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What are we all playing this weekend?

As everyone in Britain knows, you shouldn't turn your heating on until October at earliest. November, ideally. But if you give up in September, you're a coward. Even if autumn does seem a whole lot more miserable than you remember. Time to dig my layers out the back of the wardrobe, I suppose.

What are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on!

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Up until now, it sure felt like we didn't know a lot about "looter-slasher" Godfall aside from the fact that it's an action game that looks quite colorful and shiny. Well say no more, Gearbox Publishing and Counterplay Games have gone and dumped a whole trove of combat details on the ground. I'm going to spend about as long sorting through information about these various attack types as I likely will my in-game inventory.

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Despite being very, very bad at its turn-based tactical survival, I quite enjoy Overland. I always welcome a reason to jump back in and utterly fail at surviving an apocalyptic road trip across the country. Finji have given me another fantastic reason to get back behind the wheel. In its newest update, Overland adds an "all dogs" setting that guarantees your squad will only be made up of furry friends. Also there are pugs now.

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Spelunky 2 launches on PC next week, but you'll be tackling its randomised platformer dungeons solo for a few weeks after that. "Our online multiplayer had a bit of a rocky start on PS4," Mossmouth say, and they've decided to hold that element out of the PC release temporarily instead of delaying the launch of the game entirely. Mossmouth and BlitWorks anticipate that online multiplayer will be ready for PC within a few weeks.

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Feature: Nvidia's flagship RTX cards go head to head

Nvidia RTX 3080 vs 2080: how much faster is Nvidia’s new Ampere GPU?

You may not be able to buy it anywhere right now, but Nvidia's new RTX 3080 GPU has very much set the bar for next-gen graphics cards. It represents a significant leap over the existing RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Super, both at 4K and lower resolutions, and it's hands down one of the best graphics cards Nvidia's ever made. But just how much faster is the RTX 3080 over the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Super? Let's find out via the medium of some lovely graphs.

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Amazon announce cloud gaming service Luna

Of course Amazon is launching a cloud gaming service. How did I not see this coming? Amazon Luna is the company's upcoming service for playing games on most of your favorite screens via subscription packages to different libraries. They've opened applications to the early access version of the service currently available in mainland United States.

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Feature: Space to grow

Ostranauts is a hugely ambitious space game, but I think it’s going to work

"This is all just an excuse for me to build a universe, right?" says Daniel Fedor, as I settle in for an evening watching him play Ostranauts. And he's serious. The sandboxy space sim, which hit early access on September 10th, and which is a sort-of sequel to acclaimed oddball RPG NEO Scavenger, has some properly deep worldbuilding. And I don't mean deep as in "my D&D setting has a map I did myself, and religions to boot". I mean deep as in "a spreadsheet just to track the product ranges and distribution networks of fifty-odd manufacturing brands", which is just one of Fedor's many design documents.

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Call Of Duty: Warzone is kicking off season six next week and you'll want to check the schedule before you hop back into Verdansk. The train schedule, that is. COD's looty shooty battle royale is getting a working metro system to carry you around the map. The trick is that you'll have to play nice on board. No fighting back there or this train isn't leaving the station, squad!

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Feature: Absolutely on one

Bathhouse management in Onsen Master is fun, but needs more radish demons

Featured as part of the Game Devs of Color Expo and its Gradient Convergence showcase on Steam, Onsen Master’s Ghibli aesthetics caught my eye immediately. It’s a “hot spring customer management” game where you ditch the whole ‘service with a smile’ schtick and drag your customers with speed and aggression into hot spring baths you’ve prepared especially for them.

Other duties include making sure they’re cleaned between uses, that you’ve mixed the right ingredients, and you’re keeping spillages to a minimum. It’s a tough gig! And the more I ran my onsen in the demo build, the more I felt a seldom used part of my brain expanding. Is this - am I multitasking?

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Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 are now available on GOG

Solid Snake, Revolver Ocelot, and all their wacky mates return to PC today with re-releases of the first two Metal Gear Solid games popping up on GOG, after years hiding in boxes. The stealth series was clunky but ahead of its time in a lot of ways (and I'm as alarmed as anyone by how prescient their politics now seem) so I'm quite curious to see how the vintage tactical espionage action actually holds up. It's not going to be super-great, is it, but I'm game. GOG have dug up the original Metal Gear too.

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This was to be the week Bungie launched Destiny 2: Beyond Light but, like everything else this year, the expansion ended up delayed. This week has at least brought news about installing Beyond Light come November, both good and bad. Good news: thanks to some revamped technoguts, the game should take up less drive space and Bungie should be able to patch any urgent problems faster. Bad news: you'll need to download the whole game again when Beyond Light arrives. We'll get a few hours' head-start to preload, at least.

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Feature: Craft a Bismarck game out of code or cardboard

The inaugural Flare Path Game Jam

The world's first commercial digital wargame turned forty earlier this year. As I've written about Computer Bismarck previously on RPS, I won't do so again. What I will do is mark the anniversary somewhat belatedly by borrowing the pioneer's theme for the trial run of what I hope will become an annual or biennial event in the Flare Path calendar.

Readers of a creative bent, sharpen your HBs, blow the dust/crumbs/dandruff off your GameMaker installs, and don your brainstorming berets – this column's inaugural game design contest starts right here, right now.

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Mafia: Definitive Edition remake is out now

For eighteen years, I've been unable to escape a stubborn earworm: the smooth jazz of Django Reinhardt's Cavalerie, from the car radio in Mafia. I had thought that I might be able to shake it loose by returning to the city of Lost Heaven in Mafia: Definitive Edition, the remake which launched this morning, but I've now read that song didn't make it in. If I play Def Ed without first exorcising Cavalerie, will I shut the door and have it stuck in my head forever? A serious concern for the remake of a pretty decent game.

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CPU deals of the week – 25th September 2020

If you've been thinking about upgrading your CPU recently to pave the way for one of those shiny new graphics cards coming out soon, then you're in luck. There have been several price drops on both Intel and AMD CPUs this week, making it a good time to pick up a good bargain. Below, you'll find all of the cheapest CPU deals from around the web in both the UK and the US, covering all of our top gaming CPU picks. Whatever type of PC you're looking to build, here are the best 9th and 10th Gen Intel CPU prices and best AMD Ryzen CPU deals going on this week.

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Eight years after its last major content update, Left 4 Dead 2 has mutated all sorts of newness with The Last Stand. Made by fans but released officially by Valve, the huge free update has added a new mini-campaign based on the first game's lighthouse Survival mode map, dozens of new maps for Survival and Scavenge modes, new weapons, and loads of wee tweaks and touches. With Valve saying as recently as this year that they're not making L4D3, The Last Stand may be the co-op shooter's last stand for quite some time.

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Feature: Just one more early-game

Have you played… Sid Meier’s Civilization VI?

"Just one more turn." For all that the phrase is most commonly attributed to the Civilization franchise, I've never really experienced that feeling with the games. Whenever I've wanted to pack the game in and continue another day, I'm able to do so. If the phrase were instead "Just one more game," then that would much more accurately capture the influence Civilization VI in particular exerts over me. I've probably played through as many early-games in Civ VI as I've played turns in any single game of Civ. I'm utterly and eternally in love with those first few dozen turns.

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After five years in early access, multiplayer tactical shooter Squad finally launched this week. Up to 100 players can romp around big levels on foot and in vehicles, in action which sits somewhere between Battlefield and Arma on the simulated soldier seriousness scale. It was started by some of the folks behind Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality, y'see. Though just because the game's now out of early access, doesn't mean the devs are done with it. They've laid out plans for new modes, maps, and more that stretch into at least next year.

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Square Enix today announced an April 23rd release date for Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139..., the confusingly-named new edition of the 2010 action-RPG. This game is set millennia before Nier: Automata, the first game in the series that came to PC, though it does have a few familiar faces. The new version is tweaked, expanded, and prettied-up a bit, supposedly enough that Squeenix call it an "update" or "modern re-telling" rather than use simple and helpful terms like 'remaster' or 'remake'. Come enjoy some nice landscapes and sad music in the new trailer below.

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Feature: MCDONALDS! MCDONALDS! MCDONALDS!

Every character in Hades placed on the Mulaney McDonald’s alignment chart

Extremely good game Hades got its full release recently. Allegedly a roguelike (but it cannot be, because I do not like roguelikes), in Hades the game you play as Hades the god's swaggering poshboy son Zagreus, who is trying to literally and figuratively escape his father's home. Hades the game makes full use of its setting and is stuffed full of great renditions of Ancient Greek gods and monsters.

I've been getting up an hour early to play Hades before work, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about the characters you run into on your multiple attempts to get out of hell. I was going to do a list of them in order of how hot I think they are, but I think you know me well enough by now to know the list would be a bit of paper with "idk they're all pretty hot" scrawled on it in biro. So instead, as is applicable in many situations, we turn to John Mulaney.

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Rocket League went free-to-play yesterday, which, naturally, caused loads of new players to hop into those funky little football cars for a few matches. The game's new competitive season began, too, bringing in a load of returning players as well. Unfortunately, Rocket League's servers did not like this. Not long after the game updated, the servers went down and players struggled to connect to its online features.

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Feature: Beads. Bees!?

Podcast episode 110: the ‘if you could have one superpower’ special

In a change of pace for the Electronic Wireless Show this week, Nate is on holiday and we're joined by special guest VidBud Colm Ahern to discuss our favourite special powers from video games. The title is actually a misnomer, because I immediately go on to say that really we're talking about weird or supernatural special powers, not super powers like wot The Avengers have. An example, that we talk about at in fact, is Max's power to rewind time in Life Is Strange.

Our diversions this week are less likely to involve the term "bumeggs", but we do spend ages talking about whether or not a character in Resident Evil 7 has a beehive for a bum or not. Also, it turns out that we mostly want special abilities that facilitate the acquisition and consumption of food. We did record this around lunchtime, in fairness.

To make things more confusing, the Cavern Of Lies this week is superhero themed, specifically around 2002 strategy game Freedom Force.

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Total War Saga: Troy launched its first DLC today, Amazons. It introduces badass warrior queens Penthesilea and her sister Hippolyta to the Trojan War, along with their all-female armies, new focuses, faction mechanics and more. Better yet, you can nab it for free for the next two weeks.

Now, each of these Amazon leaders have slightly different goals - Hippolyta is out to take back sacred regions and gather Amazonian treasure, while Penthesilea will be exploring the world with a Horde army to capture new settlements.

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Update: many retailers are now out of stock of the RTX 3090, so here's an update on UK and US availability.

Nvidia's monstrous RTX 3090 is upon us. Launching today at 6am PT / 2pm BST, Nvidia's so-called "BFGPU" will allegedly bring 8K gaming to the masses - a rather pointless endeavour if you ask me, especially since the only 8K displays you can actually buy right now are mostly extortionate 8K TVs. Still, if nothing but the best of the best will do and you don't care how much it costs to get there, then here's a list of everywhere you can currently buy an RTX 3090, as well as where you can get your hands on that all-important 8K display to go with it. RIP your wallet.

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Microsoft announced during their Tokyo Games Show stream today that Japan will be the next country to get touched up by hand in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The first "world update" is coming next week with six Japanese cities rebuilt using 3D photogrammetry, along with six airports, a new elevation map for the country, and loads of bridges, temples, castles, and other landmarks. The update's due next Tuesday, and you can see a bit of Japan now in the trailer below.

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Mike Morhaime, the co-founder and former CEO of Blizzard, has opened a new video games venture with two studios stacked full of fellow ex-Blizzard folks. Dreamhaven is the company name, under which sit two studios, Moonshot Games and Secret Door. Open their doors and you'll find folks including longtime StarCraft II game director Dustin Browder and original Hearthstone game director Eric Dodds. What are they working on? It's a secret, for now.

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Among Us has been a bit of a surprise hit over the last few months, managing to rack up a whopping 1.5 million concurrent players earlier this month after becoming hugely popular on Twitch. The developers, Innersloth, had planned on making a sequel, but since the first one's popularity exploded, they've decided to cancel Among Us 2 in favour of focusing on the original game. Now, all the new things they'd intended on putting in the sequel will go to Among Us 1 instead.

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Nvidia have issued their second apology this week, this time for the launch of the RTX 3090. The so-called "BFGPU" isn't due to go on sale until 6am PT / 2pm BST later today, September 24th, but Nvidia's apology confirms previous reports that there will be a "limited supply" of GPUs available when it goes on sale. "We want to apologise upfront that this will be in limited supply on launch day," Nvidia said on their GeForce website. "We know this is frustrating, and we’re working with our partners to increase the supply in the weeks to come."

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Feature: Brain strain

Have You Played… Cortex Command?

I wish I enjoyed Cortex Command more than I do.

It has a terrific premise. You're a brain, competing with other brains to mine gold from different maps by directing and remotely controlling robots. You can control them directly, flitting back and forth as needed, digging tunnels and building walls and, of course, shooting the hell out of each other in the Worm-esque fully destructible levels. Each robot has a specific chassis but can equip anything, from a humble peashooter to a deadly heavy laser, including all manner of ballistic and energy weapons (plus mining tools that are devastating in the right situations).

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