Team Fortress BOO! Halloween Brings Bumper Cars

By Alice O'Connor on October 30th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Smashy smash.

The thrills, chills, and double kills of the fairground are now open to all mercenaries who aren’t afraid of being murdered in a wizard’s ploy to invoke dark powers. This year’s Scream Fortress Halloween update brings TF2 to a carnival not built on an ancient burial ground – that’s the problem. Here, it’ll make more sense if you read the comic.

This year’s Halloween map is split into two halves: a one-flag CTF sorta thing about triggering a giant striker, then bumper car battles. It also has spells, costumes, and, of course, such… prizes!

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Freeware Garden: Psyche E

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 30th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

I'm selling these fine leather scrotums, you see...

I am yourself and you are me. My name is Ego. My penis fell off… help me find it.

So begins Psyche E. A short, scatological and completely bonkers point-and-click adventure you can download for Windows. A game filled with weird sights and words that beautifully rhyme with rock.

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Evil Within Your Letterbox? There’s Options For That Now

By Graham Smith on October 30th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

An evil letterbox.

Adam thought The Evil Within was a fine game, but that its letterboxed screen size was a hindrance – a technique that would have been best used sparingly, rather than for the entire length of the game. Rich Stanton thought that the technique was well deployed, increased tension and was never put towards creating cheap jump-scares. Parts of the internet, meanwhile, thought that the black bars were probably a technical fault rather than a deliberately-employed artistic technique.

Whatever you think, you’ll have now have to make a choice: a patch has just been released that lets you turn the black bars off, change the frames-per-second cap between either 30 or 60, and other tweaks.

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Cretaceous! Primal Carnage: Extinction Announced

By Alice O'Connor on October 30th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Roar.

Good news, dinosaur fans! Soon you’ll be able to murder dinosaurs or murder people who want to murder dinosaurs, depending on quite how you feel about ancient reptiles reborn in the modern era, better than ever. Primal Carnage was already one of the finer dinosaur multiplayer FPSs around, and next month will bring Primal Carnage: Extinction – a sequel that’s really a remake.

Bad news, Primal Carnage owners! The long-promised “recode” that was supposed to be a free update has become a separate game. The devs do plan to offer y’all a discount on it, at least.

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Return Of The King Of Dragon Pass: Six Ages

By Adam Smith on October 30th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

We recently published our first ever article about King of Dragon Pass, a feature in praise of the cult favourite tribal management game. If you haven’t read it, you should and if you haven’t played the game, you should probably do that as well. Originally released in 1999, it’s one of the strongest examples of emergent storytelling built around a strategic framework. Now, fifteen years later, members of the original team are getting back together to make a spiritual successor, which makes me think we should start writing about more games that deserve a sequel to see if we can control the fates again.

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Retail Blues: Lamenting The Demise Of Game Stores

By Jon Morcom on October 29th, 2014 at 10:00 pm.

Writer Jon Morcom sent us this elegy for physical game boxes and physical game shops, and its very British, melancholy portrait of the older habits of our hobby was too lovely not to publish.

The spidery writing on a sign that’s been stuck to the whitewashed windows of what used to be my local GAME store tells me that the nearest still-operating branch is in Vladivostok. Actually, no it doesn’t, I’m lying. But it is somewhere far-flung enough from where I live to make me baulk at the trip. Now HMV too has, in its reduced circumstances like GAME, closed many of its outlets up and down the UK and I’m starting to wonder where I’m going to go to buy boxed PC games in the years ahead.

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Dote Night: BTS and joinDOTA On Fixing Match-Fixing

By Philippa Warr on October 29th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Arrow taking a tower, not yet aware of their disqualification

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Last week I went into detail about the match-fixing scandal which affected three teams from the South East Asia region. For this week’s Dote Night I’ve been in touch with David ‘GoDz’ Parker of Beyond The Summit (BTS) whose tournament was affected by one of the teams, and with Dennis ‘HolyMaster’ Schumacher, who’s responsible for the joinDOTA organisation’s tournaments. I wanted to talk to them about how eSports organisations handle match-fixing allegations as well as why doing so is important.

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Space Whir: Elite Dangerous Beta 3 Out, New Trailer

By Graham Smith on October 29th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Frontier have been adamant all along that Elite: Dangerous would be in final form before the end of the year, but floating around its fun-but-feature-sparse galaxy made me think a delay was inevitable. Then beta 2 hit in September, vastly expanded the playable area and added new exploration mechanics. And now beta 3 has just arrived, bringing mining, an even larger galaxy, new ships and much more. Watching the new trailer below, suddenly it seems like this might really happen.

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Wot I Think: Civilization – Beyond Earth

By Will Wiles on October 29th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

“They should have sent a poet,” says astronaut Jodie Foster, struck dumb by wonder upon encountering alien intelligence at the end of the film Contact. It’s easy to feel the same way about Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest iteration of Sid Meier’s venerable and mighty Civilization franchise. C:BE takes the player to the ostensibly virgin soil of a new planet, but it’s not long before one questions exactly how new this new world really is. Just to mix up the out-of-date science fiction references – is that the Statue of Liberty’s head protruding from the hex-grid ahead? You maniacs! It was Civilization V all along!

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Endless Legend More Endless With Modding Tools

By Graham Smith on October 29th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Endless Legend isn’t quite as big a misnomer as the Neverending Story, but it still seemed likely that you’d eventually grow tired of playing campaigns in the inventive 4X strategy game. Today’s announcement may yet stave of the cartoon lawyers, as modding tools are coming which will let you create and tweak factions, skills, items and damn near everything else.

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The Elitist, Part Three: Picking A Fight

By Brendan Caldwell on October 29th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Brendan’s misadventures in deep space continue in our Elite: Dangerous diary. This week, he gears up for some risky bounty hunting and runs into his old foes, the space police.

It was the silence that worried me. I had dropped out of warp into a pocket of space marked on my navigation chart as a ‘High Intensity Combat Zone’, and yet when I looked into the distance there was nothing but empty, quiet space. The only thing on my sensors was another lonely player, floating through the noiseless void, probably just as spooked as I was. It did not make sense. Where was everyone? Then we heard it. The instantly recognisable sound of trouble.

WHOMP.

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Ural ‘Orrible Deaths: First-Person Spooker Kholat

By Alice O'Connor on October 29th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

No.

The Dyatlov Pass incident is one of those strange and horrible tragedies you’d read in a book filled with tales of spontaneous human combustion, the Mary Celeste, ball lightning, Roanoke Colony, the Lead Masks Case, star jelly, and other mysteries that the author’s not saying aliens did, right, but aliens probably did it. Nine hikers died in Russia’s Ural mountains in 1959 after cutting their tent open from the inside and scattering barefoot into the snow. Their corpses were found weeks and months later, some with strange wounds. And first-person horror Kholat is inspired by that tale. Kholat’s not saying ghosts did it, but a beautiful new trailer shows ghosts probably did it.

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Have You Played… Crusader – No Remorse

By Adam Smith on October 29th, 2014 at 3:30 pm.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I wasn’t sure if I remembered Crusader: No Remorse more fondly than I should and then I noticed that it’s free on Origin at the moment, so I downloaded it to check. You should download it as well because it might well be better than my memories of isometric carnage suggested. It’s a game of tactical violence wrapped in a sci-fi action shell that is both darkly dystopian and tremendously technicoloured. Yes, you need to use Origin to play a game created by Origin Systems for free, but you can also buy it alone or with its sequel at GoG.com.

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