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 ten of the very best co-op games for you to share with your favourite people.
If you’ve bought a new game in the last six months - and I daresay as a PCGamesN reader you probably have - it’ll have been subtitled as a Digital Plush Sofa edition or a Super Whizz Bang edition. Or maybe a Founder and Developer’s Family Friend edition. Why, earlier this week I was bought a game called something like Crysis 3: Hunter’s Knapsack edition.
Whatever. What all of this means is that nobody can tell which version of any one game has all the stuff in it anymore. So I’m here to tell you this morning that Total War: Shogun 2 Gold Edition is the one you buy if you want all the Shogun 2 stuff. Two expansions, DLC, 800 years of Japanese history, all that guff. This is Shogun 2: All the Shogun 2 Stuff edition, and if you like, I’ll tell you exactly what’s in it.
Inter-game reference is the best thing. It’s the hip hop soul on show in Super Meat Boy and a thousand arcade fighting games that sees the familiar flipped on its head, the solemn made hilarious and the trite made meaningful by new context.
Referencing makes two games stronger. And sometimes, it allows you to watch TF2’s Heavy and Total War: Shogun 2’s iconic samurai duke it out on a cartoon race track.
The latest Total War: Shogun 2 DLC breaks with tradition and takes things away from you, sort of. Bundled in with the DLC, that adds a number of new units, is a patch that reduces the install size of the game by 6.6GB (which, considering it's original 19.6GB, is a pretty hefty chunk).
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A wad of dough and a piece - the Otomo Clan share the same wants as the contemporary hustler. That’s why they formed an early alliance with rifle-sporting Portuguese traders, welcoming in Catholicism and economic and military power with it. But - and how did Sun Tzu put it - “Know money, and you will know problems. Something something, a thousand battles, a thousand victories."
That’s what awaits you in the new Shogun 2 DLC pack on Steam. For specifics, circumvent the break.
All’s been quiet on the Shogun 2 front for some time now, as Creative Assembly ramp up excitement for the pleasingly expensive, all-angles gorgeous Rome 2. But now we learn they're to follow up the Shogun 2 Battle Map Editor released four months ago with full Steam Workshop integration and internally-developed modding tools.
A new Total War game just launched on Steam, though there's a small chance you've never heard of it. It's called Total War Battles: Shogun, a port (well, a "re-imagining" say Creative Assembly, we'll give them that) of an iPhone telephone videogame. That's 'Total War Battles', which you might view with as much suspicion as 'Saved By The Bell The New Class' - but you'd be wrong. Total War Battles looks great, like what might happen if Popcap reversed into a Total War game and both parties apologised and then started just making out on the bonnet.
NVIDIA have released a new beta driver for its GeForce cards, 306.02, which adds ambient occlusion to the newly released Guild Wars 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic. Diablo 3 receives an anti-aliasing option and the driver also increases performance in games like Battlefield 3 and Shogun 2.
More details below this short interval.
Shogun 2 will receive a new elite unit pack next week, tweets Creative Assembly. The Saints and Heroes Elite Unit Pack will contain nine new legendary warrior units, "the masters of their combat disciplines, standing head-and-shoulders above their rank-and-file brothers". Good, it's about time those rank-and-file chumps were taken down a peg or two.
Rally Point is a brand new series of community videos brought to you by the Total War team! In this episode, check out some footage from their last community event, and see lead designer Renaud take on Will in the newly released Total War Battles.
Updating either Shogun 2 or Fall of the Samurai on steam will allow you to install the Total War Editor. Maps can be created and will be shared automatically in Multiplayer but the Campaign map and AI is still off limits.
The Creative Assembly have stealthily released a battlefield editor for their excellent, but until now uneditable, wargame Shogun 2. The editor enables Creative's creative fans to build and share maps for both Total War - Shogun 2 and its expansion pack Fall of the Samurai, from inside the game.
It’s striking, looking at Metacritic’s bank of Total War scores, how consistent the team is. Creative Assembly’s boardgaming baby rarely pushes past 92%, except in the hands of fanboys, but rarely drops below 80 either. The company seems to have found a sweet spot, where reviewers find enough to keep them happy in each new iteration - without overegging the formula so much that the next games is a disappointment. So how does the Creative Assembly do it?