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.


Path of Exile Forsaken Masters expansion announced, adds trainers and hideouts

Tom Sykes at

Hot...well, lukewarm on the heels of Path of Exile's Sacrifice of the Vaal "mini-expansion" back in March, Grinding Gear Games has announced another one. It's named Forsaken Masters, and it's not about your MA in Media Studies but rather a bunch of legendary trainers/quest-givers who, too, have been exiled to PoE's monster-filled rock. The details are here, but basically: seven new skill trainers, the inclusion of hideouts, upgradeable crafting benches, more.


The Sims 4 is all about feelings. Feelings and rampant gesticulation

Tom Sykes at

As we know, The Sims 4's Big Thing is the emotions of its virtual people. Emotions such as 'happiness', 'disappointment', 'regret', 'the nagging feeling that some godlike figure is manipulating everything I do', and who could forget 'insouciance'. This latest trailer focuses on a bunch of less exciting feelings such as boredom and confidence, and the sims' constant over-gesticulation makes me think their latest game might be set on some terrifying Planet of the Mimes. Sure, that hyperactivity has always been a thing, but it seems extra mimey now that everyone's expressing emotions all the time.


Metrocide interview: "there's so much fun to be had in a dystopia"

Shaun Prescott at

Metrocide is a forthcoming top-down stealth shooter developed by Sydney studio Flat Earth Games. The team, made up of brothers Leigh and Rohan Harris, is best known for the whimsical survival game Towncraft. Metrocide is entirely different: lush greens have been replaced with cyberpunk chromes, while instead of chopping down trees you'll be murdering in cold blood.


Defiance 'Silicon Valley' expansion will launch free on August 5

Shaun Prescott at

The newly free-to-play MMO Defiance will get a new expansion on August 5, and in keeping with the whole free theme, you won't have to pay for it. Entitled 'Silicon Valley', it will be the first to introduce whole new areas to the shooter. It also introduces a new 'Encryption' mechanic, which is a new modifier for weapons and shields.


Undead Labs will announce a new game next week, but there's still a future for State of Decay

Shaun Prescott at

State of Decay studio Undead Labs has announced it will unveil a new game next week, and it's not a sequel to State of Decay. According to a spokesperson on Twitter the game is "not at all a zombie game", promising emphatically there will be "No zombies" and "no Microsoft".


This Arma 2 firefight video has a teeth-gritting, cinematic ending

Evan Lahti at

What does it take to rattle 80-some veteran players of Earth’s most hardcore military sim? ShackTac bossman Dslyecxi pointed me to this insane firefight and extraction attempt in one of his recent videos. Short on ammo, shorter on men, and their backs literally against a wall that may or may not be indestructible, Dslyecxi leads the survivors of a trapped infantry unit as they improvise an escape plan.


Ubisoft teases a new city for Watch Dogs DLC, says it's coming this fall

Andy Chalk at

It looks like Watch Dogs may leave the Windy City behind when its first DLC release comes out this fall. The official Twitter account recently teased a move to the green fields and blue skies of Camden, New Jersey, and then confirmed that new content is on the way.


League of Legends 4.13 update sports a long list of little things

Andy Chalk at

The League of Legends 4.13 patch is a big one, but rather than making any big changes, it implements a whole lot of little ones instead. Riot's Chris "Pwyff" Tom said the latest tune-up is all about breadth instead of depth, as the studio seeks to "promote more diversity in competitive play."


Minecraft medical clinic helps raise funds for real-world clinics in Liberia

Andy Chalk at

There's a dire shortage of medical facilities in the Western African nation of Liberia, a problem compounded by a lack of transportation and infrastructure. Many pregnant women must walk hours to reach a clinic, and roadside births are unfortunately common as a result. Save the Children is raising money to build six new clinics in the country, and that's where Clinic Craft comes in: It's a Minecraft-driven campaign raising money in support of that effort.


Crytek UK is closing down following Homefront sale, while Austin studio suffers layoffs

Andy Chalk at

Following today's announcement of the sale of Homefront to Deep Silver, Crytek has confirmed that its UK studio is being closed down, while its Austin studio will suffer layoffs as the development of Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is being moved to Frankfurt.