Left 4 Dead 2

While the speedruns performed live on stream at Games Done Quick events aren't necessarily the fastest runs in their categories (though world records have been broken), they're often some of the most entertaining. The live audience ups the pressure, and the commentary from the streamers as they explain their ridiculous glitches is always fascinating.

Last week, the latest Awesome Games Done Quick marathon raised over two million dollars for The Prevent Cancer Foundation and gave us many more frame-perfect feats to be awed by. Below are some of our favorite runs from AGDQ 2018 (specifically of games that are on PC, naturally), and we'll have more about the event and its future soon.

Note that you may have to skip ahead a ways in these videos if they don't auto-jump to the beginning of the run. You can see all the runs on AGDQ's YouTube channel.

Resident Evil 7 (1:49:27) 

By Carcinogen

Probably the most widely celebrated speedrun of AGDQ, it's no surprise that we'd want to highlight this incredible Resident Evil 7 run first. It's a perfect entry point into what makes AGDQ special: a talented runner, an informative and funny couch of commentators, and a challenging game that's tense to watch. Carcinogen's run is full of moments where things go wrong and he manages to just barely survive, but it's his charisma that really makes it all fun—like when he takes the piss out of a jumpscare by adding in a scare of his own. —Steven Messner

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (27:49) 

By tinahacks

Lizardcube's gorgeous remake of Wonder Boy 3 is mostly faithful to the original, and has a retro mode you can activate at any time to see the original graphics. During tinahacks' skilful run she uses that to skip boss intros, and one of the Lizardcube team, who is there on the couch, is just a little bit crushed by it. Having someone who worked on the game there to contribute insights adds a lot to what would already be an impressive speedrun (I played a lot of Wonder Boy 3 on my neighbor's Sega Master System, and I never came close to being as good as tinahacks). Lizardcube are actively involved with the speedrun community, and even decided to leave a few of the more interesting glitches in their remake so runners could exploit them, as you'll see here. —Jody Macgregor

Skyrim (50:26) 

By Wall of Spain

I enjoyed seeing high-skill speedruns like Claris's run of Sonic Mania, but I also like the goofy stuff and Wall of Spain's glitchy tumble from one end of Skyrim to the other was as goofy as they get. He stops to get married (or at least tries to), screws up one of the only fights necessary to finish the main storyline, and makes extreme use of the strange fact that in Skyrim your character's velocity remains constant when you load a different save. You can complain about Bethesda's open-world games being buggy, but without those bugs glorious messes like this wouldn't be possible and speedruns wouldn't be half as fun to watch. —Jody Macgregor

Half-Life: Opposing Force (26:14) 

By alexh0we

It starts slow, but stick with this run to the second chapter where alexh0we starts murdering hapless NPCs to steal their guns, strafe and machinegun boosting, and sticking some brutal jumps. Most interesting from a technical perspective are the framerate tricks—drop it low enough, for instance, and you can walk through lasers because in no frame will they connect with you. Alexh0we's stream of informative commentary keeps this run entertaining even during the slow parts.  —Tyler Wilde

Arabian Nights (47:17) 

By Kotti

The Awful Games block of ADGQ is a gauntlet of nightmarishly terrible games, but none are as baffling or as hilarious as Arabian Nights, an extremely obscure 2001 platformer that tried to cash in on Prince of Persia’s popularity. From start to finish, the run is a confusing mess of inexplicable glitches and terrible game design underscored by Arabian Night’s eye-rolling portrayal of Middle-Eastern culture and Conan the Barbarian-style objectification of women. You have to see it to believe it. Speedrunner Kotti has to endure multiple crashes just to beat the damn thing, but it’s all worth it for the couch commentary and laughably bad cutscenes. —Steven Messner

Left 4 Dead 2 (55:15) 

By mr.deagle, The Master, burhác, and MrFailzzz 

This is a special run in a few ways. Firstly, it's co-op, which you don't see in a lot of speedruns, and secondly, Left 4 Dead 2 isn't going to throw out weapons and zombies in the same way each time, which sets it apart from games that can be perfectly memorized. Yet the zombies are mere pests to these players, who are wholly focused on performing impressively huge skips (which involve a grenade launcher) and bunny hops. Though I could never play as well as this squad does in Left 4 Dead 2, runs like this can reveal how much challenge comes from us buying into a game's premise rather than the game itself. Play Left 4 Dead 2 like a race to master, and the undead are just speedbumps. —Tyler Wilde

Hollow Knight (38:28)

By Mickely3

It's slightly sad to see one of our favorite games of 2017 demolished in under 40 minutes, but Mickely3's run contains some impressive glitching—did you know you can just float around all the time and Hollow Knight is totally fine with that?—as well as just some old fashioned good platforming.  —Tyler Wilde

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Sorry to frighten the more sensitive reader, but, goodness me, among the miserably common entries, this week’s chart welcomes a fair few newbies and indies! Are customers about to get better at buying? Or will we just see these games in the charts every week for the rest of the year? STAY TUNED! (more…)

Portal 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Weeeee

It’s not the Portal follow-up we were expecting, but it’s the one we got. Bridge Constructor Portal is a crossover between Valve s comedy science puzzler and the strut-straddling engineering of the Bridge Constructor series. You re still making bridges that wobble from A to B, and sending small vehicles across your creations. However, you also have the distraction of portals, turrets, proulsion gel and catapults, as well as a passive aggressive computer that passes judgement on your techniques. It feels fruitless to review such a straightforward cocktail – it’s two flavours you may already know so let’s just see how they blend together. And the opening chapters are reassuring. This is a decent wee nugget of a puzzler. (more…)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

As the feedback loop of Steam successes reaches an ear-shattering scream, this week we see last year’s best sellers dominating the New Year’s first week. So I refuse to live in the past. Let’s look forward. Let’s imagine what we might want from these behemothic developers. (more…)

Team Fortress 2
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Fixed not being able to apply the Civilian Stat Clock to Civilian-grade weapons
Team Fortress 2 - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed not being able to apply the Civilian Stat Clock to Civilian-grade weapons
Team Fortress 2
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Fixed Festivize Woodsy Widowmaker not drawing the lights
  • Fixed the main menu being muted if clients disconnect from a server while in freezecam
  • Updated festivized items to use "Festivized" in the name instead of "Festive"
    • This will help disinguish the original Festive weapons from weapons that have had a Festivizer applied to them
  • Updated Strangifiers so they can no longer be applied to War Paint items
  • Updated the equip_regions for the The Koala Compact, Pocket Saxton, and Pocket Yeti
Missed note from the Smissmas update:
  • Australium weapons can now be Festivized
Team Fortress 2 - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Fixed Festivize Woodsy Widowmaker not drawing the lights
  • Fixed the main menu being muted if clients disconnect from a server while in freezecam
  • Updated festivized items to use "Festivized" in the name instead of "Festive"
    • This will help disinguish the original Festive weapons from weapons that have had a Festivizer applied to them
  • Updated Strangifiers so they can no longer be applied to War Paint items
  • Updated the equip_regions for the The Koala Compact, Pocket Saxton, and Pocket Yeti
Missed note from the Smissmas update:
  • Australium weapons can now be Festivized
Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

We’ve already seen which games sold best on Steam last year, but a perhaps more meaningful insight into movin’ and a-shakin’ in PC-land is the games that people feel warmest and snuggliest about. To that end, Valve have announced the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards, a fully community-voted affair which names the most-loved games across categories including best post-launch support, most player agency, exceeding pre-release expectations and most head-messing-with. Vintage cartoon-themed reflex-tester Cuphead leads the charge with two gongs, but ol’ Plunkbat and The Witcher series also do rather well – as do a host of other games from 2017’s great and good.

Full winners and runners-up below, with links to our previous coverage of each game if you’re so-minded. Plus: I reveal which game I’d have gone for in each category. (more…)

Team Fortress 2
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Fixed missing War Paint icons in the Steam Community Market and Steam Inventory
  • Fixed The Hot Hand not displaying the item level in its description
  • Fixed Steam Workshop file uploads applying filesize limits before compression, rather than after
  • Updated materials for the Dovetailed War Paint to fix a problem with the alpha channel
  • Updated materials/models for The Snowmann and The Nuke
  • Updated the localization files
...

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