Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ official big-league begins with a 20-team invitational throwdown in Berlin

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Plunkbat (Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds for short) may have taken over the world already, but it’s not quite made the inroads into esports that you’d expect, leaving the likes of Overwatch and Counter-Strike to fill the vacuum. Well, as we all know, there’s only one solution to a lack of esports representation: Fat sacks of cash-money, and PUBG Corp. are providing as 20 teams congregate in Berlin this July to fight for a $2m (USD) prize pot.

And, presumably, a very expensive chicken dinner.

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Earth Defense Force’s weirdo shmup spinoff is PC-bound

Arachnophobes: Just don't. Turn around, go home, enjoy your lives.

The very fact that the Earth Defense Force games exist is weird enough to begin with (they started life as part of a Japanese super-budget range, and grew into a cult hit phenomenon), but the fact that it has a multitude of spinoffs now (including a PS2-era strategy game) is just baffling. The latest of which – EDF 4.1: Wingdiver The Shooter – is now headed to PC at full speed, and will be available to buy this Thursday.

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GOG introduces user profiles for social butterflies

GOG has added user profiles, continuing the DRM-free digital games store’s cautious steps in introducing Steam-like social features. If you want to share your GOG gaming activity with the world, post pictures, compare achievements, and all that, you now can. If you don’t want to share with the Internet, well, the privacy settings will let you turn off much–but not all–of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield 1 rallies the troops for one final offensive

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While EA undoubtedly have their problems, they’ve gotten a lot better at supporting their big-name multiplayer games. It seemed safe to assume that when Battlefield 1‘s final DLC module – Apocalypse – was released, that the game would find itself put on a back-burner. Instead, Dice recently announced that a new playmode called Shock Operations was in development for the game, plus they’re making moves to open up more of the premium DLC maps to those with only the basic edition of the game.

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Grand Theft Auto V launches Premium Online Edition

A new edition of Grand Theft Auto V launched today, though it’s not much to get excited about. The £68 Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition contains Rockstar’s open-world murder simulator plus a bundle of not-very-exciting vehicles, properties, weapons, cash, and clothes for the multiplayer side, GTA Online. It’s not really worth it.

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Summer Games Done Quick 2018’s schedule announced

This time they'll be breaking Prey slightly less

There are few things as momentous in the gaming calendar as Games Done Quick charity speedrun marathons, and the full broadcast schedule for this June’s upcoming Summer Games Done Quick event has just been published. Many of the world’s weirdest, most diverse and implausibly skilled players will congregate at the end of June to raise money for a good cause (in this case, the increasingly important Médecins Sans Frontières), and systematically tear dozens of games into tiny, glitchy shreds over the course of a week of non-stop speedrun showboating.

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DNA-stealing shooter Beacon in early access next week

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“There’s nothing like harvesting the deoxyribonucleic acid from the corpses of your enemies and using it to modify your own genome to become an all-crushing gunwarrior capable of defeating entire planets” my grandmother used to say. She would have liked the look of Beacon, a top-down shooter with shapes and colours arranged in such a way as to communicate a hostile world full of angry wildlife and shooty locals. It rolled across the RPS firing range a couple of years ago, but now the developers are finishing it up, and it’s due to hit early access on Itch.io next week. Read the rest of this entry »

Descent-y shooter Overload launches May 31st

In this ever-shifting modern world where up becomes down becomes left and before you know it you’re all sorts of lost in life, maybe more Descent can help us reorient ourselves. Or Overload, the new six-degrees-of-freedom spaceship shooter from the co-founders of Descent creators Parallax Software. It’s doing Descent-y shooting in a modern way, sending players into sci-fi warrens to blast bots and zap-pow to victory. Following a crowdfunding campaign and a year in early access, it’ll finally launch on May 31st, developers Revival Productions announced today. And it looks a little something like this. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris update 2.1 will rework anomalies and nudge space monsters out of your hyperlanes

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I really want to get into Stellaris. I find myself buying every major expansion close to its release, convincing myself that late-game megastructures, role-playing as a robot or blowing up planets will be the hook that reels me in. Every time, I merrily launch into a fresh game – only to find my fun dissolving into work once I’m a few hours in.

“But that’s the best bit!”, you say. “Roaming the galaxy and discovering strange worlds with stranger stories is the most alluring step towards a fantastic sci-fi experience!”. Paradox are making that step even easier to take with update 2.1 by removing failure risk from anomaly research, and rejigging hyperlanes so space-nasties don’t get placed on chokepoints. I’m glad to see changes are still arriving that shake up the early game – perhaps they’ll be enough for me to stick with a galaxy long enough to actually build a goddamn Dyson Sphere.

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Housemarque hint at battle royale flirtation with Stormdivers

“Arcade is dead,” Housemarque, the makers of arcade shooters from Super Stardust to Nex Machina, dramatically declared last year. For them, anyway. So what sort of games will they make if not arcade? Over the weekend they announced Stormdivers, “A high flying and heavy hitting multiplayer centric experience.” Whatever that means. Housemarque have hinted that it might be somethinng battle royale-ish, which normally wouldn’t excite me as this craze draws out, but I will give such a fine studio the benefit of the doubt. For now, we can watch a teaser trailer showing a moody forest quite different from the colourblasts I expect from them. Read the rest of this entry »

Warframe adds Sanctuary Onslaught mode and shiny new toys

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Warframe has implemented a new free update in Beasts of the Sanctuary; a one-two punch of changes for the free-to-play cooperative shooter. First up is Sanctuary Onslaught, a survival mode that pits players, either solo or in squads of up to four, against increasingly difficult waves of opponents in order to pass from portal to portal and recover the missing Khora Blueprints. The other addition is the latest warframe: the aforementioned Khora, who is a futuristic whipmaster that would put the Belmonts to shame. And, of course, some fantastic new toys.

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In the least expected re-release of 2018, Bullet Witch is coming to Steam

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Everyone loves witches. That’s just like, you know, facts. Bullets? Some people are into bullets. Some people are not. But a witch that has bullets? How could that possibly go wrong? Well, three years before we were gifted with Bayonetta, developer Cavia attempted to fuse Western and Japanese sensibilities into a post-apocalyptic monster battle adventure game. Unfortunately, the reviews for the game were just brutal. Which is why it comes as a bit of a surprise to see Bullet Witch finally getting a PC re-release… twelve years later.

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War for the Overworld gets DLC, huge update, and more dungeons to master

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The original Dungeon Keeper was one of the first sims to let you be a truly evil monster, but the kind of monster with farty demon underlings who helped you engage in all manner of hijinks. Bullfrog Entertainment’s 1997 masterpiece spiritually lives on through War for the Overworld, which is probably something the good folks at Brightrock Games are tired of hearing. Before it’s a helluva selling point and it’s not an inappropriate comparison. The game got its final expansion this weekend, with a huge update for the original game to boot.

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The ecstasy of Agony will only be uncut for PC gamers

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Feels like it has been a while since a game was in the news for clashing with the ratings board. Outlast 2 is the last example I can remember where the threat of the dreaded Adults Only (AO) would be handed down to a title, preventing it from releasing on consoles. Well, the Kickstarter funded twisted Hell journey Agony has been leaning into its promise to be the most disturbing game of all time, and the ESRB agreed. Last week, Agony’s developer informed Kickstarter backers that, in order to get an M rating approved, the game has been censored/altered on all platforms. But PC owners will get access to the uncut material via a patch. This is all, uh, tricky to say the least.

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Campo Santo acquired by Valve, booze acquired by Campo Santo

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While the company webpage still reads “Campo Santo is a small but scrappy video game developer in San Francisco,” that will probably need some updating in the immediate future. The twelve person team behind Firewatch and the forthcoming In The Valley of Gods has been acquired by Valve, where the team will remain intact. Campo Santo is responsible for critically and commercially successful titles, and they will continue work at Valve in Bellevue wrapping up In The Valley of Gods, which of course, will now be a Valve game.

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Hollow Knight: Lifeblood expansion is free and out now

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Hollow Knight incites a bit of debate around the site. As John brought up in his review last year: what do you do with a game that is genuinely good but rather unoriginal? It’s a Metroidvania game that a lot of us picked up because it was simply the most recent Metroidvania game, and that’s not the best excuse for buying a game. In the year since launch, Australian studio Team Cherry has met this criticism by consistently adding new, free DLC to the title, with each pack helping to define and improve on the base game. Today, Hollow Knight: Lifeblood is available, and if you already own the game the update is probably installed.

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New Beyond Skyrim project promises to go even beyonder to Iliac Bay

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A proper modding community can keep a game world alive long after the studio behind that title has put it to pasture. Or, more accurately in this case, when the studio just keeps porting the original game to new devices instead of, you know, making new entries. Skyrim has some of the most in-depth world building teams on the mod market, and instead of merely remastering or HD’ing their way through old titles, they’re re-inventing the wheel. The Beyond Skyrim team just released the trailer and description for their expansion Iliac Bay and the production values are awe-inspiring.

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Halo Online returns with a bang as the fan-run ElDewrito

ElDewrito

Blasphemous as it sounds, I really like Halo. I like the floaty jumps, the slugfest combat where landing the first hit doesn’t always mean a win, the swooshy, slidey vehicles and the range of multiplayer modes. So naturally, Microsoft chose to release the free-to-play Halo Online in Russia only and cancel it before it could leave the early beta stages of development.

Legally fuzzy, perhaps, but thanks to a highly dedicated community and a lot of open-source poking around, development of Halo Online has quietly continued for years. Today, ElDewrito 0.6 is live, and it’s the best PvP Halo experience you can find on PC today.

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Hearthstone game director Ben Brode leaves Blizzard

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Hearthstone director Ben Brode has made the surprise announcement to depart Blizzard Entertainment. The guy that served as the card game’s lead both behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-scenes made the announcement in a post on the Battle.net forums explaining what a difficult choice it was and, vaguely, where he’s headed now.

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DOS Boot: Outpost was the best hard sci-fi sim; it also wasn’t finished

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DOS Boot is just Brock digging into old DOS/Windows games and talking half-remembering cool and bizarre experiences that are only available on abandon-ware sites at this point. Weekends should be for having fun and by god, we’re going to have some wholesome gosh dang fun on RPS Weekends.

There’s a great one and done TV series from the early 90s called Earth 2. And by great I mean “god bless em for trying.” It’s on and off of Netflix these days, so you can venture into those waters should you so choose, but it was the sort of thing that meant a great deal to me as a kid because it showed the potential of life on another planet where, perhaps, people wouldn’t be so mean to me and the people who had been mean to me would have all died a terrible death thanks to an asteroid or the sun reaching out to do a big hug. While that show made the rebuilding of life on another planet into a fun adventure, a game called Outpost was released at the same time, and it taught me how much of a slog survival could be.

It was also one of my favorite games. Yeah, that sucks to admit.

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