Steelseries Arctis Pro review: The best headset just got better, at a cost

Steelseries Arctis Pro

Ever since the Steelseries Arctis 7 rocked my eardrums at the end of last year, no other gaming headset has even come close to matching its supreme comfort or exceptional sound quality – until now. Enter its brand-new shiny upmarket sibling, the Arctis Pro.

Borrowing the same understated design and ski goggle headband as the rest of the Arctis line, the Pro takes everything up a notch, introducing Hi Res audio support, a dash of RGB lighting around the ear cups and some primo build quality to make it extra feel durable and luxurious.

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Wot I Think: Picrastination

I get quite a few picross/nonogram puzzle games sent my way of late, which is really quite a splendid state of affairs. One of the best puzzle types in existence, there have been few truly great versions, starting with Mario Picross on GameBoy, then Picross E on 3DS, and most recently Pictopix on PC. There are also an awful lot of duds, and out of kindness I quietly pass on most of them I see. Picrastination is a good, solid picross game that falls in the space between. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Punishment 2: The Punishing?


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

Long before Mark Essen aka Messhof commercially released Nidhogg, he made a dozen fascinating, bizarre, infuriating, joyous free games. Punishment 2: The Punishing was all of those things. Read the rest of this entry »

Roccat Horde Aimo review: Where membrane meets mechanical

Roccat Horde Aimo

‘Membranical’ is a horrible word and a crime against the English language, but those in keyboard circles will probably agree (albeit reluctantly) that it’s a fitting description for Roccat’s new keyboard, the Horde Aimo. If that last word sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re remembering Roccat’s Kone Aimo mouse, which belongs to the same family of RGB peripherals.

The Horde Aimo is, thankfully, a bit less overt than other LED-tastic keyboards, as the very nature of its closed-in, island-style membrane keys means you only get light escaping from each individual letter cut-out rather than having it spill out the bottom of each individual key cap. That might be a deal breaker for some, but for those who want a less distracting keyboard that doesn’t make a CLACKETY racket, read on.

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The Joy of Oxenfree’s natural dialogue system


Few games nail the ebb and flow of conversations like Oxenfree, the supernatural drama about a group of teenagers on a deserted island. The cast speak over one another, cut their friends off mid-sentence and leave realistic gaps of silence that stretch on awkwardly until somebody says “so…”, and moves on. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Omnia Mecum Porto?


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

I spent a year writing DevLog Watch, a weekly column in which I would link to developers who were charting the game creation process from its first moments. It’s been entertaining in the years since to watch many of those games grow and eventually be released, but of those that didn’t make it, I’m most sad to never get to play a finished version of Omnia Mecum Porto. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: The Rat Plague Edition


Greetings, readers. John, your regular guide to this hollow summary of ceaseless material consumption, is missing. We presume he has angered the company overlords with some sort of ill-judged diatribe against corporate consolidation, and has subsequently been reassigned to another media outlet, possibly The Re-education Supplement, or Gulag’s Weekly. Well, you won’t find any such insubordination from me. I have only the purest intentions of telling you the top ten best sellers on Steam this week, with a secondary goal of reinforcing the cold emptiness of our predominant mercantile culture. Let’s buy some games! Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers


Sundays are for visiting friends, and trying to pretend you never left the comforting warmth of your uni bubble. Also video games.

In a shocking diversion from digital paper to digital sound waves, I’m going to use this first slot in the papers to tell you about the return of Steve Gaynor’s Tone Control podcast. The Gone Home/Tacoma dev’s show came back last December after a 3 year long hiatus, and previous paper wrangler Graham tells me the Muriel Cartwright, Nina Freeman and Harvey Smith episodes are “good stuff”. I’ve dipped into the Harvey Smith one, and enjoyed the early detour into video game tattoos. Read the rest of this entry »

Free games of the week


This week, we have a few games with female protagonists! With games about crashing through everything in the mall because you haven’t had equal pay as compared to your male co-workers, being a princess who wants to get all of her stuff back, or being a small child just trying to find a way to turn her cat back into an animal instead of a hat. If you are looking for some games you can play with your friends you are in luck! I have a cute game about competitively growing flowers and another that has you chaotically typing out mini-games before your food overcooks. With such a huge variety of awesome games to play this weekend, you should read on… Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 review: A good 4K graphics card that’s just too expensive right now

AMD RX Vega 56

As the great graphics card mining crisis rumbles on, picking a time to upgrade your PC has become a minefield of inflated prices and overblown mark-ups – and nowhere has this been felt more keenly than AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega 56 card and its big brother, the Radeon RX Vega 64.

Whereas the RX Vega 64 targets the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (our current best graphics card for 4K gaming), the RX Vega 56 takes aim at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. That is, an excellent graphics card for 2560×1440 resolutions with ambitions of pushing into the 4K arena with a couple of compromises. And yet their respective prices couldn’t be more different, with the cheapest GTX 1070 currently costing around £500 / $665, while the poor old RX Vega 56 will set you back at least £750 / $750. The easily-parsable Asus Radeon RX Vega 56 ROG Strix OC Gaming version I’ve got here demands even more, too, with prices at time of writing sitting lamentably out of reach around the £840 / $900 mark.

This immediately puts the RX Vega 56 on the back foot, regardless of which make you go for, but assuming everything starts settling down at some point in the future (and good gravy I hope they do), I’m going to ignore prices for the moment and just focus on whether it’s just a good graphics card. Capice? Capice. Let’s get to it. Read the rest of this entry »

Vermintide 2 is grimdark ultraviolence at a spectacular scale


We’re planning on a full review next week, but seeing as the weekend, and with it the tortured paralysis of what to play, looms so close, I thought I’d share some initial thoughts on the newly-released, Warhammer vs Left 4 Dead rat-splatting sequel Vermintide 2. In short: it’s the same co-op survival formula, but now writ very, very large and very, very bloody.
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Ridealong: The bizarre resort town of Tower Unite


In Ridealong we send Brendan into game worlds to meet the inhabitants that dwell within. This time, the bony condo owners and anti-social gamblers of Tower Unite’s casino town.

He never blinks. The red, glowing eyes of KrazyKillerSheep are transfixed on his widescreen television, and he never blinks. I’d like to say it’s because he never wants to lose sight of what he’s got. His penthouse is a grandiose apartment, full of chic furniture and musical instruments. There’s a swimming pool upstairs, a drum kit in the corner, a long dining table, set for three. A piano sits on an intricate marble floor, surrounded by glass windows that overlook an unreachable skyline. The owner has all this, and yet his crimson eyes are set firmly, unfalteringly on his massive TV. He isn’t worried for his possessions, nor captivated by television. Killer can’t blink because he’s a skeleton. Read the rest of this entry »

Kingdom Come Deliverance guide: walkthrough, tips and tricks

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an atypical roleplaying game even putting the lack of supernatural creatures aside. There’s a greater focus on simulation, and a much steeper learning curve – getting into it is not easy or overly intuitive, especially compared to the majority of games that tend to lead you by the hand. Explanations for Kingdom Come’s various systems are particularly hard to come by, so if you’d rather not bash your head (and indeed your lockpicks) against every secured door you see, then take a seat, pour yourself a Saviour Schnapps, and have a gander at our guide to the game. This article was updated on March 9th 2018 with another million side quests and things.

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Kingdom Come Deliverance: how to master lockpicking

Kingdom Come Deliverance

The Middle Ages was no picnic. No wonder that, in so many RPGs, you tend to nick everything that hasn’t been nailed down – anything to give you an edge over the harsh environment. Every true hero naturally includes lockpicking and maybe even pickpocketing as part of their repertoire – you don’t save the world without first breaking a few locks. (Also, heads.) Despite its more grounded world and its more mundane protagonist, when it comes to stealing, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is really no different.

As you might expect, the game’s most valuable items are usually stored behind locked doors or in secure chests, with complex locking mechanisms barring your way. That’s why the Lockpicking skill is one of the most essential in the game. It doesn’t matter if you want to get equipment, food or other treasures – they can all be locked away from prying eyes.

Therefore, this article reveals everything you need to know about lockpicking. We’ll start with the lockpick itself, the most vital tool of every master thief. Then we’ll introduce you to the skill and its various upgrades. After that, some advice on how to overcome locks more easily, and how not to get caught while doing so. Read the rest of this entry »

Kingdom Come Deliverance: side quests

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance: The Good Thief

This will likely be the first side quest you come across, unless you flee from Rattay immediately after waking up there. Once you’ve finished the intro and gathered your things, go and talk to Miller Peshek, who will give you this multi-part quest.

It seems you’ve racked up quite the debt by lying unconscious in his mill the past two weeks, which doesn’t exactly seem fair, but then it is the Middle Ages. Peshek wants you to repay the money he’s had to spend on herbalist appointments and whatnot, and if you want to be debt-free in 1403, you should get Peshek off your back ASAP. Unfortunately, the actions the miller requires of you are not exactly… savoury. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Disney’s Tarzan?


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

I started writing this thinking “neat, I get to celebrate a game where your only mode of attack is to pelt things with fruit”. Then I remembered that you do also have a knife in Disney’s Tarzan, and butchering cheetahs with sharp implements might not actually be all that child friendly. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

deus ex

I’ve been playing an obscene amount of Into The Breach. Right now, even the dystopian hellscape of a future ridden by awful bug monsters feels like top-tier escapism. And s peaking of escapism, it’s time for another batch of the week’s best PC gaming deals from around the web.

This particular set of deals is mostly digital, with a couple of cheeky techy bits thrown in for good measure. Some of these aredeals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US. Let’s get started.

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Don’t Buy ProFlightSimulator

proflightsimulator (1)

Judging by the “I fell for it too” messages still appearing regularly on flight sim forums, the shameless parasites behind ProFlightSimulator and its equally vile sibling VirtualPilot3D are still persuading unwary online punters to pay 67+ USD for an old, superficially tweaked version of FREE open-source flight sim FlightGear. In today’s Flare Path I examine some of the latest lies the ProFlightSimulator scammers are using to fleece fans of faux flight. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition


The story of Final Fantasy XV is a tricky one to unpick. There’s the story about how it took ten years to actually come out, transforming from a Final Fantasy XIII spin-off into the boyband roadtrip-stag-do adventure we know today. There’s also the story of what happened after it came out, where a large chunk of its third act was almost completely rewritten and streamlined after people started complaining about how linear it had suddenly become after spending hours and hours on the glorious open road.

Then there’s the story of the game itself, which, at this point, has been spread across so many different forms of media, including a film, four anime episodes, four bits of DLC, a mobile spin-off and a multiplayer expansion (with even more to come, no less), that only three people in the entire universe actually understand it and would be able to recite it to you from start to finish.

But the story of four lads saving their home from an invading imperial army isn’t really what Final Fantasy XV is about. In fact, it’s arguably the least memorable thing about it. That might sound blasphemous for a JRPG, where the story is traditionally one of the most important parts of a game, but every conservation I’ve had about Final Fantasy XV over the last sixteen months always boils down to one of three things: food, photos and friendship. And it’s those that make it one of the best and most interesting goddamn JRPGs of the last decade.

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