PC Gamer

Trials Fusion's Awesome Level Max expansion is out July 14th, and among other things it lets you play as a unicorn-riding cat wielding a firearm. That doesn't sound as funny as it did at E3 the other week, but it still might elicit a few chuckles before another thousand frustrating deaths turn our upside-down-frowns upside-down.

Because Ubisoft, a new trailer has appeared to let us know what we're in for: namely a new adventure as the animal pair above, plus classic Trials tracks, fan-made tracks and more.

Awesome Level Max is split up into two parts: the aforementioned 'Awesome Adventure' that "also includes eight new classic Trials tracks, various mini-games and an entertaining soundtrack", and the 'RedLynx vs. All-Stars Tracks' pack.

That's "a collection of more than 20 new tracks pitting RedLynx s own track creators against the very best track creators across the world. The development team has collaborated closely with the fans over the past year, and half of the RedLynx vs. All-Stars tracks have been created by the best builders among the Trials Fusion community".

We gave Trials Fusion 85% last year, and it didn't even have any cats or unicorns in it.

PC Gamer

I've had breakfast, and now I want an early lunch, and it's all the fault of Cook, Serve, Delicious! developers Vertigo Gaming. They've just announced a sequel to their cooking/restaurant management game, and its food looks so tasty I could just reach into my screen and great now I need stitches. While I send them the bill for my medical treatment, here's Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!'s mouth-watering announcement trailer:

CSD2 "has you rebuilding your own restaurant in a massive skyscraper, earning money by cooking and serving customers delicious food and building up your restaurant s reputation from a zero star dilapidated caf to a five star world famous restaurant. Along the way you ll jump into other restaurants in the tower for shift work, star in the biggest reality cooking show ever, participate in tournaments all over the world, uncover mysterious ingredients, and tons, tons more".

The original is on Steam here if you're curious, while this sequel is due in 2016.

PC Gamer

A handful of people are still making MMOs (MOBAs being all the rage now), and in that handful is Obsidian Entertainment, of Pillars of Eternity and South Park fame, and also tanks and online science fiction. Skyforge is the thing they're making with Allods Online developers Allods Team, and they've just announced that its open beta begins on July 16th. (You can also buy a 'founder's pack' to get in on the 9th.)

'Is it free-to-play?' is the question you're probably asking, to which the answer is 'Yes'. It's free-to-play and it mixes sci-fi with ancient mythology, meaning it will allow you to "play like a god". (Hey. Some of us already do—oh I died again.) There's a new trailer above setting up the premise, and showing a bit of the game in action.

PC Gamer

Amazingly, we don't seem to have talked about Slain! (Steam link) before, so here's a quick precis: it's a gothic action-platformer with a none-more-metal soundtrack, buckets and buckets and gore, scrummy pixel art, and a hero who looks almost exactly like our Witcher friend, Geralt. It's out this Autumn, and there's a new trailer showing all of those things below.

The YouTube video title says 'June', but the footage was published yesterday—how confusing! Devs Wolf Brew Games, and publishers Digerati, have announced that Curt Victor Bryant, formerly of the band Celtic Frost, will be doing the soundtrack. 'Celtic Frost' sounds like the name of either a folk or metal band—and what do you know, it's the second one. Here is a good picture from Google Images:

In Slain, "players control Bathoryn, a hero in a Gothic world, seeking to liberate seven great towers from 7 deadly overlords.

"Bathoryn must battle his way through a doomed land packed with gruesome pixel art foes before ascending (or sometimes descending) each tower, defeating puzzles, traps and monsters alike. At the heart of each tower, he must confront a mighty overlord. Defeat it and Bathoryn s quest continues. Fail, and you ll die gruesomely mauled by werewolves, disintegrated by floating monstrosities, squashed by great weights or torn apart by hidden blades."

PC Gamer

If you've ever dreamt of seeing Ornstein and Smough settle their differences with sword and hammer, then this forthcoming Dark Souls mod will please you. Dubbed Arena Mod, it allows players to control each of the RPG's many and varied bosses in custom arena scenarios. Yes, that means you will theoretically be able to sic Sif onto Ceaseless Discharge. I can't imagine how that would work, but I look forward to finding out.

The mod is in development now by DaTeHaCKs, and is expected to release this September. According to the YouTube description, it's not just bosses you'll be able to control: all enemy characters will be playable, while the mod will also add some fixes to the camera and movesets, presumably to make controlling them a little easier to handle. 

Sounds like a good way to pass the time as we await more news on Dark Souls 3, which Wes was lucky enough to see in action at E3

PC Gamer

F1 2015 is releasing next week, and it's probably worth more fuss than last year's instalment. It's the first F1 game to hit the new generation of consoles, which means Codemasters is using a brand new engine to power it. It's also the debut for the new Championship Season mode, which attempts to bring some of the drama of televised racing to the reputedly dry series. That means a 'broadcast presentation' style, as well as other attempts to make your otherwise mute driver hero a little more human.

There's also the ultra-realistic Pro Season mode, which means you'll be driving looooong races in cockpit view only, without the luxury of skipping practice and qualifying sessions. F1 2015 releases July 10. Hopefully it'll prove more exciting than last year's instalment

PC Gamer

Piranha Bytes, the developer of the Gothic and Risen RPG games, has announced that its new project is an "Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating, Xenial open-world RPG" called Elex.

"Elex is a handcrafted action role-playing experience from the award-winning creators of the Gothic series, set in a brand new post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe that puts players into a huge, seamless game world full of original characters, mutated creatures, deep moral choices and powerful action," the press release states.

That's really all there is to go on at this point, although Piranha Bytes Game Director Bjorn Pankratz said Elex will be a "completely new game experience with a fresh setting, new assets and plenty of possibilities." I'm assuming those differences will be in contrast to the studio's previous series, both of which were relatively conventional fantasy action-RPGs. 

Piranha Bytes isn't BioWare or Bethesda, but it's been making RPGs for close to 15 years and has created some interesting stuff, so I'm really looking forward to finding out what it's got in mind for "science fantasy." We could be waiting awhile for that, though—Elex isn't expected to be out until late 2016 or early 2017. In the meantime, you can follow along at Elexgame.com.

PC Gamer

Several months ago, Maximum PC ran a story in the January 2015 issue that was called "Maximum PC, Minimum Effort: The lazy guy's alternative guide to being a tech guru" It was supposed to be a cheeky article about PC maintenance with the occasional satirical twist, but sadly, it didn't work. What we ended up with was an article chock-full of terrible advice that left readers angry and confused. For that, I personally apologize.  

Here's a snippet from the article that's gotten readers on Reddit so riled up:

I have no qualms about saying that the article fell short of the mark in many ways. Not to make excuses, but it was written over half a year ago, and no one on our current roster would even think to pen something so filled with heresy today. Such advice as "always go with whatever Amazon suggests" might be great advice if you're lazy, or the writer might have been trying to make a joke, but for a PC enthusiast seeking a new GPU, that advice is about as ridiculous and useful as having an an extra toe on your elbow.

Let me make it absolutely clear: we build, tweak, tune, diagnose, benchmark, test, research, and tune everything here. Everyone on staff carries the same strands of DNA that are chemically and biologically bonded since birth: We are hardcore PC and hardware enthusiasts through and through. There are times when there is disagreement among our staff about what kind of features or ideas we should chase after, but it's all with good intent. And yes, like those of you who were turned off by this particular article, the current cast feels the same way, too.

In my first editor's note, which came out in February 2015, I touched on Maximum PC's past. For longtime readers of the magazine, you might recall that we were previously named boot Magazine. I mentioned in that article of boot's ability to excite and educate in a way that no other publication ever did. I also mentioned that we're working to bring back that energy.

To the Maximum PC community and to the PC community on the PCMasterRace subreddit, I formally apologize for that article and acknowledge how cringey it came across. Rest assured, it won't happen again.

/ Tuan

PC Gamer

The second best piece of mail I ve received this month (the first being a desperately needed tax rebate from Uncle Sam), arrived in our office with no little fanfare today. By which I mean it literally arrived with a fanfare. When I opened up the small cardboard tube that had been sent to us by Blizzard, little trumpets played. I pulled out a scroll tied with ribbon, on which is the following message:

Champions are gathering from around the world to witness the next exciting thing Hearthstone has in store. News travels far and wide in search of brave new faces ready to answer the call to arms — Are you one of them? Muster for battle and mark July 22 on your calendar. The next bit of news won t come by carrier pigeon — thankfully, we have much better ways of communication now. Victory awaits.

So what do we know? It's not entirely clear whether the date refers to the announcement of the new content, or potentially the content's actual arrival. I would lean towards the latter, given that you don't muster for battle for a piece of news, you do it for the actual battling.

[Update: a little bird tells us to expect an announcement on 22 July.]

GvG tease

As for what the new stuff will be, well, the last time I got one of these oblique teaser messages from Blizz, it was of a Demolisher blueprint designed to hint at the then soon to be announced Goblins vs Gnomes card expansion. Given the logic that the rollout of new content so far has alternated between adventure modes (like the recent Blackrock Mountain) and card drops, it s reasonably safe to say that 22 July will see the announcement of the next big card set.

As for how the next set will be themed, there are bound to be clues which smarter readers than me can pick up on in the text. But between the scroll and the trumpets, I get a distinct tournament vibe from it. Perhaps the new cards will all be participants in some grand joust. Or maybe there really is a tournament mode in the works, although I think that s less likely as we ve only just got Tavern Brawl.

[Update 2: Those of you with keen ears might have already noticed, but the fanfare that plays in the video above is nearly identical to the theme from the Argent Tournament, an event from World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion. This, along with the wording of the note, makes the Argent Tournament look like a strong candidate for the theme of the next expansion.]

Reddit seems to think Pirates vs Ninjas could be a thing, but at lunch my colleague Tom was convinced Taurens vs Worgens is the way to go. I m just happy new stuff is on the way, as getting my dome shattered by Patron Warrior was becoming a little old. At this point I would be keen for everyone to stop getting in here thanksverymuch. And who knows, maybe Druids will get a playable new class card. I will pray to my leafy gods tonight.

PC Gamer

Tomorrow, July 4, is Independence Day in the US, when people across the country get together and set things on fire to celebrate Jaden Smith punching out a xenomorph. The relevant point is that a number of indie developers have also come together to celebrate their own "Indiependence Day," by not putting their games on sale.

Indiependence Day is a response of sorts to the deep-discount game sales that we all take for granted, and that are especially prevalent among indie games. "Players have been conditioned, through bundles and mega-sales, not to pay full price," the site states. "And although money isn t the primary motivating factor for a lot of us, if the dynamics of the industry don t change, indie games will become an unsustainable model. Indie games have been such a source of creativity and originality over the last 10 years, and we want to keep them going!"

The games in the non-sale are still relatively inexpensive, topping out at $20, and the ones I've played—among them World of Goo, Tengami, 7 Grand Steps, and Hot Tin Roof—are really quite good. Of course, a game's "value" can only be determined by the individual gamer, and lots of people will argue that the "race to the bottom" has actually invigorated the indie scene. After all, when has it been better than it is right now? Even so, I like the idea, but given how accustomed we all are to buying games at 80 percent off, I can't say I'm entirely confident that it will be a runaway success. You can take a look at Indiependenceday.com.

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