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Build a civ: Firaxis shows you how to create a faction in Beyond Earth

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Civilization: Beyond Earth factions

In Civilization, when picking a faction to play, you’re getting a whole package of bonuses and traits based on the history of that culture. But Civilization: Beyond Earth has left history, and those factions, far behind. So that means you have to build your own. 

The latest Beyond Earth livestream, which has been uploaded to YouTube, details exactly how future rulers will construct their infant factions, building them with different bonuses, selecting the special citizens, even choosing the spaceship they land on. 

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ESA

ESA finds that more women play games than teenage boys

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ESA Study

In an industry where so many games are marketed almost exclusively at teenage boys, it’s been harder for some than others to accept that, actually, quite a lot of women play games. A lot more than you might expect given some unpleasant attitudes. 

A study from the Entertainment Software Association reveals that, in the US, more adult women play games than teen males. 

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Windows 9

A Windows 9 preview build could come out as early as next month

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Windows 9

It’s taken a while for folk to get used to Windows 8, and some of us are still holding onto 7 with grim determination. But reports suggest that Microsoft will be showcasing its next OS, codenamed Threshold, as soon as next month at a press event on September 30th. A preview build will be released to developers at the same time or soon after.  

This date could change, however.

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Last chance to make the finals: Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit has begun

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Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit

Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit kicks off today after last month’s event in Atlanta. Once again, 128 StarCraft II players will send their forces against each other in hopes of making it to the final in Washington DC this September. 

Seven players have already secured their slots from the previous Battle Grounds, including last month’s Atlanta winner, Choi “Bomber” Ji Sung. You can watch this weekend’s fights below.

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How I fell in love with QuakeCon

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QuakeCon: an institution.

Photo by Owen "O1kenobi" Long

There are two network parties at the Hilton Anatole this weekend. The first is for KPMG, the giant accountancy firm. They are suited and booted, ready to talk. You can spot them a mile off, smart little white badges, free (expensive) coffee and a rare confidence. This is their summer event, and they are here to work. 

On the other side of the lobby is the early arrivals for the other party. It’s a Quake team. They only get together at QuakeCon. But they play together every night. They hug, smile, laugh and joke. They trail PCs and monitors and network cables in little carts. They are so happy to be here.

The KPMG lot spot the gamers. You can see them trying to mask their curiosity. Unfailing politeness, but with eyebrows raised. 

“Some gaming convention.”

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Molyneux: 22cans "have done everything we possibly can" to ensure Godus ends up "great"

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Godus might be a god game, but its own creators are pushing their limits.

When Godus was released in Early Access last year, it was not good. We took another look in March, after 22cans had implemented an update they claimed would hugely improve the game. And lo, it was still not good.

Now it’s August, and Peter Molyneux believes the studio couldn't have done more to fulfil Godus’ initial promise.

“We must be up to about 12 versions on Steam Early Access by now,” he pointed out. “You look how building a house has changed, and how making settlements has changed, and how the world itself has changed. We have done everything we possibly can in the name of making a great game.”

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Why World of Warcraft subscriptions are still dropping, according to its lead designer

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World of Warcraft: on an immensely enjoyable downward spiral.

The rush of new sign-ups for Mists of Pandaria was a blip; World of Warcraft player numbers are now at their lowest point since 2006. Even with the release of Warlords of Draenor on the horizon, Blizzard don’t expect subscriptions of the world’s biggest subscription MMO to grow again, ever. 

WoW lead designer Tom Chilton told us why.

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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.

Rustie

This clever album promo is a Proteus style, low-fi adventure

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Rustie

Rustie is some sort of cool guy musician man from Glasgow, who Wikipedia reliably informs me belongs to a sub-genre of music called "lazer hip hop". I don't quite know what lazer hip hop is, but having strolled and bounced around the browser-based virtual world promoting the guy's latest album, I think I quite like it.

You might too! And if not, you'll probably still enjoy poking about the beautiful, pixelated and Proteus-esque cubeworld that houses his music.

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System Shock 2's SHODAN voice actress on board for Dota 2 announcer pack

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SHODAN: once a resident of the Von Braun, now of Dota 2.

Irrational Games are gone. But SHODAN voice actress Terri Brosius is still about, and so is husband Eric - the sound engineer who distorted her voice into the terrifying monotone of the mother of all malevolent AIs.

Both are down for the idea of a SHODAN announcer pack for Dota 2 - and Night Dive Studios, the outfit who ported System Shock 2 to Steam, have convinced Valve. But they have one reservation.

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The Crew is a playground, promises new trailer: "If you can see it, you can drive there"

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The Crew: open-world swerving.

To understand why The Crew is probably going to be a bit brilliant, you need to know where it’s come from. First, Ubisoft hooked the Test Drive team up to a money-drip capable of feeding their sandbox ambition without compromise. Then, they chucked in the Driver team from Newcastle - men and women who understand the art of careening and collision.

The result looks like a standout of the “action-driving” genre, as Ubisoft have coined it - a fantasy US open world where metal meets metal as often as pedals do. Take a look.

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Riot on bringing back Featured Gameplay Modes: "No mode is off the table"

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League of Legends: not normally this silly.

Riot spend most of their time chiseling away at a five-year-old sculpture. Featured Gameplay Modes are their chance to just hack at a piece of rock and see what emerges. First implemented last year, the system has seen extreme and absurd variations on League of Legends introduced to the game for short stretches.

It’s worked rather well: in fact, Riot might yet succumb to players clamouring for the return of their favourites.

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Article submitted by: StarBlade Games

Nefarious, the game about kidnapping Princesses

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The Princess has been kidnapped!... by YOU! Be the classic video game villain in this traditionally animated action side-scroller. Now on Kickstarter! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious ​ Game Description In Nefarious your objective in each stage is to...

The Walking Dead Season 2 concludes next week, so prepare your emotions

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The Walking Dead Season 2 finale

The Walking Dead Season 2 finale, No Going Back, is due out next week, on August 26th, Telltale has announced. If playing the last episode - you can see what I thought of it in my Amid the Ruins review - hasn’t left you an emotional wreck, then you can watch the launch trailer for the finale and properly feel like shit. Hurray!

It’s a recap, really, so if you’re a bit behind, best avoid it for fear of massive spoilers. 

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Firaxis

Firaxicon: Firaxis is putting on its first official convention next month

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Firaxicon

I’m not saying Firaxicon sounds like some sort of virility enhancer, but I am saying that it sounds like the sort of thing you’d want in an unmarked bottle which you would immediately hide if you ever bought it in a chemists. 

What it actually is, though, is the first Firaxis convention, which takes place in Maryland next month. 

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Script Kiddies: PvP hacking with a hint of tower defence

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Script Kiddies

I’m not sure if, in the darkest parts of the internet, there is a competitive hacking league, but if there is, I doubt it’s anything like developer Austin Dixon’s Script Kiddies. It’s a server hacking game with a bit of tower defence, where two of the titular script kiddies race up and down ladders, mashing buttons on terminals, all in an effort to hack the servers before their opponent.

And it looks rather charming. 

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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: the case opens in September

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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Gorgeous supernatural mystery, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, is due out next month. Developer The Astronauts announced a release date of September 25th today and you can grab it on Steam or through GOG

If you want to get a head start on solving the case, there’s now a 13 minute developer walkthrough of the start of the game. It’s absent major spoilers, and is simply very pleasant to watch (despite the blood), as Red Creek Valley is a treat for the eyes. 

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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.

Renowned Explorers: International Society trailer sets the scene for globetrotting and artifact theft

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Renowned Explorers: International Society trailer

I once had a job where I had to collect postcodes and fill out maps. It wasn’t a very good job. Filling out maps sounds a lot more fun when you’re a Jules Verne-inspired 19th Century explorer, such as the ones found in Abbey Games’ Renowned Explorers: International Society.

It mashes together Indiana Jones with XCOM where enemies are giant scorpions and miffed indigenous people instead of aliens. And there’s a new trailer, which you can point your eyes at below. 

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Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
The 20 Best Strategy Games On PC

20 Best Strategy Games

The 20 Best Strategy Games On PC

Esportsify wants to make the business of eSports easier

Esports

Esportsify wants to make the business of eSports easier

EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

Shadow Realms

EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

Shadow Realms is Left 4 Dead by way of pen and paper RPGs

Shadow Realms

Shadow Realms is Left 4 Dead by way of pen and paper RPGs

The Journey Down: Chapter Two review

The Journey Down: Chapter Two

The Journey Down: Chapter Two review

Shadow of Mordor preview

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor preview

Firefall patch packs in the action making it much more fun to play

Firefall

Firefall patch packs in the action making it much more fun to play

Internet misogynists drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house with death threats

Anita Sarkeesian

Internet misogynists drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house with death threats

There was an Elite musical co-written by Ian Bell's brother. You can read the whole thing online now

Elite: Dangerous

There was an Elite musical co-written by Ian Bell's brother. You can read the whole thing online now

The Walking Dead Season 2: No Going Back PC review

The Walking Dead: Season 2

The Walking Dead Season 2: No Going Back PC review

Topic of the Week: How do you play episodic games?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: How do you play episodic games?

The eight best babies in games

Babies

The eight best babies in games

How the indie community united to save survival game Duskers, a studio, and a dream

Duskers

How the indie community united to save survival game Duskers, a studio, and a dream

Last chance to make the finals: Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit has begun

Starcraft II

Last chance to make the finals: Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit has begun

How I fell in love with QuakeCon

Doom

How I fell in love with QuakeCon

Heat Signature: surviving in space for as long as you can

Heat Signature

Heat Signature: surviving in space for as long as you can

Noir Syndrome is a randomly generated murder mystery game

Noir Syndrome

Noir Syndrome is a randomly generated murder mystery game

Gamescom 2014: Hands-on with Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation

Gamescom 2014: Hands-on with Alien: Isolation

Some new Star Citizen stretch goals

Star Citizen

Some new Star Citizen stretch goals

Gamescom 2014: The Indie Games Roundup

Verdun

Gamescom 2014: The Indie Games Roundup

Topic of the Week: Exclusives - what are they good for?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Exclusives - what are they good for?

Who is the least worst publisher of PC games? EA or Ubisoft?

EA

Who is the least worst publisher of PC games? EA or Ubisoft?

Hands on with The Golf Club

The Golf Club

Hands on with The Golf Club

Galactic Civilizations III beta: now it's getting fun

Galactic Civilizations™ III

Galactic Civilizations III beta: now it's getting fun

Warlords of Draenor cinematic revealed; expansion launches on November 13th

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor cinematic revealed; expansion launches on November 13th

All Gone! We've got beta keys for ArcheAge, an MMO with the ethos of Eve

ArcheAge

All Gone! We've got beta keys for ArcheAge, an MMO with the ethos of Eve

Topic of the Week: What do you want us to tell you about from Gamescom?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What do you want us to tell you about from Gamescom?

A StarCraft classic for a new Proleague era

Starcraft series

A StarCraft classic for a new Proleague era

The 100 best Skyrim mods

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 100 best Skyrim mods

The 15 best sandbox games on PC

Best PC Games

The 15 best sandbox games on PC