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A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.
Over at the Humble Store today, you can pick up a copy of Team Cherry's beautiful 2D action platformer, Hollow Knight, with 34 per cent off. That brings the price down to 7.25 / $9.89 depending on where you are in the world.
This is the latest in Humble's line of two-day deals, offering up a variety of discounts, mostly on indie titles, with some short time limits. For your money, you'll be getting a Steam key as well as the DRM-free version. As usual with these things, Humble Monthly subscribers will get an extra 10 per cent off that price.
Despite friends repeatedly nudging me into playing it, I’ve still only played the first couple hours of Team Cherry’s excellent Dark Souls-ish metroidvania Hollow Knight. Normally a point to lament, but I’m not feeling so bad about it today.
Riding a wave of inertia from a very successful launch, the third and final free expansion for the game, Gods & Glory, is on its way. With it, we’ve got a teaser trailer and a feature list for those who don’t have quite enough bugs in their lives. Maybe once this comes out, I can begin playing it properly.
Gorgeous bug-based exploration adventure (or Metrdoidvania, if you will) Hollow Knight is due to get one final, free expansion update soon -
and developer Team Cherry has offered up a new teaser trailer in anticipation of its arrival.
Hollow Knight's final expansion, Gods & Glory - AKA Content Pack 03 to Kickstarter backers - follows on from last year's substantial freebies The Grimm Troupe and Hidden Dreams.
It introduces a new character and quest, more boss fights, a new game mode, and special Glorify Charms. "Track down this disturbing yet alluring being, break her chains and aid her in an ancient duty", says Team Cherry of new character The Godseeker.
Hollow Knight, the best platformer of 2017, is getting a third free expansion pack called Gods & Glory, which will add new characters, boss fights and an extra game mode. It'll arrive at some point in the next few months. Sadly, it sounds like this might be the last expansion for the game: developer Team Cherry says it's the "final chapter of the Knight’s journey".
The team is keeping the new game mode a secret for now, only saying that it's been "long requested and is a classic for the genre". To play the new mode you'll first have to finish the Gods & Glory story, which comes in the form of a quest from a new character, the Godseeker. "Track down this disturbing yet alluring being, break her chains and aid her in an ancient duty."
That quest will involve multiple new boss fights, although again, Team Cherry is keeping its cards close to its chest on what those new bosses are. You'll be able to access the new quest at any point in a playthrough, so new players will get something out of it too. The expansion will also add new music and allow you to "glorify charms"—no specifics there either, but it will "uncover a whole new depth to your charm collection".
"Of course, other surprises will be hiding about the place, but we can’t spoil all the fun," Team Cherry said.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…)
Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games.> But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.
Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.
Ahead of the Steam winter sale and on the heels of the Humble 'Jingle Jam' Bundle, Humble Bundle is holding a hefty indie sale this week. The 'indie mega week sale' is live now and runs through 10 am Pacific this Christmas—Monday, December 25. Standout games include:
As previously reported, you can also get Layers of Fear and its soundtrack for free. However, while it is included in the indie mega week sale, it's only free through 10 am Pacific tomorrow, Wednesday, December 20.
Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.
PC Gamer's Best Platformer of 2017 is Hollow Knight. Below, several writers who championed the game during our GOTY nominations process share their thoughts on why it's so great. Check out our GOTY hub for the rest of our awards.
Wes Fenlon: In a genre built around backtracking and finding new paths as you gather abilities, Hollow Knight took a big risk by filing away at its critical path until its guidance was eroded to the bare minimum. The underground world of Hallownest is massive and labyrinthine, and it's almost entirely up to you to figure out how to explore it. I expected a world the size of a Metroid planet or a Castlevania castle, but what I got was something far bigger, and always better thought-out than I expected.
But that wouldn't mean anything if Hollow Knight didn't feel great to play, and I still marvel at how simply and elegantly it scales up your health and damage as you go. You'll only gain a few extra hit points over the course of the game, so mastering the art of jumping and dodging, finding gaps in combat to heal yourself, remains satisfying for dozens of hours. Every hit and bounce feels precise and percussive, and that keeps backtracking from ever feeling like much of a chore.
Exploring always pays off because that world is so smartly laid out and mysterious enough to spur you ever onward, looking for the next new sight or secret passage. The joy of Hollow Knight is the joy of discovery, always hard-earned, never handed to you.
James Davenport: Talking about Hollow Knight was difficult when it first came out. A few PCG editors and I were playing it around the same time at a close pace, and we’d consistently tip one another off to an entire area or hidden NPC that the other had blown by dozens of times before. A kingdom of bees with uniquely animated enemies sits behind a wall in a lonely corner of Hallownest, and accessing the White Palace (which feels from a different game entirely) requires visiting the bottom of the world to find pieces of an artifact entirely divorced from the critical path. That’s before making the leap to a different dimension, too. There’s even a bizarre puzzle involving a sentient mushroom that speaks in riddles and seeks to explore the cosmos, but good luck figuring that out on your own. Hollow Knight’s world is so finely detailed that it can afford to squirrel away massive parts of itself, a testament to its beautiful, complicated art and quiet design that teaches you to scrutinize every inch rather than look for the big green glowing door practically begging for a super missile.
Tom Senior: I don't expect to meet people in this sort of game. They tend to be quite cold games about keys, enemies and weapon upgrades. Hollow Knight adds a cast of interesting, sad characters pressing on in the ashes of their civilisation. Really reminds me of another game, Lark Souls? Bark Souls? It’ll come to me.
Steven Messner: The juxtaposition of a sullen, decrepit atmosphere with cute-sounding characters is so endearing to me. It'd be like if Pixar made a Mad Max film. I know Dark Souls holds the crown for making mysterious, uneasing characters that slowly reveal their motives and histories, but I far prefer Hollow Knights PG approach. Just because a hot-headed bug warrior with a superiority complex feels ripped out of a Saturday morning cartoon doesn’t mean his journey doesn’t resonate just as deeply.
I really thought I had burnt out on metroidvanias after they became so popular again the past two years, but Hollow Knight is the special kind of game that transcends genre fatigue. Suddenly, I’m itching to go exploring and collecting all over again.
For more great words on Hollow Knight, check out our review.