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Matt Cox

1 day ago

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The Sunday Monday Papers

Sundays are for attending music festivals. I'm in a field in Devon, you're reading the best writing about video games from the past week (or so). [Mondays are for putting missed articles online. --Ed] On Waypoint, Cameron Kunzelman dedicated his Postscript column to his late college professor, Anya Silver. He makes a poignant case for dealing with sadness by embracing it, for working through melancholy…

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5 days ago

Battlerite Royale looks exactly like you’d think, except you can hide in a barrel

Last week Stunlock Studios announced that the upcoming Battlerite Royale, formerly a battle royale spin off mode in Battlerite, is actually going to be a standalone game. This week, they've shown off what the "Team Arena Brawler" looks like in its new form via the reveal trailer below. It looks almost exactly how I thought it would, except the flying wolf-wyrm that drops you off…

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6 days ago

The Humble Jackbox Party Bundle includes too much party for you to handle

If you've never played any of the Jackbox games, Humble are offering you the chance to fix that for cheaps. You can pay what you want to get Fibbage XL and Quiplash in the Humble Jackbox Party Bundle, which will both reveal that your friends can be way funnier than you ever gave them credit for. They're party games that everyone plays via their phones,…

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1 week ago

Asymmetric multiplayer hunter Deathgarden stalks into early access

There's no time to smell the roses in Deathgarden. You'll either be too busy parkouring away from a chunky marine, or embodying that soldier yourself as you hunt down the five other players in each game. Think Evolve, but with a gaggle of archers whose focus is on fleeing a dude with a gun rather than bringing down a big beastie. Also they're all humans…

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Feature: Stinker tailor soldier spy

Phantom Doctrine review

Everything I'd read about Phantom Doctrine excited me. Unravelling Cold War conspiracies in a spy-flavoured XCOM was an enthralling elevator pitch, and the details seemed to back up that promise. Yes, you can brainwash enemy agents and yes, your enemy can do the same. Yes, there's an emphasis on stealth and deception, employed on both a strategic management layer and through tactical turn-based missions that…

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TerraTech trundles out of early access

Designing my own machines is a fantasy I often eagerly sign up to, then abandon when I remember I'm crap at it. For me, freedom is entwined with failure - though perhaps TerraTech can check my over-ambition. It has you roaming about on an alien planet "where you design and build your own creations through a mix of crafting, combat and discovery", ostensibly collecting minerals…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for entering the 6th day of sleep derivation prescribed by your NHS insomnia clinic. I can see the logic, but not much else through these bleary eyes of mine. Luckily I've already rounded up the best writing about video games from the past week. The most important piece this week (and beyond) is clearly Cecilia D'Anastasio's on Kotaku. She's been investigating the culture…

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2 weeks ago

Battlerite Royale will be last man standalone

I've spoken to multiple people who've assumed Battlerite's battle royale mode must be already out, so here's your first bit of news: Battlerite Royale isn't out yet! As developers Stunlock Studios announced yesterday, the battle baby isn't due until the end of September. They also announced that baby is getting a crib of its own, and you're going to have to pay for it: it's…

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PUBG puts down its guns, picks up many grenades for War Mode: Dodgebomb

One of my main takeaways from watching the PUBG Global Invitational, apart from disappointment, was "huh, I really should use grenades more". My psyche has clearly resonated with that of whoever comes up with the War Mode ideas for Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, because this weekend's deathmatch event hands every player 20 frag grenades while removing all their other toys. Apart from a frying pan, obvs.

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Feature: DOES IT?

Does PUBG work as an esport?

There are problems with claiming that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds doesn't work as an esport. Thousands of those problems packed themselves into Berlin's Mercedes Benz arena for the PUBG Global Invitational, whooping, cheering and clearly getting their money’s worth from their tickets. At times, I whooped with them. I still think the whole idea is fundamentally flawed.

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The best jumps that jumpers jumped in The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Team Fortress 2 jumping. It's a lot like normal TF2, only rather the shooting people the goal is to propel yourself skywards using explosively powered movement techniques on custom designed maps. Yeah, it's nothing like normal TF2. Jumpers have tournaments too though. They've spent the past month hopping through three separate events in the Beginnings 5 competition.…

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Chipzel and Cavanagh team up again in the latest Dicey Dungeons update

'Dice equipment management' might not be a phrase that ignites your passion for turn-based roguelikes, but it does accurately describe Terry Cavanagh's latest game. Don't be fooled though: Dicey Dungeons is still in alpha, but it's already a blast. Update 0.11 landed last night, introducing new art from Marlowe Dobbe and new music from Chipzel. You might remember Chipzel from Super Hexagon, a previous game…

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OpenAI’s bots just thrashed some of the world’s best Dota players

"We estimate the probability of winning to be above 95%", said OpenAI's Dota 2 bots at the start of their second game against extremely skilled humans. I knew they'd been trained up using a sophisticated reinforcement learning technique that had instilled them with millenia worth of experience. I didn't know they'd been versed in trash talk. It seems they had training time to spare, because…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for being the best you you can be. Call your folks. Feed some ducks. Read the best writing people wrote about video games in the last two weeks. On Eurogamer, Ellie Gibson made me chuckle by relaying her fondness for both Love Island and Breath of the Wild. She makes a good point, too - dismissing things because you haven't tried them while…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Gold goes for it

The PUBG Global Invitational finale: blow by blow

“I’ll write a blow by blow report of the final”, I said. “That should be fun”, I said. The final match of the third-person perspective competition at the PUBG Global Invitational had too many blows for one man to report, but it turns out you can still tell a good story if you focus on the most important. “When we are in game we are…

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Digital board games going cheap in Steam weekend sale

The best moments in board games happen while making intense eye contact. They're when a twitch betrays a lie in a game of deception, or when you're fixed with a look of smugness and sympathy as your neighbour marches into your territory. Digital board games definitely have their drawbacks, but so does spending hundreds of pounds on cardboard you can only break out when people…

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Murderous Pursuits adds more ways to pursue murderers for a free weekend

I want to tell everyone to buy Murderous Pursuits whenever I write about it, but I can't. It's a quietly brilliant hunt 'n' be hunted multiplayer game in the vein of Assassin's Creed multiplayer, from the same people who made The Ship: Remasted. The problem is that by 'quietly' I mean 'most of the time there aren't enough people playing to fill a server'. Huzzah…

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