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Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition's region lock has gone the way of Games for Windows Live

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Dark Souls loses region lock

As last year drew to a close, Namco Bandai finally excised the dreaded Games for Windows Live from Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, migrating to Steamworks. Today, yet another spectre has been slain: the inexplicable region lock.

With another foe put in the ground, the Knight of Namco Bandai mounts its steed, and rides off into the horizon. 

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

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Korean pro gamer San at the WCS Season 3 championship.

A sports betting site has thrown some serious match-fixing allegations at Korean progamer Kang "San" Cho Won in the wake of his defeat in Proleague early on Tuesday. Claiming that “the bet placement pattern clearly indicates that the match was not played on a fair basis,” Pinnacle Sports voided all bets.

It’s an ugly accusation for a Korean StarCraft community that is finally on the rebound, and an unwanted reminder of the darkest chapter in the sport’s history.

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

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A character attacks a gate in Heroes of the Storm.

While Blizzard might be offering a brand-new Founder's Pack for Heroes of the Storm, not everybody is going to want to spring the extra cash for beta access and hero unlocks. That's where we come in.

In just under 24 hours, we'll start passing out hundreds of beta keys for Blizzard's upcoming MOBA Heroes of the Storm. If you have been keeping your eye on Heroes but haven't had a chance to get your mitts on it yet, this is your big chance to get into the beta for free.

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Heroes of the Storm Founder's Pack goes on sale, gives you three permanent hero unlocks and instant beta access

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A lineup of Heroes of the Storm characters.

Blizzard have just announced the sale of a Heroes of the Storm "Founder's Pack" for players in the Americas (and Australia and New Zealand) and Europe.

The Founder's Pack will give you permanent access to Diablo, Raynor, and Tyrande, along with three bonus skins and a mount. But most importantly, it will also give you instant access to the Heroes of the Storm beta.

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Topic of the Week

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

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Topic of the Week: Survival

If civilization collapses, or I’m stuck in the wilderness or zombies take over, I’m sorted. These last few years have drowned us in survival games that teach us all we need to survive. Hungry? Kill and eat a person. Bleeding to death? Steal someone’s clothes and rip them up. A wee bit cold? Burn everything down. 

With so many survival game in alpha and beta, though, it feels like a genre that’s still being fleshed out, and right now it’s in its experimental phase. Survival games are basically teenagers. For our Topic of the Week, we want to know what you think they’re doing right, and what you reckon they are doing wrong. Think starving is rubbish? Crafting is great? Let us know. 

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Blackguards 2 review

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Blackguards 2 review

Flung in a dungeon by a thoroughly unpleasant husband, body filled with disfiguring spider venom and sanity dwindling - what’s a lady to do? For starters, how about conquering the world? Blackguards 2’s understandably angry protagonist, Cassia, propels Daedalic’s tactical RPG forward with admirable bloodlust. She’s the first in a string of improvements that raise it above its predecessor. 

All of the first game’s highs - the intricate, extremely interactive maps most notably - return, but Blackguards 2 is a slicker, more confident RPG. Where the original meandered, its sequel is blessed with greater purpose and direction. And it manages to fulfil a promise the last game made, but never quite fulfilled: you can play the villain from the get-go. 

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

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The Stanley Parable

It’s Halloween, and as we take the two floors up to see Pugh’s secret new project at GameCity, he narrates our journey - spinning an off-hand story about the ghosts haunting the lift shaft.

The rakish 20-year-old is clad head-to-toe in black and has hair that goes its own way. His humour is like that of The Stanley Parable - quick-fire and layered in irony. A bemused stranger sharing the lift won’t quite meet his gaze. 

After the demo, I ask Pugh how things have changed since his game’s release over a year ago.

“What it’s been like since Stanley came out?” A pause. “Do you want me to actually answer? It’s just whether you want to go down that path. I can do a joke answer.”

I ask for the real answer, please. We go down that path.

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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.

Europa Universalis IV is getting a new "El Dorado" expansion; new religions, pirate hunting and more

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Europa Universalis IV El Dorado

The fourth expansion to Paradox’s grand cultural strategy game, Europa Universalis IV, is in the works; dubbed “El Dorado”. It will focus on the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, and includes new religions such as the Nahuatl, Inti and Mayan. With the promise of gold, pirates will be on the prowl to plunder unsuspecting and greedy traders, but can be combated with new trade fleets.

It’s due out next month, but you can check out the teaser for the new expansion below.

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The best mods and apps for Elite: Dangerous

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Elite: Dangerous Mods

Nothing beats Elite: Dangerous’s unfathomable scale. But you can make it better, by installing these mods, tweaks and apps. They will all radically change the way you play Elite, and for the better.

There might not be many of them right now, but the ones that do exist have a profound affect on your end experience; you’ll never look back.

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Watch a man's journey to Hearthstone legend in order to become a Blizzard game designer

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Hearthstone Legend

This a story about a Hearthstone player called Schaard, who desperately wanted to become a Hearthstone game designer for Blizzard. Lucky for him, Blizzard opened its doors for that very position, and Schaard - freshly graduated - ticked many of the requirements that were asked of potential recruits.

All but one: “Legendary status in Hearthstone or Top 8 in a pro tour in Magic: the Gathering.”

While the latter was pretty much out of the question, the former, wasn’t. So Schaard documented his quest for legend status in the medium of video, and we’ve got it below.

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HER STORY is a game about a women talking to the police, directed by Sam Barlow

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Her Story

Her Story is an abstract crime fiction game with a “non-linear” storytelling, by Silent Hill Shattered Memories writer and designer Sam Barlow. Players are given access to archived footage from a police database, where they’ll be tasked at piecing together the mysterious murder of a woman’s husband.

Here’s where it gets interesting: to search through these video clips, players will search for specific words that are spoken by the questioned woman.

“If you can Google, you can play Her Story” says director Sam Barlow.

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Elite: Dangerous is currently being haunted by interdicting ghost ships

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Elite: Dangerous Ghost Ships

Frontier is currently dealing with a rather unique case of the heebie jeebies - players in their galactic space sim, Elite: Dangerous, are being the target of spooky ghost ships. Reports have been flooding in that when in supercruise, commanders would be interdicted - forcibly pulling them out - only for the interdicting vessel to never appear.

Sounds like they need to call in the professionals.

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Steam

Lights, camera, action: Steam Broadcasting and FPS counter leaves beta

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Steam Broadcasting

Valve’s newest endeavor into taking over the world, this time competing with the likes of Twitch to enable streaming of their games to the masses, has finally left beta. Steam Broadcasting allows players to stream any game they play to either their friends, or the public, and without a whole lot of effort either.

Also heading out of beta today is the long awaited, but much welcomed FPS counter in the Steam overlay.

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Pneuma: Breath of Life cranks the observer effect up to 11

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Pneuma: Breath of Life

After spending the last five minutes watching my dog, Max, snoring, I’m questioning the observer effect, where the act of observing something changes it. Mind you, I’m not a physicist, and Max is a law unto himself. If I was playing Pneuma: Breath of Life, Max would probably end up hovering in the air, or maybe he’d become an elephant instead of a labradoodle. But I’d also be a god, so this would not phaze me. 

Pneuma is an oddity and remains enigmatic even after watching a trailer and getting given the apparent gist from the developers, Deco Digital. It’s a first-person puzzler, where you - a god - have to navigate a conundrum-filled maze, solving puzzles through the power of your mind and observation. 

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Diablo 3's got a new Lord of Terror: really bad lag

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Diablo III lag

It’s hard to kill demons and gather up mountains of loot and gold when you’re faced with lots of horrible lag. Since the weekend, Diablo III players have been reporting “major lag” that renders the game unplayable, even in the single-player mode. And it looks like it’s not been restricted to just one region. 

Blizzard is looking into it, and hasn’t ruled out some shady plan being carried out by minions of the Lord of Terror. 

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Alchemilla

Get your Silent Hill fix on PC with fan-made Alchemilla

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Alchemilla

If you’re still mourning the fact that those PS4 lot got to enjoy some first-person chills in the form of PT, the teaser (and game in its own right) for Silent Hills, and you didn’t, mourn no more. Some diligent modders have, inspired by the Silent Hill series, crafted a first-person horror adventure using the Source Engine. 

While Alchemilla is soaked in nightmares, it’s cerebral rather than physical. There are no monsters and no combat, just an oppressive atmosphere and puzzles. The designers did want to add those things, but couldn’t find anyone to help them implement it in time. It’s not really a loss, though.

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Earn enough points in League of Legends' Ocean Week, and Riot will put a statue in the sea

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League of Legends Ocean Week

It’s easy to forget, up here in frigid Scotland, but it’s summer in the southern hemisphere, and Riot’s got its eyes on the beach. To celebrate Australia Day and New Zealand’s Waitangi Day, League of Legends players will be able to unlock a slew of rewards, including legendary skins, IP boosts and even an artificial reef, by winning games during Ocean Week

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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.

Magnetic will give you a fancy gun and a prison to break out of in March

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Magnetic

Guns are great: fascinating pieces of machinery that are only let down because they spew out bullets that often end up killing people. Sci-fi is where we find the best guns - portal guns, gravity guns, firearms that are more novel than deadly. 

Magnetic, unsurprisingly, gives players their very own magnetic gun. It’s not a gun that you can stick onto your fridge door, but rather one that manipulates magnetic forces. And you’re going to need to use it to escape from prison. 

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Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Closed: We’ve 650 Heroes of the Storm keys to give away. Codes will be sent out on Saturday

Heroes of the Storm

Closed: We’ve 650 Heroes of the Storm keys to give away. Codes will be sent out on Saturday

What do PC game developers want from Steam Early Access?

DayZ

What do PC game developers want from Steam Early Access?

The rise and rise of Wargaming: Part 2: It all kicks off

World of Tanks

The rise and rise of Wargaming: Part 2: It all kicks off

Blood Bowl 2 is clearer, better looking, and more violent than ever

Blood Bowl 2

Blood Bowl 2 is clearer, better looking, and more violent than ever

Hands on with Blitzkrieg 3

Blitzkrieg 3

Hands on with Blitzkrieg 3

The rise and rise of Wargaming: Part 1: Prelude to War

World of Tanks

The rise and rise of Wargaming: Part 1: Prelude to War

H1Z1 Early Access Review

H1Z1

H1Z1 Early Access Review

Sponsored: Six ways Alienware are rebooting the gaming laptop

Alienware

Sponsored: Six ways Alienware are rebooting the gaming laptop

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

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Minecraft

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Dying Light first impressions

Dying Light

Dying Light first impressions

Grey Goo PC review

Grey Goo

Grey Goo PC review

Topic of the Week: What do you look for in a remastered game?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What do you look for in a remastered game?

Grim Fandango Remastered PC review

Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango Remastered PC review

Making it in Unreal: flipping through the X-Files with extraterrestrial horror game The Hum

The Hum

Making it in Unreal: flipping through the X-Files with extraterrestrial horror game The Hum

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hands on - playing 2015's most exciting RPG

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hands on - playing 2015's most exciting RPG

In Dead Synchronicity, you mutilate a dead vicar. And then it gets even bleaker

Dead Synchronicity

In Dead Synchronicity, you mutilate a dead vicar. And then it gets even bleaker

Homeworld Remastered Collection revealed; Steam launch set for February 25th

Homeworld Remastered

Homeworld Remastered Collection revealed; Steam launch set for February 25th

Adventures in... Assassin's Creed: Unity - Butcher, or Benny Hill?

Assassin's Creed Unity

Adventures in... Assassin's Creed: Unity - Butcher, or Benny Hill?

How to get better at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

How to get better at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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