PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usFri, 31 Oct 2014 17:26:56 +0000Dead State sets a launch datehttp://www.pcgamer.com/dead-state-sets-a-launch-date/The zombie survival RPG will get a full and proper release in December.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:26:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dead-state-sets-a-launch-date/Dead StateDoubleBear ProductionsNewsRPGStrategy <a href="/dead-state-sets-a-launch-date/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uvPwnuN6_jSa.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dead-state/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/I-vYV2abSh2K.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uvPwnuN6_jSa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dead State"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dead-state/">Dead State</a> sounds really cool. It's an isometric "zombie survival RPG" in which you not only have to hold out against an uprising of the undead, but must also deal with the needs and problems of your fellow survivors. Our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dead-state-alpha-review/">alpha review</a> described it as "promising" but noted that it suffered from too many bugs to be worthy of a recommendation. I'm hopeful that the final release version has been appropriately tightened.</p><p> Work on the game is presumably still ongoing, but developer DoubleBear Productions is confident enough in the game's progress to settle on a launch date of December 4. It will be available on both Steam and GOG, and go for $30.</p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tywZCgR8tyU?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> Dead State features base-building and turn-based combat inspired by games like Fallout and X-COM, but it's the promise of "complex character interactions" that has my attention. As anyone who's survived a zombie apocalypse can tell you, the real trouble comes not from the hordes of the shambling undead, but from all the jerks who somehow manage to avoid being turned.</p> Isometric Norse pixel art RPG Eitr gets gorgeous first trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/isometric-norse-pixel-art-rpg-eitr-gets-gorgeous-first-trailer/An isometric Dark Souls-like starring a shield maiden.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:09:31 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/isometric-norse-pixel-art-rpg-eitr-gets-gorgeous-first-trailer/IndieNewsRPG <a href="/isometric-norse-pixel-art-rpg-eitr-gets-gorgeous-first-trailer/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/80a2-IJRiRS8.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="854" height="510" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ziuOCGlO4LM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>I've had my eye on&nbsp;<a href="http://eitrthegame.com/" target="_blank">Eitr</a> for a while now, but until recently the developers have only had a couple of gifs to show off&mdash;lovely gifs, admittedly, but I prefer having a bit more to go on&nbsp;when I'm banging on&nbsp;about a new game. Six minutes and 37 seconds of footage will do me just&nbsp;fine, so here's Eitr: an isometric action RPG with incredible pixel art, weighty (from the looks of it) Dark Souls-style combat, and the rich Norse mythology as its backdrop. You'll play as a shield maiden (for those unfamiliar with Norse mythology, that's a maiden with a shield), and just like the Vikings did, you'll spend a lot of time whacking giant rats and reanimated skellingtons in the face.</p><p>According to the developers, whose name doesn't appear to be listed anywhere but who go by the handle Derity, the word Eitr is "from Norse mythology, it is a black poison substance that corrupts whoever or whatever it comes into contact with. The story of the game is based around the world tree, Yggdrasil, the connector of the 9 Norse worlds, which becomes poisoned with Eitr, spewing darkness into each world".</p><p>They've been inspired by Diablo, Dark Souls and Path of Exile, which are all very good things to be inspired by, and I've noticed a&nbsp;big heaping of Diablo and Dark Souls particularly in the above video. The perspective and atmosphere&nbsp;are&nbsp;pure Diablo, while the stamina management and bonfire recovery system obviously remind of Souls. I'd say, based on this early footage, that Eitr has a character all of its own, however&mdash;the stunning art and character/enemy&nbsp;design helps a lot with that.</p><p>More info, and gifs,&nbsp;on Eitr's&nbsp;<a href="http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42569.0" target="_blank">devlog</a>. (Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.siliconera.com/2014/10/31/first-gameplay-arrives-dark-norse-fantasy-action-rpg-eitr/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+siliconera%2FMkOc+%28Siliconera%29" target="_blank">Siliconera</a>!)</p> The Crew minimum and recommended specs announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-minimum-and-recommended-specs-announced/You'll need a 64-bit operating system to play.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:05:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-minimum-and-recommended-specs-announced/NewsRacingThe CrewUbisoft <a href="/the-crew-minimum-and-recommended-specs-announced/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YaqdkeWpVMFu.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yZ3N9gA1TmA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>More and more games are dropping support for 32-bit operating systems, and&nbsp;Ubisoft's racing MMO The Crew&nbsp;is the latest. You'll need 64 bits to get The Crew's engine running, along with 4GB of RAM, a pretty good graphics card, and driving gloves. OK, so the driving gloves are optional, but you don't know what you're missing.</p><p>Here are the full minimum, recommended and optimal specs, which have just been released alongside a new video detailing the game's NVIDIA effects.</p><div><strong>Minimum:</strong></div><ul> <li>Operating System: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64bit)</li><li>Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz (or better)</li><li>RAM: 4GB</li><li>Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 or AMD Radeon HD4870 (512MB VRAM with Shader Model 4.0 or higher)</li><li>DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable</li><li>Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers</li><li>Peripherals: Keyboard required, XBOX 360 controller optional (or compatible controller)</li></ul><div><strong>Recommended:</strong></div><ul> <li>Operating System: Windows 8/8.1 (64bit)</li><li>Processor: Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.66 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0 GHz (or better)</li><li>RAM: 8GB</li><li>Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX580 or AMD Radeon 6870 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or higher)</li><li>DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable</li><li>Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers</li><li>Peripherals: Keyboard required, XBOX 360 controller optional (or compatible controller)</li></ul><div><strong>Optimal:</strong></div><ul> <li>Operating System: Windows 8/8.1 (64bit)</li><li>Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8150 @ 3.6 GHz (or better)</li><li>RAM: 8GB</li><li>Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX670 or AMD Radeon 7870 (2048MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or higher)</li><li>DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable</li><li>Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers</li><li>Peripherals: Keyboard required, XBOX 360 controller optional (or compatible controller)</li></ul><p>The Crew's out December 2nd, and there's quite a lot of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-trailer-details-perks-and-specs-will-let-you-repair-cars-on-the-fly/" target="_blank">customisation involved</a>.</p> This week's deals on GMGhttp://www.pcgamer.com/this-weeks-deals-on-gmg/The latest, greatest deals from Green Man Gaming.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/this-weeks-deals-on-gmg/Sponsored <a href="/this-weeks-deals-on-gmg/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pMwAhg9rgEH7.780x349.ttdkP9dA.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CxjaBnRER1GH.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6zo4NFrFQzuH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Green Man Gaming 2"></p><p>Welcome to this week’s Green Man Gaming bulletin where we outline all the great offers and rewards appearing on GMG and its <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101771423&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">Playfire service</a>. Don’t forget if you sign up to Playfire, you actually earn rewards and incentives for playing games – how good is that? </p><p><strong>Bethesda Deals</strong></p><p><strong>40% off selected titles including: Dishonored, Fallout 3 (Game of the Year), Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.</strong></p><p><strong>We also have Rewards running against these titles; play the game for an hour and track on Playfire and receive a 25% voucher off all titles on the site.</strong></p><p>And as if that wasn’t enough to get you going <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101770703&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">GMG’s Daily Deals</a> provide on-the-spot offers and special incentives refreshed every day at 4pm where you can pick up some real bargains. </p><p><strong>Deals this weekend:</strong></p><p><strong>Friday – Gauntlet and Gauntlet 4-Pack both 50% off</strong></p><p><strong>Saturday – Kings Bounty 50% off</strong></p><p><strong>Sunday – Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics both 50% off</strong></p><p><strong>Monday – deals across the LEGO catalogue (except Batman 3)</strong></p><p>This week there’s already been 75% off the special Valve complete pack, featuring every game the Seattle geniuses have released and other promotions will include Doom 3 and special Halloween offers. </p><p>Check out <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101770703&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">Deal of the Day</a> for some right corkers! </p> Far Cry 4's PvP multiplayer mode mixes magic with elephants, guns with stealthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4s-pvp-multiplayer-mode-mixes-magic-with-elephants-guns-with-stealth/5 versus5 in three modes and on ten maps.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:33:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4s-pvp-multiplayer-mode-mixes-magic-with-elephants-guns-with-stealth/Far Cry 4FPSNewsUbisoft <a href="/far-cry-4s-pvp-multiplayer-mode-mixes-magic-with-elephants-guns-with-stealth/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IDktzj6zjrWw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Xr7w8_EjtN0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Far Cry hasn't done competitive multiplayer for a good long while, but it's being reintroduced for the fourth game with its Battles of Kyrat mode. Well, I say mode, it's really three of the beggars: Outpost, Propaganda and Demon Mask. The first two task teams with defending or attacking outposts (that'll be Outpost), or defending or destroying propaganda (that'll be Propaganda), while Demon Mask is basically capture the flag. But with a mask.</p><p>The most interesting thing about these multiplayer modes are the two teams, which differ in more ways than their primary colours. The very blue Rakshasa (villain Pagan Min's elite guard) are a bit stealthy, relying on bows and arrows, Dishonored-style teleportation, and their mastery of the animals, while the very red Golden Path bring guns, armoured vehicles and the like to the table. Then they blow up the table. With their guns. You can see footage of all three modes in the&nbsp;above trailer.</p><p>Far Cry 4 is out November 18th. The season pass adds another PvP mode and yetis,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4-season-pass-offers-new-missions-and-pvp-mode/" target="_blank">among other things</a>.</p> Win a free Steam key for Crusader Kings 2http://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-steam-key-for-crusader-kings-2/We have 10,000 Steam keys to give away!Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:37:15 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-steam-key-for-crusader-kings-2/Crusader Kings 2Strategy <a href="/win-a-free-steam-key-for-crusader-kings-2/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/M8b3aDZYRSxI.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/05orVnT6RouK.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gx-gTqg9l5zs.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Crusader kings 2 2"></p><p>Crusader Kings 2 is a strategy game about power and politics in medieval Europe. You must rally vassals to your cause, outwit unruly nobles, negotiate with the papacy and do anything it takes to secure your succession in a world of complex power struggles. It's one of our favourite strategy games and we're delighted to be able to give ten thousand readers the chance to find out why.</p><p>For a chance to grab a key, simply enter your email address in the box below. On Monday November 3 the system will randomly pick ten thousand addresses from all of the entrants, and email the keys out to winners directly. Winners will receive a key that unlocks the full game on Steam.</p><p>The base game is as deep and rich as they come&mdash;find out more in our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/crusader-kings-2-review/">Crusader Kings 2</a> review&mdash;but it also has a fantastic modding scene. The total conversion that swaps Europe for Game of Throne's Westeros is especially good, as Rich discovered when he roleplayed Ned Stark&nbsp;in our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/playing-the-game-of-thrones/">six-part diary series</a>. All this could be yours, should your email address be selected. You can enter using the widget below. Good lucK!</p><iframe id="gdkframe" width="730" height="315" src="http://eb.godankey.com/?id=VVRRRlpnVTNDV2s9&amp;bg=383838&amp;font=ff0052" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> This War of Mine trailer reveals November release for the stark survival gamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-trailer-reveals-november-release-for-the-stark-survival-game/See the other side of war next month.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:21:28 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/this-war-of-mine-trailer-reveals-november-release-for-the-stark-survival-game/11 Bit StudiosAdventureNews <a href="/this-war-of-mine-trailer-reveals-november-release-for-the-stark-survival-game/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CbFhwuZAwoMw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gzqnkbFmRBWc.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CbFhwuZAwoMw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="This War of Mine"></p><p><a href="http://www.11bitstudios.com/games/16/this-war-of-mine" target="_blank">This War of Mine</a> is a grim&nbsp;game about a group of&nbsp;civilians trying to survive in a besieged, crumbling city during a war.&nbsp;It's obviously an interesting counterpoint to games where you play as a body-armoured, headshotting killing machine, instead&nbsp;putting you in charge of a vulnerable community suffering from the clashing politics of world leaders far above them. I'm interested to see how it plays, but until the game's release date of November 14th, devs&nbsp;11 Bit studios&nbsp;have released&nbsp;a new&nbsp;trailer we can enjo...well, more grimly appreciate in the meantime.</p><iframe width="480" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XI_c0lp68RY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>You'll spend the daytime in This War of Mine hiding from the many&nbsp;snipers perched around the city, giving you a chance to craft, tend to your fellow survivors, and shore up your hideout's defences. Night's the only time at which you'll be able&nbsp;to&nbsp;explore your surrounding area in order&nbsp;to scavenge necessary&nbsp;supplies. It sounds a little like a (much&nbsp;more) serious version of State of Decay, minus (obviously) all&nbsp;the zombies.</p><p>This War of Mine was announced&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/survive-the-horrors-of-war-as-a-civilian-in-this-war-of-mine/" target="_blank">back in March</a>, but it's only recently that we've been shown any in-game footage. As you can see, it looks particularly lovely&mdash;well, as lovely as you can get for a game about the horrors of war.</p> Blizzard issues permanent bans to Hearthstone win tradershttp://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-issues-permanent-bans-to-hearthstone-win-traders/"Fair play is at the heart of Hearthstone."Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:28:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-issues-permanent-bans-to-hearthstone-win-traders/BlizzardCard GameHearthstoneNews <a href="/blizzard-issues-permanent-bans-to-hearthstone-win-traders/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PV4fMkqeRTdw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bxHJM7VkSJ6I.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PV4fMkqeRTdw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearthstone"></p><p>Following the news that Blizzard&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-bans-several-thousand-hearthstone-bot-accounts/" target="_blank">has banned</a> "several thousand" Hearthstone bot&nbsp;accounts comes a more severe penalty for players engaging in the process known as 'win trading'. Win trading, as I understand it, is when players game the system in&nbsp;Ranked Play by having two accounts battle each other, in order to artificially move themselves up in the MMR (MatchMaking Rating)&nbsp;rankings. While botters were initially given a two-month ban (the penalty has since been upgraded to a permaban from here on out), win traders have seen their accounts banned permanently from the get-go, as explained in a&nbsp;<a href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/15084018278#1" target="_blank">statement by Blizzard here</a>. Here's the relevant part:</p><p>"We’ve recently banned Hearthstone accounts that were found to be participating in win trading. Win trading at any rank is something that we do not take lightly, and is in violation of our Terms of Use. As we mentioned in our previous statement regarding fair play in Hearthstone, instances of cheating will not be tolerated. Accounts that were discovered participating in win trading have received permanent account closure and disqualification from events where ranking is used as a method of qualification."</p><p>A few 'top' players&nbsp;have found themselves&nbsp;banned for win trading, including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/2ktrci/finally_i_got_banned_a_look_at_blizzards/" target="_blank">Specialist</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/thegwalls/status/527913225707618304" target="_blank">Gabe Walls</a>, the former of whom found the flaw in Hearthstone's new ranking system and wrote about his&nbsp;taking advantage of it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/1srg4n/major_flaw_in_the_ladder_system_how_we_tested_to/" target="_blank">nearly a year ago</a>.</p><p>What does&nbsp;having&nbsp;a high MMR get you? Nothing, at this point, although as&nbsp;<a href="http://hearthstone.blizzpro.com/2014/10/30/blizzard-takes-action-against-players-not-competing-fairly/" target="_blank">BlizzPro</a> put it, these bans could have made a big difference to the BlizzCon Qualifiers earlier in the year.</p> The Evil Within gets a demo; owners get free copy of Call of Cthulhuhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-gets-a-demo-owners-get-free-copy-of-call-of-cthulhu/Play throughthe first three chapters for free.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:46:39 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-gets-a-demo-owners-get-free-copy-of-call-of-cthulhu/demoHorrorNewsTango GameworksThe Evil Within <a href="/the-evil-within-gets-a-demo-owners-get-free-copy-of-call-of-cthulhu/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/w4T4ll-cidLj.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kwrT0WGtRuyH.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/w4T4ll-cidLj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Evil Within"></p><p>The Evil Within has a few standout chapters that really stuck in my mind, and you're getting one of them for free with a newly released&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/268050/" target="_blank">demo on Steam</a>, which gives access to the first three chapters of Tango Gameworks' survival horror. While the first two are fairly short and tutorialy, the third offers a lovely slice of open,&nbsp;tense stealth (you could attempt to blast through it in like five minutes, but you probably won't get far). In a nice touch, you'll be able to carry your save progress over to the full game, should you want to continue.</p><p>Now might be a good time to buy if you're interested, as buyers on Steam&nbsp;will receive a free copy of the mostly&nbsp;great&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/22340/" target="_blank">Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth</a> for free for&nbsp;"a limited time only", presumably the duration of the Halloween Steam sale. If you already own The Evil Within, you should have received a free copy of Cthulhu on Steam too.</p><p>Finally, The Evil Within's season pass is currently going for 50% less than the asking price, although we&nbsp;obviously don't know whether any of the DLC is going to be any cop yet. Two of its three episodes will flesh out the story of the&nbsp;Jennifer Carpenter-voiced&nbsp;Juli Kidman, who has about four lines of dialogue in the main game.</p><p>The Evil Within's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-update-enables-60-fps-without-any-glitches/" target="_blank">latest update</a> added 60fps support and gave the option to remove those black bars.</p> ​Bethesda confirms it's game over for Prey 2http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-confirms-prey-2-is-a-goner/Pete Hines deals the deathblow at PAX AUSFri, 31 Oct 2014 05:56:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-confirms-prey-2-is-a-goner/BethesdaFPSNewsPrey 2 <a href="/bethesda-confirms-prey-2-is-a-goner/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tpbojpZA4z1l.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cneNO2hzTBK8.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tpbojpZA4z1l.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Prey 2"></p><p><em>By&nbsp;Nick Broughall</em></p><p><a href="mailto:nick.broughall@futurenet.com"></a>Bad news for anyone on the hunt for Prey 2, the sequel to the Cherokee-starring sci-fi shooter from Human Head Studios.&nbsp;Bethesda vice president Pete Hines has confirmed&nbsp;that the game has been canned.</p><p>Talking to <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/bethesda-confirms-prey-2-cancelled/">CNet</a> at PAX AUS, Hines confirmed that since its announcement in 2011, the game hadn’t developed to a point they were happy with, so they made the tough decision to put it out of its misery.</p><p>"It wasn't up to our quality standard and we decided to cancel it. It's no longer in development,” Hines&nbsp;said.&nbsp;The project's demise&nbsp;probably won't&nbsp;come as a shock to fans, who will have noticed the company’s lack of communication on the game in the past couple of years.</p><p>But the good news is that Hines refused to rule out a future return for the franchise, claiming that it is still a brand&nbsp;Bethesda wants to&nbsp;do something with.&nbsp;“We just need to see what that something is,” he&nbsp;said.</p> Xbox One controller vs. DualShock 4: which is better for PC gaming?http://www.pcgamer.com/xbox-one-controller-vs-dualshock-4-which-is-better-for-pc-gaming/We tested both console controllers to determine which is the better choice when there's no console to worry about.Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:08:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/xbox-one-controller-vs-dualshock-4-which-is-better-for-pc-gaming/DualShock 4HardwareXbox One controller <a href="/xbox-one-controller-vs-dualshock-4-which-is-better-for-pc-gaming/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oXuF_8VafjoL.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nWktII8xTnKx.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ixxDFcftwES4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="7g0a9156"></p><p> There are a lot of choices for PC controllers&mdash;Razer’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-controllers/razer-sabertooth" target="_blank">Sabertooth</a>, for instance&mdash;but the majority of the&nbsp;games we play with controllers were designed for the Xbox One, PS4, or both, and their standard controllers are well-made. That in mind, we’ve compared the two first-party&nbsp;console pads before considering the others (which is on our to-do list).</p><p> Also, Halloween is this week, so look, they've popped out of a coffin! (Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ELahti/status/527539132885925888" target="_blank">camera-wielding Scout</a>.)&nbsp;We're definitely not saying that the&nbsp;consoles awake at night to feed on the blood of the living, we just think you should decide for yourself.&nbsp;Also, I played a bit of Lords of the Fallen&nbsp;and Ultra&nbsp;Street Fighter IV (as Evil Ryu, obviously) in my testing, as well as many other games over the course of the past year.</p><h1>Xbox One controller</h1><p> The $60/£35 Xbox One controller is easy to set up. If you have a wireless Xbox One controller lying around, you just need to find yourself a long micro USB cable. (Be warned that not all micro USB cables are the same&mdash;some are designed solely to charge cell phones and won’t work.) If you buy the silly ‘PC’ version releasing next month, you’re set, as it comes with a micro&nbsp;USB cable. That’s the only difference I'm aware of&nbsp;between it and a regular Xbox One controller.&nbsp;I would have much preferred a wireless dongle, but this is what Microsoft is releasing.</p><p> Plug it in, and the controller should vibrate. That’s it, it works. If it doesn’t vibrate, you either have a bad cable or the driver isn’t installed. If the latter is the case, you can <a href="http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/controller-pc-compatibility">download it here</a>. I had no problem installing it, and aside from the time I spent scrounging around the office for a cable, set-up was painless.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CokSUnFzS52u.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/N0T8ix0nXZtv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="7g0a9166"></p><h3>How it feels</h3><p> The Xbox One controller is bigger and heavier than the DualShock 4, with offset analog sticks which I prefer to Sony’s symmetrical design. That's because for most of the games I play, my right thumb spends a lot of its time on the face buttons (moving down for camera control sometimes), while my left thumb is almost always on the analog stick to control movement. I find the higher part of the controller more comfortable for my thumbs&mdash;it's where they naturally rest&mdash;so I prefer the raised left stick. If you play a lot of fighters or platformers with the D-pad, you may prefer Sony's layout.</p><p> The rest of this reiterates what we've said in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xbox-one-controller-review/">our review</a>: it's a good controller.&nbsp;The matte black plastic is lightly textured and feels nice, though sweat does cling to it. The trigger buttons are nice and&nbsp;springy (a little bit mushy-feeling),&nbsp;while the bumpers have a satisfying click. The D-pad is also clicky, which is much better than that spongy Xbox 360 D-pad. That thing was gross.&nbsp;I like the analog sticks as well: they move smoothly, and firmly&nbsp;snap back to center when released.&nbsp;I do wonder why they're so&nbsp;small, but&nbsp;it's not a huge deal,&nbsp;as&nbsp;my thumbs rest in their bowls nicely and they feel sturdy.</p><p> The Xbone controller&nbsp;is well-made, and&nbsp;I like it more than the Xbox 360 controller. It also&nbsp;helps its case&nbsp;that recent multi-platform games I’ve played are based on the Xbox 360 or Xbox&nbsp;One version (e.g. Ryse: Son of Rome, Lords of the Fallen, Ultra Street Fighter IV) and thus use the Xbox’s ABXY button prompts.</p><h1>DualShock 4</h1><p> The DualShock 4 sells for around $60/£40&mdash;possibly a few bucks less depending on the retailer. To get it working, all you should need to do is <a href="http://dsdcs.com/portfolio/software-development/4-ds4windows">download and install the latest version of DS4Windows</a> (Update: commenter Asami recommends&nbsp;<a href="http://ds4windows.com/" target="_blank">this version</a>, and at a glance, it does look better)&nbsp;which will detect prerequisites and install any that are missing, followed by the software. After that, plug in the controller (also a micro-USB cable), let Windows detect it as a USB input device, and run the software. It should detect the controller, and now you can leave it alone (the default profile is fine), or you can create a new profile and play with the button mappings, axis tuning, and even adjust the LED colors.</p><p> I love customization, so I give the DS4 (and the creators of DS4Windows, of course) a lot of points for it. I can mess with the analog stick sensitivity, make the LED glow PC Gamer red or&nbsp;<a href="https://vine.co/v/OMT6nd1ZmMB" target="_blank">cycle through the rainbow</a>, and use the trackpad as a mouse (not a very good one, but still).&nbsp;It can also be used wirelessly via Bluetooth, giving it even more points as Microsoft isn't releasing a wireless Xbone controller dongle&mdash;at least, we haven't heard plans for one yet.</p><p> The DS4 should work with any game an Xbox 360 controller works with, which is to say, practically any game with controller support. I haven't had a problem yet.&nbsp;That said, I more often see people reporting problems with it in troubleshooting forums than I do for 360 or Xbone controllers. It's not officially supported, so if you run into problems, the only help is the community.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8FW2ntMXQzKY.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LyaS2nHZttTc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="DualShock 4"></p><h3>How it feels</h3> <div class="fancy-box" style="z-index:99999"> <!-- 10/30/2014: dlam added this z-index for Tyler Wilde to make the Ashley Reed link work (currently a <p> tag is spanning the whole page and preventing clicks on it --> <h5 class="title">second opinion</h5> <p> I don't have the world's only hands, so I asked GamesRadar's&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ashsmashreed">Ashley Reed</a>, who prefers the DS4, to offer her opinion: </p> <p> "While the Xbox One controller has its upsides (and you gotta love the click of the face buttons), the DS4 is just a nicer fit. The joysticks' raised centers create a larger surface area and more space for me to grip, which gives a better sense of control. The shape also makes all the buttons easily accessible, particularly the bumpers, which are awkward to reach on the Xbox controller but in just the right place on the DS4.&nbsp;Plus, you can reach the menu button without moving your hands around. Have you tried that with the Xbox controller? Sad." </p> </div><p>The DualShock 4 is smaller&nbsp;than the Xbox One controller&nbsp;(Update: more accurately, it <em>feels</em> smaller, because it is wider, but not as tall), and I have to hold it loosely and arch my index fingers to press the triggers and bumpers with their tips. If I grip it with my palms fully touching the handles, which is my preference,&nbsp;the triggers hit the&nbsp;middle of my fingers and my thumbs land near the top of the controller, so that doesn't work. The bonus of that loose grip is that my palms, and their sweat, stay off the controller. Those with smaller hands will probably find it more comfortable, though. I find it awkward.</p><p> As I mentioned, I prefer the Xbox One controller’s offset analog sticks. To me, it feels like the DS4 was designed as if the thumbs will most commonly be on the D-pad and face buttons. If yours are, then you might prefer it, but I usually use controllers for third-person action games like Lords of the Fallen&nbsp;where I largely ignore the D-pad.&nbsp;The sticks themselves are bigger than the Xbone's and have enough resistance to feel sturdy, which I like, but I don’t like their slightly raised centers, which my thumbs tend to slip over.</p><p> I like that the triggers have more resistance than the Xbox One controller's, giving them&nbsp;a less-mushy action,&nbsp;but&nbsp;they're much smaller so it feels like my fingers are going to slip off the edges.&nbsp;I really don’t like the way they creak when I push them down, either&mdash;it feels like I’m going to break them. The face buttons are flat and matte, which I slightly prefer to the Xbone's bulbous, shiny buttons, but they also have a less-clicky (and to me, less-satisfying)&nbsp;action.&nbsp;The ‘share’ and ‘options’ buttons (select and start, really)&nbsp;are hard to reach, pushed aside by the trackpad.</p><p> I think the DS4 is a fine controller, but I definitely prefer the Xbox One controller. I do love how much I can customize it with DS4Windows, but it feels awkward in my hands, and the only satisfying ‘click’ comes from pushing down on the analog sticks.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3Gwu9B2rS8ec.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SjaqL76Cx0tf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2014-07-25 8-46-04" class=""><figcaption>Calibrating in DS4Windows.</figcaption></figure><h2>Conclusion</h2><p> My recommendation is the Xbox One controller&mdash;I just think it's better&mdash;with the caveats that the DS4 is more customizable and&nbsp;may be a better fit for&nbsp;smaller hands.&nbsp;If you've tried both and like their designs equally, then I'd recommend the DS4 just for all that customization, as long as you're aware that it might require a little more troubleshooting. Aside from the creaking I noticed with the DS4 triggers, I'd say they are equally well-made, and I haven't broken one of either yet.</p><p> It's a bit of a Pepsi vs. Coke situation, really, and though I don't like equivocating, I know that the same reasons I believe the Xbox One controller is better may also be reasons someone prefers the DS4. Preference&nbsp;obviously depends on hand-size and&nbsp;which layout&nbsp;you’re most familiar with&mdash;and&nbsp;I also have to figure that console gamers factor in&nbsp;which console they prefer, or what they grew up with. I feel like I come from a fairly neutral place with this 'console war' business, having little&nbsp;preference for either, except to say that the PS4 is obviously better. (Kidding, kidding.)</p><p> I just wish I liked the DualShock 4&nbsp;more, because I'd prefer to use something hacked onto the PC over&nbsp;Microsoft's unenthusiastic PC support. The Xbox 360 and Xbone controllers are what we're expected to use by most games, and I'm all for being defiant. I just can't get over how awkward my thumbs feel on the analog sticks.</p> Battlecry trailer teases bloody melee actionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-trailer-teases-bloody-melee-action/A closer look at Battlecry will be broadcast from PAX Australia on Twitch.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:42:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-trailer-teases-bloody-melee-action/ActionBattlecryBattlecry StudiosBethesda SoftworksFree To PlayNews <a href="/battlecry-trailer-teases-bloody-melee-action/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZjsiIqdR_TfD.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QtNGnX7Wqb8?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> The free-to-play multiplayer melee game <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry/">Battlecry</a> was announced back in May, and it struck me at the time as being very much a third-person <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2/">Team Fortress 2</a> in a heavily <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dishonored/">Dishonored</a>-influenced setting. Evan Lahti's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlecry-hands-on-swinging-blades-in-bethesdas-new-f2p-action-game/">hands-on time</a> with it seemed to come to a similar conclusion. Today, Bethesda released a new gameplay teaser, which as far as I know is the first time the gameplay has actually been shown publicly, and that same vibe is still there.</p><p> This isn't necessarily a bad thing: Team Fortress 2 is a fantastic game, and the world of Dishonored is one of the most visually striking settings to come along in years. But the stark similarities, regardless of the&nbsp;third-person perspective, are impossible to overlook.</p><p> It's a brief trailer, and Bethesda didn't have much to say about it beyond, "Hey, look at this," but more is forthcoming: Bethesda is holding a 'Welcome to the Warzone' panel at PAX Australia which will be broadcast 8 pm PDT on October 31 at <a href="http://twitch.tv/pax">Twitch.tv/PAX</a>. Battlecry is slated to enter beta in 2015.</p> Humble Weekly Bundle serves up Halloween treatshttp://www.pcgamer.com/humble-weekly-bundle-serves-up-halloween-treats/The Halloweekly Bundle includes Five Nights at Freddy's, Knock-Knock, Home, and Among the Sleep.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:53:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/humble-weekly-bundle-serves-up-halloween-treats/HorrorHumble Weekly SaleNews <a href="/humble-weekly-bundle-serves-up-halloween-treats/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZJ2jIRNwYdnY.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KP-h_P2CSf2h.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZJ2jIRNwYdnY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Five Nights at Freddy's"></p><p>The Humble Halloweekly Bundle doesn't have quite the selection that the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-steam-halloween-sale-is-now-underway/">Steam Halloween Sale</a> offers, but it's also a whole lot cheaper. As usual, it's a pay-what-you-want deal for three indie titles, or a little more money for a few more games.</p><p>For whatever price you care to pay (a minimum of $1 for Steam codes), the latest Humble Weekly Bundle offers <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/home/">Home</a>, Vertical Drop Heroes HD with new Halloween content, and Knock-Knock, a wonderfully bizarre game from the studio that made <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pathologic/">Pathologic</a>. For beating the average purchase price, which is currently at a little more than $4, you'll also get <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/betrayer/">Betrayer</a>, Our Darker Purpose, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/five-nights-at-freddys/">Five Nights at Freddy's</a>. Finally, for $15 more or, you can top it all off with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/among-the-sleep/">Among the Sleep</a>, the indie horror game about life as two-year-old insomniac.</p><p>Unlike conventional Humble Bundles, the weekly bundles don't add bonus games at the midway point, but purchases of the Halloweekly Bundle will include a pair of Payday 2 masks, Lycanwulf and The One Below, as a bonus. Payments can be divided as you see fit between the developers, the Humble guys, and the charities Save the Children and Unicef: United States Fund. </p><p> The <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly">Humble Halloweekly Bundle</a> is live now and runs until November 6. </p> Final Fantasy XIII reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiii-review/Final Fantasy XIII is a problematic port of a flawed RPG.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiii-review/Final Fantasy XIIIReviewsRPG <a href="/final-fantasy-xiii-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iAeEO_6FsQcZ.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong>&nbsp;2010 console RPG finally arrives on PC with no panache. <br> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong>&nbsp;AMD FX-6200 CPU, 16GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7870 <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $16/£11 <br> <strong>Release: </strong>Out now <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> Square Enix <br> <strong>Developer:</strong> In-house <br> <strong>Website:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.finalfantasy13game.com/" target="_blank">Official site</a> <br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong> None </p> </div><p> Final Fantasy XIII is, by some accounts, the most hated of the long-running Square Enix RPG series. On some level, I understand why. It takes the usually open-structured world of a Final Fantasy game and swaps that with journeys in mostly shiny corridor worlds, removing the sense of exploration that’s been intrinsic to the series since the start.</p><p> Upon its original release on PS3, the reaction to this direction was so extreme that Square Enix attempted to repair the damage with two wildly different, open-ended sequels. FFXIII has serious merit in its inventive combat system, but it’s an absolute slog to find that potential&mdash;this belated port is so shoddy, too, that it’s tough to recommend picking it up on PC if you haven’t played it elsewhere already.</p><p> Taking place in a mostly linear world that straddles both sci-fi and fantasy, FFXIII is primarily about turn-based, real-time battles and delivering a giant, baffling narrative. Enemies wander around in the field, and if they detect your character, they charge and the screen cuts away to a battle. If I sneak up on an enemy, my character gets first strike at the start of the encounter.</p><p> In-battle, only one character can be controlled at a time&mdash;the others in my party will fight automatically based on the roles I assign them. Let’s say my default party contains two ravagers (mages) and a commando (warrior). My party will attack based on each class’s set of moves. If I’m damaged by my enemy and need to redo my strategy mid-battle, I can instantly use the Paradigm Shift system to load a different set of preset classes for my characters.</p><p> Instead of two mages and a commando, I tell my team to become two medics (white mages) and a sentinel (a high-defensive unit who absorbs damage), and the characters then automatically start throwing spells and abilities out based on the new roles I’ve assigned them. At first it seems like the combat’s been oversimplified when you select Auto Battle and all the moves are chosen for you, but it’s more an attempt to move to higher-level strategy that becomes very successful as the classes and abilities begin to open up. Trouble is, that takes fucking ages.</p><p>One of the better parts of this is being able to create new paradigms in the menu outside of battle, to mix and match classes to my preference&mdash;so if I want three characters to focus on ravager abilities, I can set that up and load it next time I’m in a fight. Setting up pre-loaded sets of strategies and using them to control the flow of battles is a brilliant bit of in-depth and systems-driven design ingenuity, the sort of idea Final Fantasy has always been very good at. The eventual goal is to stagger the enemy by mixing up attacks until the bar on the right hand corner of the HUD reaches full&mdash;after which, you get a brief window to perform more damage. Every battle gives you a rating out of five based on speed and efficiency, so there’s a sense of racing against yourself to throw the right tactics together.</p><p>This is underlined by a somewhat freeform progression system called the Crystarium. It’s a little like a board game in the way you unlock new skills and stat boosts based on how you spend experience points. Enjoy it, though, because it’s the only real freedom that Final Fantasy XIII offers, and even in the case of Paradigm Shifts and the Crystarium, they put a ceiling on progression throughout the story so it’s hard to ever overpower the party members. This controlled levelling is highlighted by the frequent difficulty spikes in boss battles.</p><p>The first 20 hours of Final Fantasy XIII are like a long tutorial, just walking in a straight line between battles and cutscenes. The story, set in the two warring states of sci-fi city Coccoon and the wildlands of Gran Pulse, follows a mostly irritating group of characters who are cursed by gods known as the Fal’cie into fulfilling their destiny&mdash;which I think, feeling my way through the impenetrable terminology, is saving the world. The core group of characters is led by the much-despised Lightning, who I actually like, since she’s a functionally identical protagonist to FFVII’s Cloud and FFVIII’s Squall in being a grumpy, spiky-haired warrior with a cool yet utterly impractical sword. Your six character party and the extended cast is mostly made up of people I wouldn’t cross the road to save, and with so many cutscenes in the game you’ll have plentiful opportunities to build up a seething resentment towards them and their lovely hair.</p><p>With only this noisy but sometimes enjoyably melodramatic narrative and a stream of samey battles to occupy players until it finally opens up after around 20 hours, Final Fantasy XIII is undeniably a nightmare for most people to get into. Eventually, you reach Gran Pulse, a lovely open environment with impressive giant-sized enemies and even some sidequests&mdash;just more battles, really, in the form of bounties&mdash;to complete. I love Final Fantasy, generally speaking, but XIII is so difficult to defend. This has one of the series’ best combat systems, a quick-paced affair that relies on reconfiguring your characters’ strategy on the fly in meaningful, customisable ways, but I could not reasonably ask you to wait 20 hours until that becomes totally clear. Your time on this earth is simply too short.</p><p>Final Fantasy XIII has forgotten it’s on PC, too. When I hit the settings menu to change resolutions from the automated 720p to 1080p, there is no way to do so. When I want to fiddle with the settings to sort out the crosshatching hair effects, there’s no option of that nature. Final Fantasy XIII has no graphics options, locking itself at 720p. In the field&mdash;and by field, I mean a shiny corridor with three guys in it&mdash;FFXIII can even drop to below 20fps on my mid-range Radeon card. It’s not an unplayable port or anything, it’s just so far off the ideal and closer to the flawed 360 version in performance. Very occasionally it’ll hit 60fps in environments and cutscenes but the port seems to be locked at 30 during combat, minus the Paradigm Shift animations. The exotic character designs and frequently inventive art direction represent a peak for the series&mdash;they’re just not at their best on PC.</p><p>I’d be looking at a score in the high sixties if these basic options made it into the game, but Final Fantasy XIII is far from essential in this form. I’d be remiss not to mention&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/finfal-fantasy-xiii-locked-to-720p-on-pc/">Durante’s fix</a>, which solves most of the issues in this port and makes the character models in particular look extraordinary, but that’s not the version Square Enix is selling to you. It’s not Durante’s responsibility to fix crap ports from major publishers. Final Fantasy XIII’s collective trilogy (all of which is coming to PC&mdash;the sequel is a lot better) has sold over 10 million copies, and yet Square Enix didn’t manage to add a raft of visual options that one person managed overnight upon the game’s release. I think Square Enix should take a bit more pride in Final Fantasy’s laudable heritage.</p><p>This is a weak version of an already contentious RPG, then. Players that find themselves won over by the combat system of Final Fantasy XIII and are patient enough to deal with the structural problems will eventually be rewarded for sticking around, but it never lives up to the still superior journeys of VII and VIII.</p> A newbie plays Dwarf Fortresshttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-newbie-plays-dwarf-fortress/Watch Wes learn to play Dwarf Fortress in our Let's Play series. Updated every Tuesday and Thursday!Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-newbie-plays-dwarf-fortress/Dwarf Fortressnewbie plays dwarf fortressStrategy <a href="/a-newbie-plays-dwarf-fortress/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IBh4Kt075x-4.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CLR8IWTdTjs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Welcome to Illralam, a land of optimistic dwarves and bloodthirsty elves. It's the world of PC Gamer's Dwarf Fortress LP "A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress." Wes, the newbie, teams up with Dwarf Fortress veteran and PCG video producer Will to learn the ropes of the dwarven life simulator.</p><p> We put up new episodes on Tuesday and Thursdays, and now they're all collected in this post. The newest one is at the top there, while the previous episode is&nbsp;below.</p><p> Want to know more about Dwarf Fortress?&nbsp;In early July 2014, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/08/dwarf-fortress-0-40-01-released-in-game-graphics-now-possible-in-older-version/">Dwarf Fortress received its first major update in two years.</a> We wrote about why now is the time to get into the game with our guide <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/25/into-the-deep-its-time-to-learn-how-to-play-dwarf-fortress/">Into the deep</a>. Now you can learn along with us.</p><p> Check back for new episodes every Tuesday/Thursday. And enjoy!</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/M4iU1TjB-nQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/T-db9GGYv24" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> Valkyria Chronicles arrives on PC in Novemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-arrives-in-november/The PC version of Valkyria Chronicles will include all previously-released DLC.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:04:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-arrives-in-november/Must ReadNewsSegaStrategyValkyria Chronicles <a href="/valkyria-chronicles-arrives-in-november/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uJEaKsKcpa2Y.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F84ugcP8TfmV.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uJEaKsKcpa2Y.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Valkyria Chronicles"></p><p>Just a few days after confirming that Sega's 2008 strategy-RPG Valkyria Chronicles will be <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-may-be-coming-to-the-pc/">coming to the PC</a>, it's revealed a release date that may well be closer than you think. November 11 is the big day, and if you pony up now you'll save ten percent off the regular price.</p><p>Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictitious continent modeled after 1930s Europe, which has wracked by war between the Empire and the Federation. Caught in between, the small, neutral nation of Gallia is invaded by the Empire, which seeks to control its rich supplies of the Ragnite ore; players take control of a Gallian military unit and attempt to fend off the attack.</p><p>The original PlayStation 3 release was <a href="http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/valkyria-chronicles">very well reviewed</a>, and the PC edition looks set to be even better. It's cheap, for one thing&mdash;20 bucks, minus the ten percent if you preorder&mdash;and it includes all previously-released DLC: The Hard EX mode that increases the difficulty of skirmish missions, the Edy's Mission: Enter the Edy Detachment campaign, the Selveria's Mission: Behind Her Blue Flame campaign, and the six Challenge of the Edy Detachment missions. </p><p>And since I have your attention, here's the minimum spec you'll need to run it:</p><ul> <li>OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7 </li><li>Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.0GHz (or equivalent) </li><li>Memory: 2 GB RAM </li><li>Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 (or equivalent) </li><li>Hard Drive: 25 GB available space </li></ul><p>Valkyria Chronicles is available for preorder now on&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/294860/">Steam</a>.</p> The Steam Halloween Sale is now underwayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-steam-halloween-sale-is-now-underway/What's a day of celebration without a Steam sale?Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:04:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-steam-halloween-sale-is-now-underway/NewsSteamSteam Halloween Sale <a href="/the-steam-halloween-sale-is-now-underway/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HzM_G2c_mAL7.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1-Q0EjjUSs2_.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HzM_G2c_mAL7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Steam Halloween Sale"></p><p>The average gamer is 31 years old, according to the <a href="http://www.theesa.com/facts/">Entertainment Software Association</a>, which means that most of you would look pretty weird ringing doorbells tomorrow night while dressed up like Spider-Man. But that doesn't mean you can't have any candy. The downside&nbsp;is that you actually have to pay for it, rather than extorting it from neighbors who don't want to spend the morning digging their cars out of 27 rolls of toilet paper; but the good news is that, for a short while at least, you won't have to pay very much.</p><p>There's a lot of Halloweenie goodness up for grabs in the Steam Halloween sale, from older horror classics like the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fear/">FEAR Collection</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/amnesia-the-dark-descent/">Amnesia: The Dark Descent</a> to newer releases like <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/outlast/">Outlast</a> and the surprisingly good pixel art adventure The Last Door. It's not wall-to-wall horror, but there's pretty clearly a theme here&mdash;even Freddie Fish gets in on the action with The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse. Scary stuff, kiddies!</p><p>Bottom line: It's a Steam sale, and there's a ton of stuff up for some pretty good prices. The Halloween Sale is live now and runs until November 3.</p> What to do with your old PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/what-to-do-with-your-old-pc/Eight practical and weirdsuggestions for what to do with your old rig when you build a new PC from scratch.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:00:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-to-do-with-your-old-pc/HardwareMust Read <a href="/what-to-do-with-your-old-pc/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qBO5VupHjxsk.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ANbzrUzlQ3aX.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qBO5VupHjxsk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Top Image"></p><p><em>Article by </em><a href="http://twitter.com/baggingspam"><em>Kevin Lee</em></a></p><p>Congratulations,&nbsp;seasoned PC building veterans, you’ve been in the game for a few years now and it’s time upgrade your system. Whether it’s adding a newer video card to installing a faster CPU, it should be easy peasy to install these new bits with one PC build already under your belt. But one of the big questions you might have is: what should you do with your old rig? </p><p>One route is to upgrade your existing computer. Throwing in a new video card is as simple as popping the old one out of its PCI express slot and slotting in a new card&mdash;assuming your power supply can handle an upgrade. However, adding a new processor with a different socket will require a whole motherboard swap. Add in more components like new RAM or a more generous power supply and you’re crossing into the territory of a full system refresh. If you’re thinking about replacing multiple components, it sometimes makes more sense to just start a whole new build.</p><p>With that in mind, these are our suggestions for&nbsp;what to do with your old rig&nbsp;when you build a new PC from scratch.</p><h2>Keep your PC and do a simple upgrade</h2><p>Adding a new GPU, more storage, or more RAM? Then you should only be looking at the upgrade path, as these are all simple to install. RAM plugs into DIMM slots and video cards slot easily into PCI Express connectors even if you’re switching between brands of video card. Going from Nvidia to AMD graphics or vice-versa won’t require a new motherboard, unlike processors.</p><p>With storage and RAM, any motherboard made since around 2008 should allow you to upgrade to newer, compatible parts&mdash;namely SATA hard drives or SSDs and DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAM will require a 2014 motherboard (but it’s still too expensive to be worth it!), and if you’re thinking of upgrading to an SSD, see if your motherboard has SATA III 6.0 Gb/s ports. Otherwise, you’ll be running into a bummer of a speed bottleneck.</p><p>Upgrading your processor is a keystone change that will likely require a motherboard swap. Every year or two, new processors require a new and completely different socket. Processor sockets have a specific number of pins making contact with the motherboard and this arrangement is different for every type of CPU.</p><p>Although upgrading your processor might require you to buy a new motherboard, it’s still way more affordable at $200 to $400 for a single part rather than purchasing a whole bunch of components for a new system.</p><p>Even if you’re ready to take that plunge, you can still use some of the components from your old PC. Don’t let them go to waste!</p><h2>Cannibalize</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tCE1J3LqRamM.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CNezY1_ya89X.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Power Supply"></p><p>Before you start putting any new components on your shopping list, check to see if your current power supply outputs enough juice to keep everything running without stability problems. A good 500-watt power supply unit should be more than enough to drive a single video card system. Install a more power hungry component like the Nvidia GTX Titan, and you’ll need bolster your power needs with a 650-watt PSU. The same goes for adding another GPU in SLI or CrossFire, in which case you’ll need a unit that supplies upwards of 850-watts to be on the safe side&mdash;yes that’s a bit high, but you’ll want some comfortable overhead for overclocking.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kXF-ZEc4T4e2.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-7WNWj_0nEne.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Video Cards"></p><p>Another upgrading concern: if the video card will physically fit inside the computer case. As you can see in the image above, the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-970-g1-gaming-review/">Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming</a> is considerably longer than my older EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW card. </p><p>Measure it out to make sure there are no conflicts with your drives or front-mounted fans. If there are, add a new case to the shopping list. If you’re already going to replace the motherboard, it might make more sense to leave the old components where they lie and install all the new parts into the bigger case.</p><p>Salvage what you can. Hard disk drives and SSDs can be easily transferred to another computer unless they’re slow or only provide tiny amounts of storage space. The same goes for cooler and case fans if you’re planning on fully cannibalizing the old system for spare parts. These are typically interchangeable parts and should work with a new processor or in a new case, since sizes and shapes are standardized.</p><p>If you’re ready to be rid of your old parts, don’t just toss them. Sell them on eBay or Amazon to help offset the cost of a new computer.</p><p>Better yet, put them to use.</p><h2>Be charitable</h2><p>Give away your old computer. It’s nice to do something good for a family member, friend, school, or a charitable organization&mdash;and if you choose one of the later options, there might be a little tax write off in it for you. But before you give the computer away be sure to completely wipe any personal information still on it.</p><p>Firstly, you should backup any files you want to keep around and also deauthorize any software attached to the machine. As for wiping the machine, Windows 8.1 already has a built-in option to reset your computer in the system preferences. This OS-level tool can refresh the PC and remove all the files on it in one go. Doing the same thing on Windows 7 can also be easily accessed by inserting the OS install disk and formatting the drive.</p><p>For wiping hard drives (important:&nbsp;<em>not</em> SSDs), the third-party option we'd&nbsp;suggest is <a href="http://www.dban.org/">Darik's Boot and Nuke</a>. For SSDs you’ll want to download and use <a href="http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/parted_magic.html">Parted Magic</a>, which leaves the drive in an unrecoverable state and back to its default factory state. </p><h2>Turn your old PC into a media center PC</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6TQSapl7QsCw.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xqXgqggkqEwn.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Xmbc"></p><p>An old gaming computer is the perfect machine to turn into a home theater PC. You won’t have to buy a new wireless keyboard and mouse to operate it either; <a href="http://xbmc.org/">XBMC</a> (soon to be renamed Kodi) has been refined into a simple, polished media center application that organizes all your movies, video, and music into a remote-friendly library.</p><p>Over the last 12 years Team XBMC has polished the media center application into a seamless app that simply runs on top of Windows or Linux or OS X. Users won’t have to look for video codecs&mdash;software that lets you watch types of video&mdash;as the latest 13.2 "Gotham” version downloads everything on its own.</p><p>A younger, but perhaps even more popular home theater solution, is <a href="https://plex.tv/">Plex Media Center</a>. Plex is another free, multi-OS option with a living room friendly interface and a great library system that will download all of the metadata for your TV shows and movies and organize them for you.</p><p>For anything you can’t watch with XBMC or Plex (though they’ll handle just about anything), <a href="http://www.inmatrix.com/files/zoomplayer_download.shtml">Zoom Player</a> and <a href="http://mpc-hc.org/">Media Player Classic - Home Cinema</a> are two very robust video players.</p><p>You can turn your old PC into a makeshift Steam Machine by having it run Big Picture Mode, and even if it’s several years old, it should be able to play <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-living-room-pc-games/">some of our favorite living room games</a>. If you’re building a new gaming PC, you can also <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-set-up-steam-in-home-streaming-on-your-pc/">set up your old rig for Steam In-Home Streaming</a> using our guide.</p><p><em>On page two: more projects for your old parts.</em></p><h2>Turn it into an experimental software platform</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h4ks15h7QbCX.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dFwFrKP1L2-4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="OS X Yosemite" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Ever wanted to try your hand at terminal or go over to the dark side (Apple)? Do it with your old PC&mdash;it doesn’t matter if you break it! In case you ever wanted dip your toes in Linux, <a href="http://www.ubuntu.com/">Ubuntu</a> is an easy-to-pick-up open source operating system that’s heavily GUI-based, so don’t worry about being buried in scripts.</p><p>Meanwhile, there are plenty of other simplified distros to ease your way into Linux, such as the lightweight <a href="http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/556594:bodhi-linux-the-beautiful-configurable-lightweight-linux">Bodhi Linux</a> or child-friendly <a href="http://www.doudoulinux.org/web/english/index.html">DouDou</a>. If you're looking for a bigger challenge,&nbsp;you could dive into <a href="https://www.archlinux.org/">Arch</a>, a distribution made for Linux power users.</p><p>Building your own Hackintosh has also become incredibly easy with <a href="http://www.hackintosh.com/">this step by step guide</a>, and Apple typically puts out its big OS updates for free, which is a nice perk.</p><h2>Make a home server</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XSOMUc4rSuuz.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z46KA0gQ7hwS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Westeros Minecraft" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>There are plenty of indie games that allow your to host your own&nbsp;servers, like Minecraft and Starbound. You can always host a server on your regular PC, but it will be unavailable whenever you turn your computer off. Turn your old rig into a server, however, and you can stick it in a closet and let it run 24/7.</p><p>The rules for starting a server are different with each game, but using Minecraft as an example you’ll need to first launch the game and start a LAN world. The process also requires you to install Java and edit several command lines <a href="http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server">following these directions</a>.</p><p>Hosting a dedicated server is a great way to have your own personal online play space, especially if you have a large group of friends who play together. Given the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/reddit-compiles-terrifying-list-of-games-affected-by-gamespy-shutdown/">recent GameSpy Technologies shutdown</a>, there’s an ever-growing contingent of good multiplayer games in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/project-reality-bf2-update-ensures-life-after-battlefield-2s-gamespy-shutdown/">need of new server space</a>.</p><p>Building a server doesn’t have to be game-specific, either. Along the same lines as the media center options above, you can turn your old rig into a Linux Home Server <a href="http://linuxhomeserverguide.com/">using this thorough guide</a>. You can run&nbsp;<a href="https://plex.tv/">Plex</a> on a Linux server and watch your movies on any PC or Roku or other streaming device on the same network. You can use it for file backups or as a web or email server. And most games with dedicated server support will have a Linux option, too.</p><h2>Make a kitbashed Drobo</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YLOZhrYsR9-H.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/p3xXgwEvGicy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Storage Drives" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Here’s an incredibly productive use for your old computer: turn it into homemade network-attached storage box. As the name suggests, a NAS is a big central block of online storage, which makes it easier to share and upload files across multiple computers.</p><p>It’s not really optimized for gaming, but it could be useful if you have a large collections of photos, movies, documents, and other types of media. You might be asking why bother when there’s already Dropbox and Google Drive, and the reason is a NAS can be more secure and give you more storage for no annual fee. Plus there’s no chance you’ll lose your data when a giant block of Amazon’s S3 storage servers goes down.</p><p>There are several routes to building your own NAS, with the simplest being <a href="http://www.freenas.org/">FreeNAS</a>. You’ll first need to burn the installer to a disk or thumb drive it and boot to the software from the bios menu. The open source program essentially acts as a new OS, so you won’t be able to do anything with your machine once it’s turned into network storage.</p><p>The good news is a NAS requires very little processing power and RAM, so assembling one should be relatively easy with just a few spare components plus a case modified to hold an array of storage drives (though, depending on your case, it may already have trays for six HDDs or so).</p><p>As FreeNAS is running a FreeBSD-based (an OS born out of Unix) environment, it can also be configured to seed for torrents, server for web pages, as well as streaming media to consoles and other devices.</p><h2>Turn it into a fish tank PC</h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/spyaDSDeQjej.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RZQHmI6Q6Eq8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Aquarium PC" style="width: 668px;"></p><p><em>Image Credit: </em><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/9575673@N08/3125438936/"><em>Jim Legans, Jr</em></a></p><p>Okay, this one’s a little weird. But if you want something to do with your old components and not shell out the money for a new case, why not turn it into an aquarium PC? Just get a sizable fish tank and fill it with mineral oil.</p> Interview: Hearthstone executive producer Hamilton Chuhttp://www.pcgamer.com/interview-hearthstone-producer-hamilton-chu/On card balance, phone versions, and moreThu, 30 Oct 2014 18:29:26 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/interview-hearthstone-producer-hamilton-chu/BlizzardCard GameHearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft <a href="/interview-hearthstone-producer-hamilton-chu/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b77E2iPsEeAV.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H6B3obAbRcua.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b77E2iPsEeAV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hamilton Chu"></p><p> <em>Hearthstone recently scooped two gongs at the&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/479326/golden-joysticks-2014-full-list-of-winners/">Golden Joystick Awards</a><em>, taking home Best Mobile Game and Best Online Game. PC Gamer editor Samuel Roberts managed to squeeze in a chat with the game’s executive&nbsp;producer, Hamilton Chu, before both went wild with the Champagne. Here you’ll find his thoughts on the forthcoming phone versions, potential new features, and how cards get created&hellip;</em></p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Blizzard recently announced that Hearthstone had 20 million players. I assume that’s client downloads rather than active players. Based on the number of Legend players each season per region, and the stat that 0.5% of players reach Legend, Reddit users extrapolated that the active player base was more like 2-3 million. Is that about right?</strong></p><p> Hamilton Chu: I don’t believe we’re commenting on that&hellip; I believe it’s accounts.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: When the iPhone and Android phone versions arrive next year, will those players be able to play against PC and Android tablet users?</strong></p><p> HC: Yes. I think it’s been really great that it’s been one big player base. I think it makes for obviously better communication with one another. It makes it one big community, which I think is really nice. Like when you play you have no idea if you’re playing somebody on PC or iPad&mdash;because it doesn’t matter, right? It doesn’t matter for the game and it doesn’t matter for you guys individually.</p><blockquote>We need to make sure that Priest as a whole feels Priesty, so what kind of cards do we need for that?</blockquote><p> <strong>PC Gamer: I think one of the triumphs of the game is the way you built that UI to be platform agnostic. It’s a real achievement that Hearthstone is a bit underrated for. You’ve taken the complexity out of it for all kinds of players.</strong></p><p> HC: For sure. That’s been such a huge, huge focus for us and our UI designers are amazing. We really do scrutinise every single button, tab or page, just to make it as simple and user-friendly as possible.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Has it been quite a challenge to port that to a phone screen?</strong></p><p> HC: Yeah we’re working hard on that, but there’s definitely challenges for sure&mdash;smaller screen, it still needs to be readable, both in terms of the card text and the UI and what’s going on in the game. Lots of challenges but we’re committed to making that a great experience.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: When the new card expansion arrives, I understand you will get them from different booster packs to the existing Expert ones. But will you be able to use your existing magic dust to craft the new cards? If not it seems a bit harsh on people who’ve been stockpiling dust in anticipation.</strong></p><p> HC: I don’t think we’re announcing that yet.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Do you think the runaway success of Hearthstone ultimately made it easier for Blizzard to stop work on Titan? Does the development of one project affect another at Blizzard in terms of the way resources are managed?</strong></p><p> HC: Blizzard is just fully committed to making sure that each project is successful&mdash;that we can make the best game that we can, independent of other decisions that might be happening.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vF_PdZybRJE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <strong>PC Gamer: There seems to be quite a gulf in terms of the rewards for playing ladder between getting a card back for hitting rank 20, getting a card back for making Legend, and then nothing in between. Have you thought about introducing more tiers of achievement to keep people interested?</strong></p><p> HC: This is something we actually thought a lot about. I think it would have been very natural to have the card backs based solely on achievement, but with our philosophy about Hearthstone we really wanted to make it accessible and friendly. For most people we wanted to have it be just about participating and playing and enjoying themselves. At [rank] 20 it’s more less if you just play enough, you can have the card back and feel good about yourself. So we wanted it to feel more democratic than exclusive.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Would it really destabilise the Hearthstone economy if you enabled some limited card trading? How about a system whereby you can swap one card of equal rarity with someone on your friends list?</strong></p><p> HC: That’s a good question. We definitely thought a lot about various forms of trading or an auction house at the beginning. But what it really came down to was what we wanted Hearthstone to be, and we wanted the game to be about collecting cards and playing the game. And when you have a system like trading or the auction house&mdash;obviously our other games have had such systems&mdash;that’s a real system. One, it’s a lot of work. Two, more importantly, it’s a part of the game which we didn’t necessarily want for Hearthstone. It introduces this whole ‘Oh, which card’s more valuable?’ and ‘Is this a good price or is this not a good price?’ element into the game. That’s not what we wanted to focus on.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Did the reaction to the [Diablo III] auction house scare you off a little bit?</strong></p><p> HC: No, not at all. At Blizzard it’s very much ‘do what’s best for your game’. So we figured out was best for our game, and we think we ended up with the right choice.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Can you talk me through the birth process of a new card. Do you begin with the baseline stats? Or an ability you want it to have? What iterations does it go through?</strong></p><p> HC: There’s a lot of factors that go into what a card is, and it could be birthed from a number of those places. There’s a very mechanical direction, which might be ‘we want to make sure there’s a three-drop for Hunters. What’s a good three-drop? Here are the mechanics that would make it good, and so on and so forth...’ There’s the lore direction, where we go ‘Rogue has got to have Eviscerate, right? That’s just part of being a Rogue. So how does that work?’ You can see that in a lot of the Naxxramas bosses, which aren’t specific cards but it’s the same concept. Maexxna is such a cool character, so how do we embody the feel of that in very simple mechanics? There’s another direction that is just thinking about the whole set. We need to make sure the whole set is interesting and has cards that interact in different ways. We need to make sure that Priest as a whole feels Priesty, so what kind of cards do we need for that? So there’s a lot of different directions which end up creating all the individual cards.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: It must be incredibly difficult to reconcile all those different things. I guess there’s a balancing concern, and reconciling the WoW lore with the systems you already have in place. It can’t be a simple process.</strong></p><p> HC: Not at all. Not at all. We have some very talented designers, but it’s all interrelated too&mdash;you add in your 300th card and it has to be balanced against 299 other ones. Each one makes that more complicated, but yeah, making sure the full set is not only balanced but interesting is no easy challenge.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Blizzard seemed to like the Lord of the Arena tournament organised by Tempo Storm. Would you consider creating a mode that allowed people to create arena drafts to use against their friends?</strong></p><p> HC: We aren’t thinking about anything like that right now, but I think making it easier for people to play with their friends and have tournaments together&mdash;that is something very interesting to us. Having it be based on Arena drafts is harder, because then it’s not entirely natural how that interacts with your actual collection. Because with Arena drafts you don’t need to have the cards in your collection, it’s a totally different thing. It’s just complicated, so that’s not something we’re thinking about right now.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: We understand no work is happening on new Hero classes right now. Given it took four years for the Death Knight to be introduced in World of Warcraft, do you think it will take less or more time for a new class to come to Hearthstone?</strong></p><p> HC: We don’t know. It’s about where the game ends up going. Right now we don’t think we need it, or want it. We have these nine classes, and we’ve worked really hard to make sure each is individually interesting and they don’t overlap in feel. That’s enough of a challenge, and enough things to live in players’ brains. It’s important that players understand that ‘this is what Hunters are like’. Maybe you don’t play a lot of Hunter, but you still understand what they’re like, and so adding more classes makes that harder. Especially for new players.</p><blockquote>When you finish off a combo and blow everything up, that’s very satisfying.</blockquote><p> <strong>PC Gamer: What have you guys learned from the [Curse of Naxxramas] expansion. Obviously it was a different paradigm for Hearthstone, how do you feel about the reaction now?</strong></p><p> HC: It’s been really good. It was a bit of an experiment for us. We hadn’t had a bunch of single player-type content before, and the reaction to that has been good. WoW players who had played Naxx before really got the flavour. It was very nostalgic and fun for those people. Probably the biggest thing we learned from was how we rolled it out&mdash;one wing a week, over five weeks. That’s something we thought a lot about: ‘Are people going to like that? Is that too much change? Is it going to be too fast? Too slow?’ But the reaction to that has been really positive too. It was just this very fun time for the whole community, because cards are coming out all the time and what does that mean for the metagame. That was probably our biggest takeaway: Stuff like that where the community is experiencing something together was really wonderful.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5SDJgW3A_sw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <strong>PC Gamer: It turns it into a real event, because if you’d released it all at once it might have been a bit of a drop in the ocean.</strong></p><p> HC: Yeah, I think for a shorter period of time it would have been very exciting for people. But this way was more of a solid celebration for an extended period of time.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: Any plans to add more social features&mdash;like enabling friends can voice chat to each other during a game?</strong></p><p> HC: Nothing that we’re talking about now. Something that we are working on is a spectator mode, which I’m really excited about.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: The lack of voice chat is one of my favourite things about Hearthstone. I love how much you can communicate just through limited means. You can be passive aggressive in the most obscure way. That’s the beauty of the interface.</strong></p><p> HC: [Laughs] That’s the beauty of it?</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: It is for me! It leaves you to fill in the blanks of your opponent, and that feels quite valuable.</strong></p><p> HC: Yeah that’s obviously something we thought really hard about too, and we ended up with this system we have now. For the most part it’s very positive interactions with who you’re playing with. That’s great. There are so many other games where you have to be careful, or it can be a negative experience, but we really liked how with ours&mdash;especially for people who are new to games or the internet and might not have as thick as skin as us, who’ve been around the block before&mdash;they can have this very fun interaction.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: I’m intrigued by your playerbase, and the overlap between people playing Hearthstone, WoW, and even other Blizzard games. How many new players do you bring in, versus people familiar with Blizzard lore?</strong></p><p> HC: I don’t have any specific numbers for you, but a good population of both. Obviously there are a bunch of Warcraft players who enjoy the lore, enjoy the characters and have really taken to Hearthstone that way. There have been Blizzard players who haven’t played World of Warcraft, but are enjoying it from a different angle. Maybe they were Warcraft III players. They still have fun. And then there are people who are brand new to Blizzard. I think it’s been great to see that kind of new blood too.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: What’s the luckiest top deck you’ve ever had?</strong></p><p> HC: [laughs] Ah. That’s a good question. Luckiest ever? I’m trying to stay away from the obvious top-decked Ragnaros or a Hex or something like that. Maybe the most satisfying in recent days is when you topdeck the second half of the Auchenai Soulpriest-Circle of Healing combo. When you finish off a combo and blow everything up, that’s very satisfying.</p> Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor's Lord of the Hunt DLC detailedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordors-lord-of-the-hunt-dlc-detailed/Torvin and Talion team up to take on Sauron's mounted Uruks.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:52:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordors-lord-of-the-hunt-dlc-detailed/ActionMiddle-Earth: Shadow of MordorNewsWarner Bros Interactive <a href="/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordors-lord-of-the-hunt-dlc-detailed/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oNiuF0W1qW4I.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/G2XnEIKZRkk?list=UUQNvfJzlrEDGRhG6nwG315A&amp;vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> Lord of the Hunt, the first DLC release for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor/">Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor</a>, will see the game's main hero&nbsp;Talion teaming up with the Dwarven hunter Torvin to battle Sauron's elite Beastmaster Warchiefs.</p><p> The upcoming DLC will feature new story-based action, as Talion and Torvin battle with the beasts of Mordor, as well as new Nemeses: The Beastmaster Warchiefs&mdash;powerful, mounted Uruks who fight from the backs of monsters. Speaking of which, there are also new monsters to take on, like the Wretched Graug, which barfs toxins on enemies, the Caragath, and the "all-consuming Ghul Horde."</p><p> Lord of the Hunt will also add new Beast Hunting challenges and collectibles, trophies, and achievements, five new Epic Runes, a new character skin, and Test of the Wild leaderboard challenges. It will be included as part of the $25 Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor season pass, and will also be available separately for, according to <a href="http://kotaku.com/shadow-of-mordors-new-dlc-will-put-monsters-on-top-of-o-1652705860">Kotaku</a>, $10. No release date has been announced.</p> Assassin's Creed: Unity trailer reveals surprising plot twisthttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-reveals-surprising-plot-twist/There is a huge spoiler contained within. You have been warned.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:36:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-reveals-surprising-plot-twist/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNewsUbisoft <a href="/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-reveals-surprising-plot-twist/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g58Q9ZDALFyl.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wW_-exDp3CE?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> The plot twist revealed in the new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity/">Assassin's Creed: Unity</a> trailer is a big one, so if you don't want to be spoiled (although good luck with that, my fellow internet user), then I strongly suggest you don't read on. But if you want to know the secret, carry on.</p><p>[This is your last warning. Turn back now or suffer the burden of knowledge.]</p><p>[Seriously.]</p><p> And here it is: Arno goes to 1940! I dig the idea, and I can sort of see why Ubisoft would want to get it out there ahead of release, but it's still disappointing in many ways. This is the kind of "Who is Keyser Soze" (or "Einhorn is a man," if that's more your speed) surprise that's really best enjoyed cold. Not that the secret would remain intact for more than ten minutes in this day and age, but it would be great stuff for those who managed to beat the rush.</p><p>One thing the trailer doesn't reveal is exactly how this will fit into the game: Is it part of the out-of-the-box experience, or is it DLC of some sort? Here's hoping it's the former. </p><p> Assassin's Creed: Unity comes out on November 11.</p> Kentucky Route Zero's third free interlude is a phone call you won't forgethttp://www.pcgamer.com/kentucky-route-zeros-third-interlude-is-a-phone-call-you-wont-forget/KRZ's third interlude is a game, an eBay listing, and anautomated phone number all at once.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:31:31 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kentucky-route-zeros-third-interlude-is-a-phone-call-you-wont-forget/AdventureKentucky Route ZeroNews <a href="/kentucky-route-zeros-third-interlude-is-a-phone-call-you-wont-forget/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AWadFxVE_Gbs.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Y61C0-DGS622.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AWadFxVE_Gbs.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Here and There"></p><p>Cardboard Computer have been releasing free interludes between each of their excellent Kentucky Route Zero episodes. First there was interactive&nbsp;art exhibition Limits and Demonstrations, then came theatrical experience&nbsp;The Entertainment, while today brings&nbsp;<a href="http://kentuckyroutezero.com/here-and-there-along-the-echo/" target="_blank">Here And There Along The Echo</a>, which requires a bit more explanation. It's a phone. An actual phone,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weird-Telephone-only-dials-one-number-SOLD-AS-IS-FOR-CURIOSITY-ONLY-/331361758516?clk_rvr_id=722293199915&amp;afsrc=1" target="_blank">listed on eBay</a> for quite a lot of money. A phone that only rings one number (apparently), which&nbsp;connects&nbsp;to an&nbsp;automated phone service narrated by Will Oldham&nbsp;(<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Oldham" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(154, 154, 154); text-decoration: none; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">this</a> Will Oldham?)</p><p>I know what it connects to because there's a digital, game version of said phone, which you can download for PC, Mac or Linux at the above link. This automated phone service is&nbsp;full of beautiful rambling stories and recitations&nbsp;related to the evocative setting of the main episodes, in particular to the Bureau of Lost Tourism, which is mentioned in the series a few times.</p><p>Others are saying that you can ring this number from a real life&nbsp;phone&mdash;the number being&nbsp;(270) 301-5797&mdash;but as I live in the UK and I barely know how to use Skype, I'm going to leave that for others to discover.</p><p>Like the previous interludes, it's not entirely&nbsp;clear how this relates to the beguiling story of the main games, but it's doubtless full of clues and references to their gradually unfolding narrative, and&nbsp;I can't wait to uncover these&nbsp;after a bit more poking around. It's also an entirely lovely thing to listen to, regardless of whether you understand much of what's being said.</p> The Swindle returns from the dead, is now "Spelunky crossed with Deux Ex"http://www.pcgamer.com/the-swindle-returns-from-the-dead-is-now-spelunky-crossed-with-deux-ex/Turns out procedural generation was the missing ingredient.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:29:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-swindle-returns-from-the-dead-is-now-spelunky-crossed-with-deux-ex/Gun MonkeysNewsPlatformerRoguelikeSize Five GamesThe Swindle <a href="/the-swindle-returns-from-the-dead-is-now-spelunky-crossed-with-deux-ex/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KnvSuQRvZGAv.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ysY46cp_RGE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>You might remember, just over&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-swindle-indie-cyberpunk-stealth-game-has-been-put-on-hold-indefinitely/" target="_blank">a year ago</a>, Size Five Games' promising The Swindle being 'put on hold' and 'taking a hiatus', and other euphemisms for 'it's bloody dead'. Well, turns out it's not bloody dead: The Swindle is back, and&nbsp;with a new leap in its step. Rather than being described as "Sonic the Hedgehog crossed with Deus Ex”, it's now&nbsp;more "Spelunky crossed with Deus Ex”, and you can tell that developer&nbsp;Dan Marshall used to be a games&nbsp;journalist can't you.</p><p>It seems procedural generation was the secret ingredient that finally&nbsp;makes The Swindle pop. Marshall's cut a lot of stuff out from the previous version, and added&nbsp;procgen and permadeath&mdash;the result is sort of a roguelike, but not quite. Marshall goes into more detail in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sizefivegames.com/games/theswindle/" target="_blank">this blog post</a>.</p><p>"The idea is that you play yourself, up in your Airship, running your little Thieving Empire. Like in&nbsp;Syndicate! The guys running around the levels are thieves for hire. If a thief dies or is caught, you hire a new one. The thieves are randomly generated as well, so when you’ve got a really cool-looking thief with a badass name and a load of experience, and they die on a heist, it’s completely gutting. Like in XCOM!"</p><p>"It’s a bit like a Roguelike, but I’m still currently undecided as to how Roguelikelike it’ll be. At the moment, the game feels more like an RPG – you upgrade your thieves by buying upgrades. When they die, those upgrades stick with you. I suspect the game will be better if upgrades are cheaper, but you lose them if your thief dies. It’s one of the things I’m still working on, and will require a lot of testing."</p><p>It sounds a bit like a rogue<em>lite</em>, like Rogue Legacy, which would be fine with me&mdash;I'm liking the Victoriana steampunk look of the trailer, too. There's no firm&nbsp;date or announced platforms yet, but "PC is a good bet", and Dan's hoping to release it early next year.</p> Win a free Smite god with spooky Halloween skinhttp://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-smite-god-with-spooky-halloween-skin/We have 2500 keys to raffle off to lucky winners.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:21:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-a-free-smite-god-with-spooky-halloween-skin/MOBASMITE <a href="/win-a-free-smite-god-with-spooky-halloween-skin/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hau-TLLD1UM4.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H6Sw9NNyTBaS.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hau-TLLD1UM4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Jack the Reaper"></p><p> Halloween is almost upon us, and we're only too happy to give you the opportunity to scare the life out of fellow&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hirezstudios.com/smite">Smite</a> players in today's fearsome giveaway. We have 2500 keys for the god, Thanatos, which also unlocks his terrifying pumpkin-headed Jack The Reaper&nbsp;skin so you can terrorise the lanes in style.</p><p> We have 2,500 codes to give away. To enter, simply enter your email address into the box below. Doing so will enter your address into a raffle. Tomorrow the computer will pick winners at random and send the keys out via email.</p><p> SMITE is a free-to-play MOBA that you play from a third person perspective. It was released in March this year, and impressed us with its fair microtransactions and entertaining, tactical co-op action. Read our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/smite-review/">Smite&nbsp;review</a> for more, and learn more about the game on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hirezstudios.com/smite">official site</a>. Good luck!</p><iframe id="gdkframe" width="730" height="315" src="http://eb.godankey.com/?id=QjJJQ1lRQTBCMk09&amp;bg=383838&amp;font=ff0052" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p>Here's a look at Thanatos and his Halloween skin in-game.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eUrALz0HCoo?list=UULB_2GSFGa4Unb5fjq49SOw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> Dragon Age Keep now in open beta, new trailer explains what it's all abouthttp://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-keep-now-in-open-beta-new-trailer-explains-what-its-all-about/Recreate past choices from Dragon Age 1 and 2, then import them into Inquisition.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:56:08 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-keep-now-in-open-beta-new-trailer-explains-what-its-all-about/BiowareDragon Age KeepDragon Age: InquisitionElectronic ArtsNewsRPG <a href="/dragon-age-keep-now-in-open-beta-new-trailer-explains-what-its-all-about/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HszJpP_wMMqM.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vjvwlW7kSWWH.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HszJpP_wMMqM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dragon Age Keep"></p><p>Dragon Age Keep&mdash;that's the web app that will allow you to recreate your past choices&nbsp;from previous Dragon Ages, and then import that world state into Inquisition&mdash;is now in open beta. You can&nbsp;<a href="https://dragonagekeep.com/en_US/" target="_blank">sign in here</a> with your Origin account (presuming you have an Origin account), and then use the resulting data in Inquisition when it arrives next month. The Keep itself takes the form of a sort of interactive tapestry, and can be toyed around with on anything with an HTML5-capable browser.</p><p>You're probably still wondering how it all works. Essentially it's a flashy questionnaire, with illustrated recap bits voiced by Dragon Age 2's Varric, that allow you to leap in at key&nbsp;decision points to divert the story in a direction of your choosing. You can't import save data directly, but if you've linked a BioWare account to your Origin one, the app will be able to read a certain amount of your past deeds&nbsp;automatically&mdash;though you can tinker about with the history afterwards as you see fit.</p><p>BioWare have provided their own explanation with the following trailer. Inquisition, meanwhile, is out November 21st.</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iXHglc5UYcY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Team Fortress 2's Halloween event adds evil carnivalhttp://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2s-halloween-event-adds-evil-carnival-bumper-cars/'Scream Fortress' event ends on November 12thThu, 30 Oct 2014 14:02:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2s-halloween-event-adds-evil-carnival-bumper-cars/ActionFree To PlayNewsTeam Fortress 2Valve <a href="/team-fortress-2s-halloween-event-adds-evil-carnival-bumper-cars/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k_Pn2lsnKPcv.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5bjjdhV0QUi8.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k_Pn2lsnKPcv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="TF2 Scream Fortress"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-activates-previous-halloween-events/" target="_blank">Last week</a>, Valve reactivated TF2's five previous Halloween parties, and now the main event&mdash;the sixth&mdash;has gone live.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/screamfortress6/" target="_blank">Scream Fortress 6</a> adds a spooky carnival map, an evil hypnowizard controlling it, plenty of Halloween gear and achievements, oh and bumper cars, because why not. You have until the 12th of November to make the most of it, at which point TF2 will return to its regular, sadly&nbsp;bumperless self.</p><p>The new&nbsp;Carnival map is based on Doomsday, and contains&nbsp;a cornucopia of activities seen over by the wizard Merasmus.&nbsp;If you're wondering why you're fighting those dastardly blue/red guys&nbsp;there, you'll want to read the event's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/bloodmoney/" target="_blank">prequel comic</a>. To cut a long story short: Merasmus forgot to build his carnival on top of an ancient burial ground, so he's hoping to create one with our corpses. A strongman, spells, curses, copious amounts of&nbsp;urine, and bumper cars feature heavily in his plan.</p><p>Valve have made big changes to the way gifts work in this latest Halloween event: you'll now receive a bag of items just for logging in, with the chance to earn a second during the event. You can read the reasoning behind this decision&nbsp;<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=14798" target="_blank">here</a>, but it's basically an attempt to inject some fun back into proceedings.</p><p>For more information, check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/screamfortress6/" target="_blank">this poster</a> for the event, or, y'know, log in to Team Fortress 2.</p> Murder: a cyberpunk adventure from the makers of Strandedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/murder-a-cyberpunk-adventure-from-the-makers-of-stranded/A point and click adventure inspired by the cyberpunk classics.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:07:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/murder-a-cyberpunk-adventure-from-the-makers-of-stranded/AdventureNewsStranded <a href="/murder-a-cyberpunk-adventure-from-the-makers-of-stranded/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/X2VK_f6HKIqL.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="854" height="510" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/G-bdQBUfZ3E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Many of the people behind&nbsp;<a href="http://www.petermoorhead.com/murder/" target="_blank">Murder</a> (that's the game in the video up there, and not the concept of murder, for which we can only blame MANKIND) were responsible for Stranded, a short sci-fi adventure game with pixel art to die for. Here's Emanuel Maiberg talking about it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/indie-adventure-stranded-leaves-you-on-an-alien-planet/" target="_blank">back in March.</a> Murder&nbsp;is another point and click short story, this one&nbsp;about "the intersection of morality and sentience, in a future where both have become commodities". It's also a game about robots and cyberpunk and rain and&nbsp;lovely pixel art, all of which are in evidence in the above teaser&nbsp;trailer.</p><p>Inspired by the cyberpunk greats, as well as the works of Fullbright (Gone Home) and Blendo Games (Thirty Flights of Loving), Murder asks you to "follow the actions of Lietenant Motomeru Minori of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police&nbsp;on what quickly turns out to be a very unusual, very dangerous case". It's coming next year, and it "aims to bring engaging&nbsp;environmental storytelling and confident cinematic flair to the classic point &amp; click form". Which sounds good to me.</p><p>If you're jonesing for some pixel art cyberpunk adventuring in the meantime, I recommend the atmospheric&nbsp;<a href="http://timsoret.itch.io/the-last-night" target="_blank">The Last Night</a>.</p> Tactics and player power in Football Manager 2015http://www.pcgamer.com/tactics-updates-and-player-power-in-football-manager-2015/SI studio director discussestactics, new features and the dark side of football.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/tactics-updates-and-player-power-in-football-manager-2015/simSports Interactive <a href="/tactics-updates-and-player-power-in-football-manager-2015/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cxHOMHY620sq.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-ppwZXyWQ2OR.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h-MPVFst58-3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager header 2"></p><p><em>By Ian Dransfield.</em></p><p> Football Manager 2015 comes with something surprising this time around&mdash;and it's not even a feature in the game. No, it releases alongside a film, An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary&mdash;a surprisingly heartfelt and interesting look at the cultural impact of FM over the years.</p><p> The game itself, though, is home to plenty of changes and updates all over again&mdash;and just as always it's going to divide its audience as a result. Because none of these changes are, in Miles Jacobson's own words, "game-changers".</p><p> I sat down with the studio director at Sports Interactive to find out just why I'll clearly end up getting obsessed with Football Manager all over again... as if I've ever not been obsessed with it.</p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>Changes to Football Manager&mdash;numbering in the thousands&mdash;are seen in some quarters as 'minor'. Is there a better way to explain things?</strong></p><p><strong>Miles Jacobson:</strong>&nbsp;I actually think the video this year was a good way of doing it, and I haven't had many people saying [the changes are minor]. I had one guy on Twitter yesterday who was going on and on, until eventually I just said 'look, if you don't like the game, don't play it. And if you think it's just a data update, there's a free one over there&mdash;you go and download that'. I then saw other people who follow me on Twitter started talking to him as well, and started pointing out that the changes are there.</p><p> People talk about 'game-changers' quite a lot, the people who complain a lot, but at the end of the day we're simulating football&mdash;I can't see at any point soon a new rule being brought in that elephants are now allowed to play on the pitch. So the real game-changers in recent years for football have been in financial fair play, which we've implemented&mdash;and it's a right bastard&mdash;but it's there; player power has become massively prevalent, that's something we've built on and built on over the years, and this year we actually think we're there with the way player power is working inside the game.</p><p> Even something like the rule being brought in by the Premier League where you can only have 25-man squads now&mdash;that is a massive game-changer from an AI perspective, because clubs have stopped hoarding players&mdash;apart from Chelsea who just loan them all out. We have to replicate those systems as well&mdash;we have to replicate the Udinese/Granada/Watford situation where basically the three clubs are sharing players. All of those kinds of things massively change the way people play the game, but they might not realise that,&nbsp;and there isn't much I can do about that apart from talk about it to people like you and talk about it on Twitter.</p><p> We could have turned around this year and gone 'there's over 3,000 new features!' because we've got 2,000 new animations. But we deliberately haven't done that, because it would be bullshit! We haven't released as much information as we would normally do, where normally I would be sending out five Tweets a day with new features&mdash;this year we've gone 'no, we're going to do this 27-minute video, we're going to do a video for FM Classic, there'll be a blog about the data editor, a blog about league licensing, and beyond that we're going to let people find things out for themselves', which we haven't done for a long time. I'm really looking forward to seeing the reaction from people to some of the nice little touches that are in there this year that are going to make their playing experience better.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LIPhF0_S0pQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>Speaking of updates&mdash;will injuries ever be updated?</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>It's actually odd&mdash;the way we work on the game is that we have a massive database of features, and as the director of the game I go through all of those features, which have all gone through feature meetings, they've all been voted for by everyone on the team here. I put together the jigsaw puzzle. One part of the jigsaw puzzle that is there every year when I do the first tasks is a revamp of the injury module. It's been there for four or five years now, and new stuff gets added every year. Unfortunately when I'm putting together the jigsaw puzzle of my perfect game, we then go and get all of the features estimated by the programmers, and typically it'll come back that I've put twice as much stuff as we've got time for to be done in a particular year. It's a running joke here that the injury module revamp ends up being one of the first things to go, because there are always more important things. However, in the next two years&mdash;either FM16 or FM17&mdash;there will be an injury revamp, because there's only so long that joke can carry on inside the studio.</p><blockquote> In the next two years&mdash;either FM16 or FM17&mdash;there will be an injury revamp, because there's only so long that joke can carry on inside the studio. </blockquote><p> With the way that the team has grown, I think we now have the resources to be able to do it properly. We already work with a company called PhysioRoom that help us with a lot of the injury stuff, but we also have... there are unions all the way through football, the player's union, the manager's union, there is also a group for physios, and they want to work closely with us as well. We will get there, and when we do do it it will be a massive revamp. But I agree with you that it's something that needs to be looked at. The ideas that we have and what we need to do with it are great, but there are only so many hours in a year.</p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>And what about Gary Neville-style post-match analysis?</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>We already have post-match analysis in the game, and you can do all the stuff that Gary Neville does if you put on your suit and find yourself dragging things across the screen. We like the user to be in their own world&mdash;the person playing the game is in their own world and they should be playing the game the way they actually want to. So having something like someone coming on screen and doing a video would take you out of the believability, it actually puts you in the position where you're watching it on TV rather than you are the person in full control.</p><p> We will definitely improve the match analysis side of things, there are some improvements this year and there will be more in the future, but having Gary turning up on screen talking about it... normally I'd say 'it would be rubbish', but it wouldn't be rubbish because Gary Neville's really good at doing it, but no&mdash;that's not something that's going to come in. The same way that Jim White on transfer deadline day isn't going to come in. We're happy with the way that we're doing transfer deadline day now.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WiGRQCbLQnCI.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/786o3M6tDNYB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager 2015 4"></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>So no old players on Soccer Saturday-style situations then?</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>You do get feedback from old players in the game, but not people watching other people's screens to see if their bet's come in and then missing a goal in their own game. Not that that would ever happen on Soccer Saturday... We also won't have commentary, as I heard the other night on Radio Five, where the commentator is more interested in whether people have come back from half time to get their seats or whether they've stayed in to have a pint and therefore missing a goal for England. There are some things that don't need to be in the game.</p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>I can imagine programming in that commentary would be quite bizarre.</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Yeah&mdash;our crowd are very good though, because basically the hot dog stands and the bars inside the grounds in FM are more efficient than they are in real life. So therefore everyone's back in their seat for the second half.</p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><strong>Well, teams use your scouting data in real life&mdash;they could use your efficiency models for hot dog queues too.</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>I think it's very important that they start doing that.</p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o4wjpf4nQ-Sb.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/D2h_niuFnGBd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager 2015"></p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>One thing that jumped out at me is Twitch integration&mdash;Football Manager doesn't strike me as a game people want to watch others playing. Is that fair to say?</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>On Twitch there have been various charity&mdash;24, 48 hour marathons&mdash;that lots of people have got involved with, that are great things to watch. That was our inspiration for adding it in as a default thing. But while we were discussing it we actually realised there were lots of other applications for it as well. We have lots of forums out there where people will give other people advice on the game, particularly those that complain about losing, that say 'I've got the best team in the world!' and you look at their tactics and they just haven't changed anything. Yes they might have Leo Messi, but they're playing him as an advanced forward, not as a complete forward, so they're not going to get the best out of him. From that perspective I think that people are going to learn a lot from the best FM players out there, from those people that are high in the leaderboards. They're going to be able to go and watch their games, look at what they're doing differently&mdash;and while the initial integration is just video, we will have all the chat functionality in by Christmas, we're going to keep on supporting it to make sure we get all of that functionality in, so if people do want to do Q&amp;A sessions&mdash;great!</p><p> There's a brilliant fanzine on the game called Clear Cut Chance that has some great, in-depth articles about the game and there are various websites out there that offer tactical advice. Being able to do that via video so that people can ask directly 'why have you got that player set as an inside forward, not as a winger&mdash;what extra does that bring?' I think is a great community element. While originally it was added for one reason, there are a lot more reasons that have come through over time, and I'm actually quite excited that I'm going to get to watch&mdash;hopefully&mdash;tens of thousands of people playing the game. The thing with Football Manager is there's no one way to play the game. We don't have a fixed way, there's no linear path to the game at all, so seeing how different people are experiencing it, from my position as the game's director, is also going to help us decide what direction we take the game in in the future.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>Is it strange to make a game that's an ideal representation of football, when the real sport is full of ethical quandaries and odd decisions&mdash;like, for example, Watford's three managers in a month? It's meant to be a flawless simulation, but it simply can't be one.</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>The Watford situation is an interesting one. I'm quite close with a few people at the club and I don't think the club has done much wrong in that situation. If Billy McInley had been called a caretaker head coach, rather than just head coach, then nobody would be batting an eyelid. There's not much you can do when your manager becomes ill and decides that he's not going to carry on. But we are a very pure version, as you say. There are lots of things that I've seen go on in football that I don't like, and those are the things that we will not simulate. We keep within the rules because the rules are there for a reason.</p><blockquote> There are lots of things that I've seen go on in football that I don't like,&nbsp;and those are the things that we will not simulate. </blockquote><p> I actually like it that way, so no it's not difficult&mdash;it's easier. I would really struggle with adding in some of the more negative elements that are there. Player power&mdash;some people would see that as a negative thing, and it is something that's more prevalent in this year's game. But the way that we've done it is not necessarily from a monetary point of view, it's more a playing time perspective and promises that have been made to players. But I'm a moralistic little twat, so that's one of the reasons we don't go down that route.</p><p> I'm sure that someone could make a very fun game that had those elements in, but lots of people have tried and it just doesn't feel right when they do. There have been management games, games that are a mix between action and simulation, that have had bribery and betting in there, for example. It's fact now that people involved with football in England are no longer allowed to bet on football&mdash;I've been advised that I shouldn't be either, because of the various deals we have. So I don't bet on football either. It shouldn't be part of the game.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/H4J752MNCcA?list=UUMWpuQCtigHebT0oRtFy7Gw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>I'd think that encouraging the old guard&mdash;like me&mdash;to learn new things and pick up on new features has to be hard. It took me years to realise you could select multiple players at once, because I was used to doing it the slow, old-fashioned way.</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Multi-row select is a wonderful thing. There are some things that it's easy for us to tell people about, and there are some things that are hard. There are some things that you need to read the manual for&mdash;and let's be honest, no one reads game manuals. Sometimes we don't even know why we write one. You can have the hints and tips system inside the game, but again that sometimes takes away from the perception of the person playing the game that they are in the football world when this message pops up and goes 'did you know that you can right click on this?' So we work on making the user interface as easy as possible, and I think people will see that this year.</p><p> There are a bunch of things this year that I know real hardcore fans are going to turn around and go 'this is a new feature!', and I'm going to be going 'no, it's been in the game four years&mdash;you just don't look deeply enough'. The hardest thing for people to get used to has been the change in the tactics system: the removal of the sliders and introduction of player roles. The old slider module was one of the only unrealistic things still left in the game, basically. We want realism. There's no way a manager could say to a player 'today I want you to be standing one notch further ahead than you normally do', or 'today I want you to be one notch more attacking'&mdash;as someone who's lucky enough to go to tactical meetings at clubs across Europe, that's not how they talk. They talk about the roles that players will be playing, and the player knows what they're meant to be doing. Sometimes the players and manager create their own roles, then we get to add the new roles to the game the next year when they've done it.</p><blockquote> There's no way a manager could say to a player 'today I want you to be standing one notch further ahead than you normally do', or 'today I want you to be one notch more attacking...</blockquote><p> We tried to highlight in FM15 how important those roles are with the new look to the tactics screen. You cannot avoid seeing what role you've set your player to, because it's right there, massive, on the left-hand side of the screen. It was a really difficult thing to fit in from a GUI perspective, and I think the artists are still having nightmares about it, particularly about trying to fit it all in in minimum resolution, but it was a really important thing because it's so important to the game. 90% of people who are failing at the game when they send us their tactic, it's because they've got the player roles wrong. It is a really important element.</p><p> Hopefully the old school and the new school are going to get new things out of the game each year&mdash;there are lots of features in there that many people don't use. There was one feature that I found out this weekend we hadn't tested at all, because I used it and the game crashed. It turned out that crash had been in place since March. We're as guilty of it as everyone else. But thankfully after a bit of a panic&mdash;there are a few other bits and bobs that people aren't really using here that others find useful that we have actually tested to make sure that they all work properly. The wonders of last-minute testing.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4enNGPwIT3C6.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W10boJyJpciW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager 2015 5"></p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>Going from one kind of accessibility to another: charity support. It's obviously very important to you. Does Football Manager help with awareness of organisations like War Child, Special Effect and so on? And would you like to see the wider industry more adoptive of support like yours?</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>According to War Child they get more clicks from the game to their website than they get from Google. So yes, it does help raise awareness. The way that we've done the Movember stuff this year isn't just raising awareness, it's fun as well&mdash;the way that it's implemented in the game. So we'll be looking at doing more of that. We have a lot of eyeballs looking at our game a lot of the time, it would be quite easy for us to sell those to commercial partners, but I would rather that we would use it in the way that we do, which is the leagues get their sponsors in there which adds to the authenticity, then the rest we can give to the charities so that people can learn about it. Even going as far as Louis Tomlinson being in the game, because he's a player for Doncaster Rovers in real life. The deal that we did with Louis is very simple, if you go to Doncaster home games you'll see the ad hoarding of the charity that he's working with in there. It's nice to be able to do little individual things like that as well as big international things like Movember.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>It's actually refreshing to see that.</strong></p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>War Child gets a donation for every game that we sell as well, which is something that was written into the contract when we signed with Sega. We used that clause to help decide which publisher to sign with &mdash;we had a bunch of deals on the table, they'd all matched the terms that we asked for, and Sega were the first people to fax back and say 'yes, that's not a problem'. That's one of the reasons we signed with them.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_ppx4RCwRYCi.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ECcJfbGkqf48.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager 2015 2"></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">PC Gamer: </strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Football Manager is a series that has had a far bigger cultural impact than it has on gaming specifically. There's the film, books, comedy routines and so on, and it never seems to be </strong><em style="background-color: initial;"><strong>that</strong></em><strong style="background-color: initial;"> popular with gaming journalists, apart from a select few. Why do you think that is?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Because we don't make games for gamers; we make games for football fans. We don't see ourselves as a computer game any more, we see ourselves as a football company, hence the deal with ProZone, hence a documentary that would have been a hell of a lot easier if we'd just done a making-of documentary rather than making a documentary about the cultural influence of the game in football. But how boring would that be? We overtook Frozen last night, at about 2am, on iTunes. It was a very proud moment for me, but I don't think a making-of documentary would have quite done that. We've always seen ourselves as more football than games, and it's something that we accepted a long time ago.</p><blockquote> I've described it as being like the BoyZone of the games industry, and the games press are all NME rather than Smash Hits.</blockquote><p>We make a niche game, it just happens to be a very large niche, so we're very lucky. It's never been a problem for us. I've described it as being like the BoyZone of the games industry, and the games press are all NME rather than Smash Hits. I think we've been doing it for so long now we're probably the Status Quo of the games industry instead. But we actually realised it before the games press did. We don't do a lot of advertising in the games press, and the reason we don't do that is because it's a waste of money doing it with the games press rather than with football websites. But there are lots of journalists that enjoy it. There aren't many that would admit to enjoying it.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>I often say it's the best RPG I've ever played.</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Thank you. It is an RPG. It's open world. It just happens to be a football management simulation as well. So I agree with that. I had an interesting conversation with Peter Molyneux about that on a plane going to E3 one year, when he said 'why don't you make an RPG?' and it's like 'Peter, it is an RPG', he says 'oh yeah... I guess it is!' But we don't need to convince anyone of anything, I don't feel the need to. We know that we're not going to win many games awards, because there are other games that are more game-y that also deserve them. But we're very happy that we still get to do this for a living, and the people that we have to impress each year are the people who play the game. Our review scores aren't actually bad at all&mdash;I think we average 85%, which is great&mdash;but we won't get the credit that the technical team here deserve for what they manage to do. But we're fine with that, it's not a problem, because we get to go make films and people watch them!</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>So what's the longest you've ever played for, number of seasons-wise?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>I'm well over 40 seasons. I tend to stop when I've won the maximum amount of trophies four seasons on the trot, which some seasons is six, some is seven. When I do that four times it's a new game. But yeah, my play-time is ridiculous&mdash;but I direct it, so I've got an excuse.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vlTX-LdQS0Gj.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/obLieIxAgDDL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Football Manager 2015 3"></p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>Football Manager Classic has had a couple of years to bed in now. What are the metrics showing? Has it managed to bring back lapsed players?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>It's around 10% of players using it, and yes we've definitely brought some of the old guard back. That was the point of it: to bring back the old guard, to give people an introduction, it's growing steadily every year. It's great that I get to work with Ov Collyer again on something directly because he's the director of FMC. We have some great debates together. It's a fun little mode. if I was directing it, there'd be too much stuff in there, I'd have added too much stuff in there. So having Ov in there as someone who is a lighter player of the game now he's got a couple of kids, having him turning around and saying 'no, we're not adding that' and me going 'alright, it's your game! Do what you want!' is great. He's got a great vision for it, so we will see that coming to fruition over the coming years.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>I'm half expecting regression to the world of holding the spacebar to speed up matches and winning 12-7 with a 1-4-5 formation now.</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Hopefully we've got rid of those tactics now.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>What was the most surprising thing you learned from making the documentary?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>That Jon McClure plays the game with 't'laptop on't'belly', that was a pretty good revelation. That Demetri Albertini&mdash;I knew that he'd been involved with helping out and research, but I didn't ever realise how seriously he took it when he was doing it, so that was great. Finding out a bunch of people who played the game that we weren't aware of was good. Finding out that it's possible to make a film in five months on a tiny budget that can be shown in 47 countries simultaneously while in the cinema in the UK, finding out about OFCOM rules and how we got banned from being on TV in the UK before the release, finding out that loads of people in the TV and film industry say yes to you a lot when they actually mean no&mdash;that was quite frustrating&mdash;and finding out that when they do eventually mean no you just basically ignore them and go ahead anyway. From that perspective the process was a great learning experience, and the people we worked with at FilmNova&mdash;it was their first feature film as well&mdash;they did such a brilliant job that hopefully we'e opened a lot more doors to people doing this now, because the viewing figures were pretty damn good. We were number nine in box office in the UK on the day that we released, most of the TV companies have asked for repeat rights, to which I'm saying 'yeah, but only during the Christmas schedule!' It's just fun writing your own rules for something like that. It was a fun experience.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>What was the OFCOM issue?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>It was because we were paying for the documentary to be made. They didn't believe that it could be editorially sound. Even though it was.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>Finally, most importantly of all: </strong><u><a href="http://instagram.com/p/uV8H9MhPI4/"><strong>what the hell was going on with this picture</strong></a></u><strong>?</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>I was young. I was dumb. I was working in the music industry. Rage Against the Machine had just taken off. I have really curly, thick hair when it grows, and someone basically said I'd look amazing in dreads. And I believed them. So I grew my hair out for about nine months, had to wear a hat for about nine months - I looked like one of the Levellers - then had my hair done like that, then didn't wash it for a year. Then looked in the mirror one day and chopped them all off. The thing I was pleased about in that photo was how thin I was - my face was about half the size that it is now. But yeah, the old Stig of the Dump dreads... umm... yeah.</p><p><strong>PC Gamer: </strong><strong>You should have that hair in the game for regens.</strong></p><p><strong style="background-color: initial;">Miles Jacobson:&nbsp;</strong>Feel free to steal that photo from Instagram to put it in there. Our regens do have dreads, but I don't think we've got any people with the same skintone as me with dreads in there. But yeah, you've got to embarrass yourself every once in a while.</p> Endless Legend adds modding support, Halloween-themed side questhttp://www.pcgamer.com/endless-legend-adds-modding-support-halloween-themed-side-quest/Endless game gets even endlessier with latest update.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:07:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/endless-legend-adds-modding-support-halloween-themed-side-quest/4XAmplitude StudiosEndless LegendNews <a href="/endless-legend-adds-modding-support-halloween-themed-side-quest/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/URb7Svz5aw4M.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zMAuqV7mSXSQ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/URb7Svz5aw4M.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Endless Legend"></p><p>Amplitude Studios' small stable of interconnected strategy games opened its doors to the public&nbsp;yesterday, with the addition of modding tools for their fantasy 4X Endless Legend. They came as part of the game's&nbsp;Halloween update, which also added a seasonal side quest and a few other small bits and bobs. If you're keen to see what can be done with the game, you'll find a bunch of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/10/29/endless-legend-mods/" target="_blank">tutorials here</a>.</p><p>That new, Halloweeny&nbsp;side quest unlocks "a new Broken Lords' Hero and a new item" to the game, while bug fixes include tweaks to the AI and solutions for&nbsp;issues related to&nbsp;quest items. It's not a huge patch, other than that modding support, but the ability to add new quests, skills, items, assets and so on, and to change the behaviour of the game's factions and heroes, is always welcome in any strategy game.</p><p>Dan liked Endless Legend&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/endless-legend-review/" target="_blank">quite a bit</a>&nbsp;when he reviewed it&nbsp;the other week. (Ta,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/10/29/endless-legend-mods/" target="_blank">RPS</a>.)</p> The Long Dark "more than doubles" playable area with latest updatehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-long-dark-more-than-doubles-playable-area-with-latest-update/New 'Coastal Highway' region added to the Early Access survivalsandbox.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:01:08 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-long-dark-more-than-doubles-playable-area-with-latest-update/HinterlandNewsopen world survivalSingle-playerThe Long Dark <a href="/the-long-dark-more-than-doubles-playable-area-with-latest-update/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IcReyFJtTcVP.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xJw0d__xTzmd.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IcReyFJtTcVP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Long Dark update"></p><p>Chilly survival game The Long Dark has "more than doubled" in size as of yesterday's update, which adds a new 'Coastal Highway' region to the game. That's taken from the&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/305620/announcements/detail/225505017232410012" target="_blank">patch notes</a>, which also reveal big changes to the way fatigue and item degradation work in the game. Items will now degrade less rapidly, but there will fewer of them around to compensate; on the fatigue side of things,&nbsp;you'll now become more tired when you're starving, while calorie deficit has been removed.</p><p>For every piece of nice friendly happy news, there's some bad to balance it out. Here's&nbsp;two more. "Added a 100% guaranteed Rifle spawn to Mystery Lake", oh but "The more you carry around, the more quickly you will become tired". One piece of definite good news is that your save game will carry across, so you can take your half-dead character to&nbsp;The Long Dark's new area before it kills them.&nbsp;To access the Coastal Highway, you'll need to follow the railway in Mystery Lake (on the Dam side). Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2014/10/30/the-long-dark-playable-area-sandbox-doubles-update-patch/" target="_blank">VG247</a>.</p><p>Full details of this&nbsp;massive update&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/305620/announcements/detail/225505017232410012" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><iframe width="615" height="346" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vLlz19MK0co?list=PLHzN3MktVPzVq7ZS_BshCdU0RF51TKUBs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> YouTube now supports 60 FPS videos, watch one herehttp://www.pcgamer.com/youtube-now-supports-60-fps-videos/We uploaded a 60 FPS, 4K video of Arkham Origins to test YouTube's latest upgrade.Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:11:14 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/youtube-now-supports-60-fps-videos/Batman: Arkham OriginsLarge Pixel ColliderMust Read <a href="/youtube-now-supports-60-fps-videos/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JJhqluqbeHTF.780x349.jp-HFjqI.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lKj-A_YP-aM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Today, YouTube rolled out support for 60 FPS videos, which means we can finally use&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgaPRP68bbyHnfkPhWWBrNw">our YouTube channel</a> to show you game footage&nbsp;as it's meant to be seen. To celebrate&nbsp;the improvement for game video posters everywhere, we uploaded the first 4K 60 FPS video we had on hand, which happens to be&nbsp;a Batman: Arkham Origins benchmark.</p><p>To see the 60 FPS version, you need to be viewing the video at 720p or above. Expect many more 60 FPS and 4K videos to come.</p> King of Dragon Pass is finally getting a sequel, called Six Ageshttp://www.pcgamer.com/king-of-dragon-pass-is-finally-getting-a-sequel-called-six-ages/King of Dragon Pass was originally released in 1999, and was kind of a bomb.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:12:37 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/king-of-dragon-pass-is-finally-getting-a-sequel-called-six-ages/King of Dragon PassNewsSix AgesStrategy <a href="/king-of-dragon-pass-is-finally-getting-a-sequel-called-six-ages/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jdvpdKlcGwZD.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WFTyAUa_RVau.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jdvpdKlcGwZD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="King Of Dragon Pass"></p><p>King of Dragon Pass was a 1999 strategy game that put players in charge of a barbarian clan settling the unexplored and very dangerous lands of Dragon Pass. It was simultaneously complex and accessible, the sort of game that could make even strategic bumblers like me feel as though we possessed some modicum of competence in the genre, and while it wasn't a hit by any measure&mdash;creator David Dunham said in a <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-12-the-story-of-king-of-dragon-pass-do-you-remember-demolition-man">Eurogamer</a> interview that the original release sold less than 8,000 copies&mdash;if you go to <a href="http://www.gog.com/game/king_of_dragon_pass">GOG</a> you'll find its praises being sung with great enthusiasm. And now, 15 years down the road, a sequel is in the works.</p><p>Dunham revealed the sequel on <a href="http://sixages.blogspot.ca/2014/10/the-saga-begins.html">his blog</a>, where he said that although he's toyed with various ideas for a follow-up over the years, it was only a few months ago that inspiration really struck. He didn't offer much in the way of detail because it's still very early in the process, but the new game, entitled Six Ages, will be set in the same fantasy world as its predecessor and "consist of meaningful story choices tied together by the economic challenges facing a small community."</p><p>Long-time King of Dragon Pass fans will also be happy to hear that Dunham is getting the band back together to make the new game. "I’m excited that I will again be working with [King of Dragon Pass] writer and game designer Robin D. Laws, and artists Jan Pospíšil (who did illustrations for King of Dragon Pass) and Pat Ward (who I worked with at Shenandoah Studio)," he wrote. "And when the game is further along, Liana Kerr will again be doing QA."</p><p>There's a website up at <a href="http://sixages.com/">sixages.com</a>, but aside from links to King of Dragon Pass and the Six Ages development blog, it's basically empty. It does contain one noteworthy bit of information, however: "We have ambitious plans and a small team, so we don't expect to release anything before 2016." Hey, it's been 15 years. What are a couple more at this point?</p> The Evil Within update enables 60 FPS without any "glitches"http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-update-enables-60-fps-without-any-glitches/Today's update on Steam enables all of the frames with none of the issues.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:53:47 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-update-enables-60-fps-without-any-glitches/Bethesda SoftworksHorrorNewsTango GameworksThe Evil Within <a href="/the-evil-within-update-enables-60-fps-without-any-glitches/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Cpo4ZXOKSk_o.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tVLXnueEQ-KG.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Cpo4ZXOKSk_o.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Evil Within"></p><p>I was baffled by the decision to release <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within/">The Evil Within</a> with a 30 FPS cap. Why should my (admittedly hypothetical) blisteringly-fast PC be artificially limited to a frame rate it's easily capable of exceeding? Didn't I spend hours back in the day benchmarking Quake, trying to squeeze as many frames out my hardware as I possibly could? Whatever the reason for the cap, it's academic now, as today's Steam update has officially done away with it.</p><p>It was actually done away with in mid-October when the debug console commands were <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-debug-console-commands-detailed-god-mode-is-in/">revealed to the world</a>, but sidestepping the cap in that fashion was not without risks: Bethesda warned that playing with frame rates and letterboxing could result in "quirks," although it added that it would fix them eventually.</p><p>And so it has. The patch released today adds a "frame lock setting," allowing players to toggle between 30 and 60 FPS, and also to toggle the letterbox bars on and off. More importantly, it takes care of the aforementioned gameplay and visual glitches associated with changing the settings through the debug console.</p><p>The patch also ensures that achievements will work properly when the console is enabled, incorporates a fix for starting the game in windowed mode on its first run, and makes "minor localization fixes," none of which is terribly sexy as updates go. But being able to play at a decent frame rate without having to worry about "issues?" That's good stuff, should it all work as promised.</p> Facebook: Oculus Rift will need to sell 50-100 million units to be "meaningful"http://www.pcgamer.com/facebook-oculus-rift-will-need-to-sell-50-100-million-units-to-be-meaningful/Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook earnings call that more than 100,000 Oculus Rift development kits have already been shipped.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:19:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/facebook-oculus-rift-will-need-to-sell-50-100-million-units-to-be-meaningful/NewsOculus RIFTOculus VR <a href="/facebook-oculus-rift-will-need-to-sell-50-100-million-units-to-be-meaningful/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J_mAiYotc_MV.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9ywCdjTdRqW4.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J_mAiYotc_MV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="oculus-rift"></p><p>Facebook dropped $2 billion to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/facebook-buying-oculus-vr-for-2-billion/">acquire Oculus VR</a>, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset. That's a huge pile of money by any standard, but in an earnings call following the release of Facebook's latest quarterly financial report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he has very big expectations.</p><p>"It needs to reach a very large sale, 50 million to 100 million units, before it will really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform," Zuckerberg said in response to a question about the company's plans for the Oculus hardware, transcribed by <a href="http://seekingalpha.com/article/2607755-facebooks-fb-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-on-q3-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single">Seeking Alpha</a>. </p><p>"I do think it's going to take a bunch of years to get there. Maybe&mdash;I don’t know, it's hard to predict exactly, but I don't think it's going to get to 50 million or 100 million units in the next few years. So that will take a few cycles of the device to get there and that's kind of what I'm talking about," he continued. "And then when you get to that scale, that's when it starts to be interesting as a business in terms of developing out the ecosystem."</p><p>Can it happen? The Rift as it stands is very much a niche device, and success to the extent that Zuckerberg envisions will obviously require it to catch on in areas well beyond just gaming. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe acknowledged that fact <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift-ceo-sees-potential-for-an-mmo-with-a-billion-people-in-virtual-reality/">back in May</a>, when he said that restricting the device to gaming could limit its user base to "only&nbsp;10, 20, or 50 million" people, and Zuckerberg echoed Iribe's hopes of ultimately achieving a billion users connected through the device.</p><p>"Over a five year time frame, we have a number of services, which we think are well on their way to reaching one billion people. Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and Search are a number of them. And once we get to that scale, then we think that they will start to become meaningful businesses in their own right," he said. "And I think that the right way to think about that, as I've tried to say repeatedly on these calls is, not that we're going to try to monetize them very aggressively in the next year or two, because I really think for each of those categories, the right strategy is to first focus on connecting one billion plus people and reaching the full potential before very aggressively turning them into businesses."</p> Watch Dogs: Bad Blood DLC 6k screenshot galleryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/watch-dogs-bad-blood-dlc-6k-screenshot-gallery/We've hackedWatch Dogs' Bad Blood DLC to bring you 21 screenshots at5760x2880 resolution.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-dogs-bad-blood-dlc-6k-screenshot-gallery/ActionLarge Pixel ColliderPixel BoostUbisoftWatch DogsWatch Dogs: Bad Blood <a href="/watch-dogs-bad-blood-dlc-6k-screenshot-gallery/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bah6bduLXal6.780x349.gBg1kUZ7.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare season pass unveiledhttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-season-pass-unveiled/The Advanced Warfare season pass will include four DLC releases and launch-day access to a bonus multiplayer map.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:46:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-season-pass-unveiled/ActivisionCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareFPSNews <a href="/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-season-pass-unveiled/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Tgbkaxo-0ijP.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gwFh90GYQQeo.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Tgbkaxo-0ijP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare"></p><p>Activision has revealed details about the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare/">Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare</a> season pass, which will include four DLC packs, early access to DLC weapons, and launch day access to the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge.</p><p>Atlas Gorge is a remake of the Modern Warfare multiplayer map Pipeline, with "new verticality" that's designed to take advantage of the leaping capabilities of Advanced Warfare's exoskeleton technology. The contents of the four DLC packs haven't been revealed, but we do have their names: Havoc, Ascendance, Supremacy, and Reckoning. The first, Havoc, will debut in January 2015 but as usual will be a timed Xbox exclusive, meaning those of us who prefer to play on PC will have to wait, presumably until February, to get into the extras.</p><p>The Advanced Warfare season pass will set you back $50, compared to the $60 you'd pay for buying each DLC release separately. It's not a huge savings, but ten bucks is ten bucks. </p><p>Full details on the season pass are up at <a href="http://www.callofduty.com/advancedwarfare/season-pass">callofduty.com</a>. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare comes out on November 4.</p> Wildstar enables free PvP/PvE megaserver transfershttp://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-enables-free-pvp-pve-megaserver-transfers/Transfer between PvP and PvE servers, and vice versa, for free.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:37:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-enables-free-pvp-pve-megaserver-transfers/Carbine StudiosMMONewsWildStar <a href="/wildstar-enables-free-pvp-pve-megaserver-transfers/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mzu0Z4_SaVwM.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oFkElg2hR9WI.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mzu0Z4_SaVwM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Wildstar 1"></p><p>Wildstar&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-megaservers-to-launch-later-this-week/" target="_blank">recently migrated players</a> to one of two 'megaservers' themed around PvE and PVP, and following complaints that the PvP one&nbsp;has been a little too&nbsp;quiet, they've&nbsp;now been given a way to transfer between them. Players be able to make the&nbsp;switch in either direction, for free and for an indefinite time period, although the devs will be "keeping a close eye on things for any shenanigans or foul play".</p><p>Here's Carbine's reasoning in&nbsp;<a href="https://forums.wildstar-online.com/forums/index.php?/topic/117204-server-transfer-update/" target="_blank">a bit more detail</a>:</p><p>"For the time being, these transfers will remain open indefinitely, but we will be closely monitoring the situation and if we feel it necessary we will remove this service. Rest assured, we will ensure to give you appropriate notice if we do decide to shut these free transfers down, as well as an explanation as to why.</p><p>"We expect there will be some concerns about players using PvE servers to level up, without the dangers of a PvP server, and then transferring across once they reach max level, however we felt that ensuring the health and community of each server is more vital. We will be keeping a close eye on things for any shenanigans or foul play though."</p><p>If you're wondering what we thought of Wildstar, you should have a read of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-review/" target="_blank">Phil's review</a>. Spoiler: he liked it a lot.</p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/10/29/wildstar-opens-up-free-indefinite-megaserver-transfers/" target="_blank">Massively</a>.</p> Why I Love: playing 'Monkey Bee' in Audiosurfhttp://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-playing-monkey-bee-in-audiosurf/How Chinese opera can make Audiosurf better.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-playing-monkey-bee-in-audiosurf/AudiosurfMusicWhy I Love <a href="/why-i-love-playing-monkey-bee-in-audiosurf/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/D_A1nwZA2LC4.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rocWrwOFTau7.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZIh-ee2d6KJh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Audiosurf Top"></p><div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Why I love</h5> <p> In&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love/" target="_blank">Why I Love</a>, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Phil explains why Audiosurf works so well with faux-Chinese opera. </p> </div><p> This might seem a bit esoteric, even for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-stealth-on-ships/" target="_blank">this column</a>. Bear with me. This is also a recommendation. Not only is playing the song 'Monkey Bee' in Audiosurf a thing that I love; it's a thing that will actively make your life better. At least, the part of your life that involves playing Audiosurf.</p><p> I love rhythm games, and Audiosurf is one of the best. (Not <em>the</em> best, but then Gitaroo Man was never released on PC.) It's an odd genre for music fans, because its traditional set-up&nbsp;positions music as an&nbsp;obstacle to overcome. It's an adversarial relationship&mdash;at least until you conquer the patterns of the level. Audiosurf works in much the same way. It's a puzzle game; a high-speed match-three challenge. Pick any song, and the algorithm will analyse it&mdash;laying out blocks, and adding twists, turns and elevation to a procedurally generated track.</p><p> My favourite mode is Mono. It's the simplest, purest form of the game. Rather than multiple colours to match, the track is littered with coloured and grey blocks. Pick up the colour ones; avoid the greys. It's still adversarial, but it gives an obvious throughline to follow. It's the rhythm game equivalent of perfectly performing the Macarena at your school disco, in the hope that the other kids would recognise you as a slightly less worthless human being.</p><p><a href="http://open.spotify.com/track/4hszF784jEq3JTz2ktVpJS" target="_blank">Monkey Bee</a> is a song by Damon Albarn, from the album Monkey: Journey to the West. It is the soundtrack to a Chinese-style pop-rock opera&mdash;a retelling of the classic&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_West" target="_blank">Journey to the West</a>, but with Jamie Hewlett and electro. It is possibly the most Damon Albarn thing that has ever happened, and you would be forgiven for not wanting anything to do with it. But, and here's the thing, Monkey Bee is Audiosurf's greatest level. Or it's up there with the very best at least, and that's because it syncs perfectly with the structure of the game.</p><p> This is what a song usually looks like in Audiosurf:</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xh5NR3MYSded.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yKFYt1NrsEd4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Song1"></p><p> This is what Monkey Bee looks like:</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ftdQZdZITpS1.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ht8pmAA3lDDc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Song2"></p><p> Through sheer chance, Audiosurf's algorithm creates a&nbsp;sublime layout. There are three clear, easily defined sections. Each provides a distinct and interesting challenge, and they all fit together to create a naturally escalating&nbsp;challenge.</p><p> <strong>BIE NA MUO XIAO QI MA</strong></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-kgZHpxrRHWG.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lp-a3JVSTyoZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Audiosurf Act 1"></p><p> The first section is a slow climb to the second act. It's the least interesting of the three parts, and plays out much like any Mono level. Yes, there is a challenge in collecting all the coloured blocks&mdash;with some sandwiched between two greys. The problem is the distribution, which is spread out in such a way that you'll never earn&nbsp;a match greater than three or four blocks.</p><p> It's not a great start, but it builds the anticipation. In Audiosurf, the graph showing the altitude of the track is a permanent fixture of the top-left corner. Here, you are moving&nbsp;inexorably towards something different&mdash;a feeling that's heightened if you already know how good the second part is.</p><p> <strong>WU KONG GONG XI</strong></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/f3NxilGRRWy1.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vimGqACcg4ZU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Audiosurf Act 2"></p><p> On the graph, this section looks level. It isn't. It undulates to the rhythm of the two-step percussive sting at the end of each line. Each bump contains a coloured block, and they're perfectly spaced to be chained across the 60-second act.</p><p> This feels great. Get it right, and you can fill your hopper with colour&mdash;even reaching a full match-21 if the positioning falls in your favour. It's a big, joyous reward; even as the building, urgent guitar riff warns&nbsp;that everything is about to go south.</p><p> <strong>WEI HE PO HOU JING SHAN BU ZOU</strong></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7F00nXnoQZC1.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/D_A1nwZA2LC4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Audiosurf Act 3" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p> Act three. Fast. Reactive. Panicked.</p><p> In Audiosurf, colour represents intensity. The first section is cool&mdash;filled with blues and purples. The second is green&nbsp;and yellow. The third, entirely orange and red. Of all the songs I've tried in the game, this is extremely rare. Usually, you'll dip into short, infrequent bursts of red. Here, it's a smooth, long fall.</p><p> It's amazing, entirely accidental level design. It's the perfect escalation; easing you in, lulling you into false security before pulling the rug and sending you fighting for your life. Plunging down into the red zone is <em>thrilling</em>.&nbsp;If you don't "get" music, this level is an excellent visual analogy of how it can feel for the people who do.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oNMdfs2TSc6E.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bpZGK60gHT9H.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Jerk"></p><p> Another of Audiosurf's tricks is to email you when someone beats your high&nbsp;score. As a Mono mode player, this was a rarity. All of the game's modes co-exist on each song's leaderboard, and the other modes were inevitably more suited to point chasing. But for a brief moment, about five years ago, there was a fearsome battle for Monkey Bee's top spot&mdash;one fought between a community aware that Ironman Ninja Mono was the way to play the game.</p><p>That was until&nbsp;some jerk came along and set the top score on Eraser Elite, thus ruining all of&nbsp;our fun.</p><p>Even though the score battle has long since ended, it's still a remarkable, unexpected level. I recommend tracking&nbsp;down the song, just to give it a go. Alternatively, here's a video of the level that mysteriously appeared on the internet today. No-one tell Damon Albarn.</p><iframe width="640" height="400" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EVJ16hrH4YI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Researchers find that female PC gamers outnumber maleshttp://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/ Superdata Research studies have found that just over half of all PC gamers in the US are female.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:21:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/FPSNewsRPG <a href="/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iuf70M0ai8Ny.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KuhE3_3ESMiH.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iuf70M0ai8Ny.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="7"></p><p>Surveys conducted by analyst firm <a href="http://www.superdataresearch.com/">Superdata Research</a> have found that in the US, women play more PC games overall than men. They also play more RPGs on PC than men, while men outnumber women in the FPS and MMO genres.</p><p>For all practical purposes it's a 50/50 split,&nbsp;but once you get into decimal places, female PC gamers do slightly outnumber males. Women represent 50.2 percent of PC gamers across all genres, including social (Facebook, Kongregate), versus 49.9 percent for men. The scales dip&nbsp;slightly further toward women when it comes to the RPG genre, with 53.6 percent of the market made up of women, while men represent 46.5 percent. In the FPS and MMO genres, however, 66 percent of players are men.</p><p>Senior analyst Stephanie Llamas wrote in a follow-up <a href="http://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/why-all-gamers-matter/">blog post</a> that the growing popularity of "casual platforms" has helped reinforce the false assumption that women are primarily casual gamers. But the reality, says Llamas, is that half of female PC gamers in the US consider themselves either "mid-core or hardcore gamers." </p><p>"It is true that 58 percent of mobile gamers in the US are women. But it is also true that just over 50 percent of American PC gamers are women," she wrote. "In fact, women are the largest gaming demographic for PC role-playing games (54 percent) and they represent almost 40 percent of MMO and digital console gamers. So to say that women are just casual gamers is empirically false."</p> Tactical fast-paced teamwork in Dirty Bombhttp://www.pcgamer.com/exploring-tactical-fast-paced-teamwork-of-dirty-bomb/We've played Splash Damage's upcoming team shooter.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:13:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/exploring-tactical-fast-paced-teamwork-of-dirty-bomb/Dirty BombFPS <a href="/exploring-tactical-fast-paced-teamwork-of-dirty-bomb/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lRtnbZSwKdmx.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gD67-byIROiN.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lRtnbZSwKdmx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dirty bomb header"></p><p> Fresher developers like Vlambeer or Supergiant may feel obliged to do something different every time, but Splash Damage's veterans know the value of specialisation. Their two critically-acclaimed Enemy Territory titles made them the multiplayer shooter specialists du jour, up there with Turtle Rock and Valve themselves, so they're well aware that they've found their niche. As the game's writer Ed Stern told me, "dynamic objective teamplay is sort of our special sauce." And that's Dirty Bomb all over.</p><p> You may know Dirty Bomb by another name. It was temporarily redubbed 'Extraction' until Splash Damage were presumably sued by a coalition of dentists and/or miners and changed it back. It's a free-to-play multiplayer-only team shooter set in an abandoned near-future London.</p><blockquote> Splash Damage say that this is the game that they always wanted to make </blockquote><p> In this near future, London has been devastated by the dirty bomb of the title, a mucky radioactive explosive that's left the city centre as uninhabitable as Blackpool in the off-season. You play as mercenaries from Private Military Corporations dropped into the city to loot it as quickly as possible&mdash;and stop others from doing the same.</p><p> Splash Damage say that this is the game that they always wanted to make, which is a fair claim. And the entire team admit that Dirty Bomb is definitely revisiting Enemy Territory's, uh, territory. It certainly is more like Enemy Territory than most of their previous games. It's got Splash Damage's mapmaking knowhow, ET's teamplay focus, and all the flash of the Arkham Origins multiplayer. I can only hope it hasn't inherited any of Brink's flat combat and launch problems.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sC4nF_ITTbOF.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uH16UJIJUEjp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="4"></p><p> I went to Splash Damage's London office to get hands-on with the code. Like any press event, this was a controlled exposure; I got to play a stable early beta slice of the game, in teams, assisted by developers from Splash Damage. The XP rate was artificially accelerated, so equipment and characters unlocked faster than they would. And of course, I was playing on their computers, on their local network.</p><p> At the event, they showed off two of the five areas, both modelled after areas of the team's home city of London (though Splash Damage is actually based in the geriatric suburbs of Bromley). Chapel is based on Whitechapel and Underground is based on Canary Wharf. Both are long, thin maps using the Stopwatch game mode, where the attacking team needs to complete multiple objectives in order to achieve their nefarious aim. In Chapel, you need to escort an armoured vehicle to a docking station, then hand-deliver some EMP charges to take down a building. In Underground, you must capture some extractor fan controls, then destroy the pump controls to flood the station.</p><p> Diving in, you pick three characters, who you can swap between in-match. Each of the 15 characters has unique weapons and abilities, much like Evolve. So being a medic means that they'll bring some healing ability to the table, but it can vary enormously, from Aura's mobile healing turrets to Sawbonez's dropped med packs to Phoenix, who can rez himself if he's downed. Then you can choose a loadout&mdash;a further customisation that heavily alters the character's cooldowns and abilities, shifting his capabilities without changing his role.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KuhE3_3ESMiH.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iuf70M0ai8Ny.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="7"></p><p> There's a nice mob of characters to choose from. All players start with the same line-up, and more advanced characters are unlocked through play. Nader, for example, spams grenades, including a hugely irritating suicide-bomb special ability when she's killed. Splash Damage is taking great care to balance them all, in every corner of every objective of every map. "I totally understand why more developers don't use this approach," says Stern "Yeah, it's hard, and it's one of the reasons we've been taking so damn long about it."</p><p> In the game itself, combat had the variety and resilience of Team Fortress 2. The actual moment-to-moment Dirty Bomb is achingly familiar, but still compelling to play. Like Team Fortress 2 and CoD, it has many of those moments where you're completely in the zone, drooling and shooting on reflex&mdash;though, at this stage, it lacks the almost off-putting comical complexity that's been thrown up by TF2's multiple mutators, modes and endless equipment. Notably, it also has resurrected Unreal Tournament 2003's much-missed wall-jumping.</p><blockquote> Dirty Bomb is achingly familiar, but still compelling to play.</blockquote><p> Distinct from that, though, communication was key to victory&mdash;every time my team was silent we lost, but when we relayed information clearly and fast, we won, both on defence and offence. Much of the strategy comes from choosing when to swap characters, when to drop ammo packs and medikits, when to finish off a downed enemy and timing your deaths to hit the latest respawn wave.</p><p> Post-match, a progression stream like that of Payday unlocks new characters, maps and modes. "We'll certainly be scattering XP about like rose petals for the more team-minded players," says Stern. However, players can also acquire pay-to-unlock chests which at the moment only contain new loadouts, but will almost certainly contain hats, otherwise Ed wouldn't have called it "the milinery-industrial complex."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cgwgVY32RrmY.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dm9dBhG8OPXd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="6"></p><p> There's a little way to go in balance yet; it took me two matches playing mainly as the medic Aura to realise that my primary weapon was a shotgun and not a mid-range carbine. Despite that, I still managed to get an equal K/D ratio. That that shows that either (a) I'm an idiot (likely) and/or( b) that in terms of audio-visual feedback and weapon balance, there's some work to be done.</p><p> Dirty Bomb has been a long time coming. The single mode I played was thrilling and familiar in equal measures, the array of characters meshed nicely together, and the tried-and-tested team mechanics had received a knowingly-modern refresh. Dirty Bomb may set the world alight - or it could be a damp squib.</p> EVE Online's Phoebe update makes big changes to long-distance travelhttp://www.pcgamer.com/eve-online-to-let-you-sell-multiple-things-at-once-with-phoebe-update/Next EVE update due on November 4th.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:08:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/eve-online-to-let-you-sell-multiple-things-at-once-with-phoebe-update/CCPEVE OnlineMMONews <a href="/eve-online-to-let-you-sell-multiple-things-at-once-with-phoebe-update/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rLpDuuIC9rNk.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="574" height="323" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9Ib4JucJYKo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>EVE Online's next update, the curiously titled&nbsp;<a href="http://community.eveonline.com/releases/phoebe" target="_blank">Phoebe</a>,&nbsp;is coming November 4th, and while it's lacking in headline features, it seems like quite an important update when it comes to the business of playing the thing. New features include the ability to sell multiple things at once, while there are big&nbsp;changes to long distance travel, skill queues,&nbsp;notifications and&nbsp;invention,&nbsp;as passionately explained in the above video by CCP folk. I love seeing people excited about minutiae like this, even if I lack the intimate&nbsp;knowledge of EVE to know what, for instance, "cynos and covert cynos" are.</p><p>You'll find all of CCP's posts about Phoebe&nbsp;<a href="http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/tag/phoebe/" target="_blank">here</a>, with this&nbsp;<a href="http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/coming-to-eve-online-in-the-phoebe-release-on-november-4th/" target="_blank">second one</a> offering an overview of the update's changes and new features. The bits I understood included brighter nebulas, easier selling, a new unlimited skill queue, and&nbsp;new/rebalanced exploration rewards, along with changes to the sensor overlay and invention systems. The biggest change, however, appears to relate to long-distance travel, with a new 'jump fatigue' system being introduced to "significantly"&nbsp;increase travel time throughout New Eden. Why would CCP do this? Well,&nbsp;<a href="http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/long-distance-travel-changes-inbound/" target="_blank">they think that</a> "Nullsec is stagnant and needs a change", so they're making vast changes that should "have positive implications for people not involved in sovereignty warfare", i.e. those giant battles that appear in the news sometimes. Expect&nbsp;smaller, more localised battles to happen more frequently in future, should these changes stick.</p><p>Lots more details at the above links, and in the above video.</p> Get a free Steam key for Weird Worlds, with Bundle Starshttp://www.pcgamer.com/get-a-free-steam-key-for-weird-worlds-with-bundle-stars/Free roguelike space exploration adventure.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:16:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/get-a-free-steam-key-for-weird-worlds-with-bundle-stars/giveaway <a href="/get-a-free-steam-key-for-weird-worlds-with-bundle-stars/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C99PgeT4rTrV.780x349.R6wQwxYG.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rPM8VKUQTHGD.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C99PgeT4rTrV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Weird Worlds"></p><p> "Space exploration, adventure and starship combat" is the alluring combination of elements promised by Weird Worlds, a game that lets you explore the mysterious "Purple Zone" and enjoy a bite-sized, randomly generated space opera every time you play. We've got a big bucket full of Steam keys to give away today with Bundle Stars.</p><p> The developers of Weird Worlds, Digital Eel, are currently working on their Weird Worlds follow-up,&nbsp;Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars. It's 75% on the&nbsp; <a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/store/sea-of-stars/">Bundle Stars store</a> now, and lets you build a whole flotilla of craft as you explore the galaxy, meeting strange alien species and upgrading your vessel with new technology.</p><p> We're giving away these keys in association with Bundle Stars, who specialise in creating big game bundles to offer customers discounts of up to 97%. You can also find plenty of new deals popping up every day on the&nbsp; <a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/">Bundle Stars</a> site. To grab your free Steam key for Weird Worlds, simply follow the instructions below.</p><iframe src="http://woobox.com/odt48q" frameborder="0" height="750" width="100%" scrolling="yes" <="" iframe=""> </iframe> Cities: Skylines trailer talks services and policies in its toilet townhttp://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-trailer-talks-services-and-policies-in-its-toilet-town/Two devs take anin-depth look at the city simulator.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:08:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-trailer-talks-services-and-policies-in-its-toilet-town/Cities: SkylinesColossal OrderNewsParadox Interactivesim <a href="/cities-skylines-trailer-talks-services-and-policies-in-its-toilet-town/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GTq8HB4PRJw0.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Fiq2IEkAQaSj.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GTq8HB4PRJw0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Cities Skylines"></p><p><a href="https://www.paradoxplaza.com/cities-skylines?___store=gb" target="_blank">Cities: Skylines</a> introduced the towns of Pritton and Borton (spellings my own) in its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-trailer-details-differing-approaches-to-city-construction-2/" target="_blank">previous trailer</a>, the latter of which is literally the former's toilet, a bit like [Your Local Town] is a U-bend next&nbsp;to [Bigger, Better Town Nearby]. The slightly smelly Borton is examined in more depth in the latest video, which strips things back to&nbsp;basics, giving two developers a chance to yak about the game for 13 minutes. See and hear them talk about policies and services in the following video, which makes the game look quite a bit like SimCity. Only, y'know, a SimCity that proudly boasts of its modding tools and offline play.</p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dv_GZZ7V8fA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>One of Skylines' big things appears to be its district&nbsp;personalisation tools, which will let you add an element of personality to your city's various areas, by picking out&nbsp;and naming separate&nbsp;neighbourhoods, and giving each their own distinct&nbsp;personalities.&nbsp;The relatively&nbsp;sizable maps, single-player focus, and Steam Workshop support should be noted by&nbsp;city simulation fans, too.</p><p>Cities: Skylines is available early next year.</p> Converse with a sentient AI in sci-fi adventure Event[0]http://www.pcgamer.com/converse-with-a-sentient-ai-in-sci-fi-adventure-event0/"I can't let you do that, Dave."Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:38:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/converse-with-a-sentient-ai-in-sci-fi-adventure-event0/AdventureNews <a href="/converse-with-a-sentient-ai-in-sci-fi-adventure-event0/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-PBy38GNds-Z.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/89603961" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p><a href="http://event0game.com/" target="_blank">Event[0]</a> is doing&nbsp;exciting things with Interactive Fiction, taking a game where you talk to a sentient AI with the aid of multiple&nbsp;computer terminals and wrapping a first-person adventure game tightly&nbsp;around it. You'll spend the game trapped on an abandoned spaceship, your only means of escape being the HAL-like artificial intelligence in control. The first trailer, above, shows the player chatting with this AI to open doors and reveal more about what went on, before things take a scary turn towards the end.</p><p>Wonderfully, you'll interact with the AI in Event[0] by typing phrases into the&nbsp;various computer terminals yourself, rather than selecting options from a menu. You'll also have a physical body in the game, meaning&nbsp;you can walk around the spaceship when you're not chatting up the computer, which should add greatly to the sense of immersion.</p><p>Event[0] is being made by a pretty large team that includes Sergey Mohov, maker of&nbsp;<a href="http://sergeymohov.com/paradis-perdus/" target="_blank">Paradis Perdus</a> and a game designer on the lovely looking (and sadly&nbsp;PS4-exclusive) Rime. Event[0] is "coming soon", but in the meantime there's this short&nbsp;<a href="http://event0game.com/prequel.html" target="_blank">prequel story</a>. (Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://indiegames.com/2014/10/event0_game.html#more" target="_blank">IndieGames</a>)</p> Star Wars Battlefront dated, new Battlefield coming 2016http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-coming-holiday-2015-next-battlefield-game-a-year-later/But is Battlefront a first-person shooter now?Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:21:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-coming-holiday-2015-next-battlefield-game-a-year-later/BattlefieldElectronic ArtsFPSNewsStar Wars: Battlefront 3 <a href="/star-wars-battlefront-coming-holiday-2015-next-battlefield-game-a-year-later/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_KnoIRhkJaIn.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/p7ybdp8kQlyz.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_KnoIRhkJaIn.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefront 3"></p><p> It's been a rocky road for Star Wars Battlefront fans, but a third game is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-e3-video/" target="_blank">finally on the way</a> from EA and DICE. Today we've received a release date of sorts, although it's a much more vague one than you were probably hoping for. Star Wars Battlefront&mdash;it's not called Battlefront 3, for some reason&mdash;is coming "holiday 2015", a date mentioned in a conference call between EA boss Andrew Wilson and investors, and confirmed&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/EA/status/527205661692555265" target="_blank">on Twitter</a> a little while later.</p><p> Here's that tweet in full:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p> May the Force be with you: Star Wars Battlefront will release for Holiday 2015. </p><p> &mdash; Electronic Arts (@EA) <a href="https://twitter.com/EA/status/527205661692555265">October 28, 2014</a> </p></blockquote><p>"Holiday 2015" probably means November/December time, which, as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-10-28-star-wars-battlefront-out-christmas-2015" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a> have noted, would coincide with the release of JJ Abrams' assuredly lens-flare-tastic Episode VII on December 18th. During the conference&nbsp;call, Battlefront was referred to by&nbsp;EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen as their "major first-person shooter" for 2015 (thanks&nbsp;<a href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/28/7086413/star-wars-battlefront-battlefield-5-release-dates" target="_blank">Polygon</a>), which seems to confirm that the primarily&nbsp;third-person gunplay of the previous games has been cast aside&mdash;although I'd point out that chief financial officers aren't the most reliable sources when it comes to game&nbsp;information. Either way, we'll know more next year: EA are planning a 'first look' at the game in Spring.</p><p>In related news, we can expect a new Battlefield game (presumably Battlefield 5) in "holiday 2016".</p><p>Here's that tiny behind-the-scenes look at Battlefront from earlier in the year:</p><iframe width="600" height="338" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/prza3MXKaU0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Teleglitch is free on Humble Bundlehttp://www.pcgamer.com/teleglitch-free-on-humble-bundle-jazzpunk-and-many-risk-of-rains-for-cheap/Jazzpunk and Risk of Rain also cheap.Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:05:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/teleglitch-free-on-humble-bundle-jazzpunk-and-many-risk-of-rains-for-cheap/Humble BundleJazzpunkTeleglitch: Die More Edition <a href="/teleglitch-free-on-humble-bundle-jazzpunk-and-many-risk-of-rains-for-cheap/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vUgfjZ1LNcKN.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xiXuIWTyR3q9.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GEuagvqlkvg-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Teleglitch Die More Edition thumb"></p><p>Very good Quakelike roguelike Teleglitch: Die More Edition is currently free on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/" target="_blank">Humble Bundle</a>, the only price of entry being your email address (you can untick to subscribe from the Humble newsletter). That would be worthy of a news post all&nbsp;on its own, but it's accompanied by another great indie bundle (sorry, inDIE bundle&mdash;it's Halloween), which contains OlliOlli, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and Tower of Guns at its base, pay-anything level. By beating the average, you also&nbsp;get Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, <em>four</em> copies of Risk of Rain, and Jazzpunk, which we scored 92%&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/jazzpunk-review/" target="_blank">back in February</a>.</p><p>More games will be added to the Beat the Average tier in the near future, but if you fork out $12 or more you'll get a copy of Shadowrun Returns (the original, not its improved, now standalone sequel)&nbsp;thrown in too.</p><p>It's not clear how long Teleglitch will be available for free for, but the terms state that&nbsp;you have to&nbsp;redeem the game key by the 25th of November, so get on it if you like the look of the game. Phil liked 84% of it when he wrote&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/teleglitch-review/" target="_blank">our review</a> last year.</p> Elite: Dangerous beta 3.0 goes live todayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous-beta-30-goes-live-today/The new beta version of Elite: Dangerous features a large number of fixes and additions.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:31:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous-beta-30-goes-live-today/Elite: DangerousFrontier DevelopmentsNewssim <a href="/elite-dangerous-beta-30-goes-live-today/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aAR6VFyf33Fw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bYFwGh25S1et.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aAR6VFyf33Fw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Elite: Dangerous"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous/">Elite: Dangerous</a> beta 3.0 is about to get underway, bringing a number of new features to the game as well as an enormous list of fixes and tweaks. Frontier Developments warned that, much like the rollout of the 2.0 beta, there may be some issues after it goes live, but said it will be able to sort them out with small updates released as needed over the coming days.</p><p>The Elite: Dangerous servers were scheduled to be taken offline at 12:30 pm PDT today to be updated to the latest build of the game. The process is expected to take a minimum of two hours but may well be completed by the time you read this, and will certainly be very close to completion (barring unforeseen disaster) if not.</p><p>New content highlights include the addition of the Imperial Clipper and Federal Dropship, fuel scooping and asteroid mining, and an overhaul of planetary visuals and effects. Players can now own multiple ships, "philanthropy missions" have been added, and the play area has been expanded further as well. The number of tweaks and fixes runs into the "hundreds," ranging from rebalanced power draws by sensors to chatter hooks for Police and Miners, and several that are specific to the Oculus Rift.</p><p>The full, almost alarmingly huge, list of additions and fixes is up on the <a href="http://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=52288">Frontier forums</a>. Elite: Dangerous is scheduled to come out before the end of the year.</p> Dungeon of the Endless reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dungeon-of-the-endless-review/Dungeon of the Endless borrows from many games, but feels completely new.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dungeon-of-the-endless-review/Dungeon of the EndlessReviews <a href="/dungeon-of-the-endless-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B3oopZqLHG3d.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p> <strong></strong><strong>What is it?</strong> A roguelike, tactical RPG, tower defense hybrid. <br> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong> AMD Quad Core 3.3GHz, 16GB Ram, GeForce GTX 660 Ti PC <br> <strong>Copy protection:</strong> Steam <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $13/£10 <br> <strong>Release date:</strong> Out now <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> Amplitude Studios <br> <strong>Developer:</strong> Amplitude Studios <br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong>&nbsp;Two-player cooperative <br> <strong>Link: </strong><a href="http://g2g.amplitude-studios.com/Games/Dungeon-of-the-Endless">Official site</a> </p> </div><p> It's the eighth floor of Dungeon of the Endless, and with a full squad of four, well-equipped, level 6-7 characters, I have everything under control. I set up turrets next to the unpowered rooms where aliens could spawn whenever I open another door, securing a path between the crystal I need to protect and the elevator to the next floor. I send Sara Numas, a katana-wielding bounty hunter and the fastest character in the group, to open doors, then run back to the crystal room to fight off whatever I've unleashed with the rest of the group. By the time the aliens get past the defenses, they're weak, and we take them out easily.</p><p> Then, of course, it all goes to hell. In my defense, I had no idea that if I spent enough time on a floor, the aliens will eventually bust through closed doors all by themselves and stream out in great numbers, but Dungeon of the Endless teaches all of its important lessons this way. It's a cruel, but entertaining learning experience.</p><p> Its pause-at-any-time combat, desperate race to the finish, and strategies that forced me to cut off a limb to save the body reminded me of FTL, while its character upgrades, inventory, and squad management reminded of XCOM. And then there's the tower defense element, where each room has a set number of nodes where I could place turrets, healing units, and other useful gadgets.</p><p> Dungeon of the Endless pulls from many popular games and genres from the last couple of years, but what's wonderful about it is that all these elements come together to create something entirely new.</p><h2>Hellevator</h2><p>I start each run in an escape pod that crash lands on an alien planet. The only way out is up through 12 floors of an alien infested dungeon, and I have to bring the crystal with me to power my escape. </p><p>Each stage has two phases. First I have to find the elevator to the next floor, opening one door at a time. Each time I open a door there's a chance I'll find aliens that will immediately attack my squad, defenses, or the crystal. If my entire squad or the crystal goes down, it’s game over. If I survive whatever happens after opening a door, I have infinite time to plan my next move. </p><p>Dust, a resource that makes the crystal more powerful, lets me provide power to rooms, which ensures aliens don't spawn there, and activates the room's major and minor module slots. Major modules are mostly for gathering resources: Industry, which I need to build anything, Science for researching upgrades, and Food to heal and level up heroes. Minor modules house different kinds of turrets. </p><p>I've seen all these turret types before in other tower defense games, but having a squad on the ground meaningfully recontextualizes that familiar gameplay. There are many different hero and module combinations to experiment with, and I'm much more invested in the characters I'm tower-defending because I customized them myself. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G0SDXJSgR62B.bmp" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JWI-Kc65WBmS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doe (3)" class=""> <figcaption>The zoomed out map view is especially useful in the later, bigger floors.</figcaption></figure><p>For example, I gave Elise Ness, a freelance demolitionist in a giant space suit, a big machine gun that deals a lot of damage. With a healing module and another that boosts her attacks, she can protect a room by herself from most threats. </p><p>I can heal heroes and activate up to two of their special abilities, but that's the full extent of direct combat controls. The trick is knowing what room to put the heroes in, and how to prepare those rooms in their favor. Once they're in there, they'll take care of the rest automatically. </p><p>The only way to get Dust is by finding it in new rooms, but there's always less Dust than there are rooms, ensuring that a wave of aliens can spawn whenever I open a door. After finding the elevator, it's time for the second phase. I need to bring the crystal and the heroes to the elevator, but picking the crystal up will cause large waves of aliens to spawn in every unpowered room, and unlike waves in the first phase, they won't stop coming until we’re out of there, or dead. The most interesting choice at that point is what rooms to power up. </p><p>My favorite method was to explore a floor until I had enough Dust to power a path between the crystal and next elevator, build as many turrets as I could along the way, and hope they slowed the aliens enough so I could get to the elevator before they caught up with me.</p><h2>Maximum capacity</h2><p>It took me a couple of runs to realize that I couldn't just sprint through floors. Dungeon of the Endless' universe, which mixes space marines with walking skeletons and wooden chests, conveys a lot of dread with its dimly-lit but colorful, pixelated artstyle, and there are some really menacing aliens in the upper floors.</p><p>Opening a door doesn't only give me a chance to find the loot I need to deal with them, but counts as a turn which collects resources from whatever major modules I've built. Do I make a run for the elevator now, when I know I have a fair shot of getting there, or do I take a chance and open another door? There's a lot of equipment, research, and upgrades to choose from in Dungeon of the Endless, but the game hinges on the decision to open a door, or not, and it was loaded with tension every single time for the eight hours I played it. There's no loading a previous save. It's a commitment. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4mm8w1tKRYC7.bmp" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_UYPx5UnOH-r.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Doe (6)" class=""><figcaption>My crew that made it to the surface, guarding the precious crystal.</figcaption></figure><p>The other big question that kept me interested was if could make it to the top. It was challenging, and so far I've only been able to do it on the "too easy" mode, but once I did, I was pretty much done. </p><p>Floor layouts are randomly generated, and I was always curious to discover all the little visual details in each new room. There are also new heroes to earn, and different escape pods, which tweak some of the basic rules and starting conditions of a run (like ships in FTL). Still, once I've survived one alien-infested, sci-fi/fantasy hybrid space dungeon, I've kind of survived them all. The aliens have a lot of nasty surprises, but they didn't force me to change up my strategy once I found one that works.</p><p>It took me at least six tense hours to find that strategy, and for $13/£10, I can definitely recommend taking a ride on that elevator.&nbsp;</p> Battlefield Hardline gets a new launch datehttp://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline-gets-a-new-launch-date/Mendoza!Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:22:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline-gets-a-new-launch-date/battlefield hardlineElectronic ArtsFPSNews <a href="/battlefield-hardline-gets-a-new-launch-date/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m-4u3LNuYXfY.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZpdefCtFTfiP.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m-4u3LNuYXfY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefield Hardline"></p><p> Totally true: Every time I read the name "Mendoza," <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIxzGG2eKjs">this</a> goes off in my head. That makes writing about the new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline/">Battlefield Hardline</a> launch date a bit of a challenge, because every time I think about newly-promoted police detective Nick Mendoza's war against the criminal underworld of Miami, my brain goes swimming in a non-stop litany of McBain-esque rage. But I have a job to do&mdash;and one way or another, it's going to get done.</p><p> Battlefield Hardline was originally scheduled to launch on October 21, but the beta held back in June revealed that the game wasn't quite as close to being ready for prime-time as EA thought. Instead of shoving it out the hatch anyway to take advantage of the lucrative holiday season, the publisher decided to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline-delayed-to-2015/">push the game back</a> by several months, to "early 2015."</p><p> Today EA <a href="http://blogs.battlefield.com/2014/10/battlefield-hardline-release-date-march-17-2015/">nailed down that date</a> as March 17, 2015. On that day, Mendoza (Mendoza!) will team up with veteran cop Khai Minh Dao to take on the criminal scum who are drowning Miami in a filthy tide of drugs and violence. "In a series of increasingly off-the-books cases," Battlefield Community Manager Vincent Vukovic wrote, "the two detectives come to realize that power and corruption can affect both sides of the law."</p><p> Or you could just leap straight into the multiplayer action, trying to pull off the big heist or the big bust as a cop or a robber, although neither heisting nor arresting seem to have much to do with all the bullets flying everywhere. Either way, if you're not shouting "Mendoza!" at least twice per game, you're not doing it right.</p> Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions gameplay videohttp://www.pcgamer.com/geometry-wars-3-dimensions-gameplay-video-hands-on-with-the-developer/We sat down withCraig Howard from Lucid Gamesto play Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/geometry-wars-3-dimensions-gameplay-video-hands-on-with-the-developer/geometry warsGeometry Wars 3: DimensionsSierra EntertainmentTwin stick <a href="/geometry-wars-3-dimensions-gameplay-video-hands-on-with-the-developer/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4MnwYCFYxubd.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QlJ5mJ7FeSo" width="610"> </iframe><p>Last week, I sat&nbsp;down with Craig Howard from Lucid Games to play an early build of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Only the second game in the series to release for PC, Geometry Wars 3 is a colorful and frantic&nbsp;arcade-style twin-stick shooter.&nbsp;I was only able to play the early build he brought for&nbsp;a little bit, but so far it looks to be&nbsp;beautifully made&mdash;in both its&nbsp;visual and sound design&mdash;and I enjoyed the session.&nbsp;</p><p>A quick note: The game was recorded in windowed mode, so we had to zoom the screen in very slightly to crop out the taskbar but made sure that no information from the game was lost.&nbsp;Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is set to release on PC November 25th.</p> Manuel Noriega's Black Ops 2 lawsuit is tossed out of courthttp://www.pcgamer.com/manuel-noriegas-black-ops-2-lawsuit-is-tossed-out-of-court/Judge William H. Fahey has ruled that Activision's use of Noriega's likeness in Black Ops 2 is transformative.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:27:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/manuel-noriegas-black-ops-2-lawsuit-is-tossed-out-of-court/ActivisionCall of Duty: Black Ops 2FPSmanuel noriegaNews <a href="/manuel-noriegas-black-ops-2-lawsuit-is-tossed-out-of-court/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ocp-tfl3LRIT.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FU-X7I8QQe2_.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ocp-tfl3LRIT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Noriega_radio_BOII"></p><p>To the surprise of pretty much no-one at all, a judge has tossed out Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against Activision over his appearance in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-2/">Call of Duty: Black Ops 2</a>. Noriega <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/activision-sued-by-former-panama-dictator-manuel-noriega-over-unauthorized-black-ops-2-appearance/">filed the lawsuit in July</a>, making the mind-boggling claim that his appearance in the game "caused damage" by portraying him as a bad guy, but the judge on the case found that Black Ops 2 is a transformative work and thus dismissed the complaint outright.</p><p>The full ruling can be read <a href="https://s.activision.com/press/games/documents/2014-10-27%20Order%20On%20Mtn%20to%20Strike%20%28Anti-SLAPP%29.pdf">here</a>, but the condensed version is that after examining the agreed-upon facts of the case, Judge William H. Fahey ruled that Noriega's appearance in Black Ops 2 is the result of Activision's creative efforts, based on publicly available "raw materials."</p><p>"The complex and multi-faceted game is a product of [Activision's] own expression, with <em>de minimis</em> use of Noriega's likeness. Because the videogame is transformative, economic considerations are not relevant," the ruling states. "Regardless, the Court concludes that the marketability and economic value of the challenged work in this case comes not from Noriega, but from the creativity, skill and reputation of defendants."</p><p>"This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win," Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who served as Activision co-counsel on the case, said in a statement. "This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world."</p><p>Manuel Noriega was the dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, but was removed from power by the United States, which then tried and convicted him on various charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering. He was released from US prison in 2007 but was extradited to France, where he was charged and convicted again; in 2011 he was given a conditional release so he could be extradited to Panama, where he is now serving out another 20 year sentence. </p><p>Noriega's complaint was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be re-filed at some future date.</p> Assassin's Creed: Unity interactive trailer unleashes 1400 Assassins on the streets of Parishttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-interactive-trailer-unleashes-1400-assassins-on-the-streets-of-paris/More than 1400 individual Assasssins appear in the trailer, selected over 200,000 user-made designs.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:11:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-interactive-trailer-unleashes-1400-assassins-on-the-streets-of-paris/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNewsUbisoft <a href="/assassins-creed-unity-interactive-trailer-unleashes-1400-assassins-on-the-streets-of-paris/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9KjywzyBloxI.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RyheRxf_Q76u.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9KjywzyBloxI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Assassin's Creed: Unity"></p><p>At this point we've surely reached peak Assassin's Creed Unity&nbsp;trailer. Nonetheless,&nbsp;Ubisoft has just&nbsp;put out&nbsp;<a href="https://acunity-unite.com/trailer/">another</a> one,&nbsp;but today's "Unite" trailer at least manages to offer some novel interactivity. It features more than 1400 user-designed Assassins tearing it up in the streets of Paris, all bearing the names and faces of their creators, plus 15 "secrets" containing new videos and images.</p><p>It took me a minute to figure it out&mdash;I'm a bit slow sometimes&mdash;but the trailer can be paused at any point by moving the cursor above the timeline, and restarted by moving it below. When paused, it's possible to find and click on highlights that will reveal embedded images, videos, and messages, as well as specific Assassins and information about who created them.</p><p>At the end of the trailer is a "gigapan" that includes every single Assassin in the trailer, as well as the name of its creator and the date it was made. The image can be zoomed right down to street level, and specific individuals may be tracked down through the built-in search function. </p><p>Those of you with less-than-ideal connections to the internet may find it a struggle, but if you have the bandwidth to spare, it really is a very cool promo. Give it a go at <a href="https://acunity-unite.com/trailer">acunity-unite.com</a>. Assassin's Creed: Unity comes out on November 11.</p> Evolve Big Alpha key giveaway - get access to the Evolve alpha herehttp://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-big-alpha-key-giveaway-get-access-to-the-evolve-alpha-here/We're giving away 50,000 priority access codes to the Evolve "Big Alpha."Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-big-alpha-key-giveaway-get-access-to-the-evolve-alpha-here/alphaEvolveFPSgiveaway <a href="/evolve-big-alpha-key-giveaway-get-access-to-the-evolve-alpha-here/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g_uAG0ByxOU-.780x349.iMVZb6Fl.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H4Fu7_HQQ-Wp.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g_uAG0ByxOU-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Evolve Hunter"></p><p> Evolve was originally meant to come out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-release-date-announced-turtle-rocks-co-op-shooter-stomps-into-view-this-october/">this month</a>, you might recall, before it was delayed to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-delayed-until-early-2015/">February 10, 2015</a>. Turtle Rock is&nbsp;using some of&nbsp;that spare time to run an invitation-only alpha this weekend, from October 31 to November 2 on PC (Xbox One owners get to start a day early, those lucky cats). In advance of the alpha running this weekend, 2K gave us a key and referral code that grants 50,000 uses.&nbsp;</p><p>This key doesn't guarantee alpha&nbsp;access, but it will give you a big advantage.&nbsp;2K tells me that our key grants "priority access," meaning&nbsp;that you'll be second in line for alpha access only after pre-orderers and friends and family of Turtle Rock and 2K.</p><h3>How to redeem</h3><ol> <li>Go to the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.2kgames.com/evolve/bigalpha/form.php">Evolve Big Alpha entry form</a></li> <li>For <em>referral code</em>, enter&nbsp;<strong>PCGamer4v1</strong></li> <li>For <em>character code</em>, enter this magical series of numbers:&nbsp;<strong>66124-00509-64155</strong></li> <li>Make sure you've entered&nbsp;a valid email address before you submit the form, because that's where your Steam key is headed.</li> <li>Read the&nbsp;<a href="http://evolvegame.com/news/the-big-questions-for-the-big-alpha">Big Alpha FAQ</a></li></ol><p> We'll also have some fresh&nbsp;Evolve coverage going up on Friday, so stay tuned for that.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/J322Hv-wlnk?list=PLHzN3MktVPzW1tIoKDV9APrKVWjtP7SwD" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Show Us Your Rig: KIXEYE's Shawn Carneshttp://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-kixeyes-shawn-carnes/This week:Shawn Carnes, Creative Directorat KIXEYE and formerdesigner for Riot Games, Blizzard, and Wizards of the Coast.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:40:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-kixeyes-shawn-carnes/BlizzardRiot Gamesshow us your rigWizards of the Coast <a href="/show-us-your-rig-kixeyes-shawn-carnes/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ol_twFjb9o-l.780x349.fdevOOfH.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z0t9YvQCQgmW.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ol_twFjb9o-l.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Shawn Carnes"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Show us your rig</h5> <p> Each week&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig/" target="_blank">Show Us Your Rig</a>, we feature the PC game industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play. </p> </div><p> Shawn Carnes is currently the&nbsp;Creative Director at KIXEYE and has been around the gaming block for a while,&nbsp;formerly working as a&nbsp;designer at Riot Games, Blizzard, Wizards of the Coast, and more. Sporting a&nbsp;sleek,&nbsp;pre-built rig and a large desk&mdash;at least compared to the&nbsp;last San Francisco based designer we featured,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-diablo-creator-david-brevik/" target="_blank">David Brevik</a>&mdash;Shawn has an undeniably cool looking setup. He was gracious enough to take the time and tell us about his desk, computer, and bourbon of choice.&nbsp;</p><h4></h4><h4>What's in your PC?</h4><p> The awesomeness of my rig is due purely to the geniuses at Falcon Northwest and my lovely wife, who turned me on to their machines. I picked up my Tiki some months back, and it's one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. Compact, light, extremely powerful (for my needs), and outstanding looks to boot.</p><p> <strong> Specs:</strong></p><p> <strong>•&nbsp;CPU </strong>&mdash; Intel Corer i7-4770K @ 3.5Ghz <br> <strong>•&nbsp;GPU </strong>&mdash; Nvidia GTX 760 <br> <strong>•&nbsp;RAM</strong> &mdash; 16GB <br> <strong>•&nbsp;OS</strong> &mdash; Windows 8.1, 64 bit</p><p> <strong> Notable accessories:</strong></p><p> <strong>•</strong>&nbsp;<strong>A Razer Blackwidow Mechanical Keyboard</strong> &mdash; Because "clickity-clack" is the sound of fun! I use a much quieter wireless keyboard when my wife is streaming her PvP runs. I was told by her, however, that I would not show the wireless keyboard because, "We have standards in this house." <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>A Logitech G600 Gaming Mouse</strong> &mdash; Because every gaming challenge can be solved with the use of more buttons. <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong>A WoW TCG 2009 Darkmoon Faire play mat that I use as a mouse pad. Lots of good memories there. <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>Turtle Beach gaming headset </strong>&mdash; A small, shared space means no speakers on my rig or my wife's. It allows for us to enjoy our games and music in peace. <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>My lamp</strong> &mdash; It's a Major Award!</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/joLcwyDkQvuM.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rADtrc24mwBY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Shawn Carnes"></p><h4>What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?</h4><p> Again, all glory goes to the Tiki. My wife and I share a small office (welcome to San Francisco), so space is very much at a premium. Having the space to have the computer on the table really makes a big difference in accessibility and proper maintenance. I also use window blackout behind my blinds so I can go full nocturnal during daylight hours. This allows me to enjoy the warm glow of the Tiki,&nbsp;the mechanical keyboard, the mouse, and the monitors at will. Anyone who tries to tell you that proper gaming can be conducted in broad daylight is trying to sell you some beachfront property in Kansas.</p><h4>What's always within arm's reach on your desk?</h4><p> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>Coffee</strong> &mdash; Not so much anymore during the evening hours, but Grumpy continues to help a brother out. <br> <strong>•</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Poker Chips</strong> &mdash; I might not be as active in poker as I'd like, but I still practice chip tricks. <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>Gel Pens and College Ruled Composition Books</strong> &mdash; I made the switch to mostly digital design notes a couple years ago, but before that I took all my notes the old fashioned way. I still like being able to write down ideas and visualize them by hand. It also allows me to keep up my addiction to office supplies. <br> <strong>•&nbsp;</strong><strong>Bourbon</strong> &mdash; Because bourbon. I'm slowly sipping my way through a bottle of Breckenridge at the moment.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Zb-_QG2ARwSw.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-JP8XT3In6JC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Show Us Your Rig Shawn Carnes"></p><h4>What are you playing right now?</h4><p> I've been playing <a href="https://www.pathofexile.com/">Path of Exile</a> as of late; that tech tree has some serious pepper. I've also recently started playing <a href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/">Hearthstone</a>, despite having resisted the temptation to play for several months. It's fantastic. Considering my connection to both the game and the team that made it, I knew once I started playing that it may be the end of me. So far I've kept it under control, but I know I'm playing with fire. Of course, I’ve also been playing a lot of <a href="https://www.kixeye.com/game/tomeimmortalarena/home">TOME: Immortal Arena</a> right now, both for work and fun.</p><h4>What's your favorite game and why?</h4><p> My favorite game of all time is Star Control 2. It nails so many of the things about a game that are important and appealing to me: deep player agency, compelling combat action, quality RPG elements, meaningful consequences from choices, good looks (for its time), helpful UI, engaging story, and quality writing. It's a big reason why I wanted to spend my life making games. If I can give people a fraction of the joy that SC2 gave me the several times I've played through it, then maybe I've done something right with my life.</p> The $200 Eidos Anthology arrives on Steamhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-200-eidos-anthology-arrives-on-steam/The big bundle includes 34 games and a ton of DLC.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-200-eidos-anthology-arrives-on-steam/EidosNewsSteam <a href="/the-200-eidos-anthology-arrives-on-steam/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pLDU69mrHuqp.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h6oFOrGzQ4Sq.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pLDU69mrHuqp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Eidos Anthology"></p><p>If you have deep pockets and an affinity for all things <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/eidos/">Eidos</a>, a new and very big bundle on Steam might be right up your alley. The Eidos Anthology is a collection of 34 games plus DLC, and while it's not actually everything the publisher has ever done, it feels awfully close.</p><p>Here's what you get:</p><ul> <li>Battlestations Pacific</li><li>Battlestations: Midway</li><li>Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain</li><li>Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition</li><li>Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut</li><li>Deus Ex: Invisible War</li><li>Deus Ex: The Fall</li><li>Hitman 2: Silent Assassin</li><li>Hitman: Absolution</li><li>Hitman: Blood Money</li><li>Hitman: Codename 47</li><li>Hitman: Contracts</li><li>Just Cause</li><li>Just Cause 2</li><li>Kane and Lynch: Dead Men</li><li>Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days</li><li>Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light</li><li>Legacy of Kain: Defiance</li><li>Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver</li><li>Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2</li><li>Nosgoth (closed beta access)</li><li>Thief</li><li>Thief Gold</li><li>Thief II: The Metal Age</li><li>Thief: Deadly Shadows</li><li>Tomb Raider</li><li>Tomb Raider I</li><li>Tomb Raider II</li><li>Tomb Raider III</li><li>Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation</li><li>Tomb Raider V: Chronicles</li><li>Tomb Raider VI: The Angel of Darkness</li><li>Tomb Raider: Anniversary</li><li>Tom Raider: Underworld</li></ul><p>That doesn't include the DLC, of which there is a great amount, particularly for Hitman, Just Cause, and Tomb Raider. It's a huge collection by any measure, and carries with it a suitably huge price tag of $208. Yowzah! If you bought all this stuff separately, however, it'd run you $425, so it still manages to be a deal.&nbsp;Check it out in all its mammoth glory on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/sub/52123/">Steam</a>.</p> Crusader: No Remorse is now free on Originhttp://www.pcgamer.com/crusader-no-remorse-is-now-free-on-origin/Crusader: No Remorse is a third-person action game about blowing stuff up.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:01:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/crusader-no-remorse-is-now-free-on-origin/ActionCrusader: No RemorseElectronic ArtsNewsOrigin <a href="/crusader-no-remorse-is-now-free-on-origin/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ekpo8ymwSsKE.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rACDSg7GQ8OZ.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ekpo8ymwSsKE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Crusader: No Remorse"></p><p>The addition of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/reinstall-crusader-no-remorse/">Crusader: No Remorse</a> to Origin's On the House program may not be as big a deal as that of, say, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-origins-is-now-free-on-origin/">Dragon Age: Origins</a>. It's almost 20 years old, after all, and normally sells for just five bucks anyway. But it was pretty hot stuff back in the day, and hey, free is free.</p><p>I tend to say "free is free" fairly often in these On the House announcements, because unless a game is so bad that it actually leaps out of your monitor and thumbs you in the eye, you can't go too far wrong for the price. And in this particular case, that's not a concern at all, because Crusader: No Remorse was a heck of a game.</p><p>Set in a dystopian future in which the world is ruled by a massive corporate entity, Crusader is an isometric action game about a red-armored super-soldier known as a "Silencer," who's betrayed and marked for death after refusing orders to fire on civilians. It's pretty simplistic stuff as plots go; the hook is that the environments are highly interactive and destructible. It may not seem like a big deal now, but in 1995 this was hot stuff.</p><p>As usual, the On the House offering has no strings attached, and once you claim it, it's yours forever. It will only be free for a limited time, however, and for the life of me I can't find anything mentioning when this particular time limit will be hit. Better <a href="https://www.origin.com/en-ca/store/buy/crusader-no-remorse/pc-download/base-game/standard-edition">grab it now</a>, just to be sure.</p> This week’s Playfire Rewards: Rust, Civ: Beyond Earth and Halloween goodies!http://www.pcgamer.com/this-weeks-playfire-rewards-rust-civ-beyond-earth-and-halloween-goodies/Earn rewards by playing Rust and Civ: Beyond Earth.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:50:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/this-weeks-playfire-rewards-rust-civ-beyond-earth-and-halloween-goodies/Sponsored <a href="/this-weeks-playfire-rewards-rust-civ-beyond-earth-and-halloween-goodies/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cskMb9aOi6hz.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/typgzA5LTQGJ.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cskMb9aOi6hz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Playfire Civ"></p><p>Green Man Gaming, the headline sponsors of this year’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/479326/golden-joysticks-2014-full-list-of-winners/" target="_blank">Golden Joystick awards</a>, has announced this week’s rewards for its&nbsp;Playfire gamer service, which offers players bonuses and rewards for actually playing games.</p><p>Rust, which was named winner of Playfire’s Most Played Golden Joystick and which PC Gamer called "an intense and impressive experience", kicks things off. Anyone playing Facepunch’s survivalist MMO for an hour this week gets a 25% discount voucher on any game available on the GMG store – hurry though as the offer ends on Friday 31st October!</p><p>Sid Meier’s freshly released Civilization: Beyond Earth, which CVG called “a fully fledged, eye-burningly addictive strategy game”, joins the PlayFire Rewards scheme this week,&nbsp;meaning you can earn rewards just by playing it (which all you strategy fans will probably be doing anyway, right?)</p><p>Also joining the Playfire rewards scheme, and just in time for Halloween, is Valve’s always excellent Left 4 Dead 2 – time to dust off those shotguns for another round of zombie blasting! That stuff never gets old.</p><p>Finally, more Steam releases join the rewards scheme this week including CI Games’ Dark Souls-influenced Lords of the Fallen, Farming Simulator 15, Terratech and many more.</p><p>For the full list of titles and Rewards as the week progresses,&nbsp;<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101089703&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink " target="_blank">view here</a>.</p><p>Finally, don’t forget there’s still time to take advantage of Green Man Gaming’s&nbsp;<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101090063&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink" target="_blank">Halloween promotion</a>.&nbsp;Hurry though, as&nbsp;all offers end at 4 p.m. on All Hallows'&nbsp;Eve itself, October 31st.</p> Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.4 arrives todayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiv-patch-24-arrives-today/Dreams of Ice update adds new quests, plus rogues, ninjas and more.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:21:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiv-patch-24-arrives-today/Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornMMONewsSquare Enix <a href="/final-fantasy-xiv-patch-24-arrives-today/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MvksCGA5pRAy.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MI2zFK_Xq38" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Square Enix don't do Final Fantasy XIV&nbsp;patches by half, as the above, eight-minute trailer for the game's 2.4 update&nbsp;makes clear. We were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-14-trailer-details-patch-24/" target="_blank">told to expect</a> the 'Dreams of Ice' update in late October, and now that it's late October, all&nbsp;our icy dreams have come true. Which is to say: update 2.4 is now live. It's a massive patch, adding a huge&nbsp;amount&nbsp;of new side, job and class quests to the MMO, along with&nbsp;additional main quests to go with them. Basically, if you were running short on quests, your prayers have been answered to an almost ironic degree.</p><p>Quests aside, the rogue class and ninja jobs have been added to the game, together with new gear and dungeons, including the frosty looking Snowcloak, and hard versions of Sastasha&nbsp;and the Sunken Temple of Qarn.&nbsp;I'd be here all day if I were to summarise the whole thing, so&nbsp;<a href="http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/topics/detail/4a7a48cd010551b65b1e0f03b318d0d45bf52d59" target="_blank">click this link</a> for the full lowdown on 2.4.</p><p>The next thing to look forward to if you're a FFXIV fan is likely the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiv-heavensward-expansion-adds-new-race-classes-areas/" target="_blank">Heavensward expansion</a>, which adds a new race, classes and areas to the game, along with, assuredly, more quests.</p> Surreal storytelling in The Old City: Leviathanhttp://www.pcgamer.com/surreal-storytelling-in-the-old-city-leviathan/Story-led exploration in a bizarre, atmospheric setting.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:54:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/surreal-storytelling-in-the-old-city-leviathan/Adventure <a href="/surreal-storytelling-in-the-old-city-leviathan/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PgDdFZbe45rG.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lmt_tVEjQue1.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PgDdFZbe45rG.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="297350 2014-10-28 00019"></p><p>‘Walking simulator’ has become a lazy pejorative for games where the focus is on exploration and story. I love deep games with rich systems, but I’m not always in the mood for that. Sometimes I just want to be told a story or escape into an evocative world. This is what makes gaming such a great hobby: there’s one for every mood, whether you want to stealth your way through Deus Ex or go for a nice stroll in Proteus.</p><p><a href="http://postmodsoftworks.com/" target="_blank">The Old City</a> is a new first-person game in the 'walking simulator' mould&nbsp;by&nbsp;PostMod Softworks that takes its cues from the likes of Dear Esther and&nbsp;The Stanley Parable. The developers describe it as a ‘pure narrative experience’, which means there are no puzzles and no action sequences. All you do is explore, using the player character’s enigmatic narration, scattered documents, and environmental details to piece together a strange, surreal story.</p><p>Built with the Unreal engine, it’s a handsome game. The stylised, painterly textures and warm, natural lighting are reminiscent of Dishonored. It’s a vivid, detailed world that you have to pay close attention to in order to unravel the game’s mysteries. There are eerie staring eyes scribbled on walls, odd poetry etched into stones, and other clues to decipher as you wander the game’s increasingly bizarre environments.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NZ1CLOK-S7ur.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1xFwLagPws9t.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="297350 2014-10-28 00016"></p><p>The game begins in a sewer system beneath the titular Old City. Your character narrates as you explore, but it’s all in riddles. You don’t know who he’s talking to, or why. You don’t know if he’s saying it out loud, narrating after the fact, or if it’s all in his head. At first the game felt a bit self-consciously esoteric&mdash;mysterious for the sake of being mysterious&mdash;but this faded as I was drawn in into its dreamlike atmosphere.</p><p>The world shifts and changes around you. You’ll repeat certain sections, but your surroundings will have been altered&mdash;sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. Where once there was an empty floor, there will suddenly be bloodied corpses littering it. This gives the game an uneasy, illusory feel, like you’re trapped in a fever dream. </p><p>I’ve played two hours of a preview build, and I still have no idea whether any of this is really happening, or if it’s some kind of hallucination. The important thing is, I want to know. But I get the feeling the ending won’t offer any concrete answers, and I’ll have to interpret the events of the game for myself. If you’re the kind of person who needs closure to be satisfied by a story, this might not be the game for you.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kwn_GgGgRBGl.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hsq2A0PZijV7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="297350 2014-10-27 00012"></p><p>After you leave the sewers, the environments steadily get more elaborate and fantastical. About an hour in, I emerge through a door from a fairly mundane warehouse into a scene from a fairytale. Through a hazy sunset I see castles perched on floating islands and an enormous stone Minotaur. Such a dramatic shift in visuals should be jarring, but it works here somehow. I still have no clue what’s going on, but it sure is pretty.</p><p>The Old City: Leviathan is a peculiar game that almost defies description, but I’m intrigued by what I’ve played so far. Admittedly, it’s the environment design that’s grabbed me more than the story, which I’ve found a little too obscure for its own good in places.&nbsp;Some will undoubtedly question whether it’s actually a game, and it’ll definitely be negatively labelled a walking simulator. I don’t know <i style="background-color: initial;">what </i>it is, and I don’t care. All I know is that it’s interesting, and that’s good enough for me.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/U0DtTcRd5Ww" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Grand Theft Auto V to reward returning players with extra weapons, vehicles and eventshttp://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-v-to-reward-returning-players-with-extra-weapons-vehicles-and-events/Players of original version able to pick up where they left off.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:49:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-v-to-reward-returning-players-with-extra-weapons-vehicles-and-events/ActionGrand Theft Auto VNewsRockstar <a href="/grand-theft-auto-v-to-reward-returning-players-with-extra-weapons-vehicles-and-events/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iEF6KM7srN4S.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zX9DnlEKQqq1.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h3cLjXAsndOe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GTA returning"></p><p>If&nbsp;you've already&nbsp;played Grand Theft Auto V on the&nbsp;PS3 or 360, you'll be eligible for a bunch of extra weapons, events and vehicles&nbsp;when the game re-releases this year/early next&mdash;even if you're going to&nbsp;be playing it on PC. Rockstar has just announced&nbsp;the "exclusive" content, which I'll detail below, while confirming that players will be able to pick up where they left off on the last-gen consoles, providing they're members of the Rockstar Social Club. That membership is also needed for the new, returning-player-only&nbsp;stuff, which includes a Hollywood&nbsp;murder mystery, photography challenges, and a hatchet.</p><p>Basically, returning players will encounter additional events in the world, which present the player with challenges that will unlock new vehicles, weapons and visual&nbsp;filters when completed. These include the aforementioned&nbsp;murder mystery&mdash;"As Michael, follow a trail of cryptic clues to unravel a grisly murder mystery. Put the clues together and you'll unlock two Noir Style Filters, which will give your Story Mode gameplay and Snapmatic photos the feel of a gritty old school crime classic"&mdash;a wildlife photography challenge that unlocks a submarine, stock car challenges, monkey graffiti and more. Unlockable extra content includes the&nbsp;Imponte Duke O'Death car&nbsp;(pictured above), along with the rail gun and hatchet weapons, muscle cars, and the "faster and more maneuverable"&nbsp;Xero Blimp.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fh9H2cwaTmCE.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iEF6KM7srN4S.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Xero blimp"></p><p>As mentioned before, you'll need to have played the game/be about to play the game&nbsp;on PS3 or 360 to get this extra stuff, and you'll need a Rockstar Social Club account to make the transfer to the new platform of your choosing&nbsp;(additionally, the save data transfer can only be made once). While the PS4 and Xbox One versions are due this November, the PC game isn't expected until January, so we still have plenty of time to have a go on a last-gen version to claim this extra content. It's not clear whether this transfer scheme has an expiry date, but hopefully all this extra content will be made available to non-returning GTAV players at some point.</p><p><a href="http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52337/details-on-exclusive-content-for-returning-gtav-players-on" target="_blank">More details here</a>.</p> Farming Simulator 15 launch trailer is a breath of fresh airhttp://www.pcgamer.com/farming-simulator-15-launch-trailer-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air/Farming sim hitting PC this Thursday, with new woodcutting bits.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/farming-simulator-15-launch-trailer-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air/Farming Simulator 15Focus Home InteractiveGiants SoftwareNewssim <a href="/farming-simulator-15-launch-trailer-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7rqSjFh6hpg2.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HjI_LJGBSaKJ.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7rqSjFh6hpg2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Farming Simulator 15"></p><p>You won't find a single gun, slow-motion takedown, or grizzled warrior who looks like he's just chewed a lime&nbsp;in this launch trailer for&nbsp;Giants Software's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.farming-simulator.com/" target="_blank">Farming Simulator 15</a>, which releases on PC this Thursday. That automatically makes it the best launch trailer of the week, although the lovely song and bright, pastoral feel help a lot with that too. As you might have guessed, it's a game about being a farmer, which seems to involve a lot of driving heavy machinery and relatively little standing around in wellies waving a shotgun at crows. Said machinery includes&nbsp;ploughs, tractors and combine harvesters, plus the lumber equipment needed for this year's new woodcutting bits.</p><p>Like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/farming-simulator-15s-folksy-trailer-opened-our-hearts-to-the-joy-of-farm-life/" target="_blank">the last one</a>, it's a wonderfully earnest and straightforward trailer, free of the cynicism and Inception noises that tend to congregate in these things. Giants and Focus Home say that Farming Simulator 15&nbsp;"offers an immense open world, filled with details and visual effects thanks to its new graphics and physics engine. Manage your own farm: from harvesting to animal husbandry, and from the sales of fresh products to woodcutting, the benefits of your exploitation will allow you to develop, and invest in new and more powerful vehicles or tools." There's 16-player multiplayer included too.</p><iframe width="854" height="510" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9SH_05jfCOM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> NBA 2K15 reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/nba-2k15-review/A world-class sports sim that looks beautiful on PC.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/nba-2k15-review/ReviewssimSports <a href="/nba-2k15-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0E4716E2iE-7.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5> <p> <strong>What Is It:</strong> Basketball sim royalty<br> <strong>Influenced By:</strong> Itself, ESPN, hip hop<br> <strong>Reviewed On:</strong> Windows7, AMD FX 4100, 3600mhz, 8 Gig RAM, AMD Radeon 7850<br> <strong>Alternatively:</strong> NBA Live (don’t do it)<br> <strong>DRM:</strong> Steam<br> <strong>Price:</strong> £30/$60<br> <strong>Release:</strong> Out Now<br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> 2K Games<br> <strong>Developer:</strong> Visual Concepts<br> <strong>Link: <a href="http://www.2kgames.com/games/nba-2k15">Official site</a></strong><strong></strong><br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong> Yes<em><br> </em></p></div><p><em>By Jon Denton.</em><br> </p><p>Forget FIFA. One sports series has been leagues ahead of its competition for well over a decade and it’s finally getting the PC version it deserves. Like The Mailman Karl Malone, Visual Concepts’ startlingly beautiful NBA2K15 delivers another backboard-shattering slam-dunk, offering the kind of presentation, fluidity and authenticity that have been ever present for over a decade.</p><p> This is the second iteration of the series’ ‘next-gen’ incarnation, after a gorgeous start last year on the new consoles. Play an exhibition game from the standard TV camera position, and you can do that thing where you call people into the room and say ‘look at this’. It’s no overestimation to say that, at a glance, NBA 2K15 looks real. With visuals cranked up to High (you’ll need a fair bit of grunt in your rig for this, so be warned) it’s a genuinely stunning looking videogame&mdash;picture perfect character models, world-class stadium lighting and best-in class animation.</p><p> The actual mechanics of basketball have been marvellous in this series for years, so the raw physical updates in the game engine are slight but still significant. You’ll notice new collision animations as players clatter into one another in the paint, a greater variety in bounce passes into the post (where the big lad stands near the basket, in other words), and improved smoothness when collecting the ball on the run. There are still instances where moving the ball around the perimeter can look a little awkward, but this is an engine making thousands of physics and AI calculations every second&mdash;you can forgive it the odd little uncanny valley stutter when everything else looks so splendid.</p><p> Be warned, though. NBA 2K15 has innate appeal because it looks so incredible, but this is very much a basketball people for those who know their crossovers from their pick and rolls. Try to play it like NBA Jam and you’re going to feel like the White Men Who Really Can’t Jump. Defending in basketball is less about ‘tackling’, football style, and more about defending and denying space to force the opposition into making a bad pass or a low-percentage shot. The game encourages you to mark your man by placing arrows on the player selection reticule that shrink as you get into position, and a new meter shows where specific players are most prolific on the court, but without a basic understanding of the sport, you will struggle. Know that going in.</p><p>If you’re a devotee of the NBA though, or even a lapsed fan who remembers the Space Jam hoops heyday of the 90s, there is so much to love here. The volume of content is almost overwhelming. A vital place to start, though, is the Mass Effect meets Cribs daftness of My Career. Here, you take your own created player from rags (middle class rags – he has a flatscreen and a nice apartment) to abundant riches as you rise up the ranks of the NBA.</p><p>The action is shot from behind, and you only ever control yourself. You have to play and know your role within the team (if you want a lot of the ball, pick Point Guard), you’re scored on your performance, and rewarded in currency you can then spend on your attributes. The mode itself isn’t revolutionary, but the amusing dialogue choices you get to make influence your relationship with the fans and you teammates, which directly feeds into how your team reacts to you on the court.</p><p> By isolating the action to a single player, My Career allows you to gain a much stronger understanding of how each position works, and how important an individual is in a basketball match. The sport is 5 v 5, meaning each component part vital, but also less demanding when it comes to AI. Admittedly, that still doesn’t excuse the times when teammates stand frozen with the ball, running the shot clock down, seemingly crippled by choice, but more often than not your cohorts will make sensible, realistic movements and decisions on the hardwood.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mnk6-TUTQdCE.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n2zJCn4OE3G2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nba3"></p><p> My Career is joined by MyTeam, the Ultimate Team-a-like that maybe lacks that mode’s gambling-lite compulsion but does a solid job in mimicking it, standard online modes that play a solid if unspectacular game, and the new NBA2KTV, where a real person hosts a TV show about the game and the sport itself, as if they’re one and the same. And do you know what, they kind of are.</p><p> NBA 2K15 is completely intertwined with the real sport. The presentation is so good there are even promo vignettes before matches, and they’re different every time. There are half-time interviews with a sideline reporter. A studio with punditry. The commentary is outstanding. Allow yourself to get pulled into the show, and it’s hard to see where real life finishes and NBA 2K starts. It's the best sports series on earth. By a distance.</p> The Crew trailer details perks and specs, will let you repair cars on the flyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-trailer-details-perks-and-specs-will-let-you-repair-cars-on-the-fly/'Mobile mechanics', and other perks we could do with in the real world.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:03:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-trailer-details-perks-and-specs-will-let-you-repair-cars-on-the-fly/NewsRacingThe CrewUbisoft <a href="/the-crew-trailer-details-perks-and-specs-will-let-you-repair-cars-on-the-fly/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NpGa7miXbOM5.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-DFz_KGPTNW5.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NpGa7miXbOM5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Crew"></p><p>Cars are meant to be customised. Also driven, and filled with shopping and dogs and awkwardly perched sofas, but it's mainly about the customisation, an opinion shared by Ubisoft's open world racing MMO The Crew. The latest trailer goes on about this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-crew-gameplay-trailer-teases-a-wealth-of-customization-options/" target="_blank">again</a>, this time focusing on the handful of different car specs you can choose from&mdash;Street,&nbsp;Dirt,&nbsp;Performance, Raid and&nbsp;Circuit&mdash;which are basically the game's version of&nbsp;classes. You can switch between these on the fly, thankfully, should you tire of street races and want to (for instance)&nbsp;head to a circuit to do a nice legal race with a fancy car.</p><p>There are also perks, including the aptly named Mobile Mechanic, what lets you fix your car while you're out and about. Garages, we hardly knew ye. Actually, we knew ye quite well, and you were damned expensive, so Mobile Mechanic sounds like the kind of perk we'd enjoy in real life. If you've not been following The Crew, the following trailer offers a nice overview of Ubi's *shudders* 'caRPG', which is out on December 2nd. Andy went hands-on with it&nbsp;<a href="http://the map is indeed really, really big" target="_blank">a couple of&nbsp;months ago</a>, and he can confirm that "the map is indeed really, really big".</p><iframe width="854" height="510" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_NyPqf5kB2o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Spacebase DF-9 hits v1.0, free copy of Hack 'n' Slash for current ownershttp://www.pcgamer.com/spacebase-df-9-hits-v10-free-copy-of-hack-n-slash-for-current-owners/...And a free copy of Spacebase if you own Hack 'n' Slash.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/spacebase-df-9-hits-v10-free-copy-of-hack-n-slash-for-current-owners/Double FineEarly AccessNewsSpacebase DF-9 <a href="/spacebase-df-9-hits-v10-free-copy-of-hack-n-slash-for-current-owners/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1QwnvSYZVBhK.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="585" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2EcYl50QvHc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>As of yesterday, Spacebase DF-9 is now in version 1.0, and while it's not quite as feature-packed as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/spacebase-df-9-to-leave-early-access-next-month-future-content-development-halted/" target="_blank">many were expecting</a>, developers Double Fine have thrown in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.doublefine.com/news/comments/spacebase_df9_1.0_released/" target="_blank">a little treat</a> for current owners that might help to&nbsp;smooth things over a bit. If you bought the&nbsp;sci-fi&nbsp;base construction management sim during its Early Access phase, you should have just&nbsp;received a copy of Double Fine's Zelda-like Hack 'n' Slash on the house.</p><p>The same is true in reverse, meaning that owners of Hack 'n' Slash have just been given Spacebase for free on Steam as well. Moreover, the two games are now available in a double-pack, if you want both and have neither, and you can live with DF-9's dialled down ambition. There's a healthy 40% discount in place for Spacebase on Steam&nbsp;over the next week, and this applies to the double-pack as well.</p><p>We weren't too fussed on Hack 'n' Slash in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hack-n-slash-review/" target="_blank">our review</a>, stating that it&nbsp;"starts as a clever game about game design, but ends up feeling like homework". You'll find our thoughts on Spacebase DF-9's Early Access version&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/spacebase-df-9-gameplay-video-early-access-impressions/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>What does update 1.0 add? Well,&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/246090/announcements/detail/216497448170481036" target="_blank">it adds</a> a tutorial mode, a new goals screen, and a "Pirate Megafleet", in addition to the following list o' stuff.</p><ul> <li>All “Famous Citizen” tier customer names added to Credits and random citizen name pool. </li><li>Disaster Menu can be enabled with a secret key combination and used to unleash disasters on your base. </li><li>Many new sound effects, including crowd noises in rooms based on their current population. </li><li>Many small UI polish items. Look and feel of UI in the Citizen/Zone/Object Inspectors is now more consistent. </li><li>Brig and Residence assignment UI improvements: X button to clear an assignment, clicking the assignment button a second time cancels out of pick mode. </li><li>"Execute" button in citizen action tab causes security to immediately target this citizen. Use responsibly! </li><li>Asteroids are treated like walls for the purposes of object placement. </li><li>Citizens who are sleeping in beds that get destroyed wake up and become annoyed. </li><li>Clicking an object in the Contents section of a container’s Stats Tab selects it. </li><li>Improved mouse wheel, middle mouse, and keyboard view zoom behaviors. </li><li>Vaporizing a wall with an object hanging on it vaporizes the object and refunds its matter. </li><li>Dropped research datacubes will preserve their “claimed for research” state. Scientists will try to drop them off somewhere in the base even if there isn’t a Research Lab. </li><li>Citizens flee when someone is having a tantrum nearby. </li><li>Emergency Alarms in rooms with no/disabled alarm panels turn off. </li><li>Price of Dark Matter Reactor increased from 450 to 600. </li><li>Tooltip for a research datacube shows the blueprint it contains. </li><li>New Spaceface logs: cuffed, escaped from brig, needs shelving, security starts exploring a beacon, security finishes exploring a beacon. </li><li>Duty skill increases when morale is high, up to a 25% bonus per duty task. </li><li>Security citizens take their helmets off if they get into a brawl with another citizen. </li><li>"Flavor" text and descriptions for all objects that were lacking them. </li><li>Start new bases with time paused. </li><li>Balance: Many small changes to citizen morale and duty efficiency. </li><li>Balance: Turret damage output increased. </li><li>Balance: Buildable objects are more resilient. </li><li>Fixed: Dozens of crashes and AI issues. </li><li>Fixed: Scrollable views such as the Job Roster don’t display correctly in non-16:9 aspect ratios. </li><li>Fixed: Decals remain after a tile is vaporized. </li><li>Fixed: On loading a savegame, citizens who were sleeping are awake and restart their sleep cycle. </li><li>Fixed: White helmets display on citizens when playing certain animations. </li><li>Fixed: Citizens exercise, play games, and hang out in functioning airlocks. </li><li>Fixed: Lower right UI buttons shift to left even if there are not enough alerts to warrant this. </li><li>Fixed: Job Roster columns highlight on hover incorrectly. </li><li>Fixed: Non-citizens in unclaimed derelicts do not react to dangerous situations. </li><li>Fixed: Botanists do not repair damaged or destroyed hydroponics cultures. </li><li>Fixed: Citizen talk and thought bubbles do not draw correctly. </li><li>Fixed: Exiting Job Roster / Research Assignment screens minimizes the Hint pane. </li><li>Fixed: Killbots bleed. </li><li>Fixed: Killbots get sick. </li><li>Fixed: Player can hover and select some objects or rooms within hidden areas. </li><li>Fixed: Security duty citizens flee in rooms with active alarms while doing certain tasks. </li><li>Fixed: Removed debug power visualization mode. </li><li>Fixed: Security Beacon location isn’t preserved across save+load. </li><li>Fixed: Flipped text on the Alarm Panel. </li><li>Fixed: Turrets in space can’t be deactivated. </li><li>Fixed: Breach ships don’t play VFX when taking damage or exploding. </li><li>Fixed: Text overlaps UI in several miscellaneous places. </li><li>Fixed: Matter counts up/down from previous session’s total when starting a new base.</li></ul> Lords of the Fallen reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-review/Crash-prone code is the real monster in this combat-heavy RPG.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:06:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-review/Lords of the FallenReviewsRPG <a href="/lords-of-the-fallen-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/L1TottAIXrww.780x349.vbHYeKzq.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Need to Know</h5> <p> <strong>What is it? </strong>An action RPG which takes after Dark Souls <br> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong> Core i5-3570, 8GB RAM, GTX Titan <br> <strong>Play it on:</strong>&nbsp;3 GHz quad-core Intel CPU, 8GB RAM, GTX 760 series or better <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $50/£30 <br> <strong>Copy protection:</strong> Steam <br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong> None <br> <strong>Link:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/265300/" target="_blank">Steam store page</a> </p> </div><p> Lords of the Fallen is a decent&nbsp;action RPG. LordsOfTheFallen.exe, on the other hand, has stopped working. Lords of the Fallen has interesting, fun combat, and when that giant multi-stage boss only needs one more hit to kill, LordsOfTheFallen.exe has stopped working. LordsOfTheFallen.exe is a vile, cruel bastard, worse than any boss in Lords of the Fallen.</p><p> It’s fitting that a game which takes after Dark Souls has technical issues. One way or another, Lords of the Fallen will kill you, and if it weren't for those crashes (I'll elaborate on that&nbsp;later), it'd be a more-easily recommendable&nbsp;grimdark hack-n’-slash. It doesn’t delight in death nearly as much as the series it takes after&mdash;it’s much easier&mdash;but it will kill you and make you learn from it.</p><p> I chose the warrior class, with big, strength-dependent weapons. I could have been an agile rogue, dual-wielding small blades, or a faithful cleric with magical swords. I almost always choose the rogue in RPGs, but I didn’t like the rogue here. In some of Lords’ cramped dungeons, being nimble just might lodge the camera in a wall and turn out to be more disorienting than helpful. When being run down by an eight-foot-tall hell soldier in a hallway barely big enough for both of us, it didn’t matter a whole lot that I could roll in any direction.</p><p> Lords is set entirely in a fortress&mdash;its walls, square, citadel, and crypt&mdash;and in the bad&nbsp;guys’ alternate dimension fortress, with a couple open areas on the surface and a network of winding passages below. Outside of that, the plot doesn’t deserve many words: You play as a stone-faced, tattooed prisoner, released to help fight the evil Rhogar and slay the titular Lords. You say really gruff, stoic stuff, and are boring. You meet a woman who might be an ally and might not, but either way&nbsp;is pretty boring too.</p><p> While some of the boss intros are truly fearsome, don’t be fooled by the gorgeous opening cinematic, because it’s the only time Blizzard-quality CG appears. The rest of the cutscenes are in-engine, and sometimes broken: in one instance, a character model didn’t appear, so I watched as an ally threatened to throw no one over a ledge. It was funny, but also sealed for me that the plot wasn’t the strong-suit here. Surprisingly, I did enjoy Lord’s resolution, but only so much as to say I wasn’t <em>totally</em> bored by it.</p><h2>Lost in stone</h2><p> The visual&nbsp;highlights of Lords are its weapons, armor, and enemies. By the end of the game, I looked properly&mdash;<em>ridiculously</em>&mdash;badass, and the grotesque monsters were all delightfully evil: blubbering, blind sacks of pus, poison-spewing spiders, and&nbsp;soulless&nbsp;swordsmen, more than a few of which are&nbsp;absurdly huge.&nbsp;The environment looks very nice&mdash;especially for its lighting&mdash;but it's a network fantasy stonework buildings on top of fantasy stonework dungeons. That can&nbsp;only get so exciting to look at.</p><p> While it feels big at first, Lords’ world isn’t. You can run back from the furthest point in the game&nbsp;to the very first room pretty quickly,&nbsp;and there’s a lot of going back and forth as the plot progresses and sidequests are unlocked. The underground mazes are&nbsp;complex enough, though, that if I wasn’t brainlessly plodding through known territory, I was getting frustratingly lost. The crypt and enemy fortress are made of&nbsp;samey hallways and chambers, and there’s no map to help. At one point I scrambled around for an hour, fighting the same enemies over and over, because the boss I was meant to face was tucked away somewhere I never thought I needed to return.</p><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/HonoredGleamingAdamsstaghornedbeetle" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="782" height="440" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"></iframe><p><strong>Above: I was just trying to take&nbsp;a nice screenshot.</strong></p><p> Checkpoints along the way can be activated to set your respawn point and refill health potions, which are the only way to heal in battle. I must have visited some of them over a hundred times, filling my health before running off to explore or grind, then back again to deposit my experience&mdash;their other utility&mdash;and unlock attribute and spell points.</p><p> In a nod to Dark Souls, if you die while carrying experience, it will stay with your ghost and must be retrieved if you want to use it to advance your character. The flipside is that the more experience you have on you, the better the loot you’ll get from enemies. I never carried more than 5000-or-so experience on me (a moderate loss), and got plenty of magic runes to slot into my weapons and armor, so it wasn’t a big consideration. The only times I was upset about losing experience were when I felt cheated, like when I fell off the edge of an alternate-dimension ‘challenge’ area (great areas for grinding) not realizing that the dark, hazy otherworld had an edge to fall off of. That was stupid, but hey, I learned something: don’t run into dark spaces, especially when you’re in another dimension.</p><p> The real story of Lords is not its plot or Generic&nbsp;Fantasy Setting. It’s the story of my character and I, once weak and clueless, becoming godlike. I really like the combat system, because except when I was simply overwhelmed, success was entirely about timing, positioning, stamina management, and what became a complete understanding of every enemy’s movements and attacks, and all of my own attack animations. Even when grinding the same whirling warriors, giant shield men, and dog-like monsters, over and over as I wandered around lost,&nbsp;I had fun experimenting and improving.</p><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/CarefreeAgileHorsechestnutleafminer" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="782" height="440" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> During the first few hours, I learned how to time combos to minimize stamina loss, how to knock a shield away and follow up with a big heavy swing, when to cancel a swing into a block or roll, and every possible way to trigger alternate attack animations that might squeak past an enemy shield and land a direct hit. I learned how each weapon type handles differently: greatswords with slow, pendulous swings, two-handed polearms for spins and stabs, hammers that crash down from above. I learned which was best for each enemy, and because you can fill your inventory with swords and hammers and axes without ever worrying about the burden (equipment weight only matters for the stuff you’re wearing), I could try them all out whenever I wanted.</p><p> Aside from learning how to beat every enemy, I also learned where they all spawn. There is a lot of wandering and a lot of backtracking, and while certain enemy spawns will change as the plot progresses, you’ll kill many of the same ghouls, standing right where they were at hour one. It makes the world feel as if it’s in stasis: a dream where everyone is the permanent memory of a grotesque beast you’ve met before. Either that, or a whining injured soldier, with a couple monks thrown in to move the plot forward.</p><h2>Who's the boss</h2><p> While the titular Lords are clearly meant to be the draw, I didn’t find that to be true. I enjoyed the boss fights, but like just about every boss fight before them, they're about exploiting big, sweeping patterns. In the first, for instance, the hulking swordsman does the typical ‘bring sword down so hard it gets stuck in the floor’ move. So I punished him for the moment he was vulnerable, then backed off and roll-dodged his charge attacks for a bit until he did it again.</p><p> The bosses get more complex later, but that’s the gist. For the most part, if&nbsp;I kept my distance they’d maintain a pattern of ranged attacks. I could return with my own ranged attacks&mdash;projectiles from a magical gauntlet I picked up early on&mdash;and then continue running around avoiding them. That’s how I beat a couple of the early bosses, and during that time I&nbsp;preferred the more personal, creative fights with regular enemies.</p><p> A couple mid-game bosses were trickier (somewhere around five tries each), but later, after a lot of grinding, I beat two&nbsp;major bosses on my&nbsp;first tries because I’d become so powerful I could get in their faces&nbsp;and swing my&nbsp;massive, glowing greatsword wildly, only&nbsp;backing away now and then to drink a healing potion or dodge a special projectile attack.&nbsp;Once I finally allowed myself to use&nbsp;magic (I'd been trying to role-play as a non-magical warrior), the Rage spell changed everything. Every attack and block normally consumes stamina, limiting me to a few swings per combo. Rage temporarily unburdened me from that limitation, letting me chain five or six or more attacks, each more powerful than the last.</p><p> While it was superficially enjoyable to absolutely demolish everyone in my way as I trekked up to the final boss, that eventual godlike status is my biggest criticism of the combat. Once my strength and vitality were up over 20 and I was fully kitted out with heavy armor and weapons bigger than I was, I could plow through just about anything in my way. I still died sometimes, but only when I was careless, and I was only really careless out of boredom. That was all until the final two bosses, at least. There’s a pretty rough two-on-one fight that took me several tries, and the final boss doesn’t go down easy. Still, they're both about patience, like nearly all boss battles ever: learn the pattern, know when to dodge and heal, and do as much damage as you can when you have the chance.</p><h2>Crash test&nbsp;dummy</h2><p>But the most challenging thing about Lords is trying to beat it while regularly losing 20 minutes of progress to a crash. I reproduced these repeated crashes on two PCs, both with high-end Nvidia GPUs (a Titan and a Titan Black). A colleague I talked to who is running a GTX 780 experienced no crashes, but they were very common for me, even after updating to the latest GameReady drivers.</p><p>The recommended system specs on Steam are a Core i7-3770, 8GB RAM, and a GeForce GTX 560 ti or better. On my older work machine with a Radeon HD 5900, Lords of the Fallen crashed at launch. On my second try, it took several minutes to load the first area, chugged a bit, and crashed again. Admittedly, this is the system I do all my work on, and it's seen better days since I started slowly choking it to death with games and software three years ago. Even so, come prepared with a high-end system. Along with my review code came some some <em>different</em> recommended specs: 3GB DDR5 VRAM (GeForce 760 or better), 3 GHz quad-core Intel CPU, and 8GB RAM, with a note that 4GB VRAM and 12GB of RAM will “make the game really shine.”</p><p>At home with a Core i5, 8GB RAM, and a GTX Titan, it ran at a steady 50-60 FPS at 1080p. There’s no vsync option in the menu, so I had to manually disable it in the Nvidia control panel to keep it from dumping me down to 30 FPS. I also lowered the graphics settings from ‘very high’ to ‘high,’ and that seemed to reduce (but not eliminate) my crashing problem.</p><p>Obviously, not many people have a GTX Titan, so I also tested it on the same machine with the recommended&nbsp;GTX 560ti. I dipped below 20 FPS during fights even with the graphics set to ‘low.’ So be wary of&nbsp;the minimum GeForce GTX 460 or better listed on Steam. I recommend a 700 series or comparable AMD card.</p><p>As for the controls, An Xbox One controller gave me the best&nbsp;experience, but there were still frustrations. It loved to switch the enemy I had targeted without my permission, sending a high-energy attack into empty space.</p><p>I was also bothered by how tapping the ‘B’ button cycles through spells, while holding it down casts the currently-selected spell. Some of the spell icons are abstract patterns that are hard to differentiate at quick glance, so I cast the wrong spell a lot early on, not realizing that I’d tapped ‘B’ somewhere along the way. I failed a boss fight because of a miscast, cried a bit, and got into the habit of constantly switching away from and back to the spell I wanted just in case&mdash;like tapping my wallet before I leave a restaurant. There's an alternate controller set up, but I didn't find it elegant and stuck to the default.</p><p>It’s too bad, because I like Lords of the Fallen. If you have a capable rig&mdash;and don’t experience the crashes I did&mdash;I think it’s a worthwhile experience. Still, it’s less interesting than Dark Souls in terms of plot and setting, and full of wandering and grinding that first tested my patience, and finally made me as powerful as some of the bosses. If I could take its combat system, weapons, and enemies&nbsp;and put it all in another more interesting game,&nbsp;I would.</p> Blizzard bans “several thousand” Hearthstone bot accountshttp://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-bans-several-thousand-hearthstone-bot-accounts/Automated accounts finally take lethal damage.Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:52:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-bans-several-thousand-hearthstone-bot-accounts/BlizzardBlizzconCard GameHearthstone: Heroes of WarcraftNews <a href="/blizzard-bans-several-thousand-hearthstone-bot-accounts/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gIhJwuINYvDl.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZWQyKEwMQ4e7.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gIhJwuINYvDl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearthstone claw"></p><p>As you may recall from our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/interview-with-a-hearthstone-botter-im-not-scared-of-getting-caught/">interview with an unapologetic owner of a bot</a>, there seemed to be little risk to letting the illicit&nbsp;software play Hearthstone through the night for you, gathering gold from daily quests while you&nbsp;slept safe in the knowledge that&nbsp;Blizzard didn’t seem to be doing much about it. That changed today, as the company announced it had banned several thousand bot accounts.&nbsp;<a href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/16481223">The official statement reads:</a></p><p>“These accounts will be banned until 2015. As we’ve stated, fair play is at the core of the Hearthstone experience, and cheating and botting will not be tolerated. We’re committed to creating a fun and rewarding environment for our players, and we will continue to closely monitor activities within Hearthstone and take appropriate action against cheating in any form, as outlined in our Terms of Use.”</p><p>To which you&nbsp;might say 'about time too'. For those who play late at night, the situation had become particularly ludicrous. At its&nbsp;worst, around a third of my opponents seemed to be bots. Or at least that’s what I told myself as I lost to a top decked Bloodlust yet again. It’s worth noting, as production director <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-curse-of-naxxramas-blizzard-interview/">Jason Chayes explained</a> when we spoke to him around the release of Naxxramas, that any bans are likely to only be the first step in an ongoing technological&nbsp;arms race with the botters. </p><p>I also have to say that it seems slightly odd that the offending accounts only get what’s effectively a two&nbsp;month ban for flagrantly breaching the terms of service, but hey it’s still progress. You can&nbsp;expect more good news on the Hearthstone front early next month, with BlizzCon taking place 7-8 November and the expectation being that we’ll hear more about the next set of cards there. Meanwhile, why not check out what else might be on the way for the game <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/whats-next-for-hearthstone/">here.</a></p> Twitch changes its rules of conduct to forbid topless and "sexually suggestive" streaminghttp://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-changes-its-rules-of-conduct-to-forbid-topless-and-sexually-suggestive-streaming/Twitch says the updated rules simply "clarify the ages-old question of dress code."Mon, 27 Oct 2014 23:37:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-changes-its-rules-of-conduct-to-forbid-topless-and-sexually-suggestive-streaming/NewsTwitch <a href="/twitch-changes-its-rules-of-conduct-to-forbid-topless-and-sexually-suggestive-streaming/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fy9O3gV1KXDm.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cgs0tJ3vRCaY.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fy9O3gV1KXDm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Twitch"></p><p>You may have the body of a Greek god, all rippling muscle and taut sinew, but no matter how good you look in a Speedo (or out of one), <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch/">Twitch</a> would very much appreciate it if you'd keep yourself covered up while you're streaming on its service. In fact, it's gone so far as to insist on it, with an update to its rules of conduct mandating that all streamers dress "appropriately."</p><p>"Nerds are sexy, and you're all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let's try and keep this about the games, shall we?" the "Dress... appropriately" section of the <a href="http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/983016-twitch-rules-of-conduct">Twitch Rules of Conduct</a> states. "Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing&mdash;including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments&mdash;is prohibited, as well as any full nude torsos, which applies to both male and female broadcasters. You may have a great six-pack, but that's better shared on the beach during a 2-on-2 volleyball game blasting 'Playing with the Boys.'" </p><p>If you happen to be broadcasting from an "unbearably hot" location, the solution is simple. "Just crop the webcam to your face," the rule states. "Problem solved."</p><p>Was this actually a problem? I'm much more of a reader than a watcher, but I've never heard of this being an issue prior to now. I can't say I'd be surprised if it was&mdash;sex sells, after all&mdash;but did it really need to be spelled out in the rules? Or is this tightening of the terms merely an inevitable outcome of Twitch's recent <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-now-rumored-to-be-in-acquisition-deal-with-amazon-not-google/">acquisition by mega-conglomerate&nbsp;Amazon</a>?</p><p>Whatever the motivation, Twitch seemed inclined to play down the significance of the change. A PR rep told <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/27/7079631/twitch-topless-ban-code-sexually-suggestive">Polygon</a>, "We wanted to clarify the ages-old question of dress code," and added, "It's not what I would call breaking news since most of it is common sense."</p> X-Wing, TIE Fighter, other LucasArts classics now on GOGhttp://www.pcgamer.com/x-wing-tie-fighter-coming-to-gog-tomorrow/The classic LucasArts space sims are finally getting a digital re-release.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:09:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/x-wing-tie-fighter-coming-to-gog-tomorrow/GOG.comNewsStar Wars: TIE FighterStar Wars: X-Wing <a href="/x-wing-tie-fighter-coming-to-gog-tomorrow/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KwA4xkh_54Pu.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iPjn5wiTR66F.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KwA4xkh_54Pu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="X-Wing"></p><p>UPDATE: As expected, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Fate of Atlantis, Sam and Max Hit the Road, the original&nbsp;Knights of the Old Republic, and The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition are now on GOG.com. You'll find them all&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gog.com/games##sort=bestselling&amp;devpub=disney&amp;page=1" target="_blank">listed here</a>. Fate of Atlantis and Sam and Max are going for £3.69 each (that should be about $5), while the others are listed at&nbsp;£6.19, although Monkey Island and KOTOR will go up to £7.79 when the launch discount ends. According&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gog.com/news/new_publisher_disney_interactivelucasfilm" target="_blank">to GOG</a>, we can expect "20+ classic titles" in total.</p><p>ORIGINAL STORY:&nbsp;X-Wing and its follow-up,&nbsp;TIE Fighter,&nbsp;are two of the best <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars/">Star Wars</a> games ever made. In a just dimension, the space sims&nbsp;would've&nbsp;spawned numerous worthy follow-ups. Alas, our dimension&nbsp;is not particularly just, but it did get a little better today with news that both games are coming to GOG.</p><p>The happy revelation comes to us by way of the <a href="http://www.gog.com/forum/general/tomorrows_lucasart_releases_confimed_so_far/page1">GOG</a> forums, where a pair of threads revealed that the Special Editions of both games will come to the service on October 28. It's not an official announcement, but the messages were posted by the official GOG account, and that's good enough for me. Each game will sell for $10.</p><p>This is big news, because as far as I know neither game has been re-released for modern systems prior to this, and since both games require one megabyte of EMS, and you probably don't know what one megabyte of EMS is, having ready-to-run versions for a tenner each is manna from Heaven. And while that's obviously a joke&mdash;I have no idea if you know what expanded memory is or not&mdash;the simple fact that you don't have to dick around with it is more than worth the price of admission.</p><p>There are other games coming as well, including The Secret of Monkey Island, Knights of the Old Republic, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and the excellent Sam and Max Hit the Road. It's a LucasArts extravaganza, which is very good news indeed for gamers of all stripes. But X-Wing and TIE Fighter, man, that's <em>hot</em>.</p><p>X-Wing came out in 1993, and so its graphics are rather seriously dated; however, if you're willing to put the effort into it, and you have a copy of the more recent X-Wing Alliance kicking around, you can bring them more up-to-date with the help of a few mods and patches. Instructions for doing so are <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/play-x-wing-with-upgraded-graphics-trust-us-you-should/">here</a>.</p> The Black Glove trailer delves deeper into The Equinoxhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-black-glove-trailer-delves-deeper-into-the-equinox/The new Black Glove trailer looks great, but I still have no idea what's going on.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:17:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-black-glove-trailer-delves-deeper-into-the-equinox/Day For Night GamesKickstarterNewsThe Black Glove <a href="/the-black-glove-trailer-delves-deeper-into-the-equinox/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4p9RMKuhRWNV.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S1sUCfkgB1g?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> Generally speaking, I enjoy games that can't easily be explained with a promotional trailer or a two-paragraph synopsis. By that measure, and based on the new trailer that hit YouTube today, I am going to absolutely love <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-black-glove-is-a-first-person-adventure-about-saving-a-weird-theatre/">The Black Glove</a>&mdash;if it gets made.</p><p> "We sometimes fall astray, take the wrong path, become lost in a maze of indecision," the narrator says, after welcoming us to the inner sanctum of The Equinox. "But what if there was a way to turn mistakes into missteps?" And then we cut to some gameplay from a 1982-ish arcade game called The Maze of the Space Minotaur.</p><p> Well, okay then. There's a very Twilight Zone-like atmosphere to the trailer, and the developers' BioShock roots are obvious in the wonderfully period-piece visual style. Then. suddenly, yawning skull-face death robot! I'm not sure what it means either, but I'm certainly looking forward to finding out. Unfortunately, I may not have that opportunity: With 11 days left in the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theblackglove/the-black-glove">Kickstarter</a>, Day For Night Games has raised only $120,000, well short of its $550,000 goal.</p> It's official: Valkyria Chronicles is coming to PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-may-be-coming-to-the-pc/Sega tweet confirms PC port on the way. "More info coming soon".Mon, 27 Oct 2014 20:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valkyria-chronicles-may-be-coming-to-the-pc/NewsRPGSegaValkyria Chronicles <a href="/valkyria-chronicles-may-be-coming-to-the-pc/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ikEN49TKqkm4.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yFcIQFGSS1KU.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ikEN49TKqkm4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Valkyria Chronicles"></p><p>UPDATE: Sega has confirmed&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SEGA/status/526884918677471232" target="_blank">via Twitter</a> that the original Valkyria Chronicles is coming to the PC. Their tweet in full: "Gallia, to arms! Return to the original battle on PC. More info coming soon..." We'll bring you that info as soon as we have it.</p><p>ORIGINAL STORY:&nbsp;In terms of "getting things done" efficacy, petitions on the internet rank somewhere between an angry letter to the editor and wishing upon a star. And it's impossible to say how much impact the petition calling for a PC release of Valkyria Chronicles has actually had. But it's starting to look like that particular wheel might be turning.</p><p>Originally released in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical-RPG developed and published by Sega, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It holds a very respectable <a href="http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/valkyria-chronicles">Metacritic rating</a> of 86, and also inspired the aforementioned <a href="https://www.change.org/p/sega-increase-the-number-of-pc-releases-segapcports">petition</a> calling on Sega to release various console-exclusive games for the PC, in particular Valkyria Chronicles, "a natural compliment to your other, strategic, offerings on the PC platform."</p><p>Today it came to light that Pan-European Game Information, aka the European game-rating agency PEGI, has classified a <a href="http://www.pegi.info/en/index/global_id/505/?searchString=Valkyria+Chronicles">version of the game for the PC</a>. It's a new classification, separate from the existing entries for the PS3 original and Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP, and gives the game a "16" rating for "realistic looking violence."</p><p>There's been no official announcement at this point, nor is there a rating for a PC version of Valkyria Chronicles on the <a href="http://www.esrb.org/">ESRB website</a>, and the PEGI entry lists the release date as October 16, which was almost two weeks ago. Take it for what it's worth, in other words. We've reached to Sega for more information and will update if and when we hear back.</p> Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel mod enables third-person camera viewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands-the-pre-sequel-mod-enables-third-person-camera-view/If Claptrap had a shoulder, this mod would let you look over it.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:34:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands-the-pre-sequel-mod-enables-third-person-camera-view/Borderlands: The Pre-SequelFPSGearboxNews <a href="/borderlands-the-pre-sequel-mod-enables-third-person-camera-view/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tyb_l1_84LMW.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1AbaLhgXzAE?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> I've never been a big fan of the third-person perspective in shooters. I can tolerate it for particularly good games, like <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/max-payne/">Max Payne</a> or <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/spec-ops-the-line/">Spec Ops: The Line</a>, but all in all I'll take the first-person perspective any day of the week. But if you're a third-person aficionado who wishes <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands-the-pre-sequel/">Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel</a> could be enjoyed from an over-the-shoulder view, this mod will be right up your alley.</p><p> Developed by YouTube user TFXLive, the mod enables an over-the-shoulder camera in Gearbox's latest Borderlands game. TFXLive made a third-person mod for Borderlands 2 <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0oUXRtoHV8&amp;list=UUuUMELkBTHGD8dbJ0hmIJFw">a couple years ago</a> but it required the separate <a href="http://cheatengine.org/">Cheat Engine</a> software to operate, whereas this one is entirely stand-alone and works on all versions of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.</p><p> It's also quite easy to use: Just download and unzip the file, fire up Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, alt-tab out of it, run the mod executable (as an admin), then alt-tab back into the game and press F5 twice to activate. At that point, assuming you hear the "beep," the F5 key will switch between first and third-person perspectives; if you're comfortable horsing around with .INI files, you can also change your character's on-screen alignment to be more centered in the third-person view.</p><p> The mod automatically switches from third-person view to iron sights or scope when appropriate, and of course it allows you to really enjoy all those character skins and heads you pick up during the game. Based on the gameplay trailer, it seems to work quite well, and looks pretty good, too. Want it? Get it at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AbaLhgXzAE">YouTube</a>.</p> How to fight through a disadvantage in CS:GOhttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-fight-through-a-disadvantage-in-csgo/What does a high-level team do when it's mostly broke, but finds itself in a must-win round?Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-fight-through-a-disadvantage-in-csgo/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveE-sportsFPSValveVideo <a href="/how-to-fight-through-a-disadvantage-in-csgo/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FPjoLNZbwwH-.780x349.7--hboZn.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HcjlYIN2Ghk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">TRIGGERNOMETRY</h5> <p> Evan writes about FPSes each Monday in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig/" target="_blank">Triggernometry</a>, a mixture of tips, design criticism, and a celebration of virtual marksmanship. </p> </div><p> CS:GO isn't a level playing field. Players accumulate money that persists between rounds, cash that's used to buy guns, grenades,&nbsp;and armor. What does a high-level team do when it's mostly&nbsp;broke, but finds itself in&nbsp;a must-win round? I queued up&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hltv.org/?pageid=28&amp;&amp;demoid=17491">a match from the recent Starseries XI Finals</a> to show how France's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.team-ldlc.com/team-csgo-men.html">Team LDLC</a> keeps its cool in a tough situation.</p> Minecraft 2 may not make sense, Xbox boss sayshttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-2-may-not-make-sense-xbox-boss-says/Phil Spencer says Microsoft's priority is meeting the needs and desires of the Minecraft community.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:08:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-2-may-not-make-sense-xbox-boss-says/MicrosoftMinecraftMojangNews <a href="/minecraft-2-may-not-make-sense-xbox-boss-says/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5_0968T9ktQ-.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dCbko1aMS5Wr.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5_0968T9ktQ-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Making of Minecraft thumb"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mojang-confirm-sale-to-microsoft-for-2-5-billion-notch-and-other-founders-to-leave/">Microsoft owns Mojang</a>, and thus it owns <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft/">Minecraft</a>, a situation that some fans of the game may find potentially alarming. Big publishers tend to take different approaches to game development than indie studios from Sweden, after all, and the drive to monetize could take the game places it wouldn't have gone under the guidance of Notch and co. But Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, sounds like he's not in any rush to get heavy with the golden goose.</p><p>Speaking on an <a href="http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/10/23/podcast-unlocked-episode-167-phil-spencer-interview">IGN podcast</a> last week, Spencer described Microsoft as "shepherds of the [Minecraft] IP," and said the company isn't going to rush into licensing the property for use in things like animated television series or movies. "I think we earn permission to do other things with Minecraft when we meet the Minecraft community's desires around what the franchise is," Spencer said. "I don't want us to go and try to make it something it isn't, but I do think it has room to grow."</p><p>The same thing holds true for a direct sequel to the game. "I don't know if Minecraft 2, if that's the thing that makes the most sense," he continued. "The community around Minecraft is as strong as any community out there, and I think we need to meet the needs and the desires of what the community has before we get permission to go off and do something else. It doesn't mean everything we're going to do is going to map to 100 percent of their acceptance, because I don't know if there is any topic where 100 percent of the people agree. But we look at job one, is to go out and meet the needs of the Minecraft community first, and then we can think about ways we can actually help grow it."</p><p>The relevant bits, if you want to listen/watch for yourself, start around the 38-minute mark of the video, or just past 39 minutes in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/23/podcast-unlocked-episode-167-phil-spencer-interview">the MP3</a>. </p> MSI GS70 2QE Stealth Pro laptop reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/msi-gs70-2qe-stealth-pro-laptop-review/MSI's powerful power-saving superslim laptop reviewed.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/msi-gs70-2qe-stealth-pro-laptop-review/ReviewsTech <a href="/msi-gs70-2qe-stealth-pro-laptop-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AAItk-1cItBg.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> MSI’s latest Stealth Pro is their first slimline gaming laptop to use the new Maxwell-powered GTX 970M graphics card, and it makes this machine one of the fastest gaming machines I've ever balanced precariously on my lap. That I can even do that without melting through the flesh of my thighs is testament to the efficiency of Nvidia’s latest graphics technology and the cooling in MSI’s svelte 20mm thin laptop design.</p><p> We’ve already seen MSI’s GT72 with the GTX 980M inside it producing some impressive gaming performance figures and, while the GS70’s GTX 970M is demonstrably slower than its (literally) bigger brother, this slimline machine can still be considered a gaming heavyweight.</p><p> The GTX 970M uses the same GM204 GPU as the GTX 980M, but has considerably fewer CUDA cores inside. The top-end chip comes with 1,536 cores versus the 970M’s 1,280 and it also has a sub-1GHz clockspeed. When you compare that to the desktop version, the GTX 970, the mobile part looks weaker still. The desktop chip has a full 1,664 CUDA cores, a 25% improvement over the mobile part.</p><p> Nvidia is claiming its newest mobile Maxwell cards are capable of almost matching the performance of their desktop brethren&mdash;that’s quite an ask. It would require a completely linear performance scale to hit the touted 75% gaming speed they’ve been promising. Like the GT72 that Wes has been playing with, I’ve only seen performance figures from the GS70 that show the GTX 970M hitting between 65-70% of the gaming frame rates of the desktop equivalent of the card.</p><p> That might make you think I was a little disappointed with the performance of this bright red MSI machine. But, considering it’s the fastest gaming notebook I’ve personally tested, that’s certainly not the case.</p><p> The GS70 is around 10-15% quicker than a competing Asus G750 with Nvidia’s top last-gen mobile graphics tech inside. That the second-tier mobile chip can top 30FPS in Metro: Last Light at its highest 1080p settings is excellent&mdash;the GTX 880M by comparison was languishing in the late 20s.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lHg32tSWSsKg.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2U3prec6SF9U.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MSI closed"></p><p> Impressively it’s also quicker, and quieter, than the dual-GPU Aorus X7 v2 I recently tested. Granted, that machine is only using a pair of 860M GPUs, but it’s also essentially the same price as the GS70 and noticeably behind in gaming performance terms and overall spec.</p><p> But straightline gaming performance isn’t the only benefit Nvidia are trying to achieve with the mobile Maxwell architecture. The second spin of its BatteryBoost tech wants to free you from the need for a mains connection when gaming on a laptop.</p><p> Part of this is ensuring the manufacturers don’t hobble battery-based GPU performance, but there is also a new GeForce Experience (GFE) element. Maxwell’s efficiency means it can operate with lower energy demands (the 970M has a 75W TDP compared with 110W with the 870M) and that’s important when you suddenly only have 100W coming from the battery to power the entire system.</p><p> The GFE component is able to create a specific per-game settings profile, automatically applied once you’re unplugged. With a configurable maximum frame rate cap (set at 30FPS out of the box) the GPU will only use enough power to hit that level and waste no more. Sure, you’re not going to get the full power of your GPU, and lose some visual bells-and-whistles, but you’ll still be able to game away from the plug socket. For a while at least.</p><p> The issue is that BatteryBoost still only delivers a small amount of extra gaming time. Using GRID 2 as a test I got just 42 mins of play time out of the GS70 at my standard settings. With BatteryBoost enabled that rose by only twenty minutes. What you get out of the new settings varies by game, and the GS70 did manage to push over the necessary one hour mark, but that doesn't deliver the freedom we need to not worry about always being plugged in.</p><p> The new Maxwell graphics card isn’t the only thing that sets the MSI GS70 apart, and I’m not talking about the shocking colour scheme. This is the peak of MSI’s Stealth Pro range. From the quad-core i7 CPU and mass of memory to the twin 256GB M.2 SSDs in RAID, it screams quality. The build quality is also excellent. There’s no give or rattle in the solid Steel Series backlit keyboard and, while I’m no fan of trackpads without discrete buttons, it’s as responsive as any I’ve used recently.</p><p> It all comes at a price. This is the top-spec GS70, so you’re looking at a price of around $2,300 / £1,730. Whenever I test laptops like this I can’t help but think about the desktop I could build with that cash. You can pick up lower-end versions of MSI’s GS70 for a more reasonable price, however, still with that excellent build quality and, importantly, the GTX 970M.</p><p> MSI have created a rather impressive, slimline high-end gaming machine in the GS70 2QE Stealth Pro, but it has done so with a high price tag to match. If you don’t want the heft of something like the bulky GT72, but still crave the gaming performance, then the GS70 is a great shout. But you might need to re-mortgage first.</p><h4> Benchmarks</h4><p> MSI’s impressive GS70 is easily the quickest laptop we’ve tested so far, and it’s all down to the Maxwell-powered GTX 970M inside. The gaming performance is well in advance of the top Nvidia GPU of the last generation and is also able to offer improved battery life thanks to GFE too.</p><p> <strong>CPU rendering performance</strong></p><p> Cinebench R11.5 - Index score: higher is better</p><p> MSI GS70 2QE - 7.07</p><p> Asus G750 - 6.91</p><p> Aorus X7 v2 - 7.14</p><p> <strong>DirectX 11 synthetic performance</strong></p><p> Heaven 4.0 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better</p><p> MSI GS70 2QE - (8) 41</p><p> Asus G750 - (7) 36</p><p> Aorus X7 v2 - (6) 30</p><p> <strong>DirectX 11 gaming performance</strong></p><p> Bioshock Infinite - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better</p><p> MSI GS70 2QE - (9) 72</p><p> Asus G750 - (13) 66</p><p> Aorus X7 v2 - (12) 63</p><p> <strong>DirectX 11 gaming performance</strong></p><p> GRID 2 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better</p><p> MSI GS70 2QE - (67) 89</p><p> Asus G750 - (60) 79</p><p> Aorus X7 v2 - (67) 84</p><p> <strong>DirectX 11 gaming performance</strong></p><p> Metro: Last Light - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better</p><p> MSI GS70 2QE - (15) 31</p><p> Asus G750 - (14) 27</p><p> Aorus X7 v2 - (10) 25</p><p> <strong>Battery life</strong></p><p> GRID 2 - Time in minutes: longer is better</p><p> MSI GS70 standard - 42</p><p> MS GS70 BatteryBoost - 62</p><p> <strong>Tested specifications</strong></p><p> SKU GS70 2QE-031UK-RED</p><p> CPU Intel Core i7 4710HQ @ 2.5GHz</p><p> GPU Nvidia GTX 970M</p><p> Memory 16GB DDR3L @ 1,600MHz</p><p> Storage 2x 256GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD</p><p> Screen size 17.3-inch</p><p> Native resolution 1920x1080</p><p> OS Windows 8.1</p> Lords of the Fallen release date moves up a bithttp://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-release-date-moves-up-a-bit/Lords of the Fallen will release simultaneously in Europe and North America.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:51:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-release-date-moves-up-a-bit/Lords of the FallenNewsRPGSquare Enix <a href="/lords-of-the-fallen-release-date-moves-up-a-bit/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eT_hqTFZfYMN.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J60xR1Q-RimP.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eT_hqTFZfYMN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="lordsofthefallen"></p><p>You will likely have noticed, if <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen/">Lords of the Fallen</a> is your thing, that we have said at least twice that the game is scheduled to come out on Halloween, that being October 31. That was correct, but only partially so: In North America, it was actually slated to launch a few days earlier. And now the European date has changed as well.</p><p>Square Enix confirmed with <a href="http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/lords_of_the_fallen/news/lords_of_the_fallen_uk_release_date_brought_forward_to_tomorrow.html">VideoGamer.com</a> earlier today that Lords of the Fallen will actually release in Europe on October 28, the same day as the North American release. The publisher didn't reveal any reason for the change, but sooner is better than later&mdash;although three days is hardly what I'd call a game-changer.</p><p>And if the grim, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls/">Dark Souls</a>-esque action-RPG Lords of the Fallen hasn't thus far been your thing but you're reading this anyway, you can check out a couple of hours of gameplay by way of GamesRadar's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-livestream-watch-now/">hands-on preview</a>, featuring our very own Tyler. We'll have a proper, full-on review up within the next couple of days. </p> Telltale's Game of Thrones due to start before year's endhttp://www.pcgamer.com/telltales-game-of-thrones-due-to-start-before-years-end/Soon: the game version of the TV version of the book.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:35:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/telltales-game-of-thrones-due-to-start-before-years-end/AdventureGame of ThronesNewsTelltale <a href="/telltales-game-of-thrones-due-to-start-before-years-end/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OsHpVEmS_wCk.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> As Nedward Stark famously said in the fantasy novel Games of&nbsp;Thrones: "Games is coming... in Winter, Q4." <!--Here, at this point, you may be about to comment, "His name was Eddard, dickwad". To you I say, "http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/joke.gif"--> </p> <p> He was probably talking about Telltale's episodic&nbsp;Game of Thrones adaptation, which is due to&nbsp;start before the end of the year. </p> <p> The news comes from community manager Laura Perusco, who tweeted the following: </p> <blockquote> <p> <a href="https://twitter.com/RatedR2012">@RatedR2012</a> No specific release date announced yet, but I can confirm that the season IS premiering later this year. :) </p> <p> &mdash; Laura Perusco (@lauraperusco) <a href="https://twitter.com/lauraperusco/status/525732677371297792">October 24, 2014</a> </p> </blockquote> <p> So far, Telltale has kept quiet on what to expect from their take on the fiction. An image&nbsp; <a href="https://twitter.com/telltalegames/status/520234757083254784">has been tweeted</a>, and the phrase "Iron From Ice" has been spoken. Beyond that, we've got nothing but speculation&mdash;<em>and</em> a wishlist of what&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/what-we-want-from-telltales-game-of-thrones/" target="_blank">we'd like to see</a>. </p> <p> Ta,&nbsp; <a href="http://www.videogamer.com/news/telltales_game_of_thrones_is_still_coming_this_year.html" target="_blank">Videogamer</a>. </p> Now Playing: On the hunt in Elite: Dangeroushttp://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing-on-the-hunt-in-elite-dangerous/An against-the-odds encounter at Dahan Gateway.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing-on-the-hunt-in-elite-dangerous/Elite: DangerousNow Playingsim <a href="/now-playing-on-the-hunt-in-elite-dangerous/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VZmjHT0RdpY9.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gb4HH3SxR--g.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gf4XWdF0CN2l.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Elite Dangerous 1"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 style="margin-left: 0px;" class="title">NOW PLAYING</h5> <p> In Now Playing PC Gamer writers talk about the game currently dominating their spare time. Today, Chris is on the hunt in Elite: Dangerous. </p> </div><p> Andy’s starship slips out of the darkness near the station at Dahan Gateway. It’s an Anaconda, a 300 metre gunboat clad in dark chrome and shaped like an arrowhead. It looks like Batman’s Star Destroyer and I’ve been hunting it for more than an hour.</p><p> We’re playing Elite: Dangerous live with the developers, but server problems (the game is still in beta) have made it difficult to find each other in the vast expanse of the cosmos. Phil, Ben, Sam and Tom have made their own alliances and are off looking for Andy elsewhere. I rushed to intercept him at Dahan, and the gods of server-side matchmaking brought us together. This is my chance.</p><blockquote> Andy’s ship bristles with missile launchers and auto-targeting pulse lasers. </blockquote><p> Well, sort of. I’m flying a Viper. It’s the fastest ship in the game and respectably well-armed, but an Anaconda is a serious challenge. Andy’s ship bristles with missile launchers and auto-targeting pulse lasers. If I’m going to take him out, I’m going to have to glue myself to his tail or risk a war of attrition that I won’t win.&nbsp;</p><p> He’s not alone. A handful of developers from Frontier have opted to act as Andy’s bodyguards. He’s flanked by a Sidewinder, a Cobra and another Viper. I flew too many cargo runs to risk losing my hardearned ship to impossible odds, so I decide to take another approach. I move in closer and open a voice channel.</p><p> “Is that you, Thursten?”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RB4UC2yjRs-3.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/U8VE7To1S2Xy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Elite Dangerous 2"></p><p> I’m about to propose a temporary alliance when a flash of red lights up my shields. One of Andy’s escorts&mdash;the Sidewinder&mdash;has opened fire. Time to go. I turn and boost my engines to hit my top speed of 500m/s, then disable the flight assist: without it, my ship will no longer auto-correct to give the impression of flying against gravity. This allows me to maintain my momentum indefinitely. My Viper vanishes into the black, and the Sidewinder has no chance to catch me. But their Viper does.</p><p> I still want that alliance, and Andy doesn’t seem to know what has happened. “You still there, Thursten?”</p><p> “I’m here. Get your wingman to stop shooting at me.” I hit the flight assist back on, turn, and boost back towards Dahan Gateway. Throttle up all the way to the station’s perimeter before turning to gently line myself up with the station’s rotating flank. Inside the no-fire zone, I can hail Andy more safely.</p><p> Best laid plans, and all that. Somebody risks firing a missile within the no-fire zone and I’m forced to bolt again. Pulling the same speed-boosting trick, I flick through my target list to see who this new aggressor is. Andy’s Anaconda is lit up in angry red. A volley of pulse laser fire hits me from behind.</p><p> The voice channel is still open. “Andy, you dickbag.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NeO-yW8xRCCJ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9JS2yqXhhDfI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Elite Dangerous 3"></p><p> Then, something strange: Andy’s shield bursts. Then his hull: 90%. 46%. 23%. 17%. Having chased me inside the no-fire zone, he’s now facing the concentrated firepower of Dahan’s surface-mounted guns. Bright streams of fire converge on the Anaconda from equally-spaced points. He’s the unwilling pinnacle of a pyramid of hot space justice.</p><p> “Oh, bollocks.” The Anaconda takes a few seconds to come apart. Apparently, the phone still works. “Hahaha, shit,” are Andy’s last words.</p><p> He was carrying a few units of gold when he died, so taking a chance, I return to the station and I hail one of his former escorts&mdash;the Viper pilot. “You didn’t see some gold float past, did you?” I ask.</p><p> “No, it was destroyed,” comes the reply. “But I’m looking at an easy kill right now.”</p><p> He deploys his weapon hardpoints. I shift power to engines. Here we go again.</p> Evolve "Big Alpha" system requirements releasedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-big-alpha-system-requirements-released/Turtle Rock's 4v1 FPS will soon enter alpha testing. Here's what you'll need to play it.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:51:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-big-alpha-system-requirements-released/EvolveFPSNewsTurtle Rock <a href="/evolve-big-alpha-system-requirements-released/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xphn9GTjK6uB.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mi__0DpeSUao.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xphn9GTjK6uB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Evolve"></p><p>Hunters are lining up to enter Evolve's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/evolve-closed-alpha-coming-this-month/" target="_blank">upcoming alpha test</a>. But do they have what it takes? More to the point, do their PCs? To find out, take a look at the Evolve alpha's system requirements&mdash;a curious component range that is far from monstrous.</p><p>Compare and contrast to the recently announced&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/" target="_blank">Assassin's Creed Unity system requirements</a>. They require a GTX&nbsp;680 as&nbsp;<em>minimum</em>.</p><p>Turtle Rock stresses that these <em>aren't </em>the final system specs for Evolve; rather just what you'll need to access the alpha. Of course, to do that you'll also need an invite.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.2kgames.com/evolve/bigalpha/form.php" target="_blank">Head here to sign up.</a></p><p><a href="http://evolvegame.com/news/pc-specs-for-evolves-big-alpha">Here are those alpha requirements:</a></p><p><strong>MINIMUM SPECS</strong></p><ul> <li>CPU: <ul> <li>Intel Pentium D 3GHz or higher</li><li>AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 6400 2.4 GHz or higher</li></ul></li><li>RAM: 4GB</li><li>GPU: <ul> <li>AMD Radeon 5770 or higher</li><li>NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 or higher</li></ul></li><li>HDD: 15GB Install</li><li>OS: Windows 7 64-bit</li></ul><p><em>Whether you’re using a lower-end PC or just value frame-rates over quality: We turned down the settings a bit and turned off AA to get some extra frames on an older test rig in the office.</em> </p><p><strong>RECOMMENDED SPECS</strong></p><ul> <li>CPU: <ul> <li>Intel Core i7 920 2.67GHz or higher</li><li>AMD A8-3870 3GHz or higher</li></ul></li><li>RAM: 6GB RAM</li><li>GPU: <ul> <li>AMD Radeon R9 280 or higher</li><li>NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or higher</li></ul></li><li>HDD: 15GB Install</li><li>OS: Windows 7 64-bit</li></ul><p><em>Higher-end PC gamers: You will obviously push to Ultra settings and dial back as needed.</em></p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/evolve/evolves-big-alpha-system-requirements-are-surprisingly-not-monstrous" target="_blank">PCGamesN</a>.</p> Revenge of the Titans dev making survival roguelike set in Basingstokehttp://www.pcgamer.com/revenge-of-the-titans-dev-making-survival-roguelike-set-in-basingstoke/Basingstoke: now the name of a computer game.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:28:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/revenge-of-the-titans-dev-making-survival-roguelike-set-in-basingstoke/NewsRoguelike <a href="/revenge-of-the-titans-dev-making-survival-roguelike-set-in-basingstoke/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BdFXgkTZ0Zn6.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C7d_IIhxRVGW.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BdFXgkTZ0Zn6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Basingstoke"></p><p>PuppyGames&mdash;the developer of indie tower defence&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/revenge-of-the-titans-review/">Revenge of the Titans</a>&mdash;has released footage of their upcoming game, Basingstoke.</p><p>PC Gamer is a global outlet, and so I should probably what Basingstoke is.</p><p>This, courtesy of <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/16882531@N06">Flickr's Simon Green</a>, is Basingstoke:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4cO3TDlsSwy_.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hqtktycZ11FZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Churchill Way, Basingstoke"></p><p>It's the kind of town that you can spend 99.9% of your life not thinking about. It has a lot of roundabouts, I guess?</p><p>This, courtesy of PuppyGames' new trailer, is the computer game adaptation of Basingstoke:</p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VAZCnPR4KZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>At this point, those of you reading in the UK might need to take a minute to deal with the fact that there is a game called Basingstoke.</p><p>Done? Okay, here's the developer on what the game is:</p><p>"So the objective is to ultimately escape Basingstoke, like any right-thinking individual,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.puppygames.net/blog/?p=1585" target="_blank">writes Cas</a>.&nbsp;No comment.</p><p>"First of all, you’re definitely going to die, and this is going to be quite a challenging game ...&nbsp;when you die, that’s it, game over; and each game has randomly generated levels. The levels are made up of a number of randomly selected prefabricated sections joined together cunningly to create a mix of familiar and unfamiliar."</p><p>Basingstoke is due out early next year.</p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/10/25/better-than-stoke-i-guess-basingstoke/" target="_blank">RPS</a>.</p> Lisa trailer contains post-apocalyptic cycling, long moustacheshttp://www.pcgamer.com/lisa-trailer-contains-post-apocalyptic-cycling-long-moustaches/A side-scrolling RPG about "survival, sacrifice, and perverts".Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lisa-trailer-contains-post-apocalyptic-cycling-long-moustaches/IndieKickstarterLisaNewsRPG <a href="/lisa-trailer-contains-post-apocalyptic-cycling-long-moustaches/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3cilMyUep2Lb.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m2ZEA3V4TXu4.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JwHTXz2jNHr8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lisa"></p><p>Here is a trailer for the&nbsp;side-scrolling&nbsp;RPG&nbsp;LISA, which successfully did the business&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/131274701/lisa-the-painful-rpg" target="_blank">on Kickstarter</a> at the end of last year. While watching it, you will see a post-apocalyptic cyclist, a beastman throwing a small animal at a dilapidated refrigerator, and "a sea of dipshits and perverts".</p><p>Video games.</p><iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1-kT5SDifCU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>"Lisa is a quirky side-scrolling RPG set in a post apocalyptic wasteland,"&nbsp;<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=266349518&amp;tscn=1404119283" target="_blank">explains Lisa's Greenlight page</a>.&nbsp;"Beneath the charming and funny exterior is a world full of disgust and moral destruction. Players will learn what kind of person they are by being FORCED to make choices. These choices permanently effect the game play. If you want to save a party member from death, you will have to sacrifice the strength of your character. Whether it's taking a beating for them, or losing limbs in a Yakuza style apology, or some other inhuman way. You will learn that in this world being selfish and heartless is the only way to survive..."</p><p>Another trailer? Another trailer:</p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1KXi48OobbU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tigsource.com/2014/10/26/trailer-lisa/">TIGSource</a>.</p> Wildstar studio loses "around 60" employees in NCSoft restructurehttp://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-studio-loses-around-60-employees-in-ncsoft-restructure/Developers laid-off aspublisher shifts focusto mobile and tablet.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:33:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/wildstar-studio-loses-around-60-employees-in-ncsoft-restructure/MMONCsoftNewsWildStar <a href="/wildstar-studio-loses-around-60-employees-in-ncsoft-restructure/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mzu0Z4_SaVwM.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p>Wildstar developer Carbine Studios has lost "around 60" employees as part of "restructuring" by owner NCSoft. The redundancies, reported by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/23/7050545/wildstar-carbine-studios-layoffs" target="_blank">Polygon</a> and confirmed by NCSoft, have affected&nbsp;all of&nbsp;NCSoft's Western branches&mdash;with the exception of Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet.</p><p>Carbine, it seems, has been hit especially hard, with over sixty lay-offs across all levels of the studio.</p><p>"Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West," NCSoft's statement reads.&nbsp;"As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment."</p><p>NCSoft's statement says&nbsp;the publisher&nbsp;will continue to "focus on core development capabilities"&mdash;citing Wildstar, Aion, Lineage and Guild Wars. It goes on to say&nbsp;they're "looking to move into new business segments," such as mobile and tablets.</p><p>"Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors."</p><p>Best of luck to all staff affected by the lay-offs.</p> Our most wanted mods for GTA 5http://www.pcgamer.com/our-most-wanted-mods-for-gta-5/Nine mods we hope to see when Grand Theft Auto 5 hits PC.Mon, 27 Oct 2014 01:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/our-most-wanted-mods-for-gta-5/ActionGrand Theft Auto VGTA 5ModsRockstar <a href="/our-most-wanted-mods-for-gta-5/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ycK6yDKmyACp.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> What's the best livestreaming software?http://www.pcgamer.com/whats-the-best-livestreaming-software/The best free software to get yourself on Twitch.Sun, 26 Oct 2014 20:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/whats-the-best-livestreaming-software/Ask PC Gamer <a href="/whats-the-best-livestreaming-software/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8DMCnLxPYfSe.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1X7q7OL0SMWi.JPG" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jIkVG9apC6n6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Obs"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">ask pc gamer</h5> <p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ask-pc-gamer/">Ask PC Gamer</a> is our weekly advice column. Have a burning question about the smoke coming out of your PC? Send your problems to <a href="mailto:letters@pcgamer.com">letters@pcgamer.com</a>. </p> </div><p><strong>What's the best software for streaming games on Twitch? What do you use and is it expensive? &mdash; Mark M.</strong></p><p> The best livestreaming software is&nbsp; <a href="https://obsproject.com/">Open Broadcaster Software</a> (that's it above, along with&nbsp;me getting destroyed in Hearthstone).&nbsp;You might consider trying others depending on the functionality you're looking for,&nbsp;but I think it's the best because:</p><ul> <li>It's free.</li> <li>It's open source and keeps getting better.</li> <li>It's easy to use.</li> <li>It works really well.</li></ul><p> OBS is what I use to stream. I love its stability, low resource cost, and&nbsp;simple interface.&nbsp;Multiple capture sources can be arranged and stacked with a simple GUI, and you can switch between scenes with a quick cross-fade.&nbsp;Capture sources can&nbsp;be whole displays, regions of displays,&nbsp;windows,&nbsp;webcams, and direct&nbsp;game capture. I imagine some&nbsp;are out there, but&nbsp;I've never found an incompatible game&mdash;and there's always window capture as a backup.</p><p> OBS does all the things most casual streamers want to do, and again, does them for&nbsp;free and without any hassle. That said, you'll get more features with&nbsp; <a href="https://www.xsplit.com/?lang=en" target="_blank">Xsplit</a> if you pay for the premium version, which costs&nbsp;$25 for a three month license. Don't bother with the free version:&nbsp;it doesn't even have dedicated fullscreen game capture, and it puts ads over your stream. Ew.</p><p> But what do you get for that $25? A lot, actually. Xsplit lets you do things like stream to multiple channels at once, pull in direct video from Skype, and output to a projector. If I were running a big tournament with multiple casters, I'd probably <em>consider</em> using Xsplit. But for everyday streaming, OBS is my favorite (and like I said, OBS keeps getting better, plus you can do a lot with&nbsp;<a href="https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/categories/plugins.3/" target="_blank">plugins</a>).&nbsp;If you want to get started with it,&nbsp;I made&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-set-up-open-broadcaster-a-free-lightweight-livestreaming-application/">a quick guide to setting it up</a> back when it first released.</p><p>Another free alternative is <a href="http://www.ffsplit.com/">FFsplit</a>, and <a href="http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/1279750-broadcasting-with-ffsplit">Twitch has a guide</a> to getting it working.&nbsp;I still prefer OBS, but FFsplit does have a more modern&nbsp;interface, and I'm sure some swear by it.&nbsp;There's also ShadowPlay if you're using an Nvidia card&mdash;we like using for local game capture, but it doesn't have many livestreaming features.&nbsp;The main point here is that you absolutely don't have to spend money to get quality streaming software.&nbsp;</p> Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a demo you can tryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-now-has-a-demo-you-can-try/100 turns of sci-fi strategising for free.Sun, 26 Oct 2014 12:57:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-now-has-a-demo-you-can-try/4XCivilization: Beyond EarthFiraxisNews <a href="/civilization-beyond-earth-now-has-a-demo-you-can-try/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AMzn1-re9arc.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E0FLmyv6SKqi.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AMzn1-re9arc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civilization: Beyond Earth"></p><p>If you're tempted by Civilization: Beyond Earth, but not enough to stump up the wonga without knowing if and how well it will run on your PC, I have some good news: demos are a thing. Admittedly, not a thing that exists much anymore, but Firaxis have always been very good at offering up a generous amount of their games for no money. Beyond Earth is no exception, and if you navigate your way to the game's&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/65980/" target="_blank">Steam page</a> you'll find that there's now a big 'Download Demo' box on the right.</p><p>It's 5GB in size, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2k7qz0/beyond_earth_demo_available/" target="_blank">Reddit users</a> are stating that it gives you 100 turns to play around with, as per usual for Firaxis' Civ demos. That's a good amount of time to get a feel for the game&mdash;although for a fuller overview and appraisal&nbsp;of Beyond Earth,&nbsp;you could always check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-review/" target="_blank">our review</a>.</p> Toxikk trailer discusses its old-school movement modelhttp://www.pcgamer.com/toxikk-trailer-discusses-its-old-school-movement-model/"No bullshit" shooter's old-school approach extends to its physics andcontrols.Sun, 26 Oct 2014 11:25:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/toxikk-trailer-discusses-its-old-school-movement-model/FPSNews <a href="/toxikk-trailer-discusses-its-old-school-movement-model/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/baC06316NVyn.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ed_xu_DUEbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>In case&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/toxikk-trailer-tries-to-take-arena-shooters-back-to-the-old-school/" target="_blank">you'd forgotten</a>, Toxikk&nbsp;is a deliberately old-fashioned multiplayer FPS that spurns regenerative health, iron sights, free-to-play, and other elements you might find in many&nbsp;modern-day shooters, returning to the increased mobility and much faster speed of games like Quake and Unreal Tournament. Following a 'gameplay reveal' of the early access shooter back in September (I've embedded that below), developers Reakktor Studios have released a new&nbsp;<a href="http://toxikk.com/newspost/video-the-movement-of-toxikk/" target="_blank">ten-minute video</a> detailing the game's old-timey&nbsp;movement model. You'll find that at the top of this post.</p><p>It's a pretty&nbsp;interesting video, revealing (well, if you've not played Toxikk) that players will be running by default, and&nbsp;that in fact the Shift key causes you to walk instead. Double-jumping is in too, which is good news because double-jumping makes everything better. Literally everything. Adventure games, bat mitzvahs&mdash;<em>everything</em>. Here's some, perhaps more exciting, footage of Toxikk in action:</p><iframe width="600" height="338" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xuEZyeText0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Ta,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bluesnews.com/s/156007/toxikk-movement-trailer" target="_blank">Blue's News</a>.</p> Snap Construction in ArmA IIIhttp://www.pcgamer.com/snap-construction-in-arma-iii/ArmA III building construction is a literal snap with the iBuild mod.Sun, 26 Oct 2014 10:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/snap-construction-in-arma-iii/Arma 3Bohemia InteractiveFPS <a href="/snap-construction-in-arma-iii/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/01Mkp8DZ5D_k.780x349._M7N5Bmt.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dihOQR1gR3mE.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/01Mkp8DZ5D_k.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Arma III"></p><p>The highly moddable <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3/">ArmA III</a> has a new tool for players keen on building their own structures. The iBuild mod is still in its early stages but gives a fantastic glimpse at a future filled with easily constructed buildings. Place a few squares of foundation, build walls, windows, doors, floors, and ramps, all with just a few simple button-clicks. The pieces snap together, easy as pie, and in a matter of seconds anyone can throw together a basic building.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/T-aFqpueSpKW.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-x5lsbgVwo4j.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>Foundations are where you start, and placing a single square lets you start snapping on everything else. The placement is easy and reminiscent of other building games: just float a ghostly square of stone around until it's ready to place. Hold down the Tab button and it will build. This is all done with you standing right in the map and moving yourself around, just as you would while playing the game. Build a floor and you can just walk right onto it: build a door and you can open and close it. It's neat.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eEGLuEP-SBmB.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3C_DranCBpgh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>Once your foundation piece, or pieces, have been plopped down, you can select the other modules. Walls, naturally, come in a couple variants: solid, those with a window, and those with a door. Once you've got a few walls place, you can snap more on top, easily putting together multi-story structures.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xJ6Ag7lOStKC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g5aS_OZ4HwBM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>There are no stairs at present, but ramps are available for connecting different floors together. I can only assume we'll see ladders at some point in the future as well. Like I said, this is a very early version, and currently there's only one type of each module (walls, floors, etc) to use, though the forthcoming version (which may already be available by the time to read this) will have different variants of each module that you'll be able to cycle through with your number keys.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/go171bymTHGB.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iGGeok1zAUyp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>It's a lot of fun just to experiment with, and it's wonderfully easy to use. I started working on a cozy little home right on the beach, and on an airbase I constructed a new radio tower in just a couple minutes. I bet the sarge will be happy: I built it right in the middle of the runway. That's the best spot to keep a close eye on aircraft, right?</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_47xtwU-TIuT.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6lfrKP_OwS7B.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>There's a tiny bit of work to get iBuild running, so here's a brief tutorial. First, you'll need to <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=328806937">subbscribe to the mod on Steam</a>. Next, start ArmA III, and choose "Open Launcher." This will allow you to enable&nbsp;the iBuild add-on. You'll also need to disable any other add-ons you've got: at this stage, iBuild probably isn't compatible with them. Once you've got iBuild selected, click on "Play" which will start your session.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5HNAc--wSQOE.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mDhdib6Yuvho.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Arma3 2014-10-24 10-38-09-60"></p><p>Next, you'll want to configure a couple key bindings, which only takes a second. Under custom controls, Use Action 1 will be the key to turn build mode on and off, and Use Action 2 will be the key to actually build the sections.</p><p>From there, select the Editor, choose between Stratis or Altis, and double-click the spot on the map where you want to build something. Place a unit (that's you) and a couple more if you want some friendly NPCs to stand around watching you build. Then click Preview at the top. You'll appear on the map, ready to go.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/u9Ftv3b6ROuG.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mIVM6G5lOXwG.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>From there, you can cycle between your different building modules with the number keys. Just be careful! Since you're building while you're physically in the game, you can wander off the edge of the building you're putting together and fall to your death, as I did here:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BDTaZlF3T124.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vpet0hKUqWCm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ArmA III"></p><p>Watch your step!</p><p>The mod has its own website with a FAQ, videos, and more detailed instructions. <a href="http://ibuildmod.wordpress.com/">You can check it out here.</a></p> Blowing stuff up in Kerbal Space Program update .25http://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-stuff-up-in-kerbal-space-program-update-25/Kerbal Space Program’s update .25, which went live earlier this month, adds a lot of back-end structure, including new modes and detailed difficulty options.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-stuff-up-in-kerbal-space-program-update-25/Kerbal Space ProgramsimSquad <a href="/blowing-stuff-up-in-kerbal-space-program-update-25/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MbnL5rAqChy5.780x349.in0yIem3.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6G2GGkOaSBuB.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/I6594UctYZRC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Space"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/kerbal-space-program/">Kerbal Space Program</a>’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/kerbal-space-program-ama-reveals-origin-of-kerbals-plans-for-1-0/">update .25</a>, which went live earlier this month, adds a lot of back-end structure, including new modes and detailed difficulty options. The design and flight of ships in KSP remains as challenging as ever, but granular controls now give you the option of enforcing harsh penalties on yourself like the masochist you are. Whether Kerbals respawn, how bad a mission failure is for your public image, and how much money you start with can all be toggled and adjusted for a game in career mode.</p><p>Science mode is new to update .25, but it’s actually old&mdash;it’s what career mode looked like months ago before funding, reputation, and contracts were added. In Science mode, your only objectives are making new discoveries and going to new places. Sandbox mode remains the same: it’s just you against physics, and the solar system is your playground.</p><p>Much to my delight, KSP’s new Hard mode is classic PC gaming all the way: minimal funding, brutal penalties for failure, and Ironman-mode restrictions on quicksaves or rewinding flights to launch. If your ship blows up on the launchpad, guess what, commander: you get to pay for a second one. As I get deeper into my Ironman career save, I may end up with a body count rivaling my misadventures in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-enemy-within-review/">XCOM</a>.</p><p>A new building has been added to the Space Center grounds: the administration building. Inside, members of the KSP administration involved in purchasing, public relations, research, and accounting argue at board meetings. The administration building allows players to fine-tune their agency’s strategy based on current needs. If you’ve had some lucrative contracts but a high-profile explosion has flushed your reputation out the space toilet, sacrificing cash for a reputation boost with a public appreciation campaign might be worthwhile. If you’ve got a lot of science points sitting around and need some quick cash, a patent licensing program will help you get sorted out.</p><p>Because so much of update .25 is in the background, it may appear to be a stale, unsexy patch. That’s where you’d be wrong. Sexy update number one:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/j8QTB4GbSn-K.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wRvPV4l1kwI9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Explosion"></p><p>Space Center buildings are now destructible, so I spent some time crashing into them to test the mechanic. You know: for science. Each building crumbles and explodes in chunky gouts of flame, made even flashier by KSP’s new explosion animations. When the ashes cool, destroyed buildings are useless until you pay to rebuild them. This can either be inconvenient or catastrophic, depending on the building; there’s a very real possibility that crashing into the Vehicle Assembly Building on hard mode will mean the permanent end of that space agency.</p><p>Update .25’s other new hotness: space planes have undergone a full makeover. Partnering with community mod SpacePlanes+, KSP has overhauled fixed-wing designs and mechanics. Two new cargo bays (previously only supported through mods) have been added, along with new cockpits and structural options. Since a reliable space shuttle program is the cheapest way to bring supplies to low orbit, these new space planes will form the supply-line backbone for assembling deep-space missions at a space station.</p><p>Oh, and they look great, too.</p><p>Squad has already been on the horn about its plans for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/kerbal-space-program-to-enter-beta-with-next-patch/">the next update</a>, which will land the game in beta for the first time. Unless you’ve been running self-imposed Iron Man rules on yourself or struggling with single-stage-to-orbit plane fleets, this update might not be the most groundbreaking. The supporting options are necessary groundwork for the fully fleshed-out release and, eventually, the addition of multiplayer game modes.</p> Massive Chalice hands-on: emotional turn-based strategyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-hands-on-emotional-turn-based-strategy/Massive Chalice is a difficult turn-based strategy game, and probably the most mechanically complex game Double Fine has produced since Brutal Legend.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:06:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-hands-on-emotional-turn-based-strategy/Double FineMassive ChaliceStrategy <a href="/massive-chalice-hands-on-emotional-turn-based-strategy/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/P1xhn8CW2XP5.780x349.P8sIXsW3.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3ZFHpRoZRqG7.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uoWFdpTTDutH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MASSIVE CHALICE screen 04"></p><p>Natalie Meilk was out of explosive flasks, but I was confident she could kill the last Lapse, a ranged spectral enemy, with her <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jai_alai">jai alai</a>-like curved blade. She dealt only two points of damage with an unlucky glancing blow, but that's okay. Her sister Roanoke was nearby, and she had a few flasks left. Roanoke had a 52 percent chance of hitting the target, which is risky, but with my free throw ability, I could take two shots. The first missed the Lapse and hit Natalie right in the head. Surely, it wouldn't happen again, I thought, as I took another shot and accidently killed my dear sister at the age of 39.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice/">Massive Chalice</a> is a difficult turn-based strategy game, and probably the most mechanically complex game Double Fine has produced since Brutal Legend, but it's the emotional impact of these moments that hooked me. </p><p>When I play&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-enemy-within-review/">XCOM</a>, I get attached to my veterans&mdash;I want them to make it to the finish line. In Massive Chalice, I know that won't happen. The war against the Cadence monsters drags on for centuries, and while death will come for all my characters either naturally or at the hands of the enemy, I hope to at least keep their memory alive by seeing their heirs take the family sigil into battle again. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7BmgTl9PSXi-.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bCXnQMLCBZ6_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MASSIVE CHALICE screen 07"></p><h3>Family ties</h3><p>Keeping family legacies alive requires planning generations in advance, building the training grounds and researching the equipment I need to survive increasingly difficult Cadence attacks. Most importantly, it requires playing cupid. House Meilk will live on only if I install Roanoke as Regent of a province in The Nation, and find her a nice and virile husband. It'd be great if he had some good abilities to pass on to the children, perhaps a Hunter with a double shot ability, but really it's the Meilks' superb Alchemist experience I need.</p><p>Like the best games in the genre, Massive Chalice's tactical layer feels like a deadly chess match where I don't want to sacrifice even a single piece, though it's not as complex as XCOM or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xenonauts-review/">Xenonauts</a>. There are only three classes in the game, and while the stages are visually varied and all beautifully rendered with a low-poly aesthetic, as far as I could see, they're all flat. Cover and chokepoint placement still provide interesting layouts, but it has none of the verticality I enjoyed in XCOM.</p><p>Massive Chalice has all the tension of the move, then attack combat typical in turn-based strategy games, and it elevates even further in some nefarious ways. Wrinklers, for example, will target your oldest characters first, and each hit from their scythe-like limbs will instantly age that character by five years. Lapses, meanwhile, will deduct experience points from your characters, and even knock them down levels, taking away special abilities in the process. It obviously hurts to see that hard-earned experience disappear in a moment, but it's also extremely dangerous because I learned to rely on the abilities they took away. Whether just in difficulty or emotionally, Massive Chalice always looks for a way to twist the knife. It's rare and great to play a game that raises the stakes so high. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gnvqeXugTb2L.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VLk1CA-ij6qS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MASSIVE CHALICE screen 12"></p><p>Now that I've played Massive Chalice for a few hours and explored its strategic layer, I'm properly excited for the full release. It's a lot of little things that make the difference: unique sigils and character names, watching them age and breed, being incentivized to preserve bloodlines for their genes and special gear instead of just recruiting new heroes. It got me emotionally invested almost immediately, which is a recipe for tears because Massive Chalice is brutally hard at the moment. </p><p>As Project Lead <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-interview-you-dont-have-to-gaze-upon-the-making-of-the-sausage/">Brad Muir told us in an interview</a>, the team is focused on balancing now, so hopefully I'll be able to defend The Nation on an easy mode when the game is officially released. Otherwise, its multi-generational ideas for the turn-based strategy genre already feel fully baked, addictive, and ready to devour in marathon play sessions.</p> The Best Free Games of the Weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-49/Prep food, shoot aliens, and get creeped out by a sunflower in this week's roundup.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:04:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-49/browser gamesIndieThe Best Free Games of the Week <a href="/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-49/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lX5uOGNo1w77.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZGTMyJP0TvSn.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lX5uOGNo1w77.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chef main"></p><p> This week's banquet of free games contains a delicious meal for one, a bullet hell buffet in the bloody, spacey BloodSpace, suddenly thousands of herdlike diners solving puzzles to get their puds, a drive-thru arcade game, and an adventure&nbsp;where you feed horrible things to even more horrible creatures. Er, bon appetit!</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/other/chef/35694/" target="_blank">Chef by DinosaurFriend</a></h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9VvCJSbaS960.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QLvrWPc31Wvp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chef">A fantastic little claymation short that asks you (you being a chef) to prepare a dinner for a singularly fussy diner, who isn't all that fond of hot sauce, or being poisoned to death. It's a one-minute game: you select the ingredients, you watch Chef chop and prepare them, and then you see how your efforts go down. The animations, especially the facial expressions, are particularly good, while the joins between the video and the hyperlinky interactions are almost seamless. Most importantly though, Chef is funny–really funny. I had a big stupid smile plastered all over my face the whole way through.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/shooter/bloodspace/35952/" target="_blank">BloodSpace by Kayabros, Amon26, Erdoğan Cem</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pptgyUeUR9GG.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AphsOl_hcPGj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bloodspace"></p><p>BloodSpace is bullet hell shmup from Kayabros and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/582867" target="_blank">Gyossait</a> developer Amon26, with a rockin' metal soundtrack by Erdoğan Cem Evin. As you'd expect from something featuring art by Amon26, there's a lot of gothic imagery on offer here, and by that I mean a lot of black and red and pulsating slimey things–perhaps it's to be expected that it's a really quite punishing game as well. There's an interesting power-up system in place, which grants a different temporary ability based on which three coloured thingies you pick up from enemies first. You're terrorised in your relentless march upwards by a snakey space monster, who will likely get the better of you in the end. (Via&nbsp;<a href="http://indiegames.com/2014/10/freeware_pick_bloodspace_kayab_1.html" target="_blank">IndieGames</a>)</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/psyche-e/36373/" target="_blank">Psyche E by Juniper Jolliper and Ryan Melmoth</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1WK3pTV1QVuN.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8MN0msI7XLpa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Psyche E"></p><p>A short first-person adventure that starts with your character losing their penis, and ends with...actually, I'm not entirely sure what happened there at the end. Something to do with a mirror, after I fed feces to the sunflower and gave that thing a rock to eat. This is a game in which you store objects in your scrotum, and while that probably tells you all you need to know about this short item-swapping point and click, know that this is a very silly, scatological, stupid and childish game, and I enjoyed it a great deal for precisely those reasons.</p><h3><a href="http://omiyagames.itch.io/suddenly-thousands" target="_blank">Suddenly, Thousands by Omiya Games</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dwrxD-v9Qf27.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s0A7sj_v2OuN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Suddenly, Thousands"></p><p>There are Suddenly, Thousands of you in this smart, inventive puzzle game about the wisdom of crowds, and while that's not <em style="background-color: initial;">entirely</em> accurate–it's more like Suddenly, Tens, at least when the game gets going–there are indeed quite of lot of sheep-like people to manhandle here. It's a puzzler where everyone you control moves and jumps at the same time, that is unless you click on them individually (or in a group) to turn them into inert statue things. There's a lovely serene quality to Suddenly, Thousands' switch-activating, trap-avoiding, crowd-jumping puzzles–and a pleasantly abstract yet characterful art style to go with it.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/arcade/late-night-driver/35417/" target="_blank">Late Night Driver by david_is_neato</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0lOpSs2aTQyZ.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WLjxIGNZ4kGj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Late Night Driver"></p><p>An arcade puzzler that asks you break the first rule of driving and bash into other cars from behind. (That is pretty much the first thing they advise you not to do when you begin learning.) Bashed cars will bounce around the road, knocking into other vehicles who will then hopefully knock into <em style="background-color: initial;">other</em> vehicles, multiplying your score and giving you something pretty to look at from behind the safety of your dashboard. The key is to hit the cars with the&nbsp;red lights, and avoid the ones with the&nbsp;white ones–a neat bit of visual signposting that makes Late Night Driver a terrifically easy game to pick up and play.</p> Assassin's Creed Unity trailer details its "immersive open world activities"http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-details-its-immersive-open-world-activities/Investigate murders, hunt treasure, doco-op heists.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:04:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-details-its-immersive-open-world-activities/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNews <a href="/assassins-creed-unity-trailer-details-its-immersive-open-world-activities/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gcvXLUgBqJv4.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MfBreo2zRJ2M.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gcvXLUgBqJv4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Assassin's Creed Unity"></p><p>There were a lot of murders done during that there French revolution, and Ubisoft's latest trailer explains that you'll be investigating some of them as the Assassin (with a capital A)&nbsp;Arno. An assassin solving murders&mdash;whatever next. Actually, I know whatever's next, because creative director Alex Amancio divulges that information&nbsp;in the aforementioned video, which details the many activities you'll be able to get up to in Unity's open world historical&nbsp;Paris. In addition to the Assassin's Creed Columbo bits, you can seek out treasure, do co-operative heists, and take part in the revamped Contracts system (now called Paris Stories).</p><iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3-h8me2zrRw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Your homesteady base of operations in Unity is the Cafe Theatre, also known as the&nbsp;'Cafe Theatre' in English. "This is a hub for all of Arno's Assassin activities, and a home for all your social features", according to Amancio&mdash;it's basically the place where you'll train up, and look at all the stuff you've accrued throughout the game.</p><p>Unity's system requirements were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/" target="_blank">revealed yesterday</a>, and they're pretty steep.</p> Shelter 2 footage is adorable, terrifyinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/shelter-2-footage-is-adorable-terrifying/First footage shows off hunting, feeding, stealth, seasons.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:17:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/shelter-2-footage-is-adorable-terrifying/AdventureNewsShelter 2Stealth <a href="/shelter-2-footage-is-adorable-terrifying/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SUerjda-ggZ0.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DAIzOXPgQWmZ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SUerjda-ggZ0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shelter 2"></p><p>Scary animal survival game&nbsp;Shelter 2 is coming in February next year, after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/these-stunning-shelter-2-screenshots-just-about-make-up-for-the-games-slight-delay/" target="_blank">a slight delay</a>. Before then, we have another harsh winter to get through, something much easier to accomplish when you're a human and you feed yourself by popping to your local supermarket or visiting the chip shop. Keeping your family alive as a lynx is quite a bit harder, as this first footage from the upcoming&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mightanddelight.com/index.php?page=shelter2" target="_blank">Shelter 2</a> confirms. First you have to stalk&nbsp;your prey, then you have to kill it, all while making sure your little'uns haven't wandered off or been eaten by a passing eagle. Survival is a serious busine-d'awww, would you look at all&nbsp;the adorable little lynx cubs.</p><iframe width="614" height="345" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QWg-UvDp7uk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>I'm not sure I can play a game where one of those cute little things could die at any moment. But then, I'm not sure I can <em>not</em> play a game featuring them in the first place. I have a few months left to ponder this dilemma&mdash;Shelter 2 isn't out until February, on GOG.com,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/275100/" target="_blank">Steam</a>, and "other digital platforms".</p> Dreamfall Chapters: A Stark Contrast With Cyberpunkhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dreamfall-chapters-a-stark-contrast-with-cyberpunk/Why Europolis is already one of Richard's favourite cities.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dreamfall-chapters-a-stark-contrast-with-cyberpunk/AdventureCritical PathsDreamfall Chapters <a href="/dreamfall-chapters-a-stark-contrast-with-cyberpunk/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lS6BvwOyTL81.780x349.MtNzsBDK.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/U_RStAh6S_GJ.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1SFYh2POf5GN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dreamfall Chapters 2014-10-24 23-50-21-57" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif; background-color: rgb(247, 247, 247);"></p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Critical paths</h5><p>Every Saturday, <a href="http://www.richardcobbett.com/">Richard Cobbett</a> digs into the world of story and writing in games&mdash;some old, some new.</p></div><p><em>"Okay, yes, the flat is awful. The ventilation system rarely works. It's hot. It smells weird. There's no sunlight and people talk funny. But I like the energy. I like the diversity. There are art galleries and cinemas and a thousand million food carts. I had a pierogi for lunch and it was delicious. Sure, there are seedy sex-clubs, illegal dream emporiums and people urinating on the streets. But at least it's genuine urination. Urination with gusto."</em></p><p>The Longest Journey is the story of two worlds; our own of science, Stark, and the land of Arcadia where magic infuses everything. On the surface, it's a fairly stock premise; fiction is full of tales of people slipping from mundane reality to something more interesting, usually finding solutions to their real-world problems while there and returning a better, more enlightened person. Think&nbsp;The Neverending Story, The Silver Chair,&nbsp;or of course the most beloved example,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.richardcobbett.com/codex/therichardperspective/book-week-worlds-of-power-castlevania-2/">the novelisation of&nbsp;Castlevania 2</a>. It's a classic set-up, allowing for the fantasy to be witnessed from our perspective,&nbsp;and ground what happens there in more&nbsp;realistic fears like bullying and loss.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AV4am9D2QkST.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZYOyicCyBnhL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="If there's an issue, it's that the place is oddly clean." class=""></p><p>What makes its take slightly different though is that 'our' world isn't the modern one, but the 23rd century - a place of megacorporations and towering cities of glass and light, corrupt police and economic unfairness. In the new Dreamfall Chapters, set in a city called Europolis, the omnipresent darkness is so bad that one company has jazzed up the middle of heroine Zoe Castillo's home&nbsp;plaza by building an artificial sun - though one with the friendly warning&nbsp;"Original Consumer Goods would like to remind you not to stare directly at our sun, as it may cause blindness and tumours."</p><p>I've always found Stark a much more interesting place than Arcadia, which is a bit odd since I usually find cyberpunk hard to take seriously. They're rarely worlds where you can imagine people actually living, and by living I don't mean hanging around in alleys or hunting robots in the torrential rain. Stark though, despite on the surface being very similar to most of them, and especially in the dodgier bits,&nbsp;has a very distinct flavour of its own. It's hands down one of my favourite cyberpunk style universes, largely because it feels like it was&nbsp;designed by architects to be a place people live, rather than existing purely&nbsp;to push a dark, oppressive menace.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4LseVXLfR_qv.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nXdiIPcnSJEJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Much like the episode, the world isn't THAT big, but it's densely packed." class=""><figcaption>Much like the episode, the world isn't THAT big, but it's densely packed.</figcaption></figure><p>What makes it different is perspective, both on the creative side, and the viewpoint that we get on it. The Longest Journey notably introduced Stark through the eyes of two artists - its main character, April Ryan, as&nbsp;an art student, and the series' creator&nbsp;Ragnar Tørnquist, patterning her district of Venice (our first impression of this world) on New York's East Village. Look up and you see the cyberpunk city of Newport with all its drugs and hackers and filth. Look <em>around</em> though and what you see are people, working in cafes, squabbling, screwing, fighting for their dreams and everything that you'd see today, only with really filthy canals and the occasional really weird puzzle. It's a dystopia to to be sure, but one where people can hope to live rather than simply exist, that still has time for magic in its own way - represented early on by art and love, and later with the likes of&nbsp;friendship and sacrifice.</p><p>Skip forward to Dreamfall Chapters and the world is a distinctly worse place, not least because Dreamfall didn't go particularly well for Team TLJ. Dreams have become the latest drug, the streets are full of junkies, and even those who can hook themselves up are increasingly finding themselves trapped in endless nightmares. Worse, it seems like the most popular show around is the millionth series of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rapidotelevision.com/index.eurotrash.php">Eurotrash</a> (NSFW), yet not once has&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yFhqjwnIUQ">Mr. Penguin</a> returned to spread joy to the world, or the Romeo Cleaners turned up to wash away the filth of the streets without their trousers on.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i8ejyOGXTVSz.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9R0_NSKwqA7z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Slightly complicated for an election poster, but..." class=""> <figcaption>Okay, so it's slightly over-worked for an election poster, but...</figcaption></figure><p>Despite its problems though, and Zoe very clearly still fighting the depression she had at the start of Dreamfall, it's not the problems that really stand out in her district - Propast - but the sense of life. Put bluntly, and unlike most cyberpunk worlds I've seen, just about everything you see is there to reinforce that the people who live here actually <em>give a shit</em>. The main topic of conversation is an upcoming political election, and while it's pointed out that none of them are going to save the world, there's a buzz on the streets as everyone discusses their favourite candidates.&nbsp;There are police checkpoints, but there are also big (peaceful)&nbsp;demonstrations protesting them, instead of everyone just rolling over and accepting that things are what they are. There's no shortage of decay, and at least informed danger when it comes to bad streets and gangsters and the increasing police presence. But there's also excitement, life, and passion, as well as a cultural mix of everyone&nbsp;from punks with holographic mohawks&nbsp;to girls in mass-produced&nbsp;Bingo T-Shirts. It's a place you can imagine people choosing to live, not simply being trapped to await death.</p><p>(It's also worth noting that the place is actually populated for once, with crowds of people ambling around instead of coming up with some bullshit justification for why the streets are empty. It's not exactly Hitman: Blood Money's&nbsp;<a href="http://youtu.be/BQG46rA_9jE?t=3m48s">Mardi Gras</a>, but there's more than enough to feel like a living place without NPCs getting in the way. I also appreciate the amount of incidental dialogue, even if I do wish it was mixed up a bit so that you weren't always triggering the same soundbites about "Kaiser" Constantine or whatever while trying to find somewhere with&nbsp;this awful, awful&nbsp;map...)</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s-treZrrRhq2.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HM2ct_YoM8KA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Crow is great. Crowboy is a squawking advert for shotguns." class=""> <figcaption>Crow is great. Crowboy is a squawking advert for shotguns.</figcaption></figure><p>Much like The Longest Journey, one of the most visible and important aspects of this is that the people have art. Zoe's friend Emma is opening up a new gallery in the plaza where she lives. The brewery across the street uses glowing angel imagery. The corporate adverts for Bingo cola and Dream Machines share the visual space with art installations and memorials and now decaying posters for a better Europe that didn't come to pass, but still speak of the foundations of the city being built on optimism rather than pessimism or necessity, and little flourishes of that spirit still existing. It's a place of sensory overload, but one where if you duck down into a corner you'll find a man with a guitar still able to draw a crowd taken from every walk of life with nothing more than a quiet, sad song sung from the heart. It's a place that feels harsh and uncaring, but which still takes time to erect a memorial statue to the victims of the Collapse from the previous game, and where tourists will visit to see the sights - much as Zoe's diary mentions her taking a trip elsewhere before we rejoin her.</p><p>It's a beautifully executed world, give or take a certain maze like element and a truly terrible map system, and absolutely believable - very close to Shenmue in approach, albeit on a budget that precludes&nbsp;the same depth and scale.&nbsp;The people wandering around and just sitting and doing things, the heavy use of diegetic music (music that comes from an in-universe source, like a radio or a singer), the light leak effects and animated backgrounds are all splendid. What really sells it though are the details, and in particular Zoe's bursts of genuine enthusiasm in contrast to the moments where she's trying to convince herself that everything is going great - her excitement at being somewhere new, love of the local coffee shop, the food carts that she claims sells the best food in town - presumably not including her boyfriend's cheese soup.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FunkFAxWT5yt.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wu4ns1pwB3_o.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="&quot;And now I'd like to play you another innocently plot-relevant song...&quot;" class=""> <figcaption>"And now I'd like to play you another innocently plot-relevant song..."</figcaption></figure><p>Most notably though, there's the depth&nbsp;of it. While her journey is of course due to take her to other worlds and get caught up in multidimensional conspiracies, her willingness to see a future in Propast makes it feel like a place where futures can be had. There's a point where she talks about moving, but notably only elsewhere in the district.&nbsp;It doesn't, like so many others, feel like a city built for her story, merely the one where her story takes place. Nor does it feel like one where people are inherently trapped. For all the dream junkies on the streets, you see a lot of clearly successful people walking around, and a sense that people care about it for what it is. Even when Zoe brings&nbsp;up the idea of moving, she's only suggesting moving&nbsp;elsewhere in the district, and her stated goal of moving forward isn't stopping her trying to put down roots by making friends and trying to persuade herself that she's political.</p><p><em>"Five reasons I hate Europolis. There's no sun. None. It's always raining. Always. There's no vegetation. No trees, no plants, no grass. None. They claim to speak English but it's littered with slang words like 'mause' and 'bulle'. I don't understand half of what they're saying. Did I mention there's no sun? Fuck this.</em></p><p><em>But oh, it's fantastic and I love it. Zoe, contradictions, you are full of them!"</em></p><p>She is. And that's mirrored in the city, both the bits she touches and the ones in a skybox and so as untouchable as the surface of the moon. Propast is neither heaven nor hell, utopia nor complete dystopia, but a flawed, fascinating district where a lost soul can just as easily be found as sink into the gutter. That's what makes it such a wonderful piece of design.&nbsp;It's a perfect mirror of both Zoe's depression and her optimism, at least in this opening chapter, but beyond that I can't think of many in-game cities that have so&nbsp;neatly encapsulated everything that one can be in just a few relatively cramped streets. I can't think of any that have quite as neatly understood that it's the&nbsp;people as much as the&nbsp;architecture that make them what they are.</p><p>Europolis. It's a&nbsp;small glimpse, but it's already one of my favourite game cities.</p><p>Though if there was an achievement for smashing those ****ing street&nbsp;maps, I absolutely&nbsp;guarantee I'd have unlocked it in about five minutes. Grrrr.</p> The Legend of Korra reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-review/The Legend of Korra is a mind-bending experience for all the wrong reasons.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-review/ActionPlatinum GamesReviewsThe Legend of Korra <a href="/the-legend-of-korra-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4xJFwjGsL6Uc.780x349.CMZwK0jF.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong> A beat-em up based on the popular Nickelodeon TV&nbsp;show. <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $15/£12 <br> <strong>Release date:</strong> Out now <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> Activision <br> <strong>Developer:</strong> Platinum Games <br> <strong>Multiplayer: </strong>None <br> <strong>Link: </strong><a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/281690/">Steam page</a><br> <strong>ESRB:</strong> Teen <br> <strong>Reviewed on: </strong>Windows 7, Intel i7@3.00Ghz, 8 GBs RAM, Nvidia GTX 680. <br> <strong>Play it on:</strong>&nbsp;AMD Athlon64 X2 5600+/Intel Core 2 Duo+, 2 GBs RAM, Radeon HD 3850/GeForce 8800 GT+ </p> </div><p> I’m running up the steps of Air Temple Island when another mob of equalists attack and I only have my fists to defend myself. Breaking the fourth and final pot of spirit water, I unlock my waterbending and instantly feel like the badass I should, tearing through the foes that were holding me back. The feeling put into perspective just how strong Avatar Korra could really be, and it was the first moment of The Legend of Korra in which I was really having fun.</p><p> The Legend of Korra mainly consists of beating up tons of dudes, walking a linear path to the next area, and then beating up some more dudes, trying to rack up combos and find hidden treasures along the way. After a dejecting first level strips Korra of her bending&mdash;powers that give her control over Water, Earth, Fire, and Air&mdash;forcing me to attack with clunky, short range punches, I was worried the combat wouldn’t live up to the presentation. I quickly discovered, however, that the reality was the opposite of my concerns.</p><p> The Legend of Korra game is based on the cartoon show of the same name, now in its fourth season on Nickelodeon. Although the channel is primarily for kids, the show itself tackles some pretty adult themes and targets an audience older than Nick’s usual mark. Nickelodeon’s recognition of this audience is clearly reflected in its choice of developer Platinum Games&mdash;known primarily for frantic and violent beat-em ups&mdash;which has managed to match the attitude and intensity of the show almost perfectly.</p><p> As to be expected with Platinum, the combat is far and away the most fine-tuned part of the game. The blending of four unique fighting styles is smooth and satisfying&mdash;and when coupled with dodging and counter systems, each fight becomes a dynamic experience that looks and feels like a scene from the show, while leaving me lots of room to perfect my technique. The fighting is broken up by an occasional endless runner style mini-game on the back of your polar bear-dog, Naga. The change of pace is appreciated, but the inclusion of obstacles that instantly kill me&mdash;forcing me to restart the level an arduous amount of times&mdash;make these sequences needlessly frustrating, especially one towards the end of the game which had me shouting at my screen.</p><p> As a fan of the show, The Legend of Korra is an absolute treat to play. The plot, although light, is a brand new story that takes place directly after the events of season two, and each of the hidden collectables is a faithful callback to a memorable episode. However, not all references are treated with such care. Only two important characters, including Korra, appear for a substantial period of time, though they thankfully have the correct voice actors. The glaring lack of most of the lead characters and the poor use of the show’s other personalities and locations didn’t ruin the fan experience, but it was difficult to look past.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iottjK_eH1Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> There are only a handful of enemy character models, a fact even more obvious to fans of the show when secondary characters&mdash;specifically members of the Triad Gang&mdash;are faithfully recreated before being reskinned and overused as part of The Legend of Korra’s incredibly limited enemy pool. Likewise, the level design is beautifully cel-shaded on first glance but quickly wears thin as you start to see the same assets used many times over. This reuse hurts the otherwise engaging combat, as it frustrated me to put all my effort into fighting a chapter’s boss only to have that fight trivialized when it becomes a regularly used enemy in the next chapter.</p><p> With only eight chapters, the story mode can be completed in around five hours but encourages a second playthrough in its New Game+ extreme mode. This harder setting ups the difficulty by increasing the number of enemies while raising their health, and at first it presented me with a significant challenge. However, by the third chapter I had finished maxing out the power of my moves, turning every fight into a rapid left clicking contest. The extreme boost in strength I gained from reaching a bending style’s level cap removed any sort of strategy the fights had previously required, and was made worse when I discovered max level fire-bending would auto-jump to the next target. I felt more like a Super Saiyan than the Avatar.</p><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/WelloffAccurateHarborporpoise" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="690" height="410" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> This is only Platinum’s second game to release on PC, so it’s disappointing but not surprising to find the graphical settings are limited to say the least. The Legend of Korra has a max resolution of 1080p and the choice between two graphical options: normal or smooth. That’s it. Additionally, there is no way to customize key bindings, presumably because it expects and heavily encourages you to use an Xbox 360 controller. While it does control better with a gamepad, the mouse and keyboard controls handle just fine, and only slip up on a few ill-advised bindings. Overall, The Legend of Korra’s PC port performs well, but will only perform with the settings Platinum wants it to. Or smooth.</p><p> As a fan of both the show and Platinum Games’ signature beat-em up style, The Legend of Korra was a short but satisfying trip into a world I love hearing stories about, well worth the appealing $15/£12 price. However, if I weren’t already engaged in the story, the flat, repetitive levels and lackluster attempt to explain the game’s world would be much harder to overlook. All this, combined with its port being functional but extraordinarily limited, make the PC version of The Legend of Korra is&nbsp;an amusing but disappointing experience.</p> The week's highs and lows in PC gaminghttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_oct24/See what the team made of the previous seven days.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:57:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_oct24/ <a href="/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_oct24/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eW1kZg2HMJFV.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AC8LIGVKSg6H.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VThfwe0yla0S.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Stanley Parable"></p><p><em>Each Friday PC Gamer’s writers emerge suddenly from the sun, screech their opinions, then return to the sky’s vaulting embrace.</em></p><p><strong>THE HIGHS</strong></p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: A gaming parable<br></strong>Developer Davey Wreden revealed on Twitter that his brilliantly funny mod-turned-game The Stanley Parable has <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stanley-parable-has-sold-over-1-million-units/">sold a million copies</a>. "A few years ago no one had any idea who I was," he wrote. "Thank you.” This is one of many similar indie success stories that remind me just how amazing PC is as a platform. Bizarre, subversive, strange, weird, wonderful games like this can achieve financial, as well as critical success, which in turns gives the creative minds behind them more money to make even more games. There’s a lot of negativity orbiting games at the moment, so I’m glad stories like this are here to remind us all that gaming is as imaginative, adventurous, and exciting as it’s ever been&mdash;especially on PC.</p><p><strong>Chris Thursten: Zombie chickens (but mostly Tom Senior)<br></strong>Honestly, my highlight of the week happened about an hour and a half ago. Nothing has filled me with more delight than the moment that our own Tom Senior took to the stage at the Golden Joystick Awards to present an award to Hearthstone. His energetic cries of "HEARTHSTONE, HEROES OF WARCRAFT!" and associated arm-waving would have made Alan Partridge proud, and will live in my heart forever. You can find them at around 38:00 in <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/goldenjoystickawards/b/581303268">this VOD</a>.</p><p>I'm probably not allowed to pick that, though, so I'm going to say that CS:GO's adorable <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-gets-zombie-chickens-for-halloween/">zombie chickens</a> were my favourite new thing this week. I'm not sure that they're quite as cute as last year's <a href="http://i.imgur.com/F3wS4Ja.jpg">ghost chickens</a>, but I appreciate that Valve are trying something a little different for the sequel. That's rare, in this business.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AXrGTGDUT82K.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x9ccMBjqxK0E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Witcher 3"></p><p><strong>Andy Chalk: The Witcher 3 makes an introduction<br></strong>The Witcher 3 intro cinematic <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-opening-cinematic-of-the-witcher-3/">showed up today</a>, and it was smashingly good: dark, compact, and full of the sort of neo-medieval awfulness that makes me tingle all over. Best of all, it's not even really about the Witcher, Geralt, but instead keeps its gaze firmly fixed on Yennefer, his long-lost love, who's clearly dealing with some problems of her own. I think I like CD Projekt's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077-trailer-mass-murdering-robot-lady-versus-cyborg-cop/">Cyberpunk 2077 trailer</a> just a wee little bit more (although that could well be simply because it’s something entirely new) but even so, I'm now wound up tighter than ever for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt&mdash;and I'm giving serious thought to starting a petition demanding that CD Projekt does everyone's cinematic trailers from now on. All of 'em.</p><p><b style="background-color: initial;">Phil Savage: You can play Arma 3 free right now, so do that<br></b>There’s an Arma 3 free weekend <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3-free-weekend-is-now-underway/">happening right now</a>. If you aren't downloading it yet, you really should. A weekend isn't enough to experience everything the game can offer, but it'll act as a great sampler for what is one of the most flexible FPS experiences you can play. Don't just dive into the campaign; get creative. Find some friends, and become Zeus&mdash;using your powers to DM a tense and unpredictable military campaign. Or, head over to the Steam Workshop and download some of the amazing custom scenarios. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-of-the-week-pilgrimage-for-arma-3/">I recommend Pilgrimage</a>. It's just you, a massive island, and a few thousand murderous soldiers.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gWfWn01QSMGz.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XTmuqlI3EJ9r.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Return of the Obra Dinn"></p><p><strong>Tyler Wilde: Lucas Pope’s new game<br></strong>The creator of Papers, Please has a new game, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/papers-please-dev-releases-early-build-of-new-game/">The Return of the Obra Dinn</a>, and its adventurous black and white dithered graphics are so damn cool. What’s more, he’s released a free demo you can <a href="http://dukope.itch.io/return-of-the-obra-dinn">download here</a>. It’s neat. That’s all.</p><p><b style="background-color: initial;">Tom Marks: Hearthstone says “Well Met!” to more mobile platforms<br></b>So fine, technically this isn’t purely a PC high, but it is absolutely relevant to PC gaming. Hearthstone finally <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-to-arrive-on-android-before-the-end-of-the-year-iphone-to-follow/">has a timeline</a>, albeit rough, for when it will launch on android tablets and then phones. Hearthstone quickly became popular when it launched earlier this year, but its jump to iPad brought it to audiences it would have never reached otherwise and increased the popularity and success of the game as a whole. I don’t believe it would have reached the ever impressive <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-hits-20-million-players/">20 million users </a>milestone so quickly had it remained PC exclusive. The larger the player base, the more support there will be for esports events, game updates, and generally positive things for the entire community. It will be interesting to see the influx of new players that comes with its jump to android.</p><p><strong></strong></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E0FLmyv6SKqi.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AMzn1-re9arc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civilization: Beyond Earth"></p><p><strong>THE LOWS</strong></p><p><strong>Chris Thursten: Beyond Earth (but not very far)<br></strong>Civilization: Beyond Earth hasn’t clicked with me yet. I’ve had access to the game for about a week, and in that time I’ve struggled to get to grips with whatever it is that makes this game more than Civ V in space. I know that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/civilisation-v-review/">our reviewer</a> encountered the same feeling and ultimately moved past it, and I hope that the same is true in my case - but I was anticipating more surprises in the early game either way. So far, I’ve spent my time rooting out alien/barbarians while building relics/temples and building up my reserves of energy/gold. That’s not the new course for humanity that I was hoping to chart.</p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: Time to upgrade<br></strong>There comes a time in every PC gamer’s life when they realise that the graphics card that’s been dutifully chugging away in their PC for years has reached the end of its life. Alas, the GPU in my home PC, which I’ve shared thousands of hours of happiness with, is about to be yanked out and slung on the trash heap. Or in a drawer or something. The system requirements for games being announced these days are just getting <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/">ridiculous</a>, and I can no longer ignore the fact that I’m going to have to splash out on some<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-graphics-cards/"> new hardware</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PSDvL3KxR6ud.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uJDbRi3Go0FY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dragon Age 2"></p><p><strong>Phil Savage: Drag-on Ages<br></strong>Last week, I was praising Dragon Age 2. This week, I have played more than five hours of it. I still love the way the characters interact, and the way their stories build and shift over the game's three acts. But fucking hell, that combat. More than the repetition of environments&mdash;that the same cave exists in, like, nine different places in the world&mdash;it's the constant grind of opponents that's wearing me down. Hey look, you turned a corner; have another smattering of random assassins, and then, when you've done that, have more that will literally materialise in front of you. It's a real downer in a game that I have otherwise enjoyed.</p><p><strong>Andy Chalk: Paranautical Activity gets the boot from Steam<br></strong>Pro-tip: If you're an indie developer who's worked long and hard on a game and finally managed to get your creation on Steam, do not threaten Gabe Newell with murder. I can't believe I even have to say that, but it actually <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-removed-from-steam-following-developer-outburst/">happened this week</a>: After Paranautical Activity hit a snag transitioning from Early Access to full release, Code Avarice co-founder Mike Maulbeck went on a Twitter tirade that culminated in a death threat aimed at Valve's top banana. The game, needless to say, was immediately removed from Steam.</p><p>Maulbeck was soon forced to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-developer-resigns-over-gabe-newell-death-threat/">resign from his company </a>and give up all interest in and rights to the game, a heavy price to pay for a moment of anger and stupidity. But it's also a reminder that his actions affected more people than just himself; following Maulbeck’s resignation, his Code Avarice co-founder Travis Pfenning issued an official apology and is now working to get the game reinstated. There's no indication that will happen, and if it doesn't, its odds of finding an audience sufficient to keep the studio afloat are unpleasantly close to zero.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eqvOPuIBS1ab.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XOlKow4cy_Xr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Korra"></p><p><strong>Tom Marks: Do you like it&nbsp;normal or smooth?<br></strong>There has been a lot of good discussion lately about <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-features-pc-gamers-wantan-open-letter-to-developers-and-gamers/">PC gamers expecting more</a> from developers in terms of&nbsp;graphics settings. Clearly not everyone got the memo though. When I <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-gameplay-video-first-impressions/">loaded up The Legend of Korra</a> earlier this week, I was almost baffled to see how limited the settings were, consisting of a resolution option (which was capped at 1080p) and a single drop down menu labeled “Graphics” with only two choices: normal or smooth.&nbsp;I’m not even sure what those are supposed to mean.&nbsp;</p><p>Although this is only the second PC release for developer Platinum Games, they are by no means an inexperienced company and should absolutely be held to a higher standard than a resolution cap and a “smooth” option, especially when the game they’ve made is actually pretty fun to play. You can find my&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-review/" target="_blank">full review here</a>.</p><p><strong>Tyler Wilde: We need to stop saying ‘content’<br></strong>The word ‘content’ describes the stuff inside an animal’s stomach. The stuff inside a game, or added to a game, however, is not a half-digested rat. The word has crept into the standard gaming nomenclature&mdash;we use it, gamers use it, publishers love to use it, promising hours and hours of ‘content’&mdash;and it drives me crazy. I bring it up today because, as I was browsing Steam this morning, it struck me what dumb term ‘downloadable content’ is, especially on Steam, where everything is downloadable. Not to mention the fact that it can’t be ‘content’ if it’s not already in the game. You can’t put the contents of something into that thing, as any adventure game inventory will tell you. God. It’s just awful.</p><p>OK, I know we're using a different definition, but it’s still the most generic way to describe anything. What happened to add-on or expansion or patch? I’d even rather use ‘stuff’ than ‘content,’ because at least it doesn’t have that bitter marketing flavor. But even better, how about we just say what that stuff is. I mean, what the hell are you saying when you tell me there’s hours of content? Do you just mean that there’s a bunch of dialogue? Or that I have to grind for two hours to get a downloadable sword? Tell me, and don’t diminish the hard work of the people who had to design and write and act out and program that adventure by calling it ‘content.’</p><p>Side note: ‘content’ is also not what we create on this website. We write articles and editorials and reviews and stories, damn it. The term has to go for all media.</p> G.Skill's new PCIe SSD cracks 1900 MB/s read speedshttp://www.pcgamer.com/gskills-new-pcie-ssd-cracks-19000-mbs-read-speeds/Almost double the speed performance of SATA 6Gbps.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:46:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gskills-new-pcie-ssd-cracks-19000-mbs-read-speeds/HardwareNewsSSDTech <a href="/gskills-new-pcie-ssd-cracks-19000-mbs-read-speeds/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mqsL_BbeccK5.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><em><br></em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4mQ9K9x9SU6m.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mqsL_BbeccK5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="G.Skill Phoenix Blade Series 480GB PCIe SSD"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p>PCIe SSDs are getting so big they can almost be mistaken for graphics cards. Take for instance this honking <a href="http://gskill.com/en/product/fm-pcx8g2r4-480g">G.Skill Phoenix Blade Series 480GB PCIe SSD</a>. G.Skill boasts its latest over-the-top piece of flash storage will deliver sequential read and write speeds up to 2,000 MB/s.</p><p>Of course, when you break down that down to continuous speeds, the 480GB SSD will write at about 1,050 Mb/s and read at around 1,900 MB/s. Still, that’s still <em>double</em> the write speed found on a&nbsp;fast SATA SSD like the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/samsung-840-evo-1tb-ssd-review/">Samsung 840 EVO</a>, which boasts sustained read and write speeds of 515 MB/s and 503 MB/s, respectively.</p><p>The G.Skill drive can also read random 4KB blocks of data at a rate of 90,000 IOPS. 4KB Random Writes, meanwhile, go all the way up to 245,000 IOPS.</p><p>G.Skill explains that the Phoenix Blade can deliver these extreme speeds because it is equipped with four LSI SF-2281 SSD controllers, each of which is linked to a 120GB MLC flash module. The whole thing is also slapped into a RAID 0 array, whose speeds are turbocharged again with the PCI-express port.</p><p>The trade-off for all that speed, of course, is price. A 500GB Samsung EVO is only $230.&nbsp;G.Skill Phoenix Blade Series 480GB PCIe SSD is set to be available starting next week on NewEgg for $699 with an included three-year warranty.</p> World of Warcraft servers are finally coming to Australiahttp://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-servers-are-finally-coming-to-australia/Blizzard hopes to have the Aussie servers online in time for Warlords of Draenor.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:27:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-servers-are-finally-coming-to-australia/BlizzardMMONewsWorld of Warcraft <a href="/world-of-warcraft-servers-are-finally-coming-to-australia/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/q_CWT8bsV76z.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QR5qzOe1SPCW.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/q_CWT8bsV76z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft/">World of Warcraft</a> went live on November 23, 2004. That, for those of you who don't happen to have a calendar handy, is a month shy of ten years ago. <em>Ten years</em>. And as that tenth anniversary approaches, Blizzard has announced that local servers in Australia are just about ready to go.</p><p>"We are pleased to announce the upcoming deployment of Australian World of Warcraft game servers ahead of the game's next expansion, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warlords-of-draenor/">Warlords of Draenor</a>," Blizzard announced today. "This new infrastructure will support Australia and New Zealand and should provide a significant[ly] smoother gameplay experience for players in the region."</p><p>Players on an Oceanic realm&mdash;those being Barthilas, Frostmourne, Thaurissan, Saurfang, Caelestrasz, Jubei'Thos, Khaz'goroth, Aman'Thul, Nagrand, Dath'Remar, Dreadmaul, and Gundrak&mdash;should see their latency improve once the new servers are live. To accommodate Australians playing on North American realms, free character and guild master realm transfers will be offered for a limited time. Characters, gold, and guilds will not be affected by the change, and players on the the new Australian servers will still be able to play with friends in North America.</p><p>"Because the new Australian World of Warcraft game servers will continue to communicate with the existing North American hardware, players will still be able to play with friends on U.S game servers, just as they can today," Blizzard explained in the <a href="http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/14996569538">Australian Servers FAQ</a>. "They’ll still be able to use their Battle.net friends list to easily group up and chat, regardless of where they are playing."</p><p>Blizzard is "aiming to" have the new servers online in advance of the November 13 release of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but migrating the player data is a major undertaking. The plan is to take the servers currently hosting Oceanic realms offline on October 28 on the normal maintenance schedule, then make the switch and get the new servers up as quickly as possible. </p><p>Ten years is a long time to wait for your own local servers (although Australia is actually pretty huge, so "local" in this case is relative), but the response from players has nonetheless been very positive. Better late than never, right?</p> Scientists want to use the Oculus Rift to virtually explore the moonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/scientists-want-to-use-the-oculus-rift-to-let-us-virtually-explore-the-moon/The project is part of an effort to win the Google Lunar XPrize.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:22:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/scientists-want-to-use-the-oculus-rift-to-let-us-virtually-explore-the-moon/NewsOculus RIFT <a href="/scientists-want-to-use-the-oculus-rift-to-let-us-virtually-explore-the-moon/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iMS8UcLWJ77m.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fHz-g0omves?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> "To the moon, Alice!" Ralph bellowed for what must have been the hundredth time, as his wife slowly, derisively shook her head. But this time, he wasn't fooling around. He handed her the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift/">Oculus Rift</a> headset. "Put 'em on, baby," he said, "We're goin' to the moon!"</p><p> The idea to use the Oculus Rift to virtually explore the moon is actually rooted in a quest to claim the <a href="http://lunar.xprize.org/">Google Lunar XPrize</a>, a competition between privately-owned teams to land a robot on the Moon, move it a minimum of 500 meters in any direction, and send back high-definition video. This particular robot, created by Carnegie Mellon University scientists in conjunction with Astrobotic Technology, is intended to take that idea one step further by letting people interact directly with the robot's camera via the VR headset.</p><p> It's a monumental technical undertaking that stretches the capabilities of the Oculus Rift in some unexpected ways. One difficulty was simply that the software wasn't designed to receive two video streams simultaneously, which made the project "a non-stop, day-and-night hackathon," team leader Daniel Shafrir told the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29704953">BBC</a>. Lag will also be a factor: It takes a little less than three seconds for a signal to reach the moon and return, and all the hacking in the world isn't going to change that.</p><p> Still, Shafrir, designer <a href="http://www.benboesel.com/cradle/">Ben Boesel</a> of <a href="http://mojogamestudios.com/">Mojo Game Studios</a>, and Slippery Rock University Planetarium Director Dan Arnett were able to successfully demo the robot here on Earth last month. Sharfrir said the ultimate goal is to have "hundreds of robots on the moon," all accessible by the general public. For now, the plan is to get the first robot to the moon on a SpaceX Falcon 9 by the end of 2015, which is when the Google Lunax XPrize competition (and its $20 million grand prize) comes to an end.</p> League of Legends has made almost $1 billion in microtransactionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-has-made-almost-1-billion-in-microtransactions/Dota 2 and Hearthstone aren't even close.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:07:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-has-made-almost-1-billion-in-microtransactions/Dota 2Free To PlayHearthstoneLeague of LegendsNews <a href="/league-of-legends-has-made-almost-1-billion-in-microtransactions/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FiGZ9r3D3E82.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Et5mg7OJTcWs.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FiGZ9r3D3E82.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="League-of-Legends1"></p><p>Microtransactions. "Micro." As in, very small bits of money&mdash;a dollar here, a dollar there&mdash;exchanged for comparably small in-game items: A new hat, perhaps, or some healing potions. But boy, it sure adds up. Riot Games earned $624 million from <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends/">League of Legends</a> last year, and that was only good enough for second place on the top-ten free-to-play earnings list. In 2014, however, it's shot to number one, and is poised to be the first to break $1 billion in microtransaction revenues.</p><p>League of Legends pulled in an estimated $964 million between January and September of this year, according to SuperData research (via <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/23/the-10-highest-grossing-online-pc-games-in-2014-hearthstone-dota-2-cant-compete-with-league-of-legends/">VentureBeat</a>), making the magical $1 billion mark almost a sure thing. And it's not alone: <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/20/10-online-pc-games-that-made-more-than-100m-in-microtransaction-sales-last-year/">Last year's</a> first-place finisher, the military FPS CrossFire, is at $897 million, Nexon's Dungeon Fighter Online is sitting at $891 million, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft/">World of Warcraft</a> has brought in $728 million. All them have a good shot at making it over the hump.</p><p>Also noteworthy is just how badly League of Legends is trouncing the other big free-to-play games in North American, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dota-2/">Dota 2</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone/">Hearthstone</a>. Both made the list, but way, way back in the pack: Dota 2 is at number nine with $136 million in revenues, while Hearthstone brought up the rear with $114 million. I'm not going to shed too many tears for either of them, but it's a remarkable gap between them.</p><p>The World of Warcraft situation is interesting as well. Subscription numbers have slid dramatically over the past several years (although they recently <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-subs-on-the-rise-ahead-of-warlords-of-draenor-expansion/">enjoyed a bounce</a> thanks to the launch of Warlords of Draenor), but the spending on in-game items, which is all these numbers take into account&mdash;no subscription revenues, in other words&mdash;is way up: Its nine-month total is more than triple the $213 million it earned in all of 2013.</p><p>In a similar light, Hearthstone may be doing better than it appears, because the figures are PC-only and thus don't account for mobile spending. That still wouldn't be enough to get it near LoL, but it might move it up a few places in the list.</p> Outlast 2 is in developmenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/outlast-2-is-in-development/Red Barrels has finally confirmed that a sequel to last year's horror hit is on the way.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:34:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/outlast-2-is-in-development/HorrorNewsOutlastRed Barrels <a href="/outlast-2-is-in-development/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pjoJTp_rVwPV.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zbMlMoUjRF2f.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pjoJTp_rVwPV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="outlast handyman"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/outlast/">Outlast</a>, the indie horrorfest about an unlucky journalist stumbling through a crumbling, not-at-all-abandoned insane asylum, did pretty well for itself last year. "Is Outlast scary?" <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/outlast-review/">our review asked</a>, in the rhetorical way reviewers like to. "Hell yes." And so it's not surprising (but still very good news) that developer Red Barrels has finally confirmed that a sequel is in the works.</p><p>The news came from Red Barrels co-founder Philippe Morin, who told <a href="http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3318564/exclusive-red-barrels-confirms-outlast-2/">Bloody Disgusting</a> that while it will be some time yet before the game is ready, the studio is working on it. "After shipping the Xbox One version of Outlast, we took some time to analyze our situation and we quickly realized we had at least another horror game in us," he said. "So, yes, we are working on Outlast 2."</p><p>Morin didn't reveal anything in the way of details, saying that "part of the fun of playing a horror game is the sense of discovery and progressively understand wtf is going on," but players won't be returning to Mount Massive in the sequel. </p><p>"The game will be a survival horror experience and it will take place in the same universe as Outlast, but it will have different characters and a different setting," he said. "We might go back to Mount Massive Asylum one day, but for now we have new ideas and themes we’d like to explore and we think we’re cooking up something special."</p> Golden Joysticks round-up: see all the PC videos and trailershttp://www.pcgamer.com/golden-joysticks-round-up-see-all-the-pc-videos-and-trailers/Why is Gabe Newell surrounded by spider webs, and other questions.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/golden-joysticks-round-up-see-all-the-pc-videos-and-trailers/Golden JoysticksNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild HuntWorld of Warships <a href="/golden-joysticks-round-up-see-all-the-pc-videos-and-trailers/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GrKMXGwo0hZa.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> The Golden Joysticks are over, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/479326/golden-joysticks-2014-full-list-of-winners/" target="_blank">winners have been revealed</a>. A bunch of videos have surfaced from the event; in the form of both new trailers and acceptance speeches from triumphant absentees. Don't worry if you missed the action live, as we've now rounded up those videos into a single post.</p><h3>The Trailers</h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YoEtyCdmgO0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bK5n8ruYfrk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0pzctXoQjo4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><h3>The Winners</h3><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Gl4uFIr2EKw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VO0vSiwxJ_8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Yes, those are&nbsp;spider webs and a&nbsp;severed hand by Gabe Newell. Hopefully it's a Halloween thing.</p>