Zoom. Wizards. Zoooom. Clothes. Zoooooooom. Sheep. What else is lurking inside this week's roundup of the best free games? It's time to go deeper. Zooooooooooooooooooom. How about a robot-based shoot-'em-up, a camera-based shoot-'em-up, and an isometric mix of Syndicate and Deus Ex? That'll do nicely – now how do you make this camera zoom out?
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not just a candidate for the best/worst-named game of all time - it's also a curious, OTT offshoot of Konami's famous sneak-'em-up series, made by the masters of fast-paced action titles, Platinum Games. A PC version was announced several months ago, but since then things have been unusually quiet for ridiculously outfitted cyborg ninja Raiden. UNTIL NOW. Konami have revealed on their official podcast, KP Alert!, that the port is in its "final stages" and coming "sooner than you might imagine". More than that, "you'll be seeing it pop up on Steam any day now". To paraphrase one of Metal Gear's stupid guards, "!"
Eagle-eyed readers (and, indeed, human-eyed eagles) may have noticed that Wasteland 2's beta version was released to Kickstarter backers yesterday. There was much rejoicing among those who stumped up to fund the game, because Wasteland 2. But what about the rest of us? When do we get to click and talk and shoot our way across inXile's scorpion-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland? Right now, in fact - the game is now on Steam Early Access for your consideration.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, it's time for another trip to our very own City 17; a shooter from somewhere around Russia whose alien invasion seems... just a little familiar.
I think the main character is called "Jim Fail". There aren't any intro subtitles. I may just be mishearing. But I really hope not, because a world with an action hero called Jim Fail is one that I want to live in. Not his specific world, obviously. This one. Where we can just sit and giggle at the idea of a hero called Jim Fail. Better make it quick though, because the aliens on his trail have no sense of humour.
Or much in the way of sense, for that matter. But they do know how to rock Dolce Gabbana.
A few days ago, a stranger on Twitter half-jokingly informed me I should add "Starbound PR" to my list of credentials. I protested, of course, but the truth of the matter is that I've probably spent more time evangelizing Chucklefish's procedurally generated, sci-fi sandbox exploratory thing than I have championing Dota 2. Which is a little worrying because DotA is the game I spent a decade playing.
Put on your boot partitions—the SteamOS beta has released to the public alongside the initiation of its beta program, which will put 300 prototype Steam Machines into the wild. For the estimated 7,129,999,700 of us not selected for that program, a living room machine running the new, free, Linux-based OS is still doable, though installing it may require some tinkering—Valve suggests you wait until 2014 unless you're an "intrepid Linux hacker." Challenge accepted.
Oculus VR, the company that's developing the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles you want for Christmas, has secured another $75 million in Series B funding. This is in addition to the $16 million it raised in Series A in June, which it must have placed on top of the $2.4 million pile of cash it raised in the initial Kickstarter campaign.
Elite: Dangerous, the in-progress space sim from Frontier Developments, has released an alpha build to a group of especially-committed supporters of its Kickstarter project. The buy-in for participation in this phase of the alpha process was about $325, but that hasn't stopped the developer from releasing some new and intriguing footage to perhaps rustle up a few more potential pilots.
2x2 Games has released Black Turn: Operation Barbarossa, the newest DLC for its historical strategy game, Unity of Command. The expansion focuses on the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the titular Operation Barbarossa. It pits the well-equipped German army against the Soviets' great numbers and the brutal Russian winter.
If you're familiar with Spike's "Deadliest Warrior" television show, then you know what's in store with Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior, the newest DLC release for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It pits six warrior archetypes from throughout history—Samurai, Ninja, Viking, Knight, Spartan, and Pirate—against one another in brutal online multiplayer combat, the hook being that each class brings unique strengths and weaknesses to the battlefield. Heavily armored knights are slow and lumbering but hit like an angry Hulk, while Ninja are protected by nothing but speed and smoke but will kill you five times before you hit the ground.
When you leap from an air vehicle, kill another air vehicle, and then safely return to the cockpit of your undestroyed air vehicle, it's called a "rendezook." The signature Battlefield technique has been around for quite a while, but that doesn't make its modern attempts any less novel. I spotted this "rendeplast" maneuver from YouTuber ponylionHD (the "plast" suffix refers to C4, I'm assuming), who I also see practiced this technique on some larger targets in BF4.
Tribes: Ascend was unfortunately llama-dropped by developer Hi-Rez studios earlier this year, but now the community has rallied to build an unofficial software development kit and server hosting solution. As posted in a thread in the Tribes subreddit, this will allow the community to host and support versions of Ascend in place of continuing official support from Hi-Rez. Hi-Rez’s reaction, however, is the big unknown: players using modded software and hosting modded servers could be vulnerable to bans or cease and desist orders from the developer.
Blizzard has detailed some of the major changes coming to Diablo III in patch 2.0.1, which is currently still in development and available for testing on the Public Test Realm. Highlights include the ability to form Clans, Cursed Chests events, changes to item stats and drops, and a completely revamped difficulty system.
Frictional Games earned several slots in our round up of the best horror games on PC, and deservedly so with games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent under their belt. But what of their next venture, SOMA? This sinister sci-fi horror was teased with a series of live-action videos before being revealed to be another exploratory first-person horror game, this time set in a Giger-esque world of dark, undulating cables and exposed brains. Time for a chat with Frictional Games creative director Thomas Grip to discover the thinking behind his latest horror.
Thirteen is an unlucky number. Mirrors smash in its presence, black cats dart under ladders for safety, and witch's pour a cocktail of salt and rabbits' feet into opened umbrellas. Thirteen million, on the other hand, is a very lucky number, especially if you're a member of Mojang. Ultra-phenome-megagame Minecraft has now exceeded that number in PC sales. That's - as of writing - 13,000,447 people who have punched a cube tree with their cube fist.
It's taken me a while to realise this, but the Half-Life games must be set in a fictional universe where everyone's a complete badass. I'd always thought Gordon Freeman was the exception, but now I'm not so sure. What about Barney? A security guard for scientists. Not a lot of action in that job, but he still made it through the Blue Shift expansion and then later infiltrated an alien police force. Now look at the protagonist of Half-Life mod The Core. A mild-mannered engineer? Nope. As you can see from this new trailer, he's jumping between crates and gunning down aliens with the best of them.
It's been over a year since Pillars of Eternity - formerly Project Eternity - raised nearly $4 million through its Kickstarter campaign. Despite being set in a brand new fiction and using a redesigned combat system, Obsidian's isometric RPG is heavily and unashamedly inspired by Dungeons & Dragons based Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment.
With production now well underway, I spoke to the game's project director Josh Sawyer, formerly the lead designer of Icewind Dale 2, about Pillars of Eternity's combat, characters and setting, and how the team are moving beyond D&D.
Earlier this week the Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton edition was updated with the level editor, Steam Workshop support and a guide explaining how it all works. AND LO, the mapmakers did come, and make a wide and varied collection of Duke levels for us to download and play for free while making happy nostalgic noises to ourselves.
Are you ready to roll around in a big puddle of nuclear radiation? Well good/too bad, because InXile's RPG sequel is ready to unleash its fallout (that's lower case) all over the hard-drives of its Kickstarter backers. But with "beta" having been obfuscated into a near-meaningless term, what does this one entail? Brian Fargo explains that "95% of the game's underpinnings" are complete, but stresses that there's still plenty of work remaining before a full release.
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.