Oh my friends, we have become weak. Feeble little twigs, snapping at the mildest first-person breeze. Let me tell you about a time when we were made of sturdier stuff, way back in the distant fogs of 2004.
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We won't be waiting too much longer to get our hands on Baldur's Gate 3, as it's making its way to Steam Early access later this year. Since it was announced at E3, Larian Studios have kept pretty quiet about the game. But with PAX East fast approaching, it looks like the studio also behind Divinity: Original Sin are getting ready for some big reveals this week.
This time last month, my best gaming keyboard champion, the Fnatic Streak had its price chopped in half. It sold out almost instantly, but the good news is that it's now back in stock at the lovely reduced price of £75 for the Cherry MX Brown version and £85 for the Cherry MX Red model, saving you around a third off its usual price of £120.
Grow Home is probably one of the sweetest games of all time. It tells the story of a small botanical utility droid called BUD who's been tasked by his MOM (also his mothership) to go down to a newly discovered planet, grow a big plant and harvest some seeds to bring back home with him. It's lovely, and it makes you a lovelier person for having played it, I promise.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is probably getting a battle royale. At least, that's if you've been following the leaked photos, trailers, and unintentionally-revealed menu options that have been popping up lately. Naturally, Activision are a bit miffed over these leaks. The publisher has taken a scorched-earth approach to stamping out these rumours - slamming takedown notices against leaked shots and issuing a subpoena against Reddit to get to the bottom of Call Of Duty's worst-kept secret.
Screenshot Saturday Sundays! Like some sort of digital bake-off, game developers across the land offer up their finest works-in-progress to be scrutinised on a Twitter hashtag. Once more I - the Mary Berry of screenshot judging - must hand-pick some of this weekend's best offerings. This week: Scandinavian snowdrifts, exceptionally talented dogs, and grossly impractical firearms.
For the last few years, Star Citizen's battles haven't been high-flying dogfights. Instead, developers Cloud Imperium have been tangled in a dispute with Crytek, exchanging heated legal blows in lieu of laser blasts. But now, at long last, it seems the two warships declared a long-overdue ceasefire. Court documents posted this week reveal that Crytek and Cloud Imperium have agreed to settle the former's lawsuit.
You're looking for a comic for your father. You don't think he's ever read one, and god knows why you picked a graphic novel over novelty socks or ties. But you're here anyway, at The Bookshelf Limbo, a short free game that asks you to explore your own relationship with yer da, through the harrowing mental gymnastics of gift-buying.
This week, Mount & Blade 2 finally got a release date (well, for early access), Kickstarter unionised, and the Gothic Remake got the go-ahead. Read on for more of the week's PC gaming goings-on in our News Digest, and do also check out the Weekly Updates Update for the week's big patches.
GeForce Now's streaming catalogue has shrunk even further since launch. Following Activision Blizzard's lead, now it appears Bethesda Softworks have backed away from Nvidia's cloud streaming service. All but one of the publisher's games on the service - from Doom to Dishonored - were pulled from GeForce now yesterday, leaving only Wolfenstein: Youngblood standing and streaming.
This week, The Witcher 3 let us take PC saves to Nintendo Switch, No Man's Sky added living spaceships, and Wolcen looted some fixes. Read on for more of the week’s PC gaming patches in The Weekly Updates Update.
I'll probably never get to play Devotion. A year on from the Taiwanese horror game's abrupt removal from Steam, there's still no sign of it returning to sale. That doesn't mean Red Candle Games' work needs to be lost to history forever, though. This month, the developers announced that Devotion - and predecessor Detention - will be preserved in the Harvard-Yenching Library collection at Harvard University.
Dang it, you've sunk my battleship. It's fine, it had a smaller boat inside it all along. No, that's definitely how the game Battleships work. I know what I'm talking about. Time was in EVE Online, losing your spaceship meant losing the fight. But CCP are mixing up intergalactic PVP by announcing new Frigate Escape Bays - getting you back in the fight by turning some of New Eden's biggest ships into starfaring matryoshka dolls.
Dreams? Never heard of it. Media Molecule's swish toolset might be locked down to PlayStation folks, but those rascals at Dutch indie collective Sokpop have already given us one better. The latest entry in their twice-monthly release catalogue is Sok-Worlds, a set-dressing toy for making and exploring 3D simple collages. Who needs modelling, scripting and animation tools when Google image search is sitting right there, anyway?
If you've been reading Priceless Play for a while, you know that I'm a PhD student. Here in the United States, a significant part of being a PhD student is being employed as a Teaching Assistant, or TA. TAs do a lot of important work to keep a university running smoothly: we grade assignments and papers, facilitate classes, give lectures, and act as a liaison between students and faculty. We hold office hours, plan lessons, attend lectures, and try to always stay a chapter ahead of our students' readings. We do all of this on top of our own research, our dissertation work, and (nearly obligatory) travel for academic conferences. It is rewarding work, but gosh is it tiring.
The TAs at University of California, Santa Cruz (or UCSC) have been on strike for the past week, demanding an adjustment to their wages to keep up with the high cost of living in the San Francisco area. In solidarity with striking student workers, I've put together a collection of games about community, labour, self-care, and surviving in the university system.
Woof, what a week. Most of the RPS gang came together for serious meetings and serious dinners, and it was lovely to see everyone - including many people I hadn't even met so far. It is a bit of a trek if you happen to live in Scotland, mind. And they have the heating up real high. And none of the tourist guides warn you that you can't drink the tap water down there. Poison. But lovely to see everyone.
What are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on!
Microsoft Flight Simulator already looks wildly ambitious. Asobo Studio previously explained that you can fly anywhere in the world in their flight simulation. Anywhere? Anywhere. Naturally then they need to have airports everywhere. All the airports, even. So Microsoft Flight Simulator apparently features every airport in the world. A modest 37,000 of those have been manually edited by Asobo, they say in a new developer video.
When I see a game that seems to be chasing the coattails of another, it's hit or miss whether I'll be put off or captaining the ship. Here we have Population Zero that, when you watch the trailer down below, you'll immediately get the No Man's Sky environment design vibes mixed with the base-building and wildcard PvP of ARK. Seemed like a heavy miss for me, honestly. I dug in anyhow and found that apparently when Population Zero's early access begins in May it will actually reset (to a degree) every week. I don't know if I'm ready to stand by that as a good idea, but it's certainly a brave one.
Sony and Facebook have cancelled their appearances at the Game Developers Conference this year, both citing concerns about the new coronavirus. The yearly conference for game industry workers is typically a source of new information each year, with presentations about the development of influential games and interviews with studio members. Both Sony and Facebook are stepping back this year based on concerns for the health and safety of their workers.
First announced back in 2018, Othercide is back with a new trailer today. The mostly grey tactical RPG is full of horrific creatures with plague masks and spindly limbs mixed with splashes of red. Gives me somewhat Bloodborne vibes seeing those long hunter cloaks and broads fighting monsters in red pumps and scarves. Or maybe it was the organ playing in the trailer wot did it. Anyway, it's got grimdark vibes—the trailer bangs on things like "suffering" and severed hearts—and is coming this summer.
Bungie still haven't even revealed the name of the new Destiny 2 season starting in three weeks, let alone what's new in it, but they are opening up about what it'll do to the old meta. On top of the sword changes discussed a few weeks ago, they have big plans for weapons including sniper rifles, long-range fusion rifles, and the exotics Lord Of Wolves, Izanagi's Burden, and The Last Word. I'll be sorry to stow some current favourites in my vault but I am theoretically glad for the freshness of a new meta for a new season.
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As Storm Dennis continue to wash half of the UK into the sea, so too does the deals flood continue to rage unabated as we wait for the February games drought to end. There are simply loads of great game deals going on this weekend, with big discounts on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, The Sims 4, every Assassin's Creed game under the sun, as well as No Man's Sky and all the Dishonored games. Plus, we've revamped our hardware deals so it's now even easier to find the best and cheapest components you need to upgrade your PC. So join us for this latest instalment of the best PC gaming deals of this very fine week, and settle in for some sweet, sweet discounts.
Currently I am working on building a home for Sin in The Sims 4, much like I built a home for Alice 0. This means I've been looking for a lot of plant and outdoor bits and pieces, because Alice O is well into plants, and for Sin's home I am taking a little inspiration from her natural Minecraft hermitage.
Unfortunately, the UK has been ravaged by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis for two consecutive weekends, so going outside to sit on a lounger is but a pipe dream. But a dream we can live out in The Sims 4, at least, thanks to this lovely wicker patio set by Peacemaker-ic
This week's free games on the Epic Store will have you murdering unsuspecting Englishmen and playing cards against your friends on a magical hex board. That's right, it's Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Faeria! I'll let you figure out which description goes with which game.
Earlier this week, Valve's Index VR set was still sold out almost entirely around the globe just a month away from their own upcoming VR-only Half-Life: Alyx. No official word had come from Valve on the cause for the short stock or any estimate on when more units would be available. Previously we were only able to speculate on the cause for the hangup. Valve have now confirmed that the ongoing coronavirus health crisis has put a spanner in production of the Index headsets.
If you couldn't tell from the title, The Suicide Of Rachel Foster makes sure you know it's about proper issues with one of them big content warning screens up front. Normally these feel a bit like grandstanding. There are sensible ways to deliver content warnings, and a game signposting that it is extremely serious business in massive white letters on a black background usually means that, in reality, the contents of it are pretty milquetoast.
I would have said that about The Suicide Of Rachel Foster too, at least based on the bulk of the game. It's a decent enough first person explorey mystery along the lines of Firewatch or Gone Home, but, you know, not as good as either of those. Then, in the last half hour or so, it goes properly off the rails and the content warning is proven necessary. Not in a good way.
Ever since Minecraft got us hooked on surviving its deadly nights and sinister, snickering foes over a decade ago, there have been wave upon wave of new survival games to scratch our deepest masochistic itches. Attempting to tackle them all at once, however, would probably lead to an early grave, so we've put together this list of the very best survival games on PC to help satisfy those cravings for Darwinian supremacy. Whether you love punching trees, surviving against the elements or simply stuffing your belly with as much grub as you can manage, there's a survival game with your name on it.
From today until Monday, Apex Legends is taking us back to Kings Canyon. Not just any version of Kings Canyon either, we're going all the way back to the Season 1 map, before those strange dino creatures started stomping across it.
It's weird to think about playing on that year-old map again - will muscle memory kick in helping us navigate the original layout? Will we remember all those old hiding spots Caustics would sit in to murder everyone? I don't know! But I'm real excited to find out.
There's big news in the draw pile for Hearthstone, apparently. The collectible card game's three-a-year expansion cycle tends to run from April to April, and if last year's timings are anything to go by, we can expect a reveal of the next year's theme, plus an idea of upcoming content, in the next week or so. What's making this a bigger deal than usual is the small army of streamers and the like Blizzard called to their big castle in Stormwind this week, for a "community summit" that left some big names - and some other chumps - tweeting serious hype. A certain amount of "this will blow your mind" is to expected from such events, but it certainly seems more intense than usual this time around.
Hearthstone's Year Of The Dragon, currently coming to a close, was pretty good. Blizzard pulled off their plan to link together three updates in a narrative sequence, and in the process knocked out not just three card sets that dragged the meta away from the polarised monotony it had been stuck in, but three single player expansions that had a lot of sticking power (even if they still weren't as good as the Kobolds & Catacombs dungeon run). There was a real sense - particularly by the time Descent of Dragons, the third expansion, dropped in December last year - that Blizzard's Team 5 had really turned the game up to eleven for the Year Of The Dragon, from the power level of the cards, right through to the weird, Warcraft-but-it's-a-Saturday-morning-cartoon vibe of the game's lore. So where is there to go from here? Here are my predictions:
CD Projekt say The Witcher 3 has now sold enough on Steam to qualify for the biggest sales cut available on Valve's platform. Hitting $50 million (£38m) means Valve will only take 20% - which is still more than Epic take from all and any sales from any game. Congratulations to The Witcher for reaching that 80% cut, but it is wild that even a game this big has taken so long to score Steam's best deal.