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Saints Row IV

Saints Row IV and Civilization: Beyond Earth are free on Steam for the weekend

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Saints Row IV and Beyond Earth free for the weekend

I have to spend a lot of money this weekend, to help commiserate a chum on making it to her 30th birthday. Travel to another city, a hotel room, presents, a fancy meal and enough booze to kill a blue whale - it ain’t going to be cheap. Don’t be me. Save your cash this weekend by playing Saints Row IV and Civilization: Beyond Earth for free.

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Hold Nick's hand tonight through the launch of H1Z1 over on our livestream

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H1Z1 Stream

Tonight, SOE’s zombie apocalypse survival game, H1Z1, is being unleashed on the public via Steam Early Access. We’ve equipped our Nick with nothing but a copy of the game, some flat pop and a half-eaten pack of mini-eggs, before kicking him out into the zombie infested wilderness.

He’ll be streaming his adventures over on our Twitch channel, and you’re more than welcome to come and watch; there’s a good chance he’ll die, a lot, all for your entertainment.

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Total War: Attila trailer shows that everyone's scared of the Huns

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Total War: Attila trailer

The barbarians are coming! And they’ve brought their families with them. Migrating hordes from the Huns to the Goths are central to Creative Assembly’s Total War: Attila, marching across Europe in huge droves, settling only long enough to replenish, before getting back to the business of razing villages.

With Attila’s release impending - it’s due out next month - Creative Assembly has put together a couple of new videos, introducing would-be conquerors to their potential barbarian buddies. 

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Watch a StarCraft: Brood War tournament for student-made bots

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StarCraft bot tournament

The Student StarCraft AI Tournament is a bit like poking a bear. First held in 2011, it tasks students of AI and computer science to submit bots for 1v1 StarCraft battles. It might not happen this year, but one day, these bots will surely grow tired of fighting their fake future wars and rise up against us. And with all that training, they’ll surely win. 

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Elite: Dangerous will be receiving its first significant update soon

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Elite: Dangerous 1.1 update

Elite: Dangerous hit its big launch milestone at the tail end of last year, and now Frontier Developments is looking toward the future. There’s already been patches, mainly bug fixes, but also the inclusion of a new world that was only discovered last week

More significant updates, however, are on their way, and by this time next month, version 1.1 should be out.  

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Rust Early Access review: one year on

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Rust early access review update facepunch

Rust - Facepunch Studios’ multiplayer survival sandbox - has changed significantly in the year it’s been on Steam Early Access. After several months of incredible sales and gradually increasing content, Facepunch did the unthinkable: they scrapped everything. Deciding the code base for Rust was unworkable, the studio rebuilt the entire game from scratch in a new engine. New Rust looks and feels both different and familiar: like returning to your dreary university city after it’s had a multi-million government investment. 

I don’t like it. 

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Hotline Miami 2 banned in Australia, developer accuses ratings board of "stretching the facts"

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Hotline Miami 2

[UPDATE: Dennaton have released a statement in response to the Australian Classification Board ruling, in which they express disappointment "that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree". The full statement is included below.]

The Australian Classification Board has refused to grant a rating to top-down murderdisco Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, effectively banning the game from sale in Australia. The decision to deny the game classification, according to a report by Kotaku Australia, was made largely due to a particular scene that implies sexual violence.

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WildStar devs outline their 2015 plans, reveal The Protogames Initiative details

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WildStar

The folks at Carbine are dusting off their gym memberships, binning the cigarettes and running laps around their desks, so full of the spirit of renewal and optimism that the new year brings. They're so inspired, in fact, that Mike Donatelli, WildStar's product director, has just outlined the grand future for their MMO in 2015.

What can we expect? Well broadly speaking, they're working on things that players really, really want, including more solo and group content, new shiphands, adventures and dungeons and customisation and loot and stuff.

More specifically, they've outlined the features to be included in their forthcoming update, The Protogames Initiative.

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Spotlight
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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.

Evolve developer defends the studio's maligned DLC bundles

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Evolve Big Alpha Extended

Co-op monster hunting FPS Evolve is in the dog house with its fans. The game has been fractured into a thousand tiny pieces of pre-launch DLC and then scattered across dozens of retail exclusives and special editions for players to find, collect and reassemble. Certain hunters and monsters are being sold separately, and developer Turtle Rock stands accused of having stripped content from the full game in order to squeeze extra cash out of its players.

This, naturally, has been frustrating fans who'd rather hand over an agreed upon amount of cash for what all parties consider to be a complete product. Turtle Rock's Phill Robb has taken to the game's forum to defend the studio's decision to nickel and dime.

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Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is coming to Steam on February 25th

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Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty

The PC version of farting and waving simulator Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty has at last been given a release date. The remake of PS1 side-scrolling classic Abe's Oddysee launched last summer on PlayStation 4, before sitting there and teasing everybody by not being available on PC for absolutely ages.

But now it's almost here. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty launches on Steam on February 25th.

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Twitch

Twitch clears 500 songs for use in streaming

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Twitch

Twitch has just launched its free-to-use music library of 500 songs, all of which are now cleared for use during streaming and in archived video. Previously, any music caught by Twitch's magic copyright-detecting ear would result in a half-hour muting. The new library of approved tracks means streamers can now be more tuneful, and all within the snug confines of copyright law.

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Total War modder to wargame maker: Nick Thomadis' road to Ultimate General: Gettysburg

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Heavy combat takes place on the colorful map of Ultimate General: Gettysburg.

When Nick “DarthVader” Thomadis quit working on the highly-regarded DarthMod series for Total War - a bit of a huff after perceived slights from Creative Assembly and growing fatigue with the series as a whole - it was easy to think we’d seen the last of the outspoken modder.

Instead, he got an opportunity to make a game of his own. The result, Ultimate General: Gettysburg, would prove to be one of 2014’s best games and perhaps the year’s best wargame. For Thomadis, it was less vindication than it was the culmination of a lifetime’s passion.

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Final Fantasy XIV's huge 2.5 update includes the long-awaited Gold Saucer

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Final Fantasy 2.5 update

Final Fantasy XIV’s impending 2.5 patch is massive; so massive, in fact, that it’s going to be split up into three parts over the next couple of months. New story quests, dungeons, extra dungeon difficulties, a new raid, the build up to the upcoming expansion, Heavensward - there will be a lot to get through.

What’s most important, however, is the Gold Saucer, finally arriving next month with mini-games and, yes, chocobo racing. 

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Battlefield Hardline's open beta is coming, and it won't have a progression cap

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Battlefield Hardline open beta

Visceral and EA have spilled the beans on Battlefield Hardline’s upcoming beta, which will be open to everyone, regardless of platforms or previous beta participation. 

The first beta, which popped into existence not long after the Battlefield spin-off was first announced, left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t going to be a reskin with cops and robbers, but that’s exactly what we got. Hopefully the game’s postponement has lead to it becoming a bit more distinct. 

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Kerbal Space Program's next update will overhaul aerodynamics

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Kerbal Space Program aerodynamics update

In advance of Kerbal Space Program’s aerodynamics update, Felipe Falanghe has gone through what virtual astronauts, cosmonauts and spaceship engineers can expect, as well as reiterating the goals of the project. 

Squad’s still working on fine-tuning the tricky balance between realism and fun. “[O]ur main goal with this is to make the game more fun,” writes Falanghe. “We are not looking to make things more realistic just for the sake of being realistic. If it doesn't make the game more enjoyable overall, then it's not worth adding.”

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Cities: Skylines trailer has the developers sharing their vision of the game

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Cities: Skylines trailer

Cities: Skylines is the SimCity you wanted SimCity to be, said Steve in his preview of Colossal Order’s city building sim a couple of weeks ago. And it’s certainly, on paper, doing everything right, with massive plots of land, customisable maps and loads of mod support.

A new trailer from Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive shines a light on the team’s inspirations, and how they’ve gone about crafting the upcoming game.

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Spotlight
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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.

The Survivor GameZ: The DayZ eSport is returning

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survivor gamez dayz bohemia interactive brian hicks

For a time, Arma 2 was the most popular game on Twitch, ahead of Dota 2, League of Legends, and Starcraft. And it was all thanks to a mod of a mod. A mod of DayZ called the Survivor GameZ. It is the Hunger Games written in the DayZ engine: 30 players thrown together on an island sparsely scattered with weapons, they must kill each other until there is just one pair left.

After a year of silence, the team are spooling up to restart the games.

We spoke with Brian Hicks, one of the games’ founders and now the producer on DayZ, about how the games started and his plans for the future of The Survivor GameZ.

The Survivor GameZ are returning.

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Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
ArenaNet unveils Guild Wars 2's first expansion: Heart of Thorns

Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet unveils Guild Wars 2's first expansion: Heart of Thorns

Weekend Deal Dump: Card games and road trips

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Card games and road trips

How Paul Neurath is kickstarting an Ultima Underworld sequel, with the blessing of EA

Underworld Ascendant

How Paul Neurath is kickstarting an Ultima Underworld sequel, with the blessing of EA

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada has the best weaponised space cathedrals in gaming, ever

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada has the best weaponised space cathedrals in gaming, ever

PEGI won't censor Hatred in Europe. Here's why

Hatred

PEGI won't censor Hatred in Europe. Here's why

Looking back: why it's time to return to Far Cry 2

Far Cry® 2: Fortune's Edition

Looking back: why it's time to return to Far Cry 2

The devs behind Remember Me are making a smart WW1 vampire RPG

Vampyr

The devs behind Remember Me are making a smart WW1 vampire RPG

Chaos Reborn Early Access review

Chaos Reborn

Chaos Reborn Early Access review

Microsoft's plans for marrying Windows 10 and PC gaming: Xbox Live, DirectX, and streaming

Windows 10

Microsoft's plans for marrying Windows 10 and PC gaming: Xbox Live, DirectX, and streaming

How Company of Heroes 2 became Steam's biggest RTS

Company of Heroes 2

How Company of Heroes 2 became Steam's biggest RTS

Here are my impressions of Infinifactory, please trust them

Infinifactory

Here are my impressions of Infinifactory, please trust them

We’ve got 500 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to giveaway to EU players and PLEASE NO TRAMPLING

Heroes of the Storm

We’ve got 500 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to giveaway to EU players and PLEASE NO TRAMPLING

Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

Starcraft II

Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

Tomorrow, we start giving away hundreds of Heroes of the Storm beta keys

Heroes of the Storm

Tomorrow, we start giving away hundreds of Heroes of the Storm beta keys

Topic of the Week: What works and doesn't work in survival games?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What works and doesn't work in survival games?

Blackguards 2 review

Blackguards 2

Blackguards 2 review

The Big Interview: William Pugh closes the book on The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable

The Big Interview: William Pugh closes the book on The Stanley Parable

The best mods and apps for Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous

The best mods and apps for Elite: Dangerous

Making it in Unreal: can Elite dock with FTL for Kickstarted space sim Into the Stars?

Into the Stars

Making it in Unreal: can Elite dock with FTL for Kickstarted space sim Into the Stars?

Adventures in... The Sims 4 - Launching Mulder and Scully into space

The Sims 4

Adventures in... The Sims 4 - Launching Mulder and Scully into space

Weekend Deal Dump: These deals are criminal

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: These deals are criminal

Out There's Michael Peiffert on bringing the brilliant space roguelike to PC

Out There: Omega Edition

Out There's Michael Peiffert on bringing the brilliant space roguelike to PC

Rust Early Access review: one year on

Rust

Rust Early Access review: one year on

Total War modder to wargame maker: Nick Thomadis' road to Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Total War modder to wargame maker: Nick Thomadis' road to Ultimate General: Gettysburg

The Survivor GameZ: The DayZ eSport is returning

DayZ

The Survivor GameZ: The DayZ eSport is returning

Satellite Reign Early Access review

Satellite Reign

Satellite Reign Early Access review

The Big Interview: Chris Avellone on how to write an RPG

Pillars of Eternity

The Big Interview: Chris Avellone on how to write an RPG

Train Simulator 2015: hands on with the London Overground train

Train Simulator 2015

Train Simulator 2015: hands on with the London Overground train

The best wargames on PC

Unity of Command: Stalingrad Campaign

The best wargames on PC

Closed: We’re giving away a Geforce GTX970-powered gaming PC courtesy of Gameforge

S.K.I.L.L

Closed: We’re giving away a Geforce GTX970-powered gaming PC courtesy of Gameforge