Rust dev reveals prototype for Deuce, the game where tennis and Street Fighter collide

Tom Sykes at

Reaction to their recent announcement of a new game—Riftlight—involved more flaming pitchforks than Facepunch Studios may have anticipated, but that hasn't put them off from revealing another one. Deuce (working title) is being described as "tennis crossed with Street Fighter" and—OK, we're going to have to examine that a little bit. Expect over-the-top characters, themed arenas and extravagant special moves: for instance, a teleport power that swaps the direction of the ball mid-flight. *Andy Murray's sullen head perks up in interest*.


Thief: Deadly Shadows mod removes mid-mission loads, redesigns transition zones

Tom Sykes at

Here's a little something to get the taste of the recent Thief reboot out of your mouth. Industrious, possibly Hammerite modders have been working on a Gold mod for Deadly Shadows for a while now, which among other things removes the loading transitions that were a bit of an annoyance in the original game. While these haven't been excised from the tutorial or the between-mission city hub—and by 'excised' I mean the constituent map parts have been carefully stitched together—the nine main missions have been lovingly reworked. Thief 3 Gold has just left beta, if you want to try it out.


Unrest review

Andy Kelly at

Unrest is a roleplaying game in the literal sense. In a vision of ancient India lightly dusted with fantasy elements, you briefly inhabit and guide the lives of a cast of very different, and unusual, characters. You don't play as a warrior or a wizard, but a girl facing the prospect of an arranged marriage, a starving child living in a slum, and others. It's an intriguing setup.

Dialogue is the focus. There's a lot of text here - enough to give Planescape: Torment a run for its money - and you'll spend the majority of the short 2-3 hour running time reading. Luckily it's all decently written, although I found it a little too earnest. Some lighter moments would have been welcome, even though, to be fair, that might have jarred with the subject matter. It's a mature tale of politics, corruption, war, famine, and religion that can get very heavy at times.


Z: Steel Soldiers returns to active duty, with reworked art and controls

Tom Sykes at

The Bitmap Brothers' robo-RTS sequel Z: Steel Soldiers is set to relaunch on Steam tonight, 13 years after its original release. TickTock Games are handling the port, while KISS and Kavcom are publishing. We can expect "significantly enhanced 3D graphics", apparently, along with reworked controls—compared with images of the original game, it does look a whole lot less flatter and smudgier. As a result, the game's system requirements have also shot up a fair few notches—but there's a good chance you'll be able to run it anyway.


Guild Wars 2 fan video is superbly edited, unbelievably cheerful

Phil Savage at

I sometimes forget how much time, effort and heart people will dedicate to a single game. Where I'll skim the ocean of my Steam library—fully aware that I'll one day drown—others live happily on the island of their chosen hobby. That dedication and belonging spills out of these games, too. There's fan art, fan videos, and yes, likely some questionable fan-fic. There's something joyous about that, especially when—as is the case of this amazing Guild Wars 2 fan-made video—it's backed by a catchy pop song.


Risk of Rain update to add two new classes, one of which owns a grappling hook

Tom Sykes at

In lieu of a promised Arena mode, Risk of Rain developers Hopoo Games are adding two new classes to their sidescrolling genre mashup instead. (It's basically a MOBA roguelike, although that doesn't feel quite right as a descriptor either.) There's no word on how these classes will behave yet, but there is a brief gif revealing that one of them will have hydraulic arms and a grappling hook. You know, like your mum. This automatically makes them the best class in any game.


CoD: Ghosts trailer details Nemesis map pack, includes mine carts and smallest-ever CoD map

Tom Sykes at

It's strange to hear developers boast about how small the maps in their newest map pack are, but I hear just that in this trailer for CoD: Ghosts' final piece of DLC, Nemesis. This adds some "small-to-medium"-sized maps based around the themes 'mine cart level', 'wintry submarine base' and 'please desecrate this lovely Chinese village', along with a remake of the "smallest map ever made for Call of Duty": Shipment (now called Showtime). This one's a futuristic, Smash TV-style game show, replete with a cheesy announcer commentating on the killy goings-on. The DLC also adds the final bit to the game's full-on sci-fi Extinction mode. Exodus will see you coming face-to-elongated-face with the Ancestors, ie XCOM-ish psionic aliens. The trailer is below.


Titanfall 'Frontier's Edge' map pack is out now, see it in action here

Shaun Prescott at

Titanfall's Frontier's Edge map pack is out today, so you might as well watch this video showing off the three new arenas. Impressions based on the above footage are mostly positive, though it's a shame there's nothing as aesthetically bracing as 'War Games' from the Expedition pack. The colour palettes don't really depart from what we've seen before.


Minecraft 'Head Into The Clouds' contest has some breathtaking creations

Shaun Prescott at

I still play Minecraft a lot. Usually I build fortresses and islands in the sky, and I'm often very happy with my airbourne sanctuaries. Not anymore though, because the entries in Planet Minecraft's 'Head Into The Clouds' contest easily put everything I've done to shame.


Beyond Good And Evil 2 is still happening; will 'push past the boundaries of proverbial sequel'

Shaun Prescott at

It's been six years since Ubisoft first hinted at a Beyond Good & Evil sequel. Following news overnight that creator Michel Ancel will launch his own independent studio, Ubisoft spokespeople confirmed that not only will he continue to work on in-progress titles at Ubisoft Montpellier, but that one of them is the long-awaited Beyond Good & Evil 2.


BioWare adds new "Spark" teaser to "You've Been Chosen" website

Andy Chalk at

A new teaser entitled "Spark" has appeared on BioWare's "You've Been Chosen" website. It's slightly longer than the "Nightmare" video that turned up last week, but unfortunately it's not any more informative.


Mastertronic lays off nearly half its staff as it seeks insolvency protection

Andy Chalk at

The original Mastertronic actually disappeared in the mid-90s, but it was reborn in 2004 when one of the original founders, Frank Herman, helped negotiate the purchase of the name from Sega. Sadly, ten years later the company is once again facing a bleak future, as it has announced plans to close its headquarters, lay off 40 percent of its staff and completely exit the business of publishing physical copies of games.


SpeedRunners review (Early Access)

Emanuel Maiberg 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.

SpeedRunners takes the fast, challenging 2D platforming from games like N and Super Meat Boy, throws in three other players via local multiplayer or online matchmaking, and lets them race one another. That idea on its own is lighting in a bottle, but there are a few other subtle things that SpeedRunners does to make every match exciting, funny, and always worth playing for just one more round.

Hatoful Boyfriend, the "pigeon dating sim," takes flight in August

Andy Chalk at

I want to play Hatoful Boyfriend. Not because I'm into avian amore, but because the mere concept of a "pigeon dating simulator" is so utterly bizarre that I feel compelled to fire it up and see what it's all about. And in roughly three weeks time, I will finally be able to satisfy my twisted curiosity—with a swanky collector's edition, no less.


Pixel Boost: Sid Meier's Pirates!

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of hi-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Yarr!.

First, there were pirates, the sea dogs of the the 17th century Caribbean. Then there were Pirates!, who were very similar, except they lived inside computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II and were created by Sid Meier in 1987. Finally, there are 2004's Pirates!, who sail the Caribbean as salty 3D scalawags instead of tiny blocky pixel sprites. Pirates, Pirates! and 3D Pirates! all do mostly the same things--plunder booty, trade stolen goods, and swordfight with Spanish sailors. 2013's Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag may have the more exciting swordfighting, but the greatest piracy simulation of them all is still 2004's Sid Meier's Pirates!. Meier's classic blend of fun minigames and strategy hasn't been replicated in a pirate game since, but that's okay—Pirates! still runs just fine on modern Windows, and at high resolution, too.

Updated: Curse of Naxxramas Plague Quarter bugs persist, but progress being made

Andy Chalk at

Update: Blizzard is making progress on the Plague Quarter issues, but serious problems remain. In an update posted today, the studio said it has fixed the bugs that caused players to be charged twice for Plague Quarter access, that denied access to the Plague Quarter after successfully completing the purchase and that caused an improper appearance of the "Closed" sign on the in-game shop. Unfortunately, the fixes are only good for players who haven't previously run into trouble; if you've already encountered the bugs, their effects will remain on your account and the current fix will do you no good.

Problems with payments giving the "Waiting for authorization" and "Another transaction is still in progress" messages, and players being prompted to purchase access to the Arachnid Quarter for zero currency are still under investigation.

Final Fantasy XIV launches free two-week trial program

Andy Chalk at

Just two weeks after inviting inactive Final Fantasy XIV players back for a free weekend, Square Enix is now offering free two-week trials to everyone—with a few restrictions, of course.


No coding required: How new designers are using GameMaker to create indie smash hits

PC Gamer at

In May 2013, Tom Francis opened preorders for his 2D stealth hacking game Gunpoint. By the time Gunpoint actually went on sale, a week later, Francis had already made enough money to quit his job at PC Gamer and focus on game development full-time. But for many people, the biggest surprise came not from the game's amazing performance three days after release, but rather the way it was made—that it was developed using a tool called GameMaker.

GameMaker: Studio, the latest version of the tool, has been developed by YoYoGames since 2006. Its goal is to break down the game development process into something approachable and easy to learn, shifting the main challenge facing game designers from technical knowledge to creative ability. But in part because of this ease-of-use, GameMaker has carried a stigma that it wasn't capable or worthy of powering high-quality, "professional" games. ("I can't believe you made this in GameMaker!" Francis recalls people saying. "That's so impressive!")


Gearbox seeks removal from Aliens: Colonial Marines class action lawsuit

Andy Chalk at

Gearbox Software was slapped with a lawsuit last year over the hot mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, and specifically that the final product was a far cry from what was promised in "actual gameplay" demos displayed at E3. Gearbox quickly dismissed the action as "frivolous" but otherwise remained quiet on the matter until yesterday, when lawyers for the studio filed multiple motions seeking to have it removed from the action.


Firefall review in progress, part two: more missions, currency and crafting

Phil Savage at

Firefall, the free-to-play MMO shooter, is now available. As per PC Gamer's reviews policy, MMOs aren't scored until our reviewer has spent time with the public release. This, then, is part two of a review-in-progress, charting Phil's initial impressions with the game. You'll find part one here.

Things get off to an interesting start. I log in and head towards a new area, and the new campaign mission I've unlocked. As I make my way toward the mission flag, I'm alerted to some "seismic activity". The warning is coming from a resource node. Sensing it would be a bad idea, I blow it up anyway. Yes, it was a bad idea. An insectoid creature emerges from the ground, much higher than my current level. It's takes a few swipes from my health, but, with plenty of jetpack strafing, I manage to bring it down.