PC Gamer

Twitch Plays Dark Souls may have turned into an improvised, turn-based version of the game, but it's still  fascinating to watch: especially if you've ever wondered what kind of build is necessary under these (admittedly pretty unlikely) circumstances. The answer, at least where the Capra Demon is concerned, seems to be 'poise'. You just need a lot of poise.

The Taurus Demon went down last week, but now I have two boss battles for you: the Belfry Gargoyles and the Capra Demon. The latter is one of the first significant difficulty spikes for newcomers to the series, so it's amusing to see Twitch make such short work of it. (Hint: it's not actually as easy as it looks).

Thanks again to YouTuber PvtBooger for editing the pauses out of these encounters.

PC Gamer

Warlords of Draenor didn't launch with flying mounts, and for a long time Blizzard didn't intend to implement them. After months of consternation among World of Warcraft devotees though, Blizzard announced in June that, yeah, they'd allow players to fly in Draenor after all. Now, with tomorrow's 6.2.2 patch, the functionality will finally roll out.

Not without conditions though: you'll need to put a few weeks into the game if you want to unlock mounts, though most players have probably already met the requirements. When I spoke to lead game designer Ion Hazzikostas in June he put it this way:

"The solution was to preserve our original design goal of ensuring players are exploring the world and experiencing it from the ground, and getting to appreciate its scope and its size and engaging the gameplay aspects of exploration and mystery. Then, once they ve done that, there s no reason not to allow them to fly and navigate in all dimensions throughout the world, and also unlock that ability for their alts."

The video embedded below (courtesy of Wowhead) does a good job of outlining all the work you'll need to do in order to unlock the Pathfinder achievement, which itself unlocks access to flying mounts.

PC Gamer

We know that Warcraft is "pretty much a finished movie" according to its director, but it's not scheduled to release until June next year. We've seen some images from the film, but now we catch a glimpse of how it will look in action, thanks to an apparent leak.

You'll need to head over here to see it. It's a trailer full of grandiose war scenarios and orcs, so it's pretty unmistakably Warcraft. Where it came from, though, is another question. Gamespot published the leak but did not indicate where it comes from, though behind-closed-doors sessions happened at ComicCon last month, so it's likely something to do with that.

Whatever the case, the grainy footage is long-awaited: the film has been in discussions for over a decade now.

PC Gamer

After Torchlight 2 and the departure of two of Runic's co-founders, Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, company president Marsh Lefler says the team stepped back and tried to come up with something they "really want to play." That's Hob, which drops us into an alien world with puzzles, combat, and no dialogue—the story is picked up through exploration and observation. Lefler says they were inspired by games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. 

I played a brief demo of Hob at PAX Prime, and I especially enjoyed the speed of the movement, which was so much fun it made it hard to slow down, take a breath and soak in the colorful vistas. The combat is tougher than the friendly look might imply, but definitely not a meat grinder—it requires some methodical timing, blocking, and stamina management, but health is pretty generous. It's a far gentler Lords of the Fallen.

I had a chat about all this with Lefler yesterday, which you can watch above. There's no release date for Hob just yet, as Lefler says there's still iterating to do.

PC Gamer

We got our hands on Battleborn at this year's PAX, the newest FPS from Gearbox Software. With its cel-shaded art style and RPG-ish approach to character progression, the biggest question is how it will differentiate itself from Gearbox's already popular Borderlands series, let alone all the other shooters on the way. 

Tyler took control of Thorn, an archer character, while Evan used a knife throwing mushroom named Miko who also has healing abilities. You can watch the video embedded above to get their impressions, while the video below is a full 20 minutes of gameplay at sugar sweet 60 fps.

You can find all of our coverage from PAX Prime 2015 right here.

PC Gamer

Claymation point-and-click adventure Armikrog, from the creators of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, lands on PC in September. We're giving away 10 Steam keys to lucky readers. That could mean you!

To enter the giveaway, simply click through to the giveaway page and write in your name and email address. 10 random winners will be picked from the pool of entrants.

Enter the giveaway here

The giveaway for Armikrog runs until Friday, September 4th at 12 pm PDT.

The game releases on September 8th. For more on Armikrog, check out our hands-on preview from E3 2015.

PC Gamer

Nuketown is probably the most popular multiplayer map in the entire Call of Duty: Black Ops pantheon. It debuted in the original Blops, was updated as Nuketown 2025 for Black Ops 2, and will return again—this time as Nuk3town—as a preorder bonus for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

"The Nuketown maps have a special place in Call of Duty multiplayer history and we can't wait to build upon that heritage in Black Ops 3," Treyarch boss Mark Lamia said. "We carefully adapted the design of the map to make sure that it fit with our new movement system, but to also make sure that we retained the spirit and the fun that made fans fall in love with it in the first place."

Activision said Nuk3town has been "redesigned from the ground up," this time with a focus on integrating the new "momentum-based chained-movement system." Anyone who preorders the game will receive a code to download the map for free, while those who don't will presumably have the option to pay for it. Such is the way of things in the space year 2015.

We don't generally endorse preordering around here, but as I've said previously, odds are you'd decided whether or not to buy Black Ops 3 before it was even announced. So if you're on the "yes" side of that particular fence, this probably represents a bit more good news for you. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 comes out on November 6.

PC Gamer

Blizzard announced today that the TeSPA collegiate Hearthstone championship, an event they ran last fall, will be back again this year with a new format and significantly larger prize pool. Similar to the Heroes of the Dorm tournament Blizzard hosted earlier this year preceding the launch of Heroes of the Storm, the teams will have a chance to win a portion of a $100K prize pool as scholarship money for their college education. 

The competition format, however, is new to Hearthstone. Teams will be comprised of three students playing a single deck together at the same time. The team will be able to discuss plays during games, and won't switch players or decks between games in match. This is a very different format from most Hearthstone tournaments, including the Archon Team League—another competition with teams of three, but where each player uses two decks of their own. 

The regular season will span over nine weeks, starting 28 September, with the championships being held in January. Registration for the tournament begins today, and you can see if you're eligible here.

PC Gamer

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has certainly received its fair share of heaping praise. After all, this is one of the most expansive and beautifully realized worlds to grace our screens in quite some time. But The Witcher 3 also faced some criticism at launch: about its graphics, and for its lack of cultural diversity, especially with the notable absence of any characters of color.

Back in June, Polygon published a controversial opinion piece by Tauriq Moosa criticizing the game for failing to include not only notable characters of color, but anyone from a race that wasn't characterized as white. During PAX Prime, members of The Witcher 3's narrative design team held a panel to discuss the challenges of adapting the source material, but they also addressed the issue.

"There are 16 different language versions of the Witcher 3," said Jakub Szmalek, a senior writer for The Witcher 3. "And we wanted each of these versions to feel like it was aimed at this very [specific] market. We don't want you to feel like you are playing a lesser translated version of the game."

"If we achieve this goal, the problem arises that you forget that you are playing a translated version of the game."

Szmalek went on to address the controversy surrounding the lack of racial diversity in the game, saying that some people assumed that it was some form of omission or a statement that the studio was trying to make.

"It is definitely not," Szmalek said. "It's just that we tackled certain issues from a different perspective."

Travis Currit, who was one of the team responsible for translating The Witcher 3 to English, suggested that for those living in more racially diverse areas, the lack of representation feels far more pronounced. He went on to say that while Poland is relatively "homogeneous" in terms of race, CD Projekt Red drew inspiration from the tensions that existed between the various cultures coexisting in the country.

"It's fifty shades of white," Szmalek said.

"Every day you read the papers there's a new controversy," Currit said. "That is a huge aspect of the reality in which the games and the books were created, and we feel like we make very direct references to those in-game. We had become so absorbed with hitting these issues that are absolutely at the forefront of Polish consciousness, that we didn't have time to address the issues that are bigger in other countries."

"That's the issue of making a game that releases to so many peoples and cultures," Szmalek added.

Beyond the challenges of developing a game with such a laser focus on the politics of Poland, the team also spent the hour discussing the difficulties inherent in bringing the words on a page to life on a screen. A lot of these problems stemmed from finding ways to take aspects of Polish culture and present them in a manner that wasn't alienating to foreign audiences. The team also had to find a balance between adherence to the lore of the story and concessions made in pursuit of a more enjoyable game.

In the books, for example, witchers strictly refuse to use a crossbow, a weapon that comprises a valuable component of Geralt's arsenal in the third game. French fans were also surprised to see Geralt and Yennefer climb on top of a unicorn in The Witcher 3's infamous love scene because, due to a translation error made in the French version of the books, Geralt and Yennefer were described as making love atop a stuffed rhinoceros.

"There's more room on a rhino, so there are advantages to it," Szmalek joked.

"It kind of lacks some of the romance," Currit countered.

When asked if the team would approach adapting a book again, however, the answer was still an overwhelming yes.

"We cannot overestimate the importance of the lore that we have at our disposal," Szmalek said.

As the first part of the panel ended and fans took to asking the team questions, the topic inevitably drifted toward the potential for a return to the Northern Kingdoms. Though the team was quick to express their excitement for the upcoming expansion packs, which they reiterated would be roughly the size of The Witcher 2, they were reluctant to discuss any future plans for The Witcher.

"The next book we're going to be adapting," Currit said, "is the Cyberpunk rule book."

PC Gamer

Turtle Rock has announced that its four-on-one shooter Evolve, including all currently available DLC characters and content included with the Hunt 2.0 update that went out earlier this month, will be free for everyone this weekend.

Evolve's Hunting Season One and the playable Behemoth Monster will go free at 12:01 am PT on September 4, and remain open to all for 24 hours. At 12:01 am PT on September 5, the freebie will switch to the characters and content included with Hunting Season 2, which will also stay free for everyone for 24 hours. Anyone who purchases the game once the weekend is over will retain the progress they earned during the free play period, except for DLC unlocks, which will revert to zero.

Turtle Rock is also dropping the Meteor Goliath monster free of charge to all players, permanently, on September 3.

It's fair to say that Turtle Rock and 2K need this weekend to be a success. Evolve is still stuck well outside the top 100 games on Steam based on player count, and its numbers continue to slide: Its 30-day player average in mid-June was a little over 600, but over the past 30 days has declined to less than 450.


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