Runescape Citadel update hands-on: floating castles, player-made PvP and The Abomination

Tom Senior at

The flurry of online games dropping their subscription fees over the last year or so might make the free-to-play model seem like a fresh new trend in PC gaming, but it's nothing that Jagex haven't done before, way back in 2001, with their browser-based MMO, Runescape. With relatively low-fi graphics and low marketing profile it's easy to forget how quietly huge it is. With 130 million unique users since its launch, Runescape is one of the most popular MMOs in the world and The Citadel update is the most ambitious update in the game's ten year history.

The new additions plan to build on the update that added clan support earlier this year. Citadels are huge floating castles, created to give clans their own place to hang out, make use of private facilities, take votes in the senate hall and hatch plots in private tents. I travelled to Jagex HQ in Cambridge to see what else had been added, and found that the best was yet to come. Within these floating islands, clans can create their own battle arenas, with custom rules and layouts, and then invite other Clans into their custom deathtraps to do battle, have a race or kick back and play a little chess.

Transformers Universe trailer is a car, then a robot, then lots of robots

Tom Senior at

A new teaser trailer for Jagex' upcoming Transformers MMO has snuck in. I thought it was a sandwich, but then it transformed, and became the moody, atmospheric trailer you see above. It leads me to believe that a game based around the paranoia that everyday objects might be robots in disguise would be a fine thing. For all we know about the new Jagex MMO, it could be that game. You can see the first, equally enigmatic teaser trailer here.

RuneScape Citadel update to add floating castles and battlefield editor

Tom Senior at

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Haven't you always wanted your own floating castle? The next update for Jagex' free to play MMO RuneScape will give clans their own floating fortresses, complete with meeting rooms, senates, party rooms and customiseable clan battlegrounds.

Transformers Universe trailer and first concept art released

Tom Senior at

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Jagex have sent over a teaser trailer and a batch of concept art for their upcoming robo-MMO, Transformers Universe. While the teaser trailer doesn't show much, the concept art shows us some potential environments, and features pink Energon cubes that transformers like to snack on. Who wants to bet we'll be collecting them to level up? We still know very little about Transformers Universe right now, but the game's producer, Kris Jones, is scheduled to deliver a keynote presentation at the upcoming Develop conference next month. We might learn more then.

Transformers MMO to get first press showing in June

Tom Senior at

Back in March, Jagex announced that they are working on a Transformers MMO. The game's set to be shown for the first time to the gaming press in LA in two weeks time.

Jagex are best known for the enormously successful browser-based MMO, Runescape, and specialise in making accessible, free-to-play massively multiplayer games. There's no information yet on whether Transformers will follow the same pattern as the rest of their recent releases, but if we were to hazard a guess based on everything Jagex have ever done, it seems likely Transformers will follow suit. We'll find out come early June. As long as it has Dinobots, we'll be happy.

Play 8 Realms in your browser now for free

Tom Senior at

8 Realms is a new browser-based empire building game from Runescape developers, Jagex. In it, you can build cities, train fighters and go on land-grabbing crusades, stealing enemy resources and generally wrecking up the place for fun and profit. You can get into the beta right now for free. Simply head over to the 8 Realms site, sign up for a free Jagex account and enter the word "attilathehun" into the beta key box. Once you've built your first farm, you can grab an exclusive PCG flag for your empire on the activity screen. Go forth and represent.

Get free access to the 8Realms beta with today's code word

Tom Senior at

You can jump into Jagex' new browser-based, empire building game, 8Realms for free right now using today's mighty code word of power. All you have to do is head over to the 8Realms site, create a Jagex account and then enter the code "attilathehun" into the beta code box. Signing up with the code word will also grant you an exclusive flag for your towns. Once you've built your first farm, redeem your exclusive reward by clicking on the empire flag section of the activity screen.

Get free access to 8 Realms with today's code

Tom Senior at

Jagex' new empire-building game, 8Realms is in beta now, and we've got another special code that will give you free access. It's a game about building a tiny settlement into a bustling metropolis, then spawning other metropolises until you have an enormous empire full of great wonders, and protected by hundreds of warriors. If you fancy giving the game a go for free, read on for today's key word.

Jagex on 8Realms: lolcats, addiction and browser games

Dan Griliopoulos at

Jagex, developers of stunningly-successful free-to-play MMO RuneScape employ around 400 of Britain's best and brightest developers out in Cambridge, UK. One of the many projects they're working on, aside from their next huge MMO Stellar Dawn, is 8Realms, a deep browser strategy title.  We caught up with Claire Blackshaw, the lead developer on the project.

PC Gamer: What does the name 8Realms signify?

8Realms is actually in two parts. The first is a reference to the 8 Ages of the game, hence ‘8’, the second refers to your dominion or rule in the game, hence ‘Realms’. And 8Ages just didn’t quite roll off the tongue, nothing rolls quite as well as an ‘R’

PC Gamer: The Jagex employees seem to play a lot of board games - what have you learnt from them; are there any board games whose mechanics have been particularly inspirational?

How long do you have? We brought a lot of the mechanics from the more diplomatic board games. The combat mechanics draw from a few brawl card games I’ve been playing, which add depth and flexibility in a fairly simple fashion. Though that’s mostly under the hood. I think the biggest thing we used is our experience of playing diplomatic board games more than mechanics themselves. That great feeling when you are trying to negotiate a takedown of someone you are playing against, or the wonderful hands in the air innocence of the turtling player.

Free access to 8 Realms beta for 50,000 people

Tom Senior at

How would you like to try Jagex' new browser-based kingdom building game, 8 Realms for free? The game offers a persistent online world in which to grow a kingdom. You expand by trading and battling with neighbouring players, and by improving the culture of your cities. The first 50,000 people to enter the game using the code world below will be able to build wonders and crush their enemies for free using the special code word below.

Get free access to the 8 Realms closed beta now

Tom Senior at

Over the course of the next week, we're offering free access to the closed beta of Jagex' new empire building game, 8 Realms. All you have to do to play is create a Jagex account, and enter the beta code below. Voila! Your're away, building your small settlement into a vast empire that will grind your opponents into dust. Or trade with them. Whatever floats your boat.

Transformers MMO arriving in 2012

Tom Senior at

Jagex have just announced that they're working on a Transformers MMO. The UK-based company are best known for their browser based, free-to-play MMO Runescape, and specialise in free-to-play online games funded by microtransactions. Beyond the 2012 release date, no details have been announced, but a massively multiplayer Autobot vs. Decepticon war is a pretty exciting idea. What would you like to see from a Transformers MMO, aside from robots?

Stellar Dawn: the next MMORPG from Jagex

Jaz McDougall at

Jagex, the makers of Runescape and Kickabout League, have just announced a new MMO called Stellar Dawn. In all the pieces of concept art below there aren't any people. There are space fighter things, giant walkers, and orbital drop pods.

50 games to play at work

PC Gamer at

Playing games at work shouldn’t just been seen as idling. You are exercising your mind, taking it to a mental gym. So we've compiled a list of 50 games you can play at work.