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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Borderlands Steam update removes SecuROM DRM, multiplayer set to return">Borderlands







Of all the things affected by the GameSpy shutdown, Borderlands' now-hobbled multiplayer is perhaps the most egregious. Co-op is kind of the whole point there, so it's good to hear it will soon be making a return. A Steam update yesterday stripped all the nasty SecuROM DRM from the game and its expansions, as well as adding a "granting tool" capable of turning retail discs of Borderlands into Steam versions. Multiplayer isn't back yet, but you will find a "news ticker" on the main menu now, which will keep players' abreast of the effort to add Steamworks to the game.



Here's the full list of changes:



Removed SecuRom from the title and all DLC

Added a Granting Tool In the steam Tools section that turns a retail disc into a Steam version of Borderlands

News Ticker added to the main menu to give you updates on the Multiplayer restoration updates.

Imported SecuRom DLC keys into Steam, so if you bought DLC outside of Steam, activate it within Steam and get your matching content.





The patch notes confirm that "Steamworks multiplayer is coming in a future update", so until then I guess we're stuck playing the original Borderlands solo. Or playing Borderlands 2 with friends, which is a bit more likely.
Community Announcements - cpickett
Steamworks multiplayer is coming in a future update.
Changes:

- Removed SecuRom from the title and all DLC
- Added a “Granting Tool” In the steam “Tools” section that turns a retail disc into a Steam version of Borderlands
- “News Ticker” added to the main menu to give you updates on the Multiplayer restoration updates.
- Imported SecuRom DLC keys into Steam, so if you bought DLC outside of Steam, activate it within Steam and get your matching content.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: CivRome, for Civilization V">mod of the week







Rome wasn't built in a day, but now it can be built in a turn. A new mod for Civilization V, called CivRome, lets you play from 323 B.C., the death of Alexander the Great, to 500 A.D., the fall of the Roman Empire. You can play as one of 22 possible civilizations including the Romans (Caesar), the Egyptians (Cleopatra), the Macedonians, the Goths, the Gauls, and even the Huns (led by one Mr. Attila T. Hun). There are new technologies to research, specific attributes for some of the civs, and a beautiful, historically accurate new map to conquer. In other words, it's a toga party, Civilization-style.



I'm a little hesitant to cover this mod, as it's still in development and there are tons of planned features that aren't implemented yet, but I figure getting players involved early to show interest and provide feedback and suggestions can't be a bad thing. Besides, I tried it out for a while this week, and it's highly playable with plenty to keep you occupied even in its unfinished state.



So much to conquer!



There's the map, and it's lovely and accurate, not to mention massive (not my picture, that's from the mod's Steam page). Obviously, you can play the mod on a random map, too, but I think the custom map will let you really get into the frame of mind to mess around in ancient Rome. One important note: the mod requires all of Civ V's DLC and expansions to run.



This! Is! An! Area! Outside! The! Border! Of! Sparta!



Along with the 22 playable civs, you'll be able to interact with a massive slew of familiar city-states. Early in my game, I ran into Jerusalem, Cyrene, Rhodes, Nazareth, and of course, Sparta, though deviating from completely realistic movie history, the Spartans wore more than tiny underpants and capes, and there didn't appear to be exactly 300 of them. Oh well, you can't have everything. On the other hand, I'm playing as Caesar, so I'm still going to try.



Yay. We are so happy! Well. Some of us! The rich ones!



What makes citizens happy in CivRome? Well, researching Happiness technology demonstrated that everybody loves slave labor. In fact, the CivRome mod makes slavery a big part of day-to-day life. The system isn't complete yet, but when it is, slaves will function as a resource, able to be imported and exported, used as labor to boost production, functioning as private tutors to buff science and culture, and increasing the happiness of the citizens who aren't slaves themselves. (The slaves, one presumes, will be pretty damn miserable.)



Okay, Rome is founded. Let's get to work on the vomitorium.



There are some interesting and unique facets to some of the new civs. The Huns, for example, were a nomadic people, so if you play as Attila you won't be able to build settlers to found new cities, though you'll be able to capture settlers from other civs. Their cavalry, naturally, will be top notch. Carthage, meanwhile, begins the game with a whopping five cities, owing to the fact that they were a territorial powerhouse at the time, though their military units will be unable to cross the sea as other civs can.



I'll be remembered through history as... a salad? A friggin' salad? Sigh.



The Romans have their own issues. As they grow an advance, a curious problem will arise among their military: soldiers will become more and more unhappy. It makes sense. If Rome was a remarkable paradise filled with wonders and luxury, who the hell would want to go tromping off to die in some distant war? To boost morale, Rome will need to ratchet up the distractions, devoting a lot of effort into keeping its citizens happy, like holding chariot races in the Circus Maximus and by building the Colosseum. Nothing to take your mind off faraway bloodshed than by watching some local bloodshed.



Darn Vandals. They keep tagging my storefronts.



I'm no ancient history buff, but I can appreciate the efforts being made to reflect this era as accurately as possible, and with such a wide range of civs to choose from, I think this could grow into a really spectacular mod. Again, while playable, this is still largely a work in progress and there's a lot more planned. You can check out the discussion page on the 2K forums here, and there's tons of talk on the mod's Steam Workshop page.



Don't forget, you need all of the Civ V DLC and expansions to run this mod!



Installation: You can subscribe to the mod on the Steam Workshop page I just linked. When you fire up Civ 5, just activate it on the Mods menu, and make sure you choose the CivRome map if you want to use that one specifically (trust me, you do).
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to BioShock news is imminent, according to this 2K Games teaser">poseidonplaza-bioshock







When most of Irrational Games was laid off earlier this year many assumed it was the last we'd see of BioShock, at least until 2K Games mustered the courage to have one developed by a secondary studio ala BioShock 2. Nonetheless, it would appear something BioShock related is about to happen, because 2K Games posted this teaser image (above) on its official Twitter account earlier today, along with the text: "Oooo, what COULD this mean?!".



What's a scantily clad woman with an apple got to do with BioShock? Well, in dark lettering at the bottom of that image is a reference to Poseidon Plaza, which is a prominent location in the original BioShock. The reference seems to indicate that we might see a repackaging of the original game in the not-too-distant future. Whether that repackaging is relevant to PC owners is another question.



After all, it's unlikely the teaser is related to a brand new BioShock game. BioShock Infinite only released last year and if there was a fourth BioShock game, surely it wouldn't return to Rapture? Surely? In the meantime all we can do is speculate.
Community Announcements - SparkyFlooner
1.8.3 Patch Notes

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

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which means that it s also a spiritual successor to many of the most tense and glorious hours of my teenage years. Following a successful Kickstarter and a period in Early Access, the game has been available for almost a month now. With its loyal approach to the original design, Xenonauts doesn t step on XCOM s toes, but I wondered if it could succesfully muscle in on the original game’s territory. Several days of playing later, I have the answer. And some anecdotes about intra-squad romance.>

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Rarely do I effusively recommend a bundle made up entirely of games I already own, but it’s kinda hard to argue with every BioShock, Spec Ops: The Line, Mafia II, The Darkness II, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, among others. The Humble 2K Bundle does come with a slight catch (a flat rate of $20 if you want a couple of the more recent games), but even then it’s a formidable deal. Unfortunately, this will technically> count as purchasing The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, but don’t worry: I won’t tell anyone.

… [visit site to read more]

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
Returning to Rapture is now a lot less expensive, thanks to the folks at Humble Bundle. The latest bundle offers a slate of 2K Games, headlined by the BioShock series. Players will have the option to allocate their funds among 2K Games, Humble Bundle, and the Action Against Hunger and American Red Cross charities.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 7">steam sale day 7







We've now been living and breathing the Steam Summer Sale for a week, losing sleep for every flash sale, antsy with anticipation every time the new deals tick over. We're feverish from the savings, but it would be madness to stop saving now. Today's deals fuel our appetite for strategy, shooting, and launching valiant little green men into space on absurdly oversized rockets.



Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.



Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - The Banner Saga

50% off: $12.49 / 9.49 - Steam store page

One of the biggest artistic achievements in gaming this year. We love The Banner Saga s hand-drawn characters and how they animate on the battlefield, but we especially enjoy the way its detailed, Nordic landscapes parallax as your caravan of warriors and survivors march on. The Austin Wintory score is a cherry on the top.

4 - Kerbal Space Program

40% off: $16.19 / 11.99 - Steam store page

We ve murdered a lot of aliens in games, but only in KSP have we stranded little green guys in planetary orbit due to our grossly incompetent management of a budding space program. The Early Access rocket physics simulator is one of the best games still under development, and already has a large community of engineers sharing stories of harrowing space missions, ship designs, and mods. KSP has even made its way into classrooms.



Read Ian s five-part Kerbal Space Program chronicle to see how he learned rocket-building basics and launched a mission to the M n.

3 - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

50% off: $7.49 / 5.99 - Steam store page

The best competitive FPS on PC owes a lot to its skill-based matchmaking format. At any skill level, five-on-five Counter-Strike narrows the range of tactical choices available to you and the time you have to make them, creating a wonderfully concentrated competitive mode. Otherwise, CS:GO is mainly a vehicle for microtransactions: beware the allure of $400 virtual knives.

2 - Tomb Raider

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Lara Croft returns in a gorgeous action game heavily inspired by Naughty Dog's Uncharted series. This younger, rebooted Lara doesn't have her predecessor's confidence or predilection for interesting puzzles the only tombs in this game are disappointingly short and simple but the shooting is by far the best in the series. Exploring Tomb Raider's island and crafting survival gear is also fun, as Lara is a nimble climber and each area is packed with interesting treasures to hunt down. For a challenge, forgo the assault rifle and grenade launcher for Lara's incredibly satisfying (and silent!) bow.

1 - BioShock Triple Pack

83% off: $10.19 / 6.79 - Steam store page

If you haven t explored the ruins of Rapture, you re in for a treat. BioShock s world is a revelation, an under-the-sea society that s crumbled under its own weight, and exploring what remains of it and shooting its crazy inhabitants in the face with fireballs is a delight. BioShock 2 goes even further, changing your perspective and adding a surprising amount of depth with its own story. Irrational s swansong, BioShock Infinite, may still be polarizing, but Columbia is just as beautiful and terrifying as Rapture, and well worth exploring. All three are included here in a bundle that s too cheap to pass up.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.



Bastion (40% off) $8.99 / 6.59

Killing Floor (50% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Mirror's Edge (75% off) $4.99 / 2.49

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition (66% off) $6.79 / 5.09
...

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