Announcement - Valve
Save 80% on the Hitman series during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Hitman: Absolution follows the Original Assassin undertaking his most personal contract to date. Betrayed by the Agency and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself pursuing redemption in a corrupt and twisted world.

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time

PC Gamer

The next Hitman game was cancelled. Then it was uncancelled. Now it's being talked about in an open letter on the Hitman website. "Dear Miley," it reads. No, wait, that was the other one. "Dear Hitman fans," it begins, before outlining, in some detail, what Io's next sharply dressed bald assassin simulator will entail.

If Hitman: Absolution converted you from a Hitman fan into a lapsed Hitman fan, there's good news: you can read the letter anyway. Also: I have a feeling the missive is meant for you most of all. I'll quote the highlights, but the highlights are talk of "open, non-linear level design" and "huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels". Those were some of things we moaned about it in our review. I don't see any mention of "non-excruciating nun-based trailers", however, so Io may still have a way to go yet.

Io say that "the game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves."

Promising words. Io have also "removed 47 s magic pockets" and brought Contracts mode back - which is nice. As letters go, it's certainly a lot better than the Council Tax bills and pizza coupons I generally get in the post. Now, Hitman fans - what are you going to write in reply?

Thanks to Blue's News.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Graham Smith)

Flying boats are one of the mod's best features.

Just Cause 2‘s weapons felt weedy and its missions were mostly repetitive and forgettable. It doesn’t matter. I’ve spent fifty hours floating across the tropical islands of Panau with an infinite supply of parachutes, watching the sun set behind snowy mountains. I’ve flown hot air balloons to mysterious, stormy islands, crashed airliners into the ocean just because I could, and tethered more hapless guards to speeding boats than I can remember.

I’ve just spent the last few days doing all those things in the Just Cause 2 Multiplayer mod, which is now downloadable via a standalone executable in Steam. Let me tell you what (but not wot) I think. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Hello there. Things have sounded a little unhappy at Hitman and Kane & Lynch devs IO Interactive for a while now, in the wake of 2012′s Hitman: Subtitle achieving neither the acclaim or the spondoolies it was hoped to. Last year, the Square Enix-owned Danish studio saw half its workforce removed from their jobs, along with claims that the remainder would get to do nothing but Hitman games. Yesterday, reports circulated that the Next Jennifer Hitman game had been quietly garotted. That claim, despite being made on a Square Enix Montreal senior game designer’s LinkedIn profile, has now been denied. (more…)

PC Gamer

Square Enix has issued the following statement to clarify today's news about the cancelation of a Hitman game that was being developed at Square Enix Montreal:

"There's a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix-owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion. Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise," A Square Enix representative said. "We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."

All is not well with agent 47, the eerily hairless protagonist of the Hitman series. The LinkedIn profile of senior game designer Richard Knight indicates that the next-gen installment in the series he was working on at Square Enix Montreal was recently canceled, Videogamer first discovered.

The LinkedIn profiles of other employees at Square Enix Montreal indicate that the game was a re-imagining, and that it would have featured some form of microtransactions.

In late 2012, we first reported that the next-gen Hitman game was being developed by the then newly formed Square Enix Montreal, and not the original Hitman developer, IO Interactive. Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad said the franchise would be handled similarly to how Activision handles the Call of Duty games.

It s like with Treyarch and Infinity Ward, Blystad told OPM. You have an IP that has been developed. They will feed off each other, as well as somethings that stand out. I think with these big franchises it takes a long time to develop just one game. If you can, work a little bit in parallel at least and help each other out.

The plan was to let IO Interactive begin work on a new franchise while Square Enix Montreal took the lead on a new Hitman. But following a devastating fiscal year for Square Enix, IO halved its workforce and went back to Hitman, which, as far as we know, they re still developing now.

So it s not like we ll not get another Hitman game, it just might take a little longer until we do, and we won t be seeing the one Square Enix Montreal was working on.

We weren t the biggest fans of the most recent Absolution, but the Hitman series has had some amazing moments, especially in Hitman: Blood Money, which we ve recently reinstalled.
Announcement - Valve
The Steam Holiday Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store! Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour Flash Sales. You can even help select what goes on sale with our Community's Choice Voting Sales.

In addition to Flash and Vote sales, more than a hundred games and apps will be featured as Daily Deals throughout the sale, with new deals popping up every 24 hours.

Today's Daily Deals include:

Participating in the 2013 Steam Holiday Sale will also earn customers exclusive Holiday Sale Trading Cards. Collect, trade, and craft 10 Holiday Snow Globe Cards that can only be earned during the sale. Every craft of a Holiday Sale badge will also generate a random item drop from 10 participating Free-To-Play games, featuring exclusive in-game items from Warframe, Path of Exile, Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2 and more. These items are both tradable and marketable.

Learn more about this year's Steam Holiday Sale features HERE.

The Steam Holiday Sale will run until 10AM PST, January 2nd. Complete information on Daily Deals, Flash Sales, Community Choice Voting and more can be found HERE.

PC Gamer
Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod

The Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod was released earlier this week, adding multiplayer support to the tropical island of Panau. It instantly became our mod of the week, and we jumped in together at lunchtime to see if we could survive the chaos.

No-one survives the chaos, it turns out, but that's okay, because a barrage of ridiculous things are happening around you all the time. Here are but a few.

Andy grabbed onto someone's chopper and wouldn't let go

The Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod lets you teleport to various checkpoints with a quick chat command. First stop: the airport. We'd played an early beta test of the JC2 multiplayer mod, and already knew that airports tended to be a hotspot. We were not disappointed. The sky was full of spiraling jets and attack choppers trying to shoot each other out of the sky - the perfect opportunity for a spot of trolling.

In Just Cause 2 you can press F to grapple distant vehicles. If you hit a chopper, you'll dangle haphazardly beneath with a gun in your free arm. Normally choppers are piloted by passive NPCs, but in the multiplayer mod they're piloted by angry, angry humans. There's little a chopper can do with an illicit passenger, though. This person wobbled around trying to shake Andy off, and then tried flying low to scrape him against a building, to no avail. Andy was soon killed by stray bullets.

An army of jumbo jets tried to bring down the Mile High Club blimp

Our next stop was the Mile High Club blimp, a party boat suspended high above the archipelago. This place was so manic that we stayed there for the remainder of the hour.

You can't bring down the Mile High Club blimp, but that didn't stop players from trying. We were playing on a pretty lawless server, which means anyone can spawn any weapon or vehicle they wish from a menu. Naturally, players started spawning the biggest planes they could and repeatedly rammed them into the blimp. The blimp withstood the charge and gradually became enclosed in a collection of blackened jumbo corpses.

Tom outran a crashing jumbo jet

The last place you'd want to be during a jumbo jet vs. blimp free-for-all is on the deck of the blimp. It's mostly given over to a snazzy neon bar, but there weren't many drinkers around on account of the risk of being completely squashed. In an accidental moment of dramatic self-preservation, I zip-lined across the deck as one landed behind me. It screeched to a halt a few metres behind me in this picture, taken moments before I was shot by an attack chopper.

People start "dangle jousting" with machineguns

The skies are full of fire in the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod, in the open server we played on anyway. Some servers require you amass points to purchase weapons, but with hundreds of players, each with their own attack chopper or rocket launcher, our collective hour was incoherent, but wonderfully manic. The carnage was so intense we felt a bit aimless at first, but as soon as you start setting challenges for one another the mod comes to life.

In a savvy move, Avalanche have knocked 80% off Just Cause 2 on Steam. The mod is free, and also on Steam, so there are few barriers if you want to try it out yourself, and I'd certainly recommend it. I'd also recommend turning off the chat with F3 if you do, though. It's a bit of a free-for-all in there.
PC Gamer

Like a carnival barker standing in front of a strange-looking circus machine, the wonderfully chaotic Just Cause 2 wants you to take a ride. Syncing up nicely with the official Steam release yesterday of its massive and free Multiplayer Mod, JC2 is seeing a steep discount. The 80 percent price drop to $3 on Steam for the standard version of the action game runs through December 19.

It's not the first time and it almost certainly isn't the last time we'll see a deal like this for JC2, but with the full launch of the Multiplayer Mod, there's likely to be maximum-level shenanigans going on. With its giant Panau playground, which on some mod servers could potentially hold many thousands of players simultaneously, you'll be chasing cash and wreaking havoc. There are also plenty of servers with smaller player counts, for those of you who might want a more contemplative skydiving and stunt-flying experience. It's a giant playground and real showcase for what a dedicated modding community can accomplish.

Check out our Mod of the Week feature for tips on navigating the mod as well as an intro to some of its various limo-racing, jet-hijacking possibilities.
Announcement - Valve
In celebration of the newly launched Multiplayer Mod, save 80% on Just Cause 2 during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Dive into an adrenaline-fueled free-roaming adventure. As agent Rico Rodriguez, your orders are to find and kill your friend and mentor who has disappeared on the island paradise of Panau. There, you must cause maximum chaos by land, sea and air to shift the balance of power. With the unique grapple and parachute combo, BASE jump, hijack and create your own high-speed stunts. With 400 square miles of rugged terrain and hundreds of weapons and vehicles, Just Cause 2 defies gravity and belief.

The Multiplayer Mod is a project to bring multiplayer to Just Cause 2 in all of its magnificent glory. Imagine the chaos of normal Just Cause 2, then extending it out to dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of players!

*Offer ends Thursday at 10AM Pacific Time

Product Release - Valve
The Multiplayer Mod for Just Cause 2 is Now Available on Steam!

JC2-MP is a project to bring multiplayer to Just Cause 2 in all of its magnificent glory. Imagine the chaos of normal Just Cause 2, then extending it out to dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of players.


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