The most baffling Steam reviews

Christopher Livingston at

Before buying a game, it's a good idea to visit several different sources to determine if it's worth your time and money. Read reviews on gaming sites. Watch your favorite YouTube personality play it. See what people are saying on Twitter. Ask random people on the street. Call up your elected political representative. Buy a copy of the World's Number One Gaming Magazine. Buy several copies, in case something happens to your first copy.

You can even check out reviews on Steam, written by people who have played the game. Just use caution. While there are plenty of great writers filing reviews on Steam, there are also, shall we say, not-that. Here are a few of the weirdest, silliest, and worst reviews we've seen on Steam.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Let's play some games, shall we? This week: a boy goes to space, a dead-and-alive cat stays in a box, a wonderfully weird game gets expanded, Legends return, things are shot at, and other things are separated by a dimensional membrane. Enjoy!

Sherlock Holmes dresses up as a sailor in this new Crimes and Punishments trailer

Tom Sykes at

Sherlock Holmes was the original cosplayer, and when he wasn't walking around bat-and-ball expos dressed as Amelia Earhart, he liked nothing better than pretending to be a butler or vagabond to dig up clues in places the regal Holmes wouldn't quite fit in. This disguise element is finally in one of his games, and based on a new trailer, there are quite a few different tops and hats and trousers and facial hair and spectacles you can wear in Crimes and Punishments. Select a particular outfit—in this case, that befitting of a sailor—and Holmes will adopt the relevant accent when chatting with suspects and the like. A terrible Irish accent and an arm-wrestling minigame await you after the break.

Mortal Kombat X releasing in April

Tom Sykes at

NetherRealm's incredi-gory Mortal Kombat X is all about (slight) environmental interaction, picking different character 'variants', and, yes, ripping your opponent's spine out or punching a hole through their chest or, I don't know, plucking out their eyeballs or something. It's all a bit brutal for me, but I appreciate the fast-paced combat, the lovely backgrounds, and their integration with the side-on scraps, as shown off in a recent PAX stream. If MK10 seems like your kind of fighting game, you'll be pleased to hear that it's not too far out from release, as a date of April 14th has just been announced.

Firewatch interview: Campo Santo details its first project

Evan Lahti at

We got our first significant look at Firewatch last weekend at PAX. I spoke to Jake Rodkin and Chris Remo shortly after Campo Santo's panel.

Saturday Crapshoot: Readers Choice Special

Richard Cobbett at

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, a handful of much requested games get their turn in the spotlight. Or firing line. One of the two. Whichever.

Yes, as part of our dives into the obscure, we've looked at over 200 games that people have probably never heard of, and a few that it's a surprise so many people have. (Goodness, was I not expecting so many people to be aware of Tongue Of The Fatman...) Some games however are, while not the kind of thing you're likely to see on GOG or anywhere any time soon, so famous or well-explored in their relative obscurity that devoting a whole week's column to them seemed a little excessive. But every dog has its day. And so too does every dog's dinner. Today, by popular request, is that day.

The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

PC Gamer at

Each week PC Gamer’s opinion scryers emerge from their blackened temple to hold forth on the most significant moments of the past seven days. They usually bring biscuits too.

Project Cars announces North American release date and preorder bonuses

Andy Chalk at

Project Cars may not be a great name for a videogame, but there's no denying it's awfully pretty. And now, a little shy of three years after it was first revealed to the world, a North American launch date has been announced.

The PC Gamer Show episode 5: PAX Prime 2014

Wes Fenlon at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode five, Evan and Tyler dive into the mayhem of PAX Prime to to talk to some of our favorite developers (Chris Roberts! Tim Schafer!) and play some of the PC's most exciting games.

Camelot Unchained falls behind schedule, alpha test delayed into 2015

Andy Chalk at

Remember Camelot Unchained? It's an MMO being developed by City State Entertainment, a studio founded by Mark Jacobs, who also happens to be a co-founder of Dark Age of Camelot developer Mythic Entertainment. It rang up more than $2.2 millon on Kickstarter in May 2013, and has presumably been going quietly about its business ever since. But the studio revealed recently that things are running behind schedule, and the alpha test it hoped to have ready for August won't actually get rolling until next year.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth arrives in November, new trailer arrives now

Andy Chalk at

It's not quite ready for prime time yet, but The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth now has a launch date that's not too far down the road. A "release date trailer" has also made its way to the tubes, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it can generously be described as quite possibly the weirdest thing you'll see all day.

Team Fortress 2 poster mistaken for US propaganda on Russian state television

Andy Chalk at

As part of an effort to show how the United States uses propaganda to influence the mindset of its citizens, a historical documentary recently aired by Russia's Channel One offered up what it said was a First World War-era poster portraying German soldiers as monsters who literally eat babies. One problem: It wasn't a soldier, it was the Soldier, and the poster is Team Fortress 2 fan art.

Giveaway: Grab your beta key for new RTS Etherium (Update: all gone!)

PC Gamer at

Tindalos Interactive's Etherium is a throwback to the classic era of real-time strategy games such as Command & Conquer. The game will feature three playable empires, fighting each other to control the game's precious resource, also called etherium. As to be expected, each empire will have its individual characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, technologies, and special skills, such as climate control, espionage and precognition. Sounds like a classic RTS, and now you can see if the game lives up to the hype: We're giving away keys to Etherium's beta.

What do you love about PC gaming?

Evan Lahti at

We interviewed a bunch of different developers last week at PAX Prime. But there was only one question we asked them all: "What do you love about PC gaming?"

GTA 4's #WatchDogsIV mod is absurd

Phil Savage at

Chris Livingston has already extolled the virtues of Grand Theft Auto 4's amazing #WatchDogsIV mod. For the uninitiated, it brings Watch Dogs style environment hacking into GTA's Liberty City. For a full round-up of what it enables, head on over to Chris's Mod of the Week post. For a small look into the type of chaos it supports, head inside.

Firewatch livestream reveals twenty-odd wonderful minutes of first-person mystery

Tom Sykes at

Like an idiot, I've only just got around to watching that Firewatch trailer and, holy wow, everyone was right. However, a recent livestream from developer supergroup Campo Santo managed to improve on that by showing twenty-odd minutes of in-game footage. Probably don't watch the following video if you want to go in completely cold, but if you're on the fence or if you think last week's trailer was maybe a bit serious, know that Firewatch is a lot funnier in-game, at least in this early segment of the "first-person mystery". There's some terrific writing/characterisation in evidence here too: after only a short time, I feel I know Henry and Delilah pretty well as characters, and there's a great sense of chemistry between the two leads.

Spacebase DF-9 update adds angry citizens, lets you lock them in the brig

Tom Sykes at

I'm sure we can all agree that the world needs more vitriol—that or, possibly, the reverse. Either way, Double Fine have added angry, angry citizens to their sci-fi sandbox Spacebase DF-9, along with a brig to stuff them into when they get a bit worked-up. The puntastic 'Brig Ambitions, Broken Dreams' update includes a few other big inclusions and fixes too, and some patch notes I'm going to poke fun at after the break.

League of Legends is rebooting its lore

Tom Sykes at

I hope you're not too attached to the lore behind League of Legends, because it's about to be chucked out and replaced with something new. As the rest of LoL has changed over the years, Riot Games say that the original lore has held them back, leading to "creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions and Runeterra itself could grow and change". So the lore's being updated to give Riot more freedom, allowing them to tell (hopefully) more interesting stories, and to give their characters better justifications for battering each other across a series of lanes.

Dawn of War 2 drops Games for Windows Live

Tom Sykes at

Back in May, the original Dawn of War and its many expansions cast off the shackles of Gamespy and Games for Windows Live and replaced them with Steamworks. Dawn of War 2 and Chaos Rising, meanwhile, required additional work—work that's now been completed. A new update for both games has just been released, which gives GfWL the old heave-ho and moves achievements and leaderboards over to Relic's servers, while integrating Relic's battle servers to manage multiplayer networking in both entries.

Unreal Engine 4 now free for academic use

Tom Sykes at

We're fast approaching a time when the weirdly shiny Unreal Engine 3 will no longer be used in big-budget releases, and thanks to a new initiative by Epic Games, the same thing may soon be true of student games. Epic have announced that Unreal Engine 4 is now free to use in schools, colleges and universities, or at least those featuring the relevant courses or degrees. Your teacher or professor will need to sign up for the program here, but if your course qualifies, students will gain all the benefits of being subscribers without having to fork over a monthly subscription fee.