A great deal for the current gaming monitor sweet spot. Lenovo's G27q-20 G-Sync/FreeSync gaming monitor is down to £200, a fantastic deal for a 1440p 165Hz model in a 27-in screen size. Here's why we rate it. Get the Lenovo G27q-20 for £200 (was £290) First up, it's all about the panel. A few years ago, you had a serious decision to make between IPS and TN panels. IPS panels were great for content creation and slower-paced games, where their superior colour performance, viewing angles and overall picture quality gave them an advantage. TN panels were significantly better for competitive games, where their lower pixel response times (and larger number of high refresh rate models) granted an advantage. Now, modern IPS panels like that of the Lenovo monitor in today's deal offer similar motion clarity to older TN panels, so you can get a monitor that feels well-suited for a wide range of game genres plus content creation. TN panels are still used for extremely high refresh rate displays and competitive gaming at the highest level, but IPS is just a stronger all-around choice. (VA panels are another good option these days, with slightly worse pixel reponse times but much better contrast, but we'll save them for another article.) So this sort of monitor is definitely what you want unless you have very specific requirements. Next, it's the core specs. The 27-in screen size is relatively easy to accommodate on a normal-size desk, even with multiple monitors, but is noticeably larger than a 24-inch model and allows you to sit further back. 1080p resolution looks a bit grainy at this screen size, so ideally you want 1440p resolution to get decent clarity and ensure text is cleanly readable. 1440p is also a good target for modern GPUs, as even entry-level current-gen graphics cards (or higher-tier older GPUs) are able to deliver strong 1440p performance in the vast majority of games. Finally, we have the refresh rate: 165Hz provides a noticeably more fluid experience than the standard 60Hz - if not noticeably more so than 144Hz - and again is achieveable with a base level of CPU/
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. A good entry-level gaming laptop for a bargain basement price. A strong entry-level gaming laptop is down to a bargain basement price today. The Dell G15 offers an RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, Core i5 10200H processor, 512GB SSD, 120Hz screen and normally costs £849 - but today you can use code VOUCHERCODES8 to get this 1080p gaming laptop for £532. Get the Dell G15 5510 for £532 (was £849) The Dell G15 is a well-equipped laptop in general you'd have to say, with its current-gen RTX graphics card unlocking future-proofing RTX and DLSS functionality and a powerful 10th-gen Core i5, backed by a 1080p 120Hz screen, 8GB of memory (easily upgradeable to 16GB) and a roomy 512GB NVMe SSD. The G15 drew plaudits last year for its 'gaming, but not too gaming' design, and with s
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Nvidia DLAA (Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing) is more of a niche prospect than its upscaler cousin DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), though it shares the same ultimate goal of making your PC games look sharper. Like DLSS, DLAA uses a dash of AI brainpower to stitch together frames with more detail than conventional anti-aliasing techniques like TAA and MSAA – only with DLAA, there’s no upscaling involved. That means no performance gains, but for those with sufficiently powerful Nvidia RTX GPUs, potentially superior image quality at all resolutions. Even better than DLSS, mayhaps. Is DLAA actually worth using, though? I tried two of its most recent implementations, in No Man’s Sky and Deep Rock Galactic, and found that any image quality benefits come at a sometimes hefty performance cost – even on one of the best graphics cards. Then again, because DLAA requires a muscular GPU in the first place, the frames-per-second difference might not even be noticeable unless your monitor has an esports-grade refresh rate. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia DLAA, including how exactly Nvidia’s AI does the heavy lifting, and which games can use it. You’ll find my quality comparisons and performance benchmarks a wee scroll further down. What is DLAA and how does it work? Explaining DLAA is much like explaining DLSS, because they both rely on the same AI system. The work actually starts over at Nvidia HQ, where a supercomputer feeds extremely high-res images into a neural network – essentially, an AI model. These images teach the AI how to accurately predict the content of upcoming frames, which in turn generates anti-aliasing algorithms that allow for rendered images with more detail and more intelligently-placed pixels. The AI model, including its latest learnings, is then sent to your RTX graphics card via driver update. With both DLAA and DLSS, the GPU can apply these AI-powered algorithms when running a supported game, theoretically producing a sharper image than other, dumber AA systems. The big difference is that DLSS involves upscaling, so games are first rendered at a lower resolution than your monitor’s, then pieced back together to resemble native res while also including that AI anti-aliasing. With DLAA, games are simply rendered at native res to begin with. It’s much more of a 'simple' anti-aliasing option in this regard, even if getting there does require a supercomputer and some machine learning. On paper, this should allow DLAA to look slightly sharper than DLSS, as all other things being equal, it will always use a higher rendering resolution as a starting point. However, it also means DLAA gives up the performance advantage of DLSS; the latter’s upscaling process isn’t very GPU-heavy in itself, which together with the less demanding render resolution means games will simply run faster with it. It’s also worth mentioning that Nvidia’s upscaling is very, very good: on DLSS’ Quality and Balanced modes, it usually looks as good as native, if not even a little better. It's all very sciencey, which I know isn’t massively interesting to every PC owner. But the long and short of it is that DLAA is intended to boost the visual quality of games that can already run smoothly without upscaling, giving RTX graphics card owners the choice of digging into that extra FPS headroom in exchange for prettier anti-aliasing. Which games support DLAA? Not many, in truth. DLSS support might be approaching the 200 games mark but as of June 2022, the newer and more specialised DLAA only works in a relative handful: Chorus Deep Rock Galactic Farming Simulator Jurassic World Evolution 2 No Man’s Sky The Elder Scrolls Online Unofficially, Deathloop can use DLAA as well. In the game’s eyes, it would be running DLSS while rendering at native resolution, but since they use the same algorithms, that’s all DLAA really is. Setting it up is also more involved than clicking a single toggle: you’d need to enable DLSS, set it to use Adaptive Quality, set the target frame rate to 30fps and finally flip on the Quality setting. Weird, innit. You could also, potentially, attain a DLAA-like effect in a wider range of games by combining DLSS with DLDSR (Deep Learning Dynamic Super Resolution). Another piece of Nvidia imaging tech for RTX cards, DLDSR is a downsampler that can improve image quality by rendering games above native resolution, and because it works at the driver level it doesn’t require per-game implementation. By mixing DLSS upscaling with DLDSR downsampling, you could get the former’s AI anti-aliasing with an internal render resolution that balances out to match your monitor’s native res. DLAA, basically. It's a total bodge job, and requires at least some manual arithmetic to end up at the correct resolution, but does work if you select the right combination of settings. If all that doesn’t appeal, you’ll have to stick with the games listed above. Also, just for the curious: no, you can’t have DLSS and DLAA enabled at the same time. What does DLAA look like? In pure image quality terms, DLAA does make good on its promise of higher image quality – just. In the galleries below, you can see how DLAA compares to the highest-quality DLSS setting, as well as native/TAA, across No Man’s Sky and Deep Rock Galactic (remember you can click the pics to embiggen them). It’s not a completely perfect form of anti-aliasing, as the occasional jaggies are present, if not particularly pronounced: on that circular ship engine in No Man’s Sky, for instance, which even basic TAA seems to do a better job of smoothing out. But then, TAA’s whole deal is blurring out details to hide jaggies, which has the clear downside of… blurred details. DLAA therefore looks a lot sharper overall, and especially in motion. Even if you can’t see it in these screenshots, tricky environmental elements like mesh grates and distant staircases don’t shimmer as much with DLAA as they do with TAA. Or, for that, matter, DLSS. Both Nvidia technologies naturally look very similar as they’re using the same machine-learned AA, though in the smaller details, DLAA can look a touch more polished. Left: DLAA. Right: DLSS Quality A zoom in on our spaceperson’s space backpack, for instance, highlights a sharper, more in-focus look to the textures and edges. And it’s not just close-up details where you can see the difference. Over in DRG, a distant monitor displays noticeably clearer text using DLAA: Left: DLAA. Right: DLSS Quality Again, TAA proves better at reducing the jagged effect, but only at the cost of making the whole scene look a little less in-focus. To me, at least, it’s worth giving that up in exchange for DLAA’s overall better detail reproduction. On this grated ramp, TAA even seems to chip away bits of the metal, whereas it’s all rendered and presented properly with DLAA. Left: DLAA. Right: TAA I don’t want overstate the jagginess of DLAA, either. In motion, it looks fine, and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s happily run DLSS as the anti-aliasing is basically the same. It’s just the higher starting resolution that DLAA can leverage for a modest, but real, quality improvement. How does DLAA perform? Since DLAA lacks upscaling, it was never going to improve performance like DLSS could. But maybe with all its AI smarts, it could impose less of a performance tax than old-timey anti-aliasing? No such luck. In both games tested, and regardless of native resolution, DLAA was consistently the harshest on frames-per-second. And this was with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, one of the mightier models among the compatible RTX range. Granted, it was a sub-10fps difference from TAA at 4K, and even with both games’ Ultra graphics presets engaged, the RTX 3070 never wanted for high frame rates at 1440p and 1080p. If anything, these results show the exact conditions that Nvidia had in mind for DLAA: when performance is so already so high that it doesn’t matter much if you knock a f
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The RPS Hivemind is finally complete Back in the depths of February, we began our search for a section editor to take on our growing reviews section and bring their expert editing skills to every part of the site. Today, at long last, I'm happy to say we've found that person, and we've also given them the proper job title they deserve. Please say hello to Rachel Watts, our brand-new reviews editor. I know, I know. Originally, we said the whole reason why we were hiring for a section editor and not a reviews editor was because we wanted that person to sit across all aspects of the site, not just reviews. Technically that's still true. As well as heading up our reviews section, Rachel will also be casting her highly trained eyes over all sorts of news and feature posts that we write. Ultimately, though, we all felt that reviews editor was an infinitely better description of the job at hand, so we decided to massage some of those letters into their truest, Bestest Best self. With Rachel's arrival, it also means that Team RPS is finally at full hivemind strength again and that our great hiring expansion is now complete. Hooray! Some of you may be familiar with Rachel's work already, as she previously on staff at cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer. While there, she covered a wide array of games and topics, getting stuck in with everything Minecraft-related, while also tinkering with mods, interviewing devs and Twitch streamers, and writing about indie games made out of actual paper sculptures to name just a few. More recently, Rachel was a staff writer at the PlayStation-themed Play Magazine, which Future Publishing brought back from the dead after their Official PlayStation Magazine was bundled off to the big paper shredder in the sky in the middle of last year. Wherever her words have appeared, though, Rachel has been an incredible champion of all things indie, and it's something I've always admired about her work from afar. I know she's going to do a fantastic job getting our reviews section into shape, and I can't wait to see what cool and interesting delights she's going to u
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. New footage of a blighted Blighty Post-apocalyptic mod Fallout: London will arrive next year, the development team have announced with a new video released as part of the Fallout For Hope charity initiative. It’s a DLC-sized mod for Fallout 4 that’s bringing the unchanging nuclear war across the pond. Doff your bowler hat out of respect for all the nuked chippies, and watch
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Full-timers are paid an undisclosed amount, whereas part-timers get “cool rewards” The most wishlisted game on Steam, The Day Before, is being developed entirely by volunteers according to its developer’s website. Fntastic say they accept full-time and part-time volunteers to work on their games. Watch a video about volunteering that’s featured on the company’s website
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Forgive it for being unforgiving First announced last year, Endless Dungeon is a top-down, tactical roguelite hero-shooter set in Amplitude's Endless universe - yer Endless Legend and Endless Space types. Lots of things with no end, basically. It's also a sort of sequel to Dungeon Of The Endless, a turn-based game from 2004 that laid a lot of the groundwork for Endless Dungeon's core loop of dungeon runs and wave survival. I got to sample one of its earliest levels with three different heroes in a recent hour long preview session, but came away with mixed feelings. If you can get a foothold in a run it's fantastic, but getting that foothold can be frustrating in its current state. You start in a hub area populated by a few aliens and robots having some drinks near the bar. I'm told that this cosy space will evolve a little between runs, with NPCs commenting on your progress and new folks popping in for a chat. It's no Temple Of Styx a la Hades, though, so don't expect any rigorous customisation options or any branching paths to expand it. On the ground, there's a big pad that whisks you to a mission and it's here where you select the heroes you control, swapping between them with a press of the space bar while the AI takes control of the others if you're playing solo. I got to sample Zed (mini-gunner), Bunker (robot with shield), and Blaze (four-armed cowboy sniper), each armed with three abilities that pop them into a given archetype: tank, damage-dealer, a bit of both. I could only take two heroes with me into the sample mission, with the third slot locked until I discovered the "Procedural Factory" during a run. I'm told there will be eight heroes on release, so that's a fair number to shake up the action with. Once you enter the abandoned space station, the game's less than typical rogueliting kicks into gear. Much like The Binding Of Isaac, Hades or Rogue Legacy, you move through procedurally generated rooms. Sometimes these rooms have loot chests in them or house a shopkeeper who sells you wares. This is largely where the similarities end, though. The trick to survival in Endless Dungeon isn't so much selecting the right concoction of power-ups, but by making smart investments, both in your future and its infrastructure. A little robot with a crystal for a b
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Not sure this is what they meant by 'Sonic mania' One of the developers behind the component games of Sega’s Sonic Origins collection has spoken out on Twitter to defend their team in light of the collection’s numerous alleged bugs. Headcannon founder Simon Thornley, also known as Stealth, took responsibility for some of the collection’s issues in a lengthy series of tweets, but said that “a lot was beyond our control”. Sonic Origins hasn't met with positive reception from fans of the series. “This is frustrating,” Thornley said. “I won't lie and say that there weren't issues in what we gave to Sega, but what is in Origins is also not what we turned in. Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility - a lot of them aren't.” “We want these problems to be addressed,” Thornley continued. “We provided a ton of feedback during and after development for both Origins and its Sonic 3 integration. We've done a good chunk of work after our work term was over to fix things, support Sega, and to prepare for future updates.” Thornley went on to clarify that Sega have yet to agree to Headcannon’s offer of supporting Sonic Origins with post-release fixes and updates. The Sonic Origins collection launched on June 23rd, which also happened to be Sonic’s 31st birthday. Twitter is awash with dissatisfied punters pointing out issues with the collection’s reworked version of classic Sonic games. This one, with Dr Robotnik seemingly giving up and just hovering above Sonic and Tails, is among the most bizarre I’ve seen so far. There’s a substantial thread here with plenty more, ranging from Tails’ plane being stuck in midair to cutscenes repeating. Sonic fans aren’t too chuffed that the music in the collection’s version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles has been altered from the original either. There’s some speculation, including from Sonic’s creator Yuji Naka, that the change was to avoid licensing issues with tracks that the late ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson may have contributed to the game. I say ‘may have’, because even Naka doesn’t seem to know for sure. Sega have also come under fire for delisting the older versions of the classic games in the Sonic Origins collection. Sonic Origins is on Steam and the Epic Games Store for £33/$40/€40. Try not to get stuck. More News Latest Articles Rebecca Jones 16 minutes ago Ollie Toms 54 mi
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Looking at more interesting upcoming indies Every weekend, indie devs show off current work on Twitter's #screenshotsaturday tag. And every Monday, I bring you a selection of these snaps and clips. This week, we have cute trainline-building, ghost violence, surreal things both intentional and unintentional, and a cyberpunk New York City. I like the Townscaper-style block-plopping of diorama-building game Islands & Trains (coming to Steam): Building a tiny little island with a tiny little (new) trainstation & some happy little (new birch) trees and bushes that Bob Ross would hopefully be proud of☺️#screenshotsaturday #lowpoly #gamedev #indiedev #WIP #game #madewithunityhttps://t.co/KTPC7AwK3T pic.twitter.com/6O00WZciN6— Fabi Smith (@Just_Game_Dev) June 26, 2022 Smooth animation in the opening cutscene to adventure game-y puzzle-platformer Long Gone (coming to Steam): Block-in is done. Just need to detail it and clean it up. Feeling pretty good about it though, I was nervous about getting this one done because of its complexity.#screenshotsaturday #IndieGameDev #Running #LongGoneGame #GameDev #solodev #animation #indieDev #PixelArt #Unity pic.twitter.com/9e4rrD4kz6— Vin・Hillfort Games (@HillfortGames) June 25, 2022 Stylish stuff from twin-stick shooter Haunti (currently on Kickstarter): — Leo (@realZigzagLeo) June 25, 2022 A colourful cyberpunk New York City and some Vangelis vibes in a mysterious new run 'n' gun game from the folks who made Steel Assault: The first early teaser of our next game. Watch it with sound on if you get the chance!#screenshotsaturday #pixelart #ドット絵 pic.twitter.com/DiL23iOrP2— STEEL ASSAULT (@SteelAssault) June 18, 2022 Neural Nest has a cool concept: — q☆bit digital (@qbitdigital) June 26, 2022 Some great wallpaper and topsy-turvy exploration in a puzzle game tentatively titled The Office (yeah I don't see that name surviving): Today during the #screenshotsaturday we are upside down.🙃#indiegames #indiedev #gamedev pic.twitter.com/BeEWz9LIqc— Rem (@RemzouzeIV) June 25, 2022 I like the top-down rain effect in open-world RPG Deadwind (which has a "very old" demo on Itch): The citizens of Myrefell keep vanishing in the night...#gamedev #indiedev #gamemaker #roguelike #indiegames #rpg #screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/V8C6fwws0v— Jason Accardo (@thinginger) June 25, 2022 A wee Team Fortress 2 fan joke in Red: Shadow Maggots (coming to Itch), a... TF2 fangame in the style of Raid: Shadow Legends? — Brogrammist (@Brogrammist) June 25, 2022 A clever girl in survival horror game Primal Omen (coming to Steam): Dinner Time #screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/Om4Y6XY42F— Sean Herron (@SeanGameDesign) June 25, 2022 Some sort of mascore Sonic violence in Panic Porcupine (coming to Steam): Who says wrecking balls are to be avoided? Panic Porcupine is coming in September! #indiedev #pixelart #screenshotsaturday #steamgames pic.twitter.com/zz6oyEtqHl— Spicy Gyro Games (@SpicyGyr
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. It’s the first in-person event for years Charity speedrun fest Summer Games Done Quick is staging its first in-person event since 2019, and there are shedloads of PC games to gawp at. SGDQ is one of the highlights of the year’s speedrunning calendar, and this year’s event runs until July 3rd. Doctors Without Borders is once again the charity SGDQ is raising money for, an NGO that helps people caught in warzones, disasters and outbreaks of disease. Last year’s event man
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Sunda
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Launched a heart attack in 2018 Space Bob vs. The Replicons is an ambitious 2D game about flying your spaceship onto a procedurally generated planet surface, gathering resources and tethering them to your ship, then blasting back into orbit to explore more of outerspace. There's a new trailer for it below, but it's not a new game. Space Bob launched in 2018, sold poorly, and then its developer left the games industry. That developer is returning now to take a second swing at th
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Plus Shadowrun Trilogy, Far Cry 5 I don't buy every iteration of FIFA, but I do want to give each entry a whirl
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Which was released in 2019 Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition launched this week, upping the resolution and increasing the framerate of Westwood's ancient adventure game in ways that make it look consistently worse than the original. If you bought the game on GOG, you could at least switch over to the superior ScummVM release, but not on Steam... Until earlier today, when Blade Runner Classic was added to the Steam version, too. "The free update will be downloaded automatically and when you start Blade Runner through Steam, you'll be given a choice of launching the Enhanced Edition, or the Classic version," Nightdive Studios posted on the Steam news feed. They also say they're "looking at all your feedback for the game, and we're still working on our first official patch for the game which will be coming as soon as we can." That's a good thing, because Alice O has looked at the remaster and says it's a mess. There are several side-by-side comparisons in that article that show the way the "enhancement" has wiped away detail, atmosphere, or simply introduced glitches to Blade Runner. The 2019 ScummVM edition was created by volunteers and previously available as a standalone purchase through GOG, but it was removed from the store and is now only available as part of the Enhanced Edition. Thomas Fach-Pedersen, a developer on the ScummVM release, is none too pleased about that. "Over a number of years, I, along with friends, lovingly reverse engineered Westwood's Blade Runner for @ScummVM, reviving the game and helping @GOGcom to release the game for sale once again. For this we have asked for and received nothing but the honor of the work," he tweeted on the 23rd. "Now @NightdiveStudio has released their 'Enhanced' version. It is, by all accounts, ugly and buggy, and offers no tangible benefits over ScummVM aside from very poor console support. They even forgot to credit me for the subtitles we let them use." He returned to the thread after the ScummVM version was included on Steam. "While I slept it looks like @NightdiveStudio has decided to resolve the extremely poor recep
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Summer has arrived and honestly, it's a bit much. If you can maintain your corporeal form this weekend, somehow not needing to melt into a bucket and recuperate, what are you playing? Here's what we're clicking on! Alice Bee I've got an accidental four day weekend coming up (not that you care, but a Green Day concert was rescheduled twice from 2020, the new date being on a Monday night, and when we found out we could cancel for a refund and not have to pay for a hotel or train tickets or get on a bus for an hour just to get to the bloody gig, we took the easy way out 'cos we'd both seen them before anyway). I'm going to sit in my favourite cafe and have soup, and a scone with cream and jam afterwards, and then maybe I'll finally finish Norco. White, we need to talk. Alice0 In Neon White I've gone back through and bumped every medal so far up to at least Ace, and collected all the hidden gifts, and beat all my friends' times, so I'm finally ready to start making forwards progress again. I have sometimes wished it, like AudioSurf, could e-mail me when a pal beat my best time on a level. It's probably good for me that it can't. CJ I'm visiting family out of town this weekend so I might not get much time for play
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In the giant jumbled word cloud of all my qualities and traits, I'm willing to bet that "pluviophile" would be one of the biggest words. I adore rain. Whenever it starts, I tend to drop whatever I'm doing - work, dishes, significant other - and I'll be out frolicking in the downpour before they've hit the floor. Because I love rain so much, I hold games to an almost unfair standard when it comes to the simulation of precipitation. How in the world can a videogame come close to emulating that wonderful, transcendental feeling of being outside in the middle of a thunderstorm? The answer is, it can't. Games have to rely on other things, like textures, sounds, and clever little animations to really sell the idea of being out amongst the H₂s and the Os. The time has come, fellow pluviophiles. It's time to grade the very best rain that PC gaming has to offer. Below you'll find our eight worthy contenders. Each has been chosen for their spectacular rendition of one of nature's greatest phenomena. Each one shall be marked according to my patented and cutting-edge WIPERS grading system for digital rain. So drop what you're doing. It's time to frolick. No umbrella required. If a game has good rain, it immediately becomes a contender for game of the year in my book. WIPERS: the premier precipitation grading system Before we begin our grading - and by we, I of course mean I, because you don't get a say in this I'm afraid - let's introduce you to the renowned and venerable WIPERS grading system. Each game will be scored out of 10 in the following categories: Wetness: Rain is wet. Rain makes everything it touches wet. Have the devs made an effort to make it look like things are getting wetter in the rain, or does it look like every leaf and pebble has been sprayed with a hydrophobic coating? Intensity: Everyone has different opinions on the optimum intensity of rain. Personally, I like to feel like I could drown at any moment, so the higher the intensity, the better. Petrichor: Petrichor is one of my favourite words, which is why I've mercilessly shoehorned it into this acronym. It basically means the smell of rain against the ground, which o
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It's hard to find a better price on bees A pair of new hidden object games have a pleasingly straightforward name to describe their inception: I Commissioned Some Bees. The developer paid illustrators to draw pictures with bees, and you can find the bees. It's quite fun to find the bees. I got into hidden object games a few years back with the lovely Hidden Folks and the vast 100 Hidden X series, and today have enjoyed poring over colourful and often surreal landscapes to find our striped friends. "The brief was simple," the blurb explains. "I commissioned artists to create a fantasy world, and hide as many bees as they can inside it. Now it's your job to find them all!" The two games have an interesting spread of subjects across their combined 20 levels, including: a vast squid with a town built atop its tentacles; astronauts doing zero-gravity beekeeping; the view across a city skyline; a stained glass window; a pretty archipelago; a surreal land of ooze, eyeballs, tendrils, and hands. If I had to recommend a single game to start with, I think I Commissioned Some Bees 2 has nicer landscapes and the bee-hunting is more fun. The levels in 1 with dense geometric designs might be more of a challenge, mind. But yes, the sequel. A few gripes. I wish the artwork were higher-resolution, because some drawings get murky as you zoom in and some bees look a bit swatted. It's also a shame that as you zoom out and move around, the frame is not locked to the artwork, meaning see you see white space beyond. And it's too easy to accidentally click-drag and pan around when trying to click on a bee. And some levels just spray bees everywhere and it's not a challenge. But I will click these bees all the same. Both bee games (not to be confused with Bee Movie Game) are available from Steam for about £1.50 each. That's 2357 bees for £3.12. I've had a look, and I don't think you can buy that many real bees for the price of a meal deal. The 100 Hidden series has continued apace and is still fun. 18 of the games are out on Steam now, with more still coming. I do like that the series has intent
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Bring your slaughter to work day The old school FPS revival has largely left me cold, if I'm honest. Even the ones I've enjoyed tend to get old within an hour. Most of the things that get recreated aren't the things I miss about 90s games, and if they were... Doom still exists, you know? So does Blood, and Strife, and Quake was never that good anyway. Extraneum is good, though. I think it's precisely because it's not doing a big song and dance about its influences, although those are very clear. It's not big or brash, nor overly stripped down or obnoxious about difficulty
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. We finally got our first glimpse of Starfield at the Xbox & Bethesda showcase at Summer Geoff Fest, having seen lots of clips of Todd Howard speaking words with devs who nodded across tables. I partly share the same opinion as Alice Bee, who thought the game could've shown us anything and they chose grey rocks again. What I wasn't expecting was to feel a bit emotional about the game's reveal, though. I mean, I felt this weird swell in my chest of excitement or something. Maybe it was the crushing jet lag, or maybe it was a heady mixture of nostalgia. Let's investigate.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Blizzard launched pre-orders for World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight this week, and in the small print on the Battle.net store page is a note stating that the MMO's next expansion "will be available on or before December 31, 2022." That simultaneously confirms that Dragonflight's release window is this year, and also threatens Blizzard's staff with the potential for a pretty crappy New Year's Eve. Let's assume that the language is just oddly pedantic and what it really means is: Dragonflight is aiming for release in 2022. As mentioned when first revealed, Dragonflight lifts World Of Warcraft's level cap to 70 and introduces four new zones of the Dragon Isles. It also adds the first ever race/class combo, the Dracthyr Evoker, and completely overhauls several ancient World Of Warcraf systems. That includes a new Talent system and a new profession system, including "player-driven work orders, new profession equipment", and "an all-new specialization system." You can read more about its additio
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. New free update to best strategy game ever Into The Breach was our second favourite game of 2018 and remains the best strategy game ever made. So it's exciting news that Into The Breach: Advanced Edition is coming next month with new mechs, weapons and enemies to shove around in a free update. Here's a brief trailer announcing the release: Into The Breach is a turn-based strategy game about wielding mechs to defend Earth from insectoid alien invaders. What makes it compelling is that you get clear warning of any move the enemy is about to make, giving you the opportunity to do something about it. Big mollusc about to knock a skyscraper over? Use a robot to shove it aside so it misses and pushes its own big beetle pal instead. The Advanced Edition adds more of everything. There are five new mech squads to command, nearly forty new weapons to fire, as well as more enemies, bosses, and missions to offer extra challenge to those players who have already unlocked everything in the original. This new addition was developed, I'd guess, because the game is also coming to mobile via Netflix subscriptions, and we're getting the extras back-ported to PC. You can read a handful of extra details on the Into The Breach site. Into The Breach: Advanced Edition will launch as a free update on July 19th. More News Graham S
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Several tracks were replaced for the Sonic Origins re-release As odd as it might sound, there has long been an urban legend that Michael Jackson was involved in creating part of the soundtrack for Sonic 3. Now Sonic creator and Sonic 3 programmer Yuji Naka has seemed to lend credence to that legend on Twitter, as it relates to the replacement of certain tracks in the recently released remasters in Sonic Origins. Earlier today, Yuki Naja tweeted to ask whether the Sonic Origins release of Sonic 3 had different music, and then remarked with surprise that did even as Sega's TikTok marketing for the account used Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson's music.— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) June 23, 2022 "SEGA Official is playing Michael Jackson's song on Sonic. I'm surprised. Is it a sign?" Naja had asked in an earlier tweet. Players had previously noticed that Sonic 3 within Sonic Origins replaced several tracks with versions of the songs from earlier test versions of the game. That led people to speculate that the replaced tracks were those that Michael Jackson had worked on, and that Sega no longer have the rights to use those tracks. Naka further fuelled the rumo
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. 10 minutes of stealth misery A Plague Tale: Requiem is a stealth game with several fantastical elements. The first fantasy is that you can consistently remember how to spell "Requiem". The second is 'What would it be like if you had the power of rats?'. The third is, 'What if rats had any power to have?'. As a new extended trailer shows, the answer is: you can sense blood, and us
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Enhanced Edition out now, uglier than the ScummVM version There are three reasons to consider playing the new 'Enhanced Edition' of Blade Runner over the version which hit GOG in 2019: 1) it has subtitles; 2) it has controller support; 3) it's on consoles. Beyond that, Nightdive's remastering has made Westwood's 1997 adventure game look notably uglier and you'd be better off with GOG's ScummVM version. The Enhanced Edition is out today and I've been flicking back and forth between the two versions, tutting
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I still don't know whether to describe The Heroic Legend Of Eagarlnia as "complicated" or "simple". Before starting a game, it gives an impression of being a complex grand strategy that's something like a fantasy Total War with a D&D alignment system and a distinctly East Asian focus on characters and dialogue. It's far simpler than that. There was a period of disappointment, even, when it seemed like there wasn't much to it at all. That's partly because it's easy to play it too passively, or get stuck in attritional stand offs, and partly because of the need for a b
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Miners are holding livestreamed auctions just to shift them An ongoing crash in cryptocurrency prices is causing some miners to abandon ship, selling off their racks of graphics cards at discount prices in a bid to recoup some cash. Wccftech spotted that some erstwhile miners across China and South Asia, previously encouraged by low energy costs, are even hosting livestreamed auctions to get rid of their GPU ‘stock’ en masse. First off: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Second, while it’s entertaining to imagine desperate crypto barons hosting a kind of QVC channel for dusty PC components, I wouldn’t necessarily take this as a long-overdue opportunity to upgrade your graphics card on the ch
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It's time once again for an episode of The Electronic Wireless Show podcast. This week Nate returns, but Matthew is away - and since he is the real agent of chaos, Nate and I have a remarkably sensible conversation about different weather and seasons in a lot of games. Who'd have thought? Not me. And in fact there is weather in all sorts of places you wouldn't expect to look. Don't worry, though, because we find time to talk about how our weeks have been, as well as a bit where I tell Nate there's going to be a survival crafting game set in Moria and he gets excited. Also, stay tuned for a Cavern Of Lies where Nate does a lot of cowboy voices. And shout out to John for sending in cheery EWS fan game Aquarium Assault: Dark Day
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. An awesome price for an 80+ Gold modular PSU. After a high-end PSU to accompany your new graphics card - or to get ready for the high-power next-gen GPUs rumoured to debut later this year? This is the deals post for you. British retailer and PC builder AWD-IT is offering a Thermaltake Toughpower GF 850W 80+ Gold modular power supply for £60, down from £90. To get this discounted price, use code TT850W at the checkout. Get the Thermaltake ToughPower GF 850W for £60 w/ code TT850W (was £90) This is an awesome price on a high-end PSU, especially given how impossible it was
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Not a Fortnite of deals, that’s Epic Valve are kicking off 2022’s Steam Summer Sale today with discounts on AAA and indie games, starting at 6pm BST/7pm CEST/10am PST. It’s being styled as the ‘Steam 3000’ sale even though that year is a long way off according to my calendar. For some reason, Valve have decided they're doing videos to hype this stuff now too. You can watch the trailer below to get some idea of what might be discounted very soon. It's summer, so games will be cheaper than usual. Praise the sun. So, according to that trailer, we can expect some sh
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Want double the performance of a GTX 1060 or RX 580? Get this. The RTX 3060 is the best value 1080p graphics card, and recently it's gotten significantly cheaper as next-gen Nvidia GPUs have been rumoured. Right now, you can pick up a Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12GB for just £330 at Scan UK, a £61 reduction over the same card at Amazon UK and some £40 cheaper than the cheapest RTX 3060 we spotted last month. If you're in the market for a new GPU and you've got a 1080p monitor, this is an awesome shout. Get a Gigabyte RTX 3060 graphics cards for £330 (was £390) So why the
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Comparable to the Valve Index for 40% of the price. The HP Reverb G2 is surprisingly similar take on the Valve Index VR headset, and now it's going cheap from HP's American web store. The headset, which has a US MSRP of $599, is now going for $399, which according to my abacus is $200 off. Get an HP Reverb G2 virtual reality headset - $399 (was $599) So is the Reverb G2 worth getting? I'd definitely recommend it, given that it's now less than half the price of the $999 Valve Index - our best VR headset overall - while offering the same general features. The G2 is higher-res
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. It’s the next game from the studio that made Alien: Isolation Hyenas is a sci-fi, team-based shooter that is not at all what I was expecting next from the developers who make the Total War series. Set in that most dodgy of times, the future, Hyenas is about pilfering relics of pop culture such as Pez dispensers, Mega Drives and Sonic The Hedgehog paraphernalia before tech billionaires who’ve colonised Mars can furnish their homes with it all. You can be bemused at your own leisure by watching the trailer below. Hyenas looks... irreverent. And just a little like Borderl
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Intel Core i3 12100F or AMD Ryzen 5 3600, you choose! AMD's Ryzen 3600 is one of the best value gaming CPUs, and now it's available for just £170 with a Gigabyte B450M motherboard from AWD-IT. That's a £50 reduction from its normal price, and some £22 cheaper than the CPU and cooler on Amazon. This would make an excellent start to a new system, with the 3600's six cores and twelve threads pairing well with a modern RTX 20-series or Radeon RX 5000-series or later graphics card. Get an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 + Gigabyte B450M mobo for £170 (was £220) While this combination is a
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I don't tend to be biased towards games just because they're new, so I feel it carries some weight when I say that The Sims 4 Werewolves Game Pack has immediately become one of my favourite add-ons for The Sims 4. Having been a fan of the Vampires and Realm Of Magic (a.k.a. wizards, basically) game packs since their respective releases, I can safely say that Werewolves has done an excellent job iterating and expanding on what worked from those previous supernatural outings. In fact, the biggest downside I got from playing Werewolves is that the monsters in question feel more fleshed-out than the perhaps less niche occult types in the game. Players are already calling for Vampires, ROM, and even the mermaids added in Island Living to receive a refresh along Werewo
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Admin! Shadows! Making a friend out of spare bones and organs! I was in LA for Summer Geoff Fest and I played a whole bunch of games. No, not lots of blockbusters – mainly because there weren't too many of those about - but lots of indies, instead. In fact, out of all the games I saw or played or glanced at while I dashed between appointments, it was the indies that really stood out. Given the nature of appointments at events like Geoff Fest, a lot of my time with these games were speed dates: elevator pitches, a quick twiddle of the thumbsticks, a round of musical chairs as I shifted to another sofa and another game. So, in that same chaotic vein, I thought I'd round-up my faves from the show floo
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Former Ubisoft developer Charles Randall has been spilling the beans about the original Assassin’s Creed on Twitter again. This time, Randall made several of the RPS team spit out their tea when he revealed that the game’s horse model is really a stretched out human skeleton. That’s some genuinely nightmarish imagery to contemplate first thing in the morning. Alice Bee shares her favourite thing about Assassin's Creed Valhalla's open world. Randall tweeted: Also the horse in AC1 was just a twisted fucked up human skeleton, because our tool chain only worked with biped in 3ds max. Cheers t
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Turn down that radio you crazy kids When I got a hands off look at Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, my analysis was that it looked a lot like Oxenfree and therefore if you liked Oxenfree you would like this. I have now played through a small bit of the game, a slightly extended version of the area I saw in the hands off preview, and my analysis is... largely the same. I know that's very boring, but it's also positive, isn't it? Oxenfree was good, and Oxenfree II looks to be doing those same things that made Oxenfree good. A 2D, side-on supernatural thriller with radios. Good thing remains good! In a world where sequels to beloved media seem to only get progressively worse, I'll happily take it (especially si
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Now that all the unusually stressful benchmarking is out the way, let’s talk how mineral-grubbing “quest shooter” The Cycle: Frontier performs on PC. Short version: pretty well! It can make do with older and lower-end hardware at 1080p, and scales nicely all the way up to 4K and ultrawide resolutions, taking full advantage of the best graphics cards or the best gaming monitors with high refresh rates. If your rig is only just scraping past the system requirements, there are also some chunky performance improvements available via the right graphics settings tweaks. That’s in spite of The Cycle: Frontier going fairly light on visual customisation options, with only six individual quality settings and four presets. It does support DLSS, so Nvidia RTX owners can employ upscaling for even more frames per second, though AMD’s rival FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is absent entirely. Still, smooth performance should be attainable on all but the most decrepit of PC setups. Read on for the full deets on how The Cycle: Frontier runs, and the best settings to give yourself a boost. The Cycle: Frontier system requirements and PC performance Yager’s minimum and recommended PC specs shouldn’t be too hard to meet, with the latter only asking for 8GB of RAM and years-old CPUs and GPUs. The minimum spec supposedly goes for 30fps at 1080p, the latter for 60fps. The Cycle: Frontier minimum PC specs OS – Windows 10 (64-bit) CPU – Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200 GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 / AMD Radeon R9 270; 2GB VRAM RAM – 6GB Storage – 37GB The Cycle: Frontier recommen
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A question of control as we continue the hunt for the best thing Last time, you decided that undo is better than invert mouse. For many people, this result will turn the world on its head. And if those otherworldly beings with horrifying ideas about piloting meat puppets take this personally, maybe we can hit undo to save ourselves. This week, it's a question of control. What's better: air control, or an AI-controlled friend just running about helping me fight? Air control "Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line," says Isaac Newton's first law of motion, "unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it." I don't think he had considered that one such force might be sheer force of will. Zooom! I have been playing Neon White lately—so very much Neon White—and I am enjoying the near-terrifying degree of control I have over my movement and momentum while in the air. Our boy can move forwards, back, side-to-side, and stop at will, dodging around obstacles and towards faster routes in the speedrunning FPS. Then Quake, and Destiny, and... I've adored strong air control in many first-person shooters, another avenue to learn and demonstrate skill, another challenge to overcome from players who know the same. And of course air control is vital to many platformers from any camera perspective. Why should we accept restrictions placed upon our movement by someone who once went temporarily blind from staring at the sun? We can imagine a better world. An AI-controlled friend just running about helping me fight In some game
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Players are divided over the changes Team Fortress 2 has been updated by Valve today in response to the player-led #saveTF2 campaign that’s seeking an answer to the classic multiplayer shooter’s bot epidemic. However, the automatically applied update is primarily intended to sort out a variety of daft-sounding exploits. These range from teleporting back to your spawn point by changing loadout or class while touching the other team’s No Entry gate, to Spies disguising themselves and creating an invisible shield at their feet to block incoming fire. What are the best games coming to PC this month? Vid bud Liam's here to help. Valve responded to players’ concerns at the end of May about the flood of bots affecting TF2, saying they were “working to improve things”. As such, two of the most critical changes in the update are the altered vote system, which now allows players to kick bots out of matches faster, and a fix preventing players from being able to change names during a matchmaking game. Both teams can now have a kick vote running at the same time, and a global vote can be running while a kick vote is happening. It actually took a TF2 parody account to tweet news of the update though, as Valve’s account remained silent: Update including exploit fixes https://t.co/RISWOkc6aq— Team Fortress 2 (@Dev_TF2) June 22, 2022 Many of the players discussing today’s update on Reddit and Twitter have approved of the changes so far, particularly the updated vote system. Others don’t think the update has done much to tackle the bot problem. Some players commented that they hoped Valve would continue to support TF2 with more updates that actually countered bots rather than leaving it in players’ hands. Team Fortress 2 is still free to play on Steam fifteen years since it launched. It might contain fewer bots now, fingers crossed. You can check the full patch notes for yourself here.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Putting more loot into your shoot Today sees the arrival of season one of free-to-play sci-fi looter shooter The Cycle: Frontier with the 1.2.0 patch. The game soft-launched with a pre-season on June 8th, so its transition into the first season seems to consist largely of the launch of its Fortuna battle pass. Here’s a trailer detailing what the pass entails, below. The Cycle: Frontier drops its first season pass today. The Cycle: Frontier is an extraction shooter, which means running about a lot across the alien world of Fortuna III in search of loot while fragging extraterrestrials and other players alike. Strictly for profit, you must understand. All progress made during the game’s pre-season is carrying over to season one, so just keep shooting and looting and you’ll be reet. You can read the full patch notes here. The Fortuna season pass will set you back about $10 for the premium version, which offers XP boosters and skins, including ones that make you look a bit like RoboCop apparently. There’s a free tier that includes weapon supply crates, res
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Shareholders approve the proposed report into the company's anti-harassment efforts too Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was successfully re-elected to the board of directors for another year as a result of the company's annual shareholder meeting yesterday. This was despite efforts by company employees and shareholders to oust Kotick, which began in November. You can read the outcomes of the meeting in full here. Liam and Ed took on the Overwatch 2 PvP beta and had some thoughts for you to watch. Activision Blizzard have also said they will “carefully consider” whether to go ahead with a proposed report into their efforts to address alleged workplace harassment within the organisation after two-thirds of attending shareholders voted to approve the suggestion. This vote was non-binding, which means Activision Blizzard doesn't have to act on it. The board of directors had advised shareholders last month not to approve the proposed report. "Consistent with our ongoing commitments, we will carefully consider the proposal to enhance our future disclosures. Activision Blizzard remains deeply committed to a respectful, welcoming workplace for all colleagues,” a statement from the company read. Jessica Gonsalez, one of the founders of Activision Blizzard employee advocacy group ABetterABK, tweeted in reference to the proposed report's non-binding approval: "The employees will hold them to it." Controversy and legal action involving accusations of sexual harrassment, workplace discrimination and poor working conditions at Activision Blizzard still persist. New York pension funds are seeking access to the company’s records in pursuit of CEO Bobby Kotick following Microsoft’s $68.7 billion buy-out of Activision Blizzard, which began in January and was approved in April. Only last week, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors stated that there was “no evidence” of any reported harassment within the company being tolerated. Other
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. The lowest price we've ever seen on AMD's flagship Ryzen 5000 CPU. Ebay is offering 15% off on a range of a products, allowing you to get the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core processor for a historic low price: £342. To get the discount, use code BIG15 at the checkout. Get an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X for £342 w/ code BIG15 This deal is for a new boxed CPU from... Box, a relatively well-known British tech retailer. The same CPU costs £369 at Amazon, £400 at Ebuyer and £390 at Overclockers, so this is the cheapest price by some margin. Beyond this, is the 5900X a good processor? I'd say so - it offers extremely good gaming performance in a wide range of titles, trading blows even with Intel's 12th-gen processors, and it does so while using significantly less power than the Blue Team's latest. AMD AM4 motherboards are cheap and plentiful, and you don't need to get expensive DDR5 RAM or run Windows 11 to get the most out of this CPU. The 5900X is also extremely good at content creation workloads, thanks to its high core count and great single-core performance, making it a good all-rounder. AMD is reportedly preparing its next-gen CPUs on a new AM5 socket to arrive sometime this year, but these processors will require expensive DDR5 RAM and aren't likely to offer a massive increase in performance - at least, not yet. If you get the 5900X, you won't be able to make any meaningful CPU upgrades down the line without changing motherboards, but given the low price of this high-end processor, I think you'll have enough in your budget to make the switch once you feel it's worthwhile. Personally, I tend to buy the new stuff when it comes out because it's part of my job to stay up to date, but the best strategy in terms of value is always to be a late-adopter. If that's you, this is an awesome deal on a critically acclaimed processor - so grab it while it's up.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. A great deal on Razer's flagship wireless mouse, with 11 programmable buttons. The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is one of the best wireless mice on the market, offering a comfortably wide design with plenty of buttons and a fancy scroll wheel - a popular recipe that could also describe the Logitech G502. The Basilisk Ultimate normally oscillates between $140 and a sale price of $90, b
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Bō: Path Of The Teal Lotus launched on Kickstarter back in February and quickly cleared its funding goal for a Metroidvania based on Japanese folklore. It has gained even more attention in the last day or so, because its creation reunites some of the people who worked on AM2R, the well-liked unofficial Metroid 2 remake that Nintendo DMCA'd out of existence in 2016. Here's a trailer, which shows plent
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Potentially long-rumoured wireless headset A new patent filing might offer the first look at designs for Valve's next VR headset, a rumoured standalone device codenamed "Deckard". The filing, made last year and published this past week, describes a head-mounted display with a rear housing, and the mechanisms by which that display could be adjusted. It's not thrilling stuff - but it is further confirmation that Valve continue to work on designs for VR hardware. "A head-mounted display includes a front having a display housing and a back having a rear housing," begins the abstract for the filing. There are then several blueprints of the device and its parts, and a lengthy text description of what those parts do and how it might be connected together. "Introduced above, head-mounted displays (HMDs) have a wide range of applications and in some instances, may need to accommodate for varying head sizes among different users," begins the more detailed description on page 37. "Conventional HMDs, however, offer little to no adjustment for adapting to different users and/or incrementally tightening." This patent describes a headset that would be easier to adjust. What it's not is a patent for a specifically wireless headset which can be used without a PC. It's also not a description of the innards of any such device, or a confirmation that this product or one like it will ever see the light of day. Since Valve released the Index in 2019, there have been recurring rumours that Valve's next headset would be a standalone device designed to compete with the Meta Quest and Quest 2. Last year, YouTuber Brad Lynch spotted references in SteamVR code to a device called "Deckard" and mentions of the term "standalone." The Valve Index remains the current gold standard of VR headsets, but it's an expensive kit that needs to be wired up to a PC to work. I'd love a standalone headset from Valve, although it would be interesting to see how they maintained quality or what they sacrificed, and what a high-res wireless headset from Valve would cost versus the subsidised price of the Meta Quest 2.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Two Point Corp? Capitalism Architect? I am continually on the lookout for the next management game to obsess me, and Good Company looks like a good candidate. It's a tycoon factory builder about forming a technology company and leading it, from product design through hiring staff and all the way to replacing those staff with robots. It looks cute and, as of its departure from Steam Early Access today, robust. Here's the launch trailer: By robust, I mean: this looks almost like multiple games-in-one, given you seem to be able to get hands-on with designing the products you sell, manage your peeps Prison Architect-style, construct your factory Factorio-style, and can play the whole thing in singleplayer or co-op. Steve Hogarty had a swig of capitalism juice back upon its initial early access launch in 2020, praising Good Company for its style, setting and intuitive interface. Which I imagine is how Jeff Bezos does it, whizzing up and down the aisles of an Amazon warehouse on his Segway, gold coins spilling from his pockets as he turns sharply, before pausing at one rack, demanding to know why there are too many copies of Dean Koontz's The Eye Of Darkness, and then firing everybody in his eye line. Sorry, that quote from Steve's article doesn't given you any extra detail about the game, I just like it. Good Company's 1.0 release brings new additions and tweaks, including the final chapters of its singleplayer campaign, a revised 'freeplay' mode, the c
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From the makers of The Hunter The Hunter: Call Of The Wild took Avalanche's technical expertise in creating open worlds, gained by making the Just Cause series, and employed it instead to create an open world hunting sim. Well, now Call Of The Wild: The Angler is intending to do it again, with an open world fishing game in which you walk or drive in search of the perfect spot to cast your line. Here's the announcement trailer: Call Of The Wild: The Angler's world can be explored by foot, off-road vehicle or - of course - boat. Your goal is to find the best fishing spots among lakes, rivers, hidden ponds and springs, and then to catch different types and sizes of fish. Different species of fish will require a different techqnique to successfully reel them in. I'm using "goal" in the loosest sense, there. The Hunter was appealing to me because it was a beautiful landscape and relaxing to explore, and compelling even if I chose to ignore the grisly ability to puncture the lungs of baby deer. It sounds as if The Angler is aiming for a similar experience, including supporting co-op so you can pootle around on boats with friends. Having said that, part of why The Hunter remained compelling was that, even if you didn't want to kill anything, you could still engage with its wild landscape by searching for tracks and sneaking up on animals by remaining downwind. You could think of it as a st
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A new vibe for a classic series I love the name "SpellForce", mid-word capital letter and all. It conjures a mental image of a kid’s TV show where some, possibly sentai-style, superheroes learn about the importance of spelling and grammar. Maybe a little punctuation, as a treat. SpellForce the video game series isn’t that; it’s a trio of RPG-RTS hybrids which, by the time you read this, will have had a new entry announced in the form of SpellForce: Conquest Of Eo. It’s a fresh, turn-based take on the series which casts the player as a wizard attempting to further their mastery of magic. Ahead of the announcement, developers Owned By Gravity invited me to take a sneaky peek, and I was treated to a hands-off demonstration from producer Jan Wagner. While the game was in a pre-alpha state, it was already looking pretty swish, especially the rather lovely (and lovingly hand-crafted, I later discovered) world map. It all looks very 4X-like, and all four of the exes are present and correct in varying amounts - but there is one significant departure from the formula that Wagner was keen to emphasise. Rather than world domination, your mage is something of an academic, only interested in researching the secrets of the Allspark - sorry, Allfire. Instead of sending forth mighty armies to conquer territory, you’re dispatching heroes to track down artefacts and magical secrets. It’s like being the quest giving NPC in an RPG, camped out in your tower doing nerd stuff while you send out a bunch of jocks to do the heavy lifting. Having recently inherited the aforementioned tower from your mentor, whose disappearance provides an important story thread, you set about establishing your credentials as the hottest thing to hit the magic circuit since white rabbits. You can choose from pregenerated runesmith, necromancer and alchemist builds, or create your own by bodging together two or three schools of magic from those on offer. Expanding your tower and performing various rites and rituals requires resources, furthering your need to explore the world and find new sources of stuff. The constant need to fuel your magical fires combined with the lack of empire building is all designed to “preserve the do or die action” of the early stages of typical 4X titles, Wagner explained, and to bypass the stagnation and repetition that frequently comes with the late game. The heroes themselves are unique individuals, all with their own personalities and backstories. They’re not working for you out of the goodness of their hearts; all of them want something from you in return and completing these quests is a major part of the game. They’re not on their own either, as each hero can be accompanied by up to five units of troops, an intentionally tight limit designed to keep punch-ups quick and, well, punchy. The heroes are unique individuals, all with their own personalities and backstories. Wagner showed me one of these battles, which are now turn-based in contrast to the previous SpellForce games’ RTS stylings. Like the world map, these battlefield
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Dodging death in pursuit of frame rates Since The Cycle: Frontier is having its second (???) launch tomorrow, June 22nd, I thought I’d knock together a performance and settings guide to mark the occasion. This would involve, as they always do, a bunch of benchmark tests: repeatable runs through a specific area or sequence that would give an accurate indication of how different settings and hardware affect performance. In most games these are either quick and easy or time-consuming and easy, but not The Cycle: Frontier. Oh no. See, without a dedicated benchmarking tool, running these kinds of tests requires a certain controllable environment, where variables are known and parameters can be reset in a click. This is not the case for The Cycle: Frontier, whose environment is usually trying to fucking kill you, particularly though the unavoidable presence of other players. I’ve never sat down to record some average FPS values only to spend half my time cowering behind a tree, fearful of being shot, robbed and – worst of all – forced to start work over again. If you haven’t read Ed’s preview, The Cycle: Frontier is a kind of sci-fi hybrid of Hunt: Showdown and Escape From Tarkov. You orbital drop onto an mining planet well past its prime, set about gathering resources, then book it to a randomly selected extraction point for your ship ride home. Raising the stakes are the local, clearly upset fauna, rival player-controlled prospectors, the loss of all your carried loot and gear upon death, and the unpredictability that comes with not knowing where you’ll touch down or where you’ll need to escape. All of these, it turns out, also make Frontier a benchmarker's nightmare. Test runs need to be repeatable, so I had to record them all by making the same moves in the same area, but death at the hands of players or roaming wildlife meant having to re-deploy on potentially the other side of the map - before hoofing it back at the game’s weirdly sluggish sprinting speed. A pain in the arse as well as the feet. An almost evolutionary disinclination towards losing my gear also meant dropping in with as little as possible, only to realise later I was scuppering my ability to defend myself. And the map’s free-roaming nature left it devoid of truly safe spots to conduct my tests in peace, the only ‘quiet’ areas being featureless fields and shores that wouldn’t accurately reflect the technical strain of more detailed locales. It quickly became apparent that I’d just have to run around this wide-open multiplayer battle arena and hope… no-one notices? I’d willingly surrendered my ability to fight effectively against enemy prospectors and even if I survived the initial encounter, a noisy gunfight would likely attract others, so stealth became the only option. Upon the sound of approaching footsteps, I’d kill the test and shrink into the nearest shrub, waiting – sometimes watching – for the interloper to move on. Thus, much of my investigation into Frontier’s lush, otherworldly graphics ended up looking like this: I'm a tr
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Min-maxers one, Terra Nil Yesterday I wrote about eco-strategy game Terra Nil’s demo, which went gangbusters during last week’s Steam Next Fest and shot up into the top 50 most played games on Valve’s storefront. Well, turns out that might be at least partly down to a practice called badge-farming. That’s according to industry pundit Simon Carless’ latest GameDiscoverCo newsletter, anyway. Here are our top 10 recommendations for games coming to PC in June. Looking at SteamDB, the Terra Nil demo peaked at 96,520 concurrent players around 6pm BST on June 14th, climbing from 10,260 at 4pm BST.
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So, you went and flubbed a Reservoir Dogs type of deal, and now you’re a dead’un. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out tha
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. People of Arrakis, spice up your social life Sci-fi 4X strategy Dune: Spice Wars has finally brought multiplayer to the desert planet of Arrakis with its latest update. Players can now jump into the futuristic space shoes of one of the game’s factions in paired matches, or free-for-alls for four against other players or bots. Try not to get sand in your eyes while you watch the trailer below. Spice Wars launched into Early Access at the end of April with four factions: t
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Survival on a raft, with co-op support
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Blizzard say the game will now launch in Asia on July 7th Blizzard have confirmed they’re delaying the launch of gem-wrangling time sink Diablo Immortal in the Asia Pacific region until July 7th, so they can complete “optimization”. The delay was originally announced on Sunday by the game’s regional publisher in China, NetEase, and was picked up on by industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter. The decision to delay came a few days after Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo banned the Diablo Immortal account due to unspecified "violation of related laws and regulations". Vid bud Liam created a handy guide to the starting classes of Diablo Immortal. The NetEase statement is a bit vague, but acknowledges that Diablo Immortal will no longer be out in China on the planned release date of June 23rd. It does clarify that players in affected regions will get a bag o’ goodies when the game launches, though. Check your inbox in-game once Diablo Immortal has launched in Asia Pacific to find one Legendary gear, 100 scrap materials and 10 enchanted dust. Hearing about this seeming generosity is unlikely to sway players in regions where the game's already been released who've been put off the superficially free-to-play Diablo Immortal by its blatant monetisation. Along with mobile faff that we don’t need to know about, Blizzard say they’re improving Diablo Immortal’s PC experience. There’ll be fixes to potions and skills lock-outs, automatic navigation, input delay problems with Xbox controllers, issues with the Demon Hunter’s primary attack, and more. They’re also fiddling with performance and network optimisation, such as bug fixes and improvements to deferred lighting. You can read the full, updated roadmap of what Blizzard say they’re working on for Diablo Immortal here. Diablo Immortal is already out in this neck of the digital woods, and you can download it directly from Blizzard using Battle.net. If you’re still perplexed by the game’s monetisation then have a read of Rebecca’s excellent guide to how much it costs to play Diablo Immortal. It’s some serious money indeed. More News Latest Articles Ollie Toms 35 minutes ago CJ Wheeler 52 minutes ago Rebecca Jones an hour ago Supporters Only
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. It’s already been removed from sale on Steam Wacky battle royale Fall Guys is going free to play from today, so you no longer have any excuses not to try it other than an inability to decide on an outfit for your bean to wear. I’m partial to the giant foam hand costume myself. However, Fall Guys has also been removed from sale on Steam so it can become an Epic Games Store ex
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Demystifying Intel’s Arc quick start guide Last week Intel published a “quick start guide” for their upcoming Arc A-series graphics cards, including a “Supported Hardware Configurations” section that only specifically namechecked their own 10th, 11th and 12th Gen Core CPUs. Cue a heady mix of confusion and perturbation – surely Intel weren’t suggesting that Arc GPUs would only function when paired with an Intel CPU, and a relatively new one at that? No, they weren’t, though the guide’s
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Please, please let there be enough content in the full release I realised earlier that today was the last day of Steam Next Fest, and I panicked. I remembered seeing one particular demo on Steam which made my ears prick up and my eyes expand to thrice their usual size, and until now I hadn't the time to try it out. So today I carved out a small portion of the day to download and play the demo for Dome Keeper, a wave-based survival game about protecting your glass dome home from alien invaders using a gigantic laser. Unfortunately, I ended up playing it a little too long, and now I've left myself no time at all to write about why it was so great. Argh. Let me try anyway. Dome Keeper began life as Dome Romantik, a Ludum Dare 48 invention that turned a lot of heads last year. The game starts you off housed inside your squat little dome, wondering what you're meant to be doing. You play as a wee jetpack lad who slowly floats about in his little bouncy spacesuit. I spent the first 30 seconds just looking around at the outside world, taking in the sights. The style reminds me a bit of Kingdom, but more bubbly. Everything has nice friendly rounded corners, both above and below the planet's surface. But I learnt quickly not to trust the friendliness. This game has no qualms about tearing your bubbly little home to shreds in ways that make you wonder how you could have stood any chance at all. Once I tore my eyes away from the world outside my dome, I saw that there was a hole in the bottom of the dome which leads underground, and I could bump my little jetpack lad against rock tiles to mine them. Mining feels lovely in Dome Keeper, really tactile and satisfying. Which is good, because half of the game will be spent mining, trying to find precious materials and hoist them Wilmot's Warehouse-style back home, so you can spend them on upgrades for your dome and character. The other half of your time will be spent defending your dome against attackers. Though you only gain the ability to see it later on, there's a progress bar which repeatedly empties, and when it's empty the next wave of enemies will come and start hammering on your dome. When that happens, it's time to head home so you can manually control the laser on the outside of the dome. It felt very Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, having your little player safe inside twiddling the controls, moving the giant death laser around the edge of the dome and blasting the approaching nasties to smithereens. The underground is split into different layers, each of which is harder to mine through than the last. I quickly realised that I'd made a huge mistake in my first run, sinking all my resources into improving my dome health and my laser, because it turns out I should have set a little aside for improving my mining speed. It got to the point where I'd wipe my brow after defeating a wave of enemies, fly down to the very bottom of the cave I'd been digging, bash myself fruitlessly against a couple of super-hard pieces of granite, and then have to fly all the way back up again to prepare for the next wave. That
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It's way more fun than it looks, trust me The blue hedgehog is back! He goes very fast in his latest instalment, Sonic Frontiers! And lots of fans – naturally – think it looks terrible! The scepticism is understandable. But having gone hands-on with it at Summer Geoff Fest, I'd like to pose a counter argument: the game needs to be played. Just seeing it with your eyeballs doesn't do it justice. Yes, it's a weird departure for Sonic, but I am here for it. Traditionally, Sonic games burst with colour and energy. Pulsating music helps drive you through levels that spin and twist, as you strive to reach the finish line in as short a time as possible. But from roughly 30 minutes with Sonic Frontiers' tutorial bits and open world introduction, it sets the titular hog on a very different trajectory indeed. And this starts with the music, which – aside from one slice I can't talk about yet – is more melancholic than cheery; in fact if anything it's largely non-existent. The first thing you'll notice when whizzing around is the patter of your bowling shoes or the whoosh as you slap the boost button. Occasionally some tinkly piano steps in to fill the void, but for the most part, the atmosphere resembles more of a wilderness than a theme park. The game's opening area is reminiscent of Death Stranding's apocalyptic US, with Sonic giving off the aura of modded Norman Reedus who's been plonked in this sea of green and grey. Scan the horizon and you'll spot towers off in the distance with rails and balloons leading up to their summit. Rings and booster pads not only let you traverse things a bit more quickly, but also guide you to the next point of interest. Exploration sees you glide across the wilderness and bounce between bitesize Sonic stages, all to get cogs and keys and hearts. You'll need these to unlock portals to new areas and big doors and to help free your mate Amy from a weird digital cage. Zipping about is a lot of fun, as Sonic's sense of speed outshines a hint of stiffness in his joints. You can now boost in mid-air for nice glides and there's still great satisfaction in stringing together balloon pops, rail-shifts, and platform-hops. Plus, there's just about enough to keep you occupied, with puzzles dotted around that unlock sections of the map if you complete them. Granted, they were super simple – and that's coming from someone who's notoriously terrible at puzzles – but will almost certainly ramp up in complexity as you progress. And there's a lot of spiraling into the sky as you stumble into floating platforms and curly rails. My concern really lies in overall variety; namely whether we'll see other types of environments or if green and grey is largely all the game has to offer. After a few hours of going fast, I'd want to move on to a different biome, that's for sure. Still, green and grey did surprise more than bore. One major highlight came in the form of a Shadow Of The Colossus-esque boss fight with a massive, futuristic robot plucked straight from Destiny. You'd need to wait for it to slam its arms down, then use them as ram
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Coming to Steam and your nightmares this year Dinosaurs are cool and scary right? Spiders aren’t so great but they’re definitely biologically intimidating to humans too. Combine the two and you get Shantae developers WayForward’s Spidersaurs, which describes itself as a 2D co-op run’n’gun action game. It’s coming to Steam soon, say WayForward. Try not to get the theme tune stuck in your head when you watch the trailer below. Spidersaurs combines thunder lizards, eight-legged freaks and Saturday mornings cartoons. The game isn’t a new one per se, having launched along with Apple Arcade back in September 2019. There’s a reason why it seems very like a Saturday morning cartoon mixed with Contra: Spidersaurs was developed by the team who made Contra 4. You play as the relatively prim gun-toting Adrian or axe-wielding – in the guitar sense – punk-rocker Victoria. Or you can be both if you team up with a pal for co-op. WayFoward say there’ll be unlockable arcade and speedrun modes – I can see this ending up as hearty fodder for Games Done Quick. The spidersaur enemies are, of course, dinosaurs crossed with spiders. Good grief, the sheer horror of it. I guess WayForward couldn’t go with ‘Diners’ for the name, but that’s a more apt description of how the spliced monstrosities act towards humanity. There’s twelve weapons to use against the spidersaurs, ranging from your standard guns all the way to footballs that explode and “bass-heavy electronica”, apparently. You’ll fight across six levels themed around spidersaur-friendly locations such as volcanoes, the jungle and labs, working your way to defeat the cause of the mutant menace. Spidersaurs is due for release on Steam sometime this year. They will forever stalk my nightmares. More News Latest Articles Rebecca Jones 11 minutes ago Ollie Toms 18 minutes ago Ollie Toms 33 minutes ago Supporters Only We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes Total coincidence, but we sell s
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. A good deal for this spec, which includes 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM and a 360Hz screen. The Acter Nitro 5 is a strong if unremarkable gaming laptop, offering excellent performance for the money in a rather typical gamer-y design. It doesn't look quite as cool as a Razer Blade or as beautifully thick as an XMG Apex 15, but it's got it where it counts: inside. Right now, you can pick up a Nitro 5 laptop with an RTX 3080 graphics card, Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 1TB NVMe SSD and 1080p 360Hz
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. An unbeatable price on already great value, n
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. See Night City from a new perspective One of the best parts of Cyberpunk 2077 is Night City itself, a loud and colourful place full of interesting details and decorations. I explored loads on foot, I explored more with the mod adding trains V can ride, and today I've explored even more with a mod adding hovercars. It's very cool, and I have only crashed about a hundred times. In regular CP2077, NPC hovercars are zipping about but V is stuck on the ground with wheeled transpor
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The environmentally friendly 'reverse city-builder' is a relief to play Of all the demos featured in this past
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Admiring more upcoming indie games Every weekend, indie devs show off current work on Twitter's #screenshotsaturday tag. And every Monday, I bring you a selection of these snaps and clips. This time, come admire some rotoscoping, Ponging, and two very different metroidvanias. I do appreciate a behind-the-scenes peek at rotoscoping: Rotoscoping WIPs for my cinematic platformer LUNARK ✨https://t.co/NHTV7eIoif #screenshotsaturday #pixelart #animation pic.twitter.com/7RShoSJkNz— Johan Vinet (@johanvinet) June 19, 2022 A bold look to roguelikelike first-person action game Mortal Sin: Playing with the lighting a bit and forgot how much of a difference it can make! #MortalSin #gamedev #madewithunity #screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/hIxfrra3tt— Nikola Todorovic (@sonofslobodan) June 18, 2022 I'm not much one for survival games but I do like this forest in Lightyears From Home, a "story-based survival metroidvania": Here's a first look at our custom temperature system! Right now the system is based on time of day and location and will later be connected to the weather as well, once implemented. #screenshotsaturday #UE5 #madewithunreal #LightyearsFromHome pic.twitter.com/XTVzLTb4c8— Lightyears from Home (@LightyearsGame) June 18, 2022 A cool boss with big swords in the metroidvania Rusted Moss: — Rusted Moss (Demo available!) (@RustedMoss) June 18, 2022 Sound on for dramatic dialogue drum beats: After experimenting with an isometric view, I've moved on to experiment with rhythmic dialogues(🔊On!)#gamedev #madewithunity #screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/8hOapZbNSK— DancingEngie (@dancingengie) June 18, 2022 A pretty sea snake: sea snake#screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/AyvPR5ES6C— Julián Palacios (@yulele_palacios) June 18, 2022 Above the waves, a great little life in this boat: Once again, the mundanest places turn out to be the relaxiest. #screenshotsaturday #madewithunity pic.twitter.com/15dYTIfG3N— naam (@_naam) June 19, 2022 Ex
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. That’s $2000 per download of the infringing software Bungie and Canadian company Elite Boss Tech, the creators of cheating software for Destiny 2, have reached an agreement in a copyright infringement lawsuit that Bungie brought. Elite Boss Tech have agreed to pay Bungie £13.5 million (£11 million). The agreement includes a permanent injunction against Elite Boss Tech that prohibits them from making more software that infringes on Bungie’s. Details of the stipulated consent judgement between the two companies, which has yet to be signed off by the court, were reported by Torrentfreak. Find out what our favourite games of this year's Not-E3 week were. The lawsuit was filed in California district courts in August last year, along with two more against other creators of cheating software. The suit named Elite Boss Tech and another company called 11020781 Canada Inc., one of their owners, and several defendants only identified by their online handles who were said to have made, sold and distributed the cheating software for use with Destiny 2. The cheats were
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Sundays are for melting into a puddle. Before you bubble on the pavement, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things). Over on The Washington Post, Ethan Davidson wrote about how video game developers want fair online games, while some players really don't. I get that streaming is a tough job and streamers want to put on a show, but also, like, come on. Yes it's fun seeing a highly skilled player destroy a lobby of newcomers, but it's also equally interesting seeing how they stack up against those on their level. And, of course, it's not fair on matching players who want a chill time with some streamer whose job it is to be good at the game. That's no way to maintain a player base. For Jordan “HusKerrs” Thomas, a popular streamer and competitive “Call of Duty: Warzone” player, skill-based matchmaking is a labor issue. It “negatively affects the top 1 percent of players/streamers the most because it forces us to ‘sweat’ or try hard for good content and to entertain our viewers,” Thomas wrote in a Twitter DM. High-level play against skilled opponents in shooting games can be opaque or boring for casual audiences. By racking up high kill streaks or stringing together multiple crushing victories in less balanced matches, streamers can more clearly show off their skill to viewers. Regina Kim wrote about why K-pop idols and K-dramas don't reflect the tastes of their home country for NBC News. An interesting read on the differences between "K culture" and "Korean culture", with one built for exports and the other less so. K-pop is probably the best example of this puzzling paradox. “It seems like anytime someone writes something about K-Pop — particularly pieces on boy and girl bands — it doesn’t really matter who authored the articles, it’s pretty much a guaranteed way to generate massive clicks,” Bernie Cho, a music industry veteran and president and founder of DFSB Kollective, an agency that works with hundreds of in
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With the help of Durante and a fan translation The Legend Of Heroes: Trails From Zero is heading to PC with an English language release, 12 years after its initial launch. The port is being helmed by Peter "Durante" Thoman - known for JRPG ports and Dark Souls fixes, mainly - and a new developer blog post goes into detail about the ways in which Trails From Zero is being modernised. This is called a "story trailer", but I had to watch it three times because the music and disconnected imagery kept prompting me to slip into a pure vibe state. All I had were disconnected thoughts: that's a big train; the little people are always walking; why is that girl underwater; am I spinning around inside the... cyberverse? What I think the trailer is trying to communicate is: in Trails From Zero you, Lloyd Bannings, return to your bustling home city of Crossbell and join the police department, where you are assigned to the Special Support Section to handle oddjobs. You quickly discover there's more crime and corruption within the city than you realised, and you have to work together with your pals Elie MacDoweell, Randy Oralndo and Tio Plato to put an end to it. What great names. I haven't played any of the The Legend of Heroes games or its Trails subseries, though there's a billion of 'em. Trails From Zero was first released in 2010 for PSP in Japan, though a fan-created English translation didn't appear for ten years. Shortly thereafter, the creators of that fan translation agreed to work with publishers NIS America on this official release. The PC port is getting better-than-average attention too, if a recent Steam post by developers PH3 is any indication. The PC release will include support for different aspect ratios, a flexible UI, full mouse support, a message log, improved draw distance, high frames-per-second support, and anti-aliasing. The post goes into details about these features, and also the previous modern console ports and modders who implemented them first. PH3 have handed the PC ports for previous Trails games, including the modern Trails Of Cold Steel IV in 2020.
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I didn't get to play as much at Steam Next Fest this weekend as I usually do, partly because I just ran out of time, and partly because the time I did have I spent playing Necrosmith. There were some demos I was meant to play for, like, actual work, and then I ran into a puzzle wall or a bug or something so I just fired up Necrosmith again. Necrosmith is a 2D necromance 'em up that is also sort of a tower defence game. In the middle of the map is your evil lair, the Hall Of Bones, a sort of legally distinct Sauron's tower that gets more flying buttresses the more you upgrade it. If enemies (which can be packs of wolves or flying bugs or all manner of things) do enough damage to destroy it, you lose - so that's your defense bit. For the towers bit, you have to imagine that t
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. With support for other stores coming One of the ways Steam wormed its way into every inch of PC gaming was by releasing useful tools that make developers' lives easier. Epic would like their Epic Games Store to also be wormy, and an early step is, hey, still about Steam. The Epic Online Services SDK 1.15, released this week, includes tools that let developers enable crossplay between players on Epic Games Store and players of the same game on Steam. "Epic Online Services crossplay now works seamlessly on Steam and Epic Games Store, enabling Steam players to search from ove
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Related to a night club level added in an update First-person tactical shooter Ready Or Not disappeared from Steam on June 16th, prompting a flurry of rumours as to why. Now it's back and the developers say that the removal was because a "takedown request was issued via Steam concerning a suggested trademark infringement in our recent Night Club map." Let's start at the beginning. In an update released on June 12th, New Zealand-based developers Void Interactive added a finished version of a night club map to Ready Or Not, among other changes. Then on June 16th, both the game and its store pages disappeared, meaning owners couldn't continue playing it. Void Interactive announced that the game was offline that same day, but did not explain the reason for the removal, saying only that they were "looking into" it. Rumours quickly spread on social media which suggested that the removal was due to the finished night club map being added to the game on the anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016. That seemed unlikely, given both that Valve are happy to have all
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Needs multiplayer and mutators though Throwback first-person shooters are penny a bushel at the moment, but while most aim to replicate the boomsticks of Quake, Agent 64: Spies Never Die mimics the PPKs and hacking gadgetry of another 90's classic. Maybe the name gives it away: it's Rare's GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64, and there's currently a demo available to play as part of the Steam Next Fest. The inspiration is abundantly clear just to look at it, but it holds true in how Agent 64 plays, too. You'll fire from the hip without crosshairs but forgiving auto-aim, then use the right mouse button to switch to a specific aiming mode for shooting off padlocks or getting headshots. Enemies, meanwhile, run into view carelessly, flee when shot, and have feet that never quite seem connected to the floor. There's only a single level available in the demo, set in a tower you must escape from. There are corridors crammed with crates, a toilet cubicle to burst in upon, and plenty of explosive red barrels. You can also complete it in three difficulty modes, with enemies becoming better at aiming and new objectives being introduced at the harder end of the scale. I was already a PC gaming snob by the time GoldenEye released in 1997, and vastly preferred Quake, but that didn't stop me from spending hours round friends houses playing Remote Mines Only on Complex. I don't have the same degree of nostalgia for its singleplayer, but I had a good time while playing the d
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Not-E3 2022 is over, and we can all agree: it took place. Onwards! Or for our friends in England and Wales, downwards, into a puddle, melted by the heat. Still, the Steam Next Fest is underway, with so many great demos to try out if you can maintain your corporeal form this weekend. So what are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on! Alice Bee Now that Not E3 is over I'm going to put some time into Steam Next Fest. I've been playing the demo for Necrosmith which is honestly so much fun. You're a necromancer and you build little undead monsters from jigsaw parts of limbs that have different attributes and abilities. Then send them out into the world to do your dark bidding (destroying castles). Alice0 I have, of course, immediately lost my dubious Neon White 'world record', and must attempt to reclaim it. Who knows, maybe I'll even stop playing the same level over and over and actually finish the speedrunning FPS's story. Beyond that, I must check out the door-kicking violence of Anger Foot's demo. CJ Demos, demos, demos. Meaning the populace of a democracy, or just free slices of games to play through. How egalitarian! That's what I'll be doing in the evenings this weekend while Steam Next Fest is still up and running. At the top of my list to give a go is probably Resistance Games' grand strategy Great Houses Of Calderia, where you have to build your family's power over generations in a fan
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Team RPS talks the best bits of Geoff Fest Not E3 2022 is over. It's done. I think? I mean there's a Nacon showcase in July but, I mean come on now, we can't start classing events that occur outside of June as being part of the event formerly known as E3 can we? That would be preposterous. Before long it would spool out across the entire year, absorbing every month until E3 is a constant
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Randomising item locations, enemies, passwords, and more Denton's Law states: whenever someone talks to you about Deus Ex, there is a 45.1% chance you will start a new playthrough. If it's your turn this time, reader dear, wait one second! Perhaps you might enjoy a twist on this classic immersive sim? The Deus Ex Randomizer mod shuffles just about everything in the game, adding random surprises and new challenges to an old favourite, and it recently released a new version. See its random surprises in the n
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Published on June 17, 2022 Apparently I'm very musical, which will come as a shock to anyone who's heard me sing. But when I found myself playing By The Rivers of Babylon by ear to thank a sentient stone head for opening a door, I realised why Sonority had grabbed me so easily. Read the rest of this article with an RPS Premium subscription To view this article you'll ne
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Published on June 17, 2022 Apparently I'm very musical, which will come as a shock to anyone who's heard me sing. But when I found myself playing By The Rivers of Babylon by ear to thank a sentient stone head for opening a door, I realised why Sonority had grabbed me so easily. Read the rest of this article with an RPS Premium subscription To view this article you'll need to have a Premium subscription. Sign up today for access to more supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writ
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Tiles, teeth, and terrible diseases There's something so intriguing about a new survival game. You just never know what you might find, with some becoming the best thing since cubed diamonds and others getting left in a state of endless early-access jank. Partly to help you all avoid the duds and partly to satisfy my own morbid curiosity, I trawled through this Summer's Steam Next Fest demo list to test out a bunch. As you might expect, I got subjected to some chugging framerates and a bit of body horror, but also found some great multiplayer shooting in Dysterra and terrific tile-placement in Above Snakes, which might just become a new personal favourite. Above Snakes Above Snakes is the best of
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. As I might have mentioned once or twice, one of my joys in life is dipping and drifting around rivers and ponds, lochs and seas. I am delighted to see some of the gentle pleasure and wonder of that captured in Naiad, an upcoming game about a water spirit adventuring downstream. It has a free demo in the Steam Next Fest, and it is quite lovely. I believe it to be what the youth call 'wholesome'. Just me drifting around one level from the Next Fest demo. It's a game to play with and explore at your own pace. You can go fast, if you want. You can swim at full speed through the whole thing, gun it t
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I confess, I was worried about revolutionary robot Soulslike Steelrising. I'd seen it in a hands-off capacity and thought it looked like it could be in line for the Soulslike throne, but with Action-RPGs it's all about hand feel: does it feel rough or smooth under the thumbsticks? As luck would have it, I managed to get hands-on with the game to confirm whether its substance does, in fact, match its style. Here are my findings. I tackled two hours of Steelrising, which saw me battle through the tutorial area, sock it to some robots in a woodland zone, and get on a boat and row over to Paris - where I socked even more robots in a grander setting. Then after a quick intermission, the devs loaded me into a build where I fought
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. One of Nate's favourite animals (apart from all of them) are elephants, so for this edition of our supporter-funded special extra podcast we talk about some of the best 'phants from history, including a cool one that had all armour and one that sadly lost a fight with a train. Thank you once again from the bottom of our massive elephant hearts to our lovely supporters, who let us have lovely silly chats like this.
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A sequel to the quirky open-world fantasy RPG In 2019, Dragon's Dogma director Hideaki Itsuno said Capcom had gaven him the freedom to choice between making a sequel to the fascinating fantasy RPG and making Devil May Cry 5. He went with DMC. But that punchfest has been out for years so...? Yes! Capcom last night announced Dragon's Dogma 2, following a nice presentation where the devs reminisced about making the first game. "Sorry to have kept you waiting!" Itsuno said at the end, cueing the gang to whip off their tops and reveal sequel surprise shirts. "Dragon's Dogma 2 is currently in development! Everyone in the development team is hard at work creating a game that we hope you will enjoy! Please l
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A statement issued yesterday says media criticism “is without merit” Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of some allegations of sexual misconduct among the company’s staff but did not inform the board of directors. Well, Activision Blizzard’s board issued a statement yesterday saying that "an objective review" from external advisors "determined the Board never intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported”, and that there is no evidence "suggesting any attempt by any senior executive or employee to conceal information from the Board." In fact, another, separa
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. 30% off UK RRP for one of the most popular condenser USB mics. The world's most popular* USB condenser mic, the Blue Yeti, is 30% off at Amazon UK right now. This mic is an institution amongst podcasters, game streamers and interviewers, thanks to its detailed sound capture and simple plug-and-play setup. *probably Get a Blue Yeti mic for £85.60 (was £129.99) So where does the Yeti make sense? It's an excellent choice for anyone working in a quiet environment, as good condenser mics like this one are able to capture voices with warmth and detail, but don't do as well as d
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Square Enix show Final Fantasy Rebirth and reveal Remake will be three parts Square Enix’s 25th anniversary livestream for Final Fantasy VII played out in almost textbook fashion for the JRPG giants, starting and ending with the two most important pieces of news for PC players. First up, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade leaves Epic exclusivity to steer its motorbike onto Steam today. Steam Deck compatibility was touted too, you lucky beggars. Then, after much faffing with mobile games and memorabilia, producer Yoshinori Kitase revealed footage from the second part of Remake, now known as Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Kitase also confirmed that the Final Fantasy VII Remake saga might actually be co
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Both available at their UK RRP - plus more FE options. Two of the best value Nvidia RTX graphics cards are available at RRP in the UK, as Nvidia Founders Edition cards restock at Scan. This is an excellent opportunity to pick up the highlight of the RTX 30-series lineup, representing the best value choices for 1440p and 4K gaming. Get an RTX 3070 Founders Edition for £469 (UK RRP) Get an RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition for £369 (UK RRP) Both of these GPUs are great value options, particularly at their original 2020 RRPs as these models are. Nvidia's Founders Edition cards are genuinely great designs, often more compact than third-party models while maintaining great cooling performance, so don't be pu
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Valorant is getting a new map with the release of Episode 5 Act 1 on June 22nd. It's called Pearl and it's set in an underwater town in Portugal. That sounds interesting, but the same update will also see the removal of Split, one of Valorant's original three levels. Split was included in Valorant's original beta, and honestly it's the map I've played most in the shooter. I liked it because it felt like the map most reminiscent of the Counter-Strike levels I was used to. It's not a favourite of the game's community however, and is generally considered imbalanced despite Riot making revisions over the years. Riot have therefore decided that they want to have no more than seven maps available in-game at a time, and that Spli
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Prison Architect has received a new DLC and free update. The Gangs DLC introduces - no surprise - new gangs to your prison and expands their significance, allowing them to grow in power by recruiting new members and forcing you to struggle to rehabilitate them. The free update, meanwhile, includes bug fixes and a handful of new features. The Gangs DLC introduces three new gangs - the Jackals, Bone Breakers and Vipers - each with their own traits. They'll recruit members who have the kinds of traits they're looking for, can raise the overall "danger temperature" of your prison, and can gain an advantage via newly added crooked guards. I enjoyed Prison Architect in part because I thought it successfully walked a fine line w
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Cross the Slime Sea to Rainbow Island It was easy to miss amid the onslaught of trailers, but Slime Rancher 2 got a new release window during this past week's not-E3 shenanigans. In a new trailer showing more of its colourful goo-hoovering, the previously vague "2022" was upgraded to the somewhat more specific "fall 2022". Here's the trailer itself: The first Slime Rancher was a surprise delight: a first-person farming game in which you gather unpredictable jelly creatures, spit them into pens you've built, feed them crops you've grown for them, and earn money with which to further expand. It's relaxing and moreish which Pip (RPS in peace) called "a delightful, irrepressible thing" in her Slime Rancher review: I had thirty wonderful hours collecting/harassing/cleaning up after slimes. The world itself drip-fed me secrets at a really pleasing rate for my pottering playstyle and I got so many thrills of real delight as I made my way through the alien world. A particular relationship which plays out in the form of letters delivered to Beatrix's house gradually wormed its way into my heart and, the way I read it and Beatrix left me feeling really warm and happy as the credit sequence played out. Slime Rancher 2 looks, honestly, like more of the same, as the same protagonist ventures to a new environment with new slimes and softer lighting but the same set of activities. I'm not complaining. When it arrives this autumn, it'll also be available on day one
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. After the "next-gen" patch broke everything Resident Evil modders have had an eventful week. First, Capcom released a free update for Resident Evils 2, 3 and 7 Biohazard which introduced ray tracing and higher framerates. Unfortunately, the update also broke every existing mod for those games, with no quick fix available. All's well that ends well, though. In response to "overwhelming community response", Capcom have made the previous versions of the games available again, so that those wishing to use mods can roll back if they wish. It's great that Capcom are supporting their (slightly) older games by bringing "next-gen" updates over to PC for free. The problem was that introducing ray tracing wasn't a small tweak laid on top of existing games, but an engine upgrade fundamental enough to break mods and leave modders with a potentially steep learning curve as they work out how to port their work across. While sometimes you can roll back updates on Steam, the previous versions of all three games had been removed outright from the Steam database. That's what Capcom has now changed. "Due to overwhelming community response, we've reactivated the previous version that does not include ray tracing and enhanced 3D audio. Both enhanced and previous versions will be made available going forward," Capcom wrote in a post on Steam. They also provide instructions on how to roll the versions back by going to the properties for each game on Steam and selecting the co
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The speedrunning FPS is a heavenly delight I am, at present, the world record holder on one level in Neon White. Admittedly, "world record" is less impressive when only developers and media have played, and I expect to be toppled soon after it launches today. Point is: while writing this post about how much I adore the speedrunning FPS, three times I've had ideas about how I might make that record time even faster, so I've stopped writing, dropped into Neon White for a few minutes, and come back out with a new record. I adore this game, and I might never finish this post. As I explained more in detail after playing the demo earlier this year, Neon White is a speedrunning FPS about an extremely anime group of dead idiot assassins (called Neons) trying to enter vaporwave Heaven by winning a demon-slaying contest. As Neon White, we're dashing through short levels, grabbing different guns (represented by cards) which can spray death or be 'discarded' (right-clicked) for a single-use movement ability: double-jump, airdash, stomp, and more. You can play through the story without getting super serious about scoring medals for fast times, but I've fallen hard for the joys of working to improve my own times and climb the online leaderboards. One level, named Race, got stuck in my head. It is fairly simple. Dozens of demons are connected in a chain and once you kill the first, it'll send death down the line, ultimately leading to the destruction of a platform you need to reach the goal. Stab that demon to start the clock and you must reach the end before the chain reaction does. You have a few unconnected demons to kill along the way too, and your only tool is a rifle which does an airdash when discarded. I liked the level. After getting the gold medal and then the ace medal, I stuck around and kept honing. And kept honing. I even beat the developer time set by Neon White creative director Ben Esposito and claimed the #1 spot on the leaderboards. Then I still kept honing, competing with myself, revelling in miniscule improvements. I'm going to show you two runs. A successful-but-bad
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My biggest question about Starship Troopers Colon Terran Command was what tone it would strike. The RTS potential for an interplanetary ground war against overwhelming swarms of giant not-insects is obvious enough. But the dual spirit of most Paul Verhoeven films is a major reason that The Extraordinary Lust Of Dizzy (working title: Starship Troopers) still holds up 25 years on. Terran Command understands that. Certainly it nods to the satire here and there, but mostly it focuses on the shooting and desperate defences and evacuations instead. This was the right decision. Though it's a little short on narrative flavour, unless you're really into exploring the setting, it's got enough tactical heft to make up for it. You play as the commander of the Mobile Infantry, the original space marines, as they fight a big ol' horde of Arachnids on the desert mining planet Kwalasha. Both are based mostly on the films' interpretation (mostly the first and third, probably because the second was awful), so the bugs are armed only with raw biology, and your forces mostly comprised of hapless mooks with personal firearms and little chance of surviving a close encounter. The sheer incompetence is gone, however, which makes sense
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And we touch on building a home in a realm-hopping world Nightingale is an upcoming PvE open-world survival craft 'em up by Inflexion Games, a studio led by former BioWare boss Aaryn Flynn. Imogen (RPS in peace) spoke with him earlier this year about the game's gaslamp fantasy setting and why they chose to enter the survival genre gauntlet, among many other things. At this year's Summer Geoff Fest, I caught up with Flynn for another quick chat. This time, we dug into the game's recently revealed card crafting and realm-hopping features, as well as the choices you might make along the way. As a Realmwalker, your aim is to reach the mysterious city of Nightingale by flitting through portals. Once upon a time these portals formed a network that ran as smoothly as Japan's subway system, but it has since collapsed, meaning it now resembles a bus timetable out in the sticks. There is some hope, though, as you're able to craft Realm Cards that'll give you some semblance of control over the chaos, including weather, challenges, and biomes. Feeding them into the game's procedural generation machine spits out a realm that – in theory – meets those conditions you set out on paper. And as for that card crafting system, it looks as if you'll set the foundations of a realm by picking three or four cards and melding them together. I asked whether you're able to build a deck of permanent cards you draw from, or whether they're consumed with each use. Flynn admits that they've not quite nailed this down yet. "Truthfully, we haven't decided yet how it's gonna work. I think it'll depend on how we ultimately balance it. It's not intended that the realm card crafting itself is supposed to be to grind or anything like that," he says. "But at the same time, we do want going through a portal to be a very conscious choice. And so, if we have them consumed, then you're like, 'Okay, do I really want to go onto here?' If we do, 'Let's go do it'. So, we just gotta get the balance right when we playtest that." Obviously, it's all up in the air, but there's a sense that they're going down the consum
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Geoff Fest! Wholesome Direct! And our LA correspondent who was boots on the ground! This week Matthew and Nate are both away, but luckily I'm joined by two very special guests to discuss our favourite games from Summer Geoff Fest and the Not E3 2022 steams and showcases this past weekend. Rebecca from our guides team has been doing exhaustive work doing live chats and roundups for almost all the streams, and Edders was actually out in Los Angeles to play some games and chat to people. He even saw St. Geoff in the flesh. Wowser! We go through quite a list of things, and I'm sure we've missed some of your favourites, so feel free to chime in. All in all I think we saw some cool stuff; good work to video games. You can listen on Spotify, or above, or go straight to Soundcloud where you can download it for later. You can also now discuss the episode on our Discord channel, which has a dedicated room for podcast chat. You can also get the RSS feed here or find it on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts. Music is by Jack de Quidt who is cool and therefore probably didn't watch any of Geoff Fest. Links We had a good run of cool horror games shown over the weekend. Rebecca is very up for Layers Of Fears, whatever it is and despite the terrible name. I really enjoyed seeing a hot 30 seconds of Ill, and The Callisto Protocol is looking very luxe Dead Space (Ed interviewed Glen Schofield to learn more). There's also The Alters which... like, I'm not sure it's a horror game but it gives me the willies. At LA Ed got some hands on time with a few cool games including Time Flies, Sonic Frontiers, Vice NDRCVR and Birth. Some of the smaller games that stood out to me and Rebecca were A Little To The Left, Paper Trail, The Invincible and Sam Barlow's new game Immortality. There's also Obsidian's new weird medieval murder-mystery Pentiment. We also talked about some bigger games, like Starfield (the reveal of which made me laugh quite a lot) and Redfall, which looks fucking great tbh.
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Brotato stars one hot potato The auto-attacking action of Vampire Survivors and rude 'tude of Flash games combines in Brotato, an upcoming indie game with a free demo available in the Steam Next Fest right now. We play as a potato dodging around waves of aliens while blasting them with sticks, stones, guns, knives, rocket launchers, and weird mutations. I mean it as a great compliment when I say the roguelikelike arena survive 'em up feels like a Newgrounds game. Pick a class for your potato and your sta
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Bittersweet news for fans of the Zach-like everywhere Infinifactory developers Zachtronics have revealed what they say is their last game, Last Call BBS. It’s a compilation of eight smaller games, some new and some reworked elements of previous games. These range from assembling Gundam-esque models to the tile-matching from Exapunks, now with an added single–player campaign. Of course, there’s two solitaire games thrown in for good measure too. Check out Zachtronics’ last hurrah in the trailer bel
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Listen, there’s no reason to beat around the bush with this one. Anger Foot is amazing. It was amazing when I played its early build last year, and its Steam Next Fest demo is somehow even better. How could it not be! Have you seen it? Anger Foot is a game about kicking doors at muppet men. That’s it. That’s the pitch. It rules. OK fine, I guess I’ll elaborate. I suppose that’s my job. Right so, remember Hotline Miami? Anger Foot is a first-person Hotline Miami. I doubt even developer Free Lives would find that comparison too reductive, to be honest. The two are so structurally similar it would be a bit pointless to deny that Anger Foot cribs a lot from Dennaton’s work. You begin each level unarmed but dangerously legged. Tapping E springs your weird green gams out in front of you, smashing open any doors or kitchen cupboards that are unfortunate enough to be in range. Your kick is your primary weapon and oh reader, what a kick this is. It’s immediate. Powerful. Capable of crunching the bones of any goons that dare to stand in your way. More games such have big kicks, although saying that maybe they shouldn’t, because I think Anger Foot may have the best one. The trailer for Anger Foot doesn't mess about, but features considerably more vaping than I experienced in the demo. Your goal in each level is to reach the exit, situated at the end of a series of claustrophobic corridors and wide-open rooms filled with exploding barrels and other destructible items. Along the way are a couple of dozen colourful bad guys. Alligators. Dudes with human hands for a head. Poochie from the Simpsons. Each enemy variation holds a specific weapon, and kicking them into a wall will let you grab it, Hotline Miami style. Guns only hold a couple of bullets, and once empty can be thrown to stun baddies for a few seconds. Bad guys are as much a resource as they are an obstacle; sure, they can scupper your current progress in two or three hits (mercifully, restarts are immediate) but they also hold the weapons you so desperately need to survive. This little moment-to-moment calculation is where Anger Foot is at its most Hotline Miami-y. Who do I kill first? The hand-headed lad with the shotgun? The dog-man with the uzi? Maybe I just kick a barrel instead, obliterating them all as soon as I enter
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It’s the next game from the devs behind action RPG Grim Dawn Farthest Frontier, which arrives on Steam Early Access on August 9th, sounds as much of a statement of intent as it does the name of a city-building game. It’s a combination of town management and survival sim, putting you in the presumably cheap clogs of a band of settlers trying to make a go of it in the wilderness. A story trailer for Farthest Frontier was shown at last weekend’s PC Gaming Show, which you can watch below. Farthest Frontier lets you start a new town out in the wilderness, but watch out for bear attacks and don't get dysentery. Farthest Frontier is in development at the studio responsible for Grim Dawn, Crate Entertainment, and was announced in January 2021. In it, you’ll have to contend with all the kinds of things real-world settlers would, like cholera and people trying to pillage your spuds. Keep your villagers’ water supply clean and train some troops up, though, and you’ll be golden – or alive, at least. Maps are randomly generated so you’ll never know where to scrounge resources from when you start a new game. Those resources are fairly diverse, with 14 types ranging from bog-standard wood and stone to the more fancy-dancy artisinal stuff, such as wild herbs and gooey honey. Concentrate on gathering resources that are plentiful nearby so you can start an economy that's locally-sourced, which will let you trade for things you can't rummage up. Honey and herbs aren’t among the 17 varieties of food you can grow or forage for, ten of which are crops that Crate Entertainment s
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. It's some £30 cheaper at CCL than it is at Amazon UK. DDR5 RAM arrived late last year, but it's taken until now to see the first semi-reasonable prices for a kit of next-generation memory. CCL are currently selling a kit of Crucial DDR5-4800 for £89.94, more than £30 cheaper than the same kit is on Amazon. This is the first time I've seen a DDR5 kit of any description under £100, so if you're considering a 12th-gen Intel (or AMD Ryzen 7000) build, then this might be just what you need. Get 16GB Crucial DDR5-4800 for £89.94 (was £120) Hardware wizard James tested DDR5 vs DDR4 earlier this year and found that it does offer a performance advantage over DDR4 in some games - but DDR4 remains the better value choice. However, that calculus is slowly shifting, and DDR5 is starting to become a viable option - helped of course by price drops like this one. I ran a similar set of experiments between DDR4 and DDR5 for Digital Foundry last month, and found that performance deltas between high-spec DDR4 and entry-level DDR5 ranged from 1% (in Crysis 3 Remastered, Counter-Strike Global Offensive and Far Cry 6) to 25% (in Ashes of the Singularity Escalation). If you instead look at fast DDR5-6600, the percentages tend to increase by around 5% across the board. So so
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The Silent Swan is almost exhaustingly slow, but interesting? Dear Esther meets Amnesia in The Silent Swan, an open-world walk-o-story set inside a mysterious walled land with two towering empty cities. It has a demo in the Steam Next Fest and I think I want more? I was drawn in by screenshots of vast Gothic architecture, put off by frustrating slowness, then kept interested by the mysteries of our fella adrift in his former home. It does, at the very least, have pleasingly giant buildings rising from fog. The Silent Swan is set around two cities within a vast wall. It's a mighty impressive look, and and absolutely the reason I tried the demo. Our fella is returning home after 17 years on the trail of his missing wife. Something happened, and the cities now stand empty, forbidden, forgotten, fabled. No, I don't think it's Attack On Titan, though I would be delighted by that twist. It does feel a bit like a Kafka or Borges story to me, with our man increasingly lost and confused in a surreal city he no longer recognises, tormented by strangers who either know everything about him or don't even recognise his presence, and caught in events he doesn't understand. I've little interest in the whole 'I love my missing wife' thing but I like the mood. A game for fans of looking up at big things. Exploration is slow. Very slow. You walk slowly, you jump lowly, and the distances are farly. Even the 'quike' four-wheeled bicycles you can ride around some places are slow. (Speaking of: I was curious about how slowly the pedals turn, so I ran the numbers and our man pedals full-pelt at a knee-annhilating 24rpm.) But you can, if you want, scale 34 floors of a spiral staircase up a spire rather than take the lift. You can also run into the woods towards distant vast buildings where grow mere pixels taller as you hold W for minutes. At this point, I've seen no suggestion that the game rewards this in any way beyond the satisfaction of doing it. As a fan of walking simulators, I do find that freedom quite satisfying. But the pace and distance can get frustrating in a game that needs you to complete objectives to advance the plot. The only 'puzzle' in the demo is finding fuses to fix a lift. At one point I missed an item I needed, and had to turn back, then return. And while returning, I made a mistake. Rather than again struggle with finnicky movement to scale a bumpy ramp leading to the other side of a broken raised walkway, I figured I could likely just walk on the grass and find another way into the tower where my goal lay. Nope. Though the fence looked to have enough space for a person to squeeze through, I had to loop all the way back round. This misguided moment of exploration took several whole minutes while I muttered about how ridiculous this was. Also the floaty camera movement is weird. And the aggressive level-of-detail pop-in is unfortunate in a game that's so much about slowly approaching giant things. And yet, I kept playing. The wall. While I assume our man is dead or dying or it's a dream, I am still curious about what's going on in the world he
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Help me decide the single best thing in video games Last time, you decided that friendship is better than interrupting conversations. You must be very good friends, if your friendship is more important than your desire to butt in. And now I know I can butt in and you'll just accept it. This week, we pick between an unfathomable conception of flesh and a matter of convenience. What's better, invert mouse or undo? Invert mouse I don't get it. I know it's important but god help me, I really don't get it. I know its absence will be loudly decried by invertors but I don't understand why they are this way. Someone once described their use of invert mouse to me as "Like you're pulling down on the back of your character's head to make them look up". Alarming. Why do you think about inhabiting flesh in this way. The very concept distresses me. How do you live. What are you. What is the world to you. Hell, what's the point in even asking: as Wittgenstein said, "If a lion could speak, we could not understand him." But if someone's concept of self, their whole model of existence, is irreconcilably different yet we're able to resolve that by adding a harmless option, shouldn't we? After all, isn't there a minor chance that anyone who sees flesh as puppet might be an otherworldly with the ability to bend reality into whichever form they deem correct? Maybe it's best to agree so we don't wake up with our own musculature somehow inverted. Undo The ability to undo is a wonder. Make a mistake or simply want to see an alternative and wham, hit the undo and back you go. The game doesn't want to punish you, it wants you to experience it without fuss or bother. What would be the fun in making you repeat something, or ruin your game with a misclick? Undo says hi, looks like you're in a pickle, need a hand? What a pal! The oft-delayed Sands Of Time remake is stuck in its own endless rewind. I mostly know undo from puzzle games, rewinding actions so I don't have to run through the busywork of repeating a puzzle up to the point I make a mistake. That's nice. Strategy game Old World lets you undo, too. Then some games wrap themselves around undoing. Time-twisting puzzle-platformer Braid is all about the undo, taking it being convenience with puzzles built around rewinding. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time builds rewinding into its world and story too, with a magic dagger letting our man re-do missed jumps or avoid attacks, or just rewind time because it looks cool. A thing which looks cool, helps you out, and makes you feel like a wizard must be a pretty good thing. But which is better? I want to say undo. But I don't want to wake up having been inverted. But if I pick undo, if I wake up staring at the floor I can just undo this catastrophe. Alright, undo it is, in the hope that I will eventually be able to handle my inverted controls just enough to mash undo. Pick your winner, vote below, make your case in the comments to convince others, then we'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. A great deal on one of AMD's best value GPUs, complete with FSR 2.0. The RX 6700 XT is one of the best value AMD graphics cards, and today sees a price drop on an XFX Speedster model at Amazon.com. This chunky triple-slot card now costs $480, a $80 reduction from its US MSRP and a new low-water mark for this category of GPUs. Get an RX 6700 XT for $480 (was $560) We recently saw the RX 6700 XT drop to £420 in the UK, so it's nice to see a similar discount for the American au
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We've only seen the first round of what's to come Your boy was in LA for Summer Geoff Fest 2022 and had the opp
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a sidescrolling beat ‘em up that aims to recapture the spirit of the TMNT arcade games from decades past, is both incredibly simple and a breath of fresh air. It’s a basic button-mashing affair that offers nothing new, but that facilitated a good old chinwag that I didn't know I needed. It was something I really appreciate, when my go-to multiplayer games, such as Warzone and Destiny 2, demand my constant and unwavering attention. Lasting about three hours, Shredder’s Revenge won’t become your new time sink, but it’s an undemanding arcadey jaunt that you can enjoy w
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. I can’t believe I had to create a Fallout 5
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