Eurogamer

We all know about Usain Bolt and his ludicrous speed over 100 metres. He currently holds the record with 9.58 seconds. Paula Radcliffe set the fastest women's marathon at 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds. In sports, world records mean acclaim and the chance to be recognised as the best in the business. But human obsession over world records isn't limited to the track or the sportsfield. Tony Glover is a name you won't likely be aware of unless you're into horticultural endeavours; he holds the record for growing the world's heaviest onion at 8.5kg. You maybe haven't heard of Silvio Sabba, an Italian man who aims to hold as many records as possible. He currently has around 70 titles to his name, including most clothes pegs attached to his face in one minute (51), most AA batteries held in one hand (48) and most CDs balanced on one finger (255).

Video games are no stranger to the setting and breaking of records - there's even a yearly book dedicated to the achievements of the industry. And there's one facet of games that shines particularly brightly here - speedrunning. Eurogamer reports on speedrunning fairly regularly, and it's not hard to see why. A speedrunner attempts to finish a video game in the fastest time possible. Events are held across the world for marathon sessions, usually raising money for charity. Twitch and YouTube are abuzz with new and old runners trying ludicrous things, and every few weeks you hear of someone who battled through Dark Souls in record time using a Guitar Hero controller, or someone who played through Zelda blindfolded. So what's it like when the pad is in your hand and the clock is ticking? What's the true appeal of speedrunning, and how does it change the way you see games?

Speedrunning didn't fully capture my attention until I ventured onto YouTube a few years back to look for tips for Spelunky. I wanted guidance regarding how to reach the Hell level, and I needed to see what an 'Eggplant run' was. As with explorations on YouTube, I immediately fell down a rabbit hole; hours later I was still sat, cross-legged, childlike, watching as someone wrapped up an entire Spelunky run in a matter of minutes.
Next, Games Done Quick rolled around and a guy called Kinnijup was scheduled to run Spelunky. I wasn't just impressed with his skills, I was stunned - he could finish the game in under five minutes, without collecting any gold! I followed him on Twitch and listened out for names of other runners; within two weeks I was watching everything I could.

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We Happy Few

Developer Compulsion Games has confirmed that its jovial 1960s-inspired dystopian survival game We Happy Few will no longer release on April 13th as was previously announced, and is now delayed until "this summer". Its Early Access programme will also be suspended.

We Happy Few was revealed in 2015, and entered Steam Early Access in 2016 following a successful Kickstarter campaign. It's enjoyed regular updates since then, and is now, says Compulsion, "content complete". However, after "a thorough review of the game, beginning to end", the developer has decided to delay final release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, in order to improve its structure and flow - as discussed in the video update below.

Alongside the delay, Compulsion has also announced that it's taking steps to address complaints around We Happy Few's controversial price hike last year - when the game rose from 23 to almost 40 following the decision to partner with Gearbox as publisher.

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Hunt Showdown

Crytek has announced that its intriguing multiplayer swap horror, Hunt: Showdown, will enter closed alpha on January 31st, and players can sign up to participate now.

Hunt: Showdown debuted at last year's E3 and looks to offer an atmospheric blend of first-person PvE and PvP. When a match begins, up to five teams (consisting of either one or two players) must roam the thick Louisiana swampland in a bid to be the first locate and eliminate a specific, boss-like creature. The first team to fell the target gets the bounty, whereupon every other team on the map will turn their sights on the victors as they make their escape.

Crytek plans to launch Hunt: Showdown in Steam Early Access prior to its full release. Before that, however, it will be holding closed alpha sessions with a select group of players. These early alpha phases are designed to test gameplay, balancing, and backend functionality, and to gather community feedback. New content - including weapons, equipment, traits, and ranks - will be continuously released and tested as the alpha progresses.

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PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds test servers are getting a series of tweaks to adjust the game's infamous blue zone - the electrical field of death which constricts play space.

Three main changes are on the way, all of which will impact the "mid-to-late phase" of a PUBG round.

First, blue zone waiting times will slightly decrease - so you'll have to hotfoot it a bit quicker.

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Eurogamer

When Camelot Unchained ran out of crowdfunding money, Mark Jacobs did something unusual by today's standards: he put his hand in his own pocket and paid for development himself. Camelot Unchained didn't begin offering houses or castles or spaceships (let's call them horses) for real money, didn't become an intoxicating shopping mall for pledging support. Being delayed was developer City State Entertainment's fault so why should the community foot the bill?

"It hurt," Mark Jacobs told me on the phone. He had already added $2 million of his own to the game's $2.2m Kickstarter tally to get the game made, but that was back in 2013, when Jacobs was talking optimistically about a 2015 Camelot Unchained release. He didn't realise programmers would be like gold dust and near impossible to find; he didn't realise the game's ability system would fail and need rebuilding; and he couldn't predict his wife would battle with breast cancer. $4.5m only took a team of 30 people so far. Something had to be done.

"It hurt my bank account a lot because I wasn't a billionaire or super-rich by any standard," he said. "But look, I made a deal, and I told backers I would do it. It's our fault. It was on us as a development team to deliver the game; we did not. The bottom line is we did not meet what our projections were. I made a choice and it wasn't an easy one: do I honour our commitment to those same people who gave us this chance by not treating them as walking wallets, or not?

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Eurogamer


Another week in Destiny 2, another set of dramas.

This week's kerfuffle concerns the game's returned Faction Rally event and, once again, a perceived lack of rewards.

Fan criticism has centred around an unexplained cooldown system which locks players out of rewards when obtained too frequently - ie. simply by playing at a normal pace.

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No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky's entertainingly convoluted Waking Titan ARG appears to be back, and fans are picking apart its mysterious messages in a bid to work out what might be next for Hello Games' ever-expanding space game.

Waking Titan began meting out its carefully orchestrated parade of online and real-world enigmas soon after it was discovered in May last year. Before long, participants had linked it to No Man's Sky, and it eventually culminated, some three months later, with the release of the game's 1.3 update, also known as Atlas Rises. There's a great summary video of the whole ARG so far by YouTuber CobraTV below.

Atlas Rises added an enormous number of features and improvements to No Man's Sky, including a brand-new story, interstellar portals, a new alien race, improvements to exploration, flight, and trading, randomly generated quests, and even the beginnings of multiplayer co-op. It was a big 'un, and managed to rekindle my initially short-lived enthusiasm for the game into a 200+ hour obsession.

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Eurogamer

Twitch has signed a deal with Disney to secure exclusive content from some of the entertainment giant's top YouTubers, including Markiplier and Jacksepticeye.

A total of four YouTubers (with a combined total of over 44 million subscribers, no less), are involved in the deal, and each will manage their own channels on Twitch. All are part of the Disney Digital Network, formerly known as Maker Studios.

Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, Strawburry17, and LuzuGames, will livestream and create exclusive video-on-demand content for Twitch, as part of a multi-year partnership. Some of this content will debut today.

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Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition is what Street Fighter 5 should have been when it launched back in February 2016: a fun, easy-to-get-into but hard to master fighting game that is, crucially, feature complete.

Here's what Arcade Edition, which is a free update for existing Street Fighter 5 owners or a game you can buy outright, does - or has - at launch that vanilla Street Fighter 5 did not: an arcade mode, online play that works, fun modes for single-player fans, a gallery of awesome artwork and a cool team battle mode. All this stuff should have been in Street Fighter 5 when it first came out (that it has taken nearly two years for Street Fighter 5 to get an arcade mode borders on the criminal). But now Arcade Edition is here, it's hard to deny Street Fighter 5 has finally realised its potential.

It's worth digging into the new arcade mode, because there's a lot more to it than you'd expect. Capcom has created various "paths" through which you can play against the computer, each themed around a different Street Fighter game. One is based on the first Street Fighter, and only features characters that appeared in the 1987 arcade game (Zeku represents Geki). The Street Fighter 2 path includes a barrel-breaking bonus stage, as Street Fighter 2 did back in 1991. There are also paths for Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5. The remixed music is fantastic and the nostalgia costumes look great. When you complete one of the paths, you unlock a cool character ending image as well as a custom illustration (some of which are truly beautiful).

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Genital Jousting

Genital Jousting, developer Free Lives' delightfully puerile multiplayer cock-'em-up, has finally released on PC after 14 months in Early Access development.

For those unfamiliar with Genital Jousting, it's described as an "online and local multiplayer party game about flaccid penises and wiggly anuses". Consider yourself warned.

Last time I spent a few happy hours Genital Jousting, the focus was undoubtedly on its hilariously raucous Classic and Party modes. Here, up to eight human-controlled wangs can battle it out across a surprisingly diverse range of maps and mini-games (with names like Double Delight, Obstacle Intercourse, and Weiner Round Up) for ultimate sausage supremacy, usually by frantically attempting to consensually penetrate their peers.

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