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

20 years since the course of videogaming was set forever. 20 years since id created what may very well still be the most notorious game in history. 20 years since deathmatch became a thing. 20 years of guns, 20 years of keycards, 20 years of happy hell. 20 years of Doom, not the first first-person shooter but surely the foremost breeding stock of the genre. Happy birthday, old stick.

If only you could talk to the monsters on their birthday – now that would be something. Instead, Team RPS will have to reminisce about the big, brash first-person shooter that changed everything. (more…)

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

John Carmack has officially packed his bags and taken a rocket car over to Oculus Rift, now his sole employer until he decides he wants to become the world’s foremost expert on Hyperloops or something. So what better way to celebrate/commiserate than by playing maybe the last game he’ll ever see to completion? Answer: there is no better way. If you are doing anything else, John Carmack will probably never be your friend or spend upwards of five hours giving you breathless life advice. Fortunately, RAGE is free on Steam this weekend. Details below.

(more…)

Announcement - Valve
Play RAGE for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup RAGE at 75% off the regular price!*

RAGE is a groundbreaking first-person shooter set in the not-too-distant future after an asteroid impacts Earth, leaving a ravaged world behind. You emerge into this vast wasteland to discover humanity working to rebuild itself against such forces as bandit gangs, mutants, and the Authority – an oppressive government regime that has a special interest in you in particular. Featuring intense first-person shooter action, breakneck vehicle combat, an expansive world to explore and jaw-dropping graphics powered by id’s revolutionary id Tech® 5 technology, RAGE promises an experience like no other.
Fearing a planet-wide extinction from a massive asteroid headed towards Earth, world leaders are faced with the inexorable task of ensuring human survival. Left with few alternatives, life-sustaining pods filled with select people are buried deep beneath the earth’s surface. You are one of the chosen members of these modern day arks and abruptly enter the RAGE universe after surfacing alone. Leaving you to your own devices to stay alive in a world filled with those who prefer you dead, RAGE combines powerful storytelling with heart-pounding action.

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play RAGE. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Brutal Doom gets a v19 release, mod’s maker says it’s “the final version for a while”">Brutal Doom







Absurdly violent mod Brutal Doom is a perfect lesson in the pleasure of bloody violence. And yet, even with it taking its obnoxious philosophy way past any natural conclusion, it's neither childish or embarrassing - unlike, say, that Ninja Gaiden Z trailer. This most gore-filled version of Doom's Id Tech 1 years has now reached its 19th version, bringing new fixes, animations and improved effects.







Okay, so maybe it is a bit childish. That's kind of the point, though.



After 10 months in development, version 19 is now available to download. Of its completion, creator Sergeant_Mark_IV writes, "V19 is not the final version of Brutal Doom. It's just the final version for a while. I need to take a long break of it, work on other projects, and return to it somewhere in late 2014/early 2015."



If it isn't enough to run through a blood slick version of the original DOOMs, you can also get a beta version of a Brutal Doom expansion for Doom 2, titled Beyond Hell and Earth.



You can download and see the changelist for Brutal Doom V19 over at ModDB.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Dark Mod gets standalone release; Thief inspired FPS now playable without Doom 3">The Dark Mod







The Dark Mod is an excellent Thief-inspired stealth FPS mod from 2009, and so, to an extent, it seems almost inconceivable that any fans of the series won't yet have played it. Of course, that's slightly mitigated by the fact that it was a Thief-inspired stealth FPS mod for Doom 3. It's entirely conceivable that any fans of the series wouldn't have bought that. Running? Gunning? Far too rambunctious. For those shadow-clinging sneaks, there's good news, as version 2.0 of The Dark Mod has been released, turning it into a standalone game.



"We have spent a tremendous amount of time and energy replacing all the sounds, textures, particle effects, and models that we had been using," explain mod creators Broken Glass Studios. "Hopefully this will open up a whole new audience of people who didn’t want to have to purchase a different game in order to try The Dark Mod."



Alongside going standalone, this mod update brings improved audio, graphics and AI behaviour. Many of the missions have also been updated, in response to the game no longer using Doom 3's assets. "Going standalone has been a mammoth undertaking. There were literally hundreds of assets that needed to be replaced, and around seventy maps that had to be checked to see whether any of those replacements broke anything."



For a fuller explanation of The Dark Mod, check out this introductory video:







You can download The Dark Mod for free from the mod/game's website.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The 15 most brutal mods of all time">15 most brutal mods of all time







Remember when buying a game didn’t feel like a guarantee of seeing the ending? There are still hard games out there, Dark Souls flying the flag most recently, but increasingly, the challenge has dripped out or at least softened, often leading to sadly wasted opportunities. What would Skyrim be like, for instance, if its ice and snow wasn’t simply cosmetic, but actually punished you for going mountain climbing in your underpants?



With a quick mod – Frostfall in this case – you’re forced to dress up warm before facing the elements, and things become much more interesting. That’s just one example, and over the next couple of pages you’ll find plenty more. These aren’t mods that just do something cheap like double your enemy’s hit-points, they’re full rebalances and total conversions. Face their challenge, and they’ll reward you with both a whole new experience and the satisfaction of going above and beyond the call of duty.



Misery

Game: Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Link: ModDB







All those weapons scattered around? Gone. Anomalies? Now more dangerous. Magic mini-map? Forget it. Valuable quest rewards? Good luck. Things you do get: thirsty, and factions who send goons after you if you anger them. On the plus side Pripyat is much more active, with a complete sound overhaul, and new NPCs to meet – who all have to play by the rules too, with no more infinite ammo. If you can survive here, you’ve got a good chance when the actual apocalypse comes.



Project Nevada

Fallout: New Vegas

Link: Nexus Mods







Nevada is a good example of making things more difficult without being openly psychotic. Levelling is slower, players and NPCs get less health, and obvious features are now in, such as armour only being a factor in headshots if the target actually has head protection. It’s also possible to toggle some extra-hardcore options, such as food no longer healing and taking care of hunger/thirst/ sleep on the move. There’s a sack of new content, and an Extra Options mod is also available, offering even more control.



Brutal Doom

Game: Doom

Link: ModDB







Despite what modern ‘old-school’ shooters would have you think, Doom was a relatively sedate experience – fast running speed, yes, but lots of skulking in the dark and going slow. Not any more! Brutal Doom cranks everything up to 11, then yawns and goes right for 25.6. We’re talking extra shrapnel, execution attacks, tougher and faster monsters, metal music, and blood, blood, blood as far as your exploding eyes can see. It’s compatible with just about any level you can throw at it, turning even E1M1 into charnel house devastation. The enemies don’t get it all their own way, as Doomguy now starts with an assault rifle rather than simply a pistol, and a whole arsenal of new guns has been added to the Doom collection – including the BFG’s big brother.







Full Combat Rebalance 2

Game: The Witcher 2

Link: RedKit







This streamlines the combat and makes the action closer to how Geralt’s adventure might have played out in the books. He’s more responsive, can automatically parry incoming attacks, begins with his Witcher skills unlocked, and no longer has to spend most fights rolling around like a circus acrobat. But he’s in a tougher world, with monsters now figuring out counterattacks much faster, enemies balanced based on equipment rather than levels, and experience only gained from quests, not combat. Be warned this is a 1.5GB file, not the megabyte Hotfix that’s claimed.



Requiem

Game: Skyrim

Link: Nexus







Elder Scrolls games get ever more streamlined, and further from the classic RPG experience. Requiem drags Skyrim back, kicking and screaming. The world is no longer levelled for your convenience. Bandits deliver one-hit kills from the start. The undead mock arrows, quietly pointing out their lack of internal organs with a quick bonk to your head. Gods hold back their favour from those who displease them. Most importantly, stamina is now practically a curse. Heavy armour and no training can drain it even if you’re standing still, and running out in battle is Very Bad News. Combine this with Frostfall, and Skyrim finally becomes the cold, unforgiving place it claims to be.



Radious

Total War: Shogun 2

Link: TWCenter







Not only is this one of the most comprehensive mods any Total War game has ever seen, its modular nature makes it easy to pick and choose the changes that work best for the experience you want. Together, the campaign AI is reworked, as are the skills and experience systems, diplomacy and technology trees. There are over 100 new units. Campaigns are also longer, providing more time to play with all this, with easier access to the good stuff early on in the name of variety. There’s even a sound module that adds oomph to rifles. Add everything, or only the bits you want. It’s as much of a tactical decision as anything else on the road to conquering Japan.



Game of Thrones

Game: Crusader Kings II

Link: ModDB







Real history doesn’t have enough bite for you? Recast the whole thing with Starks, Lannisters, Freys and the rest and it will. This doesn’t simply swap a few names around, but works with the engine to recreate specific scenarios in the war for the Iron Throne. Individual characters’ traits are pushed into the foreground, especially when duels break out. Wildlings care little about who your daddy was. It’s best to know a fair amount about the world before jumping in, and the scenarios themselves contain spoilers, but you’re absolutely not restricted to just following the story laid down in the books.







Realistic Weapons

Game: Grand Theft Auto IV

Link: GTAGarage







Guess what this one does. A bowling league for Roman? Cars that drive themselves? A character who appears to tell Niko “You have $30,000 in your pocket, you don’t need to goon for assholes” after Act 2? No, of course not. These guns put a little reality back into the cartoon that is GTA. The missions weren’t written with that in mind, obviously, but there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a shot. Worst case: murdering random civilians on the street is much quicker, easier and more satisfying. At least until the cops show up to spoil the fun. Range, accuracy, damage, ammo and fire rate are all covered, though be warned that you shouldn’t expect perfect accuracy from your upgraded hardware. This is GTA after all. Realism is not baked into its combat engine.



The Long War

Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Link: NexusMods







You’re looking at eight soldier classes, many more missions, invaders as focused on upgrades as your own science team, and a much longer path to victory. Research is slow, not least to make early weapon upgrades more useful, while the aliens are constantly getting more powerful. Their ships are better, their terror missions are more regular, and more of them show up for battle. In exchange, you get to field more Interceptors, the council is easier to appease, and the ETs don’t cheat as much.



Ziggy's Mod

Game: Far Cry 3

Link: NexusMods







Ziggy makes Rook Island a more natural place, removing mission requirements for skills, cutting some of the easier ways to earn XP, increasing spawn rates to make the island busier, and throwing away the magic mini-map in favour of a compass. The second island is also unlocked from the start. Smaller changes include randomised ammo from dropped weapons, being able to climb hills that you should realistically be able to, and wingsuit abilities made available earlier to get more out of them.



Terrafirmacraft

Game: Minecraft

Link: Terrafirmacraft







Minecraft has a Survival mode, but it’s not desperately challenging. Terrafirmacraft takes it seriously, with hunger and thirst that must be dealt with at all times, and key elements added such as the need to construct support beams while mining to prevent cave-ins, and a seasonal cycle that determines whether or not trees will produce fruit. Many more features are to be added, but there’s enough here already to make survival about much more than throwing together a Creeper-proof fort.







Synergies Mod

Game: Torchlight II

Link: Synergies Mod







This adds a new act to the game, over a hundred monsters, new rare bosses, a new class – the Necromancer – more and tougher monsters and the gear to take them on. There are also endgame raids to add challenge once the world is saved yet again, and more on the way – including two new classes (Paladin and Warlock). It’s the top-ranked Torchlight II mod on Steam Workshop, and easily the most popular. Be aware that it’s still in development, and has a few rough edges.



Civilization Nights

Game: Civilization V

Link: Steam Workshop







While Brave New World has officially given Civ V a big shake up, for many players Nights remains its most popular add-on. It’s a comprehensive upgrade, adding new buildings, wonders, technologies and units, with a heavy focus on policies and making the AI better. The single biggest change is how it calculates happiness, citizens adding cheer simply by existing, but the slow march of war and other miseries detracting from the good times. Annexed a city? Don’t expect too many ticker-tape parades. Yet keeping happiness up is crucial, as it’s also the core of a strong military. This rebalancing completely changes how you play, while the other additions offer plenty of scope for new tactics and even more carefully designed civilisations.



Ultimate Difficulty Mod

Game: Dishonored

Link: TTLG Forums







This makes Dishonored’s enemies more attentive, faster and able to hear a pin drop from the other side of the map. When you get into a fight, it quickly becomes an all-out street war. The biggest change is to Dishonored’s second most abusable ability: the Lean (Blink of course being #1). Corvo can no longer sit behind scenery, lean out into an enemy’s face and be politely ignored. He’s now much more likely to be spotted – especially in ghost runs, where his advantages are now limited to the Outsider’s gifts rather than the Overseers’ continued lack of a local Specsavers.



Hardcore

Game: Deus Ex

Link: ModDB







New augmentations! Altered AI! Randomised inventories! Also a few time-savers: instead of separate keys and multitools for instance, a special keyring has both, while upgrades are used automatically if necessary. Difficulty also changes the balance considerably, from the standard game to ‘Realistic’ mode where you only get nine inventory slots, to ‘Unrealistic’, which makes JC Denton the cyborg killing machine he’s meant to be, but at the cost of facing opponents who warrant it. In this mode he gets double-jumping powers, and automatically gobbles health items when he gets badly wounded. Good luck though, I still got nowhere.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Somewhere in the deep, dark, distant future, there exists a world beyond Doom 4. It is a strange and alien place – one in which id has pried the bolts from its lips and… wait, no, it’s never done that. Always “when it’s done.” Always. But still, there are more id games in this far-flung universe, and also I have cool cybernetic laser nostrils. I know, for I have seen it. Briefly, ever so briefly, id creative director Tim Willits took me there. Here’s what he said.

(more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to May 1994 – The peak of PC Gamer’s Doom obsession">The best shooters of all time







Every week we pull an interesting review, feature, or bizarre ad from the PC Gamer magazine archive.



In the spirit of id Software's QuakeCon, we thought it'd be appropriate to share a Doom feature from our premier US issue in 1994. "Doom has taken control of my life," admits former editor Matt Firme. "And I'm not alone."



For full-sized images, click here and here. You may need to right-click to open these images in a new tab.











Product Release - Valve
In celebration of QUAKECON, save big on different games from id Software and Bethesda each day, now through August 5th at 10am Pacific Time.

Today only, save 75% on The Entire id Catalog on Steam!

Or, pick up the massive QUAKECON Pack, a collection of all released id and Bethesda titles for this weekend only!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more great deals and special offers.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Cara Ellison)

*cries*Multiplayer Game BalancingAN-94: Damage slightly reduced.DSR 50: Rate of fire reduced.Ballista: Rate of fire slightly reduced.

You look at the patch notes, your whole body starting to go hot with rage. Your heart beats faster, your breath gets shorter. You HIT the Red Bull can from your desk, the murky liquid splashing your poster of Transformers-spoiling sticky-hottie Megan Fox across the arse. You stand and ram the back of your squadgy desk chair into the desk to hear it BANG, to get some relief from the rage you are feeling. You PUNCH the wall in frustration, and then hurriedly have to shake it hard because that was not the plasterboard part of the wall it was an actual stone brick. You SCREAM in anguish. “WHY?!” you yell. “WHY HAVE YOU MESSED UP MY VIRTUAL GUNS?!?!? HOW WILL I GET MEGAN TO LIKE ME NOW??!?!?!” You do a little sort of rage dance that makes you look like you belong in Populous. (more…)

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