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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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Valve to tackle "transparently unfair" distribution of Team Fortress 2 Halloween gifts

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Valve to tackle "transparently unfair" distribution of Team Fortress 2 Halloween gifts

Scream Fortress 6 is coming, and with it the flurry of presents Team Fortress 2 players have come to expect over the last four spooky seasons. But Valve have revised the gift system for this year’s event, in the hope of ending the iffy practices of Halloweens past.

“The Halloween experience for many players now consists of sitting idle in a custom server while a plugin teleports them from gift spawn point to gift spawn point," write the dev team.

“We feel comfortable characterizing the current system as blatantly and transparently unfair."

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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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Counter-Strike ushers in its Halloween Mask-erade with player ghosts and vengeful chickens

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Counter-Strike ushers in its Halloween Mask-erade with player ghosts and vengeful chickens

I suppose it’s testament to Payday’s appropriation of Dead Presidents chic that no other gun game can do masks without running the idea by Overkill first. Character models in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one of the great PC first-person shooters, have been temporarily jujjed up with fancy dress disguises - some of which come courtesy of Team Fortress and Payday 2.

“BEWARE! For with all these treats, also come tricks," write Valve. “On All Hollow’s Eve there is no more room in Chicken Hell."

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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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Team Fortress 2 now lets players treat themselves to an early Halloween

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Team Fortress 2 now lets players treat themselves to an early Halloween

You won’t miss Halloween in Team Fortress 2 when it comes - there’ll be an exceptional comic, and a funny blog post, and maybe one of those webpages that changes as you scroll through it.

But if you like, you can start early. Valve have pushed out a new TF2 update that unlocks the use of spells and cosmetic items usually reserved for the holiday.

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

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

Update: Maulbeck has issue an apology, and is leaving Code Avarice. 

Paranautical Activity developer Mike Maulbeck has always had a tempestuous relationship with Valve and Steam, but the antagonism — and consequences — hit a new peak as Valve removed his game from the Steam store after Maulbeck apparently tweeted, “I am going to kill gabe newell [sic]. He is going to die."

That went over about as well as you might expect.

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Valve fix Team Fortress 2's most powerful exploit: items_game.txt

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Valve fix Team Fortress 2's most powerful exploit: items_game.txt

items_games.txt is the bank vault of Team Fortress 2 files - the place where the names, stats and limitations of the hats and weapons in one of the best PC first-person shooters are stored. It was cracked months ago by users on the TF2 subreddit, and Valve have patched up resulting exploits as they’ve emerged. But it's only with this week’s update that the dev team finally appear to have plugged the source of the problem.

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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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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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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros will grapple for $250,000 at DreamHack Winter

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros will grapple for $250,000 at DreamHack Winter

Valve announced plans this weekend for a $250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive prize pool at DreamHack Winter 2014. The Swedish eSports and LAN organisation’s Jönköping flagship event will welcome eight quarter-finalists from ESL One Cologne, plus eight teams yet to be decided by regional qualifiers.

This will be the fourth $250,000 CS:GO Major prize pool offered in the space of a year - rounding off a total $1 million awarded to CS pros since last November’s DreamHack SteelSeries Championship.

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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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Valve announce the 2014 Saxxy Award winners (they're all TF2 shorts)

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Valve announce the 2014 Saxxy Award winners (they're all TF2 shorts)

The fourth annual Saxxy Awards promised a more varied line-up than we’ve been used to, thanks to the release of Left 4 Dead and Portal assets to Source Filmmakers. Which makes it all the more surprising to see TF2 creations claim every top spot in the competition. We’ll be waiting til next year to see the fruits of that change.

There’s no faulting the victors for quality, though. The creator of this year’s winning short did a canny thing - made a film that said something about the lives of Valve animators. Take a look.

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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

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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

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

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

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Hands on with Dirty Bomb

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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

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Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

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

Warframe

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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

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

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

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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

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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

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

Company of Heroes 2 - Ardennes Assault

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Make conversation, not war: Galactic Civilizations III gets diplomacy

Galactic Civilizations® III

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

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Anno Online

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

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