League of Legends players immortalised through anime, ahead of World Championship final

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Tonight, at the slightly absurd 4am BST (or the more sociable 8PM PDT), the League of Legends Series 3 World Championship final will take place between SK Telecom T1 and Royal Club. Not to undermine the achievement of the two teams who have battled their way to within sight of the Summoner’s Cup, but, as someone who doesn’t watch the DotA-like wing of e-sports, I’m more impressed by this: Riot’s celebration of the competition. Taking some of the best players from the tournament, they’ve created anime counterparts imbued with the powers of their chosen champions.

If you’d like to watch the final, it’ll be streamed live from the official tournament site.

Battlefield 4 beta impressions: campers, connection issues and collapsing skyscrapers

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Clan leader John Strike charges into the Battlefield 4 beta to find out what’s new, old, better and broken.

Why was I nervous? It wasn’t like I was at a job interview or even meeting my girlfriend’s favourite dog for the first time. Yet here I was sitting at the computer at 8:55 AM, my bottom chewing on my underpants in apprehension at the beta release of Battlefield 4.

I’ve poured 900 hours into Battlefield 3. As a clan leader, I couldn’t help but fear for my ruthless band of buddies should Battlefield 4 not cut the mustard. Casting my mind back to Battlefield 3’s beta some two years ago I knew what problems to expect: connection problems, performance problems, clipping problems. I feared that the beta might collapse harder and faster than Seige of Shanghai’s destructible skyscraper. At first, it did.

At 9:02 I logged into Origin successfully. Bish!

At 9:03 Battlelog started up. Bash!

At 9:05 the game launched and I was away. Bosh!

By 9:15 I was in game with 3 frames per second and frantically looking for the returns policy on my GTX 680 that I’d installed the night before.

There’s no denying my first few hours with Battlefield 4 were terrible, and as clan mates logged in and out we were all too eager to condemn it as a disaster. Comments about the dire framerate, lag and log in issues rippled across the servers and forums. Many wondered if this was what we’d be left with for the next two years. When you’re so committed to a series as I’d been with BF3, panic sets in when you’re not immediately compelled to play your game’s sequel, particularly when it’s a game in which you’ve invested time and forged friendships.

I went to bed. By mid afternoon the next day there were new AMD and Nvidia beta drivers. I was straight on the case, and the fighting began in earnest.

 

Steam Machine prototype specs revealed

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The Steam Machine prototypes going out to 300 lucky beta participants have been detailed in a post in the Steam Universe group. Quick catch-up: Last week, Valve revealed SteamOS, a free Linux-based operating system for living room gaming, and announced that multiple hardware manufacturers will be selling SteamOS machines next year. But first, Valve is testing its own prototype with 300 systems.

According to Valve’s Greg Coomer, the 300 beta participants will receive one of the following builds:

GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high

These aren’t necessarily the specs of the third-party systems being sold next year. “As we talked about last week, the Steam Machines available for sale next year will be made by a variety of companies,” writes Coomer. “Some of those companies will be capable of meeting the demands of lots of Steam users very quickly, some will be more specialized and lower volume. The hardware specs of each of those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from our prototype.

 

The Wolf Among Us opens up for pre-orders, Episode One arrives later this month

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Telltale’s next interactive comic game, The Wolf Among Us, has just popped up on Steam for pre-orders. Given how much everyone loved last year’s The Walking Dead (and how much Hollander enjoyed his time with a The Wolf Among Us hands-on), it’s one of my most anticipated games of the jam-packed fall gaming season.

Set in the 80s-era scummy underside of New York, the game serves as a prequel to Bill Willingham’s fantasticFables comic series. As Sheriff Bigby Wolf, you work to solve a nasty murder in a cell-shaded comic art style that Telltale fans will recognize. There will be tough choices to make, but I hope the emotional payload will be slightly smaller than the brutal ethics of The Walking Dead (Episode 3—you know what I’m talking about). There will be more action this time around, and the fighting mechanics have been completely overhauled.

The five episodes retail for $5 each, but you can shave a bit off that if you pre-order the whole season at once. Episode 1 will land sometime this month.

Saints Row 4 mod adds first-person view

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Volition’s still hard at work on a set of Saints Row IV mod tools for all you tinkerers out there, but the delay hasn’t stopped a few prolific modders from allowing you to “serve and protect” the fine citizens of Steelport through the eyes of your character.

While I can’t wait to play what’s basically Mirror’s Edge with super powers, be warned that the mod is still a work in progress. Things can, and probably will, break. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your first-person power trip is a relatively smooth one.

For one, don’t wear any facial accessories like hats, glasses, or even clothes with high collar. Also, proceed with caution while using large weapons like the dubstep gun. Though dropping aliens with dubstep drops has practically become an American pastime, the camera needs a little tweaking before things look just right.

Those minor warnings aside, anyone interested in trying the mod out for themselves can mosey on over to the official page for some super power-infused shenanigans through new eyes.

Assassin’s Creed Heritage Collection bundles all previous Assassin’s Creed games

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More and more new games every year are sequels, so I guess the next logical step is enormous collections of previously released games. Bethesda announced at QuakeCon that every Elder Scrolls game would be available, and now Ubisoft is following suit with the Assassin’s Creed Heritage Collection. Available on November 8, the Heritage Collection will include Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Assassin’s Creed 3.

The official price has not been announced, but some listings are starting to pop up in the neighborhood of $70/£40, which isn’t outrageous for five games plus DLC. Still, at that price you’re paying a premium for the packaging and whatever extras they throw in there, and we have no idea what those extras might be.

Of course, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag lands on November 19. Technically speaking, I suppose gamers brand-new to the series could pound through the first five games in time for the launch of Black Flag, but only if they’re willing to give up showering and eating. Still, die-hard fans might appreciate having the games and their individual DLCs all in one tidy package.

Nordic Games shares THQ spoils in Humble Bundle

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Many publishers swarmed in on THQ’s trove of established licenses earlier this year, but Nordic Games arguably got one of the biggest takes by buying both the Darksiders and Red Faction franchises. However, it’ll probably be a while before we see anything new from those franchises, considering Nordic bought the licenses just this April. So what do you do with a stack of licenses and nothing new to show? Put them on sale.

Nordic Games has taken over this week’s Humble Bundle sale, and you’ll notice it’s plastered with games that used fall under THQ name. Paying a penny or more will get you Red Faction: Armageddon, The Guild 2, Neighbours From Hell Compilation, the original Supreme Commander its standalone expansion, Forged Alliance. Paying at least six of your hard-earned dollars adds Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, ArcaniA, Darksiders 2, and SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny to the list. I’m not sure why Supreme Commander 2 and the original Darksiders aren’t bundled, but you can’t really complain with six dollars. Well, you can, but not without sounding the opposite of humble.

Every game comes with a Steam key except the Neighbours From Hell Compilation, though that’s because the game’s still trying to be greenlit on Steam. The Humble Bundle game listing says users will automatically receive Steam keys if the game gets the greenlight. It’s not really a big deal considering you have eight other games to play, though I suppose you could just double-click the .exe like a caveman.

Tripwire: “SteamOS, Steam Machines, and Steam Controller will be the best thing to happen to PC gaming since digital distribution”

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John Gibson has been making PC-exclusive games for more than a decade. As President of Tripwire Interactive, he’s helped push Killing Floor, Red Orchestra 2, Rising Storm out the door of the developer’s Roswell, Georgia studio. He also happens to have a pretty nice sound system for his PC. We asked Gibson to weigh in on Valve’s trinity of announcements.

PCG: What’s your reaction to SteamOS?

John Gibson: An open platform OS created by a company focused on gaming and meeting customers needs–how could we not be excited by SteamOS?

Are you actively developing for SteamOS?

Gibson: We actually just learned about SteamOS a few days before the rest of the world and we haven’t gotten our hands on it just yet...

Giveaway: Win a copy of ARMA X: Anniversary Edition

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You can’t run Arma 3, but you want to get into military simulation? Or maybe you’re ready to try to survive the horrors of DayZ? If you’re ready for a history lesson, PC Gamer is giving 30 readers Arma X: Anniversary Edition: the entire Arma and Arma 2 collection from Bohemia Interactive, including each game’s expansions, original soundtracks, and more. All you have to do to win is like us.

On Facebook, that is. Just fill out this simple form at PC Gamer’s Facebook page. Entries must be submitted by Oct. 13, and you must be 18 or over to be eligible. Thirty winners will be selected and given Arma X: Anniversary Edition for Steam. One entry per user, and this promotion is valid only for US readers. Good luck!

Zeboyd’s Cosmic Star Heroine hitting PC next year, but you can view its opening video now

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Zeboyd Games – developers of Breath of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves the World, and Penny Arcade Episodes 3 and 4 – have a new game in the works. It’s called Cosmic Star Heroine and, hooray, it’s another old-fashioned JRPG-style RPG. This one, however, is more inspired by the likes of Phantasy Star and Suikoden than by Final Fantasies of old. It’s Zeboyd’s most ambitious game yet, and naturally that means it has its own attract mode-style opening video. Catch it after the break.

PAX is a thing that is going on now, and that’s where details of Zeboyd’s latest were elaborated on. Over on thePlaystation blog (for Cosmic Star Heroine is coming to PS4 and Vita as well as PC), Robert Boyd shared the following summary:

“Cosmic Star Heroine is our latest attempt to recapture the feel of some of the ...

XCOM: Enemy Within ‘War Machines’ trailer features bio-augs, mechs, alien-punching

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Just over a week ago, news broke of XCOM: Enemy Within – a very orangey expansion to Enemy Unknown. The accompanying video, in true XCOM tradition, showed a shadowy guy saying things in his Serious Voice, with nary a hint of gameplay footage to back it up. As with the moon landings and the inner workings of Pat Sharp’s Fun House, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was protected by some vast government conspiracy – y’know, if it wasn’t for this brand new trailer chock-full of the stuff. It’s entitled War Machines, and true to the name it shows off the expansion’s new bio-engineering and robo-mech-suit features. There is also a lot of alien-punching. If Will Smith happens to be watching: that one’s all on you.

Several of these technological advancements are thanks to a newly discovered ali...

Dragon Age Inquisition preview: fortresses, friendship and the Fade in BioWare’s open world

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After a long period of relative silence, information is finally creeping out about the shape and state of BioWare’s next major RPG. I saw Dragon Age Inquistion at an EA event in London earlier in the week, the same information that will have – as of the time this goes live – just been revealed at PAX. Here’s a rundown of my first impressions of the game – which, although it’s more than a year from release, is looking far more fleshed out than I expected.

Plot and companions

Inquisition is set a few years after the events of the two previous games. The world is in the middle of several wars – civil war in Orlais, and the ongoing conflict between the mages and Templars – that are snowballing into one another: kind of like a fantasy World War I...

First-person Dark Souls mod adds flailing and nausea to difficulty

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Last year’s Dark Souls was a fun third-person hack ‘n slash, but everything is better with a little tinkering. Now a modder has adjusted the default view to zoom the camera right into the back of the player’s head. The result is a nauseating journey into a world of flailing arms and upside-down elbows, but if it helps you get in character, I say go for it.

Youtube user Soul Slasher posted the above video showing off the new view. At first everything seems pretty normal. Forearm holding sword, check. Backside of a metal shield, check. It initially looks like a cross between Dark Souls and Skyrim. Then the player starts running, glitching off of walls and battling the undead. The video is 11 minutes long, but I had to look away after less than half of that.

The uploader notes that this ver...

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Last year’s Dark Souls was a fun third-person hack ‘n slash, but everything is better with a little tinkering. Now a modder has adjusted the default view to zoom the camera right into the back of the player’s head. The result is a nauseating journey into a world of flailing arms and upside-down elbows, but if it helps you get in character, I say go for it.

Youtube user Soul Slasher posted the above video showing off the new view. At first everything seems pretty normal. Forearm holding sword, check. Backside of a metal shield, check. It initially looks like a cross between Dark Souls and Skyrim. Then the player starts running, glitching off of walls and battling the undead. The video is 11 minutes long, but I had to look away after less than half of that.

The uploader notes that this ver...

Programming with an audience: devs discuss alpha funding in games

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Early buy-ins, crowdfunding, and early access have taken game development (and more importantly, game funding) into crazy new directions in the last few years. An extensive set of interviews at Gamasutra asks some of the biggest names in early access funding, like Dean Hall (DayZ), Markus Persson (Minecraft) and Chris England (Xenonauts), about their experiences developing a game with thousands of early adopters looking on.

The verdict? It’s a mixed blessing, for sure.

“I think the biggest benefit is that you can get real momentum going for your game at the gestation period of the design,” says Hall, the creator of the popular DayZ mod for Arma 2, which will soon launch as a standalone game...

Meridian: New World assembles a debut trailer

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We were just talking about the new single-player RTS, Meridian: New World, a couple days ago, wishing we could see some footage of the newly-announced game rather than some logo-emblazoned screenshots. Well, it looks like our wish has been answered, as Elder Games has released its debut trailer for its debut game.

Despite what the trailer says, it seems like Meridian will be somewhat similar to StarCraft II’s single-player campaign.You chit chat with your crew members as the story rolls along while upgrading and customizing your units as you accumulate XP. And although you could make choices that impacted the story in StarCraft II, it sounds as though Tarsoly is aiming for even greater consequences, though we’ve yet to see something that proves that’s the case.

The out-of-place “Tired of ...

Why the creator of GTA and the lead designer of Diablo II are making a Facebook game together

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The enormous careers of Dave Jones (Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, APB) and Stieg Hedlund (Diablo, Diablo II, Ghost Recon), are intersecting in ChronoBlade, an action-RPG published on Facebook. I visited Jones and Hedlund at their studio in San Francisco to talk about what brought them together, their thoughts on the value of independence, and the changing role of publishers in the game industry.

 

Reinstall: Myst

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Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, we explore the eerily deserted, ethereal landscape of Myst.

With six million copies sold, making it the best-selling game of all time until The Sims came along, there’s absolutely no arguing Myst’s place in PC gaming history. It set a new benchmark for multimedia and 3D rendering. It inspired many people who would never have touched a game to give it a try, sucking them into our world. It gave printer manufacturers something to bundle with their products. Myst, in a word, is a legend.

I hate it. I hate it so much.

“Is it finally time to make peace with this old enemy?”

How much do I hate it, you ask? Go to your bathroom. Brush your teeth. Done that? Now swig a large mouthful of orange juice...

Star Wars: The Old Republic adds Ewok companion as part of update 2.3

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Hate them or hate them, Ewoks will forever remain part of the Star Wars mythology, in all parallel universes except for the Revenge of the Jedi one from BioShock Infinite. Probably. As part of update 2.3, the cuddly murderous rebels – or one in particular – are now being added to Star Wars: The Old Republic as the MMO’s newest companion character. Say hello to Treek, a heavy armor user with both heal and tank stances, not to mention and an adorable wittle furry face.

The update, now on the public test servers, adds Treek to the game’s Cartel Bazaar. To get her to join you, you’ll have to purchase a pricey mercenary contract for a million credits (price subject to change when the update eventually hits the live servers)...

SimCity gets Airships DLC, yours for 8.99 luftballons

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Hey there, blimpy boy: SimCity hasn’t gotten any more consumer friendly with its latest bit of paid DLC, but it has taken to the skies by adding airships, balloons and even blimps. Which, erm, is almost as good. Pretend you’re in charge of the bad universe from Fringe by shelling out $8.99 over on Origin (alternatively, you could just hire John Noble to stand glowering around in your house).

Things what you’ll get as part of the download: ‘Airship Hangers’ for manhandling tourists, ‘Commuter Airship Mooring’ for taking care of commuters, a couple of hot air balloon parks and ‘Event Blimps’ that appear during, well, events. If for some reason you need a four-minute video explanation of the above, here is a four-minute video explanation of the above.

StarCraft 2 American and Korean WCS Season 1 finals this weekend

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We’re coming up on the biggest weekend for StarCraft II eSports in 2013 so far, with both the Korean and American WCS Season 1 finals concluding the first round of Blizzard’s new, worldwide tournament format. The Korean finals between INnoVation and Soulkey will have already started by the time you read this, but you should be able to check out the WCS archives shortly after the broadcast. The American finals, beginning with the Round of 8, will run throughout the weekend.

Remaining players in the American premier league are South Koreans HerO, Alicia, Ryung, CranK, aLive, and Revival, as well as Australia’s mOOnGLaDe, and Norway’s Snute. You’ll be able to tune in on the WCS Twitch channel for the live stream from MLG’s studio in New York starting tomorrow, June 1, at 10:00 a.m. PDT...

Here’s a peek at Wasteland 2′s inventory system

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It’s been awhile since we last heard from the Wasteland 2 team and their 17-minute gameplay video. What’ve they been working on in the months since? Succinctness, apparently, as well as their inventory system, which we’re getting a glimpse of today.

Inventory design is one of those things that you don’t realize the importance of till you come across a completely unusable interface, so it’s cool that inXile are pondering these things. They tinkered with grid-based Tetris-style inventory as well as list-style, and what you see here is what they’ve settled on for now. Two soon-to-be-implemented features are on their way as well—key bindings for commonly used items, and mouseover information panels.

I’m pleased to see that inXile appear to be Team Skeuomorphic, with those fun electricity-seep...

Take-Two’s Zelnick says “MMOs don’t work” in the US

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What makes one MMO succeed and another struggle? Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick says that at least one important factor at play in this equation is whether or not the MMO title is published in the United States (via Polygon).

“We’re actively investing in online and MMOs, we’re just not doing it in the U.S,” Zelnick reportedly said at the Cowen and Company Technology, Media and Telecom Conference Thursday. “MMOs don’t work here. A couple of our competitors have found out that through very, very expensive lessons. One of our competitors just recently announced they’re restarting an MMO project.”

For Zelnick, the list of MMO titles that have found some solid footing in the USA was short. “How many MMOs have been successful in the U.S.?,” he said. “Two...

As Real As It Gets: here’s an exoskeleton suit for your gaming needs

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The Oculus Rift may give us heart-stopping renders of truly believable environments, but aren’t our other senses being underserved by the expensive peripherals industry? As Real As It Gets thinks so: their gently undulating bodysuit aims to let gamers feel the rumble of a passing vehicle, or the pummel of an assault rifle’s bullet-spray into one’s chest.

ARAIG have just started a Kickstarter campaign for the sense-replicating suit, and they’re hoping to raise some $900,000 to put it into mass production. Of course, there’s no way to tell how well this will work without strapping on a suit ourselves, so let’s hope that is at least a little more subtle than the unpleasant vibrations on some handheld controllers. Hey—even if this doesn’t quite put you in the gaming zone, at least the guy loo...

Steam’s newest bundle is an Unreal deal

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If I was nerdy enough to have a “favorite engine,” it would probably be the Unreal Engine—not necessarily for its technical achievements (though you can’t say it hasn’t been an essential tool for developers in the past decade), but for its accessibility. The easy-breezy development kit has been especially kind to indies, and because of that, some brilliantly creative games have been built on the engine. Now Steam’s flogging an Unreal Indie Bundle, and for $20, it’s actually got a pretty admirable selection of games.

In the seven-game lineup, the stand-outs for me are the hypercute Dungeon Defenders and slick-looking Sanctum – these are two tower defense games I’ve dragged numerous pals into playing the past couple of years, and I’d feel pretty pleased with myself if I could drag the reade...

Ragnarok Online 2 makes it to Steam

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There’s a saucily dressed priestess in all of us, as I like to say. She’s probably wearing a hat shaped like a cat. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because, like pretty much every gamer on the planet, you have a history with the adorable manga-esque Ragnarok Online. Most of us have thoroughly abandoned the fantasy MMO’s grindfest for good, but maybe the new sequel, now headed to Steam, will pique your nostalgia-fuddled interest.

Ragnarok Online 2 follows on from its decade-old predecessor, offering a recognizable world that—finally—is rendered in full 3D. Based on from what we’ve seen in the beta, there’s a hell of a lot less mindless grinding this time, though the questing system looks so streamlined that I wonder if we’ll run into the opposite problem of leveling simply bei...

Machinima launch for Xbox 360 has us watching more games than we play

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Machinima launches for Xbox 360, has us watching more games than we play

When Microsoft piled on the Xbox media channels last year, we didn’t realize just how long it would take for some of those channels to come to fruition. We’re quite possibly on the cusp of new hardware, and Machinima’s app is just now making its Xbox 360 debut. Still, it might be worth the wait for those who live and breathe gaming even after they’ve set down the gamepad. The app includes the full suite of Machinima channels and their associated videos, ranging from regular shows and specials through to game blooper reels. Machinima is available everywhere Xbox Live is active; if that isn’t enough to tide you over, Microsoft is teasing the reveal of a OneBeat electronic music app next month.

The incredible story of Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr and the birth of EVE Online

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The story of Jón Gnarr, who in 2010 was elected mayor of Iceland’s capital and largest city, Reykjavík, could be mistaken for a story from EVE Online, the sandbox MMO created by Icelandic developer CCP. In EVE, players form corporations such as GoonWaffe and Hard Knocks (the ‘n’ is silent), taking part in fascinating, often-bizarre political and military shenanigans. In Iceland, Jón ran for office as founder of “The Best Party,” which he says wasn’t, and still isn’t, a real political party.

“It was supposed to be a complete nonsense party,” said Jón during a Q&A after last week’s EVE Online Fanfest in Reykjavík. “We promised whatever people wanted us to promise, but also promised to break all of our promises.”

Icelanders apparently appreciated Jón’s honesty, and he earned international fa...

Farming Simulator 2013: Titanium trailer has a brand new combine harvester (in America)

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I’ve cultivated a genuine love of Euro Truck Simulator 2, so while I’ve yet to get on board with Farming Simulator 2013, I understand why people enjoy pretending to do a job they don’t do. With Farming Simulator 2013: Titanium, you can now pretend to do that job on a different continent. The American expansion brings new crops, new vehicles, and new dungarees. Note: game might not contain dungarees.

“Inspired by typical American farms, this new and monumental terrain represents a total change of scene, with new locations, fresh development opportunities for your farm and even bigger fields suitable for the largest agricultural machinery available in the game.”

Farming Simulator 2013 owners can get the Titanium expansion right now. For everyone else, a Titanium Edition bundle has been released, providing both the game and its DLC. That’s more simulated farming than you’ll ever need. Or want.

The post Farming Simulator 2013: Titanium trailer has a brand new combine harvester (in America) appeared first on PC Gamer.

Arma 3 screenshots show scenes from the first campaign DLC, out October 31st

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I bet Bohemia are feeling really embarrassed right now. In all the excitement of ArmA III’s official launch last month, they completely forgot to add in its singleplayer campaign. Weirdly, they’d planned for this forgetfulness, announcing before hand that the campaign would follow as three free DLC chunks to be released over the coming months. Incredible foresight, that.

The first of these chunks will be called ‘Survive’, and it’s due to be released on October 31st. ArmA’s creative director, Jay Crowe, explains what players can expect:

“Our first campaign episode, ‘Survive’, introduces players to Ben Kerry, a regular soldier who’s part of a NATO peacekeeping mission in the Mediterranean...

Bionic Dues out now, merges robots, roguelikes and corridor roaming

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“Hello everybody, a roguelike has just been released,” is a sentence that that I could have written on any day of the last few months and still have it be accurate. There’s been a lot of them, is what I’m saying. Not that it’s a bad thing: personally, I’d rather this than endless waves of DotA-likes or, *shudder* tower defence. The latest is Bionic Dues, from AI War developer Arcen Games. It’s a robo-roguelike featuring a seemingly unstoppable invasion and a lot of mechs.

I’ve only played it for a short while, but already it seems like a remarkably tactical and compulsive take on the roguelike genre. As a lone pilot of four hovering exosuits, you’ve fifty days to prepare for a full-scale assault on your HQ...