The Escapists infiltrates Steam Early Access

Tom Sykes at

The Escapists is a game about breaking out of prison, from the studio that made that game about a heroic potato. Banged up for 30 years for a crime you maybe did commit, The Escapists tasks you with busting out of a fortified penitentiary, using a variety of tools and methods to achieve this. It all sounds rather exciting and open-ended, and it's now on Steam Early Access so we can check for ourselves.


Ultra Street Fighter IV beta update available, opt-in to help Capcom fix their game

Tom Sykes at

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Super/Ultra/Mega Hyper Duper Street Fighter IV, and how the online situation is a bit of a mess since Capcom ditched Games for Windows Live for Steamworks. Capcom said they were working on fixes, and now they've applied some in a new beta version of Ultra SFIV available on Steam. This forum post has details on how to opt-in.


Mod of the Week: Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms

Christopher Livingston at

I don't know how successfully it comes across on the TV show, but the Game of Thrones book series makes the storied history of Westeros as important and intriguing as the current, rather messy state of affairs. Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, a mod for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms, is set during the Andal Invasion of Westeros, thousands of years before the events of the series, which means now you can take part in the shaping of the turbulent continent and forge your own version of the history of Westeros.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Free games are amazing, and the wide world of gaming is a wildly better place for all the wonderful interactive stories and goal-based games and exploratory oddities I've encountered over the last couple of years. While angry types grumble about 'walking simulators' and interactive fiction and having to look at games featuring pixel art, those of you with open minds may join me after the break. Read on for strange climbing, a different kind of haunted house, a dusty city, extreme berry-picking and more.


The Long Dark makes the perilous trek to Steam Early Access in September

Tom Sykes at

Andy was impressed when he got his frostbitten hands on The Long Dark, so the news that it's heading to Steam Early Access soon is reason to be cheerful. (Unless it arrives a bit too broken to enjoy, of course.) Developers Hinterland Games have announced the date on which we can expect the game, along with details of what the Early Access version will entail. September 22nd is the entry to circle in your diary with your last remaining ounce of energy, giving the people that find your corpse plenty to chew on as they poke around in your cabin and pilfer your supplies.


Eldritch gets free Asylum expansion to celebrate H.P. Lovecraft's birthday

Tom Sykes at

H.P. Lovecraft isn't quite alive enough to enjoy his birthday anymore, so Eldritch developers Minor Key Games have taken it upon themselves to bake him a cake, then toss it into their procedurally generated dungeon. By this I mean they've added some H.P. Lovecrafty stuff to their roguey, stealthy dungeon crawler Eldritch, and they've done so free of charge. The Asylum expansion is the biggest New Thing, but you can also expect trading cards, achievements, leaderboards and more should you decide to load up the game.


Saturday Crapshoot: Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, a lost adventure about a lost adventure where ship happened and the world was never the same.

Frank Carlson is the unluckiest man in the history of gaming. A spy in 1912, assigned to the Titanic, he survived the sinking only to be fired from the OSS and end up alone in the Second World War, in a room he can't even afford. On his desk, just a tarot card - Death - representing, as ever, cliche. In his desk drawer, a ticket... for the Hindenberg. And just when everything seems at its worst, a bomb goes off outside his window. Do not stand anywhere near Frank Carlson. I mean it. Nowhere.

But wait. A game about the Titanic? That starts in the Second World War? I smell time travel! Not to mention the far, far more obscure, yet beloved by people who played it, spiritual cousin of The Last Express. Some years, it's best to just stay home. Frank doesn't even get to draw a naked lady...

EA Sports promises dire consequences for FIFA Ultimate Team cheaters

Andy Chalk at

With FIFA 15 just a month away, EA Sports has issued a rather stern warning to people giving thought to cheating in FIFA Ultimate Team. The publisher said it will be "more proactive in taking action" against bots, coin sellers, match cheats and other exploits, and players caught cheating could find themselves permanently banned from the game.


World of Warplanes adds PvE bots, improved ground targets and a new map

Andy Chalk at

The trouble with breaking into a game like World of Warplanes is that most of the people you run up against have been playing for months or years already, and are going to use that experience to smack you around mercilessly—and it's hard to get a feel for your fighter if you're being blown out of the sky every 45 seconds. That's a shortcoming the new 1.5 patch goes a long way toward addressing with the introduction of a new PvE mode creatively entitled "Battle Against Bots."


Civilization: Beyond Earth gameplay video takes a detailed look at building an effective colony

Andy Chalk at

Odds are you've already made up your mind about whether Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is something you want to sink hundreds of hours of your life into. But if you're on the fence, this lengthy gameplay video recorded during the August 21 Firaxis livestream might prove helpful.


Next Hearthstone expansion to include around 100 cards, bought via booster packs

Tim Clark at

Still trying to make your mind up about which of the new cards is most OP? (It's Mad Scientist.) The next Hearthstone set will feature more than three times the number of cards released in the recent Curse Of Naxxramas expansion to bitch about. Speaking on Value Town yesterday, Hearthstone's senior game designer Mike Donais confirmed the next expansion will offer a much bigger injection of cards, and these will be available from packs.


Titanfall returns to Game Time for another free 48 hours

Andy Chalk at

If you haven't yet strapped on a 30-foot-tall suit of futuristic armor and used it to flatten some poor schmuck into a gooey pancake, now might be a good time to rectify that oversight. The weekend is here, and Titanfall is once again free.


Civilization studio Firaxis Games annouces the first-ever Firaxicon convention

Andy Chalk at

Firaxicon is coming! But while it may sound like Firkraag's big brother has finally launched his quest for vengeance against the child of Gorion, it is in fact the first-ever videogame convention devoted solely to Firaxis Games, the studio behind the Sid Meier's Civilization series. And yes, it is official.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Phil Savage at

Each week PC Gamer’s writers meld minds until the most significant events of the previous seven days have been chosen. It’s honestly amazing anything gets done around here.

The PC Gamer Show episode 4: SOE Live, Alien Isolation, Velvet Sundown

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode four, Cory travels to SOE Live to interview Sony Online President John Smedley and talk Everquest Next and H1Z1. Meanwhile, back at the office, we take a cruise on the Velvet Sundown and Tim chats with UK editor Chris Thursten about their hands-on time with Alien Isolation.


We have five thousand The Crew beta keys to give away

PC Gamer at

You've read about Andy's coast-to-coast journey, now maybe you'd like to strap in and set off on your own. Or perhaps you'd prefer to cruise the streets of US cities, picking up challenges and proving your skill. Soon you'll be able to do both, as we're giving away 5,000 keys to next week's The Crew beta.

Update: It's all over. That was quick. If you successfully claimed a key, it should be emailed to you in the next few hours.


Minecraft's bountiful 1.8 update pre-released, brings performance improvements and rabbits

Phil Savage at

"Doors and fences now come in all wood type variants," reads one of the patch notes for Minecraft's 1.8: The Bountiful Update, proving that this release is a pretty big deal. Other, less game-changing improvements include new enemies, new blocks, client-side optimisation and other 'under-the-hood' changes. And rabbits. The patch, which officially goes live on Tuesday, 2 September, can now be downloaded in pre-release form by enabling development versions in the Minecraft launcher.


Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury review

Dave James at

However disgruntled I’m becoming about the amount of gaming hardware being named after classical Greek characters, I have to admit to being seriously impressed by the latest Logitech mouse.

It’s being marketed as ‘the world’s fastest gaming mouse’ and to be fair Logitech have got a point. It’s not trading on the sort of crazy-high DPI settings it’s bigger sibling, the G502 Proteus Core, can manage, but it’s capable of tracking your movements however quickly you hurl your gaming rodent around the desktop.


The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 5 trailer confirms there's no going back

Phil Savage at

I'm about to put a lot of trust in Telltale Games. You see, normally it's good form to watch the game trailer that you're posting to a major gaming website. But this one, for Episode 5 of The Walking Dead: Season 2, contains "major" spoilers for the preceding parts. And while yes, I should really have played those episodes by now, there are around 125 other games in my "to play" list. Geeze, people, cut me some slack.

I apologise in advance it this is just five minutes and thirty-six seconds of wall-to-wall dongs.


Dishonored is free on Steam this weekend

Cory Banks at

This is a good weekend for free games. We already told you that Borderlands 2, the Gearbox "looter-shooter," is free on Valve's Steam platform, but you'd rather sneak and assassinate instead, you're in luck. Dishonored is also free to play all weekend long.