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CS:GO’s new battle pass adds character, but can’t leave loot boxes behind

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has never been all that interested in world-building. It's an esport: the pro players are the real characters, inhabiting faceless Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists in high stakes matches where every bullet counts. Operation Shattered Web mixes things up, bringing a host of new player skins with CS:GO's first-ever battle pass. Now, you can stride through time-worn battlefields as a gruff n' tough special-force…

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4 days ago

Pick up Company Of Heroes 2 free this weekend, keep it forever

Relic used to make some absolute corkers, huh? They've finally found their way back in the spotlight with Age Of Empires VI, but if you were kicking about the RTS space in the 00s, they were akin to gods. Between Homeworld's space opera spectacle and Warhammer 40k: Dawn Of War's grimdark bombast, they somehow found time to make a little series of down-to-earth tactics games…

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6 days ago

PSA: Download Strangethink’s procedural wonders while you still can

Hey, you, do you have the procedurally-generated treasures of Strangethink Software safely downloaded and ready to go? No? Then grab them now, because they're great and Strangethink will soon remove the downloads. They previously pulled their older games, leaving only Secret Habitat, Joy Exhibition, Mystery Tapes, and These Monsters left until these too fade. That's one game where you explore art galleries, one where you…

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Feature: How I discovered I was living next to a serial killer's graveyard

Google Earth VR turned my neighbourhood into a real-world adventure game

There used to be a time when you could impress your family by loading up Google Maps, finding a childhood memory, and zooming in until it became a sort of pixellated memory lane. Your mum and dad would be amazed, and you would be lauded because you showed them their old shed viewed from a satellite on the same thing they use to look up…

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1 week ago

Tiny Islands lets you pen the perfect archipelago

Maps are brilliant. Turning complex landscapes into a flat series of sharp lines and abstract symbols is an art, and I've come to love poring over a good atlas as much as slapping together a fictional world map of my own. David King's free map-maker Tiny Islands is a delightful little toy for penning your own coastline, using simple puzzling to help build a rustic…

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Feature: Feeling weird about/with games

Priceless Play – 9 November 2019

I've been thinking a lot about "weird games" lately. When folks call things weird it seems to be a shortcut for saying, "this is different from what I usually experience, and was, therefore, unexpected." Sometimes it is dismissive, sometimes it is contentious, sometimes 'weird' is worn as a badge of honour. In a past life, I considered myself an art historian (this is because I…

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2 weeks ago

Eve Online’s 10,000 player deathmatch returns this month

Want to know the dark truth behind Eve: Online's infamous mass battles? They're bloody awful spectator sports. CCP's space epic might be equipped to handle six-thousand players, but it's gotta make some serious compromises. At the end of the day, you're watching thousand of blips fire lasers in severe slow-motion. Aether Wars, a cloud-powered spin-off centred solely on these big brutal bashes, has proven twice…

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Explore The Elder Scrolls Online for free ’til next Wednesday

As Fallout 76 keeps toeing the line on whether it's a "proper" MMORPG, it's easy to forget that Bethesda have already kept a big online world kicking about for years. The Elder Scrolls Online is still quite happily letting dungeoneers plunder Tamriel for new loot, opening the doors to the Elsweyr cat kingdom just this year. Until next Wednesday, TESO has waived its entry fee,…

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No Players Online offers free spooks on the empty servers of a dead multiplayer game

A shortcut for long-gone mech shooter Hawken sits on my desktop. It's not the real deal, of course. Hawken went offline early last year. What I have, stitched together from salvaged code and networking wizardry, is an abomination. A corpse of a game forced back into life by players who can't let it go. It'll never be alive, but that's not going to stop us…

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SkateBird x Jazz Mickle’s Pro Cap Wearer Do A Spoopy Combo is a free feathered fashion show

You've got the moves, but have you got the looks? Aviary kick-flipper SkateBird might be gunning for Tony Hawk's long-vacant throne (with an actual hawk, no less), but you've got to nail more than grinds to take on Pro Skater. It's music, it's attitude, and it's fashion, baby. There's not a 360 nose-grind to be found in SkateBird x Jazz Mickle's Pro Cap Wearer Do…

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Feature: Games about food to bring us together

Priceless Play – 2 November 2019

I love food. To me, food isn't just something I have to consume periodically throughout the day in order to survive -- it's a crucial part of my understanding of the world. I'm a food-oriented tourist (burrata in Florence! smoked fish in Copenhagen!) and a food-oriented friend (come over for dinner! let's go out for brunch!). Because of my penchant for produce and fervor for…

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3 weeks ago

Costume Quest and Soma are this week’s Epic Games Store freebies

The Epic Games Store has a little Halloween treat for you, with both dress 'em up RPG Costume Quest and grim depths survival game Soma free for the next week. If you're going to grab a freebie for your kiddy-winks, I urge you to be very careful with your clicks or prepare for some long nights ahead. Epic also just announced a few new additions…

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Neon Noodles is a Zachlike cookery game about automating meals

We’re living in a Zachlike world. It's a world where games can be about the internal rhythm of things, and where you can create works of art from rulesets. It’s why Zachtronic's game Opus Magnum let people share gifs of what they’ve made, explained here by game developer and ex-desk sharer of mine, Tom Francis. And yet this post isn’t about a Zach Barth game.…

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Places returns with a new walking simulator Sketch

Halloween events with spooky ghosts and zombies mark the commercial start of autumn in video games, but what about the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods on a crisp autumn day? That's the real season to me. I am delighted to visit such a place with the latest in JLV's Places, a series of wee free walking simulators which capture places, times, and…

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Feature: Scare away with Priceless Play

Priceless Play – 26 October 2019

I know that Southern California is straight out of a horror movie because right now, this sliver of The Golden State is on fire. It's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last. I've seen ash rain from the sky, I've seen the sky turn ruddy browns in the middle of the day, and sometimes I think the very air is squeezing…

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4 weeks ago

You can grab Crusader Kings 2’s Old Gods expansion for free

Having permanently removed Crusader Kings II's price tag last week, making it free for keepsies, Paradox are giving an expansion away free to people who sign up for an account. The Old Gods is the giveaway, the 2013 expansion focused on marauding Vikings, pagans, and Zoroastrians. Turns out I already have a Paradox account from something or other so sure, gwan, wang me a Steam…

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1 month ago

Feature: Things are getting scarier around here.

Priceless Play – 19 October 2019

Hey Priceless Pals: welcome back to this corner's celebration of all things spooky, scary, and Halloween. Last week was a kind introduction to the reason for the season: spooky stories to play in the dark. Well, we're still riding that spooky rather than scary vein, but I've got to say: these games are scarier than last week's. I am a fan of the creeping, gnawing…

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Crusader Kings 2 is free now

To start their annual fanfest PDXCON off with a bang (or at least an "Ooh!"), Paradox are now offering Crusader Kings 2 for free. It seems to be free forever? [Update: yes, it is.] If you've not yet tried to form your own medieval dynasty and found yourself undone by intrigue, backstabbing, and your own damn foolishness, you're missing out. Expansions are not included in…

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Observer and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare are this week’s Epic Games Store giveaways

It's Thursday again, meaning its time for Epic's ongoing cycle of free games to tick over once again. This week's offerings are grimy cyberpunk horror Observer and bizarre spin-off Alan Wake's American Nightmare. That'll be that sorted for some low-lit thrills, then. As per, you've only got seven days to grab these freebies before they slink back into the shadows from whence they came.

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