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.


The best RPGs of all time

Cory Banks at

The role-playing game is the cornerstone of PC gaming. Long before shooters or real-time strategy, the earliest PC developers replicated their tabletop RPGs on the PC, building sprawling adventures filled with orcs and wizards and foul dungeons. Those early games slowly built on their tabletop origins, and RPGs eventually became so popular, their elements spread to other genres. Here are our 25 favorites: the RPGs we’d tell anyone to play right now.


Deep Silver acquires Homefront from Crytek, sequel development to continue at new studio

Andy Chalk at

Deep Silver has announced that it has acquired the Homefront property from Crytek, including the recently-announced Homefront: The Revolution, which will be completed at its new "Dambuster Studios."


The International 2014: Valve's SFM recreations of classic plays in webm form

Chris Thursten at

Remember the International? Twenty million people watched it, so chances are you do. I wrote a couple of things about it, too. But we missed something: one of the best bits of fan service to emerge from the entire event, particularly for people who have followed the pro Dota 2 scene for the last couple of years.


DayZ stable patch brings new features, the promise of imminent item persistence

Phil Savage at

July 30th, I dub thee International Patch Notes Day. We've already basked in the size and rigour of Elite: Dangerous's beta update change list, and now we get to do the same with another early access game. DayZ, the popular purveyor of zombies and internet jerks, has received a new stable update, adding a variety of features, items and animations. The big change is the introduction of persistent item support... or, at least, the promise of persistent item support. Currently the feature is disabled pending a hotfix due next week.


Sunless Sea's first major update to shuffle maps; better combat on the way soon

Tom Sykes at

Nautical exploration/survival/trading/adventure game Sunless Sea is about to receive its first major update, which will be bolstered onto the game within the next few days. It's a big one, adding the promised random map generation (or "map shuffling") upon the start of each new game, along with additional lands, randomised ship names and—crucially for a story-focused game such as this—extra words, bringing the word count in Sunless Sea to over 100,000. Devs Failbetter Games—them what did Fallen London—have also outlined their future update plans, and improved combat is chief among them.