PC Gamer

Battlezone 98 Redux is a new version of, you guessed it, Battlezone, the RTS-FPS mash-up that posited galactic warfare between the USA and its arch-nemesis, itself - sorry, its arch-nemesis, Russia. Now, the remake of that old game has been joined by a remake of its old expansion, The Red Odyssey. This adds two new campaigns set in the Jupiter region, along with a couple of new playable factions: the NSDF Black Dogs and the Chinese Red Army. Here's the trailer:

What's that, trailer? You say the expansion you're trailing has a 15% Steam discount, for the next few days? And you go on to say that the base game is currently 40% off, over the same period? Thanks, trailer.

A reminder that Rebellion - who now owns the rights to Battlezone, and who got Big Boat Interactive to develop this - is currently working on a reboot of the original, 1980 Battlezone. Although we haven't heard squat about that one for a while.

PC Gamer

Riot still hasn't released evidence to support its recent and unprecedented banning of pro League of Legends team Renegades, and while at this stage it's unlikely the company ever will, a new ESPN report provides some background and context from the banned team's point of view. It's a lengthy report, but here are some of the key points.

In its statement in May, Riot cited three main reasons for the banning, including not properly disclosing team ownership, misleading player trades, and player mistreatment. Following the imposition of a 12 month ban on Chris Badawi for alleged tampering, ownership of Renegades was transferred to a new company, Mykles Gaming LLC. Riot claimed that Christopher Mykles had an agreement with Badawi to transfer 50% ownership of this company following the latter's ban period (it's against Riot's rules for ownership of a team to be acquired during a ban).

Both Badawi and Mykles along with their attorney Bryce Blum claim that despite Riot's accusations, no such agreement existed. Riot refuted that claim to ESPN though, saying it was not a "long-form legal agreement" but that it was an agreement nonetheless.

Meanwhile, details have emerged regarding the alleged player mistreatment within the Renegades' housing. According to the report, Badawi argued with team member Maria "Remilia" Creveling after she announced she'd leave the team on the week of January 31. Badawi allegedly threatened to reduce Remilia's salary to compensate money he spent on her medical bills.

"I spoke with Chris Badawi that evening and we agreed that he had acted impulsively and emotionally in this situation," Mykles said to ESPN. "We also agreed that his previous financial support of Maria Creveling was borne solely out of his generosity and had no bearing on her player contract with Mykles Gaming, LLC, therefore all associated payments should be made to her, and they subsequently and immediately were. I was also informed that Christopher Badawi had apologized to Maria Creveling that same day."

It's a tangled web, and it's well worth reading over the original report for all the finer details. It'll be interesting to see whether the report will coax Riot to say any more on the matter.

PC Gamer

Turn that frown upside-down!

Oddworld: Munch s Oddysee first received a PC port way back in 2010, and has since troubled sorry purchasers with a variety of game-breaking bugs some can t even get it to start. Fixes were promised right after release, and nearly six years later, they re finally here. The developers built an entirely new port that's been on the Steam beta branch since February, and after five months it's finally taken over the main branch.

An update was pushed to Munch s Oddysee on July 24th, the specific details of which are vague, but according to a post on the Oddysee Steam news page, include multiple fixes and some 'HD' assets including higher resolution character models. The update also includes Steam trading cards if they're your thing. Personally, I'd just sell a few collecting dust in your inventory to scrounge up some change, because to encourage players to give Munch s Oddysee a shot, it s on sale for a measly $1.24. Better late than never, eh?I booted up the new build to see if the changes made a difference, and the game started without issue, running at 2560x1440 and a steady framerate. It s still one to play with a controller if you can, but finally, it seems the suite of Oddworld games are getting the PC treatment they deserve. Of course, I m a small sample size, so if there are any new problems, we ll find out soon enough.

PC Gamer

The Rotating Game Mode queue has always allowed players to get away from the stresses of regular games. Summoners can leave their ranked woes and jump into modes that offer a more relaxed approach to League. From the original clone mayhem of One For All to the frantic keyboard-mashing of Ultra Rapid Fire, featured game modes provide an added spin to the classic League formula. The latest entry is the highly anticipated Nexus Siege, arguably the most intricate to date in terms of new features.

 The lowdown

Nexus Siege is a round-based attack and defence game mode where teams take turns at sieging the enemy's Nexus using an arsenal of deadly siege weapons. Each match consists of two rounds. After the first round, the teams switch sides. If you re attacking, you will need to shove waves and deploy siege weapons in order to charge up your minions and destroy towers. The defending team will try and withstand the blitz for as long as they can by upgrading towers and deploying AoE bonuses in order to kill their unwanted guests. Once the attacking side destroys the Nexus, the teams switch sides. Overall victory is awarded to whichever team flattens the base fastest.

The strangest thing about Nexus Siege is the sudden shock of not having any summoner spells. Instead they have been replaced by mode-specific attack or defense items that you can purchase with a unique currency called crystal shards. These accumulate over time and can be earned by killing enemy champions, with attackers earning them quicker than defenders. Defenders, however, start the round with enough Crystal Shards to buy a siege weapon and are also granted a bonus when the first tower in each lane is destroyed. Each minion that is shoved into the attacker s teleporters will also grant precious shards to the defending team.

Both teams have access to trinkets that warp them close to the front lines so they can quickly get back to the action, and you don t have to worry about farming as your riches are accumulated passively. In Nexus Siege it s more important that you simply push lanes as quickly as possible.

The importance of pushing is demonstrated by the Obliterator. This terrifying beam of power is unleashed by the defending team when a total of 15 minions have been shoved into the attacker s teleport pads. Once that quota has been met, a powerful laser will fire down all three lanes. Everything except siege weapons will be instantly obliterated.

 Picking your champion

The most useful champions in this mode will ideally have a combination of good wave clear and tower-sieging potential. AD Carry champions like Sivir do very well since they can push lanes quickly, easily securing objectives and creating map pressure when sieging the enemy base. Sivir has insane wave clear potential when she utilises her Q and her W and is great at taking turrets thanks to her attack speed steroid, and can even initiate fights with her ultimate. AD Carry champions are also strong when defending as they can completely stop a push by laying down a constant barrage of harass to their opponents which either kills them or forces them out of lane, giving them a brief window to destroy siege weapons and stop the enemy advance.

Long range AP wave clear champions like Lux, Vel'Koz and Xerath also offer impeccable waveclear, good all round damage and crowd control abilities that either stun, suppress or knock-up enemies. This is even more potent if you manage to catch someone while the Obliterator is charging up.

However, having a team filled with only AD Carry or wave clear champions can make it all too easy for the opposing attackers to siege your turret and pick up some easy kills due to your lacklustre health and defense. This makes your ability to defend and attack extremely difficult. Instead try and build a well-balanced team made up of AP and AD wave clear champs, as well as a tank (Singed) or a support (Sona) and the addition of skirmishers who can quickly jump into the action. This team comp will allow you to maximize your strengths in the defense department and offer chances of breaking the siege against your base. By utilising the unlimited flash from Flash Zone you can easily punish popular squishy champions and destroy their stacked siege turrets, making their push that much harder and more time consuming.

 Top tips

Recalling and teleporting is super quick so don t be afraid to go back to base after you have cleared a minion wave. This will allow you to stock up on items and valuable siege equipment that will aid you on the battlefield.

The gold accumulation is so fast in Nexus Siege that you can grab a better starting weapon (Needlessly Large Rod or B. F. Sword) before the minions even meet each other in lane. This will make your clear quicker and your damage even more potent early on.

Flash Zones can allow champions to go in for an insta-kill or make their attacks difficult to dodge. Take extra care when playing against the likes of Zed, Shaco and Darius who will be looking to use Flash Zones to pick up some early and late game kills.

When on the offense it s a good idea to nest multiple Siege Ballista and Shield Totems together for fast tower destruction. The grouped weapons can help bait the defenders into a deadly ambush, giving your team opportunities to kill the disorganised foes. Make sure you place the Ballista behind terrain and in areas where you can easily defend them. Placing two Siege Ballista is optimal. If the opposing team manage to destroy them it won t set you back as much as having placed all your siege weapons in one area. If you follow this advice you will hopefully diminish your chances of wasting your Crystals Shards and boost your overall survivability in lane.

Remember that Port Pads can win games. A well placed Port Pad behind enemy lines can help snowball your team really quickly. Conceal it in bushes or behind the walls to make it difficult for the enemy to find.

If you purchase the Beam of Ruination remember to use the summoner spell to fire it. I have seen many players simply place it on a turret only to forget about it. Just remember it is fairly slow and can easily be countered by champions with high mobility, so take note before you commit to purchasing this item.

When on the offence try and build some sustain. This will allow you to stay in lane longer and you won t have to recall as often, allowing you to get a nice push going. If you re playing on the defense opt for heavy damage items, CC and Siege Weapons. It s important that you stall your opponents blitz on your base for as long as possible. The adage the best defense is a good offense rings true in Nexus Siege.

Nexus Siege brings a lot of new ideas to the table. Once you learn how to utilise the items, coordinate attacks and set up strong defensive boundaries it can be a very rewarding game mode that shouldn t last more than 20 minutes each side. However, Nexus Siege is not without its problems. If you re unfortunate enough to have an AFK player on your team then you re in for a long game with no way of surrendering, which makes defeat sting more. A meta has also formed very quickly within the new mode, with low-mana cost and high wave clear champs becoming the favourite picks. Unfortunately this does mean that some champions will rarely be played through the fear of getting forced under tower while defending or being unable to reach enemy towers while attacking.

Time will only tell if Nexus Siege has the potential to become a classic game type that people will flock to like U.R.F. or One For All. It s a welcome addition to the rotation, however, and demonstrates that Riot is willing to add new concepts to the classic League formula.

PC Gamer

Winner of our Best Singleplayer of 2015 award, Andy once described The Witcher 3 as one of the best RPGs he d ever played. I d struggle to argue with that, and its subsequent official expansions Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine have only served to improve upon an already fantastic game. An ever-expanding list of unofficial user-made mods has pushed the boundaries of what this game has to offer further still, the latest of which to catch our eye is Reaperrz s Enhanced Edition overhaul.

While rumours of an official Enhanced Edition were quashed by CD Projekt Red back in January, the developer recently confirmed a Game of the Year iteration is in the works. The Enhanced Edition mod is independent of both, but alters things like the game's default stats and abilities, meditation and alchemy settings, equipment weight and durability, and talent caps and levelling, among a number of other things. The mod also makes significant changes to the game s combat and damage systems and modifiers a new Hardcore Enemies setting, for example, lifts foes 11 levels above the player. Yikes.

The list of changes the mod makes is pretty exhaustive full details of which can be found via its Nexus page. If you're interested, you might also fancy checking out YouTube person Origier does Gaming s extensive overview, which details everything from installation instructions to how said changes affect your game.

Thanks, VG24/7.

PC Gamer

Following the rollout of Team Fortress 2's major Meet Your Maker update earlier this month, Valve has issued a patch to address some of the biggest problems with the new matchmaking functionality. The company acknowledged last week a lot of the most pressing concerns, and many of them are now fixed thanks to the new patch.

First of all, match leaving in casual mode will no longer incur a penalty, but to balance that out, Valve will increase the penalty in competitive mode in a forthcoming update. "The current system increases matchmaking ban times based on the number of abandons over a period of time," the notes read. "We are making a change to more quickly move serial abandoners into really long ban times. We will also subtract the maximum number of rank points possible, per abandon. The amount lost will be far higher than what could normally be lost in a completed match."

As for changes that will come into effect with the new patch, queue times should now take less than 90 seconds across the board, and empty player slots in in-progress games will now be filled up more frequently. Vote-kicking functionality has been added, and players can now select their preferred maps (though if they're added to an in-progress game, that won't apply until the next match).

Valve also outlined further plans for future updates, including ways to address griefing and high ping. The full update notes are over here. In the meantime, read Josh Wilkinson's impressions of the new matchmaking update here.

PC Gamer

A new hunter is available for Evolve: Stage 2, the free-to-play rebirth of the asymmetrical man versus nature multiplayer game from Turtle Rock Studios. Electro Griffin is a neon-dipped Robocop ready version of Griffin, outfitted with a dopey new look, some altered abilities and weapons. Chief among them are The Laser Storm, an electric SMG that can be fired while running at full speed that slows the monster, and The Final Lockdown, a short range harpoon that does damage over time.I played a few rounds with him last night, and while Electro Griffin doesn t fundamentally shake up the trapper playstyle, his wild electric SMG and neon stylings are enough to make him stand out from the pack. And it's nice to see Turtle Rock get playful and bright with Evolve's otherwise grim aesthetic.Hopefully, Electro Griffin s quick release represents the pace at which we ll get drip fed content updates for Evolve. I may not play it everyday, but if Turtle Rock throws in a new map, hunter, or monster at a steady pace, I ll hop back in every time to give it a peek Evolve needs regularity in order to maintain a healthy player base this time around.

PC Gamer

If you've ever wanted to explore the environments of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from the first-person perspective, this mod might be just the thing. Created by Nexus Mods user Skacikpl, it gives players the ability to slide into the more immersive viewpoint while wandering the world, and going by the latest gameplay trailer, it looks like it works really well.

Work on the mod actually began in March, when the creator said the possibility of a public release was dependent largely on whether he could fix some persistent technical issues, which at this point seems unlikely." But he stuck with it, and earlier this month decided it was time to let other people give it a try.

As you can see from the video, it's still not perfect, but it's getting there. FOV is adjustable, but Skacikpl cautioned that it's designed to work with mouse and keyboard only, and does not properly support controllers. It's also meant strictly as a tool for exploring, and the game will automatically pull back to the third-person view for combat.

Current controls and implementation do not make fighting as enjoyable or reliable as one would wish, Skacikpl wrote. Maybe if i had more insight into how some of the subsystems in the game worked (and a lot of more free time) I'd be able to override some of it for a more suitable solution, but for now i believe that having a decent exploration FPP experience is enough.

The Witcher 3 first-person mod is available for direct download here.

PC Gamer

Photo credit: TaKeTV Media.

This might not be the busiest weekend in the esports calendar, but there's still enough to keep you occupied until Monday rolls around including CS:GO finals in China, the ongoing spectacle of the North American League of Legends scene, and StarLadder's Dota debut in Los Angeles. If you're into Hearthstone or enjoyed the HomeStory StarCraft series, you'll definitely want to be tuning in to SeatStory Cup V.

League of Legends: NA Championship Series

LoL's regular season play steps it up to cover for what is otherwise a quiet weekend. You can catch top-tier play in North America starting at 21:00 CEST/12:00 PDT on both Saturday and Sunday, with four best-of-threes being played on each day. You can find more information on the matchups, schedule and livestream on lolesports.com.

Dota 2: StarLadder i-League StarSeries

The first StarSeries LAN in the USA takes place in Los Angeles this weekend with $300,000 on the line. This is a good chance to see a slate of top Dota 2 teams play ahead of the International in a couple of weeks. Play is ongoing today, and continues on Saturday starting at 09:30 PDT/18:30 CEST. The action starts on Sunday at 14:00 PDT/23:00 CEST with the grand final beginning at 17:00 PDT (or 02:00 CEST the following day in Europe). Find the livestream here.

Hearthstone: SeatStory Cup V

There are a number of top players taking part in SeatStory Cup V this weekend. It's the Hearthstone version of the legendary HomeStory series: a serious competition in relaxed surroundings, giving you a chance to see pro players in a different light. Play begins every day at 14:00 CEST/05:00PDT and you can find the livestream here.

CSGO: Pro Gamer League 2016 Summer

This weekend is a little short on CS:GO, but you can still catch the finals of PGL 2016 in Wuhan on Sunday. The roster is primarily composed of Chinese teams with a handful of almost-top-tier western squads. The finals begin at 05:20 CEST on Sunday, which is 20:20 on Saturday night in the USA. Sadly there's no English stream for this event, but you can find the Chinese one on each match's HLTV.org page. Here's the final.

PC Gamer

After weeks of weird poster teasing, Riot Games has officially revealed League of Legends newest champion the rider and mount duo Kled.

The announcement was made during the EU LCS stream following the week eight, day one game between Fnatic and Splyce where a teaser trailer showed the one-eyed, beard-sporting, pirate hat-donning Kled (who looks a wee bit like a cross between existing champions Ziggs and Gnar), as he d reunited with his mount on the battlefield.

It s appears to be quite a heartfelt moment for the pair. See:

Beyond that, details are thin on the ground for now, however it s likely more will be revealed in the coming days.

Until then, since we re talking champions, why not read Cassandra Marshall s thoughts on why the evolution of LoL s roster bodes well for its future, or check out James Busby s most underrated champions?


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