Intel show off DirectX 12 performance advantage

Dave James at

Gamescom isn’t the only big conference going on at the moment, though, if you’re into Witcher 3 footage, Tomb Raider exclusivity rage and Snake slithering onto the PC, it’s probably the most important. Still, this week has seen SIGGRAPH 2014 taking place in Vancouver, the 41st international conference on computer graphics. Intel has been there showing off how good DirectX 12 is going to be for its processors.

Using one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 tablets, rocking an Intel Core i5 CPU, they have been showing a neat little graphics demo that could have been ripped directly out of Elite: Dangerous.


Assassin's Creed Unity will let players "fast track" unlocks with microtransactions

Andy Chalk at

Microtransactions are an effective monetization tool in large part because they seem so innocuous. A dollar here, a dollar there—tiny amounts that nobody's going to miss, but they add up, sometimes alarmingly quickly. The free-to-play model is built almost entirely upon microtransactions and it's starting to turn up in major triple-A releases too, including Assassin's Creed Unity, which will allow players to "fast track" unlocks instead of earning them through gameplay.


Overkill are making a The Walking Dead game

Phil Savage at

Overkill Software—you know, the guys who made Payday and Payday 2—have announced that they're making a new game based on The Walking Dead. Described as a co-op FPS "with elements of action, role-playing, survival horror and stealth", we can only hope it'll better than Activision's attempt to turn the series into a shooter.


Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault announced, relives Battle of the Bulge

Ben Griffin at

Company of Heroes 2’s latest standalone expansion was described by Winston Churchill as “undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war.” Well, he wasn't referring to the expansion per se because Churchill is long dead (sorry to break it to you), but rather the battle it’s based on—the Battle of the Bulge.


Guild Wars 2 to get second Feature Pack update, is currently 50% off

Phil Savage at

Back in April, Guild Wars 2 had a break from its regular content releases, and instead received a bumper bundle of features. Now, ArenaNet have announced that they're doing it again, only this time it will launch in September. Naturally, they're calling it the September Feature Pack.

In a completely unrelated announcement, the game is also 50% off until 28 August.


Gamescom 2014: all the stories from day two

Phil Savage at

Take a walk with us through the Gamescom village. We'll take a left at the bickering businessmen, and a right at the friendly punter-filled pub. Finally we'll stop directly in front of a portly town crier, and stop while he bellows thick gobs of gaming news into our surprised faces. This is the news that he shouts.


The Crew gameplay trailer showcases modes and spectacular collisions

Shaun Prescott at

The Crew releases November 11, and while you may have partaken in the recent closed beta, that's no reason to pass over this new gameplay trailer showing off some of the racer's modes. It's a guarantee of sorts that during your travels across Ubisoft Reflections' interpretation of the United States, you'll be doing more than sightseeing. You'll be crashing into other cars on purpose, for instance.


Galactic Civilizations III Early Access beta now available, see it in action here

Shaun Prescott at

Building, controlling and wreaking havoc on civilizations is an enduring video game occupation, especially on PC. According to Galactic Civilizations studio Stardock Games, the third installment will offer more nuanced ways to do this than we've ever experienced before. That much is evident if you watch the beta gameplay trailer below, or else you could give the beta a spin yourself. It launched today on Steam Early Access.


CS:GO championship ESL One Cologne begins today

Evan Lahti at

Competitive Counter-Strike continues to draw a healthy amount of spectators as Valve’s FPS has grown significantly since the end of 2013. Following Katowice earlier this year, the ESL Championship begins 3 AM Eastern on Thursday, the first matches of ESL One Cologne 2014 will kick off in Germany, culminating in a final match on Sunday.


PC gamers have to fight for PC gaming, and Metal Gear Solid V is a big win

Tyler Wilde at

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is releasing on PC, and that’s great news. Rise of the Tomb Raider isn’t releasing on PC, not right away, at least, and that’s not so great. But what it does mean is that console manufacturers see us as competition, and we’re doing pretty well. We attracted a massive game with MGSV, and we’re scary enough that Microsoft has gobbled up Tomb Raider for the Xbox.


DayZ update adds two new villages, a World War II monument and new sacks

Shaun Prescott at

Development on DayZ may be undergoing an overhaul thanks to the confirmed PlayStation 4 edition, but Bohemia Interactive continues to roll out weekly updates to the Early Access edition. This week you may encounter two villages that weren't there before, as well as a new World War II monument in Severograd, which is pleasant.


Hearthstone Help: Top 10 new Naxxramas card combos

PC Gamer at

In this week's Hearthstone column our resident Legendary player is back to list his favorite combos enabled by the new Naxx cards. Because hey, who doesn't want to live the double Thaddius dream, right?


Legend of Grimrock 2 introduces Ratlings, a new playable race

Andy Chalk at

There are few creatures more ubiquitous in RPGs than rats, but it's not often we get the opportunity to play as one. And maybe calling it an "opportunity" is a bit of a stretch, but however you want to look at it, you'll be able to do it, more or less, in Legend of Grimrock 2, which today unveiled an all-new playable race known as "Ratlings."


Battlefield Hardline unveils 12-minute single-player trailer and new "Rescue" multiplayer mode

Andy Chalk at

EA's Battlefield games, generally speaking, aren't known for the strength of their single-player campaigns, and Battlefield Hardline looked set to stick to that tradition when it was first revealed as a multiplayer cops-and-robbers blast-fest. But EA seems determined to make single-player a relevant part of the experience, and the 12 minutes gameplay trailer released today suggests that it might actually be able to pull it off.


Unofficial Minecraft convention disappears with the money

Andy Chalk at

Mineorama, the Minecraft convention scheduled to take place in mid-July that was canceled at the last minute—and with more than $500,000 spent on advance tickets—insisted that it was "not a scam," and that another event would be scheduled to take its place. But many ticket buyers worried that they had indeed been conned, and it's starting to look very much like that's exactly what has happened.


Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel trailer teases a cannon-packing Claptrap

Andy Chalk at

Watching this new "Last Hope" trailer leaves me with a powerful urge to say, "Meet the new Borderlands—same as the old Borderlands," but that's not really a surprise, is it? Nor is it even something to complain about, really. After all, there are worse things you could end up with than more Borderlands, especially when Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel lets you dress Claptrap up like a heavily-armed, hat-wearing pirate ship.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes confirmed for PC [Updated]

Tyler Wilde at

According to a headline on Konami's official site, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes will release on Steam. It says exactly that: "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain And Ground Zeroes Coming To Steam." On the other side of the link is a 404 page, but we expect the announcement to be made during Konami's livestream in about 30 minutes (11 a.m. PDT, 2 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. BST).


The 4 best free image editing tools on PC for screenshots and gifs

PC Gamer at

At PC Gamer, our screenshots folders are constantly full to bursting with screens of whatever game we're currently playing. When it comes time to edit them, we usually use Photoshop—but sometimes there's a better piece of software out there for dealing with images that's lighter and faster and cheaper (read: free) than Photoshop. Our colleagues at TechRadar recently rounded up the best free image editing software, and we've listed the ones we like to use below. These are our favorite utilities for making gifs, batch editing tons of screenshots, and making simple, quick edits that don't need the power of Photoshop.


Might and Magic Heroes VII unleashes civil war on the Holy Empire

Andy Chalk at

Ubisoft is bringing the Might and Magic series back with Might and Magic Heroes VII, a turn-based strategy-RPG set during a time of civil war in the Holy Empire. With development now underway, the publisher is offering fans of the series an opportunity to vote on two of the six factions that will appear in the game.


Knock knock! The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion opens to subscribers next week

Ben Griffin at

After being teased for months, player housing is finally coming to Star Wars MMO The Old Republic next week. The recent Gamescom trailer showed off abodes across four planets, including the spellcheck-incurring Dromund Kaas, Tatooine, and Coruscant.