Simulator

World of Warplanes adds PvE bots, improved ground targets and a new map

Andy Chalk at

The trouble with breaking into a game like World of Warplanes is that most of the people you run up against have been playing for months or years already, and are going to use that experience to smack you around mercilessly—and it's hard to get a feel for your fighter if you're being blown out of the sky every 45 seconds. That's a shortcoming the new 1.5 patch goes a long way toward addressing with the introduction of a new PvE mode creatively entitled "Battle Against Bots."


Enemy Starfighter takes a rocket-jockey ride to PAX Prime in new trailer

Andy Chalk at

Back when I was playing (and loving) Homeworld, I would occasionally zoom in to the faux-cockpit view of a fighter and enjoy the scenery as it slashed through convoys of capital ships. It was an exciting perspective, even though the ships weren't directly controllable, which is why I'm so very much looking forward to Enemy Starfighter. As the newest trailer shows, it's the same kind of visual vibe, but now you actually get to fly.


Arena Commander is now open to all backers, adds Capture the Core gameplay mode

Andy Chalk at

With access to Arena Commander now open to all backers, Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium Games has begun the process of beefing up the action through the addition of new game modes. First up is Capture the Core, which as the title suggests is basically Capture the Flag, but in space.


Project CARS compares 2012 to 2014 in side-by-side gameplay trailer

Andy Chalk at

Project CARS has undergone some big changes over the past couple of years. The high-fidelity racing sim from Need for Speed: Shift developer Slightly Mad Studios looked "gorgeous" from the moment it came off the line, but as the new side-by-side comparison trailer shows, it's come a long way since.

SimCity free trial offer launches on Origin

Andy Chalk at

Remember SimCity? Specifically, the disastrous launch of SimCity, followed by a year-long slog to implement a proper offline mode that we'd previously been told wasn't possible? It's the sort of business that might have put you off of buying the game, even at the current, vastly-reduced price of 20 bucks. But if you're curious, you may now indulge yourself without cost, and without risk.


Star Citizen hits $49 million in funding, Chris Roberts explains why that's not enough

Andy Chalk at

The Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign broke the $49 million mark yesterday, a sum that's especially astonishing because it's being thrown at the niche—some would say dead—space combat sim genre. Yet even with all that scratch at his disposal, Cloud Imperium mastermind Chris Roberts wants even more! Why? Well, because he's building a really big game.


Farming Simulator 15 screenshots remind us that simulators can be serious

Phil Savage at

An alert in my email inbox: new Farming Simulator 15 screenshots! Almost without thinking, I move the mouse towards the delete button. But then I pause... No. You know what? We are going to do this. In a world now full of wacky non-sims, we are going to instead give time to the game that earnestly and wholeheartedly wants to simulate the experience of driving and operating farm equipment.

We are going to look at—nay, celebrate—some Farming Simulator 15 screenshots, and by Jove we're going to do it unironically.


EVE: Valkyrie producer explains why VR is good for flight sims but not FPSes

Andy Chalk at

The space combat sim EVE: Valkyrie is a particularly exciting addition to the genre because it's being built from the ground-up to use the Oculus Rift VR headset. Assuming it lives up to the hype, that will make it one of the most uniquely immersive gaming experiences available, as players will have complete freedom of view through their cockpit windows as they yank-and-bank across the galaxy. But despite that great potential, executive producer Owen O'Brien doesn't believe it will herald a new generation of similarly engaging FPSes.


Kerbal Space Program official mod brings the World Cup to space

Phil Savage at

We're into the second stage of the World Cup now, meaning two more weeks of increasingly intense football. That's "we" in the global sense. I don't know how your country of origin performed, but England did not. If you're in a similar position, there are options available to help survive such national disappointment. You could pick a better team to live vicariously through. Or you could download Kerbal Space Program's official 'Kerbin Cup' mod. With it, you're able to take your footballs and hide away in the most desolate reaches of space—away from the harsh reality of underperforming athletes.


Spintires review

Andy Kelly at

Have you ever dreamed of driving an old truck through a rugged Russian wilderness? Then dream no more, because Spintires is here. It could only exist on PC—a simulator so niche it makes Munich Bus Simulator look mainstream—and sees you guiding an array of Soviet off-road vehicles across large stretches of unforgiving countryside. It’s a grueling battle against the elements as you navigate your lump of rusty metal around rickety wooden bridges, dense forests, and swollen rivers.


Obsidian's Armored Warfare E3 trailer mixes recon, artillery and MBTs

Andy Chalk at

I'm still not sure how it is that Obsidian Entertainment ended up doing a multiplayer armored combat simulator, but here it is: The Armored Warfare E3 trailer, a brief gameplay clip demonstrating how recon, MBTs and artillery will work together on the battlefield.


Euro Truck Simulator 2's multiplayer mod releases early video of convoy action

Phil Savage at

Okay, an apology. I used the word "action" in the headline, which may be a little misleading. This is an upcoming multiplayer mod for Euro Truck Simulator 2, after all. At no point does anything explode. Foreign drug dealers don't speed past in convertibles, shooting up the side of each cab with AK47s. We don't even see a heroic figure in a leather jacket jumping between each truck. Instead, a few friends take to the virtual roads of Europe, sharing the perverse sense of belonging that comes with being in a convoy. And sticking to the speed limit.


Take On Mars update takes on Deimos, new weather, and dynamic missions

Phil Savage at

The problem with writing about Take On Mars is that, at some point, I will get that song stuck in my head. This is the curse of being born in the '80s. It's particularly annoying in this instance, because the update doesn't take place on the red planet, but its moon, Deimos, as well as some surrounding asteroids. We'll never know if "Take On Deimos" would prove less ear-worm inducing, but hopefully its trailer's electro-beeps can dispel the New Wave spectre.


Fifa 14 review

Graham Smith at

FIFA strives to mimic the off-pitch strategy and on-pitch tactics of real football, and in the 12 months spent with each annual iteration, its fans become accustomed to the weight of its physics and the subtleties of its animations. As one of those fans, I’ve learnt the possible arcs of an aerial through ball, and the movements of teammates off the ball. When you’re so carefully attuned to the small details that make up a game, even a sequel that changes very little still manages to change everything.


14 space games you should be excited about right now

Chris Schilling at

Space games are coming back. The Kickstarter success of big projects like Star Citizen have reminded everyone that there's still an audience for games set in the big black. New tech like the Oculus Rift gives us new ways to enjoy shooting lasers at other spaceships and the massive hardware leaps we've enjoyed since the glory days of X-Wing and Freespace 2 can support prettier spcace games built by smaller teams.

We've rounded up 14 of the most exciting candidates. Some are looking for funding on Kickstarter or upvotes on Greenlight, others are already out, but are still growing and being updated regularly. If you like space games, these are the ones you should be keeping an eye on right now.


Now playing: flying to the Mun in the Kerbal Space Program

Phil Savage at

I have been steadily progressing through my Kerbal Space Program to-do list. My last major milestone was landing on the moon (or ‘Mun’, as the Kerbals call it). A little too enthusiastically, as it turned out. My capsule ran out of fuel during the descent, and sped helplessly towards its surface. On the upside, it got a great area-ofeffect radius. I landed all over that moon.

The next step is to reach the Mun without reducing my Kerbals to green paste. It’s a logical progression, but one that will be dramatically more complicated – in part because it requires me to start caring about the safety of these oblivious alien astronauts. Previously, there had been little reason to ensure their survival. When one died, another automatically stepped up to the cockpit, fully trained and unconcerned about reasons for the sudden job vacancy.


Prison Architect diary: building a holiday camp for crims. Welcome to Stabshank

Andy Kelly at

Welcome to Stabshank, a maximum security penitentiary that I’m about to flood with murderers, thieves, videogame pirates and other ruthless criminal scum. The best way to play Prison Architect is to start with calmer, less stabby minimum security prisoners, then bring in the psychopaths when your security is more solid, but I won’t be doing that. I’m going to fill my basic lowcapacity prison with some really, really bad people and a skeleton crew of guards.

As each truck of convicts rolls in, I’m going to pick one and follow them. I want to see how deep the simulation goes, and whether their crimes dictate their behaviour. I’ll track their lives until they die, escape or are otherwise incapacitated.

I won’t be installing metal detectors at the front gate or in the canteen, so any contraband – shivs, drugs, forks, etc – will be freely circulating. I don’t want Stabshank to be too efficient or secure. I want these guys to get angry, because the angrier they get, the more likely they are to do something interesting. By which I mean stabbing.


Euro Truck Simulator 2 heads east for its first DLC expansion

Phil Savage at

News of a Euro Truck Simulator 2 expansion shipped out a few weeks ago. It took a while to get here, though: arriving on the back of a lorry pocked with dents, it's many fines and tickets flapping about the windscreen. Having played the game, I sympathise. Now that it's here we can delve into info about the game's first DLC, Going East, which adds a number of Eastern European cities to the game.


Garbage Truck Simulator 2011 review

Steve Hogarty at

There are several glaring inaccuracies in this sim. You’re unable, for instance, to smash my gate up. Or leave everyone’s wheelie bins strewn all over my street as if you think that’s an acceptable way to do your job.