This insane round reminded me why Counter-Strike is wonderful

Evan Lahti at

Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday’s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I’ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in a video.

League of Legends World Championships week two round-up: the six biggest moments

PC Gamer at

The League of Legends World Championship continues to impress this week with some stellar games. Eight hard-working teams fought to proceed in the competition, but sadly only four could continue to the quarterfinals. Let's take a look at the most spectacular moments of week two, featuring two of the most enjoyable games of League of Legends I've ever seen.

Battlefield Hardline is "gonna work" at launch

Tom Sykes at

Battlefield 4 might have released with all the structural integrity of a beached manatee carcass, but the same thing won't happen with Battlefield Hardline, according to Visceral Games' Ian Milham. Speaking to GameRevolution, Hardline's creative director said that Visceral "take shipping a working game pretty seriously. So, yes, the game will work". That this even needs saying is a little depressing, but it's an encouraging statement nonetheless.

Payday 2's Hotline Miami DLC detailed; expect animal masks and new weapons

Tom Sykes at

In case you'd forgotten, or you'd assumed it was some kind of dream: Payday 2 is getting some Hotline Miami-themed DLC. The live-action trailer didn't tell us much other than the date, but now we have a few more details ahead of tomorrow's release. $6.99/£4.99 will get you some new weapons, some animal-themed masks, and will put you on the trail of a Russian mobster known as The Commissar.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

One girl and her dog. One astronaut and their moon garden. Another alien metropolis starring a person with outstretched hands. A lo-fi dodge-'em-up for the Nintend-faux GameBoy. This week's free games box social is for those of us not going to EGX (it's also for those that are, when they get home). Grow, explore, bark and avoid, in the best collection of free games since the last one. Enjoy!

Saturday Crapshoot: Toilet Tycoon

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... we all knew it had to happen one week, didn't we? Let's dive in! Or, better yet, not...

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to own a toilet empire. To me, that was better than being a Level 90 Paladin in World of Warcraft. To be a Toilet Tycoon was to own the world. It's like they say, you want to be rich, you find yourself something no-one can live without and you find a way to put a price-tag on it. Sure, it may not be so glamorous, but from the poorest Joe to the highest up King, when they really gotta go, they'll pay damn near anything to get that load off. Unless there's a wall nearby. Then, not so much. Any other time though! Any other time, you get a person by their bladder, you grip 'em by that quivering colon in their guts, and there 'aint no limit to how hard you can squeeze.

Not literally, mind, not if you're smart. Definit'ly not if you're wearing new shoes.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter review

Christopher Livingston at

Paul Prospero's job description, Supernatural Detective, isn't just awesome, it carries a double meaning. Yes, he's an investigator of the supernatural, visiting Red Creek Valley to solve the mystery of a young boy's disappearance and several gruesome murders with supernatural overtones, but he's also got magical powers himself, able to psychically view the past as a series of ghostly images, like a spectral highlight reel. By examining clues, reconstructing crime scenes, and replaying past events, Paul can piece together the events leading up to Ethan Carter's disappearance... when he's not stopping to gawk at one of the loveliest looking games ever made.

The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

PC Gamer at

Each Friday PC Gamer’s writers pick the bones out of the previous seven days. This time they’re doing it while also launching a new site. Expect more tears than usual.

Heat Signature: hands-on with the stealthy deep-space smuggler sim

Samuel Roberts at

Procedurally generated Hotline Miami levels floating through space—that's a rough approximation Tom 'Gunpoint' Francis' new game, Heat Signature. I played it today, and the premise of stealthily boarding enemy spaceships to steal packages and/or kill targets is enormously exciting, and makes this something of a 2D Han Solo simulator (had Han Solo actually done any smuggling in Star Wars).

Civilization: Beyond Earth gameplay video and hands-on impressions

PC Gamer at

When Civilization: Beyond Earth was first announced, my biggest concern was that it would just be Civilization 5 re-skinned with a space theme. I got access to the first 250 turns of Beyond Earth, and after having spent a lot of time with it I can confidently say that, although it may feel familiar, this game makes Civ 5 feel like it's stuck in the stone age. Watch the video for my full thoughts on the latest Civ installment.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor video: max settings at 2560x1440 on LPC

PC Gamer at

We first got to play Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor in May, but back then we weren’t playing it on the almighty destroyer we fondly call the Large Pixel Collider. With the resolution at 1440p and all the settings on ultra, we wanted to see just how good decapitating orcs could look.

We're upgrading

PC Gamer at

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming review

Dave James at

You’d maybe think playing second fiddle to the mighty Nvidia GTX 980 would be a pretty depressing existence for the young GTX 970. Your big brother’s the one every monitor wants to be with and every other graphics card wants to be. The GTX 970 might be the second-tier Maxwell card, but it’s one of the most impressive graphics cards I’ve tested in recent times—especially in the guise of Gigabyte’s overclocked version.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt trailer examines modes of transportation

Phil Savage at

They're still there?! It was over a month ago that CD Projekt RED shipped off their developers to some moody ruins. It seems, they're still stranded—nothing to do but make development diaries. I imagine it's a hard life, and thus one we should sympathise with as we recline in comfort to enjoy their description of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's methods of transportation.

Three Lane Highway: patch 6.82 and the Dota 2 of tomorrow

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.

My PC's power supply exploded a few hours after the patch notes for version 6.82 were released, which should tell you a few things about how significant this update is—even if it ultimately teaches you nothing about the relationship between correlation and causation. Post-International patches are always a big deal, but this is the big one. Sweeping changes to the map, and in particular the structure of the early game, mean the death of the deathball and a refresh to which heroes can be laned where. Combined with a fresh set of nerfs and buffs and some silly new Aghanim's Scepter upgrades and, well, it's time to start learning again. We are entering the era of 6.82.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer reveals "Exo Survival" multiplayer mode

Andy Chalk at

As the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare "Power Changes Everything" trailer demonstrates, sometimes the easiest way to make a super-soldier is to stick him inside a super-suit.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell trailer features angry armchair, gun that fires plague of locusts

Tom Senior at

I wonder if Gat Out of Hell's development process started with a whiteboard full of puns, and sprouted from that into the strange standalone Saints Row 4 expansion we see before us. In today's dev diary video there's a Rambulance—an ambulance that ... well, you can guess—a gun that fires a plague of locusts and an armchair with guns mounted on each armrests that supposedly represents the deadly sin of sloth. Not a bad silly-per-second ratio for a five minute teaser.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor system requirements released

Phil Savage at

What price will you pay for Warlords of Draenor's upgraded character models? (Beyond buying a copy of the expansion, that is.) Not a heavy one, it seems, as Blizzard has released the minimum and recommended requirements for running this new, visually improved slice of WoW. You'll need a slightly beefier CPU and graphics card over Mists of Pandaria's specs, and, of course, an extra 10 GB of hard-drive space.

Guild Wars 2 week-long free trial starts tomorrow

Phil Savage at

ArenaNet has announced the next free trial initiative for Guild Wars 2. As of tomorrow, 25 September, they'll be standing on street corners offering just a taste—enough to get you hooked. By which I mean you'll be able to register a trial account and play their non-subscription MMO for a full week, until 1 October.

League of Legends to block toxic players from joining ranked queues

Shaun Prescott at

For as long as League of Legends players are mean, Riot Games will continue to punish them. Following its clamp down on player toxicity back in July, the studio has been testing a new disciplinary system which denies offenders access to ranked play. Dubbed Ranked Restrictions, the new measures are currently being rolled out to North America and European test servers.