Half-Life

Has it really been ten years since we last partnered with bespectacled scientist Gordon Freeman, and his daring sidekick Alyx Vance? It has! Which is why PCG UK 310 has that gorgeous luminous orange lambda scrawled over its cover. 

Inside The Half-Life Issue, Andy chats exclusively to the makers of third-party remake Black Mesa, and we celebrate Half-Life 2 with analysis, stories and jokes in our five-part retrospective. 

Elsewhere, you'll find the second half of our massive history of FPS games feature, and Steven gets to grips with the first MechWarrior campaign in 15 years. Previews this month include the new-to-PC Final Fantasy 15, Biomutant, Anno 1800 and more. And if that's not enough for you, this month's issue comes with free games: Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate, and a Sudden Strike 4 demo. 

Issue 310 is on shelves now and available on all your digital devices from Google Play, the App Store and Zinio (they may be slow to update—look for that glowing Half-Life logo on the front). You can also order direct from My Favourite Magazines or purchase a subscription to save yourself some cash, receive monthly deliveries and enjoy our exclusive subscriber covers. This month's is an absolute belter:

This month:

  • Andy gets exclusive access to Half-Life remake Black Mesa. 
  • We celebrate Half-Life 2 in our five-part retrospective.
  • Steven plays the first MechWarrior campaign in 15 years.
  • Part two of our colossal history of FPS games feature.
  • Tom recreates the PCG team for his review of XCOM 2's new expansion.
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Rez Infinite, LawBreakers and more reviewed.
  • Final Fantasy 15, Biomutant, Anno 1800 and more previewed.
  • Our CPU cooler group test.
  • And much more!
Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Rich McCormick)

tf-header

Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.>

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray but in reverse. (more…)

Portal 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Hazel Monforton)

dishonoreddeath

When we meet the creators of fictional worlds, we often want to kill them. Whether its Bioshock’s Andrew Ryan and his deadly Rapture, GlaDOS and the sadistic test chambers of Portal, or Kirin Jindosh and the Clockwork Mansion. The urge to destroy these builders is partly down to the nature of their constructions – deathtraps and mazes that make the architect a cruel overseer – but there is perhaps more to it than that. With spoilers for the above, Hazel Monforton investigates the role (and the death) of the author in a medium that invites the audience into the action.>

(more…)

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

This week we finally learn who the killer is, but will the answer provide more questions than solutions? Read on for this week’s hair-raising installment of… The Steam Charts. (more…)

Half-Life

In the spirit of "why the hell not", a group of five modders is recreating Half-Life 2 in the Half-Life engine. There may be practical reasons for using this mod – maybe you don't own a copy of Half-Life 2 but you do own a copy of Half-Life – but these demakes are usually done just to see if they're possible. 

So far, so good: the team has already completed the game's first chapter, but they need help – especially from programmers and modelers. The mod's demo is currently available on ModDB, where you can also follow its progress.

"You might be aware that this has already been attempted already, but none of these have actually panned out," the description reads. "With Half-Life 2 Classic, we hope to communicate more with the community, so that even if we don't manage to recreate the whole game, we can still release a substantial part of it, which can be continued by someone else in the future."

Meanwhile, whether the mod will be a deliberately retro-styled outing, or whether they'll try to match Half-Life 2's fidelity, is yet to be seen. "We're still debating if we should stick close to Half-Life 2's graphics, or if we should downgrade them on purpose, and if so, how much. We may even make optional high-res models for the hd model pack, while keeping the base game's models low-res. But it depends on what most people want."

Check out the mod in action below. Cheers, Kotaku.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

CSGO Lotto

The owners of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin gambling site, CSGOLotto, have been told by the US’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they must now “clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted product or service”. The requirement is part of the settlement of an FTC complaint which alleged Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell deceptively endorsed CSGOLotto while failing to disclose that they jointly owned the company.

The FTC has also fired off warning letters to 21 influencers (who the commission had previously targetted with educational missives about disclosing endorsement) and added a heap more specific social media advice to its guidance document on the matter. (more…)

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

Come one, come all, but not all at once or you’ll break our caching, and see the Steam Charts in all their glory! Which game will have reached the coveted #2 position this week?! (more…)

Team Fortress 2


The stage is set this Sunday for the thrilling conclusion of ETF2L's Season 13 Highlander excitement. There have been some close matches this season, sadly many of which were not streamed. That changes now! TF2 podcast KritzKast teams up with Whitelist.tf to stream the mighty battle between feisty go-getters Strong Opinions and last season's champions Super Dickmann's KANNONEN!


You can catch every stab, punch, airshot and airblast live this Sunday, September 10th, at 21:15 CEST on KritzKast's Twitch Channel!


Half-Life 2

If you found science-fiction author and former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw's synopsis of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 interesting to read, you might find it interesting to play, kinda, sorta. Laidlaw recently published a gender-swapped, name-changed fan-fictionesque version of the possible major events of the never-published episode of Half-Life 2 called Epistle 3, which created a bit of excitement among Half-Life 2 fans and also spawned a game jam using Laidlaw's story as its inspiration.

There are a number of games already submitted to the jam, and I just played one made by Blendo Games, maker of Quadrilateral Cowboy and Thirty Flights of Loving. It's a Half-Life 2 mod called Tiger Team. It's only a few minutes long, and it takes you through some of the events, kinda, of Laidlaw's story, sorta. (Here's a version of the story with the game's real character names which I found easier to follow.)

I'm not honestly sure I knew what was going on with everything in the mod—there's a lot of bouncing around between scenes, and without having read the story I wouldn't have been able to follow a damn thing going on. But if you read the story and then play the mod, you should be able to grasp most of what you see. Besides, since we'll never get to play the real thing, this may be as close as we can get.

You can download the Tiger Team mod here

Portal 2 - Valve
An update has been released for Portal 2 and Portal 2 Authoring Tools.

- Updated to latest Steamworks SDK to fix the map publishing tool.
...

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