Three Lane Highway: why Culling Blade is Dota 2's most entertaining skill

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.

Ultimate abilities are a good place to start whenever you're tasked with explaining why Dota is cool. They're silly, diverse, exciting to watch. If you're staring at an unconvinced game designer, show them how Chain Frost interacts with Chronosphere. Show them how Wraith King's Reincarnation power is both a safetynet and a mobile psychological deterrent. Show them almost any great Echoslam, but probably this one, because it's a tragedy and a comedy at the same time.

Ancient Space announced, is a single-player RTS published by Paradox

Phil Savage at

At Gamescom, during the Paradox press conference, the studio announced new expansions for Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4. Maybe they forgot to mention that they were also working with Creative Forge Games on a new single-player RTS; one that features actors drawn from a selection of beloved sci-fi shows. And Star Trek: Enterprise.


Guild Wars 2 next World vs. World tournament announced, takes place next month

Phil Savage at

World vs. World is Guild Wars 2's Dark Age of Camelot style 3-way PvP war. Each week, servers engage in a constant push-and-pull of objective capturing—usually by merging into a big ball of people, then smashing into another big ball of people until all life and inventory space has been stamped out. Periodically, ArenaNet formalises this chaos into a tournament, and they've just announced a new one, starting 12 September.


Fistful of Gun to be published by Devolver, is a top-down, co-op Western shooter

Phil Savage at

Fistful of Gun is a Western primarily in setting. As a top-down arcade shooter, it's a little lacking in some of the fundamental themes of the genre; like sweeping landscapes, local power-struggles or Clint Eastwood staring at a man until he gets bored and dies. Instead, its the weaponry and hats of the era, implanted into a frantic bullet-hell assault.


Konami are making a new Silent Hill. Will it come to PC?

Andy Kelly at

Last week Konami revealed a new Silent Hill game. After a succession of underwhelming sequels that spectacularly failed to capture the dark, subversive magic of the originals, you’d be forgiven for shrugging this news off. But this new Silent Hill is being developed by Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, in collaboration with Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro. Konami, it seems, are finally giving their flagship horror series the love it deserves.


Path of Exile's Forsaken Masters expansion is now live

Phil Savage at

If being an exile was a career path, you'd have to assume that Forsaken Master was one of its top job roles. Certainly higher than outcast, pariah or Shia LeBeouf. Alas, no, the Path of Exile is instead a game, and Forsaken Master is its new mini-expansion. It adds new stuff, reworks old stuff and brings some more three-month Challenge Leagues to the free-to-play ARPG.


Super III brings teleportation and puzzle-platforming to Kickstarter

Phil Savage at

It's good that platformers can provide work for mis-shapen game characters. If their 2D pixel levels didn't require such easily parsable protagonists, where else would these proportionally big-headed, tiny-legged square-people find work? Super III hopes to be one such refuge – a puzzle-platformer with an emphasis on teleportation and screen-wrapping. Think Velocity-Ultra's insta-shifting, combined with a dash of VVVVVV's tower section.


No More Room in Hell update adds new maps, characters and difficulty mode

Shaun Prescott at

Originally a Half-Life 2 mod (and the winner of our 2012 'Mod of the Year' gong), No More Room in Hell's standalone edition has just had a major update. The eight-player coop horror is now expanded with four new maps, three new characters, a new gun and a new 'casual' game mode.


Borderlands 2 is free on Steam this weekend

Shaun Prescott at

If for some reason you're interested in Borderlands 2 but have yet to play it, then here's good news: the game is free on Steam this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy the game there's a hefty 75 per cent discount on both Borderlands 2 and its Game of the Year edition during that period. Naturally, you'd be better off going for the latter as the DLC packs include a wealth of extra content.


Overkill's The Walking Dead is a co-op first person shooter set in the comic series' universe

Shaun Prescott at

PayDay 2 studio Overkill has revealed a few morsels of information regarding its forthcoming take on The Walking Dead series. During a Reddit AMA, producer Almir Listo addressed some questions regarding the project, which will be the third The Walking Dead video game adaptation in as many years, joining Telltale's serialised adventure drama and Activision's FPS stinker.


Star Citizen developer wants to focus less on crowdfunding numbers, more on stretch goal progress

Andy Chalk at

When Star Citizen hit $49 million in crowdfunding, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said he wanted more. So we gave it to him! But now, with more than $51 million in the bank, Roberts has decided it's time to ease up a bit: Continued funding is still required, but it's going to be de-emphasized somewhat as part of an effort to make the project friendlier and more accessible to newcomers.


Hearthstone Help: What I learned from playing with a professional coach

Tim Clark at

When a golfer has a wonky swing, the obvious solution is a visit to the club pro for a tune up. But there’s a big difference between a sport in which people think nothing of dropping hundreds of dollars on a new driver and a game like Hearthstone, where many players pride themselves on never paying for a single booster pack. So I was surprised to see an increasing number of pro players and popular streamers starting to offer coaching sessions. But could an hour’s worth of advice really improve my winrate?


Why critics love Mountain, but Steam users are calling it "worthless"

Tyler Wilde at

According to The Atlantic, Mountain “invites you to experience the chasm between your own subjectivity and the unfathomable experience of something else.” It “hypnotized” the Los Angeles Times, and The Verge called it "the only experience that has ever made me feel sad about a geological phenomenon." Meanwhile, on Steam, user reviewers are gushing: Mountain is “worthless,” “just a screensaver,” and “a fucking joke.”


Metro: Last Light studio boss expresses profound regret over leaving Ukraine

Andy Chalk at

Metro: Last Light developer 4A Games announced in May that it was relocating its headquarters to Malta, which "offers fantastic incentives for game development" as a member state of the European Union, which its homeland of Ukraine is not. And while it wasn't mentioned in the announcement, Russia's ongoing incursion into the country was no doubt also a factor in the decision to pull up stakes. But a statement released by studio chief Andrew Prokhorov makes it clear that the decision to leave wasn't an easy one.


Valve chosen as the most desirable place to work in game developer survey

Andy Chalk at

The sky is blue, the grass is green and Valve is a popular destination for game makers looking for work: So declares the IGDA, which, in what may be the least-surprising news of the month, revealed that game developers would rather work for the Half-Life and Steam developer than anywhere else—including for themselves.


Deus Ex, Neverwinter Nights 2 developers unveil Sienna Storm, a super-spy adventure card game

Andy Chalk at

Sienna Storm is a "unique interactive comic-style videogame" being developed by a new studio headed by veterans of Deus Ex, Neverwinter Nights 2 and the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game. It's a tale about a retired black ops mercenary whose former life leaves him ensnared in a global conspiracy, and while that has an obvious Deus Ex ring to it, the Star Wars Galaxies TCG angle is important too. The game's "challenges"—combat, hacking computers, that sort of thing—will be resolved by way of a "short strategic card game using a customizable deck." And as is the fashion these days, its makers are now seeking support on Kickstarter.


10 essential Windows 7 applications

PC Gamer at

Windows 8.1 has been out since October 2013, but we still cling to our installs of Windows 7. We love its reliability, even if it's missing some of Windows 8's under-the-hood improvements. If you're also still using Windows 7, your gaming PC is probably loaded with years of accumulated software. But are you using the best? Our colleagues at TechRadar put together a list of the best free programs for Windows 7, and we've boiled that list down to the 10 programs we think are essentials. If you don't have these programs installed already, here's why you should download them.


Metro: Last Light Redux review

PC Gamer at

The reworked version of Metro 2033 in Metro: Last Light's far superior engine makes perfect sense. It offered a chance for 4A Games to go back and fix a ton of things that have been bugging them. To act on lessons learnt from their mistakes the first time round.

The Redux version of Last Light is pretty much the same game as last year.


Hellgate tries its luck with Steam Greenlight

Andy Chalk at

Remember Hellgate: London? It was a near-future action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world shattered by an invasion of demons. The focus was on single-player gameplay but there was a strong multiplayer element to it as well, with PvP action and instanced, team-based quests. It was a cool idea (I thought so, anyway) but the execution faltered, and the servers were taken offline in early 2009. It was resurrected as a free-to-play online game a few years ago, but that didn't gain any traction with North American audiences either. Now it's taking a run at Steam.


Metro 2033 Redux review

PC Gamer at

For years Metro 2033 was used as a benchmark test for the latest graphics cards, so it feels strange to already be seeing a remastered version hit the digital shelves. It’s easy to be cynical and assume that Metro 2033 Redux is aimed squarely at the console market, whose under-TV boxes have only just caught up with Metro 2033’s full majesty. It’s finally a way for living-room dwellers to see what the game is like with all its video options switched on. But what’s the value for PC players?