StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty prices dropped to $20 on Battle.net

Andy Chalk at

If you've been holding off on picking up StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (or, for that matter, Wings of Liberty) out of poverty, cheapness or a plain old lack of interest, today may be a good day to reconsider your position.


Cliff Bleszinski talks a blue streak in a BlueStreak AMA

Andy Chalk at

Former Gears of War guy Cliff Bleszinski didn't have much to say about his return to game development beyond the fact that he's doing it with a free-to-play arena shooter called BlueStreak. But yesterday he took to Reddit for an AMA in which he touched on topics ranging from how he'll handle the "pay to win" challenge to how he ended up in a publishing deal with the company behind Maple Story.


Assassin's Creed Unity marks a "new narrative start" for the series

Phil Savage at

Assassin's Creed is a video game series about a procession of rakish rogues (and Connor) exterminating historical wrong'uns. Assassin's Creed is also, for some reason, a video game series about magic internet wizards, an evil corporation and using improbable VR machines to stop the Sun from breaking. For Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft have wisely decided to drop much of their meta-fictional baggage, marking what they say is the series' "best entry point" since the first game.


Kerbal Space Program's next update to add contracts, budget and reputation systems

Phil Savage at

There's something about Kerbal Space Program's current update path that I find extremely charming. They've already added the ship-building, space exploring, physics simulation stuff; now they're slowly adding the admin. The next update for SQUAD's space program, titled First Contract, will further expand the career mode with a mission system that ties into new Funds and Reputation systems.


Shattered Planet review

Richard Cobbett at

What’s a roguelike? It’s getting harder to find an answer these days, with more and more games taking the basic idea of randomly generated worlds and adding enough of a spin that a single pseudo-genre can’t really cover it. Shattered Planet features most of the tropes, including randomised worlds full of painful death. You play as a series of disposable clones, sent down from a spaceship to Planet Hey, Isn’t This Bastion? to document wildlife and hunt for treasure on behalf of an occasionally generous employer. Where most roguelikes treat each life as a fresh, all-inclusive experience, here the currency found on each jaunt can be spent on permanent character upgrades. Does that disqualify it? Who knows. But it certainly helps when facing an army of killer aliens for the fiftieth time.


The Elder Scrolls Online trailer shows the fancy guild features of Update 3

Phil Savage at

In any MMO, a sense of commonality can develop among its players. It's a genre that encourages you to expend significant time and, occasionally, money, and so which MMO you choose can say a lot about the type of experiences you prefer. Of course, that kinship doesn't stop you from then further splitting into smaller groups for the purpose of more micro-conflict. Hence guilds, the focus of The Elder Scrolls Online's third major post-launch update.


Battlefield 4: DICE announce Battlefest in-game event

Phil Savage at

DICE are launching Battlefest, an event they describe as a "festival built for gamers". Picture crowds gathered in massive tents, raising their lighters in appreciation of an on-stage presentation on the merits of mid-range firefights with an AR160. And now forget that image, because this "festival" takes place entirely in-game. It begins this Saturday with a double-XP weekend.


Dragon Age: Inquisition E3 video emerges with 16 minutes of gameplay

Shaun Prescott at

October is several months away, so if you're eager to play Dragon Age: Inquisition then the anticipation may be starting to bother you. Well, here's a bone for you: 16 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay footage has been released. Originally aired behind-closed-doors at E3 last month, it shows exploration, tactical and not-so-tactical combat, and the freezing of bears to death.


Epigenesis gets official release date and dreamy new trailer

Shaun Prescott at

Shooter or basketball aberration? Either way, Epigenesis is an uncategorisable team-based game set for release on August 1st. Two teams battle it out over a single ball, which needs to be tossed through the opponent's hoop. Once completed, the successful team can claim one of the grids in the arena. Chain these grids in a line all the way to your opponent's endzone and you're the winner.


The Wolf Among Us review (season one)

Tyler Wilde at

Rather than review the finale alone, we're reviewing the entire season of The Wolf Among Us, which is sold as a package of five episodes. We've avoided major plot details, but some spoilers are unavoidable, especially for episodes one and two. Also, no, we don't know if there will be a second season, but we're calling this "season one" in the event that there is.

I don’t like hitting the ‘Q’ key very quickly to do things. In The Wolf Among Us, abusing the Star Trek antagonist—to win a fight, to transform into a wolf, to lift a car—ties the violence of sheriff Bigby Wolf to the strain on my finger. That interactive connection is a reason to include button mashing and quicktime events, but it’s not a great solution. I enjoyed all five episodes of The Wolf Among Us—a lot—but I’m disappointed that it holds onto some of the conventions established in The Walking Dead.

Divinity: Original Sin developer turned off global chat to silence trolls

Andy Chalk at

If you played Divinity: Original Sin in its pre-release days, you may have noticed a very active little chat window down in the corner of the screen. You may also have noticed that in the full release edition, it's no longer there. Larian Studios actually revealed on Steam last week that it had switched off the global chat "as there was just a bit too much profanity and insulting," but as studio boss Swen Vincke told Kotaku, the real situation was a bit more than just a bit much.


Microsoft Flight Simulator X and X-Plane 10 are winging their way to Steam

Andy Chalk at

There was a time when Microsoft Flight Simulator ruled the world. That time was the 1980s, admittedly, an era when a primitive but reasonably accurate flight simulator could provide untold hours of entertainment. Those glory days are long behind us, but good news has come out this week for fans of that particular kind of fun: The studio behind Train Simulator has signed a deal to bring Flight Simulator X to Steam, and the more recent (and apparently popular) X-Plane 10 is on its way too.


Divinity: Original Sin interview: how Larian built an RPG with no wrong choices, and details on its next update

Cory Banks at

Larian Studios launched the final version of Divinity: Original Sin on June 30, after a successful Kickstarter campaign and a long stint in Steam Early Access. The extended beta time paid off: Original Sin has been the top selling game on Steam since its launch. Speaking to PC Gamer on Tuesday, Larian founder and creative director Swen Vincke says the team is "very happy," and though I can tell he's tired, he's still incredibly excited to talk in detail about my progress through the game.

One would expect it's vacation time for the studio, but not yet—Vincke tells me that Larian has a major content update coming for the game, hopefully in the next week, and exclusively revealed plans for new companion AI. Our edited discussion is below, including a few clearly-marked spoilers on early parts of the game.


Banished mod support is on the way, says developer

Andy Chalk at

I killed a lot of people in Banished. You may have read something about that. The medieval settlement simulator has a distinct SimCity vibe to it but operates on a much more personal level: Individual settlers have names and lives and sometimes alarmingly delicate constitutions, which is problematic when you're in the middle of a heavy winter and the guy who's supposed to be out chopping trees has turned into one. That sort of dilemma may soon be considerably less troublesome, however, as developer Luke Hodorowicz recently revealed that he's spent the past few weeks working to bring mod support to the game.


Double Fine confirms Grim Fandango remaster coming to PC

Andy Chalk at

Double Fine boss Tim Schafer revealed last month that Grim Fandango, the cult classic LucasArts adventure, was being remastered and re-released for modern systems. Unfortunately, those systems were the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and not the PC. Schafer didn't leave us out in the cold completely, however, saying at the time that there would be "talk about other platforms soon," and today he was as good as his word.


Unofficial Minecraft convention canceled at last minute, organizers accused of fraud

Andy Chalk at

The MineOrama Minecraft convention was very suddenly canceled yesterday, less than a week before it was scheduled to take place. Unfortunate as it is, these things happen from time to time; unforeseen circumstances and all that. But the event raised "just shy" of $600,000 before the cancellation and organizers say refunds won't be offered until "replanning" is complete, and that has not gone over well with ticket buyers.


Grim fantasy RPG Lords of the Fallen releasing on Halloween

Tom Sykes at

Halloween is a pretty apt time to release a grimdark RPG like Lords of the Fallen, and that's exactly what's happening this October 31st. City Interactive's game is proudly inspired by Dark Souls, and after watching quite a bit of in-game footage this appears to mean 'chunky, thunky combat and the ability to lose experience upon death'. I've attached a recent trailer that affords us a proper look at the game.


Dragon Age: Inquisition will let you hug your companions, customise horns

Tom Sykes at

No matter how tough or Greyspawn-ridden the world gets, most problems can be solved with a good hug. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that 90% of the original Dragon Age's grim fantasy story could have been avoided if the Grey Wardens had just given their age-old foes a lovely embrace, followed by a cosy chat to iron out their differences. That unfortunately wasn't possible in the first of Bioware's series, but you will be able to do some manner of hugging in Inquisition. Not with the Greyspawn - not even with those fluffy, cuddly werewolves - but with some of your companions. That and other titbits have emerged from a recent Q and A on the vowel-phobic Raptr, in which fans asked Bioware questions, and they answered. The juiciest morsels are below.


We have a million Steam keys for Really Big Sky to give away, with Bundle Stars

PC Gamer at

Update: the giveaway is back online! Grab your key below.

Psychedelic twin-stick shooter fans rejoice! This week we're giving away a million Steam keys for Really Big Sky, a quirky, sparkly shooter that pits your lone ship against the universe. You'll battle aliens, planets armed with laser batteries, black holes, wormholes and more, but there's a twist—every level is procedurally generated, from the swarming enemy waves to the appearance of intervening planets, which require you to activate your ship's drill so you can tunnel right through them at a thousand miles per hour. Grab your key below.

Alien: Isolation pre-order bonuses include DLC levels based on original film

Tom Sykes at

Alien: Isolation was always essentially Alien: The Video Game in my mind, with its slavish reproduction of that film's technology, its sets, and the pre-Cameronised alien that hadn't yet been robbed of its near-indestructibility in the 1986 sequel. The news that Creative Assembly and Sega have gone full Alien and announced two bonus missions based on the original movie, and featuring the original cast, should make me very happy indeed—but it's been handled in just about the worst possible way. Those two missions—Crew Expendable and Last Survivor, detailed below—have been earmarked as pre-order DLC. You'll get the first one along with some other stuff simply by pre-ordering the game, but to get both you'll need to pre-order from "select retailers", which haven't been announced yet.