Guild Wars 2 trailer promises Entanglement (read: vines) in next Living World episode

Tom Sykes at

The second season of Guild Wars 2's Living World story is well underway, with last week's Gates of Maguuma taking players to the arid Maguuma Wastes, which I hear are lovely this time of year. Now, ArenaNet have begun to tease the next episode, Entanglement, which will arrive on July 15th—exactly one week from today. The trailer suggests we're in for a viney, gianty old time, which would mean that my horoscope was right.


Dota 2's The International starts today

Phil Savage at

Dota 2's The International is here. While the finals won't kick-off until Friday, 18th June, the playoffs for the main competition's few remaining places will start in just a few hours. Here's why you should be excited. One: it's the biggest event in e-sports, with a prize pool of over $10 million. Two: this year, Valve are providing multiple ways to watch, with a separate stream dedicated to those unfamiliar with the game.


Smart puzzle roguelike The Nightmare Cooperative releasing on Steam next week

Tom Sykes at

The Nightmare Cooperative has come a long way since its clever browser-based prototype back in March. It's still clever, but now it's gorgeous too, boasting a lovely angular art style that fits the turn-based puzzling like a glove. This new version of the single-player co-op roguelike (I'll get to that in a moment) now has a trailer, along with a release date: Wednesday July 16th. Thoughts and moving images after the break.

EA explain why The Sims 4 won't feature pools or toddlers

Tom Sykes at

Sims fans are a bit miffed that The Sims 4 won't feature pools or toddlers, two seemingly small details that have nonetheless caused a fair bit of outrage over the last couple of weeks. I imagine much of the anger is less about which features are missing in 4, and more about why features present in previous entries haven't been included in this latest version—the worry being that EA might be holding them back for one of The Sims' many, many, many expansion packs. That worry probably won't be mollified by EA's latest blog post addressing the matter, but it does explain the reasons behind the decision not to include those two features. Essentially, it was a trade-off with the game's new AI, animation system, build mode, Create a Sim etc.


Now Playing Live: PC Gamer play ArmA 3: Zeus, today at 2:30pm BST

Phil Savage at

This afternoon, PC Gamer will be at the mercy of a vengeful, Scottish god. We'll be playing Zeus, ArmA III's on-the-fly adventure mode, where we'll be subjected to the trials and tribulations of our own Andy Kelly. The action kicks off at 2.30pm BST—check here for local times—and will run until we've experienced the full scope of Andy's twisted design.


Alien: Isolation's Oculus Rift demo just a prototype, no VR version in active development

Tom Sykes at

Richard Wordsworth had a grand, terrifying old time with the Oculus Rift demo for Alien: Isolation, but it looks like it will remain just that, for the time being at least: a demo. Speaking to Eurogamer, Sega confirmed that "it's just a prototype and does not represent a game currently in development at this point in time". After watching the following trailer for said prototype, your boos and hisses are likely to increase in both volume and frequency.


Dwarf Fortress 0.40.01 released, in-game graphics now possible

Tom Sykes at

Yesterday, the monumental Dwarf Fortress received its first update in two years: update 0.40.01. The patch notes include various baffling and excellent sentences like "megabeasts/forgotten beasts can attack, destroy and then reside within world gen sites like dwarf fortresses" and "startled people climb up the walls of their homes a little too often"—you can find the full breakdown on the DF site. Perhaps the most interesting part of this latest development is what it more or less breaks—the in-game graphics that are now possible with the latest version of Stonesense, the Dwarf Fortress visualiser that until now has only been able to run alongside the game. Now this can be integrated into the main game proper, albeit more stably if you choose to use it on the older version of DF from 2012. Details below.


Oculus Connect developer conference announced, Carmack and Luckey to keynote

Shaun Prescott at

Oculus VR will host its first developer conference this September. Oculus Connect will bring together "engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world" to discuss virtual reality technology. Best of all, the conference will sate our annual urge to see John Carmack speak at length about his work, given that he won't be attending QuakeCon this year as per usual.


Star Wars: The Old Republic 'Galactic Strongholds' player housing detailed

Shaun Prescott at

Announced back in March, the SW:TOR Galactic Strongholds expansion will introduce player housing to the space opera MMO. While the expansion's Early Access was recently delayed until August, a new BioWare update provides some nitty-gritty on how the free expansion will work and all the fancy things you'll be able to do with your virtual digs.


Paradox Interactive CEO explains why he hates DRM

Andy Chalk at

Just about everyone has an opinion about "digital rights management," better known by its acronym DRM. Most gamers don't like it, unless it's Steam, in which case they love it; CD Projekt and GOG have spoken out against it for years, while Square Enix recently said DRM is "essential for the foreseeable future." Now Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester has waded into the fray, saying he believes that the only effective way to prevent piracy is to make legal copies of games a better option.


Epic unleashes new Unreal Tournament concept art, development podcast

Andy Chalk at

Epic Games has posted more than a dozen pieces of concept art from its upcoming FPS Unreal Tournament. It's all very early-stage stuff, but the images give us a glimpse of who we'll be shooting at, with what, and where.


Bundle in a Box comes to an end next month

Andy Chalk at

Kyttaro Games, the studio behind the Bundle in a Box, says that despite its best efforts, the evolution of game bundles from occasional indie phenomenon to ubiquitous mainstream sales tool has left it unable to maintain the effort.


Minecraft meets Civilization in fan-made CivilizationCraft mod

Andy Chalk at

"CivilizationCraft" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but I don't imagine too many players will get hung up on the name. After all, an open-source multiplayer mod that recreates a very Civilization-like experience in Minecraft is such a good idea, it's almost dangerous.


Mighty No. 9 launches new crowdfunding campaign for English voice acting

Andy Chalk at

Keiji Inafune's Mega Man follow-up Mighty No. 9 was one of the most successful videogame Kickstarters ever, pulling in $3.85 million last year, more than four times its original goal. Combined with money earned through a separate PayPal campaign, the total funding amount broke $4 million, enough to nail every stretch goal the Comcept development team could cook up. But full English voice acting wasn't included among those goals, and so now a new crowdfunding campaign has been launched seeking another $100,000 to get it in there.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Project CARS

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Not to downplay my heroics or anything, but Project CARS isn't hard to make look nice. It's the Kate Moss of videogames. If it's not native 4K support or a bevvy of visual options making my job easier, then it's the incredibly useful hotkeys: ctrl + F triggers free cam, ctrl + P cycles through filters, and P stops time entirely. You can even put the AI in charge of your car with ctrl + I to free up your camera-clicking fingers.

Spelunky SD mod introduces online co-op to the classic roguelike platformer

Phil Savage at

Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.


League of Legends to get Intro Bots mode, designed to help new players

Phil Savage at

Lane-pushing games are notoriously difficult to learn. There are basic principles, sure—kill things; don't be killed by things—but beyond that, there are a multitude of quirks, rules and abilities to learn. It's a process that can take hundreds of hours, which means, for a game's newbiest players, some form of tutorial is essential. In a recent post, Riot admit that their existing methods to teach new players aren't entirely adequate—something they hope to fix with their upcoming Intro Bots mode.


Wings of Saint Nazaire is a retro space combat game, available to try in free open alpha

Phil Savage at

Thanks largely to Kickstarter's ability to capitalise on nostalgic desire, space combat sims are in a much healthier place than they were. From Star Citizen to Elite, the days of not pretending to be in space are nearly at an end. But if your desire for a successor to Wing Commander or X-Wing extends to aesthetics, as well as genre, then maybe you'll be interested in Wings of Saint Nazaire—a deliberately retro-styled shooter that's currently in open alpha.


Here's how Battlefield 4 celebrated Independence Day

Phil Savage at

For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.


Half-Life 2 mod NeoTokyo released as standalone package on Steam

Phil Savage at

Competitive first-person shooters love to depict the gritty 'realism' of soldiers locked in an endless war of explosions and swearing. NeoTokyo isn't entirely different, but supplements its urgent shooting with cyberpunk and a nice soundtrack. After being successfully Greenlit in 2012, the Half-Life 2 mod is finally available to download directly from Steam—now entirely free from its SDK dependencies.