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Cryptozoic announce a $100,000 prize pot for their Hex: Shards of Fate tournament

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Cryptozoic’s collectible card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, is spooling up for its first major global tournament. They’ve just announced the tournament, which kicks off later this year, will have a $100,000 prize pot to be split among the winners.

On top of the tournament, the first major PvE arena’s been added to Hex. The Frost Ring Arena is a massive slice of game, challenging players to compete against 20 AI champions and six boss characters.

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Making it in Unreal: building atop the survival genre with Eden Star

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One of the many satisfying ways to play Minecraft is as a pioneer: planting torches to mark the boundaries of your ever-expanding colony.

Eden Star is a bit like that: a survival game that goes beyond the base business of simply surviving. As a frail mutant genius on a spaceship, remote-controlling a cybernetic super-soldier on the surface of a hostile planet, you’re finding home for the human race. And that turns out to be a really excellent excuse to thwack baddies about the place with an evolved gravity gun.

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The 15 Best Indie Games on PC

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Deciding on the very best indie games on PC is a task that necessarily involves some painful exclusion. The great indie boom triggered by digital distribution a decade ago turned out to be more of a Big Bang, firing small-team development in a plethora of different directions that now defy simple categorisation. The sheer volume is intimidating.

But we should take stock, from time to time. Hold the vibrating world of publisher-less development still for just a split-second to appreciate everything it’s given us. Some of the games listed below were built on the weekend by first-time coders; others by former AAA creators who’ve instilled their independent work with the same technical standards; one by a bedroom programmer whose work predates Braid; another, inevitably, is Braid. They have nothing in common but a healthy dose of idiosyncrasy and ideas worth spelunking on Steam for.

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Heroes of Might & Magic 7 is a slave to its conservative fans

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It’s rare for a game developer to be so open about what went wrong. It’s rarer still for a game developer to be so open about a conflict between them and their community. Limbic, the developers responsible for Might and Magic, are doing both. Because they’ve got a problem.

The core of the Heroes of Might & Magic games haven’t changed much in the past 20 years. Since the beginning you’ve commanded your heroes and their attached war bands around the campaign map, battling monster encampments, capturing towns, and collecting conveniently abandoned resources. Each iteration brought better graphics and new armies but the core mechanics remained the same.

There’s a reason why the games haven’t changed much. It’s because the fans don’t want change. They actively campaign against change. That puts Limbic, the team responsible for pushing the series forward, in an awkward position.

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Treyarch's started a Snapchat-based ARG in Black Ops 2. Potentially teasing Black Ops 3

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Treyarch’s sneaked a Snapchat icon into Black Ops 2 in a recent update, letting players add callofduty as a friend on the picture messaging app. 

If you add callofduty as a friend on Snapchat you’ll gain access to a cryptic video of a blinking eye and a sun-dappled forest.

Feel that tingling? Yes, that’s your brain warming up for the start of an ARG.

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Kieru’s a ninja death match where players can hide in plain sight

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At its core Kieru is just a team deathmatch multiplayer game but laid on top of that is a unique art style which changes everything. Kieru’s world is monochromatic - its shadows are pitch black and anything in the light is the purest white. Its two teams, too, are either black or white.

If a white player stands in the light they are effectively invisible; a black player in shadow, similarly, vanishes.

Kieru is a game all about hiding in plain sight.

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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.

WoW Tokens go live tomorrow in the Americas and Australia / New Zealand

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The WoW token, which functions a lot like EVE’s PLEX, goes live tomorrow in the Americas and Australia / New Zealand. The token will sell for $20 USD / $25 AUD, and it’s starting price in-game will be 30,000 gold, though that will fluctuate with supply and demand.

It’s going to be a big change for the economy of World of Warcraft, and one that will likely make a lot of elite players very happy.

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Times change for strategy publisher Slitherine as they bring Sovereignty to Early Access

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Sovereignty: Crown of Kings is coming to Steam Early Access later this week, the very first game from wargame and strategy publisher Slitherine to do so. It’s an unusual move for Slitherine, who have traditionally been one of the more conservative and hesitant publishers when it comes to Steam.

But then again, Sovereignty is an unusual game. Mixing fantasy 4X strategy with classic hex-based wargame elements and card game mechanics, Sovereignty is one of the most genre-blending games Slitherine have ever published. Now, as Slitherine are attempting to take the game from “good” to “great”, they are also in the process of learning how to get what they want out of Steam.

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Square Enix run bizarre interactive Twitch stream to maybe announce Deus Ex

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Earlier today I spent a few minutes watching a man lie face down in some kind of cell from an overhead surveillance cam. Now he’s pacing around in circles while a timer counts down. It’s just another day in the increasingly inscrutable world of game announcement announcements. 

This time, it’s Square Enix bringing us the saga of The Man in the Cell, and it seems likely that this is all building up to the announcement of a new Deus Ex game. All we know for sure is that this event will reveal info about a new game from one of Square Enix’s studios outside Japan. The dystopian sci-fi elements point to Deus Ex, however.

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Mortal Kombat X launch trailer chopped to Chop Suey

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I don't know Mortal Kombat well; never heard its name spoken out loud. As far as I know, the correct pronunciation might be to say the high-kicking K twice, for emphasis.

On the other hand, I know Chop Suey to be the most exciting assembly of noises ever committed to CD. And improbably, it’s System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian who’s cut and glued this trailer together. Perhaps he’s captured the essence of Mortal Kombat’s appeal, just as This is Eve did CCP’s semi-penetrable space MMO. Let's find out.

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Cities: Skylines wouldn't exist if SimCity had been a success

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The celebratory atmosphere at Finnish indie outfit Colossal Order was tinged with sadness last month - just as Cities: Skylines launched to the sound of trumpets, EA were closing the Maxis studio behind SimCity.

“That was so sad,” said Colossal CEO Mariina Hallikainen. “Maxis has been the inspiration for us. We were all teenagers playing the Sim City games, wanting to get into the games industry to create something similar, in that spirit.”

But Hallikainen believes that her team would never have been given the opportunity to make their own city-builder had SimCity not crashed and burned so badly.

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H1Z1 plays with zombie spawn rates in "big damn patch"

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Sony Online Entertainment’s detachment from its parent company hasn’t been entirely clean - the rechristened Daybreak Studios laid off EverQuest Next's leads in the week following the name change. But H1Z1 and its one million players have managed to keep their feet despite the tectonic movement beneath them.

Work continues apace on the massively-multiplayer survival sim - and visible results appeared in the game this weekend. Zombies now wear hats, and move about the world in newly varied numbers.

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Diablo III

The 20 best co-op games on PC

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What's the best PC coop game? Games offer up magic in lots of different guises. Its best spell though is bringing us together in multiplayer. But whilst competitive death matches and tense capture-point games may be brilliant, it’s working in harmony with other players rather than against them that can provide some of gaming’s true high points. 

In co-operative gaming you can explore new worlds with a buddy by your side, triumph over evil as a team, introduce a novice to the wonder of the medium, or simply just beat each other over the head with questionable weaponry for kicks. These are some of the very best co-op games for you to share with your favourite people. 

Update 26/02/2015: Four of the best co-op games on PC have been released in the last few months: please give a warm, plural welcome to Divinity: Original Sin, Evolve, Don't Starve Together and Far Cry 4.

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Ratz Instagib Early Access review

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Ratz Instagib: it’s all in the title. The beloved ‘instagib’ style of one-hit-kill combat from the days of Quake and Unreal Tournament is imported wholesale into an arena shooter where everyone plays a rat. A space-marine rat, no less, armed with a laser rifle and a boost-jump pack.

The game is proving to be popular on Steam Early Access right now, despite being quite limited in its offering. For your money you’ll pick up developer Lino Slahuschek’s complete vision of the core mechanics and modes, with fleshed out maps and features to come later. But is that enough? 

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PC gaming in its "second golden age" according to Killing Floor devs Tripwire

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Killing Floor 2 types Tripwire Interactive were working with a very different Steam back when they launched Red Orchestra in 2006. At best, concurrent player counts were a little over a million across the whole service - and maybe 15 million were signed up to Steam in total.

Today, with help from Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, Steam has 125 million active accounts.

“I think it’s a second golden age for PC gaming right now,” said Tripwire president John Gibson.

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Path of Exile is getting item filters, and that's a very good thing indeed

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A first world problem with many loot-filled ARPGs is that sometimes, you just cannot be bothered to sort through the glittering explosion of armour, weapons and trinkets that often clutter the screen. You just want to know what’s good, and what isn’t - or better yet have something specific you’re looking for stand out from the rest.

Path of Exile devs Grinding Gear Games understands this very plight, and have a solution in the works: item filters.

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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.

It's the Starcraft II WCS finals today; watch the quarterfinals underway right now

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It’s finals day for the Starcraft II World Championship today. What does that mean exactly, you ask? Well, the best eight Starcraft II players from all over the world are currently duking it out as they vy over a hefty chunk of prize money, fame and points - lovely points.

With the finals being held in France, it means that the ultimate event is already underway, and we’ve got the stream embedded below.

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The 15 Best Indie Games on PC

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The 15 Best Indie Games on PC