PC Gamer

Despite the fact that it remains in Early Access on Steam, the first official team-based H1Z1: King of the Kill tournament, featuring 15 teams vying for a share of a $300,000 prize pool, will be broadcast this spring on the CW Network and the CW Seed digital platform. Leading up to the tournament finale, CW will also broadcast a five-part "esports docuseries" called H1Z1: Fight for the Crown, a profile of the Echo Fox esports franchise headed by Rick Fox and Jace Hall. 

Each team in the tournament will be made up of five players, all of whom will enter the arena at the same time, making early-game communication and strategy vital to any meaningful run at victory. And there will be no respawns: You die, and you're out—and you leave your team down a person. The winning team will take home $180,000, second place will earn $60,000, $30,000 will go to the third-place finisher, $18,000 for fourth, and $12,000 for fifth.   

To be considered for entry, you'll need to be ranked on the Twin Galaxy H1Z1 leaderboard. Four teams—Echo Fox, Rogue Gaming, Panda Global, and Denial Esports—are already confirmed participants, but slots remain open at http://www.h1z1fightforthecrown.com. The H1Z1: Fight for the Crown tournament is set to take place on April 20.

PC Gamer

It took awhile for the original Dragon Quest Heroes, a mix of the Dragon Quest universe and Dynasty Warriors-style hack-and-slash, to make its way from the PlayStation to the PC. (And, unfortunately, it was a disappointment when it finally arrived.) There won't be any of that extra wait-time for Dragon Quest Heroes 2, however. Square Enix announced today that it will be out on Steam on April 25, the same day it hits the PS4 in North America. 

Word of the PC release date was accompanied by a new trailer that sets the stage for war between the Seven Realms, which after a century of peace now seem "guided by a mysterious and malicious force." As cousins and knights-in-training Lazarel and Teresa, you must fight alongside other heroes to defend your land from an invading Dunisian army, led by none other than your old friend Prince Cesar.

"The long-kept peace is broken and the world descends into chaos. With the aid of High King’s envoy the cousins must travel to Accordia for a meeting with the Supreme Sovereign of the Seven Realms to find a solution and bring back peace to the world!"

Square Enix also unveiled the Dragon Quest Heroes 2: Explorers Edition today, which couples the base game with 15 downloadable bonus weapons like the Night Club, the Plat o' One Tails, the Royal Flush, and the Slime Stack Stick. It's available for preorder for $60 on the Square Enix Store (it's actually the only edition listed, so those downloadable weapons are effectively a preorder bonus), which notes that a Steam account will be required to activate the game. At the time of writing, however, Dragon Quest Heroes 2 is not yet listed on Steam. 

PC Gamer

As I lie crouched in the long grass next to a gathering of Sir, You Are Being Hunted's hostile robot pursuers, I'm transported back to my childhood. I'm back in the Glasgow housing scheme I spent the majority of my youth running around in, all the while hiding from gangs of tougher lads from neighbouring areas because I'm a shitbag, a fraidy cat, a chicken—similar to how I am now, neck-deep in reeds in one of Sir's procedurally-generated pastoral landscapes.  

But this time it's different. This time it's all for the sake of bringing down a relentless automaton army, and I've got my tactics down to a tee. Ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War? I did once, and while I struggle to see any credible correlation between the late military strategist's battle text and modern day entrepreneurialism, taken literally it's helping here. There's water at my back, a hillside flanking my left, and fences to my right. I'm all set for victory. 

Until I stand in a bear trap. And not just any bear trap. My own fucking bear trap. 

In an instant the gig is up, mechanical gunfire is rained upon me and, needless to say, my maker is very promptly met. I'll chalk this one up to yet another misadventure in my enduring relationship with videogame traps, and while I'd love to tell you I'll learn from my mistakes I almost certainly won't. I've been here before, you see, on several occasions. 

The first time I remember inadvertently blowing myself up with a self-set bomb was when playing Spy vs Spy on my dad's Atari ST in the early '90s. I was so taken with the idea of 'secretly' planting bombs in drawers for my splitscreen opponent to haphazardly stumble upon, that I'd often fill too many areas with traps and wind up catching myself out. 

I spent years thereafter tracking games which offered similar levels of trap-based autonomy. Plenty of games throw traps at players as forms of obstacles, where they exist simply to be avoided or deactivated, but there's something magical about the ones which leave the responsibility with the player—be that in attack, defence, or, you know, reckless self-harm.  

BioShock's plasmid system is a wonderful example of intuitive trap setting, whereby players can adopt a mix-and-match approach to the disposal of enemy splicers. Sure, taking them on head-first with melee and/or conventional weapons is the most obvious route to surviving Rapture, however the thrill of setting bad guys alight before sending a lightning bolt into the pool of water he or she is dousing the flames in is second to none. I once asked the game's lead designer Paul Hellquist why he thought setting virtual traps was such an enjoyable endeavour, to which he replied: "It makes the player feel smart."

And, for me at least, that's exactly right. No matter how crude my plans ultimately play out, successfully snaring an unwitting opponent by way of a well-placed trap is an absolute joy. The first time I took down a Super Mutant in Fallout 3 involved me taunting the beast with some pithy pistol rounds, before leading it down a Vault 87 corridor towards a nearby succession of mines. I stood too close and was also offed in the blast radius, however was also delighted to thwart such a tough adversary—as bittersweet as this particular 'victory' was. Perhaps I'm not as smart as I think.  

I performed this trick several times recently with Resident Evil 7's remote bombs, however perhaps the best instance of trap setting befalls Dishonored and its vermin-ridden Dunwall. By leveraging a combo of Corvo's Possession power and a spring razor, the masked protagonist can attach the trap to a rat, possess said rat, and lead set rat into a group of enemy sentries—breaking the possession at the last minute, just as the razor activates to devastating effect. Chain-linking this trait in Dishonored 2 yields some equally impressive effects, as does a number of the sequel's newly introduced powers.

Furthermore, contrary to well-thought out virtual trap laying, games like Orcs Must Die prove there is just as much fun to be had in mindless set ups—where the sole purpose of the game is using traps to simply thwart your enemies. It must be said that orcs get a pretty hard time across all game genres, but there is a lot of fun to be had in dropping them into tar pits or squishing them with spiked contraptions nevertheless. 

Between being made to feel in smart and being offered choice, laying traps in games is an activity I'll never tire of. Be it in successfully defeating an irradiated monster, eliminating the white mouse with a well-place drawer bomb, or by standing in my own friggin bear traps—I'll continue to challenge game obstacles by thinking outside the box or die trying. Die and die and die trying.

PC Gamer

Part of the appeal of League of Legends is that it’s a social game. Sure, there are the people who will sit down and solo grind the ladder to test their own skills, but most people who get into the game do so to play with a group of friends. Riot realizes that even the competitive players have the desire to play with like-minded folk. Their promotional video Warriors, set to the tune by Imagine Dragons, is about a group of friends dreaming that they’ll attend Worlds one day. The goal of going pro is a much dimmer prospect if it’s a path you take alone.

The recent video Ignite, another Worlds anthem by Zedd, celebrates the beautiful moments between teams as they compete at the top. At all levels of the game, from those pre-level 30 clown fiestas, to the very highest levels of play, Riot likes to emphasize the team aspect of the game. And so, there are scores of people who get into the game to play with friends. Little do they know that League of Legends is a game that hungers for your friendships. Every time you queue up with a friend, the nightmare carnival begins anew. League of Legends may reach across the globe, but it has become a game that is untenable as a way to unwind—or even seriously compete at—with friends.

You’re trapped in here with me

Let’s talk about why League of Legends puts pressure on even the strongest friendships. You’re in the game for at least twenty minutes, and you can’t surrender before then. Even the surrender system is a horrifying way to strain what you thought was a perfectly great friendship! You don’t know true suffering unless you’re in a game, getting dunked on over and over, and you watch two red lights ping up on the surrender vote. You realize that you’re trapped in a game with people who don’t admire your time. It’s like watching Golden Labradors playing, insisting that their Vayne will scale up and we can totally win this, guys! Meanwhile, you stand there, the tired adult who has to go to bed for work in the morning, and realize you have a fundamental incompatibility of values.

Every time you die, you get to relish the icy silence on voice chat as everyone tries to ignore the fact that you just died and gave the enemy team a huge leg up. Or maybe there’s that one guy who has to point out that there’s an advantage. What started out as a fun way to spend the evening with friends quickly devolves into a hostage situation, where you all have to engage in the polite fiction that this is fantastic, and you’re all better off for engaging in this experience, and as soon as someone raises a voice it’ll all go to hell.But don’t worry! As soon as that forty minute game is done, your team will probably agree that the next game will be better, and you’ll queue up again.The next game is never better.

Squad goals

Here’s the thing that makes League incredibly frustrating as a cooperative game that you play with friends is that it is entirely possible to play the game as five people with five different ideas on how to have fun. I decided once, in my young and naive days, that playing League of Legends with my husband would be a fantastic way to bond as a couple. We’ve been together for ten years, and we have never argued over petty or trivial things... until he went Twisted Fate ADC and rushed a Statikk Shiv because “lightning is cool.”This is a story where he can be argued as being in the right. My husband played League of Legends with the joy and wonder of a child. In many ways, I envy him. He has the capacity to look at items and decide what is “cool”, as opposed to the world weary approach of picking whatever’s currently in the meta. And yet we were completely incompatible, and there was no way to bail out. I had to sit there, watching our death toll in bot lane rack up, as he mentioned that Twisted Fate should probably have a higher attack range because it was pretty hard to murder people in the bot lane. This is the kind of scenario that usually precedes a hypothetical moral choice in a philosophy textbook, but instead this was my date night. This was my real life.

Sometimes the differences aren’t so obvious—sometimes you’ll just have someone who likes to play Quinn top, and someone who insists on the tank meta. Either way, it’s very easy for your fun group activity to turn into a debate team on the nature of individual skill versus adherence to the agreed upon meta.

The real conspiracy

Remember that video I linked up above? 2014’s Warriors is widely agreed upon as a great song and video, a celebration of how the game really is made up of the groups of friends who band together and dream crazy dreams like attending Worlds. But, hey, wait, doesn’t one of those characters smash a keyboard? He absolutely does, and this is just treated as normal. Riot know that they’ve invented an infuriating game! Nobody’s breaking their keyboard after a rousing session of Club Penguin!

Maybe this is just the online world we live in, now. Maybe, as a society, we’ve just accepted that our entertainment has a drastic chance of making us really mad at things including, but not limited to: champion scaling, that guy in top lane, the balance team, our buddy Jake, and Dr. Mundo. At the end of many columns, I offer solutions, or potential ways to mitigate these problems. This time, there is no solution. The game has a design flaw that may never be solved, in that the long games and high stakes create a pressure cooker. There is no moral. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go fire up a game of League. Alone. I have an itch to play Quinn top.

PC Gamer

Remember silt striders? Back in Bethesda's 2002 RPG Morrowind, they were the quick-travel beasts who looked like giant fleas who'd sprouted legs as long as lodgepole pines, all the better to shuttle folks about the island of Vvardenfell. They never actually moved, though, chained as they were by the technological limitations of the time. When I learned Morrowind would be the focus of Elder Scrolls Online's first big expansion (coming June 6), I'd hoped I'd see them during my visit to ZeniMax Online's Maryland studio, scuttling freely about Vivec City and environs. I don't even wait until my private interview session to ask if they now walk.

"Nope," says game director Matt Firor. There's an uncomfortable silence. They're in the expansion, but the technology apparently still isn't there yet.Well, drat. That's one disappointment, and it comes right on the heels of the realization that I've come all the way to ZeniMax Online's Maryland studio not to actually play the Morrowind expansion, but to watch dev-made trailers and clips in a darkened theater. 

All the same, ZeniMax shows off a world I want to roam. Main quests and side quests together reportedly deliver almost 30 hours of adventure, there's a new class, and at last, 'balanced side' PvP battlegrounds will grace the three-year-old MMORPG. On top of that, there's a sprawling scavenger hunt quest, two new public dungeons, a Morrowind-focused tutorial for new players, and a new 12-man trial that sends adventurers into the heart of the god Sotha Sil's Clockwork City. Firor insists on calling Morrowind a "chapter" rather than an expansion, but never before has ESO expanded with such ambition and promise.

Mushroom houses! Tentacled beasts herded like cattle! I've always loved Morrowind's trippy weirdness, and it's good to see it enjoying new life. Even so, I can't shake the feeling that what I see leans too heavily on that nostalgia. ESO's new chapter may unfold 700 years before the Nerevarine, but little seems different in the images Firor shows us: the huddled stone dwellings of Balmora, the spindly daedric ruins—even the cozy office where the prison ship dumps you in Morrowind the elder. I expected something more visually surprising, sort of like Blizzard's reimagining of a familiar alien world in World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion. 

Yet there are, in fact, changes, even if they're not as extensive as I wish. Balmora, with its stone shops and quiet river, looks far more lush and inviting than it did in 2002. Ald'ruhn, the dusty city nestled in a hollowed shell, exists as a ramshackle camp in this era. ESO's creative director Rich Lambert tells me ZeniMax chiefly focused on transforming Vvardenfell to look as it must have before the Red Mountain started erupting years later.

"In Vivec City, only three of four of the cantons are actually built," he says. "The ghost fence hasn't been erected yet, and the Ashlands are a little smaller."As for the island of Vvardenfell itself, Lambert tells me it's essentially the exact same size as it was in the original game as they used Morrowind's height map as the foundation. Put in the context of ESO itself, it's about 30 percent larger than Orsinium, ESO's largest chunk of DLC so far.

I'd seen a prototype of ESO's battleground concept at E3 a couple of years back and loved it.

Orisinium's a good point of comparison, as ZeniMax stuffed it with quests and locations that often outshone those in the core release. Morrowind might well outdo it. Amid all the chatter about dunmer and dwemer, ZeniMax also teases an hours-long trek to help an Argonian slave become a Telvanni mage, a romp with the assassin-priests of the Morag Tong, and the epic overarching tale of the mortal god Lord Vivec's struggle to cling to his draining power. Should he fail, the giant rocks floating over Vivec City will slam into the city and smash it with the force of meteor (much as they eventually do in the years before Skyrim). ZeniMax shows us absolutely nothing of it in action, but it sounds fascinating. Just don't expect to align with the various houses as you did in the original RPG.

"One of the things we kind of burned ourselves on at launch is separating players," Lambert says. "You make a choice, and then you've walled off all the other choices and then you can't play with another buddy who made that choice. In our game, you basically can work with all the houses."

Furry friends

Apart from all the quests and scenery, the big attraction of the Morrowind expansion is the new Warden class. Firor describes it as a druid, hunter, and ranger all wrapped up in one tidy package—essentially the class I've been waiting for since ESO dropped. It's versatile, coming with three skill trees that roughly correspond to damage, tanking, and healing and one skill in the 'Animal Companion' line lets players conjure a massive bear into battle permanently. The video showcase even more wonders: calling down cliff racers or swarms of bugs on enemies, wrapping oneself in an icy shield, or stun that spreads to multiple enemies. 

It sounds kind of awesome, frankly. Maybe too awesome, if it's not balanced properly. Careful balance arguably hasn't mattered much in previous ESO builds when PvP was largely about herds of players ramming into each other, but it could prove a challenge in the new 4v4v4 PvP battlegrounds. I'd seen a prototype of ESO's battleground concept at E3 a couple of years back and loved it. What Firor shows us now looks much the same, but with three stunning maps featuring open arenas like the lava streaked Foyada Quarry or a sprawling daedric complex concealing dozens of easy ganking spots. The modes are simple, amounting to little more than base capture or capture the flag, but what I see looks more fun than what I've ever seen in Cyrodiil. The main question remaining is whether they can balance it.

Perhaps I'd have a better idea of how it would work if I'd actually managed to handle the game itself. But at this point, I'm willing to have faith in ESO. It's gone from a rough launch to accumulating more than 8.5 million players, and each new patch seems to bring it closer to ideal of the memorable Elder Scrolls MMO many players have always wanted. Thus far, Morrowind looks like one of the purest visions of that concept yet. Too bad about those silt striders, though.

PC Gamer

We're probably a few decades from experiencing something like Jurassic Park in real life—which I'm okay with considering the body count those movies rack up. Judging by this reveal of the gameplay footage, Ark Park looks to be the next best thing. Developed independently by Snail Games, Ark Park lets you explore and interact with dinos in a variety of Jurassic climates all from the comfort of your VR goggles. Snail Games invited members of Studio Wildcard, the original developers of Ark: Survival Evolved, to see how Ark Park is shaping up. 

Ark Park takes the learning experience beyond the textbook through allowing players to get up close and personal with the dinosaurs.

"Our vision is to create a virtual world where players can explore at their own place and have close encounters with dinosaurs," executive producer Sky Wu tells me. While the game lacks the ever-present danger of Ark: Survival Evolved, that doesn't mean it's a completely passive tour either. "A hard core survival game like Ark: Survival Evolved is too fast paced for VR and might result in discomfort, but we still want core gamers that loved Ark: Survival Evolved to enjoy Ark Park. What we decided to do was make both options available. For core gamers, the game features dinosaur hunting and some hidden elements that are a bit more challenging while the game allows casual players to just hangout, ride, feed dinosaurs and enjoy the view. Overall, Ark Park falls in the casual game category with some optional hardcore elements." 

Watching the video, you can see there's a lot more to Ark Park than just gawking at lizards and telling them what nice boys they are. What's more, you don't have to do it alone. "In Ark Park, there will be single and multiplayer modes," Wu says. "Players will embark on excursions and enter different attractions where they will see different prehistoric creatures and plants. A core gameplay element will include collecting gene cubes from dinosaurs, allowing players to develop their own 'petting zoos.'"

But there will be some light survival elements too. Wu says that Ark Park also features "hunting areas" where dinosaurs can attack the player. To survive those attacks, players will need to use their gathered gene cubes and resources to create "survival items and weapons." By unlocking new attractions in the park, they also unlock access to more cubes and crafting options. Collecting those cubes will take some clever thinking, however. For example, players will need to manipulate the environment, such as disturbing an ant nest to attract a big spider, to collect everything.

If fieldwork becomes too tiring, you can always retreat back to the visitor center where you can learn about the various creatures of Ark Park. "Ark Park takes the learning experience beyond the textbook through allowing players to get up close and personal with the dinosaurs," Wu says.

Overall, it sounds like a rather meaty experience—and lord knows that VR needs more of them. It's an interesting decision to take Ark: Survival Evolved to tamer frontiers, but dinosaurs are cool as hell so having the chance to look at them a little closer is certainly welcome. Ark Park is due later this year on both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. 

PC Gamer

Civilization 6 is set to add Australia to its turn-based 4X strategy bounds, which is the first time the land Down Under has featured in the series. Led by its 14th Prime Minister John Curtin, the Ozzies will enter the world domination fold as premium DLC alongside the game's forthcoming Australian Summer update.  

Said to be "coming soon", the update itself will be free-of-charge and will see the introduction of both multiplayer teams and mod tools. "Steam Workshop will allow you to browse, add, and subscribe to mods more easily," reads this Steam community post, while other tools are set to make things easier for modders themselves. The addition of multiplayer will of course allow players to bundle up and conquer the world against AI or human opponents.  

As for the Australian DLC, the new Civ will come packing a new unique ability, named Land Down Under, which provides cities extra housing when built on coastal tiles; a new unique unit, named The Digger, which replaces the infantry unit and offers additional power on land tiles adjacent to water; and a new unique improvement, the Outback Station, which unlocks with the guild civic and provides food and production—providing bonus food for adjacent pastures. 

More on that is written here, and showcased here:

Civilization 6's Australian Summer update is "coming soon." You may wish to check out the Humble Civilization Bundle in the meantime.

PC Gamer

Selfie!

Last month, Tim braved the console waters to bring you word of Resident Evil 7’s Banned Footage Vol. 1, the first DLC pack which PS4 owners got to sample a month early. Today, both Banned Footage Volumes 1 and 2 are available on the PC, included as part of the Season Pass for $30 with a future bonus episode to come, or individually at $10 and $15 respectively. Our man liked the first pack overall, lauding its variety and the Bedroom episode’s focus on escape room puzzle-solving, in particular.

But Vol. 2 isn’t an easy recommendation for me. It retains the strange charm of Resi 7’s new bayou setting and gives us more quality time with the Bakers, but doesn’t feel as creative, revelatory, or substantial as I’d hoped. Here’s a rundown on what comes in Banned Footage Vol. 2 and whether or not it’s worth your time.

21

This episode is literally just Resident Evil 7’s deranged interpretation of blackjack. Starting with a single card flipped over, players take turns bluffing their way to a hand that adds up to as close to 21 as possible without going over. You’re seated at a table with another unfortunate prisoner, while Lucas Baker lays down the stakes from a remote location and spits out cards from a machine. In the first round, your hands are clamped out in a machine that cuts a finger or three off with each loss, after which a new torture device is rolled in to up the ante.

A few rounds in Lucas throws introduces trump cards, special cards that change certain conditions and don’t consume a turn. One adds two to your opponent’s total, another returns your last upward facing card to the deck, and others pull specific cards to your hand. With each consecutive round, more trump cards are introduced and your bag-headed opponent gets more cunning to compensate. It’s a nice way to spice things up when playing against the AI, but trump cards won’t change the way you think about blackjack forever, let alone the half hour it takes to get through the scene.

21 might be the only game of blackjack that reduces your face to hamburger with enough bad luck—it’s novel and worth a few laughs for the overwrought presentation and Lucas’ deranged dialogue, but it’s still blackjack. I would have preferred another escape room puzzle from Lucas rather than one of the world’s best known card games with a spooky makeover. Still, if you’re into Resi 7 for the cheeky tropes and character rather than actual scares, maybe this is your deal.

Daughters 

The more Resident Evil 7 focuses on the Bakers, the better it is, but Daughters feels too familiar to contribute much. It's a short episode played from Zoe Baker’s perspective, following the family’s last moments as somewhat normal people before becoming mind-controlled goop monsters. (Spoilers. Kinda.)

Zoe is slower than Ethan, has nearly nothing to defend herself with, and without a flashlight she can only see a few dimly-lit feet ahead of her thanks to a small lighter. Daughters felt darker and scarier from the start, despite knowing the Baker house like the back of my hand.

But the episode is over before it really begins, burying its meager rewards in rummaging through the Baker house yet again in search of a secret ending—my first play through took about 20 minutes. Here’s the real secret: it’s dull. Either way, it’s nice to get chased by Jack again even if being pursued by a madman wearing just pants is starting to feel like routine. Dude is still scary.

I’d be fine with the short runtime, but Daughters rushes the Baker family’s transformation. There’s no subtlety or slow decent into madness. Zoe leaves her nice family for a minute and comes back to the loonies we know from Resi 7. There’s nothing to learn about how they normally relate to one another or how a (spoiler, definitely) creepy young girl slowly took over their minds. Eveline comes in from the rain, you fetch her some warm clothes, and boom, Marguerite is puking up bugs like it’s her job. The rushed transformation deflates Eveline of any power the spooky kid archetype gives her, and she was already the weakest character in the main game.

Daughters feels like a deleted scene that needed deleting—it simplifies the Baker origin story to a boring bullet point, and even then, doesn’t reveal anything about the plot we couldn’t already put together on our own.

Jack’s 55th Birthday 

The final part of the package is a totally throwaway mode, but Jack’s 55th Birthday has just enough depth and charm to make it worth playing. The clue to the ridiculous setup is there in the name. It’s Jack’s special day and he needs feeding. You start off in a room with the birthday boy where you can get ready for the food hunt via a storage box full of weapons and healing items. Head out the door and the timer starts, counting down from 15 minutes. Your goal is to fill Jack’s satisfaction meter by finding edible items in the house. The catch is that they also take up inventory space and molded enemies (wearing silly hats) continually spawn while you’re outside the kitchen.

If you’re a combat expert, taking fewer weapons and healing items opens up more room for munchies, but increases your chance of dying. Simultaneously, every time you shoot an enemy bonus time builds up. It’s a way to force not just combat, but super careful, precise combat. You’ll want to take out the molded, preserve every bit of ammo possible, and have as much inventory space for food items you can. Some items can only be combined with others to make a more filling dish, and others exist purely to throw you off track (don’t feed Jack any garbage). Careful inventory management, as cumbersome as it can be, becomes as important as nailing headshots, especially if you want that elusive S-rank. New arenas pulled from environments in the main game unlock as you play, and each offers a bit more complexity and challenge than the last.

As charming as Jack’s 55th Birthday is, I have a hard time seeing much depth or reward beyond optimizing runs after unlocking all the bonus items. Even if the amusement of Jack’s dumb birthday hat wears off before long, as a hokey time trial arcade mode that gives me Mario Party flashbacks, it’s easily the star of Banned Footage Vol. 2.

Even so, Vol. 2 is a much harder sell than Vol. 1. None of the tapes are particularly deep beyond their initial burst of novelty, whereas Vol. 1 contained Nightmare and Ethan Must Die, two challenging modes with hours of potential, and Bedroom, a tense surprising escape room scenario that makes sense within the Resi 7 universe. And it only costs $10 to Vol. 2’s $15. That said, the Season Pass mentions a bonus episode that we still don't know anything about. If it proves worthwhile and seals the deal on a $30 purchase, then through sheer variety it’d be an easy recommendation. For now, sit tight with Banned Footage Vol. 1 and if you haven’t yet, maybe give Resi 7’s Madhouse difficulty a shot.

PC Gamer

Today's launch of the Humble Civilization Bundle means that, for the low price of just $1, you can be the proud owner of Sid Meier's Civilization 3 Complete and Sid Meier's Civilization 4: The Complete Edition on Steam. And if you have more money, they have more games. 

Bounce that buck up to more than the average purchase price and you'll add Civ 5, the Gods and Kings and Brave New World expansion packs, a big wad of DLC including Scrambled Continents, the Explorer's Map Pack, and the Civilization and Scenario packs, and coupons for 20 percent off Civ 6, and 25 percent off Civ 6 Digital Deluxe, in the Humble Store. 

Make it $15 (or more, if you're feeling generous) and you'll also take home Civilization: Beyond Earth, and the Exoplanets and Rising Tide expansions.  

That is a ridiculous amount of Civilization for a ridiculously good price. Dare to compare: Civilization 5, without the expansions, costs twice as much on Steam as this entire bundle, as do each of the expansions. The Civilization: Beyond Earth Collection, with the base game and the two expansions, lists for $60—four times the price of the bundle. Even Civ 4 is still $20, compared to $6 here.

The Humble Civilization Bundle is live now and will be available until 1 pm ET on March 7. 

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.

PC Gamer

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard may only have launched in late January, but its first and second slices of DLC were made available just weeks later on PlayStation 4 consoles—on January 31 and February 14 respectively. We've had to wait a little longer, but both portions are out now on PC. 

Never one to be scuppered by console-exclusivity, our Tim ventured into Banned Footage Vol. 1 on PS4  Pro (heathen! etc.) earlier this month to see what the fuss was about. He came back fairly impressed if a little underwhelmed—suggesting much of its minigame makeup could perhaps have been packaged alongside the base game. Here's an extract from his thoughts: 

"Overall, there’s enough in Banned Footage Vol. 1 to warrant your interest if you enjoyed Resi 7 and want to spend more time in it’s world. However, it does feel pretty rum that this stuff came out (on PlayStation, at least) a week after the main game released. I’m not one to bang on about cut content, but given that the main game doesn’t have any multiplayer or other modes, these minigames would have been a welcome addition to the package, and arguably shouldn’t require any additional spend. 

"But that’s gaming in 2017 I guess, and given that Resi 7 has supposedly sold substantially less than its predecessor, perhaps you can see why Capcom feels it has to eke whatever extra it can from the project." 

In any event, both Banned Footage volumes are out now on PC. Number one comes with three scenarios—Nightmare, Bedroom, and Ethan Must Die—and costs £7.99/$9.99; while number two includes Daughters, 21, and Jack's 55th Birthday, and will set you back £11.99/$14.99. If you already own the Resi 7 Deluxe Edition or Season Pass then you'll have access to the above at no extra cost. 

Speaking to the DLC, the game's director Koshi Nakanishi says: "Resident Evil 7 features a blend of horror, combat and puzzle-solving, so I wanted to use the DLC to explore each of those concepts separately in depth. As with the main game, the found footage tape idea lets us explore things that didn’t happen all in sequence, but rather to different people at different times. So players can start a DLC tape and not be sure where they even are—and of course, it means the player can die at the end.

"We had more freedom in the DLC to let the team try different things. Each of the experiences lets us explore one concept in depth in a way, so for Nightmare it was pure combat. In Bedroom, I wanted to show Marguerite in detail and give players a chance to finally try the food she got so upset you didn’t eat in the dinner scene. You can literally eat it until it kills you."

Lovely. 

Resident Evil 7's Banned Footage Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 DLC is out now. Our sister site GamesRadar has some tips on how to best tackle the aforementioned Daughters scenario, incase that 'un proves too difficult.

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