Duke Nukem lawsuit continues: 3D Realms deny Gearbox's allegations

Phil Savage at

If Duke Nukem were real, he'd be loving this legal stand-off. As a stuck-in-the-past relic, one only recently dragged out of retirement for an ill-advised comeback, I'm sure the attention would be most welcome. The latest developer comes in direct response to Gearbox's lawsuit, which claimed that 3D Realms and Interceptor were violating their Duke restraining order intellectual property. 3D Realms have issued a statement that both denies the allegations and makes counter-accusations against Gearbox.

Torchlight studio's co-founders depart for "smaller-scale development"

Phil Savage at

Two of the co-founders of Runic Games, the studio behind the wizard-bothering Torchlight series, have announced their departure from the company in pursuit of "smaller-scale development". In a post to the Runic forum, Travis Baldree revealed that both he and Eric Schaefer would be stepping down as early as next week. Of course, Runic were originally set up as just such a small-scale studio, but grew after the success of Torchlight and were subsequently acquired by Perfect World. And so, the circle of life continues.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls review

Leif Johnson at

I can’t recall a gaming villain who looks as imposing as Reaper of Souls’ Malthael but leaves so weak an impression. He pops in and out as the narrative unfolds, spouting a few threatening lines before evaporating in a mist of gloom, and thus he recalls Blizzard's similar treatment of Arthas Menethil during World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion. But at least Arthas had the benefit of years of accumulated lore to support his cameos. The star of but one act, Malthael is never around long enough to make us care about his grumbles.

Batman: Arkham Knight: Court of Owls spotted

Samuel Roberts at

I like Batman too much, if such a thing is possible. During my recent first look at Arkham Knight I managed to pick out a neat reference to a popular recent enemy in DC Comics' Batman lore: the Court of Owls, created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo for their 2011-2012 storylines Court Of The Owls and Night Of The Owls, which were very popular and have now caused me to use the word 'owl' a lot in this paragraph.

Worried that I might've imagined the whole thing due to GDC jet lag, I asked Rocksteady's Dax Ginn if I saw it or not - and indeed, confirm if the Court exists as part of the Arkham universe.

CCP says Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift won't change plans for EVE: Valkyrie launch

Ian Birnbaum at

There have been a lot of reactions to the purchase of Oculus VR by Facebook in the last 24 hours, much of it polemic and apocalyptic. Our own reactions ranged from guarded optimism to cautious disappointment, while Minecraft creator Notch immediately canned an Oculus-focused version of Minecraft. EVE: Online developer CCP, on the other hand, has expressed support for the purchase and say that release plans for the VR starfighter game EVE: Valkyrie won’t be changing.

Titanfall now forces cheaters to play with other cheaters

Emanuel Maiberg at

Respawn Entertainment thinks that cheaters deserve each other. The developer recently announced that it’s been collecting data since Titanfall launched, but that as of March 21, it has started enforcing bans using FairFight, which Battlefield and other Electronic Arts games use as well. Interestingly, rather than just locking cheaters out of the game, Respawn is forcing them to play with other banned cheaters.

Goat Simulator trailer riffs on Dead Island, but with goats

Tim Clark at

It's hard not to think that Goat Simulator's ascent from cheese dream inception to being one of the most talked about PC releases of the year owes a lot to just its name. Because you might think, in the same way SimCity theoretically lets you simulate a city (yes, I know), so the name Goat Simulator suggests it will simulate, hopefully in painstaking detail, the life and times of one of the world's lesser loved ungulates.

Rust diary, part 3: "What happened was: I killed you"

Christopher Livingston at

Here's a tip: don't run around at night with a lit torch or you'll get shot. I know this because I once ran around at night with a lit torch and got shot. That's why, more recently, when I was alone and lost in the middle of the night, I only lit my torch for a second to take a quick look. Here's another tip: don't light your torch even for a second to take look around or you'll get shot. I did. For a second. And I got shot.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Panzerhund Edition comes with everything but the game

Emanuel Maiberg at

Today, Bethesda announced Wolfenstein: The New Order Panzerhund Edition, which includes almost everything you’d want in a fancy, pricey special edition of a game. For $100, you’ll get a footlocker-style box containing an assortment of maps, case files, and an x-ray. You’ll also get the obligatory figurine, an 8-inch, hand painted statue of a robotic dog, which you’ve probably seen in trailers and other marketing. The only thing missing in the special edition is the game itself.

How we capture 4K screenshots and video on the Large Pixel Collider

PC Gamer at

Wes and Tyler reveal the secrets of how they record ludicrously high resolution video and screenshots on the Large Pixel Collider.

X-COM creator Julian Gollop holds Reddit AMA: "Indie gaming is the most exciting thing I've seen"

Omri Petitte at

For strategy gamers, Julian Gollop is a name of hallowed reverence. His Belt of Achievements includes pre-millenium classics such as Laser Squad and Chaos. Most notably, he created the X-COM series of turn-based tactical alien fragging and directed 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense—widely considered one of the best strategy games ever made. The franchise spent some time in the engineering bay before returning in 2012 with Firaxis' excellent Enemy Unknown, but Gollop has lately turned to crowdsourced funding with a small team to develop his multiplayer wizard-em-up reboot Chaos Reborn. In an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit last weekend, Gollop answered questions on his take of the current state of strategy games, alternate funding, and the rise of early access.

TowerFall Ascension review

Marsh Davies at

Gamers aren’t the only ones who blame lag. Indie devs cite it for the current abundance of local-multiplayer-only platformers, of which TowerFall Ascension represents an exquisite pinnacle. Up to four players can plug in pads and then plug each other with arrows, darting around numerous screen wrapped 2D arenas. Its versus mode alone marks the high tide for single screen deathmatch, but the true delight is its brutal two-player wave survival campaign, a thing of rare, beautiful balance and jubilant chaos.

Find out why The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is so ridiculously good-looking

Tim Clark at

The short answer is photogrammetry, a method of scanning photographs (a *lot* of photographs) to create and texture highly-detailed 3D objects without any of the repetition associated with common video game techniques. A longer, but far more edifying, explanation can be found over at The Astronauts' tumblr

Molyneux on thriving indie scene: "Enjoy this time, because it won't last

Emanuel Maiberg at

Peter Molyneux is known for grand statements, some of which turn out to be incorrect later. His most recently stated opinion is about the rising popularity of smaller indie games. Speaking with CVG, Molyneux said that we should “enjoy this time, because it won’t last.”

EA CEO Andrew Wilson wants to treat Star Wars games like Batman Arkham series

Patrick Carlson at

Since Electronic Arts and Disney agreed last year to team up and produce games in the Star Wars universe, we've haven't heard much about what they have in mind other than a new take on Battlefront. That being said, a new interview with EA CEO Andrew Wilson at CNN Money makes it clear the publisher plans to go its own way rather than tie its games to the stories being developed for the next set of Star Wars films.

Luftrausers review

PC Gamer at

Here’s a little language lesson: "luft" in German means air, and "raus" means empty. "Rausers" is a made up word, but it roughly translates into "emptiers". Dutch studio Vlambeer’s modular vocabulary is apt, because Luftrausers (or Airemptiers) is about grafting together plane parts you've earned from blasting things out of the sky, creating hybridised monstrosities, and blasting things again.

The GTX Titan Z: $1000 more than two Titan Blacks, and probably slower

Dave James at

Because lots of people paid serious money to buy up all the GTX Titans Nvidia could make, they've decided to push things further. The twin-GPU GTX Titan Z is a $3,000 graphics card announced at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose. According to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang it exists simply because “the market just wanted so much more performance,” but is it really worth all that money?

Titanfall's future game modes will be free, Zampella confirms

Phil Savage at

With Titanfall now out (and good), the Respawn team are working on the next updates for their pilot-'n-robot buddy war game. Some of those updates will form DLC, but not all of the planned future content will be hiding behind a paid mini-pack. Last night, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella confirmed that future multiplayer modes will be released for free, and not tied up as part of expansions.

Reinstall: Silent Hunter 2

Andy Mahood at

Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, we dive beneath the waves and try to keep our voices down in Silent Hunter II.

Slicing through the frigid North Atlantic waters, my wounded Type VII-C U-boat is one well-placed depth charge away from bursting open like a cheap German piñata and sinking rock-like to the ocean floor. Those British destroyers circling manically overhead show no signs of bugging off and leaving me to lick my wounds. Probably because I sunk two of the fattest ships in their convoy 15 minutes ago with a perfectly-aimed torpedo spread. But the sense of elation I felt is transforming into terror. After my fish made contact and turned the freighters into flaming steel coffins, the convoy’s three destroyer escorts descended on me, peppering my crash-diving sub with hull-ripping depth charges.

How to teach an AI parkour

Tom Francis at

When all you expected to be able to do in a third person action game was press a button to jump over a gap, 'traversal' in level design wasn't that hard. Adding the odd bit of scenery you can vault over isn't much harder: level designers place markers that tell your character they can vault, and what animation to play to make it look right.

But full free-running over complex terrain has become an expected feature, and the job of manually marking which bits of a level you can climb, vault or scramble over has become dauntingly huge. At GDC in San Francisco last week, Ben Sunshine-Hill of Havok explained a solution they're offering to developers as middleware: AI.