PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usWed, 02 Sep 2015 11:16:18 +0000yesAct of Aggression launches today with new trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/act-of-aggression-launches-today-with-new-trailer/Includes turret marked "kill first, ask later".Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:16:18 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/act-of-aggression-launches-today-with-new-trailer/Act of AggressionNews <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vfs3IIiY_1s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Real-time strategy game Act of Aggression launches today (it'll be available on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/318020/">Steam</a> this evening in the UK), so Focus Home has released one of those launch trailers to try to convince you to pick it up when it does go live.</p><p>The trailer claims that "the golden age of the RTS is back", so I guess it's for those who don't like the way the RTS genre is going these days. It's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/eugen-systems-announces-act-of-war-successor-act-of-aggression/">spiritual successor</a> to the ten-year-old&nbsp;Act of War, from the same developer, so if you played that and enjoyed it you might&nbsp;want to check it out.</p><p>Act of Aggression is set in the near future, with weapons and vehicles to reflect that: see the tanks and planes going kind of invisible in the video. You get to play as one of three global super-powers and fight battles in different environments across the world in a single-player campaign or in online multiplayer.</p><p>Not sure if it's for you? Don't worry, our review is coming soon.</p> How to add your own songs to Metal Gear Solid 5http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-add-your-own-songs-to-metal-gear-solid-5/Best music to play when your chopper flies in?Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:38:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-add-your-own-songs-to-metal-gear-solid-5/Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainNewsStealth <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yNE4qMXfSjO1.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Vc33vViSKObS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Metal Gear Solid V Phantom Pain chopper"></p><p>In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you can call an extraction chopper to get you out of certain situations, and as it flies in music plays. You can choose what music in the options menu, or even better, as Andy&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ultrabrilliant/status/639007245116772352">points out</a>, you can import your own audio files to use instead.</p><p>To try this out for yourself, just drop your audio files into the "CustomSoundtrack" folder in the game directory. Got any imaginative ideas for how you'd mark your chopper's arrival? Let us know, or even make a video so we can see it for ourselves.</p><p>The Metal Gear Solid games have a fondness for the absurd, so why not have your chopper arrive to the intro music from your favourite childhood television show (I'm thinking Budgie the Little Helicopter), or that oft-mimicked clip of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Get to the chopper"?</p> Humble 'Tom Clancy' Bundle gives you lots of games for not much moneyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/humble-tom-clancy-bundle-gives-you-lots-of-games-for-not-much-money/Also access to the Rainbow Six: Siege beta.Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:38:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/humble-tom-clancy-bundle-gives-you-lots-of-games-for-not-much-money/Humble BundleNewsTom Clancy <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/muwyeLAVSsy8.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wrL_7qGmUtB0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rainbow Six Vegas"></p><p>Ubisoft has at least three Tom Clancy games in development, so the time is right to set all the older ones free. While not strictly 'free', you can grab a huge selection of Tom Clancy games in <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/">the latest Humble Bundle sale</a>, while also securing access to the forthcoming Rainbow Six: Siege multiplayer beta.</p><p>The bundle includes the original Rainbow Six, Rainbox Six 3 Gold, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Ghost Recon – as well as the aforementioned beta access. If you pay above the average (which at the time of writing is a measly $7.78) you also get Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and the original Splinter Cell, with more to be revealed.</p><p>Meanwhile, if you pay more than $10 you get Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.&nbsp;</p><p>Phew! That's ten Tom Clancy games! You'll never want to play another one again. Until next year that is: after Siege releases this November, we've still got The Division and Ghost Recon: Wildlands to get.</p> Armello officially launches on Steam today, so here's a trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/armello-officially-launches-on-steam-today-so-heres-a-trailer/Early Access is over.Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:43:40 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/armello-officially-launches-on-steam-today-so-heres-a-trailer/ArmelloCard GameLeague of GeeksNewsRPG <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9DIV8Hwy4n0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>If you're into board games, tactical RPGs and dark 1980s cartoons full of slightly forlorn-looking anthropomorphic heroes, then <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/armello/">Armello</a> may be for you. After a six month period spent in Early Access, the game officially launches today on Steam, and that video above is its launch trailer.</p><p>For those who played the Early Access builds, the final launch brings a handful of additions. There are eight playable characters now – up from four – and a new winter-themed game world. Multiplayer matchmaking has also been "revamped", according to studio League of Geeks.</p><p>For a more thorough overview of the game check out <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/armello-one-studios-vision-to-breathe-life-into-the-digital-tabletop/">this interview</a> I conducted back at GDC. It's <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/290340">$19.99 on Steam</a>.&nbsp;</p> Adult Swim is becoming an important label on PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/adult-swim-is-becoming-an-important-label-on-pc/A quick rundown of the gamesAdult Swim has coming soon.Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:35:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/adult-swim-is-becoming-an-important-label-on-pc/2DActionDeath's GambitFPSKatana ZeroPAX Prime 2015PlatformerRain WorldStarr Mazer <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dAsapHYmTM-F.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H7yiOvYBrHVE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Header"></p><p> In just a few years, Adult Swim Games has become a publishing&nbsp;label that matters on Steam, where I'm finding that labels matter more and more. The freedom for independent developers to&nbsp;self-publish is great, but with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/steam-games-number-of-too-many/" target="_blank">so many games releasing</a> every day,&nbsp;I appreciate any marker of quality I can get. And Adult Swim is one of my favorite stamps of approval right now.</p><p> Its&nbsp;games&nbsp;aren't all hits&mdash;we weren't especially fond of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/traverser-review/">Traverser</a>, for instance&mdash;but since 2013 Adult Swim has&nbsp;published great&nbsp;stuff such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/super-puzzle-platformer-deluxe-steam/">Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/247240" target="_blank">Volgarr the Viking</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/jazzpunk-review/">Jazzpunk</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/312530" target="_blank">Duck Game</a> on Steam. And at PAX Prime this past weekend, its booth was a good place to be.&nbsp;There were sidescrollers for days, yeah, but each one was different and immediately appealing. Here's a quick run-down of what I saw:</p><p> <strong>Katana Zero </strong>(I&nbsp;can't find an official site yet)&nbsp;is like Hotline Miami with the plane flipped vertically. You start at the bottom of a small&nbsp;level, and must slice through armed&nbsp;guards in a flawless path to the exit at the top&mdash;die and you restart the level. Swiping your sword with pristine timing bats bullets back&nbsp;at their source, and items like knives can be grabbed along the way and hurled at baddie heads.&nbsp;To help, I was able to briefly slow down time, but that didn't make it easy. I still screwed up my bullet batting plenty (if they aimed for my head, for instance,&nbsp;I&nbsp;had to jump and attack or get hit by the pitch) and one level took me at least 15 tries, all fun.</p><p> <a href="http://www.deathsgambit.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Death's Gambit</strong></a> was another tough one. I hate to compare it to Dark Souls when <em>everything</em>&nbsp;even remotely tricky&nbsp;is being compared to Dark Souls, but&nbsp;it's a sidescroller that requires patient learning of enemy patterns with well-timed roll dodges and shield blocks. You can carry a few health potions at a time (with the option to lower the number in return for extra damage), and if you die, you lose one and have to retrieve it. I got crushed.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MHSqiH43QeO9.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QwoMHVAJ5zYV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rain World's slugcat is adorable." class=""> <figcaption>Rain World's slugcat is adorable.</figcaption></figure><p> <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/312520" style="font-weight: bold;">Rain World</a>, which I've followed for a while<strong>,&nbsp;</strong>drew me in with its animation. Using procedural techniques, its adorable 'slugcat' slinks through the remains of an old&nbsp;civilization, dancing on wires and slipping through tiny passages in the pixel art screens. Unlike your typical Metroidvania, the slugcat doesn't grow stronger along the way&mdash;it's up to the player to learn the behaviors of the predators stalking the world, and elude them on a quest to gather food before the deadly rain falls again.</p><p> I didn't get to play&nbsp;<a href="http://www.starrmazer.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Starr Mazer</strong></a>, but I like its&nbsp;combination of point-and-click adventuring with bullet-hell SHMUPing. Apparently decisions made in the adventure portions will be stored and affect the story as you go.&nbsp;The excited developer told me that the team's goal is to make a game as good as we<em> remember</em> classic point-and-clicks and SHMUPs to be, using the years of learning since the classics to their advantage rather than emulating them entirely.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mwui76lSQr--.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NvtZJgvPnjhM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A scene from one of Starr Mazer's adventure segments." class=""><figcaption>A scene from one of Starr Mazer's adventure segments.</figcaption></figure><p> I didn't see everything at Adult Swim's booth, but time permitting I'd have liked to see it all.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.desync-game.com/#fpsaction" target="_blank">Desync</a> is an FPS (hey, not a sidescroller!) said to encourage dangerous and creative play.&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/327510/" target="_blank">Wasted</a> is described as "a roguelike post-apocalyptic pub crawler," which is a nice-sounding string of game descriptors.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ghostsonggame.com/" target="_blank">Ghost Song</a> is a&nbsp;Very Metroid-looking game set in the underworld of a "lonely world of secrets and discoveries."&nbsp;<a href="http://www.smallradiosbigtelevisions.com/" target="_blank">Small Radios Big Televisions</a> is described as "a point-and-click exploration game that focuses on worlds within worlds and the manipulation of audio-visual data."&nbsp;And finally,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/347290/" target="_blank">Rise &amp; Shine</a> is a game of game references (the first one is a gimme), starring Rise as he saves his planet from 'Space Grunts' with "pure, satisfying shooting" and puzzle solving.&nbsp;They may not all turn out to be Duck Games or Jazzpunks, but they're all things I'd like to check out because&mdash;at&nbsp;the risk of sounding like a brand cheerleader&mdash;Adult Swim has built a healthy reputation for finding and supporting good independent games.</p><p>I'm sure plenty of developers are happier going their own way, which is great, but from a consumer perspective I appreciate dependable labels. In a sea of cold pitches, I can infer a lot from the Adult Swim logo based on its past releases and the network's personality and sense of humor. And where big publishers like EA publish everything under the sun&mdash;from Brain Training games to Battlefront&mdash;publishers like Adult Swim, Devolver Digital, and Versus Evil feel more like small record labels. They're categories of their own, tools I rely on more and more when trying to digest Steam's increasingly monstrous catalog.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cJn6xoDYSSW4.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lcWWpe8a_Lhk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Desync is a super bright shooter that &quot;seeks to truly test the limits of your FPS abilities&quot;" class=""> <figcaption>Desync is a super bright shooter that "seeks to truly test the limits of your FPS abilities."</figcaption></figure> Fallout: New Vegas almost had a funny, trashy romance storyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-new-vegas-romance/Fallout 4 will be the first game in the series with fully-developed romances, but it was almost the second.Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:31:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-new-vegas-romance/NewsObsidian EntertainmentPAX Prime 2015Pillars of EternityRPG <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pbcCwfAstyQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4/">Fallout 4</a> will be the first game in the series with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-4-companions/">fully-developed romances</a>, but it was almost the second.</p><p> Last weekend during&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015">PAX</a> I spoke&nbsp;with Josh Sawyer, who served as&nbsp;lead designer on New Vegas and remains&nbsp;a project director at Obsidian. We chatted about the&nbsp;first post-release content for Pillars of Eternity,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-i-review/">The White March</a> (Obsidian also talked about the development and future of Pillars in its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-on-whats-next-for-pillars-of-eternity-we-own-something-now/">PAX panel</a>). We spoke about the possibility of an Alpha Protocol-style spy RPG set in the Archer universe, which Sawyer thinks would be a good fit.&nbsp;</p><p> But&nbsp;mostly we talked about Fallout, and what Sawyer, as one of the creators behind the most beloved Fallout game to date thought about Fallout 4's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-bethesdas-e3-conference-live-today-at-7-pm-pacific/">E3 reveal</a>. Sawyer says he hasn't played Fallout 4 ("I've only seen what everyone else has seen"), but as an&nbsp;RPG fan, he says he's&nbsp;interested in how choice&nbsp;is&nbsp;going to be handled in Fallout 4. "The thing that most surprised me was hearing a voiced protagonist, because that's never been a&nbsp;part of Fallout, really," said Sawyer.&nbsp;"I'm also interested in how they're going&nbsp;do&nbsp;choice and consequence and how the story's going to flow."</p><p> "We actually had some ideas for characters that would... like in one story draft we had,&nbsp;<a href="http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Rose_of_Sharon_Cassidy">Cass</a> would get drunk with the protagonist&nbsp;and then would&nbsp;wake up with&nbsp;<a href="http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/The_King">The King</a> having married them at The King's School of Impersonation. That seemed very Vegas, but we were also like, that's kind of&nbsp;a complicated series of events, so we decided not to do it. But it's also in the vein of the&nbsp;Fallout 2 more humorous romance, rather than in-depth and serious. It'll be interesting to see how Bethesda approaches that in Fallout 4."</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/R_E_NpDzQc68.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LCV3D8CP385V.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cass Fallout Nv" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;" class=""> <figcaption>Obsidian considered&nbsp;a plotline where you'd, under the influence of alcohol,&nbsp;get married&nbsp;to Cass in New Vegas.</figcaption></figure><p> Finally, I asked Sawyer what the likelihood was of Obsidian and Bethesda collaborating on another Fallout game or something different altogether. "Working with the Bethesda developers was really&nbsp;cool, they were very supportive with what we did and their technology actually made it very easy, relatively easy, to make the game. I mean, we made it in 18 months, which is kind of crazy if you think about it," said Sawyer. "I'd certainly like to work on another Fallout game in the future, but..." he said, shrugging, indicating that the future of Fallout is up to Bethesda.</p> StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void release date, cinematic coming soonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft-ii-legacy-of-the-void-release-date-cinematic-coming-soon/Special Blizzard livestream is coming later this month.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:56:12 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft-ii-legacy-of-the-void-release-date-cinematic-coming-soon/Blizzard EntertainmentNewsRTSStarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lCiIYg8NRri0.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BP3xbbpMbn73.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft-2-legacy-of-the-void/">StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void</a> has been in beta since April, with no word on when it will officially release. That's about to change, with Blizzard announcing a special Twitch livestream on September 13. Not only will the release date be revealed, but the game's opening cinematic will be showcased too, as well as new details on the expansion's features.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/starcraft">livestream</a> is scheduled for September 13, 10am PDT (6pm in the UK and the dead of night in Australia). For those who have pre-purchased Legacy of the Void, a series of prologue missions, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft-2-whispers-of-oblivion-prologue-missions-revealed/">Whispers of Oblivion</a>, are available now. For some insight into how Legacy of the Void plays, check out <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft-2-legacy-of-the-void-beta-preview/">Sean Sands' hands-on preview</a>.</p> The PC Gamer Show - the best of PAX, MGS5, and morehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-the-best-of-pax-mgs5-and-more/We break down the best games we saw at PAX, Metal Gear Solid 5 is out, LawBreakers has officially been revealed, and more.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:16:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-the-best-of-pax-mgs5-and-more/BrigadorLawbreakersMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainpodcastTharsisThe PC Gamer ShowWarhammer: End Times – Vermintide Assassin's Creed: Syndicate trailer takes you on a tour of Londonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-trailer-takes-you-on-a-tour-of-london/Apparently there is a place for a street fighting man after all.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:31:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-trailer-takes-you-on-a-tour-of-london/ActionAssassin's Creed: SyndicateNewsUbisoft <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s0NJ305f3h4?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> I think it's fair to say that London in the mid-1800s wasn't always the desirable&nbsp;tourist destination it is now: a bit rough, a bit grimy, a bit "Oh bother, I left my merkin in my other pants." But for all its back-alley seediness and choking black smog, it sure is a pretty place.</p><p> The new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate/">Assassin's Creed: Syndicate</a> trailer doesn't show off anything in the way of action, beyond a few seconds of bare-knuckle brawling, and a couple of "don't try this at home" swan dives. But that's okay, because that's not the point: The point is to show off what looks like it will be a really cool playground to run around and murder people in.</p><p> Phil said in his <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-is-invisibility-a-stealth-trick-too-far/">hands-on</a> with Assassin's Creed: Syndicate last month that it "looks beautifully detailed," but he also expressed some concerns about it possibly being overloaded with gimmicks. Barring another delay, we'll find out <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-landing-late-on-pc/">in November</a>.</p> Meet the MOBA bringing the genre back to its RTS rootshttp://www.pcgamer.com/meet-the-moba-bringing-the-genre-back-to-its-real-time-strategy-roots/Supernova is a complicated hybrid of real-time strategy and MOBA.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:16:43 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/meet-the-moba-bringing-the-genre-back-to-its-real-time-strategy-roots/Bandai NamcoHands OnMOBAPAX Prime 2015PreviewsRTSsci-fiSupernova <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n_mrrs70SiK_.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wWPWn85cwbIQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nefara has a powerful teleport ability that can grab friend or foe." class=""><figcaption>Nefara has a powerful teleport ability that can grab friend or foe.</figcaption></figure><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/supernova/" target="_blank">Supernova</a> is a super&nbsp;complex game. Which is understandable, because&nbsp;combining the strategic depth of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rts/" target="_blank">real-time strategy</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/moba/" target="_blank">MOBA</a> genres is bound to&nbsp;complicate things. When I asked Cory Maggard, an assistant producer on Supernova, whether it’s a real-time strategy game with MOBA elements or the other way around, he laughed. "It's definitely a MOBA," he said. But when I was staring at the layers of choice found in&nbsp;the pre-match menu, I honestly wasn't sure.</p><p>In the wake of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-international/" target="_blank">The International 5</a>, the world's largest esports tournament, it can be easy to forget that the MOBA genre grew entirely from a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warcraft/" target="_blank">Warcraft 3</a> mod. While real-time strategy games and MOBAs continue to diverge along their evolutionary paths, Supernova, a free-to-play game developed by Primal Game Studios, aims&nbsp;to reunite the two. The time I spent playing&nbsp;it at PAX, with Maggard leaning&nbsp;over my shoulder answering my barrage of questions, was certainly an overwhelming experience, but it also an intriguing one.</p><p>There's a staggering amount of depth in terms of how you can approach the game. All of the foundational MOBA elements are here: you'll fight across a three lane map in competitive 5v5 matches, waves of monsters spawn periodically and march across the map in an infinite cycle of destruction, and between their paths exists a jungle to set up ambushes and reap various benefits. It is to Supernova's benefit that so much of its foundation is familiar, because what it builds on top begins to boggle the mind.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RjfdTWnaRkKa.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vLmyLQwxwlZT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Like in Dota 2, Players will spend a significant portion of the game brawling in their respective lanes." class=""><figcaption>Like in Dota 2, Players will spend a significant portion of the game brawling in their respective lanes.</figcaption></figure><p>The biggest difference is that, unlike traditional MOBAs like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dota-2/" target="_blank">Dota 2</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends/" target="_blank">League of Legends</a>, Supernova gives&nbsp;you full control over the composition of the waves of soldiers that flow from your base and march across the map. As&nbsp;in real-time strategy games, these units have very specific methods of attack which, when matched against certain enemy types, can make them very effective.</p><p>But where Supernova begins to overwhelm is with how much there is to manage and the number of to&nbsp;make&mdash;many before you even&nbsp;begin a match. There are two different sci-fi factions&nbsp;to populate your army from, each&nbsp;with its&nbsp;own strengths.</p><blockquote> <p>&nbsp;Every time I felt like I began to grasp one mechanic, a new one was pointed out that I was neglecting.</p></blockquote><p>You also&nbsp;have to manage the growth and progression of your own hero, whose skillset can be augmented with a secondary set of abilities known as Tacticals. And you need to manage the composition and growth of the units in your lane. Like a good old fashion real-time strategy game, you earn resources which can be spent on different units, of which there are ten you can bring into a match. What’s more, each specific type of unit can also be augmented before a match with Wartechs&mdash;simple alterations to various attributes. During a game, a research tree is available that can significantly alter how your army functions. Beetle-like robots, for example, could be given wings and made airborne, which might&nbsp;suddenly act as a hard counter to your&nbsp;opponent's setup. Thankfully, Supernova provides various windows that you can access that help parse all this information. Making decisions doesn't always have to require drawing from a huge pool of technical knowhow.</p><p>That said, I seriously worry that Supernova will be toppled by&nbsp;the weight of its own complexity. Though entire features like character progression and unit compositions can be automated, a process which would certainly fail to keep pace&nbsp;against a skilled opponent, even trying to comprehend the plethora of systems available was a major&nbsp;challenge. Every time I felt like I began to grasp one mechanic, a new one was pointed out that I was neglecting. And that’s without mentioning the whole aspect of character progression that I left automated the entire time I played. I mean, the brain can only absorb so much info.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xur9umKWRgm6.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SEttQjYfODVH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heroes come equipped with four basic abilities and another 4 that they can choose from a large selection." class=""><figcaption>Heroes come equipped with four basic abilities and another 4 that they can choose from a large selection.</figcaption></figure><p>It’s worth noting that I was playing on an account that had everything unlocked. Like League of Legends, there is an overarching progression that will start players off with only a small set of choices, with more options becoming available&nbsp;as you accrue experience and in-game currency. Being free-to-play, you can also expect Supernova to adhere to a financial model similar to League of Legends where everything impacting gameplay can be earned through playing, but tossing down dollars&nbsp;will speed the process along considerably or give you access to cosmetic skins.</p><p>MOBAs have almost&nbsp;miraculously managed to become dominant&nbsp;despite the overwhelming complexity at the heart of many of&nbsp;them, but&nbsp;I can't help worry Supernova might be pushing it a little too far in the hope of distinguishing itself from the crowd. There's no doubt that it's&nbsp;an interesting&nbsp;game, though. Everything I saw was, for a closed beta, extremely polished. The sci-fi art style is extremely pleasing, especially when a wave of creeps arrive to barrage a tower with gloriously bright laser fire, and the audio is excellent.</p><p>I have no doubt that Supernova will find a&nbsp;niche audience hungry for the extra layer of strategic depth.&nbsp;But&nbsp;in a genre where only a few games command the loyalty of the many&mdash;and we're already seeing some contenders&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/infinite-crisis-is-shutting-down-in-august/" target="_blank">throw in the towel</a>&mdash;that might not be enough. MOBAs tend to exist in a space where they require a basic language that can be understood by a wider, often less initiated audiences, and while I enjoyed my time with Supernova, much of what&nbsp;it spoke to me felt alien.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">right here</a><em>.</em></p> Kindred Spirits on the Roof is bringing "frank depictions" of sex to Steamhttp://www.pcgamer.com/kindred-spirits-on-the-roof-is-bringing-frank-depictions-of-sex-to-steam/The Yuri game will be published on Steam without any cuts or censorship.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:48:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kindred-spirits-on-the-roof-is-bringing-frank-depictions-of-sex-to-steam/News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/v8tuiTz1SV-I.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/f0-rvX4q05wH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Kindred Spirits on the Roof"></p><p>In a very broad sense, whether or not an "adult" game is permissible on Steam has historically come down to the age-old question of sex vs. violence: In 2012, Valve <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valve-removes-seduce-me-from-steam-greenlight-for-offensive-material/">pulled Seduce Me</a> from Greenlight over its "offensive" content, but last year allowed the startlingly&nbsp;violent Hatred&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hatred-reinstated-on-steam-greenlight/">to stay</a>. And now <a href="http://blog.mangagamer.org/2015/09/01/kindred-spirits-on-the-roof-is-coming-to-steam/">Manga Gamer</a> says the "yuri" game Kindred Spirits on the Roof will be released, uncut, on Steam.</p><p>"We have some exciting news to share tonight," Manga Gamer revealed on its blog. "We’ve been given approval to publish Kindred Spirits on the Roof on Steam without any cuts or censorship!"</p><p>This is significant because "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_(genre)">yuri</a>," according to Wikipedia, is "a genre involving love between women in manga, anime, and related Japanese media [that] focuses on the sexual or the emotional aspects of the relationship." And that would certainly seem to describe Kindred Spirits, a game about two ghosts on the roof of the Kokonotsuboshi Girls' Academy of Commerce, who died with "unrequited feelings" in their hearts and now wish to experience their "first time" together. </p><p>"The two who are bound to the site of the school enlist Yuna to help them create more 'yuri' couples at the school so that they can glean some sexual insight from observing them, and to assist the girls struggling with their hidden feelings," the description on Manga Gamer states. </p><p>"This is monumental news for the industry as a whole. Everything will be open and up-front with this release; no off-site patch or workarounds. Kindred Spirits will be sold on Steam completely uncensored," Kouryuu, Manga Gamer's head translator, added. "Seeing frank depictions of same-sex relationships welcomed on such a major gaming platform is a true testament to the open-mindedness of our society and the growing desire for mature entertainment that people of all walks of life can enjoy."</p><p>A handful of screens posted on <a href="http://www.otakustudy.com/visual-novel/2015/09/mangagamer-announce-uncensored-steam-release-of-kindred-spirits-on-the-roof/">The Otaku's Study</a>&mdash;not safe for work, by the way&mdash;clearly illustrate that, while Kindred Spirits isn't necessarily full-on hardcore, sex is definitely central to the experience. It's possible that it's less graphic than Seduce Me&mdash;which, for the record, is very graphic, although for my dollar not particularly sexy&mdash;but it may also indicate that the "guns good/boobs bad" thinking that's guided game ratings for decades is finally starting to change. I've emailed Valve to ask if this does in fact represent a change in Steam policy, and will update if and when we receive a reply.</p><p>Thanks, <a href="http://kotaku.com/steam-is-getting-an-uncensored-sex-game-1728006494">Kotaku</a>.</p> Use Ultimate Windows Tweaker to deal with Windows 10's privacy settingshttp://www.pcgamer.com/use-ultimate-windows-tweaker-to-deal-with-windows-10s-privacy-settings/Still worried about Windows 10 privacy settings? Get at all of 'em at once with this tool.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:45:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/use-ultimate-windows-tweaker-to-deal-with-windows-10s-privacy-settings/HardwareWindows 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/71_Uj9mKS2yJ.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SgPBO0u2GwgD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Windows 10 Launch"></p><p>Still worried about privacy issues in Windows 10? There are a whole lot of settings menus you can go digging through to turn off how much data is shared with Microsoft, or you could tackle most of those questionable settings in one place. The newly released Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 can supposedly “make your system faster, more stable, personal and more secure with just a few mouse clicks,” according to <a href="http://www.thewindowsclub.com/ultimate-windows-tweaker-4-windows-10">TheWindowsClub, where you can download it.</a> There are all kinds of UI tweaking options, but we’re mostly interested in the privacy settings.</p><p>The 495 KB download contains over 200 tweaks, allowing you to customize Windows 10 to your heart’s content. It allows you to disable certain settings which may affect your privacy such as Cortana, Telemetry, and the Taskbar Web Search.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rCbRuAi-SsmT.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kJ6WUKkTp7FW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="10 Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4"></p><p>The major ones we’d recommend disabling are Telemetry and your advertising ID means Windows won’t have access to information regarding targeting you with advertisements. Turning off Windows Update Sharing will stop using your system to help disseminate Windows Update files to other users, so tick that off if you care about every ounce of bandwidth. You can also disable things relating to security such as the registry editor or CMD, though we wouldn’t recommend it.</p><p>The tweaker is portable, as it doesn’t need to be installed. If you want to remove the program you just have to delete the program folder. Settings can also be toggled on and off at will, so you don’t have to worry about making any irreversible changes. If you’re interested, the <a href="http://www.thewindowsclub.com/list-of-tweaks-available-in-uwt4">full list of tweaks is available here</a>.</p> Chris Roberts: Star Citizen "will speak for itself"http://www.pcgamer.com/chris-roberts-star-citizen-will-speak-for-itself/Chris Roberts says he has no concerns about delivering the game as promised.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:46:29 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/chris-roberts-star-citizen-will-speak-for-itself/Cloud Imperium GamesNewssimStar Citizen <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S7DDFzSZS5ap.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZJHFl9BueAGX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Citizen Hornet"></p><p>It hasn't been a particularly good year for Cloud Imperium Games. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen/">Star Citizen</a> has run into a few snags, and worse, it's come under withering fire from Derek Smart, a game developer and former Star Citizen backer who has proclaimed, among other things, that it is simply not possible for the game to be delivered as promised. Cloud Imperium has stayed comparatively quiet in response, but in a lengthy and very interesting interview with <a href="http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/8/31/9211969/what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-star-citizen">Polygon</a>, Chris Roberts and other members of the studio say that development is proceeding as expected, and that if it sometimes appear chaotic, it's only because the process is so public.</p><p>"We're open in our development. We have no buffer. We have no shield. And so we have to say how things are going. Trust me, I'd love to have the FPS out already. I'd love to have a bunch of stuff out already. But people have invested a lot of their hopes and dreams and money into this thing. I've invested a vast amount of time. We need to make the best possible game," Roberts said. "We're running a live game at the same time we're doing all the R&amp;D and production. We're still architecting some aspects of the basic game while parts of it are live. That's an incredibly high degree of difficulty."</p><p>The interview covers a wide range of topics, including "feature creep," missed launch dates, and layoffs at Illfonic, a studio Cloud Imperium contracted to work on the Star Marine FPS module. And there's a bit about Smart, too; Roberts dismissed Smart's complaints and accusations as baseless but admitted that the persistent and personal nature of his attacks take a toll on him and the company.</p><p>"When Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are out there, I think the game will speak for itself. The noise we're dealing with now will not be there," he said. "The people who were there and backed it along the way will be happy and they'll be proud of helping make something happen that probably could not have happened in any other situation."</p><p>The interview goes over some ground that's been previously covered&mdash;Roberts' unhappiness with reports that Star Citizen was "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-fps-module-is-delayed-for-the-foreseeable-future/">delayed indefinitely</a>," for instance&mdash;but if you have even just a passing interest in Star Citizen, it's still well worth reading in full at <a href="http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/8/31/9211969/what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-star-citizen">Polygon</a>.</p> Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain review-in-progresshttp://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-review-1/Our first hours with the PC version of MGSV.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:24:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-review-1/Hideo KojimaKonamiMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainSingle-playerStealth <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2JWABkpOSbeT.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lUE9V_KmXqmI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2015-09-01 00002"></p><p> Everyone’s going to come out of MGSV with stories. After six hours with the game, I’ve already got three. But here’s the moment where The Phantom Pain first clicked for me. The objective is to kill a Spetsnaz commander in the middle of this enormous farm, with a house in the centre and multiple manned guard towers placed around the grounds. It’s night, and I use my binoculars to identify the commander as he yells in Russian at his troops. Creeping across the fields and avoiding searchlights, I sleep dart one of the watchtower guards, and using the cover of darkness, creep towards the house where the target is standing, looking out of the window. The interior is lit orange, and as I pull out my silenced rifle to take the shot, I notice Kim Wilde’s Kids In America is playing on cassette as the commander stands there. I put a bullet in his head first time and am advised to leave quickly. The guards scramble, but I keep my cool, crawl into the long grass and I’m gone. No-one ever saw me. Perfect stealth playthrough.</p><p> But you know what? I really want Kids In America on cassette and I can’t bear the idea of moving through the story without it. I restart the mission, go back in the daytime, fall afoul of the now changed AI patrols and get caught right away. I murder eight people on my way into the house to get that cassette. I whistle for my horse and gallop away with Kim Wilde. I can now play it on Snake’s Walkman at any time during the rest of the game. I realise, in that moment, that I’m murdering Russian soldiers to build what is basically my parents’ music collection.</p><p> The Phantom Pain has a few moments like this in its opening hours, the kind that I’d more often associate with the Hitman series or Far Cry than Metal Gear. It’s a proper sandbox game with a leaning towards stealth, but I hesitate to call it a purely stealth-driven game. MGSV validates any way you can think of playing it, and while its end-of-mission points system penalises you for getting caught, it also rewards you generously for landing headshots. The game doesn’t judge you for the way you want to play&mdash;and the extensive weapon research system lets you support your methodology across the course of the game, whether you want to build a more powerful tranq gun or a grenade launcher.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fuegYxBmR9eY.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dV32-UhKd3dL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2015-09-01 00005"></p><p> The controls are far better than I’m used to from the formerly&nbsp;console-only Metal Gear series. This feels like a world-class third-person action game, with comfortable precision aiming and really simple on-the-fly inventory management. If you’ve finished the Ground Zeroes prequel, it feels exactly the same to play.</p><p> Of the six main story missions I’ve finished, I found half were interesting, half were a little dull. The appeal of a level comes down to environmental design, for me, and this has varied so far. Levels with some kind of novel layout, like an enormous half-constructed bridge, or a ranch-like sprawl of watchtowers and fields with plenty of places to hide in, feel extravagantly designed and are worth replaying until I&nbsp;get the score I want. On the other hand, one level that requires finding and destroying some comms equipment in a largely anonymous settlement built into a hill was dull because the environment wasn’t particularly memorable&mdash;MGSV needs good level design as well as interesting systems to reach its potential, and so far I’m finding the former side of the game a bit mixed. But there’s tens of hours of missions to go, so consider this a mere early impression and not a broad judgement.</p><p> The Afghanistan-set open world is pretty amazing to look at and explore, with a day and night cycle that can coincide with a shift in guard behaviour patterns, as well as random sandstorms that offer you a sneaking advantage in reduced visibility. The levels I’ve played so far all co-exist in this one enormous landscape, which is bulked out with enemy landposts and resources to scavenge. While I haven’t seen much in the way of landmarks, surveying an enemy base from atop a cliff feels amazing because it’s all there, waiting to generate stories of unexpected failures and successes. The way AI interacts leads to neat or sometimes traumatising one-offs, like the time I rolled&nbsp;out the way of a charging bear I failed&nbsp;to take out with a tranq dart, only for the bear to crash&nbsp;into my loyal horse and kill it instantly.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WxMRB647REKq.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6cbjLWh2Agku.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2015-09-01 00003"></p><p> If you’ve never played a Metal Gear Solid&nbsp;game, that ‘V’ in the title is largely irrelevant to enjoy what Kojima Productions has created here. This is all of Metal Gear’s sandbox promise dialled up to maximum, without the convoluted backstory and notoriously long cutscenes of its previous iterations. You don’t need to have a broad knowledge of its mythos to enjoy throwing a sleeping soldier out of a watchtower while you’re listening to Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World. The only suggestion of a heavy narrative is in the deliberately confused hospital-set intro, which I personally think was spoiled way too much by early trailers for the game&mdash;I won’t ruin it here because you should experience it first&nbsp;hand.</p><p> I’ve played all the mainline Metal Gear games and most of the spin-offs, but to me, this feels like a new series, or at least a reboot&mdash;it’s oddly story-lite, to the extent where I felt like I knew almost nothing about Snake beyond his motivation to rebuild his home base and get revenge on the people that destroyed his last one. He doesn’t talk a lot, and most of the background info seems to be delivered through tapes that Snake can access on his Walkman, a touch which perhaps mitigates the lengthy cutscenes MGS is associated with but is really no more advanced as a means of delivering story than BioShock’s audiotapes were.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KzZRE6Q0RLml.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qr_TK7qw7PGK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Phantom1"></p><p> Maybe the lack of a traditional narrative is the developers’ way of underlining that The Phantom Pain is about the stories generated by the players themselves. Me shooting the Spetsnaz officer while Kids In America played in the background is one example of that; the exact angle of Snake lining up the shot and the tension of doing so will live long in my memory, as will several other instances that followed this. Snake himself is a bit of an empty vessel, though, and right now it’s hard to work out if that’s a deliberate creative choice or if the characterisation here is just a bit weak.</p><p> As the missions grow in complexity and my options expand through the Mother Base upgrade system, I can’t wait to see how the challenge escalates in Metal Gear Solid V. This is a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-port-impressions/">tremendous PC version</a>, too, and with&nbsp;my 780 it's more or less staying&nbsp;at 60fps with every graphics setting on extra high.&nbsp;Look out for my full review of the PC version later this week.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e7StVFTtRoaO.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/un-68XDLUKdU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Metal Gear"></p> Efficiency study says gaming PCs use $10 billion in energy every yearhttp://www.pcgamer.com/efficiency-study-says-gaming-pcs-use-10-billion-in-energy-every-year/A new study shows has shown how we can make savings on energy.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:18:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/efficiency-study-says-gaming-pcs-use-10-billion-in-energy-every-year/HardwareNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YNQFSkJgTeCa.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PQHM3xvyOnT5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Hero"></p><p>Father / son team&nbsp;<a href="https://sites.google.com/site/greeningthebeast/home" target="_blank">Evan and Nathaniel Mills</a> has published a study entitled ‘Taming the Energy Use of Gaming Computers’ in the journal Energy Efficiency. The study looks into the energy usage of gaming PCs, and it turns out, they use a <em>lot.&nbsp;</em>The study&nbsp;says that with some adjustments, savings of an estimated $18 billion per year could be made globally by 2020.</p><p>Of course, it’s common knowledge that gaming PCs are more power hungry than regular desktops and even gaming consoles. According to the study, gaming PCs represent 2.5 percent of the global PC equipment base (including consoles), while using 21 percent of the power (75 TWh/year which equates to $10 billion). He also adds that the number of people using more high-end equipment is growing. Mills estimated that the typical gaming computer, including a display, uses approximately 1400 kWh/year, which is six times a standard PC, and ten times a games console. </p><p>Mills’ solution to the power problem? Use more efficient components. We knew this already, of course&mdash;and PC components do trend towards greater efficiency over time. It seems like an obvious conclusion,&nbsp;but the study goes into some of the numbers. The Mills team tested a number of PSUs, CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, displays, laptops, and RAM, to see how efficient they were. One test was done using a base system, with a number of improved components incrementally added. It showed that efficiency could be significantly increased, with only a minor drop in performance.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TOEXecvXTMW4.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r7ANYssYAyAC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Energygraphs"></p><p>More importantly, Mills wants better regulation. He notes that there are regulatory ratings for components which have made a difference since being introduced, however they are only voluntary and, aside from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80pluspowersupplies.aspx" target="_blank">80Plus</a> used for power supplies, are not standardized. An example Mills gave was one where an identical motherboard was rated at 62W, 92W, and 98W by three separate websites. Mills found that “nameplate power estimates for the key components in gaming computers significantly exceed power use in practice (on the order of 50 percent) and their direct use can thus yield overestimates of energy use.”</p><p>In the study, Mills states that “to enable improved energy analyses as well as better consumer decision making, standardized methodologies should be developed to more rigorously and consistently benchmark and normalize energy use and peak power demand of computers as well as that for specific games.”</p><p>While Mills claims that it can be hard to find numbers on efficiency, there are places out there which will give you the details. <a href="https://pcpartpicker.com/" target="_blank">PC Part Picker</a> tracks power requirements for selected components, for example, helping you pick out a reasonable power supply for your rig.</p><p>That said, information could indeed be made more readily available. Since a good chunk of people who use high-end PCs actually build them themselves, Mills notes that they have an opportunity to attain better efficiencies than can usually be found on the market with a little research. </p><p>He also adds that there are proposed <a href="http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/gadgets-and-gigawatts-policies-for-energy-efficient-electronics.html" target="_blank">policies for household electronics</a> and game consoles that could be applied to gaming PCs. Mills concludes that component efficiencies will continue to improve over time, we just need better policies to ensure everyone knows about it.</p><p>Did you use resources online to consider the energy efficiency of your rig while you were planning your build, or just go for the biggest, baddest components you could find?</p> Killing Floor 2 gets even gorier with Incinerate 'n Detonate updatehttp://www.pcgamer.com/killing-floor-2-gets-even-gorier-with-incinerate-n-detonate-update/The new content pack adds new maps, perks, weapons, and a pair of crossover characters.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:02:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/killing-floor-2-gets-even-gorier-with-incinerate-n-detonate-update/FPSKilling Floor 2NewsTripwire Interactive <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XOKbmgE-_o0?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p>Incinerate 'n Detonate, a major and largely self-explanatory update to the multiplayer zombie shooter <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/killing-floor-2/">Killing Floor 2</a>, is now live on Steam. Developer Tripwire Interactive says the update adds "50 percent more content" than was included with the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/killing-floor-2-is-now-on-steam/">Early Access release</a>, and while I can't confirm that all the new stuff works out to precisely that amount, there sure does seem to be a lot of it.</p><p> The update includes a pair of new Perks, Firebug and Demolitions&mdash;hence the title&mdash;each with new weapons and grenades, and two new maps, Evacuation Point and Catacombs. There are also new weapons up for grabs, and a couple of "crossover promotions" as well: Owners of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/chivalry-medieval-warfare/">Chivalry: Medieval Warfare</a> will get Tom Banner, a playable knight who carries the Zweihander sword, while owners of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/red-orchestra-2/">Red Orchestra 2</a> can step into the jackboots of Anton Strasser, a German soldier who packs rather more modern (but not necessarily more effective) implements of dismemberment.</p><p> Other changes include the addition of Nvidia's PhysX Flex technology on GeForce 770 cards and above, which Tripwire said will enable "brand new cutting-edge gore technology," plus a "complete overhaul" of the Berserker skill tree, an After Action Report option with team awards, personal stats and map voting, new Zed hit zones, achievements, Steam Workshop functionality, and all sorts of various fixes and improvements.</p><p> For those who'd like to give it a try before laying down 30 hard-earned dollars, Tripwire also announced that Killing Floor 2 will be free <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/232090">on Steam</a> from September 3-6, which if you don't happen to have a calendar lying around is this coming weekend. It will be on sale during that same period for 33 percent off its regular $30/£20 price.</p><p><strong>Update:</strong> The post originally indicated that the Killing Floor 2 free weekend would end on September 7, but it actually wraps up on September 6. I've updated it to reflect the change.</p> Show Us Your Rig: Relic Entertainment's Braden Chanhttp://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-relic-entertainments-braden-chan/Braden Chan, Associate Game Designer on Company of Heroes, shows us his PC and itshuge speakers.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:46:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-relic-entertainments-braden-chan/Company of HeroesCompany of Heroes 2Relic EntertainmentRTSshow us your rig <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-gDRWXI7RraP.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YOLrshh3I-q3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Brandon Chan 1"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title" style="margin-left: 0px;">Show us your rig</h5> <p> Each week on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig/">Show Us Your Rig</a>, we feature PC gaming's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play. </p> </div><p> Braden Chan is an Associate Game Designer at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/relic-entertainment/" target="_blank">Relic Entertainment</a> working on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/company-of-heroes" target="_blank">Company of Heroes</a>&mdash;specifically&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/company-of-heroes-2-the-british-forces-dig-in-under-fire/" target="_blank">Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces</a>, which comes out this Thursday. While his graphics card may be old, the piano, sound mixer, and giant speakers give me&nbsp;the feeling Braden is more focused on an a high quality audio experience than a cutting edge visual one. He was kind enough to show us how he works and plays, and tell us about why he loves Warcraft 3 more than any other game.&nbsp;</p><h4> What's in your PC?</h4><ul> <li> CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme CPU X9650 @ 3.00GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.0GHz</li> <li> Motherboard: Maximus II Formula</li> <li> Memory: 8192MB RAM</li> <li> Drives: 3 x 500GB HDD</li> <li> Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275</li> <li> Case: Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower</li> <li> Mouse: Logitech MX518</li> <li> Keyboard: Logitech Deluxe 250</li> <li> Mixer: Pioneer DJM 800</li> <li> Speakers: KRK Rokit 8</li></ul><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WU2iXGAcQnah.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E_WzIhVdj8ba.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Brandon Chan 2"></p><h4> What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?</h4><p> Instead of using an audio box to run my inputs through my studio monitor, I am actually using a DJ mixer which provides the same effect. It also gives me the flexibility to hook up my laptop into the mixer and run audio through my monitors that way as well. It's great as I can still control the levels of each device I have plugged in. The Pioneer DJM-800 mixer also has the flexibility to host multiple inputs like RCA, XLR, etc.</p><h4> What are you playing right now?</h4><p> I'm currently engaged in a lot of Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Company of Heroes 2, and I occasionally play Starcraft 2.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IyQeqqJTTNe_.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GYY53kP-EVtu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Brandon Chan 3"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Inside Braden's rig</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VNvSkC3iTcCD.JPG" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TMPe9wSp8tHh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Brandon Chan 5"><i style="background-color: initial;">Click the arrows to enlarge.</i> </p> </div><h4> Whats always within arm's reach on your desk?</h4><p> My phone or a glass of water.</p><h4> What's your favorite game and why?</h4><p> Warcraft III will always hold a special place in my heart as my favorite game. It was one of the first of its kind as an RTS/RPG hybrid. Many of the mechanics that were created laid the path for other games such as DOTA, League of Legends, and World of Warcraft. I took that game really seriously and I qualified for WCG Canada in 2007. I just really enjoyed the emphasis on combat and micro that it had. As a player, you really had to create a strategy based on the heroes you were going to use. On top of that, you would build an army that would support your hero. Unlike Starcraft, you didn't really have to focus too much on your economy and macro. I think that is what I enjoyed the most about it; focusing on my units rather than my workers collecting gold.</p> Today on The PC Gamer Show: the best of PAX, MGS5, and morehttp://www.pcgamer.com/today-on-the-pc-gamer-show-the-best-of-pax-mgs5-and-more/The show starts live at 1PM Pacific. Come watch!Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:12:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/today-on-the-pc-gamer-show-the-best-of-pax-mgs5-and-more/The PC Gamer Show <iframe src="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer/embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="378" width="620"> </iframe><p> Every Tuesday at 1 PM Pacific we broadcast&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show">The PC Gamer Show</a> live from our office. It's your chance to get your questions answered live on Twitch, and hear us yap about gaming news, hardware, and what we're playing.</p><p>This week we'll be taking a look back at our favorite games from PAX Prime 2015, talking about&nbsp;the crazy ride that is Metal Gear Solid 5, and more&mdash;including a Metal Gear Solid themed quiz and our weekly viewer Q&amp;A with questions from Twitch chat.</p><p> Watch along today&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer">on Twitch</a>, and toss us some feedback&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer">on Twitter</a> or here in the comments!&nbsp;</p><p> <em>You can also listen to&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-gamer-show-hearthstone-pre-pax-2015-and-more/" target="_blank"><em>last week's episode right here</em></a><em><u>.</u></em></p> The C1 computer case aims to fit a full PC behind your monitorhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-c1-computer-case-aims-to-fit-a-full-pc-behind-your-monitor/Like an all-in-one, but with a real graphics card.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:36:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-c1-computer-case-aims-to-fit-a-full-pc-behind-your-monitor/HardwareNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IS2NGFP7Td2j.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5XLZc27xjIYO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="C1 Case"></p><p>An Irish startup company called Crono Labs has launched an Indiegogo campaign to create the C1 computer case. The C1&nbsp;can have a VESA compliant monitor attached to it, creating a DIY all-in-one system with the ultimate goal of decluttering your desk. The big advantage over typical all-in-ones is that the C1 actually has space for full-size components, including big graphics cards.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-c1-computer-case-declutter-your-desk#/story">Indiegogo campaign</a> is looking for $2,000, which will be used to produce prototypes for testing as well as sending out to hardware reviewers. Any additional money raised will be going towards marketing and further design iterations. If the campaign is successful, a follow up campaign will be set up to do a production run of around 1,000 more cases. </p><p>The main focus of the case is on size, mobility, and cable management. Its dimensions are 446mm x 270mm x 122mm, and a built in handle means it’s easy to transport the case around.&nbsp;Short VGA, HDMI and branching power cables come with the case. A raised motherboard points the IO ports downwards so cables can be run beneath it neatly.</p><p>One thing to note would be that monitors over 27 inches “might be an issue in terms of stability.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pEOgn5tPRvOE.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eT_2zjfWlBfk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="C1 case 2"></p><p>As for inside space, the C1 has room for an ITX or mATX motherboard, an ATX PSU, two 3.5 inch drives, two 2.5 inch drives, GPUs up to 10.5 inches long, low profile CPU coolers, four 120mm fans, and water cooling. A 120mm cooler can be used in conjunction with a 240mm cooler. However, water cooling won’t fit with an mATX motherboard.</p><p>A Kickstarter to back the finished product is scheduled for the end of 2015. If you select the “Discount Reward” tier, you’ll get a discount on the finished case. For everyone else, the C1 Computer Case is planned to cost $150.</p> Adventure game choices meets crafting in Minecraft: Story Modehttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-game/Some familiar Telltale elements meet familiar Minecraft elements. Namely, crafting.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:29:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-game/AdventureMinecraft: Story ModePAX Prime 2015Telltale Games <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CYMKjQXWiVs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> We got our blocky&nbsp;hands&nbsp;on Minecraft: Story Mode at PAX&nbsp;2015. The fifteen minute demo, which included two sections of the game, featured some familiar elements from Telltale Games'&nbsp;The Walking Dead series, such as forcing players to choose&nbsp;which character to save and which to let perish.&nbsp;More of a departure is the inclusion of Minecraft's crafting table, which will allow players to dynamically&nbsp;fashion items to provide different ways of dealing with the challenges Story Mode throws at you.</p><p>In the video above, our&nbsp;intrepid reporter&nbsp;Evan gives his impressions of the demo.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">Check out the rest of our PAX coverage here</a>.</p> Star Wars Battlefront beta is coming in Octoberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-beta-is-coming-in-october/The beta will feature two maps and a new "Drop Zone" mode.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:27:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-beta-is-coming-in-october/Electronic ArtsFPSNewsStar Wars Battlefront <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YTQ4LaA9Rjud.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G2Mzx8gwwo4a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Star Wars Battlefront"></p><p>Electronic Arts has <a href="http://starwars.ea.com/starwars/battlefront/news/star-wars-battlefront-beta-announce">announced</a> that a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront/">Star Wars Battlefront</a> "technical test" will take place in early October, with both a large-scale map&mdash;the 40-player Walker Assault on Hoth&mdash;and the smaller, more intimate two-player co-op Survival Mission on Tattoine set to appear. The beta will also include a brand-new mode called Drop Zone, which EA plans to&nbsp;reveal more about in the future.</p><p>We've seen Walker Assault and Survival in action already, thanks to their reveals at E3. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-mlutiplayer-trailer-drops-a-walker-on-hoth/">Walker Assault</a> comes is a riff on&nbsp;the opening Hoth&nbsp;battle in Empire Strikes Back, and features various sorts of ground and air units&nbsp;battling to take control of/escape from the rocky ball of ice. The map, and the beta, will also let players do battle as either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, two of the hero/villain characters that will appear in the game.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-survival-mode-revealed-at-sonys-e3-event/">Survival</a> is a bit simpler: You and a fellow Rebel trooper are stranded on Tattoine&mdash;because it's always Tattoine, isn't it?&mdash;and must fight off increasingly difficult waves of Imperial forces, until they decide that you're too hot to handle and bugger off to do other things, like enforce the subclauses of an unfair trade agreement. Because who doesn't want to watch that, right George?</p><p>The beta will also see the launch of the Star Wars Battlefront Companion, a mobile app for iOS and Android that will feature the strategy card game Base Command and enable players to check their stats and progression, communicate with friends, and earn in-game credits used to unlock Star Cards, weapons, and other resources and assets.</p><p>EA hasn't revealed when the beta will take place any&nbsp;more precisely than "early October," nor has it said if it will be open or closed, or how you'll go about gaining access if it's the latter. You will have to use Origin to play the game, however, which shouldn't come as any surprise but is worth clarifying anyway, just in case. </p> TESO: Tamriel Unlimited first DLC, Imperial City, out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/teso-tamriel-unlimited-first-dlc-imperial-city-out-now/Take me down to the Imperial City where the Xivkyn are mean and the sewers are gritty.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:36:16 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/teso-tamriel-unlimited-first-dlc-imperial-city-out-now/MMONewsThe Elder Scrolls Online <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BiMorcRzQmm2.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DNqepIQDx5dc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="TESO Imperial City"></p><p>The first piece of DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-drops-subscription/">new name</a> for The Elder Scrolls Online since Bethesda removed the need for a subscription) became available for PC players yesterday.</p><p>The&nbsp;Imperial City has been taken over by Molag Bal, the main bad guy in TESO, and players who go there will have to contend not only with his Xivkyn&nbsp;minions but also with other players, who can kill you and take your Tel Var Stones. There are six districts, a sewer network, and a White-Gold Tower at the centre of the city.</p><p>Here's Bethesda's full&nbsp;list of what the DLC includes:</p><ul><li>All new content, available to players that are level 10 or higher</li><li>A brand new PvP/PvE space that includes six Imperial City Districts</li><li>New story content, quests, and characters within the Imperial City</li><li>A new Imperial City PvP Public Dungeon: The Imperial Sewers</li><li>Two new PvE Imperial City group dungeons with Normal and Veteran versions: White-Gold Tower and Imperial City Prison</li><li>23 new item sets that scale up to Veteran Rank 16</li><li>New Imperial City collectibles, including pets, polymorphs, and a skin, earned by participating in Imperial City activities</li><li>The Xivkyn racial motif crafting style</li><li>The Tel Var Stone system used for the purchase of Veteran gear</li><li>Trophy Vaults that contain new Veteran Rank 16 jewelry sets and a chance for Xivkyn racial motif pages</li></ul><p>Even if you don't want the DLC, you'll still get the&nbsp;<a href="http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discus">base-game patch</a>.</p><p>Those with an&nbsp;ESO Plus membership will get Imperial City for free, and those who don't can buy it for 2500 Crowns in the in-game Crown Store. To access the new content, you need to to be part of a campaign and go to Cyrodiil, to one of your alliance's home gates, and talk to one of the Imperial City captains. There are more detailed instructions on the Elder Scrolls Online&nbsp;<a href="http://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/news/post/2015/09/01/the-imperial-city-is-now-available-on-pc-and-mac">site</a>.</p> Cibele is a game about falling in love with someone in an MMOhttp://www.pcgamer.com/cibele-game-falling-in-love-in-an-mmo/A game within a game based on a real relationship.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:14:40 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cibele-game-falling-in-love-in-an-mmo/CibelePAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DND0-IxbQkao.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lxAyf-_zJL75.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cibele"></p><p>This weekend at PAX I stepped away from the crush of people in the main venues to see something much more quiet and intimate&mdash;Nina Freeman’s narrative experience&nbsp;<a href="http://ninasays.so/cibele/">Cibele</a>. In the lobby of one of the nearby hotels she gave me her laptop studded with kawaii decora stickers, her old pair of Marshall headphones, and I played the first 20 minutes of her newest game: an autobiographical story about her relationship with a boy she’d met in an MMO when she was 19 who she would eventually meet up with in real life and have sex with.</p><p>Nina works for Gone Home creator Fullbright as her day job, and has&nbsp;made a few independent games, including How Do You Do It?, a game in which&nbsp;you play&nbsp;an 11-year-old girl using her dolls to try and figure out how sex works. I talked with Nina about her background telling stories that were disarmingly personal, like her other game,&nbsp;<a href="http://ninasays.so/freshmanyear/">Freshman Year</a>, that centered around her experience being sexually harassed at a bar. </p><p>Her new project,&nbsp;Cibele, is being made with a five-person team. The game takes its title from the player-character Nina inhabits in Valtameri, the fictional stand-in for the real MMO Freeman&nbsp;played in 2009. Booting the game takes you to a desktop, a replication of her own circa 2009, where you read emails, check a few folders full of the ephemera of a girl with a blog and an interest in poetry and anime, and finally log in to the game, which is where the main body of the narrative takes place.&nbsp;In-game you meet a friend you’ve made, a boy with a red anime-knight avatar named Ichi, and you pick up a conversation with him as you click on enemies and flit around the game.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Krv5U-TWSXmY.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a8ToZxNtqau6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cibele"></p><p>The pastel color scheme, the simple clicking to move, the peaceful music, and the cutesy octopi I killed as we moved around the area all evoked a very specific memory for me: playing the Korean MMO Ragnarok back when I was in high school. Any teenager alive and online during the anime boom of the mid-to-late 2000s will probably have a similar moment of familiarity, and maybe nostalgia. In the FMV sequences with Nina in her bedroom, there are Sailor Moon and Macross posters I remembered from my own adolescence. When we met to discuss her game, Nina was dressed like a shojo character, matching the seafoam greens and cotton candy pinks I saw in Valtameri.</p><blockquote> <p>Near the end of my time with the game, the boy you’ve been chatting with finally cajoles you into taking a picture of yourself.</p></blockquote><p>The metanarrative at play in Cibele is centered on the emotional experience of being a teenage girl, writing poetry, taking pictures of yourself, and overthinking them. There are emails from boys and friends in your inbox, selfies and documents full of Livejournal-style blog entries scattered on your in-game desktop. Near the end of my time with the game, the boy you’ve been chatting with finally cajoles you into taking a picture of yourself. There’s an FMV of Nina going to get her camera, examining herself in her bedroom mirror, and something&nbsp;a lot of women and girls will recognize with uncomfortable familiarity: lifting your shirt up and looking at your stomach, hoping it passes someone’s standards. </p><p>Playing Cibele, and talking to Nina, I thought about how feminine this game was. We discussed the coding of it, how a reluctant, late acceptance of her own femininity had colored her own life and now her game.&nbsp;</p><p>Cibele takes place in a very specific moment in time of someone’s life, and according to&nbsp;Nina doesn’t necessarily set out to say anything specific about modern love or relationships, just about her's. She isn’t interested in speaking for others, just in conveying a part of her own life with an honesty and clarity that she hopes will evoke understanding from the player.&nbsp;</p><p>Making the game seemed like a way for her to sort through her own feelings and come to terms with how this relationship began, progressed, and ended, and she’s tried to portray both herself and her former boyfriend as whole people rather than caricatures. Instead of having the entirety of their relationship laid out for dissection, she’s opted&nbsp;to have three 20-30 minute vignettes that take place at different parts of their time together.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HN67C9dhSd6O.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fpGqgfS0x0kx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cibele"></p><p>Cibele had a confessional, almost painful intimacy. Even though I responded to it on a personal level, Nina and her team seemed hopeful that they’d made something that was very personal but also&nbsp;has a degree of specificity and honesty would make it relatable to anyone. Even though I've never had this kind of relationship with anyone, the brief time I spent in it with this game made me think of my own time as a teenager who came of age online and had formative social experiences with people through MMOs and message boards and early forms of social networks. </p><p>Cibele doesn’t set out to say something broad about&nbsp;relationships, but rather tells the story of&nbsp;a very specific time in a person’s life. Some of&nbsp;the people who respond to it will do so viscerally, while others may have trouble connecting with such a personal statement. Either way, it’s a game that will provoke conversation.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">right here</a><em>.</em></p> GTA 5 mod adds Imperial Star Destroyer to Los Santoshttp://www.pcgamer.com/gta-5-mod-adds-mperial-star-destroyer-to-los-santos/Is it a blimp? Is it a plane?Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:07:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gta-5-mod-adds-mperial-star-destroyer-to-los-santos/Grand Theft Auto IVNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e1iICTWJSzmG.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6o8DnsMK4OTr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GTA V Imperial Star Destroyer"></p><p>As spotted by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2015/09/01/someone-has-made-a-star-destroyer-mod-for-gta-5/">VG247</a>, a modder&mdash;JJxORACLE (also responsible for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-5-mod-puts-a-mass-effect-reaper-over-the-skies-of-los-santos/">Mass Effect Reaper</a> mod for GTA V that we wrote about last week)&mdash;has modded the blimp from GTA V so that it looks very much like an Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars. The textures are dodgy, and the flickering lights look less than impressive, but it's definitely recognisable for what it is.</p><p>If you want to see it in action, check out the video below which is YouTuber TwoDynamic checking out the Star Destroyer and a couple of other Star Wars vehicle mods. You can download the mod&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gta5-mods.com/vehicles/imperial-star-destroyer-beta">here</a>, though the modder warns it may be taxing on some people's hardware.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VxiuFgWMxKc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain port impressionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-port-impressions/Framerates, graphics options, settings comparisons and more.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:35:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-port-impressions/Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainStealth <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BHso47-HRQms.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KPuE6JIJI8Q_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 top"></p><p>Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is finally out on PC, a few weeks sooner than initially expected. Good news: it's not horribly broken! In fact, it seems to be running very nicely indeed so far. Samuel is reviewing it for us, and he's sent through these impressions of how MGS5 runs based on a few hours with the game.</p><p>"Things were looking good for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain’s port after Ground Zeroes’ impressive transition to PC late last year, a well-optimised version brought with it a decent array of graphics options and remappable controls. I’m a couple of hours into The Phantom Pain and so far it feels like it’s of the same high standard.</p><p>"My hardware is roughly two years old. I’ve got an Intel I5 4460@3.20GHz, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, and I’m running everything on extra high settings, only dropping a touch beneath that in combat encounters. One noticeable issue, though not game-breaking, is that the game stutters whenever it quicksaves and the orange icon flashes in the top right-hand corner. Otherwise, this is as impressive a port as Ground Zeroes, and I can’t wait to get through The Phantom Pain for our review."</p><p>Like Sam, I have noticed some momentary drops during those quicksave moments. I've also noticed&nbsp;occasional screen tear even with vertical sync enabled, though this may be due to problems with running the game in fullscreen windowed mode (you can run the game in windowed, borderless fullscreen and fullscreen).&nbsp;</p><p>I'm running an Intel i5-2500K quad core with a GTX 970 and 16GB of RAM.&nbsp;As you'd hope, the game runs at a steady 60 FPS even during hectic moments. The in-engine cutscenes are especially impressive, and despite some detail pop-in in the open world, the game looks great, if not quite&nbsp;on a par with The Witcher 3's open world.</p><h4>Options</h4><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/siRFX0UrQC2x.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eGNzFxM_tnqd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS5 options"></p><p>The range of graphics options is fairly decent. A field-of-view slider option would be helpful, particularly for players who want to spend a lot of time aiming in first-person. There's no separate anti-aliasing option, and from comparison screenshots it looks as though MGS5 is using a post-processing anti-aliasing solution. If you want to soften jaggies, tun PP up.</p><p>The graphics options offer a lot of scaling opportunities for older machines. If you turn shadows down too much you get a very ugly, blobby strobing effect, on foliage in particular, and very low textures look poor when you're pressed up against them (which will be often). However, if you can lift these&nbsp;to medium, you'll find a handsome game indeed. Before you have to mess with the main settings, you can always turn off niceties like volumetric clouds and drop ambient occlusion a little to save some frames.</p><p>Control wise, the game switches between a gamepad and mouse and keyboard controls on the fly, though some button prompts get stranded by the transition. There are two control setups for pads. For keyboards and mouse you can assign button prompts independently in the key assignment menu.</p><h4>Low, medium and highest settings</h4><p>The game is perfectly playable at its lowest settings, but object pop-in undermines the majesty of the open world. Up close, things start to fray. as you can see on the wall behind Snake. It's hard to see in still images, but there are a lot of jagged edges on lower settings, which are mostly smoothed out with maxed-out post-processing. The smoother colour grading and shadowing effects provided by high post-processing and ambient occlusion are nice touches for good machines, but I honestly&nbsp;doubt I'd miss them at all if I was forced to run the game on medium settings.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i5tQdffVT26n.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fqc3B1emYpTw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 2 low"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J_Ch0h-eRVWQ.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jkkilwC-Q8vk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 2 medium"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eDTVE01XSXOL.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ld5JSg2jpUJv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 2 high"></p><p>Here also is a comparison between low and high settings, which I largely include because this man was strangled for about five minutes while graphics options were changed, and he deserves to be included for his suffering. You'll notice that Snake still looks good in both shots, but the guard's tunic takes a hit from the reduced texture. The wall and rocks to the right show the difference some high-res textures and ambient occlusion can make to environments.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7-WInNmAS8m5.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TC0s-eVf6WMt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 3 low"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QDTRSJWyQJKh.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lg-FLonOWy0T.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS 5 3 high"></p><h4>Problems and incoming fixes</h4><p>We haven't encountered any serious issues with The Phantom Pain yet, but others with old CPUs that don't support SSE4.1 are experiencing crashes. The Tokyo dev team is&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/287700/discussions/0/527273983048956776/">posting on the Steam forums</a> with assurances of a fast fix. Kojima Productions are also sourcing crash reports on&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/287700/discussions/0/527273983048669457/">this thread</a> to net compatibility issues. Aside from that, there don't seem to be many problems, though let us know if you've run into any in the comments.</p><p>We'll bring you more impressions of the game shortly with the first section of our Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain&nbsp;review-in-progress.</p> Golden Joysticks: vote now and get Bioshock Infinitehttp://www.pcgamer.com/golden-joysticks-vote-now-and-get-bioshock-infinite/The PC is strongly represented in this year's nominations.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/golden-joysticks-vote-now-and-get-bioshock-infinite/Golden Joysticks <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KJ5FRwHlSEaG.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GYbTBgsV1LrH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Golden Joystick Awards 2015"></p><p> The shortlists have been announced and voting is now underway for this year's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/goldenjoystickawards/vote/">Golden Joystick awards</a>, powered by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/uk/">GamesRadar+</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>You can vote to support the PC in a ton of categories this year. The Witcher 3's Bloody Baron quest is up for an award. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Total War: Warhammer and Fallout 4 are all fighting for the Most Wanted game gong. The Creative Assembly, Klei, CD Projekt RED, Frontier and Blizzard are fighting to become the best studio.</p><p>The PC game of the year is the big one, of course. It's a great list that pits atmospheric&nbsp;big-budget blockbustes like Alien: Isolation and GTA 5 against world-class RPGs like Pillars of Eternity, sandboxes like Kerbal Space Program, and the brilliant tactical heist game Invisible Inc. Here's the full shortlist.</p><p> <strong>PC Game of the Year</strong></p><p> 1) Cities: Skylines (Paradox)<br> 2) Elite Dangerous (Frontier)<br> 3) Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian)<br> 4) Kerbal Space Program (Squad / Steam)<br> 5) Endless Legend (Iceberg Interactive)<br> 6) GTA 5 (Rockstar)<br> 7) The Talos Principle (Devolver Digital)<br> 8) Heroes Of The Storm (Blizzard)<br> 9) Invisible Inc (Klei Entertainment)<br> 10) Her Story (Sam Barlow)<br> 11) Alien Isolation (Sega)</p><p>Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at the O2 arena in London on Friday October 30. You can follow the action by following&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GoldenJoysticks">The Golden Joysticks on Twitter</a>.</p><p>Once you've&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/goldenjoystickawards/vote/">voted here</a> you can also claim a PC copy of Bioshock Infinite through Green Man Gaming for £1/$1, which will then be refunded as GMG credit. Here's how to grab the game.</p><ol> <li>Vote in the 33rd Golden Joystick Awards</li> <li>Create your GMG / Playfire account through the links provided after voting</li> <li>Link your Steam account on Playfire (if you haven’t already) to receive your exclusive voucher code for BioShock Infinite for £1/$1/€1.</li> <li>Play BioShock Infinite and earn £1/$1/€1 GMG credit back.</li> <li>Receive other great discounts from GMG.</li></ol> Final Fantasy Type-0 reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-type-0-review/Despite refined real-time combat, there’s not a lot else to love about Final Fantasy Type-0.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:55:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-type-0-review/Final Fantasy Type-0JRPGReviewsRPG <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5> <p> <strong>What is it</strong><br> Action RPG where a school seems to be at war with a nation.<br> <strong>Publisher</strong> Square Enix <br> <strong>Developer</strong> In-house/HexaDrive<br> <strong>Reviewed on</strong> AMD FX-6200 CPU, 16GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7870<br> <strong>Expect To Pay</strong> $30/£20 <br> <strong>Link&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://finalfantasytype0.com/">Official site</a><br> </p> </div><p> I don’t understand the pattern of Final Fantasy releases on PC. With two bad ports of the divisive Final Fantasy XIII subseries behind it, here’s a HD version of an old PSP game, which originally arrived on consoles earlier this year. The PS4 version came with a demo of the far more exciting-looking, shiny Final Fantasy XV. That’s not coming to PC right now, so we’ve just got the less exciting part of that bargain. Without the added appeal of that demo, Type-0 on PC is strictly for fans only&mdash;there are obvious signs of its handheld origins, such as the bitty quest structure, loading screens between small environments and inconsistently remade visuals. More than that, Type-0 doesn’t represent Final Fantasy at its best outside of the fairly decent real-time combat.</p><p> Type-0 is an action RPG where you control the 14 boys and girls of Class 0, an elite unit of teenagers who grimace handsomely around a military school called Akademeia, which is like Hogwarts with more short skirts and physical violence. Your party consists of three of these kids at any one time, and all have a slightly different approach to battle, carrying guns, knives, heavy weapons or even a deck of magic cards that can be summoned to attack enemies. You can map commands to specifics buttons and switch to another party member at any time, the idea being that over time you piece together combinations of fighters who work.</p><p> The roster of 14 fighters gives you a lot of tactical breadth, but keeping them all levelled up is a pain in the arse. Rather than lifting absent party members’ levels automatically while your chosen party fights a la Final Fantasy VII, you have to battle with them all separately to keep your entire team’s levels up, which is a bit of a drag. It means you can spend ages wandering the world map between missions, just trying to keep them a good number of them in fighting shape. Eventually, I just picked the seven I liked and went with those, but even managing that many at once became boring after a while, though there is an option to level up a party member when you’re not playing the game. You can even mess with your PC’s clock to speed up the process, although that probably shows you’re not enjoying the game too much.</p><p>I really like the spread of playable characters and their different weapons: one carries a flute that makes a different sound for attacks and buffs, one uses a bow and my favourite (slightly overpowered) character, King, just full-on shoots people with two pistols. While the structure of FF Type-0 is a bit repetitive, the moment-to-moment combat doesn’t really suffer from that problem if you regularly change up your playable heroes, and party members have their own separate progression menus to learn new abilities, too. If Final Fantasy XV ever does come to PC, Type-0 suggests that Square Enix is getting better at real-time combat, which is a healthy sign.</p><p>It’s just almost everything else I don’t like about Type-0. The story and character designs remind me of the terrible-looking anime series I scroll past every night on Netflix&mdash;and I usually enjoy the melodrama, ludicrous dialogue and twists of a Final Fantasy story. The problem is that the size of the cast makes it tough to dial in on one you care about, and the suggestion of a bloodier war-like tone in the game’s intro isn’t consistently maintained throughout the game, which can still be really goofy and badly acted. The character designs of female characters pander too much to a presumed audience of teenage boys, too, (one lady’s pants fly in the air when she uses a mace that’s twice her size, because of course), and the idea of a military school has also been done better before in the series with Final Fantasy VIII.</p><p>The non-combat RPG stuff is pretty weak, too, and shows the limitations of a ported handheld game: there’s a world map and towns to enter, but it’s basically a dull landscape with a few points of interest, while the towns are rooms that don’t feel like real places. In between missions, players are free to explore the school, which would be a pleasant, lavish space to spend time in were it not painfully divvied up room-by-room with loading screens. Again, that’s almost certainly because Type-0 began life as a handheld game. But that shouldn’t really be your problem when you’re paying $30/£20 for it.</p><p>You're&nbsp;also burdened with a time system that means you can only attend so many lectures or complete sidequests for other characters before the next main mission begins. There’s a time cost for completing each activity, or heading into the open world. I don’t like doing sidequests on a timer, and you can only take on one at a time, which means a lot of backtracking is required to hoover everything up. The idea is presumably to encourage multiple playthroughs where you can catch every character interaction, but it actually turns what could’ve been a nice stock of sidequests into a boring chore. Problem is, you need to do these one-by-one just to progress&mdash;Type-0 is a tricky game unless you’re diligent about levelling up a lot between main story missions.</p><p>I’m not that impressed by the PC port of Type-0, either. As Durante notes <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-type-0-port-analysis-snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory/">in his in-depth analysis</a>, there are plenty of graphics options here relative to the initial release of XIII on PC last year, but there are&nbsp;only two fixed resolution options&mdash;720p and 1080p, which is a poor effort, and it runs at a locked 30fps, too. It’s also been inconsistently remade for HD, and only looks nice in brief moments&mdash;the school looks noticeably better than other environments, and prominent characters including your party have been remodelled to look modern. But some of the lesser supporting cast members and objects that appear in the world haven’t been given the same treatment, which leaves a jarring quality effect. While the lighting is more up-to-date, Type-0 is just rarely that pretty, particularly in the world map.</p><p>Square Enix is slowly getting there with moving its colossal back catalogue onto PC, but Type-0 does not represent Final Fantasy at its best. I think existing fans will enjoy the combat system, but I couldn’t recommend this limited action RPG to anyone as a starting point for the series.</p> Mad Max films available now on Steam, Fury Road incominghttp://www.pcgamer.com/mad-max-films-available-now-on-steam-fury-road-incoming/Pre-purchase Fury Road and watch the others while you wait.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:26:58 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mad-max-films-available-now-on-steam-fury-road-incoming/News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E8PHTnIsSoiK.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UnBsItqBxAnr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mad Max Fury Road"></p><p>Avalanche Studios'&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mad-max/">Mad Max</a> game came out today, but what you might not have known is that today also marks the Steam launch of&nbsp;most of the Mad Max films.</p><p>The first three in the series&mdash;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/398330/">Mad Max</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/396130/">Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/396140/">Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome</a>&mdash;are all available to buy and watch now&nbsp;for £9.99 / $15 each. The recent, critically acclaimed&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/396120/">Mad Max: Fury Road</a> is currently only available for&nbsp;pre-purchase, for £13.99 / $20. There's no release date that I can see, but&nbsp;since the Blu-ray and DVD are due on&nbsp;October 5 I'm guessing it'll be the same for Steam.</p><p>It's interesting to see more films heading to Steam, though the price seems high for streaming video. Would you buy more films on Steam?</p> Stasis, point-and-click horror in space, available nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/stasis-point-and-click-horror-in-space-available-now/I bet this guy wishes he'd stayed asleep.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:19:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/stasis-point-and-click-horror-in-space-available-now/NewsStasis <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_0Bex90OgkQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/stasis/">Stasis</a> is a point-and-click adventure game that tells a horror story in space, and it launched on&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com//app/380150">Steam</a> yesterday.</p><p>In Stasis, you play a man&nbsp;called John Maracheck who awakens&nbsp;from stasis (naturally) to find his wife and daughter missing and the spaceship he's on headed on a collision course with Neptune. He's in a lot of pain, physical and emotional, and it probably doesn't help that there's blood everywhere and weird stuff keeps happening.</p><p>The gameplay trailer above launched with the game, and gives a good representation of the atmosphere of the game and what kinds of puzzles you'll need to solve to help John try to make a terrible situation less terrible.</p><p>Stasis is&nbsp;available for 20% off if you buy it by the 7th of September, so if you're into isometric gore then make sure you pick it up before then.</p> Nvidia releases driver for MGS5 and Mad Maxhttp://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-releases-driver-for-mgs5-and-mad-max/Want to play at 4K?Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:02:58 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-releases-driver-for-mgs5-and-mad-max/HardwareMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O3yWifecTWO5.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qdVz6ghCdiH0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS V Phantom Pain 4K"></p><p>Happy&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain/">Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain</a> day! Or maybe you're playing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mad-max/">Mad Max</a>? Either way,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/geforce-355-82-whql-driver-released">Nvidia</a> has a driver for you. Sexily named the GeForce Game Ready 355.82 WHQL Mad Max and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain&nbsp;drivers, you can download through&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience">GeForce Experience</a> or on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/drivers">GeForce site</a>.</p><p>Apparently, you'll get "Game Ready optimizations, a NVIDIA Control Panel Ambient Occlusion profile, and a SLI profile". That SLI profile will let you play at 4K and 5K resolutions, and if you want to see what that looks like there's a trailer here from NVIDIA:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NBitXh82qT0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>How's it going on the Phantom Pain front, people? Have you&nbsp;cracked open your physical copy to find a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-disc-seems-to-only-contain-steam-installer/">Steam installer</a>? Are you wishing you'd been able to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-will-not-have-a-preload-option/">preload</a>? Have you transferred over your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/prepare-the-perfect-ground-zeroes-save-file-for-metal-gear-solid-5/">Ground Zeroes save</a>?</p> The Sims 4: Get Together's "Clubs" introduce peer pressurehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-togethers-clubs-introduce-peer-pressure/Sim mob mentality.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:35:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-togethers-clubs-introduce-peer-pressure/NewsThe Sims 4 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yCWQrx3tQzi-.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DzeR9HLvePdJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sims 4 Get Together Clubs"></p><p>EA has revealed more details about the upcoming Sims 4 expansion, "Get Together", that was announced at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-sims-4-get-together-brings-new-ways-to-have-fun-with-a-friend/">Gamescom</a>.</p><p>In a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thesims.com/news/break-the-rules">post</a> on the Sims website, producer Antonio Romeo ("SimGuruRomeo") talks about a new feature in the expansion called Clubs that "allows Sims to totally break the rules of the game", which here means: enforces a peer pressure system that allows group mentality to override a Sim's individual personality.</p><p>The player creates clubs by choosing rules for its members to follow: a hangout location, what clothes they wear when they're together, who gets to join, and encouraged and discouraged behaviours. This list of ten behaviours (five encouraged, five discouraged) will override a Sim's natural instincts, though only when they are with other members of the club.</p><p>So you could have a lazy Sim that joins a fitness-based club and ends up working out whenever they're together, or a good Sim who ends up carrying out evil deeds because they've joined a club based around meanness. &nbsp;Naturally, you can also create "Fight Clubs" and use the rules to position them as rival gangs who will only ever pick fights with each other.</p><p>Get Together will also include a new "European-inspired" World called Windenburg, new group activities, and new skills for your Sims to build. It's due for release in November.</p> Twitch Plays Dark Souls: Gargoyles and Capra Demon have been slainhttp://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-plays-dark-souls-gargoyles-and-capra-demon-have-been-slain/They're probably going to do it.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:58:16 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-plays-dark-souls-gargoyles-and-capra-demon-have-been-slain/Dark SoulsNewsRPGTwitch <p>Twitch Plays Dark Souls may have turned into an <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-plays-dark-souls-beats-first-boss/">improvised, turn-based version</a> of the game, but it's still&nbsp; fascinating to watch: especially if you've ever wondered what kind of build is necessary under these (admittedly pretty unlikely) circumstances. The answer, at least where the Capra Demon is concerned, seems to be 'poise'. You just need <em>a lot</em> of poise.</p><p>The Taurus Demon <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-plays-dark-souls-has-beaten-the-taurus-demon/">went down last week</a>, but now I have two boss battles for you: the Belfry Gargoyles and the Capra Demon. The latter is one of the first significant difficulty spikes for newcomers to the series, so it's amusing to see Twitch make such short work of it. (Hint: it's not actually as easy as it looks).</p><p>Thanks again to YouTuber <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn4dCFjzO27d3baPUMK0GOQ">PvtBooger</a> for editing the pauses out of these encounters.</p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ao1sYHocUKk" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2hy6BCsKEHE" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe> WoW: Warlords of Draenor will finally get flying mounts this weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/wow-warlords-of-draenor-will-finally-get-flying-mounts-this-week/Patch 6.2.2 to roll out September 1.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:38:37 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/wow-warlords-of-draenor-will-finally-get-flying-mounts-this-week/Blizzard EntertainmentMMONewsWorld of Warcraft <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YTdLWQEKQIOW.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hoBosHZjcTZi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="World of Warcraft flying mount"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-warlords-of-draenor/">Warlords of Draenor</a> didn't launch with flying mounts, and for a long time Blizzard didn't intend to implement them. After months of consternation among World of Warcraft devotees though, Blizzard announced in June that, yeah, they'd allow players to fly in Draenor after all. Now, with tomorrow's 6.2.2 patch, the functionality will finally roll out.</p><p>Not without conditions though: you'll need to put a few weeks into the game if you want to unlock mounts, though most players have probably already met the requirements. When I spoke to lead game designer <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-lead-designer-talks-patch-62-flyable-mounts-and-nostalgia/">Ion Hazzikostas in June</a> he put it this way:</p><p>"The solution was to preserve our original design goal of ensuring players are exploring the world and experiencing it from the ground, and getting to appreciate its scope and its size and engaging the gameplay aspects of exploration and mystery. Then, once they’ve done that, there’s no reason not to allow them to fly and navigate in all dimensions throughout the world, and also unlock that ability for their alts."</p><p>The video embedded below (courtesy of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8hLeDz9mD4dUrkvXjH9rjw">Wowhead</a>) does a good job of outlining all the work you'll need to do in order to unlock the Pathfinder achievement, which itself unlocks access to flying mounts.</p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QjaqkGAc3kc" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe> Warcraft film footage emerges onlinehttp://www.pcgamer.com/warcraft-film-footage-emerges-online/Offscreen footage shows a grandiose – and grainy – trailer. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:08:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/warcraft-film-footage-emerges-online/Newswarcraft <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OrTQxkzmRc2H.jpeg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RyXaL7C0fanH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Warcraft Poster "></p><p>We know that Warcraft is "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-warcraft-film-is-pretty-much-a-finished-movie/">pretty much a finished movie</a>" according to its director, but it's not scheduled to release until June next year. We've seen some <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/two-images-from-the-warcraft-film-appear-online/">images from the film</a>, but now we catch a glimpse of how it will look in action, thanks to an apparent leak.</p><p>You'll need to <a href="https://d.maxfile.ro/uledfhjnsm.mp4">head over here to see it</a>. It's a trailer full of grandiose war scenarios and orcs, so it's pretty unmistakably Warcraft. Where it came from, though, is another question. <a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/watch-leaked-warcraft-movie-footage/1100-6430208/">Gamespot</a> published the leak but did not indicate where it comes from, though behind-closed-doors sessions happened at ComicCon last month, so it's likely something to do with that.</p><p>Whatever the case, the grainy footage is long-awaited: the film has been in discussions for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/sam-raimi-blames-blizzard-for-the-fact-that-we-still-dont-have-a-warcraft-movie/">over a decade </a>now. </p> Runic deviates from Torchlight with Hob, an Ico-inspired adventurehttp://www.pcgamer.com/runic-deviates-from-torchlight-with-hob-an-ico-inspired-adventure/We talk with Runic Games president Marsh Lefler about Hob, the developer's new action adventure.Tue, 01 Sep 2015 00:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/runic-deviates-from-torchlight-with-hob-an-ico-inspired-adventure/ActionHobInterviewsPAX Prime 2015RPG <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gmgplb1EjZ4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> After Torchlight 2 and the departure of two of Runic's co-founders, Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, company president Marsh Lefler says the team stepped back and tried to come up with something they "really want to play." That's Hob, which drops us into an alien world with puzzles, combat, and no dialogue&mdash;the story is picked up through exploration and observation.&nbsp;Lefler says they were inspired by games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.&nbsp;</p><p> I played a brief demo of Hob at PAX Prime, and I especially enjoyed the speed of the movement, which was so much fun it&nbsp;made it hard to slow down, take a breath&nbsp;and soak in the colorful vistas. The combat is tougher than the friendly look might imply, but definitely not a meat grinder&mdash;it requires some methodical timing, blocking, and stamina management, but health is pretty generous. It's a far gentler&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen/">Lords of the Fallen</a>.</p><p> I had a chat about all this with Lefler yesterday, which you can watch above. There's no release date for Hob just yet, as Lefler says there's still iterating to do.</p> Will Battleborn be more than Borderlands by another name?http://www.pcgamer.com/will-battleborn-be-more-than-borderlands-by-another-name/How will Battleborn differentiate itself from all the other shooters coming out?Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:53:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/will-battleborn-be-more-than-borderlands-by-another-name/battlebornFPSGearbox SoftwarePAX Prime 2015Videos <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HckgmOkiJCs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>We got our hands on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn/" target="_blank">Battleborn</a> at this year's PAX, the newest FPS from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gearbox-software/" target="_blank">Gearbox Software</a>. With its cel-shaded art style and RPG-ish&nbsp;approach to character progression, the biggest question is how it will&nbsp;differentiate itself&nbsp;from Gearbox's already popular Borderlands series, let alone all the other shooters on the way.&nbsp;</p><p>Tyler took control of Thorn, an archer character, while Evan used a knife throwing mushroom named Miko who also has healing abilities. You can watch the video embedded&nbsp;above to get&nbsp;their impressions, while the video below is&nbsp;a full 20&nbsp;minutes of&nbsp;gameplay at sugar sweet 60 fps.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_TT1QeLU2SY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><em style="background-color: initial;">You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">right here</a><em style="background-color: initial;">.</em></p> Win a Steam key for Pencil Test Studio's Armikroghttp://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-steam-key-for-pencil-test-studios-armikrog/Enter for a chance to win a Steam key for point-and-click adventureArmikrog.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:41:31 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-steam-key-for-pencil-test-studios-armikrog/AdventureArmikroggiveaway <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wjPnbPEITnWo.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qkn8x5gTnoCv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Armikrog Image"></p><p>Claymation point-and-click adventure&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/armikrog/">Armikrog</a>, from the creators of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, lands on PC in September. We're giving away 10 Steam keys to lucky readers.&nbsp;That could mean you!</p><p>To enter the giveaway, simply click through to the giveaway page and write in your name and email address. 10 random winners will be picked from the pool of entrants.</p><h4><a href="http://woobox.com/fjhcu5">Enter the giveaway here</a></h4><p>The giveaway for Armikrog runs&nbsp;until Friday, September 4th at 12 pm PDT.</p><p>The game releases on September 8th. For more on Armikrog,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hands-on-with-armikrogs-incredible-claymation-world/">check out our hands-on preview from E3 2015</a>.</p> Nuketown returns as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 preorder bonushttp://www.pcgamer.com/nuketown-returns-as-call-of-duty-black-ops-3-preorder-bonus/This time around, we're going down to Nuk3town. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:29:17 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/nuketown-returns-as-call-of-duty-black-ops-3-preorder-bonus/ActivisionCall of Duty: Black Ops 3FPSNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wOKvUYLaQQqS.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xNHbLtvUli1B.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="black ops 2 nuketown 2025"></p><p>Nuketown is probably the most popular multiplayer map in the entire Call of Duty: Black Ops pantheon. It debuted in the original Blops, was updated as Nuketown 2025 for Black Ops 2, and will return again&mdash;this time as Nuk3town&mdash;as a preorder bonus for the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/">Call of Duty: Black Ops 3</a>.</p><p>"The Nuketown maps have a special place in Call of Duty multiplayer history and we can't wait to build upon that heritage in Black Ops 3," Treyarch boss Mark Lamia said. "We carefully adapted the design of the map to make sure that it fit with our new movement system, but to also make sure that we retained the spirit and the fun that made fans fall in love with it in the first place." </p><p>Activision said Nuk3town has been "redesigned from the ground up," this time with a focus on integrating the new "momentum-based chained-movement system." Anyone who preorders the game will receive a code to download the map for free, while those who don't will presumably have the option to pay for it. Such is the way of things in the space year 2015.</p><p>We don't generally endorse preordering around here, but as I've&nbsp;said previously, odds are you'd decided whether or not to buy Black Ops 3 before it was even announced. So if you're on the "yes" side of that particular fence, this probably represents&nbsp;a bit more good news for you. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 comes out on November 6.</p> Blizzard and TeSPA announce $100k collegiate Hearthstone tournamenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-and-tespa-announce-100k-collegiate-hearthstone-tournament/Teams of three will compete for a share of a $100k prize pool to help pay their tuition.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:13:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-and-tespa-announce-100k-collegiate-hearthstone-tournament/BlizzardCard GameesportsHearthstoneNews <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/J1yWQqln8mk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard/" target="_blank">Blizzard</a> announced today that the TeSPA&nbsp;collegiate&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone/" target="_blank">Hearthstone</a> championship, an event they ran last fall,&nbsp;will&nbsp;be back again this year with a new format and significantly larger prize pool. Similar to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-of-the-dorm-finals-were-a-success-story-for-esports/" target="_blank">Heroes of the Dorm</a> tournament Blizzard hosted earlier this year preceding the launch of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heroes-of-the-storm/" target="_blank">Heroes of the Storm</a>, the teams will have a chance to win a portion of a $100K prize pool as scholarship money for their college education.&nbsp;</p><p>The competition format, however, is new to Hearthstone. Teams will be comprised of three students playing a single deck together at the same time. The team will be able to discuss plays during&nbsp;games, and won't switch players or decks between games in&nbsp;match. This is a very different format from&nbsp;most Hearthstone&nbsp;tournaments, including the&nbsp;<a href="http://league.teamarchon.com/">Archon Team League</a>&mdash;another competition with teams of three, but where&nbsp;each player uses two decks of their own.&nbsp;</p><p>The regular season&nbsp;will span over nine weeks, starting 28 September, with the championships being held in January. Registration for the tournament begins today, and you can&nbsp;<a href="https://compete.tespa.org/" target="_blank">see if you're eligible here</a>.</p> "Fifty shades of white": Witcher 3 devs talk race and adapting literaturehttp://www.pcgamer.com/fifty-shades-of-white-witcher-3-devs-talk-race-and-adapting-literature/CD Projekt Red devotes an hour to the race and politics of The Witcher 3, and the challenges of bringing the books to life.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fifty-shades-of-white-witcher-3-devs-talk-race-and-adapting-literature/PAX Prime 2015RPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/l39KcqFpQ6m4.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-p8X7sxxh4eX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witcher Panel 2"></p><p>The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has certainly received its fair share of heaping praise. After all, this is one of the most expansive and beautifully realized worlds to grace our screens in quite some time. But The Witcher 3 also faced some criticism at launch:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cd-projekt-addresses-witcher-3-graphical-downgrade-complaints/">about its graphics</a>, and&nbsp;for its lack of cultural diversity, especially with the notable absence of any characters of color.</p><p>Back in June, Polygon <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/3/8719389/colorblind-on-witcher-3-rust-and-gamings-race-problem">published a controversial opinion piece</a> by Tauriq Moosa criticizing the game for failing to include not only notable characters of color, but anyone from a race that wasn't characterized as white. During PAX Prime, members of The Witcher 3's narrative design team held a panel to discuss the challenges of adapting the source material, but they also addressed the issue.</p><p>"There are 16 different language versions of the Witcher 3," said&nbsp;Jakub Szmalek, a senior writer for The Witcher 3. "And we wanted each of these versions to feel like it was aimed at this very [specific] market. We don't want you to feel like you are playing a lesser translated version of the game."</p><p>"If we achieve this goal, the problem arises that you forget that you are playing a translated version of the game."</p><p>Szmalek went on to address the controversy surrounding the lack of racial diversity in the game, saying that some people assumed that it was some form of omission or a statement that the studio was trying to make.</p><p>"It is definitely not," Szmalek said. "It's just that we tackled certain issues from a different perspective."</p><p>Travis Currit, who was one of the team responsible for translating The Witcher 3 to English,&nbsp;suggested that for those living in more racially diverse areas, the lack of representation feels far more pronounced. He went on to say that while Poland is relatively "homogeneous" in terms of race, CD Projekt Red drew inspiration from the tensions that existed between the various cultures coexisting in the country.</p><p>"It's fifty shades of white," Szmalek said.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hP2aGcJfQMeN.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nM3p1TAueFJ3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witcher 3 Geralt Triss Yen"></p><p>"Every day you read the papers there's a new controversy," Currit said. "That is a huge aspect of the reality in which the games and the books were created, and we feel like we make very direct references to those in-game.&nbsp;We had become so absorbed with hitting these issues that are absolutely at the forefront of Polish consciousness, that we didn't have time to address the issues that are bigger in other countries."</p><p>"That's the issue of making a game that releases to so many peoples and cultures," Szmalek added.</p><p>Beyond the challenges of developing a game with such a laser focus on the politics of Poland, the team also spent the hour discussing the difficulties inherent in bringing the words on a page to life on a screen. A lot of these problems stemmed from finding ways to take aspects of Polish culture and present them in a manner that wasn't alienating to foreign audiences. The team also had to find a balance between adherence to the lore of the story and concessions made in pursuit of a more enjoyable game.</p><p>In the books, for example, witchers strictly refuse to use a crossbow, a weapon that comprises a valuable component of Geralt's arsenal in the third game. French fans were also surprised to see Geralt and Yennefer climb on top of a unicorn in The Witcher 3's infamous love scene because, due to a translation error made in the French version of the books, Geralt and Yennefer were described as making love atop a stuffed rhinoceros.</p><p>"There's more room on a rhino, so there are advantages to it," Szmalek joked.</p><p>"It kind of lacks some of the romance," Currit countered.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iFhjnMahTxWx.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XZgvDVlV92bD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witcher3 2015-05-18 22-30-46-51"></p><p>When asked if the team would approach adapting a book again, however, the answer was still an overwhelming yes. </p><p>"We cannot overestimate the importance of the lore that we have at our disposal," Szmalek said.</p><p>As the first part of the panel ended and fans took to asking the team questions, the topic inevitably drifted toward the potential for a return to the Northern Kingdoms. Though the team was quick to express their excitement for the upcoming expansion packs, which they reiterated would be roughly the size of The Witcher 2, they were reluctant to discuss any future plans for The Witcher.</p><p>"The next book we're going to be adapting," Currit said, "is the Cyberpunk rule book."</p> Evolve looks to boost dwindling player base with free weekendhttp://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-looks-to-boost-dwindling-player-base-with-free-weekend/If you've been waiting to try Evolve, wait no longer.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:56:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-looks-to-boost-dwindling-player-base-with-free-weekend/2K GamesEvolveFPSNewsTurtle Rock <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JD3b7s7Bi_8?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Turtle Rock has announced that its four-on-one shooter <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve/">Evolve</a>, including all currently available DLC characters and content included with the Hunt 2.0 update that went out earlier this month, will be <a href="http://evolvegame.com/news/evolve-free-weekend-and-meteor-goliath-release">free for everyone</a> this weekend.</p><p> Evolve's Hunting Season One and the playable Behemoth Monster will go free at 12:01 am PT on September 4, and remain open to all for 24 hours. At 12:01 am PT on September 5, the freebie will switch to the characters and content included with Hunting Season 2, which will also stay free for everyone for 24 hours. Anyone who purchases the game once the weekend is over will retain the progress they earned during the free play period, except for DLC unlocks, which will revert to&nbsp;zero.</p><p> Turtle Rock is also dropping the Meteor Goliath monster free of charge to all players, permanently, on September 3.</p><p> It's fair to say that Turtle Rock and 2K need this weekend to be a success. Evolve is still stuck well outside the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/stats/">top 100</a> games on Steam based on player count, and its numbers continue to slide: Its 30-day player average in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-is-getting-a-second-season-pass/">mid-June</a> was a little over 600, but over the past 30 days has declined to <a href="http://steamcharts.com/app/273350">less than 450</a>.</p> Watch the first full gameplay demo of Tharsishttp://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-first-full-gameplay-demo-of-tharsis/Developer Mike Roush plays the first full gameplay demo of Tharsis, the space roguelike with dice and cannibalism.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:36:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-first-full-gameplay-demo-of-tharsis/exclusivegameplayPAX Prime 2015RoguelikeStrategyTharsisVideo <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/khKm0T2NeAQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <a href="http://totallychoice.com/presskits/tharsis" target="_blank">Tharsis</a> is one of the most intriguing games at&nbsp;PAX. We've already&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/" target="_blank">spoken with Mike Roush</a>, co-founder of developer Choice Provisions, about the game,&nbsp;and now he's&nbsp;back to show off the&nbsp;first full gameplay demo. It's a blend of&nbsp;roguelike and board game, in which you're&nbsp;tasked with keeping the first manned mission to Mars from meeting a grim&nbsp;fate by rolling dice to make repairs, grow food, and generally&nbsp;keep your crew alive.&nbsp;Watch the video above to see a full (albeit catastrophic) game play out.</p><p> <em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/" target="_blank">right here</a><em>.</em></p> The new Deus Ex may get an early release, but only if enough people pre-orderhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-new-deus-ex-may-get-an-early-release-but-only-if-enough-people-pre-order/If enough people preorder the new Deus Ex, Square Enix will release it four days early. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:24:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-new-deus-ex-may-get-an-early-release-but-only-if-enough-people-pre-order/Deus Ex: Mankind DividedEidos MontrealFPSNewsSquare Enix <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZmbHtXPhr14?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p>Pre-order schemes don't have the best reputation with PC gamers, and this one for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided/">Deus Ex: Mankind Divided</a> seems likely to raise some&nbsp;eyebrows.&nbsp;The game's&nbsp;&nbsp;release date was announced&nbsp;earlier today as being&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date/">February 23, 2016</a>. However, if&nbsp;enough people preorder, it will actually be come out&nbsp;on February 19. This is&nbsp;the final flourish&nbsp;of Square Enix's tiered preorder campaign, which promises various sorts of bonuses in exchange for hitting preorder goals.</p><p> There are five tiers in the "<a href="https://www.deusex.com/augmentyourpreorder">Augment Your Preorder</a>" program, each containing items that can be selected as a preorder bonus. The first tier, for instance, includes the Intruder Pack, Enforcer Pack, and Classic Pack, each with various sorts of in-game equipment aimed at supporting a particular style of play. The second tier offers the choice of a digital art book or a soundtrack "sampler," the third tier is a bonus mission, and the fourth tier is a digital comic book or novella.</p><p> But it's the fifth tier that's really interesting. If enough people preorder, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be released four days early. That indicates some really solid confidence in the announced launch date, but it could also be seen&mdash;and is being seen, based on a number of reactions on Twitter&mdash;as gaming the system.</p><p> The only way Square could reasonably guarantee an early release date is if the date it announced is intentionally pushed back from the actual ready-to-go date. The "you won't get this content if you don't preorder" threat (which, let's face it, is what this is) rings hollow too, since all this bonus stuff is already guaranteed for the retail <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/337000/announcements/detail/79165389760178495">collector's edition</a>, which "will include all the in-game content and rewards from Augment Your Pre-order."</p><p> I haven't seen any indication of how many preorders are required to hit each tier, and so I suppose it's possible that Square Enix could goose the progress bar, if necessary, to make sure that all the preorder bonus options are available to everyone. After all, I can't imagine even the most tone&nbsp;deaf marketer seriously suggesting that a company dangle and then withhold content because consumers didn't throw enough money at it up front. But the mere possibility that it could happen is bad enough: I loved Human Revolution and I'm hot-hot-<em>hot</em> for Mankind Divided, but I can't get behind a program like this. Sorry, Square.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ynmk5nsQQpWk.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PrWrx7UAfpne.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex: Mankind Divided"></p> Biodrome channels Metroid and Quake for exploratory speedrunninghttp://www.pcgamer.com/biodrome-channels-metroid-and-quake-for-exploratory-speedrunning/Inspired by the speedrunning community, Biodrome drops players on secret-filledalien worlds and sets them exploring.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/biodrome-channels-metroid-and-quake-for-exploratory-speedrunning/BiodromeFPSPAX Prime 2015Platformer <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BZAEWXswSzaG.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_zihqB40Gjr4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Biodrome 8"></p><p>Taking place the same weekend as PAX Prime, only a few blocks up the road from the mega- and giga-booths of its exhibit halls, is a much smaller but equally interesting&nbsp;event: the Seattle Indie Expo. Designed to give a homier venue to a cadre of local developers, the SIX showcases a group of panel-selected games from Seattle creators. Amongst the group this year was a 3D puzzle-platformer called Biodrome, an “asynchronous competitive multiplayer exploration game" that looks like a mish-mash of 8-bit Metroid and Quake's early 3D.</p><p>Biodrome’s premise is an Alien-inflected sci-fi exploration mission. Every new game drops you into a procedurally-generated world created by an alien culture using genetic engineering, making huge organic structures teeming with friendly and hostile creatures. Friendlies will attach themselves to your space suit and provide new abilities. The game functions on an algorithm that creates worlds, populates them with life, and devises traversal puzzles that will require the player to use equipment upgrades and familiar items like Zelda-style hook chains in different combinations.</p><p>Running around in these environments has a propulsive energy lifted directly from the game’s primary influence: speedruns of old Metroid and Castlevania games. Designer Pete Hufnagel&nbsp;came to the genre late in the game, becoming interested in the methodology of exploration games via speed runs on YouTube in 2007. The last eight years he’s been gestating Biodrome as a nights-and-weekends passion project, hoping to translate the elements of discovery and competition to a new generation of explorers.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mloLpSDsQUyV.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7mhqqxHkFSQS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Biodrome 1"></p><p>I hovered over Hufnagel’s booth as he fielded a steady stream of interested players. The game is more intuitive than I would have thought at first glance; there’s a highly functional mini-map and straight-forward tool instructions and I never caught anyone glancing down at their keyboard in mystery. Once we got talking about his more obvious influences (Alien, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Zelda II, Quake) out of the way, Pete mentioned&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wolfenstein-the-new-order-review/">the most recent Wolfenstein</a> and the satisfying feel of its weapons. Some of his trial players nodded in agreement. There’s a similar feedback with the weaponry on display in Biodrome.</p><p>Level layouts can be surprisingly vertical, driving players up walls via climbing tools and rocket jumping. Just in the time I was there, Pete pointed out a couple of unique environmental randomizations he hadn’t seen come up before, or a player using an inventive method of traversing the environment. </p><p>Biodrome’s multiplayer element is simple and not especially adversarial; it’s primarily interested in encouraging you to keep the idea of speedrunning in mind. Players compete to be the first to entirely explore an area, to get to any secret areas first, and to collect the most of the alien eggs scattered around the environment. There’s a chat system built in as well, though it’s intentionally rudimentary. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6ZDU4PKkQCOr.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AGfRaGA1UaGt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Biodrome 11"></p><p>Hufnagel has scored the game himself with a dark, Sega&nbsp;Genesis-like synthscape invoking early Joy Division or Siouxsie and the Banshees, creating a gauze of eeriness and unease. </p><p>Biodrome is still in pre-alpha, with a ways to go before it’s available for a public beta. There are still some small issues with UI changes, world maps, the messaging system, making some of the environments look more varied, and layering in more narrative material. Hufnagel also commented that he was still looking for a like-minded artist who could retain the style of his own current assets but improve and iterate upon them, and I can see that a bit more aesthetic polish would bolster the game’s presence.</p><p>Having said that, even unfinished, Biodrome&nbsp;looked smartly designed and accessible to curious players driven to rocket-jump their way through hostile and sometimes bizarre alien worlds.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/demM-cZNxRo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Cave shmups are coming to Steamhttp://www.pcgamer.com/cave-shmups-are-coming-to-steam/Eat your vegetables.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:30:44 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cave-shmups-are-coming-to-steam/News <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoot_'em_up"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5IYVX8bvQTWc.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_1Yux8x40JIK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mushiblahblah shmup thing"></p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoot_'em_up">Shmup</a>, in videogame parlance, is an abbreviation of shoot 'em up. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoot_'em_up#Bullet_hell_and_niche_appeal">Bullet hell</a> is a shmup sub-genre in which the screen is filled with a ridiculous amount of enemy projectiles flying every-which-way. And finally, Cave, according to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_(company)">Wikipedia</a>, is "one of the most active makers of arcade shoot-em-ups in the Japanese market." I tell you all of this because the website at <a href="http://www.caveshmups.com/">Caveshmups.com</a> indicates that at least some of its games are on their way to Steam.</p><p>"Steam can't dodge these bullets," the site says in a brief message below the Cave and Steam logos. "Winter 2015." There's no mention of which games in particular are making the move, but <a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/cave-schmups-coming-to-pc-this-year-the-most-bullets-youll-ever-see-on-screen">PCGamesN</a> notes that the purple stuff on the borders of the site is very reminiscent of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushihimesama">Mushihimesama</a>, which is apparently one of Cave's better-known games. The Cave Shmups site also offers a sign-up option for email notifications of future announcements.</p><p>I don't play shoot-em-ups myself, but I did very much enjoy <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465602/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Shoot Em Up</a>, a silly, fun movie starring Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. It's not relevant to the videogame genre in any way whatsoever, but it's a solid choice if you're looking for something to watch this weekend.</p> This week’s PC gaming dealshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-pc-game-deals/The best PC gaming deals of the week.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +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 some very good older games for very cheap, including Mars&nbsp;smash-em-up Red Faction: Guerrilla and the classic adventure game Syberia. Green Man Gaming is having another large scale, a highlight of which is Skullgirls and all its DLC 75% off. You can get a GTX 970 for close to $300 dollars, which comes with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. There are also a couple of options for cheap Corsair RAM.&nbsp;</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Sb1EiqSTRwCB.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xogsAmxSJHmE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hardware Deals"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>BenQ RL2455Hm 24” 1080p LED monitor</strong> is down to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007HSKSMI/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$173 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Two 8GB sticks (16GB total) of Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2400Mhz RAM</strong> is down to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EUPV2RQ/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$99 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>If you don’t think you need 16GB of RAM, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/new-testing-shows-that-4gb-of-ram-is-still-plenty-for-gaming/" target="_blank">you probably don’t</a>, <strong>two 4GB sticks (8GB total) of Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 1600Mhz RAM</strong> is only <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D2LGT72/?tag=pcgedit-20&amp;ascsubtag=PCGDeals" target="_blank">$55 on Amazon</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong style="background-color: initial;"></strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The <strong>EVGA GTX 970 FTW+ 2.0+ 4GB GPU</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1TNrEcw" target="_blank">$320 on Newegg</a> after a $20 rebate and comes with a free copy of <strong>Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain</strong>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zH9aHn-LRL6I.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b_1wP4rcanyg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Game Deals"></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Spintires</strong> is still only <a href="http://fave.co/1NwZyU4" target="_blank">$7.49 on Gamestop.com</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong></strong><strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>Red Faction: Guerrilla</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1fRvoMF" target="_blank">$4 on GamersGate</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>The classic adventure <strong>Syberia</strong> is <a href="http://fave.co/1NSDYJ1" target="_blank">$2 on GamersGate</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong><strong>Mount and Blade: Warband</strong> is <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/4870" target="_blank">$6.79 on Steam</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong>Green Man Gaming is having a sale called “<a href="http://fave.co/1fRuGz7" target="_blank">The Great Indoors</a>”, which includes <a href="http://fave.co/1NSEhDR" target="_blank">Skullgirls for $3.74</a> and its <a href="http://fave.co/1NSEfvq" target="_blank">DLC 75% off</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> Battleborn closed "technical tests" registration is openhttp://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-closed-technical-tests-registration-is-open/Sign up for prenatal examinations.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:24:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-closed-technical-tests-registration-is-open/News <p>As spotted by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bluesnews.com/s/164661/battleborn-closed-testing-signups">Blue's News</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gearboxsoftware.com/community/articles/1406/pax-prime-2015-inside-gearbox-software-panel">Gearbox</a> has uploaded the video of its PAX Prime 2015 panel to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/gearboxsoftware/v/13302696">Twitch</a>, so if you missed out and you have an hour and three quarters to spare then you can watch it from the comfort of your own home:</p><object bgcolor="#000000" data="http://www.twitch.tv/swflibs/TwitchPlayer.swf" height="378" id="clip_embed_player_flash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"><param name="movie" value="http://www.twitch.tv/swflibs/TwitchPlayer.swf"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="flashvars" value="channel=gearboxsoftware&amp;auto_play=false&amp;start_volume=25&amp;videoId=v13302696&amp;device_id=c9ac2a3bf7273628"></object><p>The panel includes chat about Borderlands, Homeworld, and Battleborn, including the announcement of the closed technical test for the latter. If you're interested in playing a game before it's finished, you can sign up&nbsp;<a href="https://rsvp.battleborn.com/">here</a> (you'll need to have a SHiFT account). It's selective, and participants are selected based on rig requirements and the like.</p><p>If you'd rather play the finished game, well, you'll just have to wait until&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battleborn-gets-a-release-date-and-a-new-video/">February 9</a>.</p> Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide was the best game at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/warhammer-end-times-vermintide-is-the-best-game-at-pax/Our favorite game of PAX was quietly nestled into the Alienware booth, a playable build ofVermintide.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:12:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/warhammer-end-times-vermintide-is-the-best-game-at-pax/Co-opFatshark GamesFPSPAX Prime 2015Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7oYo9roDR9k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> The highlight of PAX Prime this year was, as it often is, seeing what independent developers have been up to since <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-east-2015/">PAX East</a>. We loved <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/">Tharsis</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-up-everything-in-brigador-one-of-the-toughest-games-at-pax/">Brigador</a>, and interesting projects like <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/yiik-is-a-surreal-rpg-with-one-of-the-most-unique-endings-youll-ever-see/">YIIK</a>, but our favorite game of PAX was quietly nestled into the Alienware booth: a playable build of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-show-warhammer-end-times-vermintide/">Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide</a>, the four-player cooperative melee game set in the fiction of Warhammer fantasy.</p><p> Swedish developer Fatshark opened it up for us after the show floor closed, letting us jump around in levels that weren’t accessible to the public. What’s surprising about Vermintide, and absolutely central to its appeal, is how fresh it feels despite its deep similarities to Left 4 Dead. You wade through swarms of Skaven, Warhammer’s ratling bad guys, as you move from the beginning of a map to the end, struggling along the way to survive ambushes from Elite Skaven that toss poison grenades, shoot you with miniguns, or pin you to the ground until an ally saves you. At the end of a level, I lugged explosive barrels from one point to another as more and more Skaven spilled into the level, killing four or five of them at a time with wide-arcing swings from my actual warhammer to keep my AI and human teammates safe.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xkG3Z7lnoQc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> It’s an indisputably familiar formula for any Left 4 Dead player, but that familiarity only added to my comfort level with the combat and controls, and the Skaven themselves have much more personality than the mumbling zombies of L4D. The Skaven will chirp at you. They’ll turn tail and flee in the event that you outnumber them. And most significantly, they’re proper melee fighters. The lowest-level slave rats are simple to dispatch with a single, hard swing from an enchanted flame sword or a shot from your crossbow, but handling the armored Stormvermin soldiers, for example, takes careful blocking, distance, and timing&mdash;all of which are tough to manage when a swarm of a dozen-plus Skaven are encircling your team. Depending on what type of melee weapon you have, you’ll have to apply a heavy attack (activated by holding down Mouse 1) to even injure them.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sTexijlMQs20.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wqu4UnPs2O9q.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Vermintide"></p><p> Nuances like that make you realize how barebones Left 4 Dead 2’s melee combat was. And in combination with Vermintide’s loot and inventory systems, it seems like there’ll be a greater incentive to grind levels at higher difficulties. Finishing a map on a harder setting will result in more loot dice, which could produce rarer gear for one of Vermintide’s five heroes, but there’s even a twist on Left 4 Dead’s “<a href="http://left4dead.wikia.com/wiki/Gnome_Chompski">Gnome Run</a>” that connects with the loot system. Fatshark showed me a well-hidden nook of an early level, a cellar obscured by shrubs that held a Grimoire, a scary-looking book with moving eyes embedded in the cover. Equipping it reduced the health of the whole team by a chunk, but if we made it to the end of the level with this handicap we would’ve been rewarded with the possibility of more loot. Multiple Grimoires can be used in a single level, too, to up the ante even further.</p><p> The melee system is the star, and Vermintide’s iteration on the core, sound ideas of Left 4 Dead made it the best thing we saw at PAX Prime this year. In budget, scale, and personnel, this is Fatshark’s biggest project ever, and from what I’ve played they’re managing gracefully.</p> Diablo 3 2.3 is another excellent free update, but what's next?http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-23-is-another-excellent-free-update-but-whats-next/A magic cube and new zones keep Diablo 3 fresh.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:52:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-23-is-another-excellent-free-update-but-whats-next/Diablo 3 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-dGaKfpFQm2A.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NQNthK1nE5TT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 1"></p><p>Blizzard's decision to add special abilities&nbsp;to weapons and armour was quietly one of the most exciting updates to Diablo 3. These days the number of legendary, gem and set items you can pack onto a single character is extraordinary. An item can revitalise a long-discarded skill, and make builds that were once useless godlike. These aren't dry stat bonuses, they're superpowers.</p><p>When my wizard dies, a meteor strikes his body and brings him back to life. When he zaps enemies with his fire beam, they also take catastrophic poison damage. Gold rains from the sky when he gets massacre bonuses, which is all the time. These extraordinary abilities aren't class characteristics, they're found in the world attached to green and gold item drops, and embedded on the equip screen. Post-70 existence in Diablo 3 has become a quest to forge the perfect synergistic web of powers.</p><p>Patch 2.3 deepens the complexity of these stacking, criss-crossing abilities. Kanai's Cube, found in the snowy ruins of the new Sescheron area, lets you pull item abilities off legendaries and install them directly to your character. This frees up weapon and armour slots, which means more set bonuses and a more creative approach to character customisation.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oNwEOssCTUO5.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yhc6Qb92aE98.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 2"></p><p>The cube is chaperoned by the extremely trustworthy and not-evil Zoltan Khulle, who sends you to Sescheron to retrieve the artefact. It's Diablo 3's equivalent of D2's Horadric Cube, but they function differently. The Horadric equivalent supported dozens of recipes, while Kanai's has seven (plus a few secret ones that let you open up a portal to the treasure goblin world). A lot of the Horadric Cube's functions, like gem management, have been moved on to artisans in D3, so Kanai's box has a more focused purpose: to fill holes in your build.</p><p>For low-Torment characters the ability to upgrade rares to legendaries is useful if you're lacking, say, a decent amulet. If you have a pair of identical set items, you can reforge one to help complete the set. Like the smart loot system, and many Diablo 3 updates since launch, Kanai's Cube accounts for the cruelty of chance. If all you need is a particular set of boots to make your build unstoppable, the cube gives you a structured workaround.&nbsp;</p><p>The cube sends you all over the world. Transmutation materials are earned by completing bounties in adventure mode. A bonus chest is available in one of Diablo's five acts, but if you beat all five bounties and claim the chest, the bonus moves to a different act. This elegantly discourages players from running the same farming routes. I've returned to zones I had almost forgotten, and in addition to the new zone, it makes the game seem fresh again.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wRII1smTTpaZ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/soBsr3Hjy3TO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 4"></p><p>A few of Diablo 3's more grind-heavy activities have been reformed. Keywardens now drop completed infernal machines, which makes the quest for a Hellfire ring markedly less arduous. The rift system has been refreshed to let you run more rifts, which is great. The randomised monster hordes and zones are extremely fun to conquer, and a great way to measure your hero's killing power in certain terms. A couple of item drops encouraged me to switch to an Archon wizard build that let me smash my previous records and barge into higher difficulty levels. It's one of the reasons I haven't been able to tear myself away from the game since picking it up again last week.</p><p>The new zone is nice, too: mournful and quiet, and with a surprisingly beautiful score. The once-proud Barbarian city now plays refuge to hordes of squirming frost maggots, enormous yetis and my personal favourites: the giant rats that are full of smaller rats. Hordes of the little blighters are vomited out of warrens on the mega-rat's wobbling hunchback. They're gross, and extremely satisfying to kill.</p><p>Diablo 3 is in a really good place, and has benefited greatly from major free updates since the launch of Reaper of Souls. These releases are especially important because they show that Blizzard wants to keep the game around, even as it develops Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. In games about building characters over a long time it's vital to know that the progression curve will continue. We're all waiting for something&mdash;an expansion announcement, perhaps&mdash;to guarantee Diablo 3's longevity, but 2.3 is a good free stop-gap for the meantime.</p> Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gets a release datehttp://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date/ThePC release is due for the same day as consoles.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:41:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date/Deus Ex: Mankind DividedNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZLavpDVVRwSW.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4niMUyhKFhJS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Mankind Divided release date"></p><p>Earlier today, the official Deus Ex twitter account&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/DeusEx/status/638320405867036672">tweeted</a> what I suppose you'd call a release date teaser, i.e. the above image but with the important numbers covered up by two Eyes of Providence, with the caption "Today is going to be an interesting day." An hour later they&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/DeusEx/status/638336169558810624">tweeted</a> the unobscured image with the date in that backwards format they use in the States, so I'm afraid&nbsp;"interesting" may have been pushing it.</p><p>In fact, the most interesting thing that I can see is that&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/638328562680885248">Sony</a> presumably had some kind of deal that let them reveal the release date&mdash;naturally only mentioning the PS4 version of the game&mdash;half an hour earlier than the Deus Ex account itself. But not to worry, we waited to make sure the PC version would arrive on the same day and apparently it will, on Steam, on February 23 next year.</p><p>Not sure if you'll want it yet? Check out some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-25-minutes-of-deus-ex-mankind-divided-gameplay/">gameplay</a> or watch the devs have some fun with a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-human-revolution-devs-make-fun-of-own-game-in-lets-play-video/">Let's Play</a>.</p> Space Beast Terror Fright is Aliens meets slapstickhttp://www.pcgamer.com/space-beast-terror-fright-game/In SBTF, armored marines board ships overrun with pissed-off aliens.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/space-beast-terror-fright-game/FPSSpace Beast Terror FrightTriggernometry <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bSY8_5QVRXWC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gkb06FkhlpmZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf10" style="background-color: initial;"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">TRIGGERNOMETRY</h5> <p> We write about FPSes each week in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/triggernometry" target="_blank">Triggernometry</a>, a mixture of tips, esports,&nbsp;and a celebration of virtual marksmanship. </p> </div><p> “There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just really hard,” Johannes Norneby tells me. He and Madeleine Bengtsson are consoling me from their home in Götenborg, Sweden. I confessed that my first experience with their game, Space Beast Terror Fright, ended in a flash, a scream, and a bloody death. It turns out that’s how it goes for everyone the first time.</p><p> In SBTF, armored marines board ships overrun with pissed-off aliens. The plan: get in, pull the data servers, set the engine to overload, and get out. The game takes inspiration from familiar aliens-vs-marines setups: Games Workshop's Space Hulk and James Cameron's Aliens. The heart of SBTF, though, is its use of campy, over-the-top humor as a balance for jumpscares and horror.</p><p> “You watch some people who are really well organized and they have a plan. They’re in the airlock and they’re all ready to go and they’re being so serious,”&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;says. “And then they open the airlock and they take two steps and everyone dies&hellip; Then they start to laugh.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KrtDlq8kQl6a.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_fT1KDuIn8c6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf7"></p><p> Marines in SBTF are clunking, armored monsters themselves. A cluttered heads-up display augments the dim interior, lit only by flashlights and emergency bulbs. The walls bristle with CRT monitors and dead switches. The first-person perspective is claustrophobic and chaotic&mdash;the marines themselves so massive they block entire hallways.</p><p> Like Aliens itself, SBTF missions are cinematic. Things start slow, with scattered groups of aliens hiding down lonely, clean hallways. More and more aliens pile in as the team pulls out the ship’s server hardware. The mission builds to a crescendo as the marines shut down the engine coolant and haul ass back to the airlock through waves of angry teeth.</p><p> Into this bleak environment, the humor leaks through in small ways. Alien and human corpses explode into showers of blood, decorating hallways with chunks and arterial spray. A good-sized battle leaves a squishy carpet of parts for the survivors to wade through.</p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FRtmmHDuSWI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Then there’s the guns’ comically bright muzzle flash. It is blinding, like firing the Death Star’s main gun inside a shoe box. I ask about the muzzle flash, which takes up so much screen space that I focus on short bursts not just for accuracy, but so I can see what’s going on.</p><p> “Well, you want the weapon to be powerful,”&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;says. The guns are definitely powerful. Along with the huge muzzle flash, these high-caliber beasts kill aliens in one or two shots. Laughing with glee is common. “You need to have a powerful weapon to combat how difficult the game is,”&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;agrees, “and then I realized that you can make the player more powerful if the game is harder, and that sort of escalated.”</p><p> Giant guns and giant marines and giant alien insectoids: it’s all a silly veneer on a game that rarely gives a moment to breathe, and that’s on purpose. “If the game was this hard and serious, people would think that it was just too hard. That’s the reaction we got from our friends in Sweden: no one would laugh at it, they just thought it was too hard.”&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;laughs. “It’s too much for Sweden. Swedish people are, like, more mellow.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F9T5GSFrQ166.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nMvg44Y-z0f4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf4"></p><p>Norneby&nbsp;has a background with the Swedish games development industry, working with studios like DICE and Ubisoft in that mellow environment&mdash;which he calls “super serious.” He wanted to be a little ridiculous, but he saw little room for whimsy. “If you think about The Division and what that’s become. If you think about DICE and Battlefield&mdash;you couldn’t put Super Mario in there, you know?”</p><p> Instead,&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;and&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;took a prototype to Steam Greenlight, and the positive response there prompted them to work on SBTF full time. “We really struck a chord internationally with this, and that was really cool and vindicating,” Johannes says. “It seems like, especially North Americans, they’re like, ‘yes, this is crazy! It ate my face in two seconds, I want to do it again!’” With no one to tell them no, they’re specializing in silly. “The things we’re doing&mdash;we’re putting our own scared faces on the marines... It’s all the stuff from a [ridiculous] standpoint that I was never able to do.”</p><p> The humor might take a bit of the sting out of losing, but eventually players will want to win. What&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;and&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;are seeing is that successful players in the community share a love of much more serious games like Arma. “To me that’s sort of illogical, but in a way, there are aspects of our game that are&mdash;it’s not that they’re realistic, but they’re systemic&hellip; Nothing is scripted, we just build a system and throw people into it and see what happens.”</p> Diablo 3's fourth season is live nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-fourth-season-is-live-now/With seasonal rewards, for those who want everything.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:18:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-fourth-season-is-live-now/Diablo 3NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NOnBRYzGQYCZ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Es49ThPVDV9P.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Season 4" style="width: 571px; background-color: initial;"></p><p>Diablo 3's third season ran <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-third-season-starts-next-month/">earlier this year</a>, and now we're onto season four. For those who don't know what a season is, it's basically an excuse for you to start over with a new character, a "Seasonal Hero" that can only play with other Seasonal Heroes until the season is over.</p><p>These seasons feature new challenges and rewards, which in this case Blizzard <a href="https://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/19858618/season-4-now-live-8-28-2015">says</a> will include "new Legendaries, an exclusive Transmogrification set only available to those who compete in each Season, and Season-only achievements called Conquests." At the end of the season, your currency, materials, recipes, etc. will be transferred over to your non-seasonal profile.</p><p>There's also a new "Seasons Journey" interface that lets you track what's going on. Looks like this Season Journey gets you a new pet and portrait frame.</p><p>If you want to play season 4, create a new character and then make sure to check the "Seasonal Hero" box in the bottom-left corner of the character creation screen. Like this:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9JsOumPJTOyB.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5Y0rhyekpWJI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Seasonal Hero" style="width: 571px;"></p> Metal Gear Solid 5 disc seems to only contain Steam installerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-disc-seems-to-only-contain-steam-installer/That's a 28GB launch day download.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:12:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-disc-seems-to-only-contain-steam-installer/ActionMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainNews <p>If you want to play Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on PC (and why wouldn't you?), be wary that the old-school physical disc option may not be as traditional as it seems.&nbsp;As reported by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2015/08/31/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-pc-disc-only-contains-steam-installer/">VG247</a>, one customer who's got hold of their disc early&nbsp;has&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/graphure/status/637981198229368836">tweeted</a> screenshots of its contents: one 8.78MB&nbsp;Steam installer and nothing else.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FveZeBfiQzmD.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HsMh_pSVwlGP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS V Steam installer"></p><p>We don't have access to a physical copy of the game yet to verify, but if true this means that&nbsp;owners of the physical copy will have to download&nbsp;all of the game files, and&nbsp;the&nbsp;28GB system requirement suggest it will be a sizeable download. Sadly, you can't even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-will-not-have-a-preload-option/">preload</a>. I guess while you wait for the download to finish&nbsp;you could always read up on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-become-a-metal-gear-expert-before-the-phantom-pain-comes-out/">story so far</a> or prepare your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/prepare-the-perfect-ground-zeroes-save-file-for-metal-gear-solid-5/">Ground Zeroes</a> save file for transfer. Good thing it's apparently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-review-roundup-nothing-but-love/">such a good game</a>, right?</p><p>Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is out tomorrow.</p> Prison Architect final alpha, 36, out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-final-alpha-36-out-now/Final update includes random event system: fires, viruses, and more.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:57:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-final-alpha-36-out-now/NewsPrison Architect <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h-DOViwa-q4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Alpha 36 represents the end of three years of Prison Architect's alpha. As we found out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escapes-early-access-in-october/">last month</a>, Prison Architect V1 will be available in October, and while the game will continue to receive updates they'll no longer be alpha updates, which means an end to these alpha update videos (with the exception of a special live V1 launch video planned for EGX in late September).</p><p>This final alpha update includes the new "random event system", which the developers describe as like the random events in SimCity but not as&nbsp;"stupid". Examples include fire. Rather than have individual&nbsp;cookers set to catch fire once per set period of time, which in a big prison would lead to almost constant fires, the random event system sits apart from the rest of the simulation and just decides every now and then to create a fire, for example in a kitchen or power station.</p><p>As with gangs, which were introduced in another recent update, the random event system is optional. It's designed to make things more challenging, and so is set up to only induce events when you're doing relatively&nbsp;well. Players will need to keep possible events in mind and do things like install sprinklers, keep their power stations running relatively low, etc.</p><p>Check out the 35-minute update video if you want to find out more about the kind&nbsp;of random events you can expect, like the viruses that make people look like zombies.</p> Win access to the Company of Heroes 2: British Forces trialhttp://www.pcgamer.com/win-access-to-the-company-of-heroes-2-british-forces-trial/We have 5000 codes to give away.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:55:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-access-to-the-company-of-heroes-2-british-forces-trial/Company of Heroes 2giveawayStrategy <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0zItaGTKRc2S.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/az76JJGtBZwC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Company of Heroes 2 2"></p><p> The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.companyofheroes.com/age-gate">British Forces</a> are set to storm Company of Heroes 2 on September 3. How would you like to fight for Her Majesty's gov't sooner? A limited free trial runs from 6pm BST / 10am PDT today through to Wednesday 2, and we have 5,000 Steam keys to give away that will let you in.</p><p> To enter, simply click through to the giveaway page, pop in your email address and the key will appear. First come, first served.</p><h4><a href="https://woobox.com/e4852w">Enter the giveaway here</a></h4><p> The British Forces adds the British army to Company of Heroes 2 for use in multiplayer and skirmish modes. The pack also adds eight new maps and three commanders that unlock the Brits' most powerful abilities, like the one that lets you drop gliders full of commandos on enemy units. Find out more in our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/commandos-tanks-and-top-swearing-in-coh2-the-british-forces/">British Forces&nbsp;hands-on</a> from last week. The expansion has excellent swearing.</p><p> The British Forces&nbsp;goes live on Thursday and costs £9.99 / $12.99.</p> Witcher 3 expansion is coming soon, and so is 'good news' about Gwenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/witcher-3-expansion-is-coming-soon-and-so-is-good-news-about-gwent/Standalone version of the card game isn't in active development, though.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:06:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/witcher-3-expansion-is-coming-soon-and-so-is-good-news-about-gwent/NewsPAX Prime 2015RPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jjbiSdYCQAmG.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KLLecCoJtDtW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"></p><p>I really miss&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/">The Witcher 3</a>. It's one of those rare games that I kinda want to live inside. I don't&nbsp;really mind that rabid wolves and drowners roam around every corner. It's kinda like that here&nbsp;in Sydney, too. So it comes as welcome news that CD Projekt RED is drawing close to completing the long-awaited Heart of Stone expansion, which is due in October. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/08/30/the-witcher-3s-first-expansion-heart-of-stone-almost-ready-good-news-coming-for-gwent-lovers/">DualShockers</a>, the studio's&nbsp;Travis Currit says "it's almost ready".</p><p>That little tidbit was captured at PAX, which is happening in Seattle right now. During another panel, senior writer&nbsp;Jakub Szamalek mentioned that there is "some good news for Gwent players coming up". That presumably doesn't include a much-asked-for standalone edition of the game, as when asked about that Szamalek said he'd talk to his colleagues about it. No, this "good news" about Gwent must mean something else.&nbsp;</p><p>Whatever the case, the recently released NG+ DLC is definitely not the last word on Geralt, especially since CD Projekt intends to support the game well into 2016, after which they'll hopefully broach the topic of Cyberpunk 2077.</p><p>Cheers,&nbsp;<a href="http://au.ign.com/articles/2015/08/31/pax-2015-cd-projekt-red-teases-witcher-3-gwent-news">IGN</a>.</p> Checking out Logitech's new Artemis Spectrum headsets at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/checking-out-logitechs-new-artemis-spectrum-headsets-at-pax/We stopped by the Logitech booth at PAX Prime 2015to get a rundown on its new headsets.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:45:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/checking-out-logitechs-new-artemis-spectrum-headsets-at-pax/HardwareLogitechPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pH9jK9NmSFE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Logitech has two new headsets on show at PAX Prime,&nbsp;the wired&nbsp;Artemis Spectrum G633 and the wireless G933, both of which&nbsp;feature its new 'Pro-G' audio drivers, which the company&nbsp;claims offer "audiophile-like performance." In the video above, I talk with Doug Sharp, Logitech's&nbsp;global product marketing manager of gaming audio (whew),&nbsp;about that claim and the&nbsp;headsets' other&nbsp;features, which Wes also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/logitech-launches-g633-and-g933-artemis-spectrum-71-headsets/">wrote about in detail&nbsp;a few days ago</a>.</p><p> Only a small number&nbsp;of the new sets are on sale&nbsp;at PAX, but they'll releasing wide soon.&nbsp;The wired G633 launches in mid-to-late&nbsp;September for $150, and the wireless G933 is out in October for $200.</p><p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8SKdPeprQ4ma.bmp" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NI_TCI-z-e9Z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The side panels can be removed&mdash;one side stores the dongle, and the other houses the rechargeable battery." class=""><figcaption>The side panels can be removed&mdash;one side stores the dongle, and the other houses the rechargeable battery.</figcaption></figure></p> Battlefield 4 Night Operations DLC is rolling out this weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-night-operations-dlc-is-rolling-out-this-week/New night time version of Zavod to roll out September 1.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 23:59:46 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-night-operations-dlc-is-rolling-out-this-week/Battlefield 4FPSNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zqCXQG71S6Wk.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ox3hhNHJ4ukm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefield 4 Night Operations"></p><p>It's a huge week for new releases, but if you're still sinking hours into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4/">Battlefield 4</a> then you'll be pleased to hear that the free Night Operations DLC will start rolling out on September 1. That's Tuesday. The Night Operations pack brings a new version of the Zavod map designed to compliment "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-gets-sneakier-with-night-operations-dlc/">stealthy and tactical gameplay</a>".</p><p>The Summer Patch is also rolling out September 1. For more on the changes that will bring, check out the video below. Then at the bottom there's a cinematic trailer for the Night Operations DLC, if things like that take your fancy.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yzZTW2e8FfM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VERIy7MzHdg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Left 4 Dead meets Warhammer: new footage of Vermintidehttp://www.pcgamer.com/left-4-dead-meets-warhammer-interview-with-vermintide-creators-fatshark/Evan talks with Liam O'Neill about Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide at PAX Prime 2015.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:45:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/left-4-dead-meets-warhammer-interview-with-vermintide-creators-fatshark/ActionPAX Prime 2015Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xkG3Z7lnoQc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><em>Read&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warhammer-end-times-vermintide-is-the-best-game-at-pax/"><em>why Vermintide was our favorite game at PAX</em></a><em>, featuring more exclusive footage.</em></p><p> One of the gems at PAX this year is&nbsp;Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, Fatshark's melee fantasy take on Left 4 Dead's co-op survival.&nbsp;&nbsp;Above, we&nbsp;talk with line producer Liam O'Neill about melee maneuvering, loot, and the Warhammer universe. Within the interview is video we shot of us playing the game here at PAX, which included a look at some levels of Vermintide that were only shown to PC Gamer.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Obsidian on what’s next for Pillars of Eternity: 'We own something now'http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-on-whats-next-for-pillars-of-eternity-we-own-something-now/Obsidian held a PAXpanel to discuss some of the problems they faced and lessons they learned.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:36:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-on-whats-next-for-pillars-of-eternity-we-own-something-now/NewsPAX Prime 2015Pillars of EternityPillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1RPG <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZR9cGMn6RPaG.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3d-1BkRN5vEE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pillars White March"></p><p> Pillars of Eternity certainly evokes feelings of a simpler time in gaming, but the process of developing Obsidian's first crowdfunded game was anything but simple. At PAX Prime this weekend in Seattle, several of the lead developers of Pillars of Eternity held a panel to discuss some of the problems they faced and lessons they learned, along with a hearty dose of funny stories. But the underlying current throughout the panel was that, despite modelling itself after role-playing games from a much older era, Pillars of Eternity presented a surprising amount of unique challenges that the independent studio had to conquer.</p><p> "I don't think it was worthwhile developing for Linux," Brandon Adler, lead producer said in response to questions the team had gathered from Twitter before the show. "They are a very, very small portion of our active user base&mdash;I think around one and a half percent of our users were Linux."</p><p> One of the initial promises the team had made during their Kickstarter campaign was to bring Pillars of Eternity to both Mac and Linux platforms, but, looking back, Adler felt like the challenges involved were simply not worth the return that the studio received.</p><blockquote> "Prior to doing Pillars, every time we worked on a game it was always something that belonged to someone else." </blockquote><p> "It wasn't a huge drain on us," he added, "but there were a lot of problems." "Getting it up and running on Linux wasn't that bad," Adam Brennecke, the lead programmer for Pillars of Eternity added. "There's a lot of other logistical problems."</p><p> Brennecke went through a surprisingly long list of issues that, even for a veteran studio like Obsidian, proved to make Linux a less and less desirable platform to create games for. Outside of actually learning to develop for Mac and Linux, something that Obsidian had to learn as they went along, there were much more daunting challenges, with fixing bugs being one of the most arduous. Even though Pillars of Eternity was developed using the Unity engine, which can build games on multiple platforms, the process involved just didn't seem worth it in hindsight.</p><p> "Overall, if we had to do that one again, we would think a little bit harder about it," Adler joked.</p><p> But even outside of the stresses of developing for operating systems as native to PCs as Linux, the team faced some interesting challenges in bringing their vision for a golden age role-playing game to life.</p><p> One of the more painful challenges involved the work that went into building the beautifully detailed world of Pillars of Eternity. Brennecke said that each of the hundred or more backgrounds in Pillars of Eternity were rendered using Maya, a 3D modelling program.</p><p> "It's not unlike a CG movie where you press render and you have to wait several hours before you get the finished product," Brennecke explained. "But when we were in pre-production, a lot of our areas took about 40 hours to render one scene."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/385l_MnUQg6F.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4F0J45CFlfJ7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part One"></p><p> Brennecke went on to say that, when dealing with the hundreds of areas they had in the game, the time required to render each one became exorbitantly time consuming, especially when each scene could need to be rendered several times before finally reaching a finished state.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> Backgrounds used to take 40 hours to render one scene! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PillarsofEternity?src=hash">#PillarsofEternity</a> </p><p> &mdash; Obsidian (@Obsidian) <a href="https://twitter.com/Obsidian/status/637750106607910913">August 29, 2015</a> </p></blockquote><p> But while designing Pillars of Eternity was no easy feat, it was evident that the team is extremely hungry to jump back into process. Last Tuesday, the first part of the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-i-review/">White March</a> expansion was released, and Obsidian is already working away on part two. Though they didn't have much new information to share, they did show off some very rough concept art detailing a new area they were working on.</p><p> Eventually, as they set their sights further into the future, the obvious question of a sequel was brought up. "We're very interested in a sequel," Brennecke said. "We own something now and that is huge for us. For an indie developer, to have your own thing&mdash;it's fantastic. We can make a sequel and we don't even have to go to a publisher; we hold all the cards now."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Want to see what the logo could have looked like for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PillarsofEternity?src=hash">#PillarsofEternity</a>? <a href="http://t.co/OIRkBMcPLp">pic.twitter.com/OIRkBMcPLp</a></p><p>&mdash; Obsidian (@Obsidian) <a href="https://twitter.com/Obsidian/status/637748104398147584">August 29, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> As the panel wound to a close, Sawyer had some thoughts that made it evident that, for Obsidian, Pillars of Eternity was more than just a crowdfunding success story but a realization that the studio was no longer chained to the whims of the licensed properties that they traditionally developed for.</p><p> "I think it's changed people's ideas inside the studio about what types of games we can make," Sawyer said. "Prior to doing Pillars [of Eternity], every time we worked on a game it was always something that belonged to someone else because publishers do not want you to retain the rights to those things, so it's also changed our internal thought processes about the sorts of games that we can work on."</p><p> <em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Sublevel Zero is a roguelike that scratches the same itch as Descenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/sublevel-zero-is-a-roguelike-the-scratches-the-same-itch-as-descent/Are you ready for first-personpermadeath with complete freedom of movement?Sun, 30 Aug 2015 18:27:54 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/sublevel-zero-is-a-roguelike-the-scratches-the-same-itch-as-descent/indie gamesPAX Prime 2015Sublevel Zero <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jz2TO72yQxag.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k0FBLvq8mIlu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>Roguelikes are a well-established part of the PC gaming landscape, with procedural gameplay, permadeath, and an eye-watering level of difficulty all key elements of the genre’s DNA. But what happens when you take those ideas and implement them in a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_freedom">six degree of freedom</a> (or ‘6DoF’) shooter?</p><p>Answer: You get Sublevel Zero, which I had a chance to check out at PAX. I also talked with Luke Thompson, co-founder and lead programmer at Sigtrap, about how procedural gameplay will keep bringing players coming back, and the challenges of implementing procedural design in a 6DoF game. </p><p>For those who never had a chance to play Descent&mdash;the forefather of 6DoF&mdash;this style of game may not be instantly familiar. In Sublevel Zero you pilot a ship from a first-person perspective, exploring an intricate, almost-claustrophobic complex, finding keys and battling enemies in search of a reactor to destroy at the level’s end. But this is no trad ship sim&mdash;you can move up, down, left, right and backwards just as easily as you can thrust forwards. Think of it like controlling a helicopter with benefits. </p><p>“There’s a few key difficulties for procedural generation in this kind of game,” Thompson explained after my first playthrough. “It’s tricky when you take something from two dimensions to three, and when I say three dimensions I don’t just mean like a first person-shooter. I mean something where the Z-axis is exactly as important as the X and Y-axis.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AVYGRu-9RA68.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1rrGwAfJFHPW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>“One of the things we do as levels go on, and you’re further into the campaign, is the up-and-down gameplay increases. The map will tend to be flatter earlier on, to give you more of a chance to get used to the controls, then get more complex as your understanding increases. Over time you really do develop a spatial awareness.”</p><p>Which is something I can attest to even after playing and dying a handful of times. The controls&mdash;which enabled me to twitchily move around any direction, while still maintaining the sense of weight and momentum you’d expect from piloting a large vessel&mdash;came easily by the time I was on my second playthrough. More importantly, my awareness of where I was in relation to everything around me had also drastically improved.</p><p>Thompson explained how the procedural systems generate levels: “We’ve got this concept of the critical path [that] goes from the beginning of the level to its end, and there’s always going to be side paths built around [this main path]. On the critical path enemy difficulty increases linearly, but outside it the system will generate enemies that are more difficult, to guard more powerful unlockable weapons and crafting items than those you’ll find on the main path.”</p><p>I wasn’t exactly sure when I was on the critical path versus when I’d strayed off the beaten track, but I did find a variety of different weapons and items for crafting, from missiles large and small, to machine guns, and various laser rifles, each with their own ammunition and associated tactics. Though I wasn’t able to craft a weapon from the items I had found during the demo, you’ll need to find weapon components, with different stats, and spend a found resource called nanites to combine them. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KSNCjFvLQymx.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XflmVsnE44NF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>My expanding arsenal helped when I started running out of ammo for my initial guns, and was forced to switch up loadouts on the fly. Thompson said that they wanted to implement ammunition scarcity, both to ensure players kept trying new weapons, as well as to make sure the tension was ratcheted up. </p><p>It works. By the end of my demo I was frantically dodging and weaving through the gunfire and charging melee attacks from the various enemy types, forcing myself to quickly change weapons and strategies as my health and ammo counters rapidly approached zero. Health powerups did exist, but they were sparse.</p><p>There will be dozens of guns available in Sublevel Zero, all of which will be available to find and craft, through subsequent playthroughs, once they’re initially unlocked. The real trick in a roguelike, according to Thompson, is making sure that these unlockable weapons aren’t just more powerful than those you start with, but rather come with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Since every death starts the player back at the beginning, Thompson believes that the knowledge of having unlocked these special weapons, and the desire to try out the new approaches they enable, will keep players returning.</p><p>Sublevel Zero is currently slated for an October release, and feels like it’ll finally scratch that Descent itch many of us have suffered with for decades now. The demo was certainly a challenge, and I never managed to find the reactor I was looking for, but I can’t wait to dive back in and try again.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_KXERLxXQzOl.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/giQGn-uwm1Ht.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Unnamed4"></p> How Cities: Skylines is using the mod scene to inspire updateshttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-using-the-mod-scene-to-inspire-future-updates/We talk to Cities lead designerKaroliina Korppoo about the After Dark expansion and modding.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 18:26:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-using-the-mod-scene-to-inspire-future-updates/Cities: SkylinesPAX Prime 2015sim <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wPWmcunu8cU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Cities: Skyline's first expansion,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-getting-nocturnal-after-dark-expansion/">After Dark</a>, is out next month on September 24. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">PAX Prime</a> this weekend, we had a chance to talk to Cities' lead designer, Karoliina Korppoo, about the expansion and how&nbsp;the flourishing modding scene provides ideas for official content. Check it out above.</p> Six teens in the UK arrested in relation to Lizard Squad attackshttp://www.pcgamer.com/six-teens-in-the-uk-arrested-in-relation-to-lizard-squad-attacks/The six allegedly used the 'Lizard Stresser' tool to launch attacks against Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:10:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/six-teens-in-the-uk-arrested-in-relation-to-lizard-squad-attacks/John Smedleylizard squadNews <p>Police in the UK have arrested six teenagers for allegedly employing the 'Lizard Stresser' against at least three major corporate websites. As the name implies, the service, which uses a network of infected computers to launch DDoS attacks, was created by the notorious collective that calls itself the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lizard-squad/">Lizard Squad</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-28/teenagers-who-attacked-amazon-sony-websites-arrested-in-u-k-">Bloomberg</a> reports that the six, all males aged 15 to 18, were not actually members of Lizard Squad, but allegedly made use of the service to cause grief. The UK's National Crime Agency did not say which companies were targeted by the attacks, which occurred between August 24 and 27, nor how successful they were, but according to Bloomberg an online database indicates that the lads directed their efforts toward Amazon, Sony, and Microsoft.</p><p>“By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like Lizard Stresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services," Tony Adams, head of investigations at the NCA’s cybercrime unit, told the publication.</p><p>Lizard Squad came to prominence last year following a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battle-net-stabilizes-after-ddos-attack-but-lizard-squad-hackers-remain-active/">series of attacks</a> against sites and services including League of Legends, Battle.net, and Sony Online Entertainment. One of its members, 17-year-old Julius Kivimaki, was arrested last&nbsp;for his role in similar attacks, and is accused of using a bomb threat to divert a plane carrying John Smedley, then CEO of Sony Online Entertainment. Smedley's less-than-happy reaction to news that Kivimaki would not face jail time for his crimes sparked a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/daybreak-game-company-suffers-ddos-attack-lizard-squad-claims-credit/">new round of DDoS attacks</a> targeting SOE's successor company, Daybreak Game Company.</p> Peril, dice, and cannibalism in Tharsis, a game about our first mission to Marshttp://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/The fate of the first manned mission to Mars was sealed with a six-sided die.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:04:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/PAX Prime 2015RoguelikeStrategyTharsisVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C0U8zBWU4bw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> The fate of the first manned&nbsp;mission to Mars was sealed with a six-sided die.&nbsp;<a href="http://totallychoice.com/presskits/tharsis">Tharsis</a> is one of the most interesting games at PAX, an intersection of boardgames, FTL-style presentation,&nbsp;a mostly-realistic representation of space travel, and roguelike-like permadeath. And cannibalism, or at least the possibility of it.</p><p>Responsible for a small crew, you have to direct astronauts to complete repairs and tasks&nbsp;across different modules of the spacecraft&nbsp;(each of which provide different bonuses), all while keeping them alive, fed, and sane. Tharsis plays out like a digital board game, with dice spent each round to fix stuff on the ship or complete research, and how you manage the risk of spending those dice (or&nbsp;re-rolling them to get a better result) determines&nbsp;the fate of your tiny astronauts, and which of Tharsis' different endings you'll arrive at.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> King's Quest Chapter 2 teaser and details revealed at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-chapter-2-teaser-and-details-revealed-at-pax/It's called Rubble Without a Cause, and features a golden Graham.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-chapter-2-teaser-and-details-revealed-at-pax/AdventureKing's QuestKing's Quest: A Knight to RememberNewsPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cYzLdN4sT4CN.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HRwuCeV9Aljl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="King's Quest"></p><p>Mirror mirror on the wall, do you have any details for King's Quest's second chapter at all? Yes, yes it does, as they've just been revealed at PAX Prime by developer The Odd Gentlemen. In Chapter 2, AKA *groan*&nbsp;'Rubble Without a Cause', a newly crowned King Graham will need to deal with some pesky goblins, who have only gone and kidnapped everyone in Daventry.</p><p>While the first chapter was inspired by King's Quest 1 and 2, this next part will&nbsp;take more cues from KQ3, The Odd Gentlemen stated during their PAX Panel.&nbsp;"Those games were always changing and evolving,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/8/28/9223837/kings-quest-episode-two-will-be-rubble-without-a-cause" target="_blank">Polygon</a> quotes. "We want to play with that."</p><p>Here's an incredibly short teaser trailer that features some goblins scampering after Graham against a black background. There, now you don't need to watch it.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TtoJchJSJSc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Rubble Without a Cause will be out before the end of the year. Richard Cobbett&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-a-knight-to-remember-review/" target="_blank">reckoned</a> the first part was&nbsp;"a&nbsp;comfortable adventure on a noble path, but wearing spurs of a squire instead of the crown of a king".</p> What if Minecraft was more like EVE Online?http://www.pcgamer.com/what-if-minecraft-was-more-like-eve-online/Eco is a sandbox survival game where players' actions damage a shared ecosystem.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:23:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-if-minecraft-was-more-like-eve-online/EcoPAX Prime 2015Survival <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSKrMk5HF0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/eco-is-an-open-world-survival-game-that-will-let-you-destroy-the-planet/">Eco</a> is a sandbox survival game where players' actions damage a shared ecosystem. Mining, hunting, and lumberjacking all impact species of plants and animals on the world, life that doesn't infinitely replenish.&nbsp;It's&nbsp;Minecraft with a conscience, but it also has the potential to be a fascinating social game with the capacity for political machinations and the sort of social engineering we usually associate with EVE Online, as Strange Loop Games'&nbsp;John Krajewski told me during PAX. There are and will continue to be&nbsp;a ton of Minecraft-alikes out there, but Eco stands out both as a thought-provoking social exercise and as a game that will probably&nbsp;produce interesting stories of cooperation or conflict that we'll be hearing about for the next several years.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Mighty No. 9 demo releasing for backers this Septemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-demo-releasing-for-backers-this-september/After the game was delayed until next year.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-demo-releasing-for-backers-this-september/Mighty No. 9NewsPAX Prime 2015Platformer <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pfojvkyNRrOS.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/we-oab0DlQF7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mighty No. 9"></p><p>Do you like mega, mighty, or otherwise upstanding gentlemen? Then you'll love, maybe, Mighty No. 9, providing you also like platformers and that game Keiji Inafune is always making. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightyno9/mighty-no-9" target="_blank">Kickstarted</a> game&nbsp;was recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-is-officially-delayed/" target="_blank">delayed&nbsp;until next year</a>, but if you're jonesing for some robo-based sidescrolling you'll be pleased to hear that a multi-stage&nbsp;demo is on the way to PC&nbsp;next month. It's unfortunately&nbsp;only releasing for people who backed the game on Kickstarter, but you can always check out the resultant streams and videos for a sneak peek at the upcoming game.</p><p>Creator Keiji Inafune announced the news at PAX Prime, while also&nbsp;revealing that backers will receive a Steam code for the formerly 3DS-exclusive platformer&nbsp;<a href="http://mightygunvolt.com/en/" target="_blank">Mighty Gunvolt</a> next week. That game's spin-off, Azure Striker Gunvolt, has just been released on Steam, and comes with a free copy of Mighty Gunvolt anyway.</p> Mod creates a spreading monster infection in The Witcher 3http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-creates-a-spreading-monster-infection-in-the-witcher-3/Vitamin C won't ward this off.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 09:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-creates-a-spreading-monster-infection-in-the-witcher-3/Mod of the WeekModsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K2M-n1rnQCuQ.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vtIwmPgLPEFK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I worry about the people living in the world of The Witcher 3. They're basically surrounded by horrible monsters at all times, building their towns next to lakes filled with Drowners and watching the skies for griffins and wyverns they have no hope of killing. And, things are about to get much, much worse.</p><p>When activated,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/420/?">the Infection Mode mod</a> summons a disgusting Devourer&nbsp;a few feet away from Geralt. For ten seconds it will stand there, being gross and sounding disgusting and, I must point out, not even wearing pants. Come on, monsters, get your act together.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nqR4-YOMQ4WP.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wKPizplb3OEx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>After ten seconds, it will attack Geralt. Or, if you're the type of Witcher who spawns the monster&nbsp;next to a guard and then runs away, it&nbsp;will attack the guard. I have to assume guards are used to being attacked by all sorts of monsters, but Infection Mode is a little different. The moment the creature&nbsp;lands an attack on the guard, the guard turns into a monster&nbsp;himself. So, now there's two of them, both looking for a fresh victim.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eII3lKANQ3i5.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6h7Y3h4E0u2S.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I happened to be outside the town of Blandare, and with both of those monsters looking to carve off a piece of Geralt, I decided it was a great time to sprint into town and run a few errands. The monsters followed. People began screaming. Some tried to fight, others began to flee, many just shrieked and cowered. There really wasn't much of a difference, because everyone who was touched became a monster and touched someone else.</p><p>Within a minute or two most of the town had been infected. It appears the game will spawn more and more guards to replace those that have fallen, or maybe they just run in from other locations, but there always seemed to be a new pack of soldiers trying to fight off the infection, only to become stricken themselves.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DY5hAgjTTx-q.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UDBdntJ4jb8p.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I hate to say it, but even the children of Blandare became infected, turning into horribly adorable tiny monster kids. One scaly&nbsp;little boy&nbsp;turned, ran down the road past me and some cowering farmers to attack a group of soldiers. It infected one, which infected another, and soon everyone had come down with a nasty&nbsp;case of the monsters.</p><p>I eventually ran away, and fast-traveled to a different part of the world, then came back to see how everyone in Blandare was dealing with the problem. I would have to say... not well.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k2Y6F44OS0iY.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RRRs6OCGA9iZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>Needless to say, as well as not being great for the health of the NPCs, having roughly one million creepy naked&nbsp;monsters on your screen may result in some adverse effects. Twice, when the population of Blandare rose to roughly a hundred monsters, the game crashed. And, quite frankly, I was relieved it did, because gross!</p><p>I also don't know what this will do to your&nbsp;game if you save it in this condition, what with everyone in town becoming monsters&nbsp;and presumably unable to give quests or buy your pocketfuls of collected detritus, so I'd have to advise against&nbsp;saving your game while using this mod, or at least create a new save file for it.</p><p>To run the mod you'll need to have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/143/?">the updated debug console mod</a> installed. I'm also pleased to see the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/modmanager/?">Nexus Mod Manager</a> now supports The Witcher 3 mods made using the toolkit, which makes installing mods much, much&nbsp;easier. You can find&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/420/?">Infection Mode</a> mod here.&nbsp;</p><p>Just be careful. It didn't end well for any of us. Not the townspeople, not&nbsp;Roach, not all those cows in the field, and not Geralt.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KCHNUCXRSrmn.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nYBf1lPO5WdB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p> Homefront: The Revolution interview - new publishers and guerrilla warfarehttp://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution-interview-new-publishers-and-guerrilla-warfare/A chat with Homefront's C.J. Kershner about Homefront's guerrilla warfare.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 02:17:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution-interview-new-publishers-and-guerrilla-warfare/FPSHomefront: The RevolutionPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oqFgl6GTTEo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution/" target="_blank">Homefront: The Revolution</a> might be fun, but I had trouble making that call during&nbsp;my 15 minute demo. I enjoyed driving a motorbike up ramps and over fences, but I didn't have much time to familiarize myself with its crafting and gadgets, and the demo at PAX was set up with an Xbox One controller,&nbsp;which I'm not used to with shooters. So, I couldn't&nbsp;aim for crap, and one time I drove a remote controlled car bomb&nbsp;into a patrol and accidentally&nbsp;backed out of its controls&nbsp;instead of detonating it. So I just drove an RC car up to a bunch of armed soldiers and then looked up and shrugged, essentially.&nbsp;I died running away.</p><p> There's meant to be&nbsp;a focus on improvisational play in Homefront, where American resistance soldiers scramble through an open-world Philadelphia having skirmishes with&nbsp;the occupying Korean soldiers. For me, though, 'improvisation' meant&nbsp;running away while&nbsp;jamming healing serum into my wrist. I didn't cleverly modify my guns or disrupt patrols with explosives. I ran away from flying robots, feeling a bit confused as to&nbsp;why I'd <em>want</em> to be a rebel in futuristic&nbsp;occupied America. It was all pretty gloomy.</p><p> But I can't judge it&nbsp;well now, as&nbsp;games like&nbsp;Homefront are hard to demo quickly. I needed to be introduced to its environment and tools a little more gently if I was going to use them creatively and constructively.&nbsp;So, my lacking abilities in mind, I had a chat with senior narrative designer&nbsp;C.J. Kershner (which you can watch above) about the intentions behind Homefront. We also&nbsp;talk about the game's ride through multiple publishers, which has taken it from THQ to Deep Silver.</p><p>Homefront: The Revolution releases spring 2016, with a multiplayer beta coming this winter.</p> How ARK addressed survival games' kill-on-sight problemhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-video-game/Wespeak with Studio Wildcardabout the ARK team's attitude about kill-on-sight.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:27:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-video-game/Ark: Survival EvolvedPAX Prime 2015SurvivalVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wbQ-PecdSYA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-diary-how-not-to-train-your-dinosaur/">ARK</a> is one of a handful&nbsp;of survival games to rise above the fray of competition on Steam, partly thanks to its novel mixture of prehistoric wildlife&nbsp;and modern weapons. ARK isn't exempt&nbsp;to the issue many players experience in sandbox survival games, however:&nbsp;the perpetuation of an in-game culture that encourages many&nbsp;players, even peaceful ones, to fight whenever they encounter someone else.&nbsp;During our time at PAX this week I found a moment to speak with Jesse Rapczak, co-founder at Studio Wildcard, about the ARK team's attitude about kill-on-sight.</p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em style="background-color: initial;">.</em></p> Dragon Age: Inquisition "Trespasser" DLC is officialhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-revealed-by-leaked-trailer/BioWare said Trespasser "marks the end of our time with the Inquisition."Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:57:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-revealed-by-leaked-trailer/BiowareDragon Age: InquisitionNewsRPG <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUQKGFMfXx0?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Based on what appears to be an accidental push of the button by EA Spain, a big new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-2/">Dragon Age: Inquisition</a> DLC entitled Trespasser will soon be released. The video, spotted by <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-08-29-dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-looks-like-the-expansion-fans-have-been-waiting-for">Eurogamer</a>, was quickly pulled, but has reappeared elsewhere on YouTube.</p><p> Trespasser is set two years after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and looks set to carry the main story to a big finish, quite possibly the "last adventure" mentioned in a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-details-maybe-revealed-by-leaked-survey/">BioWare survey</a> that leaked in June. "Having saved the world of Thedas by closing the Breach, your next mission will determine the future of the Inquisition," it said. "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> That doesn't sound too far off of what's in the trailer, does it? EA hasn't confirmed that the trailer is legit but assuming it is, we'll no doubt get official word on it soon: The video dates Trespasser for September 8, which is just a couple weeks away. We'll keep you posted.</p><p> <strong>Update:</strong> BioWare has confirmed that Trespasser is indeed the next DLC release for Dragon Age: Inquisition, and also the last. As the trailer indicates, it's set two years after the events of the main game, and tells an entirely new story that "explores what it's like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving."&nbsp;</p><p> "It's a chance to meet and talk with old friends, to uncover a new threat, and ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build," BioWare's Mike Laidlaw wrote on the <a href="http://www.dragonage.com/en_US/news/new-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-and-more-coming-soon">Dragon Age website</a>. "It might just contain hints about the future of Thedas, too."&nbsp;</p><p>BioWare didn't confirm the September 8 release date, but did say that it's announcing Trespasser a bit earlier in the process than it did with previous DLCs because it requires a character who has completed the main campaign. And, since it's now official, I've replaced the leaked trailer we originally posted with the official one (which is the same, minus the Spanish subtitles) above.</p> VA-11 HALL-A is all about the booze you choosehttp://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-is-all-about-the-booze-you-choose/VA-11 HALL-A is a "cyberpunk bartender action" game set in a dystopian future that desperately needs a drink.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:22:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-is-all-about-the-booze-you-choose/AdventurePAX Prime 2015VA-11 HALL-A <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rVkWudG18gA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-2/">VA-11 HALL-A</a> describes itself as a 'cyberpunk action bartending' game, and while I'm not sure about the 'action' part, it's definitely a cyberpunk bartending game. Customers come by, tell you what's on their minds, and order drinks which you must mix. You can mix the drink you want or mix something else, and that acts, in a sense, as your dialog option. The conversation will go different ways depending on what you serve, and hopefully you'll also make enough money for rent each month.</p><p> I had a chat with&nbsp;Michael Kelly, who's composing the music, about how quality bartending can move along the story.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Star Citizen's social module is now livehttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizens-social-module-is-now-live/Let's get social!Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:03:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizens-social-module-is-now-live/Cloud Imperium GamesNewssimStar Citizen <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/137655209" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen/">Star Citizen's</a> "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-social-module-features-ships-shops-and-a-pub/">social module</a>," a hub in which players can hang out and interact during between-mission downtimes, is now live. Cloud Imperium Games said in an <a href="https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14927-Welcome-To-ArcCorp-Star-Citizen-12-Released">update</a> posted today that the release of the module "represents our first step into Star Citizen's persistent universe," and that players will soon begin to see the game's "formerly disparate modules" start to come together.</p><p> Tony Zurovec, Star Citizen's persistent universe director, said the social module will serve three primary purposes. It will further open the game to the community and give players a greater sense of what its cities will look like; it provide a test bed for future technologies; and it will "serve as the basic foundation upon which new pieces of the Persistent Universe will be periodically unveiled."</p><p> All of this is intended to accommodate a more frequent release schedule, which Zurovec said is meant to "routinely put new functionality into your hands to enjoy." That sounds good, but the downside is that some of those updates will prioritize testing and feedback over improving the core gameplay experience.</p><p> "For example, when the AI finally makes an appearance you’ll see a fair sampling of character behaviors, but the focus will be upon stress testing the underlying Subsumption, animation, and networking systems, and less about trying to give a particularly accurate sense of what a final city will truly feel like," Zurovec wrote. "In essence, then, you will often see some basic functionality appear before we really attempt to go 'wide' with the implementation. The appearance of new features will be fairly abrupt, but the full exploitation of those systems will arrive more gradually."</p><p> The next major update will be Persistence, "an absolutely crucial part of the underlying massively multiplayer technology," followed by Shopping, and then Subsumption, which Zuroved said will hopefully include the release of a brand new environment called Nyx. "More details will be provided on these updates as they get closer, but that’s the basic roadmap for the near future," he wrote. "In between the major releases it’s quite possible that you’ll see smaller revisions since delivering content becomes far easier as more and more of the underlying foundation comes online."</p> Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns release date announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns-release-date-announced/The major Guild Wars 2 expansion is coming in October.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:54:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns-release-date-announced/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2MMONewsPAX Prime 2015Video <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5XDX4w2E_TA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> ArenaNet has announced that the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2/">Guild Wars 2</a> expansion Heart of Thorns will be out on October 23. The expansion will be released as a "buy-to-play experience," with no further subscription fees once purchased&mdash;because, in case you missed it, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/">Guild Wars 2 is now free</a>.</p><p> "We're making the base game free because we're confident that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2 will consider buying Heart of Thorns, continuing their experience into the expansion and beyond with Living World and our newly announced raids," ArenaNet President Mike O'Brien said in a statement. Raids won't be live when Heart of Thorns launches, but will be rolled out shortly thereafter.</p><p>We spoke with Guild Wars 2 Game Director Colin Johanson about raids and how ArenaNet plans to adopt them to suit the game's competitive PvP model. "I think we actually have a really great advantage here in that I think the combat system is one of the most unique parts of Guild Wars 2," he told us. "Our raids take all the things that our combat system offers, brings them all together, and asks you to use all of those abilities together to defeat everything." Read the full interview <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/">right here</a>.</p> YIIK claims to have "one of the most unique endings" everhttp://www.pcgamer.com/yiik-is-a-surreal-rpg-with-one-of-the-most-unique-endings-youll-ever-see/We investigate a mystery-ladenRPG for the modern world.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:46:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/yiik-is-a-surreal-rpg-with-one-of-the-most-unique-endings-youll-ever-see/PAX Prime 2015YIIK: A Postmodern RPG <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/21igfFaTLmU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://yiikrpg.com/" target="_blank">YIIK</a> (which is pronounced 'Y2K' and not 'Yiik' like I've been saying all week) is a surreal JRPG-style game that takes place in the late 90s. Its setting is immediately appealing to me: somewhere modern, mundane, and familiar, made magical with JRPG battles and puzzles.&nbsp;Whereas browsing forums in 1999 only lead me to browse more forums, YIIK's mystery&mdash;which I realized after the interview is clearly inspired by the&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elisa_Lam" target="_blank">death of&nbsp;Elisa Lam</a>&mdash;seems to take its protagonist to much&nbsp;weirder places.</p><p> Above,&nbsp;I caught up with Andrew Allanson,&nbsp;one of YIIK's creators, who claims&nbsp;the ending will be&nbsp;"one of the most unique" we'll ever see in a game&mdash;but is reluctant to spoil anything.&nbsp;YIIK will be out this winter.</p> The Westport Independent is a game about ethics in journalismhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-westport-independent-is-a-game-about-ethics-in-journalism/The Westport Independent puts players at the head of a newspaper in a troubled country.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:12:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-westport-independent-is-a-game-about-ethics-in-journalism/PAX Prime 2015simThe Westport IndependentVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qiS94VQNYQU?vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>Ethics in journalism is a topic that's been talked about a lot over the past year, and it's a subject that developer Double Zero One Zero tackles head-on in The Westport Independent. As the head of a newspaper in a country caught between an authoritarian government and anarchist rebels, players must edit articles to influence the public's opinion, and deal with the aftermath of those actions and the individuals they affect. I had a talk about the game with studio CEO Pontus Lundén at the Indie Megabooth at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">PAX Prime</a>, where he said he hopes it will help people learn to "be skeptical of what someone is saying to you, but understanding of why they're saying it."</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Raids are coming to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thornshttp://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/We talk to Colin Johanson about Guild Wars 2's new raids.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2PAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9yT9WdOOSVWp.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vUkOaCMIypgj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 1"></p><p> In addition to revealing that the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free" target="_blank">core game is&nbsp;now free</a>, ArenaNet used their PAX Prime presentation to announce that 10-player&nbsp;raids are&nbsp;coming to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. While they won't be present for the expansion's&nbsp;launch, ArenaNet will introduce&nbsp;the game's first ever raid in three parts shortly after its release later this year.</p><p> "We’re at the point now where we felt like raids is the perfect addition to our game," Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson tells PC Gamer.&nbsp;"Our players have been asking us for a greater challenge. They want a reason to come together into larger groups and overcome really difficult challenges, and that’s what this system is all about."</p><blockquote>"Our players have been asking us for a greater challenge. They want a reason to come together into larger groups."</blockquote><p> According to Johanson, ArenaNet's plan is to remove the traditional barriers that can stop MMO players from enjoying raids. "Our combat system allows everybody to play our core roles of support, control, and DPS," he says. "You can play the profession that you love to play, you can get ten players together and you can play the raid. You don’t have to wait around half an hour for a healer to get online." There won't be an attunement system, either. As&nbsp;Johanson puts it, players should be able to simply&nbsp;"form up,&nbsp;play the raid, and have a great time."</p><p> While ArenaNet wants less barriers to get to raiding, the studio isn't planning to reduce the challenge. "We expect this to be the hardest content we've ever put in the game," Johanson says.&nbsp;"And we want players to spend a long time working together to figure out how to defeat these challenges. We think that's what makes raids rewarding, is&nbsp;playing,&nbsp;learning and adapting your strategies until you’re finally able to defeat it and move onto the next encounter." Johanson does expect a broad part of the community&nbsp;to attempt the raid, but, initially at least, thinks only a small portion will be able to defeat it.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZjZB8_2vQG4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> "Over time more and more people will learn how to defeat it as they continue to play and refine strategies," Johanson continues.&nbsp;"That’s why we want to regularly add new raids, so that there’s always a new challenge waiting for you. So that there’s something to look forward to that you haven’t defeated before." Raids will become a major part of Heart of Thorns' post-launch content.&nbsp;Johanson describes&nbsp;Heart of Thorns as being the roadmap for Guild Wars 2's future. Raids are planned as one of the core&nbsp;components&nbsp;of the expansion's regular live updates.</p><blockquote> "We want to regularly add new raids, so that there’s always a new challenge waiting for you." </blockquote><p> Raids, traditionally, hinge on the interplay between the three points of the MMO Trinity&mdash;tank, healer and DPS. Guild Wars 2's combat doesn't follow this model. All characters are ultimately responsible for their own health bar, and, while some professions lean more towards a support or DPS, there are plenty of instances where builds utilise&nbsp;both. How is ArenaNet creating raids in a system where the each player's role is so fluid?</p><p> "I think we actually have a really great advantage here in that I think the combat system is one of the most unique parts of Guild Wars 2," says Johanson. He talks about the nature of the game's competitive PvP, and how players need to balance support, control and DPS; how weapon-swapping allows them to alter their roles on the fly; and how combo fields require teams to work together. "We’ve really just taken that philosophy and applied it to our raids. "Our raids take all the things that our combat system offers, brings them all together, and asks you to use all of those abilities together to defeat everything."</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FApb-_OpRPe-.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2YzM4ppmfz-C.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 2"></p><p> "Our guardian might play support very different than an engineer does, very different than a warrior does, but all of them have a capacity to support their party, all of them have the capacity to do damage, and everyone has to heal. You have the ability to heal yourself, but you all have the ability to spec in ways to heal other players, to support other players. And we’re making control a much larger part of our content as well.&nbsp;So we’re really leaning on you as a party to figure out these puzzles and use our combat system to overcome them, and I think one of the coolest things about our combat system is everybody has to take care of themselves and take care of their buddies around them.</p><p> "You know, I like to think of traditional raiding as watching&nbsp;a bunch of UI bars move up and down all over the screen, and I’m barely watching the actual combat. Guild Wars 2’s raiding is the exact opposite. Everything you are doing is watching the middle of the screen. It’s watching the action, it’s watching what’s going on in the encounter, and watching what the other players in your party are actively doing and then working together to overcome it."</p><blockquote> "One of the coolest things about our combat system is everybody has to take care of themselves and their buddies." </blockquote><p> Raids will also utilise Heart of Thorns' new masteries system. In the announcement trailer, you can see players hang&nbsp;gliding to the next encounter&mdash;one of the new traversal&nbsp;skills that players will be able to unlock. "There’s a boss up on a platform that’s basically winding&nbsp;up to drop this massive nuke that forms at its legs and slowly spreads across this entire platform," Johanson says, explaining some of the unique mechanics of the first raid. "As&nbsp;it spreads you basically have to run and stay just ahead of this wall of fire that’s slowly chasing you off the platform, jump, and, at the last minute, deploy your hang glider, fly into an air draft, catch the air draft, circle back around, drop back on the platform, and start taking the boss down as fast as you possibly can."</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mVprsQjBSmSM.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6O1FBilvsvE0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 3"></p><p> "That’s just one example of something where the mastery system ties into the encounters but, in&nbsp;every encounter we want to lean on providing a number of different puzzles and experiences for the player. Everything from using conditions and boons, to active combat, to dodge-rolling, to our mastery system, to combo fields. We have so many different tools in our combat system, and we want to provide every encounter having a unique mix of those. You really have to use everything that our combat does well."</p> Guild Wars 2 core game is now freehttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/We talk toMike O’Brien about Guild Wars 2 going free.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2MMOPAX Prime 2015 <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pKvB2Ih8Q9-_.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hka9VI9FN0eU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2 1"></p><p> Guild Wars 2 is now free. You can&nbsp; <a href="https://welcome.guildwars2.com/en/play-for-free" target="_blank">download and play it</a> right now, for nothing. But rather than a full free-to-play transition, ArenaNet is instead changing what you pay for. The core game is free; the upcoming expansion&mdash;Heart of Thorns&mdash;is not.</p><p> "As we start to release expansions, it raises the question: in a buy-to-play business model, what exactly do we want you to buy in order to play?" ArenaNet president&nbsp;Mike O'Brien tells PC Gamer. "We've seen different games go in different directions. Sometimes it gets pretty complicated. Sometimes you have to buy the base game and then every single expansion so that you can get the latest stuff and play with your friends."</p><p> Instead, ArenaNet wants to make things simpler. "We hold&nbsp;ourselves to the very highest standards of buy to play," says O'Brien. "You just have to buy one thing." For the studio, that means making the original thing free.</p><p> "We believe that if people love Guild wars 2, they’re gonna buy the expansion pack," O'Brien says when I ask why ArenaNet is doing this. "The expansion pack is such a great value. There’s so much content, not only in the expansion pack but in all the free updates that will come past that." While Guild Wars 2 is now free, it won't receive future content updates&mdash;including the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/" target="_blank">newly announced raids</a>. Those are earmarked for Heart of Thorns, which will essentially become the live version of the game.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pyGDLVPtH_A?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> "And so that makes it really easy for us," says O'Brien. "Let’s make it so that anybody who wants to check out Guild Wars 2 can check out Guild Wars 2. And&nbsp;can really check out the game, not some&nbsp;free-to-play monetised version of the game."</p><blockquote> "This is a buy-to-play game, and we are making the core game free." </blockquote><p> ArenaNet's hope is that, by removing the barrier to trying Guild Wars 2, players will be more likely to buy into the Heart of Thorns expansion&nbsp;and its updates. With that as the business model, O'Brien reassures that their won't be any additional fees beyond the limited, mostly&nbsp;cosmetic ones that&nbsp;already exist in the game.</p><p> "There’s no changes to the gem store," he says.&nbsp;"I think that sometimes people use the term ‘free to play’&nbsp;to describe a business model that can be very aggressive. The game is designed that you can only play so far before you really start having to pay money to enjoy the game. We’re just not doing that at all. This is a buy-to-play game, and we are making the base game&mdash;the core game&mdash;free. We designed this game assuming that it was a game we were selling. Now we’re not selling it, but it’s the same game and you can experience all that content for free."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s0S9qdPCTlu2.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J9BBTDzrabWU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gw2 2"></p><p> There will, however, be some restrictions in place for free players. Firstly account storage&mdash;something ArenaNet views as a luxury. Secondly, protections have been put in place against spammers. According to O'Brien, these are all subtle measures.&nbsp;"You can whisper to anybody you want to," he says, choosing one example,&nbsp;"but you can’t create new whisper conversations more than about once every 30 seconds." It's a&nbsp;small restriction, but one that shouldn't impact regular players.&nbsp;"If&nbsp;we didn’t have a subtle restriction like that in place, then a spammer could spam everyone in the game. We would delete the account, and they would create a new account and spam everyone in the game."</p><p> Finally, ArenaNet has taken steps to stop new players from disrupting the game's more competitive modes. The example given is World vs World, which will be unavailable until players reach&nbsp;level 60. "If you didn’t have to do that," says O'Brien, "then there’s no way that we could keep people who were being very disruptive from going back into world versus world over and over with new characters. We just make sure that people play the game before they can get into a position where they can disrupt other players."</p><blockquote> "It’s really important to me that we protect this great community." </blockquote><p> For O'Brien, it's essential that ArenaNet safeguard&nbsp;the existing community.&nbsp;"It’s really important to me&mdash;I think it's&nbsp;really important to all of us&mdash;that we protect this great community that we have, and so we’ve been tweaking and tweaking. We've been working on&nbsp;various iterations of this for about a year now, making sure that we tweak and get this right"</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/otulzRbuQOeX.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5uolnZRaOaJU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2 2"></p><p> I ask O'Brien if he's worried about what effect going free might have on the community&mdash;a group that ArenaNet has frequently praised for their helpfulness and friendliness. "If we did our jobs right," O'Brien says,&nbsp;"and I totally believe that we've done this right, new players coming into the game are&nbsp;going to get the full authentic experience, but the community is not going to change. You’re going to have a bunch of new players but it’s going to&nbsp;be the same friendly community&mdash;the same protected community&mdash;that it’s always been.&nbsp;</p><p> O'Brien's message to players is simple: try it.&nbsp;"You don’t have to read a big list of changes and tweaks and restrictions, because we’re opening it up the day we announce it. Everybody can try, and I am confident that when people get into the game it’s going to be exactly the same. The game they are playing is exactly the same game that they were playing Friday, no changes at all."</p><p><em>If you would like to see a list of the full restrictions in place for free accounts,&nbsp;</em><a href="https://help.guildwars2.com/entries/95982157?_ga=1.220294929.802240115.1439542714" target="_blank"><em>head here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Trion announces Atlas Reactor, an online tactical combat gamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/trion-announces-atlas-reactor-an-online-tactical-combat-game/Atlas Reactor is turn-based, but does away with all the waiting around.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 17:31:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/trion-announces-atlas-reactor-an-online-tactical-combat-game/Atlas ReactorNewsStrategyTrionVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rtjSFV-y0II?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Trion has announced a new project called Atlas Reactor, a team-based, turn-based tactical combat game with echoes of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-enemy-unknown/">XCOM</a> and a cel-shaded visual style that's a bit reminiscent of Blizzard's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch/">Overwatch</a>. It pits teams of uniquely-skilled "freelancers" against one another in battles of up to five-on-five in size, and, as <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/feature/10034/Atlas-Reactor-Atlas-Reactor-Trions-New-Tactical-Experiment.html">MMORPG.com</a> says, it also eliminates all the waiting around that plagues many other turn-based multiplayer games.</p><p> Each turn in Atlas Reactor gives players just 30 seconds to decide what to do, and each player makes his or her move simultaneously. This not only speeds things up, it also introduces a kind of "rock-paper-scissors" element, because players will have to make their move while trying to guess what the other side is going to do. Fog of war will be a factor as well, meaning you won't be able to see enemies, and thus make plans to deal with them, if they're hidden out of sight.</p><p> Six freelancers have been revealed so far, including a cigar-chomping gun-runner, an armor-wearing behemoth, and a cybernetically-enhanced cat, each with a unique backstory and abilities, and at least two more appear set to be unveiled in the future. Matches are expected to run 10 to 20 minutes in length, and will support uneven teams&mdash;go one-on-five if you're feeling up to it&mdash;and solo play with bots.</p><p> Atlas Reactor will be free to play, and is slated to come out in 2016. Find out more about the game and, if you like what you see, sign up for the upcoming alpha test at <a href="https://www.atlasreactorgame.com/en/">atlasreactorgame.com</a>.</p> The future is analog: Headlander’s wood-paneled weirdnesshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-future-is-analog-headlanders-wood-paneled-weirdness/I have no body and I must scream.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:31:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-future-is-analog-headlanders-wood-paneled-weirdness/Double Fine ProductionsHeadlanderPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/paGo6ZPIR1-d.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wNdQTIAIWhKt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p>Like any good ’70s sci-fi yarn, Double Fine’s new side-scrolling metroidvania is bathed in lava lamp neon, shellacked with a thick layer of self-aware goofiness, and rooted in a near-future dystopia ruled by an evil supercomputer. Loosely structured around traditional locked-door puzzles, security clearances, and non-linear character upgrades, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/headlander/">Headlander</a> hones in on a very specific aesthetic and commits with wild abandon, right down to a fascinatingly-produced soundtrack using real vintage sound equipment and synthesizers recorded to an honest-to-HAL reel-to-reel. </p><p>Double Fine’s sense of playful humor is everywhere in Headlander, from its promotional material all the way on down. In the short time I spent with the game I body-hopped onto a dog, saw some suspiciously-shiny Barbarella pleasure-model cyborgs, and watched a lot of stuff blow up in wildly different ways. If this game’s soundtrack doesn’t release on Laserdisc with an airbrushed slipcover I’ll be frankly surprised. </p><p>Headlander tells a darkly-comedic story centered around the player as the last living human head in a transhumanist retro-future where mankind has traded in its organic bodies for slickly produced robot ones. The player spends a lot of their time navigating their rocket-powered flying head and suction cupping onto a headless body, or if you fly in deftly enough you can actually vacuum an enemy’s head right off their metal shoulders and puppeteer them. Laser-armed enforcers roam the halls looking for suspiciously un-robotic lifeforms while Methuselah, the passively evil AI villain, drugs and amuses its playthings into submission. Most of the demo I saw was based around a pleasure-city populated with cyborgs on artificial vacations, plugged into headsets and isolation pods, unbothered by the AI plotting around them and seeking my destruction.</p><p>The meat of Headlander’s gameplay is in navigating the player’s head from interchangeable character to character according to the situation, ducking in and out of cover, and strategically utilizing laser weaponry that bounces off walls. In the demo Adult Swim presented me I saw a few different combat situations in various level of bullet hell&mdash;one that was relatively straight-forward, and several that dissolved into a pretty hilarious mess of plasma fire and frantic body-hopping. The laser-dodging is quick and dynamic, and there are also teleporters in most rooms that allow for players to time a teleport-smash. Wait for one of the Cylon-voiced security droids to bumble into the radius of one of these and you can jump in and crush him. </p><p>Character upgrades include a deflector shield that you can rotate around your head’s radius to block lasers. There’s a degree of nonlinearity in these upgrades and in how progress can be made through areas that feels a little different than in a Metroid game, which would normally shunt the player through a proscribed route along the various security doors and clearance levels. Numerous sidequests were dotted along the area, which Double Fine said would be optional and not a grind-requirement but would provide some interesting color to the story and world and provide extra XP for upgrades.</p><p>Headlander is pulling from a lot of familiar, well-worn places and it’s not necessarily promising anything revolutionary in its gameplay, but there’s a level of aesthetic commitment in this game I was dialed into. The idea of actually recording with a reel-to-reel, using real vintage Moog synths, especially grabbed me. I asked about the aesthetic and when they knew they had hit that sweet spot of loving parody, and I got the answer “if we could put wood panelling on it, we totally did.” If there’s that kind of commitment to a bit it doesn’t even feel like a gimmick&mdash;it can feel like a team is having fun with their premise, and hopefully that translates across to us when we get a fuller look at Headlander.</p> XCOM, cowboys, and a bit of Cthulhu in Hard Westhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-game-video/Hard Westwas one of the games we were looking forward to most in advance of PAX.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:27:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-game-video/Hard WestPAX Prime 2015StrategyVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K-H8yZiTeho" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-developer-robs-a-bank-in-new-game-footage/">Hard West</a> was one of the games we were looking forward to most in advance of PAX. On the surface, it's XCOM's&nbsp;turn-based tactics mashed up with the Wild West: bandits&nbsp;and six-shooters swapped in for Sectoids and plasma rifles. But interestingly, Polish studio CreativeForge Games is also weaving in Lovecraftian elements, or "a little bit of blood magic," as brand manager&nbsp;Blaze Krakowiak put it to me at PAX.</p> Planetoid Pioneers: elderly space marines and a gun that shoots acid beeshttp://www.pcgamer.com/planetoid-pioneers-elderly-space-marines-and-a-gun-that-shoots-acid-bees/Planetoid Pioneers offers nearly unlimited creative possibilities.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:16:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/planetoid-pioneers-elderly-space-marines-and-a-gun-that-shoots-acid-bees/Data RealmsPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vlo98FvmS0SI.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ejXqbmmGNBiF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>I think it was the moment Planetoid Pioneers’ business manager, Vlad Micu, disintegrated in a cloud of acid-spewing bees that the game won me over. </p><p>Not the actual person, thankfully. I didn’t have to watch someone melt on the PAX showroom floor, but rather their smiling onscreen doppleganger, in what was one of the countless examples of player-created content possible within Data Realms’ upcoming 2D sandbox sidescroller. </p><p>The first few moments in my demo with Pioneers introduced a game&mdash;and I apologize for being reductive&mdash;that felt strikingly similar to Terraria or Starbound. Playing as a geriatric space explorer, I had crash-landed onto an unknown planet and was tasked with exploring its hostile surface and interior. In order to survive encounters with the inhabitants and find the necessary resources to create a rocket and escape, I would need to find numerous vehicle and weapon blueprints that would help me survive.</p><p>All of which is framed in familiar, 2D sandbox style. With the use of a handy assembler/deconstructor it was only a few moments before I began clicking on and ripping apart the local animals, vegetables, and minerals for their base resources, to be spent on the vehicle and weapon blueprints I had available to build. </p><p>I was soon riding through a system of caves on a rickety land rover, firing my blaster at the flamethrowing robotic inhabitants in my way, and taking their discarded corpses as resources for my future schematics. All of which was done with a simple point-and-shoot interface, that players of Terraria should feel familiar with. </p><p>Though I need to state that Terraria this isn’t, as the terrain itself is neither procedural nor destructible, and there’s no mining to be had. You will find your resources where the designers wanted them to be found. There is also no health bar for players or enemies, rather a sort of model destructibility limit; if my leg was shot off I limped, if my arm was frozen I couldn’t shoot, and if I lost more than a certain percentage of my body or head I was dead.</p><p>This is Data Realms’ second release, and it builds directly on their first, 2012’s admittedly poorly received, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cortex-command-review/">Cortex Command</a>. The relationship between both titles goes so deep as to share a common storyline, as I was told Cortex Command occurs after the events of Pioneers in their universe’s chronology. However, while Cortex focused more on real-time strategic combat with an overlying metagame, Pioneers has a distinctly different focus.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iUV_r-k6Qv6O.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZLUcj_qHOGcA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>I could tell you about Pioneers’ hand-drawn 2D visuals, discuss its four-player splitscreen multiplayer, or go into depth about the physics system, but while those features were interesting in their own right that isn’t what’s going to stay in my mind for days to come. What needs discussing is what Pioneers lets you create.</p><p>And what it lets you create is anything. Guiding me along was Data Realms’ development director, Daniel Tabár, who in addition to helping me make my way across the demo planet’s surface, gave me a crash course on Pioneers’ all-encompassing content creation tools. Tools, I was told, they had been developing and improving upon since 2009, and will be available for all players to use upon release. </p><p>He started simple, taking a robotic enemy (that had just finished brutally tearing me apart), opening up its edit screen, and asking me what I’d like to change. Can we make it bigger or smaller? That’s child's play. We can alter the entire character model, or even specific segments if you want to make one part drastically larger than the other, for that crab-claw chic. </p><p>How about replacing the robot’s head entirely? Easy, we just need a PNG image file, and the current head section can be replaced with anything we desire. We chose a rock image as a replacement cranium, and soon had a stone-headed robot lumbering across the landscape.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E-sCnq3zR3GC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/18dw5BpfCvxY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>The creative possibilities weren’t just for changing appearances, either. We had the ability to go into the enemy’s scripting and make whatever additions we desired. We could speed him up, make him run away, even dance at the sight of us.</p><p>These possibilities aren’t restricted to certain segments of the game, they’re open to every single aspect of Planetoid Pioneers. From character models to enemies, weapons to vehicles, even entire planets can be built from scratch, modified, and shared. Do you want to create an enemy that’s a tentacled, thirty-headed hydra? How about a thirty-headed hydra that spits cats? How about a thirty-headed hydra that spits catswith the head of your high school math teacher? </p><p>Or if you want to get truly weird, you can just make a planet inhabited with characters that all look like your closest friends, force them to race each-other, and then shoot the losers with a gun that fires swarms of acid-spewing bees, as Tabár gleefully showed me when he liquefied Vlad.</p><p>Upon finishing the creation of your beloved nightmare creature, steampunk warship, or other crime against nature, you’ll be able to select a ‘Save Blueprint’ option, which will take the data for your work and save it as a PNG file. These PNGs can then be shared and uploaded into anyone else’s game, and players can even take these files and drag-and-drop them onto the game screen, generating the item, creature, or planet while in play.</p><p>Planetoid Pioneers’ largest hurdle will be teaching players that the game’s content creation tools are not as daunting as they may seem. To this end Tabár told me Data Realms is hard at work putting together expansive, easy-to-follow tutorials that will teach everything a creator would need to know. Upon first glance at the seemingly endless menus, variable sliders, and outright lines of code, I will admit feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Though the speed and simplicity in which changes to existing models could be made had me confident that with a bit of guidance I could get up to speed in a matter of hours. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e-cRnAIsSnOx.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KntXz2XNK8gW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>Which is exactly what Tabár informed me they believe will happen. Data Realms is so confident on the importance of player-made content that when Planetoid Pioneers hits Steam early access this fall it will only have a handful of hours of out-of-the-box gameplay. Instead, they want to focus their early access time on providing the tools that will cultivate truly interesting player-generated gameplay. </p> Free games of the weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/You Are The Monster.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/browser gamesFree GamesIndieThe Best Free Games of the Week <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QzWLfhiwQDGU.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tYPMWrX3ZWMX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Labyrinth of Loneliness"></p><p>'You Are The Monster' is a bit on the nose for a&nbsp;<a href="http://ludumdare.com/compo/" target="_blank">Ludum Dare</a> jam theme, I feel, but it's resulted, as ever, in lots of cool games. Read on for monstrous freebies, plus a subway adventure, and a game that recalls, of all things,&nbsp;Decap Attack. Enjoy!</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/dullahan/87120" target="_blank">Dullahan by like, a hundred bears</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uQs3UOCHQQa3.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8cPgWrqxnRk0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dullahan"></p><p>Dullahan is a Castlevania-like that will really make you *cheeky wink* <em>lose your head</em>, which is to say that it's a GameBoy-styled platformer that allows you to plonk things like keys and bombs into your gaping neckhole. This is a neat mechanic, once you realise that Up and Attack uses keys,&nbsp;and the aesthetic&nbsp;feels quite authentic to the era, but it is stupid and&nbsp;frustrating to have to restart the entire thing upon death.</p><h3><a href="http://spotline.itch.io/telepath" target="_blank">Telepath by Spotline</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ylsUfXEqQYGG.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VD4PBNn_bdWb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Telepath"></p><p>Wow. If you're using Chrome you'll need to download Telepath to play it, but it's worth it for the extraordinary way it uses shaders to create multiple worlds within the same space. The world's default state is blank and featureless, and to see it how others see it (or, I guess, for a window into their minds), you have to&nbsp;pass through them like a ghost. Each entity houses a world, of nature or numbers or skyscrapers, but you can only witness it while you're passing through their form. This is seriously&nbsp;smart stuff, from the developer of Ultimate Pate and The World Beneath.</p><h3><a href="http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&amp;uid=20641" target="_blank">Totem by Ian MacLarty</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gCcA_tmLS8ew.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oqvAw4MXa2ZO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Totem"></p><p>A pretty literal interpretation of You Are The Monster, Totem is a mechanically simple game about a big rockperson that walks out of the sea. Smash all the island's inhabitants with your big rock bum to trigger an ending, while appreciating some truly bloody lovely artwork, and trying to tolerate some&nbsp;horrible bagpipey music.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/labyrinth-of-loneliness/88497" target="_blank">Labyrinth of Loneliness by LTPATS</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QzWLfhiwQDGU.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tYPMWrX3ZWMX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Labyrinth of Loneliness" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>Speaking of lovely artwork, would you just&nbsp;look at Labyrinth of Loneliness. It's another Ludum Dare game, and one where you chase nicely sketched and animated people into fiery deathpits. Every time you do so, some cringeworthy text appears to insinuate some deeper meaning, but it's worth putting up with that for the fun chase sequences (the chasees look behind them sometimes, it's kind of cute), and of course for the&nbsp;striking visual style.</p><h3><a href="http://www.increpare.com/2015/08/subway-adventure/" target="_blank">Subway Adventure by Stephen Lavelle</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oaRa1wPtRzmO.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KXWogQETIo8j.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Subway Adventure"></p><p>It's a new Stephen Lavelle/Increpare game&mdash;need we say more? OK, some more. It's a massive subway network filled with very strange stops expressed in a variety of colours and art styles, with roaming&nbsp;NPCs, and&nbsp;signs to click that may&nbsp;help you map the game world. You'll visit a range of odd, funny, glitchy stops in Subway Adventure, or you will if its juddering pedestrians will let you enter and exit your train. A lovely slice of digital tourism, in a land ripe for exploration and photo-taking.</p><p><em>Click through for recommendations from previous weeks.</em></p><p><a href="http://contest.gamedevfort.com/submission/657#.Vc-YHvlViko" target="_blank" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">Nocturne in Yellow by TerminusEst13</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i4HGnrIuTTCh.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g3sWynEpfunv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nocturne in Yellow"></p><p>My excitement for&nbsp;<a href="http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=48994" target="_blank">Gloome</a> (a new version of id-engine modding tool GZDoom, that allows modders to release commercial games) is only slightly tempered by the fact that I have no clue how to set the damned thing up. Other people have, however, including TerminusEst13, who has made the fun Gothic shooter Nocturne In Yellow. It's a bit like Castlevania, and a lot like Heretic/Doom etc, meaning you'll stab up zombies, spiders and vampires using a gory spear, and a bow with infinite arrows. Man, I've missed the ridiculously fast movement speed of id-engine games.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/red-amazon/87009" target="_blank">Red Amazon by Tom van den Boogaart</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aYPLv3_NSeSj.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/05dZBRwNZ_AH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Red Amazon2"></p><p>This is one of the most beautiful free games I've played for ages: a clean, low-poly first-person story from one of indie gaming's best and brightest, Tom van den Boogaart. I love his stylised take on the wilderness, I love the quirky movement system (no default Unity FPS controls here, thankfully), and I love the fact that Red Amazon actually features an animated entity, unlike almost every first-person indie game I've played recently. The only thing I don't like is Boogaart's relative obscurity: he deserves to be a much bigger name.</p><h3><a href="http://ragzouken.itch.io/porthole" target="_blank">Porthole by Mark Wonnacott and Claire Morley</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HJr9PP1xTdik.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e5A0gwGd7m4E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Porthole"></p><p>Explore a weird world from your rotatable porthole, as you try to figure out where you are, and what the bally, slimey, clustery things in front of you could possibly be. “Follow the compass,” proclaims the Itch.io page, and “seek the depths”. That compass looks&nbsp;a bit like a Stargate&nbsp;chevron.</p><h3><a href="http://leafthief.itch.io/onemore-night" target="_blank">One More Night by Stefan Srb and Craig Barnes</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/R6n_LkDhR5W3.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K7SS-4jqquKl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="One More Night"></p><p>A short choose-your-own-adventure made for the&nbsp;<a href="http://jams.gamejolt.io/gbjam4" target="_blank">GameBoy jam</a> (and now I'm imagining what GameBoy jam would look and taste like – probably Greengage). The pixel art is scrumptious, the sound is just discordant and shrill enough to convince, and the story is open-ended enough to make you want to replay immediately. “Three friends embark on a two-day camping trip before their last year of school begins. A trip they never want to end.” A cute, sweet, very green game.</p><h3><a href="http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=2274" target="_blank">Dusk Child by Sophie Houlden</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BOkkIc6SQiSQ.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uHcI-PD2C76r.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dusk Child"></p><p>A wonderful puzzle-platformer made using Lexaloffle's increasingly impressive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php" target="_blank">Pico-8</a>. Fathom your way around a mysterious location, examining objects with the Z button and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the gorgeous pixel art with your mouth. One of the best uses of Pico-8 yet&mdash;I'm also greatly looking forward to Terry Cavanagh's&nbsp;<a href="http://distractionware.com/blog/2015/08/coming-soon-2/" target="_blank">first-person shooter</a> made for the console.</p><p><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/graynold-runner/66098" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">graynold runner by Jake Clover</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jB_HJHuuS-io.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oRaYvpTgJf98.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Graynold Runner" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A sidescrolling shmup that prioritises atmosphere over score-chasing, featuring music by Beeswing's Jack King-Spooner. I love Jake Clover's sprites, the strange alien universe that all his games seem to take place in. graynold runner gives you two ships, then when they're on fire and you jettison to safety, it gives you two little astronauts, who can hijack passing vehicles. A serene little anti-shoot-'em-up (maybe the world's first?)</p><h3><a href="http://polclarissou.itch.io/wish-fishing">Wish Fishing by Pol Clarissou</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ebGWzI_RQP6_.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EoENsoQdnh71.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Wish Fishing" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A digital wishing well that lets you cast a word, a phrase, a string of nonsense into space. That's part of it: the fun part is looking at what other people have chucked out before you. The terms they dared scrawl on the game's galactic messageboard, the words they typed when they thought nobody else was looking. When you're done, Wish Fishing prescribes you a sort of horoscope, which you can try to decipher at the linked <a href="http://polclarissou.com/wishfishing/">glossary page</a>.</p><h3><a href="http://noxlof.itch.io/unterwelt">UNTERwELT by Noxlof</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K1FCUsr7RWqv.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uF-5yiAnl41Z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="UNTERWeLT" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>This short, stylish story was made for the <a href="http://itch.io/jam/a-game-by-its-cover-2015">A Game By Its Cover jam</a>, in which developers made titles based on fake cartridge art. The rushed development period has resulted in plenty of spelling errors and straightforward dialogue that kinda undermines the experience, but you can't fault the lovely pixel art and and palpable atmosphere in UNTERwELT.</p><h3><a href="http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=52502.0">The Jimi Hendrix Case by Gurok</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9aBteezdSL6-.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cW7dtDgHhCQA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Jimi Hendrix Case" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>“In a world where everyone is Jimi Hendrix, only Jimi Hendrix can solve the murder and find out who killed Jimi Hendrix.” So begins a point-and-click adventure with gorgeous pixel art and funny dialogue, where you actually get to use your gun. I've loved that in adventure games since Blade Runner, and despite (or perhaps because of) its short length, The Jimi Hendrix Case is one of the few to make full use of its shooting system. (Via <a href="http://wip.warpdoor.com/2015/08/11/the-jimi-hendrix-case-gurok/">Warp Door</a>)</p><h3><a href="http://hedgehog.exposed/">Sonic Dreams Collection by Arcane Kids</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_ohLsWirSs2d.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mq35fK0raCOT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sonic Dreams Collection" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Zineth/Bubsy 3D/Room of 1000 Snakes developers Arcane Kids are back with another brilliant piece of freeware, this one pretending to be a collection of lost Sonic demos and prototypes from the mid to late '90s. They've got the Dreamcast look down pat by now, and if it weren't for the sight of Sonic and pals engaging in an orgy in Sonic Movie Maker, this could be pretty convincing. There are four little games included here: Make My Sonic, Eggman Origin, Sonic Movie Maker, and My Roommate Sonic, AKA stretch a Sonic character, try to play a non-functioning MMO, film seedy Sonic shenanigans with a movie camera, and romance Sonic the Hedgehog in VR. A disturbing and hilarious game about fandom, from some of the best comedians in the business.</p><p><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/banned-memories-yamanashi/78205" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">Banned Memories: Yamanashi by GamingEngineer</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WD8y_TAdSEmx.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mYQ8Cwpc4WOf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Banned Memories" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Banned Memories turns the restrictions of PS1 hardware into a stylistic choice, and why not? Restrictions are great, giving a project a framework to rail against, or to comfortably fit within as you see fit. While the game seems to relish in the low-poly models and texture warping of the early 32-bit days, developer GamingEngineer <em>is</em> pushing against the restrictions of Game Maker: Studio, making probably the most impressive 3D game I've seen with it yet.</p><p>Engine aside, this is an atmospheric horror game that stacks up nicely against the likes of Silent Hill and Overblood, even if it's obviously several shades behind those games on account of it being made by one person, rather than a whole team of seasoned professionals. This is an early look at the game, containing a part of a haunted school to explore, and I'm really digging what I've played of it so far. (Via <a href="http://indiegames.com/2015/08/face_your_dark_past_and_some_e.html">IndieGames</a>)</p><h3><a href="http://saintheiser.itch.io/zzzz-zzzz-zzzz">Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz by SaintHeiser</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B2ruPHlNSl-n.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xxGbsrnu04sE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ZzzzZzzzZzzz" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>The remarkable Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz is set in a dream world, and fittingly its rules have no consistency from one screen to the next. It's called that not only because you're asleep, but because you'll be pressing Z a lot. Z to go through a door. Z to go to sleep. Z to do an interaction, though you're never quite sure what that interaction will be. Because of this, because each new screen feels strange and unfamiliar, Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz is one of the few games to really get what dreams are about. It's a delightful, constantly surprising thing&mdash;fans of Fez are going to fall in love with it, I reckon.</p><h3><a href="http://newmarksoftware.itch.io/liberation-my-love">Liberation, My Love by Newmark Software</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jTsRPMcAToiP.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a0ubaa-Gmp2X.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Liberation My Love" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A simple platformer embellished with a pleasant art style and premise, about a keytar-wielding robot thing that shoots colours at baddies. (He also has a shield, and a nifty lateral dash move.) The basic jumping and spike-avoiding could feel slicker, but Liberation, My Love's unique setting and look go a long way.</p><h3><a href="http://outofsight.itch.io/out-of-sight">Out of Sight by Isart Digital students</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SAvM8tuISnas.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TJNAaFLEaNjo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Out Of Sight" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>It's a bit like Remember Me, this, specifically those bits in Remember Me where you have to reprogram people's memories (because you're a jerk). You're a woman with dymnesia trying to recover lost memories with the aid of a psychiatrist here, something you achieve by pivoting from one interactible object to the next, in a series of frozen moments from your past. You can examine each object for a bit of background detail, or combine the various sights and smells and sounds and other senses to bring the central memory to life. Writing and UI-wise, this is slightly clumsy, but I think the premise is a strong one. It's a bold and stylistically impressive game too.</p><h3><a href="http://martincohen.itch.io/disposable">Disposable by Martin Cohen</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/blJwUdZmQtGc.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y4boRtLiQ-F0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Disposable" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>There's not much to Disposable yet, but I did enjoy the look of the world, and the dashy jumping ability I never managed to master. As your little robot explores a facility, looking for terminals to hack in order to open a central door, you'll occasionally need to rely on a tricksy dash-jump-thing that hurtles you through the air at a fixed distance. It's a fun, challenging few minutes of platforming, that Martin Cohen will hopefully return to at a later date.</p> Cities: Skylines After Dark expansion gets a trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-after-dark-expansion-gets-a-trailer/Here comes the night.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-after-dark-expansion-gets-a-trailer/Cities: SkylinesColossal OrderNewsParadox InteractivePAX Prime 2015sim <iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUzFUfPkYxU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>They say&nbsp;New York is the city that never sleeps, but it's not as if Chicago, London and Beijing hunker down for an eight-hour kip at 12am. In each one, a big invisible godcursor is managing traffic, rubbish, buses and crime, and in Cities: Skylines' upcoming expansion that could be you. After Dark,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-expansion-after-dark-will-be-out-late-next-month/" target="_blank">as mentioned previously</a>, has more neon, one more moon, and slows the pace of the game to reflect that fewer people are out and about.</p><p>At this weekend's PAX Prime, developer Colossal Order released a trailer to show a night-time city in action. The above is in-game footage, but it doesn't show a person actually playing it&mdash;still, you probably know by now what that involves. After Dark is out September 24, and it looks pretty damned relaxing. I like the thought of flying over a tranquil night-time city, occasionally prodding at&nbsp;wind turbines and recycling trucks.</p> Hitman mission playthrough offers 15 minutes of new footagehttp://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-mission-playthrough-offers-15-minutes-of-new-footage/Quick, someone call the fashion police.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 09:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-mission-playthrough-offers-15-minutes-of-new-footage/HitmanIo InteractiveNewsPAX Prime 2015Square EnixStealth <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cA2VVo9ShwA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>IO Interactive has shown off&nbsp;one of Hitman: No Subtitle's&nbsp;missions, and it's certainly hitting all the right beats after the previous game, Absolution, rubbed almost everyone up the wrong way. A big sandboxy environment! Lots of NPCs! A revamped disguise system! 'Enforcers' will be able to see through individual disguises, while key figures like heads of security will be able to see through all of them. There's also a kickass font being&nbsp;used&nbsp;for the weapon selection menu.</p><p>The mission is set at an opulent fashion show, and Agent 47 is there to appreciate some lovely dresses and also to murder a guy. I'm getting serious Blood Money vibes from this, which I suppose is the point.</p><p>Hitman is out in December, and it's release schedule is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hitmans-launch-content-will-be-detailed-soon/" target="_blank">pretty confusing</a>. However, we're&nbsp;optimistic after what&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hitmans-npc-ai-could-mean-a-return-to-form-for-agent-47/" target="_blank">we saw of the game</a> at&nbsp;Gamescom.</p> Blowing up everything in Brigador, one of the toughest games at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-up-everything-in-brigador-one-of-the-toughest-games-at-pax/An interview with the creator of neon-bright isometric shooter Brigador.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 03:35:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-up-everything-in-brigador-one-of-the-toughest-games-at-pax/ActionBrigadorPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uQTRJ1gJEcM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Brigador brings up a lot of associations for me: Desert Strike's isometric vehicle combat, C&amp;C Tiberian Sun's walking mechs, the future visions of 80s and 90s anime like Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01. The Desert Strike comparison isn't quite fair, though. Brigador's customizable tanks and mechs are much more complex vehicles. Piloting with the tank controls is tough enough at first&mdash;I started to get the hang of it after a few minutes, I think&mdash;but the weapons also require a lot of thought. Some guns fire in arcs while others fire straight ahead in a shallow dive toward the ground. And your backside is more vulnerable than your front, everything is destructible, and everything wants to kill you (except for the civilians I accidentally killed a bunch of). It's fast and tough.</p><p> In the video above, I chat with Stellar Jockeys founder Hugh Monahan about Brigador's inspirations, its custom-built engine, and the upcoming Steam Early Access release on October 20.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9l1yY5o7QB6P.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m9-VxWH_GeQ1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Brigador"></p> Cliff Bleszinski explains how to shoot people behind your back in LawBreakershttp://www.pcgamer.com/cliff-bleszinki-explains-how-to-shoot-people-behind-your-back-in-lawbreakers/We spoke with Cliff Bleszinski of Boss Key Productions about his newest FPS, LawBreakers.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:27:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cliff-bleszinki-explains-how-to-shoot-people-behind-your-back-in-lawbreakers/boss key productionsCliff BleszinskiFPSFree To PlayLawbreakersPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sDjjkeCZ7yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Hours after the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/" target="_blank">first gameplay footage</a> for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers/" target="_blank">LawBreakers</a> went up, I spoke with Boss Key founder Cliff Bleszinski just as PAX was beginning to get further details on some of the novel shooting and movement mechanics in his studio's FPS. The gameplay trailer showed off a few tricks, including swinging from a grappling hook and shooting behind your back, and&nbsp;I got to ask Bleszinski about how those moves interact with the game's gravity changing mechanics. Watch the full video above to hear what he has to say.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from&nbsp;PAX Prime 2015&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/" target="_blank"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Kôna hands-on: investigating a winter wonderland gone wronghttp://www.pcgamer.com/kona-hands-on-investigating-a-winter-wonderland-gone-wrong/Kônais happy to throw you out in the middle of a snowstorm and let you to figure the rest out on your own.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:23:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kona-hands-on-investigating-a-winter-wonderland-gone-wrong/AdventureKonaPAX Prime 2015PreviewsSurvival <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7thdscZIT4ag.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eVK_F13-Lm9w.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Go into the creepy abandoned house or freeze to death? Your choice. " class=""><figcaption>Go into the creepy abandoned house or freeze to death? Some&nbsp;choice. </figcaption></figure><p>Most games will introduce you to lush, warm environments laden with tutorial messages designed to carefully guide you through in the most comfortable way possible.&nbsp;<a href="http://konagame.com" target="_blank">Kôna</a>, on the other hand, is happy to dump you in the middle of a snowstorm and let you to figure out the rest.</p><p>Made by independent developer Parabole,&nbsp;Kôna&nbsp;is a game that pits players against a Canadian wilderness filled to the brim with desolation and mystery. Its&nbsp;episodic narrative&nbsp;is set in the 1970’s and the first installment&nbsp;gives you control of Carl Faubert, a detective unraveling why an entire town of people have suddenly abandoned their homes and gone missing.</p><p>Faubert lands in the middle of a dispute between a Native American community called the Cree and a local industrialist named W. Hamilton. Hamilton has earned the scorn of the Cree by expanding his mining operation onto sacred lands. Faulbert is hired to investigate a theft at the Hamilton manor, but discovers on his way that there isn’t a single soul left in the surrounding area.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c2mHiQf0QzGU.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xE-tJYeq4qmg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The snowy wilderness in Kôna is both calming and intimidating to look at." class=""><figcaption>The snowy wilderness in Kôna is both calming and intimidating.</figcaption></figure><p>Utter stillness inhabits what appears to be warm and cozy homes, complete with coals still burning in ovens that were suddenly abandoned by their cooks. Step out into the ongoing storm and see the harsh winds whipping through the surrounding forest, making for an intimidating tree line one wouldn’t dare venture out into alone. The quietness of the game is so intense, hearing an omniscient narrator speak once you discover a clue half&nbsp;made me jump. Kôna’s sense of snowy desolation is similar to the original Silent Hill, but skewed more towards a mysterious and eerie feel.</p><p>Enemies are limited to those found in&nbsp;mother nature, at least in the first episode. Faulbert can die from overexposure, or be set upon by ravenous wolves that prowl the area. Players must prepare themselves to travel further outward towards the Hamilton manor by finding better clothes to protect them from the elements, as well as vehicles that to help cross&nbsp;the wilderness quicker. </p><p>Gameplay is mostly focused on exploration. As Faubert, you can walk around and investigate desolate homes and shops in an effort to find clues about why everyone is gone. All the items and information you can find will be useful, says Kôna producer Alexandre Fiset, but not necessarily for just the first episode. There is no HUD, which leaves the visuals clean and means there’s nothing to distract you from the rich&nbsp;atmosphere. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JbnxebprSPyV.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3PW2O6K9I_CV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Notes and pictures found in the game will help players pick up the trail to discover more missing people." class=""><figcaption>Notes and pictures found in the game will help players pick up the trail to discover more missing people.</figcaption></figure><p>Aside from pure exploration, Faulbert also has weight, health, stress and cold meters to keep track of. If he is exposed to the cold for too long without reprieve, his health bar will slowly go down and he’ll succumb to frostbite. Having heavy items in your inventory can also take a toll. Although not immediately visible, certain aspects of the game will apparently also affect Faulbert’s stress meter, requiring you to smoke or drink to calm him down&mdash;or otherwise suffer poor aim with weapons, and other hindrances. </p><p>Faubert has a pickup truck at his disposal, so players can more easily access the area map that is measured at approximately two miles in game. Kôna won’t be limited to a small area for long, according to Fiset, as Parabole has plans to give players a new section of the game map to explore with each episode. “We want to keep growing what we give people,” explained Fiset. “So each [episode] will have more clues, more items, and we’ll spread [the map] further and further out.”</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-8jD7alJRbGC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1-nW1y6eUVNx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Instead of standard text boxes, Kôna utilizes a stylish splash for contextual messages." class=""><figcaption>Instead of standard text boxes, Kôna utilizes a stylish splash for contextual messages.</figcaption></figure><p>Faulbert won’t be the only character people can play as the story unfolds.&nbsp;Fiset told me that the second episode will be told from the perspective of a female member of the Cree, following her own investigation into what's happened to the population.</p><p>The Parabole developers aim to create four full episodes and release it for PC, Mac, and Linux. The first is due out later this year.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kRLp6NJgRc2O.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nH5N1UFiHpvK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Homes that would normally be filled with happy folks now lie still." class=""><figcaption>Homes that would normally be filled with happy folks now lie eerily&nbsp;still.</figcaption></figure> The week's highs and lows in PC gaminghttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Aug28_2015/Each week PC Gamer’s writers dance around in black and white singing hot take on me.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:48:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Aug28_2015/highs and lows <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qwusEWzGTDmN.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rOnX3U6_nNbI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lawbreakers Behind the back"></p><p><strong>THE HIGHS</strong></p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: Breakin’ the law</strong><br>I admit, when I first heard Cliffy B was doing a new game, I wasn’t particularly excited. I’m not really into Gears of War, and had no interest in a modern take on the classic online arena shooter. But then I watched this <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/">gameplay footage</a> of what is now called Lawbreakers and, damn, I’m sold. It looks really fun and colourful, and the slick, kinetic combat reminds me of when shooters weren’t about crouching behind waist-high concrete blocks and taking potshots at terrorists. ‘Class-based multiplayer first-person shooter’ isn’t the most inspiring sell, and has been done many, many times before, but I like the look of this one. Sorry for doubting you, Dude Huge.</p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Moar Law</strong><br>In another victory for lazy journalism, like Andy I’m going to go for Lawbreakers. The reaction to the initial <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-is-the-new-fps-from-boss-key-and-cliff-bleszinski/">CG ‘reveal’ trailer</a> was predictably, but I would also say understandably, cynical. We live in an era in which even the most mediocre TV drama is capable of CG that would have been denounced as witchcraft a few years ago, so good a CG trailer is no more indicative of final game quality than pictures of unicorns on a mood board is.</p><p>Perhaps with that reaction in mind, Boss Key has wasted no time in getting the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/">gameplay footage</a> out, and I’m really digging it. The obvious comparison is going to be with Overwatch, Blizzard’s forthcoming colourful, free-to-play, team-based shooter. The look of Lawbreakers is slightly less cartoony, but still plenty fun. Watching it, I was actually reminded of the mighty TimeSplitters 2 (which will help you pinpoint my advancing years), and that’s about as positive as compliments come when it comes to breakneck multiplayer FPS. Hopefully it feels as fun. We should be finding out soon.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8Kz7iQlOQkyS.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2B26i8iCPZJ0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer Slide"></p><p><strong>Tom Senior: Dwarfs done right<br></strong>I watched The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies this week. It's pants, but it does feature extended scenes of dwarves doing war. All I could think as I watched grey dwarves bash into grey orcs was "Warhammer could do this better". The very next day, The Creative Assembly gave us a glimpse of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-video-introduces-dwarfen-units/">Total War: Warhammer's dwarves</a> (or "dwarfs", in Games Workshop parlance) and they are much better. They're colourful, and stocky, and swing a hammer as well as a four-foot cube of muscle can. Five Armies imagined dwarves as plate-mail clad tanks who fight in perfect unison, but really dwarves ought to fight with the shambolic disorder of a mob very much enjoying itself. I can't wait to see more, especially if the game includes Warhammer's mostly-naked <a href="http://www.centerpieceminiatures.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/utf-8IMG_7246-1.jpg">Troll Slayers</a>.</p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: Silly season begins<br></strong>XCOM 2 is one of my most anticipated games along with Fallout 4, Star Wars and Hitman&mdash;and this week Firaxis announced that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/">it’s moving</a> the turn-based strategy game to a new release date in February of next year. I actually don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world for one of the many huge games coming out this Winter to move to early 2016. This year is going to be insane for new games. If XCOM 2 was the only game you were excited about this year, then it’s a huge blow, but there’s so many other releases to look forward to from now until the end of the year: MGS V, Fallout 4, Hitman, Star Wars Battlefront, Adrift, Soma, Rainbow Six Siege, Mad Max, Just Cause 3, Arkham Knight returning to PC without being appalling and the yearly regulars. It’s going to be carnage for your wallets in the next few months. XCOM 2 may well end up being better than all of those games, and if Firaxis needs the extra time to get it right, I think I can handle the wait given how much I’ll have to play in the meantime.&nbsp;</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1sAqCacbQvGS.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IMZ4xtTG2mX5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Super Mega Baseball Slide"></p><p><strong>Chris Livingston: Ahead of the Curve</strong><br>I'm not often an early adopter of anything, but I did generate an interest in sabermetrics before most, due to the work of a number of talented baseball writers and analysts. At the time, sabermetrics was the new school of baseball thought, a way to collect and interpret statistics that defied a number of hallowed baseball traditions. So I quickly became the sort of snooty fan who was annoyed with things like bringing in the closer <em>only</em> in the 9th inning (when the real batting threats may be due up in the 8th), or the practice of putting a speedy player in the lineup first instead of the player with the best chance of getting on base, and especially with bunting to move runners into scoring position. Sacrifice bunting became repulsive to me! Willingly giving away outs in baseball is, in my mind, a crime punishable by scorn.</p><p>So there I was this week, Mr. I Sneer At Conventional Baseball Wisdom, playing <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/super-mega-baseball-extra-innings-review/">Super Mega Baseball</a> (which I quite enjoyed). I had just cranked up the difficulty level to the point where I was perfectly matched with my opponent, and well into the game neither of us had scored a run or even gotten many hits. Finally, I caught a break, drove a frozen rope into the gap, and collected a stand-up triple.</p><p>I immediately knew what I had to do. I had to betray my own love of sabermetrics. I had to go for the squeeze. I had to<em> sac bunt</em>. I sent my runner from third before the pitch&mdash;the runner was actually me, a player I'd named Chris Livingston&mdash;and had the batter hunch in for a bunt. It went perfectly, dribbling down the third base line, no chance for a play at the plate. The batter was out at first, but I scored what would turn out to be the winning run. Sorry, all you baseball managers, for all my scorn over the years. Sometimes&mdash;very rarely!&mdash;the sac bunt is worth it.</p><p><strong>James Davenport: De-happy-tated</strong><br>Double Fine recently <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/double-fines-new-game-is-headlander-a-side-scrolling-action-adventure/">put out a trailer and some information</a> about their new Adult Swim published game, Headlander. The whole premise is outright dumb, which is why I’m on board. You play as a disembodied head inside a helmet that can rocket around and attach itself to the robots strewn about the retro-futuristic sci-fi world. Your goal is to figure out what the hell happened to humanity in a deranged, uncanny future. Since it’s essentially touted as a funny, puzzly Metroid with a minimal focus on combat, I’m pretty excited. You say ‘Metroid’ and I melt.</p><p>What’s more pleasing is to Adult Swim dive even deeper into the industry as a publisher. They brought us the inexplicable, lovely <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/jazzpunk-review/">Jazzpunk</a>, but don’t stray from the grim; <a href="http://www.deathsgambit.com/">Death’s Gambit</a> is in the oven and looks pretty neat. Point is, they’re carving out a creative, distinct space and should not be ignored.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1yRB_ZpeRlCA.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HbOoyzrW4ykT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Michael Fassbender Assassin's Creed Movie cropped"></p><p><strong>THE LOWS</strong></p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Fassbender’s face</strong><br>Look at it. Look at Michael Fassbender’s <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/">beautiful becowled face</a>. Savour that image, because this is the exact moment in which you can allow yourself to think, “Hey, he’s a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24cjqfVv1fs">proper actor</a>. Yes, there was Prometheus&mdash;but he was still the best thing in it. Maybe there’s a world in which the Assassin’s Creed movie won’t be red hot garbage.” And then you remember Jake Gyllenhaal. And Prince of Persia. And the moment is gone.</p><p><strong>James Davenport: PAX Blues</strong><br>PAX sure is a good time. Last year, before my time with PC Gamer, I went with some Canadian pals. While the show floor was a damp, flashy spectacle, my favorite moment of PAX had nothing to do with videogames. We were just sitting around in our hotel room, pretty tired from walking around all day, dehydrated. Consequently, I was a little drunk, even on two beers. Someone&mdash;I don’t remember who&mdash;fired first. They played a Wonderwall by Oasis mashup song. I can’t even remember what the second component was. All I remember is that we tested what we discovered as an unbreakable, universal law for a good hour or so. That law: if a song exists, there is a Wonderwall mashup of it somewhere. We dove down a deep, dark pit that evening. I emerged new. Different somehow, but closer to these people than before.</p><p>I invite you to test out this theory and share your results, but <em>only at your own risk</em>.</p><p>I mention it here not because I hate this memory. I cherish it, which is why I’m sad I’m not at PAX right now. Packing so many folks with similar interests into a tuna can portion of Seattle is an exhausting, exhilarating experiment, and I always look forward to the results. There will be a PAX in my future, no doubt, but now feels like a good time to embrace the melancholy. Sigh with me.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UQiGdNvBRWGa.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AXFcgFbAhn15.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sheltered Slide"></p><p><strong>Chris Livingston: Home Base</strong><br>I mentioned in my highs that I'd named a character after myself in Super Mega Baseball. It can be fun putting yourself in the games you play, right? Gives you a little extra investment in the character, personalizes the game a bit, makes it more fun, gives you someone to root for.</p><p>Sometimes. I also named a character after myself in a game called <a href="http://www.unicube.net/sheltered/">Sheltered</a>, a post-apocalyptic management game where a family is living in a bomb shelter, trying to survive off scraps of food and contaminated water and having to make dangerous trips to the surface to scrounge for supplies.</p><p>The Christopher of Sheltered got food poisoning and spent most of his time vomiting all over the shelter. He got attacked by a psycho with a knife while scavenging in a school. He had to compete with his pet cat to catch and eat rats for sustenance. Christopher eventually died of radiation poisoning, at which point his sister carved him up and ate him to avoid starving to death, after which she also died of radiation poisoning. This was not as much fun as being a cartoon in a baseball game. (It's a pretty good game, though.)</p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: Console exclusives</strong><br>I’ve been reading the positive reviews of PS4 exclusive horror game <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/until-dawn-review/">Until Dawn</a>, and I’m jealous. Exclusives are just the worst, aren’t they? Most of the time I can block out console-only releases and get on with my life, but occasionally there’s one that has me lingering over the ‘add to basket’ button on Amazon. Another is Destiny, which several of my friends are genuinely obsessed with. But there’s a chance that one might come to PC, so I might just hold out. The sooner we get PC versions of games like Until Dawn and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the better.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z3U1DqRCS1e-.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/augp3xE1psdK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Slide"></p><p><strong>Tom Senior: Why, Blizzard, Why!</strong><br>How could you do this to me Blizzard? Metal Gear Solid 5 is about to come out. Fallout 4 is on the horizon. I'm supposed to be limbering up for the biggest games of the year, but right on the eve of 2015's big release season you went for the nuclear option: you <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-patch-230-is-out-now/">updated Diablo 3</a>. You put new monsters in it, and a new zone, and added a cube that can suck special powers out of legendary items so I can equip them directly to my wizard's body somehow.</p><p>I went in for one lunch time, just to check things out, and then I remembered how much <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/crushing-diablo-3s-treasure-goblins/">I love killing treasure goblins</a>. The very next day a goblin dies and drops a portal to the treasure goblins' gold dimension. Coincidence? Yes! But that won't stop me from blaming you, even as I roll around in my massive piles of gold like Smaug. Big Boss and his Mother Base will have to wait; there are more treasure goblin portals out there, and they won't loot themselves.</p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: No VR for you this year</strong><br>Sounds like the HTC Vive is going to be <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vive-available-only-in-limited-quantity-this-year/">hard to get hold</a> of this year, sadly&mdash;so it seems like the dream of a VR holiday where you can ignore your family members in a virtual world is firmly cancelled. With the Oculus headset also releasing in 2016, it looks like 2015 is off the calendar for big events in VR. Boo!</p> Minecraft: Story Mode will let players select gender and skin tonehttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-will-let-players-select-gender-and-skin-tone/It turns out that "Jesse" is a conveniently flexible name.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:26:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-will-let-players-select-gender-and-skin-tone/AdventureMinecraft: Story ModeNewsTelltale Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3MPXoAMIRLS1.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Y1c3cKsej2fd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-detailed-at-minecon/">first trailer</a> for Telltale's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode/">Minecraft: Story Mode</a>, released in July at Minecon, revealed that players would control a character named Jesse, portrayed by actor Patton Oswalt. "Jesse and his group of friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon," it said. "While at EnderCon, Jesse and his friends discover that something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion " </p><p>Now, Patton Oswalt is a pretty cool guy, but what if you don't want to play as him? What if you don't want to play as a "guy" at all, but would rather be&mdash;gasp!&mdash;a girl? Well, okay then. "Today we can announce that Minecraft: Story Mode will be the first Telltale game series to feature a player character where YOU choose their appearance," Telltale <a href="https://www.telltalegames.com/blog/99531/new-screenshots-minecraft-story-mode-features-selectable-player-character">said today on its blog</a>. "Players will be able to select from several different options for both male and female versions of our hero Jesse."</p><p>Oswalt is still providing the voice of male Jesse, but female Jesse will be voiced by <a href="http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,337359/">Catherine Taber</a>, who's been in the voice acting business since 2003, with credits including Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy XII, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, The Secret World, and a whole bunch of others. Other cast members include Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West, and Paul Reubens.</p><p>A handful of new screens illustrate both Jesse and Jesse&mdash;FemJesse? No, probably not&mdash;in action, as well as a couple of the available skin tone options. From the looks of it, you'll be able to play as any kind of character you like, which is a really great move by Telltale.</p><p>Minecraft: Story Mode is set to come out this fall. Find out more at <a href="https://www.telltalegames.com/minecraftstorymode/">Telltalegames.com</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/25_gETsYTQyA.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hM4VOjdJWvlC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jrHsEGpiQlqb.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FGRGmM3rhT3c.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VVd2EJ-eQnOI.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fl316UclIjO6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/76Uj0nZ5Q3yB.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6cX8ICQSuz0f.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3JX2wKt1SuOs.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xYefPKhDXAsg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p> The Humble Store Summer Sale offers Stealth Inc. 2 for freehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-summer-sale-offers-stealth-inc-2-for-free/The Humble Store is offering Stealth Inc. 2 for free until August 31.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:12:26 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-summer-sale-offers-stealth-inc-2-for-free/Humble StoreNews <p>The <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store">Humble Store Summer Sale</a>&mdash;technically the End of Summer Sale, but who wants to think about that?&mdash;is now underway. And even if you're saying to yourself, "I can't possibly afford to spend one more penny on videogame deals," this is still worth your time because until August 31, you can snag a copy of the Humble Deluxe Edition of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stealth-bastard-returns-to-pc-in-stealth-inc-2/">Stealth Inc. 2</a> just by showing up.</p><p>We didn't review Stealth Inc. 2 but we did have a look at its PC predecessor, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/stealth-bastard-review/">Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole</a> (which I will never stop thinking is funny) and liked it quite a bit, which makes the whole "free" thing even better. But there are a lot of other solid deals on tap as well, like the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Collection for $12, Rogue Legacy for $2, Never Along for $6, the X3 Superbox for $10, and Goats on a Bridge for $1. (I have no idea what Goats on a Bridge is, but I like the title.)</p><p>The summer sale also introduces the new "Build Your Own Bundle" feature, which offers increasing discounts on game prices as you buy more of them (66 percent off for buying three, 72 percent for four, 75 percent for five, although they're currently limited to Codemasters and Telltale), and there will be 12-hour flash sales and publisher deals featuring Bethesda, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Warner, and others to be announced later. As always, ten percent of all purchases goes to support charity, and you may now choose from among <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-adds-a-choose-your-own-charity-option/">35,000 different charities</a> in the US and UK to support. The Humble Store Summer Sale is live now and runs until September 11.</p> Ranking the best and worst Bioshock gameshttp://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-bioshock-games/Or at least the best andleast-best.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:49:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-bioshock-games/BioshockBioshock 2Bioshock InfiniteFPSSurvey Fridays <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0iQb1mjzQuSi.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r7htvlK7nQAK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite 1"></p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">SURVEY FRIDAYS</h5><p>Every week we ask you to rank a series or just reminisce about PC games in a not-very-scientific survey. Look for the survey link in our <a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pcgamermagazine">Facebook</a> feeds each week, and the results every Friday. Previously, we ranked the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-of-the-mass-effect-games/">Mass Effect</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-call-of-duty-series-ranked/">Call of Duty</a> series and asked about the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/what-are-the-hardest-pc-games/">hardest PC games</a> you've played.</p></div><p>With Tyler off at PAX, it fell upon my pointy shoulders to arrange our weekly survey of what you guys think about stuff. <em>Games </em>stuff.&nbsp;</p><p>I thought&nbsp;the highly lauded, oft-discussed, occasionally&nbsp;divisive Bioshock series would fit the bill nicely. The original introduced us to Andrew Ryan's hidden underwater city of Rapture and gave us one of the most compelling&nbsp;reveals in gaming history. In the sequel we returned to the same setting, but this time stalked the ruins of Rapture&nbsp;as a powerful Big Daddy. Bioshock Infinite, meanwhile, took us to a new city in the clouds, Columbia, and gave us an ambitious story that still tied into the first two games.</p><p>The survey, which was posted on our&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer">Twitter</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pcgamermagazine">Facebook</a> feeds,&nbsp;got a fantastic response, with 2,032 people taking the time to give us their thoughts!&nbsp;Here's what you told us about the Bioshock series.</p><h2>Which Bioshock game is the best?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">The Results</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Yaw14bAsRZKr.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mo-gbH6LcjEC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="result"></p><p><em>Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p>No ambiguity here: 48%&nbsp;of survey-takers felt<strong style="background-color: initial;">&nbsp;the original Bioshock was the best</strong>. Not far behind were the&nbsp;40% who&nbsp;chose Bioshock Infinite as their favorite, while only 12% thought Bioshock 2 was the best in the series.</p><p>Many of the reasons cited by those who voted for the original&nbsp;Bioshock involve story, setting, gameplay,&nbsp;horror, and above all, the atmosphere. "One of the most atmospheric game environments ever made," said one survey-taker. "The claustrophobic atmosphere and mystery really appealed to me," said another.&nbsp;</p><p>I concur. It was my favorite of the series as well, terrifying at times, genuinely intriguing, with enjoyable and flexible combat.&nbsp;"The gorgeous world of Bioshock combined with a great gameplay and one of the best stories told in a video game," someone said.&nbsp;"Oozes atmosphere and style," wrote another.</p><p>Other players appreciated the deeper themes of the game.&nbsp;"It was political, it was philosophical, it showed the hubris of man in a way that I've rarely experienced in another game or film," said one.&nbsp;"First modern iteration to make gamers think about the philosophy of what they play and why they play it," said another.</p><p>"The claustrophobic and dark atmosphere, the lore surrounding Rapture and the story itself were all great, with complex themes related to power, freedom and human nature and the dangers of what can happen when actions are taken without regard for consequences."</p><p>On the other hand, a few voted for it for other reasons. "It is marginally less utter garbage than the other two." Fair enough.</p><h2>Which Bioshock game is the worst?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">RESULTS</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RjKthFeKTLOd.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ia8fnLD80_I3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="results"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p> <em>Worst </em>is probably the wrong word, because many&nbsp;survey-takers&nbsp;pointed out that they enjoyed&nbsp;all three games, just to different degrees. Maybe we should call it least-best? Either way, <strong>your least favorite game in the series&nbsp;is&nbsp;Bioshock 2</strong>, with a full 60% of the votes.&nbsp;It seems the return to Rapture, this time as a Big Daddy, just&nbsp;didn't quite&nbsp;stand up to the experience of&nbsp;the&nbsp;original, nor did it&nbsp;provide enough of a new experience&nbsp;like Bioshock Infinite. "It just didn't capture me like the other two," said one poll-taker. "It was a bit too 'samey'," said another. "Once I got to the second one I was already acclimated to the universe, so there wasn't any awe and wonder."</p><p>Other comments:&nbsp;"While it was cool and all playing as a prototype big daddy, not much changed from the original. It ended up feeling like a big goose chase from level to level." "It had a better combat system (more fluid than the first Bioshock) but it was just a continuation."&nbsp;</p><p>Most responses can be summed up by this poll-taker's words:&nbsp;"It's not that I didn't like Bioshock 2, it's just that it is the least good."</p><p>Personally, Bioshock 2 was my second favorite and&nbsp;Bioshock&nbsp;Infinite my least favorite of the series, but I tend to like things in the order they were released. Like in&nbsp;the original Star Wars Trilogy, I prefer A New Hope to The Empire Strikes Back, and I like the first Tobey MacGuire Spider-Man movie better than the second. I have been told on countless occasions I am wrong about both and it would seem, <em>because of numbers</em>, I am wrong yet&nbsp;again.</p><p>For those who felt Bioshock Infinite <em>was </em>the best, we'll get to some of those comments on the next page.</p><h2>Who was the best villain?</h2><p>I suppose it's not surprising to see industrialist&nbsp;<strong>Andrew Ryan at the top of the pack with 42.2%</strong> of the vote. As the founder of Rapture, we quickly got to know him through his speeches (and looming&nbsp;statues), and our confrontation with him midway through Bioshock is one of the most memorable and disturbing scenes in gaming.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MM43ATZUTJKc.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LJ9mnrhkhjo0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="results"></p><p>Frank Fontaine was also a popular choice, with 21.4% liking him best, followed by Comstock from Bioshock Infinite at 19.6%.&nbsp;I am a little saddened to see Sander Cohen so far down the list with only 10% of the vote. He's my personal favorite due to his showmanship, his disturbing art projects, his terrifying army of ballerina statues, and his love of murder. That guy was a born entertainer. I miss him.</p><h2>Did you harvest Little Sisters?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">RESULTS</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qDsdFjroQt6e.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Cd0TrF4MyiIu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Results"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p>I'm pleased to see so many survey takers are good, kind&nbsp;people who like opening&nbsp;presents. <strong>68% of you didn't harvest (kill) even a single Little Sister</strong>, those adorable and yet horrifying children who scamper around extracting magic&nbsp;glop from corpses.&nbsp;</p><p>22% dabbled in harvesting, perhaps (as I did) simply trying it to see what happened and quickly deciding it wasn't for them.</p><p>Meanwhile, 10% just went hog wild&nbsp;and repeatedly&nbsp;sucked the life out of Rapture's&nbsp;vampiric tots. Hey, I'm not judging. When in Rome, right?</p><h2>Where should the next Bioshock game take place?</h2><p>We've seen a city at the bottom of the sea, and one floating in the clouds.&nbsp;In the event of future Bioshock game, I gave some options for where people thought&nbsp;it should take place.</p><p>33.9% said <strong>the Moon would be the best setting for another Bioshock game</strong>. Other favorites were that it should be on an island (13.3%), inside a volcano (12.7%), in an underground silo (12.3%), while&nbsp;11.9% think it should take place&nbsp;inside Saturn's rings. Just think of the view!</p><p>There was room for people to submit their own choices. Here are a few places people think another&nbsp;Bioshock game should take place:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">In a parallel world<br>Inside a giant cave<br>In a treehouse<br>Inside a human body, where you're shrunk down<br>Miniaturized, and in a sewer<br>SPAAAAAAACE<br>Australia<br>Anywhere is fine<br>All these options suck<br>Inside Half-Life 3</p><p>Plenty&nbsp;of people also&nbsp;told me they don't think another Bioshock game <em>should </em>be made,&nbsp;full stop.</p><h2>Other results</h2><p><b style="background-color: initial;">When it comes to taking down enemies, most (16.3%)&nbsp;prefer to use bullets</b>. In second place is the Big Daddy drill (14.3%) followed by the Skyhook (12%), and&nbsp;the wrench (10.7%). Under 10% were&nbsp;electricity, hacked security bots,&nbsp;fire, crows, insect swarms, using the enemy's bullets, and traps.&nbsp;Ice was&nbsp;the least favorite with 3.3%. Some write-in favorites: flinging corpses with telekinesis, harpoons, the rivet gun, hypnotizing enemies to kill each other, knocking them off ledges (in Columbia), and a number of weapon and plasmid combos. As one person put it: "Can't decide. All good."</p><p>In the Bioshock series, what made the <em style="background-color: initial;">least </em>sense to survey-takers (to the tune of 21.5%) was <strong style="background-color: initial;">why superpowers are sold in vending machines</strong><strong> but you're the only one who buys them</strong>, especially when, as 12.4% of you pointed out, the garbage cans of Columbia are stuffed with money. 13.3% agreed that the ending of Bioshock Infinite was confusing, 12.6% wondered why citizens of Rapture left their diary entries scattered around in dedicated&nbsp;individual tape recorders, and 5.7% didn't think it made sense for anyone to be fighting for control of Rapture since it was essentially&nbsp;a leaking garbage can&nbsp;entirely populated by screeching lunatics.</p><p><strong>Most never played&nbsp;Bioshock 2's multiplayer </strong>(69.1%), some of you played it a little (24.5%), and only 6.4% played it a lot. Nine people said they were playing it currently, so I'll have to assume they're all in the same session together.</p><p>54% felt that <strong>Burial at Sea, Part 2 was the best DLC in the series</strong>. Minerva's Den was second favorite (23.8%) and Burial at Sea, Part 1 was third (21.9%).</p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Would you kindly continue to the next page to read some comments from survey takers?</em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1wHjngouTwaD.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LEot-AXjISsJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite screenshot Elizabeth and Songbird"></p><p>Surveys with specific&nbsp;questions can be restrictive, so I left some room for the most dedicated of poll-takers to give me their thoughts about the Bioshock series. Here are some of them, and not others! A few responses&nbsp;have been gently edited or excerpted.&nbsp;And thank you, sincerely, to everyone who contributed, even the person who suggested the next Bioshock game should take place, and this is an unedited quote,&nbsp;"up your butt."</p><h2>Why Bioshock is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xIRAU7aUQtWE.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lq6ihvmsvPDe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock"></p></div><p>"It was a perfectly realised atmospheric world, and what was most impressive was the way that you could imagine it really happening (apart from Fontaine's boss battle obviously). It had, in Ryan's death, arguably the best twist&mdash;and most&nbsp;horrifying cut scene&mdash;that I've ever experienced."</p><p>"It took the average shooter and combined it with an amazing setting and gripping story. The attention to detail within the fictional 50's underwater city was phenomenal. The replay value is also a great factor, I personally have played through it four times."</p><p>"Fort Frolic remains one of my favourite levels in gaming: a broken world of half-drowned bars and clubs presided over by the psychotic 'artist' Sander Cohen. It's a game filled with small yet powerful moments. We watch the decline of civilisation through the scattered thoughts of Rapture's denizens, all of them portrayed by voice actors who know their characters through and through."</p><p>"It was brought to life not just by the amazing characters like Andrew Ryan or Sander Cohen, but the character of Rapture itself, and how it felt like a living, breathing world full of an ecosystem of splicers, big daddies, and little sisters. Rapture felt like a world that existed before you came into it, with big daddies just doing their own duties, splicers fighting amongst themselves and looting areas, and little sisters attending to the dead ones, and it gave the impression that the world didn't revolve around you and that you were just another visitor, and that's an atmospheric detail that so many games lack even today. The variety of both weapons and plasmids were great, and none of them felt like they were any less viable as their own tool of destruction than any other. The limited weapon upgrades made you think twice about what weapon you were going to put more love into, and also gave your loadout a more personalized feel."</p><p>"It is, for me at least, one of the most engrossing games ever made. I was so sucked in on my first playthrough, I played through it in one sitting."</p><p>"The original Bioshock remains an incredibly compelling trip into a Randian fever dream. It mixed mystery, action and more than a bit of horror into a wonderful package. And while we joke about it today, that final twist still remains a jaw-dropper."</p><h2>Why Bioshock 2 is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock 2</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5PK3Kt6STNmv.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_seJPlZGf3VZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock 2"></p></div><p>"An atmosphere as immersive and enthralling as the first game but with a vastly improved combat system and a decent multiplayer addition."</p><p>"Playing as a Big Daddy was awesome. I really liked it in the original game when Jack had to "become" a Big Daddy in order to face Fontaine, and having a whole game around the idea of being a Big Daddy and protecting the Little Sisters was great to me. Some people felt those sections (protecting Little Sisters) were annoying, but they were one of the best part of the game in my opinion."</p><p>"I love Bioshock 2 for its more intimate story. I didn't like how the other two games felt they had to go for a big twist."</p><p>"Bioshock 2, first and foremost, is the most fun game in the series to play. Enemy balance is much more fair than the first game, and the ability to combine plasmid and firearm action, along with the new weapons, opened up all sorts of new combat possibilities. The spear gun is still one of my favorite weapons in any game ever. The story was perfect, offering complex, flawed characters and genuine emotional attachment where then characters in the first Bioshock were just stand-ins for philosophical ideals, and those in Infinite suffer from the game's inconsistent writing. Incredible attention to environmental details, great voice acting, and a focus on human struggle made Bioshock 2 something truly intimate and unforgettable."</p><p>"It's the most personal and human story, focused on the personal turmoil of fatherhood. It's a game where some of the worst villains were treated with compassion and humanity.&nbsp;The other games were about presenting big ideas without having anything meaningful to say about them."&nbsp;</p><p>"It was enjoyable setting traps and combat never felt like a chore. It was also enjoyably a counter-point to Bioshock. Where the first game focused on the upper class of Rapture and the struggle to control it, Bioshock 2 showed the seedy underbelly and the poor of Rapture. And the things you did mattered. It was more grand scale stuff, like four of five specific decisions, but they changed how the game ended. It felt more meaningful."</p><p>"The story is stripped down to something manageable and doesn't invariably shoot itself in the foot (as with BS1's last chapter or BSI's everything). A simple tale of a father reuniting with his daughter is quite lovely."</p><p>"Refined controls and combat compared to the first one. Story more relatable, despite lacking that [a]&nbsp;stellar twist."</p><h2>Why Bioshock Infinite is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock infinite</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_Wruhbo8RxKX.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qwEYwgrfCHLF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite"></p></div><p>"Fantastic story addressing varied meta-topics and issues, interesting combat mechanics and one of the best characters of 2013."</p><p>"Both Booker and Elizabeth essentially made the game come to life and being able to see and explore Columbia both before and after the events of the rebellion offered a unique look at the transitions of Columbia at its height to its fall. The fact that the game also dove more into the culture, race relations, and historical aspects of its time period were also fascinating and led to a lot of interesting discussions."</p><p>"The story and characters were interesting and engaging. I felt real emotions, man."</p><p>"While I love the original Bioshock, the gameplay in Infinite is so much smoother and the environmental interaction between your vigors and enemies.&nbsp;The stories are equally amazing, although Infinite does lack the quirky characters like Sander Cohen and Frank Fontaine, the Lutece twins and Elizabeth make up for it."</p><p>"Bioshock Infinite knows exactly what it wants to be: a blockbuster action/adventure. Its plot doesn't always hold together, and it comes across as pretentious some of the time, but it's just so mad that I can't help but applaud it. Booker and Elizabeth are both extremely interesting, and a combination of strong characters and great action is ultimately what makes it for me."</p><p>"Infinite's deep and complex narrative gives the player a lot to think about and understand about the world that you're playing in. Also I love the setting, the soundtrack, as well as the relationship between you (Booker) and Elizabeth."</p><p>"The graphics and setting of Columbia are breath-taking, juxtaposing the up-beat and happy themes at the start of the game with the melancholy and darkness of Finkton and other areas later in the game."</p><p>"It somehow manages to maintain the dark, macabre tone of the series while offering a much more colourful and charming setting."</p><p>"The visual spectacle of Columbia, mixed with the deep and emotional themes that run throughout Infinite of racism, family ties, and regret. Also Elizabeth, because she is possibly the greatest NPC ever created: emotional, relatable, she just felt real."</p> Brian Kibler on Magic’s battle to catch up with Hearthstonehttp://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-on-magics-battle-to-catch-up-with-hearthstone/MTG hall of famer explains why Blizzard is so far ahead digitallyFri, 28 Aug 2015 20:49:13 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-on-magics-battle-to-catch-up-with-hearthstone/BlizzardCard GameHearthstoneMagic: The GatheringWizards of the Coast <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EAXa1GReSfSR.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PJHTLaubZA5n.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Jace the Mind Sculptor Magic The Gathering Art"></p><p> I started playing Magic the Gathering over twenty years ago, when I was a thirteen year-old kid in the seventh&nbsp;grade. Since then, playing Magic has taken me to dozens of countries across five continents, and has been responsible for not only my career, but also virtually all of my closest friendships. I am one of the leading money winners in Magic tournament history, and in 2010 I was inducted into the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame.</p><p> And yet when I sit down to play a card game today, it isn’t going to be Magic. It’s going to be Hearthstone.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">BRIAN KIBLER</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bkYMAFx8T2uT.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1M433f0khhk6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Brian Kibler"> </p> <p> In addition to his illustrious record as an MTG pro, Brian was lead designer on the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, which was the paper&nbsp;precursor for Hearthstone. He is also currently senior game designer on&nbsp;<a href="http://solforgegame.com/">Solforge</a>. You can read more of his writing at&nbsp;<a href="http://bmkgaming.com/">bmkgaming</a> and see him stream Hearthstone&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/bmkibler">here</a>. I hope you like dragons.</p> </div><p> I love Magic. I think it’s the greatest game ever made, even to this day. It created the entire collectible gaming category that has taken the world by storm, and spawned any number of incredibly successful imitators, from Pokemon to Yu-Gi-Oh to Hearthstone. But while its descendants have evolved to take advantage of the new digital revolution in gaming, Magic has failed to keep up with times.</p><p> It’s strange that things have gotten to this point, because much like Magic was the first CCG, it was also among the first games to introduce the idea of selling digital objects. Back when Magic Online was released in 2002, the application name was “MODO”, which stood for “Magic Online Digital Objects”. To assuage the fears of a community that wasn’t accustomed to paying real money for virtual goods&mdash;as well as to justify charging the same full retail price for digital booster packs&mdash;Magic Online included a redemption program that allowed players to exchange a full set of cards online for that same set in paper. This decision was one of many made to anchor Magic Online as closely as possible to the physical game, a philosophy that has caused significant problems over the years.</p><p> The most recent foray into the digital space&mdash;<a href="http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/magic-duels">Magic Duels: Origins</a>&mdash;has done away with the same strict tethering. Not&nbsp;only has it embraced the free-to-play philosophy of other games in the digital CCG space, and allowed players to earn cards rather than purchase them, but it has a response timer system that has something more a videogame feel than the sometimes ponderous pace of paper Magic (and thus Magic Online).</p><p> These modifications, among others, have led to Duels being a big success at bringing new players into the game. But for established players like me, it doesn’t have the same appeal. So much of what has kept me in Magic over the years is the competition of tournament play, and the vast open-endedness of deck building, neither of which Duels offers in a manner comparable to paper Magic or Magic Online. A lot of people have asked me while I’m <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/bmkibler">streaming Hearthstone on Twitch</a> if I’m going to stream Duels some time too, and I tell them that I just don’t find the same enjoyment in a watered down version of my favorite game.</p><blockquote> Magic is an incredible game, but right now, it just isn't a very good videogame. </blockquote><p> If Magic wants to keep up with the kids these days, and to keep its old time fans like me engaged in this era of digital gaming, it needs to find a middle ground between Magic Online and Duels. Here are the three biggest area that Magic’s digital offerings need to improve to find a firm footing in today’s online gaming marketplace.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7ftfa5dsSeqT.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9GuGoYZ4VqkE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearthstone" class=""> <figcaption>Hearthstone</figcaption></figure><h3>Convenience</h3><p> I can log on to Hearthstone and play a ranked or arena game at almost any time of day, and if I only have time for that one game, that’s okay. On Magic Online, signing up for any tournament is a serious commitment of several hours, and you can’t just leave in the middle without giving up your entry fee and possible prizes. Magic needs to adjust its online competitive offerings to make them more convenient, especially for its older fans who may not be able to block off hours at a time to play. Duels simply has no real outlet for competitive play.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4JjWzQtsTfmA.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G2FwyEXUbnJd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magic Online" class=""><figcaption>Magic Online</figcaption></figure><h3>Stream Friendliness</h3><p> It’s Twitch’s world now. The rest of us are just living in it. Online streaming is the way that an entire generation discovers and interacts with games, and it isn’t going away. Magic Online not only suffers from long downtime between matches, as mentioned above, but also an interface that is very difficult for anyone but the most experienced players to follow. Duels is a step in the right direction, with a smooth game flow, animations, and sound effects that people don’t just turn off by default. I’d do away with the simulated perspective of the game board for more of a top-down view, since cards are already hard enough to read when the board gets cluttered. If people can’t tell what’s going on, they won’t watch. If they don’t watch, they’re unlikely to start playing.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3-HCnYXtQXuI.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/30Ik0d4J2llE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magic Duels" class=""> <figcaption>Magic Duels</figcaption></figure><h3>Cost</h3><p> This may be where Magic Online is hamstrung the most, because many players have invested a great deal to build their collections. Shifting the basic economy away from a same-as-physical price model would massively undermine the confidence of the existing player base, but something has to be done. You can play Hearthstone arena for just two dollars, or for free with in-game gold, while a Magic draft is almost fifteen dollars retail on Magic Online. Duels is much friendlier price-wise, with the ability to earn all of the content for free in the new release, but lacks the same competitive appeal as either Magic Online or Hearthstone.</p><p> Magic is an incredible game, but right now, it just isn’t a very good videogame. But if Wizards of the Coast can make it faster, prettier, and cheaper, it just might be good enough to bite off a chunk of huge digital card game audience that has had its appetite whet by Hearthstone and is hungry for more.&nbsp;</p> Here's your first look at Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/More like Fassassin's Creed, am I right?Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:16:26 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/ActionAssassin's CreedNewsUbisoft <p>True or false: Videogame movies suck. The answer, of course, is "true." There are exceptions to that rule&mdash;I actually quite enjoyed the original Mortal Kombat film&mdash;but generally speaking, there are few quicker roads to ruin that basing your summer blockbuster on a popular game franchise. Will the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed/">Assassin's Creed</a> flick be able to elevate itself to a level of "not bad," or, dare we dream, beyond? I don't know, but I can tell you this: <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1055413/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Michael Fassbender</a> has the <em>dreamiest</em> eyes.</p><p>I mean, seriously, just look at the way those gorgeous baby blues almost glow with intensity under that hood. They grip my heart, they pierce my soul; they're like warm, aquamarine pools filled with Elven lovers, bathing and dancing under starlit skies... sorry, what were we talking about?</p><p>Oh, right. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/michael-fassbender-assassins-creed-movie/">GamesRadar</a>, the film will start shooting next week, and will tell the tale of Aguilar, a 15th-century Spanish Assassin and newcomer to the franchise. Fassbender will also play Callum Lynch, a modern-day descendant of Aguilar who's caught up in a beef with the Templars, which is what actually leads him to reconnect with Aguilar in the first place. It's set for release on December 21 of 2016.</p><p>It sounds like a fairly conventional Assassin's Creed setup, and we can only hope that it will be better than previous videogame movies like... well, take your pick, really. For now, what do you think&mdash;Is Fassbender your guy?</p><p>(And don't forget: The latest Assassin's Creed game, AC: Syndicate, has been delayed on the PC, and won't be out <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-landing-late-on-pc/">until November</a>.)</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4dnE2HqTSe29.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JZIGR3o9Xdae.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Michael Fassbender Assassin's Creed"></p> New Doom video shows off insanely violent "glory kills"http://www.pcgamer.com/new-doom-video-shows-off-insanely-violent-glory-kills/Hasta lasagna, don't get any on ya.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:15:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-doom-video-shows-off-insanely-violent-glory-kills/Bethesda SoftworksDoomFPSid SoftwareNews <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/P8qfIY4RqWs?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p>It turns out that there is more to&nbsp;"Glory kills" than&nbsp;just killing gloriously. As Bethesda explains in the latest <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom/">Doom</a> video, they're over-the-top melee attacks that enable players to get up close and personal with enemies without slowing the game's frantic pace. They are, of course,&nbsp;gloriously gory&mdash;but also extremely fast, and designed specifically so that they won't break the rhythm of the game's "push forward".</p><p> Glory kills remind me a bit of the melee kills in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/serious-sam-3-bfe/">Serious Sam 3: BFE</a>, but they're much more sophisticated than just "static finishers." There's a large number of them of them in the game and they change depending upon your position in relation to your victim, and they won't interrupt the speed of the slaughter. You can step back and bear witness to your handiwork if you like, but things happen quickly enough that it's just as easy, and probably more tempting, to move on to the next guy and do it again.</p><p> "We have strict time limits on how long [glory kills] can last," Chief Technology Officer Robert Duffy says in the video, which was apparently recorded at E3 but just posted at <a href="http://bethesda.net/#en/events/game/the-guts-and-gore-of-doom-glory-kills/2015/08/28/17">Bethesda.net</a> today. "They’re hundreds of milliseconds, just because you want to keep the player moving."</p><p> Now, me, I'm a practical man. Punching things is something I do when I'm all out of bullets. As long as I have a loaded gun, or even better an assortment of guns, I think I'll stick to shooting stuff, thanks. You?</p><p> Doom is slated to come out in the spring of 2016.</p> A Borderlands movie is in the works at Lionsgatehttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-borderlands-movie-is-in-the-works-at-lionsgate/There's no word on when it will be ready, but it's happening.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:58:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-borderlands-movie-is-in-the-works-at-lionsgate/BorderlandsFPSGearbox SoftwareNewsTake Two Interactive <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NIgE-7XRQziX.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HfiLmDEl6iew.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BorderlandsPreSequel 2014-09-27 08-59-06-08"></p><p>Seemingly completely&nbsp;unafraid of movie critics using the "this is total&nbsp;claptrap" line,&nbsp;&nbsp;Lionsgate has revealed that it is developing a movie based on Gearbox's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands/">Borderlands</a> franchise. <a href="http://variety.com/2015/film/news/borderlands-videogame-movie-lionsgate-1201580303/">Variety</a> says the "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent-pole_%28entertainment%29">tentpole</a>" flick is being produced by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0032696/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Avi</a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7191024/?ref_=fn_al_nm_5">Ari Arad</a>, who are worth mentioning for their past production credits, including numerous early Marvel films, and Avi's status as the founder and, until 2006, CEO of Marvel Studios.</p><p>“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace with an incredible portfolio of brands; our partners at Gearbox have pioneered and cultivated an iconic property; and Avi and Ari Arad are two of the most successful producers of action franchises,” Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Borderlands publisher Take-Two Interactive, said in a statement. “This alliance is ideally positioned to create a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon that will delight Borderlands current legions of fans and captivate moviegoers around the world.”</p><p>Borderlands might not seem like the sort of thing that naturally lends itself to a 90-minute, three act&nbsp;narrative structure, but the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands/">Tales From the Borderlands</a> adventure series proves that, in the right hands, great things can be done with the material. And that may well be the direction Lionsgate is headed: Back in February, it made a "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hunger-games-mad-men-studio-partners-with-telltale/">significant investment</a>" in Telltale Games, and while at the time we took that to mean primarily that we'd be getting games based on Lionsgate properties, maybe we'll see things going&nbsp;the other way, too.</p><p>As Variety noted, with perhaps a touch of understatement, "Movies based on videogames have not yet achieved blockbuster status in Hollywood," and I wouldn't expect a Borderlands film to change that. But a Tales From the Borderlands film? That's something I might actually pay to see.</p> Shadowrun: Hong Kong reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/shadowrun-hong-kong-review/Harebrained Schemes tells its darkest tale in the harsh neon glare of Shadowrun Hong Kong.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:38:23 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/shadowrun-hong-kong-review/ReviewsRPGShadowrun: Hong KongStrategy <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong> A text-heavy turn-based cRPG.<br> <strong>Developer</strong> Harebrained Schemes<br> <strong>Publisher</strong>&nbsp;In-house<br> <strong>Reviewed on</strong> Windows 7, Core i5, 16GB RAM, GTX 780Ti<br> <strong>Expect to pay</strong> £15<br> <strong>Multiplaye</strong>: No<br> <strong>Link</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/hongkong/">official site</a><br> </p> </div><p>My charismatic elven Street Samurai could talk my way through a locked door, but couldn’t hit a troll at two paces. And yet here I was, staring down an angry vampire upset at my late-night stock-check of her boyfriend’s flat. This rooftop duel under neon floodlights convinced me that Shadowrun had at last unlocked the potential in its magic-meets-cyberpunk setting.</p><p>If I lost, I’d enjoy life as a servile pawn; if I won, she might convince her other half to dispose of a valued asset. It’s all tension, melodrama and, as it turns out, complete farce. Almost as soon as the lead starts flying, she calls a halt and agrees to deal&mdash;because she’s not an age-old force of destruction; she’s an accountant. A vampire accountant. Who says corporate jobs are dull?</p><p>This world of magic and megacorps in near-future Earth ought to be exciting, but the business of shadowrunning (dirty, untraceable work for the highest bidder) was a touch dry in Shadowrun Returns and its expandalone, Dragonfall. Hong Kong is blessed by the camp excess of Eastern cinema. You find it in the lurid neon that adorns every shopfront, the clichéd retorts, the triad wars and the B-movie heists that Shadowrun Hong Kong delights in. It’s like the series has relaxed, comfortable in its own skin, convinced by a third successful Kickstarter that it’s good at what it does.</p><p>Shadowrun is about intrigue above all, and the new story raises questions aplenty. As a clean-nosed tourist in search of your estranged foster father, it’s all of five minutes before you’re forced into roving firefights with the Hong Kong police. You descend into a life of crime, branded a terrorist and desperate for triad protection, taking on a multitude of unsavoury shadowruns while your new boss (the improperly named Kindly Cheng) tracks down your dad and puzzles out his link to the poverty-strangled Walled City. Hong Kong is a more personal and urgent adventure than Shadowrun Returns&mdash;you’re not so much a hero as a well-armed victim&mdash;and it surpasses Dragonfall in dark comic grandeur.</p><p>There’s the staple murder mystery, Hollywood backstabbing, impromptu feng shui and some casual tomb raiding to keep things fresh. Scene-setting is&nbsp;handled by text and décor alone as you fight through missions in&nbsp;reliable turn-based combat, which is&nbsp;all but unchanged from the previous games. Given the fans’ appetite for Shadowrun, it makes sense to return with more of the adventures we've already enjoyed, but Hong Kong feels safe. In the face of competitors like Pillars of Eternity with its character-packed voice work, Shadowrun needs to&nbsp;adapt or become dated. </p><p>Static though the settings are, they’re lavish to an obscene degree. It’s luxurious, hands-off spectacle that exists to support the writing, and occasionally outshines it.&nbsp;It’s a shame that $1.2m wasn’t enough to resolve the longstanding interface woes. The UI is cleaner, certainly, but a certain amount of patience is required to see past input lag and, on one occasion, complete failure of input recognition that caused my runner to stroll about in sleeping gas instead of taking the lift. I left her behind with vindictive pleasure. And for all the quality of Hong Kong’s dialogue, it’s still prone to offer an illusion of player choice over meaningful roleplay. Polite, smartass and slow-witted options typically mask the same response, only prefixed with a different description of a facial expression.</p><p>Regardless, Shadowrun Hong Kong is a spectacular story of deceit and poisonous evil that will lure you through the most indulgent settings yet seen in the cRPG renaissance. For the price, the scale is giddying, but Shadowrun is starting to cry out for innovation&mdash;these are new (quite excellent) assets and a fresh script retrofitted to a two-year-old game. Harebrained works tirelessly to please its backers, but if Shadowrun continues to tread water, the genre it brought out of obscurity could end up slipping back into the shadows.</p> XCOM 2 is delayed until Februaryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/2K Games announced the release date on Twitter.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:52:28 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/2K GamesFiraxisNewsStrategyXCOM 2 <p> The good news is that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2/">XCOM 2</a> finally has a solid and specific release date. The bad news is that it's not, as originally planned, coming in November. 2K Games revealed on <a href="https://twitter.com/XCOM/status/637294530660700160?lang=en-gb">Twitter</a> this morning that the game will instead be out on February 5, 2016.</p><p> "We’ve set a high bar for the sequel and the entire team has been working hard to make sure we deliver a great follow-up to Enemy Unknown. We just need a little more time to make it the best possible game," the studio <a href="http://xcom.com/news/en/xcom-2-now-coming-to-pc-worldwide-on-february-5-2016">wrote</a>. "With XCOM 2, we want to have more depth, more replayability, and more investment in your soldiers and this extension will give us the time we need to deliver on our promise to you."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/XCOM2?src=hash">#XCOM2</a> coming to PC worldwide on February 5, 2016.</p><p>→ <a href="http://t.co/mpkA6XCQTP">http://t.co/mpkA6XCQTP</a> <a href="http://t.co/MGFFxMA8Ll">pic.twitter.com/MGFFxMA8Ll</a></p><p>&mdash; XCOM (@XCOM) <a href="https://twitter.com/XCOM/status/637294530660700160">August 28, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> Personally, I'm okay with that: I'd rather wait for something good than get a game on schedule that isn't quite fully baked. We'll find out more about XCOM 2 when developer Firaxis shows it off at the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/second-annual-firaxicon-is-happening-in-october/">Firaxicon</a>, which takes place on October 3 in Baltimore.</p> Divinity: Original Sin 2 stretch goals revealedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-stretch-goals-revealed/Undead origins and skills for dwarves and lizards.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:24:12 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-stretch-goals-revealed/Divinity: Original Sin 2NewsStrategy <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wxyNHn3kBlo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Divinity: Original Sin 2&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1335715">Kickstarter</a> campaign&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-has-hit-its-kickstarter-target/">is going so well</a> it passed the first stretch goal before stretch goals were even announced. Larian currently has&nbsp;$856,356 in pledges, far surpassing the $500,000 asked for. That means a hardcore "strategist mode" and the "pick a skill tree" tiers are already unlocked.</p><p>Stretch goals go all the way to $1.5 million. The ominous-sounding&nbsp;"HALL OF ECHOES" is the final tier; that will be explained later. Others include racial skills for dwarves and lizards, and the addition of the undead as a playable race. The video above&nbsp;covers the new stretch goals in more detail&nbsp;and&nbsp;looks ahead to PAX, where we will also be in force this weekend.</p> The best Sims 4 modshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-sims-4-mods/Add new personality types, change your sims' behaviour and send themto college with these useful tweaks.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:38:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-sims-4-mods/simThe Sims 4