Civilization: Beyond Earth gameplay — our impressions after 100 turns

PC Gamer at

The stars are not safe. That's what we learned from our hands-on impressions of Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth. But the stars, and their planets, are also filled with beautiful environments, just waiting for humanity to adapt or conquer. Seeing is believing, and we want to believe, so we put together this video of the sci-fi strategy game in action.


Hearthstone hacked by Google's anti-hacking chief, but he won't release it

Andy Chalk at

Elie Bursztein is kind of a behind-the-scenes guy at Google, where he heads up anti-abuse research and figures out new ways to "protect our users against cyber-criminal activities and internet threats." He recently redesigned Google's Captcha system and implemented improved cryptography in the Chrome browser; he also figured out a way to "hack" Hearthstone by using machine learning to predict opponents' decks with what is apparently a game-breaking degree of accuracy.


The Sims 4 gameplay video — the PC Gamer team moves in together, pees a lot

Tyler Wilde at

We're still working on our Sims 4 review, but here's a quick look at the first half-hour of play, from creating a family to micromanaging their toilet schedules. Watch as Tyler and Tom M. roughly design PC Gamer's US team, choose a home, customize it for their needs—mostly by adding computers—and generate laughter, tears, conversations with the corner of a room, and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.


The Elder Scrolls Online studio Zenimax Online hit with layoffs

Andy Chalk at

Just five months after The Elder Scrolls Online MMO went live, developer ZeniMax Online Studios has laid off an unspecified number of employees.


Hearthstone Help: Nine great post-Naxxramas decks

PC Gamer at

Greetings ladder jockeys, it's your host Vincent Sarius back with another instalment of our series on how to improve your Hearthstone skills. Today, I want to look at some of the most interesting decks that have popped up since the Curse of Naxxramas expansion arrived.


Dreamfall Chapters trailer suggests cityscapes, decisions and nap time in Book One

Tom Sykes at

Dreamfall Chapters' first episode is out soon—this Autumn, in fact—giving those of us who have yet to play either The Longest Journey or Dreamfall something of a deadline if we want to dive in at the game's release. To whet our appetites, Red Thread Games have released a new trailer ostensibly announcing Chapters' season pass. Yep, season passes can be annoying, but they make sense in an episodic game like Chapters, and on a platform like GOG.com that doesn't appear to support traditional episodic releases. I wouldn't say there's much in the way of spoilers to worry about here, the trailer focusing on environmental scenes and shots of heroine Zoe fast asleep in bed, but it is a rather gorgeous video that makes me all the more excited to play the first part.

Saints Row IV gets first stage of SDK, makes it easier to design/import weapons

Tom Sykes at

An absence of modding tools hardly means an absence of mods—just look at GTAIV, and the impressive modifications that have cropped up since the game's release. An SDK would obviously help the process along though, which is why it's wonderful to see the efforts over at the Saints Row Mods forum being given Volition's official blessing. The first stage of Saints Row IV's newly released modding tools allows players to make their own weapons, though you're going to have to up your game if you hope to compete with the likes of the dubstep gun.


Swordy trailer reveals a "physics brawler" featuring gigantic, unwieldy blades

Tom Sykes at

You call your game Swordy and you have my attention, my interest, and Gimli's axe, the heroic dwarf not quite understanding that it's primarily a game about enormous swords. As shown at PAX, Swordy is a top-down local multiplayer thing where you hit your friends in the face until they explode in a shower of chunky pixels. The only caveat is that you have to do that in the game, rather in real life, or else the police get involved and it's this whole big thing. Developers Frogshark released a trailer a little while ago showing the game in action; you can find the sworded video below.


World of Diving is a multiplayer underwater exploration game, now in Early Access

Tom Sykes at

I'm getting serious Endless Ocean vibes from World of Diving, a multiplayer underwater exploration game now in Steam Early Aquatic Access for your consideration. It's a game about swimming around on the sea bed, discovering sunken treasure, and taking photos of all the weird and interesting stuff in the ocean. It's not a game about killing things, but I suppose there's still time for developers Vertigo Games to add killstreaks and gory, slow-motion takedown moves.


ArcheAge releasing 16th September, open beta tomorrow

Tom Sykes at

Do you have room in your life for another MMORPG? Trion Worlds are rather banking on you saying 'yes', as they're bringing Korean-developed MMO ArcheAge to Europe and North America on the 16th of September. There's also an open beta due tomorrow at 10:00AM PDT; sign up here if the "sandpark" MMO takes your fancy (I'll explain what the hell that means after the break).


PayDay 2 Gage Assault Pack encourages you to barge in and kill everything

Shaun Prescott at

Robbing banks can be a delicate process. As anyone familiar with PayDay 2 will know, it's often wiser (and more satisfying) to lay careful plans and quietly infiltrate. Of course, quietly infiltrating can get annoying after a while. Sometimes you just want to shoot something in the face with a huge rifle. Overkill Software knows this, so they've just announced a new PayDay 2 DLC pack themed around making as much noise, and inflicting as much pain, as possible.


City of Heroes "spiritual successor" could become an official resurrection

Andy Chalk at

City of Titans, the in-development spiritual successor to the canceled superhero MMO City of Heroes, was a big hit on Kickstarter last year, raising more than double its not-insignificant goal of $320,000. But it turns out that a group of superhero stalwarts has even bigger plans for the game: They've been in negotiations with NCsoft since early this summer, and there's now a proposal on the table that could see the game become an official sequel.

A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 5

Wes Fenlon at

In episode 5 of PC Gamer's Dwarf Fortress Let's Play, Wes and Will discuss mermen and learn all about trading when the first caravan arrives arrives at their fortress. Turns out, trading involves a lot of menus.


PAX Prime 2014 hyperlapse — see the whole show in three minutes

PC Gamer at

Evan, Tyler, and PC Gamer's intrepid video crew are home from PAX Prime, only moderately bruised from bouncing through the massive crowd that swarmed the Seattle convention center last weekend. Before we left, we used Instagram's new Hyperlapse app—which is pretty cool, and free—to create a high-speed video tour of the show. Watch this to see, very quickly, what it's like to navigate the oceans of gamers and maze of booths—and keep watching our PAX Prime 2014 playlist for all of our videos from the show.


Mojang's Scrolls will add offline trading in update, full release coming this fall

Andy Chalk at

A major update to Mojang's Scrolls is coming later this month that will add new Trials, new scrolls, a Black Market for scroll trading and even an improved profanity filter. And then—a release date!


The Stomping Land can no longer be purchased from Steam

Andy Chalk at

The Stomping Land saga has taken another twist, as the game is no longer available for purchase on Steam. It's still on Steam, to be perfectly clear about it, you just can't actually buy the thing anymore. Unfortunately, the disappearance of the purchase option was not accompanied by an explanation for its absence, so depending on your perspective, this might be good news or bad news.

Star Trek Online reunites the Voyager crew for Delta Rising expansion

Andy Chalk at

I guess the first order of business should be to establish that Star Trek Online is in fact still online. It's been awhile since we last talked about it—May 2013, actually—but the Star Trek-based MMO is still boldly going, albeit to where no one seems to notice. Today, however, Arc Games announced some pretty big news: It's getting the band back together.


Gabriel Knight interview: Jane Jensen on the revival of her classic adventure game

PC Gamer at

Veteran game designer Jane Jensen and her indie studio, Pinkerton Road, have been working on a 20th anniversary remake of the classic Sierra point-and-click adventure Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers since last year. After co-designing King's Quest VI in 1992, Jensen got her first shoot at designing and directing her own project. That game was Gabriel Knight, the story of a New Orleans writer who investigates a series of ritualistic voodoo murders and discovers he’s the descendant of a long line of monster hunters. Pinkerton Road plans to launch the Gabriel Knight remake in early fall.

Jane Jensen recently spoke to PC Gamer about what's changing in the Gabriel Knight remake, the revival of the Sierra brand, and her hopes for a new game starring everyone’s favorite N’awlins Schattenjäger.


The Sims 4 launch day patch fixes babies, Death, and the "Big Hat of Shame"

Andy Chalk at

The Sims 4 launched today, and you know what that means: The day-one patch is here! The first update to the new Sims game fixes a number of oddball issues including problems with Glitter and Abs, hibernating babies, and a Grim Reaper who really just isn't that into you.

Obsidian's free-to-play tank game Armored Warfare shown off in new video

Tom Sykes at

In case you missed it: Obsidian are making a F2P game about tanks called Armored Warfare, and no, we didn't make that up. The game was briefly shown at E3 with a not-very-revealing trailer, but now 27 minutes of footage has appeared online, thanks a Twitch stream recorded at PAX.