Civilization studio Firaxis Games annouces the first-ever Firaxicon convention

Andy Chalk at

Firaxicon is coming! But while it may sound like Firkraag's big brother has finally launched his quest for vengeance against the child of Gorion, it is in fact the first-ever videogame convention devoted solely to Firaxis Games, the studio behind the Sid Meier's Civilization series. And yes, it is official.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Phil Savage at

Each week PC Gamer’s writers meld minds until the most significant events of the previous seven days have been chosen. It’s honestly amazing anything gets done around here.

The PC Gamer Show episode 4: SOE Live, Alien Isolation, Velvet Sundown

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode four, Cory travels to SOE Live to interview Sony Online President John Smedley and talk Everquest Next and H1Z1. Meanwhile, back at the office, we take a cruise on the Velvet Sundown and Tim chats with UK editor Chris Thursten about their hands-on time with Alien Isolation.


We have five thousand The Crew beta keys to give away

PC Gamer at

You've read about Andy's coast-to-coast journey, now maybe you'd like to strap in and set off on your own. Or perhaps you'd prefer to cruise the streets of US cities, picking up challenges and proving your skill. Soon you'll be able to do both, as we're giving away 5,000 keys to next week's The Crew beta.

Update: It's all over. That was quick. If you successfully claimed a key, it should be emailed to you in the next few hours.


Minecraft's bountiful 1.8 update pre-released, brings performance improvements and rabbits

Phil Savage at

"Doors and fences now come in all wood type variants," reads one of the patch notes for Minecraft's 1.8: The Bountiful Update, proving that this release is a pretty big deal. Other, less game-changing improvements include new enemies, new blocks, client-side optimisation and other 'under-the-hood' changes. And rabbits. The patch, which officially goes live on Tuesday, 2 September, can now be downloaded in pre-release form by enabling development versions in the Minecraft launcher.


Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury review

Dave James at

However disgruntled I’m becoming about the amount of gaming hardware being named after classical Greek characters, I have to admit to being seriously impressed by the latest Logitech mouse.

It’s being marketed as ‘the world’s fastest gaming mouse’ and to be fair Logitech have got a point. It’s not trading on the sort of crazy-high DPI settings it’s bigger sibling, the G502 Proteus Core, can manage, but it’s capable of tracking your movements however quickly you hurl your gaming rodent around the desktop.


The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 5 trailer confirms there's no going back

Phil Savage at

I'm about to put a lot of trust in Telltale Games. You see, normally it's good form to watch the game trailer that you're posting to a major gaming website. But this one, for Episode 5 of The Walking Dead: Season 2, contains "major" spoilers for the preceding parts. And while yes, I should really have played those episodes by now, there are around 125 other games in my "to play" list. Geeze, people, cut me some slack.

I apologise in advance it this is just five minutes and thirty-six seconds of wall-to-wall dongs.


Dishonored is free on Steam this weekend

Cory Banks at

This is a good weekend for free games. We already told you that Borderlands 2, the Gearbox "looter-shooter," is free on Valve's Steam platform, but you'd rather sneak and assassinate instead, you're in luck. Dishonored is also free to play all weekend long.


Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth preorder bonuses takes inspiration from the cosmos

Andy Chalk at

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is now up for preordering on Steam, and as you might expect that means preorder bonuses. And the Exoplanets Map pack is actually kind of cool: It's a collection of six custom maps inspired by real-world exoplanets.

Legend of Grimrock 2 studio confirms that beta testing has begun

Andy Chalk at

Legend of Grimrock was one of the happier surprises of 2012, not only because it was so good but because it demonstrated how a very old style of game could be successfully brought into the modern era. Developer Almost Human has been plugging away at a sequel since early 2013 and today announced that a major milestone has been reached, as the game is now in beta.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter gets a release date and 13-minute gameplay trailer

Andy Chalk at

I've been looking forward to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter from the very moment that the guys who made Painkiller and Bulletstorm announced that they were working on a "weird fiction horror story" with a focus on exploration and discovery. The team has been coy about it ever since, offering up some very pretty screens and teasers but little in the way of how it will actually play, but today a new Ethan Carter website was opened to the public, bringing with it a firm release date and 13 minutes of gameplay, complete with developer commentary.


A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 2

Wes Fenlon at

In episode two of our Dwarf Fortress Let’s Play, Wes and Will talk through the early steps of building a fortress: setting animals out for grazing, chopping down trees, and digging underground. A fortress is born!


Windows 9 preview set to arrive late September

Dave James at

We're ready for Windows 9 to wash away the sins of Windows 8, and it looks like Microsoft is, too. According to ZDNet's veteran Microsoft reporter, a "technology preview" version of the OS is coming in late September or October, with the final release scheduled for spring 2015. More tantalizing: that technology preview may be freely available to the public.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain multiplayer revealed in new video

Andy Chalk at

A five-minute look at the Mother Base multiplayer in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been revealed, demonstrating how Snake will sneak into other players' bases and steal their dudes.


Robin Williams NPCs found in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta code

Andy Chalk at

A petition calling for an in-game tribute to Robin Williams in World of Warcraft was met with enthusiasm by Blizzard, which quickly announced on Twitter that it was "taking care of it." And it really wasn't kidding.


Minecraft Bukkit team lead tries to end development, but Mojang steps in

Andy Chalk at

The team lead on Bukkit, a Minecraft mod designed to simplify the job of maintaining heavily-modded servers, wrote a lengthy message this morning declaring that development of the mod was being brought to an end. He said changes to the Minecraft EULA, and Mojang's sudden enthusiasm for enforcing its terms, means that "there is little motivation for us to continue limping on across various aspects of the project."


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.