PC Gamer

What happens when you combine Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Platinum Games? "A videogame" is the most accurate answer, but if you've been disappointed by the lack of a decent Turtles game, it's a tantalising answer. Platinum Games has a good reputation after all: Transformers: Devastation is reportedly a very decent adaptation of the old school cartoons, and the studio is responsible for some of the best action games of the last decade, including Bayonetta and Vanquish.

According to the Australian Classification Board website, such a project does indeed exist. While the game hasn't been officially announced by publisher Activision, the Australian Classification Board doesn't have a reputation for telling fibs nor is it likely to establish one, being a government organisation and all.

What kind of Turtles game would it be, though? If Platinum's recent Transformers game is any indication, it won't need to align closely with the recent Turtles film. Indeed, it could more closely resemble the comics or even the '90s cartoon series. But that's all speculation at this point. So too is the question of whether it'll even come to PC: Transformers did, but this could be a mobile game for all I know.

PC Gamer

Every now and then I'll start playing a game, in this case Fallout 4, one that potentially offers dozens of hours of stories, quests, adventure, and excitement. And I'll say, essentially: "Nah. What else you got?" That's why when I climbed out of Vault 111 and arrived in Sanctuary, the first settlement area in the game, I decided to simply stay there. No exploring, no wandering, just staying put. I've now been there for roughly ten hours.

My other characters haven't done much with settlements yet, so I thought I'd see if I could build a healthy community and enjoy myself without ever once stepping outside the settlement itself. This new character, perhaps descended from a long line of cowardly dopes who were also completely uninterested in adventure, certainly doesn't look the type who would go out battling supermutants and monsters when he could just hang around the house.

Have nose, will not travel.

He definitely doesn't have the tools for it. I've not given him much in the way of strength and endurance, mainly storing his points in Charisma (for settler-attracting reasons) and Intelligence (high INT means more XP).

I leave the vault and arrive in the ruins of Sanctuary, where I have to begin with little bit of cheating, or at least some gaming of the game. To attract settlers (or new neighbors, as I want to think of them), I need to build a radio beacon. Beacons require a couple of crystals, a crafting component that can be a bit hard to come by if you happen to be dumb enough to play your entire game without leaving the starter town. Crystals are typically found in cameras, microscopes, and laser tripmines, none of which I've found in Sanctuary or Vault 111. There is another possibility, however.

You'll find this behind the house with the fallen tree. There's something on the roof as well.

There's an easy-to-miss root cellar in Sanctuary behind one of the houses, and it contains an advanced safe, a first-aid container, a toolbox, and a wooden crate. Since loot spawns when you enter a new area, and loot is randomized, there might be a chance of the crate spawning a microscope or camera (I'm not skilled enough to pick the safe's lock, and probably won't be for some time). If I save before I enter the cellar, and then reload that save and enter again, maybe one of those crystal-bearing items will turn up eventually.

I do this for, like, twenty solid minutes. Entering, checking the crate, then reloading and repeating, and while I see a variety of medical and junk items appear in the crate I never roll a camera or microscope. I'm about to give up on the entire endeavor and spend my time on a less stupid activity, when something interesting does finally appear in the box: a crystal liquor decanter.

The booze can't be too good if he drank the paint first.

Can I break that down into crystals for the beacon? Yes! In fact, the decanter has four crystals so I have a couple to spare. Excellent. Now I can get going, by which I mean not going anywhere.

I build my beacon, and a generator, and wire them together, then head into the house to build a bed for myself. Just as I plop it one the floor, someone suddenly walks right by the window, scaring the butt right off me. I have a new neighbor! Startlingly! Already! Either that beacon really works fast or she's been crouching in the bushes all day. I put her to work tending the melon patch behind the house and build a water pump. We've got food and water, which means I need to increase the town's defense rating. I build two turrets and plop them in the street next to my precious beacon.

The polite thing would be to knock on the door. You'll find it lying in the street.

Day two brings a radiation storm, so I go back to bed until day three, when a second neighbor arrives and I put her work tending the scavenging bench I've built, which means she'll amble around finding additional junk items to add to my stash. There's a lot to scrap in Sanctuary—trees, logs, cars, fences, furniture, even entire ruined houses—but it's not going to last forever.

Between scrapping expeditions, I explore the grounds. Sanctuary is an island, sorta—the river flows around it on both sides, and I figure anything inside the riverbanks is technically part of Sanctuary, even though the buildable area doesn't cover the whole island. Down by a small dock to the north, I shoot a couple of bloatflies. While I'm carefully picking their remains out of the river, I'm shocked to look down and see a large dog slowly walking through the water, staring at me. He's not attacking, he's just looking. Uhhh. Hello? Who's a good boy? Are you?

Dogmeat, or just dog meat?

He is not a good boy and after some more staring he abruptly attacks me and I shoot him down. While I'm gathering meat from the dog, I hear some noises that sound suspiciously like bullets whistling past my ears. It's a raider, and presumably the dog's owner. He's a mile away, near a distant shack in the woods, firing at me from behind cover. I retreat and he eventually gives chase. Once he's crossed the river, I gun him down as well. Heading back to town, I greet my third settler, who I'm pleased to see has brought a mutant cow with him. I build a trough so he'll stick around (the cow, not the settler). Like my grandaddy said, a town ain't a town without a revolting mutated two-headed cow. My little neighborhood is growing!

A few days pass without incident. I scrap more of Sanctuary and build a boxy two-story residence on an empty foundation and fill it with beds. I set up a couple guard posts, and start building walls around the general area we're living in. Unless we get a steady stream of raider invasions, building things and planting crops is pretty much the only way I can earn XP.

A gross shack and a basketball hoop. Paradise reborn.

A fourth settler arrives, then a fifth. I start dressing them in different outfits, because they all show up wearing drab raggedy outfits and it's easy to forget who is assigned to what. I give one settler a green dress I found, and another a nice blue suit. I put one in my Vault 111 duds, and the dead raider's sack-mask goes on one of my farmers. The fifth neighbor I leave as-is because I'm pretty much out of clothing.

Speaking of running out of things, I'm starting to get a little worried because no traveling merchants have dropped by my shoddy little berg. I'd kind of hoped to see one by now. Traveling vendors are essential to making this work: I need to freshen my inventory and sell what I don't need, like these two wedding rings I have for some reason.

Please look at me with both heads when I'm talking to you.

While I'm hanging paintings on the walls of our communal shack, the turret outside briefly burps. I run outside in time to see a figure slump over in the bushes. A single raider, coming from the direction of that shack in the woods across the river. The next day, another arrives from the same direction and meets the same fate. I stuff the bodies in an empty house so we don't have to look at them, and take their meager gear.

Days pass, and I'm still scrapping resources (seriously, there's a lot here to recycle). I'm also a bit restless, because apart from the two raider incursions nothing else is going on in my town. Bored, I craft a scope for my pipe pistol, build a series of connected staircases on the bridge at the edge of town, climb them, and peer through the scope. I can actually see Dogmeat over at the gas station, sniffing around and waiting to be met by a lone wanderer. I fire a few shots, thinking maybe he'll run over here instead. He doesn't notice. He's waiting for someone who is never going to arrive.


Down by the river over the next few days, I kill some bloodbugs and some wild mongrels, and I draw fire from four raiders who are walking around on the hillside across the stream. They won't cross the river no matter how much I try to lure them, though. The following day I shoot at a distant radscorpion, and he burrows into the ground and pops up right under my feet. Neat trick, tunneling under a river. I head back to town to greet my fifth settler. I spend time harvesting and replanting crops, netting me a little XP. Still, no merchants have come by. 

We do have one visitor, however. I step outside one morning and see an Eyebot serenely hovering down the street. It's advertising job openings at a chemical lab. I listen for a bit, then shoot it down. I hate to be unfriendly to newcomers, but the bot has circuits I need to build an additional turret. It's good timing, too: the next day there's a big incursion of four raiders, perhaps those I exchanged fire with. The turrets, my neighbors, and even the normally dormant Codsworth pitch in to defeat them. I spend the rest of the day dragging bodies, and parts of bodies, into vacant houses. Just feels weird leaving them lying in the street. My settlers keep saying things to me like "You should have seen us fight off those raiders!" I did see it, I was right here. Do I need to cut some new eyeholes in your sack-mask, you idiot? Now get back to melon farming.

More days pass. I've scrapped just about everything there is, and my sixth new neighbor has arrived. I feel like this is a decent little town now, really, but I still haven't had a single merchant come by, and I'm worried the game might not actually spawn them until you meet one somewhere out in the world, the world I have no plans to ever visit. I have a last ditch plan: raise my level to 14, enough to unlock the second rank of the Local Leader perk, which lets me build a store (it's not a real store, it just generates income). Maybe if I have a fake store, and staff it with a settler, the game will spawn a traveling merchant for me? I'm not particularly hopeful, but it's all I can think of to do. Only thing is, stores need 300 caps to even be built and I've only got about 60. And I can't get more without selling stuff to a merchant. It's a Catch 22 of my own making.

I spend my time in Fallout 4 building and recycling stacks of floors. That is what I do.

I start level-grinding in earnest, building stacks of wooden floors and metal signs, scrapping them, then building them again. It's slow and about as dull as it sounds, but I do kick over a few levels. Scrapping only returns a portion of the materials, however, so it's not long before I've completely run out of metal and wood. I craft the few things I can, I cook and perform acts of chemistry, and I cover most of the town with crops. I'm midway through level 12, impressive considering I haven't left Sanctuary, but it's still not enough to build the fake store that probably won't attract the merchant I need to afford to build the fake store.

This stinks. I think I'm screwed. I've simply run out of things to do, and there's still no traveling merchant in sight. That's where I'm at, right now. Waiting in Sanctuary. Waiting for someone who will probably never arrive.

PC Gamer

What is it? An open-world action game about destroying a dictatorship.Expect to pay 40/$60Developer Avalanche StudiosPublisher Square EnixMultiplayer NoneLink www.justcause.com

The explosions in Just Cause 3 are really, really good. They re elaborate, extravagant eruptions of fire, debris, and smoke. And when you blow something up, the ensuing fireball spreads to other objects around it, triggering a massive, destructive chain reaction. It s a brand of fiery devastation that Michael Bay would describe as too much . But that s about it. When the fires burn out, the smoke clears, and the dust settles, you re left with a simplistic, one-note, and strangely dull open-world action game.

Rico Rodriguez returns as the game s protagonist, and seems to have, over the course of three games, slowly transformed from Antonio Banderas into Nathan Drake. And this time he s liberating Medici, a picturesque chain of sun-soaked islands in the Mediterranean controlled by a one-dimensional cartoon dictator called Sebastiano Di Ravello. This sadistic, egotistical despot rules the country with an iron fist, and it s your job to dramatically blow up that fist.

Rico has always been a man who smirks in the face of physics, but in Just Cause 3 it s a hearty belly laugh. A new gadget, the wingsuit, lets you soar majestically across the map, and it s brilliant. You can keep going basically forever by shooting your grappling hook at the ground and pulling yourself forward. It makes no sense whatsoever, and is one step away from straight-up flying, but combined with the old grapple/parachute combo, moving around Medici is always hugely entertaining.

Di Ravello s hold on the islands is represented by enemy-controlled towns, airports, military bases, radar installations, prisons, and other locations. The general rule is, if it s red, you have to destroy it. By reducing these areas to rubble, you win territory back for the rebels. Blow up every enemy settlement in a region and it turns blue on the map, indicating that you ve driven the enemy away completely. Your ultimate goal is to take control of all of Medici and oust its dictator. A just cause indeed.

But it s not long before it starts to feel like a chore. Every enemy base has a long shopping list of objects you need to destroy—fuel tanks, generators, radar dishes, etc. And you charge around chucking grenades and launching rockets until every red thing has been checked off. The explosions are amazing, but they re a distraction. A fireworks display. Compare this to the rich, interlinking systems of something like Metal Gear Solid V, and you realise that Just Cause 3 has no depth at all.

But, being a sandbox game, you d think I would be able to just avoid this stuff altogether and find something else to do. There are story missions—in which you ll find some genuinely memorable, imaginative set-pieces—but they re often locked until you free a certain amount of territory on the world map. So to advance the story and see the next exciting thing, you re railroaded into blowing up red things. It s an unnecessary restriction in a game that claims to celebrate freedom.


Reviewed on GTX 970, Intel i7-950, 16GB RAMGraphics options Vertical sync, anisotropic level, texture quality, water detail, LOD factor, shadow quality, SSAO, bokeh depth of fieldAnti-aliasing FXAA, SMAA, SMAA T2XRemappable controls YesI tested the game on a GTX 970 and an HD 7890. At first the Radeon card suffered from micro-stuttering, but a patch seems to have fixed it. There were no performance issues with the 970.

Medici is massive, but there s no sense of discovery. When you see something in the distance, there s no mystery about what it might be: it s almost certainly a load of red things waiting patiently to be exploded. It s vividly colourful and the geography is varied, but it feels desolate and empty. Your only real interactivity with your surroundings is destroying it. And when you ve successfully destroyed something, it s gone forever, removing that interactivity. Gliding around with your wingsuit is exhilarating, but overall it s a disappointingly lifeless, unconvincing world.

It s not a bad game: just an underwhelming one. There are moments of wonderful, anarchic chaos that make you feel like the world s coolest action hero. And it s an amusing physics playground, letting you tether objects with your grappling hook cable and tighten it to violently smash them together. But these things, as fun as they are, can only hold your attention for so long, and boredom soon sets in. All the massive explosions in the world can t hide the fact that Just Cause 3 is marred by busywork and simplistic design.

But maybe you don t care about any of that, and you just want a simple action game you can fire up for an hour every other day to explode things. Reducing Medici to smoking rubble is undeniably cathartic, and it provides plenty of cheap, instant thrills. But anyone who wants anything more will be disappointed. Who knows what will happen when the modding community gets their hands on it, but for now, Just Cause 3 struggles to compete with other open-world games released this year.

PC Gamer

The GTA 5 modding scene has come leaps and bounds since the days when a jetpack on a car was impressive, but a new project aiming to create "the most realistic, stunning and immersive Grand Theft Auto experience to date" might be the biggest yet. Dubbed The Pinnacle of V, the mod offers a substantial graphics overhaul, but it also shakes up the game's shooting, driving and relationship mechanics.

A few highlights on the features list include reworked handling for every single vehicle in the game. It's not just the way they handle though: they'll crumple more realistically too, with top speeds, weight, crash physics and avoidance control more in-keeping with how vehicles move in real life. 

Meanwhile, relationships between all NPCs in Los Santos are a bit more... heated. "This creates a much more lively environment, seeing gangs and police battle it out on the streets, and allowing the player to enjoy their encounters with animals to a higher degree." I don't know what that means, honestly.

Some of the changes are more subtle, for instance traffic and pedestian behaviors. They'll appear more densely during peak hours, and DLC vehicles will now appear throughout the main game. 

There's a tonne of other gameplay updates including destructible environments but the graphics overhaul is most impressive, though likely to put a strain on most people's rigs. The full list of tweaks is over here, but check out the video below for a taste of how it looks. Best of all you can download the mods right now

Cheers, PCGamesN.

PC Gamer

The idea of having a mini-game to play with while you're waiting for the game you actually want to play to finish loading is a pretty good one. So why isn't it something you see more often—which is to say, ever? As Gamespot explains in this handy video, Namco managed to get a patent for the idea in 1995, so nobody else could incorporate it, and so gamers got stuck with 20 years of progress bars and incessantly repeating "hints." But 1995 was 20 years ago, and that patent expired yesterday.

To celebrate the expiration of a patent that, on principle at least, probably shouldn't have been granted in the first place, a Loading Screen Jam is being held with the goal of "defiling the patent that held back game design for so many years." It's underway now and runs for another three days and change, and the criteria is simple: Make a game based on infringing the patent.

"The games/loading screens made can either be games based around interactive loading, or a game that happens to have an interactive loading screen," the overview page explains. "The judging will be based on the loading screens themselves (and/or how they tie into your game), subtext/commentary on patents/trademarks that hold back design, and sheer disrespect to the original patent."

As happy as I am to see a ridiculous patent die, I can't say I'm convinced that it really held back game design all that much. Nor am I overly anxious to see developers pick it up and run with it; to borrow Gamespot's example, I want to play Ridge Racer, not Galaxian, and if I start playing Galaxian, I'm not going to want to quit for Ridge Racer just when I've found my groove. And on top of all that, there's going to be a voice in my head the whole time—every time—demanding to know why precious resources are being wasted on this silly loading screen game, instead of making my real game load faster. I have nothing against the idea, to be clear, I just don't think it will be as big a game-changer as, say, the Claw.

None of the roughly half-dozen entries on the game jam site scream "instant winner" to me, although Block Loader is kind of clever. The Loading Screen Jam runs until 12 am on December 4.

Thanks, Gameplanet.

PC Gamer

VTech admits that hackers broke into Learning Lodge and stole info

Over the holidays, children s electronic and educational toy manufacturer VTech Holdings Limited confirmed that hackers gained access to its Learning Lodge app store database on November 14, exposing the details of 5 million parents and children. Learning Lodge allows customers to download apps, learning games, e-books, and other educational products to VTech devices, the company said.

Our customer database contains general user profile information including name, email address, encrypted password, secret question and answer for password retrieval, IP address, mailing address and download history, the company stated in a press release on Friday.

VTech stressed that the database does not contain credit card information, nor does the company store credit card information on the Learning Lodge website. This information is provided on a secure, third party payment gateway during the check-out process. VTech also does not store social security numbers, driving license numbers, or any other ID card number.

The data breach was first noted by a Canadian journalist who asked about the incident on November 23. The company then conducted an internal investigation and discovered irregular activity taking place on the Learning Lodge website on November 14. Thus, the company knew about the breach on November 24 but didn t alert the general public until November 27.

After confirming the facts surrounding the unauthorized access to our customer database, we informed our customers as swiftly as possible on November 27 HKT, the company says in a FAQ. The company also states that it s currently reaching out to individual customers listed in the database via email, telling them of the hacking and the possibility of their exposed information.

Customers affected by the database breach include those residing in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Latin America, Hong Kong, China, Australia, and New Zealand, the company says.

A cyber security expert at Surrey University told the BBC that VTech s website may have been subject to SQL Injection, which he finds unforgivable given that it s such an old method of attack.

When it s hundreds of thousands of children including their names, genders and birthdates, that s off the charts, adds security expert Troy Hunt. When it includes their parents as well along with their home address and you can link the two and emphatically say Here is 9 year old Mary, I know where she lives and I have other personally identifiable information about her parents (including their password and security question), I start to run out of superlatives to even describe how bad that is.

VTech says it has implemented measures to defend its database against any further attacks, but did not go into detail. The Learning Lodge website has been suspended until further notice.

PC Gamer

It s easy to be cynical about the glut of video games based on Games Workshop properties. In the last two years they ve been coming out too fast to keep up with, like there s some horrifying mutated creature squatting out new games about Space Marines and Goblinoids leashed in a factory somewhere. The beastmaster feeds his creature expensive toy soldiers and tie-in novels and out the other end pops another slightly disappointing version of Space Hulk or a mobile game that s basically 3D Angry Birds called Snotling Fling. From deep within the engorged creature comes the waft of an upcoming MOBA.

But we shouldn t give up on the whole idea of making Games Workshop video games just because there have been a few letdowns. We ve seen several promising ones already and the worlds Games Workshop creates have potential for many more.

But first, some history

Games Workshop released the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle back in 1983 and that same year the first video game based on one of its titles came out, though it wasn t a Warhammer game. Instead, it was an adaptation of its board game Apocalypse made for venerable 8-bit PC the ZX Spectrum and its mighty 16 kilobytes of RAM. Apocalypse was essentially Risk with nuclear weapons, and was followed by adaptations of other non-Warhammer games like Talisman and Chainsaw Warrior (both of which have recently been remade) and an original video game published by Games Workshop itself back when that was a thing it did. That was Chaos, an early design of Julian Gollop, who would go on to make the X-COM series. (It s also been revived, as Gollop s spiritual sequel Chaos Reborn.)

In the 1990s, the focus shifted to Warhammer, with turn-based strategy games set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, a couple of atmospheric versions of Space Hulk, and a series of real-time tactics games on the fantasy side of things as well as the first forgotten Blood Bowl game in 1995*. Some were great and others less so, but they all demonstrated how well these settings worked for games. With adaptations based on the settings of books or movies often you find yourself repeating highlights of the source material, fighting for Hoth yet again in Star Wars: Battlefront or playing the Stark-alike Forresters in Game Of Thrones, for instance. Warhammer games don t recycle icons like these because they were made specifically for gaming, and have player-shaped gaps at their core like they ve been stamped out with a cookie cutter.

While THQ and Relic made good use of the 40K licence with the Dawn Of War series and third-person action game Space Marine in the 2000s, the main development on the fantasy side of things in that time was Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning, a sadly short-lived MMO (kept alive by a private server). On the whole Warhammer Fantasy has been underserved compared to 40K, even if you count Blood Bowl as part of the setting (which it is in a 'non-canon episode' sort of way that suggests on the weekends the Old World s warring races get together to kick a pigskin around and commit acts of brutality that make their wars seem quite pleasant).

A world of peril and puns

The Old World has bafflingly never been the setting for a single-player RPG. A decent MMO and a version of dungeon-crawling board game Warhammer Quest are the closest we ve come. While there are plenty of other Tolkienesque RPGs out there, Warhammer s combination of dark fantasy and black comedy is unique. The pen-and-paper Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game depicts a doomed world constantly on the verge of being swept away by the forces of Chaos, but then makes unlikely heroes out of rat catchers, vagabonds, and apprentices, swerving between gritty low-fantasy and extreme silliness as the mood takes it. While The Witcher s world is similarly afflicted by bigotry and corruption, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay lightens that with puns and clumsy player-characters among whom literacy is a rare skill to be treasured. It s more like Terry Pratchett s Discworld than all the spikes and skulls in the artwork suggest .

Vermintide gives you an idea of how much fun that game could be. Its heroes fight endless hordes of Skaven rat-men while gothic architecture looms over them, but find plenty of time for banter while being shot at by enemies with automatic weapons called 'ratling guns'. Vermintide s heroes would make fine characters for an atypical RPG—the cool-looking Witch Hunter is actually a sneering puritanical buzzkill and the Pyromancer s a lunatic whose magic so dangerous she catches fire almost as frequently as her victims. Vermintide s Tudor houses and twisty streets would likewise make a wonderful backdrop for an RPG, as would the decaying city of Mordheim from the strategy game of the same name.

In the grim darkness of the far future there are mostly Space Marines

Although the sci-fi wing of Warhammer has been explored more frequently in video games, they ve almost exclusively been games about the Space Marines. While I m on record as being pretty into those particular shoulderpad fetishists, even I have to admit that after shoehorning them into chess maybe we ve come close to exploring all the possibilities. With rare exceptions like Rites Of War, a strategy game about the space elf Eldar, and Fire Warrior, a first-person shooter that cast you as one of the alien Tau, almost all the 40K games have been about some flavor of Space Marine .

It s a big galaxy though, and one with room for more than just Ultramarines. Tabletop game Necromunda, in which colorful gangs do battle in the dystopian Underhive, is such a blatant candidate for an XCOM-style digital version it would be odd if someone wasn t secretly working on it already. Likewise, Gorkamorka, a racing game that pits vehicles clumsily welded together by Orks against each other, is such an obvious idea for a video game I m worried someone will announce one between the time I write this and its publication. [Ed. note: not yet!]

Next year, NeocoreGames, creators of The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing, are releasing a 40K RPG called Inquisitor Martyr, so we ll finally get to play a single-player RPG in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Pleasingly, it s not about a Space Marine but instead the Inquisition, grimly holding back the tide of darkness with their boltguns and a scowl . Pen-and-paper roleplayers have been spoiled with multiple 40K RPGs, however, covering not just the Inquisition but the Imperial Guard, the forces of Chaos, the Deathwatch, and Rogue Traders who are essentially the crew of Firefly if their ship was a floating cathedral the size of a city. Any would make for an excellent video game RPG.

There s more to Games Workshop than Warhammer, and I d love to see a digital take on their adversarial vampire-hunting board game Fury Of Dracula, but it s the Warhammer worlds that video games keep coming back to. As I said, they re ideal settings because they were made with room for players to be the stars, but the the other thing that makes them perfect is their unoriginality, and I mean that in the best possible way. They ve been built on love of popular fantasy and sci-fi incorporating ideas from Elric, The Lord Of The Rings, Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser, 2000 AD, Dune, Aliens, Starship Troopers, the Cthulhu mythos, and more—which means they can rush through the exposition that makes the opening of so many games feel like wading through Backstory Bog.

We don t need an hour of slowly being introduced to the core concepts in an extended tutorial because they re already familiar from books, comics, and movies. And when you dig under the surface that the superficial familiarity gives way to weirdness beneath—stranger elements like the alien frogs called Slann who are responsible for helping to genetically engineer the stock fantasy races of the Old World, or the Emperor of Mankind s secret history as an immortal who has been around since the 8th millennium BC. Those are the kind of things you stumble across delving into the backmatter of the rulebooks or the spin-off novels, and those are things the video games will get around to including as they keep filling up the corners of the Warhammer worlds.

In the meantime, I do have Snotling Fling on my phone, and will probably play whatever slides out of that mutant creature in the factory s gut next.

When people complain about the more recent Blood Bowl games by Cyanide I think back to that 1995 version by MicroLeague, which didn t let you choose where to place individual team members on the pitch or how to spend your upgrade points, and only had one player model per team. You had to click on every player individually to figure out who was a skeleton and who was a ghoul. It wasn t ideal.

Warhammer Quest gets this tone right with the mission in which you go to great lengths to rescue a miller s donkey from a grotesque spider lair, only to learn he wanted Old Nell back so the village would have something to eat. Your reward for that quest is one of Old Nell s roasted haunches.

Even Fire Warrior had Marines in it, though it gave back some of their mystique by making you face them as terrifying stompy enemies. While not a brilliant shooter it did have Tom Baker narrating its intro if you ve ever wanted to hear the Doctor explain that in the 41st millennium there is only war.

The posterboy for the Inquisition in the novels is Gregor Eisenhorn, an Inquisitor who suffered a facial injury during torture that prevents him from ever smiling again, but doesn t care because he never did anyway. He s a perfect encapsulation of the 40K paradigm, hugely over-the-top but eternally straight-faced.

PC Gamer

I love underwater areas in videogames. I don't like drowning in them, which inevitably happens from time to time, but exploring the ultimate "off the beaten path" areas is legitimately exciting, not least because game designers often hide good stuff there. An accidental fall into the drink by Redditor FiveStarFacial, and the Imgur album that resulted, suggests that Fallout 4 is a case in point.

The undersea journey only led to the discovery of one lootable item, a simple pot, but he also stumbled across some great flora, and a structure that looks a bit like a pumphouse. He couldn't get inside, but it did have a working light attached to it that attracted his attention. The obvious question is, why is it there? Why is all this stuff there, unless it bears some sort of in-game significance? And let us not forget the secret Fallout 4 harpoon gun that was discovered last week. Why have a weapon designed specifically for use underwater if you're not going to... go underwater?

In a later trip, for which he was better prepared, he discovered more structures, including a huge pipeline, some of which he could enter. Could there be more? There could be! Even if there isn't, there's some quality sightseeing down there, and whether you want to uncover secrets or just wander around, it's easy to do: The power armor has its own air supply, but it's slow and cumbersome; Mirelurk cakes (mmm, mirelurk) will give you the ability to breathe underwater temporarily, and if you're a serious swimmer, there's also an Aquaboy perk that will give you the ability permanently.

Thanks, VG247.

PC Gamer

We learned last week about the the Star Wars Battlefront DLC Battle of Jakku, which will add a new 40-player game mode calling Turning Point that has Rebel forces battling Imperials for control points and, ultimately, a planetary base. And now we can see it in action.

We can't actually play it—it's not out yet—but we can kick back and watch some gameplay. At a glance, it doesn't look terribly different from Battle of Hoth, but it's interesting that EA seems to want to emphasize that the appearance of AT-ATs does not mean that the Rebels are well and truly screwed. That was a common complaint from players during and after the Star Wars Battlefront open beta: Hoth was balanced heavily in favor of the walker-equipped Imperials, and "accurate" or not, wasn't a ton of fun.

The Battle of Jakku DLC will be available tomorrow for those who preordered Battlefront, and on December 8 for everyone else, and in either case will be free.

PC Gamer

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