Dota 2 - Dota 2
Preparations are now underway for The International 2018, and this year's event will feature a subterranean theme. With that in mind, we invite all Dota 2 Workshop creators to dig into their cavernous imaginations for new treasures to include in this year's Collector's Cache. We're hoping to haul in a collection of items that are equally at home in the obsidian city of Aziyog as they are in the spore fields spreading beneath the Riftshadow Ruins.

To that effect, we are now officially accepting submissions from Community artists that will be considered for inclusion in The International 2018 Collector’s Cache. Don't feel restricted to heroes that already have an established subterranean connection—we're interested to see how you pile up as many designs as possible. As in the past, we would like to ask artists to avoid the use of any concepts that involve human skulls, blood, and gore.

Make sure to mark your submissions with the "Collector’s Cache 2018" tag when tendering items to the Workshop. All submissions must be on the Dota 2 Workshop by Sunday, May 13th. We encourage all Dota fans to regularly visit the Workshop and vote through the Queue to ensure your voices are heard in the selection process.

In the meantime, our merchandise partners are also ready to unearth some new designs for this year's Dota 2 merchandise release. If you've got a concept you think will resonate with fans, submit your design to the Workshop with the "Merchandise" tag and see how much community support you can mine.
Dota 2 - Valve
- Fixed a rare bug that could sometimes cause Heartpiercer to proc on buildings and Roshan.
- Fixed a bug that caused shared Tango charges to regenerate their cooldown at half speed in a player’s inventory.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

OMEN by HP and FACEIT have announced the OMEN UK Open—a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament set to run from next month through November, 2018. The UK-exclusive contest promises a total prize pool of $30,000, with $12,500 of that in cash and $17,500 of OMEN by HP hardware. 

Qualifiers kick off on April 15 and are open to teams and solo players alike. The opening stage is split into eight preliminary rounds, followed by a two-month league, and wrapped up by open finals on November 17 and 18. The tourney in its entirety will be broadcast on the OMEN by HP Europe Twitch channel.

Further to the competition itself, OMEN by HP will also run the OMEN UK Open Community Caster Challenge—an initiative that gives talented commentators the chance to win $2,500 worth of OMEN by HP products, and the potential opportunity to cast the OMEN UK Open Final.  

"With the launch of the OMEN UK Open, HP is celebrating the competitive spirit that drives grassroot gamers across Britain," says George Brasher, UK and Ireland MD at HP, in a statement. "We know that enthusiast gamers need the best equipment and competitions to reach their goals and showcase their talent. The OMEN UK Open is a unique opportunity for HP to provide this platform and support the expansive UK CS:GO community—a passionate group of gaming fans at the very heart of esports."

The Omen UK Open qualifiers begin on April 15, and the tournament will conclude with Finals on November 17 and 18, 2018. More information on all of the above can be found here, while those interested in Community Caster Challenge sign ups should head in this direction.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - (Alice O'Connor)

Valve are again tinkering with the Negev light machine gun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, trying to find its role as a support weapon. The changes are relatively minor on the scale of things, but I’m still fascinated by the fact that CS has held basically the same form for almost 19 years yet the developers are still tinkering with fine details. Samuel Horti was jolly excited when the initial Negev rework in 2017 turned a joke gun into a murderous bullet beam intended to deny areas to enemies, but the devs are not quite happy with its suppressive fire. And so, changes! (more…)

Dota 2 - Valve
* Relics toasts now appear over a random visible instance of a hero/illusion, rather than always appearing over the real hero.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - (Alice O'Connor)

John is elsewhere this week, squeezed into Brendan’s luggage for a flight to San Francisco and the Game Developers Conference, so I’m here for the regular rundown of last week’s top-selling games on Steam. This week, the letters R, A, and S are well-represented with strong showings from both Mars and rats.


Half-Life - (Brock Wilbur)

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 6.10.17 PM

One of my favorite parts of getting a press release is getting a press release that doesn’t reveal any information about the game itself. You get a vague promise about a game that might happen someday if some people get together. Normally, I don’t give that much of my time. This announcement is different. There’s a new MMO and the folks behind it represent some of my favorite games in recent memory. I think you’ll be stoked on this too.



Occult Scrim looks like a fun twist on Half Life: it's not quite a fully top-down shooter, but it's nearly there, with the camera floating way overhead. Your job is to blast through enemies to rack up points, which you'll spend on new weapons and items when you return to your base, an armoury.

It's still very early days for the mod, and it doesn't yet have a release date, but it looks remarkably polished. The perspective works well, and your character—a black ops assassin—automatically adjusts their aim up and down depending on where your enemies are. It looks like it plays far quicker than the base game, with lots of enemies on screen at one time. 

The camera has two positions: you can bring it slightly closer to the action if you want to get extra precise. Even when it's zoomed out, the guns feel meaty and solid. I'm not sure how many of the weapons are new and how many come from the base game, but I'm impressed nonetheless.

Enemy behaviour has been tweaked from the original to make them more challenging to fight, and they'll do things like roll and strafe out of the line of fire. You'll face bosses, too, like the one below. 

Click here for its ModDB page. It's one I'll be keeping an eye on as it comes together.

Half-Life 2

Oh, snap! It's yet another PCG Q&A, where every Saturday we ask the panel of PC Gamer writers a question about PC gaming. You're also very welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below. This week: which game actually lived up to the hype?

Jody Macgregor: The Witcher 3

I hated the first Witcher game, and although the second one's an improvement in a lot of ways I still thought most of it was dull—apart from the bit where you get drunk and wake up with a tattoo, obviously. So when glowing reviews came out for The Witcher 3 I ignored them. There was plenty of other stuff to play in 2015: Tales From the Borderlands, Rocket League, Life is Strange, Pillars of Eternity, Devil Daggers, Her Story. I was busy.

It took a solid year's worth of articles about how incredible every aspect of The Witcher 3 was, from the side quests to the potion-making to the characters to the wind in the goddamn trees, before I finally caved and tried it. Everyone was right, it's now on my "best games of all time" list, and I've become one of those people who says you should turn the music down so you can hear the wind in Velen. There's an entire subreddit devoted to whinging about games journalism's never-ending love affair with writing about The Witcher 3, but without that constant praise I wouldn't have pushed past my disinterest to give it the chance it deserved. And now I've become one of those people who won't shut up about The Witcher 3.

Samuel Roberts: Metal Gear Solid V

Not everyone will agree with this one, but I've lived through multiple Metal Gear hype cycles (MGS2 and MGS4 most memorably), and this is the one game that really deserved it. While this Metal Gear has the worst story in the series by far, it's also a superior stealth game. With its suite of upgrades and repeatable missions, I easily played MGSV for over 100 hours, and I have no doubt I'll reinstall it someday. 

Chris Livingston: Portal 2

I think the original Portal was a near-perfect experience. You learned to play as you played and each test chamber increased in complexity at a rate that was challenging but never frustrating. It was funny and surprising and satisfying, and short enough that it didn't have time to wear out its welcome. When trailers for Portal 2 began appearing, I was just as excited as anyone else, though I wasn't really expecting to love it in the same way. More complex, more characters, more story, more puzzles, more more more. I just couldn't imagine it matching the original, which proved (to me at least) that less is more.

It definitely lived up to the hype, though. Portal 2 is amazing, funny, challenging, surprising, and every bit as brilliant as the first. Maybe it's still true that less is more, but that doesn't mean more is less.

Jarred Walton: Half-Life 2

Piggybacking off Chris here, Half-Life 2 was an incredible follow-up to one of the best (if not the best) games of the '90s. The original Half-Life surprised the hell out of me with ways it changed the first-person shooter. After playing a ton of Quake and Quake 2, story seemed to be an afterthought, but Half-Life revolutionized the genre. Okay, the Xen levels at the end almost ruined it, but I still wanted more.

And then I waited, waited, and waited some more. Daikatana proved that games too long in development could suck, and HL2 felt like it might be doomed to the same fate. But with the addition of the gravity gun and physics, plus a great setting and story that made you care about the characters, it exceeded its source material in every way. I'm still holding out hope for HL3, naturally, but those are some massive shoes to fill.

Tom Senior: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I was dangerously excited when a new Deus Ex was announced. I was hyped to the extent that it would have really stung if a new Deus Ex fell well short of expectations. Human Revolution had a few problems, but it was exactly the atmospheric cyberpunk playground I wanted and the art direction added a new dimension to the Deus Ex universe. Due to the technological limitations of the era the old Deus Ex games struggled to show art or architecture (apart from that silly Earth-in-a-giant-claw statue at the start). Human Revolution decided that everything would be gold, and full of triangles, and its depiction of futuristic augments was gorgeous. I would quite like a pair of Jensen arms.

Human Revolution really got Deus Ex. It had hacking, vents, and intricate levels. But it also had something else, something new: retractable arm-swords. Not many people would look at the groundbreaking masterpiece of Deus Ex and think 'this needs retractable arm-swords', but Eidos Montreal had the vision to make retractable arm-swords happen. I will always respect them for that. 

Andy Kelly: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

I remember the buzz around Vice City vividly. Every time I saw that stylish advert on TV, the one with 'I Ran' by Flock of Seagulls, I got a tingle of excitement. Magazines were full of gushing previews, treating every morsel of information like it was the biggest scoop since Watergate. And then when it came out, it was everything I dreamed it would be. A bigger, more detailed city. An incredible soundtrack. More fun and varied missions. A better story. An all-star cast. HELICOPTERS. Being able to fly around a city of that size back then was a genuine thrill.

GTA III was great, but it felt like an experiment in places; a concept for what a 3D Grand Theft Auto game could be. But Vice City was the first time Rockstar really nailed it, and laid a solid foundation for the 3D era of their world-conquering series. The '80s (or at least some exaggerated, romanticised version of it) has begun to saturate pop culture to an annoying degree lately, so I can't see Rockstar returning to that setting. It's too obvious. But I would like to see Vice City again in a different, more contemporary era, perhaps showing the bleak, faded aftermath of its hedonistic '80s heyday.

Andy Chalk: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The first time I saw this teaser I made a noise like a ten-year-old opening the latest issue of Tiger Beat. Then I saw this teaser, and I pretty much hyperventilated and passed out. I knew in my heart that DX: Human Revolution couldn't be that good, because Deus Ex was lightning in a bottle: Ugly, clunky, with terrible voice acting and a ridiculous, incoherent story, all of which somehow got smushed together into basically the best game ever made. How do you fall down a flight of stairs and land in a bed of roses twice? 

But then Human Revolution came out, and it was that good. Not perfect, and I will never not be mad about those boss fights. But Adam Jensen is the perfect successor (predecessor, I suppose) to JC Denton, I loved the visual style (including the piss filter) and the music (because it's not Deus Ex without a great soundtrack), and the whole thing just felt right: Not as off-the-conspiracy-theory-hook as the original, but big and sprawling and unpredictable—a legitimate point of entry into that world. It took more than a decade to get from Deus Ex to Human Revolution, and it was worth the wait. 

Dota 2 - Valve
- A random hero challenge will be selected for you if one is not selected before the game.
- Fixed a visual bug with Storm Spirit's Static Remnant.
- Fixed a visual bug with Dark Willow's ambient particles.
- Fixed the text alignment of chat between players with badges and players without.

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