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Black Lives Matter

You will no doubt be aware that protests, marked by a violent police response, are ongoing in America. These protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd's neck for almost 9 minutes. Today you will see many people, websites and individuals, participating in what is being called Blackout Tuesday. By not posting on social media, it clears the way for Black voices, particularly of the Black community in the US, to speak about the systemic racism and police brutality that they suffer.

We will be participating in this social media blackout for 24 hours from 2pm BST today, and have joined in a joint statement of solidarity from all the websites across our network. We’re going to spend the time playing and writing about games by BAME developers and creators, and those posts will appear in the next 24 hours and beyond.

We know we haven't done nearly enough to amplify Black voices or help diverse people into this industry. We are working on things to change that. But now is not the time for a long and empty mea culpa. We encourage you to donate to organisations fighting racism and police violence. We encourage our white audience to take the time to listen and educate yourselves with resources like those provided by Black Lives Matter.

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After last week's big sale on WD Black SSDs, this week's big SSD deals are all about Samsung. After weeks of prices inching higher and higher or just plain refusing to budge whatsoever, prices for Samsung's best SSDs have finally started to fall in the US. There are big discounts to be had on our current best SSD for gaming pick, the 860 Evo, and their top-end 970 Evo Plus drives, as well as their portable Samsung T5 drives, with some returning to what they cost over Black Friday.

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Riot’s shiny new tactical shooter Valorant has launched

After a two-month closed beta, Riot's guns n' wizards shooter Valorant is now out for everyone to play. Valorant is the League Of Legends developer's first tactical FPS, pitting teams of five players against each other to capture objectives. It's very 'CS:GO meets Overwatch', and what's more, it's free-to-play. For those of you already embedded in the game, its full release today comes with some lovely new things to see and do - there's a new character, a new map, and even and a jaunty hat for a frog.

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Ebay UK always seems to have some kind of sale on these days, but this time the discounts are pretty damned substantial. Thanks to a new site-wide 20% off code, you can get up £75 off if you find something that tickles your fancy. There’s a catch, though: it only works on certain Ebay stores. The good news is that we've done the hard work for you and found the best PC deals available right now. Read on below for our top picks.

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Feature: Behold the Shatterpillar

Nimbatus review

Nimbatus is about building spaceships. More accurately, it's about learning to build spaceships. And if we're being completely honest, it's a game about learning how not to build them. At its heart is one of the most flexible digital construction toys I've come across, which allows for enormous complexity despite a relatively unforgiving learning curve, and Nimbatus would be a worthy purchase if its freestyle sandbox mode was all there was.

But welded onto it is a game about hopping from planet to planet whilst pursued by space gits, facing increasingly stern challenges to your engineering skill, and I'm not altogether certain what to make of it. On the one hand, it's brutally difficult, and often in the most frustrating ways. But on the other hand, it's an elegant piece of game design that manages to add impetus, strategy and tension to an otherwise aimless physics sandbox. It's a roguelite whose purpose is to force you to get better at using a toy, and the more I smash my head against it, the more I think I like it.

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You know how it goes, Fortnite is constantly changing up the map and events on its battle royale island and folks love to get a sneak peek at what's up next. This time around it's not a datamine that dug up the dirt. It seems that the PlayStation Store accidentally changed Fortnite's icon on its site to this, the battle bus floating over an endless ocean. Fortnite's Chapter 2 Season 3 is coming in hot, so folks are thinking a big flood might be the next shakeup.

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On the list of anime that were just a bit too action-y for teenage me is Fairy Tail, though of course that's part of what makes it a good candidate for an RPG spinoff. It's not the first time the series has been treated to a game adaption, but this will be its first proper PC release. Koei Tecmo are gearing up for July's release with a new gameplay video showing 24 minutes of cutscenes and combat from early in the game.

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Silly wobble person fighting game Gang Beasts is going it alone, planning to self-publish future updates. Last year, Boneloaf's former publisher Double Fine Presents was bought up by Microsoft, eventually saying that continuing to be a publisher after being bought by a bigger publisher "doesn't make sense," and calling the new structure a "complicated issue." Looks like Gang Beasts will come out of the equation alright, as Boneloaf are planning some new updates for the game even post-publisher.

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Electronic Arts had planned to today announce Madden NFL 21, the latest annual sequel in their American football series. But in light of the protests, unrest, and violence in America right now after Minneapolis police killed unarmed Black man George Floyd, it didn't seem the time. "Our immediate attention is on actions we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world," EA Sports said in a surprising statement.

Update: PlayStation have done much the same for their June 4th event, saying "we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard."

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Feature: Terraria Firmer

Best Terraria mods

Terraria’s final update, Journey’s End, is just the beginning. Developers Re-Logic have pulled off one final trick for their huge fanbase, making popular community mod manager tModloader officially supported. It’s a lovely gesture that means the players will have easy access to the bewildering amount of fan-made items, monsters, total conversions, and more, even if development has ceased.

I had to editorialise a lot when looking around for mods for Terraria: there’s a bewildering amount. I didn’t want to overwhelm things with content mods, because there’s an issue of balance with some of the larger mods. As much as I love OTT boss battles, I generally prefer Terraria’s mods to feel like part of the original game. The rest are QoL addons, because there’s nothing better than wrangling the vasy, unwieldy systems of Terraria into something just a tad more manageable. That’s what we’ll be working with, so let’s get to it.

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Truly, Skyrim never dies. Its memes, one liners, and in-jokes are probably destined to plague our vocabulary until the end of time. Here's a deep cut for you all the way back from the annals of 2012. It's been reshared on Reddit once again because you can't really beat the silly friends reenact video games vibe. So I'm resharing it too and Fus Ro Dah to anyone who minds.

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If you want a gaming laptop, but don’t want to go spend more than a grand doing so, then Best Buy is well worth a look today. The site has cut $130 and $150 off two gaming laptops which were both under $1000 to begin with, but take a closer look at their specs and you'll see that one is much better value than the other.

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Paradox Interactive today announced the opening of Paradox Tinto, a new Spanish studio who will focus primarily on grand strategy games. Led by a Paradox veteran with two decades of gran estrategia under his belt, the studio based in Barcelona will initially help out with ongoing work on Europa Universalis IV then later start making new grand strategies of their own. No hints yet at what they might have in mind.

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Feature: No we didn't like it, but we tried to fight it

Wildfire review

Stealth games tend to come in two flavours. Nowadays most are systemic playgrounds, in which players are presented with a range of options for how to deal with any given situation, and errors are forgiven after the few seconds it takes a guard to decide it was probably rats. A handful of others are more rigid, with only one correct way to play, and each stumble from the shadows punished by death and loading screens.

I like both of these kinds of stealth games, though I prefer the former. My frustrations with Wildfire can largely be traced to not knowing which kind of stealth game it's going to be in any given moment.

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If you're after some more RAM for your PC, then you'd do well to have a gander at this 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX set over on Amazon UK, where it's the lowest price it's been for months. Sure, at £65, the discount on Amazon's product page only says you're saving a fiver at the moment, but our price trackers show that you would have paid around £80 for it a couple of weeks ago, if not nearer £85 at the start of April. Indeed, the last time this 3200MHz set cost £65 was all the way back in January, making this a great time to snap it up if you're in the middle of upgrading your PC.

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June is here but E3 is not, with the games expo's cancellation leaving the the industry without an anchor for the year's big announcements and marketing blasts. E3's organisers are not planning an online replacement of their own, so instead a load of different small expos, festivals, and marketing blasts will be filling in this year. While E3 and the surrounding blast are done inside two weeks, this all will go across two months. It can be a bit confusing so here's the schedule of events and streams coming in E3's stead, starting this week.

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Feature: The Hidden Curse

I don’t think my dad could ever Escape Rosecliff Island

I have a mystery that will likely never be solved. After my dad died in 2016, one of the more peculiar things I had to do was go through his computer, log him out of everything, and close down various accounts. Which included Steam. Looking in his library on there, there were three games that sat atop his "most played" list, with hundreds of hours clocked up for each. Skyrim, X-COM: UFO Defense, and, er, hidden object game Escape Rosecliff Island. Pardon?

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I'm really enjoying Minecraft Dungeons, and my only real criticism of it right now is that there just aren't enough levels to explore. That won't be the case as of next month, however, because the game's first DLC, Jungle Awakens is dropping in July. On top of that, Mojang have announced they're working on bringing cross-platform multiplayer to Minecraft Dungeons, as well as a bunch of other content in a free future update.

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War is all fun and games, until a bunch of people figure out how to turn into snakes. By exploiting a glitch in Call Of Duty: Warzone, it's currently possible to appear as if you're lying prone when you are in fact standing up, letting you hide behind a wall while invisibly shooting people. It is a bit funny, but also frustrating and game-breaking. The snakening commenced over a day ago but the developers haven't yet acknowledged it.

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Feature: All your 2020 PC release dates in one handy list

New PC games coming out in 2020

With E3 2020 now spread out over multiple weeks and months, it can be hard to keep track of all the new PC games coming out this year. Luckily, we've done the hard work for you and collected all the new PC game release dates into one handy list so you know exactly when all the biggest and best PC games are coming out over the next six months, as well as which big PC games have since been delayed until 2021.

Ordered by month, I've rounded up all of this year's new PC games so you can see exactly what's coming out and when. There are still a fair amount of games whose release dates are TBA at the moment, but I'll be updating this list regularly as and when they get confirmed - which will probably be quite frequently over the next couple of weeks as we start getting more and more big E3-style events on the horizon. In the mean time, though, here's your complete guide to PC gaming in 2020 as it currently stands.

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If anything was going to throw a wrench into Factorio's meticulously manufactured mechanisms, you'd never think it was a punk'd up cyborg in a leather jacket. Yet, even as they powered full-steam towards release, the folks at Wube Software have decided Cyberpunk 2077's launch-day noise risks drowning out their contraptions. This week, the developers announced plans to bring Factorio out of early access five weeks early, releasing instead on Friday, August 14th.

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Screenshot Saturday Sundays! Summer is here, but it's both far too warm and a little too infectious to bother with all that "going outside" nonsense. Let's go see what the world of videogames are up to over on our favourite Twitter hashtag instead. This week: A stroll through the woods, panic platforming, knife-fights in the jungle and a disco inferno.

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It's been a while since we've heard a good rumbling from the Dwarves at Hammerting - but then, you don't tend to hear from the bearded lot unless they've riled up a dragon or dug into hell. A year on, under newfound stewardship with the mountain lords at publishers Team 17, Hammerting developers Warpzone Studios have finally emerged from the forges with a new trailer for their upcoming mine-maker.

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Ubisoft's summer of racing might've been postponed, but now we know how much Trackmania's high-speed stunts will cost you. As it turns out, nothing. If you just want to set some hot times on limited tracks this year's Trackmania is completely free to play. But if you're looking for more revs in Trackmania's engine, Ubisoft Nadeo have outlined a three-tiered annual subscription model for the July release.

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Between the end of closed beta and next week's official launch, we're in something of a Valorant dead-zone. To make sure you haven't forgotten about their new tactical wizard shoot 'em up, Riot have filled this short break with a teaser for Valorant's eleventh superpowered soldier - a purple-clad disruption vampire who grows in power with each and every kill.

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