Valve reveals redesigned Steam controller with analog button arrays

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Wes Fenlon at

Valve has been deliberately iterating on the Steam controller for months, trying to find that perfect balance between gamepad simplicity and keyboard-and-mouse precision. At Steam Dev Days in January, Valve announced the biggest change to the controller since we first laid eyes on it: the centered touchpad was gone, replaced by two diamond-pattern four-button layouts. Check out a side-by-side comparison with the previous iteration below.

At the time, we only had a rough mockup to go on, but now Valve has shown off the real thing, along with a promise that the Steam Controller will be on display at Valve's booth at the Game Developers Conference next week.


Survive the horrors of war as a civilian in This War of Mine

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Emanuel Maiberg at

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing—except video games. War is the perfect backdrop for video games because it offers a straightforward conflict and goal that you can build a game around: kill the enemy. But as history teaches us, the real victims of war are the civilians caught between the armed forces on either side, an issue that almost none of the countless war games we play ever address. This War of Mine, a new game from Anomaly developer 11 Bit Studios, is dedicated to this issue.


The future of PC games: bold predictions from the PC Gamer staff

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PC Gamer at

All week long, we're peering ahead to what the future holds for the PC gaming industry. Not just the hardware and software in our rigs, but how and where we use them, and how they impact the games we play. Here's the final entry in our five-part series.

By 2020, cars will fly and the DeLorean will make a successful comeback. The Large Pixel Collider will usher in a new age of global prosperity as President of Earth. Half-Life 3 will, finally, be close to release. Those are just a few of our wildest predictions for what's on the horizon. Below we throw caution to the wind to make our boldest predictions about the future of PC gaming and a variety of genres, from shooters to RPGs and MOBAs.

The Blackwell Epiphany launch trailer shows drama, ghosts, a headbutted policeman

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Phil Savage at

Thanks to my eerie psychic powers, I've been able to divine a release date for The Blackwell Epiphany. According to my spooky vision - and to the Wadjet Eye blog, which I was coincidentally reading at the time - the final game of the Blackwell adventure series will be released on April 24th. The spirits are whispering something else, too. Something about the existence of the launch trailer that I am watching right now. You know, sometimes I scare myself.


Star Wars: The Old Republic hosting Double XP weekend until March 17th

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Phil Savage at

If you've still got some levelling to do in The Old Republic, this would be the weekend to jump back in. Starting in a few hours, the game will award twice the experience for completing missions, killing things, and... well, generally doing stuff. And, by progressing at twice the speed, you'll get a quicker route to the game's best bits. It'll be like watching the entire film saga, but then skipping Episodes One to Three. I think that's what you're meant to do in the first place.


The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming

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PC Gamer at

Welcome to a new weekly feature in which we cup the week that was and ask it to cough gently. Here you’ll find the PC Gamer team reflecting on the best and worst moments of the past seven days.


Satellite Reign footage shows cyberpunk security, real-time firefights

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Phil Savage at

Thanks to the Cyberpunk Game Jam, we're drowning in a sea of digital dystopias. Naturally, Satellite Reign, the spiritual successor to Syndicate, is taking a little longer than a week to create. It was mid-last year when the Kickstarter successfully raised £460,000, and the first few "in-engine visualisations" tantalised would-be cyberwarriors. Now, in a new transmission, the team are sharing some pre-alpha footage of the game as it exists today.


Company of Heroes and Alpha Protocol among the deals in Sega's Humble Weekly Sale

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Phil Savage at

Sega used to spend their time faffing about with console boxes and a blue hedgehog. Now they spend their time more productively: publishing cool PC games (and occasionally trying to resurrect the blue hedgehog). Sometimes these many projects collide into a single, gloriously incomprehensible mess of different games and styles. It happened with the bizarrely compelling Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed - a game in which an anthropomorphic fox could lose a kart race to the football manager from Football Manager. It's also now happened with this week's Humble Weekly Sale.


Battlefield 4's platoons now available for all players

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Phil Savage at

Last month, DICE launched Battlefield 4's platoon feature, but restricted the creation of new platoons to Premium members of at least level 10. This is at least somewhat true to the real military, who have realised that letting anybody create their own command structure would be a very inefficient way to organise troops. Luckily, Battlefield 4 is not the real military, and so their variant of the clan model is now available for all.


Diablo 3 discounted by 45% until the release of Reaper of Souls

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Phil Savage at

The prophets had warned us. They'd seen visions of planets aligning, of oceans running red with blood, of cats acting slightly crankier than usual. We ignored their cries, dismissing them as the deranged ramblings of fringe lunatics. And yet, it has come to pass: Blizzard have put a game on sale. It's a rare event for the developer, who tend to limit their discounts to the Black Friday Thanksgiving sales. But, with the impending release of Diablo 3's first expansion, the base game is getting a temporary reduction.


Giveaway: grab access to this weekend's Elder Scrolls Online beta test

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Tom Senior at

Update: we have 500 more unique keys to give away. Come and get 'em!

Hail, adventurer! Will you take up your sword in the name of Tamriel and join the grand struggle to — AHEM — sorry, I was momentarily possessed by the spirit of a passing fantasy RPG NPC there. An occasional occurrence in PCG towers. I meant to say "would you like to play The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend?" If [yes] then [proceed to rest of article]. There you will find instructions for grabbing one of the thousand keys we have to giveaway for this weekend's beta test. First come, first served!

New Humble Bundle launched to support IGF chairman Brandon Boyer

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Ian Birnbaum at

A "very special" Humble Bundle popped up yesterday, this time in support of Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer. A Bundle of Love for Brandon includes 32 games and soundtracks packaged together to support Boyer, who was diagnosed with cancer late last year.


Watch Tyler stream Titanfall at 4:15 p.m. PDT (It's over!)

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PC Gamer at

While Chris finalizes his Titanfall review, the rest of the staff has also been enjoying the acrobatic war for extraterrestrial concrete (or whatever space drama it is that necessitates stomping on people with mechs). Today, Tyler will bravely livestream what will either be a series of glorious victories, or the embarrassing tale of a Call of Duty dropout with dulling reflexes trying to make it on the new frontier.


Transformers Universe interview: CCO Alex Horton on big changes and working with a beloved franchise

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PC Gamer at

Once an MMO, now a class-based, multiplayer tactical action game, Transformers Universe has seen a lot of radical changes.

As Chief Creative Officer at Jagex, the developer working on Transformers Universe, Alex Horton is the perfect person to tell us what led the company to make those changes, what it’s like working with one of Hasbro’s most treasured brands, and what we can expects from the game when it finally comes out.


Banished photo essay: 25 years of farming and surviving harsh winters

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Ian Birnbaum at

The town of Dolothia was established when five families were unceremoniously banished from a nearby nation. The exact circumstances of this banishment were never explained to me, and I didn’t press the issue.

After The PCG Herald heard about the town’s struggle to survive in the wilderness, I was dispatched as a field reporter to document its early years. What I found was a harsh reality where 10-year-olds work fields in driving rain and snow, a bad harvest kills families, and a single misstep leaves the town frozen during winter. In the end I was embedded in Dolothia for 25 years, chronicling its struggles and triumphs in photos and timelapse gifographs. This is the life of a Banished town.


Steam will allow you to report a product for malware, pornography, other reasons

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Emanuel Maiberg at

It seems like Steam will soon allow you to report a product on its store page. According to a picture of a new feature posted by Steam Database, you’ll be able to report products for legal violation (using your content without permission), pornography, malware, and other reasons.


Campo Santo announces its first game: Firewatch

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Campo Santo, a small San Francisco game studio composed of former Telltale, 2K Marin, and Double Fine developers, announced its first project: a first-person, single-player game called Firewatch. According to Camp Santo’s announcement, you’ll play as a man named Henry and explore the Wyoming wilderness after taking a summer job as a fire lookout.


The future of PC gaming: GPUs and 4K monitors

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PC Gamer at

All week long, we're peering ahead to what the future holds for the PC gaming industry. Not just the hardware and software in our rigs, but how and where we use them, and how they impact the games we play. Here's part four of our five-part series; stay tuned all week for more from the future of PC gaming.

We dream of futuristic graphics cards with chrome Hot Rod piping and names as cool as The Pixelator. In reality, future graphics cards won't be human-sized or be styled after 1950s automobiles, but they will be faster than what we're running today. More importantly, APIs like AMD's Mantle will let our computers talk directly to our graphics cards, delivering better performance through more efficient coding. And we're going to need that performance, since 4K monitors are already on the horizon. Here's our look at the 2014 GPU landscape and the future of (entirely too expensive) 4K displays.

Monaco creators announce [ARMADA], a controller friendly RTS

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Phil Savage at

As an old C&C fan, I do sympathise with Pocketwatch Games's micro frustration. Whatever happened to the days when speed and skill were less important than the ability to build 50 Mammoth tanks? I'm only slightly joking. It does increasingly seem that the economic-based macro game is taking a back seat, in favour of the very different excitement and strategy that is high-level soldier manipulation. As an alternative, the Monaco makers are designing [ARMADA], a game so opposed to APM that it's being designed primarily for the controller.


Every map in Titanfall: maxed settings at 2560x1440 on LPC

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Evan Lahti at

This week we've reviewed Titanfall, evaluated Titanfall's server status, snapped some Titanfall GIFs, and complained about Titanfall's absurd hard drive footprint. Now we turn our attention to the game's 15 maps, rendered at high-res on the LPC.