PC Gamer

Summer Games Done Quick isn't over yet, but there's already a Mad Max-style trail of demolished games lying in its wake. Doom? Destroyed. Half-Life 2? The bastards skipped the best parts. Dark Souls 3? Completely humiliated. In fact, few PC games have walked away from the event with their dignity intact. Speedrunners are a savage group.

This year has had a fantastic showing of PC games—many of which have never been run at the event before. There's the return of some old classics which, while fun, we've already covered at Awesome Games Done Quick 2017 and SGDQ 2016. But, this year, we're calling out some new contenders you should be sure to watch. 

Dropping it like it's hot in Divinity: Original Sin 

Time: 23 min 47 sec

Let's start strong with my favorite speedrun from SGDQ 2017. This is Divinity: Original Sin's first showing at the event and the results are spectacular. For one, I have to acknowledge that runners Shaddex and Drtchops manage to beat a 50-plus hour, relatively linear RPG in just over 20 minutes. That's thanks to a string of ingenious skips which largely rely on a pair of pyramids each player has in their inventory that allows them to teleport to the other instantly. At one point, Drtchops clips a pyramid through a wall and Shaddex warps to it, skipping 90 percent of the game in one fell swoop.

The best part, however, comes from the main objective of the run. See, Divinity's combat is pretty damn tough and the two under-leveled players don't stand a chance in hell against the unavoidable final bosses. So they spend almost the entire run going around the world gathering over 60 heavy barrels to put into an indestructible chest until it's so heavy that they can simply drop it on the final few bosses and kill them instantly. It's one of the funniest game exploits I've seen. If you watch one run this year, watch this one.

Getting sabotaged in Clustertruck 

Time: 26 min 43 sec

Ignoring that this high-octane platformer took longer to beat than Divinity: Original Sin, this Clustertruck run has an excellent twist. If you're not familiar, Clustertruck has Twitch integration that allows viewers to alter the game by voting in the chat. Speedrunner 097Aceofspades continually has to contend with very thin trucks, trucks with lasers, or inverted mouse controls. But halfway through the run, Clustertruck's developer hacks into the game and starts screwing with him in the best possible way. It might not be anywhere near the world record, but this run is so unpredictable and fun to watch. 097Aceofspades never once loses his cool even when the entire world seems to be conspiring against him.

2B or not 2B in Nier: Automata 

Time: 1 hour 43 min 05 sec

Nier's combat can be complicated for people who have use of two hands, but Halfcoordinated makes it look easy with one, pulling off some very technical skips to bypass huge sections of the game. If you haven't played Nier, you don't have to worry too much about spoilers either since every cutscene is skipped and Nier doesn't make any goddamn sense anyway. The only thing is that the whole run is set to a constant barrage of Nier puns from the commentators that range from clever to cringey. If you're a fan of dad jokes, this is your El Dorado (also Halfcoordinated's dad sends him a message via donation that's really cute).

Trying to beat each other's meat in Super Meat Boy 

Time: 21 min 14 sec

Nothing makes you more aware of how bad at videogames you are quite like watching two people crush Super Meat Boy in 20 minutes. This head-to-head race is a photo finish because both Fimbz and Warm_Ham are just so damn good. Despite the odd mistake, watching them tear through each level is almost dizzying. It's speedrunning in its purest sense because neither runner exploits game-breaking bugs to gain an edge. Instead they each use a series of very subtle tricks, like pausing the exact same frame that they jump to basically trigger auto-jumping and bounce through a level extremely quickly. 

Out of bounds in Mirror's Edge Catalyst 

Time: 1 hour 03 min 49 sec

This is probably my second favorite run this year for one reason: It's nearly impossible to tell when Matchboxmat is exploiting the game. See, Mirror's Edge Catalyst boasts a big open-world to run around in but the game still pushes you along a linear path from objective to objective. In the true spirit of parkour, Matchboxmat uses many of Faith's abilities to go outside the intended path and pull off some legitimately impressive stunts without actually breaking the game. Unless you're familiar with Mirror's Edge, you might not even realize the moments when he's gone out of bounds or is doing something extra tricky because, like the best parkour, it all looks so effortless. The best speedruns are those that give you a newfound appreciation for a game, and after watching this one I felt a much deeper fondness for Catalyst.

Slipping through Dishonored 2  

Time: 35 min 14 sec

Similar to Mirror's Edge Catalyst, this Dishonored 2 run is all about inventive use of Emily's powers to quickly skip through entire levels. Speedrunner Bloodthunder whips through each zone so quickly you'll forget that this was supposed to be a stealth game. Because Dishonored 2 is so story-driven, there's a lot of unskippable cutscenes that need clever tricks to avoid. The most common one is finding ways to damage yourself after the cutscene begins in order to interrupt it, like when Bloodthunder tosses a bottle in the air that'll hit him in the head seconds later. Also there's an exploit called the "Jesus Jump" that let's you skip across water like a rock, so extra points for that.

Gotta go fast in Freedom Planet  

Time: 44 min 19 sec

One of the best showings at Games Done Quick is always traditional platformers like Mario and Sonic. They just never get old. But this year, I was blown away by Fladervy's run of Freedom Planet. My love for this run comes down to two things. First, Freedom Planet is a wonderful homage to classic Sonic games in a way that very few imitators ever achieve, which also means that watching it as a speedrun is as thrilling as the real deal. Secondly, Fladervy is an absolute machine. Not only are the levels large and very intricate, but he navigates them at such a breakneck speed it's sometimes hard to keep up. Fortunately, the commentary from his friend fills in all the gaps and you'll quickly begin to appreciate Fladervy's skill. Like Super Meat Boy, this is a speedrun that relies heavily on dexterity and muscle memory rather than exploits.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

As the year draws toward its final frosty furlong, I’m slightly surprised that one of the games I’m most looking forward to playing is also one of my favourite games from 2014. It’s Divinity: Original Sin, a game that I adored when I played it last year and that I expect to lose myself in again when the Enhanced Edition comes out next week. It’s not the only RPG that I’ll have revisited this year – both Pillars of Eternity and The Witcher 3 sucked me in at release and then lost me for a while when I realised they were going to require weeks of attention, but I used their expansions as an excuse to pick up where I’d left off. Here are five reasons to love digital expansions.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Divinity: Original Sin no colon Enhanced Edition is now out on Mac, Linux, and that newfangled SteamOS, meaning you can play it on that fancy Steam Box your mum's getting you for Christmas. I wasn't supposed to tell you that. Oops. Here, let me distract you with the news that Larian have updated the PC game so it's "in synch with the Mac & Linux version", oh and they've also "fixed a number of stability issues reported by players". That certainly sounds like a sensible thing to be doing.

I'm getting Divinity for Christmas, and I'm quite excited after hearing people banging on about it for months and months. The game made it onto our Best RPGs of All-Time list, so I'm blaming PC Gamer if I think it's rubbish.

PC Gamer
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

As the dragons finally return to their nests to hibernate and the ghosts don their chains to help remind misers of the meaning of the season, we approach the end of another year. As is tradition, that is time for we at the guild-house to award both quests and questers the ceremonial Scrolls of Honour . (Chorus of affordable angels)>

Scribed upon only the finest vellum in ink taken from a particularly recalcitrant octopus from the Abyssal Depths, they are a testament to skill and imagination and occasional disappointments that mean exactly nothing whatsoever except that I have a column and so I can hand out whatever made-up crap takes my fancy. Lo! We begin!

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

One day I’ll write a Desert Island Discs about the games I’d keep with me until the end of days, given a choice of ten. It’ll no doubt be a Desert Island Digital Downloads given the absence of physical media in my life. I live with the ghosts of entertainment.

Rather than compiling the list of games I’d take to the Vault with me though, today I’m aiming to put together a collection, one from each genre, that I’d use to introduce those genres to a PC gaming newcomer, or a lapsed gamer. A friend inspired this particular bundle of joy, someone who grew up with an Amiga but developed other interests and hasn’t touched a game for more than a few minutes at a time, either console or PC, for over fifteen years. A recent illness has left him unable to engage in his usual outdoor hobbies and games have filled the gap.>

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Every videogame has an EULA—End User License Agreement—and nobody reads them. And before you leap into the comments to expound on the unflinching attention you pay to the fine print, yes, I know that some people do give them the once-over before clicking the button that allows the action to proceed. But it's a tiny portion of the gamer population who bothers with them. I certainly don't. And because of that, I, along with just about everyone else, missed out on a little something being cooked up by Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios.

Larian revealed today that it performed "a little experiment" with the Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition EULA, just to see if anyone read it. "Our EULA on Steam included the following phrase: '16. Special Consideration. A special consideration in material or immaterial form may be awarded to the first 100 authorized licensees to actually read this section of the EULA and contact LARIAN STUDIOS at info@larian.com. This offer can be withdrawn by LARIAN STUDIOS at any time.'," it wrote on Facebook.

"We're telling you now because the results are in and it turns out that you in fact do read these things. Our lawyer feels good about this," it continued. Unfortunately, there's no indication what the "special consideration" offered to those who were paying attention might be, or if it even exists at all: It may well be one of those amusing ideas that doesn't quite get the full follow-through it deserves.

Either way, it has since been withdrawn, and section 16 of the EULA now reads, "Miscellaneous. Nothing herein shall be deemed to supersede or derogate from LARIAN STUDIOS's remedies at law," yadda yadda booboo—the sort of mind-numbing lawyerspeak that keeps people from reading EULAs in the first place, in other words.

It's not the first time that someone has decided to have some fun with a license agreement—remember when Gamestation collected 7500 immortal souls from its customers?—but more often than not, that fine print is more likely to to bite you in the ass than to tickle your funny-bone.

PC Gamer

We got a look at the major changes being made in Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition last week by way of a handy overview video that touched on the important points. But for those of you who prefer to get down and dirty in the details, Larian Studios has now posted a far more detailed breakdown of what's been done to the game. It is "the Enhanced Changelist," as the studio described it, and it is ridiculously long.

It's so long, in fact—10,000 words, spread across nearly 1300 lines—that I'm not even thinking about including the whole thing here. Yet while it's comprehensive, it's not complete. "We don't even think this list says it all, because sometimes one little change took weeks to get just right, and other changes were deemed too small to make it to this list," the studio wrote. "We even didn't list bug fixes in here."

A lot of it is relatively minor stuff, like new animations for using a wand, but there are some significant changes, beyond what's already been revealed, as well. There's a new cut scene that plays after freeing Icara, to select one such change at random, and there are now "DIY" weapons that can be upgraded with special items that are hidden throughout the game world. A large number of changes are reserved for the new Tactician Mode, and they provide some insight into how it will make combat tougher: Enemies will be more numerous and have access to more skills and abilities, and perhaps most worrisome of all, "The drunk goblins of Luculla are not drunk." That can't be good news.

If you want to dig into the meat of the Enhanced Editon changes, you may do so at the Larian forums. Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is out today, and is free for all owners of the original.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

We knew that Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition [official site] was coming today, so its arrival is no surprise. We knew what to expect too: split-screen co-op; improved graphics; more voice-over; controller support; a reworked story; revamped loot and economy systems; an overhauled skill system; and so on. I’m still impressed looking at the changelist detailing almost 1,300 changes that are now here for Larian’s fantasy RPG – and that’s excluding bug fixes and things too minor to mention.

You go on ahead and download the Enhanced Edition now – it’s a separate download, but free to all Original Sin owners – and I’ll pick over the changelog.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - DeathKnight
Today is the day!

Our busy little brains and fingers have worked for months and months making Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition. We've made thousands of changes to the original game, adding controller support, local co-op splitscreen, full AAA voicing, new quests and situations, new difficulty modes, and an entirely new ending featuring several new regions. We’ve put our hearts and souls into the Enhanced Edition, and we’re proud to release it into the world.

If you have Divinity: Original Sin in your Steam library, you are getting this game for free and you will find Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition in your Steam library as a new entry.

It is out now!

In case you're wondering "What's changed?", feel free to peruse the changelog over at the Larian Forums: http://larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=572102#Post572102

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