Spelunky SD mod introduces online co-op to the classic roguelike platformer

Phil Savage at

Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.


League of Legends to get Intro Bots mode, designed to help new players

Phil Savage at

Lane-pushing games are notoriously difficult to learn. There are basic principles, sure—kill things; don't be killed by things—but beyond that, there are a multitude of quirks, rules and abilities to learn. It's a process that can take hundreds of hours, which means, for a game's newbiest players, some form of tutorial is essential. In a recent post, Riot admit that their existing methods to teach new players aren't entirely adequate—something they hope to fix with their upcoming Intro Bots mode.


Wings of Saint Nazaire is a retro space combat game, available to try in free open alpha

Phil Savage at

Thanks largely to Kickstarter's ability to capitalise on nostalgic desire, space combat sims are in a much healthier place than they were. From Star Citizen to Elite, the days of not pretending to be in space are nearly at an end. But if your desire for a successor to Wing Commander or X-Wing extends to aesthetics, as well as genre, then maybe you'll be interested in Wings of Saint Nazaire—a deliberately retro-styled shooter that's currently in open alpha.


Here's how Battlefield 4 celebrated Independence Day

Phil Savage at

For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.


Half-Life 2 mod NeoTokyo released as standalone package on Steam

Phil Savage at

Competitive first-person shooters love to depict the gritty 'realism' of soldiers locked in an endless war of explosions and swearing. NeoTokyo isn't entirely different, but supplements its urgent shooting with cyberpunk and a nice soundtrack. After being successfully Greenlit in 2012, the Half-Life 2 mod is finally available to download directly from Steam—now entirely free from its SDK dependencies.


Half-Life 2 review — November 2004, UK edition

PC Gamer at

Every week, we publish a classic PC Gamer review from the '90s or early 2000s. This week, Ben Griffin provides context and commentary followed by the full, original text of our Half-Life 2 review, published in the November 2004 issue of PC Gamer UK. More classic reviews here.

What more can be said about Half-Life 2? Jim Rossignol's words below still do a fine job of summing up just why the world got worked up over a singleplayer shooter. November 2004 was a standout month for PC gaming, and indeed PC Gamer.

Dota 2 gets its own kart racer in the form of 'Dota Dash'

Shaun Prescott at

2014 will go down in history as the year Very Serious PC games got a karting mode. First it was Arma 3, and now Dota 2. While 'Dota Dash' doesn't look like the most polished karting game, it will no doubt please those who, for some reason, desire to burn around Dota 2 maps collecting power-ups and dropping bananas.


Kinect for Windows v2 to release July 15

Shaun Prescott at

The second iteration of Kinect will launch for PC this month, according to a listing on the Microsoft store. The updated motion sensor technology hasn't exactly set the console world alight, with Microsoft finally opting to release its Xbox One console without the sensor. In addition, there's barely any software that utilises it in any meaningful way. Still, it's there if you want it for US $199.


Doom needs to prove itself all over again, says Bethesda's Pete Hines

Shaun Prescott at

The biggest question hanging over Doom 4 is what it will actually be. Can id Software get away with another slow-paced horror shooter in the vein of Doom 3, or will they return to the simpler and more brutal template of Doom 1 and 2? Whatever the answer (and it'll most likely be neither of these), there's a fair bit of pressure on id Software to make good on their long-in-hibernation series. Just ask Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines.


Command and Conquer series saved from GameSpy shutdown thanks to community effort

Tom Sykes at

Games for Windows Live might kinda sorta still be going for the time being (despite rumours that its death would occur on July 1st), but multiplayer server thingamajig GameSpy is definitely, definitely dead. EA's Command & Conquer games were among the casualties, but after only a short amount of downtime, C&C3 and Kane's Wrath, Red Alert 3, Generals and Generals: Zero Hour are once again playable online. This isn't EA's doing, but rather a community effort over at the aptly named C&C: Online. Details below.


Train Simulator devs tackling fishing next with Dovetail Games Fishing

Tom Sykes at

For every chortle-worthy rock or goat or shrub or pig or despair or ennui simulator, there are a dozen more based on a thing people might actually want simulating - activities such as operating a train, or driving a big truck through Europe. Dovetail Games - formerly RailSimulator.com - are responsible for the DLC-heavy Train Simulator series, that latest of which will set you back a staggering £2,404.24 if you decided to purchase the game and all of its downloadable content. Leaving locomotives and their old name behind, the team's latest simulation venture is the aptly named Dovetail Games Fishing.

As you might have guessed, this is game about fishing. The initial release will focus on carp, leaving the other types of fishing - bass, fly, comically dredging up submerged boots - to be added later as DLC. Tech talk and a tiddly trailer after the break.


Mod of the Week: Pilot Civilian Air Rescue, for ArmA 3

Christopher Livingston at

ArmA 3 is a challenging game to learn, especially so when it comes to piloting choppers. Enter the Pilot Civilian Air Rescue mod, which features a number of single-player Mohawk chopper missions, from insertion (transporting doctors to a combat zone), extraction (retrieving injured NPCs and delivering them to a hospital), and even search and rescue, in which you look for lost hikers or downed pilots and ferry them back to safety. It's a great way to hone your chopper flying skills offline while getting a warm and fuzzy feeling from helping NPCs in need.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

In honour of Glitch Jam, I've clipped through my floor and I'm currently hurtling into the void beneath the world. Luckily I thought to bring along my laptop for the journey, so I'm able to bring you a few highlights of the jam, mid-hurtle, including super-purple glitch tourism, buggy medieval dungeoneering, and some other stuff that isn't quite so messed up. Now that I've typed the word 'glitch' so much it's beginning to disassociate in my memory, let us begin.


Meridian: New World demo offers a slice of traditional RTS action

Tom Sykes at

You couldn't move for real-time strategy games back in the day, but (Starcraft 2 aside) the genre seems to have fallen by the wayside of late, and it's not entirely clear why. Planetary Annihilation and Meridian: New World are two of the biggest names in what could be a space sim-style renaissance - just as soon as both games are released, naturally. While the former requires a £30 Early Access fee to sample its gigantic galactic tactical action, the relatively humble Meridian now has a demo, in addition to its slightly cheaper Early Access tithe. Yep: Meridian is two rare things all at once: an old-fashioned RTS, with an old-fashioned free playable demo. You can grab it from the website or from its Steam page.


Battlefield 4 Dragon's Teeth releases for Premium July 15th, according to Origin tweet

Tom Sykes at

What are you up to on July 15th? It's a Tuesday, so you're probably going to be either at work or at school for some of it, but EA are rather hoping you'll dedicate part to installing and playing Battlefield 4's new Dragon's Teeth DLC. That's according to a tweet (quickly deleted) by EA's Origin account, which revealed (then quickly unrevealed) that Dragon's Teeth will be out for Premium subscribers on that particular date. If true, then we only need to apply EA and DICE's usual two-week delay for non-Premium members to surmise that Dragon's Teeth will launch for everyone on July 29th. That tweet/untweet is after the break, along with a reminder of what the map pack actually involves.


Saturday Crapshoot: Liberty Or Death

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, give me Liberty or... wait, hang on. Being British, that would be most unpatriotic. Dispense Oppression AND Death, and give me a nice cup of tea and a biscuit!

The Glorious Campaign Against The Traitor Colonies. Day 1. So far, I don't think anyone has noticed that I have no idea what I'm doing. Splendid. How does one win a war against an entrenched force like this, anyway? I'm assuming that simply building a lot of tanks and rushing them will not work, partly because of the scale of the battlefield and difficulty of establishing the necessary supply chains, but mostly because they haven't been invented yet. I hope that expedition I sent to the Tiber River pans out. An ion cannon would be extremely useful, as well as really setting the appropriate tone for future Independence Days. But I digress. And should probably give some orders beyond "Try to win this."

Ubisoft VP Chris Early says resistance to DLC is in decline

Andy Chalk at

The Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag "Time Saver" packs aren't expensive—$1 for the Collectibles Pack and $2 for the Resources Pack—but it's the principle of the thing that's so outrageous, at least among those who remember that cheat codes used to be free. Yet according to Ubisoft Vice President of Digital Publishing Chris Early, there was no outrage. "There was no resistance," he told GamesIndustry. "Maybe there were 12 guys somewhere who said something, but whatever. As a whole, there wasn't a problem."


PC classic commentary: King's Quest VI with Jane Jensen

Wes Fenlon at

PC Gamer's classic commentaries are special interviews with the developers of some of our favorite games. Join us for an hour with a classic game and the inside stories of its creation.

Zounds! Before legendary adventure game designer Jane Jensen worked on King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, she was, herself, a fan of King's Quest. Jensen and Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams collaborated on King's Quest VI, and Prince Alexander's adventures in the Land of the Green Isles may be the fan favorite of series. Over the course of an hour, Jane Jensen tells stories from the King's Quest's development and her career at Sierra as she plays the game for the first time in 20 years.

Oculus Rift suspends sales to China because of "extreme reselling"

Andy Chalk at

The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 started shipping this week, but the company has been forced to suspend orders from China because of "extreme reseller purchases." It's now looking into alternative methods for getting the hardware into the hands of legitimate developers, but says it doesn't have a timeline for when that might happen.


Hack 'n' Slash review (Early Access)

Emanuel Maiberg at

Early Access reviews offer our preliminary verdicts on in-development games. We may follow up this unscored review with a final, scored review in the future.

Hack ‘n’ Slash looks like a Zelda game, but it’s a deconstruction, not a tribute. Rather than asking you to figure out how to match your growing inventory of tools to new enemies, dungeons, and bosses, it pokes holes in game design itself, exposing the basic programming that makes the game world and enemies inside it function.