Author Archive

What are we all playing this weekend?

Every time I use a springtime header image, I end up damning us to another week of winter. But this time, this time I’m feeling confident about sunshine, frolicking, cans in the park, taps aff, and all the other springtime goodtimes we’ll see for real this weekend. But just in case, perhaps it’s sensible to have an indoors backup plan.

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

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Australian court rules Valve must pay £1.6m penalty over Steam refund policy

Valve must pay a fine of AU$3 million (about £1.6m/US$2.3m/€1.8m) for misleading Steam users in Australia by stating they were not entitled to refunds for faulty games on Steam, though Australian law guarantees rights on faulty products. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) went after Valve for this back in 2014, before Steam offered widespread refunds, and in 2016 the Federal Court agreed. Valve appealed that court’s decision but the High Court of Australia have now ruled that it stands, and that Valve must pay. They ACCC say that this “is the final decision on this issue”, the end of the line. Read the rest of this entry »

Psychonauts In The Rhombus Of Ruin jacks into PC

Sure, you’ve jacked into someone’s mind to wander through their memories, but have you jacked into someone’s mind while jacked into cyberspace? You can now do just that in Psychonauts In The Rhombus Of Ruin. Double Fine’s VR spin-off from peachy physic platformer Psychonauts arrived on PC last night, supporting Rift and Vive cybergoggles, following its debut on PlayStation VR in February 2017. It’s set right after Psychonauts, bridging the gap to the upcoming full sequel Psychonauts 2, and looks a little something like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s Venetian map Rialto hits test servers

When Blizzard whisked the Overwatchers and Underwatchers away to Venice for the cooperative PvE event mission Retribution, they said they’d also make a PvP version of its map. That Escort mode map, Rialto, isn’t quite ready but the curious can now try it out on Overwatch‘s public test servers. Blizard are also testing out some character balance changes, including reworking Hanzo and replacing his Scatter Arrows with a new skill, making Junkrat’s grenades less spammy, nerfing Tracer’s Pulse Bomb, and improving Lucio’s wallrunning. Read the rest of this entry »

Hexy roguelikelike For The King launches in full

Hex-based roguelikelike action-RPG For The King today completed its fourteen-month adventure through early access and arrived at a full launch. Our Brendan enjoyed what he played even a year ago, so it’ll be nice to see how the game has ended up. Check out the pretty little adventure in the launch trailer. Read the rest of this entry »

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor delayed into June

You have a little extra time to polish your crotchskull up nice and shiny, as NeocoreGames have announced that Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr will not make its planned May 11th launch and will instead arrive on June 5th. The 40K action-RPG from the studio behind the Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing games is being held up on PC by problems with the console versions and the desire for a simultaneous launch on all platforms. Sounds a bummer, but the game is already playable in early access and Neocore will use those extra weeks to keep working on it. Read the rest of this entry »

Assassin’s Creed Origins launches cheaty tweaky Control Panel today

assassins-creed-origins-control-panel

If you want to make Assassin’s Creed Origins easier, tougher, or weirder, from today you can tinker with its gameguts in the official new Animus Control Panel. Arriving today for free, it opens up a wide range of game settings and options to fiddle with, affecting things including the number of animal friends you can have, hitbox sizes, health points, unlocking all skills, NPC level scaling, and so on. They’re the sort of things some games might let us change through arcane console commands or buried config files, but bundled up in a menu system so it’s easy for everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds map select option “almost complete”

The long-promised option to choose which map you play on in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is “almost complete”, developers PUBG Corp said today, though we will need to wait a little longer. If you fancy skipping one map or playing a particular one, you’ll have that option. The devs had expressed concerns that adding map select might increase matchmaking times an unpleasant amount but, after analysing data from tens of millions of matches, seem confident that it shouldn’t cause problems. They shared a look at the work-in-progress option and yup, it looks simple enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Serious Sam 4 trailer visits Planet Badass

The unpausing yell of a headless bomb-handed man charging towards me should fill me with dread, and yet I’m happy to see the daft gits again in a new trailer for Serious Sam 4. Four years after the game was once due to launch, developers Croteam are finally starting to open up more about their frenetic backpedalling first-person shooter. It’s called Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass now, for starters, in case anyone missed how daft it’s all meant to be. And it seems to be leaving deserts behind, venturing into lush countryside. Here, watch this morning’s new trailer. Read the rest of this entry »

Fortnite Battle Royale removes guided missile launcher

Epic have removed the guided missile launcher from Fortnite Battle Royale as part of a hotfix bringing some other much-wanted changes too. Guided missiles have proved controversial since Epic added them at the end of March, often feeling frustratingly powerful and tricky to fight against. So those are gone for now. Epic have also fixed an issue which could interfere with firing while peeking, and removed some of the newly-added weapon switch delays. In short, less jank, less annoyance. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Mega Baseball 2 slides home on May 1st

Hey batter batter batter swing batter ’em up Super Mega Baseball 2 will launch on May 1st, developers Metalhead Software announced today. The first one is a decent b-baller with more serious gameguts than its cartoony look might suggest, and the sequel will bring online multiplayer along with a new art style that makes players look less like geese. Here, have a watch of the new dev video explaining more about Super Mega 2: Read the rest of this entry »

Lovecraftian board game Mansions Of Madness coming to PC

Fantasy Flight’s Lovecraftian board game Mansions Of Madness, which cardboard dad Rab Forence has praised so much in these pages, is getting a video game adaptation next year. Publishers Asmodee Digital yesterday announced Mansions Of Madness: Mother’s Embrace, which will send a team of investigators to investigate a spooky mansion, being waylaid by traps, monsters, and other terribleness. Asmodee have a lot of experience in the field, having published digital adaptations of games including Talisman, Ticket To Ride, Mysterium, and Pathfinder Adventures. Read the rest of this entry »

Oh joy! Peggle is free on Origin right now

PopCap’s peg-pinging puzzler Peggle, a most joyous game, is free for keepsies right now on Origin. Yes, it has been free many times before. Yes, it does requires EA’s own store client. But if you’d scoff at more people getting to enjoy the joys of Peggle, buddy, you don’t deserve Peggle. Read the rest of this entry »

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rumours: no campaign, and a battle royale mode

With a month to go until Activision start blabbing about Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, the last annual sequel in their mega-blockbuster shooter series, the rumour mill is filling in the space. According to whispers on the wind, Cod Blops 4 won’t have a traditional story campaign, scrapped because it wasn’t going to be ready in time for the October launch, and will instead focus on multiplayer and the cooperative Zombies mode. Other whispers say that the game will have a battle royale mode too. Activision reply that they “don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Believe as much or as little as you please. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch launches 6v6 Competitive Elimination

Blizzard have launched a 6v6 Competitive season for Overwatch‘s Elimination, the respawnless Arena mode where teams simply murder each other. What makes this interesting is that the season is running the Lockout variant of Elimination, where teams are blocked from picking characters they’ve already used to win a previous round. So sure, you might mash the other team with your strongest lineup in the first round, but what then? With best-of-5 matches, your team might end up with some odd and underpowered lineups – a mode rewarding flexibility. Read the rest of this entry »

BioWare boss: not releasing Andromeda DLC was ‘a defining moment’ driving studio to refocus on story

The general manager of BioWare has said that not releasing story DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda and leaving much-wanted tales untold was “a defining moment in refocusing BioWare’s mission”, which will inform Anthem. Casey Hudson talked up the importance of story and characters in a ‘studio update’ blog post yesterday. Given that I’ve forgotten almost everything I’ve heard of the action-RPG’s story (it’s on a spaceplanet and there are mechs and monsters?), I’ll take some convincing yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds testing Savage again, adding fancy pan skins

Codename: Savage, the new 4x4km map in development for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, today is back in closed beta testing after handing out more keys over the weekend. Savage returns with several new areas, dynamic weather that continues to change throughout the round, and some interesting changes to the safe zone. Developers PUBG Corp say that Savage’s blue ring of death can now “calculate and adjust its waiting time based on the number of players left alive,” which I’d be interested to see them try on the regular maps too.

Back on the main client, the game this week will add a flight path map marker as well as new weapon skins – including for its iconic pan. Read the rest of this entry »

EA exec says they won’t repeat loot box mistakes

Years of growing discontent over loot box monetisation in games came to a head with 2017’s Star Wars Battlefront II‘s lousy loot-based unlock progression system, raising such a stink that governments weighed in on arguments and EA disabled the microtransactions.

“We can shy away from it and pretend like it didn’t happen,” Patrick Söderlund, EA’s new chief design officer, told The Verge, “or we can act responsibly and realise that we made some mistakes, and try to rectify those mistakes and learn from them.” He swears blind that they’ve chosen option B, and they’ll try real hard not to guff up games like Anthem and the mysterious next Battlefield. Read the rest of this entry »

If wishes were horses, GOG’s latest sale would ride

In this hectic modern society, lists are the best way to keep track of desires and obligations: shopping lists, to-do lists, playlists, blacklists, whitelists, hitlists, shitlists… heck, this here is a listlist. It’s wishlists that GOG are celebrating today, having launched a sale on 150-odd games and DLCs that they say are among the most-wishlisted items on the store. These include The Witcher 3, Planescape: Torment, The Witness, Hyper Light Drifter, Grim Dawn, Darkest Dungeon, and other peachy video games. Read the rest of this entry »

Sea Of Thieves content updates starts in May with The Hungering Deep

“I’ve enjoyed the ambience of Sea Of Thieves so much that I want it to be something that stays in my life for a long time to come, but, in its current state, I know that is impossible,” our Alec said in his Sea Of Thieves review. “There is a platform for wonderful things here, but if Rare don’t build new things atop it PDQ, it will soon crumble forever.”

Those new things will start arriving in May, developers Rare have announced, with an update they’re calling The Hungering Deep. It’ll add a new NPC threat to the world and, going by that name, I’m guessing it’s a nasty one. Read the rest of this entry »