Minecraft 'Head Into The Clouds' contest winners announced

Shaun Prescott at

Planet Minecraft's 'Head Into The Clouds' contest was drawn late last week, and the winners are typically impressive. We looked at some of the most visually appealing entries a couple of weeks ago, and one of them has managed to take out the top prize. The contest required Minecraft players to build something on the Planet Minecraft 'Floating Island' map, with only a few limitations: no tampering with the basic structure of the map, and no texture packs.


Battlefield 4 to get major free update in September based on CTE feedback

Shaun Prescott at

DICE continues its efforts to salvage Battlefield 4 with a new series of fixes, due to go live in September. The substantial update is borne of feedback received from the game's Community Test Environment, which launched in May exclusively for Battlefield Premium members. Its focus was meant to be the game's netcode, but a lot more has been addressed according to the notes.


No One Lives Forever review — January 2001, US edition

PC Gamer at

I'd forgotten that NOLF was actually called The Operative: No One Lives Forever. There may have been legal reasons for the title, but Monolith also said it wanted to avoid James Bond comparisons altogether—it heard a lot of them after NOLF was revealed in 1999. That's also why it changed the main character to Cate Archer. According to an archived interview from 2000, the original protagonist was male.


Skeletal PS1 adventure Medievil is being reborn as a Skyrim mod

Tom Sykes at

Medievil was one of the highlights of the Playstation era for me: a Tim Burton/Danny Elfmanesque comedy romp through a medieval...sorry, a medievil fantasy world. It's one of those games I'd rather preserve the memory of rather than attempt to play again, but I'm thrilled to see it reborn, after a fashion, in Skyrim. Modder KorinOo is remaking the first four levels in the Construction Set, along with its undead hero Sir Daniel Fortescue and the various skellies and pumpkins he encounters along the way.


Dominions 4 diary part three: wizards, lizards and eternal darkness

Tom Senior at

In parts one and two, Balboa, my obelisk god, leader of the Lanka, successfully fended off challenges from other pretender gods in the west of the kingdom, and plans to turn his attentions south once those enemies have been defeated.

Lizards. Lizards everywhere. The cold-blooded bastards have crossed the southern river to strike at my exposed heartlands. Far to the west, my armies continue to decimate the gods that challenged me last month, but it’ll take them ages to double back and help my central cities. This could mean trouble. Big, scaly trouble.

Street Fighter IV's Steamworks transition not going smoothly; Capcom working on fixes

Tom Sykes at

Games for Windows Live is the gift that keeps on giving. First it was dead, then it was not dead, and now it's causing trouble from beyond the hypothetical grave in Capcom's Super/Ultra Street Fighter IV. Capcom announced that they were making the transition from GfWL to Steamworks a couple of months ago, and now that's it's happened all sorts of connection and lag problems are occurring. Ultra SFIV's Steam forums page is awash with posts detailing a cornucopia of issues, which mostly appear to be related to the game's netcode.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

This week's free games picks take you to the Mountains of Madness, deepest space, the rugged Old West, and down, down, down into an ancient temple. If your canteen is full, your quiver is stuffed with arrows, and your knapsack is fit to bursting with essential Curly Wurlys and Snickers bars, you may join me after the break.


Eugen Systems announces Act of War successor Act of Aggression

Tom Sykes at

What comes after War? Aggression? That doesn't sound quite right, war being a rather aggressive act in the first place, but here we are. Eugen Systems—stalwart carriers of the wargaming flame—are hoping to "bring about a return to the '90s Golden Era of real time strategy games" with their new game Act of Aggression, and its first trailer contains all the tiny units, explosions and jagged steel fonts you could possibly want. Also a very strange choice of accompanying song.


Lucius 2 announced: murder a town to please your dad, the Devil

Tom Sykes at

Does your dad have hooves? Does he carry a pitchfork around? If you answered yes to one of them he's either Mr Tumnus or some sort of farmer; if you answered yes to both, there's a good chance he's the devil. Yeah, sorry to break it to you like that. The good news is that your share a lineage with a kid named Lucius; the bad news is that he's not exactly the friendly sort. I'd go so far as to say he's a bit of a wrong'un. After murdering his (adopted) family in his first game, he's back to terrorise a sandboxy town in Lucius 2. See the firstus trailerus after the break. us.


Saturday Crapshoot: Haunted Casino

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, when the crypt goes creak, and the tombstones quake, spooks come out for a swinging wake. Happy haunts materialise, and begin to... play video poker?

So, here's an interesting little curiosity for you. Since pretty much the dawn of the PC, there's been a game called Last Half Of Darkness - an early horror adventure that, much like Last of the Summer Wine, has an interesting concept of 'Last'. The first one came out in 1989, and while there haven't been that many sequels, they kept coming until 2011 - Last Half of Darkness II and II, Last Half of Darkness: Shadows of the Servants, Last Half Of Darkness: Tomb of Zojir and Last Half Of Darkness: Seriously, Someone Turn The Lights On. In the middle of all that darkness though, another lesser known game was released - a freebie at the time. But can ghosts and ghouls gamble with the best of them?

Vigil Games "core team" reforms (again) as Gunfire Games

Andy Chalk at

Darksiders studio Vigil Games came to an untimely end in the wake of THQ's collapse, and yet it didn't: Instead of purchasing the studio, Crytek left it to wither and die, then hired a big chunk of its staff for its Austin-based Crytek USA. Now its happening again, as Crytek USA has been vastly downsized in the wake of Crytek's move to free-to-play, but the Vigil team is sticking together under yet another new name.


Gods Will Be Watching "Mercy Update" adds kinder, gentler difficulty levels

Andy Chalk at

Gods Will Be Watching scored a healthy 81 in its PC Gamer review, not bad for a game that "demands cold decisions in nightmare situations and then depicts the results with the heartless edge of a rusty scalpel." But apparently not everyone cares for that sort of gut-wrenching intensity in their "entertainment," and so Deconstructeam has decided to show us all a little mercy.


Twitch drops highlight time limits, adds appeal button for copyright-flagged VODs

Andy Chalk at

Twitch unveiled some significant changes to its handling of stored videos earlier this week. The "save forever" option for past broadcasts was eliminated, and while highlight videos could be saved indefinitely, they were limited to a maximum of two hours in length. Existing videos, meanwhile, would be scanned for copyrighted audio and muted if any was found, an automated process that's apparently led to a number of false positives. The response to the new policies was predictably sour, and following a Reddit AMA by CEO Emmett Shear yesterday, Twitch has backtracked on them a bit.


The best living room PC games

Wes Fenlon at

Every so often, PC gamers want to step away from the desk and play some games in the living room. There's a comfy couch! And a big TV! While we'd never want to give up our trusty keyboard and mouse for Counter-Strike or Civilization, there are tons of great PC games—both multiplayer and singleplayer—that are ideally suited to a controller and a big TV. We've assembled a list of the 20 best PC games for the living room right now, from modern multiplayer classics (Towerfall! Nidhogg!) to sprawling adventures like Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, built with controllers in mind.


Metro Redux trailer lays out big changes in post-apocalypse Moscow

Andy Chalk at

It may be premature to declare that before-and-after comparison videos are all the rage, but hot on the heels of yesterday's Project CARS trailer comes something similar for the upcoming Metro Redux. Major visual updates to both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are at the top of the menu, but there's a lot more to it than just a new coat of paint.


Crytek CEO claims he was "surprised" by employees unhappy about payroll delays

Andy Chalk at

Over the past few months, Crytek has looked very much like a company in trouble. Reports of missed paydays and high rates of employee turnover were unsubstantiated but persistent, and in July a couple of high-ranked employees left the company for greener pastures. It all seemed to come to a head last week when Deep Silver acquired Homefront and Crytek UK was closed down. But Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli recently insisted that the company didn't need to downsize, and claimed he was surprised that some employees were unhappy about not being paid on time.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

PC Gamer at

Each week PC Gamer’s poets in residence gather their thoughts on the previous seven days. Weirdly, it never seems to rhyme.

The PC Gamer Show episode 3: Videoball, GTA 4 no-friction and more on LPC Jr., Arma 3 Zeus mode

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode three we're introducing the new Large Pixel Collider Jr. with an afternoon of special living room gaming challenges. Can Counter-Strike maven Evan Lahti win when he's forced to play with an Xbox controller? Who will survive the frictionless mayhem of GTA 4's Carmageddon mod? Plus, we play upcoming electronic sport Videoball, and PC Gamer UK walks us through ARMA 3's awesome Zeus mode.


Crimes and Punishments will be doled out on September 30th

Tom Sykes at

I'm starting to think I might be the only one intrigued by Frogwares' latest Sherlock Holmes game, which drops the Great Detective in an Unreal-powered old-timey world filled with suspicious suspects, evidential evidence, and a bucket-load of stuff for Holmes to deduce with the aid of his thinking deerstalker and keen, opium-riddled eyes. Crimes and Punishments' last trailer was a big'un, showing most of a case save for some spoilery deductions and the revelation of whodunit, but this latest one is exceptionally brief. That's because it's there to contain one salient piece of information: the game's release date. I'm going to pretend you didn't read it in the headline up there and secrete it, like an evil genius, after the break.


Civilization: Beyond Earth videos show how aliens will react to human presence

Tom Sykes at

Firaxis took to Twitch to stream 50 minutes or so of Civilization: Beyond Earth, in part focusing on how the indigenous (or, to us, alien) species in the game will react to the presence of us fleshy human meatbags. These creatures will essentially perform a lot of the same functions as the barbarians from Civ, but Firaxis were quick to point out some key differences. We also get to ogle at the game's lovely new Tech Web (it's no longer a tree), which is a thing of interconnected, very purple beauty. The session is now on YouTube, and I've linked all three parts below.