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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Someone has recreated Gone Home as a Counter-Strike map">gonehomecounterstrike





Not being able to shoot things really annoys some people. There are few better demonstrations of this enduring truth than Fullbright s first-person exploration game Gone Home. Not only has it spawned an hilarious parody featuring lots of things being killed, but now you too will be able to kill things in the titular home, thanks to this Counter-Strike: GO map.

"Your family is mysteriously missing again," so says the Steam Workshop description. "But you can figure that out later. Right now you have more pressing issues to attend to, like the fact that your house is full of terrorists and some dude has been taken hostage. Rescue him by taking him to the garage where you can make a swift getaway on that old bike thats been sitting there for twenty years."

The hostage map is recommended for less than 32 players, and can be downloaded here. Of course, you could go ahead and play Gone Home again, which comes highly recommended.

Thanks Joystiq.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Twitch chat bot plagues Steam users with wallet-emptying malware">items







If you've recently been invited to take part in a raffle for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items while chatting in Twitch, the good people at F-Secure have a bit of advice: Don't do it.



The messages are being spread by a Twitch bot, according to a recent F-Secure report, which enters channels and invites users to follow a link in order to enter a draw. The link leads to a site that asks for the user's name, email address and permission to publicize his or her name, but once that information is entered, a Windows executable is run that does some pretty nasty stuff: It can take screens, add new Steam friends and accept pending friend requests, initiate trades with new Steam friends, buy items (if there's money present in the user's Steam wallet), send trade offers, accept pending trades and sell items at a discount.



Previous variants of this hack were selling items at a 12 percent discount but it's apparently now running at 35 percent. The software is able to completely empty wallets, armories and inventories. "Being able to sell uninteresting items will allow the attacker to gather enough money to buy items that he deems interesting," the report states. "The interesting items are then traded to an account possibly maintained by the attacker."



F-Prot notes that all of this happens from the victim's own PC in order to get around Steam security checks that kick in when a user logs in from a new machine. It's a good warning to take note of: Steam may be a very secure environment, but nothing is foolproof. Be careful what you click.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best CS:GO tips I’ve received from angry teammates">csgo-aug







Every Monday, Evan writes about first-person shooters.



Playing a competitive online game means being subjected to a certain amount of unsolicited criticism. I think you receive a bit more of it in CS:GO, though, because your dead teammates form a kind of peanut gallery who can talk to you from beyond the grave. Being the last one alive as four other players hover over your digital shoulder is a quintessential CS experience.



I ve been that digital shoulder hundreds of times, struggling to clutch while a person I ve never met tells me which gun I should grab to retake Nuke s A bombsite, or chastises me for using a grenade in a one-on-one situation. It s annoying, but I m actually grateful for a lot of the harsh feedback that s been handed to me in these moments because it s shaken me out of some bad habits.



Below, a selection of some of the criticism that s been condescendingly muttered at me in CS that turned out to be great advice:





Don t reload.

Shooters, single-player shooters especially, condition us to reload as a Pavlovian response to getting a kill. Resisting that urge is one of the first things most new CS players have to unlearn. Most weapons in CS:GO take between two and four seconds to reload: plenty of time for someone to peek around a corner or move through the space you should be defending. But maybe more importantly, in close-quarters, reloading betrays your position with sound. Consider the trade-off: would you rather have a full mag and an enemy who knows where you are, or a shallow mag and an enemy who s out of position?



Don t underestimate how much you can do with four or five bullets. With a rifle, it takes three or four non-headshots to take an enemy from full health to none and in late-game situations, it s even less likely that the enemy around the corner has 100 HP.





Don t pretend.

A few months ago one of my teammates in a match I d solo queued into called me out on this. What are you doing? I bet you saw that on Twitch or some shit, right? He was right. I was ADAD spamming (quickly tapping A and D in alternation) to hold a corner on de_inferno. There was no purpose or tactical value to what I was doing, I was just miming something I d seen in a tournament. It was the equivalent of doing a bunch of fancy dribbling in soccer with no one playing defense against me.



It s great to experiment with stuff you see in competitive play, but understanding the situational benefits of each maneuver is a huge step toward pulling it off successfully. After the ESL, I started backing away from my own flashbang grenades on entries, something I loved seeing in that tournament. But then I realized that my grenade placement wasn t nearly good enough to guarantee that I was flashing enemies at all I was just imitating for the sake of imitating.





Please, please don't throw that grenade.

Put the pin back in. I see so much misplaced faith in the frag grenade in CS:GO, partly because I used to be that guy who d start a bombsite retake with a frag toss, often coming around corners while still in the follow-through animation for the throw. Here s what I learned, after someone finally scolded me: your frag isn t going to kill anyone. Even if you re the Joe Montana of grenades and toss directly into the enemy player s mouth, it ll do 57 damage. If you played a lot of CS:Source, where grenades did a max of 72 against armored opponents, take a moment to realize that a perfect toss will only inflict as much as about two bullets.



In almost all situations, but especially in one-on-ones, your rifle is going to be able to kill someone faster and more safely than any sort of offensive grenade. Flashes are handy in a lot of situations in CS, but they re also unreliable: you can t be sure how well you ve blinded someone. If I had just kept my gun out instead of reaching for that 4 key, I would ve won many more rounds for my team.





Don't turn a three-on-one into a series of one-on-ones.

This is the one I ve started to preach most to players that I solo queue in Competitive mode with. It s easy to take a round win for granted when you re in a 3-on-1 or a 4-on-2. The easiest way to give away an easy win, though, is arranging your team in a way that the enemy can encounter you one at a time, on their own terms. When you re defending a bombsite against a shorthanded enemy, your goal should be to guarantee a trade: put the enemy in a position where they must cross the firing line of Player B if they want to kill Player A.





Are you afraid of your own pistol, or something?

Pistols have an amazing amount of utility in CS:GO. In the current build, the CZ75 the only automatic pistol has a ludicrous amount of value as a short-range, spray-and-hope-for-the-best gun when your AWP isn t cutting it or your M4A1-S runs dry. Even with the recent change to price it at $500, the cost of two grenades, it s a strong backup for serial AWPers who fear being rushed.





Dude, why would you ever crouch-walk?

This is ancient, ancient advice, but it s something that I still occasionally see players doing on casual servers. Crouch-walking around a corner will always grant advantage to someone who s watching that corner they ll always be able to see your gun poke out, then your knees, and blast you before you see them. If you need to check around an object, shoulder peek: dart out of cover while revealing as little of yourself as possible, then back in as quickly as possible, purely to see where an enemy is.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to de_dust2 duel: Watch a competitive CS:GO match fought entirely with knives">csgo-knife-fight







CS:GO s competitive mode is where serious, hardcore Counter-Strike players congregate to test their aim and strategic smarts in a best-of-30, five-on-five format. There s a lot on the line: your pride, your matchmaking rank, your kill-death ratio. One does not simply agree to put down their guns and agree to 45 minutes of playful knife-fighting: it s hard enough to wrangle the tactics of your own team, let alone negotiate a no-guns treaty with five other online strangers who want to kill you.



Unless you re cyborgcommando0, who was a lucky participant in a CS:GO competitive knife match. For almost the entire bout (it was inevitably broken near the end as the losing team tried to regain the lead), 10 players slashed their way through de_dust2, commemorated above in cyborgcommando0 s entertaining highlight reel.

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to de_dust2 duel: Watch a competitive CS:GO match fought entirely with knives">csgo-knife-fight







CS:GO s competitive mode is where serious, hardcore Counter-Strike players congregate to test their aim and strategic smarts in a best-of-30, five-on-five format. There s a lot on the line: your pride, your matchmaking rank, your kill-death ratio. One does not simply agree to put down their guns and agree to 45 minutes of playful knife-fighting: it s hard enough to wrangle the tactics of your own team, let alone negotiate a no-guns treaty with five other online strangers who want to kill you.



Unless you re cyborgcommando0, who was a lucky participant in a CS:GO competitive knife match. For almost the entire bout (it was inevitably broken near the end as the losing team tried to regain the lead), 10 players slashed their way through de_dust2, commemorated above in cyborgcommando0 s entertaining highlight reel.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best highlights from CS:GO’s ESL One Cologne 2014 tournament">csgo-esl-one-highlights







The ESL One Cologne 2014 CS:GO championship went down as the most-watched Counter-Strike event in history, with over 400,000 combined viewers watching live in-game or through the ESL stream over the weekend. There were plenty of memorable frags, clutches, and comebacks during the 16-team, four-day event, the best of which I ve collected here.



Every ace (one player notching five kills) from the tournament





The final moments of the last in the three-match series between Cloud9 and NiP





LDLC s apEX notches a 3K on a terrific eco round





Dignitas dupreeh walks through smoke and is rewarded for a moment





A disgusting jump-USP headshot at the end of this clip





Semphis with an amazing stealth retake on de_dust2 s bombsite B





One of our favorite matches of the tournament, an incredible double-OT comeback





The moment of victory for Swedish team Ninjas In Pajamas



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to CS:GO ESL One Championship: watch these two amazing matches">csgo championship







The group stage of the ESL One Cologne 2014 just wrapped up today, whittling down the beginning 16 teams to an elite eight. We've already had two incredible matches out of Group D, and both have featured American team Cloud9, which faced Titan (France) and Team Dignitas (Denmark) as an underdog.



Read the full tournament breakdown on the Kniferound wiki.

WEDNESDAY

Cloud9 (USA) vs. Titan (France)

Map: de_dust2





Watch live video from esltv_cs on Twitch

THURSDAY

Cloud9 (USA) vs. Dignitas (Denmark)

Map: de_mirage











With the quarterfinals beginning tomorrow, there's no clear contender for the tournament win. Cloud9, the remaining American team and "comeback king" of the group stage, faces NiP, the team that dominated 2013 and took second at the EMS One Katowice 2014. Before that, the Katowice 2014 winner Virtus.Pro, who crushed US challenger iBuypower, is matched against Team LDLC from France. Epsilon, who beat out NiP in its group match, will face a rebounding Dignitas. Fnatic is favored in its match with Na'Vi. Check the full tournament bracket for schedule information. All matches can be watched live through CS:GO's in-game client or on the ESL Twitch channel.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The week’s highs and lows in PC gaming">SteamHigh







Each week PC Gamer s writers gather around a seance table and ask the previous seven days to reveal themselves. Not like that.



Tim Clark: What kept you, Snake?

I m mostly not much one for boss battles, but the fight with The End from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is, by a distance, my favourite. It s funny, tense and startlingly creative essentially everything that s good about Hideo Kojima s stealth series. Kojima s detractors inevitably point to his narrative excess and his games debatable interactivity but, honestly, screw that noise. Metal Gear Solid V coming to PC, in the form of both The Phantom Pain and its Ground Zeroes prelude, is great news. As Tyler pointed out in his

rousing piece earlier this week, this is an interesting, systems-based game running on a powerful engine. The PC version will likely be the definitive one. Now we just need Konami to confirm P.T. next...



Phil Savage: Craving curation

Steam is changing. Today saw the release of some new library upgrades, and, thanks to the dataminers of SteamDB, we've got an idea of the upcoming improvements to the service's store. This is all good news. Few things this week excited me more than realising I can now select multiple games in my Steam library. No, don't look at me like that. I own a lot of games and have a need to categorise them all.



Okay, fine, the potential store changes are more notable. Specifically, the idea of following individual and group curators for personalised front pages. It's a necessary move the continued sale of games like Air Control proves that Valve aren't interested in running a curated platform. Here's the thing: they never were. For years, they allowed unmitigated shit onto the store because they had deals in place with the publishers who shat them. Being on Steam is not, and has never been, a guarantee of quality. But being on the recommendations list of some reliable curators could be.







Tyler Wilde: Shadow Realms

Last week, I was griping about BioWare s live action You ve Been Chosen teasers. I m skeptical of any game revealed by not telling us what the game is. This week, however, we ve all begun forgetting about the teasers in favor of having thoughts about Shadow Realms, the game they were teasing. And Shadow Realms sounds pretty cool. It s a 4v1 episodic RPG, where the one is the Shadowlord, who s essentially a dungeon master. The Shadowlord attempts to stop the party haunting them, setting traps, casting spells, summoning monsters, and controlling any monster in the level." And despite last week s cryptic marketing, which usually suggests there s nothing real to show, alpha invites are going out next month. Find out more in our interview with BioWare Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman.



Samuel Roberts: Metal Gear? It can t be!

I have to echo Tim s enthusiasm for Metal Gear Solid V coming to PC I m a huge fan of that series and I ve completed all of them multiple times (except MGS4, since life s slightly too short for me to sit through its ludicrous hour-long closing cutscene again). I now want Konami to take it further. Some PC players would like an education on Metal Gear and why it s been so critically and commercially successful on consoles for such a long period of time. Konami already ported the original to PC years ago. Why not bring it out on Steam? Likewise, a few years ago, Konami employed port specialists BluePoint to remake MGS2 (eh), MGS3 (amazing) and PeaceWalker (very odd, but with a lot of connections to MGSV). MGSV is a great start from Konami, and I m glad it s not being seen as an afterthought release-wise like Revengeance was, but I think re-releasing the older games on PC could see that series be even bigger on Steam than it is on consoles. As Andy pointed out a few months ago, Metal Gear Solid has always belonged on PC.







Evan Lahti: Go, go, go!

I m so happy to see CS:GO gaining more popularity as an e-sport. On Thursday, during only the group stages (the seeding rounds) of the ESL One championship in Cologne, Cloud9 s match against Titan peaked at 270,000 concurrent viewers. Those aren t Dota 2 or League of Legends numbers, of course, but that figure exceeds what CS:GO drew during the grand finals of its last tournament. Valve made some improvements to CS:GO s spectating experience in a recent patch, and its comment during The International indicates that they might be throwing more of their support behind the game on most days the second-most popular on Steam in the future. It s inherently tougher for FPSes to catch on as e-sports because perspective-swapping between players isn t necessarily a great experience, especially for non-players, but continued support from Valve would have a huge impact on the scene.



Tom Senior: Rise of the PC

PCs are everywhere at Gamescom. They're pushing Ryse to 4K monitors in Crytek's booth, rendering 4 vs. 1 battles in Evolve and Shadow Realms. They're powering Firaxis' Civ: Beyond Earth demoes, sitting under tables in Paradox' booths and enabling huge League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive contests on the show floor. The Metal Gear Solid 5 announcement is the big news of the week, but it's symptomatic of the quiet ascendency of a platform that wasn't taken seriously by some publishers five or six years ago. There are a few holdouts, sure. I reckon Rise of the Tomb Raider will make it over late, and we may never see a PC version of Destiny, but these instances are proving increasingly rare. Hopefully in future, if we're lucky, we'll see more simultaneous PC/console releases for more big budget games, but let's not go too crazy.











THE LOWS



Samuel Roberts: Gamescom blues

Gamescom is like the local/mid-term elections in the realm of trade shows. If you re a journalist or one of the thousands of people being squashed in Cologne, I m sure it s delightful, as the show is notably better for access than it is for news but from the outside looking in, it felt like a bit of a non-starter for announcements outside of the great news about Metal Gear (I also share Tim s love of The End, MGS3 s astonishing boss battle), the reveal of Shadow Realms from BioWare and the Tomb Raider thing that pissed absolutely everyone off (even though the whole thing might be a timed exclusive it s pretty hard to work that bit out). A bunch of EA titles that probably should ve made an appearance Star Wars: Battlefront, Mirror s Edge, any of the other BioWare games in production didn t, meaning it ll likely be another ten months before we get even a whisper out of them again. If you re at home watching out for Gamescom announcements, I can t imagine it was nearly as exciting as the E3 shows were. There s plenty to look forward to in the rest of 2014 and early 2015, but for actual new things, it was kind of quiet.



Tom Senior: Gamescom attendees deserve a little more

Three hundred thousand people bought tickets and stormed the Koelnmesse this week, and many queue for a long time to be ushered into a theatre and shown some trailers at ear splitting volume. Ticket holders deserve a chance to catch some advanced access for their cash, so here's a shout-out to the developers who put playable builds on the show floor this year. Often games aren't ready for mass consumption in the wild conditions of a conference hall, but when you walk past rows and rows of packed-out Fifa kiosks every day it's clear how much that exclusive access matters to people. People were even enjoying a few battles in PIllars of Eternity in one noisy corner of Hall 9. I can only admire their powers of concentration.







Tyler Wilde: Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive

I don t care much about exclusivity deals that keep games off the Xbox One or PS4 (though I m sure I would if I owned one or the other), but when the PC gets lumped in? And by Microsoft? It makes me feel unwanted, alienated. Why can t you just be an Xbox gamer?



As I argued earlier this week, Square Enix might be getting a good deal by making Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed Xbox exclusive, but I m still disappointed whenever risk abatement involves withholding games. I get it, though. Developing games is expensive and any way to help ensure success is welcome. But for the brave, a lot of money can be made on the PC, and I fear console-focused publishers will never have a chance to figure it out amid their exclusivity deals and pre-order bonuses. The response to making less money on PC, where there are no discs to print, no used games, and long-term promotion, should be to solve it.



Oh, also, hey Microsoft, I d buy a PS4 before an Xbox One, so seriously, don t worry about keeping games off the PC. It won t help anyway.



Phil Savage: Exclusively empty

I get that words change their meaning over time. This is a natural and healthy part of the evolution of language. But sometimes evolution goes wrong. This has happened to the word exclusive . It hasn't changed its meaning; it's lost its meaning. It is meaningless a carcass of a word that rots the sentence that it's dumped in.



I watched Gamescom's console press conferences in a state of constant confusion. The word exclusive was deployed in so many ways, for so many scenarios, and none of them applied to what the word should mean. Even worse was the phrase first on console for Xbox/Playstation, which was liberally spat out for games already on PC. The phrasing is deliberately ambiguous. It can be read in multiple ways, but specifically applies to one. If a core part of your business strategy is to mislead your customers through empty phrasing, you are doing something wrong.







Tim Clark: A beastly problem

Just when I thought I couldn t QQ any harder about the seemingly endless stream of Zoo players in Hearthstone this week s highlight: queuing into five straight Zoos in casual back come the bloody Hunters. Between the Webspinner and Haunted Creeper, the Hunter class already had its early game bolstered by the new Naxxramas cards, but with the arrival of the secret-spawning Mad Scientist this week the class is now likely out of control again. Hey, you like playing against secrets right? Wait and see how much you like playing against opponents who don t even have to pay any Mana for them. The salt is strong with me.



Evan Lahti: Steam needs an overhaul

Steam updates constantly, but the design of the client itself has remained almost untouched for at least a few years. SteamDB sniffed out an upcoming update to Steam, but it only seems to address a few piecemeal issues rather than being a skin-to-bones reimagining of the program, which I think Steam desperately needs. The glut of indie games, DLC, Workshop content, and software that s flooded Steam in the past few years has rendered the store page and other corners of the program less useful; it s unlikely that tweaking Steam s lame tags system or adding a discovery queue will address Steam s fundamental problem: there s too much stuff, and it isn t meaningfully organized.



PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to CS:GO championship ESL One Cologne begins today">csgo esl one championship







Competitive Counter-Strike continues to draw a healthy amount of spectators as Valve s FPS has grown significantly since the end of 2013. Following Katowice earlier this year, the ESL Championship begins 3 AM Eastern on Thursday, the first matches of ESL One Cologne 2014 will kick off in Germany, culminating in a final match on Sunday.



Here s the full ESL One Cologne tournament schedule. 16 teams are competing for a $250,000 prize pool, with favorites like NiP, Dignitas, and Virtus.pro matched against challengers, as the ESL teams page puts it, like Copenhagen Wolves, NaVi, and iBuypower. Thursday s matches will determine the seeding of these teams within their four-team groups, with Saturday quarterfinals preceding the semi and grand finals on Sunday.



Earlier this week, Valve patched CS:GO to improve the in-client spectating experience a little, allowing you to natively view the game from the perspective of the match s caster. There s also a new camera transition animation that makes swapping between different players perspectives less disorienting. On Twitch, matches should appear on the ESLTV_CS channel.



As has been the case for other events, watching tournament matches in-game or with a Steam-linked Twitch account gives you a chance of collecting special in-game items.
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