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Prison Architect's alpha 23 update adds remote access systems and floods prisons with contraband

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Prison Architect alpha 23

Incarceration simulator Prison Architect has received a new update, alpha 23 - that’s rather a lot of updates - and it brings with it some nifty new features along with some complicated ones involving things that I was probably taught in school but ignored because I was doodling willies on my jotter. 

The four big additions that alpha 23 chucks into prison are: remote access systems, an overhaul to CCTV, logic circuits, and a continuation of the contraband smuggling feature. Lamentably, there’s no mention of putting things up bums, which is obviously the best part of smuggling. 

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Michel Ancel opens up a new studio, but will stay at Ubisoft to work on Beyond Good & Evil sequel

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Beyond Good & Evil 2 in development

Michel Ancel has opened a new studio, Wild Sheep Studio, but before you start ripping your hair out and running through the streets shrieking and howling, this doesn’t mean Beyond Good & Evil 2 is beyond hope. 

Ancel will remain at Ubisoft, and he is, Ubisoft confirmed to Eurogamer, working on the sequel to the much beloved tale of photojournalist, rebel and adventurer, Jade. 

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Gotta have wraith: Shadow of Mordor's spectral powers

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor wraith powers

So we know Talion, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’s tragic ranger protagonist, has this whole Russel Crowe from Gladiator thing going on, but only now are we getting the skinny on the wraith hitching a ride in his body. As Comic-Con, Monolith and Warner Bros. revealed that the wraith was actually Celebrimbor, who you’ll probably only know if you’ve read the Middle-earth bible, The Silmarillion. 

He’s a big deal, though, this elf. He’s the smith who fashioned the rings of power, making him one of the key figures in Tolkien's fantastical mythology. This gives a bit more credit to co-writer Christian Antamessa’s claims that it that it’s built on the foundations of Tolkien’s books rather than being something entirely separate. He won’t be doing much smithing in Shadow of Mordor though, as you can see in the trailer below. 

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Seldon Crisis: a space sandbox MMO that isn't EVE Online

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Seldon Crisis

If there’s room in the MMO-verse for countless fantasy MMOs, it’s not completely bonkers to think that there might be room for more than one space-faring sandbox MMO too. That’s probably what Chaos Interactive, developers of Seldon Crisis, are hoping. 

At first glance, the similarities between Seldon Crisis and EVE Online are many: the non-linear progression, the many paths from trader to fighter pilot, the player run economy and political system. But there are big differences too, from the levelling system to the business model. It will be free-to-play, and only cosmetic items will have a cost. 

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IL-2 and Rise of Flight producer on making modern flight sims

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A trio of ungainly four-engine World War 1 bombers fly through the clouds.

Flight sims aren’t what they used to be.

In the hobby’s infancy, flight sims were one of the major genres, and even legendary designers like Sid Meier worked on air combat games. Games like Jane’s Longbow and the mighty Flight Simulator series were mainstream hits.

The landscape has changed dramatically since those days, however, and the time when flight sim fans could look forward to a few major releases every year are long gone. The Falcon series, Jane’s, Red Baron, and most of the others have been permanently grounded.

Succeeding in flight sims today requires a new, more supple approach, according to 777 Studios’ producer Jason Williams. With a smaller market, but with potentially revolutionary technologies like Oculus Rift on the horizon, the name of the game is accessibility without compromise.

Flight sims aren’t what they used to be. They’ve changed with PC gaming. And now they’re both about to change again.

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Evolve alpha: three days of stalking begins tomorrow

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Evolve alpha

Are you hoping to spend some quality time on an alien planet, hunting down a ferocious monster? Or perhaps stalking a group of invaders encroaching on your territory is more your cup of whatever people drink in lieu of tea in the future and across space. Good news, then, because Evolve alpha keys are being sent out to a lucky few. 

The first alpha test is for us PC lot only, and will run from tomorrow until Sunday, August 3rd. Have you discovered your invite in your inbox? 

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Gearbox attempts to get removed from Aliens: Colonial Marines class action lawsuit

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Colonial Marines lawsuit

Aliens: Colonial Marines was bad; a bad shooter and a bad Aliens game. But a class action lawsuit filed last year, against Gearbox and Sega, alleges that the game was also sold on false promises and unrepresentative gameplay at shows like E3 and PAX. While both parties looked poised to fight the lawsuit, Gearbox is now attempting to end things before a judge can decide whether the lawsuit is warranted. 

The developer’s reasoning appears to be two-fold: the company poured its own money into the game and has not been reimbursed or received royalties, and the class is too broad, including people who would have never seen the early footage or people who actually liked the game, if they exist. 

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Master Path of Exile in the free expansion, Forsaken Masters

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Path of Exile: Forsaken Masters

Path of Exile is really rather great. Until Diablo 3 got its second wind around Reaper of Souls, it was my go-to action RPG. The icing on the cake was that it was free; yet for that sweet price of nothing, it did all the things you could conceivably want an ARPG to do, and did it with style. There’s a reason it’s on our list of the 10 best co-op PC games

If you’ve wandered away from the game, or simply never played it, then now is a good time to grab a sturdy weapon and start slaughtering things throughout Wraeclast, because it’s getting a new expansion: Forsaken Masters. 

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Pillars of Eternity preview: "This is supposed to be the dream game for people who like Infinity Engine games"

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Pillars of Eternity Obsidian

Pillars of Eternity is a game out of time. More than a decade since the release of the last Infinity Engine game, Icewind Dale II, Obsidian’s Kickstarted RPG is simultaneously a step backwards and forwards. It’s like looking at a game from the 90s, if games in the 90s had been really, really, ridiculously good looking.

I’m not saying Pillars of Eternity is outdated. I’m saying I’ve been starved of sprawling, reactive RPGs for years.  Obsidian are bringing them back to the table. At some point publishers decided I wanted more expensive cinematic and, as a result, linear stories. Pillars isn’t that.

It’s going to envelope your RPG-starved brain.

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Topic posted by Shriven

Some interesting Games in boxes wot I have.

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Inspired by Jeremys article about good ol boxed games. I took a look around the spare room and found some absolute Gems. Take a peek! What do you have lying around? http://s40.photobucket.com/user/staff777/slideshow/PCGames?sort=3

Mastertronic

A time before Steam: an ode to the budget boxed PC game

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Thief II: The Metal Age was regularly spotted in Sold Out colours.

This morning, Mastertronic rang the death knell for the budget boxed games range that used to be their “core business”.

It is no longer a core business, let alone ours,” said MD Andy Payne. “PC budget games are now sold online digitally, as we all know.” 

The Steam-centric part of me thought as most of you probably did: well, duh. But another, younger part of me - the kernel that subsisted on games sold under the banner of Sold Out, M.A.D, Mastertronic and PC Gamer Presents - felt like a lifeline had been snipped.

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Wildstar's 'Sabotage' update makes PvP super explosive, introduces bomb chucking fun

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Wildstar

Carbine has just dumped a hot load of explosive content into Wildstar's stunned lap, marking the MMO's second big update since its full launch last month. The update is called Sabotage and adds a bombload of player versus player content.

Here's a cheerful video from the lovely chaps at Carbine describing what they've done and why.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn begins its free two-week trial

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Final Fantasy XIV

The near enough fourteenth Final Fantasy game is throwing open its doors today and inviting buy-curious players to sample a fourteen-day trial of the MMO, free of charge.

The trial will limit dabbling players to level 20, which is still a fairly hefty chunk of Eorzea to get stuck into. Eorzea, in case you are wondering, is the random collaboration of syllables assigned to the world in which Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is set.

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F1 2014 is announced, features shiniest cars and wettest roads ever

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F1 2014

Fans of fast cars going around and around in massive circles rejoice. The motorcar racing videogame F1 2014 has been announced as heading to PC on October 17th, matching the console versions blow for blow with its updated roster of incrementally ruder shaped cars, damper roads, properly uniformed drivers and more televisual camera angles.

Here's a video of some nice cars having a race to see who's the fastest.

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Mastertronic

Mastertronic lay off staff, leave boxed games behind: "PC budget games now sold online"

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The modern-day Mastertronic logo.

Mastertronic are a UK games publisher with their roots in the ‘80s - but you’ll more recently remember them as the purveyors of budget boxed PC games. 

There’s plenty of nostalgia tied the Sold Out, M.A.D. and PC Gamer Presents labels - but sadly, that business has very nearly driven Mastertronic into the ground. The publisher has made 40% of its staff redundant and will close its Cambridgeshire HQ.

“We had to change,” said founder Andy Payne. “We had to decide not to do things that were sending us towards financial ruin.”

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The Sims 4 does anger, sadness, embarrassment: all the classics

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The Sims 4: angry, anxious, and everything in between.

Emotion is one of the forgotten arts of game development. No university teaches a programmer how to love. There is no John Carmack of tears.

But one publisher is making a concerted effort to push a discipline still in its infancy. After years of iteration, EA Sports have just cracked emotions in FIFA 15. And The Sims Studio reckon they’ve done the same in The Sims 4. Here are their findings.

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Minecraft snapshot 14w31a reworks the world border, adds noisier rabbits

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Minecraft rabbits: a good resource, but you have to look into those eyes when you kill them.

Minecraft 1.8 is just about finished. Which means sometime soon, the good work done across many weeks of snapshots will be tipped over into the main game: rabbits, endermites, elder guardians and all.

“We’re starting to wind down our development cycle, and as such we’re now focusing on bug fixing for a smooth release,” said Mojang’s Dinnerbone. “This weeks snapshot comes with a bunch of fixed bugs, some more optimization and only minimal featurecreep.”

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Looking for love among the pigeons: Hatoful Boyfriend launches on August 21st

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Hatoful Boyfriend

Next month is going to be a good one for pigeon lovers everywhere. On August 21st pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend will finally launch, according to publisher Devolver Digital. The sim, as if you didn’t already know, puts players in the role of the only human in  St. PigeoNation’s Institute, a prominent school for birds. Your goal? Find love, of course. 

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Hacker holiday: Watch Dogs leaves Chicago and visits Camden, New Jersey in new DLC

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Watch Dogs DLC

Watch Dogs brand of shooting and hacking is leaving the city of Chicago and heading to Camden, New Jersey. The shift to a new city will arrive in the form of some new DLC, due out this autumn, according to the Watch Dogs Twitter account. 

The teaser image attached to the tweet notes that Camden had the highest crime rate in the US in 2012. “A 24/7 surveillance program is now in effect,” it boasts, ominously. 

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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

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