</em> it seemingly never happens. I could almost feel the liberated creativity bursting out of the artists and animators as they finally got to drop historically accurate archers and legionnaires for orcs and gryphons and goblins riding on really creepy spiders. I didn’t care about Warhammer as a setting before this demo, and I’m now really psyched for it as the playground for the next Total War.</p><p><strong>Tim:</strong> Damn you, Wes, and damn your reality check. For me, seeing the camera zoom (okay, yes, suspiciously cinematically) over the warring armies was the realisation of the dream I’ve had since it sunk in that, no, I probably wasn’t ever actually going to finish painting the two dozen heavy cavalry which I’d persuaded mother to buy me for Christmas. I’ve waited patiently for over two decades to see a decent video game version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, (hell I even sunk hours into <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer:_Dark_Omen">Warhammer: Dark Omen</a>), and given Creative Assembly’s heritage I’m confident that Total Warhammer is going to be a lot better than decent.</p><p>I think what I liked most about the demo we saw was the diversity of units on show. If I’d been making a shopping list of what a greenskin army ought to include, trolls, boar and wolf riders, a wild-eyed shaman, plus a giant boss on a wyvern would have all been high on the list. Maybe more importantly, the creature models are packed with detail and don’t feel too cartoony. I would place the art style between the colorfulness of World of Warcraft and the ‘realism’ of Shadow of Mordor. (I know orcs aren’t real. Stop ruining this.) I guess my concern, though, is whether coming in relatively cold to the series, I’m going to be overwhelmed by trying to manage an army of this size on the fly. Does it look significantly different to previous Total Wars in terms of systems? I guess magic is the major addition&hellip;</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7i4d3ignBNQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Wes:</strong> Magic and flying units are definitely both major additions, and I hope that flying units work much better than the clunky naval combat of Shogun 2 and Rome 2. I think they probably will&mdash;from what we saw, flying units can shift pretty seamlessly from the skies to the ground, landing amidst a unit of soldiers and tearing into them with close-ranged attacks, or swooping down and carrying some up into the sky for a gravity kill.</p><p>The animations of the Warhammer ground troops were absolutely packed with personality, and by their nature are more varied than the kinds of units you see in historical Total War games (which are basically Guy Walking or Guy Riding Horse). But I don’t think they’ll behave much differently. Controlling battles will still mainly about putting your troops into formations, with melee units up front, ranged units safe behind them, and cavalry sweeping in from the back or sides. The cavalry just happens to be riding on spiders and wolves, this time around.</p><p>The way magic comes into play is still the biggest question mark, I think. It looked really fun. What god’s giant foot did that Goblin shaman summon to flatten an entire unit of Empire troops? I was worried about the magic being overpowered, but <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammers-battle-designer-on-blood-and-badass-magic/">according to Warhammer’s battle designer Simon Mann</a>, those uber-powerful attacks will require pretty much your entire mana pool, so there’s a trade-off there. I think using magic will be similar to managing the special abilities of your heroes, much like generals in previous Total War games. And you can always pause combat to strategize if things get too intense.</p><p><strong>Tim:</strong> I believe the giant green stamping foot in question belonged to Gork, one of the orcs twin gods (the other being Mork, though I’m unclear where Mindy fits into their religious hierarchy.) I’m not too worried about magic being OP at this point, because the strong suggestion is that wizards will be glass cannons who need to be hidden behind massed ranks of cannon fodder to keep safe. On the subject of cannons, I’m probably more curious about how the use of war machines will be balanced. The Empire forces had a couple of powerful Steam Tanks, plus a mobile platform-mounted magical death ray contraption. I remember in the tabletop game&mdash;well, in my case, ping pong table game&mdash;that long-range siege weapons were absolutely deadly and the source of much frustration for my opponents. Though I will add that that wasn’t what got me headbutted in Birmingham.</p><p>What did you make of the idea of the big heroes being immortal? It makes sense from a lore perspective&mdash;you can’t have Karl Franz getting skewered in the tutorial&mdash;but what can I expect from the lesser agent-style units. These sound like what I would’ve called ‘character models’: super powerful singleton units that roam the battlefield helping to swing the outcome. I’m slightly perturbed by the idea these guys will have complex unlockable skill trees, but if they die that progress gets lost. I suppose that’s equally the case in something like The Banner Saga or X-COM, but hoo boy is it going to sting when my favourite war boss gets sliced into verdant shish kebab by halberdiers. Is that not a big deal? Is it usually easy to acquire new agents?</p><p><strong>Wes:</strong> Those “hero” units taking the place of Agents from past Total War games may actually be the most exciting feature for me. In Rome 2, for example, there were Spies, Champions, and Dignitaries, each with their own skill trees making them better at spreading unrest, assassination, buffing your army or debuffing your opponent’s. But at least when playing against the AI, agents became extremely tiresome. You needed a ton of them to counter the enemy agents crawling all over the map, and every time you killed one the AI would simply spawn a new one and send it over to harass you again. I’m hopeful that making them actual characters this time around will cut down on how obnoxious they are on the world map and make them more valuable.</p><p>Being able to bring them into combat certainly signifies they’ll be less disposable, and since they can die, the risk/reward trade-off must be really tantalizing. Basically, they better kick a lot of ass. In past Total War games, you never controlled single units (with the exception of boats)&mdash;even generals had a pack of a couple dozen bodyguards riding alongside them. So I’m excited to see how that works in Total War. Battles may require a bit more micromanagement, but that could end up being a fun change of pace from setting your army up properly and then letting it go to town.</p><p>I’m similarly looking forward to having your leaders be immortal, because it seems to fit the fantasy setting, and change for a series this long-running can be refreshing. The only thing I’m a bit worried about&mdash;and I guess this doesn’t make much sense considering how complex tabletop Warhammer probably is&mdash;is them simplifying the strategy layer of the game too much to prioritize battles. That might be a way to draw in Warhammer fans who’ve never played Total War before, but I want to control this fantasy world, not just do battle in it.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ye4gbzkqRY6T.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JYUmqDHRVqKB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer 4"></p><p><strong>Tim: </strong>I feel like, as a fan, once acclimatised I’ll actually relish the campaign mode stuff, particularly if it enables you to keep altering the construction of your army. For me, the juice in Fantasy Battle came from constructing your army in different ways to deal with different opponents. I’m a tiny bit disappointed that you won’t be able to tweak the appearance of the troops, to give an approximation of the painting process, but at the same time this is only Creative Assembly’s first swing of the bat at the licence, and the colour palette we saw looked really good. In fact I’m already jumping the musket and imagining how wood elves and the various chaos factions will eventually look.</p><p>Beyond the existing Warhammer fanbase, I think this game has the chance to be a real breakout for Creative Assembly. High fantasy is in the strongest place it’s been for years, thanks to a glut of great RPGs, and of course Game Of Thrones, so Total Warhammer could scratch that itch for a lot of people. Who doesn’t want to preside over massive battles in which dragons barbecue screaming farmhands that have been pressed into military service? The standout moment in the demo, for me, was seeing the Empire’s <a href="http://www.games-workshop.com/en-WW/Empire-Demigryph-Knights">Demigryph Knights</a> come charging out of the woods to plunge their lances into the orc scum. RIP ever wanting to play actual history again.</p><p><strong>Wes</strong>: Hear, hear. That’s a great point about the fantasy setting giving this some breakout potential: I can see plenty of people being turned off from previous Total War games because the depth of the historical setting can be a bit intimidating. Maybe Warhammer carries its own baggage, as well, but this is the largest scale fantasy strategy game we’ve seen in years, and I think that really will excite people who like Game of Thrones and Dragon Age and Lord of the Rings. Personally, it made me realize how much I miss the world of Warcraft. But not World of Warcraft&mdash;the world Blizzard gave us in its RTS trilogy.</p><p>We saw a great variety of units in our brief demo of Total War, especially for the orc race. I hope the other two races we didn’t get to see are just as varied, and that there are meaningful differences in play style between each race. And to your point about unit customization, I think Creative Assembly will get there in time. But as long as Total War: Warhammer is as moddable as past games in the series, modders will be solving that problem on day one...and probably creating tons of new Warhammer units, too.</p><p>Imagine, Tim. Your all-time favorite Warhammer character, charging into battle at the head of your army.</p><p><strong>Tim: </strong>Sometimes it’s like you just enjoy seeing me&nbsp;<a href="https://36.media.tumblr.com/e6522cfc6dcd3c2b7b77a9d61627b682/tumblr_nboj8onkfj1tf9rhho2_500.jpg">cry</a> in the office.</p> Behold! It's the XCOM 2 E3 gameplay demo http://www.pcgamer.com/behold-its-the-xcom-2-e3-gameplay-demo/XCOM 2 is looking pretty fine.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:52:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/behold-its-the-xcom-2-e3-gameplay-demo/FiraxisNewsStrategyXCOM 2 <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ok65u-2DoVw?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2/">XCOM 2</a> is set 20 years after the events of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/x-com-enemy-unknown/">XCOM: Enemy Unknown</a>, which according to canon&nbsp;ended with the Earth's surrender to the invading aliens. Humanity now lives under the oppressive control of Advent, but XCOM still exists&mdash;no longer as an elite military force, but as a band of underground resistance fighters, forced to conduct a guerrilla war against a vastly superior and heavily entrenched enemy.</p><p> The ten-minute gameplay video released today features a four-man team on a mission to disrupt the unveiling of a giant statue commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Unification Day." Gameplay is similar to that of the original, intercut with brief cinematic interludes that add a little extra narrative heft. XCOM 2's new aerial drones are on full display, as are melee weapons, although I remain unconvinced that swords have any place in a proper gunfight.</p><p> The video ends on an interesting note, with 'victory' in the form of a job done, half the team dead, and the survivors hauling ass before they end up the same way. It's not exactly a fist-pumping moment of triumph, but such is the nature of resistance campaigns. (Or at least that's the lesson I learned from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087985/">Red Dawn</a>.)&nbsp;XCOM 2 is due&nbsp;out in November.</p> VA-11 HALL-A has a new trailer and demohttp://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-has-a-new-trailer-and-demo/Cyberpunk bartending sim updates with new demo.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:13:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-has-a-new-trailer-and-demo/NewsVA-11 HALL-A <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jR_fQtW6QumU.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XyCHqTBguSJ4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Waifu Abuse 7"></p><p> If the name&nbsp;VA-11 HALL-A sounds familiar, it's probably because we <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-trailer-shows-cyberpunk-bartending-in-a-dark-dystopia/" target="_blank">wrote about it last year</a>. "Cyberpunk bartender action" is not a particularly crowded genre, after all. It's back again, and this time comes armed with a new trailer and an updated demo.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t5VzwwfuvOM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> In&nbsp;VA-11 HALL-A, you play as Jill. As a bartender, it's your job to serve drinks and listen to customers. As a <em>cyberpunk </em>bartender, your customers are an eclectic array armed with a variety of thoughts and worries about the post-dystopia they live in. You mix drinks, listen to stories, and occasionally meddle in affairs.</p><p> It sounds like a great set-up for the delivery of story bites; something games are becoming increasingly deft at. To try the new demo, head over to the&nbsp; <a href="http://kiririn51.itch.io/valhalla-bar" target="_blank">game's Itch.io page</a>. For more information, head to the official site, which, yes, is located at&nbsp;<a href="http://waifubartending.com/" target="_blank">waifubartending.com</a>.</p><p><em><strong>Note: </strong>VA-11 HALL-A is published by Ysbyrd Games,&nbsp;</em><em>whose business developer, Cassandra Khaw, sometimes&nbsp;freelances for PC Gamer. She is&nbsp;mischievous&nbsp;when drunk.</em></p> The Swindle is out next monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-swindle-release-date-pc/Roguelike heist-'em-up arrives on July 28.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:11:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-swindle-release-date-pc/IndieNewsPlatformerSize Five GamesThe Swindle <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6dzw_TknSsaV.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pFWEMXRONNm5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Swindle"></p><p>Size Five Games' ace looking stealth-hacking-2D-roguelike-heist-platformer The Swindle is coming out next month, giving me just under five weeks to think of a less clunky&nbsp;genre description.&nbsp;Specifically, it's out July 28 on Steam.</p><p>The Swindle features randomly generated characters stealing money from various buildings&nbsp;in order to buy upgraded items in order to steal money from other, more challenging buildings. It's described as a cross between Spelunky and Deus Ex; both good things&nbsp;to be&nbsp;a cross between.</p><p>Here's the trailer from last October:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ysY46cp_RGE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Super Rude Bear Resurrection is a brutal platformer where dying is helpfulhttp://www.pcgamer.com/super-rude-bear-resurrection-is-a-brutal-platformer-where-dying-is-helpful/Find success on the back of past lives.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:44:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/super-rude-bear-resurrection-is-a-brutal-platformer-where-dying-is-helpful/NewsPlatformerSteam Greenlight <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iiSN0TXbRKKF.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wDunUjKhXbvY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Srbr2"></p><p> Super Rude Bear Resurrection's developer describes the game as a "masocore platformer anyone can beat". Think Super Meat Boy only, instead of continuously&nbsp;throwing yourself against a spike pit to no avail, here you can continuously&nbsp;throw yourself against a spike pit to later climb up the corpses. It's rare you get to describe a game as usefully morbid.</p><p> Here's a trailer:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yev9iR54kjw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Crucially, creator Alex Rose confirms that you can complete each challenge without the need for past lives. The challenge is present&nbsp;for those that want it. For those that don't, dead selves provide a natural difficulty curve that lets you directly benefit from past mistakes.</p><p> The game is also being built with speedrunning in mind, with timed ghosts, seeded events and "super hard shortcuts" all planned.</p><p> For more details, head over to&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=458651962" target="_blank">Super Rude Bear Resurrection's Steam Greenlight page</a>.</p> Broken Bat: finding the good and bad in the Arkham Knight debaclehttp://www.pcgamer.com/broken-bat-finding-the-good-and-bad-in-the-arkham-knight-debacle/Some days you can get rid of a bomb.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:05:16 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/broken-bat-finding-the-good-and-bad-in-the-arkham-knight-debacle/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightGOG.comRocksteadySteamWarner Bros <p> <em><br> </em></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Eo4x0GxJQ3-K.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XW-a4BLCmPNY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BrokenBat"></p><p> <em>Detail from Batman #497 (</em><em>Moench/Aparo/Giordano/Jones)</em></p><p> I left the office yesterday having put ten hours into the PC version of Arkham Knight. I fully expected to put in another ten to fifteen hours before writing our review on Friday. In that review, I expected to say something along these lines:</p><p> "In a couple of months, when it works properly, buy it. Don't buy it now."</p><p> Then, late last night, Warner&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/">pulled the PC version from sale entirely</a>. This renders the advice I was about to offer a little pointless, and as such there won't be a PC Gamer review of Arkham Knight this week. We're going to wait until it's on sale again&mdash;however long that takes&mdash;and deliver a verdict based on the state it's in then.</p><p> When that time comes, I'd love to be able to praise the game. It's very good: one of those big-budget games that makes you glad that studios still spend an extraordinary amount of time, money and effort on bringing these fantasies to life. It's exactly this that makes the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/">poor state of the PC version</a> such a disappointment: not only does it betray the trust of PC players, but it utterly undermines Rocksteady's achievement with the game itself.</p><p> It's unlikely that the blame for this situation lies with Rocksteady or even the third party studio responsible for the port. The buck stops with the publisher, here, and the decision to budget only so much time, money and effort for the PC version. Contrary to popular belief, this is one of the most difficult platforms to get right: the current-gen consoles are basically PCs with fixed specs, while developing for the PC proper means accounting for hundreds of thousands if not millions of configurations. It's hard. There's a reason it took GTA V eighteen months to get here. Whoever opted to release Arkham Knight in this condition didn't respect that challenge, and everybody involved has paid for it.</p><p> Withdrawing a game from sale is an unprecedented admission of error. In the case of major publishers and flagship games, it never happens&mdash;at least, I can't recall another instance. Plenty of games have been released in an unplayable state and remained happily on-sale until, a few months down the line, the developer or a well-meaning community fixed them. Remember Knights of the Old Republic II? Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines? Hell, even Arkham City had severe performance issues at launch. All of these games might have been candidates for withdrawal at the time they were released.</p><p> They weren't, and this demonstrates why the Arkham Knight situation might actually be very good for PC gaming as a whole. Something changed.</p><p> Steam's well-timed refund policy is the hero we didn't know we needed, here, as is GMG's magnanimous offer to allow their users to do the same. Players finally have an option that has always seemed like a good idea in theory but that has never worked in practice: to vote with their wallets. Boycotts and petitions don't work, traditionally, because games still sell and once they've sold the player is at the publisher's mercy. Now, with no-questions-asked refunds a possibility, it's simply too punishing to risk the consumer's ire. That's very good news, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the main factor in prompting Warner's decision.</p><p> Arkham Knight may well be the first and only game where the PC port was both (a) rushed out to meet the console release date and (b) delayed by months until it worked. In the future, expect to see a lot more of option (b). Warner's predicament should send ripples through the publisher community, but don't expect it to fix all of the problems that PC gamers&nbsp;tend to face. We might be seeing the death of the rushed-out port, but the <em>late</em> port looks to be a part of our hobby for a long time to come.</p><p> I'm left in a strange situation by all of this. I'm about 50-60% of the way through Arkham Knight and I'd love to see how it ends. Yet I can't help feeling like my time on the PC version has been wasted: it runs badly and is lacking visual features, and this is a game that is all about fluidity and spectacle. I won't put any more&nbsp;time into it until it's fixed. But I might, er, head out at lunch and buy it for my PS4. Not the punchline I was expecting, honestly.</p><p><em>Edit: Original article accidentally read 'GOG' instead of 'GMG'.</em></p> The cult of Doom: the thriving mod scene behind id's classichttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-cult-of-doom-the-thriving-mod-scene-behind-ids-classic/Exploring today's mod scene with id Software's classic shooter.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-cult-of-doom-the-thriving-mod-scene-behind-ids-classic/DoomEditors PicksFPSid SoftwareMods <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YjWCoCIVQuGv.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/84J8fP3BuL0L.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom 1" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">This article was originally published in&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-uk-june-issue-star-wars-battlefront/"><em>PC Gamer issue 279</em></a><em style="background-color: initial;">. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the <a href="http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/gaming/pc-gamer-magazine-subscription/">UK</a> and the <a href="http://shop.futureus.com/subscriptions/pc-gamer-subscription.htmlsg=AFQjCNFwngYO2epGqJngcofj1QufuKAarA">US</a>.</em></p><p>Over the past few years, many of the barriers to making and modifying videogames have been removed. You can grab a free version of Game Maker and knock out Hotline Miami or Gunpoint if you’ve got the time and the inclination. With the introduction of Steam Workshop and similar resources, modding has become both easier to implement and, if you’re on the other side of the fence, easier to benefit from.&nbsp;</p><p>Yet id Software’s Doom has always had such a brilliant creative scene around it. Since the very beginning, people have been working out ways to mod the game and create their own unique experiences. Classic mods such as Aliens or Batman are remembered almost as fondly as the base game itself by those who were around during the mod scene’s infancy. Some of the more ambitious mods even ended up becoming full retail releases, like Final Doom or The Master Levels. In fact, one of the creators of Final Doom went on to work for Valve, engaged on no less a game than Half-Life, while a member of the team that worked on The Master Levels is now creative director of id Software itself&mdash;Tim Willits. Since those early days there’s always been someone modding a new game mechanic to Doom, or someone&nbsp;forcing it to run on a piece of machinery that it really has no business running on. Here we are, over 20 years since the game was originally released, and there’s still a healthy number of people working on an incredible variety of things to do with Doom.&nbsp;</p><p>“Doom itself is a fun as hell game,” says James Paddock, creative director on the colourful, cartoonstyle Doom total conversion The Adventures of Square. “There’s just no denying that&mdash;and if you make something in the Doom engine, I almost absolutely guarantee that on some level it will be fun. While we went with a primary colours, MS Painty visual style, we wanted very much to still capture the spirit and the feel of the original Doom with The Adventures of Square, so we didn’t&nbsp;stray too far from the core mechanics that made it such a blast.” Paddock summarises these core values as: “large exploration-based levels with non-linear progressions, and frantic, bustling gameplay involving killing hordes of bad dudes in swift succession.”</p><blockquote>Doom is as much fun now as it was back in 1993. If you don't agree, you&nbsp;can always mod it.</blockquote><p>There’s a simplicity at the core of Doom that has ensured that it is as much fun to play today as it was on its release over 20 years ago. Like Mario Bros, or Tetris, there’s a solid set of rules that have given Doom a timeless feeling to how it plays. That now standardised set of weapons, varied enemies that create interesting scenarios simply by being mixed together and some of the tightest level design imaginable, combine to create a classic. Doom is as much fun now as it was back in&nbsp;1993. And of course, if you don’t happen to agree with that, you can always mod it. Doom has had everything bolted onto it over the years, from simple stuff like new enemy models to some of the more recent weirdness, like the Instadoom Selfie Stick mod, which allows you to have Doomguy take posed pictures of himself as you blast his way through Hell.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gzLI6thhRJGf.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2XTkDmfN-dAy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom 2"></p><p>There are plenty of tools out there that don’t require you to have deep knowledge of all things Doom in order to get results, either. Doombuilder enables you to create levels with practically a drag and drop interface, freeing you to focus on the creative side of things. By removing that required programming knowledge&mdash;the only knowledge someone needs is Doom&nbsp;itself&mdash;you allow for someone to really go wild with their own imagination. Cyriak Harris, animator and the brains behind one of the more interesting wads out there&mdash;Going Down&mdash;by his own admission doesn’t have the technical knowhow to make his own games, but has still created an exceptional set of levels.</p><p>“I’ve never used Unity or Game Maker, I wouldn’t know where to start,” Cyriak says. “Making your own map in Doom is as easy as drawing a shape and moving the ceiling and floor up and down, pretty much anyone can do that. You don’t need any programming skills, and the maps are simple enough that you can make one in a few days. Beyond that there are tools available to do more ambitious stuff. You can&nbsp;add your own graphics, make your own monsters and weapons, modify it to the point where it is a completely different game if you like. But I think the main advantage is that it’s quick and easy for complete noobs like me to get started. I’ve never been involved in game development, I always wanted to make games, but this is probably as close as I’m going to get!”&nbsp;</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/A6Akp_B6RI2p.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0kh3PeSC_TVO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom 3" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>If you’re looking to work with Doom on a deeper level than that of a level editor, there are still plenty of resources available. From the start, engine mastermind John Carmack ensured that his game would be relatively easy to modify. He also has a habit of releasing the source code to all of the engines he has created once he’s moved onto his next one, meaning that the community has total access to his creation. This has given birth to ‘source ports’&mdash;allowing Doom to be ported to anything that has an operating system that can run it. It turns out this includes a surprising number of household items. Doom has appeared on everything from an HP printer to a toaster and an actual piano.</p><p>There are many different source ports of Doom, each with their own little tweaks and fixes added to the original game engine, all in a neat package. The aforementioned Adventures of Square is being developed in ZDoom, one of the most popular source ports, which contains obvious additions such as mouselook and new textures, but also some tricks that the original engine couldn’t do, like allowing you to pass over or under monsters, and certain translucency effects. </p><blockquote>There are many different source ports of Doom, each with their own little tweaks</blockquote><p>“I think most of the obstacle to creating or editing games is the effort that it takes to make something playable,” says Matt Tropiano, who has been modding Doom since 1996. “Anybody that finally gets the gumption to create a prototype for their game idea or make a map for their favourite moddable game encounters some barrier for starting, and most engines and games these days require a lot of effort and quite a bit of a steep learning curve to break through that initial barrier. If they spend too much time building the foundation of a thing they can’t play, it is easy to get discouraged. People flock to older games and engines because technology exists today to relieve most of that starting difficulty. In the pure, independent game development world, stuff like Construct and Game Maker exist to reduce this discouragement. People like to see a return on their investment, and in this case, that investment is time and effort, but I’m one of those crazy types that enjoys learning how to make the asphalt instead of building the road, so I’m fine either way.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8nA3F78ETMmU.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1F19N1y_62Js.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom 4"></p><p>Another factor is the ability to get help from other hobbyists and creators. “The size and the activity of dedicated communities that rally behind modding certain games or using specific tools will always have an influence of some kind, for either technical help or even just encouragement and inspiration. Doom has plenty of that! The fact that we are using the Doom engine (or rather, an enhanced version of it) is what makes it novel, at least on the surface. That’s the weird power of the Doom engine: it’s runnable on practically any system today, and it turns the heads of anybody who has ever played videogames in the early to mid ’90s. I think people genuinely enjoy looking at what is possible with limited or dated technology, even if it has been enhanced in some way.”</p><p>Perhaps the most popular mod at the minute is Brutal Doom, a mod that looks at the action at the very core of Doom and pushes it to the extreme. Based on the absolutely ridiculous Doom comic book, the violence is amplified to the point where you’ve got blood splattering off the walls and ceiling with every kill. You can perform Mortal Kombat-like fatalities on weakened demons. You can taunt. </p><p>Some say that Brutal Doom does with its fast-paced action what id Software simply wasn’t able to do at launch. (Which is strange, because despite what Doom feels like these days, interviews with the original team imply that they were actually aiming for more of a horror game, similar to what we eventually ended up with in Doom 3.) Certainly Brutal Doom is a lot of fun and growing in influence even outside of the mod community. There are rumours of a standalone release, and if you saw the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiinO9JPUGw">footage of Doom 4</a> shown at the E3 Bethesda conference, you might notice that the&nbsp;Doom game appears to borrow a lot from Brutal Doom. As has always been the case, it is just another example of a healthy mod scene feeding back into the game that spawned it.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xt2j9kW7RHOo.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eV2j94ehPqs8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom 5"></p><p>The question is, why Doom? Quake has a much more advanced engine and is also freely available, most modern games contain some kind of built-in editor and, if you are indeed looking for something from a similar era, the Build engine that gave birth to Duke Nukem 3D offers, certainly to the untrained eye, way more possibilities. We’re nearly quarter of a decade on from Doom’s release and the mod scene is still going strong&mdash;new and unique experiences are being created, new hardware is being built that doesn’t yet have a Doom source port. </p><p>“Its longevity is mostly because it was unlike anything ever seen before at the time,” says Tropiano. “That still contributes to its novelty today, be it nostalgia, or that no other game like it, gameplay-wise, has come out since then. Oh, they sometimes try, but they can never get that exact formula right. There’s only one Doom.”</p> Overwatch footage features a transforming tankhttp://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch-footage-features-a-transforming-tank/Shoot people in three configurations.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:33:17 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch-footage-features-a-transforming-tank/FPSNewsOverwatch <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XNkFCsRAPtA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Most Overwatch characters will let you shoot people in one very specific way. Bastion&mdash;the subject of the above game footage&mdash;can shoot people across&nbsp;three different forms: robot, gun turret or tank.</p><p>The Reconfigure skill lets Bastion transform between mobile assault unit and stationary gun turret. While mobile, he carries a submachine gun. When switching to turret duty, he&nbsp;instead packs&nbsp;a&nbsp;gattling gun and&nbsp;forward-facing shield. His Ultimate offers a few seconds of tank fun, complete with long-range cannon.</p><p>Head to our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch/" target="_blank">Overwatch tag page</a> to see more game footage. Overwatch is due to enter beta testing this autumn.</p> Dying Light DLC takes a jab at Destiny's Red Bull promotionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-dlc-takes-a-jab-at-destinys-red-bull-promotion/Free DLC for drinking free water.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 03:54:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-dlc-takes-a-jab-at-destinys-red-bull-promotion/ActionDestinyDying LightNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UYyuMcv9SMSM.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/skGMFadsNSRq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dyinglight"></p><p>Bungie recently announced a new Destiny promotion in partnership with energy drink Red Bull. Basically, if Americans and Canadians purchase and imbibe specially branded Destiny cans, they'll get XP boosts and access to otherwise inaccessible quests. As far as video game marketing campaigns go, it's a boardroom&nbsp;no-brainer: all gamers love energy drinks! They love XP! They love quests! Rah!</p><p>Destiny isn't on PC though, so we can't knock back energy drinks in the name of content. So it's lucky Techland has decided to run a similar promotion for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light/">Dying Light</a>, which<em> is</em> on PC. As the image above demonstrates, if you take a photo of yourself drinking a glass of water and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/DyingLightGame/status/613758146830594048/photo/1">Tweet it to the official Dying Light Twitter account</a>, you'll eventually get a code for a premium in-game weapon. Seems pretty generous: for most people in the Western world, water is an infinite resource. No sugar crashes either, which is a plus.</p> Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands-episode-three-catch-a-ride-review/The engine is clunky, but Telltale's storytelling is stillgreat.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 02:12:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands-episode-three-catch-a-ride-review/ActionAdventureReviewsTales from the Borderlands <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1xsFE09ESiqh.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/khwuRzVhZVzy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Borderlands 2015-06-23 14-32-56-35"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">episodic reviews</h5> <p> You can’t buy Telltale’s episodic adventures one episode at a time on PC&mdash;you’re buying <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/330830/">all five in the season</a> for $25/£20&mdash;so it doesn’t make much sense for us to score each one individually. We’ll review and score the whole package when all the episodes have been released, while individual episode reviews like this one will be unscored criticism and recaps. </p> </div><p> <em>Spoiler warning: I've tried to keep spoilers to a minimum, but there are a few plot details here,&nbsp;especially&nbsp;from&nbsp;previous episodes. If you'd rather experience it totally fresh, back out now.</em></p><p> Most games are really just about going for a nice walk, except there's stuff in the way. Like Doom. It's just a pleasant stroll with a bunch of stupid&nbsp;demons and locked doors ruining everything. In adventure games, the barrier to progress has typically been puzzles, but Telltale has almost entirely ditched those&nbsp;in favor of dialogue and plot, and for the most part, that's been working great.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands/">Tales from the Borderlands</a> is my favorite game from them so far. (Here's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands-episode-one-zer0-sum-review/">my review of episode one</a> if you're not caught up.)</p><p> When Telltale uses barriers outside of dialogue, though, I don't find them very fun. Mashing Q isn't a meaningful way to interact, just an annoying one (to me, and to whoever's sharing a room with me and my mechanical keyboard). Clicking on red targets during action scenes isn't much better, and was obviously made with controllers in mind. Transitions between scenes sometimes stutter, and some of the camera angles are a pain to deal with. Movement is still awkward as hell, and when I walk around looking for a solution, only to&nbsp;find that the solution is 'look at everything,' I'm disappointed that I didn't get a chance to figure anything out on my own. I can sense how little it wants to challenge me&mdash;so little that it seems pointless to include anything but dialogue and plot.</p><p> In Tales from the Borderlands' third episode, Telltale does something I like in regard to action. During a couple of&nbsp;scenes, Fiona visualizes two possible courses of action, and we pick one. The slight,&nbsp;ultimately meaningless,&nbsp;addition at least&nbsp;acknowledges that decision-making is what's fun about Tales from the Borderlands, not the chore of clicking red targets (which there's still lots of), but I want to see more, bolder experiments. The action scenes are exciting, but the choices aren't hard and rarely do much to the outcome.</p><p>I appreciate what a big challenge it must be to design action, though,&nbsp;and that animating some huge array of outcomes is probably unrealistic (I haven't posed it as a problem because I know how to solve it). And as I said, I love Tales from the Borderlands so far. The writing has been great, and the third episode is my favorite. It's dense, covering a lot of ground while still giving us slow moments for some good character development.&nbsp;It's also the funniest episode, and&nbsp;it introduces a bunch of new characters (including an adorable, non-annoying, non-Claptrap robot).</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tm2ZL2I0QAW4.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9nrFjHPnqMNx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gortys is wonderfully naive." class=""><figcaption>Gortys is wonderfully naive.</figcaption></figure><p> The only story&nbsp;aspect I'm not fond of is the Handsome Jack subplot. Having his maniacal laughter and&nbsp;1950s-era sexism&nbsp;secretly living in Rhys' head is one of those old tropes I've never been fond of: good character is possessed by a cad, misunderstandings with friends ensue. I don't really understand why people like Jack so much, but he's popular (I told someone I didn't like him&nbsp;and&nbsp;she thinks less of me now, like, as a person)&nbsp;so I can't blame Telltale for resurrecting him.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> At least his&nbsp;involvement depends a little bit on what happens at the&nbsp;end of episode two. Telltale told me&nbsp;that I'd have&nbsp;"a significantly different experience"&nbsp;depending on who I&nbsp;trusted in that episode, so I played episode three both ways. The first bit does&nbsp;play out entirely differently depending on your choice, but after that's over you get the&nbsp;same basic outcome. The only major&nbsp;difference is that&nbsp;a character in the 'trusted Fiona' timeline has&nbsp;to sit out of some growth,&nbsp;and Jack has&nbsp;a bit less power unless you give in to him, so you'll skip a scene I didn't like much anyway. Oh, and the 'trusted Jack' timeline gets you a small&nbsp;extra something I did like, but isn't major.&nbsp;As usual, it seems both&nbsp;timelines are leading to the same place, and I don't actually recommend replaying episodes&mdash;it ruins some of the illusion.</p><p>If you do replay it, it might be&nbsp;to spend a little more time in one of this&nbsp;episode's destinations,&nbsp;somewhere unusually pretty for the wasteland. It looks great, even though&nbsp;the engine is a little clunky: there's the stuttering I mentioned, a few&nbsp;blurry textures,&nbsp;and some long, weird pauses in dialogue. It also likes to cut to a loading screen right after major events. That's all&nbsp;forgivable, as is the rote action, when the humor and characters are as good as they are. At this point, the only caveat I have when recommending TFTB is that&nbsp;I have no idea how long it'll be before the final two episodes are out (three to four months between episodes seems to be the pace).</p> Warner Bros. is suspending sales of Arkham Knight on PC http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/Disastrous port takes its toll.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 01:17:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/warner-bros-is-suspending-sales-of-batman-arkham-knight-for-pc/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightNewsWarner Bros <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o49MB_nrSOOc.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OZw-4oBUUAGc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Batman: Arkham Knight"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a> publisher Warner Bros. has announced it is suspending sales of the PC version of the game, following widespread criticism of the port.&nbsp;</p><p>Here's the&nbsp;<a href="https://community.wbgames.com/t5/Support-for-PC/June-24-Update-on-PC-Version-of-Arkham-Knight/m-p/575332#U575332">full statement</a>:</p><p><em>We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards. We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.</em></p><p><em>Thank you to those players who have already given valuable feedback. We are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support (<a href="http://support.wbgames.com/">support.wbgames.com</a>). If you purchased your copy of the game and are not satisfied with your experience, then we ask for your patience while these issues are resolved. If desired, you can request a refund at <a href="http://help.steampowered.com/">help.steampowered.com</a> (Steam refund policies can be found here: <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds">http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds</a>) or the retail location where you purchased the game. </em></p><p><em>The Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played.</em></p><p>The move follows a disastrous launch for Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. The game's 30fps cap and stuttering were only&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knights-launch-appears-to-be-a-disaster/">the most noticeable problems</a> since its launch on Tuesday. PC Gamer's Chris Thursten acquired code earlier this week and published a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/">thorough breakdown</a> of the game's many issues. It got so bad that Green Man Gaming&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/green-man-gaming-offering-batman-arkhan-knight-refunds/">amended its refund policy</a> to accommodate customers angry about the poor state of the game.&nbsp;</p><p>At the time of publishing it appears you can still add Batman: Arkham Knight to your cart and progress through the checkout process on Steam, but we'll keep an eye on it.</p><p><strong>Update:</strong> The game has since been removed from Steam, with the above statement posted on the store page.&nbsp;</p> Here's 30 seconds of Star Wars: Battlefront on PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/heres-30-seconds-of-star-wars-battlefront-on-pc/Behold, the first PC footage.Thu, 25 Jun 2015 01:01:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-30-seconds-of-star-wars-battlefront-on-pc/DICEFPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ibgzasU6I1I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>We've seen gameplay footage of Star Wars: Battlefront&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-survival-mode-revealed-at-sonys-e3-event/">running on a PS4</a>, and Wes had&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-fun-sprawling-and-worryingly-simple/">hands-on with the console build</a> at E3, but the video embedded above shows the forthcoming shooter in action on PC. It's our first glimpse of the DICE-developed game operating on the platform, and while it's only a brief 30 second glimpse, it definitely looks like it works.</p><p>EA Tweeted the footage earlier today, with the YouTube version above courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbL0sSQbzfgGqrBn0Zp4LBw">TubeGameVideo</a>. Wes enjoyed what he played, but noted it lacked the silliness of the older games. "Without that silliness, the simplicity of the new Star Wars Battlefront ends up feeling a bit shallow," he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-fun-sprawling-and-worryingly-simple/">wrote</a>.</p> EarthNight: a freerunner where you stab dragonshttp://www.pcgamer.com/earthnight-a-freerunner-where-you-fall-from-space-to-stab-giant-dragons-2/EarthNight is seeking to set itself apart fromother freerunners through a heavy investment in aesthetic scaffolding for its minimalist mechanics.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 23:47:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/earthnight-a-freerunner-where-you-fall-from-space-to-stab-giant-dragons-2/EarthNightIndiePlatformer <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cM1uVNP8FlA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Rich Siegel thinks that freerunners have some growing to do. “I feel like a lot of [runners] become more like slot machines,” he told me. As lead developer of EarthNight&nbsp;at Cleaversoft, Siegel is attempting to invigorate a stagnant genre with a dose of the bizarre. And in a game that sends the player falling unprotected from space through a writhing tangle of massive dragons, only to land on and run up one of the beast’s backs to stab it in the face&mdash;I’d say that EarthNight is weirder and more interesting than any freerunner in recent memory.</p><p> Siegel sent over a build of the game for me to try out. And while it’s far too early to proclaim a grand revival, even in it’s early state, EarthNight feels like a game with a fiery heart and formidable talent in every facet of development.</p><p> Nowadays, the typical freerunner asks you to jump and juke, building a score based on paywall multipliers until your inevitable, expensive downfall. They’re usually based on an existing brand or some generic, paper-thin narrative to justify their mechanics and indifferent art direction. While their existence certainly isn’t invalid, they aren’t burgeoning pillars of game design.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VUBcM5VrSRCN.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_gjGgSd0ssC6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Screen+Shot+2015 05 26+at+1.03.52+PM" class=""> <figcaption>Collecting junk will increase your multiplier.</figcaption></figure><p> But EarthNight is seeking to set itself apart from the pack through a heavy investment in aesthetic scaffolding for its minimalist mechanics. I started in a spaceship, a detailed and expressive diorama that framed my option to play as one of two characters, 14-year-old Sydney, or Stanley, a freelance photographer with a robust beard. Each plays differently: Sydney is the more complex and technical of the two. She can double-jump, the arc of which depends on the minute timing of button presses. Stanley is more straightforward, meant for players who may not be able to as easily grasp Sydney’s precise timing. Each character can jump and chain leaps off the heads of enemies. Doing so ensured that I could maintain momentum, allowing me to reach higher platforms and rarer items that improved my maneuverability and damage output. But don’t expect to necessarily memorize or master entire dragons. Each is procedurally crafted from about 350 carefully designed “chunks” meant to integrate with one another to form a level.</p><p> Over the course of repeated runs, Siegel expects the procedurally generated dragons to pepper the experience with items and layouts that lean into narrative and gameplay discovery. In my time, no one dragon felt identical to another. There were moments of familiarity, a la Super Hexagon, but I was forced to stay attentive in order to succeed.</p><blockquote> At a glance, the chaos often resembles a surreal, animated landscape painting. </blockquote><p> Throughout each level, an expressive cast of monsters danced in swarms above and hordes below, all bent on destroying my momentum and draining my health. Sometimes I let it happen, distracted (in a good way) by the colorful chaos.</p><p> At a glance, this chaos often resembles a surreal, animated landscape painting&mdash;which is entirely the point. Every asset is handpainted, and there are plenty. Beyond that, animated assets, like the two player characters, are painted for every frame of animation. According to Rich, that’s approximately 350 to 400 times. Responsible for the incredible output is <a href="http://www.mattahan.com/">Mattahan</a> (slightly NSFW), aka Paul Davey.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/l_UItyMUThGC.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3v-JCwEbcDH_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dragon Stabbing" class=""> <figcaption>Sydney stabs a dragon with her ghost fist. Just another day falling from orbit.</figcaption></figure><h3>Shades of Colossus</h3><p> Each stage terminates at the dragon’s head, triggering a QTE&nbsp;sequence. Before the time runs out, you have to slay the dragon by hitting cryptically timed button presses. I’m not entirely sure, but it felt like timing my presses with the music did more damage. Feeling like I had to intuit a rhythm from the soundtrack was a highlight of my experience with the game. It heightened the drama of a small interaction and made me feel closer to the game. It’s a gratifying finale to an often difficult sprint, and triggered memories of Shadow of the Colossus, a game Siegel cited as a big influence.</p><p> Afterwards, the player seamlessly transitions into a skydive towards the planet, a sea of dragons beneath them. This is a level select of sorts&mdash;whatever dragon the player lands on begins the next level, but it’s also offering what Siegel feels most freerunner games are missing. “At the end of the dragon you get to jump off and have this moment of beauty. There’s nothing attacking you, there’s no urgency, you can just take a moment.” As someone who loves the urgency in freerunners, but not the endurance required, this was a welcome design choice. During those freefalls, when everything slows to a decadent crawl, the soundtrack moves to the foreground and chimes a sweet, sorrowful tune.</p><p> Behind the chiptune soundtrack is renowned Philadelphia musician <a href="http://www.chipocrite.com/">Chipocrit</a><a href="http://www.chipocrite.com/">e</a>, aka Paul Weinstein. However, Siegel says Chipocrite has grown beyond the typical chiptune sound, “[Chipocrite’s] style has evolved from just a Gameboy to a Gameboy with a band.” From what I’ve heard in the game and in the trailer, the soundtrack is certainly more dynamic and full than a lone Gameboy, evocative of the game’s derelict world and desperate attempt to reclaim it. In the build I played, there wasn’t much gameplay integration with the soundtrack, but Siegel is set on invoking synesthesia if he can. “Nearly everything in a given level is done on a time trigger.” I’ve yet to only see glimpses of the musical integration, so I can only hope that the final build holistically marries the gameplay and music in a meaningful way.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gn_7CdpoTseY.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a4b7umScFnVH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skydiving+screen+shot" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; width: 668px;" class=""> <figcaption>The freefall sections serve as a level select. The dragon you land on determines the type of level you'll play.</figcaption></figure><p> Either way, the free falls are the most necessary rhythmic component, because EarthNight gets very difficult, very quickly. Siegel mentioned that persistent upgrade mechanics will be present, but made it clear that they won’t be monetized. That’s great news, though I can’t help but wonder how the final balance will play out. The upgrade curve isn’t clear yet, and how it tips the player over each hump will likely determine longevity for some. At the moment, the jumping mechanics feel fine, but I’m not sure how much of my inherent fumbling was due to the game’s early state or my infantile spot on the learning curve.</p><p> Whatever questions the early build might inspire, EarthNight makes some bold proclamations. It seeks to redeem the freerunner genre and stand out on it’s own via an investment in art, narrative, music, and heartily considered design. And how long that might take depends on Siegel’s satisfaction. “I’m not some company trying to cash in on a trend. I’m trying to make a work of art that I think is a real good video game.”</p><p> Expect EarthNight on PC (Steam, GOG) on or very close to the release of the PS4 and Vita versions.</p> Life Is Strange devs would replace the cast for a second seasonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/life-is-strange-devs-would-replace-the-cast-for-a-second-season/There's no indication that Life Is Strange will have a second season, but Dontnod Entertainment would love to do one.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:55:04 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/life-is-strange-devs-would-replace-the-cast-for-a-second-season/AdventureDontnod EntertainmentLife Is StrangeNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KP6Zl42eTIWr.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/so2mm81lBmTN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Life is Strange"></p><p>Dontnod Entertainment would love to do another season of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/life-is-strange/">Life Is Strange</a>, the episodic adventure game about a time-traveling teenager who returns to her hometown and becomes involved in Local Shenanigans. But if it did, it would likely opt for an all-new cast of characters.</p><p>Speaking to <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/24/8838761/life-is-strange-season-2-new-cast">Polygon</a>, co-Game Director and Art Director Michel Koch compared the potential move to a television series like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Detective_(TV_series)">True Detective</a>, which replaced its entire cast between its first and second seasons. "We can really go with other characters, other locations, but still keep the identity of the game, the themes of the game," he said.</p><p>It wouldn't be entirely unprecedented; Call of Duty switches up its cast members with some regularity, and BioWare is going to do the same thing with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mass-effect-andromeda-coming-in-2016/">Mass Effect: Andromeda</a>. But Life Is Strange is more "personal" than your average dudeshooter, and Maxine's abilities are unique, to say the least. Could a new Life Is Strange work, if it wasn't really Life Is Strange?</p><p>It's not something we'll have to worry about for awhile: Dontnod is currently focused on finishing the fourth and fifth episodes of Life Is Strange, hopefully on schedule, and is also now working on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/vampyr/">Vampyr</a>, a very interesting-sounding RPG set in the early 20th century. </p> The dong dilemma: Why being well hung in Rust is bad newshttp://www.pcgamer.com/rust-penises-patch/Facepunch founder Garry Newman tells us why this blessing is a curse.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:28:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/rust-penises-patch/RustSurvival <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SCThYnoNRVi2.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xSHgXSeYouBy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rust Naked"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">headlines we didn't end up running for this story</h5> <ul> <li> Mo' penis, mo' problems </li> <li> Finally, your tiny dick is an advantage </li> <li> Half-cocked: why a tiny peener might save your life </li> <li> Why having a big penis in Rust is actually a curse </li> <li> Units of measurement: big dongs mean little disadvantages in Rust </li> <li> Keen peen genes means mean beings will bean your obscene peeing machine </li> </ul> </div><p> Rust’s unique approach to character creation&mdash;that is, giving players absolutely no control over character creation&mdash;is one of the bolder experiments by a developer on its player population. In March, when Rust <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rust-update-assigns-skin-color-and-face-to-players/">began randomly selecting players’ skin color</a> for them, an attribute permanently bound to your character, it sparked <a href="http://steamed.kotaku.com/rust-chooses-players-race-for-them-things-get-messy-1693426299">a range of interesting reactions</a>, from anger and delight to confusion.</p><p> Tomorrow, as part of Rust’s usual Thursday update, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/your-rust-dong-size-is-determined-by-your-steam-id/">penis size</a> will become a variable element of your character. And surprisingly, Facepunch say that the “feature” wasn’t a deliberate addition at first, but something that emerged as part of the package of algorithms that drive random generation of stuff like head size and jaw definition. “The dick thing wasn’t really planned, it just so happens that it has a separate bone there for the censorship cube that we can scale independently,” Facepunch founder Garry Newman told <a href="http://steamed.kotaku.com/rust-randomizes-penis-length-players-compare-sizes-1713173721">Kotaku</a>.</p><blockquote> "Players have to live with and accept who they are. They are recognizable, so more gameplay mechanics emerge." </blockquote><p> But the decision to keep it in the game was deliberate. “We're hoping like hell for more dick jokes. We might all range from 20-40 years old at Facepunch, but we're all eight years old at heart.,” says Newman. “I heard SteamDB is adding a way to track your RDS (Rust Dick Size).” Then again, Newman doesn’t expect the Rust community to react dramatically to the change, partly because the maximum size of a character’s junk is limited by the fixed size of Rust’s ‘censorship box.’ “You've really got to be lining players up and comparing them to see any real change,” says Newman.</p><p> The expected range of sizes is small, but players who have bigger penises will actually get the short end of the stick; taking a crotch shot in Rust deals more damage than a hit to some other areas of the body. “All the hitboxes are scaled. People with a bigger dick get a bigger dick hitbox, people with a bigger head get a bigger head hitbox,” says Newman.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xigYoLqiQa2p.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h6ok4Ko-wfj9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rust Dueling" class=""> <figcaption>Shoutout to these three random dudes for unknowingly posing in the most appropriately inappropriate way possible.</figcaption></figure><p> To Newman, the broader point of randomizing something like penis size is that there’s value in putting players in a position to play with what they’re given. “We did consider a player customization system,” says Newman. “We looked a bunch of them, we watched them on YouTube. In some cases people were spending a couple of hours designing their character. The character design part of the game had more work put into it than the game itself. And these were games where what you looked like was completely irrelevant, where it was obviously just on some list that a publisher handed a developer.</p><p> “So we thought fuck all that. Fuck spending months making a character designer, lets make the game about the game. Then the more we started thinking in that direction the more we liked it. Assigning based on steamid means that everything we add gets evenly spread across the playerbase. We don't end up with 90 percent male white guys. We end up with a full spectrum. Players have to live with and accept who they are. They are recognizable, so more gameplay mechanics emerge. The long term goal in the back of our heads is to hide player names and have them only recognisable by familiarity. I think we are approaching that.”</p><p> Facepunch is the process of finishing a female player model to Rust. ”The body will vary, like the males, but we're not sure to what level. We're trying not to sexualize the nudity in Rust,” says Newman. “That's easy for the male model because there's nothing sexy about a limp penis, in fact it's probably got an inverse sexual property. With boobs that's different maybe.”</p> Total War: Warhammer's battle designer on blood and badass magichttp://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammers-battle-designer-on-blood-and-badass-magic/Creative Assembly's Simon Mann talks about the wild freedom of detaching Total War from its historical setting.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:11:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammers-battle-designer-on-blood-and-badass-magic/4XE3 2015StrategyTotal WarTotal War: Warhammer <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sqBLPW0oQJOC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IlmRTHsL8A45.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer troll fight"></p><p>On the final day of E3, I had a chance to watch one of the show’s most exciting demos: a scripted run-through of a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer/">Total War: Warhammer</a> battle. Orc shamans called down giant comets to crush whole units of troops. Giants stomped across the battlefield. Goblins rode on spindly war spiders. The battle was just a taste of the whole Warhammer package&mdash;I didn’t get to see any of the world map strategy layer or skill trees or politics&mdash;but Warhammer is first and foremost about battles, and these battles look like a blast.</p><p>After the demo, I chatted with Creative Assembly’s Simon Mann, Total War: Warhammer’s battle designer. It was the most enthusiastic conversation I’ve had about orcs since my days of memorizing every bit of lore in Blizzard’s Warcraft II manuals.</p><p><strong>PCG: So, we just got to see the demo and the first question I asked, which maybe you can’t answer, is where’s all the blood?</strong></p><p><strong>Simon Mann, battle designer: </strong>I mean, it’s been quite traditional in previous Total War games that we don’t strictly release with all the blood and gore in there, and it’s largely age ratings. It’s something we always explore and we’re always looking into, but I think you’ll find it will be similar to the previous Total Wars, where it’s something that's an option and it's something that you’re able to bring into the game.</p><p><strong>PCG: I was trying to remember, because I’ve played a lot of Shogun and a lot of Rome, and I thought that was in there by default, but maybe it’s a thing I’ve always check-boxed.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> Actually, it was a pack that you would download, so you get the blood and gore DLC packs like in Rome 2 and Shogun 2. </p><p><strong>PCG: Clearly, it’s just instinct for me.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>I think you just got it straight away and went, ‘Yeaaaaah!’</p><p><strong>PCG: I just want to see the gladiators just chopping dudes’ heads off.</strong> </p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>I find it more fun, I have to [turn it on].</p><p><strong>PCG: So, what we saw looked great. I loved all the animation that he mentioned had to all be hand-done, because you can’t mo-cap a giant spider and stuff like that.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> No, they’re really, really tempermental to mo-cap. </p><p><strong>PCG: It seemed like there's a pretty big variety of units.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>It’s huge! I mean, seriously, you look at previous Total War titles and it’s very much man versus man. Even though different factions would be quite unique themselves, you’ve still got a lot of commonality between them for the unit types that you would see in battle. Now, that commonality is gone. The Warhammer world embraces the differences between all the units. You look at the models and all things are different shapes and sizes and styles. We’ve really been trying to bring that to life in the game and literally the amount of animations that’s required, the amount of new animation skeletons&mdash;the skeletal rigs for the different creatures&mdash;all new in ways that we’ve never done before. As you said, an eight legged spider, that’s not something we’ve ever done before. </p><p><strong>PCG: What are the factions that are going to be in the game?</strong> </p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> So the four races that we have available in the tentpole release are going to be the Vampire Counts, the Dwarves, the Greenskins, and the Empire. This is the start of a trilogy for us, so this is the first game and there’s going to be two more expansions. The idea is that they’re all standalone, but you can kind of bring them all together, so if you own all three it’ll be increasing the size of the world, the races you get, and things like that. And we’re also going to be releasing DLCs and free DLCs to come along with it. We started small so we can concentrate, and as you saw the amount of detail and work we’ve gone into with each of these races basically means, with these four, we can give them that depth, that kind of attention, but then as we continue we’ll expand out and get larger. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cQiNoCAwTH-C.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ioVkxXP-eYwo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer 6"></p><p><strong>PCG: As soon as I saw it, it made me realize how much I miss Warcraft. There aren’t really that many fantasy settings that have that depth of lore and variety and stuff that are done in a strategy setting. You know, Warcraft has not been a strategy game for a long, long time and Warhammer is bigger in terms of breadth of the lore.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> They’ve taken a lot of tropes and things like that and formed them into their lore, their narrative, and we’ve got all that on tap for us. We can take anything we want from their rulebooks. The thing is, they’ve done everything. You’ve got vampires drinking human blood, you’ve got these huge Greenskins, you’ve got the dwarves living in these underground caverns. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on and we can bring all that along.</p><p><strong>PCG: And magic.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>Yeah!</p><p><strong>PCG: One of the things in the video was they showed off two or three different magic abilities. I think each one of them decimated an entire unit instantaneously. How do you balance magic with more traditional spear units that stand there and poke at each other for five minutes. It takes a while for a spear legionnaire unit to wipe out another spear legionnaire unit. It doesn’t take long for a magician to kill everybody, seemingly.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>It can be quite powerful, right? So you saw some very high level spells that would be used more towards the late, mid endgame of a campaign map that you’d be seeing there. Basically the idea with the spells is that you do get some really powerful ones, like you saw the kind of ender called the ‘Comet of Casandora’. He literally calls a comet down from space to crush his enemies. It’s great. It’s always going to be tough to balance something like that because they are by their nature very powerful spells and we’ve really tried to take [from] the tabletop game, so these are all spells that you’d see in the tabletop game. They come from laws. So every spellcaster has different spell laws they can access spells from. The spells aren’t always damage-dealing spells, you can have buffs and debuffs. We brought over this idea called the Winds of Magic which is in the tabletop game as well. Essentially think of it like a mana pool that you get. Depending on where you’re fighting and other conditions, you’ll start with different amounts.</p><p><strong>PCG: Does it mean there are some more maps that are magically charged?</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> Yeah! Basically. There are these kind of magic towers that act as pylons for the chaos magic, which is traveling from the north gate to the south gate. It’s just magic traveling across the world and that’s their Winds of Magic. You start with different levels and it will charge up over time. Now, these spells, they’re expensive, they’re probably going to cost the entire mana pool. To fill it up totally you're going to use all of it to cast one of these big damage-dealing spells, so you may not have that option at the start of the battle. You’ll need to sit there and wait for it to charge up or cast some smaller spells. It’s your choice. You’ve got to decide which you think will be more effective. You have to hit these spells at the right time. There are some really strategic ideas. If the enemy army is really spread out, a spell like that is actually a bit of a waste of magic.</p><p><strong>PCG: Right, you might kill forty guys.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>Yeah, you might take out maybe half a unit or something like that, and that’s good, but you’ve used all your magic to do that, and you could have pretty much buffed your whole army at that point and they could have dealt a whole lot more damage themselves. We’re very much trying to make sure although its very visual and very bombastic, we’re trying to make sure it fits in with the Total mechanics and doesn't just become ‘the game changer’&mdash;the only thing that’s massive. I think you can see we’ve got loads of other features that just add to the options rather than becoming the sole option for victory. The flying units, for example, are a really really big thing for us, and my favorite feature that we’ve brought in. It's like a second layer of combat, right? </p><p>You're no longer bound to the ground, as it were. Historical games have not have the option to do this, unfortunately, but they’re a wonderful unit. You’ve got these air-to-air battles, you saw in our pre-alpha demo Karl Franz on a Deathclaw fighting a wyvern with an Orc War Boss on top. They’re fighting for the superiority of the aerial battlefield, but then those units can come crashing down to the ground.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/015dmIRUQEOO.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kiayDMg9P5w_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer header"></p><p><strong>PCG: Are they more vulnerable on the ground, usually?</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> Exactly. You’ve got it. They’re almost like shock cavalry. Previously you’d flank with your shock cavalry to hit the enemy and manage to get to the soft, squishy center of their army. And that’s exactly what these flying units do. They’re a really good counter for spell casters, right? If you’ve got your vulnerable wizard at the back of your formation, they can just come in and hit it and deal damage, so you’re going to have to protect your spellcasters, because these units on the ground, if they get attacked by lots of units, you can take them down really, really quickly. And certainly against ranged fire as well, they’ll start taking a lot of damage. </p><p>Everything has a counter&mdash;it's all about the strengths and weaknesses, flying creatures are really good assassin units. You can get them in, maybe take someone out, but if you leave them there and don’t manage them properly, they’ll get taken down quickly. </p><p><strong>PCG: As soon as I saw how powerful the spellcasters were, it made me think, is it going to affect strategy where people are like, ‘Okay, I have to run my cavalry and get them in there to kill that guy before he charges up his magic.”</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> I think we’ve always had a big thing about that, though. If you have all the ranged units, for example, your battle strategy changes a whole lot. And actually, in previous Total War games, one of the main strategies is to take out their ranged units so that suddenly you’re not threatened, you can just deal with them from range and do a lot of damage. I think there’s superiority in that.</p><p><strong>PCG: In Shogun my favorite faction, I can’t remember their name, they had those amazing archers. I would just buy a shitload of archers and put them on a hill and nuke people before they could get to me. So, kind of along those lines, there’s a lot of typical strategy that Total War games have, like putting your army on a hill so you get your charge bonus and the enemy has to climb up the hill, or using terrain cover to hide some units, stuff like that&mdash;how much of that strategy are we going to see applied to these battles? Or are there new strategies that apply to the different races?</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> We’re going for a little bit of both. So like you saw in the demo, you saw the Empire cavalry hiding in a forest. You’ve still got these areas of the battlefield that are useful, but we’re moving more towards rifle warfare with a lot of units. You saw the Empire, lots of hand gunners, lots of rifle units. The Greenskin cavalry, when they’re charging over the hill, it blocks the line of fire. The terrain is very much used to your advantage, and because we’re doing a fantasy title we can magnify that and make it much more visual in the way that it works.</p><p>We’re definitely going to be bringing a lot of those in, but we’re also going to be exploring other options with things like ground types and stuff like that as we go along. We’re still locking down exactly what we’re doing with that, but we’re definitely going to be trying to keep that kind of environmental gameplay alive. So I think that’s a really important string to our bow when it comes to how a battle plays out, because otherwise all battles are going to play out very similarly, but [depending on] the actual environment that you’re playing in&mdash;this comes into the Winds of Magic as well&mdash;and the style you’re fighting, you’re going to have a very different battle experience.</p><p><strong>PCG: That’s really interesting. Are the hero units basically the same as generals in the older games or do they have more depth to them, more story tie-in?</strong></p><p><strong>Mann: </strong>Yeah. For me, certainly, I think character is one of the biggest things we’re trying to bring with this, and Total War games always have story, which is your story. You’re creating your emergent story in the world. I always loved that you find a character that you love, and you level them up and they become someone that you feel a bit attached to.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nY-kg4TgTIKe.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7Klqeq1rDx-n.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer 1"></p><p><strong>PCG: It’s very much what you put into it.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> Yeah, and and the characters kind of grow. We’re really trying to keep that core, so the lords and leaders of your army, they start growing, they gain traits. We’ve got a really, really advanced skill system, so you can choose how they grow mechanically. Are they really strong on the campaign, city management? Are they amazing in battle? You get to choose the paths for these characters. We’ve taken away the idea of time, although you have turns and time passes, the passage of years is no longer a factor. No one will get old and die. So, you keep your characters, they’re yours. You don’t have to worry about them expiring.</p><p><strong>PCG: Except in battle.</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong> Except in battle. But the main lords like Karl Franz, really core characters from Warhammer, we’re going to make sure they’re immortal. They stay in your faction. If they fall in battle, they’re wounded and you lose them for a number of turns. One of the main reasons for that is we really want to help tell the story of the Warhammer world and build that.</p><p>But then you’ve got the heroes, as well. Heroes are what we would’ve called Agents in previous games. Now, for the first time, they’re doing all the things you’d expect, but they’re a character in their own right. They’ve got their own skill trees and their own advancements. Are they good at campaign? Are they good at battle? Things like that. But for the first time in a Total War game, and I think this is really cool, you can attach them to your army and they're in the battle as single entity units that fight for you. They’ve got all of their skills and abilities, but if they fall and die you’ve lost all of it. It’s a real risk/reward system.</p><p><strong>PCG: One of the things people love about Warhammer in a meta sense is customizing their figures and doing this tiny detail paintwork. Are you going to have something like that, where you can change the styles of your army, or other elements?</strong></p><p><strong>Mann:</strong>&nbsp;I think we’re really, really aware that customization’s important. In the office we all play the tabletop game. We got two of every boxed model when we signed up with Games Workshop. Everyone has an army on their desk. It’s absolutely insane! So we’re really aware that that’s a big part of the gameplay. While we’re not planning that for the tentpole release&mdash;we’re really trying to concentrate on the central lore and the old world that we’re trying to deliver with this&mdash;hopefully in the future it’s something we’ll start looking into a bit more as we release more expansions and DLC.</p> Ark: Survival Evolved makers offer $100 bounty for exploitshttp://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-makers-offer-100-bounty-for-hacks-and-exploits/The first $100 reward was handed out yesterday.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:07:46 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-makers-offer-100-bounty-for-hacks-and-exploits/Ark: Survival EvolvedNewsSurvival <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/d8Dc-wM4QSWr.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tRb638TJ7xrW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ark: Survival Evolved"></p><p>Snitches get stitches, but it turns out they also get paid.&nbsp;The makers of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved/">Ark: Survival Evolved</a>, the Early Access survival game with ridable dinosaurs, are offering bounties of $100 to anyone who can provide them with information on hacks that impact gameplay or server stability. The bounty has actually been on the table for awhile&mdash;there's a mention of it in a Steam <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/594820656474043903/#c594820656474053865">forum post</a> from last week&mdash;but the first reward was handed out yesterday, so I guess people are suddenly taking the bounty&nbsp;a little more seriously.</p><p>The cash&nbsp;went to a user by the name of ZeroDay(++), who <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/594821545181831108/">yesterday afternoon</a> reported "a potential hack/exploit which could force servers to crash unexpectedly, as well as have other unintended side-effects." The exploit was reproduced internally and confirmed, after which the 100 bucks was sent via PayPal. </p><p>There are limits to what the developers are willing to pay for: Aimbots won't be credited because they can't be stopped server-side, nor will speedhacks, which will be patched out later. That leaves things like "teleportation, god mode, the ability to take over tribes, remove fall damage, ghost/fly mode, spawning creatures, [and] generating items," developer TheRightHand wrote. All of those features are handled server-side, he added, "and it would positively make me ♥♥♥♥ myself if they can be hacked."</p><p>Bounty submissions, if you have one, can be posted in a new thread on the Steam forums, or emailed to <a href="mailto:info@studiowildcard.com">info@studiowildcard.com</a>.</p> Bethesda's original Doom 4 was canned for being "Call of Doom"http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesdas-original-doom-4-was-canned-for-being-call-of-doom/Pete Hines of Bethesda says the first iteration of Doom 4was too much like other shooters on the market.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 19:43:45 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesdas-original-doom-4-was-canned-for-being-call-of-doom/Bethesda SoftworksDoomDoom 4FPSid SoftwareNewspete hines <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2u0RlVneSDC-.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Sb_Oyq501eJR.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doom"></p><p>Bethesda Softworks has never been very clear about why it felt the need to shut down the development of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom-4/">Doom 4</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom-4-restart-id/">start over</a> from scratch. Marketing Vice President Pete Hines said at the time that the game in its initial state "didn't exhibit the quality and excitement" the studio was looking for, but that's far from specific. However,&nbsp;in a more recent interview with <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/24/8839643/bethesda-doom-4-call-of-duty">Polygon</a> following last week's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/first-doom-gameplay-revealed-modding-and-multiplayer-confirmed/">unveiling of the new Doom</a> at E3, Hines was more forthcoming, saying that the initial iteration of the game was too far from the original <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom">Doom</a>, and too close to a certain very popular modern military shooter.</p><p>"We weren't happy with the game that was being made," Hines said. "We decided that it wasn't Doom enough and needed to be thrown out and started over. Some folks left and some faces changed at the studio. Out of that change&mdash;which was not easy for those guys to go through&mdash;some amazing things happened."</p><p>Foremost among those things was the development of id Tech 6, which Hines said wouldn't have happened if the project hadn't been reset. It also resulted in a much-needed influx of new blood at id Software, which "injected a lot of life" into the team.</p><p>We got a look at a partial Doom 4 cinematic <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/this-is-what-doom-4-could-have-looked-like-apparently/">back in May</a> (which has since been removed over a copyright claim, but for now you can watch&nbsp;it <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hot1aQJTw8">here</a>) and although it's brief, it definitely seems to fit the mold of what Hines described as a "Call of Doom or BattleDoom game," which he said came off more like a reskinned version of a different franchise. </p><p>"It wasn't fast enough. The way that the demons worked, the visceralness of the combat, all the stuff you see with the finishing moves and all of that, wasn't part of it at all," he said. "The combat was more disconnected. You almost found yourself taking cover at times and using things from other first-person shooter games which, again, might be fine for them, but for Doom it just didn't feel right." </p><p>The full interview runs about 25 minutes, and covers a lot of ground on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dishonored-2/">Dishonored 2</a>, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-legends-is-a-f2p-strategy-card-game/">The Elder Scrolls: Legends</a>. If you're interested in any of these games (and surely at least one of them does something for you), it's definitely worth watching in full.</p> Diablo 3 patch preview highlights major changes on the wayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-patch-preview-highlights-major-changes-on-the-way/The 2.3.0 patch should hit the PTR soon. Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:12:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-patch-preview-highlights-major-changes-on-the-way/ActionBlizzard EntertainmentDiablo 3NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/haiPRBZlQiqP.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IVtwASzoSCIN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3"></p><p>The upcoming 2.3.0 patch for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3/">Diablo 3</a> will make some big alterations&nbsp;to the&nbsp;game, including the addition of a new zone, updates to the crafting system and adventure mode, new difficulty levels, and Kanai's Cube, a powerful artifact that spawned the Horadric Cube from <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-2/">Diablo 2</a>. </p><p>Kanai's Cube is apparently found in the lost Tomb of King Kanai, one of the locations in the "frozen wasteland" of the Ruins of Sescheron, the upcoming new zone, which will also shine light on some "new mysteries from the lore of the mighty Barbarians." The Cube can break down Legendary items, enabling players to equip their special effects as passive skills (separate from their regular passives), converts crafting materials from one type to another, and does "so much more."</p><p>The update will also remove the Realm of Trials, a change that first came to light back in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-is-removing-rift-trials-from-diablo-3/">April</a>, and improve Bounty rewards "by adding new Act-specific crafting mats to Horadric Caches." I have no idea what that means, but completing Bonus Acts in Adventure mode will now grant a bonus Horadric Cache with crafting materials, gold, and Act-specific crafting mats.</p><p>The new difficulty levels will let high-level players take the game all the way to Torment X, and there's also a new Season Journey feature that tracks individual player progress through Chapters and, for more advanced players, Tiers that unlock new portrait frame rewards and challenges. There are also new Legendary and Set items, and various changes to combat balance. </p><p>It's a big update by any measure, and while there's still no release date, Blizzard said its appearance on the Public Test Realm is "right around the corner." Get all the details at <a href="http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/19802338">Battle.net</a>.</p> Green Man Gaming offering Batman: Arkham Knight refundshttp://www.pcgamer.com/green-man-gaming-offering-batman-arkhan-knight-refunds/There's a catch, though: You have to wait until Warner has patched it.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:33:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/green-man-gaming-offering-batman-arkhan-knight-refunds/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightGreen Man GamingNewsRocksteadyWarner Bros Interactive <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JESyi33LSmyU.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nzIQViX7Fnpj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArkhamKnight angle8 batmobile"></p><p>Green Man Gaming's <a href="http://www.greenmangaming.com/about/refund-policy/">refund policy</a> states that it does not offer refunds "due to your dissatisfaction with the product or if your computer does not meet the minimum Product requirements." For <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a>, however, it's willing to make an exception, but not until Warner has had a chance to clean up its mess.</p><p>That mess, of course, is the "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knights-launch-appears-to-be-a-disaster/">disastrous</a>" state of the PC version at launch, which we dug into in some&nbsp;depth <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/">here</a>.&nbsp;Essentially, the game is playable with some work, but doesn't run nearly as well as it should&mdash;and good luck if you have an AMD card. Both AMD and Nvidia have released <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knight-system-requirements-updated-just-ahead-of-launch/">updated video drivers</a> that better support the game, but the whole thing has the whiff of problems that may&nbsp;never entirely go away. </p><p>"Warner Bros. are currently working on a patch which we are hoping will be released soon," GMG wrote in a recent <a href="http://blog.playfire.com/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-pc-guidelines.html">blog post</a>. "We want you to enjoy your game, but if after the fix has been released, you still cannot play your game, we will process refund requests for the game."</p><p>The post doesn't nail down the specifics of "cannot play," whether it requires complete non-functionality or just a certain level of poor performance, nor how it will determine the state of each player's game. We've reached out for more information but for now, the safe bet is that if you ask for a refund, you'll probably get it. </p><p>GMG also reposted a message from the Steam forums in which Warner offered advice for getting Arkham Knight to run on minimum and recommended hardware. The short version is that borderline systems should run the game at low resolution (1280x720), set textures, shadows, and detail to "low," and turn off all effects; PCs meeting the recommended specs should be able to go to 1920x1080 with normal textures, shadows, and detail, but still need to have all other effects turned off. Warner also suggests avoiding Nvidia's GeForce Experience and AMD's Gaming Evolved tools, and not messing with your page file or any .INI files, "as this will potentially negatively impact performance, including frame rate, and stability."</p> Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly regains independence from Epichttp://www.pcgamer.com/bulletstorm-studio-people-can-fly-regain-independence-from-epic/People Can Fly are independent again, and still own Bulletstorm.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:30:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bulletstorm-studio-people-can-fly-regain-independence-from-epic/BulletstormNewsPeople Can Fly <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iMTC5AMLQpK9.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7CzIBOpkBM_U.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bulletstorm"></p><p>You may remember People Can Fly from Bulletstorm or&nbsp;Painkiller, and then later for being renamed as Epic Games Poland. Today, the studio announced that they are again an independent studio, and again called People Can Fly.</p><p>"Ownership of the company, which had been rebranded as Epic Games Poland in 2013, has returned to the local leadership to reflect the team’s desire to create their own games," a&nbsp;<a href="http://peoplecanfly.com/people-can-fly-is-back/" target="_blank">press release</a> states, "a move Epic supports."</p><p>While the studio are still working with Epic&mdash;contributing to Unreal Engine 4 and the upcoming Fortnite&mdash;they have also revealed that they'll be using the UE4 engine to create an "entirely new"&nbsp;unannounced game.</p><p>One interesting thing to note: Bulletstorm is listed on their game page as, "Developed and IP owned by People Can Fly." Despite being published by EA, it suggests that PCF is free to potentially pursue a sequel to the sweary FPS.</p> Shape of the World is an exploration game that grows around youhttp://www.pcgamer.com/shape-of-the-world-is-an-exploration-game-about-a-world-that-grows-around-you/It's on Kickstarter now.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:52:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/shape-of-the-world-is-an-exploration-game-about-a-world-that-grows-around-you/IndieKickstarterNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vNBdSUr1TV2e.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cv9uBCPrfhRr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="SotW"></p><p>Take a look at Shape of the World; a relaxing warm bath for your eyes. It's a procedurally generated exploration game in the Proteus style. As you wonder across the landscape, the world grows around you. Trees and bushes sprout up, and flocks of what I can only describe as, er,&nbsp;happy little&nbsp;sperm fish-birds fly overhead. Okay, that last sentence rather ruined the serene atmosphere I was trying to depict. I should probably just post the trailer.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7EOZdBMIPAQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>There's a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hollowtree/shape-of-the-world" target="_blank">Kickstarter running right now</a>. The developers are&nbsp;hoping to raise&nbsp;$75,000 CAD, and have&nbsp;six days left to meet that total. Currently, Shape of the World has raised just over&nbsp;$56,000 CAD.</p><p>Here's a relevant passage that outlines the game's style:</p><p><em>"</em><em>Shape of the World is deliberately disorienting. The forest only materializes around you when you get close, and it regrows in a new way each time you pass. The game features a graphically compelling procedurally generated environment that shifts continually. What will you find when you retrace your steps?"</em></p><p>If funding is met, Shape of the World is estimated for July 2016.</p> Get a free Steam key for Grimoire: Manastorm, with Bundle Starshttp://www.pcgamer.com/get-a-free-key-for-grimoire-manastorm-with-bundle-stars/Free FPS wizard-'em-up.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/get-a-free-key-for-grimoire-manastorm-with-bundle-stars/Free Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/scmWzOaTT1Ws.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OgcEqa8i-sFx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Unnamed" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>Today, we've got a special treat for you: multiplayer FPS wizards. We're giving away 200,000 Steam keys for&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/335430/" target="_blank">Grimoire: Manastorm</a>. It's an Early Access wizard-'em-up&mdash;a first-person 'shooter' with&nbsp;devastating magic taking the place of&nbsp;bullets or grenades.</p><p>Grimoire: Manastorm lets you pick from a pool of six wizard classes, and wield spells inspired from Dota 2 and League of Legends. It's been favourable reviewed by Steam users, and will be further added to with patches and updates as developer&nbsp;Omniconnection&nbsp;continues to expand the game.&nbsp;</p><p>We're giving away these keys in association with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/" target="_blank">Bundle Stars</a>, who specialise in creating big game bundles to offer customers discounts of up to 97%.&nbsp;Bundle Stars has just launched the Strike Lucky Sale, including the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/all-bundles/stalker-complete-bundle/" target="_blank">STALKER Complete Bundle</a> for 75% off, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/all-bundles/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-bundle/" target="_blank">Shadow of Mordor Bundle</a> for 60% off. Spend more than&nbsp;$8/€8/£6 between now and June 30 and you'll receive a free mystery gift of indie classics, AAA blockbusters or even Steam Wallet credit.</p><p>To grab your free Steam key for&nbsp;Grimoire: Manastorm, simply follow the instructions below.</p><iframe src="http://woobox.com/skdrgz" frameborder="0" height="1001" width="100%" scrolling="yes"> </iframe><p>The giveaway will last until&nbsp;Monday 29 June at 4pm BST.</p> AMD Radeon R9 Fury X tested: not quite a 980 Ti killerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/amd-radeon-r9-fury-x-tested-not-quite-a-980-ti-killer/AMD's new graphics card slugs it out with the 980 Ti and Titan X and gets close, but can't claim the crown.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-radeon-r9-fury-x-tested-not-quite-a-980-ti-killer/AMDAMD Radeon R9 Fury Xgraphics cardHardwarenvidia gtx 980 ti <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NRqr3d8gTs2-.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8kXgUCSGS65F.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon R9 Fury X Lead"></p><p>The AMD R9 Fury X is not the 4K champion, 980 Ti&nbsp;killer AMD would like it to be. Based on my time testing this new graphics card with high bandwidth memory, it’s fast&mdash; sometimes neck-and-neck with Nvidia’s equally priced 980 Ti&mdash;but not quite fast enough, often falling about 10 percent short of Nvidia’s card in average framerates, across a range of games.</p><p>This isn’t a full, comprehensive review of the Fury X, because I haven’t had enough time with the card to provide a complete analysis (thanks, E3!). I’ve had a full day’s testing to put the card through its paces at 1080p, 1440p and 2160p in a number of game benchmarks. It’s enough testing to have a confident overview of the Fury X’s performance and how it stacks up against the competition, minus one important element: overclocking.</p><p>For starters, here’s the usual spec breakdown of the R9 Fury X and its major competitors.</p><div><table><colgroup><col><col><col><col></colgroup><tbody><tr><td><strong>Specs</strong></td><td><strong>R9 Fury X</strong></td><td><strong>980 Ti</strong></td><td><strong>Titan X</strong></td><td><strong>980</strong></td></tr><tr><td>VRAM</td><td><strong>4GB HBM</strong></td><td>6GB GDDR5</td><td>12GB GDDR5</td><td>4GB GDDR5</td></tr><tr><td>Stream processors/CUDA</td><td><strong>4096</strong></td><td>2816</td><td>3072</td><td>2048</td></tr><tr><td>Base clock</td><td><strong>1050 MHz</strong></td><td>1000 MHz</td><td>1000 MHz</td><td>1126 MHz</td></tr><tr><td>Boost clock</td><td><strong>1050 MHz</strong></td><td>1075 MHz</td><td>1075 MHz</td><td>1216 MHz</td></tr><tr><td>Memory clock</td><td><strong>500 MHz (1 GHz effective)</strong></td><td>1750 MHz (7GHz effective)</td><td>1750 MHz (7GHz effective)</td><td>1750 MHz (7GHz effective)</td></tr><tr><td>Memory bandwidth</td><td><strong>512 GB/s</strong></td><td>336 GB/s</td><td>336 GB/s</td><td>224 GB/s</td></tr><tr><td>Texture units</td><td><strong>256</strong></td><td>176</td><td>192</td><td>128</td></tr><tr><td>ROP units</td><td><strong>64</strong></td><td>96</td><td>96</td><td>64</td></tr><tr><td>Compute</td><td><strong>8.6 TFLOPS</strong></td><td>5.6 TFLOPS</td><td>6.14 TFLOPS</td><td>4.6TFLOPS</td></tr><tr><td>TDP</td><td><strong>375W</strong></td><td>250W</td><td>165W</td><td>250W</td></tr><tr><td>Price</td><td><strong>$650</strong></td><td>$650</td><td>$1000</td><td>$500</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Now, then.&nbsp;Ready for some charts? I know you’re ready for some charts. The R9 Fury X benchmarks below were performed on the following Windows 8.1 system, using AMD’s 15.15 drivers: </p><p><strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;Intel Core i7-5960X, clocked at 4.2GHz with 2 cores disabled<br><strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;16GB DDR4-2666 RAM<br><strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;ASRock X99 OC Formula motherboard<br><strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD (thanks to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cyberpowerpc.com">CyberpowerPC</a> for the storage)</p><p>These specs were meant to mirror, as closely as possible, the test bench of our colleagues over at Maximum PC (the same system recently featured in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-geforce-gtx-980-ti-review/">our 980 Ti review</a>). Their rig uses an i7-5930k processor at 4.2GHz (hexacore compared to the 5960X’s octocore, hence our two disabled cores) and a Gigabyte Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4. Due to some slight differences between the motherboards, we did notice a small performance gap between the two rigs when comparing Titan X framerates at 1080p, when games are more likely to be CPU-bound than GPU-bound. However, at 1440p and 4K, those differences disappeared, delivering identical average framerates across several games in our benchmark suite. After a full day of scrutinizing the performance, running and re-running benchmarks, we’re confident that the R9 Fury X numbers here can be accurately compared against our previous testing.</p><h3>R9 Fury X benchmarks: average framerates</h3><p>If you factor in a small margin for error (and the variance that comes from one benchmark run to another), the R9 Fury X performed very closely to Nvidia’s 980 Ti, its closest competitor. However, in our benchmarks, which always used Ultra settings and enabled 4xMSAA when possible, the Fury X regularly came up short of the 980 Ti and Titan X, both of which offer more VRAM. </p><p>This contrasts with the numbers AMD has provided for the card, which show the Fury X just barely outperforming the 980 Ti in a dozen benchmarks. Those benchmarks, however, were run with varying settings on a game-by-game basis, like medium, FXAA in Assassin’s Creed Unity but Ultra, 2xSSAA in Sniper Elite 3. Without fine-tuning settings for each game, we didn’t see the same advantage for the R9 Fury X.</p><p><strong>Update: I forgot to point out that our comparisons to the 980 Ti below are using the factory&nbsp;over clocked EVGA 980 Ti, which had a base clock of 1102 Mhz and boost clock of 1190 MHz. That accounts for part of the discrepancy between the cards, as well as recent driver updates on Nvidia's part that improved performance. The Titan X is running at stock factory speeds, comparable to the 980 Ti.&nbsp;</strong><strong>If you take away the advantage of the overclock, the cards do turn in very similar performance, as you can see in some cases comparing the Titan X to the R9 Fury X, but it's rare for the Fury X to pull ahead.&nbsp;</strong><strong>I apologize for not being clearer, and will make sure to update with&nbsp;overclock numbers for the&nbsp;Fury X when I have them.&nbsp;</strong></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GbipWaaGSN-4.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UrvT5Xx1OrIL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Batman Arkham Origins Fps"></p><p>In Arkham Origins, an Nvidia-optimized game, you can see that the Fury X just barely underperforms the Titan X and 980 Ti Superclocked, which turn in equal scores.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EEoWFjkpTk2r.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gs7IuEoO8RLX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Gtav Fps"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/knIBd36HTNiV.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OAW3QIXqjHC-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Hitman Absolution Fps"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XqSRX7qaSVeR.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VNW11FEy09Rx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Tomb Raider Fps"></p><p>Hitman and Tomb Raider are both Square Enix games, and typically perform extremely well on AMD cards. Hitman is the only game in our testing that saw the Fury X outperform the Titan X and the 980 Ti SC, but it didn’t fare quite so well in Tomb Raider. Still, it delivered an impressive 43.8 fps at maxed-out Ultra settings at 4K resolution.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OtHghLaeQDu2.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GRvsXQ1jZ0tf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Metro Last Light Fps"></p><p>Here it’s worth pointing out that the Fury X just barely outperformed the GTX 980. We’ve seen recent driver updates on Nvidia’s side give a nice little performance bump to the 980 Ti SC&nbsp;and Titan X; those framerates were on the 353.30 driver, giving both cards a significant fps lead over the Fury X.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ApRVSvLZTeOJ.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OgkWifSF1gB6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Mordor Fps"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wDOp39UqTaeN.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NcArUEmzowRt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Witcher3 Fps"></p><p>The Fury X fared well in The Witcher 3 with Hairworks disabled, though again it lagged a bit behind the other two cards. However, as The Witcher 3 doesn’t contain a benchmarking tool, we’d expect a bit wider margin of error in these scores, putting the three cards in a fairly even heat.</p><h3>R9 Fury X benchmarks: minimum framerates</h3><p>While average framerates give you a good overview of general performance, minimum framerates alert you to potential game-ruining performance pitfalls. Nasty framerate drops&nbsp;can ruin your gaming experience, even if they don’t happen too often. While running in-game benchmarks, we didn’t notice any serious issues with smoothness or dropped frames with the Fury X. But much like average framerates, we saw the Titan X and 980 Ti SC&nbsp;regularly outperform the R9 Fury X. Here, usually by a slightly bigger margin.</p><p>Look at the smaller bars in the charts above for that comparison.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RXUix1ORROua.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cIhrXPa9d20T.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Radeon Fury X Average Fps"></p><h3>4GB of High bandwidth memory and AMD’s drivers</h3><p>The R9 Fury and the watercooled Fury X are groundbreaking releases for AMD, using the new high-bandwidth memory in place of GDDR5. It’s a promising technology that’s only going to get more and more impressive and important with future iterations, but HBM 1.0 in use in these cards brings with it a problematic limitation: 4GB of memory. Where Nvidia’s 980 Ti and Titan X offer 6GB and 12GB of VRAM, the Fury X is stuck at 4GB. While this isn’t a problem for gaming at 1080p, it may soon be a problem at 1440p, and it’s definitely already a limitation at 4K.</p><p>Grand Theft Auto 5, for example, is able to use up the 980 Ti’s entire 6GB of VRAM with MSAA and its advanced settings enabled. When we ran GTA5 totally maxed out on the Fury X, 980 Ti and Titan X, the smaller memory pool ended up giving the Fury X an unplayable minimum framerate of 6 fps compared to 17 fps and 22 fps for the Nvidia cards.</p><p>Granted, those are extremely demanding settings, and with some proper tweaking, you can certainly get playable framerates out of the Fury X. At 4K, with no advanced settings and no AA, the card turned in an average 46 fps, virtually matching the Titan X.</p><p>But we’re worried about the Fury X being future-proof&mdash;the card is a significant investment at $650, and there’s a real possibility that games in 2016 and 2017 will routinely guzzle six gigabyte frame buffers. For 1080p gaming, the Fury X is a very strong card, but it’s not notably stronger than the 980 Ti, which nets you two more gigabytes of memory for the same price. That’s a hard sell.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YcZ0MvmpR1ed.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pa0dDev70gM9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd R9 Fury X Side"></p><h2>Overclocking, liquid cooling and conclusion</h2><p>The Fury X’s framerates are tantalizingly close to the 980 Ti SC's, and it’s hard to know exactly what’s holding it back: the hardware of the card itself, or AMD’s drivers. Given the 980 Ti SC's factory overclock, that puts the stock 980 Ti at about equal performance, but with its RAM advantage. But Nvidia's recent drivers have given the 980 Ti some nice performance bumps;&nbsp;AMD’s been slow to release optimized drivers for years, and it’s quite possible that the Fury X is launching with poorly optimized drivers. An update could, potentially, pull the Fury X dead even with its competition, and nudge games like Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution into the win column for AMD.</p><p>But that’s speculation. For now, Nvidia’s more frequent driver updates and better software experience make their cards more compelling.</p><p>The Fury X’s one other hope is its liquid cooling potential. The card’s amazing 7.5-inch length is possible thanks to the new HBM memory&nbsp;a beefy external radiator, which may make it difficult to install in some cases&mdash;that’s the drawback of its fantastic cooling potential, which idles at about 28C. While the Fury X draws less than 300W at a standard load, AMD claims it has headroom for up to 375W. If you're building a rig that won't have space for the liquid cooled radiator, the air-cooled Fury will be the same size, minus the radiator, and there's an even smaller (lower-TDP) Nano card coming later this year.</p><p>We haven’t had the opportunity to explore overclocking performance yet, but even there the air-cooled 980 Ti will put up some strong competition. <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/geforce-gtx-980-ti-overclocked/#page-2">The 980 Ti can increase performance by a good 20 percent overclocked</a>, so the Fury X’s overclocking will have to be truly extraordinary to surpass it.</p><p>Until we’ve explored the overclocking potential of the Fury X, our recommendation is to wait on a purchase. Drivers could improve performance, and the air-cooled R9 Fury will also be available at a lower price point. That may make its 4GB of memory more palatable. But from what we’ve seen, the Fury X doesn’t significantly outperform the 980 Ti, and Nvidia’s card offers 2GB more VRAM and better drivers for the same price.</p></div> Guild Wars 2 update rebuilds Lion's Arch, overhauls skills and traitshttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-update-rebuilds-lions-arch-overhauls-skills-and-traits/New city, new combat and more.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:46:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-update-rebuilds-lions-arch-overhauls-skills-and-traits/Guild Wars 2MMONews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KWwG3nstQ9WI.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-ExvpPh4Y9ng.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2"></p><p> It was over a year ago that ArenaNet destroyed Guild Wars 2's capital city as part of the end of Season One of the Living World story. Since then, diligent NPCs have been hammering away at bits of the city. Last night, their hard work paid off. The MMO's latest patch features a rebuilt Lion's Arch&mdash;and it's a dramatic change from the old pirate-themed haven of the initial release.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q75uHc42mo4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p>To encourage people to explore each corner of the city, a new achievement tasks you with exterminating an infestation of&nbsp;Karkas. The reward for doing this is Princess; the&nbsp;Dragonite Ore eating companion to Mawdrey II and the Star of Gratitude.</p><p> Despite appearances, the new Lion's Arch isn't the most substantial part of the update. That goes to the changes being made to the way Traits and Skills are handled. Every character class has been overhauled with a full balance pass as part of an entirely new system for unlocking and assigning passive buffs and active abilities. The changes are far too numerous to detail, and&mdash;to be perfectly honest&mdash;I'm still getting to grips with it all. If you want more details, take a look at ArenaNet's&nbsp;two part primer for <a href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/specializations-part-one-a-primer/" target="_blank">Specialisations</a> and <a href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/specializations-part-two-reward-tracks-and-elite-specializations/" target="_blank">Reward Tracks</a>.</p><p>Also as part of the new update, the inventory wallet has been upgraded to allow for new currencies&mdash;including Geodes and Bandit Crests. That sound you hear is your bags breathing a sigh of relief.</p><p>Head over to the&nbsp;<a href="https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/info/updates/Game-Update-Notes-June-23-2015" target="_blank">Guild Wars 2 forum</a> for a full list of patch notes.</p> Meet Shinra, Square Enix' powerful cloud processing techhttp://www.pcgamer.com/meet-shinra-square-enix-powerful-cloud-processing-tech/Yes, they really call it Shinra.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/meet-shinra-square-enix-powerful-cloud-processing-tech/Editors PicksSpecial Report <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bMwvBpGORAWE.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KBYf7EuWOzeD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Special report"></p><p>Was naming a cloud gaming platform after the evil energy corporation from Final Fantasy VII a comic masterstroke, playing on the fact that cloud initiatives are popularly perceived to be the work of the Devil, or deserving of a shower of rotten eggs? Either way, Shinra, Square Enix’s big push into the field of remote processing, is intriguing, if subject to some of the same limitations that have troubled services such as OnLive. Now in beta across Japan (a US beta will follow later this year), it isn’t just a new and device-agnostic way of distributing games but a more elegant, cost-effective approach to how they’re run.&nbsp;</p><p>I’m sitting in a presentation room high in Square Enix’s London offices overlooking a glittering sweep of riverside. To my right, Shinra’s senior vice-president of technology Tetsuji Iwasaki rattles through PowerPoint slides. Senior vice-president of business Jacob Navok throws in commentary and the odd bit of translation from a laptop screen&mdash;he’s broadcasting from Japan, where it’s well after midnight.&nbsp;</p><p>The foundation of Shinra is the idea that a network’s power is a question of smart integration rather than the strength of each individual CPU or GPU. Past a&nbsp;certain point, Iwasaki explains, processing performance doesn’t increase in proportion to cost, which means it’s more sensible to eke out gains by way of fast network cards and, in particular, RDMA/TCP dual protocol interconnection, whereby computers skip the operating system layer and dip directly into each other’s memory banks.</p><blockquote>The machine was able to outperform the Earth Simulator, a 60 billion yen government project.</blockquote><p>He cites a supercomputer created from off-the-shelf components by Professor Tsuyoshi Hamada of Nagasaki University in 2009&mdash;despite its homely origins, the machine was able to outperform the Earth Simulator, a 60 billion yen government project, because its components worked together more efficiently. Shinra’s own server farms are built according to the same principles.&nbsp;</p><p>The other piece of the puzzle is, of course, software. Shinra games are broken up into modules&mdash;AI, graphics rendering, physics and so forth&mdash;that can be run on different machines, rather than having the entire thing sit inside a single computer. This is less wasteful, because it means Shinra can ‘freely’ re-allocate the network’s resources on a module-by-module basis&mdash;the physics calculations of a shooter such as Battlefield 4 might get a bigger helping of CPU power, for example. Having all the calculations for&nbsp;several copies of the same game occur in the same place also means that certain results can be duplicated. According to Iwasaki, you could calculate the animation and rendering for a character once per 100 users, rather than once per user.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ShzIA1wQREGf.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wMnsEf3zjBpa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Special Report 3"></p><p>Greater efficiency aside, a benefit of Shinra is that because all of the key processes happen locally, synchronisation between players is less of a bother. You aren’t, after all, shuttling data about the position of objects from one end of the globe to the other&mdash;all these relationships are worked out on Shinra’s servers and a video stream is sent to client devices. This theoretically means that nitty-gritty real-time mechanics and effects are practical in massively multiplayer environments, because there’s comparatively little latency to deal with.&nbsp;</p><p>Iwasaki illustrates all this by way of a multiplayer world simulation, created in roughly six months by a team of three, in which a thousand AI-controlled puffball creatures spread out across a forested valley that’s supposedly 17 times the size of Skyrim. Where a game like Skyrim vanishes NPCs when they stray out of view, to save on memory, here everything is rendered and animated no matter how far the animals disperse. That’s possible, Iwasaki claims, because the simulation is able to ramp up its share of the server farm’s RAM to a whopping 100GB. “For me if you can make a world that massive and populate it with all of those fully animated strange little creatures in such a short time, that by itself is a new experience,” he adds.</p><blockquote>Shinra features many of the same potential drawbacks as previous cloud services.&nbsp;</blockquote><p>Another example of Shinra’s potential is the platform-exclusive Space Sweeper, billed as a “twitch &nbsp;game on a massive scale”. It resembles a top-down shoot-’em-up in screenshots&mdash;budding Sweepers must weave a path through thousands of dynamic, fully rendered projectiles&mdash;but the difference is that it unfolds on massive open worlds with hundreds of players at once.&nbsp;</p><p>It all sounds and looks mightily impressive, but then again we’ve nodded our way through similarly wide‑eyed takes on the notion of server-based processing in the past and it’s important to note that Shinra features many of the same potential drawbacks as previous cloud services.&nbsp;</p><p>Latency between server and client is still an obstacle, for one thing, which is why Shinra won’t support all connections to begin with. Square Enix’s big gamble is that internet infrastructure will have advanced sufficiently by the time the service becomes widely available. “Even certain cable users aren’t going to have a great connection, so we’ll start with fibre users and then we’ll roll out from there as far as we can, at a level of quality we’re comfortable with,” concedes Navok.&nbsp;</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kMor83lCQ7KX.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mw5ePrM5-PZZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Special Report 4" class=""> <figcaption>Former Square Enix CEO Wada is heading up Shinra.</figcaption></figure><p>Shinra’s sheer speed does, however, allow it to compensate a little for the infrastructure’s failings. “When we take what we’re rendering, plus encode, plus decode and internet latency, we end up with a total loop that’s actually half that of a console,” says Navok. “Just by virtue of doing the render loop cut, we give about an additional 40 milliseconds back to the net, so the user experience on a fibre connection feels local.”&nbsp;</p><p>The other challenge is simply persuading developers to invest. Shinra already supports a number of highly-fed internal projects, including the monitor‑melting tech demo Agni’s Philosophy, and has enlisted the support of both unspecified larger publishers and smaller outfits such as Camouflaj, developer of the République series. But it seems badly in need of a stunning tentpole exclusive to hammer the possibilities home.</p><p>As you’d expect, Navok insists that it’s only a matter of time. “I think there are some developers who were waiting for this,” he concludes. “People who always thought that it was possible, but were waiting for somebody to be crazy enough to do it.”</p> Another week, another two pieces of Witcher 3 free DLChttp://www.pcgamer.com/another-week-another-two-pieces-of-witcher-3-free-dlc/This week it's all about Skellige.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:54:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/another-week-another-two-pieces-of-witcher-3-free-dlc/free DLCNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ikr7VLtQTlyy.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1esC8jTILuoy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Skellige"></p><p> We've had alternative outfits, Gwent skins and a quest involving a village of pigs. This week, though, The Witcher 3 free DLC program heads to Skellige for a new mission and a new armour set.</p><p> Here are the full details, courtesy of CD Projekt Red:</p><ul> <li> New <strong>Quest - 'Contract: Skellige's Most Wanted':</strong> A monster hunt like no other -- Can you survive it? </li> <li> <strong>Skellige Armor Set:</strong> Enhanced for the frigid climate of the Skellige Archipelago, this set includes a jacket, gloves, pants, boots and horse tack. </li></ul><p> To get the DLCs, subscribe to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gog.com/game/the_witcher_3_wild_hunt_free_dlc_program" target="_blank">this package</a> on GOG and download them from your account page, or add them from&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/292030/" target="_blank">Steam's DLC list</a> when they appear.</p><p> There are four pieces of DLC left, at which point The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will hold steady until the planned expansions release. Whatever the final free add-ons are, one thing is for sure: we have a hell of a lot more armour sets than we did six weeks ago.</p> Ronin to exit Early Access and release officially later this monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ronin-to-exit-early-access-and-release-officially-later-this-month/Hybrid platformer to release June 30.Wed, 24 Jun 2015 00:37:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ronin-to-exit-early-access-and-release-officially-later-this-month/NewsPlatformerRonin <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1UaZA7YnSiWB.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yZuHZlqSCPfI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ronin"></p><p>When Devolver Digital released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ronin/">Ronin</a> on Early Access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ronin-the-turn-based-action-platformer-is-now-on-steam/">last month</a> the publisher promised it would only stay there for a month. It looks like they've kept their word, because the stealth/platformer/turn-based combat hybrid is set to release officially on June 30.&nbsp;</p><p>Ronin will hit Steam, GOG and "other digital services" with a 25 percent discount, as well as a digital special edition including a digital comic and the game's soundtrack in both MP3 and FLAC formats. Chris Livingston&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ronin-preview-freeform-skulking-and-turn-based-stabbing/">enjoyed his time with the game</a> back in March, noting that the stealth elements work much better than the violent confrontations.</p><p>If you're not convinced and aren't willing to pay entry for the&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/274230">Early Access version</a> (which is still available), there's a&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/274230">playable demo</a>, too.&nbsp;</p> The Division beta sign-ups are open nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-beta-sign-ups-are-open-now/Beta will be available in 'early 2016'.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 23:44:43 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-beta-sign-ups-are-open-now/ActionNewsRPGThe DivisionTom Clancy's The Division <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FWWu4w_JTQ2L.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wrUQbuO6ic2I.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Division Dark Zone"></p><p>For those eager to partake in the beta for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division/">The Division</a>, sign-ups are&nbsp;<a href="http://tomclancy-thedivision.ubi.com/game/en-GB/beta/index.aspx">available now</a>. As you'll see, Xbox One gets early&nbsp;access due to some no doubt scandalous business dealings, but PC will get access in early 2016, in the months leading to the game's final March 8 release date. Naturally, if you choose to pre-order the game you'll get guaranteed access.</p><p>Ubisoft showed off a bunch of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-footage-heads-to-the-dark-zone/">new footage for The Division</a> at E3 last week, and our own Samuel Roberts&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-division-preview-playing-pvp-in-the-lawless-dark-zone/">went hands-on</a> with the PvP portion of the game. If The Division doesn't look like your thing, then another new Tom Clancy game –&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ghost-recon-wildlands-is-a-new-open-world-tom-clancy-game/">Ghost Recon: Wildlands</a> – is looking very impressive indeed.&nbsp;</p> PC Gamer US August issue: Total War: Warhammerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-us-august-issue-total-war-warhammer/See what's new in the latest edition of PC Gamer US.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 23:40:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-us-august-issue-total-war-warhammer/Magazine <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XEIqGunvSTGa.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gIk595AWjRXD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magpost Us 268banner"></p><p>Grab your horniest helmet and straddle the nearest pigbeast&mdash;it's time to pick up the latest issue of PC Gamer.&nbsp;Why? Well, partly because we poured a month's worth of love, passion and hard graft into bringing you the best features, previews,&nbsp;and reviews. But also because Dan Griliopoulos charged into The Creative Assembly, pen brandished like a cleaver, to gain world-exclusive access to Total War: Warhammer.</p><div><div><div><div><iframe id="vpaid-pFaXMUii2c0mk1gsfit2" width="230" height="129" style="margin-bottom: 0px; width: 230px; height: 129px; border: 0px; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px;"></iframe></div></div></div><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/subscribe-to-pc-gamer-us/">Jump over here</a> for instructions on how to subscribe to the print or digital versions (get the latest issue free when you subscribe digitally).</p><p><strong>This month we...</strong></p><ul> <li>Get world exclusive access to Total War: Warhammer.</li><li>Hide under the covers with the history of horror.</li><li>Check the pulse of Call of Duty: Block Ops 3, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, Lumo, Yooka-Laylee, and Guild of Dungeoneering.</li><li>Review Kerbal Space Program, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Westerado, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Axiom Verge, Invisible, Inc., Dungeons 2, Project CARS, StarDive 2, Killing Floor 2, and The Long Dark.</li><li>Test the latest headsets.</li><li>Experience the magic of Outer Wilds in Now Playing.</li><li>Round up the month's best free downloads.</li><li>Revisit Broken Sword 2 in Reinstall.</li></ul></div><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NBzFcEolTNOk.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2_aeOY-m2d96.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magpost Us 268cover"></p> Warren Spector calls VR "a fad"http://www.pcgamer.com/warren-spector-calls-vr-a-fad/The Deus Ex creator says VR may appeal to hardcore gamers, but he doesn't see it catching on as a mainstream device.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:16:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/warren-spector-calls-vr-a-fad/HoloLensNewsOculus RIFTViveWarren Spector <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warren-spector/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/q7eVexvAQnud.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kB7SB4LkhfLn.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Warren Spector"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warren-spector/">Warren Spector</a> made <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-run-deus-ex-on-windows-78/">Deus Ex</a> and in my book, that earns him a pass for pretty much anything he does for the rest of his life. But he also worked on Ultima Underworld, Wing Commander, System Shock, and Thief: The Dark Project, to name a few, and was a key figure at the legendary Looking Glass Studios. He is, in other words, a guy whose word carries a certain weight, and in the wake of E3 he said some rather interesting things to <a href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-06-23-warren-spector-on-e3-vr-is-a-fad">GamesIndustry</a>.</p><p>Spector&nbsp;didn't go to any media briefings&nbsp;this year, for one thing,&nbsp;(he described them as "a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing"), and he's happy overall with how Eidos Montreal is handling Deus Ex. He also thinks VR, like the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift/">Oculus Rift</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/steamvr/">SteamVR</a> and that sort of thing, is "a fad." Here's why:</p><p>"I think it'll generate some interest among the hardcore gamers. And I see amazing possibilities in VR for social media and virtual meetings and training and crazy stuff like dealing with phobias," he said. "But for entertainment? I'm just not seeing it. I don't think most humans want to look stupid (everyone looks stupid in a VR headset) and they don't want to isolate themselves from the world. I mean, if someone's sneaking up behind me with a baseball bat, I want to know about it, you know what I mean? And let's not talk about nausea."</p><p>Augmented reality, on the other hand, such as we saw in this demonstration of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-coming-to-microsofts-hololens-ar-headset/">Minecraft on HoloLens</a>, is "pretty exciting," he continued. "There's some potential there. Even the low-hanging fruit of AR gaming seems compelling. Bring on the AR."</p><p>It's kind of an unexpected response, coming as it does from a guy responsible for some truly pioneering first-person experiences, but then so was Epic Mickey. Even so, he makes some valid points&mdash;but then I watch a video like this <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/eve-valkyrie-footage-shows-an-explosive-escort/">EVE Valkyrie dogfight</a> and suddenly nothing seems more important than strapping one of these contraptions&nbsp;to my face. </p> Insane million block Minecraft pixel art sets world recordhttp://www.pcgamer.com/insane-million-block-minecraft-pixel-art-sets-world-record/The image of Kerrigan and friends took nearly six months to create and was done entirely by hand.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:12:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/insane-million-block-minecraft-pixel-art-sets-world-record/MinecraftNewspixel art <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vChMzRnw-Hc?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/thorlar">Thorlar Thorlarian</a> describes himself as a "Pixel Art King," and that's not an empty boast. Witness his recreation of this BlizzCon 2010 <a href="http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/media/wallpapers/?view=blizzcon-2010">wallpaper</a> in Minecraft: It's made up of over 1.1 <em>million</em> blocks, and took him more than 23 weeks to create. Even crazier, he did the entire thing by hand, without the aid of any external software or other artists.</p><p> "Pixel art, when it comes down to it, is just like drawing with pen and paper. So with enough practice, it's easy to know what blocks have what color, such as black being best represented by by black wool, coal blocks, etc. At that point, no matter the size of your project, all you need to do is know what block would be most suitable for what area," he told us. Of course, you also need the time and the tenacity to see it through to the end. "It took over 1000 hours, so it's not something you just plan to do overnight or in a week," he added.</p><p> A video of the final moments of the image's creation, followed by a flyover, demonstrates just how massive it really is. Even with the render distance set to maximum, we don't come close to seeing the whole thing until he zooms out to a world map view. Thorlar claims that the 1,128,960 blocks used in the image represents an actual world record as the biggest Minecraft pixel art ever, with thousands of Twitch witnesses to confirm the legitimacy of the accomplishment.</p><p> Livestreaming the creation of the image also earned roughly $3500 for charity, including $1337 in one hour on the final day, most of which went to <a href="http://makeawish.ie/give-support/fundraising-ideas/fundraising-through-twitch/">Make-A-Wish Ireland</a>. In fact, he's raised roughly $11,000 for charity since March 2014, shortly after he became a Twitch partner.</p><p> "I told myself, 'If I ever get so much support I get partnered, we're doing charity as much as we can.' As we've kept growing, the effort has too," he said. "The bigger we've grown, ever so steadily, the faster we've been able to raise money, and it makes me happy to see how much of a difference games can make for charity and the less fortunate... I love seeing what games can do for people. Not just cheering people up on a bad day, but giving people clean water, helping research cancer, etc."</p><p> A closer look at what went into Thorlar's amazing creation may be found in this <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Minecraft/comments/3auq65/im_the_maker_of_the_minecraft_world_record/">Reddit AMA</a> posted earlier today, which also includes a link to the <a href="http://frigolit.net:8123/?worldname=pixelart&amp;mapname=flat&amp;zoom=3&amp;x=10006&amp;y=64&amp;z=9673">Dynmap</a> for those who'd like to check it out in all its humungous glory for themselves. </p> Master of Orion: Wargaming's plan for remaking a classichttp://www.pcgamer.com/master-of-orion-wargamings-plan-for-remaking-a-classic/22 years is long enough to make Master of Orion one of the ancestors of 4X.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:53:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/master-of-orion-wargamings-plan-for-remaking-a-classic/4XE3 2015Master of Orion (Wargaming)StrategyVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yV49d_ItO4I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>22 years is long enough to make Master of Orion one of the ancestors of 4X. But it’s also been dormant for a longer time than many of the early turn-based strategy games. That changed earlier this month when Wargaming, mostly known for World of Tanks and other games in its free-to-play franchise, revealed a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/master-of-orion-reboot-announced-by-wargaming/">Master of Orion remake</a>.</p><p>I had a chance to see a hands-off demo of Master of Orion at E3, after which I spoke with project director Chris Keeling about Wargaming’s approach to remaking a PC classic, how they’ll handle faction AI, and the prospect of moddability for MOO.</p> Oculus VP Nate Mitchell on exclusive games and DX12's impact on VRhttp://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-vp-nate-mitchell-on-exclusive-games-and-dx12s-impact-on-vr/Oculus' VP of Product talks about games exclusive to Oculus Home, the design of the Touch controller, and more.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:42:45 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-vp-nate-mitchell-on-exclusive-games-and-dx12s-impact-on-vr/DirectX 12E3 2015OculusOculus RIFTOculus VRvirtual reality <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aQB-9m1PQn26.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xwYXYKNsBPyb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Oculus Nate Mitchell"></p><p>After trying out the final consumer Oculus Rift headset and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-oculus-touch-is-an-intuitive-exciting-vr-controller/">the&nbsp;fantastic Oculus Touch controller</a> at E3, I sat down with Nate Mitchell, Oculus' VP of product, for a short interview. Fresh off using both of those devices, my mind was full of questions about designing the Touch, the exclusivity of games available through Oculus Home, and what DX12 means for the future of VR.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>PC Gamer:</strong><strong> I feel like we could talk about a million things. What are you mainly focused on now that you’ve got headsets in manufacturing? What’s the next six months for Oculus?</strong></p><p><strong>Nate Mitchell, Oculus VP of Product:</strong> The next six months for us is all the polish to get to the consumer launch and bringing together the product really cohesively, which I think we’ve done to date, but we need to continue to do, right? So it’s system software, polishing Oculus Home, it’s getting all the kinks and every little tiny flaw worked out with the headset so when gamers get it in Q1, it&nbsp;all is perfect and just works, and there’s an awesome library of content to dive right into and start playing.</p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;I think Oculus Home is an interesting thing for PC gamers. You can get PC games in a lot of places, but most people get them on Steam. I think there was probably an assumption two years ago that you'd be getting&nbsp;Oculus Rift games through Steam, and now that’s probably not the case. Can you talk about what it’s going to be like to publish games for Rift? Will they only be available through Home, or will that just be one place you can get them?</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:</strong>&nbsp;It differs from developer to developer. We’ll have some exclusive games that you can only get through Home. Probably a lot of our stuff, right? That just makes sense. If we’re making it, we want to sell it through our own store. But there will be stuff you can buy directly from developers, for example. We’ve said from the beginning that the Rift&mdash;the hardware itself&mdash;is an open platform, and that’s really important to us. We think it matches the PC ecosystem really well. So, for example, if we make a game together, we can sell it directly to a consumer, they can run it, they can play it on the Rift, awesome.</p><p>But on the flip side of that, we want to make sure it’s a great experience for us to get our game to Rift users really easily. If I’m a Rift user and I go home, I install all the Rift software, I put on the Rift, and I drop right into Home. We can put our game front and center in the store right there, they can buy it, install it, play it, all without taking the headset off. That’s an experience that you can’t get through Steam, you can’t get anywhere, really, even from us as developers. We really want to make sure that user experience is as seamless as possible, for users and for devs. Does that make sense?</p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;Yeah.</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:</strong>&nbsp;In terms of publishing on our store, we’ve already launched our platform on GearVR, so all the Oculus Home experience and the Oculus Store that runs on Gear today is the exact same backend that’s powering the Rift store when it comes online. So we have developers who’ve published games to our store who are making money today, and we’re going to be bringing basically all that same functionality to the Rift.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2WegZZlZSBKX.JPG" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UKAQG7XhkyMZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Oculus Rift consumer reveal"></p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;In the game demo I did, I really liked Airmech&mdash;the perspective on it, it hits that toy diorama thing. One thing I noticed about it, though, is that I felt like I needed to be on a swivel chair. There ended up being parts of the world behind me that I couldn’t see. So where are you at now on the standing, walking, looking around thing? For a long time you were showing that with Crescent Bay while also saying, "don’t do this," kind of.</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:&nbsp;</strong>We designed the Rift’s tracking system, the IR constellation tracking system, for both seated and standing. We want to support both those experiences and we want to let developers and gamers decide how they want to use the Rift. One really key tenet, though, is making it really easy to use and set up. The goal is that you put that on your desk, and you put the headset on, and you’re basically good to go. Yes, you plug in a few cables too, but other than that you’re basically good to go. If you want to stand up you can, if you want to sit down you can. It’s going to depend on the experience. Ultimately, what I think is most likely is we’re going to see developers basically saying, "Hey, we see that you're sitting down at the moment, this game is actually a standing experience, please stand up."&nbsp;Or, "Hey, you’re standing up, please sit down."</p><p>We’ve already seen some developers on Gear say in their tutorials, "This game is best played in a swivel chair." I think we’re all still trying to figure out exactly what works best. I think Airmech, for example, doesn’t work as well in that chair in that experience. But that’s the choice the developers made. I remember the first time i played, I was like "Holy moly, there’s stuff behind me back here!" But that’s the way that they wanted it. They wanted it to be a surprise. And it’s very intentional.</p><p>So, I think we’re going to continue to evolve our best practices, and we’re going to see developers use novel ways to communicate what they want us to do. But ultimately, if you want to stand up, if you want to sit down, regardless, the Rift’s going to be the best VR gaming system available. </p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;The concept makes me think, wireless: when could it possibly happen? Can you talk a little about, as hard as it was to get VR to where it is now, the huge hurdle that wireless brings?</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:</strong>&nbsp;Wireless is challenging on a number of fronts. We’re still far off from wireless in terms of the headset. The Oculus Touch is wireless today. In terms of latency, in terms of power consumption, and then in terms of weight, with all of those things combined, those are probably the biggest challenges. It's&nbsp;hard to argue that that’s the right path forward today, just because all of those constraints, compromises you have to make are pretty painful trade-offs across the board. I think we will get there over the next X number of years, and we will see more wireless headsets.</p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;Can we talk about Touch a little bit?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-oculus-touch-is-an-intuitive-exciting-vr-controller/" target="_blank">I thought that was really great</a>. It’s intuitive for hand motion. One thing I didn’t really do in the toy box demo was use the face buttons much. What kind of games are going to use face buttons versus hand motion? I’m trying to build a picture of what you’re going to do with these things.</strong></p><p>We included traditional controls like analog sticks, triggers, and the face buttons to enable hybrid experiences. Those are really proven input mechanisms for a bunch of stuff. Did you mess with the tank in there?</p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;Yeah.</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:</strong>&nbsp;So the tank works really, really well with the analog stick. If you didn’t have analog sticks you couldn’t drive that tank. Well, imagine that A and B make the tank hop or hover, or switch weapons. You need a set of buttons there that developers can tap into to add additional functionality. I don’t know exactly how developers are going to use it, because it’s going to depend from game to game, but I think having those things is super important. It’s something we talked about a lot. "Do we want to go no analog sticks? Do we want one button? No buttons?" Ultimately, we think that having a controller that has a lot of robust functionality, where developers can go deep and make experiences that are deep, and the extra interactions that they allow for are deep, is super important to having compelling, complex games. As a hardcore gamer myself, I think that’s a requirement. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IM43S-6lTcSO.JPG" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aNmj6KG3-NLz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dsc06405"></p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;I’ve been seeing a lot of the new graphics cards stuff lately, and they’re all talking big game about DX12 and their VR features, we’ve got Windows 10 coming really soon, so do you know anything about DX12 that’s interesting to talk about in terms of what it’s going to do for VR?</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:&nbsp;</strong>Part of the partnership with Microsoft is not only optimizing Windows and Windows 10 to be an awesome platform for Rift, but also working with the DirectX team to make sure the Rift has everything it needs to be super high performance, super low latency across the board.</p><p>I can’t speak to any of the changes we’re making right now, but it is real. There is stuff there, DirectX wasn’t designed for virtual reality to begin with, it definitely wasn’t designed for a VR headset and neither was Windows, and so there are things that we can do that we want to do to make it a better user experience, to get more performance out of it. We made a lot of modifications to OpenGL ES when we did Samsung Gear VR in the same vein. </p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;Some Carmack wizardry.</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:</strong>&nbsp;Exactly. And so we want to do the same sort of stuff to DirectX, and all the work we’re doing there is going to benefit other VR headsets and AR headsets out there too. We’re sort of trying to push the boundaries and blaze this path forward with Microsoft. But anyone else who shows up can plug into the same extensions and get the benefits. At the end of the day it’s really a good thing for gamers ... Nvidia, AMD, and Microsoft, what they’re doing in partnership with us is going to make a big difference for future graphics cards.</p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;When you talk about performance improvements, is that all along the same lines as the multi-GPU stuff?</strong></p><p><strong>Mitchell:&nbsp;</strong>Not exactly. It’s more around the way we’re interfacing with, especially the GPU, and on Windows the display devices. For example, if you read Atman Binstock, he’s the chief architect at Oculus, and he wrote an article <a href="https://www.oculus.com/en-us/blog/powering-the-rift/">“Powering the Rift”</a> and it talks about how we arrived at the recommended specification for Rift. One of the things we talk about in the article is that the GPUs historically are really designed not for latency, but for performance. So we have all these changes we want to make to optimize for latency and minimize that as much as possible rather than having, "Well, yeah, we can buffer six or seven frames, because that’s fine." No, we want to buffer zero frames.</p><p>So really, working with GPU manufacturers that have these new pipelines that are really focused on minimizing latency is super, super critical. One of the reasons we went with sort of a higher specification for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift-pc-requirements-revealed/">the recommended specification</a>, which is the Nvidia 970, AMD 290X group, is so that developers have more horsepower under the hood to make great experiences, because the rendering requirements around the GPU and performance are strenuous, to say the least. To get a great looking game, you’re going to need a little bit more horsepower. </p><p><strong>PCG:&nbsp;Thanks for talking with us, Nate.</strong></p> Planet Coaster pre-orders live [Updated]http://www.pcgamer.com/planet-coaster-crowdfunding-campaign-begins/Planet Coaster and a number of add-ons are now available for purchase.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:32:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/planet-coaster-crowdfunding-campaign-begins/Frontier DevelopmentsNewsPlanet Coastersim <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ivAHFCHmIZo?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Frontier Developments announced Planet Coaster, a spiritual successor to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (specifically RCT3, because that's the one Frontier did) during the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/frontier-announces-planet-coaster-with-trailer/">PC Gaming Show</a> at E3. We haven't heard much about it since, but the game is now available for preorder.</p><p> The base game can be <a href="https://www.frontierstore.net/usd/games/planet-coaster-cat.html">preordered</a> for $30/£20, or you can snag the "Early Bird Beta Pass," which includes, as you might guess, access to the beta prior to release, for $75/£50. Going <a href="https://www.frontierstore.net/usd/game-extras/planet-coaster-game-extras.html">beyond that</a>, there's also a $15/£10 VIP Single Ticket, which will put you into the game as a guest of the park via the Guest Designer software, a $60/£40 VIP Group Ticket, which provides the same for a group of up to six people, the VIP Staff Pass that makes your character a permanent park staff member for $150/£100, and finally, a VIP Park Foundation Stone, which will engrave your name in a stone placed at the entrance of every park, everywhere, for $750/£500.</p><p> That last offering is limited to 100 "stones," although dedicated stones for themed entrances may be added later. You'll also want to take note that the Tickets, the Staff Pass, and the Foundation Stone do <em>not</em> include a copy of the game. To play it, you'll need to spring for one of the two preorder options.</p><p> The preorder campaign gives no indication of a release date more specific than 2016, nor of what the final release will ultimately cost; the site does state, however, that preorders are being offered at a "discounted price."</p><p><em><strong>Correction: </strong>The original version of this story referred to Planet Coaster's pre-order options as a form of crowdfunding. Frontier has confirmed that Planet Coaster is being developed with their own money.</em></p> Best of E3 2015 awardshttp://www.pcgamer.com/best-of-e3-2015-awards/All of our favorite games, reveals, and moments at E3 2015.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:03:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/best-of-e3-2015-awards/E3 2015Editors PicksMust Read The new Humble Bundle heads for the Borderlandshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-new-humble-bundle-heads-for-the-borderlands/Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and a pile of add-ons are all on the table.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:30:23 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-new-humble-bundle-heads-for-the-borderlands/BorderlandsBorderlands 2FPSGearbox SoftwareHumble BundleNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XrFlhJPSSjqT.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a2jW_1cVFk2E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="0"></p><p>If you've ever been curious about <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands/">Borderlands</a> but haven't gotten around to giving it a go due to the eternal&nbsp;cash flow struggle, now&nbsp;would be a good time to turn your attention to the <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/">Humble Bundle</a>. The collection revealed today includes the original Borderlands, plus The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Mad Moxxi's Underground Riot, and The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, all for whatever price you want to pay. </p><p>Those who beat the average purchase price will also get <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands-2/">Borderlands 2</a>, along with the Psycho Pack add-on, the Mechromancer add-on, the Creature Slaughterdome add-on, and a coupon for 75 percent off <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands-the-pre-sequel/">Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel</a> in the Humble Store. And for 15 bucks or more, you can tack on the Borderlands 2 season pass, which includes the Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep add-ons, the Headhunter 5: Son of Crawmerax add-on, the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2, and a coupon for 25 percent off off stuff in the <a href="http://store.2k.com">2K Store</a>.</p><p>"But wait!" he cried, waving his Ginsu knives at the assembled onlookers with mad abandon. "There's more!" As in more games that will be added to the bundle on June 30, the mid-point of the sale. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the most obvious candidate, but it would be kind of strange to make it free in a bundle that also includes a coupon for the same game. Dare we hope for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands/">Tales From the Borderlands</a>? </p><p>Money spent on the Humble Borderlands Bundle can be directed toward 2K Games, the Humble Bundlers, or the <a href="http://www.nvmusa.org/">National Videogame Museum</a>, at your discretion. The bundle is live now and runs until July 7.</p> Show Us Your Rig: Frozenbyte's Kai Tuovinenhttp://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-frozenbytes-kai-tuovinen/Kai Tuovinen, Marketing Manager at Frozenbyte working on Trine 3, shows us his slick looking setup.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:28:31 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-frozenbytes-kai-tuovinen/Frozenbyteshow us your rigTrine 3: The Artifacts of Power <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e5mcELLsSemc.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8NqybsduBweb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Frozenbyte Kai Show Us Your Rig"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Show us your rig</h5> <p> Each week&nbsp;on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig/" target="_blank">Show Us Your Rig</a>, we feature PC gaming's best and brightest&nbsp;as they show us the systems they use to work and play. </p> </div><p> After taking a week off for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/e3-2015" target="_blank">E3</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/Show-us-your-rig" target="_blank">Show Us Your Rig</a> is back with another behind the scenes look at how some of today's PC game developers work and play. This week features Kai Tuovinen, Marketing Manager at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/frozenbyte/" target="_blank">Frozenbyte</a> currently working on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trine-3-the-artifacts-of-power/" target="_blank">Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power</a>. The best way to describe Kai's setup is <em>clean</em>. A dual monitor mount, Define R4 case, and clutter-free desk all&nbsp;add up to make a slick looking work&nbsp;space. Kai was kind enough to show us his PC and tell us about some of his favorite games, but also bold enough to challenge PC Gamer&nbsp;to a CS:GO match.</p><h4>What's in your PC?</h4><ul> <li>Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Black</li> <li>Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 4GB</li> <li>Processor: Intel Core i7-4770k 3.5ghz</li> <li>RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz</li> <li>PSU: 750W Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750</li> <li>SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 250GB</li> <li>HDD: Western Digital Desktop Black 1TB</li> <li>Motherboard: Asus Z87-Pro</li> <li>OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit</li> <li>Keyboard: Topre Realforce 88 UB Black</li> <li>Mouse &amp; mousepad: Zowie FK1 / Artisan Hien VE Red</li> <li>Headphones: Sennheiser HD 598</li></ul><p> For monitors, I've got two 27 inch ones: the Asus ROG SWIFT PG278Q which is nice for games with 144hz and G-sync, and the other one is a QNIX QX2710 Evolution II that I ordered from Korea, more for watching movies etc. since it has a great panel for colors.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_I33oxfkSD2i.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mUP5wHTXm3l6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Frozenbyte Kai Desk"></p><h4>What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?</h4><p> The stand that holds both of my two monitors, it's really nice for moving them around and changing angles. It lets me have a bit of extra desk space. Also my red Japanese mousepad, my friends have been giving me a rough time on that one&mdash;I've been hyping it so much!</p><h4>What's always within arm's reach on your desk?</h4><p> Probably a cold glass of Pepsi Max. Or my girlfriend, since we share this desk and her laptop is right next to my setup.</p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">The case</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MgkbMSp5TWW5.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m-5hkYeYD812.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Frozenbyte Kai Pc Show Us Your Rig" style="background-color: initial;"><i style="background-color: initial;">Click the arrows to enlarge.</i></p></div><h4><strong>What are you playing right now?</strong></h4><p> I've been playing a lot of Counter-Strike:GO lately&mdash;Just got into it before Christmas after a many year hiatus from the original CS. Also thousands of hours have gone into Dota 2, which I've now played less frequently since starting with CS:GO.</p><p> Other than that it's been Divinity: Original Sin and of course our own baby, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power. ;)</p><h4>What's your favorite game and why?</h4><p> I'm kind of split between Dota 2 and CS:GO, they're both awesome multiplayer games that require lots of hours to be really good at. Both have a strange, nearly endless lasting appeal, they just never get old to me.</p><p>But if I'd have to pick one of the two, I'm going to go with CS:GO since we've been playing so many tournaments here at the Frozenbyte office! Right now we've only been playing internally, but if you're up for the challenge PC Gamer, we're ready for you. ;)</p> Final Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC details (maybe) revealed by leaked surveyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/final-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-details-maybe-revealed-by-leaked-survey/Is this worth 15 bucks to you?Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:23:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/final-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-details-maybe-revealed-by-leaked-survey/BiowareDragon Age: InquisitionElectronic ArtsNewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VRtVIZbTSweM.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ODuxNNwUmrKp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dragon Age: Inquisition - Vivienne"></p><p>A leaked BioWare survey suggests that the next <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-2/">Dragon Age: Inquisition</a> DLC will wrap up this particular part of the franchise, as players embark on "a last adventure" that will determine "the final fate of the Inquisition." The survey, posted on the <a href="http://forum.bioware.com/topic/556454-dlc-survey/">BioWare forums</a> (via <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-06-23-survey-leaks-last-adventure-dragon-age-inquisition-story-dlc">Eurogamer</a>), may or may not be legit, but it certainly looks the part&mdash;and it wouldn't be the first time that information about an upcoming BioWare game slipped out this way.</p><p>"Having saved the world of Thedas by closing the Breach, your next mission will determine the future of the Inquisition," the survey states. "Your mark suddenly glows, erupting with magic connected to the Fade. Assassins attack in shadow. An invasion of enemies begins. Win a race against time to face a great evil before it is too late. In this story-based expansion, playable after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition, you will embark on a last adventure with your team to confront the one who started it all."</p><p>Follow-up bullet points indicate that players will explore new areas, discover new secrets about the Fade, and face off against a "battle-hardened Qunari army," which sounds like good times all around. The DLC will also add a new gameplay mode "that challenges even the most seasoned veteran." If the report is accurate, BioWare is considering a price of $15 for the new content.</p><p>Of course, that's the question, and there's no small amount of skepticism on the BioWare forums and <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/dragonage/comments/3a6nuv/spoilers_all_dlc_survey/">Reddit</a>. But something very similar happened quite recently with Mass Effect 4, which turned out to be at least partly correct: BioWare still hasn't revealed very much about the game, but it <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mass-effect-andromeda-coming-in-2016/">confirmed at E3</a> that it will take place in the Andromeda galaxy (in fact, it's called Mass Effect: Andromeda), as originally rumored in a survey that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rumor-mass-effect-4-details-revealed-by-online-survey/">leaked in April</a>. We've reached out to Electronic Arts for comment and will update if and when we receive a reply; in the meantime, how do you feel about taking on a rampaging horde of Qunari as a final farewell?</p> Why I'm excited about Shenmue 3http://www.pcgamer.com/why-im-excited-about-shenmue-3/It's finally happening.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:47:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/why-im-excited-about-shenmue-3/ActionFeatureRPGShenmue 3 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kFD00SXYS9W4.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1dbLd6ZgsuHT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="0"></p><p>Shenmue 3 is happening, and it’s coming to PC. As a fan of the series, I can’t believe I’m typing those words. But there’s a very strong chance you don’t give a shit. The first two games were only ever released on Dreamcast and Xbox, and there hasn’t been a new entry in the series for 14 entire years. Why should you?</p><p>There’s every chance this new game, which is being funded on <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3">Kickstarter</a> and by Sony, will be a disaster. A pale imitation, cynically fueled by nostalgia. But if its creator, Sega legend <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Suzuki">Yu Suzuki</a>, manages to conjure up even a little bit of the magic of those first two games, it could be something special. I want to believe.</p><p>We don’t know much about Shenmue 3 yet, and all that exists is some (admittedly dodgy-looking) concept footage. So instead of speculating about what the game might be like, or what I want to see in it, I thought I’d look back and tell you why I love the series so much, and why its return could be a wonderful thing.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wrBtxKUaQdyN.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cN5rhnBxC3yi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="1"></p><h3>The story</h3><p>See that guy up there? That’s Lan Di, and he killed your dad. Shenmue is a tale of revenge, following young Ryo Hazuki as he chases the shadowy organisation who murdered his father, Iwao. Lan Di, a Chinese martial arts expert with a sinister past, is their leader, and always seems to be one step ahead of him.</p><p>Ryo is so utterly driven in his quest for vengeance that he alienates his friends and family. Shenmue won’t win any awards for writing, and the voice acting is <a href="https://youtu.be/Rz5IPs_a8Eg">laughably bad</a>, but you find yourself wanting to catch Lan Di as much as Ryo. It’s incredibly melodramatic, but that’s what makes it great. There’s not a drop of irony or cynicism in the game’s story: it tells it with absolute sincerity.</p><p>So far Ryo’s journey has taken him from his hometown of Yokosuka, Japan to the streets of Hong Kong and Guilin, China, where we’ll join him in Shenmue 3. He hasn’t caught up with Lan Di yet, but he was very close last time we saw him. Shenmue fans have been waiting over a decade to get their revenge. Will this finally be our chance? Not if the game’s a hit and Suzuki decides to make another sequel.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-ZQbyjO2QgiE.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i-eITLsoxNrj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2"></p><h3>Live another life</h3><p>When you play Shenmue, you aren’t just playing snippets from Ryo’s story: you’re playing his entire life. There’s a real-time clock running at all times. Months pass, seasons change, and you have to go to bed every night. But that’s only one part of its deep simulation, which was the game’s big selling point back in ‘99.</p><p>Yokosuka and Hong Kong are dizzyingly detailed, interactive worlds, letting you interact with almost anything. You can buy food from convenience stores, feed a kitten, talk to people you see on the street, play classic Sega coin-op games in the arcade like Space Harrier and After Burner. It’s still impressive, even though open worlds are now infinitely bigger and more complex.</p><p>That’s because, adjusted for inflation, the first Shenmue cost around $70 to develop. It’s seen by many as the game that killed the Dreamcast, and saw Sega leave hardware behind to focus on third-party publishing. But these lavish production values make for an insanely immersive setting, with loads to do. Anyone who played the original will remember being obsessed with collecting <a href="http://shenmue.wikia.com/wiki/Shenmue/Collection_Datasheets">capsule toys</a> from vending machines on the street. “Hey, Lan Di can wait. I wanna finish my Virtua Fighter set.”</p><p>Later in the game you get a job driving a forklift truck at the docks. You get up in the morning, catch the bus, do a day’s work loading crates, then go home at the end with some extra money in your pocket. You eat lunch, talk to your co-workers, and even enter forklift races when the boss isn’t looking. Shenmue is about living out the life of Ryo Hazuki, and it’s a world you can get completely lost in.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Wl1mv-RfSfKC.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Fm0nOrWl1kdW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="3"></p><h3>The atmosphere</h3><p>This is a big part of why I love Shenmue. It’s one of the most understated games I’ve ever played, with a moody, sullen atmosphere that reflects the personality of its revenge-driven hero. Wandering Dobuita Street in the rain and snow, or at night, is about as atmospheric as games get. Its recreation of 1980s Japan makes you feel like you’ve been transported to another time and place.</p><p>Mostly, though, it’s just really sad. Ryo is an angry, confused young man, and the way he unknowingly upsets a girl who likes him, Nozomi, is heartbreaking. If you like your games with extra helpings of rain-soaked melancholy, the original Shenmue is the game for you. The switch to the sunnier, brighter Hong Kong in Shenmue 2 lost some of the first game’s distinct atmosphere, however. Shenmue 3 appears to have a more rural setting, so I wonder if they’ll be able to recapture it.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n7jW2Lg7Rb-X.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uB0hvnW9CeS3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="4"></p><h3>The music</h3><p>Composer Ryuji Iuchi will be working on Shenmue 3, who wrote some of the original games’ music. This is excellent news, because the Shenmue soundtrack is one of the best ever. It perfectly captures the melodrama and melancholy of Ryo’s story. But rather bang on about it, I’ll just embed some of my favourite tracks.</p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YNBatWu5WXY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7Xq-q30Y-IE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PqaPYz1XNJU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>I know, right? Beautiful stuff. Even if Shenmue 3 turns out to be rubbish, at least we’ll get another soundtrack like this out of it.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8VzR35cHRiaH.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bSxie18EBKRz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="5"></p><h3>Fighting</h3><p>And finally, fighting. Ryo is a young lad, but he knows how to handle himself. His father was a martial arts expert himself, and passed some of his knowledge on. The battle system is loosely based on the combat from Virtua Fighter. In fact, Shenmue originally began life as a Virtua Fighter spin-off RPG.</p><p>On his quest to find Lan Di, Ryo beats up a huge variety of people, from thugs to sailors and, at one point, an entire street gang. Scrolls and wise old martial arts dudes teach him new moves, and the more he practices, the better he gets. The combo-based combat system is a lot of fun, and hopefully it’ll return in a similar form for the new game. Battles are bursts of excitement between all the slow-paced exploration, which is an important part of Shenmue’s very distinct rhythm.</p><p>And let’s not forget that the term ‘QTE’ was invented by Shenmue. The first two games are full of them, but they got away with it, ‘cause that was before every game ever decided they were a good idea. I hate QTEs personally, but Shenmue 3 wouldn’t feel right without them, so I’ll let it slide. As he gets closer to Lan Di, expect Ryo to be beating the hell out of increasingly experienced opponents.</p><h3>Final thoughts</h3><p>Just ‘cause Shenmue was great a million years ago doesn’t mean it will be now. So even though I’m riding the Shenmue hype train, I’m still realistic and sensible enough to know that, possibly, it’ll just be rubbish. Whatever the case, I’m glad it’s happening&mdash;and doubly so that it’s coming to PC as well as PlayStation 4. I need to see Ryo finally come face to face with Lan Di. I’ve been waiting on that moment my entire adult life. Let’s hope it’s not a massive anti-climax.</p><p>Now, how about a game of Lucky Hit?</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4Cg6WulyRoOk.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EtUOZJNUeSTT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="7"></p> Watch 15 minutes of Shadow Warrior 2http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-15-minutes-of-shadow-warrior-2/Get a first look at newWang.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:43:45 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-15-minutes-of-shadow-warrior-2/NewsShadow Warrior <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jJ45LTOwiwg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It's getting harder and harder to think of new ways to incorporate the word "Wang" into the&nbsp;opening paragraph of news stories about&nbsp;Shadow Warrior 2&nbsp;trailers&mdash;in this case, a full&nbsp;15 minutes of footage. I guess I could ask if you want to stick some Wang in your eyes and ears? No, that'd be weird. Stare fixated at more Wang? Hmm, possibly. Drool insatiably&nbsp;at the prospect of getting your hands on Wang? Yeah, that'll do.</p><p>Shadow Warrior 2 is out next year, so that's how long you'll have to wait before your grubby mitts&nbsp;are back on that&nbsp;Wang.</p> A look at Batman: Arkham Knight's launch day issueshttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/These aren't the textures you're looking for.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:23:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-look-at-batman-arkham-knights-launch-day-issues/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightRocksteadyWarner Bros <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/d8LlE56KQlO0.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/72YKuMYEL9xV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AK Texture Issue 2"></p><p> We got access to Arkham Knight when it launched on Steam this morning. I've now played two hours of the game&mdash;enough to progress a reasonable distance, with multiple gadgets and the Batmobile unlocked. In that time I've encountered many of the technical issues already reported throughout the day: framerate loss being the most noticible issue, with incredibly low-res textures a secondary concern.</p><p> The specs of our test PC are as follows:</p><ul> <li>Intel i5-2500K @ 3.3GHz</li> <li>16Gb RAM</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTX 970</li> <li>Windows 7 Premium 64-bit</li></ul><p> Before launching the game, I performed a bunch of general PC housekeeping and made a fresh reinstall of the latest GeForce drivers. I'm running the game with everything set to max (although the texture setting doesn't appear to go above 'normal') at 1920x1200.</p><p> <strong>It's locked to 30 FPS, but that's not actually the biggest problem</strong></p><p> I played the first hour of the game using default settings and found it playable at 30 frames per second. The cap is a major disappointment in its own right, but I was able to progress through the game without too much of a problem.</p><p> There is, however, a noticable stutter whenever you enter the Batmobile and particularly when you use Batman's Batmobile remote to shift your perspective abruptly. This leads me to suspect that the framerate dip is actually to do with a texture streaming issue, which I'll get back to.</p><p> I then tweaked the <strong>BmSystemSettings.ini</strong> file located in <strong>Batman Arkham Knight/BmGame/Config/</strong>, changing Max_FPS=30 to Max_FPS=9999.</p><p> This change initially resulted in a steady 60 FPS, but I quickly found that it'd dip to 40 or so during Batmobile sequences. While driving in the spotlight of a police helicopter, the framerate returned to 30 FPS. I've since reversed my changes to the ini file because, personally, I find these constant shifts in framerate more distracting than being stuck at 30 FPS. I suspect the lock might be in place for that reason.</p><p> <strong>Nvidia-specific effects don't seem to impact framerate one way or another</strong></p><p> I tried disabling and re-enabling the various PhysX/dynamic smoke/clutter effects exclusive to Nvidia cards but didn't find that this had much of an impact on performance. It may help on less powerful PCs, but I don't think it's the root of the general problems with the port.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JEhWeGxWTqe_.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TMCqaUotS9pe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AK Texture Issue"></p><p> <strong>I am not convinced these are the textures I'm supposed to be seeing</strong></p><p> There are serious problems&nbsp;with quality and consistency. Sometimes, I didn't encounter any issues at all&mdash;and, anecdotally, issues seem to get less frequent after the game had been running for longer. At other times, I'd run into enemies with low level-of-detail clothes on, signs with no text, and environmental objects that were clearly supposed to load more detailed textures as I got closer to them. Major characters, Batman and the Batmobile were all consistently fine, but everything else is a bit of a crapshoot.</p><p> This PC doesn't have a big enough SSD to support Arkham Knight's 40Gb install, but if yours does I'd thoroughly recommend it. This texture streaming issue may well be the root of the performance problems elsewhere, so the more you can do to allow the game to get textures into memory quickly the better.</p><p> <strong>It is playable, but these problems are unacceptable</strong></p><p> I'm playing and enjoying the game despite these problems, but there's no way a PC that is powerful enough to comfortably run GTA V with everything cranked up should be struggling here. It's also bizarre that the game runs better on consoles. WB have already acknowledged that the PC port was done by an external studio, but this result isn't good enough.</p><p> For the time being, I would advise treating Arkham Knight as a game that is still in development. It may well be that it needed an extra week or two to iron out these problems&mdash;and, in a week or two, a patch may have made them a thing of the past. Until this happens, however, be aware of what you're getting into if you choose to invest. Steam's new refund feature is your friend, here: if the game isn't working well for you, withdraw your support for it until it does.</p><p> One way or another, our full review of the game will be available on Friday.</p> Blade & Soul will be free-to-play, NCSoft confirmshttp://www.pcgamer.com/blade-soul-will-be-free-to-play-ncsoft-confirms/Microtransactions will use NCoin.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:42:29 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blade-soul-will-be-free-to-play-ncsoft-confirms/Blade & SoulMMONCsoftNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QesfI4VdQIWA.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-YqAXtMS9EZy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BnS 2015-06 E3 B-Roll 28"></p><p> Three years after its South Korean launch, NCSoft last month announced that martial arts MMO&nbsp;Blade &amp; Soul is finally headed West. Today, they have confirmed what everyone pretty much&nbsp;assumed would be the case: it'll use a free-to-play model, and be supported by "NCoin" microtransactions.</p><p> NCoin is currently used for NCSoft games like Aion and Lineage II. In Blade &amp; Soul, the microtransactions will include convenience items, like food and experience potions; quality of life improvements, like inventory and character slots; and cosmetic items, like costumes and pet accessories. In addition, players will be able to learn a "special free currency" that will enable them to buy the same kinds of items.</p><p>A premium membership service is also planned specifically for the West. As players progress through the membership tiers they can earn "cool special effects for their Windwalk skill and boosts to XP and&nbsp;currency drop rates."</p><p>Blade &amp; Soul will enter closed beta this Autumn. Also, there's a new trailer:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aF04SK6UqHE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Wasteland 2: Director's Cut trailer shows upgrades and improvementshttp://www.pcgamer.com/wasteland-2-directors-cut-trailer-shows-upgrades-and-improvements/See the new engine in action.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:34:04 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/wasteland-2-directors-cut-trailer-shows-upgrades-and-improvements/inXile EntertainmentNewsRPGWasteland 2 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hNbEYHzheP0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It's a little late to be an "E3 2015" trailer, but we'll let InXile off, as this is the first footage of their upcoming Wasteland 2: Director's Cut.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wasteland-2-game-of-the-year-edition-announced-will-be-a-free-upgrade/">Announced last month</a>, the Director's Cut will update the game to Unity 5, thus bringing&nbsp;better environment textures, character models and lighting. Outside of the engine, the new version&nbsp;will also feature thousands of lines of new dialogue, extra character customisation and reworked combat.</p><p>It all sounds like a pretty big overhaul, and, even better, it will be free for all owners of Wasteland 2. The Director's Cut is due out in late Summer.</p> The best Star Wars modshttp://www.pcgamer.com/best-star-wars-mods/When fandom strikes back.Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/best-star-wars-mods/Editors PicksMods Batman: Arkham Knight's PC port appears to be a disasterhttp://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knights-launch-appears-to-be-a-disaster/Holy stutteringframe-rates, Batman!Tue, 23 Jun 2015 09:46:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/batman-arkham-knights-launch-appears-to-be-a-disaster/ActionBatman: Arkham KnightEditors PicksNewsRocksteady <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o49MB_nrSOOc.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OZw-4oBUUAGc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Batman: Arkham Knight"></p><p><strong>Update: </strong>Rocksteady has addressed performance complaints&nbsp;in a statement on their forum:</p><p><em>"We're aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible."</em></p><p>Rocksteady advises players to keep an eye on&nbsp;<a href="http://community.wbgames.com/t5/Support-for-PC/PC-Performance-issues-we-hear-you/m-p/571341#M7537" target="_blank">the forum thread</a> for more details as they're available to share.</p><p> <strong>Original Story:&nbsp;</strong>We&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/why-our-batman-arkham-knight-review-is-delayed/" target="_blank">didn't get review code</a> for Batman: Arkham Knight, and now we might know why. With today's release of the Rocksteady sequel, Steam has been flooded with negative reviews regarding the PC port's quality. It is, by all reports, not good.</p><p> Chief complaints include stuttering frame-rates and a 30 frames-per-second cap. This latter restriction can be removed by editing a config file. To do that, open your Arkham Knight install directory, and navigate to, "\BmGame\Config\BmSystemSettings.ini”.</p><p> In the config file, search for "Max_FPS=30", and change it to "Max_FPS=9999".</p><p> In addition,&nbsp;it sounds like even high-end graphics cards are struggling to maintain a stable frame-rate, despite new drivers from both&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/geforce-353-30-whql-driver-released" target="_blank">Nvidia</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/latest-catalyst-windows-beta.aspx" target="_blank">AMD</a>.</p><p> As for other potential fixes and tweaks, people who have installed the game to SSD's are apparently getting better performance. And, for those fed up of the long, unskippable opening splash screens, adding "–nologo" to "Set Launch Options" in the Steam Library properties menu will get rid of them.</p><p> You can find a sample&nbsp;Steam review below, and see a full thread of complaints and potential solutions over at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1068628" target="_blank">NeoGAF</a>.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GWH1LyN_SsWu.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/w-vSOMtY-Xnp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Steam Review 1"></p><p> We do now have an Arkham Knight&nbsp;code, thanks to the kind folks at Nvidia.&nbsp;We'll have some early impressions just as soon as we can test the game's performance, and a full review later in the week.</p>