If you want any Cod Blops 4 DLC maps, you’ll need to buy the whole season pass

While many big multiplayer games are stepping away from paid DLC in favour of other ways to fund new content updates, Activision are doubling down on playerbase-splitting map packs. The publishers have revealed that Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s dozen post-launch maps will only be sold in the £30 season pass, not sold in separate packs too as in previous years (and certainly not free). It’s an all-or-nothing commitment. Which sucks. Given that this year’s game is more multiplayer-focused than ever, with no typical singleplayer campaign, that doublesucks. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Starve: Hamlet snuffling into December

You summer holiday to a tropical city populated by aristocratic ambulant ham, I’m sorry to say, must become a winter vacation. Don’t Starve developers Klei Entertainment this week announced that they have delayed the launch of its Hamlet expansion from June to December 2018, saying “we’re not quite where we want Hamlet to be yet.” Which is fair enough: better late than rubbo. In the meantime, you can see more of the possibilities and problems of posh pigpeople in Hamlet’s new E3 trailer. Read the rest of this entry »

LawBreakers is free from now until the servers shut off

LawBreakers

I feel genuinely sorry for the folks at Boss Key Productions. By all accounts, LawBreakers wasn’t the game that they wanted to make, but they still delivered a pretty polished arena shooter that just never found the audience it was looking for. Publisher Nexon America are keeping the lights on until September, and in order to give the game a proper sendoff, the formerly retail game is now free for all to jump in and play.

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Telltale and Netflix trade Minecraft for Stranger Things

Stranger Things

Minecraft and Stranger Things have gone hand-in-hand before, as seen in the official crossover skin pack above, but this deal between streaming megalith Netflix and adventure game studio Telltale (as reported by Techradar) seems a little more direct. Telltale will be adapting their Minecraft: Story Mode games into an interactive, streaming video series for kids on Netflix, while Netflix will be granting the studio the Stranger Things license, presumably to create yet another series of their episodic choose-your-own-adventure games.

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Premature Evaluation: Witch Hunt

Witch Hunt

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s off to the 18th century to hunt a forest full of nasty monsters in horror FPS Witch Hunt. He’s a very brave boy.

Find a bunch of trees and you’ll probably discover a folktale or ghost story set under their boughs. Years ago, I lived right on the boundary of some woodland that was meant to be home to a red-eyed creature that ate children. Walking back from school in winter, when it was already dark, was a nasty business. I’d grimly keep my gaze fixed forwards, always trying to avoid glancing to my left. To the trees, and the red eyes that might be hiding between them.

Witch Hunt has more than one monster living within its gloomy, dead forest. It’s full of them. For a slayer of supernatural beasties, it should be the perfect hunting ground. Not for me, however, a man with no sense of direction and an acute fear of spooky trees. I am very sweaty and very lost.

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First-person platformer Hot Lava launches – bring a pal

Hot Lava

It’s a risky gambit to launch an offbeat little game in the middle of the E3 hype-storm, but Klei Entertainment just love danger if Hot Lava is any indication. It’s a first-person platformer starring a cast of highly meltable plastic action figures, navigating a human-scale world where every child’s playtime nightmare has come to pass: the floor is lava. Today, it launches (as an open beta) at a discounted price, and every copy includes a second to share with a friend. Hopping between furniture isn’t as much fun without someone to confirm your falls, after all.

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Bus Simulator 18 out now, with mods & multiplayer

In a week full of loud of colourful E3 announcements, what has me most immediately excited is the prospect of getting online with three pals to drive bus routes together in Bus Simulator 18. Released today, it’s a drive-o-business sim about, y’know, driving buses – with multiplayer! You can pass each other while driving your routes, go explore the city on foot together, and even ride the bus as a ticket inspector while your mate takes the wheel. Video games are amazing.

I am further delighted to hear that it has launched with mod tools that will let people create new maps, new buses, new missions, and such. In short, yes, you could create the Vengabus and make it play We Like To Party. Read the rest of this entry »

Call of Cthulhu’s latest trailer practically drips with cliche

Call of Cthulhu

Maybe it’s because we’ve done this dance a hundred times already, or maybe because it’s based directly on the pen-and-paper RPG that brought Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos into the gaming sphere, but the E3 trailer for Cyanide’s Call of Cthulhu feels very familiar. Dire prophecies, flickering torchlight, lots of sickly blue-greens in its palette are all present and correct, and while on some level I feel I’ve seen it all before now, it’s almost a little comforting. Take a peek at it for yourself within.

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Layers Of Fear is free for keepsies right nooOooOow

A houseful of hauntings can be had for free right now, as Bloober Team are giving away Layers Of Fear for keepsies for the next few days on Steam. It’s a first-person spooker about a kooky-ooky painter who goes out his gourd trying to paint his masterpiece. Layers Of Fear is often a grab bag of clichés–dolls, shadowy figures crossing corridors ahead of you, jumpscares of terrible faces–that make it a bit hollow, but it does have some surprising and creative tricks particularly involving paintings. For free, sure, check out these spooky tricks.

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Steelseries Sensei 310 review: An all-round ambidextrous mouse

Steelseries Sensei 310

Esports smee-sports. Whatever it says on the box about the Steelseries Sensei 310 being “engineered” for your favourite arena-based festivities, you should know this ambidextrous mouse is still a great point and clicker in its own right. Whether you’re indeed planning to use it for a spot of Plunkbat chicken dinner-ing, or frantically buying ten thousand copies of Yakuza 0 on Steam for everyone because you’re the world’s bestest best good samaritan, the Sensei 310 makes a fine companion for all of your preferred mouse activities, lefties and righties alike.

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Labyrinth of Refrain – retro dungeons in Disgaea’s style

Labyrinth of Refrain : Coven of Dusk

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is an old-school dungeon delver from Disgaea studio Nippon Ichi, in the style of Sir-tech’s classic Wizardry games. Assemble an entirely custom party, loot, level and explore dungeon mazes in first person while trying not to lose too many of your characters to greed, overconfidence and bad luck before you can return to the surface to restock. It’s launching this September.

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Nioh 2 announced, though not yet confirmed for PC

Koei Tecmo have announced a sequel to 2017’s neat-o action-RPG Nioh, imaginatively named Nioh 2. So far it’s only confirmed for PlayStation 4, but I wouldn’t worry too much: the original wasn’t even announced for PC until it had been out on PS4 for months. A PC release for this too would seem likely. Hopefully. The game you might’ve heard described as “Dark Souls but samurai” is a good’un, our dearly-departed Adam (RPS in peace) would tell you. Here, watch Nioh 2’s announcement trailer below. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey: Mooncrash offers a surprising amount to do in a deceptively small space

Prey: Mooncrash is a game of refinement. It’s a piece of DLC that uses an economy of space by asking you to replay the same sprawling collection of areas repeatedly, with varying characters, varying skillsets, and an ever-changing threat to combat. It’s a game that will make you play Prey differently than you have before, and you’ll be grateful of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Surviving Mars’ new, free DLC tries harder to stop you surviving

surviving-mars-mysteries

You can go a whole game of Surviving Mars without triggering one of its ‘Mysteries’, though that’s as much to do with a slightly dodgy interface as it is personal choice. But when you do the flip the switch and welcome uncertainty into your citizens’ delicate lives, everything gets upended. I won’t soon forget the legion of floating orbs that sucked all the heat out of my colony, killing hundreds. They’re one giant leap into the fantastical from a game that is otherwise fairly sedate about its sci-fi, but I dig the option to wilfully remix things once your base-building turns staid – it reminds me of triggering a disaster in SimCity 2000, just to sadistically mix things up.

So I’m glad to hear that the latest round of free DLC for Haemimont’s mostly great red planet management sim introduces three more ‘Mysteries’ with which to optionally traumatise your off-world colonists. As well as meaning you won’t just run into the same few scenarios in a new playthrough, they give you new things to deal with in your current one.
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Intel set to release their first graphics card by 2020

Intel GPU

Watch out Nvidia and AMD. Intel have confirmed they’re going to release their first discrete GPU by 2020 – over Twitter, no less. First announced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich last week during an analyst event according to Marketwatch, the race for best graphics card is about to get a whole lot more interesting, with Intel set to release GPUs for both data centre and AI applications as well as gaming – probably not unlike what our crack team of Photoshop monkeys have cooked up for us above. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to Miami in Hitman 2’s “gameplay” trailer

Bienvenidos a Miami in a new trailer for Hitman 2 which crept out of E3 earlier this week, following its cinematic-heavy announcement. It shows Ian Hitman goin’ to Miami–the city where the heat is on–to off people during a supercar race day, which will offer some exciting opportunities for creative murder in the stealth sandbox. This is a “gameplay” trailer in the “lots of clips of in-game things with no UI and often from angles you’ll never see while playing” sense of the word, but that’s E3 for you. Fear not! Actual gameplay footage of the E3 demo is starting to ooze out from the press. Read the rest of this entry »

See Grim Fandango’s cast reunite for a live read-through

The main voice cast and composer of LucasArts’ Grim Fandango reunited last night during E3 for a live performance of scenes and songs from the splendid adventure game. The game turns 20 this year, and after all this time it’s just lovely to see them having a lark together, reading through scenes, gabbing about the game, and jamming (and singing!) those top tunes. Watch the hour-long performance, from Geoff Keighley’s E3 show, below. Read the rest of this entry »

FREE 3: A trio of free games as an antidote to E3 hype

The exhibition rumbles on, and so we’re back with three free for E3 to suggest some games that you can play while waiting for release dates that seem oh so far away. And, as a bonus, these are all available at no cost whatsoever!

Instead of Forza Horizon 4, play… Read the rest of this entry »

Fallout 76 will support mods, but not at launch

Mod support will indeed be coming to multiplayer survival sandbox Fallout 76, Bethesda have said, though not in time for its November launch. Mods are a standard feature for Bethesda’s RPGs, of course, filling in all the holes Bethesda leave and adding so many wonderful new things, but the always-online nature of 76 left that in question. Not to mention that some spectators have been concerned that the Creation Club DLC microtransaction store popping up in Bethesda’s recent games might shove plain ol’ mods out. But nah, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has said, “We love mods, and so we are 100% committed to doing that in 76 as well.” Read the rest of this entry »

Insurgency: Sandstorm looks genero but goodo

insurgency-sandstorm

For a long time while watching this Insurgency: Sandstorm trailer, I thought its great innovation was to do with context dependent AI barks that swear at guns a lot. Then I thought I must be listening to actors pretending to be players in that cringingly E3 demo sorta way. Then I realised that devs New World Interactive were attempting to sidestep that by paying actors to pretend they were actual combatants, and creating a strange hybrid of the two. I’ve been listening to people pretending to be people that people in the future might pretend to be, but without the silly pretence.

Game marketing is weird, but Sandstorm itself is the opposite: it’s an upcoming team based shooter that revolves around tactics, realism and impressive sound design. The original Insurgency passed me by, probably because it looked just as generic as this one. Dear old Adam got his hands on Sandstorm earlier this year though and called it a “goddamn work of art”, so my shoulders have stopped shrugging and started quivering with excitement. Read the rest of this entry »