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1 week ago

Failed Dota 2 card game Artifact is preparing for a massive comeback

Valve are on something of a roll right now. Half-Life: Alyx is looking absolutely stunning ahead of next week's release. While Dota Underlords (and auto-battlers generally) might be on a bit of a downturn, it's hard to say it hasn't done well for itself. Now that they're back in full swing, it might be time for Valve to bring their dustiest skeleton out of the…

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Feature: Distance makes the heart grow socialer

Video games to play while you’re self isolating and social distancing

Unless you're in one of those international versions of Big Brother that are still going on, you've probably noticed that we're in the midst of a pandemic of something called the Covid-19 virus. I can tell it's serious because my dad's American girlfriend isn't allowed to visit him, which means he's bored and phoning me in the middle of the day. Haha, I joke. But…

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2 months ago

Feature: Put your wallet away

Best free games for 2020

When you're looking for the best free games on PC, what are you looking for? We think we've got you covered with our selection below, whether it's browser games you can start playing instantly, free-to-play games to rival anything you'd spend money on, or downloadable games that you can play for a lifetime.

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Dota 2’s International 2019 documentary lured me in as a non-sports watcher

"They're like monkey business men", says Team Liquid member Kuroky, "they will GO". Liquid are gathered around for a quick smoke before the Dota 2 International 2019 finale, about to face Team OG. They're visibly nervous, despite Kuroky's repeated insistence that they should "feel free", and treat this like a scrim. Another team member insists that it IS a scrim, and Kuroky immediately reneges on…

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Feature: Updated regularly

Best PC games 2020: great games to download right now

Below you'll find the list of the best PC games we recommend you play right now. These are games that are new, that are being freshly updated, or that are stone cold classics of their respective genres. This is a living list, which means we'll be updating it throughout 2020 as we fall in love with new games.

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3 months ago

Feature: Learn the ropes

The decade, as told in grappling hooks

The last ten years have brought us many joys. We've already celebrated the best games of the past decade, but with such scattergun nomination comes neglect. Only three of the fifty games we picked had grappling hooks, so clearly the entire endeavour was pointless and you will need an alternative resource. Here's my definitive guide to the swinging tenties. I haven't mentioned Worms, because they…

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4 months ago

Feature: The definitive and objective list

The greatest PC games of the 2010s

It's been an eventful decade for PC games, and it would be hard for you to summarise everything that's happened in the medium across the past ten years. Hard for you, but a day's work for us. Below you'll find our picks for the 50 greatest games released on PC across the past decade.

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Dota adds two new heroes with the Outlanders Updates today

A lizard-riding auntie with a shotgun and an incarnation of aether today arrived in Dota 2 and Dota Underlords in matching Outlanders Updates. Snapfire and Void Spirit are the two new heroes announced at The International in August, and here they are in both games now. They're accompanied by big updates for each, with Dota 2 adding new buildings and dozens of new items and…

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Feature: Don't race ahead

Competition is wild, joyous and fulfilling – except when it isn’t

I've always been drawn to competitive videogames. It's not hard to see why. They're the best kind. Competition can be exciting, rich, varied. It gets you interacting with people, pitting your abilities against thinking, improvising, engaged and pivotally human opponents. A competitive context can be both a wonderful generator of interesting decisions, and a platform for genuine connection. I believe in and value these things…

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6 months ago

Dota 2 has ended frustrating solo matchups against five-stacks

After eight years, Valve have finally updated Dota 2's matchmaking system to end those frustrating situations where five randos are thrown together against an organised party of five. You know, where your team starts bickering over buying wards and you end up muting at least one teamie, while they're laughing with their natural rapport and practised teamwork. Awful. No more! Thanks to last night's update,…

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Someone stole Gabe Newell’s minigun

An enterprising thief allegedly burgled Valve's Bellevue office last June, making off with a prop (I assume) minigun and an estimated $40,000 (£32k) worth of games and equipment. The intruder shoved the goods into a wheelie bin and lugged to his car across the street. There will be no jokes about this grave matter.

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7 months ago

Void Spirit will descend to Dota 2 this autumn

Another new Dota 2 hero has been announced at The International, hot off the heels of Snapfire, the elderly lizard-riding goblin announced earlier this week. They should have lead with this one. Snapfire is not an easy act to follow. Still, Void Spirit will also be joining the MOBA this autumn, though he seems somewhat reluctant to do so in his introductory video, which you…

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Meet Snapfire, Dota 2’s adorable next hero

The next hero coming to Dota 2 is Snapfire, an elderly goblin who bakes cookies, carries a shotgun, and rides a giant lava-spewing lizard. She seems a lark, as long as you stay on her good side. Valve announced Snapfire today during their huge Dota tournament, The International, to arrive in a future update for the free-to-play MOBA. It's a mystery for now how she…

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Steam China will be a curated, separate store for the Chinese market

Steam is in an odd position in China. It’s like a pirate radio station, sitting offshore and letting the gamers access all that unfiltered content. With no official servers and awkward payment methods, the experience that the huge numbers of users have isn’t optimal. So Valve and local partners Perfect World are setting up a version of Steam for China, named Steam Platform. The first…

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8 months ago

Valve will use human moderators to stop Steam Workshop scams

According to my therapist, we all need approval. So I’m glad that the latest Valve Initiative (TM) is all about that. From now on, content uploaded to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 Steam Workshops will require Valve’s approval before being released to the public. This is to combat the “free skin” ads that plague the workshop.

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Dota Underlords glams up its heroes for a new unranked mode

Turns out, Dota Underlords is a liar. See, this whole time we were all effectively building two teams. One might be fighting the good fight out front, but it's only the defensive game playing out on my telly. Sure, I could beast out a player on my end screen, but it's possible enough unlucky rolls could make the away game play out completely differently. It's…

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Feature: MOBAs mark 2

Spawn Point: What on earth is an auto battler?

What is an auto and how do I battle it? This is going to be a tough one. Seriously, why are all the cool kids suddenly talking about level three Dragon Knights? That would be because they are playing Dota Underlords, the best of the auto battlers. At least for beginners.

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