Previously, we've given the local multiplayer physics-brawler Gang Beasts only a small smattering of mentions. Let's fix that now, with an entire news post about how the game will receive publishing support from Double Fine, through the Broken Age developer's Double Fine Presents scheme. Even better, the game will launch to Steam Early Access on 29 August.
Every so often, PC gamers want to step away from the desk and play some games in the living room. There's a comfy couch! And a big TV! While we'd never want to give up our trusty keyboard and mouse for Counter-Strike or Civilization, there are tons of great PC games—both multiplayer and singleplayer—that are ideally suited to a controller and a big TV. We've assembled a list of the 20 best PC games for the living room right now, from modern multiplayer classics (Towerfall! Nidhogg!) to sprawling adventures like Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, built with controllers in mind.
It's easy to forget that Counter-Strike Online is a thing, given that Valve don't typically license out their games to other developers and publishers, but the free-to-play spin-off has been going for about six years now, under South Korean developers and publishers Nexon. Following the release of Counter-Strike Online 2 a couple of years ago, Nexon has announced another entry in the series and, naturally, it's themed around zombies. Free-to-play multiplayer FPS Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies will be heading to Steam this Summer/Autumn.
The name needs work—and by that I mean the name needs to be fired into the sun—but this debut trailer for TOXIKK sure knows how to go after a disenchanted audience. It's a multiplayer first-person shooter that aims to take the genre "back to its roots", and as the giant text in the following video makes abundantly clear, that means no classes, no levelling systems, no regenerating health, no cover, no iron sights, no reloading, and no free-to-play. Basically, "no bullshit", in their words. It's a bold trailer, undermined only slightly by TOXIKK's shiny generic soldiers, and general paucity of defining features at this stage. Also it being named 'TOXIKK', but what can you do.
At the start of the month, Mojang developer Erik "Grum" Broes reiterated to server owners that charging Minecraft players for perks was against the rules of its end-user agreement. It sparked a vocal backlash from the community—particularly the moderators and patrons of the game's largest servers. Shortly after, Mojang officially updated the rules around server monetisation—relaxing certain criteria, but expressly forbidding the selling of non-cosmetic game features. Eventually, Notch stepped in, defending himself from criticisms of being "literally worse than EA".
Clearly then, Mojang's response hasn't placated the largest communities in the Minecraft multiplayer scene. So is there any validity to their concerns? I've rounded up some of the arguments for and against the new EULA, and have emerged largely in agreement with Mojang's plans. Let me explain why.
I played a vitamin D deficiency-fostering amount of CS:GO over the long weekend. In one of my dozen-some competitive matches (CS:GO’s excellent five-on-five matchmaking mode), I noticed that one of my opponents was livestreaming.
After we won, we booted up the archived video together, commenting in Mumble as we watched. It was a rare chance for my CS:GO group and I to see ourselves through an opponent’s eyes (and comms)—what did it look like to play against us? These were my takeaways.
Klei's season-survivor Don't Starve excels as a single-player experience, where a world full of dark forests, Moose-Goose, and warm beards tickles that roguelike itch in all the right ways. A missing and seemingly expected element of the genre—and a subject of heated debate across multiple closed threads on the game's official forums—is multiplayer support so friends can huddle together against winter's chill or place hats on neighboring pig-folk. Surprise: Klei's planning a multiplayer expansion out this summer and free for current Starvians.
Ubisoft has finally released a video that delves into a number of Watch Dogs’ multiplayer modes and it’s one video you'll definitely want to watch.
As any fool with a spirit level would be able to tell you, multiplayer has never been all that symmetrical, but that hasn't stopped developers from attempting to unbalance it even further. Left 4 Dead's competitive multiplayer, for example, is as asymmetrical as a Shoreditch haircut, pitting a team of zombies against a team of normals and giving each an opposing goal to achieve. The comparatively minimalist The Flock takes things in a tenser, less action-packed direction, using elements of Capture the Flag and Doctor Who's 'Blink' episode to fuel a shadow-drenched horror game for four players. It looks faintly bloody terrifying, as you can see from the first gameplay trailer, below.
Up until today, swapping out weapons and equipment in the thick of a Battlefield 4 match wasn't easy. Sifting through piles of unlocks lengthened spawn times and hampered momentum for players on a roll (well, that and occasional teleporting soldiers), but a fresh Battlelog update hopes to simplify inventory management with the addition of preset loadouts for the game's four kits.
Gamers aren’t the only ones who blame lag. Indie devs cite it for the current abundance of local-multiplayer-only platformers, of which TowerFall Ascension represents an exquisite pinnacle. Up to four players can plug in pads and then plug each other with arrows, darting around numerous screen wrapped 2D arenas. Its versus mode alone marks the high tide for single screen deathmatch, but the true delight is its brutal two-player wave survival campaign, a thing of rare, beautiful balance and jubilant chaos.
Just a few days after Blizzard prophesized the impending end of Hearthstone's beta, it's decided to surprise everyone by releasing the Warcraft-ified online card battler after three months of testing. The game is free to play, and the only requirement to get started is to hit the giant purple Play Now button at the official site.
Ever since its open beta began in December 2012, Hawken's basics have been easy to pick up. Big, stompy robots shoot and scoot with agile dodges. The modes are a slice from the same shooter pie everyone's familiar with, and it's a snap to load up and jump into a team deathmatch in less than a minute. Maps paint worlds of well-worn neon-lit cityscapes and desolate badlands. Hawken is like the mohawked, studded-jacket-wearing punk brother of MechWarrior Online: a youngster with a brash streak, but definitely its own brand of cool.
Hawken's also growing up. It transitioned to Steam last month, moving away from a dedicated launcher and enticing new recruits with an Early Access initiative and a couple purchasable bonus packages. Now it's once again fully Free to Play. Two years of patches and adjustments have streamlined Hawken and stripped away unused features, making it easier to get into than ever. After two weeks of playing Hawken on Steam, I'm still skeptical of its F2P monetization, but faster-paced combat reminiscent of Quake and new mech classes kept me coming back for more.
Titanfall is upon us, and that means Respawn's fast-paced FPS has high-fived Spyglass for luck before dropping onto many a hard drive with a 48GB shockwave. That's a staggering size for a strictly multiplayer shooter, and many pilots want to know the reasons behind the significant storage chunk. Speaking to Eurogamer, Respawn Lead Engineer Richard Baker provides an answer: uncompressed audio.
Like a pilot with a full compliment of jump jets at her fingertips, MechWarrior Online is always on the move. The shooter has seen a host of changes in recent months, and this week brings more tweaks under the hood in the form of DirectX 11 support as well as a new assault mech chassis.
Even a game about titanic, stompy robots with laser cannons and violent paint jobs isn't immune to the challenges of multiplayer matchmaking. Piranha's MechWarrior Online is loads of fun of the heavy metal variety, but balancing various weight classes and pre-formed groups against public players sometimes delivers some frustratingly lopsided rounds. Pilots should scratch the date of April 29 into the side of their cockpits, as that marks the new Launch Module's, well, launch. The module will overhaul MechWarrior's system for matching similarly skilled players together in evenly balanced teams. It's all explained with plenty of text and pretty charts in an official forum post.
Diablo 3 historians will probably mark the time after patch 2.0.1's sweeping changes as "post 2.0.1." The upcoming update's major systems revamp—such as the removal of the real-money and gold auction houses, scaling difficulty, and the implementation of clans—marks a divide between the old (and dubiously designed) Diablo and a new Diablo far more in tune with what players want. Its end-game Paragon system will get a complete rework as well, and in an official blog post, Blizzard explains how the new system will work in Reaper of Souls.
It would technically be possible to describe Project Stealth in a way that wasn't just, "it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games." Possible, but pointless, because, however you did it, you'd still be describing something that was just, "it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games."
It's a "community-driven" indie project that offers 2v2 multiplayer matches in which a team of spies tries to use their sneakability to outwit a team of mercenaries. It's being build in Unreal Engine 4 and, well, basically it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games. Its creators have now relaunched the game's website, and posted a new set of screenshots.
Perhaps the closest thing associated with Battlefield 4 is its shaky launch. Well, that and rendezooks, but I have a feeling that smooth performance is more important in the eyes of EA's investors. In a conference call held yesterday (transcribed by Seeking Alpha), EA's leadership discussed what it learned from BF4's release and that it's applying those lessons to upcoming major launches such as Titanfall.
Funny fact: Battlefield 4 has a lot of guns. You wouldn't think that were the case in multiplayer, as the majority of BF4 players have tended to prefer a few all-around beastly weapons—the Assault's M4A1 or the Engineer's MTAR-21, as examples—that sadly diminishes the chances of seeing more specialized firepower during a match. In a Battlefield Blog post today, DICE outlines some of the upcoming changes to footsoldier weapons as an effort to boost the variance of gun popularity and choice for players.