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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

If you’ve nearly emptied your bank account to pay for the materials required to make your completely authentic xenomorph costume for Halloween, but still fancy grabbing some appropriately themed games, then not to worry - Valve has you covered. 

And by has you covered, I mean that Valve wants to bleed that bank account dry with the Steam Halloween Sale. Lock up that wallet.

With 21 pages of discounted sales, I’m not going to be listing them all, but I've found a few choice spooky games to keep you feeling uneasy this Halloween. And they’re dead cheap. 

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Go Beyond Earth for 100 turns with the new Civ's Steam demo

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Go Beyond Earth for 100 turns with the new Civ's Steam demo

Firaxis might have gone Beyond Earth, but they’re still in orbit of old-fashioned Civilization. Like Sid Meier's opus, this space-based spin-off offers a series of hard choices - about treaties, base construction, and the nature of first contact.

The devs have decided to make the first decision a little easier, however. You now have the option to download a Steam demo before deciding if the new Civ is for you.

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Watch the Dota 2 Starladder Season X finals kick off right now; winner takes home over $100,000

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Watch the Dota 2 Starladder Season X finals kick off right now; winner takes home over $100,000

The culmination of Starladder Season X is kicking off in just a few minutes, as Dota 2 teams Team Secret and Evil Geniuses face off in an epic best of five. Team Secret are already have a one game advantage by coming from the winners bracket; they’ve only lost one game in the entire tournament. Evil Geniuses on the other hand lost to them in the winner brackets final, but manage to crawl up the losers bracket to have a chance at revenge.

Now sit back, belly full from that delicious Sunday meal, and prepare for an evening of Dota 2 at its finest.

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Dota 2 players outnumbered all 99 other games on Steam's most-played list put together today

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Dota 2 players outnumbered all 99 other games on Steam's most-played list put together today

Press releases eventually slide out of inboxes; promo deals come and go. But Steam’s stat page is forever - a slowly-shifting stone tablet of absolute truths. 

Dota 2 has sat undisturbed at its topmost peak for many months now, but this morning the MOBA claimed another quiet victory. If you’d totted up the total player numbers for every other Steam game on the top 100 most-played list, they still wouldn’t have matched Dota’s concurrent roster of heroes.

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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.

Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

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Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

Death threats are a pretty terrible way to blow off some steam, especially during a time when people are being chased out of the industry by them. But with Code Avarice’s Mike Maulbeck, who threatened Gabe Newell after his game, Paranautical Activity, was mislabeled as Early Access on Steam, the inverse has happened. 

Maulbeck’s outburst led to Paranautical Activity being removed from Steam, and in an apology written on the Code Avarice blog, the developer explains that he’s stepped down and will no longer have anything to do with either the game or the company. 

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Steam's got 10 free games waiting to swallow up your weekend

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Steam's got 10 free games waiting to swallow up your weekend

If you are planning a weekend in, trapped in your home with nothing to do, only the glow of your PC monitor to keep you company, then Steam might have you covered. Covered in free games

From now until 1pm PST on Sunday, 10 games in Steam’s gargantuan library are completely free. If you want to play them afterwards, though, you’ll need to dip into your wallet.

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Payday: The Heist will be free on Steam for 24 hours this Thursday

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Payday: The Heist will be free on Steam for 24 hours this Thursday

If a heist takes you 24 hours, you’re doing it wrong. Bank-robbing’s best done in under 24 minutes - in and out before Bob Security’s looked up from his coffee.

Payday, however, is all about doing it wrong - setting off all the alarms and refilling the vaults with piled-high policemen. Overkill have made the game that made their name free for a day - so that you can spend all of Thursday night playing out the best 10 minutes of Heat.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update adds Music Kits to help "establish your identity"

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update adds Music Kits to help "establish your identity"

The latest update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has brought in an interesting addition: Music Kits. These digital MP3 players replace the ambient music in different parts of the game, from in the main menu all the way to planting the bomb. There’s nine unique kits available on the store today from a variety of artists and composers, all tailor made for CS:GO.

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Australian consumer rights regulator sues Valve over Steam refund policy

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Australian consumer rights regulator sues Valve over Steam refund policy

Valve’s refund policy is easily summarised: they don’t do ‘em. And while they have been known to reach into their own pockets to recompense, for instance, Earth: Year 2066 players, the blanket ban has often rubbed consumer watchdogs the wrong way - so that all their watchdoghair stands on end.

Enter the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority, who last week began proceedings in the country’s federal court against Valve. They allege that Valve have made “false or misleading representations" to their Australian customers.

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Steam Curators now have to tell us if they were paid to recommend a game

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Steam Curators now have to tell us if they were paid to recommend a game

Steam Curators are part of Valve’s plan to help players sift through the gazillion PC games on their service - individuals or groups who’ll recommend games to appear on your front page.

The idea has already yielded results - allow me to surreptitiously slide a link to the PCGamesN Curator page across the desk between us - but early critics worried that the curation system was open to exploitation by unscrupulous developers. That a Curator’s critical judgement might be informed by, say, a crisp £50 note faxed through to their study.

Valve have wised up to that possibility, and now require Curators to disclose conflicts of interest in their recommendations.

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Crusader Kings 2 is free this weekend on Steam to celebrate 1 million copies sold

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Crusader Kings 2 is free this weekend on Steam to celebrate 1 million copies sold

If you had any plans this weekend, you can forget them: Paradox’s feudal strategy game, Crusader Kings II is free to play this weekend on Steam. I’m sure you’ve heard about the mad stories that come from this game - it oozes with anecdotal potential. If you’re still on the fence about Crusader Kings II, you should probably try it.

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It does what it says on the tin: Steam's big update is already helping indies get discovered

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It does what it says on the tin: Steam's big update is already helping indies get discovered

With the constant stream of new releases, Early Access games and Greenlight guff, it’s hard to get noticed on Steam. But for most developers, getting their game on the platform is key. While the Steam Discovery update is still in its infancy, and we’re all still playing around with it, getting our bearings, it’s already having a positive impact for some developers. 

Insurgency, based on the Half-Life mod, has been on Steam for a year, and developer New World Interactive relies on social media and word of mouth to generate interest in the game. According to creative director Andrew Spearin, store page visits have risen significantly, along with sales. 

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So PCGamesN are Steam Curators now - gizza follow for the best PC games of 2014

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So PCGamesN are Steam Curators now - gizza follow for the best PC games of 2014

We all logged into Steam yesterday to be met by its dramatic new Discovery Update. In an effort to push relevant PC games to the top, your front page is now personalised according to past purchases, and voluntary association with shadowy Steam Curators.

We had a look, and it turns out Valve define Curators as individuals / organisations / groups who publish views and recommendations in a public forum. And we thought, cor, that sounds like us. So that’s a thing we’re doing now.

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Steam front page gets personal with launch of new discovery features and Curators

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Steam front page gets personal with launch of new discovery features and Curators

UPDATE: PCGamesN is now a Steam Curator. Join us.

Last week, 15 new games were added to Steam. That’s more than you can hold in your head at once, let alone play - and beneath them are buried the 15 from the week before, and the 15 from the week before that.

“We know you can’t play them all," say Valve. “So we’ve updated Steam with new features and functionality to help you discover the best new releases, the classics, and the unique indie gems you might be interested in."

That all begins with the Steam home page. No longer a universal overview of what’s happening in PC games, the default tab now displays personalised recommendations based on what you’ve played and the opinions of your favourite Curators - self-appointed arbiters of what’s good in gaming.

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Steam active userbase doubles in two years to 100 million

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Steam active userbase doubles in two years to 100 million

It’s hard to imagine that somebody could collect 100 million anything and not win the grudging respect of enthusiasts everywhere.

Through persistence and patience, Steam has collated 100 million players - slowly at first, and then in a cascading rush - and gently pressed them into its charcoal book of PC games.

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Love Loadout? You can play the campaign beta on Steam for free

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Love Loadout? You can play the campaign beta on Steam for free

We loved it in our Loadout review, so we’re super excited to try out the new co-op campaign mode that’s just hit Steam. You’ll battle a menace known as the Kroad - vile aliens that pastimes include that of wiping out humanity and constructing robotic minions to do more of the same.

With a new progression system, new modes and revamped inventory management, there’s a boatload more to do in Loadout.

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Australians can download the uncensored Left 4 Dead 2 today via DLC

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Australians can download the uncensored Left 4 Dead 2 today via DLC

The time has finally come for our fellow Australians to enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 the way it was meant to be played. Following the 180 reclassification from the Australian Classification Board a couple of weeks ago, Left 4 Dead 2 is now classed as R18+ to suit its “high impact violence, blood and gore".

Now Valve have released a piece of DLC to the Australian Steam store to bring the game in line with everyone else in the apocalyptic world, and you can grab it right now.

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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

Steam

The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

The Swindle is Spelunky meets Deus Ex, a stealth roguelike in a steampunk top hat

The Swindle

The Swindle is Spelunky meets Deus Ex, a stealth roguelike in a steampunk top hat

The 10 best World War 2 PC games

War Thunder

The 10 best World War 2 PC games

Enforcer: Police Crime Action is a full-blooded police simulator. Yet it’s hilarious

Enforcer: Police Crime Action

Enforcer: Police Crime Action is a full-blooded police simulator. Yet it’s hilarious

Beginner's guide to X-Wing and TIE Fighter: joystick issues, controls, and picking a version

X-Wing

Beginner's guide to X-Wing and TIE Fighter: joystick issues, controls, and picking a version

Inside Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition and the future of D&D RPGs

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Inside Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition and the future of D&D RPGs

Hands on with Dirty Bomb

Dirty Bomb

Hands on with Dirty Bomb

Topic of the Week: Do you buy season passes?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Do you buy season passes?

Dear everyone: it's time to stop buying season passes at launch

Season Pass

Dear everyone: it's time to stop buying season passes at launch

Making it in Unreal: How Yager are reinventing the open world in Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2

Making it in Unreal: How Yager are reinventing the open world in Dead Island 2

Guild Wars 2: Tyria prepares for war with the return of the Living World Season 2

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2: Tyria prepares for war with the return of the Living World Season 2

Stockholm Syndrome: Why Scandinavia loves DreamHack

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Stockholm Syndrome: Why Scandinavia loves DreamHack

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Warframe Archwing update turns you into a rocket-powered space ninja

Warframe

Warframe Archwing update turns you into a rocket-powered space ninja

Win a ticket to the Tank Museum and a premium Fury Sherman with World of Tanks

World of Tanks

Win a ticket to the Tank Museum and a premium Fury Sherman with World of Tanks

Lords of the Fallen is a ferocious, and infuriating Dark Souls clone

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen is a ferocious, and infuriating Dark Souls clone

Red:Out is Wipeout, but on the PC. It’s about time.

Red:Out

Red:Out is Wipeout, but on the PC. It’s about time.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor gear guide: getting started

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor gear guide: getting started

Putting on the deerstalker and becoming Sherlock Holmes in Crimes and Punishments

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

Putting on the deerstalker and becoming Sherlock Holmes in Crimes and Punishments

Topic of the Week: What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Rodina is No Man's Sky on a budget

Rodina

Rodina is No Man's Sky on a budget

Fighting the inevitable in Stardock's Sorcerer King

Sorcerer King™

Fighting the inevitable in Stardock's Sorcerer King

Paranautical Activity un-launches on Steam after creator threatens to kill Gabe Newell

Paranautical Activity

Paranautical Activity un-launches on Steam after creator threatens to kill Gabe Newell

The 100 Best Free PC Games

100 best free PC games

The 100 Best Free PC Games

Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Minecraft

Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Here's what's coming in EVE Online's Phoebe expansion, and beyond

EVE Online

Here's what's coming in EVE Online's Phoebe expansion, and beyond

Playing With Myself: Legend of Grimrock 2

Legend of Grimrock 2

Playing With Myself: Legend of Grimrock 2

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is the single-player campaign you've been waiting for

Company of Heroes 2 - Ardennes Assault

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is the single-player campaign you've been waiting for

Make conversation, not war: Galactic Civilizations III gets diplomacy

Galactic Civilizations® III

Make conversation, not war: Galactic Civilizations III gets diplomacy

World of Warcraft's handsome new character models in action

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft's handsome new character models in action

The best PC games of 2014 so far

Best PC Games of 2014

The best PC games of 2014 so far

Topic of the Week: When getting a new PC, do you build or buy?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: When getting a new PC, do you build or buy?

Port Inspection - The Evil Within

The Evil Within

Port Inspection - The Evil Within

Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

Assetto Corsa

Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

Assassin's Creed Unity

"Cinematic experience" is a nonsense term and isn't achieved by frame rates

Playing With Myself: Sid Meier's Covert Action

Sid Meier's Covert Action (Classic)

Playing With Myself: Sid Meier's Covert Action

Nvidia's plans to become a

Nvidia

Nvidia's plans to become a "full-service" video performance company

We've got 50 codes for Anno Online starter packs that'll make privateers of you

Anno Online

We've got 50 codes for Anno Online starter packs that'll make privateers of you

Wild Cards: what does the future hold for Hearthstone's fresh pros?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Wild Cards: what does the future hold for Hearthstone's fresh pros?

Total War: Rome II - One Year On

Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

Total War: Rome II - One Year On