A sudden Greevil population explosion has cancelled Christmas in Dota 2, but teams Red and Blu face bigger problems in Team Fortress. The robot menace introduced in the MvM update continues to threaten the values that TF2's nine classes hold dear, like the right to not spend Christmas battling sinister robot versions of themselves.
How's your brain? Is it full of thoughts of the weekend and exciting upcoming things like DINNER and CHRISTMAS? Good, you might be pleased to know that thanks to action games like Call of Duty, your brain is probably better at juggling multiple thoughts of dinner and Christmas better than the average non-gamer brain. It's also good at tracking happy and sad children as they bounce around a circular playground, and is better at picking grey objects from a grey background. We can thank Gears of War for that. Cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier can do a much better job of explaining it all than I, so I'll give up the stage to her TED performance, which you'll find embedded below.
Far Cry 3 will its own improved version of the user-friendly level editor that shipped with Far Cry 2. That's according to a report from Far Cry 2 mapper Fallen Champ, who visited the Ubisoft Massive studio in Malmo, Sweden, earlier this month and got an early look at the updated tools. He's posted plenty of details of his experience on the Ubisoft forums.
Martin's steed got stuck in quicksand and couldn't extract itself during our review of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. According to the latest patch notes posted on the CoD forums, spotted by Strategy Informer, the problem has been fixed. The update also boosts CoD's field of view allowance to 90 degrees, good news for anyone experiencing the strange tunnel vision queasiness that those tight FOV settings can cause.
Performance has also been smoothed out for those with four or more CPU cores, server matchmaking has been improved and "connection interrupted" multiplayer errors fixed. Patch notes below.
The gutted interior of a tower in Tehran's financial district and the shattered remains of a parliament building are two spectacles talked about but not shown in the latest Aftermath footage. We do get descriptions of the four new maps, however, which include "devastated financial district map Markaz Monolith, the heavily destroyed Epicentre map, the Talah market map, which is a mix of the old and the new architecture of the city, and finally Azadi Palace, a huge urban landscape with a massive parliament building at its core." Catch new moving pictures of dusty tussles in Tehran's tattered streets below.
The latest Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer shows of Survivor mode, in which playable Xenomorphs face off against a team of human-controlled Marine meatbags. The Marines must stay alive long enough to secure a small area in the face of waves of Xenospawn. The trailer shows a few new alien types as well, including one that tears its own head open and then explodes, and one that mounts Marines and vomits acid into their faces. Shouting, screaming, shrieking and the white noise of endless machine gun fire await you in the video below.
Remember Far Cry 2's multiplayer mode? With that user-friendly level editor? Perhaps not. When I think of Far Cry I imagine standing on a hillside looking at a gorgeous open world that explodes as I pull a rebar out of my broken hand. Deathmatch doesn't spring to mind, but there's no reason why Far Cry 3's multiplayer mode shouldn't be good. It's got guns, right? And men to shoot. And "innovations" like "battle cries" and "team support weapons" and the like.
One of those team support weapons is a psych bomb that seems to drop hallucinogenics onto an area of the battlefield, resulting in some quite interesting visual quirks. See that and much more in the new multiplayer trailer below.
World War 2 multiplayer military sim, Red Orchestra 2, now contains more war courtesy of the latest free Fall update. It adds a new map and a streamlined version of the Countdown game mode, which is now "much simpler to understand." Blue's News note that those playing Countdown will now earn double experience to celebrate. The new map, meanwhile, is a modern take on popular Red Orchestra 1 map, Barashka, which stars alongside bands of warring men in the latest update trailer below.
It's inevitable, I know. Do bears tango in the woods? Is there a party like an S-Club party? Will Call of Duty make money this year? Yes, to all these things. A thousand times YES. $500 million is the day one worldwide sales figure Activision are bandying around today for Black Ops 2.
Valve fired the starting pistol on the Saxxy video awards back in August, inviting fans to create the best videos they can using the Source Filmmaker tool released earlier this year. The entries are in, and the voting has started. You can start dishing out thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs by logging in and working through the queue on the Saxxy Steam page.
The quality is mixed, as you'd expect, but every so often you run into a gem that makes it worthwhile. My favourite so far is the Midnight Power short embedded below, a slow pan out on a fight scene that stretches the number of moving objects and characters the filmmaker can handle to its limit.
We've seen parts of Battlefield 3's forthcoming Aftermath DLC before now, but this is our first proper glimpse of the Epicentre map that seems to be the focal point of the expansion. Level artist Pontus Ryman took to the Battlefield blog (hereafter referred to as the 'battleblog') to talk about the map, in a post that included a long, lingering flythrough of Epicentre itself.
Runescape overlords Jagex have announced their latest title: multiplayer FPS Ace of Spades, which mixes Minecraft-style building and blockiness with team-based killing for up to 32 players. If the name rings a bell, that's because it's a prettified and expanded version of an indie game we were playing over a year ago. That's now being described as the "prototype" version, this new one featuring cleaner visuals, double the players, and "tons of insane game modes". Oh and it's heading to Steam this December.
An excitable post on the Counter-Strike blog announces that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be free to everyone from today through until Sunday to celebrate the climax of the Electronic Sports World Cup.
"This weekend? CS:GO is free. Download it. Play it. Love it. It’s free. Who knows, we might even put it on sale if you want to keep playing after this weekend," say Valve. They've recently updated their spectator tools with GOTV, an in-game service that should let you check out the pro action happening in Paris this weekend. If you're suitably inspired, you can start climbing the ranks and taking on CS regulars.
After three years of work the user-created Back to School campaign for Left 4 Dead 2 has reached version 1.0. You can download it now from the ModDB page, where they've also uploaded a trailer that gave me a terrible hunger to play Left 4 Dead again. A terrible, terrible hunger that not even this egg mayonnaise sandwich can help with. If only those eggs were more, I don't know ... brainy. Weird.
Crossbows are coming to Battlefield 3 in the next expansion, Aftermath. A new post on the Battlefield blog outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the new weapon, which has the power to both kill silently and blow holes in walls thanks to multiple bolts ammo types.
Standard bolts can kill at medium at short range, balanced bolts can kill at long range, scan bolts highlight enemies within a 10 meter radius of the impact site and explosive bolts create a small C4 explosion at the point of contact. You can switch between ammo types "on the fly."
The actor behind the most famous walking talking 'tache in gaming, Bill Murray (not that one), has made mention of a somewhat inevitable follow-up to Modern Warfare 3. "Yeah, on Monday I am off to meet Infinity Ward about the next game, Modern Warfare 4, I’m doing work on the sequel to Modern Warfare 3, it carries straight on and I only ever appear in the Modern Warfare games” he told This Is Xbox.
Not even a Medic can help them now. Zombies are coming to Team Fortress 2 as part of the fortnight-long Halloween event that will add an undead MvM mission and a new King of the Hill map haunted by the ghost of the Soldier's nemesis/angry housemate, Merasmus. He's placed a magical booby trap on the control point that will spin a "wheel of fate" every time it changes hands. What it does, no-one knows. Apart from Valve. "One of many potentially horrible fates await you! Or maybe something good!" they say.
This season's Team Fortress 2 Halloween event is almost upon us. According to the latest edition of the reliably hilarious series of TF2 comic strips, evil ghost lord Merasmus will indeed be behind this weekend's spooky shenanigans. Based on events depicted within the strip, we may get to see some zombie Raccoons. Or a Ghostbusters style Marshmallow Man made of sour cream. Or, more likely, none of those things. Still, it's worth a read for the gags alone. You'll find the whole thing on the Team Fortress 2 site.
On a post at the Mordor HQ forums, spotted by PCGamesN, DICE staffer Mikael Kalms has reversed a previous statement that DICE would allow players to turn off the colour-grading which gives Battlefield its muted, cold aesthetic.
So, here we go again. The saga began when devs suggested that modders trying to alter the colour palette of the game might inadvertently fall foul of anti-cheat measures and find themselves banned from the game. The ensuing outcry led DICE to suggest it would implement such an option with the next patch of the game. But now it seems the company has thought better of that, with Kalms reproducing an official statement saying, "we are proud of the visual identity of Battlefield 3 and do not wish to change it."