Do Not Pass CS:GO: Weapon Skin Removed After DMCA

Listening to the Terror through the wall

Valve games have become more and more dependent on the Steam Workshop for introducing new content and fuelling play. That’s never more the case than in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is as much about unlocking, buying and trading gun skins as it is familiar CT vs. T battles. So it’s interesting to see how Valve deal with copyright infringement within that community. After receiving a DMCA takedown notice about two items, the M4A4 | Howl and a community sticker named Howling Dawn, those items have been swiftly removed from the store and action taken against its creators.

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Patriots No More: Rainbow 6 Siege Breaches E3

I suspect someone's had a lot of fun touching-up this screenshot.

E3 is a bit like a flashbang. In it comes whoosh kersplode then you’re disoriented and confused and struggle to continue whatever it was you were up to. What I’m saying is that Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Siege during E3 while we were curled up on the floor and armed men shouted at us, so we forgot to actually post about it even though we’ve discussed it.

The FPS (no third-person at all this time) sees baddies trying to fortify and hold buildings before the goodies smash in to come and get them. Emphasis on the smashing, as it has magnificently destructible environments powered by tech some joker at Ubi named ‘Realbast.’ Realbast!

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A Free Spike Joint: VVVVVV – Make And Play Edition

The noisE3 is dying down and we’re returning to some semblance of normality. That means I might actually find time to play some games on this here computer rather than watching hundreds of trailers and livestreams about games that I probably won’t dabble with even when they are released in December 2015. It also means I can take a moment out of my day to report some jolly good news from Camp Cavanagh. The designer of fiendish musical masterpiece Super Hexagon has released a free version of his acclaimed spike-dodger VVVVVV and it’s available now for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Of Gods And Spaceships: New Skyforge Trailers

If there was one winner at this year’s E3, it was fans of open worlds. The industry has become so efficient at creating beautiful places that there’s half a dozen games coming in the next year that I want to play in spite of their mechanics, not because of them. Skyforge is on the list. It’s an MMO likely to be a grind to play, but it’s set in the kind of techno-fantasy world that juts mountain palaces up against spaceships and sets it all under a vibrant blue sky. There’s a trailer introducing that world below, alongside another talking through some of the game’s combat and leveling mechanics.

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Matters Of The Heart: The Sims 4

The on-stage presentation for The Sims 4 at E3 was a sinister piece of work. Forget your survival horror games and your gore-tastic third-person monster-choppers, this is the most disturbing video shown at the entire event. It begins with simple marketing buzz-speak – “In previous games you controlled the mind and body of your Sims. In the Sims 4, for the first time, you control their hearts.” This is demonstrated by showing what look like canned animations linked to personality traits. So far, so Sims 3. Then, toward the end of the video, the presenter really takes control of a poor jock’s heart.

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Yes All Men: Assassin’s Creed Bro-op Controversy Escalates

I’m afraid this is going to be a long one, because the debate around Assassin’s Creed Unity not inculding any female avatar options in its co-op mode didn’t half snowball overnight. Ubisoft are now backtracking on their initial defence that this was a workload issue, and instead claim it’s a deliberate narrative-based decision – however, this only opens up more questions.

In the meantime, a former Assassin’s Creed animation lead has called foul on the original claims that animating a female character results in an unbearable workload increase, while elsewhere at E3, a Far Cry 4 dev claimed that excessive animation needs are why there are no playable women in that game. Who to believe, eh?
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Not All Men: Daedalic’s Steampunk Adventure

Not pictured: men.

The way to solve an adventure game puzzle is, any glib git will tell you, to give a bit of a think, try a few ideas, then tell everyone everything and use every item you’ve stolen together in random combinations until you get it. A little more thought might be sensible in Daedelic’s new adventure game, announced by the Whispered World and Deponia devs at E3. The Devil’s Men (which actually stars two ladies) can have multiple solutions to puzzles, see, and supposedly they might each alter the direction of its spooky steampunk story a little.

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After The Storm…. London’s Radius Festival

Last year it was Etoo, this year it’s Radius and the bulk of it is no longer happening at the same time as the LA monster that is E3, but the purpose is the same – interesting games and nice people at a fairly relaxed, and free, event in That London.
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Angry Urination & Other Scenes From Homefront 2

Let’s move on from the “huh? But why?” issues around Crytek making a sequel to the THQ-dooming COD rival Homefront, and indeed on from “North Korea successfully invades the US, seriously?” and spend our time instead asking “OK, so what’s it like?”

Going on this footage from straight outta E3, clearly it’s working the occupied city line hard, as well as fun with improvised future-tech. The ‘uprising’ system is intriguing too – potentially moving the game away from Broman Saves The World and into something that’s about co-ordinating a massed resistance movement. Also there’s a scene where a guy has a wee in public while swearing his head off, then promptly gets beaten up for it, which very much reminds me of living in Camden.
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Fish, Hitler, And Naughty Language: DLC Is Bloody Weird

Shooting Hitler is weird

What do Hitler, Snoop Dogg, George Washington, and Shakespeare have in common? If you said they all appear in Rik Mayall’s autobiography Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ*, you’re wrong. Washington and Snoop aren’t mentioned in that. The correct answer is that each has been digitised and reformed–Weird Science style–into your games as DLC.

There’s a lot of DLC out there, ranging from the mundane to the insane, and I think I know why. Games are increasingly serious business, with huge budgets and a cast amount of public scrutiny. DLC–well some of it–feels like the passion projects that don’t fit into the canon. An outlet for the stuff that gets cleared from the whiteboard for being too off message, or too niche. DLC is cathartic. I’ve been on a strange journey, readers. I’ve been looking through games catalogues and hunting down the sort of DLC that could be described as ’boutique’. I’ve been on a boutique call, ahahahahahahaha!

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You Can Never Go Home: Night In The Woods

I’ve already spotted two examples of a new golden age of 2d animation during E3, which is precisely the sort of thing I didn’t expect to write before E3 actually began. Silly not to expect all kinds of sights really, particularly considering the number of imaginative indies setting out their stalls on the consoles in the digital download age. Night in the Woods, which was Kickstarted toward the end of last year, is the third. It’s coming to PS4 but it’ll be gracing the PC with its presence as well. It’s an adventure with light platforming about monsters hiding between tree trunks and about returning to a much-changed childhood home.

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The Fallout Doctrine: Sheltered

It’s easy to forget what reality is and how to breathe and why basic human values matter during E3 week. It’s also easy to forget that there are other things going on in gaming’s humongous land. Inventive projects on Kickstarter, for instance. A post-apocalyptic survival game that’s genuinely about survival, rather than shooting giant mutant scorpions or speaking like a cowboy, for example. One where you’re trying to keep your family alive while stuck in a fallout shelter, for example. Sheltered, for example.
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Hot Rods And Vroom Sticks: Project CARS

Project CARS may not have the open America and sightseeing adventures of The Crew, but it’s a supremely attractive game. With a variety of motorsports and historic goals, the game sees your driver attempting to take a place in the hall of fame. To do that, you’ll have to drive really really really really fast. Make sure not to crash as well, I guess, but definitely concentrate on going fast. I’ve analysed the E3 trailer, which arrives with a reiteration of the November release window, and you’ll find a complete breakdown below.

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