PC Gamer latest storieshttp://www.pcgamer.com/feed/en-usMon, 31 Aug 2015 13:52:20 +0000yesDiablo 3 2.3 is another excellent free update, but what's next?http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-23-is-another-excellent-free-update-but-whats-next/A magic cube and new zones keep Diablo 3 fresh.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:52:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-23-is-another-excellent-free-update-but-whats-next/Diablo 3 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-dGaKfpFQm2A.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NQNthK1nE5TT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 1"></p><p>Blizzard's decision to add special abilities&nbsp;to weapons and armour was quietly one of the most exciting updates to Diablo 3. These days the number of legendary, gem and set items you can pack onto a single character is extraordinary. An item can revitalise a long-discarded skill, and make builds that were once useless godlike. These aren't dry stat bonuses, they're superpowers.</p><p>When my wizard dies, a meteor strikes his body and brings him back to life. When he zaps enemies with his fire beam, they also take catastrophic poison damage. Gold rains from the sky when he gets massacre bonuses, which is all the time. These extraordinary abilities aren't class characteristics, they're found in the world attached to green and gold item drops, and embedded on the equip screen. Post-70 existence in Diablo 3 has become a quest to forge the perfect synergistic web of powers.</p><p>Patch 2.3 deepens the complexity of these stacking, criss-crossing abilities. Kanai's Cube, found in the snowy ruins of the new Sescheron area, lets you pull item abilities off legendaries and install them directly to your character. This frees up weapon and armour slots, which means more set bonuses and a more creative approach to character customisation.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oNwEOssCTUO5.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/yhc6Qb92aE98.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 2"></p><p>The cube is chaperoned by the extremely trustworthy and not-evil Zoltan Khulle, who sends you to Sescheron to retrieve the artefact. It's Diablo 3's equivalent of D2's Horadric Cube, but they function differently. The Horadric equivalent supported dozens of recipes, while Kanai's has seven (plus a few secret ones that let you open up a portal to the treasure goblin world). A lot of the Horadric Cube's functions, like gem management, have been moved on to artisans in D3, so Kanai's box has a more focused purpose: to fill holes in your build.</p><p>For low-Torment characters the ability to upgrade rares to legendaries is useful if you're lacking, say, a decent amulet. If you have a pair of identical set items, you can reforge one to help complete the set. Like the smart loot system, and many Diablo 3 updates since launch, Kanai's Cube accounts for the cruelty of chance. If all you need is a particular set of boots to make your build unstoppable, the cube gives you a structured workaround.&nbsp;</p><p>The cube sends you all over the world. Transmutation materials are earned by completing bounties in adventure mode. A bonus chest is available in one of Diablo's five acts, but if you beat all five bounties and claim the chest, the bonus moves to a different act. This elegantly discourages players from running the same farming routes. I've returned to zones I had almost forgotten, and in addition to the new zone, it makes the game seem fresh again.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wRII1smTTpaZ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/soBsr3Hjy3TO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 4"></p><p>A few of Diablo 3's more grind-heavy activities have been reformed. Keywardens now drop completed infernal machines, which makes the quest for a Hellfire ring markedly less arduous. The rift system has been refreshed to let you run more rifts, which is great. The randomised monster hordes and zones are extremely fun to conquer, and a great way to measure your hero's killing power in certain terms. A couple of item drops encouraged me to switch to an Archon wizard build that let me smash my previous records and barge into higher difficulty levels. It's one of the reasons I haven't been able to tear myself away from the game since picking it up again last week.</p><p>The new zone is nice, too: mournful and quiet, and with a surprisingly beautiful score. The once-proud Barbarian city now plays refuge to hordes of squirming frost maggots, enormous yetis and my personal favourites: the giant rats that are full of smaller rats. Hordes of the little blighters are vomited out of warrens on the mega-rat's wobbling hunchback. They're gross, and extremely satisfying to kill.</p><p>Diablo 3 is in a really good place, and has benefited greatly from major free updates since the launch of Reaper of Souls. These releases are especially important because they show that Blizzard wants to keep the game around, even as it develops Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. In games about building characters over a long time it's vital to know that the progression curve will continue. We're all waiting for something&mdash;an expansion announcement, perhaps&mdash;to guarantee Diablo 3's longevity, but 2.3 is a good free stop-gap for the meantime.</p> Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gets a release datehttp://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date/ThePC release is due for the same day as consoles.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:41:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date/Deus Ex: Mankind DividedNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZLavpDVVRwSW.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4niMUyhKFhJS.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Deus Ex Mankind Divided release date"></p><p>Earlier today, the official Deus Ex twitter account&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/DeusEx/status/638320405867036672">tweeted</a> what I suppose you'd call a release date teaser, i.e. the above image but with the important numbers covered up by two Eyes of Providence, with the caption "Today is going to be an interesting day." An hour later they&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/DeusEx/status/638336169558810624">tweeted</a> the unobscured image with the date in that backwards format they use in the States, so I'm afraid&nbsp;"interesting" may have been pushing it.</p><p>In fact, the most interesting thing that I can see is that&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/638328562680885248">Sony</a> presumably had some kind of deal that let them reveal the release date&mdash;naturally only mentioning the PS4 version of the game&mdash;half an hour earlier than the Deus Ex account itself. But not to worry, we waited to make sure the PC version would arrive on the same day and apparently it will, on Steam, on February 23 next year.</p><p>Not sure if you'll want it yet? Check out some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/watch-25-minutes-of-deus-ex-mankind-divided-gameplay/">gameplay</a> or watch the devs have some fun with a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/deus-ex-human-revolution-devs-make-fun-of-own-game-in-lets-play-video/">Let's Play</a>.</p> Space Beast Terror Fright is Aliens meets slapstickhttp://www.pcgamer.com/space-beast-terror-fright-game/In SBTF, armored marines board ships overrun with pissed-off aliens.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/space-beast-terror-fright-game/FPSSpace Beast Terror FrightTriggernometry <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bSY8_5QVRXWC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Gkb06FkhlpmZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf10" style="background-color: initial;"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">TRIGGERNOMETRY</h5> <p> We write about FPSes each week in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/triggernometry" target="_blank">Triggernometry</a>, a mixture of tips, esports,&nbsp;and a celebration of virtual marksmanship. </p> </div><p> “There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just really hard,” Johannes Norneby tells me. He and Madeleine Bengtsson are consoling me from their home in Götenborg, Sweden. I confessed that my first experience with their game, Space Beast Terror Fright, ended in a flash, a scream, and a bloody death. It turns out that’s how it goes for everyone the first time.</p><p> In SBTF, armored marines board ships overrun with pissed-off aliens. The plan: get in, pull the data servers, set the engine to overload, and get out. The game takes inspiration from familiar aliens-vs-marines setups: Games Workshop's Space Hulk and James Cameron's Aliens. The heart of SBTF, though, is its use of campy, over-the-top humor as a balance for jumpscares and horror.</p><p> “You watch some people who are really well organized and they have a plan. They’re in the airlock and they’re all ready to go and they’re being so serious,”&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;says. “And then they open the airlock and they take two steps and everyone dies&hellip; Then they start to laugh.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KrtDlq8kQl6a.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_fT1KDuIn8c6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf7"></p><p> Marines in SBTF are clunking, armored monsters themselves. A cluttered heads-up display augments the dim interior, lit only by flashlights and emergency bulbs. The walls bristle with CRT monitors and dead switches. The first-person perspective is claustrophobic and chaotic&mdash;the marines themselves so massive they block entire hallways.</p><p> Like Aliens itself, SBTF missions are cinematic. Things start slow, with scattered groups of aliens hiding down lonely, clean hallways. More and more aliens pile in as the team pulls out the ship’s server hardware. The mission builds to a crescendo as the marines shut down the engine coolant and haul ass back to the airlock through waves of angry teeth.</p><p> Into this bleak environment, the humor leaks through in small ways. Alien and human corpses explode into showers of blood, decorating hallways with chunks and arterial spray. A good-sized battle leaves a squishy carpet of parts for the survivors to wade through.</p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FRtmmHDuSWI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Then there’s the guns’ comically bright muzzle flash. It is blinding, like firing the Death Star’s main gun inside a shoe box. I ask about the muzzle flash, which takes up so much screen space that I focus on short bursts not just for accuracy, but so I can see what’s going on.</p><p> “Well, you want the weapon to be powerful,”&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;says. The guns are definitely powerful. Along with the huge muzzle flash, these high-caliber beasts kill aliens in one or two shots. Laughing with glee is common. “You need to have a powerful weapon to combat how difficult the game is,”&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;agrees, “and then I realized that you can make the player more powerful if the game is harder, and that sort of escalated.”</p><p> Giant guns and giant marines and giant alien insectoids: it’s all a silly veneer on a game that rarely gives a moment to breathe, and that’s on purpose. “If the game was this hard and serious, people would think that it was just too hard. That’s the reaction we got from our friends in Sweden: no one would laugh at it, they just thought it was too hard.”&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;laughs. “It’s too much for Sweden. Swedish people are, like, more mellow.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F9T5GSFrQ166.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nMvg44Y-z0f4.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sbtf4"></p><p>Norneby&nbsp;has a background with the Swedish games development industry, working with studios like DICE and Ubisoft in that mellow environment&mdash;which he calls “super serious.” He wanted to be a little ridiculous, but he saw little room for whimsy. “If you think about The Division and what that’s become. If you think about DICE and Battlefield&mdash;you couldn’t put Super Mario in there, you know?”</p><p> Instead,&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;and&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;took a prototype to Steam Greenlight, and the positive response there prompted them to work on SBTF full time. “We really struck a chord internationally with this, and that was really cool and vindicating,” Johannes says. “It seems like, especially North Americans, they’re like, ‘yes, this is crazy! It ate my face in two seconds, I want to do it again!’” With no one to tell them no, they’re specializing in silly. “The things we’re doing&mdash;we’re putting our own scared faces on the marines... It’s all the stuff from a [ridiculous] standpoint that I was never able to do.”</p><p> The humor might take a bit of the sting out of losing, but eventually players will want to win. What&nbsp;Norneby&nbsp;and&nbsp;Bengtsson&nbsp;are seeing is that successful players in the community share a love of much more serious games like Arma. “To me that’s sort of illogical, but in a way, there are aspects of our game that are&mdash;it’s not that they’re realistic, but they’re systemic&hellip; Nothing is scripted, we just build a system and throw people into it and see what happens.”</p> Diablo 3's fourth season is live nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-fourth-season-is-live-now/With seasonal rewards, for those who want everything.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:18:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-fourth-season-is-live-now/Diablo 3NewsRPG <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NOnBRYzGQYCZ.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Es49ThPVDV9P.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Season 4" style="width: 571px; background-color: initial;"></p><p>Diablo 3's third season ran <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3s-third-season-starts-next-month/">earlier this year</a>, and now we're onto season four. For those who don't know what a season is, it's basically an excuse for you to start over with a new character, a "Seasonal Hero" that can only play with other Seasonal Heroes until the season is over.</p><p>These seasons feature new challenges and rewards, which in this case Blizzard <a href="https://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/19858618/season-4-now-live-8-28-2015">says</a> will include "new Legendaries, an exclusive Transmogrification set only available to those who compete in each Season, and Season-only achievements called Conquests." At the end of the season, your currency, materials, recipes, etc. will be transferred over to your non-seasonal profile.</p><p>There's also a new "Seasons Journey" interface that lets you track what's going on. Looks like this Season Journey gets you a new pet and portrait frame.</p><p>If you want to play season 4, create a new character and then make sure to check the "Seasonal Hero" box in the bottom-left corner of the character creation screen. Like this:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9JsOumPJTOyB.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5Y0rhyekpWJI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Seasonal Hero" style="width: 571px;"></p> Metal Gear Solid 5 disc seems to only contain Steam installerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-disc-seems-to-only-contain-steam-installer/That's a 28GB launch day download.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:12:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-disc-seems-to-only-contain-steam-installer/ActionMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainNews <p>If you want to play Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on PC (and why wouldn't you?), be wary that the old-school physical disc option may not be as traditional as it seems.&nbsp;As reported by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vg247.com/2015/08/31/metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-pc-disc-only-contains-steam-installer/">VG247</a>, one customer who's got hold of their disc early&nbsp;has&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/graphure/status/637981198229368836">tweeted</a> screenshots of its contents: one 8.78MB&nbsp;Steam installer and nothing else.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FveZeBfiQzmD.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HsMh_pSVwlGP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGS V Steam installer"></p><p>We don't have access to a physical copy of the game yet to verify, but if true this means that&nbsp;owners of the physical copy will have to download&nbsp;all of the game files, and&nbsp;the&nbsp;28GB system requirement suggest it will be a sizeable download. Sadly, you can't even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-will-not-have-a-preload-option/">preload</a>. I guess while you wait for the download to finish&nbsp;you could always read up on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-become-a-metal-gear-expert-before-the-phantom-pain-comes-out/">story so far</a> or prepare your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/prepare-the-perfect-ground-zeroes-save-file-for-metal-gear-solid-5/">Ground Zeroes</a> save file for transfer. Good thing it's apparently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-review-roundup-nothing-but-love/">such a good game</a>, right?</p><p>Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is out tomorrow.</p> Prison Architect final alpha, 36, out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-final-alpha-36-out-now/Final update includes random event system: fires, viruses, and more.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:57:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-final-alpha-36-out-now/NewsPrison Architect <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h-DOViwa-q4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Alpha 36 represents the end of three years of Prison Architect's alpha. As we found out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/prison-architect-escapes-early-access-in-october/">last month</a>, Prison Architect V1 will be available in October, and while the game will continue to receive updates they'll no longer be alpha updates, which means an end to these alpha update videos (with the exception of a special live V1 launch video planned for EGX in late September).</p><p>This final alpha update includes the new "random event system", which the developers describe as like the random events in SimCity but not as&nbsp;"stupid". Examples include fire. Rather than have individual&nbsp;cookers set to catch fire once per set period of time, which in a big prison would lead to almost constant fires, the random event system sits apart from the rest of the simulation and just decides every now and then to create a fire, for example in a kitchen or power station.</p><p>As with gangs, which were introduced in another recent update, the random event system is optional. It's designed to make things more challenging, and so is set up to only induce events when you're doing relatively&nbsp;well. Players will need to keep possible events in mind and do things like install sprinklers, keep their power stations running relatively low, etc.</p><p>Check out the 35-minute update video if you want to find out more about the kind&nbsp;of random events you can expect, like the viruses that make people look like zombies.</p> Win access to the Company of Heroes 2: British Forces trialhttp://www.pcgamer.com/win-access-to-the-company-of-heroes-2-british-forces-trial/We have 5000 codes to give away.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:55:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/win-access-to-the-company-of-heroes-2-british-forces-trial/Company of Heroes 2giveawayStrategy <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0zItaGTKRc2S.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/az76JJGtBZwC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Company of Heroes 2 2"></p><p> The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.companyofheroes.com/age-gate">British Forces</a> are set to storm Company of Heroes 2 on September 3. How would you like to fight for Her Majesty's gov't sooner? A limited free trial runs from 6pm BST / 10am PDT today through to Wednesday 2, and we have 5,000 Steam keys to give away that will let you in.</p><p> To enter, simply click through to the giveaway page, pop in your email address and the key will appear. First come, first served.</p><h4><a href="https://woobox.com/e4852w">Enter the giveaway here</a></h4><p> The British Forces adds the British army to Company of Heroes 2 for use in multiplayer and skirmish modes. The pack also adds eight new maps and three commanders that unlock the Brits' most powerful abilities, like the one that lets you drop gliders full of commandos on enemy units. Find out more in our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/commandos-tanks-and-top-swearing-in-coh2-the-british-forces/">British Forces&nbsp;hands-on</a> from last week. The expansion has excellent swearing.</p><p> The British Forces&nbsp;goes live on Thursday and costs £9.99 / $12.99.</p> Witcher 3 expansion is coming soon, and so is 'good news' about Gwenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/witcher-3-expansion-is-coming-soon-and-so-is-good-news-about-gwent/Standalone version of the card game isn't in active development, though.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:06:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/witcher-3-expansion-is-coming-soon-and-so-is-good-news-about-gwent/NewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jjbiSdYCQAmG.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KLLecCoJtDtW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"></p><p>I really miss&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/">The Witcher 3</a>. It's one of those rare games that I kinda want to live inside. I don't&nbsp;really mind that rabid wolves and drowners roam around every corner. It's kinda like that here&nbsp;in Sydney, too. So it comes as welcome news that CD Projekt RED is drawing close to completing the long-awaited Heart of Stone expansion, which is due in October. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/08/30/the-witcher-3s-first-expansion-heart-of-stone-almost-ready-good-news-coming-for-gwent-lovers/">DualShockers</a>, the studio's&nbsp;Travis Currit says "it's almost ready".</p><p>That little tidbit was captured at PAX, which is happening in Seattle right now. During another panel, senior writer&nbsp;Jakub Szamalek mentioned that there is "some good news for Gwent players coming up". That presumably doesn't include a much-asked-for standalone edition of the game, as when asked about that Szamalek said he'd talk to his colleagues about it. No, this "good news" about Gwent must mean something else.&nbsp;</p><p>Whatever the case, the recently released NG+ DLC is definitely not the last word on Geralt, especially since CD Projekt intends to support the game well into 2016, after which they'll hopefully broach the topic of Cyberpunk 2077.</p><p>Cheers,&nbsp;<a href="http://au.ign.com/articles/2015/08/31/pax-2015-cd-projekt-red-teases-witcher-3-gwent-news">IGN</a>.</p> Checking out Logitech's new Artemis Spectrum headsets at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/checking-out-logitechs-new-artemis-spectrum-headsets-at-pax/We stopped by the Logitech booth at PAX Prime 2015to get a rundown on its new headsets.Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:45:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/checking-out-logitechs-new-artemis-spectrum-headsets-at-pax/HardwareLogitechPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pH9jK9NmSFE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Logitech has two new headsets on show at PAX Prime,&nbsp;the wired&nbsp;Artemis Spectrum G633 and the wireless G933, both of which&nbsp;feature its new 'Pro-G' audio drivers, which the company&nbsp;claims offer "audiophile-like performance." In the video above, I talk with Doug Sharp, Logitech's&nbsp;global product marketing manager of gaming audio (whew),&nbsp;about that claim and the&nbsp;headsets' other&nbsp;features, which Wes also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/logitech-launches-g633-and-g933-artemis-spectrum-71-headsets/">wrote about in detail&nbsp;a few days ago</a>.</p><p> Only a small number&nbsp;of the new sets are on sale&nbsp;at PAX, but they'll releasing wide soon.&nbsp;The wired G633 launches in mid-to-late&nbsp;September for $150, and the wireless G933 is out in October for $200.</p><p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8SKdPeprQ4ma.bmp" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NI_TCI-z-e9Z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The side panels can be removed&mdash;one side stores the dongle, and the other houses the rechargeable battery." class=""><figcaption>The side panels can be removed&mdash;one side stores the dongle, and the other houses the rechargeable battery.</figcaption></figure></p> Battlefield 4 Night Operations DLC is rolling out this weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-night-operations-dlc-is-rolling-out-this-week/New night time version of Zavod to roll out September 1.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 23:59:46 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-night-operations-dlc-is-rolling-out-this-week/Battlefield 4FPSNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zqCXQG71S6Wk.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ox3hhNHJ4ukm.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Battlefield 4 Night Operations"></p><p>It's a huge week for new releases, but if you're still sinking hours into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4/">Battlefield 4</a> then you'll be pleased to hear that the free Night Operations DLC will start rolling out on September 1. That's Tuesday. The Night Operations pack brings a new version of the Zavod map designed to compliment "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battlefield-4-gets-sneakier-with-night-operations-dlc/">stealthy and tactical gameplay</a>".</p><p>The Summer Patch is also rolling out September 1. For more on the changes that will bring, check out the video below. Then at the bottom there's a cinematic trailer for the Night Operations DLC, if things like that take your fancy.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yzZTW2e8FfM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VERIy7MzHdg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Left 4 Dead meets Warhammer: new footage of Vermintidehttp://www.pcgamer.com/left-4-dead-meets-warhammer-interview-with-vermintide-creators-fatshark/Evan talks with Liam O'Neill about Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide at PAX Prime 2015.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:45:11 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/left-4-dead-meets-warhammer-interview-with-vermintide-creators-fatshark/ActionPAX Prime 2015Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xkG3Z7lnoQc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> One of the gems at PAX this year is&nbsp;Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, Fatshark's melee fantasy take on Left 4 Dead's co-op survival.&nbsp;&nbsp;Above, we&nbsp;talk with line producer Liam O'Neill about melee maneuvering, loot, and the Warhammer universe. Within the interview is video we shot of us playing the game here at PAX, which included a look at some levels of Vermintide that were only shown to PC Gamer.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Obsidian on what’s next for Pillars of Eternity: 'We own something now'http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-on-whats-next-for-pillars-of-eternity-we-own-something-now/Obsidian held a PAXpanel to discuss some of the problems they faced and lessons they learned.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:36:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/obsidian-on-whats-next-for-pillars-of-eternity-we-own-something-now/NewsPAX Prime 2015Pillars of EternityPillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1RPG <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZR9cGMn6RPaG.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3d-1BkRN5vEE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pillars White March"></p><p> Pillars of Eternity certainly evokes feelings of a simpler time in gaming, but the process of developing Obsidian's first crowdfunded game was anything but simple. At PAX Prime this weekend in Seattle, several of the lead developers of Pillars of Eternity held a panel to discuss some of the problems they faced and lessons they learned, along with a hearty dose of funny stories. But the underlying current throughout the panel was that, despite modelling itself after role-playing games from a much older era, Pillars of Eternity presented a surprising amount of unique challenges that the independent studio had to conquer.</p><p> "I don't think it was worthwhile developing for Linux," Brandon Adler, lead producer said in response to questions the team had gathered from Twitter before the show. "They are a very, very small portion of our active user base&mdash;I think around one and a half percent of our users were Linux."</p><p> One of the initial promises the team had made during their Kickstarter campaign was to bring Pillars of Eternity to both Mac and Linux platforms, but, looking back, Adler felt like the challenges involved were simply not worth the return that the studio received.</p><blockquote> "Prior to doing Pillars, every time we worked on a game it was always something that belonged to someone else." </blockquote><p> "It wasn't a huge drain on us," he added, "but there were a lot of problems." "Getting it up and running on Linux wasn't that bad," Adam Brennecke, the lead programmer for Pillars of Eternity added. "There's a lot of other logistical problems."</p><p> Brennecke went through a surprisingly long list of issues that, even for a veteran studio like Obsidian, proved to make Linux a less and less desirable platform to create games for. Outside of actually learning to develop for Mac and Linux, something that Obsidian had to learn as they went along, there were much more daunting challenges, with fixing bugs being one of the most arduous. Even though Pillars of Eternity was developed using the Unity engine, which can build games on multiple platforms, the process involved just didn't seem worth it in hindsight.</p><p> "Overall, if we had to do that one again, we would think a little bit harder about it," Adler joked.</p><p> But even outside of the stresses of developing for operating systems as native to PCs as Linux, the team faced some interesting challenges in bringing their vision for a golden age role-playing game to life.</p><p> One of the more painful challenges involved the work that went into building the beautifully detailed world of Pillars of Eternity. Brennecke said that each of the hundred or more backgrounds in Pillars of Eternity were rendered using Maya, a 3D modelling program.</p><p> "It's not unlike a CG movie where you press render and you have to wait several hours before you get the finished product," Brennecke explained. "But when we were in pre-production, a lot of our areas took about 40 hours to render one scene."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/385l_MnUQg6F.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4F0J45CFlfJ7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part One"></p><p> Brennecke went on to say that, when dealing with the hundreds of areas they had in the game, the time required to render each one became exorbitantly time consuming, especially when each scene could need to be rendered several times before finally reaching a finished state.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> Backgrounds used to take 40 hours to render one scene! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PillarsofEternity?src=hash">#PillarsofEternity</a> </p><p> &mdash; Obsidian (@Obsidian) <a href="https://twitter.com/Obsidian/status/637750106607910913">August 29, 2015</a> </p></blockquote><p> But while designing Pillars of Eternity was no easy feat, it was evident that the team is extremely hungry to jump back into process. Last Tuesday, the first part of the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-i-review/">White March</a> expansion was released, and Obsidian is already working away on part two. Though they didn't have much new information to share, they did show off some very rough concept art detailing a new area they were working on.</p><p> Eventually, as they set their sights further into the future, the obvious question of a sequel was brought up. "We're very interested in a sequel," Brennecke said. "We own something now and that is huge for us. For an indie developer, to have your own thing&mdash;it's fantastic. We can make a sequel and we don't even have to go to a publisher; we hold all the cards now."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Want to see what the logo could have looked like for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PillarsofEternity?src=hash">#PillarsofEternity</a>? <a href="http://t.co/OIRkBMcPLp">pic.twitter.com/OIRkBMcPLp</a></p><p>&mdash; Obsidian (@Obsidian) <a href="https://twitter.com/Obsidian/status/637748104398147584">August 29, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> As the panel wound to a close, Sawyer had some thoughts that made it evident that, for Obsidian, Pillars of Eternity was more than just a crowdfunding success story but a realization that the studio was no longer chained to the whims of the licensed properties that they traditionally developed for.</p><p> "I think it's changed people's ideas inside the studio about what types of games we can make," Sawyer said. "Prior to doing Pillars [of Eternity], every time we worked on a game it was always something that belonged to someone else because publishers do not want you to retain the rights to those things, so it's also changed our internal thought processes about the sorts of games that we can work on."</p><p> <em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Sublevel Zero is a roguelike that scratches the same itch as Descenthttp://www.pcgamer.com/sublevel-zero-is-a-roguelike-the-scratches-the-same-itch-as-descent/Are you ready for first-personpermadeath with complete freedom of movement?Sun, 30 Aug 2015 18:27:54 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/sublevel-zero-is-a-roguelike-the-scratches-the-same-itch-as-descent/indie gamesPAX Prime 2015Sublevel Zero <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jz2TO72yQxag.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k0FBLvq8mIlu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>Roguelikes are a well-established part of the PC gaming landscape, with procedural gameplay, permadeath, and an eye-watering level of difficulty all key elements of the genre’s DNA. But what happens when you take those ideas and implement them in a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_freedom">six degree of freedom</a> (or ‘6DoF’) shooter?</p><p>Answer: You get Sublevel Zero, which I had a chance to check out at PAX. I also talked with Luke Thompson, co-founder and lead programmer at Sigtrap, about how procedural gameplay will keep bringing players coming back, and the challenges of implementing procedural design in a 6DoF game. </p><p>For those who never had a chance to play Descent&mdash;the forefather of 6DoF&mdash;this style of game may not be instantly familiar. In Sublevel Zero you pilot a ship from a first-person perspective, exploring an intricate, almost-claustrophobic complex, finding keys and battling enemies in search of a reactor to destroy at the level’s end. But this is no trad ship sim&mdash;you can move up, down, left, right and backwards just as easily as you can thrust forwards. Think of it like controlling a helicopter with benefits. </p><p>“There’s a few key difficulties for procedural generation in this kind of game,” Thompson explained after my first playthrough. “It’s tricky when you take something from two dimensions to three, and when I say three dimensions I don’t just mean like a first person-shooter. I mean something where the Z-axis is exactly as important as the X and Y-axis.”</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AVYGRu-9RA68.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1rrGwAfJFHPW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>“One of the things we do as levels go on, and you’re further into the campaign, is the up-and-down gameplay increases. The map will tend to be flatter earlier on, to give you more of a chance to get used to the controls, then get more complex as your understanding increases. Over time you really do develop a spatial awareness.”</p><p>Which is something I can attest to even after playing and dying a handful of times. The controls&mdash;which enabled me to twitchily move around any direction, while still maintaining the sense of weight and momentum you’d expect from piloting a large vessel&mdash;came easily by the time I was on my second playthrough. More importantly, my awareness of where I was in relation to everything around me had also drastically improved.</p><p>Thompson explained how the procedural systems generate levels: “We’ve got this concept of the critical path [that] goes from the beginning of the level to its end, and there’s always going to be side paths built around [this main path]. On the critical path enemy difficulty increases linearly, but outside it the system will generate enemies that are more difficult, to guard more powerful unlockable weapons and crafting items than those you’ll find on the main path.”</p><p>I wasn’t exactly sure when I was on the critical path versus when I’d strayed off the beaten track, but I did find a variety of different weapons and items for crafting, from missiles large and small, to machine guns, and various laser rifles, each with their own ammunition and associated tactics. Though I wasn’t able to craft a weapon from the items I had found during the demo, you’ll need to find weapon components, with different stats, and spend a found resource called nanites to combine them. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KSNCjFvLQymx.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/XflmVsnE44NF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sublevel Zero"></p><p>My expanding arsenal helped when I started running out of ammo for my initial guns, and was forced to switch up loadouts on the fly. Thompson said that they wanted to implement ammunition scarcity, both to ensure players kept trying new weapons, as well as to make sure the tension was ratcheted up. </p><p>It works. By the end of my demo I was frantically dodging and weaving through the gunfire and charging melee attacks from the various enemy types, forcing myself to quickly change weapons and strategies as my health and ammo counters rapidly approached zero. Health powerups did exist, but they were sparse.</p><p>There will be dozens of guns available in Sublevel Zero, all of which will be available to find and craft, through subsequent playthroughs, once they’re initially unlocked. The real trick in a roguelike, according to Thompson, is making sure that these unlockable weapons aren’t just more powerful than those you start with, but rather come with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Since every death starts the player back at the beginning, Thompson believes that the knowledge of having unlocked these special weapons, and the desire to try out the new approaches they enable, will keep players returning.</p><p>Sublevel Zero is currently slated for an October release, and feels like it’ll finally scratch that Descent itch many of us have suffered with for decades now. The demo was certainly a challenge, and I never managed to find the reactor I was looking for, but I can’t wait to dive back in and try again.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_KXERLxXQzOl.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/giQGn-uwm1Ht.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Unnamed4"></p> How Cities: Skylines is using the mod scene to inspire updateshttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-using-the-mod-scene-to-inspire-future-updates/We talk to Cities lead designerKaroliina Korppoo about the After Dark expansion and modding.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 18:26:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-using-the-mod-scene-to-inspire-future-updates/Cities: SkylinesPAX Prime 2015sim <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wPWmcunu8cU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Cities: Skyline's first expansion,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-getting-nocturnal-after-dark-expansion/">After Dark</a>, is out next month on September 24. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">PAX Prime</a> this weekend, we had a chance to talk to Cities' lead designer, Karoliina Korppoo, about the expansion and how&nbsp;the flourishing modding scene provides ideas for official content. Check it out above.</p> Six teens in the UK arrested in relation to Lizard Squad attackshttp://www.pcgamer.com/six-teens-in-the-uk-arrested-in-relation-to-lizard-squad-attacks/The six allegedly used the 'Lizard Stresser' tool to launch attacks against Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:10:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/six-teens-in-the-uk-arrested-in-relation-to-lizard-squad-attacks/John Smedleylizard squadNews <p>Police in the UK have arrested six teenagers for allegedly employing the 'Lizard Stresser' against at least three major corporate websites. As the name implies, the service, which uses a network of infected computers to launch DDoS attacks, was created by the notorious collective that calls itself the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lizard-squad/">Lizard Squad</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-28/teenagers-who-attacked-amazon-sony-websites-arrested-in-u-k-">Bloomberg</a> reports that the six, all males aged 15 to 18, were not actually members of Lizard Squad, but allegedly made use of the service to cause grief. The UK's National Crime Agency did not say which companies were targeted by the attacks, which occurred between August 24 and 27, nor how successful they were, but according to Bloomberg an online database indicates that the lads directed their efforts toward Amazon, Sony, and Microsoft.</p><p>“By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like Lizard Stresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services," Tony Adams, head of investigations at the NCA’s cybercrime unit, told the publication.</p><p>Lizard Squad came to prominence last year following a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/battle-net-stabilizes-after-ddos-attack-but-lizard-squad-hackers-remain-active/">series of attacks</a> against sites and services including League of Legends, Battle.net, and Sony Online Entertainment. One of its members, 17-year-old Julius Kivimaki, was arrested last&nbsp;for his role in similar attacks, and is accused of using a bomb threat to divert a plane carrying John Smedley, then CEO of Sony Online Entertainment. Smedley's less-than-happy reaction to news that Kivimaki would not face jail time for his crimes sparked a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/daybreak-game-company-suffers-ddos-attack-lizard-squad-claims-credit/">new round of DDoS attacks</a> targeting SOE's successor company, Daybreak Game Company.</p> Peril, dice, and cannibalism in Tharsis, a game about our first mission to Marshttp://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/The fate of the first manned mission to Mars was sealed with a six-sided die.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:04:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/peril-dice-and-cannibalism-in-tharsis-a-game-about-our-first-mission-to-mars/PAX Prime 2015RoguelikeStrategyTharsisVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C0U8zBWU4bw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> The fate of the first manned&nbsp;mission to Mars was sealed with a six-sided die.&nbsp;<a href="http://totallychoice.com/presskits/tharsis">Tharsis</a> is one of the most interesting games at PAX, an intersection of boardgames, FTL-style presentation,&nbsp;a mostly-realistic representation of space travel, and roguelike-like permadeath. And cannibalism, or at least the possibility of it.</p><p>Responsible for a small crew, you have to direct astronauts to complete repairs and tasks&nbsp;across different modules of the spacecraft&nbsp;(each of which provide different bonuses), all while keeping them alive, fed, and sane. Tharsis plays out like a digital board game, with dice spent each round to fix stuff on the ship or complete research, and how you manage the risk of spending those dice (or&nbsp;re-rolling them to get a better result) determines&nbsp;the fate of your tiny astronauts, and which of Tharsis' different endings you'll arrive at.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> King's Quest Chapter 2 teaser and details revealed at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-chapter-2-teaser-and-details-revealed-at-pax/It's called Rubble Without a Cause, and features a golden Graham.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-chapter-2-teaser-and-details-revealed-at-pax/AdventureKing's QuestKing's Quest: A Knight to RememberNewsPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cYzLdN4sT4CN.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HRwuCeV9Aljl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="King's Quest"></p><p>Mirror mirror on the wall, do you have any details for King's Quest's second chapter at all? Yes, yes it does, as they've just been revealed at PAX Prime by developer The Odd Gentlemen. In Chapter 2, AKA *groan*&nbsp;'Rubble Without a Cause', a newly crowned King Graham will need to deal with some pesky goblins, who have only gone and kidnapped everyone in Daventry.</p><p>While the first chapter was inspired by King's Quest 1 and 2, this next part will&nbsp;take more cues from KQ3, The Odd Gentlemen stated during their PAX Panel.&nbsp;"Those games were always changing and evolving,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.polygon.com/2015/8/28/9223837/kings-quest-episode-two-will-be-rubble-without-a-cause" target="_blank">Polygon</a> quotes. "We want to play with that."</p><p>Here's an incredibly short teaser trailer that features some goblins scampering after Graham against a black background. There, now you don't need to watch it.</p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TtoJchJSJSc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Rubble Without a Cause will be out before the end of the year. Richard Cobbett&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/kings-quest-a-knight-to-remember-review/" target="_blank">reckoned</a> the first part was&nbsp;"a&nbsp;comfortable adventure on a noble path, but wearing spurs of a squire instead of the crown of a king".</p> What if Minecraft was more like EVE Online?http://www.pcgamer.com/what-if-minecraft-was-more-like-eve-online/Eco is a sandbox survival game where players' actions damage a shared ecosystem.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:23:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/what-if-minecraft-was-more-like-eve-online/EcoPAX Prime 2015Survival <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSKrMk5HF0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/eco-is-an-open-world-survival-game-that-will-let-you-destroy-the-planet/">Eco</a> is a sandbox survival game where players' actions damage a shared ecosystem. Mining, hunting, and lumberjacking all impact species of plants and animals on the world, life that doesn't infinitely replenish.&nbsp;It's&nbsp;Minecraft with a conscience, but it also has the potential to be a fascinating social game with the capacity for political machinations and the sort of social engineering we usually associate with EVE Online, as Strange Loop Games'&nbsp;John Krajewski told me during PAX. There are and will continue to be&nbsp;a ton of Minecraft-alikes out there, but Eco stands out both as a thought-provoking social exercise and as a game that will probably&nbsp;produce interesting stories of cooperation or conflict that we'll be hearing about for the next several years.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Mighty No. 9 demo releasing for backers this Septemberhttp://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-demo-releasing-for-backers-this-september/After the game was delayed until next year.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-demo-releasing-for-backers-this-september/Mighty No. 9NewsPAX Prime 2015Platformer <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pfojvkyNRrOS.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/we-oab0DlQF7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mighty No. 9"></p><p>Do you like mega, mighty, or otherwise upstanding gentlemen? Then you'll love, maybe, Mighty No. 9, providing you also like platformers and that game Keiji Inafune is always making. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightyno9/mighty-no-9" target="_blank">Kickstarted</a> game&nbsp;was recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/mighty-no-9-is-officially-delayed/" target="_blank">delayed&nbsp;until next year</a>, but if you're jonesing for some robo-based sidescrolling you'll be pleased to hear that a multi-stage&nbsp;demo is on the way to PC&nbsp;next month. It's unfortunately&nbsp;only releasing for people who backed the game on Kickstarter, but you can always check out the resultant streams and videos for a sneak peek at the upcoming game.</p><p>Creator Keiji Inafune announced the news at PAX Prime, while also&nbsp;revealing that backers will receive a Steam code for the formerly 3DS-exclusive platformer&nbsp;<a href="http://mightygunvolt.com/en/" target="_blank">Mighty Gunvolt</a> next week. That game's spin-off, Azure Striker Gunvolt, has just been released on Steam, and comes with a free copy of Mighty Gunvolt anyway.</p> Mod creates a spreading monster infection in The Witcher 3http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-creates-a-spreading-monster-infection-in-the-witcher-3/Vitamin C won't ward this off.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 09:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-creates-a-spreading-monster-infection-in-the-witcher-3/Mod of the WeekModsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K2M-n1rnQCuQ.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vtIwmPgLPEFK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I worry about the people living in the world of The Witcher 3. They're basically surrounded by horrible monsters at all times, building their towns next to lakes filled with Drowners and watching the skies for griffins and wyverns they have no hope of killing. And, things are about to get much, much worse.</p><p>When activated,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/420/?">the Infection Mode mod</a> summons a disgusting Devourer&nbsp;a few feet away from Geralt. For ten seconds it will stand there, being gross and sounding disgusting and, I must point out, not even wearing pants. Come on, monsters, get your act together.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nqR4-YOMQ4WP.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wKPizplb3OEx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>After ten seconds, it will attack Geralt. Or, if you're the type of Witcher who spawns the monster&nbsp;next to a guard and then runs away, it&nbsp;will attack the guard. I have to assume guards are used to being attacked by all sorts of monsters, but Infection Mode is a little different. The moment the creature&nbsp;lands an attack on the guard, the guard turns into a monster&nbsp;himself. So, now there's two of them, both looking for a fresh victim.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eII3lKANQ3i5.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6h7Y3h4E0u2S.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I happened to be outside the town of Blandare, and with both of those monsters looking to carve off a piece of Geralt, I decided it was a great time to sprint into town and run a few errands. The monsters followed. People began screaming. Some tried to fight, others began to flee, many just shrieked and cowered. There really wasn't much of a difference, because everyone who was touched became a monster and touched someone else.</p><p>Within a minute or two most of the town had been infected. It appears the game will spawn more and more guards to replace those that have fallen, or maybe they just run in from other locations, but there always seemed to be a new pack of soldiers trying to fight off the infection, only to become stricken themselves.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DY5hAgjTTx-q.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UDBdntJ4jb8p.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>I hate to say it, but even the children of Blandare became infected, turning into horribly adorable tiny monster kids. One scaly&nbsp;little boy&nbsp;turned, ran down the road past me and some cowering farmers to attack a group of soldiers. It infected one, which infected another, and soon everyone had come down with a nasty&nbsp;case of the monsters.</p><p>I eventually ran away, and fast-traveled to a different part of the world, then came back to see how everyone in Blandare was dealing with the problem. I would have to say... not well.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/k2Y6F44OS0iY.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RRRs6OCGA9iZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p><p>Needless to say, as well as not being great for the health of the NPCs, having roughly one million creepy naked&nbsp;monsters on your screen may result in some adverse effects. Twice, when the population of Blandare rose to roughly a hundred monsters, the game crashed. And, quite frankly, I was relieved it did, because gross!</p><p>I also don't know what this will do to your&nbsp;game if you save it in this condition, what with everyone in town becoming monsters&nbsp;and presumably unable to give quests or buy your pocketfuls of collected detritus, so I'd have to advise against&nbsp;saving your game while using this mod, or at least create a new save file for it.</p><p>To run the mod you'll need to have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/143/?">the updated debug console mod</a> installed. I'm also pleased to see the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/modmanager/?">Nexus Mod Manager</a> now supports The Witcher 3 mods made using the toolkit, which makes installing mods much, much&nbsp;easier. You can find&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/420/?">Infection Mode</a> mod here.&nbsp;</p><p>Just be careful. It didn't end well for any of us. Not the townspeople, not&nbsp;Roach, not all those cows in the field, and not Geralt.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KCHNUCXRSrmn.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nYBf1lPO5WdB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Witchmod"></p> Homefront: The Revolution interview - new publishers and guerrilla warfarehttp://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution-interview-new-publishers-and-guerrilla-warfare/A chat with Homefront's C.J. Kershner about Homefront's guerrilla warfare.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 02:17:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution-interview-new-publishers-and-guerrilla-warfare/FPSHomefront: The RevolutionPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oqFgl6GTTEo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/homefront-the-revolution/" target="_blank">Homefront: The Revolution</a> might be fun, but I had trouble making that call during&nbsp;my 15 minute demo. I enjoyed driving a motorbike up ramps and over fences, but I didn't have much time to familiarize myself with its crafting and gadgets, and the demo at PAX was set up with an Xbox One controller,&nbsp;which I'm not used to with shooters. So, I couldn't&nbsp;aim for crap, and one time I drove a remote controlled car bomb&nbsp;into a patrol and accidentally&nbsp;backed out of its controls&nbsp;instead of detonating it. So I just drove an RC car up to a bunch of armed soldiers and then looked up and shrugged, essentially.&nbsp;I died running away.</p><p> There's meant to be&nbsp;a focus on improvisational play in Homefront, where American resistance soldiers scramble through an open-world Philadelphia having skirmishes with&nbsp;the occupying Korean soldiers. For me, though, 'improvisation' meant&nbsp;running away while&nbsp;jamming healing serum into my wrist. I didn't cleverly modify my guns or disrupt patrols with explosives. I ran away from flying robots, feeling a bit confused as to&nbsp;why I'd <em>want</em> to be a rebel in futuristic&nbsp;occupied America. It was all pretty gloomy.</p><p> But I can't judge it&nbsp;well now, as&nbsp;games like&nbsp;Homefront are hard to demo quickly. I needed to be introduced to its environment and tools a little more gently if I was going to use them creatively and constructively.&nbsp;So, my lacking abilities in mind, I had a chat with senior narrative designer&nbsp;C.J. Kershner (which you can watch above) about the intentions behind Homefront. We also&nbsp;talk about the game's ride through multiple publishers, which has taken it from THQ to Deep Silver.</p><p>Homefront: The Revolution releases spring 2016, with a multiplayer beta coming this winter.</p> How ARK addressed survival games' kill-on-sight problemhttp://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-video-game/Wespeak with Studio Wildcardabout the ARK team's attitude about kill-on-sight.Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:27:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-video-game/Ark: Survival EvolvedPAX Prime 2015SurvivalVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wbQ-PecdSYA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-diary-how-not-to-train-your-dinosaur/">ARK</a> is one of a handful&nbsp;of survival games to rise above the fray of competition on Steam, partly thanks to its novel mixture of prehistoric wildlife&nbsp;and modern weapons. ARK isn't exempt&nbsp;to the issue many players experience in sandbox survival games, however:&nbsp;the perpetuation of an in-game culture that encourages many&nbsp;players, even peaceful ones, to fight whenever they encounter someone else.&nbsp;During our time at PAX this week I found a moment to speak with Jesse Rapczak, co-founder at Studio Wildcard, about the ARK team's attitude about kill-on-sight.</p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em style="background-color: initial;">.</em></p> Dragon Age: Inquisition "Trespasser" DLC is officialhttp://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-revealed-by-leaked-trailer/BioWare said Trespasser "marks the end of our time with the Inquisition."Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:57:25 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-revealed-by-leaked-trailer/BiowareDragon Age: InquisitionNewsRPG <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUQKGFMfXx0?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Based on what appears to be an accidental push of the button by EA Spain, a big new <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dragon-age-inquisition-2/">Dragon Age: Inquisition</a> DLC entitled Trespasser will soon be released. The video, spotted by <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-08-29-dragon-age-inquisition-trespasser-dlc-looks-like-the-expansion-fans-have-been-waiting-for">Eurogamer</a>, was quickly pulled, but has reappeared elsewhere on YouTube.</p><p> Trespasser is set two years after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and looks set to carry the main story to a big finish, quite possibly the "last adventure" mentioned in a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/final-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-details-maybe-revealed-by-leaked-survey/">BioWare survey</a> that leaked in June. "Having saved the world of Thedas by closing the Breach, your next mission will determine the future of the Inquisition," it said. "Your mark suddenly glows, erupting with magic connected to the Fade. Assassins attack in shadow. An invasion of enemies begins. Win a race against time to face a great evil before it is too late. In this story-based expansion, playable after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition, you will embark on a last adventure with your team to confront the one who started it all."</p><p> That doesn't sound too far off of what's in the trailer, does it? EA hasn't confirmed that the trailer is legit but assuming it is, we'll no doubt get official word on it soon: The video dates Trespasser for September 8, which is just a couple weeks away. We'll keep you posted.</p><p> <strong>Update:</strong> BioWare has confirmed that Trespasser is indeed the next DLC release for Dragon Age: Inquisition, and also the last. As the trailer indicates, it's set two years after the events of the main game, and tells an entirely new story that "explores what it's like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving."&nbsp;</p><p> "It's a chance to meet and talk with old friends, to uncover a new threat, and ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build," BioWare's Mike Laidlaw wrote on the <a href="http://www.dragonage.com/en_US/news/new-dragon-age-inquisition-dlc-and-more-coming-soon">Dragon Age website</a>. "It might just contain hints about the future of Thedas, too."&nbsp;</p><p>BioWare didn't confirm the September 8 release date, but did say that it's announcing Trespasser a bit earlier in the process than it did with previous DLCs because it requires a character who has completed the main campaign. And, since it's now official, I've replaced the leaked trailer we originally posted with the official one (which is the same, minus the Spanish subtitles) above.</p> VA-11 HALL-A is all about the booze you choosehttp://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-is-all-about-the-booze-you-choose/VA-11 HALL-A is a "cyberpunk bartender action" game set in a dystopian future that desperately needs a drink.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:22:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-is-all-about-the-booze-you-choose/AdventurePAX Prime 2015VA-11 HALL-A <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rVkWudG18gA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/va-11-hall-a-2/">VA-11 HALL-A</a> describes itself as a 'cyberpunk action bartending' game, and while I'm not sure about the 'action' part, it's definitely a cyberpunk bartending game. Customers come by, tell you what's on their minds, and order drinks which you must mix. You can mix the drink you want or mix something else, and that acts, in a sense, as your dialog option. The conversation will go different ways depending on what you serve, and hopefully you'll also make enough money for rent each month.</p><p> I had a chat with&nbsp;Michael Kelly, who's composing the music, about how quality bartending can move along the story.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Star Citizen's social module is now livehttp://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizens-social-module-is-now-live/Let's get social!Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:03:41 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizens-social-module-is-now-live/Cloud Imperium GamesNewssimStar Citizen <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/137655209" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"> </iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen/">Star Citizen's</a> "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen-social-module-features-ships-shops-and-a-pub/">social module</a>," a hub in which players can hang out and interact during between-mission downtimes, is now live. Cloud Imperium Games said in an <a href="https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14927-Welcome-To-ArcCorp-Star-Citizen-12-Released">update</a> posted today that the release of the module "represents our first step into Star Citizen's persistent universe," and that players will soon begin to see the game's "formerly disparate modules" start to come together.</p><p> Tony Zurovec, Star Citizen's persistent universe director, said the social module will serve three primary purposes. It will further open the game to the community and give players a greater sense of what its cities will look like; it provide a test bed for future technologies; and it will "serve as the basic foundation upon which new pieces of the Persistent Universe will be periodically unveiled."</p><p> All of this is intended to accommodate a more frequent release schedule, which Zurovec said is meant to "routinely put new functionality into your hands to enjoy." That sounds good, but the downside is that some of those updates will prioritize testing and feedback over improving the core gameplay experience.</p><p> "For example, when the AI finally makes an appearance you’ll see a fair sampling of character behaviors, but the focus will be upon stress testing the underlying Subsumption, animation, and networking systems, and less about trying to give a particularly accurate sense of what a final city will truly feel like," Zurovec wrote. "In essence, then, you will often see some basic functionality appear before we really attempt to go 'wide' with the implementation. The appearance of new features will be fairly abrupt, but the full exploitation of those systems will arrive more gradually."</p><p> The next major update will be Persistence, "an absolutely crucial part of the underlying massively multiplayer technology," followed by Shopping, and then Subsumption, which Zuroved said will hopefully include the release of a brand new environment called Nyx. "More details will be provided on these updates as they get closer, but that’s the basic roadmap for the near future," he wrote. "In between the major releases it’s quite possible that you’ll see smaller revisions since delivering content becomes far easier as more and more of the underlying foundation comes online."</p> Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns release date announcedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns-release-date-announced/The major Guild Wars 2 expansion is coming in October.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:54:27 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns-release-date-announced/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2MMONewsPAX Prime 2015Video <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5XDX4w2E_TA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> ArenaNet has announced that the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2/">Guild Wars 2</a> expansion Heart of Thorns will be out on October 23. The expansion will be released as a "buy-to-play experience," with no further subscription fees once purchased&mdash;because, in case you missed it, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/">Guild Wars 2 is now free</a>.</p><p> "We're making the base game free because we're confident that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2 will consider buying Heart of Thorns, continuing their experience into the expansion and beyond with Living World and our newly announced raids," ArenaNet President Mike O'Brien said in a statement. Raids won't be live when Heart of Thorns launches, but will be rolled out shortly thereafter.</p><p>We spoke with Guild Wars 2 Game Director Colin Johanson about raids and how ArenaNet plans to adopt them to suit the game's competitive PvP model. "I think we actually have a really great advantage here in that I think the combat system is one of the most unique parts of Guild Wars 2," he told us. "Our raids take all the things that our combat system offers, brings them all together, and asks you to use all of those abilities together to defeat everything." Read the full interview <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/">right here</a>.</p> YIIK claims to have "one of the most unique endings" everhttp://www.pcgamer.com/yiik-is-a-surreal-rpg-with-one-of-the-most-unique-endings-youll-ever-see/We investigate a mystery-ladenRPG for the modern world.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:46:51 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/yiik-is-a-surreal-rpg-with-one-of-the-most-unique-endings-youll-ever-see/PAX Prime 2015YIIK: A Postmodern RPG <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/21igfFaTLmU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://yiikrpg.com/" target="_blank">YIIK</a> (which is pronounced 'Y2K' and not 'Yiik' like I've been saying all week) is a surreal JRPG-style game that takes place in the late 90s. Its setting is immediately appealing to me: somewhere modern, mundane, and familiar, made magical with JRPG battles and puzzles.&nbsp;Whereas browsing forums in 1999 only lead me to browse more forums, YIIK's mystery&mdash;which I realized after the interview is clearly inspired by the&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elisa_Lam" target="_blank">death of&nbsp;Elisa Lam</a>&mdash;seems to take its protagonist to much&nbsp;weirder places.</p><p> Above,&nbsp;I caught up with Andrew Allanson,&nbsp;one of YIIK's creators, who claims&nbsp;the ending will be&nbsp;"one of the most unique" we'll ever see in a game&mdash;but is reluctant to spoil anything.&nbsp;YIIK will be out this winter.</p> The Westport Independent is a game about ethics in journalismhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-westport-independent-is-a-game-about-ethics-in-journalism/The Westport Independent puts players at the head of a newspaper in a troubled country.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:12:36 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-westport-independent-is-a-game-about-ethics-in-journalism/PAX Prime 2015simThe Westport IndependentVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qiS94VQNYQU?vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>Ethics in journalism is a topic that's been talked about a lot over the past year, and it's a subject that developer Double Zero One Zero tackles head-on in The Westport Independent. As the head of a newspaper in a country caught between an authoritarian government and anarchist rebels, players must edit articles to influence the public's opinion, and deal with the aftermath of those actions and the individuals they affect. I had a talk about the game with studio CEO Pontus Lundén at the Indie Megabooth at <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">PAX Prime</a>, where he said he hopes it will help people learn to "be skeptical of what someone is saying to you, but understanding of why they're saying it."</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 </em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Raids are coming to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thornshttp://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/We talk to Colin Johanson about Guild Wars 2's new raids.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2PAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9yT9WdOOSVWp.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vUkOaCMIypgj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 1"></p><p> In addition to revealing that the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free" target="_blank">core game is&nbsp;now free</a>, ArenaNet used their PAX Prime presentation to announce that 10-player&nbsp;raids are&nbsp;coming to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. While they won't be present for the expansion's&nbsp;launch, ArenaNet will introduce&nbsp;the game's first ever raid in three parts shortly after its release later this year.</p><p> "We’re at the point now where we felt like raids is the perfect addition to our game," Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson tells PC Gamer.&nbsp;"Our players have been asking us for a greater challenge. They want a reason to come together into larger groups and overcome really difficult challenges, and that’s what this system is all about."</p><blockquote>"Our players have been asking us for a greater challenge. They want a reason to come together into larger groups."</blockquote><p> According to Johanson, ArenaNet's plan is to remove the traditional barriers that can stop MMO players from enjoying raids. "Our combat system allows everybody to play our core roles of support, control, and DPS," he says. "You can play the profession that you love to play, you can get ten players together and you can play the raid. You don’t have to wait around half an hour for a healer to get online." There won't be an attunement system, either. As&nbsp;Johanson puts it, players should be able to simply&nbsp;"form up,&nbsp;play the raid, and have a great time."</p><p> While ArenaNet wants less barriers to get to raiding, the studio isn't planning to reduce the challenge. "We expect this to be the hardest content we've ever put in the game," Johanson says.&nbsp;"And we want players to spend a long time working together to figure out how to defeat these challenges. We think that's what makes raids rewarding, is&nbsp;playing,&nbsp;learning and adapting your strategies until you’re finally able to defeat it and move onto the next encounter." Johanson does expect a broad part of the community&nbsp;to attempt the raid, but, initially at least, thinks only a small portion will be able to defeat it.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZjZB8_2vQG4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> "Over time more and more people will learn how to defeat it as they continue to play and refine strategies," Johanson continues.&nbsp;"That’s why we want to regularly add new raids, so that there’s always a new challenge waiting for you. So that there’s something to look forward to that you haven’t defeated before." Raids will become a major part of Heart of Thorns' post-launch content.&nbsp;Johanson describes&nbsp;Heart of Thorns as being the roadmap for Guild Wars 2's future. Raids are planned as one of the core&nbsp;components&nbsp;of the expansion's regular live updates.</p><blockquote> "We want to regularly add new raids, so that there’s always a new challenge waiting for you." </blockquote><p> Raids, traditionally, hinge on the interplay between the three points of the MMO Trinity&mdash;tank, healer and DPS. Guild Wars 2's combat doesn't follow this model. All characters are ultimately responsible for their own health bar, and, while some professions lean more towards a support or DPS, there are plenty of instances where builds utilise&nbsp;both. How is ArenaNet creating raids in a system where the each player's role is so fluid?</p><p> "I think we actually have a really great advantage here in that I think the combat system is one of the most unique parts of Guild Wars 2," says Johanson. He talks about the nature of the game's competitive PvP, and how players need to balance support, control and DPS; how weapon-swapping allows them to alter their roles on the fly; and how combo fields require teams to work together. "We’ve really just taken that philosophy and applied it to our raids. "Our raids take all the things that our combat system offers, brings them all together, and asks you to use all of those abilities together to defeat everything."</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FApb-_OpRPe-.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2YzM4ppmfz-C.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 2"></p><p> "Our guardian might play support very different than an engineer does, very different than a warrior does, but all of them have a capacity to support their party, all of them have the capacity to do damage, and everyone has to heal. You have the ability to heal yourself, but you all have the ability to spec in ways to heal other players, to support other players. And we’re making control a much larger part of our content as well.&nbsp;So we’re really leaning on you as a party to figure out these puzzles and use our combat system to overcome them, and I think one of the coolest things about our combat system is everybody has to take care of themselves and take care of their buddies around them.</p><p> "You know, I like to think of traditional raiding as watching&nbsp;a bunch of UI bars move up and down all over the screen, and I’m barely watching the actual combat. Guild Wars 2’s raiding is the exact opposite. Everything you are doing is watching the middle of the screen. It’s watching the action, it’s watching what’s going on in the encounter, and watching what the other players in your party are actively doing and then working together to overcome it."</p><blockquote> "One of the coolest things about our combat system is everybody has to take care of themselves and their buddies." </blockquote><p> Raids will also utilise Heart of Thorns' new masteries system. In the announcement trailer, you can see players hang&nbsp;gliding to the next encounter&mdash;one of the new traversal&nbsp;skills that players will be able to unlock. "There’s a boss up on a platform that’s basically winding&nbsp;up to drop this massive nuke that forms at its legs and slowly spreads across this entire platform," Johanson says, explaining some of the unique mechanics of the first raid. "As&nbsp;it spreads you basically have to run and stay just ahead of this wall of fire that’s slowly chasing you off the platform, jump, and, at the last minute, deploy your hang glider, fly into an air draft, catch the air draft, circle back around, drop back on the platform, and start taking the boss down as fast as you possibly can."</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mVprsQjBSmSM.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6O1FBilvsvE0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GW2 raids 3"></p><p> "That’s just one example of something where the mastery system ties into the encounters but, in&nbsp;every encounter we want to lean on providing a number of different puzzles and experiences for the player. Everything from using conditions and boons, to active combat, to dodge-rolling, to our mastery system, to combo fields. We have so many different tools in our combat system, and we want to provide every encounter having a unique mix of those. You really have to use everything that our combat does well."</p> Guild Wars 2 core game is now freehttp://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/We talk toMike O’Brien about Guild Wars 2 going free.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/guild-wars-2-core-game-is-now-free/ArenaNetGuild Wars 2MMOPAX Prime 2015 <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pKvB2Ih8Q9-_.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Hka9VI9FN0eU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2 1"></p><p> Guild Wars 2 is now free. You can&nbsp; <a href="https://welcome.guildwars2.com/en/play-for-free" target="_blank">download and play it</a> right now, for nothing. But rather than a full free-to-play transition, ArenaNet is instead changing what you pay for. The core game is free; the upcoming expansion&mdash;Heart of Thorns&mdash;is not.</p><p> "As we start to release expansions, it raises the question: in a buy-to-play business model, what exactly do we want you to buy in order to play?" ArenaNet president&nbsp;Mike O'Brien tells PC Gamer. "We've seen different games go in different directions. Sometimes it gets pretty complicated. Sometimes you have to buy the base game and then every single expansion so that you can get the latest stuff and play with your friends."</p><p> Instead, ArenaNet wants to make things simpler. "We hold&nbsp;ourselves to the very highest standards of buy to play," says O'Brien. "You just have to buy one thing." For the studio, that means making the original thing free.</p><p> "We believe that if people love Guild wars 2, they’re gonna buy the expansion pack," O'Brien says when I ask why ArenaNet is doing this. "The expansion pack is such a great value. There’s so much content, not only in the expansion pack but in all the free updates that will come past that." While Guild Wars 2 is now free, it won't receive future content updates&mdash;including the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/raids-are-coming-to-guild-wars-2-heart-of-thorns/" target="_blank">newly announced raids</a>. Those are earmarked for Heart of Thorns, which will essentially become the live version of the game.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pyGDLVPtH_A?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> "And so that makes it really easy for us," says O'Brien. "Let’s make it so that anybody who wants to check out Guild Wars 2 can check out Guild Wars 2. And&nbsp;can really check out the game, not some&nbsp;free-to-play monetised version of the game."</p><blockquote> "This is a buy-to-play game, and we are making the core game free." </blockquote><p> ArenaNet's hope is that, by removing the barrier to trying Guild Wars 2, players will be more likely to buy into the Heart of Thorns expansion&nbsp;and its updates. With that as the business model, O'Brien reassures that their won't be any additional fees beyond the limited, mostly&nbsp;cosmetic ones that&nbsp;already exist in the game.</p><p> "There’s no changes to the gem store," he says.&nbsp;"I think that sometimes people use the term ‘free to play’&nbsp;to describe a business model that can be very aggressive. The game is designed that you can only play so far before you really start having to pay money to enjoy the game. We’re just not doing that at all. This is a buy-to-play game, and we are making the base game&mdash;the core game&mdash;free. We designed this game assuming that it was a game we were selling. Now we’re not selling it, but it’s the same game and you can experience all that content for free."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s0S9qdPCTlu2.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/J9BBTDzrabWU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Gw2 2"></p><p> There will, however, be some restrictions in place for free players. Firstly account storage&mdash;something ArenaNet views as a luxury. Secondly, protections have been put in place against spammers. According to O'Brien, these are all subtle measures.&nbsp;"You can whisper to anybody you want to," he says, choosing one example,&nbsp;"but you can’t create new whisper conversations more than about once every 30 seconds." It's a&nbsp;small restriction, but one that shouldn't impact regular players.&nbsp;"If&nbsp;we didn’t have a subtle restriction like that in place, then a spammer could spam everyone in the game. We would delete the account, and they would create a new account and spam everyone in the game."</p><p> Finally, ArenaNet has taken steps to stop new players from disrupting the game's more competitive modes. The example given is World vs World, which will be unavailable until players reach&nbsp;level 60. "If you didn’t have to do that," says O'Brien, "then there’s no way that we could keep people who were being very disruptive from going back into world versus world over and over with new characters. We just make sure that people play the game before they can get into a position where they can disrupt other players."</p><blockquote> "It’s really important to me that we protect this great community." </blockquote><p> For O'Brien, it's essential that ArenaNet safeguard&nbsp;the existing community.&nbsp;"It’s really important to me&mdash;I think it's&nbsp;really important to all of us&mdash;that we protect this great community that we have, and so we’ve been tweaking and tweaking. We've been working on&nbsp;various iterations of this for about a year now, making sure that we tweak and get this right"</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/otulzRbuQOeX.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5uolnZRaOaJU.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Guild Wars 2 2"></p><p> I ask O'Brien if he's worried about what effect going free might have on the community&mdash;a group that ArenaNet has frequently praised for their helpfulness and friendliness. "If we did our jobs right," O'Brien says,&nbsp;"and I totally believe that we've done this right, new players coming into the game are&nbsp;going to get the full authentic experience, but the community is not going to change. You’re going to have a bunch of new players but it’s going to&nbsp;be the same friendly community&mdash;the same protected community&mdash;that it’s always been.&nbsp;</p><p> O'Brien's message to players is simple: try it.&nbsp;"You don’t have to read a big list of changes and tweaks and restrictions, because we’re opening it up the day we announce it. Everybody can try, and I am confident that when people get into the game it’s going to be exactly the same. The game they are playing is exactly the same game that they were playing Friday, no changes at all."</p><p><em>If you would like to see a list of the full restrictions in place for free accounts,&nbsp;</em><a href="https://help.guildwars2.com/entries/95982157?_ga=1.220294929.802240115.1439542714" target="_blank"><em>head here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Trion announces Atlas Reactor, an online tactical combat gamehttp://www.pcgamer.com/trion-announces-atlas-reactor-an-online-tactical-combat-game/Atlas Reactor is turn-based, but does away with all the waiting around.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 17:31:30 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/trion-announces-atlas-reactor-an-online-tactical-combat-game/Atlas ReactorNewsStrategyTrionVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rtjSFV-y0II?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Trion has announced a new project called Atlas Reactor, a team-based, turn-based tactical combat game with echoes of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-enemy-unknown/">XCOM</a> and a cel-shaded visual style that's a bit reminiscent of Blizzard's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/overwatch/">Overwatch</a>. It pits teams of uniquely-skilled "freelancers" against one another in battles of up to five-on-five in size, and, as <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/feature/10034/Atlas-Reactor-Atlas-Reactor-Trions-New-Tactical-Experiment.html">MMORPG.com</a> says, it also eliminates all the waiting around that plagues many other turn-based multiplayer games.</p><p> Each turn in Atlas Reactor gives players just 30 seconds to decide what to do, and each player makes his or her move simultaneously. This not only speeds things up, it also introduces a kind of "rock-paper-scissors" element, because players will have to make their move while trying to guess what the other side is going to do. Fog of war will be a factor as well, meaning you won't be able to see enemies, and thus make plans to deal with them, if they're hidden out of sight.</p><p> Six freelancers have been revealed so far, including a cigar-chomping gun-runner, an armor-wearing behemoth, and a cybernetically-enhanced cat, each with a unique backstory and abilities, and at least two more appear set to be unveiled in the future. Matches are expected to run 10 to 20 minutes in length, and will support uneven teams&mdash;go one-on-five if you're feeling up to it&mdash;and solo play with bots.</p><p> Atlas Reactor will be free to play, and is slated to come out in 2016. Find out more about the game and, if you like what you see, sign up for the upcoming alpha test at <a href="https://www.atlasreactorgame.com/en/">atlasreactorgame.com</a>.</p> The future is analog: Headlander’s wood-paneled weirdnesshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-future-is-analog-headlanders-wood-paneled-weirdness/I have no body and I must scream.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:31:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-future-is-analog-headlanders-wood-paneled-weirdness/Double Fine ProductionsHeadlanderPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/paGo6ZPIR1-d.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wNdQTIAIWhKt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p>Like any good ’70s sci-fi yarn, Double Fine’s new side-scrolling metroidvania is bathed in lava lamp neon, shellacked with a thick layer of self-aware goofiness, and rooted in a near-future dystopia ruled by an evil supercomputer. Loosely structured around traditional locked-door puzzles, security clearances, and non-linear character upgrades, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/headlander/">Headlander</a> hones in on a very specific aesthetic and commits with wild abandon, right down to a fascinatingly-produced soundtrack using real vintage sound equipment and synthesizers recorded to an honest-to-HAL reel-to-reel. </p><p>Double Fine’s sense of playful humor is everywhere in Headlander, from its promotional material all the way on down. In the short time I spent with the game I body-hopped onto a dog, saw some suspiciously-shiny Barbarella pleasure-model cyborgs, and watched a lot of stuff blow up in wildly different ways. If this game’s soundtrack doesn’t release on Laserdisc with an airbrushed slipcover I’ll be frankly surprised. </p><p>Headlander tells a darkly-comedic story centered around the player as the last living human head in a transhumanist retro-future where mankind has traded in its organic bodies for slickly produced robot ones. The player spends a lot of their time navigating their rocket-powered flying head and suction cupping onto a headless body, or if you fly in deftly enough you can actually vacuum an enemy’s head right off their metal shoulders and puppeteer them. Laser-armed enforcers roam the halls looking for suspiciously un-robotic lifeforms while Methuselah, the passively evil AI villain, drugs and amuses its playthings into submission. Most of the demo I saw was based around a pleasure-city populated with cyborgs on artificial vacations, plugged into headsets and isolation pods, unbothered by the AI plotting around them and seeking my destruction.</p><p>The meat of Headlander’s gameplay is in navigating the player’s head from interchangeable character to character according to the situation, ducking in and out of cover, and strategically utilizing laser weaponry that bounces off walls. In the demo Adult Swim presented me I saw a few different combat situations in various level of bullet hell&mdash;one that was relatively straight-forward, and several that dissolved into a pretty hilarious mess of plasma fire and frantic body-hopping. The laser-dodging is quick and dynamic, and there are also teleporters in most rooms that allow for players to time a teleport-smash. Wait for one of the Cylon-voiced security droids to bumble into the radius of one of these and you can jump in and crush him. </p><p>Character upgrades include a deflector shield that you can rotate around your head’s radius to block lasers. There’s a degree of nonlinearity in these upgrades and in how progress can be made through areas that feels a little different than in a Metroid game, which would normally shunt the player through a proscribed route along the various security doors and clearance levels. Numerous sidequests were dotted along the area, which Double Fine said would be optional and not a grind-requirement but would provide some interesting color to the story and world and provide extra XP for upgrades.</p><p>Headlander is pulling from a lot of familiar, well-worn places and it’s not necessarily promising anything revolutionary in its gameplay, but there’s a level of aesthetic commitment in this game I was dialed into. The idea of actually recording with a reel-to-reel, using real vintage Moog synths, especially grabbed me. I asked about the aesthetic and when they knew they had hit that sweet spot of loving parody, and I got the answer “if we could put wood panelling on it, we totally did.” If there’s that kind of commitment to a bit it doesn’t even feel like a gimmick&mdash;it can feel like a team is having fun with their premise, and hopefully that translates across to us when we get a fuller look at Headlander.</p> XCOM, cowboys, and a bit of Cthulhu in Hard Westhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-game-video/Hard Westwas one of the games we were looking forward to most in advance of PAX.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:27:10 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-game-video/Hard WestPAX Prime 2015StrategyVideo <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K-H8yZiTeho" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hard-west-developer-robs-a-bank-in-new-game-footage/">Hard West</a> was one of the games we were looking forward to most in advance of PAX. On the surface, it's XCOM's&nbsp;turn-based tactics mashed up with the Wild West: bandits&nbsp;and six-shooters swapped in for Sectoids and plasma rifles. But interestingly, Polish studio CreativeForge Games is also weaving in Lovecraftian elements, or "a little bit of blood magic," as brand manager&nbsp;Blaze Krakowiak put it to me at PAX.</p> Planetoid Pioneers: elderly space marines and a gun that shoots acid beeshttp://www.pcgamer.com/planetoid-pioneers-elderly-space-marines-and-a-gun-that-shoots-acid-bees/Planetoid Pioneers offers nearly unlimited creative possibilities.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:16:38 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/planetoid-pioneers-elderly-space-marines-and-a-gun-that-shoots-acid-bees/Data RealmsPAX Prime 2015 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vlo98FvmS0SI.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ejXqbmmGNBiF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>I think it was the moment Planetoid Pioneers’ business manager, Vlad Micu, disintegrated in a cloud of acid-spewing bees that the game won me over. </p><p>Not the actual person, thankfully. I didn’t have to watch someone melt on the PAX showroom floor, but rather their smiling onscreen doppleganger, in what was one of the countless examples of player-created content possible within Data Realms’ upcoming 2D sandbox sidescroller. </p><p>The first few moments in my demo with Pioneers introduced a game&mdash;and I apologize for being reductive&mdash;that felt strikingly similar to Terraria or Starbound. Playing as a geriatric space explorer, I had crash-landed onto an unknown planet and was tasked with exploring its hostile surface and interior. In order to survive encounters with the inhabitants and find the necessary resources to create a rocket and escape, I would need to find numerous vehicle and weapon blueprints that would help me survive.</p><p>All of which is framed in familiar, 2D sandbox style. With the use of a handy assembler/deconstructor it was only a few moments before I began clicking on and ripping apart the local animals, vegetables, and minerals for their base resources, to be spent on the vehicle and weapon blueprints I had available to build. </p><p>I was soon riding through a system of caves on a rickety land rover, firing my blaster at the flamethrowing robotic inhabitants in my way, and taking their discarded corpses as resources for my future schematics. All of which was done with a simple point-and-shoot interface, that players of Terraria should feel familiar with. </p><p>Though I need to state that Terraria this isn’t, as the terrain itself is neither procedural nor destructible, and there’s no mining to be had. You will find your resources where the designers wanted them to be found. There is also no health bar for players or enemies, rather a sort of model destructibility limit; if my leg was shot off I limped, if my arm was frozen I couldn’t shoot, and if I lost more than a certain percentage of my body or head I was dead.</p><p>This is Data Realms’ second release, and it builds directly on their first, 2012’s admittedly poorly received, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cortex-command-review/">Cortex Command</a>. The relationship between both titles goes so deep as to share a common storyline, as I was told Cortex Command occurs after the events of Pioneers in their universe’s chronology. However, while Cortex focused more on real-time strategic combat with an overlying metagame, Pioneers has a distinctly different focus.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/iUV_r-k6Qv6O.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZLUcj_qHOGcA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>I could tell you about Pioneers’ hand-drawn 2D visuals, discuss its four-player splitscreen multiplayer, or go into depth about the physics system, but while those features were interesting in their own right that isn’t what’s going to stay in my mind for days to come. What needs discussing is what Pioneers lets you create.</p><p>And what it lets you create is anything. Guiding me along was Data Realms’ development director, Daniel Tabár, who in addition to helping me make my way across the demo planet’s surface, gave me a crash course on Pioneers’ all-encompassing content creation tools. Tools, I was told, they had been developing and improving upon since 2009, and will be available for all players to use upon release. </p><p>He started simple, taking a robotic enemy (that had just finished brutally tearing me apart), opening up its edit screen, and asking me what I’d like to change. Can we make it bigger or smaller? That’s child's play. We can alter the entire character model, or even specific segments if you want to make one part drastically larger than the other, for that crab-claw chic. </p><p>How about replacing the robot’s head entirely? Easy, we just need a PNG image file, and the current head section can be replaced with anything we desire. We chose a rock image as a replacement cranium, and soon had a stone-headed robot lumbering across the landscape.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/E-sCnq3zR3GC.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/18dw5BpfCvxY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>The creative possibilities weren’t just for changing appearances, either. We had the ability to go into the enemy’s scripting and make whatever additions we desired. We could speed him up, make him run away, even dance at the sight of us.</p><p>These possibilities aren’t restricted to certain segments of the game, they’re open to every single aspect of Planetoid Pioneers. From character models to enemies, weapons to vehicles, even entire planets can be built from scratch, modified, and shared. Do you want to create an enemy that’s a tentacled, thirty-headed hydra? How about a thirty-headed hydra that spits cats? How about a thirty-headed hydra that spits catswith the head of your high school math teacher? </p><p>Or if you want to get truly weird, you can just make a planet inhabited with characters that all look like your closest friends, force them to race each-other, and then shoot the losers with a gun that fires swarms of acid-spewing bees, as Tabár gleefully showed me when he liquefied Vlad.</p><p>Upon finishing the creation of your beloved nightmare creature, steampunk warship, or other crime against nature, you’ll be able to select a ‘Save Blueprint’ option, which will take the data for your work and save it as a PNG file. These PNGs can then be shared and uploaded into anyone else’s game, and players can even take these files and drag-and-drop them onto the game screen, generating the item, creature, or planet while in play.</p><p>Planetoid Pioneers’ largest hurdle will be teaching players that the game’s content creation tools are not as daunting as they may seem. To this end Tabár told me Data Realms is hard at work putting together expansive, easy-to-follow tutorials that will teach everything a creator would need to know. Upon first glance at the seemingly endless menus, variable sliders, and outright lines of code, I will admit feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Though the speed and simplicity in which changes to existing models could be made had me confident that with a bit of guidance I could get up to speed in a matter of hours. </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e-cRnAIsSnOx.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KntXz2XNK8gW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Planetoid Pioneers"></p><p>Which is exactly what Tabár informed me they believe will happen. Data Realms is so confident on the importance of player-made content that when Planetoid Pioneers hits Steam early access this fall it will only have a handful of hours of out-of-the-box gameplay. Instead, they want to focus their early access time on providing the tools that will cultivate truly interesting player-generated gameplay. </p> Free games of the weekhttp://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/You Are The Monster.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/free-games-of-the-week/browser gamesFree GamesIndieThe Best Free Games of the Week <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QzWLfhiwQDGU.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tYPMWrX3ZWMX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Labyrinth of Loneliness"></p><p>'You Are The Monster' is a bit on the nose for a&nbsp;<a href="http://ludumdare.com/compo/" target="_blank">Ludum Dare</a> jam theme, I feel, but it's resulted, as ever, in lots of cool games. Read on for monstrous freebies, plus a subway adventure, and a game that recalls, of all things,&nbsp;Decap Attack. Enjoy!</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/dullahan/87120" target="_blank">Dullahan by like, a hundred bears</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uQs3UOCHQQa3.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8cPgWrqxnRk0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dullahan"></p><p>Dullahan is a Castlevania-like that will really make you *cheeky wink* <em>lose your head</em>, which is to say that it's a GameBoy-styled platformer that allows you to plonk things like keys and bombs into your gaping neckhole. This is a neat mechanic, once you realise that Up and Attack uses keys,&nbsp;and the aesthetic&nbsp;feels quite authentic to the era, but it is stupid and&nbsp;frustrating to have to restart the entire thing upon death.</p><h3><a href="http://spotline.itch.io/telepath" target="_blank">Telepath by Spotline</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ylsUfXEqQYGG.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VD4PBNn_bdWb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Telepath"></p><p>Wow. If you're using Chrome you'll need to download Telepath to play it, but it's worth it for the extraordinary way it uses shaders to create multiple worlds within the same space. The world's default state is blank and featureless, and to see it how others see it (or, I guess, for a window into their minds), you have to&nbsp;pass through them like a ghost. Each entity houses a world, of nature or numbers or skyscrapers, but you can only witness it while you're passing through their form. This is seriously&nbsp;smart stuff, from the developer of Ultimate Pate and The World Beneath.</p><h3><a href="http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&amp;uid=20641" target="_blank">Totem by Ian MacLarty</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gCcA_tmLS8ew.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oqvAw4MXa2ZO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Totem"></p><p>A pretty literal interpretation of You Are The Monster, Totem is a mechanically simple game about a big rockperson that walks out of the sea. Smash all the island's inhabitants with your big rock bum to trigger an ending, while appreciating some truly bloody lovely artwork, and trying to tolerate some&nbsp;horrible bagpipey music.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/labyrinth-of-loneliness/88497" target="_blank">Labyrinth of Loneliness by LTPATS</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QzWLfhiwQDGU.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tYPMWrX3ZWMX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Labyrinth of Loneliness" style="background-color: initial;"></p><p>Speaking of lovely artwork, would you just&nbsp;look at Labyrinth of Loneliness. It's another Ludum Dare game, and one where you chase nicely sketched and animated people into fiery deathpits. Every time you do so, some cringeworthy text appears to insinuate some deeper meaning, but it's worth putting up with that for the fun chase sequences (the chasees look behind them sometimes, it's kind of cute), and of course for the&nbsp;striking visual style.</p><h3><a href="http://www.increpare.com/2015/08/subway-adventure/" target="_blank">Subway Adventure by Stephen Lavelle</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oaRa1wPtRzmO.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KXWogQETIo8j.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Subway Adventure"></p><p>It's a new Stephen Lavelle/Increpare game&mdash;need we say more? OK, some more. It's a massive subway network filled with very strange stops expressed in a variety of colours and art styles, with roaming&nbsp;NPCs, and&nbsp;signs to click that may&nbsp;help you map the game world. You'll visit a range of odd, funny, glitchy stops in Subway Adventure, or you will if its juddering pedestrians will let you enter and exit your train. A lovely slice of digital tourism, in a land ripe for exploration and photo-taking.</p><p><em>Click through for recommendations from previous weeks.</em></p><p><a href="http://contest.gamedevfort.com/submission/657#.Vc-YHvlViko" target="_blank" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">Nocturne in Yellow by TerminusEst13</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/i4HGnrIuTTCh.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/g3sWynEpfunv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nocturne in Yellow"></p><p>My excitement for&nbsp;<a href="http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=48994" target="_blank">Gloome</a> (a new version of id-engine modding tool GZDoom, that allows modders to release commercial games) is only slightly tempered by the fact that I have no clue how to set the damned thing up. Other people have, however, including TerminusEst13, who has made the fun Gothic shooter Nocturne In Yellow. It's a bit like Castlevania, and a lot like Heretic/Doom etc, meaning you'll stab up zombies, spiders and vampires using a gory spear, and a bow with infinite arrows. Man, I've missed the ridiculously fast movement speed of id-engine games.</p><h3><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/red-amazon/87009" target="_blank">Red Amazon by Tom van den Boogaart</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aYPLv3_NSeSj.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/05dZBRwNZ_AH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Red Amazon2"></p><p>This is one of the most beautiful free games I've played for ages: a clean, low-poly first-person story from one of indie gaming's best and brightest, Tom van den Boogaart. I love his stylised take on the wilderness, I love the quirky movement system (no default Unity FPS controls here, thankfully), and I love the fact that Red Amazon actually features an animated entity, unlike almost every first-person indie game I've played recently. The only thing I don't like is Boogaart's relative obscurity: he deserves to be a much bigger name.</p><h3><a href="http://ragzouken.itch.io/porthole" target="_blank">Porthole by Mark Wonnacott and Claire Morley</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HJr9PP1xTdik.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e5A0gwGd7m4E.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Porthole"></p><p>Explore a weird world from your rotatable porthole, as you try to figure out where you are, and what the bally, slimey, clustery things in front of you could possibly be. “Follow the compass,” proclaims the Itch.io page, and “seek the depths”. That compass looks&nbsp;a bit like a Stargate&nbsp;chevron.</p><h3><a href="http://leafthief.itch.io/onemore-night" target="_blank">One More Night by Stefan Srb and Craig Barnes</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/R6n_LkDhR5W3.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K7SS-4jqquKl.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="One More Night"></p><p>A short choose-your-own-adventure made for the&nbsp;<a href="http://jams.gamejolt.io/gbjam4" target="_blank">GameBoy jam</a> (and now I'm imagining what GameBoy jam would look and taste like – probably Greengage). The pixel art is scrumptious, the sound is just discordant and shrill enough to convince, and the story is open-ended enough to make you want to replay immediately. “Three friends embark on a two-day camping trip before their last year of school begins. A trip they never want to end.” A cute, sweet, very green game.</p><h3><a href="http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=2274" target="_blank">Dusk Child by Sophie Houlden</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BOkkIc6SQiSQ.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uHcI-PD2C76r.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dusk Child"></p><p>A wonderful puzzle-platformer made using Lexaloffle's increasingly impressive&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php" target="_blank">Pico-8</a>. Fathom your way around a mysterious location, examining objects with the Z button and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the gorgeous pixel art with your mouth. One of the best uses of Pico-8 yet&mdash;I'm also greatly looking forward to Terry Cavanagh's&nbsp;<a href="http://distractionware.com/blog/2015/08/coming-soon-2/" target="_blank">first-person shooter</a> made for the console.</p><p><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/graynold-runner/66098" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">graynold runner by Jake Clover</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jB_HJHuuS-io.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oRaYvpTgJf98.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Graynold Runner" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A sidescrolling shmup that prioritises atmosphere over score-chasing, featuring music by Beeswing's Jack King-Spooner. I love Jake Clover's sprites, the strange alien universe that all his games seem to take place in. graynold runner gives you two ships, then when they're on fire and you jettison to safety, it gives you two little astronauts, who can hijack passing vehicles. A serene little anti-shoot-'em-up (maybe the world's first?)</p><h3><a href="http://polclarissou.itch.io/wish-fishing">Wish Fishing by Pol Clarissou</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ebGWzI_RQP6_.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EoENsoQdnh71.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Wish Fishing" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A digital wishing well that lets you cast a word, a phrase, a string of nonsense into space. That's part of it: the fun part is looking at what other people have chucked out before you. The terms they dared scrawl on the game's galactic messageboard, the words they typed when they thought nobody else was looking. When you're done, Wish Fishing prescribes you a sort of horoscope, which you can try to decipher at the linked <a href="http://polclarissou.com/wishfishing/">glossary page</a>.</p><h3><a href="http://noxlof.itch.io/unterwelt">UNTERwELT by Noxlof</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/K1FCUsr7RWqv.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uF-5yiAnl41Z.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="UNTERWeLT" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>This short, stylish story was made for the <a href="http://itch.io/jam/a-game-by-its-cover-2015">A Game By Its Cover jam</a>, in which developers made titles based on fake cartridge art. The rushed development period has resulted in plenty of spelling errors and straightforward dialogue that kinda undermines the experience, but you can't fault the lovely pixel art and and palpable atmosphere in UNTERwELT.</p><h3><a href="http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=52502.0">The Jimi Hendrix Case by Gurok</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9aBteezdSL6-.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cW7dtDgHhCQA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Jimi Hendrix Case" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>“In a world where everyone is Jimi Hendrix, only Jimi Hendrix can solve the murder and find out who killed Jimi Hendrix.” So begins a point-and-click adventure with gorgeous pixel art and funny dialogue, where you actually get to use your gun. I've loved that in adventure games since Blade Runner, and despite (or perhaps because of) its short length, The Jimi Hendrix Case is one of the few to make full use of its shooting system. (Via <a href="http://wip.warpdoor.com/2015/08/11/the-jimi-hendrix-case-gurok/">Warp Door</a>)</p><h3><a href="http://hedgehog.exposed/">Sonic Dreams Collection by Arcane Kids</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_ohLsWirSs2d.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mq35fK0raCOT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sonic Dreams Collection" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Zineth/Bubsy 3D/Room of 1000 Snakes developers Arcane Kids are back with another brilliant piece of freeware, this one pretending to be a collection of lost Sonic demos and prototypes from the mid to late '90s. They've got the Dreamcast look down pat by now, and if it weren't for the sight of Sonic and pals engaging in an orgy in Sonic Movie Maker, this could be pretty convincing. There are four little games included here: Make My Sonic, Eggman Origin, Sonic Movie Maker, and My Roommate Sonic, AKA stretch a Sonic character, try to play a non-functioning MMO, film seedy Sonic shenanigans with a movie camera, and romance Sonic the Hedgehog in VR. A disturbing and hilarious game about fandom, from some of the best comedians in the business.</p><p><a href="http://gamejolt.com/games/banned-memories-yamanashi/78205" style="font-size: 24px; font-weight: bold;">Banned Memories: Yamanashi by GamingEngineer</a></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WD8y_TAdSEmx.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/mYQ8Cwpc4WOf.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Banned Memories" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>Banned Memories turns the restrictions of PS1 hardware into a stylistic choice, and why not? Restrictions are great, giving a project a framework to rail against, or to comfortably fit within as you see fit. While the game seems to relish in the low-poly models and texture warping of the early 32-bit days, developer GamingEngineer <em>is</em> pushing against the restrictions of Game Maker: Studio, making probably the most impressive 3D game I've seen with it yet.</p><p>Engine aside, this is an atmospheric horror game that stacks up nicely against the likes of Silent Hill and Overblood, even if it's obviously several shades behind those games on account of it being made by one person, rather than a whole team of seasoned professionals. This is an early look at the game, containing a part of a haunted school to explore, and I'm really digging what I've played of it so far. (Via <a href="http://indiegames.com/2015/08/face_your_dark_past_and_some_e.html">IndieGames</a>)</p><h3><a href="http://saintheiser.itch.io/zzzz-zzzz-zzzz">Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz by SaintHeiser</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/B2ruPHlNSl-n.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xxGbsrnu04sE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="ZzzzZzzzZzzz" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>The remarkable Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz is set in a dream world, and fittingly its rules have no consistency from one screen to the next. It's called that not only because you're asleep, but because you'll be pressing Z a lot. Z to go through a door. Z to go to sleep. Z to do an interaction, though you're never quite sure what that interaction will be. Because of this, because each new screen feels strange and unfamiliar, Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz is one of the few games to really get what dreams are about. It's a delightful, constantly surprising thing&mdash;fans of Fez are going to fall in love with it, I reckon.</p><h3><a href="http://newmarksoftware.itch.io/liberation-my-love">Liberation, My Love by Newmark Software</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jTsRPMcAToiP.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a0ubaa-Gmp2X.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Liberation My Love" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>A simple platformer embellished with a pleasant art style and premise, about a keytar-wielding robot thing that shoots colours at baddies. (He also has a shield, and a nifty lateral dash move.) The basic jumping and spike-avoiding could feel slicker, but Liberation, My Love's unique setting and look go a long way.</p><h3><a href="http://outofsight.itch.io/out-of-sight">Out of Sight by Isart Digital students</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SAvM8tuISnas.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TJNAaFLEaNjo.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Out Of Sight" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>It's a bit like Remember Me, this, specifically those bits in Remember Me where you have to reprogram people's memories (because you're a jerk). You're a woman with dymnesia trying to recover lost memories with the aid of a psychiatrist here, something you achieve by pivoting from one interactible object to the next, in a series of frozen moments from your past. You can examine each object for a bit of background detail, or combine the various sights and smells and sounds and other senses to bring the central memory to life. Writing and UI-wise, this is slightly clumsy, but I think the premise is a strong one. It's a bold and stylistically impressive game too.</p><h3><a href="http://martincohen.itch.io/disposable">Disposable by Martin Cohen</a></h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/blJwUdZmQtGc.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y4boRtLiQ-F0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Disposable" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>There's not much to Disposable yet, but I did enjoy the look of the world, and the dashy jumping ability I never managed to master. As your little robot explores a facility, looking for terminals to hack in order to open a central door, you'll occasionally need to rely on a tricksy dash-jump-thing that hurtles you through the air at a fixed distance. It's a fun, challenging few minutes of platforming, that Martin Cohen will hopefully return to at a later date.</p> Cities: Skylines After Dark expansion gets a trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-after-dark-expansion-gets-a-trailer/Here comes the night.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-after-dark-expansion-gets-a-trailer/Cities: SkylinesColossal OrderNewsParadox InteractivePAX Prime 2015sim <iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUzFUfPkYxU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>They say&nbsp;New York is the city that never sleeps, but it's not as if Chicago, London and Beijing hunker down for an eight-hour kip at 12am. In each one, a big invisible godcursor is managing traffic, rubbish, buses and crime, and in Cities: Skylines' upcoming expansion that could be you. After Dark,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/cities-skylines-expansion-after-dark-will-be-out-late-next-month/" target="_blank">as mentioned previously</a>, has more neon, one more moon, and slows the pace of the game to reflect that fewer people are out and about.</p><p>At this weekend's PAX Prime, developer Colossal Order released a trailer to show a night-time city in action. The above is in-game footage, but it doesn't show a person actually playing it&mdash;still, you probably know by now what that involves. After Dark is out September 24, and it looks pretty damned relaxing. I like the thought of flying over a tranquil night-time city, occasionally prodding at&nbsp;wind turbines and recycling trucks.</p> Hitman mission playthrough offers 15 minutes of new footagehttp://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-mission-playthrough-offers-15-minutes-of-new-footage/Quick, someone call the fashion police.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 09:30:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-mission-playthrough-offers-15-minutes-of-new-footage/HitmanIo InteractiveNewsPAX Prime 2015Square EnixStealth <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cA2VVo9ShwA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>IO Interactive has shown off&nbsp;one of Hitman: No Subtitle's&nbsp;missions, and it's certainly hitting all the right beats after the previous game, Absolution, rubbed almost everyone up the wrong way. A big sandboxy environment! Lots of NPCs! A revamped disguise system! 'Enforcers' will be able to see through individual disguises, while key figures like heads of security will be able to see through all of them. There's also a kickass font being&nbsp;used&nbsp;for the weapon selection menu.</p><p>The mission is set at an opulent fashion show, and Agent 47 is there to appreciate some lovely dresses and also to murder a guy. I'm getting serious Blood Money vibes from this, which I suppose is the point.</p><p>Hitman is out in December, and it's release schedule is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hitmans-launch-content-will-be-detailed-soon/" target="_blank">pretty confusing</a>. However, we're&nbsp;optimistic after what&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hitmans-npc-ai-could-mean-a-return-to-form-for-agent-47/" target="_blank">we saw of the game</a> at&nbsp;Gamescom.</p> Blowing up everything in Brigador, one of the toughest games at PAXhttp://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-up-everything-in-brigador-one-of-the-toughest-games-at-pax/An interview with the creator of neon-bright isometric shooter Brigador.Sat, 29 Aug 2015 03:35:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blowing-up-everything-in-brigador-one-of-the-toughest-games-at-pax/ActionBrigadorPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uQTRJ1gJEcM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe><p> Brigador brings up a lot of associations for me: Desert Strike's isometric vehicle combat, C&amp;C Tiberian Sun's walking mechs, the future visions of 80s and 90s anime like Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01. The Desert Strike comparison isn't quite fair, though. Brigador's customizable tanks and mechs are much more complex vehicles. Piloting with the tank controls is tough enough at first&mdash;I started to get the hang of it after a few minutes, I think&mdash;but the weapons also require a lot of thought. Some guns fire in arcs while others fire straight ahead in a shallow dive toward the ground. And your backside is more vulnerable than your front, everything is destructible, and everything wants to kill you (except for the civilians I accidentally killed a bunch of). It's fast and tough.</p><p> In the video above, I chat with Stellar Jockeys founder Hugh Monahan about Brigador's inspirations, its custom-built engine, and the upcoming Steam Early Access release on October 20.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9l1yY5o7QB6P.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/m9-VxWH_GeQ1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Brigador"></p> Cliff Bleszinski explains how to shoot people behind your back in LawBreakershttp://www.pcgamer.com/cliff-bleszinki-explains-how-to-shoot-people-behind-your-back-in-lawbreakers/We spoke with Cliff Bleszinski of Boss Key Productions about his newest FPS, LawBreakers.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:27:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/cliff-bleszinki-explains-how-to-shoot-people-behind-your-back-in-lawbreakers/boss key productionsCliff BleszinskiFPSFree To PlayLawbreakersPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sDjjkeCZ7yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Hours after the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/" target="_blank">first gameplay footage</a> for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers/" target="_blank">LawBreakers</a> went up, I spoke with Boss Key founder Cliff Bleszinski just as PAX was beginning to get further details on some of the novel shooting and movement mechanics in his studio's FPS. The gameplay trailer showed off a few tricks, including swinging from a grappling hook and shooting behind your back, and&nbsp;I got to ask Bleszinski about how those moves interact with the game's gravity changing mechanics. Watch the full video above to hear what he has to say.</p><p><em>You can find all of our coverage from&nbsp;PAX Prime 2015&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/" target="_blank"><em>right here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Kôna hands-on: investigating a winter wonderland gone wronghttp://www.pcgamer.com/kona-hands-on-investigating-a-winter-wonderland-gone-wrong/Kônais happy to throw you out in the middle of a snowstorm and let you to figure the rest out on your own.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:23:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/kona-hands-on-investigating-a-winter-wonderland-gone-wrong/AdventureKonaPAX Prime 2015PreviewsSurvival <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7thdscZIT4ag.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eVK_F13-Lm9w.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Go into the creepy abandoned house or freeze to death? Your choice. " class=""><figcaption>Go into the creepy abandoned house or freeze to death? Some&nbsp;choice. </figcaption></figure><p>Most games will introduce you to lush, warm environments laden with tutorial messages designed to carefully guide you through in the most comfortable way possible.&nbsp;<a href="http://konagame.com" target="_blank">Kôna</a>, on the other hand, is happy to dump you in the middle of a snowstorm and let you to figure out the rest.</p><p>Made by independent developer Parabole,&nbsp;Kôna&nbsp;is a game that pits players against a Canadian wilderness filled to the brim with desolation and mystery. Its&nbsp;episodic narrative&nbsp;is set in the 1970’s and the first installment&nbsp;gives you control of Carl Faubert, a detective unraveling why an entire town of people have suddenly abandoned their homes and gone missing.</p><p>Faubert lands in the middle of a dispute between a Native American community called the Cree and a local industrialist named W. Hamilton. Hamilton has earned the scorn of the Cree by expanding his mining operation onto sacred lands. Faulbert is hired to investigate a theft at the Hamilton manor, but discovers on his way that there isn’t a single soul left in the surrounding area.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/c2mHiQf0QzGU.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xE-tJYeq4qmg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The snowy wilderness in Kôna is both calming and intimidating to look at." class=""><figcaption>The snowy wilderness in Kôna is both calming and intimidating.</figcaption></figure><p>Utter stillness inhabits what appears to be warm and cozy homes, complete with coals still burning in ovens that were suddenly abandoned by their cooks. Step out into the ongoing storm and see the harsh winds whipping through the surrounding forest, making for an intimidating tree line one wouldn’t dare venture out into alone. The quietness of the game is so intense, hearing an omniscient narrator speak once you discover a clue half&nbsp;made me jump. Kôna’s sense of snowy desolation is similar to the original Silent Hill, but skewed more towards a mysterious and eerie feel.</p><p>Enemies are limited to those found in&nbsp;mother nature, at least in the first episode. Faulbert can die from overexposure, or be set upon by ravenous wolves that prowl the area. Players must prepare themselves to travel further outward towards the Hamilton manor by finding better clothes to protect them from the elements, as well as vehicles that to help cross&nbsp;the wilderness quicker. </p><p>Gameplay is mostly focused on exploration. As Faubert, you can walk around and investigate desolate homes and shops in an effort to find clues about why everyone is gone. All the items and information you can find will be useful, says Kôna producer Alexandre Fiset, but not necessarily for just the first episode. There is no HUD, which leaves the visuals clean and means there’s nothing to distract you from the rich&nbsp;atmosphere. </p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JbnxebprSPyV.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3PW2O6K9I_CV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Notes and pictures found in the game will help players pick up the trail to discover more missing people." class=""><figcaption>Notes and pictures found in the game will help players pick up the trail to discover more missing people.</figcaption></figure><p>Aside from pure exploration, Faulbert also has weight, health, stress and cold meters to keep track of. If he is exposed to the cold for too long without reprieve, his health bar will slowly go down and he’ll succumb to frostbite. Having heavy items in your inventory can also take a toll. Although not immediately visible, certain aspects of the game will apparently also affect Faulbert’s stress meter, requiring you to smoke or drink to calm him down&mdash;or otherwise suffer poor aim with weapons, and other hindrances. </p><p>Faubert has a pickup truck at his disposal, so players can more easily access the area map that is measured at approximately two miles in game. Kôna won’t be limited to a small area for long, according to Fiset, as Parabole has plans to give players a new section of the game map to explore with each episode. “We want to keep growing what we give people,” explained Fiset. “So each [episode] will have more clues, more items, and we’ll spread [the map] further and further out.”</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-8jD7alJRbGC.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1-nW1y6eUVNx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Instead of standard text boxes, Kôna utilizes a stylish splash for contextual messages." class=""><figcaption>Instead of standard text boxes, Kôna utilizes a stylish splash for contextual messages.</figcaption></figure><p>Faulbert won’t be the only character people can play as the story unfolds.&nbsp;Fiset told me that the second episode will be told from the perspective of a female member of the Cree, following her own investigation into what's happened to the population.</p><p>The Parabole developers aim to create four full episodes and release it for PC, Mac, and Linux. The first is due out later this year.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kRLp6NJgRc2O.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/nH5N1UFiHpvK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Homes that would normally be filled with happy folks now lie still." class=""><figcaption>Homes that would normally be filled with happy folks now lie eerily&nbsp;still.</figcaption></figure> The week's highs and lows in PC gaminghttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Aug28_2015/Each week PC Gamer’s writers dance around in black and white singing hot take on me.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:48:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-weeks-highs-and-lows-in-pc-gaming_Aug28_2015/highs and lows <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qwusEWzGTDmN.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rOnX3U6_nNbI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lawbreakers Behind the back"></p><p><strong>THE HIGHS</strong></p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: Breakin’ the law</strong><br>I admit, when I first heard Cliffy B was doing a new game, I wasn’t particularly excited. I’m not really into Gears of War, and had no interest in a modern take on the classic online arena shooter. But then I watched this <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/">gameplay footage</a> of what is now called Lawbreakers and, damn, I’m sold. It looks really fun and colourful, and the slick, kinetic combat reminds me of when shooters weren’t about crouching behind waist-high concrete blocks and taking potshots at terrorists. ‘Class-based multiplayer first-person shooter’ isn’t the most inspiring sell, and has been done many, many times before, but I like the look of this one. Sorry for doubting you, Dude Huge.</p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Moar Law</strong><br>In another victory for lazy journalism, like Andy I’m going to go for Lawbreakers. The reaction to the initial <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-is-the-new-fps-from-boss-key-and-cliff-bleszinski/">CG ‘reveal’ trailer</a> was predictably, but I would also say understandably, cynical. We live in an era in which even the most mediocre TV drama is capable of CG that would have been denounced as witchcraft a few years ago, so good a CG trailer is no more indicative of final game quality than pictures of unicorns on a mood board is.</p><p>Perhaps with that reaction in mind, Boss Key has wasted no time in getting the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/">gameplay footage</a> out, and I’m really digging it. The obvious comparison is going to be with Overwatch, Blizzard’s forthcoming colourful, free-to-play, team-based shooter. The look of Lawbreakers is slightly less cartoony, but still plenty fun. Watching it, I was actually reminded of the mighty TimeSplitters 2 (which will help you pinpoint my advancing years), and that’s about as positive as compliments come when it comes to breakneck multiplayer FPS. Hopefully it feels as fun. We should be finding out soon.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8Kz7iQlOQkyS.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2B26i8iCPZJ0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Total War Warhammer Slide"></p><p><strong>Tom Senior: Dwarfs done right<br></strong>I watched The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies this week. It's pants, but it does feature extended scenes of dwarves doing war. All I could think as I watched grey dwarves bash into grey orcs was "Warhammer could do this better". The very next day, The Creative Assembly gave us a glimpse of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-video-introduces-dwarfen-units/">Total War: Warhammer's dwarves</a> (or "dwarfs", in Games Workshop parlance) and they are much better. They're colourful, and stocky, and swing a hammer as well as a four-foot cube of muscle can. Five Armies imagined dwarves as plate-mail clad tanks who fight in perfect unison, but really dwarves ought to fight with the shambolic disorder of a mob very much enjoying itself. I can't wait to see more, especially if the game includes Warhammer's mostly-naked <a href="http://www.centerpieceminiatures.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/utf-8IMG_7246-1.jpg">Troll Slayers</a>.</p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: Silly season begins<br></strong>XCOM 2 is one of my most anticipated games along with Fallout 4, Star Wars and Hitman&mdash;and this week Firaxis announced that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/">it’s moving</a> the turn-based strategy game to a new release date in February of next year. I actually don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world for one of the many huge games coming out this Winter to move to early 2016. This year is going to be insane for new games. If XCOM 2 was the only game you were excited about this year, then it’s a huge blow, but there’s so many other releases to look forward to from now until the end of the year: MGS V, Fallout 4, Hitman, Star Wars Battlefront, Adrift, Soma, Rainbow Six Siege, Mad Max, Just Cause 3, Arkham Knight returning to PC without being appalling and the yearly regulars. It’s going to be carnage for your wallets in the next few months. XCOM 2 may well end up being better than all of those games, and if Firaxis needs the extra time to get it right, I think I can handle the wait given how much I’ll have to play in the meantime.&nbsp;</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1sAqCacbQvGS.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/IMZ4xtTG2mX5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Super Mega Baseball Slide"></p><p><strong>Chris Livingston: Ahead of the Curve</strong><br>I'm not often an early adopter of anything, but I did generate an interest in sabermetrics before most, due to the work of a number of talented baseball writers and analysts. At the time, sabermetrics was the new school of baseball thought, a way to collect and interpret statistics that defied a number of hallowed baseball traditions. So I quickly became the sort of snooty fan who was annoyed with things like bringing in the closer <em>only</em> in the 9th inning (when the real batting threats may be due up in the 8th), or the practice of putting a speedy player in the lineup first instead of the player with the best chance of getting on base, and especially with bunting to move runners into scoring position. Sacrifice bunting became repulsive to me! Willingly giving away outs in baseball is, in my mind, a crime punishable by scorn.</p><p>So there I was this week, Mr. I Sneer At Conventional Baseball Wisdom, playing <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/super-mega-baseball-extra-innings-review/">Super Mega Baseball</a> (which I quite enjoyed). I had just cranked up the difficulty level to the point where I was perfectly matched with my opponent, and well into the game neither of us had scored a run or even gotten many hits. Finally, I caught a break, drove a frozen rope into the gap, and collected a stand-up triple.</p><p>I immediately knew what I had to do. I had to betray my own love of sabermetrics. I had to go for the squeeze. I had to<em> sac bunt</em>. I sent my runner from third before the pitch&mdash;the runner was actually me, a player I'd named Chris Livingston&mdash;and had the batter hunch in for a bunt. It went perfectly, dribbling down the third base line, no chance for a play at the plate. The batter was out at first, but I scored what would turn out to be the winning run. Sorry, all you baseball managers, for all my scorn over the years. Sometimes&mdash;very rarely!&mdash;the sac bunt is worth it.</p><p><strong>James Davenport: De-happy-tated</strong><br>Double Fine recently <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/double-fines-new-game-is-headlander-a-side-scrolling-action-adventure/">put out a trailer and some information</a> about their new Adult Swim published game, Headlander. The whole premise is outright dumb, which is why I’m on board. You play as a disembodied head inside a helmet that can rocket around and attach itself to the robots strewn about the retro-futuristic sci-fi world. Your goal is to figure out what the hell happened to humanity in a deranged, uncanny future. Since it’s essentially touted as a funny, puzzly Metroid with a minimal focus on combat, I’m pretty excited. You say ‘Metroid’ and I melt.</p><p>What’s more pleasing is to Adult Swim dive even deeper into the industry as a publisher. They brought us the inexplicable, lovely <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/jazzpunk-review/">Jazzpunk</a>, but don’t stray from the grim; <a href="http://www.deathsgambit.com/">Death’s Gambit</a> is in the oven and looks pretty neat. Point is, they’re carving out a creative, distinct space and should not be ignored.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1yRB_ZpeRlCA.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HbOoyzrW4ykT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Michael Fassbender Assassin's Creed Movie cropped"></p><p><strong>THE LOWS</strong></p><p><strong>Tim Clark: Fassbender’s face</strong><br>Look at it. Look at Michael Fassbender’s <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/">beautiful becowled face</a>. Savour that image, because this is the exact moment in which you can allow yourself to think, “Hey, he’s a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24cjqfVv1fs">proper actor</a>. Yes, there was Prometheus&mdash;but he was still the best thing in it. Maybe there’s a world in which the Assassin’s Creed movie won’t be red hot garbage.” And then you remember Jake Gyllenhaal. And Prince of Persia. And the moment is gone.</p><p><strong>James Davenport: PAX Blues</strong><br>PAX sure is a good time. Last year, before my time with PC Gamer, I went with some Canadian pals. While the show floor was a damp, flashy spectacle, my favorite moment of PAX had nothing to do with videogames. We were just sitting around in our hotel room, pretty tired from walking around all day, dehydrated. Consequently, I was a little drunk, even on two beers. Someone&mdash;I don’t remember who&mdash;fired first. They played a Wonderwall by Oasis mashup song. I can’t even remember what the second component was. All I remember is that we tested what we discovered as an unbreakable, universal law for a good hour or so. That law: if a song exists, there is a Wonderwall mashup of it somewhere. We dove down a deep, dark pit that evening. I emerged new. Different somehow, but closer to these people than before.</p><p>I invite you to test out this theory and share your results, but <em>only at your own risk</em>.</p><p>I mention it here not because I hate this memory. I cherish it, which is why I’m sad I’m not at PAX right now. Packing so many folks with similar interests into a tuna can portion of Seattle is an exhausting, exhilarating experiment, and I always look forward to the results. There will be a PAX in my future, no doubt, but now feels like a good time to embrace the melancholy. Sigh with me.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UQiGdNvBRWGa.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AXFcgFbAhn15.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Sheltered Slide"></p><p><strong>Chris Livingston: Home Base</strong><br>I mentioned in my highs that I'd named a character after myself in Super Mega Baseball. It can be fun putting yourself in the games you play, right? Gives you a little extra investment in the character, personalizes the game a bit, makes it more fun, gives you someone to root for.</p><p>Sometimes. I also named a character after myself in a game called <a href="http://www.unicube.net/sheltered/">Sheltered</a>, a post-apocalyptic management game where a family is living in a bomb shelter, trying to survive off scraps of food and contaminated water and having to make dangerous trips to the surface to scrounge for supplies.</p><p>The Christopher of Sheltered got food poisoning and spent most of his time vomiting all over the shelter. He got attacked by a psycho with a knife while scavenging in a school. He had to compete with his pet cat to catch and eat rats for sustenance. Christopher eventually died of radiation poisoning, at which point his sister carved him up and ate him to avoid starving to death, after which she also died of radiation poisoning. This was not as much fun as being a cartoon in a baseball game. (It's a pretty good game, though.)</p><p><strong>Andy Kelly: Console exclusives</strong><br>I’ve been reading the positive reviews of PS4 exclusive horror game <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/until-dawn-review/">Until Dawn</a>, and I’m jealous. Exclusives are just the worst, aren’t they? Most of the time I can block out console-only releases and get on with my life, but occasionally there’s one that has me lingering over the ‘add to basket’ button on Amazon. Another is Destiny, which several of my friends are genuinely obsessed with. But there’s a chance that one might come to PC, so I might just hold out. The sooner we get PC versions of games like Until Dawn and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the better.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z3U1DqRCS1e-.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/augp3xE1psdK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 Slide"></p><p><strong>Tom Senior: Why, Blizzard, Why!</strong><br>How could you do this to me Blizzard? Metal Gear Solid 5 is about to come out. Fallout 4 is on the horizon. I'm supposed to be limbering up for the biggest games of the year, but right on the eve of 2015's big release season you went for the nuclear option: you <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/diablo-3-patch-230-is-out-now/">updated Diablo 3</a>. You put new monsters in it, and a new zone, and added a cube that can suck special powers out of legendary items so I can equip them directly to my wizard's body somehow.</p><p>I went in for one lunch time, just to check things out, and then I remembered how much <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/crushing-diablo-3s-treasure-goblins/">I love killing treasure goblins</a>. The very next day a goblin dies and drops a portal to the treasure goblins' gold dimension. Coincidence? Yes! But that won't stop me from blaming you, even as I roll around in my massive piles of gold like Smaug. Big Boss and his Mother Base will have to wait; there are more treasure goblin portals out there, and they won't loot themselves.</p><p><strong>Samuel Roberts: No VR for you this year</strong><br>Sounds like the HTC Vive is going to be <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vive-available-only-in-limited-quantity-this-year/">hard to get hold</a> of this year, sadly&mdash;so it seems like the dream of a VR holiday where you can ignore your family members in a virtual world is firmly cancelled. With the Oculus headset also releasing in 2016, it looks like 2015 is off the calendar for big events in VR. Boo!</p> Minecraft: Story Mode will let players select gender and skin tonehttp://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-will-let-players-select-gender-and-skin-tone/It turns out that "Jesse" is a conveniently flexible name.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:26:53 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-will-let-players-select-gender-and-skin-tone/AdventureMinecraft: Story ModeNewsTelltale Games <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3MPXoAMIRLS1.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Y1c3cKsej2fd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode-detailed-at-minecon/">first trailer</a> for Telltale's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/minecraft-story-mode/">Minecraft: Story Mode</a>, released in July at Minecon, revealed that players would control a character named Jesse, portrayed by actor Patton Oswalt. "Jesse and his group of friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon," it said. "While at EnderCon, Jesse and his friends discover that something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion " </p><p>Now, Patton Oswalt is a pretty cool guy, but what if you don't want to play as him? What if you don't want to play as a "guy" at all, but would rather be&mdash;gasp!&mdash;a girl? Well, okay then. "Today we can announce that Minecraft: Story Mode will be the first Telltale game series to feature a player character where YOU choose their appearance," Telltale <a href="https://www.telltalegames.com/blog/99531/new-screenshots-minecraft-story-mode-features-selectable-player-character">said today on its blog</a>. "Players will be able to select from several different options for both male and female versions of our hero Jesse."</p><p>Oswalt is still providing the voice of male Jesse, but female Jesse will be voiced by <a href="http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,337359/">Catherine Taber</a>, who's been in the voice acting business since 2003, with credits including Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy XII, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, The Secret World, and a whole bunch of others. Other cast members include Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West, and Paul Reubens.</p><p>A handful of new screens illustrate both Jesse and Jesse&mdash;FemJesse? No, probably not&mdash;in action, as well as a couple of the available skin tone options. From the looks of it, you'll be able to play as any kind of character you like, which is a really great move by Telltale.</p><p>Minecraft: Story Mode is set to come out this fall. Find out more at <a href="https://www.telltalegames.com/minecraftstorymode/">Telltalegames.com</a>.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/25_gETsYTQyA.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hM4VOjdJWvlC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jrHsEGpiQlqb.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FGRGmM3rhT3c.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/VVd2EJ-eQnOI.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fl316UclIjO6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/76Uj0nZ5Q3yB.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6cX8ICQSuz0f.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3JX2wKt1SuOs.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xYefPKhDXAsg.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Minecraft: Story Mode"></p> The Humble Store Summer Sale offers Stealth Inc. 2 for freehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-summer-sale-offers-stealth-inc-2-for-free/The Humble Store is offering Stealth Inc. 2 for free until August 31.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:12:26 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-summer-sale-offers-stealth-inc-2-for-free/Humble StoreNews <p>The <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store">Humble Store Summer Sale</a>&mdash;technically the End of Summer Sale, but who wants to think about that?&mdash;is now underway. And even if you're saying to yourself, "I can't possibly afford to spend one more penny on videogame deals," this is still worth your time because until August 31, you can snag a copy of the Humble Deluxe Edition of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-stealth-bastard-returns-to-pc-in-stealth-inc-2/">Stealth Inc. 2</a> just by showing up.</p><p>We didn't review Stealth Inc. 2 but we did have a look at its PC predecessor, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/stealth-bastard-review/">Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole</a> (which I will never stop thinking is funny) and liked it quite a bit, which makes the whole "free" thing even better. But there are a lot of other solid deals on tap as well, like the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Collection for $12, Rogue Legacy for $2, Never Along for $6, the X3 Superbox for $10, and Goats on a Bridge for $1. (I have no idea what Goats on a Bridge is, but I like the title.)</p><p>The summer sale also introduces the new "Build Your Own Bundle" feature, which offers increasing discounts on game prices as you buy more of them (66 percent off for buying three, 72 percent for four, 75 percent for five, although they're currently limited to Codemasters and Telltale), and there will be 12-hour flash sales and publisher deals featuring Bethesda, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Warner, and others to be announced later. As always, ten percent of all purchases goes to support charity, and you may now choose from among <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-adds-a-choose-your-own-charity-option/">35,000 different charities</a> in the US and UK to support. The Humble Store Summer Sale is live now and runs until September 11.</p> Ranking the best and worst Bioshock gameshttp://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-bioshock-games/Or at least the best andleast-best.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:49:49 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-bioshock-games/BioshockBioshock 2Bioshock InfiniteFPSSurvey Fridays <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/0iQb1mjzQuSi.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/r7htvlK7nQAK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite 1"></p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">SURVEY FRIDAYS</h5><p>Every week we ask you to rank a series or just reminisce about PC games in a not-very-scientific survey. Look for the survey link in our <a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pcgamermagazine">Facebook</a> feeds each week, and the results every Friday. Previously, we ranked the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ranking-the-best-and-worst-of-the-mass-effect-games/">Mass Effect</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-call-of-duty-series-ranked/">Call of Duty</a> series and asked about the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/what-are-the-hardest-pc-games/">hardest PC games</a> you've played.</p></div><p>With Tyler off at PAX, it fell upon my pointy shoulders to arrange our weekly survey of what you guys think about stuff. <em>Games </em>stuff.&nbsp;</p><p>I thought&nbsp;the highly lauded, oft-discussed, occasionally&nbsp;divisive Bioshock series would fit the bill nicely. The original introduced us to Andrew Ryan's hidden underwater city of Rapture and gave us one of the most compelling&nbsp;reveals in gaming history. In the sequel we returned to the same setting, but this time stalked the ruins of Rapture&nbsp;as a powerful Big Daddy. Bioshock Infinite, meanwhile, took us to a new city in the clouds, Columbia, and gave us an ambitious story that still tied into the first two games.</p><p>The survey, which was posted on our&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/pcgamer">Twitter</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pcgamermagazine">Facebook</a> feeds,&nbsp;got a fantastic response, with 2,032 people taking the time to give us their thoughts!&nbsp;Here's what you told us about the Bioshock series.</p><h2>Which Bioshock game is the best?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">The Results</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Yaw14bAsRZKr.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Mo-gbH6LcjEC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="result"></p><p><em>Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p>No ambiguity here: 48%&nbsp;of survey-takers felt<strong style="background-color: initial;">&nbsp;the original Bioshock was the best</strong>. Not far behind were the&nbsp;40% who&nbsp;chose Bioshock Infinite as their favorite, while only 12% thought Bioshock 2 was the best in the series.</p><p>Many of the reasons cited by those who voted for the original&nbsp;Bioshock involve story, setting, gameplay,&nbsp;horror, and above all, the atmosphere. "One of the most atmospheric game environments ever made," said one survey-taker. "The claustrophobic atmosphere and mystery really appealed to me," said another.&nbsp;</p><p>I concur. It was my favorite of the series as well, terrifying at times, genuinely intriguing, with enjoyable and flexible combat.&nbsp;"The gorgeous world of Bioshock combined with a great gameplay and one of the best stories told in a video game," someone said.&nbsp;"Oozes atmosphere and style," wrote another.</p><p>Other players appreciated the deeper themes of the game.&nbsp;"It was political, it was philosophical, it showed the hubris of man in a way that I've rarely experienced in another game or film," said one.&nbsp;"First modern iteration to make gamers think about the philosophy of what they play and why they play it," said another.</p><p>"The claustrophobic and dark atmosphere, the lore surrounding Rapture and the story itself were all great, with complex themes related to power, freedom and human nature and the dangers of what can happen when actions are taken without regard for consequences."</p><p>On the other hand, a few voted for it for other reasons. "It is marginally less utter garbage than the other two." Fair enough.</p><h2>Which Bioshock game is the worst?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">RESULTS</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RjKthFeKTLOd.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ia8fnLD80_I3.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="results"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p> <em>Worst </em>is probably the wrong word, because many&nbsp;survey-takers&nbsp;pointed out that they enjoyed&nbsp;all three games, just to different degrees. Maybe we should call it least-best? Either way, <strong>your least favorite game in the series&nbsp;is&nbsp;Bioshock 2</strong>, with a full 60% of the votes.&nbsp;It seems the return to Rapture, this time as a Big Daddy, just&nbsp;didn't quite&nbsp;stand up to the experience of&nbsp;the&nbsp;original, nor did it&nbsp;provide enough of a new experience&nbsp;like Bioshock Infinite. "It just didn't capture me like the other two," said one poll-taker. "It was a bit too 'samey'," said another. "Once I got to the second one I was already acclimated to the universe, so there wasn't any awe and wonder."</p><p>Other comments:&nbsp;"While it was cool and all playing as a prototype big daddy, not much changed from the original. It ended up feeling like a big goose chase from level to level." "It had a better combat system (more fluid than the first Bioshock) but it was just a continuation."&nbsp;</p><p>Most responses can be summed up by this poll-taker's words:&nbsp;"It's not that I didn't like Bioshock 2, it's just that it is the least good."</p><p>Personally, Bioshock 2 was my second favorite and&nbsp;Bioshock&nbsp;Infinite my least favorite of the series, but I tend to like things in the order they were released. Like in&nbsp;the original Star Wars Trilogy, I prefer A New Hope to The Empire Strikes Back, and I like the first Tobey MacGuire Spider-Man movie better than the second. I have been told on countless occasions I am wrong about both and it would seem, <em>because of numbers</em>, I am wrong yet&nbsp;again.</p><p>For those who felt Bioshock Infinite <em>was </em>the best, we'll get to some of those comments on the next page.</p><h2>Who was the best villain?</h2><p>I suppose it's not surprising to see industrialist&nbsp;<strong>Andrew Ryan at the top of the pack with 42.2%</strong> of the vote. As the founder of Rapture, we quickly got to know him through his speeches (and looming&nbsp;statues), and our confrontation with him midway through Bioshock is one of the most memorable and disturbing scenes in gaming.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MM43ATZUTJKc.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LJ9mnrhkhjo0.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="results"></p><p>Frank Fontaine was also a popular choice, with 21.4% liking him best, followed by Comstock from Bioshock Infinite at 19.6%.&nbsp;I am a little saddened to see Sander Cohen so far down the list with only 10% of the vote. He's my personal favorite due to his showmanship, his disturbing art projects, his terrifying army of ballerina statues, and his love of murder. That guy was a born entertainer. I miss him.</p><h2>Did you harvest Little Sisters?</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">RESULTS</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qDsdFjroQt6e.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Cd0TrF4MyiIu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Results"></p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Click the icon in the upper right to enlarge. Based on 2,032 responses.</em></p></div><p>I'm pleased to see so many survey takers are good, kind&nbsp;people who like opening&nbsp;presents. <strong>68% of you didn't harvest (kill) even a single Little Sister</strong>, those adorable and yet horrifying children who scamper around extracting magic&nbsp;glop from corpses.&nbsp;</p><p>22% dabbled in harvesting, perhaps (as I did) simply trying it to see what happened and quickly deciding it wasn't for them.</p><p>Meanwhile, 10% just went hog wild&nbsp;and repeatedly&nbsp;sucked the life out of Rapture's&nbsp;vampiric tots. Hey, I'm not judging. When in Rome, right?</p><h2>Where should the next Bioshock game take place?</h2><p>We've seen a city at the bottom of the sea, and one floating in the clouds.&nbsp;In the event of future Bioshock game, I gave some options for where people thought&nbsp;it should take place.</p><p>33.9% said <strong>the Moon would be the best setting for another Bioshock game</strong>. Other favorites were that it should be on an island (13.3%), inside a volcano (12.7%), in an underground silo (12.3%), while&nbsp;11.9% think it should take place&nbsp;inside Saturn's rings. Just think of the view!</p><p>There was room for people to submit their own choices. Here are a few places people think another&nbsp;Bioshock game should take place:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">In a parallel world<br>Inside a giant cave<br>In a treehouse<br>Inside a human body, where you're shrunk down<br>Miniaturized, and in a sewer<br>SPAAAAAAACE<br>Australia<br>Anywhere is fine<br>All these options suck<br>Inside Half-Life 3</p><p>Plenty&nbsp;of people also&nbsp;told me they don't think another Bioshock game <em>should </em>be made,&nbsp;full stop.</p><h2>Other results</h2><p><b style="background-color: initial;">When it comes to taking down enemies, most (16.3%)&nbsp;prefer to use bullets</b>. In second place is the Big Daddy drill (14.3%) followed by the Skyhook (12%), and&nbsp;the wrench (10.7%). Under 10% were&nbsp;electricity, hacked security bots,&nbsp;fire, crows, insect swarms, using the enemy's bullets, and traps.&nbsp;Ice was&nbsp;the least favorite with 3.3%. Some write-in favorites: flinging corpses with telekinesis, harpoons, the rivet gun, hypnotizing enemies to kill each other, knocking them off ledges (in Columbia), and a number of weapon and plasmid combos. As one person put it: "Can't decide. All good."</p><p>In the Bioshock series, what made the <em style="background-color: initial;">least </em>sense to survey-takers (to the tune of 21.5%) was <strong style="background-color: initial;">why superpowers are sold in vending machines</strong><strong> but you're the only one who buys them</strong>, especially when, as 12.4% of you pointed out, the garbage cans of Columbia are stuffed with money. 13.3% agreed that the ending of Bioshock Infinite was confusing, 12.6% wondered why citizens of Rapture left their diary entries scattered around in dedicated&nbsp;individual tape recorders, and 5.7% didn't think it made sense for anyone to be fighting for control of Rapture since it was essentially&nbsp;a leaking garbage can&nbsp;entirely populated by screeching lunatics.</p><p><strong>Most never played&nbsp;Bioshock 2's multiplayer </strong>(69.1%), some of you played it a little (24.5%), and only 6.4% played it a lot. Nine people said they were playing it currently, so I'll have to assume they're all in the same session together.</p><p>54% felt that <strong>Burial at Sea, Part 2 was the best DLC in the series</strong>. Minerva's Den was second favorite (23.8%) and Burial at Sea, Part 1 was third (21.9%).</p><p><em style="background-color: initial;">Would you kindly continue to the next page to read some comments from survey takers?</em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1wHjngouTwaD.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/LEot-AXjISsJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite screenshot Elizabeth and Songbird"></p><p>Surveys with specific&nbsp;questions can be restrictive, so I left some room for the most dedicated of poll-takers to give me their thoughts about the Bioshock series. Here are some of them, and not others! A few responses&nbsp;have been gently edited or excerpted.&nbsp;And thank you, sincerely, to everyone who contributed, even the person who suggested the next Bioshock game should take place, and this is an unedited quote,&nbsp;"up your butt."</p><h2>Why Bioshock is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xIRAU7aUQtWE.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lq6ihvmsvPDe.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock"></p></div><p>"It was a perfectly realised atmospheric world, and what was most impressive was the way that you could imagine it really happening (apart from Fontaine's boss battle obviously). It had, in Ryan's death, arguably the best twist&mdash;and most&nbsp;horrifying cut scene&mdash;that I've ever experienced."</p><p>"It took the average shooter and combined it with an amazing setting and gripping story. The attention to detail within the fictional 50's underwater city was phenomenal. The replay value is also a great factor, I personally have played through it four times."</p><p>"Fort Frolic remains one of my favourite levels in gaming: a broken world of half-drowned bars and clubs presided over by the psychotic 'artist' Sander Cohen. It's a game filled with small yet powerful moments. We watch the decline of civilisation through the scattered thoughts of Rapture's denizens, all of them portrayed by voice actors who know their characters through and through."</p><p>"It was brought to life not just by the amazing characters like Andrew Ryan or Sander Cohen, but the character of Rapture itself, and how it felt like a living, breathing world full of an ecosystem of splicers, big daddies, and little sisters. Rapture felt like a world that existed before you came into it, with big daddies just doing their own duties, splicers fighting amongst themselves and looting areas, and little sisters attending to the dead ones, and it gave the impression that the world didn't revolve around you and that you were just another visitor, and that's an atmospheric detail that so many games lack even today. The variety of both weapons and plasmids were great, and none of them felt like they were any less viable as their own tool of destruction than any other. The limited weapon upgrades made you think twice about what weapon you were going to put more love into, and also gave your loadout a more personalized feel."</p><p>"It is, for me at least, one of the most engrossing games ever made. I was so sucked in on my first playthrough, I played through it in one sitting."</p><p>"The original Bioshock remains an incredibly compelling trip into a Randian fever dream. It mixed mystery, action and more than a bit of horror into a wonderful package. And while we joke about it today, that final twist still remains a jaw-dropper."</p><h2>Why Bioshock 2 is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock 2</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5PK3Kt6STNmv.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_seJPlZGf3VZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock 2"></p></div><p>"An atmosphere as immersive and enthralling as the first game but with a vastly improved combat system and a decent multiplayer addition."</p><p>"Playing as a Big Daddy was awesome. I really liked it in the original game when Jack had to "become" a Big Daddy in order to face Fontaine, and having a whole game around the idea of being a Big Daddy and protecting the Little Sisters was great to me. Some people felt those sections (protecting Little Sisters) were annoying, but they were one of the best part of the game in my opinion."</p><p>"I love Bioshock 2 for its more intimate story. I didn't like how the other two games felt they had to go for a big twist."</p><p>"Bioshock 2, first and foremost, is the most fun game in the series to play. Enemy balance is much more fair than the first game, and the ability to combine plasmid and firearm action, along with the new weapons, opened up all sorts of new combat possibilities. The spear gun is still one of my favorite weapons in any game ever. The story was perfect, offering complex, flawed characters and genuine emotional attachment where then characters in the first Bioshock were just stand-ins for philosophical ideals, and those in Infinite suffer from the game's inconsistent writing. Incredible attention to environmental details, great voice acting, and a focus on human struggle made Bioshock 2 something truly intimate and unforgettable."</p><p>"It's the most personal and human story, focused on the personal turmoil of fatherhood. It's a game where some of the worst villains were treated with compassion and humanity.&nbsp;The other games were about presenting big ideas without having anything meaningful to say about them."&nbsp;</p><p>"It was enjoyable setting traps and combat never felt like a chore. It was also enjoyably a counter-point to Bioshock. Where the first game focused on the upper class of Rapture and the struggle to control it, Bioshock 2 showed the seedy underbelly and the poor of Rapture. And the things you did mattered. It was more grand scale stuff, like four of five specific decisions, but they changed how the game ended. It felt more meaningful."</p><p>"The story is stripped down to something manageable and doesn't invariably shoot itself in the foot (as with BS1's last chapter or BSI's everything). A simple tale of a father reuniting with his daughter is quite lovely."</p><p>"Refined controls and combat compared to the first one. Story more relatable, despite lacking that [a]&nbsp;stellar twist."</p><h2>Why Bioshock Infinite is the best...</h2><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Bioshock infinite</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_Wruhbo8RxKX.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/qwEYwgrfCHLF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Bioshock Infinite"></p></div><p>"Fantastic story addressing varied meta-topics and issues, interesting combat mechanics and one of the best characters of 2013."</p><p>"Both Booker and Elizabeth essentially made the game come to life and being able to see and explore Columbia both before and after the events of the rebellion offered a unique look at the transitions of Columbia at its height to its fall. The fact that the game also dove more into the culture, race relations, and historical aspects of its time period were also fascinating and led to a lot of interesting discussions."</p><p>"The story and characters were interesting and engaging. I felt real emotions, man."</p><p>"While I love the original Bioshock, the gameplay in Infinite is so much smoother and the environmental interaction between your vigors and enemies.&nbsp;The stories are equally amazing, although Infinite does lack the quirky characters like Sander Cohen and Frank Fontaine, the Lutece twins and Elizabeth make up for it."</p><p>"Bioshock Infinite knows exactly what it wants to be: a blockbuster action/adventure. Its plot doesn't always hold together, and it comes across as pretentious some of the time, but it's just so mad that I can't help but applaud it. Booker and Elizabeth are both extremely interesting, and a combination of strong characters and great action is ultimately what makes it for me."</p><p>"Infinite's deep and complex narrative gives the player a lot to think about and understand about the world that you're playing in. Also I love the setting, the soundtrack, as well as the relationship between you (Booker) and Elizabeth."</p><p>"The graphics and setting of Columbia are breath-taking, juxtaposing the up-beat and happy themes at the start of the game with the melancholy and darkness of Finkton and other areas later in the game."</p><p>"It somehow manages to maintain the dark, macabre tone of the series while offering a much more colourful and charming setting."</p><p>"The visual spectacle of Columbia, mixed with the deep and emotional themes that run throughout Infinite of racism, family ties, and regret. Also Elizabeth, because she is possibly the greatest NPC ever created: emotional, relatable, she just felt real."</p> Brian Kibler on Magic’s battle to catch up with Hearthstonehttp://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-on-magics-battle-to-catch-up-with-hearthstone/MTG hall of famer explains why Blizzard is so far ahead digitallyFri, 28 Aug 2015 20:49:13 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-on-magics-battle-to-catch-up-with-hearthstone/BlizzardCard GameHearthstoneMagic: The GatheringWizards of the Coast <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EAXa1GReSfSR.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PJHTLaubZA5n.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Jace the Mind Sculptor Magic The Gathering Art"></p><p> I started playing Magic the Gathering over twenty years ago, when I was a thirteen year-old kid in the seventh&nbsp;grade. Since then, playing Magic has taken me to dozens of countries across five continents, and has been responsible for not only my career, but also virtually all of my closest friendships. I am one of the leading money winners in Magic tournament history, and in 2010 I was inducted into the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame.</p><p> And yet when I sit down to play a card game today, it isn’t going to be Magic. It’s going to be Hearthstone.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">BRIAN KIBLER</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bkYMAFx8T2uT.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1M433f0khhk6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Brian Kibler"> </p> <p> In addition to his illustrious record as an MTG pro, Brian was lead designer on the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, which was the paper&nbsp;precursor for Hearthstone. He is also currently senior game designer on&nbsp;<a href="http://solforgegame.com/">Solforge</a>. You can read more of his writing at&nbsp;<a href="http://bmkgaming.com/">bmkgaming</a> and see him stream Hearthstone&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitch.tv/bmkibler">here</a>. I hope you like dragons.</p> </div><p> I love Magic. I think it’s the greatest game ever made, even to this day. It created the entire collectible gaming category that has taken the world by storm, and spawned any number of incredibly successful imitators, from Pokemon to Yu-Gi-Oh to Hearthstone. But while its descendants have evolved to take advantage of the new digital revolution in gaming, Magic has failed to keep up with times.</p><p> It’s strange that things have gotten to this point, because much like Magic was the first CCG, it was also among the first games to introduce the idea of selling digital objects. Back when Magic Online was released in 2002, the application name was “MODO”, which stood for “Magic Online Digital Objects”. To assuage the fears of a community that wasn’t accustomed to paying real money for virtual goods&mdash;as well as to justify charging the same full retail price for digital booster packs&mdash;Magic Online included a redemption program that allowed players to exchange a full set of cards online for that same set in paper. This decision was one of many made to anchor Magic Online as closely as possible to the physical game, a philosophy that has caused significant problems over the years.</p><p> The most recent foray into the digital space&mdash;<a href="http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/magic-duels">Magic Duels: Origins</a>&mdash;has done away with the same strict tethering. Not&nbsp;only has it embraced the free-to-play philosophy of other games in the digital CCG space, and allowed players to earn cards rather than purchase them, but it has a response timer system that has something more a videogame feel than the sometimes ponderous pace of paper Magic (and thus Magic Online).</p><p> These modifications, among others, have led to Duels being a big success at bringing new players into the game. But for established players like me, it doesn’t have the same appeal. So much of what has kept me in Magic over the years is the competition of tournament play, and the vast open-endedness of deck building, neither of which Duels offers in a manner comparable to paper Magic or Magic Online. A lot of people have asked me while I’m <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/bmkibler">streaming Hearthstone on Twitch</a> if I’m going to stream Duels some time too, and I tell them that I just don’t find the same enjoyment in a watered down version of my favorite game.</p><blockquote> Magic is an incredible game, but right now, it just isn't a very good videogame. </blockquote><p> If Magic wants to keep up with the kids these days, and to keep its old time fans like me engaged in this era of digital gaming, it needs to find a middle ground between Magic Online and Duels. Here are the three biggest area that Magic’s digital offerings need to improve to find a firm footing in today’s online gaming marketplace.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7ftfa5dsSeqT.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9GuGoYZ4VqkE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hearthstone" class=""> <figcaption>Hearthstone</figcaption></figure><h3>Convenience</h3><p> I can log on to Hearthstone and play a ranked or arena game at almost any time of day, and if I only have time for that one game, that’s okay. On Magic Online, signing up for any tournament is a serious commitment of several hours, and you can’t just leave in the middle without giving up your entry fee and possible prizes. Magic needs to adjust its online competitive offerings to make them more convenient, especially for its older fans who may not be able to block off hours at a time to play. Duels simply has no real outlet for competitive play.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4JjWzQtsTfmA.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G2FwyEXUbnJd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magic Online" class=""><figcaption>Magic Online</figcaption></figure><h3>Stream Friendliness</h3><p> It’s Twitch’s world now. The rest of us are just living in it. Online streaming is the way that an entire generation discovers and interacts with games, and it isn’t going away. Magic Online not only suffers from long downtime between matches, as mentioned above, but also an interface that is very difficult for anyone but the most experienced players to follow. Duels is a step in the right direction, with a smooth game flow, animations, and sound effects that people don’t just turn off by default. I’d do away with the simulated perspective of the game board for more of a top-down view, since cards are already hard enough to read when the board gets cluttered. If people can’t tell what’s going on, they won’t watch. If they don’t watch, they’re unlikely to start playing.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3-HCnYXtQXuI.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/30Ik0d4J2llE.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Magic Duels" class=""> <figcaption>Magic Duels</figcaption></figure><h3>Cost</h3><p> This may be where Magic Online is hamstrung the most, because many players have invested a great deal to build their collections. Shifting the basic economy away from a same-as-physical price model would massively undermine the confidence of the existing player base, but something has to be done. You can play Hearthstone arena for just two dollars, or for free with in-game gold, while a Magic draft is almost fifteen dollars retail on Magic Online. Duels is much friendlier price-wise, with the ability to earn all of the content for free in the new release, but lacks the same competitive appeal as either Magic Online or Hearthstone.</p><p> Magic is an incredible game, but right now, it just isn’t a very good videogame. But if Wizards of the Coast can make it faster, prettier, and cheaper, it just might be good enough to bite off a chunk of huge digital card game audience that has had its appetite whet by Hearthstone and is hungry for more.&nbsp;</p> Here's your first look at Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/More like Fassassin's Creed, am I right?Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:16:26 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-your-first-look-at-michael-fassbender-in-assassins-creed/ActionAssassin's CreedNewsUbisoft <p>True or false: Videogame movies suck. The answer, of course, is "true." There are exceptions to that rule&mdash;I actually quite enjoyed the original Mortal Kombat film&mdash;but generally speaking, there are few quicker roads to ruin that basing your summer blockbuster on a popular game franchise. Will the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed/">Assassin's Creed</a> flick be able to elevate itself to a level of "not bad," or, dare we dream, beyond? I don't know, but I can tell you this: <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1055413/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Michael Fassbender</a> has the <em>dreamiest</em> eyes.</p><p>I mean, seriously, just look at the way those gorgeous baby blues almost glow with intensity under that hood. They grip my heart, they pierce my soul; they're like warm, aquamarine pools filled with Elven lovers, bathing and dancing under starlit skies... sorry, what were we talking about?</p><p>Oh, right. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/michael-fassbender-assassins-creed-movie/">GamesRadar</a>, the film will start shooting next week, and will tell the tale of Aguilar, a 15th-century Spanish Assassin and newcomer to the franchise. Fassbender will also play Callum Lynch, a modern-day descendant of Aguilar who's caught up in a beef with the Templars, which is what actually leads him to reconnect with Aguilar in the first place. It's set for release on December 21 of 2016.</p><p>It sounds like a fairly conventional Assassin's Creed setup, and we can only hope that it will be better than previous videogame movies like... well, take your pick, really. For now, what do you think&mdash;Is Fassbender your guy?</p><p>(And don't forget: The latest Assassin's Creed game, AC: Syndicate, has been delayed on the PC, and won't be out <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-landing-late-on-pc/">until November</a>.)</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4dnE2HqTSe29.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JZIGR3o9Xdae.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Michael Fassbender Assassin's Creed"></p> New Doom video shows off insanely violent "glory kills"http://www.pcgamer.com/new-doom-video-shows-off-insanely-violent-glory-kills/Hasta lasagna, don't get any on ya.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:15:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/new-doom-video-shows-off-insanely-violent-glory-kills/Bethesda SoftworksDoomFPSid SoftwareNews <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/P8qfIY4RqWs?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p>It turns out that there is more to&nbsp;"Glory kills" than&nbsp;just killing gloriously. As Bethesda explains in the latest <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/doom/">Doom</a> video, they're over-the-top melee attacks that enable players to get up close and personal with enemies without slowing the game's frantic pace. They are, of course,&nbsp;gloriously gory&mdash;but also extremely fast, and designed specifically so that they won't break the rhythm of the game's "push forward".</p><p> Glory kills remind me a bit of the melee kills in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/serious-sam-3-bfe/">Serious Sam 3: BFE</a>, but they're much more sophisticated than just "static finishers." There's a large number of them of them in the game and they change depending upon your position in relation to your victim, and they won't interrupt the speed of the slaughter. You can step back and bear witness to your handiwork if you like, but things happen quickly enough that it's just as easy, and probably more tempting, to move on to the next guy and do it again.</p><p> "We have strict time limits on how long [glory kills] can last," Chief Technology Officer Robert Duffy says in the video, which was apparently recorded at E3 but just posted at <a href="http://bethesda.net/#en/events/game/the-guts-and-gore-of-doom-glory-kills/2015/08/28/17">Bethesda.net</a> today. "They’re hundreds of milliseconds, just because you want to keep the player moving."</p><p> Now, me, I'm a practical man. Punching things is something I do when I'm all out of bullets. As long as I have a loaded gun, or even better an assortment of guns, I think I'll stick to shooting stuff, thanks. You?</p><p> Doom is slated to come out in the spring of 2016.</p> A Borderlands movie is in the works at Lionsgatehttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-borderlands-movie-is-in-the-works-at-lionsgate/There's no word on when it will be ready, but it's happening.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:58:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-borderlands-movie-is-in-the-works-at-lionsgate/BorderlandsFPSGearbox SoftwareNewsTake Two Interactive <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NIgE-7XRQziX.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HfiLmDEl6iew.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="BorderlandsPreSequel 2014-09-27 08-59-06-08"></p><p>Seemingly completely&nbsp;unafraid of movie critics using the "this is total&nbsp;claptrap" line,&nbsp;&nbsp;Lionsgate has revealed that it is developing a movie based on Gearbox's <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/borderlands/">Borderlands</a> franchise. <a href="http://variety.com/2015/film/news/borderlands-videogame-movie-lionsgate-1201580303/">Variety</a> says the "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent-pole_%28entertainment%29">tentpole</a>" flick is being produced by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0032696/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Avi</a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7191024/?ref_=fn_al_nm_5">Ari Arad</a>, who are worth mentioning for their past production credits, including numerous early Marvel films, and Avi's status as the founder and, until 2006, CEO of Marvel Studios.</p><p>“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace with an incredible portfolio of brands; our partners at Gearbox have pioneered and cultivated an iconic property; and Avi and Ari Arad are two of the most successful producers of action franchises,” Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Borderlands publisher Take-Two Interactive, said in a statement. “This alliance is ideally positioned to create a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon that will delight Borderlands current legions of fans and captivate moviegoers around the world.”</p><p>Borderlands might not seem like the sort of thing that naturally lends itself to a 90-minute, three act&nbsp;narrative structure, but the <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/tales-from-the-borderlands/">Tales From the Borderlands</a> adventure series proves that, in the right hands, great things can be done with the material. And that may well be the direction Lionsgate is headed: Back in February, it made a "<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/hunger-games-mad-men-studio-partners-with-telltale/">significant investment</a>" in Telltale Games, and while at the time we took that to mean primarily that we'd be getting games based on Lionsgate properties, maybe we'll see things going&nbsp;the other way, too.</p><p>As Variety noted, with perhaps a touch of understatement, "Movies based on videogames have not yet achieved blockbuster status in Hollywood," and I wouldn't expect a Borderlands film to change that. But a Tales From the Borderlands film? That's something I might actually pay to see.</p> Shadowrun: Hong Kong reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/shadowrun-hong-kong-review/Harebrained Schemes tells its darkest tale in the harsh neon glare of Shadowrun Hong Kong.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:38:23 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/shadowrun-hong-kong-review/ReviewsRPGShadowrun: Hong KongStrategy <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong> A text-heavy turn-based cRPG.<br> <strong>Developer</strong> Harebrained Schemes<br> <strong>Publisher</strong>&nbsp;In-house<br> <strong>Reviewed on</strong> Windows 7, Core i5, 16GB RAM, GTX 780Ti<br> <strong>Expect to pay</strong> £15<br> <strong>Multiplaye</strong>: No<br> <strong>Link</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/hongkong/">official site</a><br> </p> </div><p>My charismatic elven Street Samurai could talk my way through a locked door, but couldn’t hit a troll at two paces. And yet here I was, staring down an angry vampire upset at my late-night stock-check of her boyfriend’s flat. This rooftop duel under neon floodlights convinced me that Shadowrun had at last unlocked the potential in its magic-meets-cyberpunk setting.</p><p>If I lost, I’d enjoy life as a servile pawn; if I won, she might convince her other half to dispose of a valued asset. It’s all tension, melodrama and, as it turns out, complete farce. Almost as soon as the lead starts flying, she calls a halt and agrees to deal&mdash;because she’s not an age-old force of destruction; she’s an accountant. A vampire accountant. Who says corporate jobs are dull?</p><p>This world of magic and megacorps in near-future Earth ought to be exciting, but the business of shadowrunning (dirty, untraceable work for the highest bidder) was a touch dry in Shadowrun Returns and its expandalone, Dragonfall. Hong Kong is blessed by the camp excess of Eastern cinema. You find it in the lurid neon that adorns every shopfront, the clichéd retorts, the triad wars and the B-movie heists that Shadowrun Hong Kong delights in. It’s like the series has relaxed, comfortable in its own skin, convinced by a third successful Kickstarter that it’s good at what it does.</p><p>Shadowrun is about intrigue above all, and the new story raises questions aplenty. As a clean-nosed tourist in search of your estranged foster father, it’s all of five minutes before you’re forced into roving firefights with the Hong Kong police. You descend into a life of crime, branded a terrorist and desperate for triad protection, taking on a multitude of unsavoury shadowruns while your new boss (the improperly named Kindly Cheng) tracks down your dad and puzzles out his link to the poverty-strangled Walled City. Hong Kong is a more personal and urgent adventure than Shadowrun Returns&mdash;you’re not so much a hero as a well-armed victim&mdash;and it surpasses Dragonfall in dark comic grandeur.</p><p>There’s the staple murder mystery, Hollywood backstabbing, impromptu feng shui and some casual tomb raiding to keep things fresh. Scene-setting is&nbsp;handled by text and décor alone as you fight through missions in&nbsp;reliable turn-based combat, which is&nbsp;all but unchanged from the previous games. Given the fans’ appetite for Shadowrun, it makes sense to return with more of the adventures we've already enjoyed, but Hong Kong feels safe. In the face of competitors like Pillars of Eternity with its character-packed voice work, Shadowrun needs to&nbsp;adapt or become dated. </p><p>Static though the settings are, they’re lavish to an obscene degree. It’s luxurious, hands-off spectacle that exists to support the writing, and occasionally outshines it.&nbsp;It’s a shame that $1.2m wasn’t enough to resolve the longstanding interface woes. The UI is cleaner, certainly, but a certain amount of patience is required to see past input lag and, on one occasion, complete failure of input recognition that caused my runner to stroll about in sleeping gas instead of taking the lift. I left her behind with vindictive pleasure. And for all the quality of Hong Kong’s dialogue, it’s still prone to offer an illusion of player choice over meaningful roleplay. Polite, smartass and slow-witted options typically mask the same response, only prefixed with a different description of a facial expression.</p><p>Regardless, Shadowrun Hong Kong is a spectacular story of deceit and poisonous evil that will lure you through the most indulgent settings yet seen in the cRPG renaissance. For the price, the scale is giddying, but Shadowrun is starting to cry out for innovation&mdash;these are new (quite excellent) assets and a fresh script retrofitted to a two-year-old game. Harebrained works tirelessly to please its backers, but if Shadowrun continues to tread water, the genre it brought out of obscurity could end up slipping back into the shadows.</p> XCOM 2 is delayed until Februaryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/2K Games announced the release date on Twitter.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:52:28 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-is-delayed-until-february/2K GamesFiraxisNewsStrategyXCOM 2 <p> The good news is that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2/">XCOM 2</a> finally has a solid and specific release date. The bad news is that it's not, as originally planned, coming in November. 2K Games revealed on <a href="https://twitter.com/XCOM/status/637294530660700160?lang=en-gb">Twitter</a> this morning that the game will instead be out on February 5, 2016.</p><p> "We’ve set a high bar for the sequel and the entire team has been working hard to make sure we deliver a great follow-up to Enemy Unknown. We just need a little more time to make it the best possible game," the studio <a href="http://xcom.com/news/en/xcom-2-now-coming-to-pc-worldwide-on-february-5-2016">wrote</a>. "With XCOM 2, we want to have more depth, more replayability, and more investment in your soldiers and this extension will give us the time we need to deliver on our promise to you."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/XCOM2?src=hash">#XCOM2</a> coming to PC worldwide on February 5, 2016.</p><p>→ <a href="http://t.co/mpkA6XCQTP">http://t.co/mpkA6XCQTP</a> <a href="http://t.co/MGFFxMA8Ll">pic.twitter.com/MGFFxMA8Ll</a></p><p>&mdash; XCOM (@XCOM) <a href="https://twitter.com/XCOM/status/637294530660700160">August 28, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> Personally, I'm okay with that: I'd rather wait for something good than get a game on schedule that isn't quite fully baked. We'll find out more about XCOM 2 when developer Firaxis shows it off at the upcoming <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/second-annual-firaxicon-is-happening-in-october/">Firaxicon</a>, which takes place on October 3 in Baltimore.</p> Divinity: Original Sin 2 stretch goals revealedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-stretch-goals-revealed/Undead origins and skills for dwarves and lizards.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:24:12 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-stretch-goals-revealed/Divinity: Original Sin 2NewsStrategy <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wxyNHn3kBlo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Divinity: Original Sin 2&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1335715">Kickstarter</a> campaign&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-has-hit-its-kickstarter-target/">is going so well</a> it passed the first stretch goal before stretch goals were even announced. Larian currently has&nbsp;$856,356 in pledges, far surpassing the $500,000 asked for. That means a hardcore "strategist mode" and the "pick a skill tree" tiers are already unlocked.</p><p>Stretch goals go all the way to $1.5 million. The ominous-sounding&nbsp;"HALL OF ECHOES" is the final tier; that will be explained later. Others include racial skills for dwarves and lizards, and the addition of the undead as a playable race. The video above&nbsp;covers the new stretch goals in more detail&nbsp;and&nbsp;looks ahead to PAX, where we will also be in force this weekend.</p> The best Sims 4 modshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-sims-4-mods/Add new personality types, change your sims' behaviour and send themto college with these useful tweaks.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:38:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-sims-4-mods/simThe Sims 4 Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-i-review/Pillars of Eternitygets its first expansion.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:03:59 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-i-review/Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1ReviewsRPG <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">NEED TO KNOW</h5> <p> <strong>What is it?</strong><br> Chilly expansion for Obsidian's excellent CRPG, Pillars of Eternity.<br> <strong>Price</strong>&nbsp;£11/$15<br> <strong>Developer</strong>&nbsp;Obsidian Entertainment<br> <strong>Publisher</strong>&nbsp;Paradox Interactive<br> <strong>Reviewed On</strong>&nbsp;GeForce GTX 970, Intel i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz, 16GB RAM<br> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Multiplayer</strong>&nbsp;None<br> <strong style="background-color: initial;">Link</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://eternity.obsidian.net/" target="_blank">Official Site</a> </p> </div><p> If Pillars of Eternity is Baldur’s Gate, then The White March is Icewind Dale&mdash;and not just because they both feature chilly, snow-covered settings. The focus in this DLC expansion is squarely on combat and dungeon-crawling, so anyone looking to sink their teeth into a rich story will be disappointed. But if you can’t get enough of Pillars’ deep real-time-with-pause&nbsp;combat, and like a challenge, it may be worth a look.</p><p> The White March is an area in the Dyrwood’s frozen north. To access it you need to reach the point in the&nbsp;story where the Watcher takes possession of Caed Nua. A letter will arrive and your ghostly steward will tell you about a village, Stalwart, that needs your help. If you don’t have a&nbsp;save from before the point of no return at the end of the main game, you’ll have to start again.</p><p> When you arrive in the tiny fishing village, it’s being attacked by giant ogres. Repel the invaders and you’ll meet the mayor. She tells you about an ancient dwarven fortress, Durgan’s Battery, that’s been sealed for aeons. If you can get inside and activate a legendary forge, said to be able to make the world’s strongest steel, you’ll bring prosperity to the village, which has been in decline for years.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/aJ-SmB0YSnCz.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KikkkXX3MO1k.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="291650 2015-08-26 00022"></p><p> The story isn’t as good as anything in the main game, and there isn’t much of it. It’s really just an excuse to give you two new dungeons to crawl. As well as Durgan’s Battery there’s Cragholdt Bluffs, which is designed for skilled players with high-level parties. Don’t even think about going here until you’re at least level 10. Both are big on tough, challenging battles that will test even veteran players.</p><p> But you don’t have to go it alone, because The White March features two new companions. Zahua is a strange old monk who specialises in unarmed combat and is covered in self-inflicted scars. They rid him of his vanity, he says, which is part of his religion&mdash;and also the reason you first meet him hiding in a barrel of stinking, rotten fish. He’s an intriguing oddball, and really good at punching people.</p><p>Then there’s the Devil of Caroc, a creepy robot with black eyes that’s been implanted with the soul of a wise-cracking murderer. She’s a skilled rogue, and one of the most unusual companions in the game. It’s just a shame they blow the whole soul-of-a-murderer thing almost immediately after you meet her. I would have liked to have been surprised by that after adventuring with her for a while.</p><p>There are a few decent side-quests, including one where you get involved in a feud between a local drunk and the owner of the village inn, but mostly they’re unremarkable. The White March is pretty, though. From the bubbling hot-springs and gently falling snow of Stalwart to the rugged, icy mountains near Durgan’s Battery, it’s a nice contrast to the leafy green forests of the rest of the Dyrwood.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/x1mw-a_RTISo.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hoHHt33HBzdX.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="291650 2015-08-26 00050" style="width: 668px;"></p><p>The White March arrives alongside patch 2.0, which you’ll get even if you don’t buy the DLC. This brings some pretty major new features to the game, including the ability to assign AI scripts to party members. No more endless micromanaging&mdash;unless you want to, of course. The enemy AI has been improved too, and sees foes breaking away to engage ranged characters and casters at the back more frequently.</p><p>The White March is fine. It’s no Throne of Bhaal or Tales of the Sword Coast, but it’s a reasonably entertaining chunk of new quests, and a nice change of scenery. You’ll return from the frosty White March with quality loot in your stash, mountains of experience points, and two new weirdos to adventure with, but not many great tales to tell around the campfire. I’m not sure what Part II of the DLC will entail, but hopefully it has a more compelling story to accompany its dungeon-crawling.</p> First Lawbreakers footage shows rockets, grappling hookshttp://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/New characters and weapons revealed.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:30:43 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-gameplay-video/FPSFree To PlayLawbreakersNewsPAX Prime 2015 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RJ4S5G4nsUI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-is-the-new-fps-from-boss-key-and-cliff-bleszinski/">debut trailer</a> set the scene on Wednesday, but now we have the first in-game footage of&nbsp;<a href="http://lawbreakers.nexon.net/">Lawbreakers</a>, a free-to-play shooter from&nbsp;Cliff Bleszinski's Boss Key Productions. The game is set in a future where the moon is gone and gravity is throwing a crazy party to celebrate. That explains the floating arena, which we see players navigate with the aid of a&nbsp;a neat grapple-and-swing laser lasso.</p><p>The four characters shown fulfill different class roles in a fight. Kitsune is an assassin who can do lots of damage up close. Maverick can fly, and wields a gatling cannon. Breacher is your go-to first-character soldier type with a familiar assault-rifle-and-sidearm loadout. Cronos is a huge tank with a rocket launcher.</p><p>I love the grapple-swinging, and the rest looks decent enough. However,&nbsp;there will be a lot of very&nbsp;similar games fighting for attention soon. Bllizzard has Overwatch; Gearbox has Battleborn and Valve's Team Fortress 2 is still as fun and free as ever. Has Lawbreakers won your heart &nbsp;with this first footage?</p> Valve's Vive only available in "limited quantity" this yearhttp://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vive-available-only-in-limited-quantity-this-year/Full launch planned for 2016.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:39:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vive-available-only-in-limited-quantity-this-year/NewsVive <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Z17c1-XPTw6f.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4G1eRznzqmrO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="SteamVR Vive"></p><p>Here's today's&nbsp;strapping electronic devices to your face news: Valve and HTC's Vive VR headset will, for most, not be available until next year. Previously, all we've heard on the matter is that Vive commercial units would emerge "by the end of 2015." That's still true, to extent, but now Valve is saying that the 2015 launch will consist only of a "limited quantity" of units.</p><p>The information&nbsp;was imparted via a press release about the Vive's presence at PAX Prime. "Later this year," the release revealed,&nbsp;"HTC will offer the first commercial Vive units via a limited quantity of community and developer systems, with larger quantities shipping in calendar Q1 2016."</p><p>That means the majority of Vive units will be shipping in the same Q&mdash;or quarter&mdash;as the device's main VR competitor, the Oculus Rift.</p><p>It's not yet clear how limited of a quantity the press release's&nbsp;"limited quantity" is.</p><p>Ta,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-08-28-valves-vive-will-receive-only-a-limited-launch-in-2015" target="_blank">GI</a>.</p> Co-op Western top-down shooter A Fistful of Gun out next monthhttp://www.pcgamer.com/co-op-western-top-down-shooter-a-fistful-of-gun-out-next-month/Devolver's latest strolls in to town September 24.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:37:34 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/co-op-western-top-down-shooter-a-fistful-of-gun-out-next-month/News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1p_K3a4kRMWD.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sUidq4jjhun8.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A Fistful of Gun"></p><p>A&nbsp;Fistful of Gun features 9-player co-op, and so it's a good job it works online too. It's hard to maintain that cool, just-rode-into-town Western hero feeling when eight other people are elbowing you to get at their controls.</p><p>Originally a free prototype&mdash;still available as a download from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.farmergnome.com/" target="_blank">developer Farmergnome's site</a>&mdash;A Fistful of Gun is now a full game being released by Devolver Digital on September 24. Each of its heroes features a slightly different control scheme, which you'll manipulate with the aim of destroying levels full of bandits. It's a classic top-down shooter: there are power-ups, different characters, different weapons, and up to nine people ramping up the carnage.</p><p>Here's a trailer:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nGHARVvXaMw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Transformers: Devastation trailer delivers on gameplay footagehttp://www.pcgamer.com/transformers-devastation-trailer-delivers-on-gameplay-footage/Robots bashing each other in cartoon landscapes.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:09:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/transformers-devastation-trailer-delivers-on-gameplay-footage/FightingNewsPlatinum GamesTransformers Devastation <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HGLJ_O_0jpo" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>I never watched Transformers and don't really play fighting games, but I really wanna play <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/transformers-devastation/">Transformers: Devastation</a>. Especially after watching the above trailer, which doesn't skimp on gameplay footage. As many others have noted, Devastation looks like a Saturday morning cartoon come to life, and that's an art style I can get behind.</p><p>The footage above is a Sony trailer, and therefore (presumably) shows the game running on a PS4. Still, the game <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/transformers-devastation-coming-to-pc-developed-by-platinum/">is definitely confirmed for PC</a>, and with Platinum Games at the helm it might be a rare instance of a decent Transformers game.&nbsp;</p> Hitman: Absolution is one dollar if you donate to this charityhttp://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-absolution-is-one-dollar-if-you-donate-to-this-charity/Take a hit out on cancer.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 02:01:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/hitman-absolution-is-one-dollar-if-you-donate-to-this-charity/Hitman AbsolutionNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zydP8WC1SMCv.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DOsiNEhN3c7k.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Hitman Absolution sniper"></p><p>If you want to acquire Hitman: Absolution, feel noble about it, and pay next-to-nothing in the process, then you're in luck: California based charity <a href="http://gamechangercharity.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&amp;eventID=509">GameChanger</a> is taking minimum donations of $1 for pediatric cancer research, and all donations get a Hitman steam code.</p><p>It's possible to donate more than $1 of course, so if you've got some extra cash, consider it. The top donor will win either an Xbox One or PS4 – obscure 'game systems' that are a bit like computers except you can't open Microsoft Word or overclock anything.&nbsp;</p><p>GameChanger will also be at PAX this weekend, shaving heads. If you get your head shaved, Square Enix will donate $47 to the charity.</p> Ark: Survival Evolved is among four Steam free weekend gameshttp://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-is-among-four-free-steam-games-this-weekend/Also: Company of Heroes 1 and 2, and Mount Blade: WarbandFri, 28 Aug 2015 00:58:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved-is-among-four-free-steam-games-this-weekend/Ark: Survival EvolvedCompany of HeroesMount and Blade: WarbandNewsSteam <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/N_cH7dvwR3W3.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/o7wDPCfE0_9i.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Ark: Survival Evolved"></p><p>If you've been reluctant to splash cash on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-survival-evolved/">Ark: Survival Evolved</a>, then good news: it's free on Steam this weekend. The dinosaur age survival sandbox is ludicrously popular, and it's easy to see why. When <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/ark-diary-how-not-to-train-your-dinosaur/">Chris Livingston played</a> he "chopped some wood, punched some birds, [and] pooped out several large, round turds," which sounds pretty great.</p><p>Other games are free too: <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/company-of-heroes/">Company of Heroes</a> and its sequel, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/company-of-heroes-2/">Company of Heroes 2</a>, are both free for the weekend, and come with a 75% discount if you want to purchase. Mount &amp; Blade: Warband is the fourth game to go free, with 66% taken off the usual price if you like what you play.</p><p>In case it's not obvious, these games are free for the weekend only: come Monday you'll need to pay up if you wish to continue playing.</p> Bioshock 4K galleryhttp://www.pcgamer.com/bioshock-4k-gallery/Is a monitor not entitled to the sweat of its PC? I tried.Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:05:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/bioshock-4k-gallery/BioshockFPSPixel Boost Grip Kickstarter canceled, but Early Access release is coming anywayhttp://www.pcgamer.com/grip-kickstarter-canceled-but-early-access-release-is-coming-anyway/The Grip Kickstarter wasn't going to make its goal, so the developer switched to an in-house crowdfunding campaign.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:24:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/grip-kickstarter-canceled-but-early-access-release-is-coming-anyway/GripKickstarterNewsRacing <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D2dJ0WofSzs?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> The Rollcage-inspired racing game Grip <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rollcage-inspired-racer-grip-is-now-on-kickstarter/">went to Kickstarter</a> earlier this month, asking for 657,000 Canadian dollars to get the game out the door. It managed to raise nearly $154,000, a not inconsiderable amount but nowhere near on pace for success, and so today developer Caged Element <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/169002413/grip-an-intense-futuristic-combat-racer/posts/1336106">pulled the plug</a>. But it's not giving up on the game, and said it hopes to be able to finish it with the help of an Early Access release and in-house crowdfunding campaign instead.</p><p> "We're so very grateful to those of you who backed us on Kickstarter, and we hope that after seeing our continued passion for making this game, you will re-pledge your support here," the studio wrote on the <a href="http://www.cagedelement.com/grip/#top">Grip web page</a>. "All funds from this campaign will go into further developing the initial release for Early Access."</p><p> The new crowdfunding campaign currently offers just six tiers, ranging from $4 to $40, with no physical rewards available, although the studio hopes to eventually work some in. There's also no set goal or time limit, so pledges, as far as I can see, are taken immediately and kept regardless of the outcome. However, the studio does promise to issue refunds to anyone who wants one if it fails to get Grip to Early Access by November 30.</p><p> The planned feature list for the initial Early Access release is one car, one track, and one "playground map," plus three weapons, two power-ups, "standard" AI, a bunch of modifiers like slow motion, unlimited ammo, and double engine power, and one exclusive music track. The studio also emphasized that pre-purchasing the Early Access version will give "permanent ownership" of the final release as well.</p><p> "We considered going straight to Steam with our current build, but instead felt it was important and ultimately necessary to release our first version at a higher level of quality. We want you to be able to jump into Grip and have a great experience right from the start, without too many bugs or annoyances getting in the way," the studio said. "With Early Access, we can truly focus on development, getting iterations of the game to you as efficiently as possible while also receiving your valuable input on upcoming features."</p><p> Home-grown crowdfunding can be very successful&mdash;just ask <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/star-citizen/">Chris Roberts</a>&mdash;but it also lacks some of the safeguards inherent in Kickstarters that, while not always effective, at least ensure that no money changes hands unless and until a predetermined goal is achieved. The promise of refunds if the Early Access release isn't on time is laudable, but no more enforceable than Kickstarter's requirement that successful campaigns deliver the goods (although&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds/">there is the official Steam route</a>). On the other hand, the trailer that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/grip-trailer-features-vehicular-violence-strauss/">went up last week</a> looks pretty good, and pulling in 150 large in less than three weeks is a clear indication of real interest in this game.</p><p> All of which leads to a simple question: If you backed Grip on Kickstarter (and even if you didn't), will you throw it&nbsp;some money now?</p> Garden of Terror is one the best maps in Heroes of the Stormhttp://www.pcgamer.com/garden-of-terror-is-one-the-best-maps-in-heroes-of-the-storm/One of the most divisive questions in Heroes of the Storm iswhether the Garden of Terror is an amazing map or a terrible one.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/garden-of-terror-is-one-the-best-maps-in-heroes-of-the-storm/BlizzardHeroes of the StormMOBAOpinion <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oUcXPFlCSjaf.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Lr_5Rfc76f9s.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Garden of terror"></p><p>Heroes of the Storm players are divided on a lot of questions. Is it acceptable to use quick-match mode to learn new heroes and tactics, or are you wasting everyone’s time by not coming ultra-prepared and treating every match like Serious Business? Should tricky characters like Nova be available as part of the free rotation to all players, regardless of skill level? Are there too many characters from someone else’s favorite Blizzard game and not enough from mine? (The answer to that one is always “yes” and on a related note, where’s Kyle from Blackthorne, Blizzard?) But one of the most divisive questions of all is whether the Garden of Terror is a terrible map, or actually a totally rad one.</p><p>If you’re not familiar with it, the Garden is a map ruled by a Spore Queen who has the unusual idea of recruiting heroes from multiple dimensions to help her with the weeding by promising that if they collect 100 seeds from the horror plants that appear in her garden overnight she’ll let them grow a gigantic weed monster of their own and use it to destroy their enemies. I hate yard work too, but this seems like a pretty inefficient system to me.</p><p>One of the things the Garden of Terror cops a lot of flak for is being a large map&mdash;three lanes with a lot of space between them&mdash;and encouraging longer games. I get that; one of the things about Heroes of the Storm that gives it appeal over Dota 2 or League of Legends is that you can finish a round before your will to live ebbs away. But another thing that makes it appealing is that comebacks are possible&mdash;and even if some matches there are a whole five minutes longer, the Garden of Terror is a great map for comebacks.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/60w1fxxFQ5C-.JPG" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kKtIYL6LNRsi.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="An overhead view of the Garden of Terror." class=""> <figcaption>An overhead view of the Garden of Terror.</figcaption></figure><p>Once a team collects 100 seeds, a Garden Terror begins growing in the fertile soil within their base. Unlike the Grave Golems that spawn on the Haunted Mines map, you have to march your giant plant-monster all the way across the battleground every time rather than picking up from where it left off, which reduces the advantage a single solid push can grant. The Haunted Mines may be a quick, two-lane map but it’s also one where early advantage almost always translates into a win. And unlike the Garden Terror, no one gets to control the Grave Golems but the computer.</p><p>There are plenty of maps in Heroes of the Storm that revolve around powering up big dudes to attack enemy defenses for you, and that can feel like it sidelines the players. A demon or an angel or whatever does the actual damage while you wave pom-poms and shout, “Go team Burning Hells!” Only two of these monsters are controlled by players: the Dragon Knight from the Dragon Shire map, who breathes fire and punts heroes into the air, and the Garden Terror. A huge, green, venus flytrap-headed tendril beast. It’s a bundle of hit points and weird abilities that feels very different to play from regular heroes, especially compared to someone fragile like tiny Murky.</p><p>The Garden Terror has three abilities: a charge move, a potted plant that puts down roots to disable defenses as well as damaging both them and nearby minions, and a second potted plant that transforms enemy heroes into plants themselves, unable to attack or use abilities for a duration. Unlike the Dragon Knight, which has a damage bonus against buildings, the Garden Terror is worth using against heroes, though the arguments in team-chat about whether that’s a good idea or not show it’s just as divisive as the question of whether this map is any good.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1VNnHclWS3-K.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vyScl2IB2NBa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A charging Garden Terror." class=""> <figcaption>A charging Garden Terror.</figcaption></figure><p>The Terror’s damage output increases over the course of a game to match heroes as they level (you can check this by pressing C while controlling it; instead of bringing up your regular character sheet it will show the plant’s). It’s especially useful against heroes who try to use the distraction of the seed-chasing night phase to recruit mercenaries. A lot of players don’t realize its overgrowth ability damages minions as well as towers, and if opponents are pushing forward with mercs a single overgrowth pot can wipe out an entire wave of them. And of course there’s the Curse of the Spore Queen, the attack that zombifies heroes and changes them into cute miniaturized versions of Audrey from Little Shop Of Horrors, ripe for stomping.</p><p>If you do go for towers instead of heroes, there’s the choice of whether to place your overgrowth pot on the far side of the wall, where it will reach more buildings but might be destroyed before it’s had a chance to damage them, or plonk it down on the near side of the wall where it can be defended, even shielding it yourself if necessary. Furthermore you can stick with attacking one set of defenses or drop a pot and then use the charge move to sprint to the next, harassing multiple targets and forcing defenders to split their attention.</p><p>These decisions are what makes the Garden of Terror such an interesting map. More choices open up the more you learn about how the map works, and a surprising number of them are valid. I’ve even seen teams use the Terror to help gather more seeds, denying their opponents while speeding the growth of their next Terror, and it worked just fine.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dNSwzOWgR0Wf.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Pp5O_88FmOQj.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A fight in between the Garden's lanes." class=""> <figcaption>A fight in between the Garden's lanes.</figcaption></figure><p>Some maps force you to play a certain way, or simply don’t offer many options&mdash;the way Tomb of the Spider Queen’s objective can be completed while still pushing lanes for instance&mdash;and others make teamfights so frequent that only heroes built for them feel useful, as in the cramped Haunted Mines. In the relatively spacious Garden there’s room for multiple playstyles and tactics, allowing abilities like E.T.C.’s Stage Dive&mdash;which lets the heavy metal minotaur leap any distance&mdash;to potentially come into their own.</p><p>Another part of why I enjoy the Garden of Terror is that it’s well-themed. While similar in layout to Dragon Shire&mdash;there’s even an overgrown Dragon Knight statue to the north as a nod to this&mdash;the day/night cycle and the Muppety flower-headed Shambler weeds gives it an identity of its own. Plus the voice actor who plays the Spore Queen hams it up gloriously, wailing like a banshee. She doesn’t go quite as far over-the-top as Captain Blackheart’s “arr matey” pirate impersonation, but her ranting and cries of “Kill! Fight! Spread my spores!” are agreeably demented.</p><p>The Heroes of the Storm community is as obsessed with finding the one true way to play as the community of any competitive game, but the Garden of Terror demonstrates that this is a game where sticking to the playbook you read on a wiki isn’t always the best idea. One of the strengths of Heroes of the Storm is that repeating the obvious strategy isn’t always the best thing to do, and surprises and turnarounds can happen if you let them.</p> Corpse of Discovery launches with a disturbing new trailerhttp://www.pcgamer.com/corpse-of-discovery-launches-with-a-disturbing-new-trailer/They weren't kidding when they said "coming soon."Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:49:44 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/corpse-of-discovery-launches-with-a-disturbing-new-trailer/AdventureCorpse of DiscoveryNewsPhosphor Games <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ki2JQtXVXQA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Corpse of Discovery was <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/corpse-of-discovery-teaser-promises-existential-dilemmas-in-space/">announced in July</a> with an intriguing premise and a strangely creepy teaser. It's a loose sci-fi twist on the&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_Discovery">Corps of Discovery</a> that existed briefly in the early 1800s, but instead of sending intrepid explorers into the American West, it sends them into deep space. The developer, Phosphor Games, didn't reveal a release date but said in the announcement that it was "coming soon," and they weren't kidding, because it's out now.</p><p> The launch trailer is similar to the teaser but reveals a little more about some of the pressures you'll face as a deep-space explorer torn between supporting his family and returning to them. And of course, what was supposed to be a routine job turns out to be anything but. "You wake up on a base in a new, unexplored planet. Your landing craft is torn to pieces and your gear is scattered," the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/297720/">Steam description</a> states. "Why are you here? What is your mission? How will you ever get back home to your family?"</p><p> The game was actually released on the 25th, but the release didn't go live quite when it was supposed to and so I ended up putting this off, and then forgetting about it, until now. Sorry about that. The good news, for those interested, is that the launch promotion price of $13/£10 is still in place, and will remain so until September 1.</p> Become a Metal Gear expert before The Phantom Pain comes outhttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-become-a-metal-gear-expert-before-the-phantom-pain-comes-out/Don't fear the Gear: acollection of the best Metal Gear resources available.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-become-a-metal-gear-expert-before-the-phantom-pain-comes-out/ActionGround ZeroesMetal Gear Rising: RevengeanceMetal Gear SolidMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ld0evdGGTkug.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vN4nSaPVzI0x.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Big Boss is looking rough (and robotic) in The Phantom Pain." class=""></p><p>Metal Gear Solid is a consistently great stealth action series, but it’s best known for Hideo Kojima’s bonkers creative direction. It’s a decades long socio-political drama about nuclear powers, magical realism disguised as pseudoscience, relationship problems, ninjas, military and government conspiracy, mullets, and death. The franchise spans 12 games, not including spin-offs and iterative releases, and the canon timeline covers 100 years of alternate world history. To put it lightly, there’s a lot to know. Not knowing won’t leave you treading water during Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, but it sure doesn’t hurt having a loose idea of where the Metal Gear north star lies while playing any game in series.</p><p>Rather than writing yet another Metal Gear story recap, I’ll point you toward some of the best that are already out there, with a wide range of time commitments and depth. You’ll also get my personal take on what I think happened in each game, which is still enough to enjoy the series on its most basic level. Metal Gear may have a dense narrative&mdash;I’ve read and watched recaps at least once a year and still have trouble&mdash;but its inherent absurdity and hard-to-follow story are part of its fascinations. I don’t really care about the minutiae of Kojima’s nuclear character drama, but I do care about the puzzling sincerity with which it’s all expressed. Put the notebook away and just let whatever sticks, stick. This is Metal Gear, gaming’s spaghetti on the wall.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>A massive warning: Spoilers for the entire Metal Gear series (except MGS5) beyond this point.</strong></p><p><em>All dates refer to when events transpired in the Metal Gear timeline.</em></p><h2>Series overviews (1918 - MGS3, supporting info through 2018)</h2><p>Most of what I point to comes from these Metal Gear deep dives. I recommend at least giving the timeline a read before spending too much time watching anything. Build yourself some scaffolding before you start to construct a beautiful, useless Metal Gear castle in your mind.</p><p><a href="http://metalgeartimeline.com/#mgt">Metal Gear Timeline</a>: This self-explanatory website is a great summary of everything that happens in the 100 years (!) of Metal Gear so far from 1918 to 2018, on and off screen (excluding the events of The Phantom Pain, of course). </p><p><a href="http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_Wiki">Metal Gear Wiki</a>: I mean, it’s a wiki. Folks have crowdsourced everything there is to crowdsource about Metal Gear here. Just be warned, that means some Phantom Pain spoilers have likely found their way in there. Might be one to visit after finishing MGS5.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-beginners-guide-to-metal-gear-solid-v/">A beginner’s guide to Metal Gear Solid V</a>: PC Gamer’s own Andy Kelly made a guide a few months back to ease people into Ground Zeroes, and it’s still helpful today. He covers only the necessary characters and events in a frugal space, so give it a shot whether you’re short on time or not.</p><p><a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/metal-gear-solid-story/">GamesRadar+ Metal Gear story summary</a>: David Roberts put together a convenient way of reviewing the story over on our sister site. The format is slick, gives me study guide vibes and college flashbacks. The Phantom Pain is our final exam. Study buddies?</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tMD9GN4o7I&amp;list=PLae_AFHRR5HlGrWSz0sHebp8qgpRtfY6N">KefkaProduction’s Metal Gear Movies</a>:If you don’t have the systems to play the older Metal Gear games, don’t have much time to play them anyway, but still want the closest approximation to doing so, then KefkaProduction’s ‘movies’ are the way to go. They leave all important story beats intact and edit down extended gameplay sequences to quick montages.</p><p><a href="http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/metal-gear-scanlon-part-01/2300-9365/">Metal Gear Scanlon - Giant Bomb</a>: Game recognize game. It’s locked behind a subscription, but I think Metal Gear Scanlon might be my favorite way to watch full length playthroughs of the MGS series. Both sides of the MGS player coin are represented: One is Dan Ryckert, the child at heart who wholly embraces MGS absurdity and acts as the story cipher for Drew Scanlon, a newcomer to the series and Dan’s foil. There’s something voyeuristic to watching Drew bear witness to MGS’ convoluted mechanics and narrative for the first time. But stick with the series. In MGS, he’s cursing and frustrated, but by MGS4, he seems to be a total convert.</p><p><em>Head to the next page to find specific resources for each Metal Gear game.</em></p><h2> <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fcXTruzISWut.PNG" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/M3ebex27zpMJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mgs3"></p></h2><h2>Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (1964)</h2><p><strong>My take:</strong> Naked Snake (tee-hee) goes on a mission during the Cold War to Russia to find a very scared scientist man and to figure out why his former mentor betrayed America. You shoot an old man in a wheelchair and spend three minutes climbing the same ladder. Someone sings about eating snakes. EVA steals a microfilm that has a buttload of money on it, I think. Another giant nuclear robot gets killed and then Naked Snake kills his mentor in a pretty meadow of white flowers. He quits the USA and becomes grumpy.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAmzPI53EV8">Metal Gear Solid in 5 minutes | Big Boss... Part 1 - N_E_WAY</a> - A (duh) five-minute explainer that runs through both MGS3 and Portable Ops. Two fellows succinctly break down the most important points of each game without getting bogged down in Kojima’s dangerous margins. If you only have ten minutes to spare, watch both N_E_WAY videos. They develop Big Boss and lead nicely into MGS5 without much mental strain.</p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/zndcY57Tijo">Metal Gear Solid 3: The Movie (KefkaProduction)</a> - You’re in it to win it. Good. Maybe. Does your family know where you are? Be sure to check in, yeah?</p><h4><strong>Very important research</strong></h4><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate">The Manchurian Candidate</a> - The classic novel is deals with brainwashing and sleeper agents during the Cold War era. *Flashes the Queen of Diamonds*</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spy_Who_Came_in_from_the_Cold">The Spy Who Came in from the Cold</a> - Another classic Cold War novel that critiques Western espionage methods for being inconsistent with their cultural morality. It’s an especially appropriate reading given the ending of MGS3, where Snake is essentially forced by his government to kill his mentor, who was actually on his side the whole time. The moral quandary prompts the new Big Boss to leave his country behind.</p><h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fwWgpkR7QQaG.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/bjNTpOw6fpkJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mgsPO"></p></h2><h2>Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (1970)</h2><p><strong>My take:</strong> I played the multiplayer in an airport during a high school trip to Washington DC. The Grumpy Snake Man was there, I think.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p>It’s a short, less important segment of Metal Gear time. Just read the timeline, wiki, or watch KefkaProduction’s <a href="https://youtu.be/5ljUp_4Crf0">movie version</a>. That said, Kojima has made statements that question the canonical merit of MGS:PO. I'll leave the debate alone.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/N-JrilntQBio.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Djorq3dhlzIJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="MGSpw"></p><h2>Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (1974)</h2><p><strong>My take:</strong> Grumpy Cold War Snake starts his own club with a mullet buddy and they do war for people if they get paid. So some guy says, Come do war for me! And they do, but they end up doing war against the CIA and a smiling man named Hot Coldman who wants to launch a nuke to test out nuclear countermeasures run by an AI robot based on Cold War Snake’s former mentor’s brain which will somehow make world peace a thing. The robot drowns itself. Grumpy Snake cries a little.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LyyHqchsBw">Metal Gear Solid in 5 minutes | Big Boss&hellip; Part 2 - N_E_WAY</a> - This time, the YouTubers wrap up Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes in short, neat fashion. Another necessity before The Phantom Pain.</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cy7E76mBL0">Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - The Movie</a> - Given Peace Walker’s less linear nature, I can’t recommend watching a whole playthrough. That said, you can play the game on PS3, Xbox 360, or PSP if you owned any of them and they’re not buried in dust.</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfZuRSI-B78&amp;list=PLspeOI0YmcdOHcXIkgSOdnWmMZcHhUcSy">The Borderless Army (Let's Play Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD w/ GaLm)</a> - GaLm has fairly entertaining commentary, and doesn’t get too juvenile. That said, I haven’t watched the entire thing.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strangelove">Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb</a> - Kojima loves his Kubrick. If simply naming a character after the movie wasn’t enough, the goofy portrayal (Hot Coldman, seriously?) of nuclear tensions between America and the USSR is obviously a big tell. It’s a great movie anyway. Watch it.</p><p><em>Hit the next page to see our recommendations for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain, the original two Metal Gear games, and Metal Gear Solid.</em></p><h2> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/8x9lvfDpTjON.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HY-JEpp0aVDw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mgsGZ"></p></h2><h2>Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes (1975)</h2><p> <strong>My take: </strong>Grumpy Snake sets out to rescue the child he recruited into his army who tried to save the person who betrayed you in Peace Walker, which, c’mon, man. You save them from an American base, but the woman you rescued has a bomb in her guts so you guys cut that shit out with reckless abandon. Then she gets up and jumps out because apparently a bomb was shoved up in her Zone too? Which is real messed up and unnecessary and, yeah, sadly unsurprising in a Metal Gear game. I mean, really? Metal Gear!</p><p> Basically, Grumpy Cold War Snake nearly gets blown to shit and sent into a coma.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p> <strong></strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=let%27s+play+metal+gear+ground+zeroes&amp;page=&amp;utm_source=opensearch">Watch everyone’s Let’s Plays</a> - The most interesting aspect of Ground Zeroes is its sandbox design. No two playthroughs are exactly the same.</p><p> Just play it. It’s a short, fun lead into The Phantom Pain. <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-v-ground-zeroes-review/">We liked it quite a bit.</a></p><h4>Very important research</h4><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/heres-the-final-kojima-directed-metal-gear-solid-5-the-phantom-pain-trailer/">The final Kojima edited Metal Gear trailer (and a round up of the rest for The Phantom Pain) </a>- Speculate and cry with us.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Ld0evdGGTkug.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vN4nSaPVzI0x.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mgsPP"></p><h2>Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (1984)</h2><p> <strong>My take:</strong> Not sure yet! All we know is that we’ll find out how Grumpy Snake (Big Boss) got even grumpier and became A Supposedly Bad Dude in future MGS games. We also know that it might <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-5-review-roundup-nothing-but-love/">be pretty great</a>.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvgqWO_TgP0">Diamond Dogs by David Bowie</a> - Big Boss reforms MSF (hopefully you’ve been doing research) under the name of Diamond Dogs in MGS5, which is also a David Bowie album. Give it a listen, vibe out, maybe the tone and themes will be reflected in The Phantom Pain somehow. Maybe the Metal Gear saga is just a Bowie origin story?</p><p> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Metal_Jacket">Full Metal Jacket</a> - Given Kojima’s fascination with Kubrick, and given MGS5’s (from what we’ve seen) darker tone, I’d take a safe leap and guess Full Metal Jacket has a considerable amount of DNA in The Phantom Pain. Both involve humanizing The Other, though in a somewhat different fashion. In FMJ, it isn’t until the very end that the viewer sees the enemy, a vulnerable, scared young woman. In MGS5, which chronicles the fall of Big Boss, we begin with a humanized, familiar character, and get to observe how their morality shifts. That, and there appears to be a much more grounded militarized aesthetic than before, with plenty of era-appropriate music blaring from helicopters in both.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/e4NZg3vFQdmu.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Jlg6CoiGlZVq.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mgOG"></p><h2>Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 (1995 - 1999)</h2><p> <strong>My take:</strong> Uhh&hellip;</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p> The early games are best summed up in the <a href="http://metalgeartimeline.com/#mgt">timeline</a> or by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tMD9GN4o7I&amp;list=PLae_AFHRR5HlGrWSz0sHebp8qgpRtfY6N">KefkaProduction’s movies</a>, if you have an hour or so to give.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p> Do watch <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_New_York">Escape from New York</a>, though. It served as the inspiration for Snake’s character to begin with. The resemblance is striking. Certain themes and imagery will crop up from time to time throughout the entire series.&nbsp;</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uCoG8XRcQ8KE.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/7MlE7m3i4zkI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mgs1"></p><h2>Metal Gear Solid (2005)</h2><p> <strong>My take:</strong> A Snake Man goes to Alaska and fights a ninja and talkative film school reject animal people and then kills a big nuclear robot and his irritating twin brother.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p> Since it’s the introductory Metal Gear Solid, a peek at the <a href="http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid">wiki</a> or <a href="http://metalgeartimeline.com/#mgt">timeline</a> ought to suffice.</p><p> <a href="https://youtu.be/MeYbHWQrM9A">Metal Gear Solid: The Movie (KefkaProduction)</a> - Again, the Kefka edits are a surprisingly entertaining way to visit (or revisit) the Metal Gear games.</p><p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01GJ74X_R4">Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes: The Movie (RandomBlackGamer)</a> - Did you know, Metal Gear Solid was remade by Silicon Knights, the folks behind Eternal Darkness, for the Gamecube? It was actually my first exposure to the Metal Gear series. Somehow, they managed to crank up the Kojima in this one, taking a few divisive liberties. Basically, everything is overproduced, for better or worse. I remember it fondly.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-solid-review/">PC Gamer’s Metal Gear Solid review</a> - Did you know MGS came out on PC? Tyler Wilde transcribed our old review of the port. It’s a fun read, as it focuses mostly on the port quality and assumes the reader is somewhat familiar with MGS already. The archaic terminology and old port cliches still ring true in some ways today.</p><p> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(film)">2001: A Space Odyssey</a> - The Metal Gear series is riddled with small nods to 2001, which is Kojima’s favorite movie. See if you can spot them while playing or watching.</p><p> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Metal-Gear-Solid-Fight-Books-ebook/dp/B012JJILNC/">Boss Fight Books: Metal Gear Solid by Ashly and Anthony Burch</a> - I’ve only just started reading it, but it’s obvious that this isn’t some nostalgic bender through which MGS escapes all modern criticism just because it’s an article of the past. The Burch siblings tear Metal Gear Solid to pieces. That said, it’s evident they love the pieces yet. No doubt, plenty of people will find the content disagreeable, but media doesn’t grow or change without thorough criticism through every lens possible.</p><p> <em>On the the final page, read about the most bizarre entries in the series with Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, and the Platinum Games spin off, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.</em></p><h2><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Qbd6ffuQTjuI.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1y5joaXKW5wa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mgs2"></p></h2><h2>Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2007)</h2><p><strong>My take:</strong> The Snake guy sinks on a ship with some Russians (?) and then a white-haired dude tries to kick a vampire’s ass several times before killing another robot and the octopus president. The Snake Man’s brother is still alive because some boss from the first game had your dead clone’s arm transplanted onto him which transferred his memories and nanomachines? Something about a legacy, which is just a bunch of money for an old Illuminati fanclub.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzh7vEaazBM">A rad MGS2 summary video</a> - I’d say it captures what MGS2 was all about, and in just a few minutes too. A must watch.</p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/I5AunfmI8bs">Metal Gear Solid 2: The Movie (KefkaProduction)</a> - By now, you know the drill. Though these start to err on the long, long side. Be warned, it gets dense.</p><p><a href="http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/metal-gear-scanlon-2-part-01/2300-9652/">Metal Gear Scanlon 2</a> - If you watch any of the MG Scanlons, it should be the second, because it’s when MGS truly goes off the rails for the first time. Witnessing Drew’s exposure to naked Raiden, for instance, and Dan’s brimming boyish expectations is the perfect representation of Metal Gear’s power.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p><a href="http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/DOTM_TOC.htm">Driving Off the Map: A Formal Analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2 by James Clinton Howell</a> - This analysis takes a look at everything in MGS2, from level design to boss battle thematics and how they all inwardly reference the previous game in the series to produce a game that critiques old media tropes while embracing them. And that’s a simple way of putting it.</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-2YuPGYabw">Critical Close-up: Metal Gear Solid 2</a> - In the Critical Close-up series, YouTuber Super Bunnyhop applies a critical eye to the MGS series. The most interesting of all is MGS2. Even now, it stands out in the series for subverting fan expectation on a massive scale and remains the most confusing and outright bonkers of all the MGS games. Super Bunnyhop gives a pretty thorough argument for why this is the case, and while the video isn’t required viewing, it’s certainly an enlightening post mortem. Kojima may seem like a creative loose cannon, but he’s likely much more precise with his direction than most people think.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YIOzjQ6MTl6p.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/42_RTlzTWkaD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Mgs4"></p><h2>Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2014)</h2><p><strong>My take:</strong> There’s some guy with chronic indigestion who marries the person you spied on doing crunches in her underwear from the first game. And the white-haired dude is an angry robot now that loses his arms and holds a sword in his teeth. He kills the vampire that you also killed a few times. And then the Snake Man dies but doesn’t die actually, because the Old Grumpy Snake Man who you thought was the octopus president was actually not the octopus president but was in a third coma or something. Anyway, he shows up at his own grave and then rolls some really old guy from MGS3 in a wheelchair. The Old Snake Not Octopus President Who Was In a Coma pulls the plug on the old wheelchair man and watches him die. Then the Old Snake dies. And then the credits happen. There are eggs.</p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kNrIn8H32c">Nanomachines?</a> - Nanomachines.</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPbNi_UxNBw">Metal Gear Solid 4: The Movie (KefkaProduction) </a>- Since MGS4 is mostly cutscenes anyway, it’s best viewed that way.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p><a href="http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS4/index.htm">Monstrous Births: A Formal Analysis of Metal Gear Solid 4 by James Clinton Howell</a> - An interesting and detailed analysis of MGS4 that argues for the controversial ending, while explaining defragmentation themes and the series’ self-aware myth-building power. I’ll get to finishing it. Someday.</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shock_Doctrine">The Shock Doctrine</a> by Naomi Klein - An examination of how man-made crises may be used as intentional windows for pushing through controversial policies. In MGS4, there’s plenty of talk about manipulation of the war economy for one Power’s purpose or another, which echoes the book’s sentiment. The MGS4 war economy is just a free market in which the biggest buyer can throw armies every which way as a method for blinding true intent. And if Metal Gear has anything, it has deceit.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ULQOU9c4Qm-C.png" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_u7v-_jEUPo_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="mgsRV"></p><h2><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/metal-gear-rising-revengeance-review/">Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance</a> (2018)</h2><p><strong>My take: </strong>Raiden kills a Colorado senator. </p><h4><strong>What really happens</strong></h4><p>If you play one Metal Gear (and you should play all of the main series) play Revengeance. This one also has questionable canonical merit, but I'm not here to split hairs. I bet you could with that sword though.</p><h4>Very important research</h4><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op8mjKZxccM">The Kojima cut trailer</a> - Just play the game. Platinum developed it. Kojima + Platinum. Yep.</p> Nvidia releases hotfix driver 355.80 for Windows 10 SLI issueshttp://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-releases-hotfix-driver-35580-for-windows-10-sli-issues/The driver patch addresses memory issues with SLIunder Windows 10.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:59:42 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-releases-hotfix-driver-35580-for-windows-10-sli-issues/HardwareNewsNvidiaNVIDIA drivers <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/3O7xU4oDRJuK.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZWDmDk8lsDdC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X SLI"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10/">Windows 10</a> has had a (relatively) smooth launch, but driver issues have popped up here and there for both Nvidia and AMD users. Multi-GPU support has been notably dicey. Nvidia has released a new GeForce Hotfix driver 355.80 today to deal with at least one SLI issue: excessive virtual memory consumption for SLI configurations running Windows 10.</p><p>Users had been complaining of crashes when running dual graphics card configurations while playing games in Microsoft’s new operating system, and Windows 10’s automatic updates have made driver stability and compatibility a bit confusing. This hotfix driver from Nvidia is at least a partial fix.</p><p>Nvidia writes: “The GeForce Hotfix driver is our way to trying to get some of these fixes out to you more quickly. These drivers are basically the same as the previous released version, with a small number of additional targeted fixes. The fixes that make it in are based in part on your feedback in the Driver Feedback threads and partly on how realistic it is for us to quickly address them. These fixes (and many more) will be incorporated into the next official driver release, at which time the Hotfix driver will be taken down. “</p><p>There are <a href="http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3738">various downloads available</a> based on whether you’re running a Windows 10 Desktop or Notebook configuration in either 64 or 32 bit. Nvidia adds a note that Hotfix drivers are beta, and optional.</p><p>If you’ve been having SLI issues under Windows 10, let us know if this driver helps performance.</p> Trine 3 developers release apology videohttp://www.pcgamer.com/trine-3-developers-release-apology-video/Marketing Manager Kai Tuovinen says the next step is "do or die" for Frozenbyte.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:44:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/trine-3-developers-release-apology-video/FrozenbyteNewsPlatformerTrine 3: The Artifacts of PowerVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YBFSrPF-hfA?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trine-3-the-artifacts-of-power/">Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power</a> has not gone over particularly well with fans of the series. Criticism of the game's length&mdash;it's apparently quite short&mdash;and cliffhanger ending were persistent enough that the studio <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trine-3-studio-addresses-complaints-that-the-game-is-too-short/">issued a response</a> earlier this week saying, basically, that its ambition exceeded its financial capability. Today, Frozenbyte's Kai Tuovinen and Joel Kinnunen went a step further with a video apologizing for its shortcomings as well as their ineffective marketing efforts, and said that the next step will be "do or die" for the studio.</p><p> What that next step will be&mdash;paid DLC, a standalone sequel, or even some kind of freebie&mdash;still hasn't been settled on, something that Tuovinen believes is a big reasons for the negative reaction to the game: because the studio wasn't certain about how it was going to finish the story, it simply said nothing about it at all.</p><p> "We decided to stick with it and just see how it goes, because the sequel would heavily depend on the reception and how well the first part would do financially. So we didn't want to make any promises that we might not be able to keep in the future," he says. "Basically, we took the easy route and didn't say anything, and instead of rewriting the story completely so it would fit, like, five levels of a shorter game, we decided to stick with the original story that would then span over to other games in the future."</p><p> Frozenbyte has been around for 15 years, according to Kinnunen, much of it spent on the first two <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/trine-2/">Trine</a> games, which were financially vital but apparently left the studio feeling like it was in a bit of a rut. "We really wanted to do something new, and we really wanted to do something new with the Trine series," he says. "We do have some other projects going on, but they still don't sort of satisfy the hunger we had for a new Trine game that was really cool and different. So we went with the 3D, and, yeah, that may not have been as smooth as we had hoped."</p><p> "We're still figuring out our future plans in this aftermath," Tuovinen says at the end of the video. "But it looks like it's pretty much do or die for us at this point. Back to the drawing board, completely."</p><p> It's kind of hard to watch, because both Tuovinen and Kinnunen look incredibly downcast throughout. There's also a rather surreal bit starting at the 5:55 mark, when somebody walks into the frame and tosses a large Trine poster into the garbage pails behind them. I would almost think it was a planned maneuver, except that absolutely nothing about the video suggests that any of it is being played for laughs. It's more like they're talking about how somebody shot their dog.</p> AMD R9 Nano confirmed: launching in September for $650http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-nano-confirmed-launching-in-september-for-650/This isn't your average cheap mini-ITX card. It's the full power of the Fury in a tiny package.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:49:58 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-nano-confirmed-launching-in-september-for-650/AMDAMD Radeon R9 Fury Xgraphics cardHardwareNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fvegEB-0QPOD.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-FyA84TH3Ufw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="R9 Nano"></p><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-nano-launching-soon-with-performance-rivaling-the-fury-x/">Yesterday we reported</a> on some leaked information about the AMD R9 Nano graphics card. Now AMD has unveiled the official specifications, along with a release date and pricing information.</p><p>The six-inch R9 Nano will be going on sale on September 10 for $650, the same price as its full-sized R9 Fury X.</p><p>Surprisingly, the R9 Nano looks set to be very similar to the Fury X, despite being smaller and having a lower TDP at 175W. The Nano has 64 compute units, 4,096 stream processors, 256 texture units, 4GB of 4,096-bit high bandwidth memory, and 64 ROPs, all of which are identical to the bigger card. The core clock speed is the only difference, which AMD lists as “up to 1,000 MHz”, compared to the 1,050 MHz of the Fury X. It’s expected that the clock speed will be lower because of the lower power consumption. Our colleagues at <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd-r9-nano-revealed/">Maximum PC</a> believes that demanding workloads like Furmark&nbsp;that hit the thermal throttle&nbsp;could push the clock speed as low as 600 MHz, although games should be running at around 850-950 MHz.</p><p>The only other difference between the Nano and the Fury X is the cooling solution, with the Nano using air cooling rather than the water cooling of the Fury X. AMD is targeting an operating temperature of 75 degrees celsius, which it says is 20 degrees cooler than the R9 290X. The card’s thermal throttle point is 85 degrees, but AMD says that it should never reach that point. </p><p>AMD claims that performance is better in the R9 Nano than the Radeon R9 290X by 30 percent, and says that it is both the fastest and most power efficient Mini-ITX card available, which certainly looks to be the case. AMD has also released numbers which say the Nano has a 50 percent performance per watt advantage over the Fury X, thanks to its lower power draw. </p><p>So, it seems the Nano and the Fury X are essentially the same card, except the Nano is smaller and will use less power, while the Fury X strives for maximum performance. It will be interesting to see how they line up when we get our hands on one in September.</p> Double Fine's new game is Headlander, a side-scrolling action adventurehttp://www.pcgamer.com/double-fines-new-game-is-headlander-a-side-scrolling-action-adventure/Headlander is a game about a flying head in a retro sci-fi dystopia.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:28:44 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/double-fines-new-game-is-headlander-a-side-scrolling-action-adventure/ActionDouble Fine ProductionsHeadlanderNews <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/01T8Yh9-whQ?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> Double Fine Productions has announced that its next game will be a "retro-futuristic, side scrolling, action-adventure" called Headlander, being developed in partnership with Adult Swim Games. You play as the disembodied head of the last known human in the universe, trapped in a 70s sci-fi world of "robotic imposter bodies" that's ruled by a deranged computer. You must uncover its secrets, discover what happened to humanity, and perhaps even change the course of its fate.</p><p> The good news in all this is that your noodle is stuffed inside a helmet that allows you to fly around, dock with, and seize control of the robotic bodies you encounter, thereby enabling interaction with the world around you. Despite all the shooting in the trailer, <a href="http://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/08/27/headlander-the-metroid-logans-run-comedy-game-from-double-fine/">IGN</a> says that combat plays a limited role in the game, which actually encourages you to take over enemies rather than offing them. The focus is on discovery, puzzles, and of course bizarre humor, much of it relayed through conversations that will change depending on what kind of body your head is attached to.</p><p> It all sounds very Double Fine, which is to say extremely strange, potentially interesting, and just about impossible to really grasp without actually playing it. Adult Swim's <a href="http://www.adultswim.com/games/headlander/">Headlander website</a> isn't terribly informative either, but it does say that the game is slated for release sometime in 2016.</p><p>It certainly has some pretty colors.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/paGo6ZPIR1-d.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wNdQTIAIWhKt.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jpaD95SSRLC4.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DcXgiUlBy93S.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/EEisVLZ3TLeX.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/W22gCDstY-hw.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fX1PHPvnQZqy.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/oWYnQ0StgSg1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/OGE9oPHrTK6Y.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JTIuQG236yp_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Headlander"></p> There are a lot of Warhammer games cominghttp://www.pcgamer.com/warhammer-games-40k/Like, a lot. Seriously.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:01:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/warhammer-games-40k/GalleryWarhammer Valve on Dota 2 Reborn, community, and building a game for the long termhttp://www.pcgamer.com/valve-on-dota-2-reborn-community-and-building-a-game-for-the-long-term/Valve open up about their relationship with the Dota 2 community.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:12:57 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/valve-on-dota-2-reborn-community-and-building-a-game-for-the-long-term/Dota 2MOBAValveValve Corporation <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9SmUULtoSte7.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/04kW89vEtDuH.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Oracle"></p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Erik Johnson</h5> <p> Erik worked as a QA tester for Sierra on the original Half-Life, and subsequently joined Valve to work as a shipping manager. According to his&nbsp;<a href="http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/people.html">official bio</a>, he's now one of the company's 'business development authorities'. That's not a job title, mind. </p> </div><p> Earlier this month, during the International, I had a chance to sit down with Valve’s Erik Johnson for half an hour to discuss Dota 2’s past, present, and future. In particular, I was keen to talk to Erik about Valve’s approach to the community&mdash;the way it chooses to talk to, and not to talk to, the increasingly large group of people who make Dota 2 their hobby. I can’t promise too many hot scoops from what follows&mdash;this is Valve we’re talking about&mdash;but it should be of interest if you’re curious about&nbsp;how Valve operate as a game developer and service provider. This is the philosophy that produces the stuff you love about Dota as well as the stuff that makes you angry. The two are not, it turns out, entirely separable.</p><p> <strong>PC Gamer: </strong>With regards to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dota2.com/reborn/part1/">Reborn</a>, how has the beta been going? When you rolled it out, the plan for launch was ‘post-TI’. Have there been any surprises? Has it progressed slower or faster than you expected, in terms of issues rolling in?</p><p> <strong>Erik Johnson: </strong>Not really. There’s a bunch of cool custom games getting built which we kind of expected. We’re happy with overall performance of the engine across a variety of hardware. Dota runs faster on higher-end machines, which is what you’d hope would happen if you made a big technology investment, so yeah&mdash;we’re happy with how things are moving.</p><p> <strong>PCG: </strong>Is there an ETA, for Reborn?</p><p> <strong>EJ: </strong>No ETA, but sooner rather than later. Once this tournament’s over, that’s the thing we’re pushing hardest.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> I thought it was interesting watching, from Manifold Paradox to New Bloom, how your approach to designing live events for the community changed <em>[you can read more detailed thoughts about said events&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway-the-problem-with-year-beast-isnt-the-cost-its-the-reward/">here</a>, for what it's worth. - Ed]</em>&nbsp;Manifold Paradox was controversial for being the first event that brought new mechanics inside the regular Dota game. New Bloom moved away from that. Was that a case of trying it and finding that it didn’t work?</p><blockquote> "We still feel that, fundamentally, our strongest form of communication is software." </blockquote><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> Everything that we do like that, we’re just poking at something specific to see how it works. We’re not technically running a science experiment, but we have ideas&mdash;like ‘what if there was an additional level alongside the things that are going on in everybody’s day to day Dota matches’. How do we fit that into the experience? How do we build new content around an event that exists for everyone, rather than being something separate? That was the impetus behind that. I believe it tied into Oracle&mdash;we like building stories and depth into those heroes and making that all make sense for people.</p><p> We got a bunch of good data from it and then we did a more traditional event around the Lunar New Year. But so much of our focus has been on getting Reborn up and running and that was something that we were doing without talking. It wasn’t very out in the open for a long time. We weren’t making huge investments publically in events as we have in years past because we were pretty invested in Source 2.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> I remember a&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.dota2.com/2013/11/not-my-best-work/">post</a> written in the aftermath of the Diretide that didn’t happen, that said ‘this is how we’re going to change how we communicate’. There seems to be a little bit of tension in the way Valve communicates between that openness and the desire for those big reveal moments. There are times when it’s a case of ‘silence, silence, silence, silence, then suddenly something new.’ Does that all-or-nothing difference need to be smoothed out a little?</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong>&nbsp;We still feel that, fundamentally, our strongest form of communication is software. You can discern everything we’ve done and everything we’re thinking by reading through an update. We think that there’s some amount of value in just surprising the community with something you didn’t think was coming and we wouldn’t want to lose that. But we hear when people are saying that we do a poor job at communication and some of it’s an artifact of the type of company that we are. I think sometimes it turns to what I feel is a place that’s not super accurate, like ‘Valve doesn’t care’. We care a huge amount about our users and our community.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/z-axL032TCyp.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Xc6DdXVWh2I1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dota Reborn 1"></p><p> <strong>PCG: </strong>There’s an orthodoxy for community management among people who run online games. Valve is really different. There’s no video person who’s in front of people every day.</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> Exactly. I guess we just take a different approach. Instead of a community manager, the person that you’re going to hear from at Valve is somebody who is working on the game every day. There’s a currency of time that we’re all investing into our products, and we could either be getting what <em>looks</em> like community management or we could be working on the next hero and it really is that kind of tradeoff.</p><p> In our heads we’re constantly saying, fundamentally, ‘what do I think I could add the most value to?’ But the question really is, ‘what does the community want me to work on today?’ If we told everybody what we were doing, would they say ‘oh, that’s the right thing to work on’? That’s how we’re testing the decisions we’re making. When an artist’s saying 'I could make a blog post about what happened last week, or I could start sketching out what Pit Lord’s going to look like' they say 'I think people just want me to make Pit Lord.'</p><p> <strong>PCG</strong>: There’s a certain degree of trust on both sides there, right? You’re trusting that you know what the community will respond best to, but you’re also asking the community to trust that that’s what you’re doing. They don’t have that information. There’s no sense of even how big the Dota team is or what day-to-day looks like. That’s the flipside. Do you think that you need to let people in a little bit more, or simply refresh that trust from time to time?</p><p> <strong>EJ: </strong>It comes up often enough that certainly it’s something that we need to look at.</p><blockquote> "We certainly don’t want to come in and enforce our set of rules." </blockquote><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Something that seems to have not come up for a while is player behaviour. There was a bunch of different approaches to the report system and&mdash;must be more than a year ago now&mdash;some data about how it affected things. Is that something to return to post-Reborn? Because that’s one of Dota’s problems, as a piece of software&mdash;people. Is that something that should get more attention?</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> It’s not something that currently bubbles up super high, at least in terms of what we see in terms of feedback. But there are people at Valve who look at that problem almost continuously.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> For the platform as a whole? For Steam?</p><p> <strong>EJ: </strong>For Dota also. Matchmaking and behaviour in Dota have a pretty strong relationship. So the same people look at those problems all of the time.</p><p> <strong>PCG: </strong>We talked about community management in terms of PR, but it also concerns how the community talk to each other, the language they use&mdash;is that something you feel that you can wade into? It seems a point of tension with the notion that the community is always right. Sometimes they are calling each other names.</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> I think the community’s reasonably good at policing itself when it comes to the type of language they use. We certainly don’t want to come in and enforce our set of rules. If the community rallies around a certain set of things that they want to make happen then we’re happy to write the code that makes that come true. We have access to a bunch of data that’s useful for us in terms of measuring how those things are being done inside of the game, so maybe our view on it is a little bit... we think more accurate.</p><p> Surely people get angry and say bad words when they play games of Dota, especially when they lose, but as a whole, if you walk around this event&hellip;</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> ...people are nice in real life.</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> We fundamentally love our customers and our community. We’re not really willing to go to the place where we feel that we need to make a bunch of decisions about the content they create for each other.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ivoHt-loSnWg.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/pEMwoxzUO1GV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dota Reborn 2"></p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Related is the newcomer experience. It’s something that you’ve experimented with two years running at this event and in terms of the game itself. Dota’s other big problem is its accessibility. How has your approach to that changed? You did the first spate of tutorials a year and a bit ago. You’re doing new ones for Reborn. What was the thinking behind that?</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> It was a little bit of ‘hey, let’s go back and revisit this and tinker with it’. Dota has a lot of users so its accessibility actually seems pretty great. People tend to play the game and keep playing it for a really long time. I think, fundamentally, people come into Dota 2 the same way they did with DotA 1&mdash;one of their friends is playing Dota and they want to play games together, and that’s how they get into the game. But, especially around the International, we cast the net pretty wide because there could be a bunch of people who want to try it out and see if it’s the thing for them. The training maps, that’s their goal.</p><p> Same as the new player stream that happens with the event. The audience for that might be a bunch of people that just want to show, say, their parents. Clearly there’s no strong business motive for Valve to get a bunch of parents to watch Dota when they’re probably never going to play it, but there is a bunch of value in a bunch of fans feeling good about the product that they care so much about. Does that make sense?</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> That’s an interesting angle. Speaking to you before, and speaking to others from Valve, I understand that you serve the audience that you have. But what if you want somebody else to join that audience, somebody who doesn’t already have a channel into it?</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> As with any problem, you want to make it the simplest possible problem. Valve want people to play Dota. They’re only going to do that if they’re having fun. If they’re not having fun they’re going to go and do something else because entertainment time is hard to come by. We don’t make our world super complicated&mdash;‘what region should we go into where we think a certain percentage of users would be playing Dota?’ ‘What’s the demographic of our users?’ We’re like, ‘how do we make a bunch of people happy’. That’s really all we’re trying to do. With this event, it’s ‘how do we make the people who come here super happy’. When people are playing Dota or using Steam or playing Counter-Strike: how can we make our existing customers super happy so they tell their friends, ‘hey I’m super happy come play this game with me’.</p><blockquote> "There’s this pull towards a bunch of short-term good, long-term awful decisions." </blockquote><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Does that allow you to take a longer view? I was wondering if you’d seen a lack of growth because of the lack of landmark updates during the time that Reborn has been in development. The rate of new hero additions has dropped off dramatically over the last couple of years, from 13 in 2013 to three last year, one so far this year. In other games those things are done specifically because it gets the game back out in front of people again. Do you feel the need to compete in that way?</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> We’re still growing pretty well in terms of users. We were at eight and a half million users this time last year and we’re at eleven and a half million this year. Again, like, it’s data that tells us that we’re pushing things forward but we’re not driving at some magic number and we’re not driving towards growth. I feel like&mdash;let’s just keep making people happy and keeping them entertained, because that’s a hard enough problem&mdash;to convince someone to spend some of their very limited entertainment time on a thing we built.</p><p> You asked if this is the long play on things? I hope so, because everything we do at Valve, that’s how we try to approach it. We’ve always felt like there’s this pull towards a bunch of short-term good, long-term awful decisions that are just sitting there waiting for people take all the time. We’re sad when we see other companies do that. As long as Valve’s been around, our decision has been to just do the long-term thing. That’s the company we want to come in to work at every day. Not some silly short-term decision being made.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Finally, Pit Lord. Question mark?</p><p> <strong>EJ</strong>: It’d be awesome if Pit Lord was in the game. I don’t actually know, though.</p><p> <strong>PCG:</strong> Fair enough. Valve things.</p><p> <strong>EJ:</strong> Looking forward to those five-man teleports, though.</p><p><em>Still hungry for Dota 2 hot takes? Check out&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/three-lane-highway/">Three Lane Highway</a>.</p> Free Dying Light demo is now available on Steamhttp://www.pcgamer.com/free-dying-light-demo-is-now-available-on-steam/The demo contains all the "core gameplay" features of the full game.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:49:32 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/free-dying-light-demo-is-now-available-on-steam/ActionDying LightNewsTechland <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_tUl-DyLQ-Se.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/RHDJxZJZ5BDd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dying Light"></p><p>Dying Light, in <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-review/">Chris' estimation</a>, is a pretty decent zombie survival game. But maybe you're not convinced. Maybe you question the opinion of a guy who thought it would be a good idea to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/a-hitchhiking-adventure-in-gta-5-online/">hitchhike to the beach</a> in Grand Theft Auto V. Or maybe you'd just like to try it for yourself before you lay down your hard-earned cash. Whatever your reason, you may now indulge in some no-charge zombie dodging by way of the Dying Light demo Techland released yesterday <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/381570">on Steam</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The demo "offers three hours of unique content" covering most of the Slums area, with one story quest chain and several side quests, challenges, and random encounters. All the core gameplay elements are present, including crafting, "creative brutality," and the day/night cycle that gives the game its special charm, and it also supports online co-op play for up to four players.</p><p>It's a bit unusual to release a demo for a game more than six months after its release, but Techland isn't finished with Dying Light just yet. In July it announced the first expansion, <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-the-following-trailer-shows-off-zombie-killing-buggy/">The Following</a>, which will add a new, open environment and various new implements of zombie splattering, including a dune buggy. Techland showed off a half-hour of The Following gameplay on Twitch last week, which you can catch up with <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/dying-light-the-following-detailed-in-twitch-stream/">here</a>.</p> Just Cause 3 dev diary is all about explosionshttp://www.pcgamer.com/just-cause-3-dev-diary-is-all-about-explosions/Avalanche don't really do subtlety, it seems.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:25:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/just-cause-3-dev-diary-is-all-about-explosions/ActionJust Cause 3News <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x3x5kgr4aOg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Just Cause 3 has explosions. No, that's not right. Just Cause 3 is <em>about </em>explosions. They are its&nbsp;raison d'être; its sine qua non; it's essence; it's purpose. They are wondrously complex, multi-faceted creations&mdash;cascading chains&nbsp;of chaos, staggered in timing to paint impressionistic fireballs across the colourful landscape. All of which I know from having played it over Gamescom, and <em>not</em> from this dev diary about Just Cause 3's explosions. It leans a little too far into the tell don't show school of marketing, but should still give you a rough idea of the carnage awaiting Rico.</p><p>Just Cause 3 is out December 1. For more, check out the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/see-just-cause-3s-challenge-modes-in-new-video/" target="_blank">recent Gamescom game&nbsp;footage</a>.</p> Total War: Warhammer video introduces Dwarfen unitshttp://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-video-introduces-dwarfen-units/Hammers and axes aplenty.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:51:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-video-introduces-dwarfen-units/NewsStrategyTotal War: Warhammer <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x7sBlvrZvd0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Creative Assembly has released the next in a series of videos introducing the units of Total War: Warhammer. Previously, we were shown&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-video-introduces-the-demigryphs/" target="_blank">the horse-eagles</a>. Today, it's the turn of the small guys with the big hammers&mdash;or Dwarfs.</p><p>The video's&nbsp;description offers a little more background information:</p><p><em>"In this ‘Introducing’ video, the Dwarfen units revealed are Longbeards, Ironbreakers and Hammerers. Dwarfs are expert craftsmen, most working in ancient forges and workshops where centuries, if not millennia, of hereditary knowledge are smithed into weapons and armour whose quality cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. Dwarfs are expected to maintain their own arms and armour, and once they don their heavy Dwarf mail, they are an impressive sight to behold."</em></p><p>This&nbsp;only a tiny (pun intended) taste of what CA are doing with Total War: Warhammer. For more, check out the recent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-gameplay/" target="_blank">Battle of Black Fire Pass demonstration</a>, or read the lead writer explain how the game is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/total-war-warhammer-is-more-total-war-than-warhammer/">more Total War than Warhammer</a>.</p> Fable Legends PC will be exclusive to the Windows 10 Storehttp://www.pcgamer.com/fable-legends-pc-will-be-exclusive-to-the-windows-10-store/No Steam release is planned.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:37:21 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fable-legends-pc-will-be-exclusive-to-the-windows-10-store/Fable LegendsNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AWjH8r48RU-w.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JBayOIf7ToiT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Fable Legends"></p><p>Until recently, there had been no direct mention of how&nbsp;Fable Legends would be released on PC&mdash;other than that it was a Windows 10 exclusive. Now we know a little bit more about what that means. Rather than using the usual channels, it seems that Fable Legends will only be available through&nbsp;the Windows 10 Store.</p><p>Confirmation came from Lionhead's social media coordinator, Lauran, on Twitter.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/sertificationNu">@sertificationNu</a> I think you may have answered your own question there ;) It will be on Windows 10 but not Steam, sorry!</p><p>&mdash; Lauran (@LHAlbionGirl) <a href="https://twitter.com/LHAlbionGirl/status/635872403214700544">August 24, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p>I'd argue it wasn't as clear that&nbsp;"Windows 10 exclusive" meant&nbsp;"Windows 10 <em>Store</em> exclusive" as Lauran makes it out to be. In years past, plenty of games&nbsp;dropped older OS's while still being distributed through multiple storefronts. There was every reason to think Microsoft would be widely distributing their games&mdash;not least the appearance of Steam during Windows 10's announcement. Or that&nbsp;Phil Spencer&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/phil-spencer-interview-we-ignored-what-was-going-on-with-windows-to-launch-xbox/" target="_blank">once told us</a>, "We're not trying to say that the only way you'll get games is through the Windows store." Or that Kevin Unangst&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/games-for-windows-wasnt-the-right-approach-says-microsoft/" target="_blank">once told us</a>, "We are not intending to compete with Steam. If anything, we want Steam to be even more successful."</p><p>While not confirmed, it suggests that any&nbsp;Microsoft game&nbsp;announced as&nbsp;"coming to Windows 10" will be distributed solely through the Windows 10 Store. That, potentially, could include Rare's Sea of Thieves and the recently announced Halo Wars 2. We'll try to chase down some clarification about what's releasing where.</p><p>Thanks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/fable-legends-for-pc-won-t-be-available-on-steam/0154955" target="_blank">MCV</a>.</p> Divinity: Original Sin 2 has hit Kickstarter targethttp://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-has-hit-its-kickstarter-target/$612,000 raised; 34 days to go.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:04:07 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-has-hit-its-kickstarter-target/Divinity: Original Sin 2News <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-09Rty4xTiu_.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uACdYsnhuxUc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dos2"></p><p>Divinity: Original Sin 2's Kickstarter launched yesterday afternoon. Less than 12 hours later, Larian had raised their&nbsp;$500,000 target.</p><p>"Now that we’ve reached this point, we’re incredibly motivated to take D:OS 2 as far as we can," says&nbsp;Larian in a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2/posts/1335439" target="_blank">new update</a>. Currently, the Kickstarter stands at&nbsp;$617,214 with 34 days left on the clock.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pAr3SSMx3XY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>As a gaming Kickstarter, stretch goals are inevitable. They aren't quite ready yet, though&mdash;so unprepared were Larian to receive so much so quickly. Expect them to appear soon.</p><p>For more on Divinity: Original Sin 2, go watch Tom Marks and Wes Fenlon&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-your-divinity-original-sin-2-character-choices-affect-everything-you-do/" target="_blank">play a pre-alpha build</a> with Larian's CEO. Or learn about the sequel's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-will-have-a-competitive-multiplayer-mode/" target="_blank">competitive multiplayer plans</a>.</p> ​PC Gamer Presents PC Hardware: The Ultimate Guide 2015 is out nowhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-presents-pc-hardware-the-ultimate-guide-2015-is-out-now/Get our comprehensive hardware-focused 146-page special in print or on digital.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:11:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-gamer-presents-pc-hardware-the-ultimate-guide-2015-is-out-now/Magazine <p> Our comprehensive hardware-focused 146-page special is out now. Featuring guides on how to build a PC, tons of buyer’s advice, Windows 10 and loads more, it’s the perfect place to start if you want to build a new PC&mdash;or if you’re just looking to upgrade. You can buy it now in <a href="https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/tech-and-gadgets-guides-and-specials/PC-Hardware-the-Ultimate-Guide-2015.html">print for £9.99</a> and digitally for £6.99.</p><p> Inside:</p><ul> <li>10-page illustrated guide to building a PC from scratch.</li> <li>Hardware buyer’s guide for every price range.</li> <li>How to prepare for VR, hands-on with Steam VR, the Oculus Touch controllers, the ten best VR experiences you can have right now and more.</li> <li>Mechanical keyboards guide.</li> <li>Tips to making your PC look the part.</li> <li>Five of the best custom cases, including two inspired by the likes of Skyrim and Iron Man.</li> <li>How to overclock your CPU and GPU.</li> <li>Huge guide to setting up Windows 10 to get Microsoft’s new OS at its best.</li> <li>Impressions of Intel’s new Skylake processors. </li> <li>Reviews of GPUs, CPUs, motherboards, streaming devices, wired and wireless mice, headsets, SSDs, hi-res monitors and headsets.</li></ul><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6WPGGHxbTPSG.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HIYPTSadLTlY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="PGB09.cover"></p> ​Logitech launches G633 and G933 Artemis Spectrum 7.1 headsetshttp://www.pcgamer.com/logitech-launches-g633-and-g933-artemis-spectrum-71-headsets/Logitech's ambitious new G633 is trying to break the stigma of crappy audio quality in 'gaming' headsets.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/logitech-launches-g633-and-g933-artemis-spectrum-71-headsets/gaming headsetHardwareHeadsetLogitechNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s2gRCzAjRUSh.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/FS39ZSFOtmyP.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Logitech G933"></p><p>Logitech’s wireless G930 headset had a good run, but after five years Logitech finally has a new crown jewel for its gaming headset line: the G933. The 2.4GHz wireless G933 ‘Artemis Spectrum’ shares its name with the also-new G633, which drops the wireless connectivity for a pair of wired options: both USB and 3.5mm are supported.</p><p>That choice of connectivity options is representative of Logitech’s approach with the Artemis Spectrum, which it’s been working on for the past two years. Logitech engineered a new audio driver, revamped its ear cushions and material design, and reworked its microphone with an ambitious goal: do everything well.</p><p>The Artemis Spectrum works on PC via USB (which supports 7.1 through Logitech’s driver software) and analog, and also works in analog stereo on mobile devices and consoles. The G933’s USB wireless receiver can accept analog inputs from up to two different devices, meaning you could have TV, phone, and PC audio all pumping into your headset simultaneously (this will probably give you a headache). It supports Dolby 7.1 and&nbsp;<a href="http://listen.dts.com/pages/headphone-x">DTS’s new Headphone:X&nbsp;</a>surround technology, which is easily the best virtual surround sound I’ve ever tested.</p><p>The headset also features RGB lighting, controllable via Logitech’s software, a number of programmable keys on the headset, and a foldaway boom microphone (with an LED to indicate when it's muted)&nbsp;that slots nicely into the earcup. </p><p>Logitech invited a group of journalists to its audio headquarters in Camas, Washington to see the design work and testing that went into Artemis Spectrum, but their main goal was to showcase just how good the headphones sound. And they really sound good. Logitech is hoping to escape the gaming headset sound quality stigma, and in a side-by-side listening test with the Sennheiser HD 650s (which cost $400+), the Artemis G933 stacked up shockingly well.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ssBbKsh8Sq-j.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2cvOJEb9Z5Sr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Logitech G933-2"></p><p>I’ll have more on the Artemis G933 with an ears-in preview soon, but here are the specs for the headsets in the meantime:</p><ul><li>Driver: 40mm Pro-G</li><li>Connectivity: USB (wired and 2.4GHz wireless), 3.5mm</li><li>Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz</li><li>Impedance: 39 Ohms (passive), 5k Ohms (active)</li><li>Microphone: 4mm condenser-cardioid</li><li>Microphone frequency response: 100Hz-20KHz</li><li>Size: 190mm x 180mm x 94mm</li><li>Weight: 374 grams (13.2 ounces)</li><li>RGB lighting: 16.8 million colors</li></ul><p>The wired G633 is set to launch in September for $150, while the wireless G933 will launch a bit later in October at $200.</p> Blizzard has nice dogshttp://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-has-nice-dogs/Hey, you. Check it out. It's Blizzard's dogs. Thu, 27 Aug 2015 05:39:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-has-nice-dogs/Blizzard EntertainmentNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s2oHclkeQUKQ.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1Oqj5GOFiufB.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Dog"></p><p>The dog pictured above belongs to someone from Blizzard – they of Hearthstone, Diablo and StarCraft fame. I wouldn't normally post dog photos on PC Gamer under the 'news' tag, but here I am, doing it anyway.&nbsp;</p><p>Why? Because there's a whole <a href="http://packdog.com">Packdog</a> page dedicated to dogs belonging to Blizzard Entertainment employees. Also, it was national dog day yesterday. If you're anything like me, national dog day is today and tomorrow, too. It's national dog day every day, in whichever nation you reside.</p><p>Go and <a href="http://packdog.com/campus/blizzard">check it out</a>. There are Border Collies, Boston Terriers, German Shepherds and even 'Marvelous Mystery Mutts'. Next time you 'Unleash the Hounds' in Hearthstone, know that the card is borne of a deep appreciation for all things canine.&nbsp;</p> Pit People trailer features new gameplay footage, and looks colourfulhttp://www.pcgamer.com/pit-people-trailer-features-new-gameplay-footage-and-looks-colourful/Game confirmed for Steam, but no release date.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 03:49:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/pit-people-trailer-features-new-gameplay-footage-and-looks-colourful/NewsRPG <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7xsTlKA7NTc" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe><p>The Behemoth <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pit-people-is-the-official-name-for-the-behemoths-new-game/">announced last month</a> that the studio's long-in-development fourth game, previously known as 'Game 4', will be officially titled Pit People. That was nice, but as far as useful information goes, it didn't amount to much. Thankfully the Battleblock Theater developers have released the game's first trailer, and it provides a satisfying glimpse at how Pit People will play when it releases next year.</p><p>But then, if you want to see the game in action without all the promotional theatrics, there's a solid 20 minute gameplay video <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pit-people-is-the-official-name-for-the-behemoths-new-game/">over here</a>. The game still doesn't have a release date, but the end of the above trailer does confirm the game is coming to Steam, in addition to Xbox One. </p> A journey through the nine circles of free-to-play hellhttp://www.pcgamer.com/a-journey-through-the-nine-circles-of-free-to-play-hell/These games may not cost you any money, but they may cost you your soul.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:32:50 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/a-journey-through-the-nine-circles-of-free-to-play-hell/DiaryFree To Play Knuckle Sandwich is like a grown-up EarthBoundhttp://www.pcgamer.com/knuckle-sandwich-is-like-a-grown-up-earthbound/Knuckle Sandwich had me curl into the fetal-position while I was beaten to a pulp by a hive of bees.Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:16:35 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/knuckle-sandwich-is-like-a-grown-up-earthbound/Knuckle SandwichPreviewsRPG <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/45SbR_E8Q2Wz.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cbaXzYxVRHRh.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Knuckle Sandwich 004"></p><p>Lifeless, multi-colored ‘city people’ take up all the seats on the bus as the driver, who I think may be a vampire, tells me I can stand. My silent protagonist, an awkward-looking man with a red face and a fat nose, is new to town and on his way to a job center to look for work. Each job I try I’m rejected from, and slowly I run out of options&mdash;my last hope expended when I curl into the fetal-position and get&nbsp;beaten to a pulp by a hive of bees. Just like modern unemployment.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">entering battle gif</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/s-7wi_QCT3el.gif" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ktkFUqBOXtVk.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Knuckle Sandwich Gif 02"><i style="background-color: initial;">Click the arrows to animate.</i> </p> </div><p>This is the plot of Tarantula, which creator Andrew Brophy describes as both a demo for&nbsp;and prequel to his much longer game <a href="http://knucklesandwich.biz/">Knuckle Sandwich</a>, coming out sometime next year. As opposed to traditional demos which may give you a certain amount of time with the full game or access to a few of its levels, Tarantula has its own story&mdash;albeit a very short one&mdash;set just before the events of the game it teases. Brophy told me he made Tarantula to give us a sense of what Knuckle Sandwich will be without abruptly cutting the experience short.</p><p>Knuckle Sandwich looks and feels a lot like the classic SNES game EarthBound. It’s a pixelated RPG set in the modern world with strange, supernatural characters and an absurd plot. The battles share EarthBound’s psychedelic backdrop and even the sound effects remind me of getting a <a href="https://twitter.com/nessitsyourdad?lang=en">call from Ness’ dad</a>. But it never feels like Brophy is trying to lean on that nostalgia to make Knuckle Sandwich work. He has his own vision of the game he wants to make, his own sense of humor, and that shows up loud and clear in Tarantula.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/G7BmHBtjReiv.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/03iRzaglcC40.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="City people are weird." class=""> <figcaption>City people are weird.</figcaption></figure><p>Tarantula opens with an enchanting, low-fi rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as I head to a job center and take a discouragingly high number from the front desk clerk. Told to come back later, my only option is to wander around outside the building and talk to the various characters: a man half-heartedly trying to recruit me for his gym, a couple laying out on the grass instead of looking for work, a boy playing a handheld game, whose dialogue includes Tarantula’s first fourth-wall-breaking joke. These characters are simple and silly, but the writing is clever and each encounter helps to set the tone of the rest game.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">in combat&nbsp;gif</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/F4JfluS0S4Kf.gif" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/sfnQ5pqXzkEM.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Knuckle Sandwich Gif 01"><em>Click the arrows to animate.</em> </p> </div><p>When my number is called, I enter a large, confetti-filled gameshow room and begin spinning a colorful wheel to see what job I will get. Each job has a drab, unwinnable minigame. The ‘Dancer’ job is a DDR style game in a dance studio&mdash;where I was alongside the bus driver, who subtlety doesn’t show up in the studio mirror. The ‘Astronaut’ job is a simple scrolling shooter in space. ‘Game Designer’ is spun but quickly dismissed as it “doesn’t make any money”&mdash;another self-deprecating jab from Brophy. Finally, being a ‘Bug Catcher’ had me collecting tiny, bug-shaped dots with a net.</p><p>None of these minigames are very fun. They’re short, shallow, and again, unwinnable. I complete them quickly and mindlessly&mdash;taking pleasure in the presentation rather than the games themselves&mdash;until I’m instructed to use my net on a beehive, and am launched into Tarantula’s first and only RPG-style battle. I’m exhilarated to be in a fight after so many mundane activities, and the combat is quickly understandable. The only catch: this fight is also unwinnable.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vonAyWfcTEm0.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/a7tTzfkxgVtY.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The battle screen is instantly understandable for RPG fans." class=""> <figcaption>The battle screen is instantly understandable for RPG fans.</figcaption></figure><p>Brophy tells me the original idea for Knuckle Sandwich (and by extension Tarantula) came when he was working in a boring service job to pay the rent. “I was thinking, ‘what if you made a game really boring,’” he says, “and then if people stuck with it for a long enough time, you threw in something really interesting and out there that you would not expect at all, which was the battles at the time.” Brophy also tells me that the experience of going to a job center only to be turned away from every job they recommended was based on a personal experience he had as well, though I bet without the confetti and colorful wheel.</p> <div class="fancy-box"> <h5 class="title">Knuckle Sandwich minigame Gif</h5> <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/P1SPAmGwQ4WJ.gif" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9ufQ5VHBgP2T.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Knuckle Sandwich Gif 03"><i style="background-color: initial;">Click the arrows to animate.</i> </p> </div><p>Brophy says the pacing of Knuckle Sandwich will be very different from Tarantula’s on-rails story. The game is split into chapters, each a day in the life of your character. You wake up and follow a standard routine, starting with a minigame at your boring service job. After that, you’re free to explore the town and meet the characters within it, who change day to day. He also makes it clear that Knuckle Sandwich will have more fights than Tarantula, and fights that are actually winnable, saying the unbeatable bee fight is basically a “joke” on those expecting a more standard RPG.</p><p>The concept of making the beginning of a game “intentionally boring” is a risky one, especially when so few people beat the games they play. But Brophy made the characters, writing, and presentation of Tarantula interesting enough that I wanted to keep playing even&nbsp;when I hadn’t reached the action yet. Tarantula is a very short experience, though,&nbsp;and I’m interested to see what the much longer journey of Knuckle Sandwich will look like.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ET5CNe_PTsqj.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PeL-cIrE6uWF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="I knew he was a vampire!" class=""> <figcaption>I knew he was a vampire!</figcaption></figure><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YfCQzUYlTner.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/S-gjeCqWMups.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Each NPC has a personality, even if they are only in the game briefly. " class=""> <figcaption>Each NPC has a personality, even if they are only in the game briefly. </figcaption></figure> Everyday Misanthrope is a free game about ruining people's liveshttp://www.pcgamer.com/everyday-misanthrope-is-a-free-game-about-ruining-peoples-lives/Drive too slow, talk over other people... it's got the lot.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 23:09:06 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/everyday-misanthrope-is-a-free-game-about-ruining-peoples-lives/free gameNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_YOnySQiTVi3.png" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dBK0IndWfCqy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Tqc5i3"></p><p>Most people like to think they're pretty decent. I think I'm a reasonably nice person, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy Everyday Misanthrope, a free text-based game about ruining people's lives. It's basically a douchebag simulator: you can talk over people in meetings, drive slow in fast lanes and leave restaurants without paying. Everything you wouldn't normally have the audacity to do (if you're a nice person) can be done with no retribution in Everyday Misanthrope.</p><p>The object of the game is to ruin as many lives as possible. Starting with 50 misery tokens, you spend these on different ways to inflict undue pain on other people. For example, if you choose to drive to work you're given the freedom to decide how you'll comport yourself in heavy traffic:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/vSwJ-5ajQjG4.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O0-CQu77X0l7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 8.49.32 am"></p><p>Having no restraint, I selected "slow down in the fast lane", and had this outcome:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4Zp8SvobQviT.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/PfNU1GQIApxd.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 8.49.50 am"></p><p>Six lives ruined with a measly three misery tokens! I'm pretty good at this game.&nbsp;</p><p>Everyday Misanthrope is the work of Liz England. She describes it as "a choose-your-own-misery simulation in which you gain catharsis from spreading everyday suffering". That's pretty on the ball. It was created during a recent Ludum Dare gamejam, and can be <a href="http://lizengland.itch.io/everyday-misanthrope">downloaded here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Cheers for the heads up, <a href="http://boingboing.net/2015/08/26/everyday-misanthrope-game.html">BoingBoing</a>.</p> Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings reviewhttp://www.pcgamer.com/super-mega-baseball-extra-innings-review/Not a stand-up triple, but at least a double with an error.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:34:18 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/super-mega-baseball-extra-innings-review/ReviewsSportsSuper Mega Baseball: Extra Innings <div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">Need To Know</h5><p><strong>What is it? </strong>A cartoony baseball game.<br><strong></strong><strong>Expect to pay:&nbsp;</strong>$20/£15<br><b style="background-color: initial;">Developer: </b>Metalhead<br><strong></strong><strong>Publisher:&nbsp;</strong>Metalhead<br><strong></strong><strong>Reviewed on:&nbsp;</strong>Intel i7 x980 3.33 GHz, 9 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960<br><strong></strong><strong>Multiplayer</strong>: Local only<br><strong></strong><strong>Link:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://supermegabaseball.com/">Official Site</a></p></div><p>Super Mega Baseball <em>might </em>be exactly what you're looking for in a baseball action game on PC. It's fast and casual but still invites utter absorption in your players and season. It's arcadey but contains a bit of depth and requires some strategy. Its controls are simple to learn but take a lot of&nbsp;practice to master. Most of all, it's a fun and exciting baseball game, provided you're not looking for a major league simulation, and if you're content to play&nbsp;offline.</p><p>As you can tell from the title and cartoony style, Super Mega Baseball is a heightened version of baseball. Lantern-jawed players leap into the batter's box and pound their tree-trunk bats against the plate, hang their heads or burst into tears after strikeouts, and sweat rivers when they're under pressure. Don't let the silliness fool you, though, it's still a well-made baseball game, and getting a clutch hit, making an amazingly play, and scoring the winning run (or barely preventing it) are just as satisfying as they are in more serious baseball sims.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/hSa-BzfIQTCN.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MjCi3JrRghNr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Smb" class=""> <figcaption>It turns out, there is crying in baseball.</figcaption></figure><p>Probably the biggest dealbreaker for some: there's no online multiplayer to speak of, only local. There are only two modes, exhibition or season, there are only 12 teams, and the longest season is 48 games. There's no baseball economy, no farm system, no signing, trading, or demoting of players. Your bench is only a few players deep and your bullpen only contains a couple relievers and a closer. This isn't really a baseball simulation, in other words, and it's not trying to be.</p><p>While you can't alter your roster, there are RPG elements to tailor your players and give them more well-defined roles. You can change their looks and names (though not their uniforms, unfortunately), earn upgrades to improve their stats, and hire staff like trainers and stylists who provide bonuses like better throwing arms, more endurance, greater confidence, and so on. This allows you to slowly turn a contact hitter into a slugger or an average runner into a speed demon over the course of a season, and makes obsessive tinkering with your lineup and bench worthwhile.</p><p>Each pitcher has the same nine pitches to choose from, though if one has a great arm you'll probably lean heavily on four-seamers and cut fastballs, and for those with greater accuracy you'll want to nibble corners with breaking balls. Once you've picked your pitch, you throw it while quickly trying to align your reticle with the target. A good mix of pitches is required, as batters can anticipate pitches if you use them too often. As a batter, your reticle will drift toward the location of the pitch, though you can aim it manually for better (or sometimes worse) accuracy. Timing your swing to the speed of the pitch is key for good contact, and power-hitting requires you to time your swing not just with the pitch but with a quickly filling and depleting meter.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dGdAZb6_R3Cb.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/gq85bCYOEPAz.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Smb" class=""> <figcaption>Timing the pitch, swing, and power-meter just about right.</figcaption></figure><p>Fielding, as in all baseball games, is mostly CPU controlled. Fielders will run where they need to be, though directing them manually puts a little extra speed in their steps. If a line drive or a sharp grounder passes near an infielder, you get a brief moment of super slow-motion, just enough to decide if you want a player to dive or leap for a ball. Good throws can be powered-up once you've got the timing right, leading to exciting double-plays, and hitting the cutoff man or woman is essential to preventing runs. Baserunning takes a while to get a hang of, using a combination of controller triggers and the stick to select specific runners, but after a few games it becomes instinctive and works well.</p><p>In high-pressure situations, a player's Mojo comes into play. Players with good Mojo excel under stress, while those with poor Mojo don't perform as well. This is fun&mdash;players will sweat profusely or shoot steam out of their ears when they're stressed, and knowing a pitcher or batter might crack under pressure adds to the tension. It's particularly enjoyable to see a batter step in and grow more and more nervous as your confident pitcher fools them with diving forkballs and filthy screwgies. I do question how the game decides what a high pressure situation is, though. A pitcher getting nervous with runners on in the ninth makes sense, but not when he's riding a ten-run lead.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jBqT3h5IRi-1.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xUZh5m9xPzo6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Smb" class=""> <figcaption>Pressure can make steam shoot of your ears.</figcaption></figure><p>You <em>can </em>play with keyboard/mouse or controller, but I'd definitely recommend the controller (I used a 360 controller), both because it's much easier and all of the on-screen prompts are for controllers only, which stinks (you can only see the keyboard commands in the help menu). Also, the UI is a bit cluttered and I wish it would make better use of my monitor's real estate at 1920x1080. The difficulty system is great, however, with batting, fielding, pitching, and baserunning all having&nbsp;individually adjustable values between 1 and 100, meaning you can seriously fine-tune the game&nbsp;to find&nbsp;the level of&nbsp;challenge you're looking for.</p><p>As cartoony as it looks, I found myself quite invested in my team, the Blowfish, during the season I played, obsessing over which upgrades to bestow upon which players and who should ride the pine. I experienced plenty of great baseball moments, with a number of close games, heroic performances, high-pressure situations, and a desperate late-inning squeeze play to get me into the playoffs. It’s not a deep simulation, but for a fun, semi-casual yet challenging baseball game, Super Mega Baseball is your best bet on PC.</p> The Humble Store adds a "Choose Your Own Charity" optionhttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-adds-a-choose-your-own-charity-option/It's now possible to choose from among thousands of charitable organizations to support.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:15:55 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-humble-store-adds-a-choose-your-own-charity-option/Humble StoreNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/-L9GdYu6Rjmo.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lNPJG-h7dNC-.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Humble Store Charities"></p><p>One of the cool things about the <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store">Humble Store</a> is that ten percent of all profits go to support charity, so when you buy a game, you're also doing a solid for a worthy cause. That's added up to more than $3 million in charitable donations since the store launched in November 2013, but until now it's been restricted to a select few charities. But today Humble Bundle announced a new "choose your own charity" option that lets customers direct their cash to thousands of different organizations in the US and UK.</p><p>Picking your charity is simple. Go to the Humble Store and click the "select a new one" link in the charity window at the top of the screen. From there, you can browse the list of <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/select-charity">available charitable groups</a>, or search for one specifically. There are big groups, like Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, and the American Red Cross, and more niche charities as well, like the Crest Care Chinese Crested Breed Rescue, Inc., or the Poole Harbor Canoe Club. You may also choose a charity at the checkout screen.</p><p> "There are a wealth of amazing charities out there," Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham said. "We don't ever like saying no to great causes but in curating things ourselves, we find ourselves mainly picking larger nonprofits that have awesome established global brands that we think will resonate with our community as a whole. With this new feature, if parts of our community want to give aid to homeless shelters in San Francisco and others wish to provide fresh drinking water to Ethiopia, they can choose as they please."</p><p>A more detailed breakdown of the process can be found on the <a href="https://support.humblebundle.com/hc/en-us/articles/207870727">Humble Support site</a>. Humble Bundle says its database includes more than 35,000 charitable organizations, although at the moment I only have a little more than 600 to choose from&mdash;I've asked why and will&nbsp;let you know once I do. </p> Grand Theft Auto 5 mod puts a Mass Effect Reaper over the skies of Los Santoshttp://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-5-mod-puts-a-mass-effect-reaper-over-the-skies-of-los-santos/The vanguard of our destruction has come to San Andreas.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:41:22 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/grand-theft-auto-5-mod-puts-a-mass-effect-reaper-over-the-skies-of-los-santos/Grand Theft Auto 5Mass EffectModNews <p>Some game mods are practical in nature: They add features, boost performance, or restore content that was cut prior to release. The <a href="https://www.gta5-mods.com/vehicles/reaper-ship-blimp-mass-effect-3-beta">GTA5 Reaper mod</a> is not one of those. It's <em>b</em><em>etter</em>. </p><p>Unfortunately, it's not a real Reaper, which is to say that it can't turn the city of Los Santos into a smoldering pile of rubble. Mod creator JJxOracle explains that&nbsp;it "replaces the blimp," but in reality, as this video (via <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/mass-effect-meets-gta-5-amazing-reaper-mod/">GamesRadar</a>) makes clear at around the 2:45 mark, it's still there, stuffed inside a big, floating space-lobster shell.&nbsp;</p><p>The Reaper skin will sometimes disappear, he said, and collision detection still needs to be added, but he's still working on it. And even just as it is, it looks fantastic. Enjoy!</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GNaYuZh4T_ur.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HH9vya-uJVhO.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Reaper"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dR8wEriYQ8mT.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/BGqmVrpr2Wx9.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Reaper"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/xU1UUGnUSDeR.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ecFILJ9v4DTp.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Reaper"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4F54cfZoRTiL.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/fftm_lZdwdEr.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Reaper"></p> It may be possible to export and share XCOM 2 soldiershttp://www.pcgamer.com/it-may-be-possible-to-export-and-share-xcom-2-soldiers/A menu option from an official screenshot leaked the potential feature.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:41:20 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/it-may-be-possible-to-export-and-share-xcom-2-soldiers/NewsXCOM 2 <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GvGohzWDQoit.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/UmMawkSjVwQc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Xcom2 Expor"></p><p>Finally, it seems like I might be able to crowd source the perfect XCOM 2 Family Matters team. Or at least I will, if this&nbsp;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/Xcom/comments/3ii0zz/looks_like_we_can_save_and_share_our_favourite/">Reddit thread</a> triggered by the character creation screen above is correct.&nbsp;The image was posted to the game's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/XCOM">official Facebook page</a> earlier today, and the implication is&nbsp;that players&nbsp;will be able to&nbsp;share and save their&nbsp;favourite soldiers.&nbsp;</p><p>Obviously at this point the&nbsp;feature isn't officially confirmed, so&nbsp;there's no detail beyond the sense that it might be a thing. My guess is it's safe to assume&nbsp;that transferable traits are limited to cosmetics and character names, and that's&nbsp;okay by me. What themed sets of troops would you like us to create when we inevitably do a giant gallery to accompany&nbsp;the game's release in&nbsp;November this year?</p> The Park is a short horror game set in The Secret World's universehttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-park-is-a-short-horror-game-set-in-the-secret-worlds-universe/A mother's son goes missing in a creepy amusement park. Horror? Horror.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:00:33 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-park-is-a-short-horror-game-set-in-the-secret-worlds-universe/NewsThe Park <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U1laEiebQ_E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> Roller coasters are pretty scary. Some of them go fast, some of them go upside down. And some of them make your son, Callum, disappear. Well, maybe not the roller coaster itself, but in&nbsp;<a href="http://Roller coasters are pretty scary. Some of them go fast, some of them go upside down. And some of them make your son, Callum, disappear. Well, maybe not the roller coaster itself, but in The Park, a new single-player horror game from Funcom, you play as a mother whose son goes missing in a creepy amusement park. It’s their first single-player game since 2006’s Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and draws upon the existing narrative universe in their MMO The Secret World. Funcom CEO Rui Casais implies The Park might not actually be the last in potential series of short, single-player experiments in the press release: " [it’s]="" actually="" the="" outcome="" of="" what="" started="" with="" a="" small="" group="" developers="" experimenting="" new="" concepts="" and="" looking="" at="" how="" we="" could="" draw="" upon="" universes="" have="" built="" for="" our="" massively="" multiplayer="" online="" games="" expand="" them="" into="" smaller-scale="" single-player="" games.”="" while="" trailer="" release="" don’t="" detail="" park="" will="" play,="" i’m="" premise="" idea="" pulling="" stories="" from="" existing="" as="" place="" to="" experiment="" shorter="" narrative="" games.="" comes="" out="" this="" october.="" "="" target="_blank">The Park</a>, a new single-player horror game from Funcom, you play as a mother whose son goes missing in a creepy amusement park. It’s their first single-player game since 2006’s Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and draws upon the existing narrative universe in their MMO The Secret World.</p><p> Funcom CEO Rui Casais implies The Park might not actually be the last in potential series of short, single-player experiments in the press release: "[It’s] actually the outcome of what started with a small group of developers experimenting with new concepts and looking at how we could draw upon the universes we have built for our massively multiplayer online games and expand upon them into smaller-scale single-player games.”</p><p> While the trailer and release don’t detail how The Park will play, I’m into the premise and idea of pulling stories from existing universes as a place to experiment with shorter narrative games. The Park&nbsp;comes out this October.&nbsp;</p> The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold six million copies in six weekshttp://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-sold-six-million-copies-in-six-weeks/2015 has been a very good year for CD Projekt so far.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:49:52 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-sold-six-million-copies-in-six-weeks/CD ProjektNewsRPGThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jjbiSdYCQAmG.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/KLLecCoJtDtW.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"></p><p>In case there was any doubt that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/">The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt</a> was quite the&nbsp;success story, CD Projekt today&nbsp;announced that the RPG has&nbsp;sold more than six million copies in its first six weeks of release, resulting in record-setting revenues and profits. Even better for the company, a full one million copies were activated on GOG, its home-grown digital distribution platform, which also reported record sales.</p><p>"Owing to the release of The Witcher 3, revenues in the videogame development segment were approximately 7.5 times greater than the corresponding revenues in The Witcher 2 release period," CD Projekt Board Vice President Piotr Nielubowicz said in a <a href="https://www.cdprojekt.com/en/Press_Room/Aktualnosci,news_id,2488">financial results summary</a>. "This year’s net profitability of the videogame development segment is 54 percent, which marks the recent release as not only the largest but also the most profitable enterprise in CD Projekt’s entire history."</p><p>CD Projekt also issued a less business-like statement discussing what the success of The Witcher 3 means to the people who made it:&nbsp;"Everyone here in CD Projekt Red is really attached to their work and how you, the gamers, perceive it. Red is full of artists, wild dreamers and people crazy about what they do (and sometimes just plain crazy)," Studio Head Adam Badowski said. "We lose sleep over that particular color the sun has when it sets over Velen, and argue over arranging the furniture in a house the majority of gamers will probably never see. We’re not the kind of people who are easily satisfied and we always strive for more. I’d like you to know that."</p><p>"Yes, six million copies is a great achievement for a company making RPGs, but this business is not only about that," he continued. "If our games are a gallery of sound, picture and text -&nbsp;you are the visitors of this gallery. To an artist, there’s no sweeter sight than people enjoying their work. That’s why, in the name of all the devs in the studio, I’d like to say thanks to each and every one of you."</p><p>The last of 16 pieces of free Witcher 3 DLC, a <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-new-game-dlc-is-out-now-on-pc/">New Game+ mode</a>, was released last week, but two full-on <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-witcher-3-expansions-could-see-the-return-of-shani/">expansions</a> remain: Hearts of Stone in October, and then Blood and Wine in early 2016.</p> Mutant Football League PAX Prime trailer touches downhttp://www.pcgamer.com/mutant-football-league-pax-prime-trailer-touches-down/Get it? "Touches down?" Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:18:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/mutant-football-league-pax-prime-trailer-touches-down/Mutant Football LeagueNewsPAX Prime 2015SportsVideo <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dzbBlYG3J0U?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"></iframe><p> This year's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/pax-prime-2015/">PAX Prime</a> doesn't kick off until Friday, when we will of course be there in something close to full effect, but the Mutant Football League PAX Prime trailer is here <em>right now</em>.</p><p> It's about what you'd expect: mutants and monsters taking to the gridiron to play a version of football that includes not just feet and balls, but also "maximum carnage" and its infliction upon players on the opposite team. The single-player mode will offer 30 teams engaging in a 13-game regular season, plus playoffs and the Mayhem Bowl&mdash;apparently survival is a victory in its own right&mdash;and there will also be online and offline multiplayer support for up to four players in competitive and co-op modes.</p><p> Mutant Football League is a spiritual successor to the 1993 Sega Genesis game <a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/genesis/mutant-league-football">Mutant League Football</a>, which was enough of a hit that it actually inspired an animated series, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutant_League">Mutant League</a>, which ran for a couple years in the mid-'90s. A pre-alpha build of the game will be on display at PAX Prime, and more info is up at <a href="http://www.mutantfootballleague.com/">mutantfootballleague.com</a>.</p> The Roccat Nyth is the best customizable mouse I've ever usedhttp://www.pcgamer.com/roccat-nyth-review-is-the-best-customizable-mouse-ive-ever-used/Customization and coziness go a long way for the new gaming mouse.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:59:03 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/roccat-nyth-review-is-the-best-customizable-mouse-ive-ever-used/HardwareMice <figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/5AKFXTwiSpez.JPG" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/QcDcMt7dE0X6.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="The contours are a nice departure from angular design." class=""> <figcaption>The contours are a nice departure from angular design.</figcaption></figure><p> The Roccat Nyth is the most exciting gaming mouse I’ve used in a long time. I don’t think it’s the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used, but it’s absolutely the most customizable, with a case of pop-in thumb buttons and two different pinky grip options. The Roccat Nyth gets its modular design so right, it’s hard to imagine why no one had done it before. The truth is, of course, it’s been tried, most notably with the Razer Ouroboros and Mad Catz R.A.T., but the Nyth offers a better contoured body than either out of the box, with more choices for thumb buttons that make it a decent mouse for anything from shooters to MMOs.</p><p> Surprisingly, it’s Roccat’s new Swarm driver software that really makes the mouse shine, with some of the most powerful and easy to use macro and button mapping tools available for any gaming mouse. And with a mouse this customizable, that’s not just a bonus. It’s vital.</p><p> Before we get to the customizable thumb buttons, let’s go over the basics of the Nyth. The mouse has a tactile plastic scroll wheel with a button in front of it and slightly offset to the left, which is easy to press with your index finger. It also has a rocker placed center of mass, which sits between index and middle finger, and can be clicked left or right. Roccat calls it the dorsal fin switch. The rocker serves the same purpose as a scroll wheel that can click left or right, like the Roccat Kone XTD’s.</p><p> Unfortunately, I think the rocker’s placement makes this awkward. I love sideways clicking a scroll wheel to quickly navigate forward/back on web pages, but the rocker is too far back to comfortably press with either finger. It’s the one feature of the Nyth’s design that I dislike.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/GXtOqh7qRBms.JPG" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/tERa_5Z8YTR_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Switching between grips gives way to a nice magnetic click, but doesn't feel loose." style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;" class=""> <figcaption>Switching between grips gives way to a nice magnetic click, but doesn't feel loose.</figcaption></figure><p> The right side of the mouse can be outfitted with two different plastic grips: a narrow, curved grip that you’ll want to use with a claw grip or a more active palm grip, and a wider grip with a pinky rest that MMO palmers will likely prefer. Swapping them out takes about three seconds: they’re held in place by strong magnets and snap onto the mouse body with surprising force. It’s such a simple mechanism that it feels like the grips would pop off during regular use, but from my couple weeks with the Nyth, they’re rock solid. You could easily use the mouse without even realizing the grip is removable.</p><p> I prefer the smaller grip, which gives the Nyth a slimmer profile that feels like the right size and weight for general gaming. I used the mouse to play a variety of games, from Team Fortress 2 and Killing Floor 2 to Nuclear Throne, and found it comfortable and easy to control.</p><p> The star of the Nyth, of course, is its grid of thumb buttons. There are slots for 12 small buttons in three rows of four, just like the Razer Naga or the Logitech G600. Some gamers swear by that array of a dozen buttons, for MMOs and even first-person shooters. While I get the appeal for MMOs, where you’re juggling dozens of abilities, I find those multi-button arrays terrible for shooters and other high-speed games. They take up too much space, limiting the surface area you can grip without accidentally pressing a button. And the buttons themselves are small and virtually identical, meaning you’re much more likely to press the wrong button in the heat of the moment. They’re not ideal for precise control or quick button presses.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YkHKYP96Q86u.JPG" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/eHtAhHhjCaDK.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Switching out the thumb buttons isn't a pain and they're easy to reach, though learning to navigate them may take some time." class=""><figcaption>Switching out the thumb buttons isn't a pain and they're easy to reach, though learning to navigate them may take some time.</figcaption></figure><p> So I didn’t expect to like the Nyth, but its optional button configurations are great. Its dual-length buttons can turn a samey array of 12 buttons into a far more manageable array of six. Even better are the ‘blank’ pieces that can turn an entire row, or an individual button space, into a flat, grippable surface. The possibilities are fantastic, letting you mix-and-match different size buttons in different size layouts, like three small buttons aligned vertically at the front end of the grid, three double-wide buttons aligned vertically at at the back, and a blank column in between. Or six small buttons laid out in two columns, with blank spaces in between. Or one row of buttons with blank spaces beneath.</p><p> The customization options are great, but more importantly, the thumb buttons feel even better than many gaming mice I’ve used. They don’t quite have the satisfying clicky, tactile feedback of the best mice buttons, like the Razer Deathadder’s, but they still give off a noticeable click, and aren’t as mushy as I feared when I first went hands-on with the mouse. They’re a little soft to the touch, without negatively affecting performance in the least. The double-wide buttons, especially, are nicely contoured and fit well under the thumb.</p><blockquote> Swarm's macro features actually made me interested in programming or assigning macros for my games. </blockquote><p> What really makes all of this work is Roccat’s new Swarm software, which replaces the old driver software used for its previous mice and keyboards. Roccat’s old drivers were packed with features, but so dense that it could be hard to find what you needed. They also had some annoyances enabled by default, like an achievement system tied to obnoxious VO that yelled at you when you ‘leveled up.’ Swarm mercifully disables that stuff by default, and lays out important controls like button mapping, DPI and sensitivity on easy to use tabs. The UI has more breathing room and is easier to navigate.</p><p> Assigning commands to the thumb buttons is surprisingly easy thanks to two great interfaces. First, there’s the drag-and-drop interface for the button grid, which lets you create and then choose templates based on how you have the keys configured. The second is the truly massive list of pre-configured game macros that can be assigned to those buttons, as well as more generic commands, like media playback controls, web browser navigation, and so on. The game macros are the especially interesting part: Roccat has hundreds of macros stored for various games, and you can easily modify and create your own in Swarm, too.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/AcIO8Ay8Qlaj.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_gFNwKYBW3XJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="A wide selection of presets means the heavy-lifting is mostly done for you." class=""> <figcaption>A wide selection of presets means the heavy-lifting is mostly done for you.</figcaption></figure><p> I don’t love Swarm’s macro features because I’m a big macro user. I almost never use macros. I love it because it’s so well-implemented, it actually made me interested in programming or assigning macros for my games. It made me reconsider the way I use a gaming mouse, and the best way to assign controls for various games. I’m used to assigning buttons in-game, but Swarm made it more appealing to assign commands in the driver software, because it’s easy to use and there are tons of presets as examples.</p><p> I also saw how Swarm could make that experience better. Assigning button commands in-game works just fine, but when you start switching out the buttons on the Nyth, and assigning different buttons to different profiles, that’ll make for a lot of re-assigning controls in-game. Saved profiles in Swarm, on the other hand, can be tied to whatever button layout you choose, and then set to activate based on specific executables you boot up. With a bit of setup time, you can have all your mouse controls automatically kick in when you boot up a game.</p><p> The Nyth hardware is cool by itself, and the software is useful by itself. In unison, they’re fantastic&mdash;although the software could be even better. There are tooltips designed to help new users understand what different settings do and mean, but they don’t provide any extra information (the tooltip for Sensitivity settings, for example, says ‘set your mouse sensitivity’). With a little more work, Swarm may be the best mouse software in gaming.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/YCM2s6aTRCeE.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y2v3u3dOCq06.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Assining buttons and switching between custom sets is fairly simple." class=""> <figcaption>Assining buttons and switching between custom sets is fairly simple.</figcaption></figure><p> The Nyth felt good in my hand, though at 136 grams it’s a touch on the heavy side. Its Philips Twin Eye Sensor supports up to 12,000 DPI, which is certainly overkill, and I don’t know if tracking remains consistent at high settings (you can read more about DPI and tracking performance in my <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/gaming-mouse-myths-busted/">Gaming mouse myths busted</a> article). The mouse did exhibit some high lift-off distance issues that surface tuning didn’t seem to fix, but setting the lift-off distance to ‘very low’ solved the problem.</p><p> From my time gaming with the mouse, mostly at 1600 DPI, I didn’t detect any issues with acceleration or inaccurate tracking. The Nyth is by far the best customizable mouse I’ve used, but I don’t know if it’s the right buy for many gamers. At $120, it’s far more expensive than most of my <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/the-best-gaming-mouse/">recommended gaming mice</a>, and customizing your mouse for different games is absolutely a niche interest. But if that’s an interest you have, this is the mouse to get.</p> Turok: Dinosaur Hunter remasters are in the workshttp://www.pcgamer.com/turok-dinosaur-hunter-remasters-are-in-the-works/Night Dive Studios is updating Turok and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for modern PCs.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:31:24 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/turok-dinosaur-hunter-remasters-are-in-the-works/FPSNewsNight Dive StudiosTurok: Dinosaur Hunter <p>Rumors of a Turok remake first bubbled up&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/rumor-turok-dinosaur-hunter-remake-is-in-the-works/">in May</a>, when Samuel Villarreal told TechRaptor that Night Dive Studios had picked up the rights to the game. Today, Night Dive confirmed it: <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/turok-dinosaur-hunter/">Turok: Dinosaur Hunter</a> and its sequel, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, are being updated for re-release on modern PCs. </p><p>"When Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was first released it was nothing short of revolutionary. To that point, no game had ever offered the combination of graphics and an open world environment that Turok featured," Night Dive CEO Stephen Kick said. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this great franchise back to life and to be able to share these great titles with today’s gaming audience."</p><p>Night Dive has updated a number of old classics for digital platforms, including <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/classic-horror-game-i-have-no-mouth-and-i-must-scream-finds-release-on-gog/">I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream</a> and <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/strife-veteran-edition-remasters-the-doom-era-fpsrpg/">Strife</a>, but it's probably best known for making the long-awaited re-release of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/system-shock-2-would-be-considered-a-classic-in-even-the-classiest-crowds-check-out-toms-system-shock-2-reinstall-for-a-sense-of-why-it-was-so-important-and-why-its-still-worth-playing-gog-will/">System Shock 2</a> finally happen. It was also in talks to re-launch the great No One Lives Forever, which would have been fantastic, but that deal ultimately <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/no-one-lives-forever-re-release-isnt-happening-after-all/">fell through</a>.</p><p>There's no release date on the Turoks at this point, although a rep said the studio is aiming to have them out by the end of the year. For now&mdash;and bearing in mind that Turok came out in 1997, and Turok 2 in 1999, and that this is a remaster and not a remake, which is maybe a fine hair to split but you know what I'm getting at&mdash;enjoy some screens.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/wLKuPNmzRMeE.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/U2QpkciU6p6b.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/4_bqjJEIT9qN.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/dVHWCDjCkDY_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_Lo0X4jRS3Sy.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/WdVHh5CPi5vb.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DeTwyYSYR5ic.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JLxNBVOFgU16.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/_nGCHCp7SG2W.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2LMYrMG6_sKT.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/JkrLNU8wSNut.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/1SuHIp7grHiD.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/kNG4mg3wRDKk.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/98Uexv38pfAx.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Turok"></p> Assassin's Creed: Syndicate landing late on PChttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-landing-late-on-pc/The new Assassin's Creed will be out about a month behind the console release.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:46:19 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-landing-late-on-pc/ActionAssassin's Creed: SyndicateNewsUbisoft <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/zNSlcAoNQJqR.jpg" src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/uJkq1iB610jC.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Assassin's Creed: Syndicate"></p><p>Ubisoft has announced that <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-syndicate/">Assassin's Creed: Syndicate</a> will come to the PC on November 19, just shy of a month after it arrives on consoles. The publisher said the extra development time is needed to ensure that "PC players get the most stable, optimized version of the game on day one."</p><p>“We have introduced several new improvements to our production pipeline and validation process, which allowed us to focus on polishing, stabilizing and optimizing the PC version very early on in the project,” Ubisoft Kiev Studio Production Manager Sam Kovalev <a href="http://blog.ubi.com/assassins-creed-syndicate-pc-release-date/">explained</a>. “This has been one of the top priorities for the production team this year.”</p><p>Last year's disastrous release of <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity/">Assassin's Creed: Unity</a> no doubt played a role in the delay as well. That game was such a mess at launch that Ubisoft was forced to <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-season-pass-canceled-free-game-offered-instead/">halt sales</a> of the season pass shortly after it came out, and offered those who had already purchased it a free game as an apology.</p><p>"The additional four weeks are for us to really bear down and finalize all of the polish and optimization, to make sure the game and all of its systems are stable when it launches, so it runs smoothly for all players starting on day one," Kovalev added.</p><p>The Assassin's Creed: Syndicate system requirements are still being finalized, but Ubisoft said the recommended spec, whatever it turns out to be, will "target" 1080p resolution and 30 fps.</p> Crushing Diablo 3's Treasure Goblinshttp://www.pcgamer.com/crushing-diablo-3s-treasure-goblins/Pursuing gold at any cost in Diablo 3.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:32:48 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/crushing-diablo-3s-treasure-goblins/Diablo 3Why I Love <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://0cb8dd5d2dc142d08f0f-eb3b436d25971e5860b39e72b0600342.r94.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/j3nWlUCvS9u8.jpg" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SDRRu-lr5Bj5.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 3"></p><div class="fancy-box"><h5 class="title">WHY I LOVE</h5><p>In <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love/">Why I Love</a>, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Tom lets no treasure goblin escape righteous&nbsp;justice in Diablo 3.</p></div><p>I love them, but&nbsp;I'm afraid I don't have any screenshots of Diablo 3's treasure goblins.&nbsp;I snap any monster that looks interesting, normally. I even risk my life by zooming in to get flashier pics, but one Diablo fiend remains conspicuously absent from my library of combat selfies.&nbsp;</p><p>That's&nbsp;because the moment one of these cheeky thieving imps appear, I'm seized by an ass-clenching moment of panic, and then a sudden overwhelming sense of purpose. The hundreds of demons charging in to kill me? They're nothing. The goblin must die. Everything else is forgotten.</p><p>That's why they run, I suppose. They shed ingots and arcane rings like rabbit droppings as they pitter-patter away. They always seem&nbsp;so quick.&nbsp;When they think they've lost you they put up a portal and pogo, cackling, into the greed dimension. Agonising.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/ZSbKeUo_QciP.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/O48IkNJUYoE1.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 1" class=""><figcaption>A treasure goblin was here.</figcaption></figure><p>I do anything in my power to keep them in my reality.&nbsp;I exploit the huge range of my wizard's laser to scorch them in the back. The gravity-mashing effect of my black hole spell doesn't seem to bother them, and they barely falter when my meteor lands on heir heads. Frankly, catching them would be a hopeless task were it not for my legendary gauntlets. They&nbsp;give my wizard a sudden burst of speed when he&nbsp;breaks furniture. I don't know why, but it's very useful.</p><p>When the creature stops I evaporate a chair, or some other innocent appliance, and use the magical rocket boost to close the gap. If they try to conjure a portal, I discourage them with a rapid blast of fire. They keep running of course, and&mdash;this may be paranoia&mdash;they seem to <em>intentionally</em> seek out elite mobs to cover their escape. What gives? I'm just a friendly demigod that wants to steal their loot, and maybe wear their skulls as an intelligence-boosting&nbsp;hat.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/v_VVqBPIS3CA.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/R6PUZdEWqrnA.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Diablo 3 2" class=""><figcaption>This is all a treasure goblin's fault.</figcaption></figure><p>It's all worth it for the moment they pop. The spew gold and loot everywhere. It's a fountain. It's <em>rains</em> treasure. Loot is the engine that powers Diablo 3; it is your purpose. A sudden well-earned windfall feels amazing. That's probably why Blizzard has added different breeds of treasure goblin that explode into different shades of loot.</p><p>One treasure goblin is bad enough, the bandit shrines are&nbsp;almost cruel. On activation they spawn half a dozen goblins, who proceed to flee in every direction, leaking priceless gems in their wake. Suddenly I'm a dog in a ball-pit, paralysed, unable to process the abundance of opportunity. I hold down right-mouse and wildly spin while holding the laser button, hoping to immolate a couple before they escape.</p><p>If I struggle to process the bandit shrines, I worry to think about what will happen when I finally encounter&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CC8QFjABahUKEwiBr-_xncfHAhVjndsKHSdCA2c&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fus.battle.net%2Fd3%2Fen%2Fblog%2F15157768%2Fpatch-210-preview-the-vault-8-13-2014&amp;ei=BfLdVcGYPOO67ganhI24Bg&amp;usg=AFQjCNFMkgQS3SlI_KlmrdZsazz_3XNVTQ&amp;sig2=PKaiN7vaW8_sYM-MLaTOFA&amp;cad=rja">The Vault</a>: the treasure goblin dimension ruled by Baroness Greed. Whatever meltdown I experience, I doubt I'll have the wherewithal to hit the screenshot key. I may never be able to capture my moment of victory over these little monsters, but at least I'll be stinking rich.</p> AMD R9 Nano launching soon with performance rivaling the Fury Xhttp://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-nano-launching-soon-with-performance-rivaling-the-fury-x/Leaked slides and information about AMD's mini Fury card, the R9 Nano, point to an imminent launch.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:16:28 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/amd-r9-nano-launching-soon-with-performance-rivaling-the-fury-x/AMDHardwareNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/2Xs0bE-HSeW2.jpg" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/6pgAyKUTCUTI.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4"></p><p> Leaked slides and information about AMD's mini Fury card, the R9 Nano, point to an imminent launch. According to Thai website <a href="http://www.zolkorn.com/news/amd-radeon-r9-nano-launch-27-aug/">Zolkorn</a> (via <a href="http://videocardz.com/57396/amd-radeon-r9-nano-coming-next-week">VideoCardz</a>), the R9 Nano will launch on Thursday, August 27. AMD_UK tweeted last week that the launch was “just around the corner.” And now slides are out in the wild showing off the Nano's HBM configuration, with a very similar configuration to the larger Fury X.</p><blockquote lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Knowing that Nano is just around the corner ;) <a href="http://t.co/zpKUBA1MY7">pic.twitter.com/zpKUBA1MY7</a></p><p>&mdash; AMD_UK (@AMD_UK) <a href="https://twitter.com/AMD_UK/status/633649918930984960">August 18, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p> The tiny R9 Nano was shown off in June at the PC Gamer Show alongside the R9 Fury X and a dual-GPU version of the Fury, which AMD said would be coming at a later date. The Nano is rumored to have the same GPU configuration as the Fury X, albeit downclocked in order to meet a 175W power consumption requirement from its single 8 pin PCIe connector. So, the Nano won’t be quite as powerful as the Fury X out of the box, but for its size it still packs a punch. It’s likely set to be the most powerful 6-inch card available.</p><figure><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/NzX1BT4qSZa6.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/MQ430QfDch0j.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="AMD Radeon R9 Nano Final Specifications 900x507" class=""><figcaption>The reported&nbsp;R9 Nano specs, via videocardz.com.</figcaption></figure><p> <a href="http://videocardz.com/57409/amd-radeon-r9-nano-confirmed-to-feature-4096-stream-cores">Videocardz reported</a> on a leaked datasheet which describes the Nano’s engine clock as “up to 1,000 MHz”, which is much more than expected. It also has 4,096 streaming cores, which is impressive for its size and limited 175W power. The leak also confirms that the Nano features 4GB HBM1 memory across a 4,096-bit memory bus at 500MHz clock speed. It has the same number of TMUs (256) and ROPs (64) as the R9 Fury X, and its computing power is only slightly lower at 8.2 TFLOPS compared to the Fury X’s 8.6. That's a hell of a lot of power for such a tiny card.</p><p> AMD boasts 2x performance density and 2x performance per watt for the Nano over the Radeon R9 290X graphics card. The company’s new High Bandwidth Memory, the Fury’s big selling point, replaces the GDDR5 that the 290X uses. Cells are stacked vertically, so the effective bandwidth is faster and more power efficient. According to <a href="https://www.techpowerup.com/215486/amd-radeon-r9-nano-nears-launch-50-higher-performance-per-watt-over-fury-x.html">TechPowerUp</a>, AMD recently released some numbers that showed the Nano also has a 50 percent performance per watt advantage over the R9 Fury X, which makes sense given its lower power draw. It’s a feisty little guy.</p><p> All that's left to pin down is price, which we'll find out once the R9 Nano is available.</p> LawBreakers is the new FPS from Boss Key and Cliff Bleszinskihttp://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-is-the-new-fps-from-boss-key-and-cliff-bleszinski/Boss Key Productions unveiled the game today.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:14:56 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/lawbreakers-is-the-new-fps-from-boss-key-and-cliff-bleszinski/boss key productionsCliff BleszinskiFPSLawbreakersPAX Prime 2015 <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KRP33ii4H4M?rel=0&amp;vq=small" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="343" width="610"> </iframe><p> Cliff Bleszinski's Boss Key Productions has revealed its free-to-play shooter thus far known as&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/interview-cliff-bleszinski-on-project-bluestreak-pc-gaming-fps-design-moddability/">Project Bluestreak</a> as LawBreakers, a game set in a futuristic world that's been irrevocably changed by the destruction of the moon.</p><p> The end of the moon, in a cataclysmic event known as "the Shattering," dramatically altered the Earth's gravity, ultimately allowing for its manipulation through technology. But that technology was usurped by powerful gangs, forcing law enforcement agencies to come together in a unified force to battle their incursion into the US.</p><p> The game will be broadly split into two sides, but Bleszinski said in the livestream that each side has "subfactions," which he wants players to identify with. There will be "tons of guns," he said. "We've got aim-down sites, rocket launchers, [and] a great mix of old and new [weapons]."</p><p> Some weapons can even be used as sources of propulsion, and, as you'd expect, gravity manipulation will be vital to success. "You don't want to be on the ground in this game," Bleszinski said. Matches will be five-on-five, and for now, at least, players will be able to select multiple instances of the same character.</p><p> Bleszinski said the first proper gameplay video will be released at 9 am Eastern on August 28&mdash;that's Friday&mdash;and that the game will be on display at PAX Prime, where we will certainly do our best to get a look at it. For now, the screens below are taken from the stream that's currently underway, and are unfortunately rather low-resolution. We'll get better images for you, and more facts, as soon as we can.</p><p> <strong>Update:</strong> Thanks to a tweet from Boss Key co-founder Arjan Brussee, we now have our first look at LawBreakers gameplay. It's not much, but it's more than we saw in the livestream.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lawbreakers?src=hash">#lawbreakers</a> gameplay by <a href="https://twitter.com/ps">@ps</a>-tray <a href="https://twitter.com/BossKey">@bosskey</a> <a href="http://t.co/ieN81GbXqx">pic.twitter.com/ieN81GbXqx</a></p><p>&mdash; arjan brussee (@arjanbrussee) <a href="https://twitter.com/arjanbrussee/status/636620232904286208">August 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p>What do you think?<br> </p><p><img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/HrcSXPHqTBKc.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/Pzl7zAOL0aeF.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Lawbreakers 2"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/cyLhigQlRcaU.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rZfnhoiz42he.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="LawBreakers"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/klYgHDaORkqz.png" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/TcZQ79aUyBSy.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="LawBreakers"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/DWw3M1v3SMmt.png" src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/u_R1_2rsJ6ao.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="LawBreakers"></p> OmniBus has a demo and a Kickstarterhttp://www.pcgamer.com/omnibus-has-a-demo-and-a-kickstarter/Try out the physics-based bus driving antics.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:48:09 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/omnibus-has-a-demo-and-a-kickstarter/KickstarterNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/58j6Cag1RPak.png" src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/67hlDDv5fwF_.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="OmniBus"></p><p>Last month,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/omnibus-is-a-ps1-style-physics-game-about-a-bus-that-wont-ever-stop/" target="_blank">I stumbled across</a> OmniBus&mdash;the physicsy driving game about a bus that just won't stop. Now, it's developers have&nbsp;flagged down the PCG news bus&nbsp;to tell us that there's a demo, and a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473808344/omnibus?ref=nav_search" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a>.</p><p>"OmniBus is a crazy Playstation 1 style physics game about the unstoppable force of nature that is OMNIBUS!" write the developers on&nbsp;<a href="http://buddycops.itch.io/omnibus">OmniBus's Itch.io page</a>, where you'll also find the demo. "The main mechanic of the game is trying to control the bus without being able to stop or slow down, while also slowly increasing in speed over time."</p><p>In the demo, there are a number of missions challenging you to complete specific tasks while being an unstoppable bus. Also there's a free-play mode, where you can explore a&nbsp;destructible&nbsp;map while being an unstoppable bus.</p><p>For the Kickstarter campaign, OmniBus's creators are hoping to raise&nbsp;$5,000. Rewards start at $5, which will&nbsp;secure you a copy of the game.</p> How GOG rescued 13 Forgotten Realms games from licensing hellhttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-gog-rescued-13-forgotten-realms-games-from-licensing-hell/The battle to save 13 classic RPGs from extinction.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-gog-rescued-13-forgotten-realms-games-from-licensing-hell/Special Report <p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://36646d87786feafc0611-0338bbbce19fc98919c6293def4c5554.r0.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/SoTxVTavQn6e.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jzo9L2TJTzSc.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Forgotten Realms 4"></p><p> In the 1980s and ‘90s, the roleplay system Dungeons and Dragons was huge, and so were the spin-off video games set in the Forgotten Realms&mdash;titles like Pool of Radiance, Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Hack and the awesomely-named Menzoberranzan. Why have you never played them? Because, like Planescape: Torment and Baldur’s Gate, they’ve spent twenty years lost in licensing hell. And Good Old Games has finally tracked them down.</p><p> For Good Old Games finding the missing games, establishing who owned which parts of them, and getting them into a playable state has taken many years. Their first step was to work out who owned what. After all, the original developers SSI disappeared into Mindscape in 1994, before being passed through The Learning Company, Mattel and Ubisoft&mdash;and this game was licensed from TSR, who closed in 1997.</p><p> As GOG’s Oleg Klapovsky explained to us, “with classic games like those from the Forgotten Realms series, years of mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies can really leave the rights sitting in very strange places... like banks, or enormous conglomerates. Sometimes the original documents aren't even digitized, so somebody has to physically head down to the figurative cellar and dig through countless cabinets.” On top of that, the art, the music, the license, the digital distribution rights, the code can all be owned by different people.</p><p> So GOG went to SSI, and hence to Ubisoft, who were also the publisher of the first SSI game. “After considerable back and forth, it unfortunately (though perhaps fortunately for us) turned out to be a dead end.” says Klapovsky. “The rights were not with Ubisoft. They were sold or left behind somewhere along the way.”</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/lySOlt81RRus.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/L9oTiXBT2PpZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Forgotten Realms 5"></p><p> Then GOG went to the next logical place, the current owners for D&amp;D, Hasbro / Wizards of the Coast. “While they did own The Forgotten Realms intellectual property and were very excited for what we're doing, they also had never gotten the actual games themselves.” Another dead end.</p><p> With the trail running cold, GOG tracked down SSI’s original President and founder, Joel Billings. “As a huge fan of D&amp;D he was willing to help walk us through a detailed history behind SSI mergers and narrow the search down to two potential candidates: Mattel, or Gores Technology Group (who had acquired The Learning Company). The latter was a hit. We had found the actual rights owners to the Forgotten Realms games, and after several more months of negotiations, they agreed to sell them to us outright.”</p><p> GOG managed to recover thirteen games this way. They are: the party-based RPG Pool of Radiance; its sequels Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness; C&amp;C creators Westwood’s minigame RPG Hillsfar; the RPG construction kit Unlimited Adventures; Westwood’s first-person Eye of the Beholder Trilogy; the roguelike FPS Dungeon Hack; the two Savage Frontier games; and the Ultima Underworld-like Underdark exploration game Menzoberranzan.</p><blockquote> Then it they had the not-so-small matter of getting all thirteen running and bug-free for modern systems including Windows 10.&nbsp; </blockquote><p> Then it they had the not-so-small matter of getting all thirteen running and bug-free for modern systems including Windows 10. Considering these were huge games&mdash;and not bug free in their release versions&mdash;that’s a massive task that the GOG team has been working on since April.</p><p> One of the stranger challenges has been to get the Code Wheels working&mdash;the nostalgia-inducing cardboard security devices that came in the SSI Gold Boxes. “We considered trying to remove the need to use these codes during gameplay (much like we've done with several of our games in the past) but instead decided to opt for leaving that mechanic intact for the sake of a cooler, more authentic old-school experience.” So each game has a printable DIY code wheel for players to construct and a software version as well.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/y3ly4SCcTJyN.jpg" src="http://e5c351ecddc2f880ef72-57d6ff1fc59ab172ec418789d348b0c1.r69.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/jBz0e59uF8kJ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="Forgotten Realms 6"></p><p> For the SSI team who created them, it’s great that these games will get rediscovered by a new generation. After all, twenty years ago they put their heart and souls into them, as the lead designer David Shelley explains. “SSI had bet its future on the franchise, bringing in their first artists, and creating a team much larger than the 2-3 man teams they usually had.” Thankfully, the games did so well that, as one of the programmers said, “we could have shipped pancakes in a D&amp;D Gold box and made money.”</p><p> Though it sounds ridiculous now, before these games came out it was thought that the computing power simply didn’t exist to represent D&amp;D accurately. As SSI programmer Keith Brors recalls, “These games were extremely advanced for the time. The C64 and Apple II versions were written completely in 6502 assembly and those computers only had around 48,000 bytes of Ram. The computer I'm using here to answer these questions has 166,000 times as much memory.” (Charmingly, Bror still works on D&amp;D, as lead programmer on Neverwinter Online.)</p><p> Not that they were perfect games, by any means. Laura Bowen-Shelley was an artist at SSI; “They do have a different feeling from modern games, less dark and not very grim even when they were violent. Less questioning of stereotypes, too. There seemed to be less at stake, and there was less judging and pointing of fingers. As a female, I felt a bit outside of the whole thing and not able to push back much, though I was a lot less embattled than seems to be the case with some women in gaming right now. No one was making threats when I said I preferred to draw a female authority figure with a strong jaw rather than a sexy pout.”</p><blockquote>We have seen the D&amp;D torch passed on to great games like Baldur's Gate.</blockquote><p> That said, all the team we spoke to seemed proud that these games are once again part of videogame history. “We have seen the D&amp;D torch passed on to great games like Baldur's Gate, and members of those teams have gone on to make some games in the same vein, such as Pillars of Eternity.” said David Shelley. “It does trade off turn based detail for realtime excitement, but the story and style hearkens back to many of the games in these collections. Divinity: Original Sin is another with an excellent fantasy feel, and a similar experience.”</p><p> And though these games are all that’s left of SSI, the team behind them has finally found the impetus to recreate their charms, as Shelley explains. “Some of us decided that we should get together again and produce a new RPG which hearkens back to those great games. We helped found TSI, and are busy creating Seven Dragon Saga. Our six character parties, and turn based combat, are inspired by the work done on the D&amp;D games.”</p> How your Divinity: Original Sin 2 character choices affect everything you dohttp://www.pcgamer.com/how-your-divinity-original-sin-2-character-choices-affect-everything-you-do/We played a pre-alpha build of Divinity: Original Sin 2 with Swen Vincke, Creative Director and CEO of Larian Studios.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:02:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/how-your-divinity-original-sin-2-character-choices-affect-everything-you-do/Divinity: Original Sin 2KickstarterLarian StudiosRPGVideos <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4X8SS5cysHI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>When&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/larian-studios/" target="_blank">Larian Studios</a> first announced it would be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-kickstarter-launches-later-this-month/" target="_blank">returning to Kickstarter</a> for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2/">Divinity: Original Sin 2</a>, there was an air of&nbsp;skepticism.&nbsp;The first&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin/" target="_blank">Original Sin</a> was a glowing Kickstarter success, and many wondered why the studio would&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-studio-explains-why-its-returning-to-kickstarter-for-original-sin-2/" target="_blank">need to return</a> for more crowdfunding. However, after playing a pre-alpha build of Original Sin 2, I can't help but think that another Kickstarter success could help make it one of the most engaging RPGs to date.</p><p>We got a chance to sit down with&nbsp;Swen Vincke,&nbsp;the Creative Director and CEO of Larian Studios, and play a pre-alpha build of Divinity: Original Sin 2, which already has noticeably more ornate graphics and a few new systems&mdash;despite using a large amount of placeholder assets from the first game. The sequel will support up to four play co-op and have a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-will-have-a-competitive-multiplayer-mode/" target="_blank">competitive mode</a>, available both in and out of the story mode.&nbsp;But the most impressive thing is the shear amount of choice you are given, and how every one of those choices fundamentally&nbsp;affects how your characters can proceed.&nbsp;</p><p>Choosing a&nbsp;backstory is now part of the character creation process, and the history you choose&nbsp;will alter how your&nbsp;character can&nbsp;navigate the game's overarching plot. You may be the child or friend of a certain NPC, while one of your co-op partners is secretly on a mission to kill that same person. The interaction and conflict between every possible backstory and character choice is what will set Divinity: Original Sin 2 apart from its predecessor, and a successful Kickstarter could&nbsp;help ensure that by enlarging the list of&nbsp;possible options.&nbsp;</p><p>You can watch the video above to hear Vincke talk about the game while playing it firsthand.</p><p><strong>Here are some important moments in the video:</strong></p><p>01:25 - Some of the new character models.<br>05:57 - The new source skill system.<br>13:58 - An example of how differently characters are treated based on their race/backstory/etc.<br>22:38 - A very large source explosion.<br>29:40 - How to trick&nbsp;your allies with poison (and some joking about pay2win).<br>37:35 - Some "enhanced" interrogation techniques.<br>44:52 - The new skill-crafting system.<br>47:40 - A VERY LARGE (and sad) DRAGON.<br>49:28 - Some inter-party betrayal.</p><p>And you can watch a full match of the competitive arena mode&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-will-have-a-competitive-multiplayer-mode" target="_blank">right here</a>. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2">kickstarter is live</a> now, and has attracted more than $100,000 already.</p> Divinity: Original Sin 2 will have a competitive multiplayer modehttp://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-will-have-a-competitive-multiplayer-mode/We went head to head against Larian Studios' CEO in a pre-alpha build ofDivinity: Original Sin 2's new competitive mode.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:02:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2-will-have-a-competitive-multiplayer-mode/Divinity: Original Sin 2KickstarterLarian StudiosNewsRPGVideos <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qezVapjaYD8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin-2/" target="_blank">Divinity: Original Sin 2</a> officially&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin-2" target="_blank">launched its Kickstarter campaign&nbsp;today</a>, which aims to increase the already dizzying amount of choice and variance in the game through crowd-funding. Along with a large host of improvements and changes to the first&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/divinity-original-sin" target="_blank">Original Sin</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/Larian-Studios" target="_blank">Larian Studios</a> announced the sequel would be playable with up to four players and feature a&nbsp;competitive mode, accessible both in and out of the story mode.&nbsp;</p><p>I got a chance to play a pre-alpha build of Divinity: Original Sin 2&nbsp;head-to-head&nbsp;against Larian's Creative Director and&nbsp;CEO, Swen Vincke. It was a rather intimidating affair playing against the man who founded Larian, but I put 80 hours into the first&nbsp;Original Sin and was ready to put up a fight.&nbsp;We each took control of two members of our four character party&nbsp;and jumped into a dungeon-themed arena&mdash;packed with neutral&nbsp;NPC skeletons and a valuable chest in the center of the battlefield. You can watch the video above to see exactly how it went from there.</p><p>The fight played out like any other might; we each took our turns trying to out-maneuver our opponent's and the plentiful elemental hazards around the map. But this was the first time I'd ever fought&nbsp;another living person with Original Sin's finely tuned RPG systems, and I found myself no longer able to rely on the enemy making predictable mistakes. The skeletons were still AI-controlled (and caused a large amount of chaos during the battle) but I could only&nbsp;win when my opponent's characters were dead, not by killing more skeletons than him.&nbsp;</p><p>Vincke mentions in the video above that this isn't the only arena level available, even saying they've been internally testing a "Gauntlet"-style competitive&nbsp;dungeon crawl. Divinty: Original Sin 2&nbsp;will also have a editor available, meaning players can make their own arenas to compete against each&nbsp;other&nbsp;in. It probably won't be what the majority of players spend their time on, but competitive multiplayer in the Divinity engine&nbsp;has got me very excited.</p><p>You can watch our longer playthrough of the Divinity: Original Sin 2 pre-alpha with Vincke&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/how-your-divinity-original-sin-2-character-choices-affect-everything-you-do" target="_blank">right here</a>.</p> Fallout returns to GOG, alongside other Bethesda classicshttp://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-returns-to-gog-alongside-other-bethesda-classics/From Doom to Morrowind, all DRM free.Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:00:00 +0000http://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-returns-to-gog-alongside-other-bethesda-classics/BethesdaDoomFallout 2FPSNewsQuakeRPGThe Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind <p><img data-fullimage-src="http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/9Y9ZBCCGQE61.jpg" src="http://ec0c5a7f741a6f3bff65-dd07187202f57fa404a8f047da2bcff5.r85.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/rxYjkSk1eutZ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg" alt="GOGlltimes"></p><p>Once, the early Fallout RPGs were available on GOG. Then Bethesda and Interplay had&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-interplay-settlement-official-bethesda-gains-full-fallout-mmo-rights/" target="_blank">a big fight</a>, and Bethesda gained full rights to the Fallout series. Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics all promptly&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/fallouts-classic-catalogue-removed-from-gog-due-to-rights-issue/" target="_blank">disappeared from GOG and Steam</a>, and then&mdash;months later&mdash;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/early-fallout-games-are-now-available-on-steam-again-after-a-six-month-absence/" target="_blank">returned to Steam only</a>.&nbsp;That was it for&nbsp;the epic saga of The Company Who Owned A Thing. Until today.</p><p>GOG and Bethesda have finally struck a deal, and the Fallout games are back in DRM-free form&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gog.com/news/bethesda_softworks_its_way_to_gogcom" target="_blank">on the distribution service</a>. Also, GOG is now&nbsp;selling a number of other Bethesda-owned classics&mdash;all DRM free. Two of these new old games are being made available digitally for the very first time.</p><p>Here's what's now available:</p><ul> <li>The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition</li><li>The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard</li><li>The Elder Scrolls: Battlespire</li><li>Quake (includes Mission Pack 1 and Mission Pack 2)</li><li>The Ultimate DOOM</li><li>DOOM II + Master Levels for DOOM II + Final DOOM</li><li>Fallout</li><li>Fallout 2</li><li>Fallout Tactic</li></ul><p>A number of deals are also available throughout the next week. Purchase all three Elder Scrolls games, and you'll get a 33% discount. Purchase all three Id games, and you'll get a 33% discount. Purchase all three Fallout games, and you'll get a 66% discount.&nbsp;Finally, purchase any of the above games and you'll get&nbsp;The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall for free.</p>