The Rift Report: exploring the weird world of virtual reality sex

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Andy Kelly at

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

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the dirty elephant in the room: sex games. As long as the concept of virtual reality has existed, people have been fascinated by the pornographic possibilities of the technology. Now, thanks to the Oculus Rift and accessible 3D dev tools like Unity and Unreal, those wet dreams are coming true. Sure, the Rift can whisk you away to fantastical worlds, but some people would rather just toss themselves dry to digitised filth. So it’s no surprise that a number of adult games developed for the headset have appeared online, which I’ve bravely decided to test.

Opinion: Blizzard needs to do more to keep average Hearthstone players interested

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Tim Clark at

I've entered into a strange love/hate relationship with Hearthstone over the past month, the upshot of which is I'm not sure whether I want to keep playing it anymore, and yet I find myself entirely incapable of stopping. Trying to improve my scattershot performance has drawn me into Hearthstone's 'meta game', where expert players create decks designed to beat the system. At least until the system changes and the cycle changes again.


Batman: Arkham Knight interview - on story, combat and "civil war on the streets of Gotham"

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Samuel Roberts at

Batman: Arkham Knight is set in an even larger version of Gotham City than its predecessors managed. It's so big, they've had to include the Batmobile so you can get around quicker. How else are Rocksteady leveraging the muscle of modern PCs? Will we face another rogues' gallery, a la Arkham City? How will the combat system change from the first games? I sat down with Rocksteady's marketing producer Dax Ginn to find out.


Dota 2's fourth The International tournament announced for July, moves to new location

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Phil Savage at

Some people are really good at manipulating wizards. As the makers of a game that features wizards (also: bears, succubi, venomous man-reptiles), every year Valve invite some of these people to a multi-million dollar wizard-off. That tournament is Dota 2's The International, and is one of the year's largest e-sports events. Valve have confirmed that this year's tournament will run from July 18 - 21, with tickets going on sale later this week. In addition, the event takes place in a new venue: Seattle's KeyArena.


Football Manager: the diary of a descent into madness

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PC Gamer at

Too busy scouring the Eredivisie for promising young wingers to notice that your other half has walked out on you? Football writer, and co-author of Football Manager Stole My Life, Iain Macintosh charts a typical journey into the dark side of FM micromanagement.


Draugen trailer provides first look at Red Thread's survival horror

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Phil Savage at

It's April Fool's day, which means everything you read on the internet is potentially a lie. Before we become entangled in the meta-semantics of that first sentence, here's why this first trailer for Dreamfall Chapters creator Red Thread's other game isn't a joke. 1) It debuted over the weekend, at the EGX Rezzed event. 2) Its narration contains words like "inexorably", "maelstrom" and "undulating", which are scientifically the least funny words.


Hear three BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea original songs from Irrational Games

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Bioshock Infinite had some great original songs and arrangements. You can buy the original game’s soundtrack, but there’s some new music in the recently released Burial at Sea DLC that you couldn't easily listen to, until recently. Irrational Games posted three full, original songs from Burial at Sea to its official website, along with some commentary from the game’s Music Director, Jim Bonney.


Cellar Door could start working on Rogue Legacy sequel in the next two years

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Cellar Door, the developer behind the excellent Rogue Legacy, has already started working on its next project. The team's not ready to say anything concrete about it yet, but it's notoriously against working within the same genre twice. Does that mean we won't see a Rogue Legacy 2? A recent interview indicates that the game's creators might just make an exception.


John Carmack defends Oculus Rift acquisition: VR is "too obviously powerful" for independence

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Ian Birnbaum at

The fury over Oculus VR’s acquisition by social media giant Facebook seems to have fallen to a low simmer as the raw emotion has a chance to cool. Another factor: we don’t really have any more information now than we did the day after the news broke. Aside from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s increasingly futile defense on reddit, no one inside the deal has spoken up. Now, development legend John Carmack, who famously left his position at Id software to work as Oculus’s chief technology officer, has spoken up for the first time.


Battlefield 4's delayed Naval Strike DLC fights them on the beaches today

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Ian Birnbaum at

After what turned out to be a pretty short delay, the new Naval Strike DLC is landing today for Battlefield 4 Premium members, along with an extensive update full of balances, tweaks, and squished bugs. The new DLC adds four new maps with a distinct ocean-y flavor and the new Carrier Assault mode, based off of the classic Titan Mode from Battlefield 2142.


The Pirate Bay Bundle gets you 101 indie games you might have missed

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Odditie-s, a small indie games blog curated by @moshboy, has assembled The Pirate Bay Bundle, a torrent that offers 101 indie games. As @moshboy explains, they are “small, weird, free (mostly ignored) video games that you probably haven’t played made by well over one hundred passionate game makers.”


Mordheim: City of the Damned brings turn-based strategy to a doomed city

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Tom Senior at

This passed me by somehow, but it's still worth a mention. There's going to be a Mordheim game! Mordheim is one of Games Workshop's more obscure Warhammer Fantasy spin-off projects. It's a turn-based strategy game set in a city obliterated by a magic meteorite. Precious fragments of said meteorite, called Wyrdstone, have drawn bandits and adventurers from every corner of the world. Giant rat-men face off against heroes of the empire, Elves, pirates, mercenaries, Witch Hunters and chaos demons. It's like the end of the Hobbit, except the armies are 1000 times smaller, and prone to incurring terrible injuries and mounting psychological damage from battle to battle.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Bioshock Infinite

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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.

Few would deny that Bioshock Infinite's floating city of Columbia is a gorgeous place to shoot spliced-up weirdos. The first sight of Columbia's main square is impossible to forget. It's a blaze of glorious colour, enriched with hundreds of incidental details, all contributing a little to the story behind Infinite's hovering dystopia. There are many more moments to match it, so we've captured a few here in glorious 4k resolution to celebrate Infinite's terrific art design. Enjoy.

Shelter 2: hunt in "huge open territories" as a mother Lynx

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Tom Senior at

The sequel to 2013's best badger simulator is afoot. In Shelter 2 you play as a mother Lynx who must roam and hunt to sustain her her litter of cubs—adorable, defenseless, easily-eaten cubs. The sequel will develop the muted cardboard-collage visuals of the first game and feature a much bigger open world in which to hunt and hide.


Call of Duty: Ghosts Devastation pack includes alien kraken and The Predator

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Tom Senior at

The Devastation map pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts will include four multiplayer maps and part two of the increasingly mad Extinction mode. The co-op players vs. NPC aliens aside is set on a "high-tech ghost ship" besieged by a "skyscraper-sized" sea monster and infested with dog-like alien creatures. The trailer also teases the inclusion of the Predator. The actual Predator, from the films. I haven't paid attention to Call of Duty in a while, so it feels like returning to a familiar old house I thought I knew, to find it full of dinosaurs.


Mod of the Week: Altis Life, for Arma 3

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Christopher Livingston at

After two hours of tense waiting, the op was launched. The four of us, all policemen wearing night-vision goggles, slithered from our vehicles, spread out silently, and sprinted around the darkened buildings in the middle of the night. We converged on the civilian helicopter pilot who had landed nearby a moment ago, surrounding him, our weapons drawn and ready. Then we politely asked him to produce his pilot's license. He promptly did. We thanked him, dispersed, and met back at the vehicles. No illegal activity had transpired. Mission accomplished.

Altis Life, the police and civilian role-playing server mod for Arma 3, reminds me a bit of the time—the very little time—I spent on a few Garry's Mod role-playing servers. Rather than engage in multiplayer warfare, players engage in, well, virtual life. If you're playing a civilian, you buy a car, get a job, and collect a paycheck. If you're a cop, you police the civilians and enforce the law. The laws that include the requirement to have a proper license to operate vehicles such as helicopters, boats, and cars, hence the covert nighttime op.


Jane Jensen's Moebius now has a demo, full game out April 15th

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Tom Sykes at

Sad Update: I've been informed that Moebius' secretive organisation is no longer called F.I.S.T. It is now called F.I.T.A. I don't know how to process this information.

Jane Jensen's Moebius is out soon, and to coincide with the occasion there is now a Jane Jensen's demo to keep us Jane Jensen's occupied in the meantime. The demo gives us the opportunity to step into the sharp-suited, beanpole body of one Malachi Rector (not pictured above), who just might be the best-named game character this side of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's intemperate villain 'Hot Coldman'. Expect to click on things, talk to people, and save a handsome man from hanging in order recruit him to your globe-hopping mystery squad - it's all in a day's work at the following link.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted update adds castle biome and soundtrack

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Tom Sykes at

Big Robot's Britishness simulator has added the final piece of the puzzle - castles - to its procedurally generated landscape of drizzle, rural environments, snacks and murderous robots, which we all face every time we step out the door. The new castle biome, included in the latest update, adds the ruined tourist attractions to the established rural, fens, industrial and mountains biomes, along with the quaint signposts that herd sightseers to their next gawping point. It's an important update for other reasons too: an ambient soundtrack has been added to the game, giving us something to listen to while we're crouching behind a bush waiting to get the upper hand on our AI overlords. And. In. The. Game. More details, and a video, after the break.


Alien: Isolation bursts out in October

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Tim Clark at

In a startling break with standard practice, it seems Sega has taken to announcing the release dates of AAA games on a Saturday. This way lies madness, friends. What next, Half-Life 3 confirmed on Christmas Eve. Anyway. Alien: Isolation. October 7th.


The Best Free Games of the Week

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Tom Sykes at

This week we sample the highlights of the 7-Day Roguelike and Procedural Death jams, which ran simultaneously a week or so ago. (They presumably did this in an effort to get the whole procedural generation thing over and done with in one fell swoop, so we can get back to the business of painstakingly handcrafting levels instead.) Stick around for vamps, lamps, goats and sliding, plus two bonus games with no random bits at all (well, unless you count the fairly random penis door). Enjoy!