The Steam Autumn Sale Has Started


Hi, Steam’s autumn sale is now on. Okay, bye. Huh? Oh, yes, the ‘fall’ sale if you want. Whatever. Look, is it cool if I- oh, yes, yes.

This Steam sale is remarkably restrained. While over the years, Valve have filled sales with daily deals, flash deals, minigames, badges, gems, votes, ARGs, and whatnot, this simply has a squillion things on sale. No fuss, no hurrying, just discounts running until December 1st. They call it the Exploration Sale so you’ll need to go digging, which I imagine is to show off Steam’s newer game-finding tools.

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Dying Light DLC Season Pass’s Price Is… Going Up $10?

I don’t know anything about business but I know that if you’re not disrupting, you’re bankrupting. This isn’t 2014, grandma. Here in 2015, we’ve disrupted the economic paradigm with an innovative shareconomy. Just the other day, I used the app Walk A Mile to rent my shoes to someone who wanted a smarter pair for a business lunch.

So yeah, you might be used to DLC and DLC season passes becoming cheaper over time, but pssh! We can disrupt that. Get this: the Dying Light [official site] DLC season pass’s price is about to go up from $20 to $30. Its makers say the upcoming expansion included with it, The Following, has grown big enough to warrant a higher price.

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Esports: Is Skipping A Ban Ever A Good Idea?

When is a ban not a ban? That’s a question which cropped up twice this weekend as League of Legends team Jin Air Green Wings and Smite team EnVyUs each passed up an opportunity to ban a character from a competitive match.

No-bans or skipped bans happen in the phase before the main game starts. At this point the teams are working out which characters their team will play and which to remove from play. Choosing NOT to remove something is vary rare but it does happen. It’s well worth trying to understand what’s going on in those scenarios, whether it’s to unpick the strategic thought behind them or to nod sagely over the capacity for humans to make terrible blunders on the global stage. So let’s take a closer look at no-bans, what they are and how you can use them to your advantage:

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Wot I Think: Hard West

Much has been made of how Hard West [official site] is XCOM-with-cowboys, but if anything it’s more like Jagged Alliance. With cowboys. Demon cowboys, yes, but really they’re just cowboys with horns and a flame effect. Point is, this isn’t a game about gradually building up a super-squad and a grandiose base in order to take down an almighty, otherworldly threat, but about a small gang of gun-wielders carving or limping their way through more disassociated skirmishes.

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Killing Floor 2 Adding Microtransactions To Early Access

A flame war, yesterday.

Killing Floor 2 [official site] is currently making its way through Early Access and by all accounts is a pretty good co-op zombie blaster. Developers Tripwire are now planning to add microtransactions to the game, letting players buy in-game items using real money. The initial items will be cosmetic, bought directly or by paying for keys to unlock randomly dropped item crates, though there are plans to add weapons “with new gameplay” in future. These items will be available to everyone on a server if one person has paid to unlock them.

None of this is a surprise – Killing Floor 1 had paid DLC weapons and skins – except perhaps that the microtransactions are being added here before the rest of the game is finished.

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Total War: Warhammer Trailer Shows Campaign Map

I’ve yet to watch any of the Total War: Warhammer trailers, because I know nowt about Warhammer and so normally leave that kind of thing to Adam. I do like a good map though, and the latest trailer shows the game’s campaign map for the first time in between scenes of battle.

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Less Retro, Same City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii

After romping through ’80s and early ’90s pop culture in the 8-bit-styled Retro City Rampage, developers Vblank Entertainment are skipping forward a few years. They’ve announced Shakedown Hawaii [official site], a follow-up open-world murder simulator which skips towards a 16-bit art style and, I’d imagine, later into ’90s pop culture. Presumably the Back to the Future references are now Back to the Future Part III references, and everyone’s going on about whether they’re a Rachel or a Monica (someone once called me a Phoebe and I was APPALLED). Look, here’s the first trailer:

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Have You Played… Tomb Raider Chronicles?

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

I wrote last month asking if you’d played Tomb Raider 2. But I was being shy. What I really wanted to know if is you’ve played Chronicles?

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Nidhogg’s Fencer Saunters Into Divekick, Sword And All

Bringing a sword to a kickfight seems unsporting, but I’m not sure what a fighting tournament would expect when inviting a warrior who wants nothing more than to be devoured by a giant serpent. The fantastic Nidhogg’s Fencer has arrived in Divekick [official site], bringing their big pixel style and flingable sword to the two-button fighting game (guess what those two buttons do). The Fencer is the final character added to Divekick, rolled out in a free update yesterday. The game also scored a price cut.

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Anno 2205 Free DLC Starts January With Wildwater Bay

Have you been taking care of dear old Mumsy, our planet Earth, and her dusty baby? In Anno 2205 [official site], that is. I mean, have you been playing Anno 2205? If so, you may heard Ian Ubisoft muttering about plans for future updates, expansions, and free DLC. What’s that, Ian? Speak up. You’re repeating yourself. Be clearer. Oh, move over.

The first of several planned free ‘DLC’ bits is Wildwater Bay, a large new planetside session, and will come in January. The paid first expansion, Tundra, is due at the end of February, and will be followed by the Orbit expansion. I’ll explain more.

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