Titanfall review

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Chris Thursten at

Our final Titanfall review has been produced following a week of testing on the game's live servers. The following is the finished version of the 'review in progress' that we posted last week - so if large parts of it feel familiar, that's why.

Titanfall is the last place you'd expect to find restraint. This is a big money multiplayer shooter where robots called titans are summoned from space, where jetpack-equipped 'pilots' dash over, alongside and through sci-fi cityscapes. It's a game where you'll run up a wall, jet into the air, lock onto a platoon of grunts with your smart pistol and eliminate them all as you land. It's a game where you'll drop a 40-foot titan onto another 40-foot titan just to see if you can.

Giveaway: grab a Wildstar beta key for this weekend's test

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PC Gamer at

Last month, we gave away armfuls of codes for WildStar's beta weekends, giving testers an early look at Carbine's most colourful MMO. Today, we're doing it all again. If you fancy another trip through the world of Nexus, we've got 2,000 codes giving access to this weekend's beta. If you're quick, one of them could be yours.

Update: And the keys are gone!


The Rift Report: drifting through space and exploring musical landscapes

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Andy Kelly at

Every Tuesday Andy straps on the Oculus Rift and dives headfirst into the world of virtual reality. Is it really the future of PC gaming? Let’s find out.

There’s no dignified way to use the Oculus Rift. Without exception, anyone who plays on one looks like King of the Dorks – especially if they’re using a flight stick or a racing wheel. If you want to do an impression of a Rift user, lean back in your chair, spin your head around with your mouth hanging open, and periodically say “Wooooaaah!” to yourself. But let’s be honest: PC gaming isn’t sexy. Hardware manufacturers think calling their products things like ‘Cobra XL Venom Singularity Ultra Edition’ makes them sexy, but it doesn’t. So leave your dignity at the door when you’re using the Rift, because the Fonz couldn’t make this thing look cool.

Building Crown, part two: layout design, textures, and the Hammer editor

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PC Gamer at

Building Crown is a three part series from mapmaker Shawn "FMPONE” Snelling and pro Counter-Strike player/mapmaker Sal "VOLCANO" Garozzo, revealing the inspiration and building process for their upcoming map Crown. Their goal with Crown is simple: build the best competitive Counter-Strike map ever. In part two, Snelling breaks down Crown’s level design and the tools used to build map geometry and textures.

The first step in making a multiplayer map is creating a layout. But what is a layout? For level designers, a layout is the floor-plan of a level lurking in their brain, which they often draw out as a blueprint and then sculpt into a 3D “grey box” representation in-game. For everyday players, a layout is how they visualize a level’s available paths and make strategic decisions.

We spent nine months refining Crown’s layout into the final map it is today. And now Crown is ready for the public. It’s available today. You can download the map right now  on the Steam Workshop and play it in Counter-Strike: GO. Read on to learn how we built it.

SimCity offline mode arrives today

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Ian Birnbaum at

After many months of hinting, promises, and—apparently—a substantial amount of work, the offline version of SimCity arrives today. In an update posted to the EA forums, a Maxis developer writes that the latest patch is almost entirely focused on bringing the world of SimCity offline.


GOG announce plan to support Linux, will start this Autumn with 100 games

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Phil Savage at

GOG are taking the advice of a decades old advertising campaign, and choosing to p-p-p-pick up a penguin. Rather than a disappointing British biscuit, though, this penguin is made of electricity and open-source code. The DRM-free digital distribution service will soon support Linux. "At least" 100 games will gain support for the OS, GOG say, and that catalogue will include a selection of classics making their Linux début.


Choice Chamber is a Twitch Plays Pokémon-Inspired Social Experiment

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Samuel Roberts at

Last night I played a little bit of Choice Chamber, a 2D platformer where the parameters of the game are decided by polling the audience watching on Twitch. Which weapon will you have to fight the enemies before you, a sword or a hammer? How high can you jump when faced with flying foes? These options are voted for on the fly as the people opt for the most exciting outcome. Or, at least, the one that'll garner the funniest reaction from the poor bastard sat gawping at the screen on Twitch.

Outside of the novelty of the premise – roughly ten people were watching and no doubt turning against me, on Twitch, as I played through a few screens – it's a straightforward 2D hack-and-slash game with only jumping and attacking as commands. But having your fate in the hands of the audience is a genuinely refreshing idea with an unpredictable element of social experimentation. You're always able to see the three variables being voted on in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and the result no doubt makes you question the way you're perceived by the viewers. Honestly, if I was watching me pull my concentration face on Twitch, I'd probably engineer my own death too.


Razer sharpens up their new Blade gaming laptop

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Dave James at

Razer have announced their new thin and light gaming notebook will have a hefty screen upgrade along with the new Nvidia 800M series GPU.

We’re not quite talking 4K resolutions here but the 3200 x 1800 native resolution of the Indium Gallium Oxide (IGZO) panel isn’t far off the resolution we’ve seen from the beautiful, similarly IGZO-based 4K screen from Asus. Razer is calling the screen QHD+, because the world needs more display-based acronyms.


Diablo 3's auction house is now closed for business

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Phil Savage at

Going once! Going twice! Do I hear any final bids on this Stone of Jordan? Too late, because Diablo 3's controversial auction house has now closed. Blizzard have just posted to confirm the demise of both the Gold and Real Money Auction Houses. Their closure follows the release of the much-lauded patch 2.0.1, which added a new loot system specifically designed to "cut the legs out" from the game's marketplace.

While the Auction House window will remain in-game until June 24, it's only purpose now is to let former auctioneers access their "Completed" tab to pick up any previously listed items or gold. For details on the transition, and what has happened to any active listings, check out Blizzard's FAQ.


A new RollerCoaster Tycoon PC game is in production, say Atari

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Phil Savage at

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was announced recently, and - judging from its chilling reveal trailer - will be the sort of game that sincerely wants you to "HYPE YOUR PARK". I know, I'm sad too. Fortunately, there's hope, and it comes in the form of an Atari tweet. Alongside their promotion of the upcoming phone/tablet/phablet version is news that a new "PC experience" is also in production.


Ghost Recon Online gets renamed, hits Steam in April

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Ubisoft announced on its blog that the free-to-play Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online will launch on Steam on April 10, rebranded as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms. Ubisoft explains that the game earned a new name thanks to a new backstory and a ton of changes and new features, including updated graphics.


Far Cry 3 mod Dead Cry shows off custom world, familiar zombies

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Ian Birnbaum at

I know a lot of people are sick of them, but I really love killing zombies. Shooting zombies offers this highly distilled sense of guilt-free violence that I can easily deal with. Another bonus: zombies arrive pre-killed. Putting them back down is really just a public service. I’m sure one day I’ll get tired of shooting/stabbing/blowing up the animated dead; on that day, I’ll no longer be intrigued by Dead Cry, an upcoming total conversion mod for Far Cry 3.


GDC 2014 kicks off today

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PC Gamer at

It's here. GDC 2014 is the biggest gathering of game developers and creators ever, and PC Gamer is here all week. We'll be on the show floor in San Francisco's Moscone Center talking with developers, attending panels, podcasting with special guests, going hands-on with new games, and reporting all of the biggest news from the event. Expect coverage from both the US and UK teams on the games industry's most creative-centric show of the year.


Five awesome moments from the 2014 EMS One Katowice CS:GO Championship

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Sometimes you have to watch the professionals at work to appreciate how brilliant a game is. After watching some of the highlights from this weekend’s 2014 EMS One Katowice Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship, I was reminded how tense and thrilling Counter-Strike can get. Here are some of the best moments from the event in Poland, from some of the best players in the world.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Hitman Absolution

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PC Gamer at

Every Monday, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

We were disappointed by several aspects of Hitman Absolution, but the visuals weren't one of them. The Glacier engine could render dank apartments with obsessive detail and handle crowds of hundreds in outdoor environments. The colour palette and environments shifted dramatically as the globe-trotting adventure progressed, all of which makes it a great candidate for a 4K screenshot showcase. Absolution is a fine looking game, and Agent 47's bald head looks even shinie in super high-res, as you'll discover in the 20 massive shots that follow.

Gauntlet reboot announced, is being developed by Magicka's creators

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Phil Savage at

Outside of Kickstarter, the revival of old franchises is often a thing to dread. Usually, their announcement comes with terrible omens like "iOS" and "in-app purchases". Not so for Gauntlet, which, on the basis of the announcement trailer, will be a Steam exclusive. Perhaps more encouraging is who's responsible for it. Magicka creators Arrowhead are taking the reigns of this Warner Brothers-published dungeon crawling reboot.


Super Game Jam is a documentary series following five indie teams across 48-hour game development

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Phil Savage at

As someone prone to procrastination, game jams remain an inherently impressive undertaking. Given 48-hours to create something from scratch, I'm far more likely to emerge with nothing but strong feelings on a trending Twitter topic. Five hopefully more dedicated teams are about to squeeze an entire game out of a two-day period as part of Devolver Digital's Super Game Jam. The documentary series will follow a selection of developers, including Hotline Miami's Jonatan Söderström, LUFTRAUSERS' Jan Willem Nijman, and Gunpoint's (and, once upon a time, PC Gamer's) Tom Francis.


Thief's Mantle update incoming on March 18th

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Dave James at

So far, the only real world example of AMD’s new graphics API, Mantle, is some less-than-convincing performance in Battlefield 4. Now though, AMD have teamed up with Eidos and are set to release a new update to the latest Thief game, wrestling it away from the Microsoft clutches of DirectX and giving it some Mantle lovin'.

For the uninitiated Mantle is a rival graphics layer AMD have created to replace DirectX on their Graphics Core Next graphics cards. Its promise is of giving developers much closer access to the hardware they’re coding for, and reducing the processor overheads that have recently become synonymous with Microsoft’s API.


Ultra Street Fighter 4 trailer unveils fifth new playable character

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Phil Savage at

Capcom have released a new trailer for Hyper Mega Giga Ultra Street Fighter IV. As well as rounding up the four already-announced playable characters set to make an SF4 entrance through this upcoming upgraded edition, it also reveals the fifth, entirely new fighter: Decapre. She's a brainwashed member of creepy-ol' Bison's all-girl Dolls squad, and, as is traditional for the Street Fighter universe, is proficient at the punching.


X-Com creator casts Kickstarter campaign for Chaos Reborn

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Phil Savage at

As Kickstarter reboots go, I suspect Chaos Reborn might be attempting to resurrect one of the oldest games yet. The original Chaos was released in 1985 - meaning it came out three years before inXile's similarly revived Wasteland. Julian Gollop, best known as the creator of X-Com: UFO Defense and/or UFO: Enemy Unknown, is now casting Kickstarter necromancy on his classic ZX Spectrum turn-based fantasy strategy.