Lovely Planet out next week, is a happy, colourful game about shooting things

Phil Savage at

No, no, no, no, this isn't right. Shooters today are brown and serious, and about real-life things like war, swearing and using helicopters to airlift a single jerk sniper to a nearby rooftop. They're not fast and twitchy, and they're definitely not colourful. And yet, Lovely Planet is defiantly breaking all the rules, by being about a planet of colourful things... that you shoot.


The International 2014: must-watch games from day three

Chris Thursten at

Missed yesterday's report? Read it here.

The bloodiest day of The International 2014 began with a run of the tournament's best matches. Then, after a run of upsets in a tournament that has been defined by upsets, one team emerged that will face Newbee in the grand final today. It's certainly not the grand final I'd have expected a week ago, and if you'd told me these results a month ago at ESL One I'd have called you crazy. I'd also have asked what it was like in the future and if you could help me skip the queue in the Secret Shop, but that's another matter.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Braid

Ben Griffin at

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

I know what you're thinking. Why, with all the visually incredible games around today, showcase an indie puzzle/platformer from half a decade ago? The answer is simple: this is a public service. Until now there's never been a single 4K shot of Braid - now there are 15. Think of me as a less skillful restorer of paintings. Here are 15 shots worthy of any museum—or failing that, your desktop wallpaper.

Microsoft job listing says nice things about PC gaming, isn't clear if it means them

Phil Savage at

Over the past few years, Microsoft's behaviour in regards to the PC gaming has more closely resembled a teen high-school drama. One minute he's—Microsoft is a he in this analogy, just roll with it—he's inviting us to the prom, saying we're the prettiest platform around. The next, he's run away with the console market. Sure, he still calls to tell us that we mean the world to him, but we don't really believe him at this point, do we?

Well, not really, no, but that doesn't mean Microsoft doesn't see the potential of the PC as a platform. In fact, they've outlined its dominance in a new job listing, advertising a Business Development position overseeing games on PC, mobile and tablets.


Elite: Dangerous team outline plans for post-launch expansion packs

Phil Savage at

Hey, you! Space fan! Are you excited for Elite: Dangerous. Well stop it, there's no time for that—its creators are already looking toward Elite: Dangerous's expansions. Be excited for that instead.

Yes, despite the main game being in beta, the Frontier team are already planning ahead to Elite's post-launch future. In the latest news letter update, they've shared their vision for the game.


The Sims 4 demo footage reveals Premium membership

Phil Savage at

Damn, The Sims got dark. It's always been a playground for the sadistic, of course—for those who like to torment their digital charges with inescapable rooms of terror. But now, it seems, the game takes place in a Twilight Zone episode where excess emotions are punishable by death. In this 20 minute walkthrough of The Sims 4's E3 build, characters once again chuckle themselves to an early expiration. And to think, they say laughter is the best medicine.


Warframe update 14.0 adds new class, quests, modes and new pets

Shaun Prescott at

It is not unreasonable to want pets in violent third-person shooter video games. The team at Digital Extremes doesn't think so, as the new (and rather major) Warframe update includes pets, as well as other substantial additions. These include a better opening tutorial and user interface, a whole new Warframe class, new modes and quests galore.


Minecraft now has giant combat robots, if you have 60 hours to spare

Shaun Prescott at

It's well established that amazing things can happen in Minecraft, but this is something else. Few people will deny the allure of giant robotic killing machines, but some are more passionate about them than others. In the video above, Minecraft expert Cubehamster has crafted a gargantuan mech entitled Mega Gargantua. The fully functioning robot took 60 hours to construct and does not need Command Blocks or any other mods to get up and running. In fact, if you were patient enough you could build it in Survival Mode.


Jazz Jackrabbit review — June 1995, US edition

PC Gamer at

Every Sunday, Tyler publishes a classic PC Gamer review from the '90s or early 2000s, with his context and commentary followed by the full, original text from the archived issue. More classic reviews here.

It's unbelievable now, but PCs were once seen as less-attractive gaming machines than Nintendo consoles. Heresy! But it's true. I'd probably never preface a review with 200 words of context, but I'm glad our 1995 review of Jazz Jackrabbit gives us some perspective. Sadly, Cliff Bleszinski's new studio is not making a new Jazz Jackrabbit, so we still don't have it that good.

FIFA 15, like The Sims 4, is all about emotions

Tom Sykes at

This might be the first trailer to make me give a football game a curious glance since the days of the Mega Drive, and it's all thanks to EA's current obsession with emotions. Not content with turning The Sims into an emotional melting pot, they're giving each player in the noble game of football their own "emotional intelligence", which will visibly change over time depending on how the match is progressing. While players won't sit cross-legged in a huff after someone misses a goal, their reaction animations will alter in both positive and negative ways to proceedings, according to this latest trailer. See what this entails after the break.


Mighty No. 9 video shows transformations, bosses and more

Tom Sykes at

I remain skeptical of Comcept's second crowdfunding campaign, but I've finally found a video that makes me interested in Keiji Inafune's definitely-not-mega Mighty No. 9. Stick around for two minutes of dashing, shooting, boss battles, a few of hero Beck's transformations and more.


The International 2014: must-watch games from day two

Chris Thursten at

If you missed yesterday's list, you can find it here.

Almost nothing today went as expected. Well, some things. As far as day two's competitive matches went, however, extraordinary upsets and out-of-left-field performances were the rule. Today saw the fall of former champions and the continued rise of teams that almost everybody had counted out. While the matches I've chosen below reflect the best of the day, this was one of those essential runs that bears watching in full and analysing after the fact.

Mod of the Week: Spider-Man IV, for Grand Theft Auto IV

Christopher Livingston at

My spider-sense is tingling... and it's because there's yet another superhero mod for GTA IV! This time it's the Spider-Man IV mod, which introduces Liberty City to the masked hero who shoots webs, sticks to walls, beats up policemen, and swings around from skyscrapers, just like spider can. And since Peter Parker is a photographer by trade, there's even a neat photo mode that slows down time to a crawl (heh) to easily allow you to snap pictures of everybody's favorite web-slinger.


The International 2014: Techies revealed in All Star match

Chris Thursten at

It might have been rumoured for a while, but it's still unprecedented. Tonight at the International Valve took the lid off Techies, a DotA hero with a cult following due to his continued absence from Dota 2. Like Valve's other great unfinished projects - Ricochet 2, Portal 5 - Techies have become an event so long-awaited that it seemed like it'd never happen at all.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

In an unusual twist, this week's Best Games don't appear to be have been created with a game jam in mind – but that doesn't mean I don't have some hot, sticky, viscous game jam news to relay: Game Jolt now allows users to set up their own game jams using a seemingly easy-to-use set of tools. Before the Jampocalypse begins in earnest, let's stop to appreciate a handful of games operating under their own specific themes, each with something bold and new to impart. Read on for a splash of colour, a sweary Scotsman, a modern-day maze, an interactive short story and touchy-feely bomb-defusal. Enjoy!


Darkwood interactive trailer asks whether you'll fight or flee

Tom Sykes at

Darkwood is a top-down, roguelikey, randomised horror, and one that (based on trailers at least) appears to have an atmosphere you could cut with a rusty machete. We mentioned that it was coming to Steam Early Access back in April, but it turns out that "coming soon" meant "coming in a few months". A new interactive trailer reveals that Darkwood's now pitching camp in the Early Access wilderness on July 24th, a date which couldn't be more next week if it tried.

The Crew closed beta now deploying a little earlier, here's what to expect

Tom Sykes at

The Crew's closed beta will be arriving a little earlier than its original July 23rd deploy date, perhaps due to opportune driving conditions, or clement weather - we just don't know. We do know, however, that the beta will now be waiting outside your house, keys in hand on July 21st, giving you a whole working week of slightly buggy open world driving fun before you have to take it back to the rental place. If you haven't signed up yet, you can still do that here, but be warned: you will need a uPlay account. You'll find details of the closed beta after the break.


Saturday Crapshoot: Corporation

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, as a few lucky people get a glimpse of the new Doom, a look back to one of the forgotten games that preceded it.

Very few genres start with their most famous game. In the case of shooters, Doom set the template that everyone would first wisely try to build on as far as style, design, deathmatching and feel, but it wasn't even close to being the first FPS. Nor was its predecessor, Wolfenstein 3D. Even without looking at other companies, id Software had two before either of them - fantasy-themed Wolf 3D predecessor Catacomb 3D (not the "Catacomb Abyss" series that used the same engine but was made elsewhere, as well as featuring the most eye-gouging wall textures ever inflicted on an unsuspecting world), and the super-miminalistic Hovertank 3D back in 1991, which had simple coloured boxes for levels and turned heads less for its complexity as its speed - something that Wolfenstein 3D would later weaponise.

But before that? Let's check in with Core Design, years before striking gold with Lara Croft...

The International 2014: must-watch games from day one

Chris Thursten at

Day one is over. Even though none of the teams in the upper bracket faced elimination today, success at this stage meant securing vast proportions of the prize pool in advance of the rest of the tournament. For the team that managed to earn their place in the grand final, it meant a guaranteed place in history as contenders for the single biggest reward ever offered in competitive gaming.


Abyss Odyssey review

Emanuel Maiberg at

A skull-faced demon who plays the violin, tree monsters, and a winged lion with a mouthful of eyeballs spout from the nightmares of a warlock sleeping deep beneath the Chilean capital of Santiago. Much like ACE Team’s Zeno Clash and Rock of Ages, Abyss Odyssey takes its imaginative setting and character design to the edge of madness and creates a world that is a pleasure to be weirded out by. But unlike those games, where the presentation was matched with equally creative gameplay, Abyss Odyssey feels like an ill-conceived mishmash of better fighting and platforming games.