PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usFri, 24 Oct 2014 17:07:00 +0000League 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> Watch the opening cinematic of The Witcher 3http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-opening-cinematic-of-the-witcher-3/Take a look atCD Projekt RED's luscious cinematic now.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-opening-cinematic-of-the-witcher-3/Golden JoysticksNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <a href="/watch-the-opening-cinematic-of-the-witcher-3/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wJaw9-I83WLM.780x349.rEJ54mX2.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YoEtyCdmgO0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Shown just&nbsp;moments ago at the Golden Joystick Awards, you can now see the full opening cinematic of&nbsp;The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Decapitated horse, gross eye-bird&nbsp;and all.</p><p>All that's left now is to wait for CD Projekt RED's exciting RPG&nbsp;to release. That'll happen early next year, on 24 February.</p><p>To see more from the user-voted award show, head over to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/goldenjoystickawards" target="_blank">the official Golden Joysticks Twitch channel</a>.</p> Project Cars trailer crashes the Golden Joystick Awardshttp://www.pcgamer.com/project-cars-trailer-crashes-the-golden-joystick-awards/See the new trailer in-gameforSlightly Mad's beautiful sim.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:27:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/project-cars-trailer-crashes-the-golden-joystick-awards/Golden JoysticksProject CARSRacingSlightly Mad Studios <a href="/project-cars-trailer-crashes-the-golden-joystick-awards/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m82nJ8AWYOpl.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bK5n8ruYfrk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Here, fresh from the Golden Joystick Awards, is a new in-game&nbsp;trailer for Project CARS&mdash;Slightly Mad Studios' beautiful looking racing sim.</p><p>It features cars. They are going fast. <em>Dramatically.</em></p><p>Less fast is the game's release schedule. After a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/project-cars-delayed-into-2015-for-more-polish-less-competition/" target="_blank">recently announced delay</a>, it'll finally cross the finish line next year, on 21 March. In the meantime, we can stare longingly at Ben's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/4k-screenshot-showcase-project-cars/" target="_blank">Project CARS 4K gallery</a>.</p> Far Cry 4 trailer explores the midlands of Kyrathttp://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4-trailer-explores-the-midlands-of-kyrat/It's cold and full of terrifying things. Have fun.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:16:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4-trailer-explores-the-midlands-of-kyrat/Far Cry 4FPSNewsUbisoft <a href="/far-cry-4-trailer-explores-the-midlands-of-kyrat/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9NI1WxQxML1G.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-EMOL8HWrMU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>I grew up in the part of the UK known as the Midlands, which makes some of the lines in this trailer&nbsp;feel a bit jarring. "The Midlands are home to beautiful vistas, exotic animal life...?" That's certainly one way to describe Coventry, I guess. In reality, though, this Far Cry 4 trailer is less concerned with central England, and more with the exotic locations of Far Cry 4's Kyrat.</p><p>This is part two in a series of trailers exploring the game's setting. You can see the previous entry below.</p><p>Far Cry 4 is due out 18 November. Shaun Prescott recently went hands-on with the game, and then&nbsp;<a href="http://spark.futureus.com/site/www.pcgamer.com/edit/54826/" target="_blank">wrote about it on an internet website</a>.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yeKn_bMD2tk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Green Man Gaming kicks off Halloween with gamer trick or treatshttp://www.pcgamer.com/green-man-gaming-kicks-of-halloween-with-gamer-trick-or-treats/What lurks within their Halloween goody bag?Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:51:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/green-man-gaming-kicks-of-halloween-with-gamer-trick-or-treats/ <a href="/green-man-gaming-kicks-of-halloween-with-gamer-trick-or-treats/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pMwAhg9rgEH7.780x349.ttdkP9dA.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p>Green Man Gaming, the headline sponsors of this year’s Golden Joystick awards has announced a raft of trick or treats to kick off a special Halloween promotion on its service, coinciding with the <a href="http://www.goldenjoystick.com" target="_blank">Golden Joystick awards</a> show today.</p><p>What lurks within their Halloween goody bag? Well, just like the traditional bags circulated at the festival of ghosts, ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, you never know what you’re going to get until you take a dip inside. </p><p>Buy a game in the Trick or Treat promotion and you could score a free game or a special discount voucher, but if the dice come up the wrong way, GMG are promising a variety of non-specific Tricks (none of which we suspect will be too harsh). </p><p>Some of the discounted titles include Typing of the Dead Complete Collection (66% off), System Shock 2 (75% off), the Alan Wake Collector’s Bundle (75% off), Darksiders II (85% off) and 75% off across the entire Batman Arkham series.</p><p>The promotion is due to run from today Friday October 24<sup>th</sup>, until Halloween on Friday 31<sup>st</sup> October, so head on over to&nbsp;<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101088503&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink" target="_blank">http://www.greenmangaming.com/trick-or-treat/</a> and fill your boots.</p><p>There will also be Playfire Rewards offered against some of these Halloween treats, and to find the full list of these visit:&nbsp;<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101087303&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink" target="_blank">https://www.playfire.com/a/rewards</a></p><p>There’s also plenty of other deals and discounts if you fancy loading up on some great PC gaming now the nights are drawing in and these include offers on huge titles like Civilization: Beyond Earth, F1 2014 and Shadow of Mordor, with full details below. You’ll also get daily rewards for every game you track on the Playfire service, which can’t be bad.</p><p><strong>Other deals:</strong></p><p><strong>Civilization: Beyond Earth</strong> - buy now and get 10 Free Game Pack + OnLive free trial + 23% voucher</p><p>(10 free game pack includes titles Speedball 2, Pixel Junk Monsters and Postal)</p><p>We’ll also have Playfire Rewards available on Civilization: Beyond Earth, for the full details please visit the Rewards page -&nbsp;<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=101087303&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink" target="_blank">https://www.playfire.com/a/rewards</a></p><p><strong>Welcome Pack</strong> for new GMG customers will be available again from Friday - comes with 6 free games and OnLive free trial</p><p><strong>20% voucher</strong> running until next Friday 31<sup>st</sup>. Works across thousands of titles: SPOOKY-TREATS-GMG20X</p><p><strong>VIP Room</strong> – loyal GMG customers now get exclusive deals on certain titles, to check these great deals (including Shadow of Mordor Season Pass, F1 2014 and more) visit:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.greenmangaming.com/vip/" target="_blank">http://www.greenmangaming.com/vip/</a></p><p><a href="http://www.greenmangaming.com/vip/" target="_blank"></a></p> Assassin's Creed Unity system requirements confirmedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/It's official: your passport to historical France isaGTX 680, at minimum.Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:04:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNewssystem requirements <a href="/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-confirmed/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kcGoB0bqSZ72.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h4Nq-FvqQ3y2.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_w7QX9JsdAsF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Assassin's Creed Unity"></p><p> Yesterday, I posted about some rumoured&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/" target="_blank">Assassin's Creed: Unity system requirements</a>. Many were rightly sceptical&mdash;the idea of a minimum requirement of a GTX 680 or Radeon HD 7970 seemed, in a word, absurd. And yet, here, today, Ubisoft&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.ubi.com/assassins-creed-unity-pc-specs/" target="_blank">has confirmed</a> those required specifications.</p><p> Here, then, are the official requirements.&nbsp;Let them eat relatively high-end&nbsp;graphics cards:</p><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">64-bit operating system</strong><br> Required</p><p> <strong>Supported OS</strong><br> Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64bit versions only)</p><p> <strong>Processor</strong><br> <em>Minimum</em><br> Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz</p><p> <em>Recommended</em><br> Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or better</p><p> <strong>RAM</strong><br> <em>Minimum</em><br> 6 GB</p><p> <em>Recommended</em><br> 8GB</p><p> <strong>Video Card</strong><br> <em>Minimum</em><br> NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (2 GB VRAM)</p><p> <em>Recommended</em><br> NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X (3 GB VRAM)</p><p> <em>DirectX</em><br> Version 11</p><p> <strong>Sound Card</strong><br> DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers</p><p> <strong>Hard Drive Space</strong><br> 50 GB available space</p><p> <strong>Peripherals Supported</strong><br> Windows-compatible keyboard and mouse required, optional controller</p><p> <strong>Multiplayer</strong><br> 256 kbps or faster broadband connection</p><p> <strong>Supported Video Cards at Time of Release</strong><br> NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or better, GeForce GTX 700 series; AMD Radeon HD7970 or better, Radeon R9 200 series <br> <em>Note: Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT officially supported.</em></p><p> As I pointed out yesterday, we're currently living in a period where system requirements do not always map with reality. Keep an eye out for benchmarks when the game is released&mdash;they'll prove a much more reliable signifier of the game's performance.</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, 23 Oct 2014 23:22:00 +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://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/43zEN0w2qzmh.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/T-db9GGYv24" 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/MlmYp-c7pek" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/A2vLVv2KS2c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> How to play Dreamfall: The Longest Journey on Windows 7/8http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-play-dreamfall-the-longest-journey-on-windows-78/To celebrate the release of Dreamfall: Chapters, we look back at the 2006 adventure game. In 8K resolution, naturally.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-play-dreamfall-the-longest-journey-on-windows-78/DreamfallDreamfall ChaptersPixel Boost <a href="/how-to-play-dreamfall-the-longest-journey-on-windows-78/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tZxsRZt0y0Tn.780x349.lRV1JnqF.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> Payday 2 gets free John Wick DLChttp://www.pcgamer.com/payday-2-gets-free-john-wick-dlc/The John Wick DLC adds a new playable character, weapon mods, and sunglasses, but no puppies.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/payday-2-gets-free-john-wick-dlc/FPSNewsOverkillPayday 2 <a href="/payday-2-gets-free-john-wick-dlc/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zMVq05gqrLSd.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eouTcseNTw-E.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zMVq05gqrLSd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="John Wick DLC"></p><p>John Wick is a movie starring Keanu Reeves about a retired super-assassin who goes on a rampage when a Russian mobster kills the dog that was the last gift given to him by his dying wife. I am totally not making that up, and to prove it I present to you the John Wick DLC for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/payday-2/">Payday 2</a>.</p><p>The John Wick DLC includes a new playable character by the name of John Wick&mdash;not much surprise there&mdash;a new Hitman perk deck featuring the Akimbo ability, the Chimano Compact pistol with a dozen mods, the URSA Tanto knife, and three new pairs of sunglasses, one of which is only usable by Mr. Wick himself. Sadly, an adorable, dangerously-low-HP puppy dog AI sidekick is not part of the package.</p><p>I'm not generally a fan of cross-media promotions, but this one gets a pass for two reasons. One, I freakin' love this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AUmvWm5ZDQ">John Wick trailer</a> (and I have every intention of being in line on launch day), and two, as part of the <a href="http://www.overkillsoftware.com/crimefest/">Payday 2 Crimefest</a> promotion, it's free, so regardless of your interest in the movie, it's not like you've got much to lose. And if, on the other hand, you can't wait for John Wick but have no idea about Payday 2, purchasing tickets to the film through <a href="http://www.fandango.com/johnwick_175912/movieoverview">Fandango</a> will net you a free download of the game.</p><p>The one bit of bad news is that the DLC can apparently cause crashes to modded games. Workarounds have been posted in the Payday 2 Steam forum, but if you run into grief you may have to uninstall the mods until they've been updated. </p><p>The <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/218620/announcements/detail/221000774076715767">John Wick DLC</a> is live now on Steam, while John Wick the film, for those who've developed an interest in seeing puppy-killers get some hot lead comeuppance, opens in theaters on October 24.</p> Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar MMO coming to Steam Early Access in Novemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/richard-garriotts-shroud-of-the-avatar-mmo-coming-to-steam-early-access-in-november/ Soon everyone will have a chance to get their hands on Lord British's latest creation..Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:22:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/richard-garriotts-shroud-of-the-avatar-mmo-coming-to-steam-early-access-in-november/MMONewsPortalariumRichard GarriottShroud of the Avatar <a href="/richard-garriotts-shroud-of-the-avatar-mmo-coming-to-steam-early-access-in-november/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mV_CzrdAhrrN.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-4yS6W1bQou7.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mV_CzrdAhrrN.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shroud of the Avatar"></p><p>If you're one of the people who threw nearly two million bucks at the Kickstarter for Richard Garriott's very Ultima-esque MMO <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/shroud-of-the-avatar/">Shroud of the Avatar</a> last year, you've likely already been playing it, in a pre-release state, for quite some time. But soon everyone will be able to join in, as developer Portalarium revealed yesterday that the Steam Early Access launch is just a month away.</p><p>As the title suggests, Shroud of the Avatar is very much a spiritual successor to Garriott's famous and long-running Ultima RPG series. The <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/portalarium/shroud-of-the-avatar-forsaken-virtues-0">Kickstarter</a>, in fact, says the goal is to "tell a story even more compelling than Ultimas IV-VII, create a virtual world more interactive than Ultima VII, [and] develop deep rich multi-player capabilities beyond combat akin to Ultima Online."</p><p>How close the game currently comes to that lofty goal will soon be revealed to all, or at least to those willing to spring for it on Steam. "We are moving full steam ahead (oh yes, I went there) towards our Steam Early Access launch on November 24," Executive Producer Starr Long revealed in the latest <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/portalarium/shroud-of-the-avatar-forsaken-virtues-0/posts/1026789">Kickstarter update</a>. "We were nervous at first about moving to Steam, but are feeling great now based on the overwhelmingly positive and speedy results of our Steam Greenlight campaign, and the incredible support Steam has been giving us."</p><p>Playing the game through Steam is optional but Portalarium is asking that backers do so in order to help with testing and preparation for the Early Access launch. Details on how to do so, along with a breakdown of what's changed and been added to the latest release of the game, are up at <a href="https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=45251">shroudoftheavatar.com</a>.</p> Gigabyte GA-X99-Gaming 5 motherboard tested: overclocking a Haswell-E 5960Xhttp://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-ga-x99-gaming-5-motherboard-tested-overclocking-a-haswell-e-5960x/Gigabyte's X99 Gaming 5 motherboard is pricey, but a great UEFI and some smart touches make it an attractive Haswell-E board.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:25:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-ga-x99-gaming-5-motherboard-tested-overclocking-a-haswell-e-5960x/GigabyteHardwareMotherboardTech <a href="/gigabyte-ga-x99-gaming-5-motherboard-tested-overclocking-a-haswell-e-5960x/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PQHM3xvyOnT5.780x349.DqnuuvKN.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YNQFSkJgTeCa.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PQHM3xvyOnT5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Hero"></p><p>A new generation of Intel Extreme processors with a new socket (LGA 2011-3) means a new batch of motherboards to go along with them, and Gigabyte has a whopping eight X99 boards aimed at the PC gaming elite. To test out Intel’s $1050 Core i7 5960X, Gigabyte sent me the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5125#ov">GA-X99-Gaming 5</a>, which sits in the middle of that eight motherboard pack. At $295, it’s a bit cheaper than a couple other variants, like the wi-fi equipped Gaming G1 Wi-Fi and the overclocking oriented SOC Force. Despite not being Gigabyte’s premiere overclocking board, I was able to clock the i7 5960X at a stable 4.1GHz on the Gaming 5, and it was an effortless process thanks to Gigabyte’s great UEFI BIOS.</p><p>After I hit 4.1GHz so easily, I had to push it even further&mdash;but more on that later.</p><p>The Gaming 5 is the first X99 board I’ve tested, and it’s interesting to see what $295 gets you for an Extreme processor motherboard. The average Z97 board costs $100 - $200, and most of the additional features on the X99 Gaming 5 come from the X99 chipset. Compared to Gigabyte’s $145 Z97X Gaming 5 motherboard, the X99 board has these big advantages:</p><ul> <li>Support for DDR4 rather than DDR3 RAM.</li><li>Two x16 PCI Express slots at x16 and two PCI Express slots at x8, compared to one PCI Express slot at x16, one at x8 and one at x4. The extra slots are made possible by more PCIe lanes on the Extreme CPUs.</li><li>Four additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the chipset.</li><li>Two additional USB 3.0 ports from the chipset.</li></ul><p>Otherwise, the two motherboards are extremely similar. The most important feature with X99&nbsp;is the extra PCIe slot and the added bandwidth available to PCIe devices, which enables quad-SLI or Crossfire if you have a suitable number of graphics cards on hand. But Gigabyte’s added some smart touches here and there that make the X99 motherboard pleasant to use, both in terms of hardware and software. Let’s dive in.</p><h2>Hardware overview</h2><p>To test the Gigabyte-X99-Gaming 5, I built a system with the following components:</p><ul><li>Corsair 750D full tower case</li><li>Gigabyte-X99-Gaming 5 motherboard</li><li>Intel 5970X processor</li><li>Enermax Liqtech 240 closed-loop liquid CPU cooler</li><li>32GB Crucial DDR4-2133 RAM</li><li>Adata 256GB m.2 SSD</li><li>Enermax 1500 watt power supply</li><li>Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 reference graphics card</li></ul><p>First, the important features: the board’s four PCIe slots can support up to four graphics cards, while many other motherboards only support up to three-way SLI. Four-way only works with a CPU that has enough PCIe lanes to communicate with that many devices. The 5960X and 5930K both have 40 PCIe lanes, enough to support four graphics cards. The 5920K processor, however, has only 28 lanes, which means it can only support three-way SLI or CrossFire.</p><p>The X99 Gaming 5 also has a dual M.2 slot for an SSD and a Wi-Fi card. The M.2 socket isn't the fastest around&mdash;it tops out at 10 gigabits per second, whereas&nbsp;both ASUS and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99%20Extreme6/index.asp?cat=">Asrock</a> make X99 motherboards that use a PCIe x4 lane to achieve up to 32 gigabit per second data speeds. The latter method shares bandwidth with one of the PCIe sockets, which is a deal-breaker if you plan on running four-way SLI; the boards can serve the M.2 socket or the PCIe lane, but not both. Gigabyte's implementation, while definitely slower, doesn't have that limitation.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4Ym7FhMuRWmU.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/h2wqEx_zjVUt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - M2"></p><p>10 gigabits per second works out to 1250 megabytes. Because the Adata M.2 SSD I’m using has max speeds of about 770 MB/s, I didn’t have any bottleneck issues. But there are SSDs out there right now butting up against that speed limit, which could make Gigabyte's M.2. implementation a limiting factor in a year or two.</p><p>Gigabyte’s motherboard has a few interesting extra features: a header for an add-in Thunderbolt card, an upgradable OP-AMP that audiophiles may choose to change out instead of installing a separate sound card, and ambient LED lighting around the board and I/O ports. I was surprised to find that the LED lighting was my favorite bit. On the board itself there’s a bit of red LED trim that lights up, but that has no functional purpose. The purple LED glow around the I/O ports, on the other hand, makes it much easier to read the labels around the ports, even in a well-lit office. Stuffed under a desk in a dark room, the light would be wonderfully useful.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Vl3CpkYBQz-e.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1ybuA_75thjz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Led"></p><p>It’s the thoughtful kind of user experience refinement computer cases have been getting for years, like sliding HDD trays, that make building or using a PC a more pleasant experience. I wish Gigabyte had given the Gaming 5 the same kind of care on the body of the board itself&mdash;it’s noticeably lacking an on-board POST code display, power button, or reset button, which are nice features to have on a high-end motherboard. I don’t think that’s unreasonable to expect from a $300 board, but you’ll have to upgrade to the $350 SOC Force X99 board to get those from Gigabyte.</p><p><em>On the next page: UEFI, overclocking, and wrapping up.</em></p><h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YNQFSkJgTeCa.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PQHM3xvyOnT5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Hero"></p></h2><h2>Software and UEFI</h2><p>Like most motherboard makers, Gigabyte has its own desktop software suite offering user-friendly GUI interfaces for overclocking and BIOS upgrading. Before doing a manual overclock, I tried out Gigabyte’s auto tune feature on the desktop. In addition to a few static clock speed options, the autotune option is meant to test your processor at various speeds until it lands on a fast, stable overclock.</p><p>Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work. After trying twice and letting the autotune sit on a stability testing screen for about 20 minutes, I stopped the process and found it reverted to the CPU’s 3GHz base clock.</p><p>Thankfully, Gigabyte’s UEFI is easy to use and absolutely packed with information. The default UEFI screen shows some simple options like boot priority, enabling fast boot&mdash;the basics you need if you’re not going to be doing any major tweaking. Navigate over one screen to the left and you’re greeted with a well-organized selection of tabs for tweaking CPU speed, voltage, memory&mdash;everything you’d expect for overclocking or fine-tuning your system.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QIMchGzsTBet.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OUR7IlhT4uA2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Bios"></p><p>I especially like that Gigabyte surrounds the edges of the screen with live-updating data about the system, like CPU temperature and fan speeds. The nicest touch is the bit of descriptive text that appears for every setting. If you don’t have any experience overclocking, you shouldn’t go around changing settings at random, but Gigabyte’s UEFI can help you learn what does what and prevent you from changing the wrong settings.</p><h2>Performance and overclocking</h2><p>As I mentioned above, I started with a nice, stable 4.1GHz overclock of the 5960X the Gaming 5. At the same time, I also overclocked Crucial’s 2133 MHz DDR4 RAM up to 2400 MHz, which booted up just fine after a restart. Neither RAM nor CPU showed any signs of instability when I ran the demanding Prime95 stress test.</p><p>After those stable settings, it was time to push things a bit further. Without manually adjusting voltage or timing, I couldn’t boot the computer with RAM overclocked past 2400 MHz.</p><p>On the CPU side, I was able to push beyond 4.1GHz no problem. At a (fairly conservative) 1.225 volts, I got the CPU up to 4.4GHz, which booted fine, but couldn’t hold up to punishing stress tests. The system never crashed or rebooted, but I did encounter errors after several minutes in the Prime95 and OCCT stress tests. Intel recommends against using these tests for creating such a strenuous (and unrealistic) workload, so it may hold up fine under prolonged normal use, or with a bit more voltage.</p><p>Another note: Enermax’s Liqtech 240 cooler performed excellently throughout my benchmark testing. Even at 2.25 volts and 4.4GHz, the CPU stayed in the low 70C range while running Prime95, with the liquid cooler’s fans set on their medium speed setting.</p><p>4.4GHz represents a 46% overclock, which makes for an incredibly fast Haswell-E chip. Given how well the Gaming 5 handles overclocking, you’d have to be chasing huge clockspeeds to need to upgrade to their $350 SOC Force board, or really want those power/reset/overclocking buttons and POST LED.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rycfXPVDQX20.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tsVujUxt76nC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Gaming 5 - Top"></p><h2>Wrapping up</h2><p>If you’re after a motherboard for a Haswell-E processor that can do four-way SLI, the Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5 is a great choice. It’s a bit cheaper than Gigabyte’s top-end boards, and doesn’t give up much&mdash;one Ethernet port instead of two, and a few other bells and whistles are all that’s really missing. The LED illuminated I/O port is a great bonus that I expect to see standard in a few years time.</p><p>The M.2 SSD speed being capped at 10 Gb/s, as opposed to the 32 GB/s some other motherboards support through x4 PCIe, is the biggest drawback. It’s a necessary trade-off to be able to support four-way SLI, but if you never plan to shove four graphics cards into your case at once, consider a step-down model from Gigabyte or an Asrock motherboard for an X99 build. Alternatively, Gigabyte’s $350 SOC Force X99 board uses PCIe lanes to bump M.2 speeds up to 20 GB/s. You can pick one up for <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&amp;N=-1&amp;IsNodeId=1&amp;Description=x99%20motherboard&amp;bop=And&amp;Order=PRICE&amp;PageSize=20">less than $250</a>.</p> Arma 3 free weekend is now underwayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3-free-weekend-is-now-underway/More like Arma Free Weekend, am I right?Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:57:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3-free-weekend-is-now-underway/Arma 3Bohemia InteractiveFPSMake Arma Not WarNewsSteam <a href="/arma-3-free-weekend-is-now-underway/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Wg4SnyrmEVru.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YvZh0WWxSquE.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Wg4SnyrmEVru.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Arma3_screenshot_08"></p><p>Bohemia Interactive's "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/make-arma-not-war-modding-competition-launched-with-680000-up-for-grabs/">Make Arma Not War</a>" modding contest is closing to entrants in just a few days, and that means it's time to play some <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3/">Arma 3</a>&mdash;for free! (And if you find yourself digging it, you can also buy the game for half-price.)</p><p>The looming end of the contest (winners will be announced next year)&nbsp;doesn't necessarily mean that it's time for free Arma, I suppose, but that's what the studio said on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/arma3official/posts/795855553794510">Facebook</a>&mdash;"In support of the Make Arma Not War contest, you can temporarily play Arma 3 for free"&mdash;and so that's what I'm going with. The upcoming launch of the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/arma-3-will-get-two-new-helicopters-this-november/">Helicopters DLC</a> may have something to do with it too. Regardless of how you justify it, what matters is that Arma 3 is now playable for free on Steam and will remain so until, according to my time-zone-adjustment calculations, 10 am PDT on October 26.</p><p>Arma 3, for those not in the know, is a military FPS, but unlike, say, the Call of Duty series, its focus is on authenticity. It's also extremely moddable, as reflected by the nature of the Make Arma Not War contest, which is offering $680,000 in total prizes&mdash;including $250,000 for the winner of the "Total Modification" category&mdash;and provided nearly a full year to get the job done: The contest began on December 5, 2013, and will close on October 28 of this year.</p><p>If you haven't been working on your entry since at least early summer, in other words, there's no point in worrying about it now. But hey, at least you can play some free Arma. Hook yourself up at <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/107410">Steam</a>.</p> TERA: Fate of Arun expansion announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/tera-fate-of-arun-expansion-announced/An exclusive reveal of TERA's first expansion.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:50:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/tera-fate-of-arun-expansion-announced/Bluehole StudioMMOTERA <a href="/tera-fate-of-arun-expansion-announced/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JIa_Lx2_Uocm.780x349.Mk3Bt6Ix.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KgvY7mUeLwE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>So-called "action" combat is the norm in the latest crop of MMORPGs, but just two years ago it was largely TERA that showed us how well it could work for the genre. En Masse Entertainment hopes to recover some of that magic in its upcoming TERA: Fate of Arun expansion, which bumps the level cap up to 65 and whisks the game's often scantily clad denizens off to the continent of Northern Arun to fight a "soul-sucking bloodmage army."</p><p>Speaking to PC Gamer exclusively, En Masse tells us we'll get to see Highwatch, the home city of the Barakan race. I'm excited about the new location; I've always had a soft spot from the rocky folk. Players will also spend their time freeing the native Khirians and (if the teaser images En Masse provided serve as any indication) fighting some Galactus-sized tough guy who wears a crown resembling the logo from Magic 2013.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/enX3-kNETTmB.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F-sqkYcf5_mz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="TERA FoA 08"></p><p> TERA's been one of the better looking MMOs since it released, and the two screenshots we received show that TERA's Korean developer Bluehole Studio plans to maintain this legacy. Highwatch itself stars in one, nestled next to towering mountains and looking all the world like it'd be right at home in the place of a Dwemer ruin in Skyrim. The other showcases a Guwangi village in Savage Reach&mdash; a lush tropical zone seemingly crammed with the kind of dense vegetation MMO developers tend to avoid.</p><p> But Fate of Arun isn't just about good looks and a new story with associated quests; En Masse also tells us that we'll see new zones, skills, dungeons, gear, and a new PvP battleground. Notably absent from this account is any mention of new classes or playable races, although I'll maintain hope that En Masse includes these in its promise of "vast systematic improvements to the gameplay experience." Considering that the new Reaper class already appeared earlier this year, that seems unlikely.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LjhxCII2Q3KK.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dbAyJwWPHoPB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="TERA FoA 07"></p><p> "It’s been an incredible two years since TERA first launched in North America,” said En Masse Entertainment Producer Patrick "Treeshark" Sun in the accompanying press release. "Fate of Arun will be, without a doubt, the biggest addition to the world of TERA new and returning players have ever seen&mdash;and we’re excited to reveal more details in the upcoming weeks."</p><p> TERA went free-to-play in February of last year following nine months in the North American market, after which it rebranded itself as TERA: Rising. It boasts <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tera-gets-free-to-play-relaunch-adds-new-content/">one of the more agreeable</a> MMO free-to-play models around, as you can hack and slash your way through most of its signature BAMs (big ass monsters) without spending a penny. No release date has been set for the expansion, which is TERA's first since its launch in 2012.</p> 3D Realms returns with 32-game anthology bundlehttp://www.pcgamer.com/3d-realms-returns-with-32-game-anthology-bundle/The 3D Realms Anthology includes just about every game in its stable.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:47:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/3d-realms-returns-with-32-game-anthology-bundle/3D RealmsInterceptor EntertainmentNews <a href="/3d-realms-returns-with-32-game-anthology-bundle/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/U1U8QMjAmrTU.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/3d-realms/"></a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/v83fVMWHT4uA.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/U1U8QMjAmrTU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="3D Realms Anthology"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/3d-realms/">3D Realms</a>, as you are no doubt aware, is actually legally known as Apogee Software, Ltd., distinct from Apogee Software, LLC, which was spun off from 3D Realms in 2008 and holds the license to the Apogee name, logo, and library. Got it? Me neither, but that's not important: The point is that 3D Realms is back, with a 32-game anthology bundle that includes some real retro goodness.</p><p>3D Realms had a good run through the 90s, but the following decade was rough. Its greatest success, Duke Nukem, became its downfall: Unable to finish the infamous Duke Nukem Forever, it closed its doors in 2009. Earlier this year, however, the company showed signs of new life thanks to its <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-triad-developers-interceptor-entertainment-have-bought-3d-realms/">acquisition by Interceptor Entertainment</a>, most recently known for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rise-of-the-triad/">remaking Rise of the Triad</a> and being&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gearbox-suing-3d-realms-and-interceptor-over-duke-nukem-mass-destruction-development/">sued by Gearbox</a>.</p><p>We said at the time that we were looking forward to learning what 3D Realms would get up to, and now we know: It's getting up to&nbsp;what 3D Realms got up to all those many years ago. That would be, specifically, the 3D Realms Anthology, a collection of (almost) the entire 3D Realms oeuvre, along with a "re-rockestrated" soundtrack. The anthology includes:</p><ul><li>Arctic Adventure </li><li>Bio Menace </li><li>Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold </li><li>Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy </li><li>Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons </li><li>Math Rescue </li><li>Monster Bash </li><li>Mystic Towers </li><li>Paganitzu </li><li>Monuments of Mars </li><li>Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure </li><li>Crystal Caves </li><li>Death Rally </li><li>Alien Carnage </li><li>Hocus Pocus </li><li>Major Stryker </li><li>Blake Stone: Planet Strike </li><li>Realms of Chaos </li><li>Pharaoh's Tomb </li><li>Word Rescue </li><li>Secret Agent </li><li>Raptor: Call of the Shadows </li><li>Terminal Velocity </li><li>Wacky Wheels </li><li>Stargunner </li><li>Shadow Warrior </li><li>Wolfenstein 3D </li><li>Rise of the Triad: Dark War </li><li>Duke Nukem </li><li>Duke Nukem 2 </li><li>Duke Nukem 3D </li><li>Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project </li></ul><p>There's some stuff in there that probably isn't going to turn too many cranks, but there are a lot of winners, too. Max Payne and Prey are unfortunate (and unexplained) absences, although they may simply be a little too new (or perhaps a little too owned by Rockstar) to belong in a bundle like this. </p><p>Whatever the case, the games run via a custom-built launcher designed for Windows, so compatibility presumably won't be an issue, and the whole thing goes for $20. Interested? Get the details at <a href="https://3drealms.com/catalog/3d-realms-anthology_50/">3DRealms.com</a>.</p> AMD cuts prices on its A-series desktop processorshttp://www.pcgamer.com/amd-cuts-prices-on-its-a-series-desktop-processors/AMD's lowered prices make their APUs great options for HTPCs or streaming boxes.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-cuts-prices-on-its-a-series-desktop-processors/AMDHardwareNewsTech <a href="/amd-cuts-prices-on-its-a-series-desktop-processors/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mM1MvStI4xzz.780x349.0ZPLaoH6.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tncaIRH0RQez.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mM1MvStI4xzz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd A10 Apu" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p> <a href="http://www.kitguru.net/components/apu-components/anton-shilov/amd-slashes-prices-on-select-a-series-desktop-apus/">AMD has announced</a> price cuts on many of its A-Series desktop processors. If you were planning on building an AMD system this holiday you can expect to save between $20 to $40 on an AMD APU including the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-a10-7850k-kaveri-processor-review/">3.7GHz quad-core A10-7850K</a>, which originally retailed for $179 has now dropped to $143.</p><p> The price cuts extends to multiple APUs on AMD’s current Kaveri line as well as its Richland and Trinity family APUs. Going slightly older school will save you a few more bucks with the 4.1GHz quad-core A10-6800K now going for $112 from its $139 list price. Alternatively, you can get the barest of essentials for computing with AMD’s $27 3GHz dual-core A4-4000 APU, which was originally listed for $49.</p><p> Although they come bargain you should not expect breathtaking performance out of these discount parts. Out this pack of discounted parts the AMD A10-7850K is the best APU you can get and it’s CPU speeds comparable with an Intel Core i3 processor. The good news is AMD’s integrated Radeons graphics are significantly better than Intel integrated HD graphics solutions; you can even run games on moderate settings with just the built in Kaveri R7 dual graphics.</p><div> <table> <colgroup><col></colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td> Kaveri APUs </td> <td> Price </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A10-7850K </td> <td> $143 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A10-7800 </td> <td> $133 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A10-7700K </td> <td> $123 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A8-7600 </td> <td> $92 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A6-7400K </td> <td> $58 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table></div><p> Aside from the price drops on APU units, AMD has also announced new bundles for its A10 APUs (including the 7850K, 7800, 7700K, 6800K, and 6790K). Purchasing one of these dystem-on-a-chips will net you a copy of Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief, or Sniper Elite 3 through the code that comes in the box. Alternatively, users can also redeem to code as a discount to purchase Corel Aftershot Pro 2 for $5.</p><p> As of this writing, the new prices aren’t reflected on Newegg or Amazon, but expect to see them drop soon. Between this and the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-290x-prices-dip-below-350-in-reaction-to-the-nvidia-gtx-970/">recent price drop on the R9 290X</a>, it’s looking very easy to build an affordable AMD system.</p> <div> <table> <colgroup><col></colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td> Richland/Trinity APUs </td> <td> Price </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A10-6800K </td> <td> $112 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A8-6600K </td> <td> $92 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A4-6300 </td> <td> $34 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A4-5300 </td> <td> $31 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> A4-4000 </td> <td> $27 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table></div> Three Lane Highway: seven and a half spooky Dota 2 Halloween costume ideashttp://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway-seven-and-a-half-spooky-dota-2-halloween-costume-ideas/Don't brave costume party season without the right cosmetics.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway-seven-and-a-half-spooky-dota-2-halloween-costume-ideas/Dota 2MOBAValve <a href="/three-lane-highway-seven-and-a-half-spooky-dota-2-halloween-costume-ideas/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/INUTKkyXhT8F.780x349.BgzNNvFc.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AQKObxDXTUyi.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/INUTKkyXhT8F.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Death Prophet"></p><p><em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway/">Three Lane Highway</a> is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.</em></p><p>I'm going to a Dota 2-themed Halloween party this weekend. Yes, that's a little early&mdash;and yes, that is the dorkiest thing you've ever heard. Whatever. I'm too busy trying to figure out a Dark Seer costume that isn't going to make me look like Papa Smurf to care.&nbsp;This week I'm going to list some costume ideas that you might want to try out at your own Halloween parties&mdash;or, indeed, any other party you attend over the course of the year.</p><p>There's more to a good costume than simply what you wear. A good costume comes with an attitude, a persona, a performance. A good costume convinces everybody else in the room that you <em>are</em> the new and exciting image you present. These costumes are geared to immerse you in each hero's distinctive&nbsp;personality and fascinating&nbsp;lore. These are <em>identities</em> for you to adopt, armour to gird you as you march down the midlane of any given social engagement. Enjoy.</p><p>Also, maybe don't do any of this.</p><p><strong>Dazzle</strong></p><p><em>You will need: Facepaint; a dream-catcher on a stick; a shitload of feathers; a pink hoola-hoop.</em></p><p>You might not be the host, but you're here to help. It's your job to ensure that the party runs smoothly and that everybody has a good time, and that starts by topping up drinks and looking after anybody who doesn't seem to fit in. Use your own deft touch to hem awkward partygoers&nbsp;into the event's social weave: weaken discomfort with a smile, and when the lights go down watch the edges of the dance floor for anybody who looks excluded.</p><p>In particular, you are looking for anyone on the verge of regretting that fifth/sixth/seventh cocktail. When you see somebody teetering on the edge of shame, immediately toss your pink hoola-hoop over them and make them dance. The activity will make them more alert and temporarily hold off the inevitable tears, fists or vomit. When the hoola-hoop reaches the ground, however, there's very little you can do for them&mdash;and gyrating like a lunatic may very well have made it worse. But you tried, and are therefore blameless.</p><p><strong>Terrorblade</strong></p><p><em>You will need: An attitude; a big swishy silvery cape; big pointy silver horns.</em></p><p>You are the single most fabulous and important person in this room. The sole function of this occasion&mdash;indeed,&nbsp;of any social event&mdash;is to furnish you with a good time. Ensure that you are the biggest and loudest voice, and spend every quiet moment hoovering up all of the snacks and freebies to be had. Consume so comprehensively that your host does not believe that a single party-goer could possibly be responsible. They don't understand. You require <em>all</em> of the munchies, because you are very important.</p><p>There will be times when you find yourself running low on drink at a crucial moment. You might be telling an excellent story about how great you are, or single-handedly diffusing a situation while everybody else looks on, impressed. Should you run dry at this point it is perfectly acceptable to swap your near-empty glass for the full glass of a nearby friend. That is, after all, what they are there for.</p><p><strong>Phantom Assassin</strong></p><p><em>You will need: eye makeup, a dark hoodie.</em></p><p>Too shy to go full Terrorblade? No problem. As Phantom Assassin, nobody will care that you're there and nobody will remember you when you sneak away. This is where your power comes from. When they are not looking, you will eat all of the snacks. You will swipe bonus drinks. While they talk and have a good time, you will grow more confident, more powerful.</p><p>Think of the single best one-liner you can come up with. The most critical, cutting barb; the conversation-ending anecdote to end all anecdotes. Work on it until it's perfect, then invite yourself to a conversation and&mdash;<em>boom</em>. They won't forget to look for you after that.</p><p><strong>Lone Druid</strong></p><p><em>You will need: A beard; a full-sized bear outfit; a dog; a bear outfit for the dog.</em></p><p>Bring your dog to the party and spend all of your time petting and feeding it. If somebody offers you a drink or something to eat, demand that your dog gets the same thing. Later, do all of your socialising through your dog. If somebody tries to talk to you directly, point out something interesting or amusing about your dog. If they then attempt to disengage from conversation, send your dog after them.</p><p><strong>Alternatively: Chen</strong></p><p>A variant on the Lone Druid costume, the Chen costume shares many of the same principles. Instead of bringing your own dog, however, you will spend the first few hours of the party in the host's garden trying to turn their own pets against them.</p><p><strong>Rubick</strong></p><p><em>You will need: Somebody else's Riddler costume (stolen); a stick with a green rag on the end; a green mask.</em></p><p>One for the social butterflies. Don't feel confined to a single group or aspect of the party. Move freely and attempt to ingratiate yourself with everybody. Become the soul of the event: offer kind words where they're needed, diffuse aggression, endorse good times.</p><p>Then, when you are settled, start to steal other people's jokes. Hang out in a group until somebody tells a funny story, then disengage, walk across the room, and tell the exact same story there. You'll get away with this for a surprisingly long time.</p><p>When confronted about your rampant patter theft, insist that you do not steal&mdash;only borrow. The final and abiding irony here&nbsp;is that the writers of Dota 2 lifted this line from Picasso.</p><p><strong>Silencer</strong></p><p><em>You will need: A purple bishop's hat; a dressing gown; a silver frisbee; no scruples.</em></p><p>At the beginning of the evening, focus on approaching groups of partygoers and subtly making them feel uncomfortable. Don't say anything so objectionable that conversation stops,&nbsp;but make sure that everybody feels bad. For example: if you overhear a friend complementing the host on their cooking, point out that many, many people&mdash;far more than you will ever meet&mdash;are vastly less fortunate, and that many of them suffer even now.</p><p>Then, up your game. Actively seek out and create&nbsp;stifling social encounters. Examples include:</p><p>"Hey, I thought you guys broke up?"</p><p>"Good call, not spending much time on your costume&mdash;hers took <em style="background-color: initial;">hours</em>."</p><p>And so on.</p><p>The party will grow quieter and fracture into isolated groups&nbsp;as people retreat into their comfort zones. Conversation will be muted, tentative. This is when you must bring the evening to a close: stand in the centre of the room, draw a deep breath, and clearly and loudly say something utterly and unforgiveably offensive.</p><p>Well done!&nbsp;You have achieved global silence. Nobody likes you.</p><p><strong>Diretide</strong></p><p>Don't respond to your party invitation. Later, explain that you are busy and that you might&mdash;<em>might</em>&mdash;make it along at New Years.</p><p><em>To read more Three Lane Highway, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway/">click here</a>.</em></p> Red:Out footage will make WipeOut fans happyhttp://www.pcgamer.com/redout-footage-will-make-wipeout-fans-happy/A glossy take on blisteringanti-grav racing.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/redout-footage-will-make-wipeout-fans-happy/NewsRacingRed:Out <a href="/redout-footage-will-make-wipeout-fans-happy/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rByKwVvxkA4m.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> Developers 34BigThings promise "the fastest arcade racer since the good old days of F-Zero and WipEout", and those comparisons are justified based on the early footage spotted by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/redout/redout-is-wipeout-but-on-the-pc-it-s-about-time">PCGamesN</a>. Glossy tracks, loop-the-loops, track adornments that strobe into burning coils of light as you bounce around each improbable bend, a sound track that goes BOP-BOP-BOP-BOP at a slightly faster pace than a resting heart rate - yes please.</p><p>The team sums up their track design philosophy like this: "Racetracks are boring. Race on rollercoasters." It's named after a phrase for the reddening of vision under extreme G-force, with a bonus colon because all PC game names have to have colons in them that's the law.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ykByK5JO_Qw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Here is more, from the studio's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFznj30lVlqQH6x98Ei0AQ">YouTube channel</a>.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PlTCky7Ek2Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>And here are some pictures, from the&nbsp;<a href="http://34bigthings.com/a-word-on-racetrack-design/">studio's website</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SkVJ3LRbSvia.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rwNyIWfOJwjz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Redout 1"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8O4EAKpaT0qE.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rNEvKlYgugZI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Redout 2"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IMBaV7QET9Cu.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rByKwVvxkA4m.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Redout 3"></p><p>Neat, no?</p> Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare recommended system specs revealedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-recommended-system-specs-revealed/Hope you've got a 4 GB video card.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:18:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-recommended-system-specs-revealed/ActivisionCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareFPSNews <a href="/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-recommended-system-specs-revealed/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vIJKG3pCGU-K.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aRxLLqztSSyY.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vIJKG3pCGU-K.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1"></p><p>Activision <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-system-requirements-released/">revealed the minimum system requirements</a> for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare/">Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare</a> earlier this week, and they're pretty steep. Now the recommended specifications have been unveiled on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/209650/">Steam</a>, and if you have a hat, I suggest you hold onto it.</p><p>Here's what you're going to need to play the game well:</p><ul><li><strong>OS:</strong> Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit</li><li><strong>Processor:</strong> Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30GHz </li><li><strong>Memory:</strong> 8 GB RAM </li><li><strong>Graphics:</strong> Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 @ 4GB </li><li><strong>DirectX:</strong> Version 11 </li><li><strong>Network:</strong> Broadband Internet connection </li><li><strong>Hard Drive:</strong> 55 GB available space </li><li><strong>Sound Card:</strong> 100% DirectX 9.0c Compatible 16-bit </li></ul><p>The good news is that the 55 GB drive space requirement hasn't ballooned any, but that's still some pretty heavy iron. Looks like my poor ol' Core 2 Quad and I will be waiting awhile to play this one.</p><p>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare comes out on November 4.</p> Watch some Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer actionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/watch-some-cod-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-action/Jetpacks, laser beams and kill streaks on show.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:03:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-some-cod-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-action/ActivisionCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareFPSNews <a href="/watch-some-cod-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-action/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4JyD5L63BJ2v.780x349.GHHqiopL.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p>New CoD, just like the old CoD? "Nay!" Activision claims in the voice of an offended British gentlefop. Advanced Warfare is technologically&nbsp;slightly further in the future than Ghost's near-future setting. This brave new medium-future future trumps Ghost's remote controlled dog with jetpacks that let you scoot around enemies! Whatever next.</p><p>We're also getting laser rifles and a game mode that has you throwing metal balls into floating holographic balls, which is a prime pastime for soldiers in the quite-but-not-too-distant future. This, we're promised, is a recipe for excitement that will revolutionise the art of shooting men in the head in a videogame. We'll know for sure when it's released in November 4. It does look reassuringly quicker than your Bovril-grade CoD of old, and few things aren't improved by the addition of an orbital laser strike. Find our more in our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-preview-robo-suits-new-maps-and-an-advanced-wardrobe/">MP impressions</a> from Gamescom.&nbsp;</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/v47v8SCZ_xg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> The 25 best adventure gameshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-25-best-adventure-games/Simply the best adventure games ever.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-25-best-adventure-games/Adventure <a href="/the-25-best-adventure-games/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uQl7K1Rc6W5G.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> Civilization: Beyond Earth reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-review/Although its foundation in Civ 5 makes it familiar, Beyond Earth is full of interesting surprises.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-review/2K GamesCivilization: Beyond EarthFiraxisReviewsStrategy <a href="/civilization-beyond-earth-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Vx2EMD-OjSW4.780x349.fCUXn0Dz.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">need to know</h5> <p style="margin-bottom:5px;"> <strong></strong><strong>What is it?</strong> Classic 4x strategy game and spiritual successor to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $50 /&nbsp;£30 <br> <strong>Release Date:</strong> Oct 24, 2014 <br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> 2K <br> <strong>Developer: </strong>Firaxis Games <br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong> Up to 8 players for traditional or hot seat multiplayer <br> <strong>Link:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.firaxis.com/?/games/single/sid-meiers-civilization-beyond-earth" target="_blank">Official site</a> </p> </div><p> Beyond Earth begins with the very sci-fi premise of “What if?” What if you took Civilization, the classic turn-based grand strategy game, and made one of its signature endings the beginning of a whole new game?</p><p> In Civilization, you can win the game by building a spaceship to launch your civilization into space, in search of a new world. Beyond Earth takes that ending and makes it a beginning. You are now on that new world: Go.</p><p> The result is a game that succeeds in almost exactly the same way as it fails; a major case of cognitive dissonance. Beyond Earth, while bearing many attributes of a brand new game, is based in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/civilisation-v-review/">Civilization 5</a>’s engine and mechanics. It is in many ways exactly the same game as Civ 5, just spacier.</p><p> Is that a problem? That depends on how much you like Civ 5, and how willing you are to take the ride and give Beyond Earth’s new space look a shot.</p><p> For me it was a problem all through my first game. I played as the Brazilian civ, with its bonus to melee combat. Being a Civ veteran, I, without even realizing it, ported over my go-to Civ strategy of focusing on strength in the early age to build the foundation of a strong late-game civilization. And then, turn-by-turn, I played the game almost on auto-pilot.</p><p> Perhaps unsurprisingly, I didn’t enjoy the experience. And it took me losing that game and having to step away and reassess how I was approaching it in order to learn how to love it.</p><h2>New world</h2><p> Beyond Earth has a lot of new looks: new units, new victories, a completely new tech tree (actually, it’s a web), new leaders, new civilizations and a handful of things under the hood that are also completely new. But the experience of cracking it open, watching my colony ship settle onto a completely dark map and then setting foot onto this alien world felt just like playing Civ 5&mdash;at first.</p><p> On the one hand, there are many worse 4X strategy games to emulate than Civ 5, and as that game’s expansions have proved, while it redesigned much of the original Civ formula, it left a lot of room on the table for reinventing itself. Beyond Earth brings some of the better reinventions along with it. Trade routes feature prominently in Beyond Earth, for one thing, as does a new strategic component much like Gods &amp; Kings’s religions, called Affinities.</p><p> Affinities allow you to evolve your Beyond Earth civ beyond its human origins, focusing research on technologies that will play to how you want to interface with your new world and its inhabitants.</p><p> The Harmony affinity is what it sounds like, allowing you to meld with the new planet’s lifeforms and create new alien units. Purity focuses on genetic manipulation of the human genome to build better versions of your civ. Finally, Supremacy lets you make your civ’s humans into cyborgs with giant robot friends.</p><p> Each affinity allows for slightly different victories and affinity-only units, and can have a dramatic effect on your overall game. Specializing in Supremacy will unlock robot soldiers, for example. Whereas the Harmony affinity will grant you access to alien-based units and the ability to tolerate the new world’s harsh alien environment. Other civs will respond to you (or not) based on your affinity, and actions you take in the world can impact your affinity score.</p><div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">on alpha centauri</h5> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> It’s impossible to play&nbsp;Beyond Earth without comparing it to the 'other' Civ-in-space game, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. </p> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> One of the first games developed by Firaxis following its founders’ departure from Microprose, Alpha Centauri had the benefit of the expertise of Civilization Creator Sid Meier, but without the Civilization IP. Firaxis has since regained many IPs from now-defunct Microprose, but due to the vagaries of the game business, Alpha Centauri&nbsp;resides with its publisher, EA.</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> I played Alpha Centauri extensively during a long Late Winter in San Francisco. I was taken in by the living world aspect and the deep narrative with elements pulled from science fiction of the day. I enjoyed the experience greatly. </p> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> That said, if I had come to Beyond Earth looking for a direct sequel or a modern update to the 1999 game, I would have been wildly disappointed. Although it does have narrative elements, and certain signature aspects of Alpha Centauri have crept in, Beyond Earth is very much its own game. </p> </div><p> This is most noticeable when dealing with the planet’s indigenous creatures. Instead of Civilization’s barbarians, Beyond Earth has a variety of alien lifeforms, some more aggressive than others. On the surface, these seem to be more bug-like versions of the barbarians, but they play and react quite differently from their hairier, Earth-bound cousins. Whereas barbarians will more or less attack whatever is in range at random, the aliens will frequently not attack unless provoked. I was able to send Explorer units carefully into heavily alien-infested territories without earning so much as a scratch. Still, other times, aliens would attack me at random, either provoked by the presence of one of my military units or by the aggressive actions of my civ neighbors. Over-aggressively terraform your new world and your Harmony attributes will be for naught, as aggro aliens force you into conflict. Whereas attempting to clear out the new world’s alien lifeforms (instead of attempting to harmonize with them), can lead to them becoming even more aggressive, eventually luring more powerful aliens toward your cities.</p><p> The other big newness is the orbital layer. You can build and launch satellites in Beyond Earth, and these will impart benefits to specific tiles. Some are quest- and victory-based, and others are magnificent weapons. The Planet Carver, for example, shoots a massive beam of weaponized energy from space and it is glorious. You can toggle between the planetary and orbital layer with a button, and you can knock enemy satellites out of orbit with certain ranged units.</p><p> The Orbital Layer adds a fun, new twist and an engaging tactical element to Civ 5’s already finely tuned tactical game. I found myself chuckling at the misfortune of civs that crossed my path when I had Planet Carvers at my disposal. And deploying Solar Collectors and Miasma Repulsers (to clear away the alien planet’s harmful, natural vapors) made me feel like I now had a new, more direct tool for improving my cities.</p><p> Besides, who doesn’t like launching stuff into space?</p><h2>Old struggles</h2><p> Now for the bad news: It’s easy to feel like Beyond Earth is just an expansion to Civ 5, albeit spacier than those that came before. For Civ 5 fans like myself, this is a loaded proposition.</p><p> If you like Civ 5, then more Civ 5 equals more Civ 5, which is great! But there’s no denying that even as much as I love Civ 5 (and I do love it, quite a lot), I was expecting something more from Beyond Earth than Civ 5 with a sci-fi skin. And in spite of the dramatic opening cinematic, the rocketing descent of my landing craft and the stirring opening text about how my civilization had traveled the stars to start anew and blah, blah&hellip; as soon as that first turn started and my explorer unit stared across the landscape dotted with hex grids and covered with the fog of war, I felt a rush of disappointment.</p><p> My newly founded city needed to produce things, and although those things bore new names, they seemed to me the same, old buildings in all but name alone. And although the alien landscape was littered with seemingly-unusual resources, the deadly “miasma” and resource pods containing goodies for home, all that, too, felt “same old,” at first blush.</p><p> So I set about methodically slogging through the familiar in search of the new, and without my even realizing it, I found it.</p><h2>Starting over</h2><p> Beyond Earth’s many similarities to Civ 5 mask, to its detriment, a game that is remarkably new and different, and once I was able to see past those similarities, the newness and wonder of playing in a future Civ sandbox washed over me like a slow boiling pot of water. I was engrossed before I realized it.</p><p> As the Brazilians, I was aiming for a Purity affinity, but fumbled my way through the research web willy-nilly and eventually lost the game without ever realizing one of my enemies had been close to victory. Not great, but that’s when it finally dawned on me that Beyond Earth, in spite of its heavy foundation in Civ 5’s mechanics and rules, is actually a completely different game.</p><p> So I started again, this time as the Slavic Federation. I would specialize in Supremacy and after a bit of research on what the new victories actually were (pro tip: read the f-ing manual), I decided to shoot for the Contact victory, but build a strong enough civ that, should all else fail, I could at least take over the world.</p><p> Beyond Earth offers five victory conditions, although two are similar, differing only in which affinity will unlock it.</p><p> Contact involves discovering an alien signal and unlocking the secret of your new planet’s ‘Progenitor’ species, an ancient alien race that left mysterious ruins behind. It is by far the most narrative of the victories, although its attempts at narrative don’t always mesh well with Civ’s UI.</p><p>One specific portion of the road to the Contact victory, for example, called for sending a military unit to a recently discovered alien ruin. I located the ruin and dispatched a rover&hellip; and waited. And waited. And waited. The instruction dialogue said the ruin itself had summoned a civilian from one of my cities, then asked me to send a military unit, presumably to escort that civilian. Which I had done, but I wasn’t sure if I had skipped a step. After several turns I finally noticed a new button had appeared in the rover’s action panel. I pressed the button and the quest concluded anti-climactically, with a text box and a ding. Wheres Firaxis’s ‘other’ sci-fi game, XCOM, uses cinematics to impart such momentous advancements, the Beyond Earth solution felt more than a little hollow and frustrating.</p><p>Domination is what it sounds like, giving you the win if you capture all of the opposing civ’s capitals. This is the most Civ-like of the victories, although it does require some mastery of Beyond Earth’s new technologies and units.</p><p>Emancipation and Promised Land are two sides of the same coin. You must research the technology to eventually open either an Emancipation or Exodus gate back to Earth, bringing those left behind either salvation or dominance. If you are Purity or Supremacy, this is your Affinity-scientific end game.</p><p>Transcendence is the Harmony victory. It involves researching alien technologies to create a “mind flower” that will unite your consciousness with that of the alien planet. City buildings can aid in this victory, shortening the amount of time it takes for the mind flower to bloom.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9j86UDZ0S42C.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8n6-cqhI8Yh6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="CivBE Virtues" class=""> <figcaption>Generate culture to unlock powerful benefits.</figcaption></figure><p>In addition to the end game victory, Beyond Earth also brings along smaller quests. Occasionally new technologies or improvements will offer a choice for how they are used, adding additional money or food, for example, or presenting a moral or philosophical choice. Eradicate aliens or domesticate them, for example. It’s a nice new twist and they gave me a stronger connection to the decisions I was making, and gave an aspect of the game that has typically been ho-hum, more drama.</p><p>Quests will occasionally also be simply fun things to experience. There is a massive 'siege worm' in Beyond Earth, for example. A late-game Harmony technology will eventually allow you to control these worms, like Paul Atreides in Dune, but an early-game quest with no affinity restriction tasks you with killing one. If you can pull it off, it’s a hoot.</p><p>Playing as the Purity Brazilians, I eventually corralled a siege worm and with the help of one air unit, three ranged units, a melee soldier and a satellite buff, I took it. It had already destroyed two settlers, half a dozen military units, countless trade convoys and an entire outpost. The quest reward didn’t nearly repay what I had lost, but it was a glorious struggle.</p><h2>Ascension</h2> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">performance and settings</h5> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> <strong>Reviewed on:</strong> Core i7-3770k 3.5GHz, 16 GB RAM, AMD R9 290 <br> <strong>Recommended: </strong>Quad-core CPU, 4 MB RAM, AMD HD500 / Nvidia GT400 <br> <strong>Variable framerate:</strong> yes&nbsp; <br> <strong>Anti-aliasing:</strong> MSAA 2-8x <br> <strong>Misc. gfx options: </strong>Vsync, threaded rendering </p> <p style="margin-bottom:0px;"> Beyond Earth ran smoothly at 1080p, hovering at 60 FPS with all settings maxed, occasionally dipping to 45 at the start/end of a turn. There's a noticeable improvement from 2X-8X AA and shadow and texture settings from medium to high. Animations and particle effects need the high-end to shine. Testing briefly on an AMD HD 6900 GPU, my framerate maxed out&nbsp;at 45 FPS and dipped as low as 10 with all visuals set to “medium.” </p> </div><p> As the Supremacy Slavs, I slaughtered alien lifeforms with abandon, reaping monetary and technological rewards and tried to focus my research on Supremacy techs to grow my military force. When the ARC civilization landed on a plain I had planned to colonize myself, I decided to go full tactical and take them out.</p><p> What followed was an, at times, tedious, but overall successful campaign to take over the ARC land and, in the process, clear an alien infestation from a mountainous jungle that would eventually form the production center of my empire. Using Brawlers, Rovers, and Gunners, I first attacked ARC’s capitol and was repulsed, and then withdrew into the jungle to wage war on the aliens while earning upgrades and improving my equipment with scientific research. Dozens of turns later, I emerged from the jungle with a seasoned army and conquered the ARC one city at a time. They were but the first.</p><p> As my neighbors inched toward various victories, I invaded their lands to secure my dominance, building a robot empire on the bones of their fallen civilizations.</p><p> For my third playthrough, I wanted to win without firing shot. I almost succeeded.</p><p> I picked the Franco-Iberian civ and focused on the Harmony affinity. Instead of clearing the alien miasma, I left it alone and eventually developed immunity to its effects through technology.</p><p> Focusing on trade and science, I built a civ on an archipelago-like planet that spanned two large islands. I traded with every other civ, giving both them and me a boost to income and science. I made deals for resources I had in abundance. I made friends. Meanwhile I used my trade vessels to boost my own productivity and growth, and built city and tile improvements that gave me a scientific edge.</p><p> When war broke out between the Polystralians and the PAC, I took no sides. When the Brazilians edged closer to their own Transcendence victory, I made trade routes to beef up my science output and closed the gap.</p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sk9Uf_jILTM" allowfullscreen="" height="315" width="560" frameborder="0"> </iframe><p> <strong>Above: Gameplay footage we&nbsp;captured from an earlier preview build.</strong></p><p> When I pulled ahead, and Brasilia began massing troops near my border, I formed alliances elsewhere and quietly poured money at my military and defenses.</p><p> Ultimately, war never came. Although I was forced to kill a handful of arbitrarily aggressive aliens, I dominated my fellow civs with science and trade, with my guns silent. And when my mind flower bloomed, I felt like I finally understood everything Beyond Earth had to offer. And, just like for my Harmony civ, with understanding came a deep appreciation for my new world/game’s many complexities.</p><p> This is how Beyond Earth succeeds in spite of its similarities to Civ 5. It offers a game steeped in the traditions and mechanics of Civilization, that’s nevertheless surprising and new in often unexpected ways. I’ve conquered countless civilizations on the planet Earths of each various Civilization game, and each time it’s felt like reinventing a fantasy version of the past. In Beyond Earth, victory feels like living in&mdash;and forging&mdash;humanity’s future, and I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun building a civ “to stand the test of time.”</p> Team Fortress 2 activates previous Halloween eventshttp://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-activates-previous-halloween-events/In preparation for thisyear's event, the past five are now roaming the gravel lands.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:56:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/team-fortress-2-activates-previous-halloween-events/FPSHalloweenNewsTeam Fortress 2 <a href="/team-fortress-2-activates-previous-halloween-events/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RE_pEdCNqU3A.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IMxonD7bQ7Sm.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UAFuX3WgqFoV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="TF2 Halloween"></p><p>More Valve; more Halloween. Team Fortress 2 feels more suited to the festivities&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-gets-zombie-chickens-for-halloween/" target="_blank">than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive</a>, and already has a back catalogue of five previous scream-filled events.</p><p>In preparation for the sixth, the TF2 team are now reprising these events. "If we threw you into the 900-mile-an-hour hellride we've got planned this year without warming you up first, you'd essentially be going from an idle state of terrorlessness to a shrieking nightmare of solid 100% terror almost instantly," write Valve, who write this sort of thing.&nbsp;"It would be the equivalent of going from seeing zero skeletons to seeing a thousand skeletons at once."</p><p>As a result, you can now Quickplay any of the five previous events&mdash;providing easy access to <del>terrifying scares</del> comedy bosses. Expect details of TF2's sixth Halloween event to surface later this month.</p> Assassin's Creed Unity system requirements rumoured to be steephttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/If these are the official specs, it could be murder on your PC.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:09:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNewssystem requirementsUbisoft <a href="/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YyPlE6OQwp15.780x349.KGk4aTRk.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>The ever-vigilant&nbsp;<a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=917377" target="_blank">NeoGAF&nbsp;</a>has found what <em>could </em>be the official system requirements for Assassin's Creed: Unity. The specs are reportedly from&nbsp;<a href="http://intragames.co.kr/index.php" target="_blank">IntraGames</a>&mdash;the South Korean publisher of Unity and other Ubisoft titles. But if IntraGames had released the requirements, they've since taking them down; and no amount of searching for cached versions of "어쌔신 크리드 유니티" has produced anything from an official source. Here, though, is a&nbsp;<a href="http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:LhExxRWi6WMJ:bbs2.ruliweb.daum.net/gaia/do/ruliweb/default/101/read%3FarticleId%3D23177706%26pageIndex%3D%26objCate1%3D%26bbsId%3DG005%26itemGroupId%3D%26itemId%3D421%26platformId%3D+&amp;cd=1&amp;hl=en&amp;ct=clnk&amp;gl=uk" target="_blank">cached version of the (now also removed)&nbsp;original report</a> from the site&nbsp;<a href="http://ruliweb.daum.net/" target="_blank">Ruliweb</a>.</p><p>Caveats in place, here is what might be the system requirements for Assassin's Creed Unity:</p><ul> <li>Operating System : Windows ® 7 SP1, Windows 8 / 8.1 ® (64 -bit version only supported)</li><li>CPU: Intel Core® i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or higher&nbsp;<strong>(Intel Core® i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or more recommended)</strong></li><li>RAM: 6 GB or more <strong>(8 GB or more recommended)</strong></li><li>Graphics Card : NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970, graphics memory 2GB or more&nbsp;<strong>(NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X,&nbsp;graphics memory 3 GB or more&nbsp;recommended)</strong></li><li>Sound Card : Direct X 9.0c compatible sound card and the latest drivers</li><li>HDD: 50 GB or more</li></ul><p>Yup, that's a minimum requirement of a GTX 680&mdash;effectively restricting the game to the last few years of GPU tech.</p><p>Of course, that's only if a) the information is real, and b) is system requirements have any bearing on reality. Increasingly, it seems, they don't. Shadow of Mordor's highest&nbsp;system requirements asked for&nbsp;an absurd 6GB VRAM. I've yet to have a problem with 2GB.</p><p>Essentially then, system requirements are increasingly a crapshoot. Even if these ones are confirmed, you'd be better off waiting for the benchmarks.</p><p>We've contacted Ubisoft for comment.</p> Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets zombie chickens for Halloweenhttp://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-gets-zombie-chickens-for-halloween/There's no more room in Chicken Hell, but there are a lot of masks.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:17:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-gets-zombie-chickens-for-halloween/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveFPSHalloweenNews <a href="/counter-strike-global-offensive-gets-zombie-chickens-for-halloween/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fJZ4ivaW_TWC.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kkVHlQyxSxSy.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fJZ4ivaW_TWC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Counter-Strike Halloween"></p><p>Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is certainly at the more serious end of Valve's multiplayer services&mdash;being about guns and terrorism, rather than gravel or wizards. Nevertheless, they're getting in on the Halloween spirit with the temporary addition of masks, ghosts and zombie chickens.</p><p>"Each of our hardened operators have decided to have a little Halloween fun by wearing masks," explains the&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/2014/10/10704/" target="_blank">CS:GO blog</a>. Masks are coming across from Payday 2 and Team Fortress 2.</p><p>In addition, there's a chance you'll see fallen teammates as ghostly figures haunting the map. And, of course, there's the chickens. "For too long the chickens of CS:GO have idly watched as their brethren were slaughtered by the droves," Valve write,&nbsp;"and on All Hollow’s Eve there is no more room in Chicken Hell." Basically, if you kill a chicken, it will&nbsp;resurrect&mdash;but green.</p><p>The changes come as part of a&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/2014/10/10721/" target="_blank">more general patch</a>&mdash;filled with spooky notes like "fixed wallbang inconsistency through closed window in apartments near Bombsite B."</p> Subscribe to PC Gamer UShttp://www.pcgamer.com/subscribe-to-pc-gamer-us/Make a killing when you get PC Gamer delivered direct to your door.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/subscribe-to-pc-gamer-us/MagazinePC Gamer <a href="/subscribe-to-pc-gamer-us/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ggB6fNTX7K-e.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4mKfW8JVSZin.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ggB6fNTX7K-e.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="US Far Cry 4 cover"></p><h2>Subscribe today</h2><h4><a href="http://shop.futureus.com/subscriptions/pc-gamer-subscription.htmlsg=AFQjCNFwngYO2epGqJngcofj1QufuKAarA">Print edition</a></h4><p>Subscribe to PC gamer to make a huge saving on the cover price and have every issue delivered to your door days before it reaches the shops. 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Think about that for a second: not only have people been playing World of Warcraft for ten years, but Blizzard has actively supported it for a decade. While there's no lack of statistics pointing to a declining subscriber base, the truth of the matter is that even in decline, World of Warcraft is head and shoulders above its competition. Not to mention that subscriber numbers <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-subs-on-the-rise-ahead-of-warlords-of-draenor-expansion/">tend to peak</a> in the lead up to a new expansion. With the promise of expansion releases at a steadier rate into the future, it's hard to imagine World of Warcraft going away soon.&nbsp;</p><p>Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas joined Blizzard in 2008. I caught up with him during a trip to Sydney where he appeared at an event celebrating the game's tenth anniversary, alongside the November 13 release of Warlords of Draenor. We chat about what the ten year milestone means to Blizzard, and what the studio has in mind for the future.</p><p><strong></strong></p><p><strong>PC Gamer: World of Warcraft hits ten years next month. Is there another ten years in it?</strong></p><p>Ion Hazzikostas: Yes, without a question. I can’t tell you exactly what our 20th anniversary celebration event is going to be<em>–</em>maybe new content which hasn’t been created<em>–</em>but I can tell you there’s going to be one.</p><p><strong>PCG: Has there been any notable shifts in the way both Blizzard and the community approach the series, since you joined in 2008? </strong></p><p>IH: Yeah. There hasn’t necessarily been a clear cut point where things suddenly changed, it’s just a series of gradual changes among our community but also among us, as we respond and listen. Part of having a game which has run for ten consecutive years is that your fans and your players lives are changing, and you need to evolve with them. A lot of players who first adopted WoW in 2004 were students then, but now they have families and careers. Maybe previously they liked to stay up raiding, but now they’re trying to fit in 60 to 90 minutes after the kids go to bed, trying to keep in touch with this passion of theirs. </p><p>At the same time we don’t want to make the game exclusively like that, because new players are coming in all the time: people who are looking to be the best, to climb to the top of an arena ladder in PvP or to be the best raiders in the world. What we’ve seen over the years is a continuing broadening of our reach and focus. We’re not trying to focus on one play style versus another, but trying to focus on all playstyles.&nbsp;</p><p>If you like collecting, getting mounts and pets, then you can build a whole experience around doing that. If you just want to log on and see to the end of the story, you can hop into the raid finder and experience content which, seven or eight years ago, you’d need to organise 25 to 40 friends and dedicated blocks of time over the course of weeks and months to see. Now if you feel like it you can get the story payoff there. Really it’s about accessibility wherever possible, but not at the expense of depth. </p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TLzhlsEFcVQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p><strong>PCG: Over the course of all the expansions, and given that some people have played for ten years, does it get more difficult to balance the needs of newcomers with the old school?</strong></p><p>IH: Sure it does. I think the challenge there is giving existing players something that feels new and fresh to them, and giving them evolution. Particularly with classes, the characters they play, the new toys they want and new abilities, but without letting the game get to the point where it’s overwhelming and frankly bloated for someone coming in from scratch. </p><p>What we did in Mists of Pandaria we’ve gone further with in Warlords of Draenor. That is, where possible we've consolidated and streamlined those elements from the past. We want to keep the elements that are the best, strongest and most pure, while getting rid of the ones that are redundant, less used or less needed by the player base. A lot of the class changes that we’re making in Warlords reflects that philosophy. We’re looking back at ten years worth of class development, where often classes would get abilities just because other classes were getting new abilities (even if they didn't need them). As class designers we would sit around thinking to ourselves “well okay, does the Death Knight really need four new abilities? They’re kinda well rounded, they can do everything as it is, but oh well, I guess everyone’s getting new abilities so let’s come up with some stuff.” Some of them were good but some of them weren’t really needed. You layer enough of those on top of each other and you get to the point where a new or returning player is overwhelmed with the amount of options.</p><p> But it also means when we want to give you something new<em>–</em>something that is valuable and is meeting a gameplay need<em>–</em>there’s no room. People’s action bars are full and their keybinds are all tied up. So we’re constantly having to go back to do periodic housecleaning, streamlining, getting rid of things that are less used in order to make room for exciting new things.</p><p><strong>PCG: Has that thinking influenced making the previous expansion sets free? What was the motive there?</strong></p><p>IH: I think that’s in the same vein as the level 90 boost: trying to remove the obstacles that come with having ten years worth of content. We want to keep that richness and the depth, because it’s a ten year old game and there’s an amazing amount of content in there. But we don’t want you to feel that if you want to check out Draenor you have to buy this box and that box, or that you need to jump through all these hoops in order to play the content with friends. If you see an advertisement and you want to check it out, or if you have a friend who says “come raid with me” or “come join my guild” we don’t want people to jump hurdles to get there.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZxWsM4uBRUiw.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QTGCnKJAG1GT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Draenor"></p><p><strong>PCG: The </strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-warlords-of-draenors-updated-character-models-wont-cause-performance-issues-blizzard-says/">new character models</a><strong> have been well-received. Are there plans to upgrade other angles of the game from a cosmetic point of view? Maps for instance?</strong></p><p>IH: I think certainly in Cataclysm we did a large scale overhaul of the old world. We increase the level of fidelity that we design the game to in each expansion. We support newer features from the newest graphics cards and so forth. I think that’s something that we continue to push. I don’t know that we necessarily have plans to go back and retrofit and update old portions of the world. To some extent it’s a living timeline and history of the development of WoW which you can play through and which stands as a record of that time.&nbsp;</p><p>Part of the charm of what Outland, Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King content entails is that the way they look reflects how the game looked back then. As always where it makes sense and when it’s the right thing for the player we’re not going to shy away from something due to resources, but it also comes to the question of where we allocate that resource. Would it be better served if we took all that art time and instead used it to make extra zones in our new expansion content? The answer to that is probably yes.</p><p><strong>PCG: But in terms of practical and appealing upgrades, has the studio discussed any possibilities?</strong></p><p>IH: Well we have more work to do with the character models, and there’s also the things that players transform into: like the Moonkin for the Druids, things along those lines that are in the same vein, and are things you see on the screen all the time. Other things we’ve been exploring is adding additional visual depth to our armour systems, whether it’s cosmetic attachments like the hunter who can have a quiver, or more geometry to the armour to help you distinguish your silhouette from other players. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ECHqj0u8TRua.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-ON9LQbmmxgc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="World of Warcraft"></p><p><strong></strong></p><p><strong>PCG: Have there been any recent MMOs you’ve enjoyed or taken inspiration from?</strong></p><p>IH: Yeah, lots. All of us on the team are fans of the MMO genre: we’ve played all the games and not just for market research, but because we’re excited to see what people are doing with the genre. Whether it’s Guild Wars 2, Aion, Wildstar, Elder Scrolls or Destiny - if it’s in the genre we’re playing it, we’re talking about it and we’re enjoying it. There’s certainly things that we look at. We make sure that if they’re doing something better than we are then we ask what can we do to fix that, how can we improve, what elements could we adopt to make our player’s experience better. It’s not about copying or keeping up, it’s more about keeping pace with the industry as a whole, the way the MMO genre evolves and doing the right thing by players.</p><p><strong>PCG: World of Warcraft is head and shoulders above its competition. Why is the paid model not working for some competitors? We’ve had Star Wars: The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online struggle of late. Are players shifting away from the subscription model or is it a problem with the genre?</strong></p><p>IH: It’s tough. It’s hard for me to really speak to other games and their particular stories. I know that for us, we feel like the subscription model continues to be the right one for us and our players. We deliver high value for the monthly subscription because it allows us to provide a steady stream of content, and we don’t have any plans to move away from that any time soon.</p><p><strong>PCG: Blizzard has a good track record launching stable expansions. What’s the mood in the office when it ticks over?</strong></p><p>IH: Always anxious, always tremendously excited. There are few greater joys as a designer than sharing what you’ve created. It’s always this excitement at seeing people run off into a world, and the excitement of playing it ourselves. We’ve obviously played it extensively internally, but the game is so big that it’s hard for any one staff member to see it all, so there’s always tonnes of surprises to experience for the first time. It’s always incredibly high energy and a fun week.</p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lMc8VP02DFA?list=PLY0KbDiiFYeNgQkjujixr7qD-FS8qecoP" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p><strong>PCG: It’s been mentioned a couple of times that Blizzard hopes to release expansion content on a more frequent basis. A yearly basis has been suggested. Could these be as big in scope as Draenor or Mists, for instance?</strong></p><p>IH: There isn’t a specific template that we try to fit every time. We’re pretty happy with the number of dungeons and raids for example, and the scale of a Pandaria or a Draenor I think is something we’d try to stick to. Clearly talk is cheap and action is what counts, and we’ve been talking about wanting to release more frequent expansions forever: they date back to 2008.</p><p> That runs into both production realities and our inherent perfectionism. We don’t want to just push the game out there because we said we’d hit a date: we need to make sure it’s the right thing for our players and the right thing for us. That said, the WoW team has grown significantly in the last year and a half. We’re trying to be capable of meeting some of those goals and of course you have to walk before you can run. Things slow down a little bit as you bring a tonne of people on as you need to train them up. You need to integrate them into your culture and into your environment, into your workflow, and so those are some of the reasons why there was a large gap between Mists and Warlords. But we feel like we’re not going to repeat that, but of course again: time will tell.</p><p><strong>PCG: How did the idea for </strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warlords-of-draenor-blog-post-explains-how-followers-work/">Garrisons in Warlords of Draenor</a><strong> evolve?</strong></p><p>IH: It grew from a couple of things. We had this very small feature in Mists, which was the farm. You received a small plot of land where you could plant crops and unlock a few additional rows and fields. It was a tiny aspect, but players loved it. There was a lot of attachment and joy in the sense of owning a piece of the land to yourself. We saw that unexpected success and thought about how we could build on that further. It also dovetailed with the themes of Draenor: it’s sort of a return to the series’ RTS roots, both in terms of the franchise story, but also the idea of building a base and having the iconic looks of the old barracks and the blacksmith and the armoury, in addition to the storyline of needing to raise an army. All of that came together and now the story of Draenor is the story of you and your garrison. </p><p>It’s a very Warcraft version of player housing. Many MMOs have done it and many have asked for it, but we could never square the idea of player housing with our universe. Does your Orc warrior come home and decide what kind of drape they’re going to have or how the couch is going to look? No, you come home and decide whether you want a barracks or an armoury. That’s Warcraft.</p><p><strong>PCG: Are there any ideas to expand Garrisons beyond the Draenor expansion? </strong></p><p>IH: There aren’t specific plans, but you never know what the future holds. If it turns out that players are so attached to their garrisons then it’s a problem we’ll happily accept and find solutions for. Right now we’re envisioning it as something that’s very integrated into the Draenor experience. As part of the ten year anniversary and the scope of the game, it’s important how we approach features like this, to try to keep them focused where possible on specific expansions. We’re never going to release expansions quicker if every new addition creates a new maintenance process. That would mean having to create new garrison buildings, or 50 new followers etcetera. Where it makes sense we’ll do that, but we’d like to try to focus things so that the experience from one expansion to another is more varied.</p><p><strong>PCG: Did you hear about the guy who </strong><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-pandaren-reaches-level-90-without-leaving-starting-zone/">leveled to 90 in the Wandering Isles</a><strong> starting zone? What do you get out of a story like that?</strong></p><p>IH: It’s definitely cool, it’s just emergent gameplay. Some people try to do things in unconventional ways. In this case clearly you were supposed to have to pick a side, it was designed that you would join an alliance, but this was a loophole. In retrospect if someone in our QA team entered a bug that it’s possible to level indefinitely by collecting herbs in the starting zone we would have fixed it before the game shipped, because it’s clearly not intended. But once someone is out there doing that, it would be terrible to undermine that person’s efforts. It’s not something that’s for everybody and clearly they had fun doing it because they had random people logging on just to have a chat, and it became a spectacle. In general we like to let people have fun unless it’s coming at the expense of someone else’s fun. We always get a kick out of that stuff.</p> Risk of Rain patch delivers new classes and major fixeshttp://www.pcgamer.com/risk-of-rain-patch-delivers-new-classes-and-major-fixes/Long-awaited patch is now live.Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/risk-of-rain-patch-delivers-new-classes-and-major-fixes/ChucklefishNewsPlatformerRoguelike <a href="/risk-of-rain-patch-delivers-new-classes-and-major-fixes/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VV7Spevn5iGg.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JWCyyTTSRAGx.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VV7Spevn5iGg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="risk of rain"></p><p>The long-awaited v1.2.0 patch for rogue-like platformer Risk of Rain is finally here. Announced <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/risk-of-rain-update-to-add-two-new-classes-one-of-which-owns-a-grappling-hook/">two months ago</a>, the patch brings two new classes, ten new items and six new challenges, as well as a long list of big fixes and gameplay improvements. The patch notes are low on detail regarding what these new classes bring to the game, though grappling hooks appear to be involved, which is nice.</p><p>Changes have been made to the existing Huntress, HAN-D, Acrid and Mercenary classes, while the newer version of the game now runs on an entirely new engine. You'll want to check out the full patch details <a href="http://riskofraingame.com">over here</a> as they're quite extensive.</p><p>In terms of bug fixes the list is similarly large, with a few highlights including fixes to the Bighorn Bison hit box, adjustments to the Enforcer class and, luckily for Golems, no more spawning inside of walls. </p> The Stanley Parable has sold over 1 million unitshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-stanley-parable-has-sold-over-1-million-units/Not bad for an experimental with no shooting.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:06:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stanley-parable-has-sold-over-1-million-units/Davey WredenIndieNewsThe Stanley Parable <a href="/the-stanley-parable-has-sold-over-1-million-units/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9QDIeaEXGIlj.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gb3bdpM1RY62.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9QDIeaEXGIlj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Stanley Parable"></p><p>It says a lot about the good health of games when <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stanley-parable/">The Stanley Parable</a>, a strange narrative-driven adventure with origins in the modding community, can sell over 1 million copies. Developer Davey Wreden revealed the sales figure on <a href="https://twitter.com/HelloCakebread/status/523277627608424450">Twitter</a> earlier this week. "A few years ago no one had any idea who I was," he wrote. "Today The Stanley Parable has sold a million copies. Thank you."</p><p>The last we heard of the game's sales progress, it had shifted <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/thanks-to-clever-marketing-the-stanley-parable-sold-over-100k-copies-since-release-last-week/">100,000 units</a> in its first week. PC Gamer's Phil Savage described it as "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stanley-parable-review/">effortlessly inventive, frequently surprising and consistently hilarious</a>" upon release, later naming it as his <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/game-of-the-year-awards-2013-personal-picks/">game of the year</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Originally a Source Engine mod, The Stanley Parable released as a standalone title on Steam in 2013.</p> Lords of the Fallen livestream — over an hour of gameplayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-livestream-watch-now/Watch a couple hours of the Dark Souls-likeaction RPG.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:19:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lords-of-the-fallen-livestream-watch-now/Lords of the FallenRPG <a href="/lords-of-the-fallen-livestream-watch-now/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wN4NVb0ecm4Y.780x349.I6Tv7hqN.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <object bgcolor="#000000" data="http://www.twitch.tv:80/widgets/archive_embed_player.swf" height="378" id="clip_embed_player_flash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"><param name="movie" value="http://www.twitch.tv:80/widgets/archive_embed_player.swf"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="flashvars" value="title=Lords%2Bof%2Bthe%2BFallen&amp;channel=gamesradar&amp;auto_play=false&amp;start_volume=25&amp;archive_id=580805019"></object><p> Watch the first couple hours of Lords of the Fallen&nbsp;as Tyler joins (now <em>joined&mdash;</em>archived video above)&nbsp;GamesRadar for a look at the new action RPG from&nbsp;Bandai Namco. We'll have a review up next week.</p> Intel's Extreme Broadwell-E chips reportedly not coming until early 2016http://www.pcgamer.com/intels-extreme-broadwell-e-chips-reportedly-not-coming-until-early-2016/It'll be more than a year's wait for the successor to Haswell-E, and we won't see desktop Broadwell until sometime in 2015.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:52:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/intels-extreme-broadwell-e-chips-reportedly-not-coming-until-early-2016/HardwareIntelNewsTech <a href="/intels-extreme-broadwell-e-chips-reportedly-not-coming-until-early-2016/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TiBZRmL5PR-h.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4zEGZP2OSryW.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TiBZRmL5PR-h.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Broadwell CPU Intel"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p> So much for seeing the high-end "Extreme"&nbsp;Broadwell processors anytime soon&mdash;or anytime in 2015 at all, in fact. The <a href="http://chinese.vr-zone.com/131468/intel-14nm-broadwell-e-will-mass-production-at-2016-first-quater-10212014/">VR Zone</a> (a Chinese tech site) reports that Intel’s high-end desktop Broadwell-E CPUs, the successor to Haswell-E which was released back in August, will supposedly come out in the first few months of 2016 rather than fall 2015.</p><p> After Broadwell has been delayed several times due to manufacturing issues, it’s not surprising to hear that we’ll have to wait a long while for top-end parts. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich promised to deliver Broadwell CPUs in 2014, but those will be lower-power Core M chips.&nbsp;The more powerful desktop Core i5 and i7 chips ideal for gaming won't be out until sometime in 2015.</p><p> The VR Zone&nbsp;report doesn't specify the exact reasons Intel's pushing the Extreme chips back to 2016, but it does give us a glimpse&nbsp;at what Intel’s next high-end chip will entail. VR-Zone confirms some previous reports that Broadwell-E chips reuse the existing LGA2011v3 socket and stick with the X99 chipset.</p><p> The big draw&nbsp;of Broadwell chips is that they will be made with a new, smaller 14-nanometer silicon fabrication process, which should reduce power consumption and in turn cooler running CPUs. Compared to the 22nm process used to create Haswell chips, Intel will be able to produce boards that are 25-percent smaller.</p><p> Broadwell should be an very heat and power efficient line of processors, but similar to the way Ivy Bridge was a shrunken down version of Sandy Bridge, Broadwell is only an incremental update from the Haswell. Skylake, meanwhile, will represent an all new architecture with a new chip design and&nbsp;<a href="http://techreport.com/news/27040/skylake-reference-designs-have-wireless-charging-wigig-networking">possibly introduce wireless charging and data streaming</a>.</p> Strike Suit Zero developers announce Fractured Space, a free-to-play tactical combat gamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/strike-suit-zero-developers-announced-fractured-space-a-free-to-play-tactical-combat-game/Fractured Space will arrive on Steam Early Access later this year.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:54:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/strike-suit-zero-developers-announced-fractured-space-a-free-to-play-tactical-combat-game/ActionEdge Case GamesFractured SpaceNewsStrategy <a href="/strike-suit-zero-developers-announced-fractured-space-a-free-to-play-tactical-combat-game/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rY7xGwWi7k1s.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ROBTWupSR76U.jpeg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rY7xGwWi7k1s.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fractured Space"></p><p>The origins of new indie studio Edge Case Games are a bit confusing. Its <a href="http://www.edgecasegames.net/about-us/">website</a> says its the team that developed <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/strike-suit-zero/">Strike Suit Zero</a>, completely intact, now operating under a new name, since Born Ready Games "was set up with the sole intention of bringing Strike Suit Zero to fruition." But it also implies that Born Ready continues, adding, "We are two companies working together with common history and DNA." Whatever the details, the easy-to-follow version is this: The Strike Suit Zero guys have announced their new project, a tactical combat game called Fractured Space.</p><p>Fractured Space will feature massive capital ships engaging in team-based, five-on-five online combat. There will be various manufacturers and classes of ships, and they can be further customized through the use of "Galactic Coin" earned in battle, meaning that every engagement will be different. </p><p>"Above all else we want to transmit a sense of scale to the player&mdash;the feeling of participating in a massive space battle inside their own titanic capital ship, blasting apart enemy ships and working together with other players to achieve a common objective," Edge Case CEO James Brooksby said in a statement.</p><p>There aren't a lot of details at this point but it sounds quite similar to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dreadnought/">Dreadought</a>, the game currently in the works at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/spec-ops-the-line/">Spec Ops: The Line</a> studio Yager Development. That game features fleets-based capital ship combat as well, but where its action (all we've seen of it so far, anyway) is atmospheric, with ships that "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dreadnought-hands-on-a-multiplayer-slugfest-with-really-big-spaceships/">hover</a>," the promise of "massive space battles" in Fractured Space suggests that it will actually take place out in the void.</p><p>Edge Case says it's committed to an "open development ethic" for the game, meaning that it will share assets and plans, and accept input from the community, as it goes. It will launch on Early Access later this year before going into full release in 2015 as a free-to-play game, with various perks being reserved for Early Access "founders." In the meantime, you can find out more about what they've got cooking at <a href="http://fracturedspace.com/">fracturedspace.com</a>.</p> Judge rules against plaintiffs in Battlefield 4 class action suithttp://www.pcgamer.com/judge-rules-against-plaintiffs-in-battlefield-4-class-action-suit/The misleading statements alleged in the suit were just "puffery" and corporate optimism.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:46:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/judge-rules-against-plaintiffs-in-battlefield-4-class-action-suit/Battlefield 4Electronic ArtsFPSNews <a href="/judge-rules-against-plaintiffs-in-battlefield-4-class-action-suit/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mzVgiLMQQg7X.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UbNSr2EZSpqY.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mzVgiLMQQg7X.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefield 4"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/investors-sue-ea-over-quality-of-battlefield-4/">class action lawsuit</a> against Electronic Arts arising from the botched launch of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4/">Battlefield 4</a> has hit a snag: The judge in the case has ruled that the alleged "false and misleading statements" about the game were not actually fraudulent, but were instead just the sort vague, optimistic noise you'd expect from the upper management of a major game publisher. Despite the ruling, however, it's not a complete victory for EA.</p><p>Filed last December, the lawsuit claimed EA executives knew the launch of Battlefield 4 would be a schmozzle but made "materially false and misleading statements" about its many virtues anyway and, based on that, "issued strong fiscal 2014 financial guidance for the Company" in order to entice unsuspecting investors to sink their money into it.</p><p>As the <a href="http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/10/21/72652.htm">Courthouse News</a> reported, however, Judge Susan Illston ruled that at least some of those statements were nothing more than "corporate confidence,"&nbsp;and while it may have been misplaced, it does not constitute the foundation for a lawsuit.&nbsp;</p><p>"[CFO Blake] Jorgensen's Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing 'BF4' to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery," she wrote. "Defendant [CEO Andrew] Wilson's Oct. 29, 2013 statement explaining that EA 'worked more closely with Microsoft and Sony throughout the entire process' resulting in a 'launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this company' is an inactionable opinion, as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism." </p><p>It's a positive outcome for EA, but it's not necessarily the end of the story. In its defense, EA pointed out that five of the eight statements cited by the lead defendants, Ryan Kelly and Louis Mastro, were actually made after they had purchased stock in the company. The judge agreed that they cannot pursue claims based on those statements, but also said the plaintiffs can be replaced by others who did purchase stock due to alleged "misstatements" made between October 29 and December 3, as long as the purchases were made after those dates. The complainants were given until November 3 to make the substitution.</p> Titanfall update adds co-op Frontier Defense mode and ranked playhttp://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall-update-adds-co-op-frontier-defense-mode-ranked-play-and-more/The latest update to Titanfall is the biggest one yet.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:49:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall-update-adds-co-op-frontier-defense-mode-ranked-play-and-more/Electronic ArtsFPSNewsTitanfall <a href="/titanfall-update-adds-co-op-frontier-defense-mode-ranked-play-and-more/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dSs2atbJzX-E.780x349.4-SHhyFt.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NEqMuDBYQ9G0.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dSs2atbJzX-E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Titanfall"></p><p> Electronic Arts has taken the wraps off a big update to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall/">Titanfall</a> that adds ranked play, "map stars," visual optimizations, new unit types, and three new modes of play including Frontier Defense, a cooperative four-player battle against waves of IMC enemies.</p><p> The Frontier Defense mode, demonstrated on <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/titanfall/b/580719537">Twitch</a>, is the big hook in today's hefty Titanfall patch. Pitting four players against increasingly difficult waves of AI attackers, it adds some all-new types of enemies to the action including Sniper and Suicide Specters, Arc Titans that can drop the shields of opponents who venture too close, and Mortar Titans that lob heavy shells from a distance. Defensive turrets can be placed around the battlefield, and new Loadout Crates will enable on-demand loadout switches during battle. Players who are killed in combat are returned to the field via a dropship that circles above the action before landing, allowing pilots to fire on their enemies through side windows before touchdown.</p><p> Two other game modes will follow Frontier Defense: Deadly Ground on November 5, in which the floor is covered by electrical fog, thus strongly encouraging wall-running, and Marked for Death Pro on November 26, a round-based version of the Marked for Death mode.</p><p> The update also adds "map stars," three of them for each primary game mode of each map, which players will earn based on their performance. The stars are persistent, and new Titan Insignias can be unlocked by earning 30 stars in a particular game mode. Seven new Titan Insignias have been added as well, two for Frontier Defense and five for Map Stars completion.</p><p> Ranked play has also been added to the game, although it will remain in beta at least until the end of October. Once the beta is finished, ranked play will be opened to all players of level 32 or higher, with new seasons beginning on the first of each month. All Gen 10 players will be given access to the beta automatically, and will also be able to invite other players to join in.</p><p> The PC version of the game will enjoy a number of changes under the hood as well. Those with the horsepower to handle it can take advantage of <a href="http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/hbao-plus">HBAO</a> (horizon-based ambient occlusion) and either 2x or 4x <a href="http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/txaa">TXAA</a> (temporal anti-aliasing). Load times are now "significantly faster," decal rendering has been further optimized, and the interface has been improved to include a countdown indicating when new daily challenges will come available.</p><p> As promised, this is a big update, and there are numerous other additions, changes, and fixes above and beyond the main points listed here. A full breakdown of what's in store is up at <a href="http://www.titanfall.com/game-update-eight">titanfall.com.</a></p> Nvidia adds Dynamic Super Resolution support to older graphics cardshttp://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-adds-dynamic-super-resolution-support-to-older-graphics-cards/Download Nvidia’s latest video drivers to downsample from 4Kwith Fermi and Kepler GPUs.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:25:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-adds-dynamic-super-resolution-support-to-older-graphics-cards/downsamplingHardwareNewsNvidiaTech <a href="/nvidia-adds-dynamic-super-resolution-support-to-older-graphics-cards/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_WzCqQ2athn-.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OIyNwie7TT61.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_WzCqQ2athn-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="dynamicsuperresolution-teaser"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p><a href="http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/geforce-344-48-whql-driver-released">Nvidia just released</a> a new GeForce driver: 344.48 WHQL. On top of adding support for new games like Civilization: Beyond Earth, this new driver enables Nvidia’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/dsr">Dynamic Super Resolution</a> (DSR) technology on Nvidia GeForce GTX 500, 600 and 700 series desktop graphics cards.</p><p>In case you haven’t&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidias-dynamic-super-resolution-is-downsampling-made-easy/">read up on DSR</a>, it involves running a game at a higher resolution (up to 4K is currently supported) and then downsampling it to a 1080p screen to improve image quality. It’s essentially brute force anti-aliasing. Thus far, Nvidia has been promoting DSR functionality as a built-in feature for its new Maxwell GPUs. Now Nvidia has brought the technology to the older Fermi and Kepler GPUs.</p><p>The most exciting thing about Nvidia’s implementation is it works automatically through the GeForce Experience, and since the downsampling is done at the driver level, it’s more compatible and efficient (though not as configurable) than modder-created hacks, like Durante’s GeDoSaTo.</p><p>Players who want to further tweak their DSR experience can do so by clicking on the game-by-game settings in the GeForce Experience app. In this NVIDIA Control Panel you can select different DSR scaling factors and adjust the smoothness of the DSR filter, which sharpens or softens the in-game picture.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MchMdDY9Tz6U.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QKW8ev1UUMXX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dsr Auto Enabled In Geforce Experience"></p><p>The latest&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geforce.com/drivers">344.48 WHQL drivers</a> also optimizes Nvidia graphics cards for new games including Civilization: Beyond Earth, Elite Dangerous, and Lords Of The Fallen. Support for Oculus Rift drivers on G-SYNC systems has also been added. You can download the GeForce Game Ready 344.48 WHQL driver through the GeForece Experience application or from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/78873/en-us">Nvidia’s website here</a>.</p> Bethesda announces Elder Scrolls lore books, coming next yearhttp://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-announces-elder-scrolls-lore-books-coming-next-year/Actual books, with covers and paper and ink, that you can put on a shelf.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:54:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-announces-elder-scrolls-lore-books-coming-next-year/Bethesda SoftworksNewsRPGThe Elder Scrolls OnlineThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim <a href="/bethesda-announces-elder-scrolls-lore-books-coming-next-year/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XKRhq0rPBAGr.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pKO44S9YSL-v.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XKRhq0rPBAGr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Elder Scrolls Online book"></p><p>I love RPG lore. I walk into a virtual library in pretty much any game you care to mention, and I'm stuck there until I've read every single book in the place. And there are few games with more voluminous lore than The Elder Scrolls series, which is why the two series of books recently announced by Bethesda&mdash;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-online/">The Elder Scrolls Online</a>: Tales of Tamriel and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim/">The Elder Scrolls V</a>: The Skyrim Library&mdash;represent such a dire threat to my wallet.</p><p>Bethesda didn't actually reveal how much these books will cost, but they sure don't sound cheap. There are five "lavishly bound" volumes in total, two for TESO: Tales of Tamriel&mdash;Vol. 1, The Land, and Vol. 2, The Lore&mdash;and three in The Skyrim Library&mdash;Vol. 1, The Histories, Vol. 2, Man, Mer and Beast, and Vol. 3, The Arcane. The books will collect all in-game text from both TESO and Skyrim, plus concept art and, for the TESO books, nearly 100 pieces of all-new art "illustrating the lives, the land, and the lore of Tamriel at war."</p><p>The series is being created by <a href="http://titanbooks.com/">Titan Books</a>, which has previously published licensed novels and art books for other games including BioShock, Crysis, Halo, Dead Space, Resident Evil, Thief, Titanfall, and two Elder Scrolls novels, Lord of Souls and The Infernal City. The first volumes are expected to launch in March 2015.</p> ​Why I Love: falling with style in Human Revolutionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-falling-with-style-in-human-revolution/A paean toDeus Ex: Human Revolution's most beautifulability.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-falling-with-style-in-human-revolution/Deus Ex: Human RevolutionFPSRPGWhy I Love <a href="/why-i-love-falling-with-style-in-human-revolution/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BBTSSUfAiH-s.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rl33wkowQreS.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Fdu0-dfLmRKm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Human revolution 1"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title" style="margin-left: 0px;">WHY I LOVE</h5> <p> In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Tom can't stop falling off buildings, climbing up and falling off again. </p> </div><p> Sometimes an ability feels so good it changes the way I play a game, and the Icarus Landing System from Deux Ex: Human Revolution feels amazing. It's a meagre tool compared to Jensen's arsenal of bionic gadgets. He can spray tiny warheads from his shoulders and brutalise guards with spring-action swords that pop out of his elbows. An ability that reduces falling damage ought not to compare, and yet it is Jensen's most graceful manoeuvre.</p><p> Film, comic and game characters who love showing off have been using the three point landing for years. It's visual shorthand that implies a high level of martial skill. It can be quite expressive when used well. Spider-Man slaps against walls in a lithe, springy motion. Pavements everywhere fear Iron Man's crunchy fist-first variation. In Ghost In The Shell Kusanagi's heavy three-point landing shows the surprising weight of her augmented body, reminding us that she's beyond human.</p><p> Like Kusanagi, Jensen's landing is obviously augmented, but the characterisation is different: more delicate and controlled. You can upgrade it to deliver a concussive blast with the downward thrust of a palm, but it's an upgrade I never take&mdash;the standard animation is too perfect. Ten feet from the floor Jensen summons a gold aura with outstretched hands. As the ground approaches he folds into a crouched pose and the electromagnetic field cushions his landing. His trenchcoat settles around him and he casually stands, as though dropping three storeys from a rooftop is perfectly natural.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mgOtPXDyKjA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> It has become completely natural for him. He poise of that landing shows that he's mastered his synthetic body. At two Praxis points, it's a surprisingly expensive upgrade, the sort you're likely to take later in the game when the environments shift to multi-tiered complexes. By fortune or design, acquiring the Icarus Landing some way into the game completes Jensen's traumatic evolution from regular Joe to robo-Joe. It also riffs on Human Revolution's fondness of the Icarus myth, used as an analogy for the perils of transhuman progress. It's a punchline. The modern Icarus' wings can melt away and he'll still come back to earth in a halo of golden light and land unharmed.</p><p> For all that, I mainly love the Icarus Landing system as a piece of sensory design. It's a prime example of Human Revolution's vision of an ornate black-and-gold cyberpunk renaissance, complemented by the best noise in the game&mdash;a sonorous "fvvvwoooomph" that's both gentle and ominous. The overall effect is one of coiled power, which is fitting for a man who's had every inch of his being weaponised.</p><p> Outside of its opening hours, Human Revolution's plot isn't too concerned with issues surrounding human augmentation on an individual body-horror level, spiralling quickly into a tale of conspiracy and corporate espionage. Human Revolution lets you frame Jensen's reaction to his implants&mdash;using the famous "I didn't ask for this" line if you wish&mdash;and then moves away from the topic. But abilities like the Icarus landing and the Typhoon Explosive System do offer a stance, and the stance is: human augmentation is really fucking cool.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jtR7iyCHsFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> When you activate one of these abilities, the camera pops out of first-person to spin cinematically around Jensen's mo-capped animation. After the Icarus landing he pauses for a moment and looks up before standing&mdash;a touch of flair you'll see in any big-screen three-point landing. The artifice of the whole thing is compounded by the total lack of reaction from nearby pedestrians.</p><p> This carefully manufactured sense of cool is an essential prerequisite for the player character of a big-budget game, but in Human Revolution it comments directly on one of the central themes. Never mind the immunocompromised early adopters of bionic technology, or issues of identity concerning the replacement of natural limbs with superior robotic versions, look at this man who can shrug bombs and jump off buildings. Look at his retractable sunglasses. Look at his <em style="background-color: initial;">lovely coat</em>.</p><p> I wouldn't have it any other way in this instance.&nbsp;Heroes are designed to be aspirational figures, and achieve that in problematic ways in some cases, but I've fallen for Adam Jensen. It's not&nbsp;because of the coat, or the shades, or the beard that could double as a can opener in moments of need. I want to jump off a building and land in a haze of electromagnetic energy, and go&nbsp;"fvvvwoooomph". It's the only reason I bother to navigate the fiddly rooftop walkways of Human Revolution's city environments, climbing up and jumping off repeatedly to the impassive stares of passing citizens. Bring on our augmented future. My body is ready.</p> else Heart.Break() trailer shows friendship and computershttp://www.pcgamer.com/else-heartbreak-trailer-shows-friendship-and-computers/Beauty and programming in this adventure RPG.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:40:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/else-heartbreak-trailer-shows-friendship-and-computers/Adventureelse Heart.Break()News <a href="/else-heartbreak-trailer-shows-friendship-and-computers/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NXe6OjKmKjxA.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aP7KHjeVPCI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Here's a trailer for adventure RPG&nbsp;<a href="http://elseheartbreak.com/" target="_blank">else Heart.Break()</a>. We'll get to what it is soon, but first I'm going to objectify the heck out of it. Blimey, this piece of digital media looks <em>gooood</em>.</p><p>"Else Heartbreak is an adventure game set in the peculiar city of Dorisburg," explains the trailer, "a place where bits have replaced atoms. Follow the daily lives of its citizens, fall madly in love, and learn how to modify reality through programming."</p><p>In other words, it&nbsp;sounds a bit like Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash, but with feelings. Hopefully, it will also sound as good as it looks; with music (and animation, modelling and world design)&nbsp;from Hotline Miami's El Huervo.</p><p>else Heart.Break() is due out "pretty soon,"&nbsp;apparently. See some screenshots below.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vAqDjecRTH2r.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NXe6OjKmKjxA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heart.Break"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EmaQFZlkTeaW.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kctsS-jY2Dal.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heart.Break2"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ayC5VW7tSJ6C.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hRtU5_MUUxaF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heart.Break3"></p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/10/22/else-heart-break-trailer/" target="_blank">RPS</a>.</p> Watch the teaser for The Witcher 3 opening cinematic revealhttp://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-teaser-for-the-witcher-3-opening-cinematic-reveal/Full video todébut at the Golden Joysticks, this Friday.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-the-teaser-for-the-witcher-3-opening-cinematic-reveal/Golden JoysticksNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <a href="/watch-the-teaser-for-the-witcher-3-opening-cinematic-reveal/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W4EOiWpfBlho.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/462-XqrflCs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>The Golden Joysicks are nearly here. They are not for plugging into your PCs, but for rewarding the year's best games and game creators. In addition, they are for the world first showing of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's opening cinematic. You can see the full thing on&nbsp;24 October at 3:45pm BST, live on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/goldenjoystickawards" target="_blank">the Golden Joysticks Twitch channel</a>.&nbsp;Before that, you can see this brief teaser, by casting your eyes slightly upwards and pressing play.</p> Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer introduces companionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trailer-introduces-companions/Some new faces for your inquisitive fellowship.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:22:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trailer-introduces-companions/Dragon Age: InquisitionNewsRPG <a href="/dragon-age-inquisition-trailer-introduces-companions/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mnJsdRLs6iPZ.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/26DQyT4ezTA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>In this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-2/" target="_blank">Dragon Age: Inquisition</a> trailer, we get an introduction to three of the game's new faces. Companions Iron Bull, Sera and Dorian&nbsp;are detailed; alternatively&nbsp;known as buff grey&nbsp;dude, crazy elf and slick&nbsp;wizard.</p><p>Inquisition, then. That's a game that's going to happen, and soon. 18 November is the US release date, with Europe lagging behind on 21 November. I'm currently blasting my way through Dragon Age 2 in preparation. Good thing I love grey/brown textures.</p><p>For all of DA2's faults, the writing is impeccable, and Inquisition's systems seem targeted at addressing its predecessors shortcomings. For more, check it out: "it" being&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-hands-on-fine-fantasy/" target="_blank">Evan's hands-on impressions</a> of the game.</p> Papers, Please dev releases early build of new gamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/papers-please-dev-releases-early-build-of-new-game/A brief introduction toThe Return of theObraDinn.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:21:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/papers-please-dev-releases-early-build-of-new-game/AdventureReturn of the Obra Dinn <a href="/papers-please-dev-releases-early-build-of-new-game/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/axGcq_3MzbNf.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DDvaLNUaRk6O.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Fsh6jXh6D78d.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Return of the Obra Dinn"></p><p>Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope has posted an early development build of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/papers-please-dev-reveals-next-game-first-person-mystery-return-of-the-obra-dinn/" target="_blank">his next game</a>. The Return of the Obra Dinn may not be set behind the desk of a border control station, but it is still somewhat administrative in nature. A first-person mystery, your job is to find out what happened aboard the merchant ship&nbsp;"Obra Dinn"&mdash;uncovering the fate of the ship's crew.</p><p>This demo gives you a brief idea of its central mechanic&mdash;which I won't spoil because it's a neat revelation. Still, as it's easy to miss things: make sure you've collected the watch and the passenger manifest before you've finished. You should, with some deduction, be able to work out the fate of two crew members by the end of the current content.</p><p>Systems aside, it's worth taking a look to see the beautiful "1-bit" rendering style in motion. Screenshots don't really do it justice.&nbsp;To download the build, head over to the&nbsp;<a href="http://dukope.itch.io/return-of-the-obra-dinn" target="_blank">game's Itch.io page</a>, and for more development details, check out&nbsp;<a href="http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=8a4da1384bdbd18d828803837fae244a&amp;topic=40832.msg1075235#msg1075235" target="_blank">The Return of the Obra Dinn's TIGSource thread</a>.</p> Dreamfall Chapters: Book One is out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dreamfall-chapters-book-one-is-out-now/The long-awaited follow up to the Longest Journeyis here.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:05:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dreamfall-chapters-book-one-is-out-now/AdventureDreamfall ChaptersNewsRed Thread Games <a href="/dreamfall-chapters-book-one-is-out-now/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_Qtp5fnfKlee.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vBd_Z0uEQVOe.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_Qtp5fnfKlee.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dreamfall Chapters 1080"></p><p>Eight years is hell of a wait for a cliffhanger, but the&nbsp;Dreamfall/The Longest Journey saga&nbsp;is finally continuing. Book One of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redthread/dreamfall-chapters-the-longest-journey" target="_blank">Kickstarted</a> Dreamfall Chapters is&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/237850/" target="_blank">now available</a> for public consumption&mdash;the first of five planned episodes that, with luck, won't take another eight years to complete.</p><p>For those new to the series, the game takes place across the dual-worlds of Stark and Arcadia: one grounded in technology, the other in magic. Both The Longest Journey and Dreamfall were praised for their stories&mdash;particularly their characterisation&mdash;even if, as an adventure game series, one of them did require doing illogical things to a rubber duck.</p><p>The game costs £24/$30 on Steam, but will give you access to all five episodes as they're released. Below, you'll find a trailer from earlier in the year.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4ktxliB-b-4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Five Nights at Freddy's 2 hits Steam Greenlighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/five-nights-at-freddys-2-hits-steam-greenlight/For those craving new animatronic monstrosities.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 03:36:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/five-nights-at-freddys-2-hits-steam-greenlight/Five Nights at Freddy'sHorrorNews <a href="/five-nights-at-freddys-2-hits-steam-greenlight/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mjid1NI1qx0a.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ONAMwCdUTbiC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mjid1NI1qx0a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fnaf"></p><p>Most of us are still recovering from the trauma inflicted by <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/five-nights-at-freddys/">Five Nights at Freddy's</a>, a strange survival horror-cum-puzzler featuring violent animatronic animals. PC Gamer's Omri Petitte described it as "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/five-nights-at-freddys-review/">a simple design that's devilishly clever at messing with you</a>", which somewhat understates how terrifying it is.</p><p>Well I hope you're ready to suffer again, because creator Scott Cawthon has entered its sequel on Steam Greenlight. According to the <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=329921390">Greenlight description</a>, Five Nights at Freddy's 2 will feature a new cast of characters which will be "updated with the latest in facial recognition technology". They also happen to be "tied into local criminal databases" which doesn't sound dodgy at all. <br> <br>"As the new security guard working nights, your job is to monitor cameras and make sure nothing goes wrong after-hours. The previous guard has complained about the characters trying to get into the office (he has since been moved to day-shift). So to make your job easier, you've been provided with your very own empty Freddy Fazbear head, which should fool the animatronic characters into leaving you alone if they should accidentally enter your office."</p><p>Here's the trailer, which you should definitely watch if you hate feeling good. Vote for it on Greenlight <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=329921390">here</a>.</p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lVPONdZBh6s" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe> The Legend of Korra gameplay video — first impressionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-gameplay-video-first-impressions/Tom fights his way through the streets of Republic City in The Legend of Korra from Platinum Games.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:50:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-legend-of-korra-gameplay-video-first-impressions/ActionPlatinum GamesThe Legend of Korra <a href="/the-legend-of-korra-gameplay-video-first-impressions/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-hTDFXj1ZDVj.780x349.tpaXOu7t.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iottjK_eH1Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p>I am a huge fan of The Legend of Korra TV show, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on the game when it launched today. From just the few hours I've played,&nbsp;it's clear&nbsp;that appealing to fans of the show was at the top of Platinum's mind while it developed the game. Unfortunately,&nbsp;the lack of any significant dialogue and the exclusion of many key&nbsp;characters undermines an otherwise faithful recreation of the show's world. We'll have our full review up later this week, but check out the video to see what I think of The Legend of Korra so far, from its incredibly fun&nbsp;combat to its abysmal graphics options.</p> Titanfall teases 'biggest update' details for tomorrowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall-producer-teases-biggest-update-details-for-tomorrow/Details to stream on Twitch at 10am PDT.Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:33:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall-producer-teases-biggest-update-details-for-tomorrow/Electronic ArtsFPSNewsRespawnRespawn EntertainmentTitanfall <a href="/titanfall-producer-teases-biggest-update-details-for-tomorrow/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dSs2atbJzX-E.780x349.4-SHhyFt.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NEqMuDBYQ9G0.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dSs2atbJzX-E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Titanfall"></p><p>All has gone pretty quiet on the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/titanfall/">Titanfall</a> front since the release of the IMC Rising map pack last month, but it looks like we'll be getting some big news soon. According to the official <a href="https://twitter.com/Titanfallgame/status/524706040081035265">Titanfall Twitter account</a>, Respawn will livestream a presentation tomorrow with details on the game's 'biggest update' yet.</p><p>The presentation will kick off October 22, 10AM PDT on <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/titanfall">Twitch</a> (that's 5pm in the UK and 3am in Australia). No other clues were provided regarding what the update entails, though I'm betting on new game modes.&nbsp;</p><p>While some have questioned Titanfall's longevity, Samuel Roberts <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing-titanfall/">wrote last week</a> that he's still playing it. "I am a giant robot, staying out of the way, tracing the shifting battlefield, popping out from around corners when your titan is at half health to belt you with a robot punch."</p> Paranautical Activity dev resigns over Gabe Newell death threathttp://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-developer-resigns-over-gabe-newell-death-threat/Developer Mike Maulberg says he's no longer involved with Code Avarice in any way.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-developer-resigns-over-gabe-newell-death-threat/Code AvariceFPSGabe NewellNewsParanautical ActivityRoguelikeSteamValve <a href="/paranautical-activity-developer-resigns-over-gabe-newell-death-threat/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r6ckmfqiOsO-.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3OTkL8ziRz2B.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r6ckmfqiOsO-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Paranautical Activity"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity/">Paranautical Activity</a> developer who <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-removed-from-steam-following-developer-outburst/">threatened to kill Gabe Newell</a> after the game wasn't properly updated from an Early Access title to a full Steam release has left the company. In a statement posted on the Code Avarice website, co-founder Mike Maulbeck said he's sold his half of the company to his partner and won't earn any money from the sale of the game.</p><p>Maulbeck's trouble started yesterday, when Paranautical Activity launched on Steam. For some reason, the front page banner announcing its full release indicated the game was an Early Access title, from which it had actually just emerged; the mixup led Maulbeck to explode on <a href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW">Twitter</a>, accusing Steam of incompetence and eventually threatening to kill Valve boss Gabe Newell. </p><p>That was received exactly as well&nbsp;as you'd expect: Paranautical Activity was almost immediately removed from Steam, and it's a fair bet that the studio's odds of getting any&nbsp;future games on the platform have been diminished pretty dramatically. Maulbeck apologized but Valve didn't budge, and so today he fell on his sword.</p><p>"As a result of my actions, Paranautical Activity, a game made by 4 or 5 people depending on who you count as team members, was removed from Steam. I feel is it my responsibility to step down from Code Avarice completely so that Steam has no reason to harbor any more ill will towards the company, and maybe even if we can’t see Paranautical Activity restored, at least future Code Avarice games may be allowed onto the platform," Maulbeck wrote in his <a href="http://codeavarice.com/post/100592709238/mike-is-leaving-code-avarice">resignation announcement</a>.</p><p>"I’m really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I’m sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so)," he continued. "My temper and tendency to use twitter to vent has been a consistent problem since I entered the games industry, and I just can’t do it. I don’t have the willpower necessary to be the 'face' of a company. If I do continue to work in games it’ll be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation, not the most public figure of a single digit sized team."</p><p>Maulbeck's now-former partner, Travis Pfenning, called the situation "<a href="https://twitter.com/Vallisca3x3x3/status/524609801004003328">ludicrous</a>" and said on his own Twitter account that he didn't agree with the decision. But Maulbeck was unequivocal. "[I've] given up all my rights to CA as a company, and all its intellectual properties," he concluded. "I won't receive any money from the sale of Paranautical Activity or any future games CA develops, I won't be consulted on business decisions, and I won't have any hand in development. I'm out."</p><p>Whether this will do anything to get the game back on Steam remains to be seen, but at this point the studio has had no further contact with Valve. "I am currently waiting on a reply from Gabe. Not that he will," a studio rep wrote in an email. "I will reach out to them when i can find the time to hunt down a place to actually send a mail that will mean something. On the back end, I am dealing with console releases as I see this the only way to save this game from failure."</p><p>Paranautical Activity is still available on other platforms, like <a href="https://indiegamestand.com/store/237/paranautical-activity/">IndieGameStand</a> and <a href="http://www.desura.com/games/paranautical-activity">Desura</a>, but as Maulbeck&nbsp;himself noted shortly after his outburst, without the exposure that comes with being on Steam it will be extremely difficult for it to find any kind of audience.</p> Ultimate General: Gettysburg advances into full release on Steam http://www.pcgamer.com/ultimate-general-gettysburg-advances-into-full-release-on-steam/The Civil War RTS from the maker of DarthMod has left Early Access.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:37:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ultimate-general-gettysburg-advances-into-full-release-on-steam/Game-LabsNewsNick ThomadisRTSUltimate General: Gettysburg <a href="/ultimate-general-gettysburg-advances-into-full-release-on-steam/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E-LMKmM21UEj.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/I5bBNbCGTrGh.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E-LMKmM21UEj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ultimate General: Gettysburg"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ultimate-general-gettysburg-announced-an-rts-from-the-creator-of-total-wars-darthmod/">Ultimate General: Gettysburg</a>, the RTS being developed by the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/darthmod-creator-retires/">creator of the DarthMod</a> for Total War, is now complete and out of Steam Early Access. In a blog post accompanying the release, designer Nick Thomadis talked about his goals for the game, which begins as the real battle did but can unfold from there in any number of ways.</p><p>The "<a href="http://www.ultimategeneral.com/blog/ultimate-general-is-fully-released">designer's note</a>" is actually a rather lengthy look at the game, covering everything from the highly detailed, accurate, and very pretty battlefield map, to its complex line of sight system, AI personalities, the control interface, and more. Thomadis also pointed out that while the Union was the historical victor at the real Gettysburg, this game will allow the Confederates to come out on top.</p><p> "There is no pre-determined way to play. Forces arrive from historical directions, but can be delayed or arrive sooner," he wrote. "The first engagement where Buford attempts to delay the Confederates' advance plays a big role in how the battle will escalate, as an opening move does in chess. The next battle scenario is defined depending on key objectives secured and casualties, condition and disposition of units are recorded and transferred as well."</p><p>Friendly units will operate with a degree of autonomy thanks to their own AI, and the control system has been designed to be "naturally intuitive using easily perceived, basic gestures," both features Thomadis cited as important when he announced the game. Ultimate General: Gettysburg will include five one-on-one multiplayer maps, but the single-player mode will also have a strong element of replayability. </p><p>"The fact that the multi-day battle never plays the same because of random events and different AI commanders gives enough incentive to play multiple times and research all possible outcomes," Thomadis wrote. "Additionally, as you play the campaign you can unlock more than 80 custom battles for skirmish mode."</p><p>And because the game is designed with tablets in mind as much as the PC, the system requirements are relatively mild: A 1.6Ghz dual core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB HDD, and a GeForce 8800/Radeon X1600 with 512 MB of VRAM will get you where you want to be. Ultimate General: Gettysburg is available now on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/306660/?snr=1_5_1100__1100">Steam</a>. </p> Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition will be out this monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-will-be-out-this-month/Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is less than two weeks away. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:25:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-will-be-out-this-month/BeamdogIcewind Dale: Enhanced EditionNewsRPGTrent Oster <a href="/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-will-be-out-this-month/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XnT85f6thKaw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PaLJimZVQeij.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XnT85f6thKaw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition"></p><p>If it seems like just last month that Beamdog announced <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-announced-at-pax/">Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition</a>, well, that would be incorrect: It was actually August 30, which technically makes it two months ago. But more important than the announcement date is the release date, which we now have.</p><p>Without much&nbsp;fanfare&nbsp;Beamdog boss Trent Oster <a href="https://twitter.com/TrentOster/status/524432839417536512">wrote last night on Twitter</a>: "Oh we also announced a launch date for #IWDEE of Oct 30. That's right, just 10 more days to go."</p><p>In follow-up tweets, Oster said the game will be released on Beamdog's own platform, as well as GOG and Steam, for both Windows and Linux. "The mobile versions should be very close as well," he added.</p><p>The announcement of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition wasn't really a surprise, given the success of the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions, but it was still happy news for old-time RPG fans. The updated game will include an improved interface, cross-platform multiplayer, a new difficulty mode that will allow players to experience the story without having to struggle through repeated beat-downs, six expanded quests with content that was cut from the original game, and new items, spells, and class and kit combinations.</p><p>The originals are still available and can be souped up pretty well with external mods, but for gamers who either aren't comfortable with that sort of horsing around or just don't want to be bothered, the Enhanced Editions are a good way to go. Unfortunately, making more of them might be a problem: The dramatic changes made to the remaining Infinity Engine RPGs, Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment, "would invalidate all the character classes and require a pretty thorough rework of the entire game to bring in the features from our Infinity Plus Engine," Oster <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nightmares-abound-for-icewind-dale-ii-enhanced-edition-beamdog-boss-says/">said last month</a>. "At minimum, nightmares abound." </p> Hearthstone to arrive on Android before the end of the year, iPhone to followhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-to-arrive-on-android-before-the-end-of-the-year-iphone-to-follow/There will soon be more ways to sample Blizzard's card battling crack.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:18:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-to-arrive-on-android-before-the-end-of-the-year-iphone-to-follow/BlizzardBlizzconCard GameHearthstone: Heroes of WarcraftNews <a href="/hearthstone-to-arrive-on-android-before-the-end-of-the-year-iphone-to-follow/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/33z0lXxWrCnl.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SATYciDOQV2A.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/33z0lXxWrCnl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearthstone Arcane Intellect"></p><p>Hearthstone might have already sunk its Bear Form claws into <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-hits-20-million-players/">20 million players</a>, but Blizzard isn’t stopping there. Having launched&nbsp;successfully on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/whats-hearthstone-like-on-ipad/">iPad</a>, the next version&nbsp;will be for Android tablets and, according to a <a href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/16421347/fireside-chat-mobile-development-update-10-21-2014">post by the game’s community manager</a>,&nbsp;it's due out&nbsp;before the end of the year. From there Team 5 is&nbsp;moving on to a potentially even more lucrative market: mobile phones. That’s going to take a little longer, though, as the post explains:</p><p>“&hellip;we need a little more time to get that version right. While we have a build up and running internally, it needs a bit more work, and we don’t feel like we’ll be ready to share it with you until early next year. It’s very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions. One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand.” </p><p>Great. Because I wasn’t dedicating enough of my life to trying to come up with the <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dcEdl9AFdi2oEU3YgGnRve1g7gSlDHBXggKnUNAgcQs/edit#gid=0">perfect Handlock deck</a>. Now I can do it on the train too. It’ll be interesting to see how Team 5’s user interface designers cram the game into smaller screens, and how connectivity holds up using a 3G signal rather than wi-fi. God forbid you go through a tunnel and come back to find you've missed lethal.</p><p>The post also includes a <a href="https://bnetcmsus-a.akamaihd.net/cms/gallery/BOYHI2H341EF1413827855218.jpg">cute infographic</a> that collects up stats from the game so far. Apparently Unleash the Hounds has been played 69 million times. Funny. It felt like more.</p><p>With Blizzcon looming at the start of November, we can also expect details on the next expansion set, which will include <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone-production-director-teases-100-card-expansion-news-very-soon/">over 100</a> new cards. While you wait for official word on those, why not check out my predictions for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/whats-next-for-hearthstone/">what’s in store for Hearthstone</a> here. &nbsp;</p> Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor gets free Power of Shadow DLChttp://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-gets-free-power-of-shadow-dlc/The new DLC pack includes a Black Hand skin and three Epic Runes.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:17:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-gets-free-power-of-shadow-dlc/ActionMiddle-Earth: Shadow of MordorNewsWarner Bros Interactive <a href="/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-gets-free-power-of-shadow-dlc/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SwU8QchKui4t.780x349.Fw6BN9Zz.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ebi5dqOoTzqq.jpeg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ugXPiDWwcfiS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Middle-Earth:Shadow of Mordor"></p><p>The largely excellent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor/">Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor</a> grew a little bit bigger and darker&nbsp;today, with the release of Power of Shadow&mdash;a free DLC pack that lets players step into the skin of the Black Hand of Sauron.</p><p>The Power of Shadow DLC includes a playable Black Hand skin, as well as three new Epic Runes: "One With Nature," conferring immunity to poison attacks from Uruk Captains or Ghuls; "Ascendant," which doubles the focus time for slow-motion ranged combat; and "Elven Grace," an increased defense that cuts enemy damage in half.</p><p>The DLC is available now on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/322060/">Steam</a> to all owners of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and in case you missed it the first time around, it's free. And while WBIE doesn't seem to have released any Black Handed screens, Steam user TrooperCandidate has, and you can lay your eyes upon them <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198013949368/screenshots/?appid=241930">right here</a>.</p><p>And for those who don't yet have Shadow of Mordor, the good news continues: Over the next couple of days, Bundle Stars is offering the game for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bundle-stars-offers-33-off-shadow-of-mordor-for-the-next-48-hours/">33 percent off its regular price</a>, taking it down to $33. Not bad for a game <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/middleearth-shadow-of-mordor-review/">we called</a> "the best Lord of the Rings-based game to date." </p> How to overclock your graphics cardhttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-your-graphics-card/Get the most out of your GPU with our easy overclocking guide.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:35:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-your-graphics-card/AMDBest ofGPUgraphics cardguideHardwareMust ReadNvidiaOverclockingTech <a href="/how-to-overclock-your-graphics-card/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oeq4WE8z4omg.780x349.uqluJ35y.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BZU5an9nQK21.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oeq4WE8z4omg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="How To Overclock GPU"></p><p>We’ve all gone a bit giddy over&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-gtx-980-tested-sli-4k-and-single-gpu-benchmarks-and-impressions/" target="_blank">Nvidia’s new 900-series graphics cards</a>. The GTX 980 and 970 are both massive overclockers&mdash;the 970 overclocked can run almost as fast as the reference 980&mdash;and those overclock boosts help separate them from the still-fast AMD R9 cards and Nvidia GTX 700 series.&nbsp;But you don’t need a new graphics card to be able to indulge in a little GPU tweakery. If your card is a year or two (or three) old, overclocking is the best way to squeeze a little more life (and higher graphics settings) out of it without spending any money.</p><p>Years ago, eager overclockers did genuinely run the risk of cooking their chips. Overclocking wasn't the most user-friendly process. But now times have changed. There are so many safeguards in place in your silicon that you’d have to really <em>try</em> to brick your hardware while doing some standard overclocking. There is still a little risk to overclocking, however: depending on which aftermarket vendor made your card, you may void your warranty. If anything goes wrong, you'll probably just crash your machine and need to restart; you're unlikely to do serious damage to your graphics card unless your overclock keeps the card at dangerous temperatures for long periods of time.</p><p>Every GPU is different, and some cards are champion overclockers.&nbsp;I was able to break the 1.5GHz barrier with my GTX 970 G1 Gaming edition, partly because Gigabyte specially check their overclocking card’s chips to make sure they’re the ones with the most headroom.&nbsp;I was able to get mighty close to 1.5GHz with my reference GTX 980 too, but the extra cooling of the Gigabyte card meant my GTX 970 also runs an awful lot cooler.</p><p>Temperature is something to think about before you start tweaking your GPU. If you’ve got an AMD Radeon R9 290X with a stock cooler then your card is likely to be running at some 93ºC under load already.&nbsp;You’re not going to get anywhere overclocking that beastly GPU.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nRWrrmXsSH6E.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DAimyyt13xy-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="R9-290x-3 4"></p><p>If you're stuck with a bad cooler,&nbsp;you can pick up third-party GPU coolers to fit yourself, though it may be time for a GPU upgrade.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&amp;N=50002107%2040000576&amp;IsNodeId=1&amp;Manufactory=2107&amp;name=VGA%20Cooling&amp;SpeTabStoreType=0&amp;isdeptsrh=1">Arctic do some impressive aftermarket coolers</a> for the homebrew crowd. Using their Accelero Xtreme IV I was able to run my reference R9 290X at just 66ºC compared to the 93ºC it was running at with the stock cooler.</p><p>Once your card is fit for overclocking&mdash;and if you have an aftermarket card from Asus, Gigabyte, Sapphire, EVGA, or another vendor, it's probably raring to go&mdash;it's time to dig into some overclocking software.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-overclock-your-graphics-card/#page-2">Hit the next page for our guide to getting the most out of your graphics card.</a></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BZU5an9nQK21.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oeq4WE8z4omg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="How To Overclock GPU"></p><p> <em>As I said before, there are certain inherent risks to overclocking your GPU, so proceed with a level of caution befitting tweaking an expensive bit of electronics. That said, in all my years breaking hardware, it’s never been down to overenthusiastically twisting the nuts off my graphics cards&hellip;</em></p><h2> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Step 1:&nbsp;</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Know your limits</strong></h2> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">overclocking software</h5> <p> <a href="https://unigine.com/products/heaven/download/">Heaven 4.0 benchmark</a>: Stress test your system. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/">GPU-Z</a>: See in-depth data about your card. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.evga.com/precision/">EVGA PrecisionX</a>: Our go-to Nvidia overclocking software. </p> <p> <a href="http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm">MSI Afterburner</a>: Popular alternative to PrecisionX. </p> </div><p> The first thing you want to do is know where you’re starting from. As a control method it’s worth getting an accurate measure of your card’s current performance. To do so, I recommend downloading some free benchmarking and analytics software.</p><p> First off, grab the&nbsp; <a href="https://unigine.com/products/heaven/download/" target="_blank">Heaven 4.0 benchmark</a>.&nbsp;That will give you a platform-agnostic take on your GPU’s performance. It also runs happily in a window on the desktop, which is immensely&nbsp;handy, and will stress your card to make sure it’s all stable.</p><p> My personal favourite GPU tweaking tool for Nvidia is&nbsp; <a href="http://www.evga.com/precision/" target="_blank">EVGA’s PrecisionX software</a>.&nbsp;You’ll need to create a free account to download it from their site, but there are alternatives, such as&nbsp;<a href="http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm" target="_blank">MSI's Afterburner</a>, if you’re not comfortable with that. PrecisionX also has a handy hardware monitoring window you can pull out which gives you a great bead on how much GPU is being used and the temperature of your card.</p><p> With AMD cards, you don't need to download any special software.&nbsp;You can use the Overdrive feature in the Performance tab of the&nbsp;<a href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/download">Catalyst Control Centre</a>. Overclocking with Catalyst is a similar basic process to the one I’m going to outline with the EVGA tool, and AMD's graphical interface makes overclocking extremely user friendly.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C-_JvxFvSJ2r.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PvhCRmvsGybJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Evga Precisionx"></p><p> Once downloaded and installed, boot up PrecisionX to pull in the monitoring data from your graphics card.</p><p> Then run Heaven 4.0 in fullscreen at your native res and the highest settings with 4x AA to really push the GPU. You can run the benchmark by pressing F9.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0sc6Nx62QC-M.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1l0VFNd0yscF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Benchmarking" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></p><p> Once that’s done, note down the minimum and average frame rates, quit the application and then note down the maximum frequency your GPU clocked to and the maximum temperature too.</p><p> This gives you your baseline performance.</p><h2> <strong>Step 2:&nbsp;</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Go easy</strong></h2><p> To get the most out of your graphics card, your best bet is to adjust both the memory clocks as well as the GPU clockspeed. PrecisionX will allow you to do both, but from the outset you want to raise the power limits to 100% to allow full access to the GPU’s power.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ppzf1DW9R8KV.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qEdI30lmFqGM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Memory Overclock" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></p><p> Before you start tweaking, boot up Heaven again, but this time run it in a window on your desktop so you can see the looping demo as well as have access to the overclocking controls and the hardware monitor.</p><p> Now you can start the overclocking.</p><p> Starting with the memory, shift the slider to the right in small, 5-10MHz increments. This will allow you to&nbsp;hopefully see initial instabilities in the VRAM before you fully crash the machine. Moving up slowly like this will give you the best chance of avoiding frying your card too.</p><p> After every 10MHz step carefully check the Heaven window for artefacts. You’ll know when your memory is starting to fail as you’ll notice large blocks of solid colours or stars appear on-screen.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zoenePIlQXyv.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lNPq0-RYhghV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Memory artefact" class=""> <figcaption>The bright star in the middle of the image is evidence of the memory feeling a little stressed</figcaption></figure><p> When you see those happen, dial back the settings a couple of notches and check the Heaven window again. Keep going backwards until you no longer see the signs of memory strain and you’ve found the limits of your video memory.</p><p> Now take a note of the frequency and drop it back down to the default memory clockspeed again.</p><h2> <strong>Step 3:&nbsp;</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Chip clocking time!</strong></h2><p> Now we can start overclocking the GPU itself. You’re unlikely to be able to get as much extra speed out of the GPU as you were able to with the memory, but you’re also likely to get a bigger performance boost from tweaking the actual chip than the VRAM.</p><p> Follow the exact same method with the GPU slider as with the memory&mdash;move upwards in small increments until you start to see some instability in the Heaven window.</p><p> This time, though, you are looking for different artifacts in the benchmark display. Instead of stars or blocks of colour you need to keep an eye out for random, multi-coloured pixel-sized dots around the screen. GPU instability might also appear in the form of coloured flashes on-screen. These are the sure signs that your graphics chip is suffering.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uqx25fTiTr2U.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lakYiW4suPcK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GPU artefact" class=""> <figcaption>The coloured blob is a telltale sign of GPU instability, as are randomly coloured, pixel-sized dots</figcaption></figure><p> As well as artifacts, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the temperature of your GPU in the hardware monitor window. You really want to make sure you can keep your temperature below 90ºC, otherwise you’re likely to start to see throttling, or severely shorten the life of your beloved graphics card. I'd recommend trying to keep the graphics temperature hovering in the 70-79ºC zone.</p><p> Again, when you start to see GPU artifacts, drop the GPU clock back until the Heaven window runs normally again. This then is the maximum frequency you’ll be able to achieve with this basic level of overclocking.</p><p> If you're using AMD's Catalyst Control Center, follow the same process as above. The interface you're using will look slightly different. Use the memory clock settings slider to adjust the memory speed, and the GPU clock settings box to slowly tick up the GPU speed. Remember, as mentioned above, you'll initially want to crank your power limit settings as high as they can go.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F_qSIoZMQgeS.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qjx91FtH0dOV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Amd Catalystcontrolcenter"></p><h2> <strong>Step 4:&nbsp;</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Combination therapy</strong></h2><p> Once you’ve found the limits of both your chip and the video memory attached to it you can combine the two clockspeeds.&nbsp;In your overclocking application push the GPU and memory clock sliders up to your discovered maximums, hit apply and check your Heaven window.</p><p> Don’t be disappointed here if your machine crashes or you discover more artifacting in your test window. Pushing up the speeds of both memory and GPU at the same time puts more stress on the card as a whole.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s5Rt3OLsSaCE.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7yTsKmCwXuQL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Combo OC"></p><p> The type of artifacting, as described above, should tell you which component needs dialing back. If you're not sure what the problem is, just&nbsp;set your overclock to 10MHz lower on both memory and GPU when you restart.&nbsp;Keep dropping your overclock by small increments until you get a stable display from Heaven.</p><p> Now, close down the Heaven window and restart the application in fullscreen at your monitor’s native resolution. Once the application is running hit F9 and it will start the benchmarking run again. This will both allow you to test if your overclock is stable and give you an immediate measure of just how much extra performance you’ve got out of your graphics card.</p><h2> <strong>Step 5:&nbsp;</strong><strong style="background-color: initial;">Stress test</strong></h2><p> If your PC manages to get through a benchmarking run of Heaven that’s great, but it’s probably worth leaving the software open in fullscreen, running through the loop, for another twenty minutes or so.</p><p> That will allow you to really stress test your overclock and make sure it wont fall over in the middle of a tough gaming session. You can also use GPU intensive games, like Metro: Last Light with its tessellated character models, to stress your overclock in a real gaming environment. This is also a good way to see how hot your graphics card will get after extended play time.</p><p> Should your GPU not make it through the stress test&mdash;whether your whole machine crashes or the display adapter stops working&mdash;then simply reboot your system and set the overclock slightly lower again and run through the tests.</p><p> This patient, methodical approach should allow you to minimise the stress on your components and ensure you are as unlikely as possible to irrevocably brick your expensive hardware.</p><p> Once you’re completely happy with your overclock, it’s time to set it in stone. Your chosen overclocking application will allow you the option to set the new GPU and memory frequencies as Windows starts.</p><p> On PrecisionX it’s a simple checkbox and you’re good to go.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ClnrJzb9TZyD.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uyJYNW68DVCc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Stress test"></p><p> One final thing to remember: don't be too down-hearted if you don’t manage to get a huge boost in performance out of your now-overclocked graphics card. You’re never going to get an R9 270X running like a GTX Titan, but what you will be doing is improving the smoothness of your gaming experience.</p><p> Even a few extra FPS in a games can make the difference between unplayable and playable, or the ability to turn on that extra bit of post-processing.</p><p> You should also, hopefully, be closing the delta between the minimum frame rate and the average frame rate. This is the real key to smooth gaming.</p><p> And that’s it&mdash;you’re now an overclocker!</p><p> What I’ve outlined here is the most basic form of overclocking&mdash;if you want to go further you can replace the cooler on your graphics card or start indulging in the arcane art of voltage tweaking.</p><p> I’ve chosen to avoid that in this basic guide, as messing with the power going into your GPU raises the chances of something nasty happening to your hardware.</p><p> And if a bit of overclocking just convinces you that it's time for a newer and better card, check out or list of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-graphics-cards/">the best graphics cards</a> currently available.</p> Gigabyte introduces the first Mini-ITX GTX 970http://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-introduces-the-first-mini-itx-gtx-970/Mini-ITX builders rejoice, there’s now a GTX 970 for you that can hold its own against the full-size card.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:01:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-introduces-the-first-mini-itx-gtx-970/GigabyteHardwareNewsNvidiaNvidia MaxwellTech <a href="/gigabyte-introduces-the-first-mini-itx-gtx-970/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J-CtrtQfT81a.780x349.SW2sPiaA.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><em><br></em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zOaPQunVSCG4.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J-CtrtQfT81a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Mini-ITX GTX 970"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p><a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-mini-itx-gtx970-oc,27915.html#xtor=RSS-181">Gigabyte has produced</a> the first miniaturized&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/review/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-970-g1-gaming-review/">Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card</a> made for Mini-ITX computers, and it really is a precious little thing. Don’t let this mini-GPU’s cuteness deceive you, though: it’s still packing a lot of power.</p><p>The card comes overclocked and running at 1076 MHz base clock speed, which can be further boosted to 1216 MHz. 1076 MHz is actually slightly faster than the 1051 base speed of the reference GTX 970, but keep in mind that full-size cards like <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-970-g1-gaming-review/">Gigabyte’s GTX 970 G1 Gaming</a> can overclock as high as the 1500 MHz mark. The full-size card draws power from two 6-pin connectors; Gigabyte’s Mini-ITX 970 requires a single 8-pin power connector.</p><p>Gigabyte has swapped out the reference cooler for its own WindForce 3X cooler. Despite the name, the cooler only has a single fan. According to Gigabyte, the massive heatsink and three heat pipes were still able to keep the Mini-ITX GTX 970 at a cool 62-degrees Celsius while running the Metro Last Light benchmark test. Gigabyte claimed a reference card equipped with a NVTTM cooler running the same benchmark topped out at a much hotter 76 degrees Celsius.</p><p>Now the most interesting bit: Gigabyte is selling its Mini-ITX GTX 970 for $329.99, which happens to be Nvidia’s reference pricing for the standard GTX 970. You’re not going to get the same overclocking or cooling potential out of the mini-ITX 970 as you would a full-size card, but for a mini-ITX system, it’s packing a hell of a lot of power into a smaller form factor.</p> BlizzCon 2014 will close with a Metallica concerthttp://www.pcgamer.com/blizzcon-2014-will-close-with-a-metallica-concert/ This year's BlizzConwill give you dabajabaza.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:46:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzcon-2014-will-close-with-a-metallica-concert/Blizzard EntertainmentBlizzconNews <a href="/blizzcon-2014-will-close-with-a-metallica-concert/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/St1tkl8g77wy.780x349.0PAukDWX.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/w0F6YpGzRp6v.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Pc-BmPDM9EwD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Metallica at BlizzCon"></p><p>Blizzard has announced that Metallica, the ageing rockmeisters who threatened to sue the internet into oblivion for downloading their riffage on Napster, will perform the closing concert at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzcon-2014-dates-and-prices-announced/">BlizzCon 2014</a>. Needless to say, my unironic 1992 mullet and I are extremely excited.</p><p>As you're probably aware, BlizzCon is an annual celebration of all things Blizzard, during which fans of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/warcraft/">Warcraft</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/starcraft/">StarCraft</a>, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo/">Diablo</a>, and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hearthstone/">Hearthstone</a> get together to watch and take part in panels, interviews, cosplay contents, tournaments, and all the other kinds of stuff you'd expect from a weekend-long gaming blowout. And when the 2014 edition of said blowout wraps up, attendees will be treated to a closing concert featuring the silky smooth stylings of Metallica.</p><p>If you can't be there in person, you can still enjoy the fine musical craftsmanship of James, Lars, whatshisface, and the new guy by way of the BlizzCon "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzcon-2014-virtual-ticket-provides-full-online-streaming-access-for-a-price/">Virtual Ticket</a>." For $40, a V-ticket includes streaming access to all BlizzCon content, in-game items, and of course the Metallica show.</p><p>Is this cool? I honestly don't know anymore. Metallica used to put on an absolutely killer live show but that was the mid-90s, and when I watched the band's performance at this year's Grammys I mostly felt a sense of vague embarrassment about the whole thing. How did we get from "Metal up your ass" to this? </p><p>Anyway, hope it rocks, and being somewhat more serious about it for a moment, I expect it will&mdash;there are few bands with a more commanding stage presence than Metallica. BlizzCon 2014 happens at the Anahein Convention Center in California on November 7 and 8. </p> Show Us Your Rig: Prison Architect designer Chris Delayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-prison-architect-designer-chris-delay/Chris Delay, game designer at Introversion Software, works out of abeautiful custom built studio in his backyard.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:10:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/show-us-your-rig-prison-architect-designer-chris-delay/Chris DelayIntroversion SoftwarePrison Architectshow us your rigStrategy <a href="/show-us-your-rig-prison-architect-designer-chris-delay/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ONWYSj8BhbU5.780x349.QfKkS39-.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n_0KdP-ESSin.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ONWYSj8BhbU5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Show us your rig</h5> <p> Each week 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> Chris Delay, game designer at Introversion Software of Darwinia and Prison Architect fame, works in a downright lovely environment; a custom built studio in his backyard&nbsp;that's as cozy as it is clean. I was&nbsp;taken aback by the massive&nbsp;amount of light the room lets in, and then quickly startled by the discovery that&nbsp;Chris uses the exact same keyboard, mouse, and monitor setup I have in front of me at this very moment. A man of good taste, Chris kindly took the time to show off what he uses to work, as well as&nbsp;"research" other games.&nbsp;</p><h4> <strong>What's in your PC?</strong></h4><p> My main computer is a desktop PC sat under my desk:</p><ul> <li>Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.5 Ghz</li> <li>32 GB ram</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti</li> <li>Windows 7 64 bit</li></ul><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zKCciYqeT22D.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i9bsEMDKgHDx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p><p> The main hard disk is a 1 TB ssd&mdash;I've found this makes a genuinely massive performance difference to just about everything. Especially Windows itself. I'm still running Windows 7 because 8 looks like a tablet OS to me, and therefore isn't suitable to my desktop pc with keyboard and mouse. I've got a water cooling system on the CPU (in the past I've had a lot of issues with computers dying due to bad cooling, so I just went all out this time), and lots of blue LEDs inside the case, because video games.</p><p> I use the Corsair K70 (mechanical) keyboard because I love the feel of mechanical keys (and the sound they make when you type,) and I secretly love the backlit red LEDs as well. The mouse is a Razer DeathAdder, which I find really comfortable to use. Together I think they look awesome. I'm using quite an old 24" monitor and planning to upgrade that soon, once the 4k devices have settled down and it's clear which one to go for.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AzeWSTfDSnmg.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bt-Qn6GkQRXU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p><p> There's a rotel stereo amp and B&amp;W speakers&mdash;you can see them mounted on the wall at either side of the monitor. Sound is extremely important to me, and I spend a great deal of time listening to the game I'm making. I think sound is one of the most important parts of a game's presentation, and I've always tried to have a decent sound system built around my main desk.</p><p> I also carry around an Apple Macbook Pro, 13" retina model, also entirely ssd. I think it's the perfect sweet spot for a laptop&mdash;very powerful, super quick at just about everything, but still quite small and light. I swap between the Windows PC and the Mac laptop regularly, which is a great way of ensuring all the code I write works well on multiple platforms.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Zw6qSukQQ9-p.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qkl044uDVThz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p><h4> <strong>What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?</strong></h4><p> I used to work in the upstairs bedroom in our house, but real life put an end to that. I now have two children, and my wife told me I would have to surrender my office so our kids could have bedrooms of their own. My solution was to custom build my own studio at the bottom of the garden&mdash;somewhere I would be isolated from the noise in the house, and somewhere I would feel inspired and creative without being interrupted.</p><p> The desk on the right side is my main desktop pc station. The desk on the left side is usually used for the Mac as a docking station, and you can see I also have all my games systems under a nice big tv. Because researching other games is a very important part of my job ;)</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4n0vAep9RVSs.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8Mldb2UJqivt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p><p> There's a Darwinia painting above my main desktop and a painting of a woman in red above the left desk &mdash;both painted by my wife. I think they add a lot of colour to the room. I also took the recent PC Gamer cover that featured Prison Architect and had it framed, because that was such an honour for us.</p><h4> <strong>What's always within arm's reach on your desk?</strong></h4><p> I quite like my desk to be as clear as possible ;)</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/p9w7Tl5VRMSm.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F-1ba_3ih3al.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Chris Delay Show Us Your Rig"></p><h4> <strong>What are you playing right now?</strong></h4><p> Still playing Battlefield 3 pretty regularly&mdash;I find the sound and the graphics to be so involving that I can play for hours at a time. Beyond that, I'm loving Kerbal Space Program at the moment. I've been replaying Final Fantasty X on the PS3, which has been an awesome experience, and I might actually complete it this time.</p><h4> <strong>What's your favorite game and why?</strong></h4><p> A really difficult question. I'm assuming you mean "ever," in which case I'd have to say Civilization, which I've played probably every year since I first tried it on my Amiga&mdash;basically forever ago. I'm including the later versions of course, but it's the original that to me is such a masterpiece of game design.</p> Massive Chalice interview: "You have to have thick skin"http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-interview-you-dont-have-to-gaze-upon-the-making-of-the-sausage/Massive Chalice Project Lead Brad Muir discusses Kickstarter-funded development.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-interview-you-dont-have-to-gaze-upon-the-making-of-the-sausage/interviewMassive ChaliceStrategy <a href="/massive-chalice-interview-you-dont-have-to-gaze-upon-the-making-of-the-sausage/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ayh0SCCiP7Is.780x349.JOoRYyws.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ndLwDHtDQxaB.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ayh0SCCiP7Is.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MASSIVECHALICE Battle 2560x1440"></p><p>Tactical strategy game&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/massive-chalice-hands-on-respect-your-elders-and-dont-marry-your-cousins/">Massive Chalice</a> is Double Fine's second Kickstarted project, and one of many that fans have been able to watch very closely during development. Between <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/double-fines-amnesia-fortnight-winners-announced/">Amnesia Fortnight</a> projects such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/spacebase-df-9/">Spacebase DF-9</a> and other Early Access games such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hack-n-slash-review/">Hack 'n' Slash</a>, Double Fine has invited fans to watch them pitch concepts, create art, and balance character stats in spreadsheets via developer diaries and Twitch streams.</p><p>It's all super interesting stuff if you want to see how games are made, but there have been problems. Recently, there was <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tim-schafer-explains-spacebase-df-9s-v1-0-release/">some controversy</a> around Spacebase's unexpected transition from Early Access to v1.0, and planned features lost in the process. When I sat down with Massive Chalice Project Lead Brad Muir, I asked him if this caused Double Fine to reconsider its&nbsp;approach. </p><p><strong>PC Gamer: Did you discuss how to better manage expectations when developing a game in full view after the reaction to Spacebase's release?</strong></p><p><strong>Brad Muir:</strong> We talked about it a little bit but I think our communication has been good, really transparent...Massive Chalice is really mechanical and procedural, so we're content complete at this point. There are small features, enemy behavior, some abilities we want to tweak. Lots of number tweaks. Overall balance to the game is going to change dramatically, especially the second half of it. That's one thing about any sort of long term, strategic game: the further you deviate from the beginning, the less testing you're going to get on it. I'm excited to have all these people helping test the game.</p><p><strong>What's it been like developing Massive Chalice with constant feedback from backers?</strong> </p><p>One of our tenants as a Kickstarter project is that we didn't have the whole thing designed, and we had a lot of people come to us with ideas that were better than ours. One of our classes is an alchemist that throws exploding flasks. This guy on the forums, zdesert, did this quick talent tree in MS Paint and drew all these icons that the alchemist character would have. Some of them were fine, some of them were bad, but one of them, it was a jar of bees. I wanted some kind of area denial ability, like poison gas, but this kid...I actually don't even know if he's a kid, maybe he's like 45, I have no idea, but he made this thing that's even more interesting because it can move around the map, it can create this hazard that can break up and shift for a few turns before it dissipates, and that's a lot more interesting than a cloud of poison gas.</p><p><strong>Does he know it's in the game?</strong></p><p>Absolutely he knows. He's so stoked. He will forever be able to say that he had an idea that went right into this game.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/C4QNndyiTliN.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/veoaBE6uK4Ka.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Massive Chalice" class=""> <figcaption>The origin of 'bees in a bottle.'</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Creatively, what's the downside of working this way? If I had to write something on a Twitch stream I'd be too self-conscious.</strong></p><p>It's impossible to know what this game would look like if we just closed the doors and developed it internally. For sure, you have to have thick skin because people are going to talk shit about it, and say some inflammatory, angry things, and you just have to do your best to ignore it I guess. Just the other day, there was a guy who came into our forums, TrashMan, and he was like, "What the fuck, these classes are stupid."</p><p>We have three core classes in the game and we tried to make something that's not just magic and wizards and fireballs flying around. That stuff is cool, but there are so many games that exhibit that kind of orcs and elves, Tolkien-esque high fantasy stuff. </p><p>When someone like the TrashMan appears&mdash;I love that he's called that, it's so perfect&mdash;there are other backers saying "check out <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/doublefine/profile">Teamstream</a> number 3, where they went through all this stuff." It's been nice, but there's an ugly side to it&mdash;the internet gives everyone a voice. And the other thing is, I don't know anything about these people, that's one part I find very strange about this. I would like to know more about zdesert. He might be a girl, I don't know. It's weird. And this TrashMan guy, I'd like to think that he's just an angry kid, but he might be 40 and through two divorces.</p><p><strong>Are you scared that this is taking some of the magic away, showing how the sausage is made?</strong></p><p>I think one of the cool things about Kickstarter is you're choosing to be more involved, you're choosing to make this thing happen, though you don't have too. You don't have to gaze upon the making of the sausage. </p><p>I don't think that it will ruin it for people. I hope there are more people like zdesert that are just that much more invested because of it, because they saw it grow from nothing. We made Massive Chalice with their help. That's really cool.&nbsp;</p> Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team accused of match fixinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-team-accused-of-match-fixing/Members of the team bet against themselves in an ESL Pro Series Poland match.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:48:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive-team-accused-of-match-fixing/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveE-sportsFPSNews <a href="/counter-strike-global-offensive-team-accused-of-match-fixing/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2TCoYJ0RUMsW.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e3ChljwbQI-3.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2TCoYJ0RUMsW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Counter-Strike: Global Offensive"></p><p>Polish <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/counter-strike-global-offensive/">Counter-Strike: Global Offensive</a> team ALSEN has been accused of match fixing during the ESL Pro Series Poland Season 9. Evidence has emerged that three members of the team, including captain Damian "DiAMon" Zarski, actually placed bets on their opponents, and then went on to lose the match despite being heavy favorites.</p><p>Rumors that <a href="http://www.alsen-team.pl/">ALSEN</a> would throw the match were floating around before it even began, according to <a href="http://www.hltv.org/n/13437">HLTV.org</a>, and in the end they did end up losing to <a href="http://www.gosugamers.net/counterstrike/teams/9200-eliminacja">eliminacja</a> by a score of 16-10. After the victory, online betting site <a href="http://csgolounge.com/">CS: GO Lounge</a> revealed that Zarski, as well as players Michal "bCk" Lis and Jakub "kub" Pamula, had actually placed bets on eliminacja. Lis and Pamula made their bets from their own Steam accounts, while Zarski used four alternate accounts, but also used his primary account to place a smaller bet on his own team.</p><p>Players betting through CS: GO Lounge wager in-game items, not cash, but the monetary values can still be substantial. Based on the valuations determined by the site, Lis won more than $300 in items as a result of the loss, Jakub won more than $550, and Zarski walked away with nearly $1500 worth of items.&nbsp;</p><p>The other three members of ALSEN&mdash;Michal "michi" Majkowski, Mateusz "matty" Kobodziejczyk, and Rafal "sany" Pietrzak&mdash;were not found to have been involved in the betting. There is, however, evidence that other EPS Poland teams were aware of the situation but didn't report it; instead, they placed bets of their own on eliminacja, taking advantage of the steep 81-19 odds against them.</p><p>Given that in-game items were involved rather than actual cash, the exact legality of the situation (or lack thereof) is unclear. But it's incredibly sketchy behavior, and worse, it invokes the specter of rampant match-fixing in lower-tier pro leagues, where oversight may be lax. It's a lot easier to lose a match than it is to win one, and while the most egregious examples may be easy enough to pick out, more skillfully-managed fixing (and let's be honest, using your own Steam account to place bets against your team is pretty ham-fisted) is much harder to pick up on. </p><p>"Tournament admins and organizers, and [CS: GO Lounge] site admins did and will do everything to stop stuff like this," CS: GO Lounge admins said in a statement. ESL Pro Series Poland reps have not yet commented.</p> Bundle Stars offers 33% off Shadow of Mordor for the next 48 hourshttp://www.pcgamer.com/bundle-stars-offers-33-off-shadow-of-mordor-for-the-next-48-hours/Prices slashed on the orc slaying action game.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:38:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bundle-stars-offers-33-off-shadow-of-mordor-for-the-next-48-hours/ActionDealsMiddle-Earth: Shadow of MordorNews <a href="/bundle-stars-offers-33-off-shadow-of-mordor-for-the-next-48-hours/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qdRE06dw223U.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gU6wSX4gS9ep.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qdRE06dw223U.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Shadow of Mordor"></p><p> Sound the deal gong; chime the bargain bell; honk the, er, sale horn? Do whatever it is you do to celebrate a new game being sold on the&nbsp;cheap, for that is what is happening right now.</p><p> Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/middleearth-shadow-of-mordor-review/" target="_blank">very good game</a>&mdash;one that features an&nbsp;unbelievable amount of orc death.&nbsp;For the next 48 hours,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bundlestars.com/store/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor/" target="_blank">Bundle Stars are offering a substantial 33% off it</a>. It's now £20/$33.33 for the main game, and £13.33/$16.66 for the season pass. All this lasts until 5pm BST on 23 October. This is a Steam key sale, so you'll need to use that service to play the game.</p><p> A sort-of-related question: what do you think of doing a news on this? In the past, we've reported on bundles and big sales, but rarely on solid price cuts to recently released games. Is this a useful thing you'd like more of? If it helps, I could pair them with pictures of small animals.</p><p> Here is a stoat:</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GPQchXy_Q8CY.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iOdeqnltBu3R.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A Stoat" class=""><figcaption>This is good web content, right?<br> </figcaption></figure><p> Yes? No? Let me know in the comments.</p> Assassin's Creed Chronicles could become a serieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-chronicles-could-become-a-series/More side-scrolling adventures on the way.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:49:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-chronicles-could-become-a-series/ActionAssassin's Creed: UnityNewsUbisoft <a href="/assassins-creed-chronicles-could-become-a-series/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZMWMG9btx3hc.780x349.pTdws7yf.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JqQvBVgHQxWZ.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZMWMG9btx3hc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AC: Chronicles"></p><p> Side-scrolling Assassin's Creed is a thing that's going to happen. Weirdly, though, the intriguing&nbsp;Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is being relegated to a bonus included as part of Assassin's Creed: Unity's season pass. Despite that, Ubisoft seems to have confidence in the premise, and is now saying that more Chronicles are planned.</p><p> "We really liked the side-scrolling idea, like Mark of the Ninja," AC:U creative director Alex Amancio said to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-10-21-more-assassins-creed-chronicles-spin-offs-planned" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a>,&nbsp;"and we thought it would be a really great way to explore some of the other universes we've created.</p><p> "One thing that's really cool is that every one of the chapters of this game will be in the art style representative of that era in time. This is why Shao Jun's game is like Chinese ink - very black and red."</p><p>Other timeframes, said Amancio, would feature a different art style designed to match the specific characters.</p><p>It's currently unclear how future Chronicles games will be released&mdash;whether as standalone titles, or bundled with larger releases.</p> Is Alien: Isolation’s Nostromo DLC worth buying?http://www.pcgamer.com/is-alien-isolations-nostromo-dlc-worth-buying/Andy plays Alien: Isolation's Nostromo DLC missions.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:37:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/is-alien-isolations-nostromo-dlc-worth-buying/Alien: IsolationHorrorStealth <a href="/is-alien-isolations-nostromo-dlc-worth-buying/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sTdx0xIYE9La.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/39R-PP62QgeJ.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sTdx0xIYE9La.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ripley last survivor"></p><p>These downloadable missions faithfully recreate two key scenes from Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror classic, but with a few subtle twists. The premise is that MOTHER, the Nostromo’s supercomputer, is simulating these events to determine the best way to defeat the alien, which has allowed The Creative Assembly to play with the story in a way that isn’t strictly canon.</p><p>The first,&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/282511/" target="_blank">Crew Expendable</a>, focuses on the crew’s attempts to trap the xenomorph in the ship’s airlock and blow it out into space. In the film it was captain Dallas who bravely volunteered to climb into the ventilation system with the beast, but here you can choose who does it: Dallas, Ripley, or Parker. Your choice doesn’t affect the game in any way&mdash;only dialogue&mdash;but it’s a cool idea.</p><p>The sedate opening sets the scene. You’re free to explore the Nostromo before you climb to the lower decks and begin the mission. The ship has been beautifully, painstakingly realised, and it’s like stepping onto the set of Scott’s film. The dining table where the infamous ‘birth’ scene took place, the dimly-lit bridge, and the blinking lights of the MOTHER computer are all superbly authentic&mdash;although, as I discovered in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-authentic-is-alien-isolation/">this feature</a> I wrote, not everything is 100% accurate.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/azvg6wNQRMyZ.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DWvLr5t_9QmQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2"></p><p>Eventually you descend to the engineering deck and have to avoid the alien as you seal a series of vent covers scattered around the level. This is the least inspiring of the two missions in terms of level design, and you won’t find it particularly challenging if you’ve already finished the main game. It’s a notably smaller, more claustrophobic space than anywhere on Sevastopol, and you’ll need to make ample use of ducts and side-rooms to carefully manoeuvre around the creature.</p><p>The last sequence is better, replicating the film’s brilliant vent scene. You’re trapped in a dark metal maze with the alien, lit only by the burning tip of your flamethrower. Lambert monitors a motion tracker and shouts directions over the radio as you try to reach the exit. If you thought this moment was tense in the film, just wait until you’re in there with the creature yourself.</p><p><a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/282510/" target="_blank">Last Survivor</a> is the second, and best, of the DLC missions. It’s based on the last scenes of the film, in which Ripley attempts to engage the Nostromo’s self destruct and escape on a shuttle. In the film, Lambert’s death is left horribly ambiguous, but here you get to see the grisly aftermath of her and Parker’s last moments. Hunted by the alien, you must make your way through the belly of the ship and trigger the self-destruct as alarms wail and jets of steam suddenly burst from pipes.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zthA39UwRFWy.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zdgJLdLGEVu6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="3"></p><p>This is a tough, tightly-designed mission&mdash;probably one of the best in the game&mdash;and does a great job of replicating the final, desperate moments of the film. You’re limited to basic supplies and a small amount of flamethrower fuel, forcing you to rely almost entirely on pure stealth, which is a nice contrast to the main game’s abundance of gadgets and weapons.</p><p>It’s clear these missions have been made especially for Alien fans. They’re a lovingly-crafted homage to the film, and they even managed to reunite most of the original cast including, crucially, Sigourney Weaver, who reprises her role as Ellen Ripley for the first time since the woeful Alien: Resurrection. Ash is voiced by&nbsp;a soundalike, but he really, <em>really </em>sounds like Ian Holm.</p><p>There’s a nice moment in an audio log that ties the DLC to Ripley's&nbsp;daughter Amanda's story&nbsp;in the main game, but otherwise they can be enjoyed as standalone experiences. The missions will cost you about £3/$4&nbsp;each, which isn’t much considering how much love has been poured into them&mdash;although they aren’t that long, and you’ll be able to get through both of them in little over an hour. For an Alien fan, though, it’s a small price to pay to step inside a timeless science fiction classic.</p> Alien: Isolation 'Corporate Lockdown' DLC announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/alien-isolation-corporate-lockdown-dlc-announced/They mostly come out as add-on packs. Mostly.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:40:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/alien-isolation-corporate-lockdown-dlc-announced/Alien: IsolationHorrorNews <a href="/alien-isolation-corporate-lockdown-dlc-announced/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WMOmJeijmcDJ.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1qX77c-uRwGy.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WMOmJeijmcDJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Alien Isolation"></p><p>So far, the base game of Alien: Isolation is proving to be all the crippling terror I need. Eventually, though, I'll emerge from my locker, and make my way through the game. And then? Well, there'll be more game. Creative Assembly has announced 'Corporate Lockdown'; Isolation's first add-on content. It will add three new maps for the game's survivor mode&mdash;each expanding the&nbsp;Sevastopol's story.</p><p>"In ‘Corporate Lockdown’, Seegson Executive Ransome has learnt that he has been abandoned by his paymasters," explains the press release.&nbsp;"Knowing that the Torrens is on the way, he decides to make his escape and hitch a ride on board, taking decoded Nostromo data with him. However, while escaping he wants to tie up a few loose ends."</p><p>In addition to the maps, the add-on will introduce Gauntlet mode&mdash;challenging players to complete all three Survivor challenges back-to-back without dying.</p><p>Back to the locker, then. Corporate Lockdown is due out 28 October, costing £5.59 / $8. It'll be followed by four subsequent packs.</p> The affinities of Civilization: Beyond Earth explainedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-affinities-of-civilization-beyond-earth-explained/Investigating the affinity system of Civilization: Beyond Earth. Which will you choose?Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-affinities-of-civilization-beyond-earth-explained/Sponsored <a href="/the-affinities-of-civilization-beyond-earth-explained/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oPT6C8KOEA51.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/whUWbcgCQuWv.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lG7tX_CGrep-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civ adv 3"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Civilization: Beyond Earth </em>lets you decide the future of humanity. Will you respect the new planet you've colonised, or suck its resources dry to build bigger cities and better war machines? The affinities system is a powerful expression of those choices that affects your civ's path, from its technological focus to the way your cities appear on the map.</p><p>There are three affinities in <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em>: Purity, Harmony and Supremacy. According to co-lead designer, David McDonough, "They influence not just the way things look, but the way that they move, and the way that they build. The three identities are the combination of who humanity is when they land on the planet, and what they find, and how those two collide for the next two thousand years."</p><p>You side with an affinity by unlocking affinity points. These are scattered throughout the tech web, attached to techs that align with the philosophy of the affinity you're pursuing&mdash;expect lots of alien biology research to grant you Harmony points, for example. As you expand across the surface of the new planet, you'll encounter quests, which can offer affinity rewards depending on your choices.</p><p>It is possible to amass points in conflicting affinities, but over the course of the game, your choices will push you towards one more than the others. That's when things get really interesting. Let's take a more detailed look at each of the three affinities, and the values they represent.</p><h3>Harmony</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o5mYbSDzSH6D.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ryJQYIm0lzyv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civ Beyond Earth harmony"></p><p>"Harmony finds that the planet is a beautiful place," David McDonough explains. "It's a gem, a jewel. Maybe the mistakes that they made on Earth, pillaging, polluting and so on, they don't want to repeat, so they find a way to make themselves belong on the planet."</p><p>As the name suggests, the Harmony path focuses on learning to live with the indigenous creatures on the plant you've settled. Harmony citizens learn from the ruined Earth they've left behind, and try to build cities that incorporate the systems they see in alien nature. This makes them a fast and flexible civ. They can learn to utilise the lingering miasma that poisons other factions, and can build units that weaponise the planet's most dangerous creatures.</p><p>"The Harmony player can take advantage of all the things that are threatening to you in the beginning of the game," co-lead designer Will Miller explains, "even to the extent that they start to design their own alien creatures. You get to play these big alien things at the end of the game, they even ride them. "They're not space elves, they're still very tough. In fact, the ground unit trajectory for Harmony, they look like Football players, huge genetically modified guys."</p><p>As you adopt an affinity over the course of many turns, you'll start to see your cities and units change. Harmony architecture is smooth and organic, replicating the aesthetics of alien fauna. Each affinity also has its own victory condition. The Harmony player unravels the mystery of the planet and communes with its collective consciousness to achieve a state of transcendence.</p><h3>Purity</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2965KD3STH2I.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UfTRMxacjqtj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civilization Beyond Earth Purity"></p><p>Do you like huge levitating battle tanks? If so, the Purity affinity is for you. The Purity civilization can only see the new planet as a corrupting alien force that must be held back with high walls and turrets. Humanity must be preserved in its current form, and grow strong in spite of any indigenous critters who might try to tear their cities down.</p><p>"It's a very plausible philosophy of what humanity would do if faced with, as the quote goes, 'the unimaginable strangeness’ of space," says David McDonough, "which is that they'll hold on very tightly to what they know, and what they recognise, and where they came from."</p><p>This attitude is expressed most obviously in their military hardware. "I was never a fan of Batman, Superman, I like the Hulk. You don't need fancy tricks and gadgets, you just need to hit things really, really hard. That's the Purity attitude&mdash;overwhelming force." The Purity player exploits special resources to create levitation fields that let their vehicles hover above the planet's surface&mdash;perfect for creating battle platforms.</p><p>A purity civ will look rugged and resilient. Expect robust, blocky white architecture that stands in stark contrast to the strange, colourful fungus that naturally grows on the planet's surface. The Purity civ's love of Earth is reflected in their affinity-specific victory condition. You can build a portal back to Earth, and bring the humans you left behind to the new world.</p><h3>Supremacy</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AoX89jMSRv2M.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ln97g_Y83azb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civ Beyond Earth Supremacy"></p><p>If you love extraordinary futuristic technology, you'll find lots of interesting ideas on the Supremacy path. Supremacy civs don't necessarily care about the wellbeing of the planet, but unlike Purity civilizations, they're more than happy to tinker with the human form. They don't want to preserve humanity, they want to accelerate its evolution using spectacular new inventions.</p><p>"The Supremacy player says, ‘Well, technology is the salvation of humankind. The ability to build a colony ship is what got us off that world, we've got to keep going down that road, it's the only way we'll be safe and keep humankind going,’" says Will Miller.</p><p>On the tech web, Supremacy points are tied to transhuman inventions. Supremacy civs love bionic enhancement and robotics. Their units and cities look dark, sleek and dangerous. In <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em>, faction leaders will even change appearance as each civ picks an affinity. Supremacy leaders are adorned with glittering, borg-like skull apparatus. They're a little sinister, but extremely capable.</p><p>Militarily, you'll need to take a tactical approach if you want to get the best out of your Supremacy units. Will Miller: "The Supremacy player is very finesse oriented. It's going to be about building units and putting them in a geometry that lets them harmonise with each other. You have units that are very specialised, but if put in the right places relative to others, you get a lot of buffs that way."</p><p>Supremacy units use advanced cloud computing to improve their ability on the battlefield. The more processors they can throw at a problem, the more effective they are. That's why Supremacy units excel when placed adjacent to one another on <em>Beyond Earth</em>'s hexes. If you keep your formations tight, it's going to be extremely difficult for other civs to break through your lines.</p><p>That's our quick look at <em style="background-color: initial;">Civilization: Beyond Earth</em>'s affinity system. It's a completely new aspect of Civ that will give long term fans of the series a lot of new strategies to consider. It also puts narrative in your hands. When you pursue an affinity, you decide humanity's role in the universe, so choose well. No pressure.</p> Now Playing: co-op calamity in Divinity: Original Sinhttp://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing-co-op-calamity-in-divinity-original-sin/Rock, paper, scissors can't solve everything.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:50:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/now-playing-co-op-calamity-in-divinity-original-sin/Divinity: Original SinNow PlayingRPG <a href="/now-playing-co-op-calamity-in-divinity-original-sin/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gLz7ugRMe_5P.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/H0wpPgpwQ1S1.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_fs1GD6cruSK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Divinity Original Sin 1"></p><div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NOW PLAYING</h5> <p> In 'Now Playing' PC Gamer writers talk about the game currently dominating their spare time. Today, Cory teams up with a buddy to find adventure in Divinity: Original Sin.</p> </div><p>"Wait, so how do I join?" I ask. Shawn doesn’t answer, but across the 1,200 miles of our Skype call I can hear him clicking. It takes longer than expected, but eventually we sync up. We’re two source hunters, and we’re on the prowl.&nbsp;</p><p> Shawn and I have a long history of cooperative play. We’ve tackled innumerable adventures together, buddying up and beating the crap out of all kinds of monsters. Divinity: Original Sin represents our biggest challenge: a deep, complex, 100-hour RPG with a focus on narrative and communication. Neither of us have played much, and learning it will be a serious commitment.</p><blockquote> We’ve tackled innumerable adventures together, buddying up and beating the crap out of all kinds of monsters. </blockquote><p> I build a brute of a knight, adding all my points to strength in the hopes of splitting orcs in half with a greatsword. Shawn balances this with a Wayfarer, which mixes bow skills with healing magic. Neither of us customise these starter builds too deeply, but both spend far too long on how our characters’ hair will look.</p><p> We’re in, and almost immediately, we both try to pick up the same sea shells, then experiment with moving them between our inventories. Shawn doesn’t have to be standing right beside me to give me the apple he just liberated from a crate&mdash;he right-clicks on the item in his inventory and can simply teleport it to me. I eat it, so I don’t have to give it back.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mXN4yDobR3CX.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/CZaty9RgCvSp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Divinity Original Sin 2"></p><p> In typical fashion, Shawn moves ahead faster than I do. While I’m poking around the shoreline, he encounters the game’s first battle and yelps for me to come help. Combat in Divinity is turn-based, but a co-op partner sees things happening in real time. I wander&nbsp;up, but keep my distance as I watch his Wayfarer summon a spider to fight a skeleton. I can move however I want, but his battle’s participants move as if in some bullet-time bubble. It’s odd to watch. Eventually I get too close and get pulled into the battle myself, and we defeat the bad guys.</p><p> “So you could have just left me to handle the fight myself? Shawn asks.</p><p> “Seems so,” I say. In fact, I could have been a world away.</p><p> We encounter two drunken guards who demand to escort us to the city gates. Since Shawn started the conversation with them, I have to watch the dialogue above each person’s head to see what’s going on. Shawn clicks through the options on auto-pilot, and chooses to accompany the guards. And then suddenly, I get a dialogue box of my own, giving me options.</p><p> I choose to fight the guards. I’m a contrarian.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WixU8vA_SuSZ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uR_wr7wyAI5W.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Divinity Original Sin 3"></p><p> “What are you doing?” Shawn asks. “These guys&nbsp;are trying to help us.” He chooses another dialogue option, apparently trying to charm me into his way of thinking.</p><p> “Bullshit. Let’s bust some heads.” I click the ‘intimidate’ option, and the game becomes an epic battle of roshambo. I throw paper, he throws rock. I throw rock, he throws scissors. I emerge victorious, and now we have to murder some guards.</p><p> “But that’s not what I wanted to do!” Shawn protests. I snigger.</p><p> Three hours later, we’re overwhelmed. Every dialogue window requires a recap of the conversation, and every decision ends in the rock-paper-scissors minigame. We’ve made almost no progress.</p><p> “You know what? I don’t think we can do this.” Shawn says. His voice breaks a little over the Skype connection. “There’s no way we can commit to this. I’m gonna go play singleplayer.” He signs off, and I go relive the last three hours in a game of my own. I’m sure lots of people will play co-op for all 100 hours of Divinity, and I applaud their devotion. But I’m happier playing at my own speed.</p> Playfire announces Most Played Golden Joystickhttp://www.pcgamer.com/playfire-announces-most-played-golden-joystick/Vote with your feet – or rather your gamepad for this special award.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:10:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/playfire-announces-most-played-golden-joystick/Sponsored <a href="/playfire-announces-most-played-golden-joystick/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6ylLp8H_MRGm.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> Playfire, the gamer service sponsoring this year’s&nbsp; <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=100552463&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">Golden Joystick awards</a> (and there’s still time to <a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/479038/blog/golden-joysticks-free-xcom-promotion-still-available/">get your votes in and secure yourself a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown today</a>), has announced a brand new category for the show on Friday which is its Most Played award. </p> <p> Gamers will get to vote directly with their feet or in this case with their Joysticks and gamepads, with the award going to the game which racks up the most hours played by users on the Playfire service. </p> <ul> <li>The contenders for the title this year are:</li> <li>Batman: Arkham Origins</li> <li>Dark Souls II</li> <li>DayZ</li> <li>Football Manager 2014</li> <li>Loadout</li> <li>Path of Exile</li> <li>Rust</li> <li>South Park&trade;:</li> <li>The Stick of Truth&trade;</li> <li>Starbound</li> <li>Thief </li> </ul> <p> Those are the top ten most popular games played since last year’s awards, from the thousands of titles tracked on the Playfire service, and just how many hours have you put into those little numbers? We dread to think how many Football Manager 2014 alone has racked up, let alone Day Z, Batman or all that time spent getting mercilessly killed in Dark Souls II. </p> <p> “It's great to see a Golden Joystick Award category that is directly influenced and decided on by playing games" said Ben Bateman, Head of Community at Green Man Gaming and Playfire. "We've already seen members of the Playfire community coming together and joining forces to try and rack-up playtime on their favourite titles, and we can't wait to see which game will be the eventual winner at the awards." </p> <p> The Golden Joysticks’&nbsp;Playfire Most Played Award&nbsp;will be decided at&nbsp;midday on Friday 24th October 2014, and will be announced during the ceremony which you can watch live on CVG, PC Gamer and on the Golden Joysticks site itself, as well as being broadcast on Twitch TV. </p> <p> If you're not a Playfire member then getting involved is easy.&nbsp;Just&nbsp; <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=100552703&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink"></a> with your GMG account, link your gamertags, and get playing for a chance to earn great rewards, including new Rewards this week on the following new releases: </p> <ul> <li>Fist of Jesus</li> <li>Spheritis</li> <li>DeadCore</li> <li>DarkEnd</li> <li>Pike and Shot</li> <li>Sinister City</li> <li>Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror</li> <li>The Legend of Korra</li> <li>Screencheat</li> <li>Dreamfall Chapters</li> <li>Time Rifters</li> <li>Devil’s Dare</li> <li>Prophour23</li> <li>Deathtrap</li> <li>The Shopkeeper</li> <li>Squishy the Suicidal Pig</li> <li>Enforcer: Police Crime Action</li> <li>Sign Motion</li> <li>Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth</li> <li>Sproggiwood </li> </ul> <p> Playfire members can also play the following games and earn a 25% off discount off the Season Pass (by simply playing the applicable game for one hour and tracking on Playfire): </p> <p> Alien: Isolation (get 25% off Alien: Isolation Season Pass) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor The Evil Within </p> <p> For the full list of all live Rewards please visit: <a href="https://www.playfire.com/a/rewards">https://www.playfire.com/a/rewards</a> </p> Guild Wars 2 end-of-year update schedule mapped outhttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-end-of-year-update-schedule-mapped-out/What's occurring in Tyria? Dragons, mostly.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:54:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-end-of-year-update-schedule-mapped-out/Guild Wars 2MMONews <a href="/guild-wars-2-end-of-year-update-schedule-mapped-out/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kJMdMp06XALP.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/21u2hdzvS2ay.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kJMdMp06XALP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2"></p><p>It's nice when evil can organise itself to a schedule. For Guild Wars 2's world of Tyria, its various bad things have&nbsp;now&nbsp;mapped out their plans for the rest of the year, giving the various heroes of the world a much needed heads-up.</p><p>The first update, due later today, is the game's annual&nbsp;Halloween event. It will be a repeat of last year's festivities&mdash;as will&nbsp;the game's Wintersday event, due 16 December. Expect Mad Realms&nbsp;and a jumping puzzle&nbsp;<a href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/releases/october-15-2013/">for the former</a>, and Workshops and another jumping puzzle&nbsp;<a href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/releases/december-10-2013/" target="_blank">for the latter</a>.&nbsp;Despite featuring the same activities, both will offer "refreshed rewards".</p><p>Between these two events comes the return of Living World: Season 2. The fifth episode is due 4 November, and will continue on from the mid-season cliffhanger. ArenaNet is teasing the final episode of this series, referring to "points of no return".&nbsp;</p><p>"Tyria has already decided to take the battle to Mordremoth," explains the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/tyrias-point-of-no-return/" target="_blank">latest blog post</a>.&nbsp;"As we go on this journey we’ll learn dark secrets of Tyria’s past, venture into stories with roots deep in the very heart of <em style="background-color: initial;">Guild Wars</em> lore, and visit places that have only been rumored to exist."</p> Galactic Civilization 3 trailer details diplomacy updatehttp://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilization-3-trailer-details-diplomacy-update/Chat to hot dictators in your galaxy!Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:10:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilization-3-trailer-details-diplomacy-update/4XGalactic Civilizations 3NewsStrategy <a href="/galactic-civilization-3-trailer-details-diplomacy-update/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E-k5ZMTMRwRS.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7bI7jIlSAeU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Andy&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/galactic-civilizations-iii-update-adds-trade-diplomacy-and-a-new-race/" target="_blank">recently ran down</a> the contents of GalCiv 3's Beta 2 update. But, if reading words makes you itch uncontrollably... well, first, I'm very sorry, this very page must be unbearably hellish. Second, there's now a video that runs through the diplomacy patch's contents.</p><p>In addition to diplomacy, the update adds new victory conditions and trade networks. It's a significant step along the road to the early access 4X's eventual full release.</p> Civilization 5 is free to play this weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-5-is-free-to-play-this-week/Show that Gandhi what you're made of.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:31:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-5-is-free-to-play-this-week/4XFree stuffNewsSid Meier's Civilization VStrategy <a href="/civilization-5-is-free-to-play-this-week/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s_i60_zy5nHz.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6NNtk4v2RoCT.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rxQ-GWhB6940.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Civilization"></p><p>That's free to play, not free-to-play&mdash;an important distinction. Steam is again playing host to more (temporarily) free goodies, with a&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/8930" target="_blank">midweek trial of Civilization 5</a>. The offer, which lets you play the full game until Thursday, 10am PDT, will give everyone a chance&nbsp;to experience the unstoppable wrath of&nbsp;Gandhi.</p><p>This, of course, is designed to prepare people for the upcoming Civilization: Beyond Earth, which has begun pre-loading ahead of this Friday's release. That game bears many similarities to Civ 5, only it's on an alien planet in the future. It is not, for instance, a game in which&nbsp;Genghis Khan can negotiate a beneficial spice deal with Bismarck.</p><p>Unfortunately, the free trial doesn't include the excellent expansions. Nevertheless, it's worth an investigation if, somehow, you've managed to hold off this long.</p> Dark Souls making the jump to Steam next monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls-making-the-jump-to-steam-next-month/Rest in pieces, Games For Windows Live. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls-making-the-jump-to-steam-next-month/Bandai NamcoDark SoulsFrom SoftwareNewsRPG <a href="/dark-souls-making-the-jump-to-steam-next-month/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Yo-QhJYw-BXG.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-EoMIRgGRkWS.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Yo-QhJYw-BXG.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dark Souls PC review"></p><p>When Bandai Namco announced a PC port for <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls/">Dark Souls</a> there was much rejoicing. Then, when it was announced that it would release on the dreaded Games For Windows Live platform, there was much rage. Well here's good news: come November, those who own Dark Souls on GFWL will have the opportunity to transition over to Steam.</p><p>Next month users can redeem their GFWL tokens on Steam in order to access Dark Souls. While you'll be able to do this indefinitely, the transferal of save data and achievements will be possible for a limited time only. More specific dates will be provided soon, Bandai Namco <a href="http://bandainamcous.tumblr.com/post/100546461401/we-are-very-excited-to-announce-that-next-month-it">posted today</a>.</p><p>The publisher announced earlier this year that it had <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls-will-remain-functional-as-gfwl-prepares-to-die-in-july/">plans to accommodate</a> those still playing Dark Souls, despite GFWL's imminent death. It's one of the last games with ties remaining to the service, with most studios and publishers <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/games-for-windows-live-will-soon-be-dead-hooray-heres-a-list-of-devs-removing-it-from-their-games/">making the jump</a> to other platforms much earlier.</p> Paranautical Activity removed from Steam following developer outbursthttp://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-removed-from-steam-following-developer-outburst/Developer Tweets Gabe Newell death threat, resulting in ban.Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:31:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-removed-from-steam-following-developer-outburst/FPSNewsParanautical ActivitySteamValve <a href="/paranautical-activity-removed-from-steam-following-developer-outburst/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HsckefKF2Ac0.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lw1vxRiUSbSx.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HsckefKF2Ac0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Paranautical"></p><p> Voxel-based rogue-like shooter <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/paranautical-activity-starts-haunting-steam-early-access/">Paranautical Activity</a> has been removed from Steam, following an online outburst by its creator Mike Maulbeck. The developer reportedly made death threats to Gabe Newell after Steam failed to update Paranautical Activity from an Early Access title to a full game in a timely fashion.&nbsp;</p><p> The alleged death threat has since been deleted, though Maulbeck has since admitted that posting the deleted Tweet was wrong.</p><blockquote>&nbsp;People telling me it's fucking stupid to say I wanna kill gabe. Can I set up a "no shit" autoresponse on twitter?</blockquote><p> &mdash; Mike Murderbeck (@SpooderW) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/524343242335076352">October 20, 2014</a></p><p> Other Tweets remain where Maulbeck describes Steam as an "<a href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/524213891229052928">incompetent piece of fucking shit</a>" and a "monopoly", among other things. "It's just not possible to make a living in this industry without Steam," Maulbeck <a href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/524328446961278976">wrote</a>, "so I'm just out."</p><p> Speaking to <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/20/7024585/gabe-newell-death-threat-paranautical-activity-steam-valve">Polygon</a>, Maulbeck reiterated that he regrets the outburst. "I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn't mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off," he said, "but let's be real. If they took the game off the store, they're fuckin sure about their decision. There's probably nothing to be done."</p><p> Valve's Doug Lombardi confirmed the news to Polygon. "Yes, we have removed the game's sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees."</p><p> Paranautical Activity is still available on Desura and the Humble Store, though neither come close to the effectiveness of Steam. "Don't worry guys, everything is gonna be OK, we sold TWELVE copies on non-steam platforms today," Maulbeck later Tweeted.</p><p> "We were selling more than that a minute on Steam."</p> Metrocide now available on Early Access ahead of December releasehttp://www.pcgamer.com/metrocide-now-available-on-early-access-ahead-of-december-release/Studio is busy balancing difficulty; wants your help. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:52:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metrocide-now-available-on-early-access-ahead-of-december-release/ActionFlat Earth GamesNewsStealth <a href="/metrocide-now-available-on-early-access-ahead-of-december-release/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TiDs2biWao6O.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qhmVK9tJRYSc.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TiDs2biWao6O.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Metrocide"></p><p>According to our <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metrocide-interview-theres-so-much-fun-to-be-had-in-a-dystopia/">recent interview</a> with Metrocide studio Flat Earth Games, the stealth shooter was due to release in August. That hasn't happened yet, and fair enough too: the indie studio has been too busy optimising the game's difficulty. Should it be "really hard" or "excruciatingly hard"? How hard is too hard? Flat Earth Games wants you to help them answer these questions, thus they've made the game available on Early Access until the game's final November / December release date.&nbsp;</p><p>“From the very beginning, we decided we wanted Metrocide to be hard," a spokeperson for the studio wrote on the game's <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/313130/">Steam page</a>. "Every time we've finished the game, we've made it harder and tried again. Cops, security cameras, gang members and vigilantes mix with permadeath to make sure that no matter how armed to the teeth you might be, one wrong move and you're back at square one (although you will keep all the unlocks)."&nbsp;</p><p>The studio said that it's happy with the game from a technical perspective but that it didn't want to go overboard with the difficulty. "The short time we intend to be in Early Access will be centred around balancing the game (the last third or so in particular), to make sure that it's as punishing as we intend it to be, but also that it's punishing in the right way.”</p><p>Metrocide is available now on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/313130/">Early Access</a>.&nbsp;</p> Uber Entertainment cancels faltering Human Resources crowdfundinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/uber-entertainment-cancels-faltering-human-resources-crowdfunding/Predictive models said Human Resources had no hope of reaching its Kickstarter goal.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:26:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/uber-entertainment-cancels-faltering-human-resources-crowdfunding/Human ResourcesKickstarterNewsRTSUber Entertainment <a href="/uber-entertainment-cancels-faltering-human-resources-crowdfunding/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hok0b9iKYxLU.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uLeFc4qaRliy.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hok0b9iKYxLU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Human Resources"></p><p>I loved the idea of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/human-resources-pits-robot-death-machines-against-ancient-tentacle-monsters/">Human Resources</a> from the moment I read about it: Humanity inflicts technological doom on itself, then makes things worse by invoking the Ancient Ones and ends up as nothing more than a generic resource used as fuel in the ensuing war. Alas, as good as the idea is, it wasn't quite good to separate enough people from their&nbsp;crowdfunding dollars.</p><p>The decision to pull the plug was&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659943965/human-resources-an-apocalyptic-rts-game/posts">announced today</a> by John Comes, the design director at developer Uber Entertainment, which had a big hit on Kickstarter in 2012 with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/planetary-annihilation/">Planetary Annihilation</a>. The Human Resources effort had brought in more than $384,000 from 9326 backers, which sounds impressive in a vacuum. The goal, however, was $1.4 million, and after nearly three weeks it clearly wasn't going to get there.</p><p>"Every Kickstarter prediction model is showing that we will come up woefully short of our goal," Comes wrote in an update. "Running a Kickstarter is a full time job for several people. As a small indie, we can’t continue spending time and money focusing on a project that won’t get funded."</p><p>Comes said Uber Entertainment is "profoundly grateful" to everyone who supported the project, and that after some "recovery time," the studio would figure out its next step. "One thing is for sure, Human Resources, as pitched in this Kickstarter, is over," he wrote. "But we adore the world of Human Resources and will endeavor to do what we can to bring it to life in some form."</p><p>There's at least some defiant bravado in there, but I hope Uber is able to follow through on it somehow; I'm not much of an RTS fan but this is too good an idea to let die. Comes also reminded everyone who backed the project, as we will repeat here in case the question comes up, that because it was not funded, no money will be taken, and no rewards will be delivered.</p> Obduction is now fully playable in a "very rough" statehttp://www.pcgamer.com/obduction-is-now-fully-playable-in-a-very-rough-state/Cyan says the development of the Myst-inspired adventure game is going well.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/obduction-is-now-fully-playable-in-a-very-rough-state/AdventureCyanNewsObduction <a href="/obduction-is-now-fully-playable-in-a-very-rough-state/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jOIquFOAiFUg.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_mj3krIUS0OJ.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jOIquFOAiFUg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Obduction"></p><p>Work on the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/myst/">Myst</a>-inspired <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/obduction/">Obduction</a> is proceeding apace, according to the latest update on Kickstarter, and in fact the game is now playable from start to finish, albeit in a very pre-alpha state. And even though it should probably go without saying under the circumstances, developer Cyan also made a point of noting that despite what you may have heard, it has not actually run out of money.</p><p>I'm not sure where the "no more money" impression came from, to be honest. The <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction/posts/950005">October 16 update</a> offers a Kickstarter post-mortem and a breakdown of what, in Cyan's opinion, made it such a successful campaign. But nothing else about it, at least to my eye, has a ring of, "Oh, by the way, the money is gone." Yet that's how some backers took it, and so in a <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction/posts/1020609">second update</a>, posted the day after, Obduction Project Manager Ryan Warzecha clarified that this is not the case at all.</p><p>He also revealed that the full game is now playable "in a very rough pre-pre-pre-alpha state," and that the studio is actually expanding to meet the project's needs. There's now a website up at <a href="http://www.obduction.com">obduction.com</a> as well, although it doesn't yet contain any new information about the game.</p><p>There is one small spot of bad news: Backer rewards, specifically the Obduction t-shirts, have been delayed. "Everything takes longer than expected, and because we want to keep the team small, everyone is taking on multiple roles. (Rand is even the maintainer of the Kickstarter/Paypal database code.)," Warzecha wrote. "This all to say, we are being very careful up front so we can provide you the best possible experience later." </p><p>Receipts will be sent to backers within the next few weeks, he added, and once shipping information has been confirmed, the order will be placed and shipped. Obduction itself, a "real-time, first-person adventure that harkens back to the spirit of Cyan’s earlier games Myst and Riven," is currently scheduled to come out in mid-to-late 2015.</p> Civilization: Beyond Earth – the big things you need to knowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-the-big-things-you-need-to-know/We break down all the differencesbetween Civilization: Beyond Earth and its predecessor.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-beyond-earth-the-big-things-you-need-to-know/4XCivilization: Beyond EarthFiraxisSid MeierStrategy <a href="/civilization-beyond-earth-the-big-things-you-need-to-know/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iO55mS55PTP4.780x349.cJo98ZRJ.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> Elite: Dangerous developer is running a speed docking contesthttp://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous-developer-is-running-a-speed-docking-contest/Frontier Developments will not be responsible if you turn yourself into a divot.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:26:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous-developer-is-running-a-speed-docking-contest/Elite: DangerousFrontier DevelopmentsNewssim <a href="/elite-dangerous-developer-is-running-a-speed-docking-contest/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aAR6VFyf33Fw.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3E7hXiJYxE4?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"> </iframe><p> As anyone who's ever taken a driver's test knows, parallel parking sucks. But parallel parking in space? That's awesome, especially when it's done at ludicrous speed, with no regard for the safety of yourself or those around you. And if you happen to have a talent for that sort of intergalactic hotdogging, you might be able to score some free <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous/">Elite: Dangerous</a> loot with it.</p><p>Inspiration for the "Frontier Competition" speed docking contest goes back to July, when Elite: Dangerous forum user EidLeWeise, aka Ben Mos-Woodward, posted the rules and some videos from a competition held during <a href="http://laveradio.com/lavecon-2014.aspx">Lavecon 2014</a>. Naturally, it didn't take long for other pilots to try to best his mark, and earlier today Frontier Developments decided to make it an official contest.</p><p> "At the end of the working week (Friday 4PM BST) we'll be putting the top ten times in to a prize draw&mdash;the winner will get an Elite: Dangerous goodie bag," Community Relations Manager Edward Lewis wrote. He initially said that different classes of ships could be used in the contest, but the studio eventually decided to keep the challenge as it was originally laid out: An unmodified Sidewinder starting from 5 km out, facing away from the station.</p><p> At last check, the top gun was Kerrash, who went from the start position to landed in a ridiculous 39 seconds. Watching him hit the spot in the video above, it becomes clear that this is going to be a tough time to beat; the only place I can see other pilots shaving a second or two off is during the landing sequence, although since I've never played Elite: Dangerous myself I don't know how quickly you can actually get these things turned around and on the ground. This might be as good as it gets.</p><p> It's not quite as exciting (or dangerous) as Isinona's famous and thoroughly crazy <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/elite-dangerous-video-shows-a-players-amazing-smuggling-run/">unpowered smuggling run</a>, but standing on it through such a tiny slot, and then getting on the brakes hard enough and fast enough to land without turning yourself into a smear, is still a risky business&mdash;risky enough for Frontier to warn on Twitter that you pays your dime, you takes your chances. </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>We cannot be held responsible for any damaged ship parts as a result of this competition!</p><p>&mdash; Elite Dangerous (@EliteDangerous) <a href="https://twitter.com/EliteDangerous/status/524214445544054785">October 20, 2014</a></p></blockquote><p> Full contest rules (although there's really no more to it than what's mentioned above), entry links, and other relevant information can be found on the <a href="http://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=25059&amp;page=3">Elite: Dangerous Fan Creations forum</a>.</p><p>[Update: The report originally stated that the contest "began" with EidLeWeise's July forum post. We've edited for clarity.]</p> Own a Samsung 840 EVO? Download this fix for slow read speedshttp://www.pcgamer.com/own-a-samsung-840-evo-download-this-fix-for-slow-read-speeds/Samsung remedies a bug causing slow read performance in its popular 840 EVO SSD.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:23:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/own-a-samsung-840-evo-download-this-fix-for-slow-read-speeds/HardwareNewsSamsungSSDTech <a href="/own-a-samsung-840-evo-download-this-fix-for-slow-read-speeds/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yGtt_AutklG3.780x349.OyaJo6FV.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><em><br></em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/u6fl30SNQpeQ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/t8FrWP-NxS4K.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Samsung 840 Evo"></p><p><em>Article by Kevin Lee</em></p><p>Have you been noticing any slowing performance with your <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/samsung-840-evo-msata-500gb-review/">Samsung 840 EVO</a> SSD? Well fret no more: Samsung has a&nbsp;fix for a recently discovered read performance bug called the <a href="http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/downloads.html?gclid=COaEp9KfrsECFZTLtAodanEAIg">Performance Restoration Software</a>. The software will return your SSD back to full working order with its original read and write speeds.</p><p>The restoration tool will essentially run like an automatic program by first loading the SSD with a new firmware, after which users will have to restart their computer. Once rebooted, the drive will go into a three-step restoration process, which will rewrite all the data on your drive. Samsung claims the process won’t wipe your drive, but we would suggest backing up your data to be on the safe side.</p><p>Currently the tool is only available for Windows. However, Samsung says it is working on a version for OS X and Linux machines. The restoration tool will also not work with 840 EVO SSDs set up in a RAID array, so you’ll need to dissolve a multidrive configuration before running the software. </p><p>For the last month 840 EVO users have been reporting slow read speed performance with Samsung’s most popular SSD. The sluggish issue seems to stem from the drive falsely identifying corrupted read points. This problem invariably caused the SSD to repeat the read process multiple times and thus slowed the drive’s performance. <a href="http://www.anandtech.com/show/8617/samsung-releases-firmware-update-to-fix-the-ssd-840-evo-read-performance-bug">AnandTech</a> goes into a deeper detail about the issue.</p><p>Even if you’re not experiencing any noticeable read performance issues, if you own an 840 EVO SSD, check out this software fix. According to Anandtech, there have been a few reports that the bug also affects regular 840 and OEM drives, so hopefully the Samsung can come up with a solution to squash the problem across its entire SSD line.</p> How to scout in CS:GO and win without fightinghttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-scout-in-csgo-and-win-without-fighting/Counter-Strike became a more interesting game to me the moment I embraced that it's as much about information gathering as it is about gathering sick AWP noscopes.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-scout-in-csgo-and-win-without-fighting/Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveFPSTriggernometry <a href="/how-to-scout-in-csgo-and-win-without-fighting/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jqhbK5rop-59.780x349.wOwdIbq-.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0EV4zuyYRSep.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jqhbK5rop-59.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Csgo Side"></p><p><em>Evan writes about CS:GO and other&nbsp;FPSes each Monday in&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/triggernometry/"><em>Triggernometry</em></a><em>.</em></p><p><a href="http://blog.counter-strike.net/">Counter-Strike</a> became a more interesting game to me the moment I embraced that it's as much about information gathering as it is about gathering sick AWP noscopes.</p><p> In a five-on-five format&mdash;the way you should be playing Counter-Strike, regardless of your skill level&mdash;CS shrinks to a size that fits in your brain. Every player action&mdash;footsteps, reloads&mdash;produces information, and every information piece paints a clearer picture of what the enemy team is up to that you're meant to adapt your tactics and positioning to.</p><p> You play within a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_space">possibility space</a> shaped by bottlenecks and fixed spawn positions, and this distinguishes CS from other FPSes, which begs the question: are you playing CS like it's a different game?</p><p> It’s obvious that Battlefield 4, for example, is spatially larger than CS:GO. But think about the way that BF4’s scale, along with the design of its respawn systems, make information decay quickly. Players can spawn on one another, on any owned capture point, or parachute from the sky&mdash;the three medics you saw on capture point D a moment ago can multiply into a dozen by the time the tank you've called in arrives. It's a game of fluctuating hotspots mostly played on open, flankable terrain. It's a game about putting out fires and starting your own.</p><p> CS, by contrast, is a checkerboard slowly revealed as you move through it. There are only so many positions an enemy can occupy, and unless you leave a hole in your collective vision, they can't magically appear behind you through teleportation. Where enemies are (and, secondarily, what resources they have (HP, armor, weapons)) is reliable information with a measurable lifespan. Without having some of that information, you're simply hoping for the best, relying on your aim to get you out of every situation.</p><p> Embrace scouting as a necessary aspect of Counter-Strike, and you may improve your win rate on the way to appreciating the tiny maneuvers that drive CS' strategic depth.</p><h3>Jump-Scouting </h3><p> It was during the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-highlights-from-csgos-esl-one-cologne-2014-tournament/">ESL One Cologne</a> that I finally realized I could win rounds of Counter-Strike with my eyes. There's a position on de_mirage beside the van on bombsite B, and I watched teams jump like kangaroos here, elevating their eyes for a moment each time to peek down apartments. Even if the Terrorists are rushing B flat-out, this move buys the defenders a few more seconds to get their asses to the bomsite, which can absolutely make a difference. (If you're daring, you can also land jumping Scout or AWP shots.)</p><iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/DefiniteDependentCrayfish" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="698" height="440" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"> </iframe><p> This was a huge epiphany for me; up until then, I'd been hurling smoke into the Mirage apartments at the start of every round on the assumption that someone was there. Smoke has the ability to stop pushes and burn precious time off the clock, but deploying it there was also denying me the opportunity to gather visual information. I was putting myself in a position to be surprised every round and hoping that my aim could get me out of it.</p><p> Few maps offer the jump maneuver I mentioned on de_mirage as a quick, usually-safe scouting option. More often, the technique you want is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foyWFO4w6R8">shoulder peek</a>: making the smallest possible movement around a corner with no intention of engaging. The whole idea of the shoulder peek is to not stick your neck out long enough to even observe enemies, but 'process' what you've seen behind cover. You're snapping a quick photo, jerking back, then essentially looking at it in your own brain while you're safe. Do this with a knife out to be as fast as possible.</p><p> We’ll dig into shoulder peeking more&nbsp;another week. The takeaway here is that&nbsp;in&nbsp;CS'&nbsp;five-on-five format there's an unusually high value to knowing where enemies are: it determines your aim, positioning, and grenade tosses&mdash;three essential elements of CS. Part of playing well, then, means learning how to gain information with as little risk to your resources (HP and the weapons you're carrying) as possible. Recognizing the map locations and round situations where information is available at a low cost (i.e. risk to your team’s lives, position, or weapons) is a valuable step to playing a more deliberate game.</p> Far Cry 4 Season Pass offers new missions and PvP modehttp://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4-season-pass-offers-new-missions-and-pvp-mode/The season pass content will also be available in the Far Cry 4 Gold Edition.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:19:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4-season-pass-offers-new-missions-and-pvp-mode/Far Cry 4FPSNewsUbisoft <a href="/far-cry-4-season-pass-offers-new-missions-and-pvp-mode/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DnPTZ8v_UNiK.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5_ZOOV8mR9G5.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DnPTZ8v_UNiK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Far Cry 4 season pass"></p><p>The days when you could just buy a game safe in the knowledge that you were getting all of that&nbsp;game&nbsp;are long gone. Now big games are routinely carved up into increasingly Byzantine packages of pre-order bonuses and day one DLC. In which spirit&nbsp;Ubisoft has released details of the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/far-cry-4/">Far Cry 4</a> season pass, which will include an exclusive launch-day mission, a new PvP multiplayer mode, five missions with Hurk, and maybe even a Yeti or two.</p><p>The season pass will go for $30 and include the following:</p><ul> <li><strong>The Syringe</strong> – Available from launch exclusively for Season Pass holders, players must keep a rare and potent recipe from falling into the hands of Pagan Min’s forces. Playable in single-player and co-op, players will need to ensure that he does not use its devastating effects on the rebel forces.</li><li><strong>Escape from Durgesh Prison</strong> – Ajay and Hurk have been rounded up and tortured in Yuma’s prison. Team up with a friend to escape and survive the hostile lands of Pagan Min’s Kyrat.</li><li><strong>Hurk Deluxe Pack</strong> – Five missions, playable in single-player and co-op, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s Redemption are available. Access an arsenal of new weapons including a harpoon gun for Hurk.</li><li><strong>Overrun</strong> – Team up as Rakshasa or Golden Path in this PvP mode and control a series of neutral locations across Kyrat’s countryside to protect them from being overrun by your opponents.</li><li><strong>Valley of the Yetis</strong> – Ajay’s helicopter has crashed on an unforgiving Himalayan ridge. Explore the frozen landscape and find tools to upgrade your camp and protect it from a dangerous cult when night falls. With single-player and co-op options, players will not be alone, but in the darkest caves players will have more to fear than just the cult as the yetis await their prey&hellip;</li></ul><p>It looks to be a fair chunk of content, but it's a fair chunk of change for an up-front DLC purchase, too&mdash;even at a 20 percent discount off the combined, separate purchase prices. The game and the pass are also available in an all-in-one <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/298110/">Far Cry Gold Edition</a>, but at $90 there's no further discount for getting it that way.</p><p>Far Cry 4 comes out on November 18.</p> Rockstar warns against Grand Theft Auto V beta scamshttp://www.pcgamer.com/rockstar-warns-against-grand-theft-auto-v-beta-scams/There will be no Grand Theft Auto V beta.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:16:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/rockstar-warns-against-grand-theft-auto-v-beta-scams/ActionGrand Theft Auto VNewsRockstar Games <a href="/rockstar-warns-against-grand-theft-auto-v-beta-scams/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-6QKPcwNlL-W.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S5OsrJH1Q8Sc.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-6QKPcwNlL-W.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Grand Theft Auto V"></p><p>Pre-release access to games through beta tests or various forms of early access have become so ubiquitous that we tend to expect it, especially when it comes to major titles. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-v/">Grand Theft Auto V</a> certainly qualifies as one of those, but Rockstar says in no uncertain terms that there will be no public beta for the game.</p><p>"Please note: There is no pre-release 'beta' test for Grand Theft Auto V," the message, written in white block caps on a stark black background, <a href="http://www.rockstargames.com/nobeta/">warns anxious GTA fans</a>. "If you see ads or solicitations to join a beta program, beware as this is likely some kind of online phishing scam."</p><p>The message doesn't warn against any specific scam, but enticing gamers with the promise of free stuff is a relatively common practice. A FIFA World Cup <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dont-be-fooled-by-this-ea-sports-fifa-world-cup-phishing-scam/">scam</a> went after EA Sports accounts over the summer, and phishers try to dig up <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/updated-steam-phishing-scam-automates-ssfn-upload/">Steam account information</a> with almost admirable determination; the Malwarebytes Unpacked blog also recently <a href="https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/10/the-emulation-imitation/">warned of scams</a> involving purported Xbox emulators.</p><p>As usual, the bottom line is simple: Always ensure that beta offers come through <a href="http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire">official channels</a>, and always ensure that those channels are, in fact, official. The PC release of Grand Theft Auto V is scheduled for January 27, 2015.</p> The Evil Within's God Mode might make you lose your headhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-withins-god-mode-might-make-you-lose-your-head/At least you're not legless.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:45:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-withins-god-mode-might-make-you-lose-your-head/HorrorNewsThe Evil Within <a href="/the-evil-withins-god-mode-might-make-you-lose-your-head/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SJrnuVOxf92Y.780x349.yaB4kB4O.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/k0TSp7uU--g?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Sometimes dumb stuff happens in video games, episode #351: in which The Evil Within's god mode leads to unintended consequences.</p><p>Normally, were a giant&nbsp;spinning blade to pass through the neck&nbsp;region, the game's protagonist would die. Here, though, he has been imbued with the power of a deity. Not an omnipotent one&mdash;one that could&nbsp;disintegrate the blade down to its very atoms, before reforming them into, I don't know, a nice bowl of rum and raisin ice cream. Instead, it's&nbsp;the kind of god that would be used as the punchline for a fable about the folly of immortality. Probably one of those old Greek ones, or something.</p><p>He has no head but the game is still playing. That's what I'm trying to say here.</p><p>The video's creator refers to it as a glitch, but, as Bethesda told&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2014/10/20/the-evil-within-is-even-more-scary-with-this-headless-glitch/" target="_blank">VG247</a>, it's the result of activating the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evil-within-debug-console-commands-detailed-god-mode-is-in/" target="_blank">immortality console command</a>.</p><p>Why, yes, it is a slow news day. Why do you ask?</p><p>(Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://kotaku.com/grisly-evil-within-glitch-lets-you-play-after-getting-1648377763" target="_blank">Kotaku</a>.)</p> One day left to vote in the Golden Joystick Awardshttp://www.pcgamer.com/one-day-left-to-vote-in-the-golden-joystick-awards/It's your last chance to help the PC clean up at this Friday's awards.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:37:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/one-day-left-to-vote-in-the-golden-joystick-awards/Golden JoysticksNews <a href="/one-day-left-to-vote-in-the-golden-joystick-awards/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LlzOJHY17Bfq.780x349.W_9tEmQe.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FPmITGFPTouJ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LlzOJHY17Bfq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Golden Joystick Collage" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>The Golden Joystick Awards are nearly here. All across the world, top developers are nervously eyeing their competition&mdash;hoping that they'll win out in this Friday's publicly voted award ceremony.</p><p>You have one day left to help decide those winners. Just head over to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/joystick/" target="_blank">official Golden Joysticks voting site</a>, and choose the most deserving game in&nbsp;each of the categories. Voting closes tomorrow, 21 October.</p><p>If you need an extra incentive, you can&nbsp;receive a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/free-xcom-games-now-being-dispatched/" target="_blank">free copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown</a> while stocks last. You'll&nbsp;also be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Air.</p><p>More than that, though, you'll have the chance to help the PC come out as ultimate winner&mdash;demonstrating to the world the power and potential of the platform. If you need some voting suggestions, we've listed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-our-pick-of-the-golden-joystick-awards-2014/" target="_blank">our picks for each&nbsp;relevant category</a>.</p> Transmission: a free puzzler about communication networkshttp://www.pcgamer.com/transmission-a-free-puzzler-about-communication-networks/Connect nodes and send signals... for science (museum).Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:18:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/transmission-a-free-puzzler-about-communication-networks/FreeNewsPuzzle <a href="/transmission-a-free-puzzler-about-communication-networks/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0lp0QCfq9fNI.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K7F9cZxqSZCM.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZnibbQUM3jX3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Transmission"></p><p>Transmission is a puzzle game about communication networks. Created for London's Science Museum, it charts the history of telecommunication through their connections&mdash;showing the increased complexity of every new development. It starts with telegrams, then telephones, then computers, then broadcast, then... well, I don't know, I haven't got that far yet. Maybe MySpace?</p><p>At its most basic, you need to move information from a transmitter to a receiver&mdash;dragging a connection into existence between the two nodes. As you move through the technology, the amount of information that can be moved increases, but so does the complexity of making that happen.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wX7eJjr-nOE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It's neat&mdash;relaxing, with a nice tactile pleasure to drawing out connections. It does take a while to become taxing. You should breeze through the telegram and telephone phases, with things not requiring much thought until the computer phase.</p><p>You can play Transmission now, for free in your browser, by visiting the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/online_science/games/transmission" target="_blank">Science Museum website</a>. For more info, head over to the&nbsp;<a href="http://loju.co.uk/transmission.html">game's official web page</a>.</p> Rebel Galaxy announced, is by former Torchlight devshttp://www.pcgamer.com/rebel-galaxy-announced-is-by-former-torchlight-devs/Ex-Runic founders retreat to space, find adventure.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:18:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/rebel-galaxy-announced-is-by-former-torchlight-devs/NewsRebel Galaxyspace <a href="/rebel-galaxy-announced-is-by-former-torchlight-devs/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1C82fHM5eJuc.780x349.ULv9STqd.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TtQwQKGwTP-1.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hx52XT8v4GrE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rebel Galaxy"></p><p>Ex-Runic founders&nbsp;Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer have revealed the first project of their new studio, Double Damage. Rebel Galaxy is the name of the game, and it won't involve clicking on a seemingly never-ending number of goblins. Instead, it's a exploration-based space adventure, due out next year on PC and PS4. An announcement trailer shows the game's interesting take on trade negotiation.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rtg56RGq0OY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>"As the commander of an immensely powerful star destroyer," explains the&nbsp;<a href="http://rebel-galaxy.com/announcing-rebel-galaxy/" target="_blank">announcement post</a>,&nbsp;"you’ll battle pirates, explore anomalies, befriend aliens, scavenge battle wreckage, mine asteroids, and discover artifacts. Choose your path as a roguish do-gooder, crafty space-trader or power-hungry privateer – or maybe a little of each."</p><p>Money earned can put towards bigger ships with more guns and better defences. That increased power will let you get further out into the galaxy&mdash;searching out hidden secrets.&nbsp;</p><p>You can find more details over at the&nbsp;<a href="http://rebel-galaxy.com/" target="_blank">game's website</a>, and see more screenshots below.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MqbSpdPLTdiZ.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OmJ0sEXVSb9B.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rebel Galaxy - Broadsides"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yyrUg8FnSWSE.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Pq1xSDPYTS4R.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Leviathan"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XA6LqorUR6Wt.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eT1t8A-hnhH7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rebel Galaxy - Nebula"></p> Total War: Attila trailer shows fire and destructionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-attila-trailer-shows-fire-and-destruction/Sure, London's in ruins, but at least there's some nice fire propagation.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:15:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-attila-trailer-shows-fire-and-destruction/NewsStrategyTotal WarTotal War: Attila <a href="/total-war-attila-trailer-shows-fire-and-destruction/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RvyTnZ1kkmGX.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n5ba57WamwM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>It occurs to me that I don't give reality enough credit. Here I am, quietly&nbsp;impressed by&nbsp;Total War: Attila's&nbsp;fire simulation. And yet, if&nbsp;a real fire broke out, I'd attempt to put it out without once thinking, "wow, reality has excellent dynamically propagating fire effects."</p><p>The trailer shows how the upcoming Total War will handle assaults&nbsp;against settlements. A big part of this is the escalation of sieges. Storm a city straight away and it'll be harder to take. Wait it out in a protracted siege and, when you do decide to start the assault, the city will be decaying&mdash;thus easier to breach.</p><p>For the defenders, though, barricades can be placed. These can be smashed through, but doing so will take time. It's often easier to go around, but this gives the defending general the opportunity to funnel the enemy into a trap.</p><p>For more on Total War: Attila&mdash;including details of its planned campaign map improvements&mdash;check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-attila-preview/" target="_blank">my hands-on impressions</a> from last month's&nbsp;announcement.</p> Dragon Age: Inquisition video reintroduces Cassandra Pentaghasthttp://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-video-reintroduces-cassandra-pentaghast/Cassandra Pentaghast is back for the third Dragon Age. Here's what she' s about.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:27:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-video-reintroduces-cassandra-pentaghast/Dragon Age: InquisitionNewsRPG <a href="/dragon-age-inquisition-video-reintroduces-cassandra-pentaghast/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kaBfsttRokXG.780x349.25gUve-1.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BzKE7xwqzEA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Dragon Age 2's&nbsp;Cassandra&nbsp;Pentaghast will be a returning character in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-2/" target="_blank">Dragon Age: Inquisition</a>, and, from the sounds of this trailer, will be only slightly less all up in Varric's face.&nbsp;The video stars&nbsp;voice actor&nbsp;Miranda Raison, who explains how the companion&nbsp;character has grown and changed in the time between the two games.</p><p>Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't far off now&mdash;arriving on 18 November in the USA and 21 November in Europe. For more, here's Evan's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-hands-on-fine-fantasy/" target="_blank">hands-on impressions</a> from back in August.</p> Free XCOM games now being dispatchedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/free-xcom-games-now-being-dispatched/Green Man Gaming free game deal open to all voters, while stock last.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/free-xcom-games-now-being-dispatched/ <a href="/free-xcom-games-now-being-dispatched/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tarDoHRlZied.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-Ww1wSpWSS-l.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/R4lq1dqGRjt1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="XCOM Enemy Unknown"></p><p> Good news! Digital distributor Green Man Gaming is now distributing free copies of Firaxis' seminal sci-fi strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, to voters of this year’s Golden Joystick Awards.</p><p> The offer is available to everyone who’s voted so far, as well as those who <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=99502103&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink" target="_blank">head over to GoldenJoystick.com</a> and cast their votes between now and the day we slam the door shut next week.</p><p> As an extra bonus, anyone who plays their copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown will receive an 80% discount voucher for XCOM: Enemy Within via <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=100202423&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">Playfire Rewards</a>.</p><p> Launched by CVG magazine in 1982, the Joysticks is the world's biggest public-voted gaming awards. The 2014 Golden Joystick Awards ceremony is set to take place on Friday, October 24 at the IndigO2 at London's O2 Arena.</p><p> To claim your free game, follow these steps:</p><ul> <li><strong>Place your votes</strong> - Head over to the <a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=99502103&amp;iu=/8644/Textlink">Golden Joystick Awards website</a> and pick your winners. <em>Make sure you submit your votes with the same email address as your GMG account if you have one.</em></li> <li><strong>Claim your free game</strong> - Make your way to <a href="http://goldenjoysticks.greenmangaming.com">goldenjoysticks.greenmangaming.com</a> and fill in the 'Claim your free game' form. <em>If you're registering your GMG account for the first time, make sure you use the same email address you used for the Golden Joystick Awards website.</em></li> <li><strong>Link your Steam account</strong> - If you're an existing Playfire member with your Steam account linked, you’re already finished.</li></ul><p> The offer is "while stock lasts" and you'll have to be over 18 to claim. Please be aware that certain territories may run out of keys faster than others based on demand. Here's GMG's explanation.</p><p> <em>"There have been questions raised about the availability of the website and the free game for voting in the Golden Joystick Awards. While we would love to give games out to as many people as possible we only have a limited stock. We are acutely aware that working across different timezones means that the offer is more popular in different regions at different times of the day. Therefore in order to remain as fair as possible to our global audience we have allocated game keys on a territory basis globally. Some countries have been extremely quick with claiming their free game and so some country stocks have run out. We have also had some abuse of the system that we have corrected, reducing the overall number of games available to you all. </em></p><p> <em>We will be working to make more keys available but please be assured that if you cannot claim a free game we will not be storing your data or adding you to our Playfire service. </em></p><p> <em> We hope you appreciate our efforts to remain fair to our global gaming community and please bear with us in this very popular promotion. </em></p><p> <em> Thanks, GMG"</em></p> Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare system requirements releasedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-system-requirements-released/Requires 55GB hard drive space, so start deleting.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:54:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-system-requirements-released/ActivisionCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareFPSNewsSledgehammer Games <a href="/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-system-requirements-released/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cb5rvc0bijUi.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QOP5QPNfSj6F.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cb5rvc0bijUi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare"></p><p>Those hoping to boost jump, murder and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfares-multiplayer-revealed-exo-suits-quittich-and-a-massive-mid-level-tsunami/?region=au">run away from massive waves</a> next month will need to make sure their system can run <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare/">Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare</a>. Thankfully Activision has published the minimum requirements on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/209650/">Steam</a>, though 'recommended' requirements are nowhere to be found. In terms of specs, it's only a small leap higher than what we needed for last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts. Memory and video card requirements stay the same, while the game will require a whooping 55GB space on your drive.</p><p>The minimum requirements:</p><p>OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit<br>Processor: Intel CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better<br>Memory: 6 GB RAM<br>Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1GB or better<br>DirectX: Version 11<br>Network: Broadband Internet connection<br>Hard Drive: 55 GB available space<br>Sound Card: DirectX-compatible</p><p>Advanced Warfare releases November 4. That hasn't stopped Activision releasing a '<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer-jumps-the-gun/">launch trailer</a>' a whole two weeks ahead of the game's actual launch. I suppose when you own one of the biggest game franchises in the world you can release the launch trailer whenever the hell you like.</p> Screencheat reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/screencheat-review/ Splitscreen shooter balances depth with accessibility; shotguns with hobby horses.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/screencheat-review/FPSReviewsSamurai PunkSurprise Attack <a href="/screencheat-review/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jkiRo6MHLKpc.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5><p> <strong>What is it? </strong>Fast paced first-person shooter that rewards cheating<strong><br>Play it on:</strong> Windows Vista/7, 1.4GHz or faster, 1 GB RAM<strong><br>Reviewed on:</strong> <strong></strong>Windows 7, Intel Core i7-4800MQ, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M / 3GB GDDR<strong><br>Copy protection:</strong> Steam <br> <strong>Price:</strong> $14.99<br> <strong>Release date:</strong> October 21<br> <strong>Publisher:</strong> Surprise Attack<br> <strong>Developer:</strong> Samurai Punk<br> <strong>Multiplayer:</strong> 2-4 players, local and online<br> <strong>Link: </strong><a href="http://www.screencheat.com ">Official site</a><a href="http://community.surpriseattackgames.com/screencheat"></a> </p></div><p>We take for granted that our enemies are visible in first-person shooters. Fair enough too, as shooting them might not be fun otherwise. That’s according to conventional wisdom anyway, which <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/screencheat/">Screencheat</a> shirks from the outset. A small project developed by Melbourne studio Samurai Punk, Screencheat is a competitive splitscreen shooter where four invisible players duke it out in tight, colour-coded arenas. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cop a confetti spraying rainbow piñata in the face.</p><p>Instead of monitoring your own quarter of the screen, in Screencheat you’re encouraged to spend more time watching what your opponents are doing in order to figure out where they are. Those reared on Nintendo 64-era splitscreen shooters (Goldeneye 64, Perfect Dark) will be familiar with this reprehensible tactic, terminally impossible to police. Screencheat wields it as a central mechanic. </p><p> As a concept it doesn’t sound very fun, but in practice it is. Maps have distinctly coloured regions and landmarks which give away the location of each player. Movement and traversal is closer to the spirit of fast-paced arena shooters, with no fall damage complimenting the breakneck verticality of most of the game’s five maps. In standard deathmatch kills come thick and fast: weapons emit faint evidence of their owner’s location, and I quickly learned that precision and planning is more important than spamming the attack key, which most newcomers instinctively do. With one exception the maps tend to span upwards rather than horizontally, meaning I spent a lot of time in the air, propelled by air vents and trampolines, spraying bullets ungracefully as I plummeted.</p><p> Weapons are invariably one-shot kills, so there’s initially no incentive to explore Screencheat’s weirder weapons (y’know, explosive bouncing bears, modified car engines). The default blunderbuss boasts a generous bullet spread, and I was never attracted to any of the slower weapons like the aforementioned Chefolet car engine or grenade launcher. Melee weapons like the firey Hobby Horse and the Candelabra are good in tight situations, with the former providing a burst of speed at the expense of invisibility.</p><figure><img class="" data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FnqCAycKSbOR.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-jHgw1K3JSr3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="2014-10-16 00014"><figcaption>The Candelabra is good for sneaky players as it leaves less evidence in its wake.</figcaption></figure><p> The five game modes range standard fare (deathmatch, a king of the hill mode) through to Murder Mystery, which assigns each player a specific target to be killed with a specific weapon. While this has its charms, Screencheat feels more at home in conventional modes where you’re free to focus on shooting and surviving, because that alone is usually stressful enough. Having to keep track of the location of three other players, with these locations changing by the second, is fatiguing after a while. I couldn’t handle playing Screencheat for more than half-an-hour at a time, but then, I don’t think it’s designed to be binged on.</p><p> That’s because Screencheat demands to be played on the couch with friends, and it doesn’t pretend to be a serious first-person shooter. Its breezy and whimsical atmosphere situates it closer to Mario Kart than say, Counter-Strike. The thickly accented Australian commentary seems to mock the severity of other first-person shooters, and the kill messages are often ridiculous (it’s possible to be ‘Windows Vista-ed’ in Screencheat). While online splitscreen play is an option, the game shines among friends you can punch and swear at.</p><p> Which isn’t to say Screencheat lacks depth. Over the course of my five hours with the game I learned some pretty neat tricks. The crossbow seems like a useless weapon at first, requiring a level of precision virtually impossible against invisible foes, but once I learnt that it actually shoots laser beams which can wrap around corners, I started to use it to set temporary traps. Getting good at Screencheat isn’t about being a precise shooter or learning the maps but instead movement, observation, and lightning-quick thinking. Being good at Call of Duty won’t necessarily hold you in good stead if you play Screencheat, which was a huge relief for me.</p><p> While Screencheat’s premise is unique, it feels very much part of a burgeoning new approach to shooters on PC. Independent studios are starting to squeeze new life from the genre: see the strange warping mechanics in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/s-w-a-p-is-a-first-person-arena-shooter-without-any-guns/">S.W.A.P. </a>or the killstreak-centric Megaman-aping <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/wrack-is-an-old-school-first-person-shooter-with-a-mega-man-aesthetic/">Wrack</a>. Screencheat is a refreshingly barebones game which focuses on one particular thing: you don’t gain XP, you don’t climb leaderboards, and you never unlock weapons your opponents don’t have access to. For these reasons it’s the most fun I’ve had with a multiplayer game for a long time. I heartily recommend it, especially if you like Windows Vista-ing invisible crash test dummies with modified car engines.</p> League of Legends World Championship 2014 final round - watch it herehttp://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-world-championship-2014-final-round-watch-it-here/Watch South Korea versus China right here.Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:27:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-world-championship-2014-final-round-watch-it-here/League of LegendsLeague of Legends World Championship 2014MOBANews <a href="/league-of-legends-world-championship-2014-final-round-watch-it-here/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DsAxXIbcQK85.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pamh_depRMu_.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DsAxXIbcQK85.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="League of Legends"></p><p>The League of Legends World Championships finished up at the weekend, and the round between South Korea's Samsung Galaxy White and China's Star Horn Royal Club can be viewed in full below. Resident LoL expert James Chen had <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/league-of-legends-2014-world-championship-grand-finals-a-primer/">a few predictions</a> regarding the round last week, but if you're wanting to watch the match free of spoilers I'd suggest not reading the final paragraph in this story. </p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GTx2HL02-dU" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>Samsung Galaxy White ended up taking the championship, continuing South Korea's dominance for the sixth year. The prize was US $1 million, while Star Horn Royal Club took home $250,000 to share among them.</p> How much RAM do you really need for gaming?http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/Is it worth it to get 16GB or 32GB of RAM? Depends what you're doing...Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:57:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/Ask PC GamerHardware <a href="/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KMvE4Wax5i0f.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p> <strong><br> </strong></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WDHSQ5q_QlGA.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KMvE4Wax5i0f.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dom Pt X4 A Cropped"></p><p> <strong>What's considered the recommended maximum amount of RAM for gaming? You know, the maximum before it's just sitting there inflating e-peen rather than actually doing anything in-game? I personally have 8GB, but have read that no more than 4GB is used. Other sites say 8GB. My friend has something like 32GB, but I suspect he's compensating for something. Is more than 8GB even used? &mdash; Nathan I.</strong></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> I'm not sure if there's any correlation between RAM and body parts, but no, you don't need 32GB of RAM for gaming. I recommend 8GB or 16GB, and that will truly be fine for the time being.</p><p> If you have too little RAM&mdash;say,&nbsp;2GB&mdash;there's a good chance a lot of&nbsp;the games you want to play just won't run. If you have the minimum 4GB for games like Alien: Isolation, you <em>may</em> not get the performance you would with 8GB and it'll be restrictive considering the number of programs the average person runs on Windows, but you can get by. You may see no performance dip at all.</p><p> Below is a shot of Task Manager while I was running Alien: Isolation, Chrome, Photoshop, and a few other applications on my rig at home with 8GB of&nbsp;RAM. Everything is peachy. I can Alt-Tab out of Alien and do something in Photoshop with just a slight slow-down.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9AF_XC9ATp6d.PNG" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S_iKJXsWlwiD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ram2"></p><p> But there <em>are</em> times when I wish I had more RAM. If I'm running a game, streaming it, responding to chat questions on a second monitor, and playing music, or whatever else I might want to do simultaneously, 16GB would make a difference (and it's not all that expensive). Additionally, sometimes I work with a music sequencer and load lots of virtual instruments into memory&mdash;if you do audio or video work on the same machine you game on, you might consider going higher than 8GB. I plan to upgrade.</p><p> But as far as just simply gaming goes, 8GB is just fine, and is currently the recommended spec for most games. 4GB is the minimum you should have, but even so,&nbsp;I benchmarked Batman: Arkham City at max settings (PhysX off)&nbsp;with 8GB RAM, then popped out one of my sticks and benchmarked it again at 4GB&nbsp;and&nbsp;saw absolutely no change in FPS. I did see a comparative&nbsp;drop&nbsp;with PhysX on, but that seems&nbsp;like a special&nbsp;case&nbsp;I'll have to investigate further to figure out, and I was still getting 52 average FPS.</p><p>In general, more RAM can make your computing more pleasant, and I certainly don't recommend <em style="background-color: initial;">against</em> 16GB.&nbsp;But in general,&nbsp;if&nbsp;you're looking to improve framerate, a better video card is going to make a much bigger difference than going from 8GB to 32GB, which may have no effect at all.</p> Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward expansion adds new race, classes, areashttp://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiv-heavensward-expansion-adds-new-race-classes-areas/Along with new jobs, dungeons, raids and bigger level cap.Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:39:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-xiv-heavensward-expansion-adds-new-race-classes-areas/Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornMMONewsSquare Enix <a href="/final-fantasy-xiv-heavensward-expansion-adds-new-race-classes-areas/"> <img width="590" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qD2VGFjPpEdX.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yXzBuzElT4er.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qD2VGFjPpEdX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Heavensward"></p><p>If you were in any doubt that Final Fantasy XIV would be expanding over time, er, don't be, because as of this weekend it demonstrably is. Heavensward is the first, and as FF expansion/add-on names go, it is a little disappointing. FFXI brought us&nbsp;A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode of Life Bestowing, and&nbsp;A Moogle Kupo d'Etat: Evil in Small Doses, for example. Regardless, Heavensward will add a new race, new classes, <strong>allow players to&nbsp;build airships</strong>, and increase the level cap from 50 to 60, among other stuff.</p><p>Square Enix revealed FFXIV's first expansion at the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival at Las Vegas this weekend, and&nbsp;<a href="http://kotaku.com/final-fantasy-xivs-first-expansion-is-heavensward-1648065746" target="_blank">Kotaku</a> has the details. Along with the additions mentioned above, we can expect Heavensward to bring new jobs, raids and dungeons, plus new areas including&nbsp;the Northern city of Ishgard. The story has something to do with the Dragonsong War and the Wyrmking, who I'm sure is an entirely pleasant individual. There will be more details at the next FFXIV event, which takes place&nbsp;next weekend, but here's a very brief teaser trailer in the meantime.</p><iframe width="620" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/68CNzwinqlg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>See, I told you it was brief.&nbsp;It's a good time for Final Fantasy XIV info, it seems: a&nbsp;couple of days ago we brought you&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-fantasy-14-trailer-details-patch-24/" target="_blank">this massive trailer</a> for the game's 2.4 patch, which is due out later this month.</p> Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launch trailer jumps the gunhttp://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer-jumps-the-gun/Spacey, White Stripes, robots, jetpacks.Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:55:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer-jumps-the-gun/Activision-BlizzardCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareFPSNewsSledgehammer Games <a href="/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-launch-trailer-jumps-the-gun/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uV7ksZ5t_rIu.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hGALcDxqQs-s.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uV7ksZ5t_rIu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Spacey Warfare"></p><p>Not content with being a big political bastard in the US remake of&nbsp;House of Cards, Kevin Spacey is turning his smug, villainous grin to the world of video games. He's a big deal in Sledgehammer's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which releases in a couple of weeks, chock-full of Titanfally jetpacks, impressive, jowly face-tech, and bits where characters are thrown back from slow-motion explosions. To commemorate the occasion, a 'launch' trailer has been released two weeks early, giving us extra time to prepare our monitors and HDTVs&nbsp;for&nbsp;the chilling&nbsp;arrival of Waxwork Kevin&nbsp;Spacey. Be afraid, be very afraid after the break.</p><iframe width="574" height="323" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YSp8ZqIKEIM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Advanced Warfare comes out on the 4th of November, as confirmed by some&nbsp;block lettering at the tail end of the preceding trailer. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-video-demonstrates-upgraded-scorestreaks/" target="_blank">previous video</a> detailed some of&nbsp;the changes being made to the series' Scorestreaks system, while the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-trailer-reveals-exo-survival-multiplayer-mode-and-day-zero-edition/" target="_blank">one before that</a> revealed the game's new Exo Survival multiplayer&nbsp;mode.</p> Mob War in New Vegashttp://www.pcgamer.com/mob-war-in-new-vegas/A mod brings heists and hitmen to Fallout: New Vegas.Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mob-war-in-new-vegas/Fallout: New VegasModsRPG <a href="/mob-war-in-new-vegas/"> <img width="590" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bDJLIU1zEJ5B.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">MOD OF THE WEEK</h5><p>Every week Chris Livingston picks out a fantastic mod to help you get more out of your gaming library, and have some adventures along the way.</p></div><p>Heists. Hits. Hats. Those are the three essential components of gangsters, and a mod called <a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/57110/?" style="font-size: 14px;">Blackrow</a> uses them all in Fallout: New Vegas. Visit a town controlled by organized crime, meet the man in charge, and start working your way to the top of the mob, first by rubbing out some of the competition, then by ambushing convoys and robbing a bank, and finally, by taking down another major crime boss.</p><p>The town of Blackrow, north of Vegas, is quite obviously a major criminal hangout. Armed goons in suits and hats lounge against walls and stroll through the streets, and the town features a bar, a gun store, and a brothel. I paid a visit to the man in charge, who made an offer I couldn't refuse. Well, I could have refused. Easily. It just wouldn't make for a very interesting article.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2Hjyv0PjQkad.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DQb1et_yuXOE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F2"></p><p>Mr. Sharp runs Blackrow, and he asked me to prove my worth by taking down a drug-runner who'd made off with some of his merchandise. After gearing myself up mafioso style -- tommy gun, shotgun, and revolver -- I found the mark hiding in a bunker and dispatched him, along with a couple of his henchmen. Mr. Sharp was pleased, and offered me a second hit: a general at the Mojave Outpost who couldn't be bought. I was well-liked at the outpost, so it wasn't hard for me to stroll in, activate a Stealth-Boy, and pop the general with a silenced pistol. Then I strolled back out, no one the wiser.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ku7yGYeTSD-A.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ASz1wYHswoBL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F3"></p><p>My next target was tougher, another competing criminal with a bunch of heavily armed and armored goons protecting him at his hideout in Freeside, but after airing him out, I became a trusted figure in Blackrow and Sharp referred me to his associate for more work. This time I'd need to intercept a convoy carrying a stash of caps. It went well, though I was ambushed mid-ambush by some of Caesar's assassins, apparently tasked to rub me out over some former slight I can't even remember. Also, the Brahmin pack animals attacked me as well. Still, I recovered the shipment.</p><p>From there, I was onto something big and dangerous, an actual bank heist to snatch five valuable gold bars from the vault. I changed into some real gangster gear and scoped out the bank.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JLzhHmWtQfKt.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i3J3-xIkPrVB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F4"></p><p>Bursting through the door, I found the place packed with guards, tellers, and civilians. I ordered everyone to get on the ground, but no dice: the tellers ran around in a panic and everyone else drew their weapons. It was chaos, the best kind, a snatch-and-grab turned shoot-and-get-shot. Eventually, I'd taken down all the guards, and only one teller hadn't fled the building. To ensure he didn't spill the beans, I had to... how to put this delicately... murder him in the face with a gun. Wait! No. I should have said something like "I had to silence him... permanently." That would have been way more cool.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4XyJFfybSWaU.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MJcGzRsAO_wp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F5"></p><p>After retrieving a couple keys, one of which the bank manager wasn't too keen to relinquish (I murdered him in the body with bullets), I had another brief skirmish with an armored guard in the vault, then I collected the gold and stepped out into the streets, prepared to nonchalantly walk away. It wasn't that easy. It never is. Seems this was no ordinary bank, and the owner of the gold was himself a made man named Cohen. His collection of natty thugs weren't about to let me stroll off with his bling.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/D8LY6tRZQ46H.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ahfN_JljtGO2.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F6"></p><p>Eventually, I returned to Blackrow HQ. The bank job had caused a real problem between Sharp and Cohen, and it seemed the best course of action was to take down Cohen's entire operation before he did the same to us. I hit one of his convoys, finding not only a safe but some classic loot bags with dollar signs on them! Then it was time to eliminate Cohen himself.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pDepYFoDTmq3.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4IA7Aj6BjlTb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F7"></p><p>This was a massive battle in a dusty town tucked away in the hills. Cohen had tons of goons, and I regretted not bringing a sidekick to help out, or at least serve as another target. I settled for using little extra firepower to mop up, then infiltrated Cohen's personal hideout, where more goons were waiting.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c6P8qkktQASj.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2bTbWA-3aWre.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F8"></p><p>Once I had Cohen alone, I decided to take him out in classic mob fashion: by beating him to death with a baseball bat. Unfortunately, I didn't have one, so I went with my back-up plan: incinerate him with Tesla-Beaton Prototype. It's an large anti-tank energy weapon. It got the job done.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uFZBZp2jTfm0.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KWbDOfpZ4WnJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="F10"></p><p>This is a pretty cool mod, with maybe an hour or two of play, depending on how tough you are. There's another quest-giver in town once you've helped out Sharp, which will allow you to participate in another, bigger bank heist, and the town has a hotel to stay in and a few other amenities. There's no custom voice-work, which is fine: this game is mainly about rubbing out thugs and making off with the loot.</p><p><a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/57110/?">You can download it here</a>. It's a single .esp file you can drop in your data folder, and then you can just tick its box when starting the game. For me, at least, Blackrow didn't appear on my map automatically, I had to physically step into it before the icon appeared. You'll find it north of H&amp;H Tools Factory near North Vegas Square.</p> The Best Free Games of the Weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-48/Non-grindy gears, a nasty empress, and a remixedhorror house await.Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:16:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-48/ActionAdventurebrowser gamesIndiePlatformerThe Best Free Games of the Week <a href="/the-best-free-games-of-the-week-48/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YrPpvoOuHB8B.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ni6z5ZYFSC-t.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3oUNPih3sCci.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="With Those 2"></p><p>Prepare to&nbsp;serve the empress in With Those We Love Alive, to&nbsp;serve the whims of gravity in The Gears Don't Grind, and to&nbsp;be served a meal of&nbsp;slimy treats in&nbsp;Hugo's House of Horrors. You'll be doing a lot of reading, walking, shooting and jumping in this week's roundup, so be sure&nbsp;to outfit yourself appropriately.</p><h3><a href="http://beanallean.itch.io/thegearsdontgrind" target="_blank">The Gears Don't Grind by Ben Allen and Arayan</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6sAfjii7SL6s.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JhWlByyNwD4a.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Gears Don't Grind"></p><p>The gears don't grind, but your teeth might while you're playing this super-hard minimalist platformer. Compared to other super-hard minimalist platformers, Gears most closely resembles VVVVVV or Fred Wood's Love, thanks to its iconic, simplistic art style and retro colour palette. The gravity mechanic recalls Tez Cavanagh's game as well, although it works a little differently here. Every time you leap or fall from the side of the screen the gravity shifts – one moment you might be walking on the wall, the next you're dancing on the ceiling. (Oh what a feeling.) The functions of the left and right cursor keys are frequently reversed, often necessitating a spot of neck-craning to maneuver yourself about.</p><h3><a href="http://cellusious.itch.io/dr-love" target="_blank">Dr Love by Cellusious</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aPLitOIuQkCq.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ARqwh1CAqCbp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dr Love"></p><p>Dr Love is a twin-stick shooter because, well, what else could it be? I suppose it could be a match-three puzzler like Dr Mario, or a fictional London GP like Eastenders' Dr Legg, but I'm happy with the shooty Dr Love game we got. The twist here is that you're shooting blocks, most of the time, blocks that drop from the sky to either a) crush you like a love pancake, or b) get in your motherlovin' way. Blocks have differing properties, and it's not long before jerk enemies introduce themselves as well. The way the game progresses seems a little random for my liking, but this is a fast and furious and pretty enough shooter that maybe that doesn't matter all that much.</p><h3><a href="http://aliendovecote.com/uploads/twine/empress/empress.html" target="_blank">With Those We Love Alive by Porpentine and Neotenomie</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tS5hPEi4RxCf.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kWgBF6E8Vrby.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="With Those"></p><p>The figure of the empress looms over this sumptuous, destabilising bit of sci-fi that filters childhood trauma through a pulp sci-fi/fantasy lens. Porpentine's vocabulary, turns of phrase, and mastery of Twine continues to impress, but it's Neotenomie's lush, embracing soundtrack that ties everything together. As an indentured servant in the palace of the brutal Empress, you'll construct strange armour, ethereal ornaments, and gruesome weaponry, as your subsumed past slowly creeps back into your life.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/other/orthoclase/36007/" target="_blank">Orthoclase by Andrew Dawson</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xd9bVseZQOiC.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XDRwabwVmCbL.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Orthoclase"></p><p>Sometimes you need a virtual island to retreat to and&nbsp;saunter about on, and Andrew Dawson's Orthoclase is better than most. There's nothing to do here but stroll, and look, and absorb, and appreciate, and it's a good way to unwind if, for some reason, you don't own your own private island in real life. I was a bit disappointed to find&nbsp;that I couldn't swim off to that distant landmass over there, but what can you do? *Starts furious e-petition demanding that Dawson add it in*.</p><h3><a href="http://ifcomp.org/1241/content/HHH.html" target="_blank">Hugo's House of Horrors by Robot Parking and David Gray</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Edj9dattSAqI.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BmEceJYW6u6G.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hhh"></p><p>A wonderfully cheeky bit of interactive fiction that takes David Gray's 1990 adventure game Hugo's House of Horrors and adds new writing over the top. It's a little like a game version of the brilliant Bad Lip Reading YouTube series, which uses clips from shows like The Walking Dead and implements new, hilarious dialogue that matches the lip-syncing perfectly. Robot Parking's poetic, silly, and sweary new words complement (screengrabs of) the original's pixel art rather well – I like to think that they've never even played it, and that they're improvising a new scenario on the spot.</p> Co-op life sim Stardew Valley gets lovely new trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/co-op-life-sim-stardew-valley-gets-lovely-new-trailer/Farm! Get married! Fish! Battle slimes!Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:01:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/co-op-life-sim-stardew-valley-gets-lovely-new-trailer/Co-opDungeon CrawlerIndieNewssimStardew Valley <a href="/co-op-life-sim-stardew-valley-gets-lovely-new-trailer/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DpbAuXeCs0io.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tfh6tYcBRBih.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DpbAuXeCs0io.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Stardew Valley"></p><p>The quietly enormously ambitious&nbsp;<a href="http://stardewvalley.net/" target="_blank">Stardew Valley</a> has been given a new trailer detailing some of the Harvest Moony life sim's many, many activities. Activities like farming, battling monsters in procedurally generated caves, fishing, popping to the shops, and standing moodily on a dock looking out to sea. Not pictured: marriage, co-op, archaeology, cooking, crafting, or the other things mentioned on&nbsp;<a href="http://stardewvalley.net/about/" target="_blank">this About page</a>.</p><p>Stardew Valley is one of the few PC&nbsp;life sims, and it's&nbsp;shaping up to be a timesink of gigantic proportions.&nbsp;I mentioned it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/stardew-valley-a-co-op-harvest-moon-with-marriage-monsters-randomly-generated-caves/" target="_blank">before</a>,&nbsp;nearly two years ago now, but it seems to have come on a fair bit since then. Starbound developers Chucklefish are publishing, which seems entirely apt to me: there's a similar sense of&nbsp;scale and ambition&nbsp;to the more earthbound&nbsp;Stardew Valley. As you can see here:</p><iframe width="854" height="510" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4IYbC5o-a-A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>No release date yet, unfortunately, but while we&nbsp;wait, the game's&nbsp;website is full of interesting development titbits. Titbits like this one:</p><p>"Now, about Joja Corporation [the Walmart-like chain store featured in the above trailer]&hellip; I’ve decided not to impose a time limit on players. Here’s my new Joja concept:</p><p>"JojaMart already exists when you arrive in town. In fact, Joja’s presence is the reason the community center has fallen into disrepair, and why the local mom and pop businesses are suffering. Some townspeople long for the old days, when local businesses were thriving and the town had a strong sense of unity. Others welcome the convenience and affordability of the JojaMart."</p><p>You'll be able to affect&nbsp;JojaMart's influence on the town, by revitalising the community centre and putting Joja out of business, by expanding the mega-chain and demolishing the community centre for good&nbsp;(you monster), or by abstaining from the decision process and letting things run their course. Interesting stuff!</p> Visceral outlines Battlefield Hardline changes following beta feedbackhttp://www.pcgamer.com/visceral-outlines-battlefield-hardline-changes-following-beta-feedback/Will feature faction specific weapons, and guns in car boots.Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:18:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/visceral-outlines-battlefield-hardline-changes-following-beta-feedback/battlefield hardlineDICEElectronic ArtsFPSNewsVisceral Games <a href="/visceral-outlines-battlefield-hardline-changes-following-beta-feedback/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AcbNOrcMKYuz.780x349.KITgbTEZ.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WWjlcGhPROOL.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AcbNOrcMKYuz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hardline thumb"></p><p>Impressions of the Battlefield Hardline beta&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardline-e3-pc-hands-on-cops-robbers-chaos/" target="_blank">weren't entirely positive</a>, and it's this wealth of feedback that&nbsp;caused Visceral to ask EA for some&nbsp;extra time to develop their game&mdash;that's according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2014/10/17/battlefield-hardline-beta-not-a-demo/" target="_blank">this interview</a> with Visceral's Steve&nbsp;Papoutsis over on VG247. He also revealed a few of the changes that have already been made, including newly&nbsp;faction specific weapons and the option to stow special weapons in a vehicle's boot.</p><p>The two factions of the game&mdash;cops and criminals&mdash;will now boast their own specific guns, a change requested by the community that I think will better&nbsp;suit Hardline's underlying premise. But there are other, equally big changes being made. RPGs and mines will no longer be&nbsp;quite so easy to attain: it seems they'll now be pickup item&nbsp;that both sides will have to find before they can use them. Here's Papoutsis explaining the new systems in more detail:</p><p>"The other big change is more around explosives and some of the heavy duty weapons. Obviously with Battlefield you have this really solid foundation of rock, paper, scissors gameplay. The heavy weapons counter the vehicles, etc. There’s a great balance that the team has created over the years. We wanted to include RPGs and mines – and we did – but people felt that it took them out of the fiction a little bit; that you could just load up a character and equip an RPG. So that wasn’t an easy thing to get rid of because it’s part of the balance.</p><p>"The design team came up with a cool ideas based on that feedback. One is to have some of those more powerful weapons be pick-ups so it creates a secondary objective. Some of the modes, like in Hotwire, the RPG cache is one of the objectives. If you control that cache your team has access to the RPG. And that creates more interesting gameplay. We also came up with the notion of ‘junk in the trunk’ – what if we allowed players to equip special items to their vehicle instead of their inventory loadout. It goes back to movies where bad guys pop open the trunk to grab something big. When you play the game, if you set up your vehicle loadout to have a specific weapon in the trunk and you control the vehicle you can use that item. So now you want to get a vehicle to get access to a specific weapon, which also fits the fiction better."</p><p>Visceral and EA recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-hardlines-hotwire-mode-is-like-need-for-speed-with-rocket-launchers/" target="_blank">blew the bloody doors off</a> Hardline's Hotwire mode, which is pretty much Need for Speed but with rocket launchers. Here's a video of it in action.</p><iframe width="615" height="346" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zOABuPJtGmg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Gabriel Knight And The Colours Of Voodoohttp://www.pcgamer.com/gabriel-knight-and-the-colours-of-voodoo/How the war between blue and orange helped a good game become great.Sat, 18 Oct 2014 09:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gabriel-knight-and-the-colours-of-voodoo/ <a href="/gabriel-knight-and-the-colours-of-voodoo/"> <img width="590" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S1gc9eiaepYY.780x349.2xs-SSAO.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r5QkKGK-TOCU.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_6W95krkj8bT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Voodoo1" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></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. First up, a bit of both. What can you tell me about voodoo?</p></div><p>Many years ago, John Carmack said of stories in games that they're like stories in porn movies, "It's expected to be there, but it's not that important." I've always disagreed... with the gaming side of that I mean, not the other. Story is wonderful stuff. It's what makes our victories satisfying, it's what turns a few pixels on a screen into a character that we can fall in at least platonic love with, and what turns, say, running around a city of glorified boxes into being given the freedom of Paris.</p><p>I love story. I hope you do too. If not, I hope to convince you over time.</p><p>Where a lot of people go wrong though is thinking of story as simply 'plot' - the reason why you're shooting aliens in the face, the dead wife and child justifying some angry man's rampage, the doomsday weapon somewhere on the final level. All that is part of it, sure, but done well story is a thing that touches every part of a game. It's in the script, but it's also in the design, in the ambience, in the music, and in what's allowed to be unspoken. It's not a thing that someone simply pours onto a game when all else is done... or rather, it shouldn't be... but something that goes down to the bones.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ae9I11AjSoCv.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_j7lO-KH9xBa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lout" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></p><p>As such, I thought we'd start off by looking at a classic from a slightly different perspective. If you know anything about adventure games, then Gabriel Knight needs no introduction. If not, this 1993 adventure was one of the first mainstream titles to really go for the mature audience in a way that counted as mature rather than simply adult. It sold itself as a horror game, but it was its characters and meticulous exploration of voodoo (or at least, the convincing appearance of it, especially in a time before Wikipedia) that made it a legend. Later, there was a thing about a cat-hair moustache stuck on with syrup. Let's, uh, not speak of that. Ever.</p><p>As such an overtly story-heavy game, there's a lot of interest here, from the character&nbsp;relationships to the setting itself, and at least one thing that I plan to return to. Instead of the words and the plot though, let's kick off with something whose influence is almost never talked&nbsp;about - the colour palette. Gabriel Knight only had 256 colours to work with, and part of what made it such an impressive game was how far the artists stretched them to create amazingly detailed locations like the one above. As the game goes on though, it's soon revealed to be even cleverer&nbsp;than it first appears.&nbsp;Take a look at this, the first of several graphic novel style cut-scenes, where Gabriel meets his love interest and the technical&nbsp;villain, socialite Malia Gedde.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yJWdwtkCSemB.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S1gc9eiaepYY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gk" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></p><p>There's a lot more going on here than first meets the eye. This is the meeting of two different worlds, in a number of ways - hero and villain, rich and poor, hunter and hunted (though neither knows that bit yet...) This is represented visually by the use of complementary yet contrasting&nbsp;colours - blue and orange - to the point that Malia looks more like a sunbed obsessive than the leader of a murderous voodoo cult. It's a vivid look, made all the more notable by the fact that the artist could absolutely have gone with a more subdued, less illuminated skin tone had they wanted to - &nbsp;just look at Gabriel himself in the middle there. It's also notable that while&nbsp;Malia does get described elsewhere as having copper-colour skin, which is fitting,&nbsp;the poetic description of her at the start of the game opts instead for this:</p> <div><em><br></em></div> <div><em>I dreamt of blood upon the shore, of eyes that spoke of sin.</em></div><div><em>The lake was smooth and deep and black, as was her scented skin...</em><br></div> <div><em><br></em></div><p>Maybe it's just me, but <em>bright orange</em>&nbsp;is not the colour I'd personally associate with a deep lake. It is however surprisingly important within the overall art style...</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/McfmQGfiSNaA.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UHAj3KxPp7br.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gkbar"></p><p>In particular, the contrasting colours are&nbsp;used throughout to represent the two lovers' different worlds - Gabriel's is cold, and for much of the game actively&nbsp;mundane. While there's a warmth to his bookshop, generally his parts of town are painted in blues and magentas - his cop buddy Mosely adding a dose of yellow with police tape, his jacket, and his office decorations, but otherwise maintaining the mundanity.&nbsp;</p><p>Malia's world however is implicitly one of magic and of mystery,&nbsp;with&nbsp;both fire and orange becoming recurring themes in any environment where those elements are in focus. She&nbsp;doesn't have <em>exclusive</em> rights to them, but when they appear outside of this context&nbsp;it's almost always either obscured or in a far more muted shade.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W6t23lPRT9S5.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3hMqoA5zsRfE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Malia0"></p><p>Orange in fact soon becomes&nbsp;an almost invasive force in Gabriel's world, as seen here in her house - the blues and magentas representing her public identity&nbsp;as simply a rich socialite and philanthropist (seriously,&nbsp;are they ever <em>not</em> evil?), but the fire acting as the focal point of the scene and Malia's&nbsp;red clothing doubling down on it.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SS3VoGNBS4uK.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dNqHTKswHri7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Malia 1"></p><p>In a similar vein, this shot from the voodoo museum shows another member of the cult, Dr. John, carefully standing in the small pool of orange light rather than in the part of the shop meant for tourists. Also of note is that his corner is where you find the&nbsp;snake that's the only thing that tries to kill Gabriel for most of the early story.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/t594Umf0SZ6H.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/srHalFPIReCO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Drjohn"></p><p>The more overtly voodoo related locations meanwhile go all-out for it. The Dixieland Drug Store that specialises in paraphernalia without actually being linked to the murders directly uses all orange. So too, initially oddly, does the church. This makes more sense later on when it proves to be the home base of the villains, accessed via a secret passage in the confessional. Yeah, this game does get a bit goofy. They have a whole James Bond base underneath it, complete with offices where people work and janitorial cupboards, but also a whole zoo full of voodoo related animals and a inter-office communication system that involves someone going to a sacrificial chamber and banging out codes on a drum. These guys badly needed e-mail.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/n0WjOqhDTaWC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yoiweUjsUupT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Church"></p><p>Even that late in the game though,&nbsp;the theme is continued. Here's an ancient tomb in Africa from the villains' past. Torchlight is of course always going to be orange, but someone still&nbsp;had to put them there, and the key colour remains notable...</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DnTGHt-fRNmQ.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8LFUCAYYEBT7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Tomb"></p><p>...while Gabriel's own&nbsp;ancestral home embraces the old contrast between cold and warmth, blue and orange, to the point of looking like this <em>in the middle of summer!</em> (The castle is&nbsp;one of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.postudios.com/blog/?p=5314">major changes made by the recent remake</a>, upgrading it to the sequel's more modern one and surrounding it with greenery. I totally agree with this, because the snow is bloody stupid in the original. Theme only goes so far!)</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xd3cBo5jS9Cd.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iCYX0SjEDSa9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ritter"></p><p>Now it's certainly not the case that every case of fire and every splash of orange in the game feels like part of this theme, but these patterns are present and notable throughout most of it.&nbsp;It's a natural fit in many ways. The main story revolves around a family of witch-hunters (technically, shadow hunters, but it's a witch at the centre of this story), whose mistakes have led to their family declining while Malia's rose in power to become the rulers of New Orleans. In a very real sense, they've stolen their fire. It's a thematic element that bookends the game. The first thing we see is Malia's ancestor burning at the stake while Gabriel's watches and regrets his decision. The very last thing is the final battle between the two families <em>literally</em> ripping New Orleans apart (in arguably the only scene in gaming that&nbsp;makes geologists weep more than taking a tour of World of Warcraft) as Gabriel finally atones for the past.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Jwvjcic8SIaa.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/b7r70Dyz6T1W.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Rip"></p><p>This use of contrast is something that Gabriel Knight gets fantastic use out of, allowing it to keep its most powerful colours for its biggest scenes, but also creating a mood that's at least slightly unsettling without ever being too noticeable. In the first instance, there's a distinct split between the areas in which Gabriel is comfortable in, and those where he's at least somewhat out of his comfort zone - daffy voodoienne Magentia Moonbeam for instance is no threat, and she's just treated as a kook, while the drugstore whose owner casually mentions human sacrifice and then immediately claims all his stock is just to milk passing tourists&nbsp;has a slight alien element to it.</p><p>Its use even extends to the death screen; the triumph of orange.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1dBAHVqASsKl.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pZwtdiurM_ps.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gkdeath"></p><p>It must be said though that after a while, you do start to wonder about the voodoo cult's membership. They don't really do a lot during the game, and never seem to be around. Even when you go into their base, it's largely deserted. So who are these cultists? Let's see... almost entirely unknown, very mysterious, most likely bright orange to keep with the general&nbsp;theme they've got going here... very likely on the far wrong side of politically correct by modern standards... wait a damn minute!</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QufafGzrQaqH.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gU6vMI1rbQEJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Oompa"></p><p><em>Oompa Loompa, doing Voodoo</em></p><p><em>Delivering just one last warning to you</em></p><p><em>Oompa Loompa, we guarantee</em></p><p><em>Stop or you'll be eaten by&nbsp;Ogun Badagris.</em></p><p><em>What do you get when you get in our way?</em></p><p><em>Messing things up in ten or so days?</em></p><p><em>Keep poking round&nbsp;and you'll just&nbsp;wind up dead</em></p><p><em>And quit&nbsp;riding our Loa in your bed.</em></p><p><em>(That is inappropriate!)</em></p><p><em>Oompa Loompa, Gabriel Knight</em></p><p><em>We bought your books, and thought they were shite</em></p><p><em>Be smart and stay in your dull world of blue</em></p><p><em>Because the Oompa Loompas are watching you...</em></p><p><em>(Always watching you.)</em></p><p><em>...</em></p><p>Brr.&nbsp;Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes.</p><p>On a wider level, the colours subvert the usual concept of warm being comfortable. Here, they're always charged. The church that you expect to be safe is where a man dies horribly.&nbsp;&nbsp;The voodoo ceremonies are dangerous and intimidating, with a raw power that has nothing to do with any magic that may or may not actually be happening... at least, early on. And when those sequences reach a crescendo, the colour scheme is quick to back that up as it shifts colour all the way to&nbsp;blood red.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ab1E1NkdSkiU.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cBsUkeI0R8pO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Voodoo2" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"></p><p>None of this would work if not for the words and the storyline driving the game, but it acts as a multiplier - just one way that all the disparate elements of the game pulled together towards a common goal. The game already rests heavily on symbolism, especially in elements like Gabriel's family medallion and the use of dragon and snake imagery. Where those are always pushed front and centre though, not least in the introduction, the colours are there to be felt more than actively noticed.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BWdmmu91jGY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>This kind of direction is, for me anyway, the main thing missing in the recent&nbsp;remake. Where the original artists had to make every last pixel work for their money, the remake gets all the colours in the world and probably garrow too, and as such adopts a more realistic graphical&nbsp;approach. Here for instance is the updated cut-scene where Gabriel meets Malia, done in the remake's more modern style.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fEA35KhcSwen.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/49EWjUjkoroo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Comic"></p><p>While the art here&nbsp;is basically okay, it doesn't convey even half as&nbsp;as much as the original. Later cut-scenes fare much better at that, and are genuinely good. The backgrounds though tend to be attempts at realism compared to the stylised world of the original, and it's a distinctly different world as a result - less threatening, less alien, less hanging with menace. Not bad, but definitely different, and more than you'd think given that the details of most of the locations are much the same as they were in the original. Largely, it feels like a result of two very different goals - the original on supporting the story at the expense of an&nbsp;immediate wow factor,&nbsp;the remake aiming to make the existing screens as visually impressive as possible&nbsp;(Which is of course what you'd expect a game pushing HD graphics as its main selling point to do.)</p><p>Certainly, the original's&nbsp;locations - while beautifully done - lacked the snap factor of many other titles of around the same time, like most of Lucasarts' games or the&nbsp;gorgeous&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/legend-of-kyrandia-hand-of-fate/screenshots">Hand of Fate</a>. At first glance, they were even somewhat <em>unpleasant </em>by the standards of the time&nbsp;- claustrophobic, dark, and very restrained outside of the cut-scenes. Very few other sprite based games though managed to get the same levels of presence and texture, even in the many, many scenes when nothing was happening. It's one of the reasons they still look good today, while most games shooting for reality soon look ancient. Artistry fades much more slowly than art.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xJhvD8_3T9mT.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5DAfIgOOZFZ8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Drugstore"></p><p>This level of both craft and willingness to support the story isn't the kind of thing that in itself marks the distinction between&nbsp;a bad game and a good one, but it is the kind of thing that marks a great one from a merely good one - the willingness to dig that little bit deeper than most other games, and make all the components come together to be the sum of their parts. The writing, the plot, the characters, the research, all the most obvious elements absolutely&nbsp;deserve the lion's share of the credit on Gabriel Knight, much as they did in its sequel, The Beast Within's fusion of European mythology and modern adventure.&nbsp;The best games though&nbsp;find many ways to make all their elements work together, and I don't think many would argue that Gabriel Knight doesn't qualify.&nbsp;It was a hit back in the 90s, and remains a classic.</p><p>But enough of all this&nbsp;pixel-loving. Next time, something far more rooted in the traditional story side of things, and a very different game entirely...</p> Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 8k screenshot galleryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-8k-screenshot-gallery/40screenshots of Shadow of Mordor captured with camera hacks at 7680x4320 resolution.Sat, 18 Oct 2014 00:20:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-8k-screenshot-gallery/Middle-Earth: Shadow of MordorMust ReadPixel Boost <a href="/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-8k-screenshot-gallery/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Votg8Ayg386n.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> GTX 980M benchmarked: testing Nvidia's mobile performance claimshttp://www.pcgamer.com/gtx-980m-benchmarked-testing-nvidias-mobile-performance-claims/Nvidia claims that the GTX 980M is 75% as fast as the desktop 980. In our testing, it's fastbut not quite that fast.Fri, 17 Oct 2014 23:15:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/gtx-980m-benchmarked-testing-nvidias-mobile-performance-claims/HardwareNvidiaNvidia GTX 980Nvidia Maxwell <a href="/gtx-980m-benchmarked-testing-nvidias-mobile-performance-claims/"> <img width="590" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/T27KF3l_otiO.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XpjoQhatQCW9.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/T27KF3l_otiO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Msi Gt72 980m"></p><p>When Nvidia announced the GTX 980M graphics card for gaming laptops, it made a bold claim: 75% of the performance of its desktop 980, which is currently the fastest single-GPU card on the market. The 680M, by comparison, delivered around 60% of the performance of the GTX 680 in 2012. That’s a huge growth for mobile GPU efficiency, if it’s true. In other words, the GTX 980M has a lot to live up to.</p><p>In our testing, the 980M delivered great performance at 1080p, but it didn’t come close to matching that 75% score of its desktop counterpart.</p><p>I tested the GTX 980M inside MSI’s GT72 Dominator gaming laptop, which runs on a 2.5GHz (3.5GHz turbo) Haswell i7-4710HQ processor, 32GB DDR3-800 RAM and a SATA SSD. It’s a $3000 configuration. If you need a refresher on the 980M itself, here are the specs:</p><div><table><colgroup><col><col></colgroup><tbody><tr><td>Specs</td><td>GTX 970M</td><td>GTX 980M</td></tr><tr><td>Base clock</td><td>924 MHz</td><td>1038 MHz</td></tr><tr><td>CUDA cores</td><td>1280</td><td>1536</td></tr><tr><td>Memory config</td><td>Up to 3GB 192-bit GDDR5</td><td>Up to 4GB 256-bit GDDR5</td></tr><tr><td>Memory speed</td><td>2500 MHz</td><td>2500 MHz</td></tr></tbody></table></div><p><br> Now for performance: I ran the GTX 980M through some popular benchmarks at the GT72’s default 1080p resolution, with all games set to ultra or very high settings. Because one of the big features <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-announces-970m-and-980m-maxwell-mobile-gpus/">Nvidia’s been talking up</a> for the 900-series mobile GPUs is its Battery Boost technology, I ran each benchmark three different ways: on AC power, unplugged, and unplugged with Battery Boost disabled (and set to a framerate throttle of 60 fps). By default, Battery Boost limits the framerate to 30 fps, but I cranked that to the maximum of 60 fps to see if the laptop could manage that level of performance on battery.</p><p>Here are the average frames per second&nbsp;results of each benchmark at 1080p and ultra settings, typically with 4x MSAA and an ultra preset. In Tomb Raider, TressFX was enabled; in Metro: Last Light, tessellation was set to high.</p><div><table><colgroup><col><col></colgroup><tbody><tr><td>Benchmark: unplugged, 1080p</td><td>GTX 980M: Battery Boost</td><td>GTX 980M: No Battery Boost</td></tr><tr><td>Unigine Valley</td><td>29.8</td><td>29.6</td></tr><tr><td>Batman: Arkham Origins</td><td>51</td><td>crashed multiple times</td></tr><tr><td>Tomb Raider</td><td>33</td><td>34.3</td></tr><tr><td>Thief</td><td>34.4</td><td>34</td></tr><tr><td>Metro: Last Light</td><td>34</td><td>34</td></tr><tr><td>Bioshock Infinite</td><td>55.8</td><td>69.1</td></tr></tbody></table></div><p><br> As you can see, each benchmark delivered playable framerates at 1080p and ultra settings, even unplugged. Playable, but often not great&mdash;realistically, most demanding games won’t be able to maintain a solid 60 fps at these settings unplugged. The GPU just can’t get enough juice off the battery alone to run at full capacity. These are obviously strenuous tests, and turning off a few settings, even playing at high with a few bells and whistles turned off, will deliver much more playable framerates.</p><p>If you can stomach gaming at 30 fps, though, Battery Boost will be able to keep games running smoothly. Disabling battery boost delivered slightly higher framerates in most games, but not enough to make a significant difference. It will take more testing to see how the MSI GT72’s battery life fares with battery boost enabled and disabled.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iVl5dPddRx6t.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c7Zk4Oe6RBdx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gtx 980M Battery Boost"></p><p>Though portability is the big selling point of a gaming laptop, typically, any serious gaming time spent with them will be spent plugged into an outlet. On-battery results don’t come anywhere close to the desktop 980’s performance, but that’s to be expected. Powered benchmarks are the true test.</p><p>At 1080p, the GTX 980M turned in great framerates plugged in, often getting above 60 frames per second. Because we did most of our desktop GTX 980 benchmarks at 2560x1600, I hooked the MSI GT72 up to a 30-inch monitor to test its performance&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-gtx-980-tested-sli-4k-and-single-gpu-benchmarks-and-impressions/">against the full-size reference card, paired with a Haswell i7-3960X and 16GB DDR3</a>. There it didn’t fare quite as well as Nvidia claimed.</p><div><table><colgroup><col><col><col></colgroup><tbody><tr><td>Benchmark: plugged in</td><td>GTX 980M @ 1080p</td><td>GTX 980M @ 1600p</td><td>GTX 980 @ 1600p</td></tr><tr><td>Unigine Valley</td><td>50.3</td><td>27</td><td>44.5</td></tr><tr><td>Batman: Arkham Origins</td><td>87</td><td>44</td><td>75</td></tr><tr><td>Tomb Raider</td><td>55.2</td><td>35</td><td>57.6</td></tr><tr><td>Thief</td><td>53.8</td><td>32</td><td>50.5</td></tr><tr><td>Metro: Last Light</td><td>50</td><td>30.7</td><td>46</td></tr><tr><td>Bioshock Infinite</td><td>101</td><td>65.7</td><td>101.7</td></tr><tr><td>Hitman Absolution</td><td>48</td><td>30.8</td><td>41</td></tr></tbody></table></div><p>It is impressive that the mobile 980M is able to push out enough pixels to run most of these games at ultra settings, 2560x1600, while keeping above 30 frames per second. At 1080p, lowering AA settings or turning down some post-processing could easily keep most games running at more than 60 frames per second, which makes this a hell of a mobile GPU. </p><p>But is the 980M actually 75% as fast as the GTX 980? If you do the math on the numbers above, the answer is no.</p><p>The performance discrepancy naturally varied between benchmarks, but all but Hitman Absolution fell below that 75% claim in my testing. Arkham Origins was 58% as fast. Thief was 63% as fast. Metro last light hit 67%. Hitman Absolution did actually live up to Nvidia’s claim and nailed 75% performance.</p><p>The numbers above don’t make a convincing claim for using Nvidia’s Dynamic Super Resolution downsampling on the 980M; the mobile graphics card is clearly best-suited to running games at 1080p. Unless you have to play every game on the highest possible settings (and if you do, why game on a laptop?) the 980M will be a great card for 1080p gaming. Testing at 1600p, I’d peg the 980M’s performance at approximately 65% of its desktop counterpart.</p><p>I’ll continue using the MSI GT72 laptop and do longer-term testing of the GTX 980; look for a full review of the laptop coming in the next few weeks.</p> I Am Bread is one slice's epic quest to get toastedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/i-am-bread-is-one-slices-epic-quest-to-get-toasted/The story of one slice's mission to become something more.Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:53:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/i-am-bread-is-one-slices-epic-quest-to-get-toasted/ActionBossa StudiosI Am BreadNews <a href="/i-am-bread-is-one-slices-epic-quest-to-get-toasted/"> <img width="590" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fA337jqdEXze.780x349.cZOq262i.jpg" /> </a> <br/> <br/> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GDE4rsLVB9A?vq=small&amp;autoplay=0" allowfullscreen="" height="343" width="610" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/surgeon-simulator/">Surgeon Simulator</a> developer Bossa Studios has announced its next project, and it's both completely unexpected and about as strange as you'd expect: I Am Bread, an emotionally fraught tale of one slice's quest to become toasted.</p><p>The "first look" video indicates that players will use a controller to interact with the four corners of a slice of bread, maneuvering it around a household environment, and the <a href="https://twitter.com/IAmBreadGame">Twitter account</a> hints that "Toasters aren't the only way to toast bread." Beyond that, however, we really don't know anything about I Am Bread at this stage, including what platforms it's being developed for.</p><p>That doesn't preclude us from bringing it to your attention, however. For one thing, it looks exactly like the sort of silly ridiculousness that's most at home on the PC. It's also a really funny trailer, especially around the 45 second mark. Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?</p><p>Bossa's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/IamBreadGame/timeline">description</a> of the game is great, too: "The beautiful story of one slice of bread's epic and emotional journey as it embarks upon a quest to become toasted."</p><p>This will presumably not be a "big" release, and in fact Bossa refers to it as its "latest game jam title," suggesting that it's something the studio put together over a weekend and a few gallons of coffee. Even so, it looks like it could be a lot of fun. We've reached out to Bossa to confirm that a PC release is in the works; no release date has been announced.</p>