Risk of Rain update to add two new classes, one of which owns a grappling hook

Tom Sykes at

In lieu of a promised Arena mode, Risk of Rain developers Hopoo Games are adding two new classes to their sidescrolling genre mashup instead. (It's basically a MOBA roguelike, although that doesn't feel quite right as a descriptor either.) There's no word on how these classes will behave yet, but there is a brief gif revealing that one of them will have hydraulic arms and a grappling hook. You know, like your mum. This automatically makes them the best class in any game.


CoD: Ghosts trailer details Nemesis map pack, includes mine carts and smallest-ever CoD map

Tom Sykes at

It's strange to hear developers boast about how small the maps in their newest map pack are, but I hear just that in this trailer for CoD: Ghosts' final piece of DLC, Nemesis. This adds some "small-to-medium"-sized maps based around the themes 'mine cart level', 'wintry submarine base' and 'please desecrate this lovely Chinese village', along with a remake of the "smallest map ever made for Call of Duty": Shipment (now called Showtime). This one's a futuristic, Smash TV-style game show, replete with a cheesy announcer commentating on the killy goings-on. The DLC also adds the final bit to the game's full-on sci-fi Extinction mode. Exodus will see you coming face-to-elongated-face with the Ancestors, ie XCOM-ish psionic aliens. The trailer is below.


Titanfall 'Frontier's Edge' map pack is out now, see it in action here

Shaun Prescott at

Titanfall's Frontier's Edge map pack is out today, so you might as well watch this video showing off the three new arenas. Impressions based on the above footage are mostly positive, though it's a shame there's nothing as aesthetically bracing as 'War Games' from the Expedition pack. The colour palettes don't really depart from what we've seen before.


Minecraft 'Head Into The Clouds' contest has some breathtaking creations

Shaun Prescott at

I still play Minecraft a lot. Usually I build fortresses and islands in the sky, and I'm often very happy with my airbourne sanctuaries. Not anymore though, because the entries in Planet Minecraft's 'Head Into The Clouds' contest easily put everything I've done to shame.


Beyond Good And Evil 2 is still happening; will 'push past the boundaries of proverbial sequel'

Shaun Prescott at

It's been six years since Ubisoft first hinted at a Beyond Good & Evil sequel. Following news overnight that creator Michel Ancel will launch his own independent studio, Ubisoft spokespeople confirmed that not only will he continue to work on in-progress titles at Ubisoft Montpellier, but that one of them is the long-awaited Beyond Good & Evil 2.


BioWare adds new "Spark" teaser to "You've Been Chosen" website

Andy Chalk at

A new teaser entitled "Spark" has appeared on BioWare's "You've Been Chosen" website. It's slightly longer than the "Nightmare" video that turned up last week, but unfortunately it's not any more informative.


Mastertronic lays off nearly half its staff as it seeks insolvency protection

Andy Chalk at

The original Mastertronic actually disappeared in the mid-90s, but it was reborn in 2004 when one of the original founders, Frank Herman, helped negotiate the purchase of the name from Sega. Sadly, ten years later the company is once again facing a bleak future, as it has announced plans to close its headquarters, lay off 40 percent of its staff and completely exit the business of publishing physical copies of games.


SpeedRunners review (Early Access)

Emanuel Maiberg at

Alpha and Early Access reviews offer our preliminary verdicts on in-development games. We may follow up this unscored review with a final, scored review in the future. Read our full review policy for details.

SpeedRunners takes the fast, challenging 2D platforming from games like N and Super Meat Boy, throws in three other players via local multiplayer or online matchmaking, and lets them race one another. That idea on its own is lighting in a bottle, but there are a few other subtle things that SpeedRunners does to make every match exciting, funny, and always worth playing for just one more round.

Hatoful Boyfriend, the "pigeon dating sim," takes flight in August

Andy Chalk at

I want to play Hatoful Boyfriend. Not because I'm into avian amore, but because the mere concept of a "pigeon dating simulator" is so utterly bizarre that I feel compelled to fire it up and see what it's all about. And in roughly three weeks time, I will finally be able to satisfy my twisted curiosity—with a swanky collector's edition, no less.


Pixel Boost: Sid Meier's Pirates!

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of hi-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Yarr!.

First, there were pirates, the sea dogs of the the 17th century Caribbean. Then there were Pirates!, who were very similar, except they lived inside computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II and were created by Sid Meier in 1987. Finally, there are 2004's Pirates!, who sail the Caribbean as salty 3D scalawags instead of tiny blocky pixel sprites. Pirates, Pirates! and 3D Pirates! all do mostly the same things--plunder booty, trade stolen goods, and swordfight with Spanish sailors. 2013's Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag may have the more exciting swordfighting, but the greatest piracy simulation of them all is still 2004's Sid Meier's Pirates!. Meier's classic blend of fun minigames and strategy hasn't been replicated in a pirate game since, but that's okay—Pirates! still runs just fine on modern Windows, and at high resolution, too.

Updated: Curse of Naxxramas Plague Quarter bugs persist, but progress being made

Andy Chalk at

Update: Blizzard is making progress on the Plague Quarter issues, but serious problems remain. In an update posted today, the studio said it has fixed the bugs that caused players to be charged twice for Plague Quarter access, that denied access to the Plague Quarter after successfully completing the purchase and that caused an improper appearance of the "Closed" sign on the in-game shop. Unfortunately, the fixes are only good for players who haven't previously run into trouble; if you've already encountered the bugs, their effects will remain on your account and the current fix will do you no good.

Problems with payments giving the "Waiting for authorization" and "Another transaction is still in progress" messages, and players being prompted to purchase access to the Arachnid Quarter for zero currency are still under investigation.

Final Fantasy XIV launches free two-week trial program

Andy Chalk at

Just two weeks after inviting inactive Final Fantasy XIV players back for a free weekend, Square Enix is now offering free two-week trials to everyone—with a few restrictions, of course.


No coding required: How new designers are using GameMaker to create indie smash hits

PC Gamer at

In May 2013, Tom Francis opened preorders for his 2D stealth hacking game Gunpoint. By the time Gunpoint actually went on sale, a week later, Francis had already made enough money to quit his job at PC Gamer and focus on game development full-time. But for many people, the biggest surprise came not from the game's amazing performance three days after release, but rather the way it was made—that it was developed using a tool called GameMaker.

GameMaker: Studio, the latest version of the tool, has been developed by YoYoGames since 2006. Its goal is to break down the game development process into something approachable and easy to learn, shifting the main challenge facing game designers from technical knowledge to creative ability. But in part because of this ease-of-use, GameMaker has carried a stigma that it wasn't capable or worthy of powering high-quality, "professional" games. ("I can't believe you made this in GameMaker!" Francis recalls people saying. "That's so impressive!")


Gearbox seeks removal from Aliens: Colonial Marines class action lawsuit

Andy Chalk at

Gearbox Software was slapped with a lawsuit last year over the hot mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, and specifically that the final product was a far cry from what was promised in "actual gameplay" demos displayed at E3. Gearbox quickly dismissed the action as "frivolous" but otherwise remained quiet on the matter until yesterday, when lawyers for the studio filed multiple motions seeking to have it removed from the action.


Firefall review in progress, part two: more missions, currency and crafting

Phil Savage at

Firefall, the free-to-play MMO shooter, is now available. As per PC Gamer's reviews policy, MMOs aren't scored until our reviewer has spent time with the public release. This, then, is part two of a review-in-progress, charting Phil's initial impressions with the game. You'll find part one here.

Things get off to an interesting start. I log in and head towards a new area, and the new campaign mission I've unlocked. As I make my way toward the mission flag, I'm alerted to some "seismic activity". The warning is coming from a resource node. Sensing it would be a bad idea, I blow it up anyway. Yes, it was a bad idea. An insectoid creature emerges from the ground, much higher than my current level. It's takes a few swipes from my health, but, with plenty of jetpack strafing, I manage to bring it down.

Three Lane Highway: surrender buttons, Gordian knots, and other thoughts on giving up

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.

When someone describes something as a Gordian knot the presumption is that it's waiting for the sword. There's virtue associated with solving complicated problems quickly and decisively—the legend of Alexander and the knot expresses a cultural preoccupation with the notion that twisted impossible things are deserving of a direct and just and violent 'solution', normally at the hands of somebody with unusual power and perspective (read: some dude with a sword.) Anything else, it follows, is a waste of time.

Last chance: we're giving away a five-game Steam bundle, with Bundle Stars

PC Gamer at

Our five-week, five-million-key giveaway has come to an end. Here's the thing: we've still got some Steam keys left over. This, then, is Giveaway Redux. Over the next few days, you have one final chance to grab a bundle of five games. That's $40 of entertainment, for free. If you missed any of our featured games from the last five weeks—SpaceChem, Dino D-Day, Really Big Sky, Gun Monkeys or GTR Evolution—they're all now back, and available to claim just one last time. Head below for this final set of free Steam keys.


Nelly Cootalot returns for beautifully illustrated sequel The Fowl Fleet

Tom Sykes at

A helpful nudge from IndieGames reminds me to check the PC Gamer news vault for the words 'Nelly Cootalot', only to find that we've never even alluded to one of the loveliest AGS games ever made, Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! Given that it came out in 2007, well before this site was launched, perhaps that can be forgiven, but if you haven't played it, and you enjoy games that make you click on things to make other things happen, you should probably give the (free) game a try.

Why am I going on about a freeware game from a million years ago? Because a sequel is on the way. It's named Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, and it's on the Steam Greenlights if the following video inspires you to put your clicking finger to work.


Prison Architect's Alpha 23 update adds remote access systems, AKA 'fun with doors'

Tom Sykes at

Prison Architect's latest update is a particularly important one, adding remote access systems to Introversion's prison management sim. As we know from movies and TV, no prison worth its salt would be complete without a big security room switch that opens all the cell doors at once. That's finally a possibility in Alpha 23, which will now allow players to connect doors to remote switches, or to set it so that they'll only open at a specific time of day, say 14:37. You probably have your own favourite time of day. CCTV has also been reworked a bit to fit in with the new system.


F1 2014 announced, will reflect this year's changes to the sport

Tom Sykes at

Codemasters has announced their latest F1 title and, weirdly, it's not adhering to the tradition of being named after some hypothetical future year. F1 2014 will, instead, release in 2014 (spooky), leaving the 'next-gen' F1 2015 to the numerically appropriate 2015 F1 season. This year's entry will likely be a little less visually sparkly than next year's, but Codies are still promising big changes to the business of driving fast cars around a track, including a "driver evaluation system" that will analyse your skill level during play, before suggesting game settings tailored to your ability—or lack thereof.