Valve still trying to stop Steam user review manipulation

user reviews

Valve are making more changes to Steam reviews in response to a different kind of review manipulation. This time the changes are to how Steam decides which user reviews are most helpful, and to make the user reviews that are displayed on Steam’s homepage representative of its overall review score. This is on top of changes made back in September designed to reduce the impact of organised “review bombing” campaigns.

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Civ 5 designer Jon Shafer is returning to At The Gates with new ideas

at the gates

Jon Shafer and Paradox’s recent break up was sad news, even though we never found out what the Civilization 5 designer was working on, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s that he’s now able to invest more time into his Kickstarted 4X game: At The Gates. Yesterday, Shafer posted the first update since May, revealing a slight change in direction and promising more consistent updates.

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Have You Played… SUPERHOT VR?

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

Here’s the point where I usually say “so VR didn’t pan out like we’d hoped, eh?” and then people who really like VR go “hey, stop that!”. So this time, I won’t, and instead will say: here’s a really, really cool VR game. SUPERHOT VR. Read the rest of this entry »

Northgard adds boar clan and lays out floor plan

Boared game

Yonder strategy Northgard has added a new clan to its longboat full of cartoonish Viking pillagers. Previous clans like the bear boys, introduced new warriors like a giant ursine killer with heavy armour plating on his furry back. The new clan of the Boar are a little less spectacular, but they are a hard-living and resistant lot. On top of this, developers Shiro Games have laid out a plan for future updates, including a single player campaign and better enemy AI. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock out with Brütal Legend for free today

brutal

Brütal Legend, Double Fine’s heavy metal action-RTS hybrid, is completely free on the Humble Store. It was also free yesterday, so let’s pretend I told you about this 24 hours ago. Once you grab it, it’s yours to keep. You’ve still got a day and change to pick it up, so get on it. Read the rest of this entry »

Clicker Heroes 2 ditches free-to-play in favor of “cleaner conscience”

clickerheader

Can you hear the people click? Clicking the song of angry men? The Clicker Heroes devs couldn’t, but they’re nonetheless changing their business model so that the studio can have a “cleaner conscience”. Clicker Heroes 2, the sequel to the idle game that Graham describes as “Diablo’s metagame with the participative act of exploration and combat removed”, will have an upfront cost of $29.99 rather than in-game purchases.

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World of Final Fantasy is still adorable and is out today

ff

Another Final Fantasy outing is heading to PC today, this time in the form of the painfully adorable World of Final Fantasy, which launched on Sony’s consoles just over a year ago. It’s a spin-off that celebrates the long-running JRPG series by turning its myriad characters and beasties into tiny chibi summons that the player can carry in their pocket and bring out during battles.

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Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is the next Bioware remaster

nwn-enhanced-edition

We won’t have full details until a bit later today (noon PST/8PM UK), but here’s the headline: Bioware’s 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights is next to receive Beamdog‘s Enhanced Edition treatment. What do we want to see from a tweaked and modernised take on Bioware’s first foray into 3D RPGs, and whose revered modding tools launched a legion of player-made adventure modules?
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Sci-fi caper 2000:1 A Space Felony is free this week

I don't like those odds

There’s a lot of sci-fi silliness of 2000:1: A Space Felony Or How I Came To Value My Life And Murder Mercilessly. It’s pretty much guaranteed when you look at the name. Not only is it uncomfortably long, it also provides more colons than I care to have. That sense of comical overwriting is a big part of the game – a first-person investigation on a space station with four corpses and one shifty AI. This week it’s free for Thanksgiving, say developers National Insecurities. Read the rest of this entry »

How Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires engineers a world of unending war

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires campaign [official site].

Mortal Empires is the logical conclusion of Total War: Warhammer. It asks this: what happens if all the races, factions, legendary lords and terrain of both Total War: Warhammer and its sequel were folded together into a single giant campaign? The answer was released in October as a free addition to owners of the two games, and it is, as game director Ian Roxborough tells me, “By far the biggest, most content-rich campaign that we’ve ever done in Total War.”

But how do you make games that are designed to be played both in discrete and distinctive smaller chunks, and also in huge and unified ones? How do you balance Warhammer’s strongly asymmetric races against each other while continually adding more? And how do you make a game as big as Mortal Empires comprehensible and playable at all? Read the rest of this entry »

For Honor needs more than new warriors to stay alive

Ded

There goes my head again. Rolling along the ground like a wet turnip. The ahistorical three-sided war of For Honor has always been a tough battleground. During a recent free weekend, it became a conflict not only between Vikings, Samurai and Knights, but between practiced veterans and absolute newcomers. I’m somewhere in between. A mediocre warrior returning to the fighting pits after a long absence, a little slower and flabbier than before. Two new heroes were also added to the game recently – the bloodthirsty Shaman and sword-happy Aramusha – but, as with previous additions to the roster, they don’t feel like enough to save a game with a barrel of other flaws, whose player numbers have dropped significantly since launch. I marched back into the decapitating grounds to try the new maps, modes and murderers, and spoke to the game’s director about its problems.

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Say hello to Katharine Byrne, our hardware editor

katharine_intro2

The hivemind grows stronger! After years of wishing we could expand our hardware coverage, we’ve finally found the perfect person to help us do it. Katharine Byrne joins us with years of experience and has already set about writing guides, reviews, and educating the RPS team about what all the bits of plastic inside their computer boxes do. Come and share your best welcomes in the comments below. Read the rest of this entry »

Kick doors with friends in Door Kickers: Action Squad

action squad

Door Kickers is a tense, precise tactics game that turns SWAT team interventions into real-time-with-pause puzzles. But what if it was more like Broforce? That’s Door Kickers: Action Squad — infiltrate buildings as part of a SWAT team, and then make everything explode. It’s on Steam early access now. Read the rest of this entry »

Tekken 7 is a brutal but brilliant intro to fighting games

A dramatic reconstruction of the events of yesterday evening

Against my better judgement, I have continued my battle to become a competent brawler in daft fighting game Tekken 7. In the realm of biffing games, Tekken is an angry, side-stepping maniac who likes to play dress-up before battering its victims into a pulpy mess. I like it very much. Last night, I accumulated eleven wins in a row, eight of which were against a single opponent who simply refused to give up, resulting in mixed feelings of accomplishment, pity, pride and bloodlust.

Punchgame enthusiasts will find nothing new or impressive in this short story, but as a newcomer, it’s interesting to discover the hidden language of fighters, not just in the ‘ring’ but also during the bits in-between, like the matchmaking itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Rainbow Six Siege’s third year will introduce 8 operators and a co-op event

outbreak

Slick tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege will soon enter its third year, and that means updates. New maps and a “map makeover” were announced by Ubisoft Montreal at the Pro League Finals in Brazil at the weekend, plus two new operators specialising in “biohazard situations”.

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Humble’s Fall Sale is now on, featuring literally thousands of games

Humble Fall Sale 2017

Ahead of what can only possibly be the impending financial doom of us all – Black Friday 2017 – Humble has launched its Fall Sale. It’s a fairly big sale range, too, featuring thousands of games with discounts on a selection from a varied selection of publishers. That includes Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Rebellion, Konami, Rockstar, Adult Swim, THQ Nordic and many more. Read the rest of this entry »

Gunhead pits a pirate against derelict ships full of drones

gunhead

There’s no reason having a gun for a head would stop someone from becoming a concert pianist or a specialist on Assyrian antiquities, but let’s face it, they’re far more likely to be a space pirate, raiding floating tombs and shooting everything in sight. That’s certainly the case with Gunhead, an open-world FPS due out next year.

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Plunkbat tournament ends in a desperate standoff

pubginvitational

Over the weekend, 20 teams duked it out at IEM Oakland Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Invitational, fighting over cash and bragging rights. Most games were won by different teams, and places two to five were hotly contested, but by the end there was a clear winner with a sizeable lead. If you don’t want the tournament spoiled, I suggest not reading on.

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