Epic share a work-in-progress Unreal Tournament level

Phil Savage at

Here's some "working concept art" from the upcoming Unreal Tournament. And it does look like concept art, thanks to the clean environments and stylised lighting. In fact, this is an early look at a work-in-progress level.


Steam Music moves into open beta, desktop interface now available

Phil Savage at

I've spent the last few minutes prodding the Steam Music beta. You can, too: it's now open to all who want to try it. It's, er, well basically, it's an mp3 player. But one that you can access in-game, through the Steam overlay. Yes, I know, not revolutionary, but there are a some reasons why it might be useful.


Titanfall update 5 will introduce a Black Market for Burn Cards and insignia

Shaun Prescott at

Soon you'll be able to purchase Burn Card packs and fancy Titan adornments in a new Titanfall marketplace. The Black Market is 'coming soon' as part of the game's fifth major update, which will also introduce daily challenges and several bug fixes. The Black Market unlocks at level 11 and allows players to purchase Burn Card packs and Insignia with in-game credits. At this stage, real world currency will not be supported.


Crysis 3 lead producer Mike Read leaves Crytek amid reports of financial strife

Shaun Prescott at

Following reports of financial strife at Crytek, another high-profile staffer has left the company. Crysis 3 lead producer Mike Read is now a 'former' producer at Crytek, according to both his LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. It follows news last week that the company's principle graphics engineer Tiago Sousa has defected to id Software.


Beasts of Prey review (Early Access)

Patrick Carlson at

Alpha and Early Access reviews offer our preliminary verdicts on in-development games. We may follow up this unscored review with a final, scored review in the future. Read our full review policy for details.

Beasts of Prey is for builders and I’m hard at work. I’ve already scavenged enough stone and wood to piece together a crafting bench and a furnace. With a good supply of lumber and a selection of metal ores smelting away, I’m making progress towards a home of my own. But I’ve also got self-defense in mind. I’ve been active on the game’s official PvP server for a couple hours already this session, and I have yet to see another player. Feeling secure in my solitude, despite the countless buildings that dot the hills, beaches and forests, I set out to stock up on resources.

Yogventures developer "as confused as everyone else" about Kickstarter funds

Andy Chalk at

The biggest question currently hanging over the collapse of Yogventures is the fate of the $150,000 in Kickstarter funds that Winterkewl Games founder Kris Vale says went to Yogscast shortly after the Kickstarter concluded. Vale claims a contract specifying how the money was to be used was never drawn up but the amount is roughly triple what the studio estimated as the cost for physical rewards, and he's "just as confused as everyone else" about what happened to the rest of it.


Righting the ship: a look at Elder Scrolls Online's future

Leif Johnson at

"Look up, here it comes," the guy behind me whispers. There's something akin to reverence in his voice. I look up at the screen on QuakeCon's main stage to see footage of some thug pilfering the crates and boxes surrounding a shopkeeper's stand, taking care to avoid her gaze. The text accompanying each of the items is red; he's stealing. A guard catches him, and he's asked to hand over the value of the items, which amounts to a measly five gold. He obliges. The guy behind me is snickering now, and I hear a slap that must be a high-five he shared with his friend.

The perspective shifts; we're now behind the twin blades of some Nightblade slinking about the Daggerfall Covenant town of Wayrest. He sneaks up behind poor Phillic Menant, who's just strolling over to chat with the local stablemaster. The blades flash, Phillic falls with a bloody splash, and the crowd around me collectively leans forward. This is something new; something unexpected. "We'd like to encourage everybody to start killing NPCs in the game," says Paul Sage, ESO's creative director, just as we see an archer fire an arrow through an NPC enjoying the morning air. And the entire crowd goes wild.


The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection goes free for all on Origin

Andy Chalk at

Earlier this month, Electronic Arts announced that The Sims 2 was being "retired," and that to make up for the loss, anyone who owns it would be upgraded to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin at no charge. But today that deal got a whole lot more Oprah, as EA is now offering the game to everyone, on the house—even thought it's not actually an On the House promotion.


Interview: Cliff Bleszinski on Project BlueStreak, PC gaming, FPS design, moddability

Evan Lahti at

Earlier this month Cliff Bleszinski revealed his next project: a free-to-play, PC-focused arena shooter called Project BlueStreak created by Boss Key Productions, his new studio. Following a Reddit AMA that answered some surface-level questions about the game, I spoke with Bleszinski about what sort of shooter he’s hoping to create.


New Steam Controller image suggests Valve adding an analog stick

Andy Chalk at

The latest Steam client beta carries with an interesting surprise: An update image of the Steam Controller buried deep within its files.


Red Hood joins Batman: Arkham Knight as GameStop-exclusive preorder bonus DLC

Andy Chalk at

GameStop has confirmed that the Red Hood will be offered as exclusive pre-order DLC for the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight. This in itself is not surprising—GameStop teased the announcement yesterday with a pixelated but clearly red-capped image on Twitter—but it might just offer a hint about the true identity of the mysterious Arkham Knight.


Exclusive: Shadowgate release date and new side-by-side comparison trailer

Cory Banks at

Shadowgate was a brutally-hard Mac (and later NES) adventure game, where one failed puzzle could murder you and force you to start all over. The remake that Zojoi Studios has coming updates those visuals for the modern age, but keeps the puzzles difficult and the atmosphere dark. When I spoke to developer Karl Roelofs last month about the game's progress, the team still wasn't sure about its release date. Now that date is set, and Zojoi has exclusively revealed it to us, along with a trailer that shows off Shadowgate's commitment to its history.

Minecraft snapshot 14w30b brings "major" improvements to optimization

Phil Savage at

Minecraft is a CPU intensive game, not that its players seem to mind. I've seen teens hunched over laptops, merrily battling single digit frame-rates in order to expand their Creative repertoire. Does it have to be this way? Mojang think not. Their latest Minecraft Snapshot lets player trial what they refer to as "major optimizations" to the client's rendering, hopefully making for a smoother game.


We're giving away a million Steam keys for GTR Evolution, with Bundle Stars

PC Gamer at

We're finishing our five-week, million-key giveaway bonanza with the fastest game of the bunch. Grab yourself a free Steam key and blast off into the sunset with a copy of GTR Evolution, the expansion to the lauded Race 07, which is also included in this week's free bundle. GTR Evo gives you a selection of 49 GT cars to drive across 19 tracks, and the original Race 07 package includes 32 additional tracks, including classics like Monza and the Nürburgring, and 300 cars to crash. If you've never tried racing games before, GTR Evo is a great place to start. Claim your free Steam key below.


Final Fantasy XIV guild holds pride parade to celebrate update 2.4's same-sex marriage

Phil Savage at

Back at E3, Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida announced that the upcoming 2.4 update would allow any two players to marry in-game, regardless of race, nation or gender. To celebrate, one in-game guild organised a "Pixel Parade", taking to the virtual streets for a rainbow-themed party. Finally, a good reason for the MMO genre's obsession with dyes.


Aorus get into the peripheral game with an MMO mouse

Dave James at

Gigabyte’s new gaming offshoot, Aorus, is branching out from slimline gaming laptops and taking a shot at peripherals. The first is the Thunder M7, an MMO/MOBA mouse with a lovely embossed presentation case and more buttons than you’ve got fingers.


Dead Rising 3 launching as Apocalypse Edition on PC, will include Untold Stories DLCs

Phil Savage at

Games have really diluted the sense of excitement and fear that should be conveyed by the word "apocalypse". Also from the words "dead", "rising", and "3". Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse edition should be an emotive name. Really, they may as well have called it Dead Meandering 3: Irritation Edition. Still, whatever the name, maybe its contents will be to your liking. Capcom have announced that all PC versions of the game are being upgraded to this special edition, and will come bundled with the four Untold Stories DLC packs.


Palit's GTX 750 Ti employs passive cooling for quiet, low-power performance

Dave James at

Graphics card manufacturers, Palit, must be fans of PC Gamer as they've obviously seen my jury-rigged, passively-cooled GTX 750 Ti from April and surely been inspired to create their own.

Hubris aside, the Palit GTX 750 Ti KalmX has taken the standard reference design from Nvidia and strapped a hefty heatsink atop the GPU. Not only that but the copper base also covers the power components. Because they’ve followed the reference design, the GTX 750 Ti KalmX doesn’t require any external PCIe power connectors to run in your machine. That makes it a great choice for a small form factor, living room machine, combining a small footprint, low power requirements and completely silent operation.


Episodic adventure Majestic Nights promises '80s thrills in a world where all conspiracies are true

Phil Savage at

File this one under: "please, please be good". The Australian-based Epiphany Games have just announced Majestic Nights, an '80s role-playing thriller about a world chock full of conspiracy and danger. The description is, in so many ways, my jam: containing phrases like "hidden intrigue", "loose cannon" and "brash 1980s". For now, though, the developers are covering up how the game will play—instead choosing to focus its announcement trailer on setting the mood.


Heroes of the Storm will soon introduce customisable 'Artifact' slots

Shaun Prescott at

Wondering where you're going to spend all that Heroes of the Storm gold? Blizzard has announced it will introduce a whole new progression system in the next Technical Alpha patch. In a nutshell, it's basically HotS's equivalent to League of Legends' Runes: there are three Artifact slots all up, with the first available free once the player has reached Level 15. After that, players will need to pay gold in order to unlock the second two.