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Elite: Dangerous won't be getting a launch wipe, so don't panic

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Elite: Dangerous not getting a wipe

Beta testing a game, particularly one with a persistent, online universe, is a tense experience. Those countless hours you put into the game, all the things you’ve achieved, they get wiped clean. In Elite: Dangerous that would mean a whole galaxy of ships and pilots would suddenly cease to exist. 

That’s not going to happen, though. Community manager Edward Lewis made an announcement on the forums, yesterday, confirming that there would not be a wipe at launch.

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SimCity 2000 Special Edition is temporarily free on Origin

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SimCity 2000 free on Origin

You usually need to work your way up to becoming a mayor of a city, or at the very least have enough money and favours to call in. 

Not today, though. SimCity 2000 Special Edition is the latest game on Origin to be given away for free, so you can bankrupt an entire city of mold it into a prosperous utopia without kissing a single baby or making any deals with organised crime. 

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Warlords of Draenor's Highmaul raid gets its mythic mode and appears on raid finder

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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Highmaul

Warlords of Draenor’s Highmaul raid, a city filled with unpleasant ogres, is opening its doors to players using the raid finder. Last week, raiders got to take on the likes of Kargath Bladefist and Imperator Mar’gok in normal and heroic modes, but tomorrow will be the first day of it being in the raid finder in Europe, and it’s already live in North America. Only the first wing will be available, though.

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Cube and Me: It's all fun and games until an adorable alien dies

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Cube and Me

Cube and Me lulls you into a false sense of security. As the new guardian of a group of adorable alien cubes, all smiling faces and the illusion of personality, you are tasked with making them happy. You feed them, clean up their poo (don’t worry, they actually excrete crumpled bits of paper), wash them when they get dirty, and comfort them when they get sad. You grow attached to them. 

It’s all lovely until one of them dies at the hands of an evil robot, or you sell one of them off to feed your potted plant addiction. All of a sudden, Cube and Me goes to a dark place, as you watch weeping aliens freak out as one of their number is snatched up by a big mechanical claw. This never happened in E.T. 

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Crusader Kings II: Way of Life will let you break up with your medieval lover on December 16th

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Crusader Kings II: Way of Life release date

The scant amount of free time I’ll have this Christmas will be spent chipping away at my infinite backlog, so of course there’s a new Crusader Kings II expansion coming out, diverting my attention with medieval intrigue and conquest. 

Way of Life is Crusader Kings’ ninth expansion, and this one’s all about roleplaying. Like a Christmas bird, Paradox’s grand strategy romp is getting filled with new events that will help to define your dynasty. And it’s due out on December 16th.

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Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What games do you want to see ported to PC?

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Topic of the Week: Ports

This month, we’re going to be controlling Snake (and his lovely bottom) for the first time in years. Metal Gear Solid V is making its way onto PC, and it’s not the only surprise port we’ve seen this year. Final Fantasy XIII was unceremoniously dumped on our wonderful platform in October, with the sequels planned for next year. 

So, this week, we want to know what other ports you’d like to see. Are there any games that have been shackled to consoles, but would be just as good, if not better, on PC. Let us know in the comments. 

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laptops

The best games for Laptops

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best games for laptops

PC gaming isn’t always done at a desk with a power-house of a machine. Many of us play on laptops we picked up primarily for work. Some of us want to play something that’s not a match-3 mobile game when we’re on the train and so bring our laptops along for the ride. But finding the best games for laptops isn’t always easy. 

There are so many factors. You need something that doesn’t demand too much processing power, something that won’t ruin your fun just because your mouse is a trackpad, and something that’s not just an old classic you’ve played ten times already. So what are the best games for laptops? These are our picks. 

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Spotlight
?

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.

Dean Hall leaves Bohemia. Opens RocketWerkz

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dean hall rocketwerkz dayz standalone bohemia interactive

Dean Hall, creator of DayZ and the project lead on DayZ Standalone, has left Bohemia Interactive to start his own studio. He’s been quite public about his intentions to strike off on his own but it’s still a significant moment for the developer and the game.

Hall’s moved back to his native New Zealand to start his studio, Rocketwerkz.

He’s currently advertising staff positions on Twitter.

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Civilization: Beyond Earth patch ramps up affinity rewards

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civilization beyond earth patch fall update firaxis

Civilization: Beyond Earth’s fall update makes an astronomical number of changes. There are balances across buildings, diplomacy, aliens, covert ops, and many other areas of the game. Most units in the game have had their values altered, in many cases making them more dangerous.

There’s even been a stack of bug fixes.

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Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes and its 120 crisp new cards now live UPDATE: everywhere but Europe

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Hearthstone

Take a look at the new Goblins vs Gnomes cards coming to Hearthstone - over 120 of 'em. Before today, we’ve only been able to stare at those images through the cold pane of our monitors, like so much WoW concept art. But today is the launch date of Hearthstone’s new expansion, which means you can now pick those cards up with your mouse and fling them about the board as minions, spells and whatnot.

UPDATE: The comment section attests to the fact that the expansion hasn't yet made it to European climes. Hrrm.

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Updated: We had 1000 World of Warships codes to give away but they're all gone

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World of Warship

They say Helen of Troy’s face launched 1,000 ships. In a knowing subversion of Greek mythology, Wargaming.net have given us 1,000 codes to help launch the quietly brilliant World of Warships into testing later this week. Sub (AS IN SUBMARINE, LOL) us an email address and you’ll be in with a chance of playing the third part of their Warthings triumvirate early this weekend.

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League of Legends players suffer locked out spells; Riot pledge fix in next patch

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League of Legends

Timing is everything in League of Legends. It’s the sort of game where not being able to mind your Ws and Qs can lose you a game.

That’s the complaint of a frustrated summoner, who found himself locked out of one of his abilities during a team builder match and discovered threads full of fellow players with similar problems. Thankfully, Riot have already worked out a fix - which they plan to pack into their next update.

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Team Fortress 2 bolstered by body warmers and bathing equipment in End of the Line

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Team Fortress 2

Even before Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 item makers starting earning an average of $15,000 each, the shooter community was getting organised. Last year, TF2 item creators marshalled a team and, with the backing of Valve, released the Robotic Boogaloo update to “huge success”.

The Boogaloo was a test, to see if the TF2 community could follow through on an ambitious project with deadlines - and they passed. Hence today’s End of the Line release - a bundle of community cosmetics, taunts and tools, built and deployed by the most able fans on the Steam Workshop.

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H1Z1 gets an early access release date of January 15th; Smedley admits it's not yet as feature rich as DayZ

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H1Z1 early access release date

H1Z1, SOE’s zombie survival MMO, has just had a release date stuck on it. An early access release date, anyway. There will be two versions, one which has yet to be announced, and a basic early access SKU that will launch on January 15th for $19.99.

“We wanted to set a high bar quality wise for Early Access,” CEO John Smedley said on Twitter, just before the announcement. “Happy with where we ended even if it took longer.”

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Gear VR

Oculus-powered Gear VR launches today, but you'll need a Galaxy Note 4 to use it

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Gear VR

You can get your first taste of consumer ready VR from Oculus today, but it’s not the Oculus Rift. Samsung and Oculus VR’s mobile headset went on sale today for $199.99. The Samsung Gear VR, unlike the Oculus Rift DK2, isn’t just aimed at developers, though it’s far from being touted as a VR device for everybody. 

“Powered by Oculus and the Galaxy Note 4, Gear VR Innovator Edition gives content creators and VR enthusiasts a chance to get their hands on the first virtual reality experience powered by a smartphone,” the explanation on the store page says. “Early adopters can enjoy a host of new content experiences, as they also begin to create their own.”

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Ubisoft expects Assassin's Creed Unity patch 4 to fix remaining bugs

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Assassin's Creed Unity patch 4

Assassin’s Creed Unity is a billboard sized advertisment for the follies of annualised games, which has lead to folks over at Ubisoft scurrying around, attempting to plug in the gaps and fix the game-breaking bugs. The last patch fixed over 300 bugs, but that didn’t solve all the problems. Patch 4 is underway, and a full preview of what it fixes is expected this week. 

In the meantime, Ubisoft has released details on the biggest problems it’s set to tackle. 

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Tacoma: Fullbright explores the future in microgravity

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Tacoma

Gone Home developer Fullbright announced their latest project, Tacoma, at the Game Awards last week - you can see the lovely trailer in our Game Awards trailer holding cell - but the teaser revealed few details beyond the game’s space setting. 

Fullbright’s spilled the beans on the studio’s blog, though. “What mysteries await you, 200,000 miles from Earth? Who is exploring Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma? And what happened here?”

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Spotlight
?

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.

DayZ fan film perfectly sums up the game

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DayZ fan film

For the longest time, I let DayZ sit in my Steam library, as I waited for the finished version instead of spending more hours on yet another alpha. I broke, though, and found myself fighting zombies, glitches and dehydration in Bohemia Interactive’s bleak Eastern European game world. 

It’s a lonely, haunting game punctuated by moments of silliness and bug-induced absurdity. And this fan film from FireFilms perfectly captures this unfinished open world survival romp. Point your eyes at it, below.

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Pages

Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Making it in Unreal: drinking in the shoestring sci-fi scares of Caffeine

Caffeine

Making it in Unreal: drinking in the shoestring sci-fi scares of Caffeine

Now is the time to try Dead Island: Epidemic

Dead Island Epidemic

Now is the time to try Dead Island: Epidemic

Lumino City PC review

Lumino City

Lumino City PC review

The Talos Principle PC review

The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle PC review

How to rebuild a publisher: Atari on Haunted House and their future on PC

Haunted House™

How to rebuild a publisher: Atari on Haunted House and their future on PC

The Old City: Leviathan review

The Old City: Leviathan

The Old City: Leviathan review

We’ve got 2000 Block N Load beta codes to give away

Block N Load

We’ve got 2000 Block N Load beta codes to give away

Cube and Me: It's all fun and games until an adorable alien dies

Cube and Me

Cube and Me: It's all fun and games until an adorable alien dies

The best games for Laptops

laptops

The best games for Laptops

Updated: We had 1000 World of Warships codes to give away but they're all gone

World of Warships

Updated: We had 1000 World of Warships codes to give away but they're all gone

Making it in Unreal: inside Fractured Space, the capital ship counterpart to Valkyrie

Fractured Space

Making it in Unreal: inside Fractured Space, the capital ship counterpart to Valkyrie

All The Game Awards trailers in one easy to reach place

No Man's Sky

All The Game Awards trailers in one easy to reach place

I am Bread Early Access review

I am Bread

I am Bread Early Access review

Summon the war council - Exploring Dragon Age: Inquisition's best new feature

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

Summon the war council - Exploring Dragon Age: Inquisition's best new feature

Late to the party: The Witcher — A Man Chooses

The Witcher

Late to the party: The Witcher — A Man Chooses

Competition time: win a snazzy Turtle Beach Heroes of the Storm headset

Heroes of the Storm

Competition time: win a snazzy Turtle Beach Heroes of the Storm headset

What we want from Assassin’s Creed Victory

Assassin's Creed Victory

What we want from Assassin’s Creed Victory

Wargaming.net dismiss eSports porn sponsorship: World of Tanks is

World of Tanks

Wargaming.net dismiss eSports porn sponsorship: World of Tanks is "a family product"

The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

Starcraft II

The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

Port Review - The Crew

The Crew

Port Review - The Crew

Fallout 4: Everything (We Think) We Know

Fallout 4

Fallout 4: Everything (We Think) We Know

World of Tanks contest: win Razer goodies just in time for Christmas

World of Tanks

World of Tanks contest: win Razer goodies just in time for Christmas

Gigantic is the most interesting and exciting moba of 2015

Gigantic

Gigantic is the most interesting and exciting moba of 2015

Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes: all the new cards

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes: all the new cards

Topic of the Week: How did you fare in the Black Friday sales?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: How did you fare in the Black Friday sales?

The making of Watch_Dogs: money, manpower and Ubi Montreal

Watch_Dogs™

The making of Watch_Dogs: money, manpower and Ubi Montreal

Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice PC review

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice PC review

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Best PC RPGs

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Diary of a zombie victim: DayZ's undead aren't pushovers

DayZ

Diary of a zombie victim: DayZ's undead aren't pushovers

Red 5 on fixing Firefall: “Usually the right decisions are the toughest”

Firefall

Red 5 on fixing Firefall: “Usually the right decisions are the toughest”