PAX East 2014 recap: The PC games we loved at PAX

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Evan Lahti at

Civilization: Beyond Earth was the big, unexpected announcement at PAX East this year, but there was plenty more happening on the show floor in Boston. Tyler, Cory, and I talked through their favorite games of PAX East, including Darkest Dungeon, Evolve, Subnautica, and Below.

War of the Vikings leaves early access, launch trailer makes heavy use of the word "Viking"

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Phil Savage at

"What do you think a Viking is? Bravery? Fury?" asks the launch trailer for War of the Vikings. In my experience of muliplayer combat, it's more likely to be teabagging and complaints about lag. Unsurprisingly, the narrator has rather more lofty ideals to accompany the footage of Fatshark's War of the Vikings, which—after six months sailing through Steam Early Access—has now been officially released.


The Rift Report: 10 of the best VR experiences

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Andy Kelly at

Every Tuesday Andy straps on the Oculus Rift and dives headfirst into the world of virtual reality in The Rift Report. Is it really the future of PC gaming? Let’s find out.

The Rift Report will be taking a break until I get my hands and eyes on the higher resolution DK2. But before I go, here’s a list of the games, tech demos, and other oddities I think make the most of the hardware. I’ve been using the Rift pretty frequently for a couple of months now, and it still manages to impress me. But the limitations of the original development kit are obvious, so I think I’ll wait until the fancypants new model lands on my desk before I continue my virtual reality odyssey.

Blood Bowl 2 trailer tramples, elbows, bellows through first match footage

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Tom Senior at

The best thing about Cyanide's first Blood Bowl was the Games Workshop ruleset that supported it. Clunky UI and some wobbly networking almost spoiled the appeal of violent, high-fantasy Gridiron. The latest Blood Bowl 2 trailer shows the new match engine, which certainly looks the part, but will those important underlying systems be fixed? Ponder that as you watch some big green fellas squashing some little pink fellas in the first moving pictures of a BB2 match.


Guild Wars 2's April Feature Pack represents an important soft overhaul for long-term players

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Phil Savage at

Scarlet is dead, Mordremoth—the Elder forest dragon—has awoken, and Lion's Arch lies in ruins. More significantly, Guild Wars 2's player-base have completed an over year-long series of regular content releases, building to some of the most engaging and coordinated map-wide battles yet seen in the game. So what's next? For now, none of the above. Rather than hint at the content to come, the next update re-examines and overhauls many of the underlying systems. The April Feature Pack is due out later today, and could be a significant shift to how players engage with the game.

"I think over the last year you saw us integrate a lot of the features in with the content," Isaiah Cartwright, lead game designer for Guild Wars 2, tells me. "We did the whole achievement rework right at the same time as we had this big content patch. We found that they kind of step on each others toes. I think our philosophy now is trying to separate the features and the quality of life improvements from the content. This is our first run at that."


Psychotic Sims 3 speed run achieves lifetime wish in under four minutes. Watch the video

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Tom Senior at

How do you beat a game about life, romance and ambition in three-and-a-half minutes? If you're thinking "well just create a charming character, pick the gold digger lifetime wish, marry a rich sim, then lock her in a tiny box and burn it down to secure her inheritance" then firstly, what is wrong with you, and secondly, yes, absolutely that.


Child of Light trailer shows gorgeous watercolour wonderland

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Tom Senior at

Sidescrolling RPG, Child of Light, is looking extremely pretty, which isn't surprising considering the fact it's built on the powerful UbiArt tools Ubisoft used to make the modern Rayman games. This time the developers, led by Far Cry 3 director Patrick Plourde, are drawing aesthetic inspiration from Final Fantasy and Vagrant story to create a washed-out watercolour ambiance for the fantasy world of Lemuria.


Spelunky world record beaten, $3,109,825 collected over four hours

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Phil Savage at

It was less than two months ago that top Spelunky streamer Bananasaurus_Rex smashed through Spelunky's $3,000,000 barrier to take the high score world record. It's an achievement I thought would hold, thanks to the incredible luck of finding a plasma cannon and jetpack on the first two levels. It wasn't to be, as now YamaYamaDingDong has broken that record by just $3,975. More impressively, he did the majority of the run without the level-blasting power of the plasma cannon.


Dark Souls 2: Prepare to Die on PC

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Cory Banks at

Praise the sun! Dark Souls 2 is finally coming to PC on April 25, and PC Gamer has everything you need to get ready. Every day between now and next Friday, we're giving you the best tips to survive, video of our favorite deaths, impressions on the game's new graphics and control settings, and in-depth technical analysis from Durante, the modder who fixed Dark Souls on PC. Two weeks of Dark Souls, all leading up to our review on April 25.

Check this hub daily as we fill in everything you need to know about Dark Souls 2 on PC.


Create your own press kit with Vlambeer's free service for indie devs

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Ian Birnbaum at

A huge part of game development is public relations: once you’ve made the game, you’ve got to get it out into the wild. It’s unfortunate that of all the skills you need to make an awesome game, successfully marketing yourself to the press isn’t one of them. Some great games, unfortunately, just never catch the attention of gamers who want to love them. Enter: presskit() (pronounced Do Presskit), a free press kit generating service developed by Rami Ismail, of indie studio Vlambeer.


27 deaths in Dark Souls 2

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Cory Banks at

Death is inevitable in Dark Souls 2. It certainly keeps happening to us—we've been playing the PC version of From Software's newest game in preparation for our review on April 25 and we've died again and again. Instead of weeping in agony or throwing our PCs out in frustration, we made a video of some of our favorite deaths.


Hong Kong Massacre's trailer is absurdly bloody

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Ian Birnbaum at

Each bullet seems to make the person it hits explode like a McDonalds strawberry milkshake that has been stamped on by a fat giant.


Sol: Exodus gets remake treatment, renamed Exodus of Sol

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Games don’t usually get second chances. They’re released, they’re met with reviews and hopefully an audience, and rarely do the opinions established then change later. Bit Planet Games, which is remaking space shooter Sol: Exodus as Exodus of Sol, is hoping that you’ll give it another shot.


Oculus Rift DK2 prototype reportedly sells 25,000 units in one month

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Ian Birnbaum at

The second major permutation of the virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift DK2, has reportedly sold 25,000 units since its pre-order page went live on March 19. After only a month, that number is almost half of what the first development kit, the DK1, sold in its lifetime. Aside from a few tweets and forum comments, this is the first hard news from inside Oculus VR since the company was infamously purchased by Facebook last month.


Below hands-on: lonely, vulnerable, gorgeous

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Cory Banks at

The very first thing I notice when I start playing Below is how tiny I am. Noticing this makes Kris Piotrowski, Creative Director at Capybara Games, extremely happy. "That's the point," he says. I'm supposed to feel vulnerable, miniscule, and alone. Even in a crowd of gamers who are getting their first taste of Capy's upcoming roguelike, I do feel alone.


Crysis and Crysis 2 PC multiplayer will shutdown with GameSpy

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Emanuel Maiberg at

I didn’t get to play Crysis multiplayer, and pretty soon I won't be able to give it a shot. As you’ve probably heard, GameSpy’s online matchmaking client is shutting down on May 31, meaning the games that used have to either find a different solution or go offline. Sadly, today Crytek confirmed that Crysis and Crysis 2’s multiplayer modes will no longer be playable.


The Elder Scrolls Online fan-run item market endorsed by Zenimax Online

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Psst. Hey you, looking to score a Beech Lightning Staff of Flame in The Elder Scrolls Online? I know of a place that could hook you up. The fan-run TESO Elite Forums has set up an unofficial marketplace, where you can post the stuff you’re looking to buy or sell. The marketplace has even been endorsed by developer ZeniMax Online.


The Elder Scrolls Online review

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Chris Thursten at

Every modern Elder Scrolls game has had a moment near the beginning where you step out into a new landscape and think I've never been somewhere like this before. In Morrowind it hit as you left Seyda Neen and realised that the road ahead went in two directions, and that you could follow either of them, and that each direction would take you on an entirely different journey through the world. In Oblivion it occurred when you escaped out onto the edge of Lake Rumare and saw the hills rise ahead of you along the road to Bruma. In Skyrim you emerged onto a mountainside with the Throat of the World on one side, the valley of Falkreath on the other, and a dragon in the skies above.

I have spent thirty hours playing The Elder Scrolls Online and I'm still waiting for that moment. I'm waiting for anything like that moment. I'm waiting for the point when this MMO sits up and makes a claim to be anything but familiar. This isn't simply about whether The Elder Scrolls Online works as an Elder Scrolls game in its own right—it doesn't, let's put paid to that notion now—but whether it can justify being one of the most expensive games on PC. Those 'stepping into the light' moments weren't just about showing off fancy new tech; they were a promise. You are going to have an adventure. This is going to be worth your time. It does not seem unjust or unrealistic to hold The Elder Scrolls Online to account along similar lines.


World of Darkness cancelled by CCP

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Phil Savage at

CCP have finally put a stake through the heart of World of Darkness. Despite a troubled life, the studio's undead MMO adaptation would briefly slink out from the shadows before darting back into its lair. Despite how infrequently it made an appearance, it's a shame to hear that the final nail has been hammered down. Partly that's because of the amazing promise of the game—which imagined a world as rich, political and player-driven as EVE, only with vampires instead of spaceships. Mostly, though, it's because CCP are now laying off 56 members of staff from their Atlanta studio.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Skyrim

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PC Gamer at

Every Monday, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Skyrim is a permanent hard drive fixture for many here at PC Gamer. We don't tend to go questing for hours on end like it's 2011, but some worlds are interesting enough to warrant a revisit even years later. There's a fantastic mod community that's pushed Bethesda's engine further than anyone thought possible, but it's easy to forget how good vanilla Skyrim looks with just a little enhancement. To demonstrate, Ben has gone wandering in the wilds to bring you this week's set of shots, from Markath to Riften and beyond.