PC Gamer

When you tame a creature in Ark: Survival Evolved, your work isn't done. You need to keep your pets fed, though that's usually not a problem. Most carnivores are happy with red meat or fish, and herbivores are typically content with a selection of berries. Fill a trough, park the animal nearby, and it'll eat when it gets hungry. 

A few animals are more selective, like the dung beetle, which only eats poop. The beetle won't eat out of a trough like other animals, either: you have to stick the poop right in its inventory, but poop isn't exactly hard to come by since dinos and players are constantly taking dumps all over the place. There's even a key you can press to make yourself or your dinos poop on command. Dinner time!

There's another creature that only eats one kind of food, and that's the Achatina, a land mollusk that I will just call 'snail' to keep it simple. The snail, too, needs to be fed manually, but it has a more refined palate than the dung beetle. The snail only eats cake. And isn't that the perfect life? Only eating cake?

Cake doesn't just fall fully formed out of dinosaur butts.

As you might imagine, cake doesn't just fall fully formed out of dinosaur butts, and it can't just be roasted in a campfire like a slab of meat. It takes a tiny bit of work, by which I mean you might wind spend hours gathering and mining and crafting and building several entirely new structures. All to feed a single snail.

I'll just briefly explain how to bake a cake. In a cooking pot, you'll place your ingredients: fiber—no biggie, you can grab that from bushes. Water—collected in a skin or a jar, no problem there. Stimulant—okay, you'll need to collect stimberries from bushes, and mix them with sparkpowder, which itself requires grinding flint and stone together at a mortar and pestle. A little work to do there, but still pretty easy.

You'll also need carrots, corn, and potatoes, because this is a vegetable cake. You won't find those lying around, either, you'll need to grow them from seeds (gathered from bushes) in three different planters (built from wood, thatch, fiber, and stone) and you'll want to keep them irrigated with a water source like a reservoir (which is built from stone and cementing paste—which itself can be made from stone and chitin (which can be harvested from creatures with exoskeletons) and then connected with a stone pipe and tap (made from more stone and wood).

Of course, growing your plants will also require fertilizer, which can be created in a compost bin (combine poop and thatch) or generated by feeding poop to that beetle I mentioned earlier. And, unless you want to spend ages waiting for your crops to grow, you might as well go all-in and construct a damn greenhouse using a whole bunch of metal ingots (made in a forge), crystal (mined from mountaintops and caves), and more cementing paste.

So, you've built your poop box and farming plots and irrigation systems and a damn greenhouse and you've grown and harvested your vegetables. Time to bake the cake? Ha ha, no, dummy! You're not done yet. The cake's final ingredient is sap, which you can harvest from giant redwood trees, once you craft an enormous metal tap (from 100 ingots—which take 200 metal—and still more cementing paste). 

Ready to stick your tap into a redwood? Nope, you're not. You need to place it well above ground level, so hey, why not just craft a bunch of wooden tree platforms and build an Ewok-style base way up in the trees so you can actually attach your tap and collect your sap and bake your cake (which will spoil in just over an hour, so you might want to build a fabricator so you can craft a gas powered generator and a fridge to preserve it, too).

In return, your snail will produce paste, which is ironically enough, one of the resources you just crafted or gathered loads of just to be able to feed the snail its special veggie cake. It also produces a natural polymer for crafting, which is very useful. It makes a cool wet slimy sound when it slithers around, which I enjoy, plus it's one of the only creatures in the game that will never attack you.

Yes, it is quite a lot of work to feed this one snail, this one delightfully picky creature that insists on only eating hand-fed cake produced by hours of construction and tons of materials.

But in that way, Ark's snail is like a real life pet, which is why I love it. If you have a dog or a cat or some other type of pet, you know the lengths you'll go to just to keep them happy. You'll pay massive vet bills, administer expensive medicines, buy crates full of toys, replace pieces of furniture, and redecorate your entire home just so the little animal in your life can experience some contentment. You don't just put your dog or cat near a bowl of food and call it a night: you tend to them, care for them, and spend hours of your life doing back-breaking labor so they have what they need. Ark's snail is no different. It's just a little slimier.

PC Gamer

She Remembered Caterpillars is a "fungipunk" color-matching puzzle game set in "a phantasgamorphic world of writhing caterpillars, brightly-colored Gammies, and living architecture." It won the 2016 Intel Level Up Game Demo Contest for Best Puzzle Game, it's also in the running for an IGF Award, and it comes out tomorrow—which makes this a fine time to check out the launch trailer. 

"[She Remembered Caterpillars] will have players eavesdropping on what appears to be one scientist’s quest to save her father," the Steam listing explains. "As the chapters progress, more of this strange universe will reveal itself: What manner of cataclysm occurred here? Who are the players involved? And what exactly are the Gammies doing in these dreamscapes?" 

I don't actually know what Gammies are, but I do like the looks of this trailer, a strange but lovely thing with music by Deponia composer Thomas Höhl. She Remembered Caterpillars promises 40 levels spread over multiple acts, each with "a fresh mechanic or a different color," and a different piece of the story, too: "A story of parent and child, of learning the ways to accept that the former is not, has never been immortal." 

She Remembered Caterpillars will debut on January 17 on Steam and Itch.io. If you'd like to get a feel for what's in store before opening your wallet, a free demo is also available now. 

PC Gamer

In the earliest Deus Ex design document, written three years before the game was released in 2000, Ion Storm established the philosophy of their ambitious cyberpunk RPG. “The key to role-playing is giving players the freedom to act as they see fit,” it reads. “And a deep world simulation that allows them to solve problems in a variety of ways is the best way to do this.” 

And that’s the core of what makes Deus Ex a PC classic. The sheer breadth of its systems and the complexity of its level design is unmatched, even today. A lot of things were cut from that document—including a level set on a space station—but Warren Spector and his team’s original vision of a deep, rewarding RPG set in a rich, simulated world remained intact throughout development. 

When Deus Ex was being developed, The X-Files was deep into its fourth season. And Chris Carter’s cult show is an obvious influence on the game, with its government conspiracies, shadowy secret organisations, men in black, and bug-eyed aliens. The design document confirms this, describing the story as “leavened by its dark, mysterious, conspiratorial tone” and any tinfoil hat conspiracy theory you can think of, from Area 51 to the Bilderberg Group, factors into the story in some way. It’s a world where paranoia about ancient secret societies pulling the strings of government is entirely justified. 

In the ‘high concept’ section of the design document, Ion Storm asks: “Is it better to live free in a world of chaos or live safely in an ordered world of someone else’s design?” And that’s one of the major themes in the sprawling, labyrinthine story. You play as JC Denton, a government agent enhanced with augmentations that grant him superhuman powers. 

When the game begins he’s employed by a branch of the United Nations created in response to the growing threat of international terrorism. But after learning that his bosses have ties to a sinister Illuminati plot, he joins his brother Paul in the resistance against them. “Deus Ex plugs into two popular fantasies,” reads the document. “The millennial madness that’s gripping the world, exemplified by The X-Files and a general fascination with conspiracy theories. And the desire to play with high-tech espionage toys.”

And it’s these toys, as well as Denton’s augmentations, that makes every playthrough of Deus Ex a wildly different experience. The first level, Liberty Island, showcases everything that’s great about the game’s open-ended design and how it rewards creative thinking. It’s smaller than other levels, and I’m still finding new ways to infiltrate it. The statue not only provides a useful navigation point, but her missing head, blown off by terrorists, is an evocative piece of world-building. A clue that maybe everything isn’t totally cool in this dystopian vision of the future.

Terrorists have taken over the island, and you have to deal with them. But how you go about this is truly up to you. There are dozens of entry points into the statue, some more dangerous than others. If you want to waltz in through the front door, you can. But you’ll have to find a key, hack a series of cameras, and deal with a security bot. Or you can stack crates to climb up to the statue and avoid the security systems altogether, but will have to deal with a group of terrorists in an open area without much cover. You learn these things through experimentation, and that’s part of what makes Deus Ex so compelling. You’re presented with these big, complex puzzles and the game leaves you to figure out how to solve them by yourself. And when you do, it’s hugely satisfying. 

Walk and talk 

But it’s not all espionage and infiltration. Outside of missions you’re free to explore, talk to NPCs, complete sidequests, and learn more about the state of the world through documents and news reports. Deus Ex is an enormous game, featuring three massive cities—New York, Hong Kong and Paris—and other locations including Area 51. You simply couldn’t make a game this big today with the visual fidelity expected of modern games. In New York you witness the devastating effects of the mysterious Grey Death virus, while in Hong Kong you team up with Tracer Tong and the Triads to investigate an Illuminati presence there. There are so many secrets hidden in these city hubs—and overwrought philosophical debates to be had with talkative NPCs – that a thorough playthrough of the game could easily take 50 hours. 

But while the levels are huge, they’re not big for the sake of it. This was another thing Ion Storm outlined in their design document as being important. “So many games simulate huge worlds and brag about it,” it reads. “Witness Daggerfall with its hundreds of generic towns, its shallow conversations, and its randomly generated quests. We feel there’s more to be gained by limiting the size of our simulation so we can increase the density of interaction.” 

And this density of interaction is another of Deus Ex’s many strengths. Its levels are filled with things to prod, poke, switch on, and mess with—from incidental details like flushing toilets to intricate security systems that can be manipulated to help you sneak through the level. “This gives the illusion that this is a real, vital It’s all gone a bit X-Files. His vision is augmented. place,” reads the design document. “It makes the levels feel like they have a life of their own, independent of player action.” 

And it has a sense of humour too, often as a result of this freedom and interactivity. If you stumble into the ladies’ bathroom in UNATCO’s Liberty Island HQ – which most players will as they hunt for secrets and hidden items—your boss Joseph Manderley (who recently appeared in Mankind Divided) will give you a stern talking to about it. Ion Storm knew players like to explore every nook and cranny of a level, and they made a joke in response to it. 

It’s a small detail, but one of countless tiny reactive moments that reinforce the idea you’re having an impact on this world, not just existing in it. And who could forget mechanically-augmented agent Gunther Hermann ranting about getting the wrong soda from a vending machine, convinced the maintenance man has a vendetta against him. The story deals with some heavy stuff—mass surveillance, corruption, conspiracies, viral epidemics—but it offsets it nicely with some dry humour.

The illuminati sends a squad of men in black to kill your brother.

A great example of the game’s reactivity can be found in the Hell’s Kitchen level. Denton’s brother Paul, who ends up being hunted by the Illuminati, is holed up in a grimy hotel. It’s called the ‘Ton by the locals, referring to the fact it was once a Hilton, but the ‘HIL’ on the sign has faded away. After completing a few missions in New York, Paul’s safehouse is compromised and the Illuminati sends a squad of ‘men in black’ agents to kill him. 

These guys are armed with heavy weapons and can take a ridiculous amount of damage. Paul tells you to run and escape through the bathroom window, which most players will do when faced with these seemingly impossible odds. If you escape, Paul dies and never appears in the game again. But if you stay and fight, and somehow manage to kill the men in black and the UNATCO troops who’ve invaded the hotel, Paul will appear in Hong Kong. It’s unlikely that players at this stage in the game, especially on their first run, will have the skill or augmentations to win this fight, but the fact you can is precisely why Deus Ex is such a special game. It has a response, even if it’s just a line of dialogue, for almost everything you do. 

All mod cons

One part of Deus Ex that’s really showing its age though, is the visuals. It’s a hideous game, with blocky environments, blurry textures and ugly character models. But luckily there are mods that will sort most of these problems out, including the incredible Revision. This overhaul is free on Steam for anyone who owns the GOTY edition, and as well as fixing bugs and remixing several maps, it makes it look slightly nicer to modern eyes. But it does change quite a few fundamental things, so if you want to play the game as Ion Storm intended it’s probably best to stick to the original version. 

Then there’s Shifter, a mod that adds further depth to an already deep game and exists to, in its creator’s words, “remove the suck” from the the illuminati sends a squad of men in black to kill your brother base game. It introduces a skill point system that rewards you for feats the vanilla game would ignore, like taking out a room full of men in black. It makes enemies smarter and tougher. And it gives weapons alternate fire modes, including launching napalm bombs with the flamethrower. Again, installing this will seriously alter the game, so think carefully before trying it—especially if it’s your first playthrough. Some people don’t like Shifter or Revision at all, but that’s exactly what PC gaming, and Deus Ex, are all about: choice. 

The game is still totally playable without any mods, of course. But you might have to dig through some forums to find out how to get it running at modern resolutions. The Game of the Year edition (whatever that means) is often on sale for a tiny amount of money on Steam, so if you’ve never played it before, there’s really no excuse. 

There’s a long-running internet joke that whenever Deus Ex is mentioned on a forum, someone will reinstall it. And it’s something you should consider. Because 16 years later, even if the visuals don’t hold up, the game definitely still does. 

PC Gamer

When Mark Morris and Chris Delay of Introversion Software began working on Prison Architect, they knew it was a game that would stir controversy. They never expected, however, that a simulator about the incarceration of cute, blobby humans had the potential to make them criminals themselves. Their crime? Displaying a tiny, five-pixel wide red cross on the hood of the ambulances and backpacks of paramedics. It might sound laughable, but it just so happens that those five pixels arranged just so are an internationally protected symbol.

Days before Christmas, Delay and Morris received a concerning email from the British Red Cross.

"My immediate reason for writing is that it has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles," it reads. "Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims of 12 August 1949, and that unauthorised use of this sign in the United Kingdom is an offence under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957."

Delay and Morris didn't know it, but for years they had been breaking the law—a very serious sounding one at that. "We actually thought we were being spoofed by somebody and that this couldn't possibly be real," Delay tells me. But, to their amusement (and anger), it was.

Delay and Morris, like many of us, had made a common mistake. "In my mind that the red cross is the universal symbol for health packs and health add-ons—anything to do with healing in videogames," Delay says. "I'm sure there are red crosses on Doom health packs from 20 years ago." And while he's right about Doom, he was wrong about the red cross. 

That tiny little red cross on the hood of the ambulance is where Delay and Morris went wrong.

More than just a health pack 

See, the red cross doesn't belong to the public domain. It's the protected emblem of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an organization that dates back to the 1863. The ICRC was critical in establishing human rights during wartime as laid out in the Geneva Conventions that 196 countries have since agreed to abide by. For the average person, these conventions are usually understood as "don't harm prisoners, the wounded, and the people who are just trying to help them." For the ICRC and its various child-organizations around the world, that mission is a lot more complicated—especially when it comes to their emblem.

"The reason for this strict control is that the red cross emblem is an internationally agreed symbol of protection during armed conflicts," the email continues. "It is used to safeguard the wounded and sick and those who seek to help them in a totally neutral and impartial way, and can save lives."

Originally, laws prohibiting the misuse of the red cross emblem were used to prevent armed forces from exploiting it to gain a tactical advantage. In 2008, one such instance occurred when Colombian intelligence forces posed as members of the Red Cross to save political prisoners who had been held for years by FARC rebels. Doing so is a war crime. But is there really no difference between a tiny red cross on a videogame ambulance and one used to misrepresent military personnel in combat?

"If the red cross emblem or similar signs are used for other purposes, no matter how beneficial or inconsequential they may seem, the special significance of the emblem will be diminished," the email reads. "The red cross emblem or similar designs are not general signs of ambulances, health care, first aid, the nursing or medical profession, or similar matters. Moreover, they are not signs to be used for commercial purposes, such as for advertising campaigns or on products." 

Health packs in Halo: Combat Evolved used the red cross but were changed to a red 'H' for Halo 2.

Yet the use of the red cross for just those reasons is common. A Google search for 'health pack' returns dozens of results for everything from Doom to Halo. Outside of videogames, it appears in comic books, movies, and even theater. With misuse of the symbol so apparently widespread, Delay tells me he was a bit upset to find that Prison Architect had been one instance where the hammer would fall.

"Red crosses are such a minor five-pixel wide symbol in Prison Architect," he argues. "There's one on the ambulance and one on the back of a health pack. They are so tiny. I think it's ridiculous. It's not like we had these enormous red crosses everywhere on the sides of vans in war zones. It's this miniscule pixelated red cross you can barely make out."

But Introversion Software isn't the first developer to draw the attention of a Red Cross organization, either. In 2006, the David Pratt of the Canadian Red Cross sent a letter to a law firm representing several game developers urging them to stop using the symbol in their games. "Our philosophy is that there's no emblem abuse that's too small to report, because you have to try to get them all, which is a practically impossible task—but one thing we saw with the videogames industry is that it has a huge reach, especially with young people," Pratt said in an interview with Shacknews. "It may create an impression that the red cross emblem is part of the public domain."

On the surface, this sounds like a typical case of enforcing the misuse of a trademark—the kind that videogames have been dealing with for decades. Except that the Red Cross isn't a business where misuse of their logo might result in financial harm. According to an article published by the Canadian Red Cross, it's that misuse of the emblem could lead to physical harm. 

The red cross appeared in Doom but was later changed with the re-release to a red pill..

The real issue, at least where Delay and Morris live, seems to have more serious consequences than just being sued. In the United Kingdom, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions were incorporated into British law in 1957. Prison Architect's misuse of the emblem wasn't just breaking the Geneva Conventions (which feels kind of like some distant bogeyman), but the laws of their own country. That's why, upon getting the email, they were quick to comply. Boot up Prison Architect and call in some paramedics, and you'll no longer see that red cross. Now it's green. Delay tells me the change took seconds to make in Photoshop. "It's not worth taking the stand," Morris says. "You have to pick your battles." 

Drawing the line 

While both developers recognize that the red cross can be an important symbol in the right context, they can't help but raise their eyebrows at the fact that a charitable organization is spending its donated resources to cracking down on indie game developers.

"Lots of people donate money and the assumption is that that money is going to treating [people in need] and it turns out that a portion of that money is going to lawyers writing letters to videogame companies who are apparently abusing use of the red cross symbol," Morris says. "How much money do they spend every year enforcing their abuse of the red cross emblem? We are one videogame out of thousands, so many of which use that emblem to indicate health. Do they just cherry pick the odd person to approach? In which case, it would feel like a complete waste of time to spend any money at all, if you're not going to enforce it consistently. If they were spending large amounts of money to persistently and consistently enforce ownership of their red cross around the world in industries that are completely unrelated, is that a legitimate use of money for a charitable organization?"

Is the supposed dilution of the red cross' important meaning really of such importance? Internet activist, journalist, and author Cory Doctorow doesn't think so. "Is there any question that the use of red crosses to denote health packs in games will bring even the most minute quantum of harm to the Red Cross?" he wrote in a blog post criticizing Pratt's letter. Doctorow reached out to the Canadian Red Cross for comment and they appear to not have responded. 

Medics in Half-Life 2 also bear the red cross.

On a broader spectrum, various Red Cross organizations have come under scrutiny for how they choose to spend their money and the lack of disclosure that can sometimes go along with it. While there's no denying that the mission of the Red Cross is noble, how efficiently it goes about it is contentious. "When you're a charity, you need to talk about these things I think," Morris says. "People donate, and I really believe that you have an obligation to tell people where the money is spent."

For Morris, who tells me he's donated to the British Red Cross, the situation has an interesting wrinkle: Some tiny sliver of his own charitable givings has fueled the action taken against him. "I'm not saying I'm going to stop, but until I get some kind of understanding of how much of my money they're using to pursue infringement claims, I'm starting to think, maybe they've got a little bit more money than they need?"

For a game that has a history of spawning thought-provoking discussions, this latest development was never intended, but Morris and Delay see it as just another day at the office. "This is just the latest fascinating twist and turn. That's what's really interesting about it, Prison Architect gets people talking," Delay says. Now that the issue is settled, both developers are relatively good-humored about the experience.

"I think of myself giving an after dinner speech on my 70th birthday and talking about everything I've achieved in my life, and one of them will be my war criminal status," Morris jokes.

"That's not exactly a list you want to be on," Delay fires back.

But, among their jokes, one question still needs an answer: Is a little red cross really worth the trouble?

We've reached out to the British Red Cross for comment and will update this story should they reply. 

PC Gamer

Today, remakes, reboots and remasters are à la mode, however there's something to be said about the process in reverse. Vince Weaver, an assistant professor at the University of Main's Electrical and Computing Engineering department understands this, which is why he's recreated Valve's 2007 puzzle platformer Portal using Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II. 

In crude 8-bit visuals, Weaver reimagines protagonist Chell, sentient robot antagonist GlaDOS, and the game's signature orange and blue portal mechanics with aplomb—and he's even managed to capture the game's underlying tongue-in-cheek humour. The video below runs for close to eight minutes, however is at its best when Weaver gets to the final showdown around the 2.55 mark (if you're yet to play Portal, the following borders spoiler territory). 

Once the battle with GlaDOS runs its course, Jonathan Coulton's end credits song Still Alive plays and sounds pretty fantastic in chiptune style. We may not be getting Half-Life 3 anytime soon, nor HL2: Episode 3, and the same might be the case for Portal 3. If so, this might have to do us—head to Weaver's site to give it a bash via the downloadable emulator there, or this in-browser emulator

Thanks, Gizmodo

PC Gamer

From beating the game in just 100 seconds, to staggering no gold pacifist runs, Spelunky record-breaking runs are a joy to watch. And with so many working parts, players are still finding new ways to best the already impressive feats, more than three years since the game's release—the latest of which is the work of Kinnijup, whose $3,526,575 money score marks a new world record. 

While Spelunky speedruns are undoubtedly incredibly difficult (I genuinely have no idea how players manage to avoid embedding themselves in walls when operating the teleporting device), money scores provide an entirely different challenge. These runs are about perseverance, grind and guile, as players strive to outwit enemies and cover each map from corner to corner, mining every gem possible along the way. 

This almost always meaning running the clock down past 2.30, which throws The Ghost into the mix—something which tends to make these runs even more nail biting still. At four hours and 32 minutes, here's Kinnijup's world record-breaking performance and, as you might expect, things get pretty tense towards the end.

To Kinnijup, I doff my cap.

PC Gamer

Update 2: The DMCA notice has apparently been lifted, and no longer appears on the mod's page in the Steam Workshop.

Update: We've spoken with the developer of the Pokémon Evolved mod who has confirmed that, as of right now, this DMCA notice appears to have been submitted by another modder (or a supporter of that modder) who is also developing a Pokémon mod for Ark. (Copyright infringement claims can be submitted by parties who are not copyright owners.) Drama! We'll let you know if we receive any further information.

Original story: A mod for Ark: Survival Evolved that replaces all of the survival game's dinosaurs with Pokémon has appeared in the Steam Workshop, though if you want to catch 'em all you might need to be quick about it. The Workshop page states that "A DMCA Notice of Copyright Infringement has been filed on this item." As of Sunday, five days after the the mod appeared, it is still available to be downloaded, though that may change in the near future.

We're not sure yet who issued the DMCA notice—we've inquired and will let you know when we hear back (and we have: please see the updates)—but it could definitely spell trouble for the mod, especially since modder 'Mystic Academy' admits the models and animations used in the mod were imported directly from Pokémon X/Y rather than recreated from scratch. The modder only made changes to ensure the models worked in-game.

We'll keep you updated as to the status of the Pokémon Evolved mod, which, legality aside, looks pretty cool. There's no resource gathering—you just hunt, fight, and ride Pokémon. You can watch enthusiastic YouTuber Riot enjoying it here.

PC Gamer

ZDoom, the enhanced port of the (original) Doom source code, was first released in 1998 and has received some 75 updates over its 19 year history. Its most recent release arrived in February of 2016, and we've learned this version (2.81) will be its last. The creator of ZDoom, Randy Heit, has announced he is ceasing development of the storied source port. Posting on the ZDoom forums on January 7, he said:

"I am hereby eschewing further ZDoom development. There will be no future releases. Consider QZDoom or GZDoom as replacements."

Since its inception, ZDoom has been one of the pillars of the Doom modding community, removing many of vanilla Doom's limits, providing support for Doom engine games like Heretic, Hexen, and Strife, adding a console, and allowing for higher screen resolutions, more music formats, new camera effects and skyboxes, and much more.

And, while ZDoom will not receive further updates, it's not exactly going to vanish. In his post, Heit stated that the co-author of source port QZDoom, Rachael "Euranna" Alexanderson, will manage ZDoom's forum and wiki from now on. On the Doomworld forums, Euranna had some words of reassurance:

"ZDoom means a lot to many of us. But it's important to remember it is not completely dead. It still lives on in some form. While its main Github repository may never be updated, development in GZDoom is still in full swing. The forum and the wiki will continue on, if nothing else to support GZDoom and its child projects, along with the legacy that ZDoom has offered us."

Heit did not provide a specific reason for ending the development of ZDoom, but I sent him an email and will update this post if I receive a response. You can grab the latest and final version of ZDoom here.

PC Gamer

Arc System Works' Guilty Gear Xrd is getting another updated version, and it's coming to PC. Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 was announced at the Arc System Works Fighting Game Awards 2016, which like a lot of Guilty Gear game titles is a mouthful to say (via Gematsu).

During the event, it was revealed that characters Baiken and Answer will be added as playable characters in Rev 2. Baiken returns from previous Guilty Gear games, while Answer makes his playable debut—he appeared as a character in the Story Mode in previous instalments of Xrd. You can check them both out in the trailer at the top of this article.

General director Daisuke Ishiwatari and battle planner Kazutoshi Sekine detailed some of the content in Rev 2, discussing new balance adjusments and techniques for existing characters. There's going to be a new scenario added to the story mode, in addition to new episodes for characters Jam Kuradoberi, Raven, Kum Haehyun, Dizzy, Baiken, and Answer. Apparently, major improvements have been made to the online mode as well. On top of all that, more features will be announced in the future.

Rev 2 launches in arcades in spring 2017, but no release date for PC has been announced. Those who already own Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator will be able to upgrade to Rev 2 through the purchase of discounted DLC. Revelator is currently $50 USD on Steam, so it's possible Rev 2 will cost the same for first-time buyers.

We'll keep you updated as more information about Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 is revealed.

Rev 2 is along the same lines as what Capcom does with its Street Fighter franchise. While Capcom will, at times, force players to buy an entire game to get new updates, it's nice to see Arc System Works giving existing owners a lower-priced option.

PC Gamer

You can still play the original Counter-Strike on Steam, of course, but perhaps you want to play it with the greater graphical fidelity and technological advances of the more up-to-date CS:GO? If the thought appeals, know that you'll soon be able to mash together both games, via the recently announced Classic Offensive mod for GO. On Steam Greenlight now, Classic Offensive (formerly known as CS: Classic Offensive, until Valve had a word) aims to replicate the experience of Counter-Strike version 1.6 in CS:GO, effectively uniting these disparate worlds in a way that should probably incite angels to sing overhead.

The creators don't want to be VAC Banned, so they say they're unable to replicate the more mechanical parts of 1.6 in GO—however, you'll still be able to play using the classic map layouts, using a "more simplistic" art style, and without the guns introduced in GO. (Less sweeping changes including scope and price tweaks will be present as well.)

It's a nostalgia mod rather than a slavish recreation of 1.6, and if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, best keep an eye on its Greenlight page for future developments. Or, if you want to play it now, you can grab the beta version of Classic Offensive here.

Ta, PCGamesN.

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