Side-scrolling MOBA Awesomenauts is now free-to-play

Awesomenauts [official site], Ronimo’s 2D side-scrolling MOBA, has switched to free-to-play after almost five years. After commercial MOBAs exploded, most of the next wave were basically Lolbuts (‘like League of Legends but with…’) but Awesomenauts had an interesting take. It’s an action-platformer built upon the MOBA fundamentals of waves, bases, neutral enemies, and all that, an interesting rejiggling which casts off a lot of the MOBA baggage. If you fancy a crack, hey, it’s now free to play. Have a gander: Read the rest of this entry »

AMD’s 16-core CPU and other exciting stuff

Yes, yes, a 16-core CPU is likely-going-on-definitely irrelevant for PC gaming. But it’s an exciting notion in simple technological terms and it represents something that certainly is important for gaming, namely that the PC as a platform has woken up again. Along with that mega-CPU from AMD, we also have the imminent prospect of new graphics card families from both AMD and Nvidia, new CPUs from Intel in response to AMD Ryzen assault, an intriguing new APU, again from AMD, that could just make for some nice cheapo laptops with genuine gaming chops and, well, plenty more. And the annual Computex tech shindig hasn’t even kicked off yet…

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Wot I Think: Perception

Perception [official site] has pedigree. It’s the first game from a new studio, but members of the team have worked on BioShock, BioShock Infinite and Dead Space. Crowdfunded to the tune of $160,000, Perception didn’t simply rely on past glories though; it has one of the strongest hooks I’ve ever seen in a horror game. You play as a blind woman, exploring a haunted (?) house, using echolocation to find your way around, and to discover escape routes when necessary. Sounds good? Here’s wot I think.

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Platinum’s Vanquish rocketslides onto PC

Hold onto your butts! If you don’t, they’ll fall off as you rocketslide around a spacecity kicking robots in Vanquish [official site]. Almost seven years after its console debut, the third-person shooter from Bayonetta and Nier: Automata devs PlatinumGames has finally arrived on PC. It is a good video game. Did I not mention that you can rocketslide and kick robots? Our Alec is bumsliding around to tell us all Wot He Thinks but, for now, here’s notice that it’s out and some brief tech thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

13 recent games that run well on terrible laptops

‘Terrible’ only in the sense of their gaming capability. Honestly, I’m sure your laptop is lovely to look at and it was definitely a extremely sensible idea to spend all that money on it instead of buying a holiday or helping to save the pandas. Truth is, though, that playing recently-released games on the vast majority of laptops is about as effective as starting an online petition to uncancel your favourite television show.

A little discretion goes a long way, however. Sure, you may be denied the glossiest of exploding viscera, but it is entirely possible to keep up with the Joneses even on a Terrible Laptop that has no dedicated graphics card. Here are but twelve contemporary games – either recently released or still-evolving going concerns – that will indeed run on your glammed-up toaster. Additional suggestions below are entirely welcome.
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The Signal From Tölva making free snowy expansion

Today may be the unofficial first day of the British summer but Big Robot are dreaming of winter. They’ve announced a free expansion for The Signal From Tove Lo [official site] that will bring snow to their sci-fi open-world shooter. The new scenario is due later this year with new secrets and robos. Before all that, a small patch has arrived. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Hi-Octane?

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

I didn’t have Wipeout as a young ‘un. I had Hi-Octane. As a racing game about weaponised hovercars it was probably not as good and not as popular. But see, when you changed views, to the viewpoint of sitting in your car? You could see the bullet holes as they appeared in your windshield. That was incredible to me in 1995 (or whatever subsequent year it was in which I actually played the game). It blew my little mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Zombasite: Orc Schism expansion announced

The one-man action-RPG army that is Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment has announced the first expansion for Zombasite [official site], the action-RPG set in a fantasy zombie apocalypse. Named Orc Schism, it’ll introduce three monstrous factions of Orcs as well as a Bard class for folks who want to sing about the end of the world as we know it. It’s due some time this summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Surge

Oh, I see. Just as I’ve written an article complaining that no game has learned from Dark Souls’ level design, The Surge [official site] comes out, a Soulsy sci-fi action game which is, on the face of it, about a cataclysmic accident in a robot factory, but which is actually about opening that door over there and finding out you’re back in your favourite corridor. It’s from the same developers as Lords of the Fallen but while Rich found that earlier foray into the land of Dark Clones to be uninspired and shonky, The Surge turns out to be a decent homage to its predecessor, even if it is lacking in several vital areas. Some of that shonkiness, for example, is still hanging in there.
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Fallout 4 free to play on Steam this weekend

Post-apocalyptic packrat simulator Fallout 4 [official site] will be free to play in full this weekend. The free weekend on Steam will start at 6pm today (10am Pacific) and run until 9pm (1pm Pacific), letting all and sundry and play the base game and poke at mods. (Expansions not included.)

If you dig it and want it for keepsies, the game will be on sale until Monday evening. And for those who already have it, the DLC is going on sale too. Read the rest of this entry »

Manifold Garden: what you actually do in this glorious Escher-scape

Manifold Garden

Manifold Garden [official site] is a game I’ve had my eye on for a while but I realise I’ve been treating it more as an aesthetic curio than a game. It was only when I was watching the latest dev video summing up nearly a year of progress that I realised what playing it actually entails – cubes growing into trees and recursive bonsai save worlds are just a couple of the cool things involved! Read the rest of this entry »

Netflix Warren Ellis Castlevania series gets debut trailer

Netflix's Castlevania

Oooh! The Castlevania animated series Netflix commissioned now has a trailer. That means we have our first look at the Warren Ellis-penned adaptation (although there is more than half a minute of preamble and sneaking in refs to other Netflix shows – GET TO THE POINT! AND BY POINT I MEAN THE POINT OF THE STAKE BECAUSE DRACULA): Read the rest of this entry »

Divinity: Original Sin 2 launching properly in September

As Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] charges screaming through early access, developers Larian have announced a release date for the full version: September 14th. For early access roleplayers, though, Larian have released a hefty update including the tutorial with a fight against a kraken, the new home base on a captured warship, new areas, improved AI, and plenty more. You can see some of all this in a new dev diary if you aren’t distracted by how swish their offices are: Read the rest of this entry »

The Witcher’s fave card game, Gwent, is now in open beta

Drizzle-soaked Welsh county and card game of tavern scoundrels, Gwent [official site], is now in open beta. Originally an in-game pastime from The Witcher 3, developers CD Projekt RED are casting it out into the world to see if it can survive on its own with naught but a pair of free-to-play clogs. It involves pitting your fightcards against the enemy’s fightcards on a wooden battlefield and borrows at least some ideas from the card game of sublime Italian cowardice Condottiere. But if you’re unfamiliar, we have a trailer below which explains it much better.
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