This is a good weekend for free games. We already told you that Borderlands 2, the Gearbox "looter-shooter," is free on Valve's Steam platform, but you'd rather sneak and assassinate instead, you're in luck. Dishonored is also free to play all weekend long.
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is now up for preordering on Steam, and as you might expect that means preorder bonuses. And the Exoplanets Map pack is actually kind of cool: It's a collection of six custom maps inspired by real-world exoplanets.
Legend of Grimrock was one of the happier surprises of 2012, not only because it was so good but because it demonstrated how a very old style of game could be successfully brought into the modern era. Developer Almost Human has been plugging away at a sequel since early 2013 and today announced that a major milestone has been reached, as the game is now in beta.
I've been looking forward to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter from the very moment that the guys who made Painkiller and Bulletstorm announced that they were working on a "weird fiction horror story" with a focus on exploration and discovery. The team has been coy about it ever since, offering up some very pretty screens and teasers but little in the way of how it will actually play, but today a new Ethan Carter website was opened to the public, bringing with it a firm release date and 13 minutes of gameplay, complete with developer commentary.
We're ready for Windows 9 to wash away the sins of Windows 8, and it looks like Microsoft is, too. According to ZDNet's veteran Microsoft reporter, a "technology preview" version of the OS is coming in late September or October, with the final release scheduled for spring 2015. More tantalizing: that technology preview may be freely available to the public.
A five-minute look at the Mother Base multiplayer in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been revealed, demonstrating how Snake will sneak into other players' bases and steal their dudes.
A petition calling for an in-game tribute to Robin Williams in World of Warcraft was met with enthusiasm by Blizzard, which quickly announced on Twitter that it was "taking care of it." And it really wasn't kidding.
The team lead on Bukkit, a Minecraft mod designed to simplify the job of maintaining heavily-modded servers, wrote a lengthy message this morning declaring that development of the mod was being brought to an end. He said changes to the Minecraft EULA, and Mojang's sudden enthusiasm for enforcing its terms, means that "there is little motivation for us to continue limping on across various aspects of the project."
Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.
Ultimate abilities are a good place to start whenever you're tasked with explaining why Dota is cool. They're silly, diverse, exciting to watch. If you're staring at an unconvinced game designer, show them how Chain Frost interacts with Chronosphere. Show them how Wraith King's Reincarnation power is both a safetynet and a mobile psychological deterrent. Show them almost any great Echoslam, but probably this one, because it's a tragedy and a comedy at the same time.
At Gamescom, during the Paradox press conference, the studio announced new expansions for Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4. Maybe they forgot to mention that they were also working with Creative Forge Games on a new single-player RTS; one that features actors drawn from a selection of beloved sci-fi shows. And Star Trek: Enterprise.
World vs. World is Guild Wars 2's Dark Age of Camelot style 3-way PvP war. Each week, servers engage in a constant push-and-pull of objective capturing—usually by merging into a big ball of people, then smashing into another big ball of people until all life and inventory space has been stamped out. Periodically, ArenaNet formalises this chaos into a tournament, and they've just announced a new one, starting 12 September.
Fistful of Gun is a Western primarily in setting. As a top-down arcade shooter, it's a little lacking in some of the fundamental themes of the genre; like sweeping landscapes, local power-struggles or Clint Eastwood staring at a man until he gets bored and dies. Instead, its the weaponry and hats of the era, implanted into a frantic bullet-hell assault.
Last week Konami revealed a new Silent Hill game. After a succession of underwhelming sequels that spectacularly failed to capture the dark, subversive magic of the originals, you’d be forgiven for shrugging this news off. But this new Silent Hill is being developed by Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, in collaboration with Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro. Konami, it seems, are finally giving their flagship horror series the love it deserves.
If being an exile was a career path, you'd have to assume that Forsaken Master was one of its top job roles. Certainly higher than outcast, pariah or Shia LeBeouf. Alas, no, the Path of Exile is instead a game, and Forsaken Master is its new mini-expansion. It adds new stuff, reworks old stuff and brings some more three-month Challenge Leagues to the free-to-play ARPG.
It's good that platformers can provide work for mis-shapen game characters. If their 2D pixel levels didn't require such easily parsable protagonists, where else would these proportionally big-headed, tiny-legged square-people find work? Super III hopes to be one such refuge – a puzzle-platformer with an emphasis on teleportation and screen-wrapping. Think Velocity-Ultra's insta-shifting, combined with a dash of VVVVVV's tower section.
Originally a Half-Life 2 mod (and the winner of our 2012 'Mod of the Year' gong), No More Room in Hell's standalone edition has just had a major update. The eight-player coop horror is now expanded with four new maps, three new characters, a new gun and a new 'casual' game mode.
If for some reason you're interested in Borderlands 2 but have yet to play it, then here's good news: the game is free on Steam this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy the game there's a hefty 75 per cent discount on both Borderlands 2 and its Game of the Year edition during that period. Naturally, you'd be better off going for the latter as the DLC packs include a wealth of extra content.
PayDay 2 studio Overkill has revealed a few morsels of information regarding its forthcoming take on The Walking Dead series. During a Reddit AMA, producer Almir Listo addressed some questions regarding the project, which will be the third The Walking Dead video game adaptation in as many years, joining Telltale's serialised adventure drama and Activision's FPS stinker.
When Star Citizen hit $49 million in crowdfunding, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said he wanted more. So we gave it to him! But now, with more than $51 million in the bank, Roberts has decided it's time to ease up a bit: Continued funding is still required, but it's going to be de-emphasized somewhat as part of an effort to make the project friendlier and more accessible to newcomers.