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Matt Cox

3 months ago

Half-Life: Alyx will let you put buckets on headcrabs and the buckets will move around

In Half-Life: Alyx you will be able to trap headcrabs, the prime nemesis of footlobsters, inside buckets. "It'll move the bucket as it crawls around", confirmed the Half-Life: Alyx team in yesterday's Reddit Q&A, adding that "playtesters all keep reporting it as a bug". I hadn't given all that much thought to Half-Life: Alyx but this is honestly a game changer. It's a little crystallisation…

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Pokemon-inspired MMO Temtem is out now in early access

If you've spent the past two decades fantasising about enslaving wild creatures to do your bidding, boy howdy, do I have good news. Temtem is a Pokemon-inspired MMO for PC that came out on early access yesterday. Everything you know and love from the Pokemon games you were never allowed to play is here. Gyms are dojos, trainers are tamers, and your menagerie of adorable…

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Hearthstone solo adventure Galakrond’s Awakening awakes today

I'm a big fan of fantasy names that sound like someone choking. Ghisteslwchlohm. Zeddicus. Tolo Ogule Thermalamerkanerat. The first chapter of Hearthstone's new adventure, Galakrond's Awakening, is out today, with a story following on from the last couple of solo adventures. As usual, you fight a series of singleplayer matches against bosses with game-shaping powers. Less usual is how you get to play as either…

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Feature: May the best wiz win

Have You Played… Battlerite?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. I am partial to top-down wizards. It's a perspective that makes plans as important as reaction speeds, where every spell and step is clearly visible to everyone. Battling in Battlerite isn't about who gets the jump on who, it's about who can bait out a jump…

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Roguelike deckbuilding meets board-based battles in Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop

Long ago, Duelyst pioneered the magical game combination of deck and board. You'd build up an arsenal of tricksy monsters, then move them around while thinking about abilities and adjacency bonuses and the safety of your 'you' character. That was against online opponents, but Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop takes the same idea and runs with it through Slay The Spire-like dungeons. The roguelike deckbuilder came out…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for finally figuring out how much money your pals owe you, after recoiling from the task for the past six months. Never buy Edinburgh Fringe tickets for your friends, kids. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week. For PC Gamer, Chris Livingston convinced Santa from Sim 4 to move into his horrible raccoon house. I'm a bit late to the…

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The Apex Legends Grand Soirée lacks for wholesome bonding activities

The Apex Legends Grand Soirée has arrived, and it's all a tad familiar. Yes, the trailer pleasingly revealed Pathfinder's true nature as a Teletubby. But planned events for the two weeks include 'fighting at night' and 'fighting with shotguns and sniper rifles'. This is a perfectly acceptable use of people's time, but it's also a missed opportunity for Respawn to peel back the masks behind…

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The Elder Scrolls Online is heading to Skyrim to deal with pesky vampires

In the land of Skyrim, it turns out, you're never more than a hundred feet from a vampire. The Elder Scrolls Online has planned a series of updates dubbed "The Dark Heart Of Skyrim", where you'll spend the rest of the year rooting out the bastards from the land of the Nords. That starts with the Harrowstorm dungeon DLC at some point in February, to…

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Feature: Things that go thump in the night

Have You Played… Thumper?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Thumper leaves no room for anything but itself. It floods from your eyes to your ears to your brainstem, dissolving conscious experience into grinds and jumps and failure. The rhythm won't release you. You'll have to earn your freedom.

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Rocket League modders are making prop hunt, pool, and more weird and wonderful things

Football is so 12th Century. Thank God for Rocket League, which took football and transformed it into flying rocket car daftness. The onward march of human progress didn't stop there, however. Modders have since transformed Rocket League into flight combat sims, obstacle courses, and Quidditch. It's all impressive, but I'm most enamoured with the work of pro player "Lethamyr", who moonlights as a modder turning…

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Rocket League celebrates Chinese New Year with a new map next week

Videogames are always willing to pounce on excuses to sell you hats, so naturally Rocket League is celebrating the Chinese New Year. The event kicks off on Monday. There will be new rims and such, available to buy on the recently reworked and now slightly cheaper store. I'm more interested in the new Forbidden Temple Arena, which looks like a colourful escape from this dreary…

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Feature: Autobattle to the death

Dota Underlords and the autobattler genre is struggling to keep players

Few realised at the time, but last January we witnessed the birth of a genre. Dota Auto Chess shot to the top of Dota 2's custom games, enticing MOBA players with wizarding army management. The big names took notice. By June we had Riot's Teamfight Tactics and Valve's Dota Underlords, squaring off against each other. An unknown number of millions flocked to TFT, while Dunderlords…

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Slay The Spire’s fourth character rages out

Run! The rest of this news post is a trap. If you keep reading I've little doubt you will wind up Slay The Spire's spire once more, and your evenings will congeal into glorious ascent. The latest character has escaped the beta branch, and is ready to tackle the spire proper. The Watcher is a blind monk who weaves between rampant aggression and calm repose.…

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Feature: Happy hiking

Have You Played… Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Do you know what awaits atop the mountain in Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy? Past all the nonsensical detritus, and after every snippet of Foddy's philosophical musing? I do. Not because I climbed it, obviously. I'm a coward who relies on the internet for answers.…

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Riot aim to get Teamfight Tactics on phones in mid-March

We always knew the wizards of Teamfight Tactics were too powerful to be contained on personal computers. Riot are planning on spreading League's autobattler to mobile telephones in mid-March, and will include cross-platform multiplayer. That's also when they'll kick off Set 3, and they've hinted at what that big update will include through the unholy medium of over-stressed puns.

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Attend Hogwarts with your chums in this Minecraft mod

Famous stick-wielding orphan Harry Potter has earned himself another full-fledged RPG, this time courtesy of Minecraft modding team The Floo Network. Building on an impressively detailed Hogwarts map from five years ago, the team have since filled it with spells, adventures and secrets. You go to lessons, complete quests, and explore extensive recreations of Potterland, including Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and Westminster. The trailer briefly made…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for buying drywall filler, then hoping it will hide the holes you weren't supposed to make before Monday's inspectors can subtract an unreasonable amount from your deposit. Hurray for renting! Hurray for the best writing about videogames from the past week. For The New Yorker, Jamil Jan Kochai wrote about playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It's a reality bleeding, perspective-broadening…

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Feature: It's the court that counts

AO Tennis 2 review

Dennis Brawl was crap at tennis. She could barely tell her flats from her tennis elbow, which she had not played nearly enough to develop, but nevertheless felt afflicted by on a deeper, more spiritual level. Shots sailed passed her unwitting eyeballs. Lobs confused her, spin perplexed. Nobody would explain what an Inside Out was. I wish I could tell you she got better. That…

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