Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on the Eidos Anthology!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer

WHY I LOVE

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Tom can't stop falling off buildings, climbing up and falling off again.

Sometimes an ability feels so good it changes the way I play a game, and the Icarus Landing System from Deux Ex: Human Revolution feels amazing. It's a meagre tool compared to Jensen's arsenal of bionic gadgets. He can spray tiny warheads from his shoulders and brutalise guards with spring-action swords that pop out of his elbows. An ability that reduces falling damage ought not to compare, and yet it is Jensen's most graceful manoeuvre.

Film, comic and game characters who love showing off have been using the three point landing for years. It's visual shorthand that implies a high level of martial skill. It can be quite expressive when used well. Spider-Man slaps against walls in a lithe, springy motion. Pavements everywhere fear Iron Man's crunchy fist-first variation. In Ghost In The Shell Kusanagi's heavy three-point landing shows the surprising weight of her augmented body, reminding us that she's beyond human.

Like Kusanagi, Jensen's landing is obviously augmented, but the characterisation is different: more delicate and controlled. You can upgrade it to deliver a concussive blast with the downward thrust of a palm, but it's an upgrade I never take—the standard animation is too perfect. Ten feet from the floor Jensen summons a gold aura with outstretched hands. As the ground approaches he folds into a crouched pose and the electromagnetic field cushions his landing. His trenchcoat settles around him and he casually stands, as though dropping three storeys from a rooftop is perfectly natural.

It has become completely natural for him. He poise of that landing shows that he's mastered his synthetic body. At two Praxis points, it's a surprisingly expensive upgrade, the sort you're likely to take later in the game when the environments shift to multi-tiered complexes. By fortune or design, acquiring the Icarus Landing some way into the game completes Jensen's traumatic evolution from regular Joe to robo-Joe. It also riffs on Human Revolution's fondness of the Icarus myth, used as an analogy for the perils of transhuman progress. It's a punchline. The modern Icarus' wings can melt away and he'll still come back to earth in a halo of golden light and land unharmed.

For all that, I mainly love the Icarus Landing system as a piece of sensory design. It's a prime example of Human Revolution's vision of an ornate black-and-gold cyberpunk renaissance, complemented by the best noise in the game—a sonorous "fvvvwoooomph" that's both gentle and ominous. The overall effect is one of coiled power, which is fitting for a man who's had every inch of his being weaponised.

Outside of its opening hours, Human Revolution's plot isn't too concerned with issues surrounding human augmentation on an individual body-horror level, spiralling quickly into a tale of conspiracy and corporate espionage. Human Revolution lets you frame Jensen's reaction to his implants—using the famous "I didn't ask for this" line if you wish—and then moves away from the topic. But abilities like the Icarus landing and the Typhoon Explosive System do offer a stance, and the stance is: human augmentation is really fucking cool.

When you activate one of these abilities, the camera pops out of first-person to spin cinematically around Jensen's mo-capped animation. After the Icarus landing he pauses for a moment and looks up before standing—a touch of flair you'll see in any big-screen three-point landing. The artifice of the whole thing is compounded by the total lack of reaction from nearby pedestrians.

This carefully manufactured sense of cool is an essential prerequisite for the player character of a big-budget game, but in Human Revolution it comments directly on one of the central themes. Never mind the immunocompromised early adopters of bionic technology, or issues of identity concerning the replacement of natural limbs with superior robotic versions, look at this man who can shrug bombs and jump off buildings. Look at his retractable sunglasses. Look at his lovely coat.

I wouldn't have it any other way in this instance. Heroes are designed to be aspirational figures, and achieve that in problematic ways in some cases, but I've fallen for Adam Jensen. It's not because of the coat, or the shades, or the beard that could double as a can opener in moments of need. I want to jump off a building and land in a haze of electromagnetic energy, and go "fvvvwoooomph". It's the only reason I bother to navigate the fiddly rooftop walkways of Human Revolution's city environments, climbing up and jumping off repeatedly to the impassive stares of passing citizens. Bring on our augmented future. My body is ready.

PC Gamer

WHY I LOVE

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, stealthing around ships. We don't know why all the best stealth levels are set on boats, but they are.

Due to the popularity of military shooters, the ship level has become clich . It's the genre's lava level. Inevitably, it has a TV Tropes page.

I don't care. I love them. Specifically, I love them in stealth games, where they act as a setting, rather than a set piece. That bit where you're running through a semi-cinematic disaster movie, an invisible trigger sending the next wave of flooding water crashing through a door? I'm not a fan, thanks Tomb Raider. Scripting robs the setting of that sense of separation from the outside world; the idea of a small, confined, claustrophobic space with no escape and no backup. Not just for me, but for them—the guards.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Missing Link DLC opens on a ship, and it's one my favourite sections of the game. There is a very functional design philosophy to a big floating boat that sits at odds with the game's stylised futurism. In the open cities and sprawling office complexes, Deus Ex could lace its environments with high-tech design. The ship is just a ship. The scale is different—narrower, more linear. It's filled with plain, metallic walls. The doors are bulky slabs of mass. It feels solid. Real. 

See also: the original Deus Ex, or Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. These levels stand apart as standalone vignettes contained with the overall flow of their respective campaigns.

It's pure coincidence that I'm writing this on the week of Alien: Isolation's release, but it's fitting. That is, to all intents and purposes, a stealth game set on a ship. But it occupies a different mental space than what I'm talking about here. In many ways it's the opposite. The film Alien is about a crew trapped in an inescapable place with a unstoppable killer. It is a film about being hunted. But take the opening Tanker chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2—it flips the concept. Your enemies are the ones trapped in an inescapable space, and you are the unstoppable killer.

I was about 17 when the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo came out. It was around the same time I was discovering horror films. The demo—containing the first section of the Tanker prologue—felt like a powerful, cathartic inversion to the stories I was watching. It manifested as a fascination with toying with the guards. First, I'd shoot out their radio, disabling communication with the ship at large. Then, I'd move. Give them a glimpse that something is out there. Finally I'd strike.

I should probably point out that I'm not a psychopathic monster. Games can, to the outsider, be horrifying. My repeated MGS2 playthroughs probably looked like sadistic torture sessions—another young mind corrupted by violence and giant seafaring transport vehicles. That's not the case—if anything, the experience felt more like I was directing a movie. None of it was real, so what story can I tell? How about a story where the monster wins.

In Hitman: Blood Money, the monster is even more insidious. He hides in plain sight.

In Hitman: Blood Money, the monster is even more insidious. He hides in plain sight. Here, 47 is essentially the Thing—another film based on horror in a remote environment. In the Death on the Mississippi level you discover members of different social strata scattered throughout compartments of the ship including workers, revelers, and, of course, your intended victims. With care, you can move through them all, a powerful subversive presence that, if you're playing as intended, passes unseen. I always play stealth games as perfectly as possible, often reloading if the fantasy of hunting through these spaces is broken.

The ultimate example is Coloratura, the winner of last year's Interactive Fiction competition. In it, you're a literal monster—pulled from the deep and tasked with finding your way home. The monster's actions are initially obfuscated by its alien thought patterns, but eventually, as you work out what you're doing, you'll realise the effect that you're having on the ship's human inhabitants. And then you'll keep doing it anyway.

To an extent you can pull this off in any remote setting. But there's something about the sea that makes the concept so irresistible. In every direction is a vast and inhospitable ocean, and I'm the most deadly thing on it.

PC Gamer

Not only was Deus Ex 3 in development at Ion Storm before its closure in 2005, but the studio mocked up six possible narrative arcs for the title. That's according to a presentation delivered by

journalist Joe Martin

at a recent VideoBrains event. Martin has original design notes for the canned project, as well as short synopses for two of the six optioned storylines.

"The first is about an augmented Black Ops soldier who goes AWOL upon discovering he's been used for dodgy dealings," Martin

wrote on his blog

. "His handlers find him and threaten him with either court martial or his wife's execution if he doesn't do one final job." According to Martin, this option would have seen missions switch between flashbacks and current day stories.

"The second story begins immediately after the ending for Deus Ex in which you destroy all global communications. In this story you'd investigate the collapse and try to save your sister from a cult which arises in the chaos."

Martin has gathered the information as part of a project to save the 'deleted scenes' of iconic video game projects. His post touches on the early design stages of Doom as well, and is

well worth a read

.

Deus Ex 3 did end up happening in the form of Eidos Montreal's

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

, but it bears few connections to the teams responsible for the original Deus Ex and its poorly received sequel Invisible War. If the history of games which never eventuated piques your interest, then maybe you'll enjoy these

early concept images

for the original Deus Ex.
PC Gamer
deusex


Not only was Deus Ex 3 in development at Ion Storm before its closure in 2005, but the studio mocked up six possible narrative arcs for the title. That's according to a presentation delivered by journalist Joe Martin at a recent VideoBrains event. Martin has original design notes for the canned project, as well as short synopses for two of the six optioned storylines.

"The first is about an augmented Black Ops soldier who goes AWOL upon discovering he s been used for dodgy dealings," Martin wrote on his blog. "His handlers find him and threaten him with either court martial or his wife s execution if he doesn t do one final job." According to Martin, this option would have seen missions switch between flashbacks and current day stories.

"The second story begins immediately after the ending for Deus Ex in which you destroy all global communications. In this story you d investigate the collapse and try to save your sister from a cult which arises in the chaos."

Martin has gathered the information as part of a project to save the 'deleted scenes' of iconic video game projects. His post touches on the early design stages of Doom as well, and is well worth a read.

Deus Ex 3 did end up happening in the form of Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but it bears few connections to the teams responsible for the original Deus Ex and its poorly received sequel Invisible War. If the history of games which never eventuated piques your interest, then maybe you'll enjoy these early concept images for the original Deus Ex.
PC Gamer
deusex-lpc-teaser


Video by PC Gamer superintern Tom Marks

Augmentations activated. We took a break from playing today's most graphically demanding games on the Large Pixel Collider to run one of our favorites: the original Deus Ex. This isn't Deus Ex as it looked in 2000, though this is Deus Ex running at 1440p, running the latest version of the New Vision mod. It's a complete retexturing of Deus Ex, designed for today's high resolutions. If you want to run Deus Ex like this yourself, check out Pixel Boost.


Want more from the LPC video archive? Recently we've hit NeoTokyo, Watch Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order, the Titanfall beta, Max Payne 3, Metro: Last Light, and Arma 3. There's much more to come. Have a game in mind you'd like to see the LPC take on at ultra settings? Tell the LPC directly on Twitter.
PC Gamer
pixelboost-deusex


Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of hi-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Looking sharp, JC Denton. Real sharp.

It's one of the best RPGs ever made. It's one of the best games ever made, period. Deus Ex needs little introduction since 2000, Ion Storm's first-person shooter/RPG has been the benchmark for open-ended game design. There's always a secret vent to crawl through, or a door to hack, or an NPC to persuade. Deus Ex's popularity endures to this day, and modders are still working to make the game look better every year. We decided to pay ol' JC Denton a visit on modern Windows and snap 33 5K screenshots. Here are the tools you can use to do the same.



Install it

Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition is available for $10 on Steam and Good Old Games. Download and install the game and it should be immediately playable but next, we'll be downloading some utilities that make it much, much better on a modern system.

Run it in high resolution

After installing Deus Ex, run it once to make sure the game creates any necessary configuration files. Because Deus Ex doesn't support modern high resolutions by default, our first priority is to grab a better launcher.

Download the fantastic Deus Exe from Kentie.net. Under the configure menu, Deus Exe lets you insert a custom resolution, choose the aspect ratio, and more. Make sure to set 32-bit textures and the native resolution of your display.

You may notice another setting option in the Deus Exe launcher: the renderer used to run the game. Modders have made updated renderers for Deus Ex that allow the game to run in DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and OpenGL. You should download all of them for greater compatibility, performance, and graphics options, like HDR lighting. Also, you'll need the DirectX 10 renderer for the premiere Deus Ex graphics mod.

Kentie.net also hosts the Unreal Engine DX10 renderer. Download it here. Download the OpenGL 2.0 renderer and Direct3D9 renderer here.

Installing these renderers is a cinch. Simply open up your Deus Ex install directory, navigate to the System directory, and unzip them.

Now re-open the Deus Exe launcher. The renderer dropdown should now include DX9, DX10, and OpenGL. If you plan to run the mods listed in the next section, you should use DX10. If you're more interested in running the game at 4K and downsampling, however, you should use DX9.

With the DX9 renderer, you can run Durante's GeDoSaTo downsampling tool, which you can download here. In GeDoSaTo's settings, you need to set your native monitor resolution like 1920x1080 and the resolution you want to downsample from, which will be much higher. I was able to run Deus Ex at 5120x2880. Any higher, and the game crashed on me.



Once you have a high downsampling resolution set in GeDoSaTo, open the Deus Exe launcher and set the same resolution in the custom resolution field. When you start the game, some white text will appear in the top-left corner of the screen to let you know that it'd downsampling. If you're a purist, and prefer running a game with original graphics, this is the sharpest and cleanest way to run Deus Ex. If you want to use some fan-made higher resolution textures, though, it's time to jump into mods.

Mod it

To mod Deus Ex, we'll have to sacrifice GeDoSaTo's downsampling (it currently only supports DirectX 9) and switch to the DirectX 10 renderer. The go-to Deus Ex graphical mod is New Vision, which you can download on ModDB. New Vision comes with its own installer. Though all the textures are higher resolution than Deus Ex's original textures, the difference isn't striking. Without a side-by-side comparison, you may even have trouble noticing the mod is working in some places. Character model textures are still low-res, and most of the environments look very similar they're just not blurry at 1080p.

Important note: to enable New Vision and other mods, open Data Directories from the Deus Exe launcher and make sure the proper folders are included.



There are tons of other small tweaks for Deus Ex on ModDB. To further modify the graphics, check out the enbseries mod support for Deus Ex.

For a gameplay mod, check out Nihilum, which won a mod of the year award on ModDB in 2013. It's a Deus Ex sidestory with completely new environments, music, and even voice acting.

Deus Ex at 5120x2880 on the LPC

These screenshots were taken on the Large Pixel Collider by PC Gamer superintern Tom Marks, with Deus Ex running with original textures at 5K resolution.







































































PC Gamer
The best RPGs of all time
PC Gamer
steam sale day 9


There aren t any big surprises in today s Daily Deals (how many times has GTAIV been discounted?), but cheap games are cheap games and there are some good ones today. There are also some holdovers from previous days, such as the BioShock Triple Pack, which has only lost 8% of its discount since Wednesday. Peek at our picks from previous days to see if any former Daily Deals are still discounted.

Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.
5 - Resident Evil 4: Ultimate HD Edition
40% off: $11.99 / 8.99 - Steam store page

Resident Evil 4 got a terrible PC port once, long ago. It's a sensitive topic. We don't like to talk about it. But the Ultimate HD Edition does justice to one of the greatest shooters of all time, with cleaned-up textures, a 60 fps option and responsive keyboard and mouse controls. The game is just as intense and brilliantly crafted as it was in 2004. The port has even gotten some substantial updates since release to fix bugs, improve some graphical effects, and eliminate a few of our complaints, like allowing us to remap the keys used for QTEs. RE4 is always worth playing again, and this is the version to play.
4 - Grand Theft Auto Complete Pack
80% off: $9.99 / 6.24 - Steam store page

Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, and Grand Theft Auto IV that s a lot of Grand Theft Auto. If you re only interested in GTAIV, the Complete Edition is also 80% off and half the price of the Complete Pack. It s been a while since GTAIV released (has it really been six years already?), so there s a decent chance you have no need for it, but it s a nice gift for anyone who hasn t yet seen a horse take it to the limit.
3 - Age of Empires II HD
75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page

Teutonic Knights. In HD. What more can you ask for? If that isn't enough, there are a few more benefits to this HD port of one of the greatest strategy games of all time, like online multiplayer and Steam Workshop support? How about a new expansion with five new civilizations? Twitch streaming? Modern Windows support? If you like Age of Empires II, well, you should probably own this.
2 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut
75% off: $4.99 / 3.24 - Steam store page

It was no small feat to bring back a franchise as beloved as Deus Ex. Eidos Montreal took on the task in the best way possible, creating a prequel that hints at the future from the first game, but puts its own stamp on the world. The director s cut here includes the full game and its Missing Link DLC, plus optional developer commentary. It s a great package for very little money.
1 - System Shock 2
85% off: $1.49 / 1.04 - Steam store page | Flash deal: buy before 8 p.m. EST

A bonafide classic of PC gaming, Irrational s first game set the template for its modern shooters, BioShock and BioShock Infinite. There aren t a lot of moments in the halls of the Von Braun when you don t feel vulnerable and alone, listening for the groans of mutants or worse, the babbling of cybernetic midwives and wondering how you ll get past them. Yes, the game is 15 years old, but this new release includes an improved engine, and the game s passionate fans have made plenty of mods that improve textures and models. If you ever wondered where the seeds of Rapture come from, you can find out here for less than the price of a cup of coffe.

Other deals today
Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.

Payday 2 (80% off) $5.99 / 4.59
BioShock Triple Pack (75% off) $14.99 / 9.99
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Sometimes you want to charge guns, swords, and words a-blazin into a game world and tame the land until Iron Maiden writes a song about you. Other times, you just want to heft your heavy eyelids, sip a light tea, and gently sail through friendly old places made new again. You’ve got a long day ahead of you, but you don’t have to venture out into the cruel sadlands of life just yet. Remember better days. Here, let me help with videos of the original BioShock and Deus Ex: Human Revolution re-realized in Unreal Engine 4. They’re quite a sight.

… [visit site to read more]

...

Search news
Archive
2014
Nov   Oct   Sep   Aug   Jul   Jun  
May   Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002