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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Cult of the Wind dares you to fly imaginary fighter planes in childish dogfights">Cult of the Wind

There s a childish glee on display in the trailer for Cult of the Wind, a new multiplayer shooter almost completely devoid of the trappings of most shooters: no guns, bullets, explosions, or equipment. The game is played by a group of people reenacting great airplane battles of old, their arms stretched out behind them, their lips pursed in the sound of imaginary engine rumbles. It's a brilliant spin on the weirder tropes of the genre like enemy respawns, timed rounds, and capture the flag. Turns out, when you make these things obviously part of a game for children, they make a lot more sense.

It's a clever way to spin the phenomenon of Cargo Cults, but told from within a strange society and with an absolutely straight face. "In Cult of the Wind, players compete and cooperate in ritualistic multiplayer human dogfights, complete with imaginary weapons, pretend explosions, and airplane noises made with their mouths, the site s description reads. Shower your friends in a hail of imaginary bullets and proclaim, I got you! You have to lie down, to which they respond, Nuh-uh, I have a shield.

It captures perfectly the feeling of playing with your friends as a kid, a sensation that is just impossible to feel again. No matter how hard you try, the other kids think you re weird because you re an adult and don t go to school here. You get escorted off the property by security, but it s just as well since you have to go to work to pay the rent.

The final game will include a level editor, character customization, and weird noises. Check out Cult of the Wind on Steam Greenlight for more details, as if you need them.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to PAX East attendees prefer PC, highly scientific survey reveals">jesus-christ---pc-gamer

Our tech reporter pals at TechRadar were crawling around with us in Boston at PAX East. TechRadar went on a tiny mission to ask a random set of PAX East attendees which platform they played on: Xbox One, PS4, or PC. Not only were the responses they received one-sided, but they confirmed our suspicion about the gaming habits of Jesus Christ.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Blizzard says Battle.net is safe from Heartbleed security flaw">Diablo3-image

This Heartbleed stuff is no joke. The latest security flaw currently to startle the internet's collective horses can compromise login information and other previously considered safe data that's transmitted over OpenSSL protocols. Affected sites and service providers have been scrambling to fix the flaw, but maybe you're still concerned about your nightly Hearthstone arena runs or Malthael battles in Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. If so, don't worry: Blizzard says you're in safe hands when you log into Battle.net.

"We want to emphasize that Battle.net's encryption was not affected by this vulnerability," the company states in a security notice from its support section. "However, if you use the same password on Battle.net that you use elsewhere, your Battle.net account could be at risk if those sites were affected by this bug."

The company recommends changing your Battle.net password to something new and unique. Are you thinking of using your birthday or your mother's maiden name? Stop that. The name of your favorite cat, spelled backwards? Not much better. Regardless, switching your passwords for your Blizzard gaming and your other accounts isn't a bad idea once you know they've addressed the vulnerability.

You can read more about Heartbleed at this helpful site, which will likely spook you enough to change all of your passwords to basically everything. Then you can read our Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls review to help ease those shakes.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Titanfall director details roadmap for post-launch updates">Titanfall

In his Titanfall review, Chris questioned how much staying power the mech-tastic shooter would have. It's a legitimate concern online shooters can be heavily populated the first week, but if your fellow players move on, there won't be anyone left to shoot but bots. Luckily, we're not the only ones worried about the game's lasting appeal. Respawn Game Director Steve Fukuda today published a roadmap of further changes and content to keep Titanfall stomping through the coming months.

Fukuda's post offers some high-level insight to what Respawn thinks it needs to keep the Titanfall player base happy. Rather than adding significant new features immediately, the team plans to introduce "minor tweaks and fixes" to existing modes. Fukuda cites "more generous Hardpoint scoring for attacking players," "weapon balance tweaks to the Titan 44mm and Quad Rocket," and "ongoing improvements to matchmaking" as examples.

The post also specifies "convenience" features that are on the way, along the lines of the recent Party Colors addition that helps you tell your actual friends from random players, in-game and in the lobby. Fukuda says that "The next update will bring more convenience features such as: the ability to rename your custom loadouts and to make custom loadouts specific to each game mode, a way to filter your Challenges by criteria such as 'closest to complete', and displaying the final scoreboard from your previous match in the Last Game Summary so you can review the scores at your leisure in the lobby."

More meaty new content will show up at some point in the future, as well. Fukuda mentions new Burn Card sets, Titan "nose art" insignia, and, of course, the upcoming Expedition map pack. Aside from Expedition, the other updates will be offered for free to existing players.

It's a broad set of updates, but each one should help improve the game for those players in it for the long haul. We've enjoyed our experience with Titanfall since it launched in March, but will have to wait to see if these smaller improvements are enough to keep us dropping Titans in the months to come.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Diary of a Droid Jedi – Star Wars Conquest, part 3">droid-jedi-3

This is a chronicle of our absurd, canon-destroying playthrough of Star Wars Conquest, a mod for sandbox RPG Mount & Blade. Our campaign to ruin Star Wars appears each Tuesday.

Last week I received a missive from Mon Mothma, Rebel Commandress. Her invitation was exciting: an invitation to join the Rebel Alliance. I d receive my own planet (okay, okay technically just a moon) in exchange for swearing some trivial loyalty oath.

I push my crude transport ship all the way to Dantooine, avoiding major trouble along the way.

Sure, whatever. GIVE ME A MOON, MON

Well, that was easy. I m now king of Dantooine Moon, which means I ll collect tax revenue each week from it. Free credits! However, the political consequences of becoming best buds with Mom Mon Mothma are big--my relations with the Galactic Empire plummet from a few negative points to a full -70, the reputational equivalent of stealing all of the Empire s puppies. I am hated; for the first time, Empire-held corners of the galaxy will be outright dangerous to move through.

I leave Dantooine and do what any untrained, newly-appointed military leader would in my situation: I lead a wave of hooligan-style violence against whatever mid-level Empire forces I can find. I bring my 40-some gang of mixed Rebel, Hutt, droid and alien goons to bear. Hilariously, I also have Empire recruits in my army--Star Wars Conquest doesn t seem to care about faction relations when recruiting villagers from planets.

I'm a huge fan of how Star Wars Conquest handles blood decals. Stormtroopers bleed all over their armor when hit.

Nevermind my dual-bladed lightsaber handling technique.

"That tickles!"

All this battle experience is tremendously useful. The troops that don t get annihilated by blaster fire (sorry, boys) rank up at an amazing rate; when a unit levels up in Star Wars Conquest, it upgrades to an entirely new class. Rebel Recruits eventually become Rebel Pilots, who inexplicably ride landspeeders of their own. My army quickly becomes more durable, but Conquest still feels like sci-fi Dynasty Warriors--I m doing 90 percent of the killing.

With the battle earnings I invest in new weapons and some even tougher troops: HK droids, assassin droids, Mandalorian Crusaders


...and and a lovely dress. Then I find a shipyard and go spaceship shopping.

I am a pretty, pretty Droid Jedi Princess.

Phew. Even modest upgrades over my current ship are thousands and thousands of credits. I ll have to make looting Empire planets my full time job to save up, but at least I have a goal to work toward.

I muddle around a bit before I get back to the grisly business of war lightsabering Stormtroopers in the face by the dozen. I find a familiar face on the planet Dac. I ask my fellow Rebel commander how the war s going for us.

Well, bummer, dude. I sift through the other dialogue options, and see that there s a Pazaak minigame buried in Star Wars Conquest. I challenge Ackbar to a few rounds of space blackjack.

Then I hunt down Obi-Wan to see if he s got any sunnier news to share about the war.

Obi-Wan, true to his peaceful nature, has offered me an assassination mission. Give him what he deserves, he schemes. Damn, Obi. I don t question Kenobi s bloodlust, thinking instead only of the reputation boost I ll earn from him for completing this task. I point my ship at Kuat, conveniently centered in Empire territory.

Before I reach Kuat, I notice I m being tailed by an Empire ship--a star destroyer. Well, shucks. Who s ship is that?

Jesus. My tiny shuttle is too slow to pull away. I elect to fight on the nearby planet Endor, hoping spacious terrain will give me room to maneuver and survive.

For Mon Mothma! And to a lesser extent Admiral Ackbar!

Nope. Even keeping careful distance from ol Palpy s ridiculous battalion, one of his two-hundred-and-nine troops guns me off my speeder horse. This is the last thing I see before I m cut down.

Left: Palpatine, the jerk.

Okay, maybe the dress was a bad idea.

Read Diary of a Droid Jedi - Part 1.

Read Diary of a Droid Jedi - Part 2.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to PAX East 2014 recap: The PC games we loved at PAX">pcg-at-pax

Civilization: Beyond Earth was the big, unexpected announcement at PAX East this year, but there was plenty more happening on the show floor in Boston. Tyler, Cory, and I talked through their favorite games of PAX East, including Darkest Dungeon, Evolve, Subnautica, and Below.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to War of the Vikings leaves early access, launch trailer makes heavy use of the word “Viking”">War of the Vikings

"What do you think a Viking is? Bravery? Fury?" asks the launch trailer for War of the Vikings. In my experience of muliplayer combat, it's more likely to be teabagging and complaints about lag. Unsurprisingly, the narrator has rather more lofty ideals to accompany the footage of Fatshark's War of the Vikings, which after six months sailing through Steam Early Access has now been officially released.

War of the Vikings continues Fatshark's series of melee-based online arenas (MBOAs?), following on from War of the Roses. Unlike that game, WotV doesn't feature the voice of Brian Blessed. That's a shame, because I'd really like another excuse to photoshop his head onto something.

There are three editions of the game available, one of which costs 135 / $175. Presuming you aren't heading for financial Valhalla, the regular game costs 19 / $25.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Rift Report: 10 of the best VR experiences">The Rift Report Elite Dangerous

Every Tuesday Andy straps on the Oculus Rift and dives headfirst into the world of virtual reality in The Rift Report. Is it really the future of PC gaming? Let s find out.

The Rift Report will be taking a break until I get my hands and eyes on the higher resolution DK2. But before I go, here s a list of the games, tech demos, and other oddities I think make the most of the hardware. I ve been using the Rift pretty frequently for a couple of months now, and it still manages to impress me. But the limitations of the original development kit are obvious, so I think I ll wait until the fancypants new model lands on my desk before I continue my virtual reality odyssey.

Elite: Dangerous

I ve put this at the top, because it s my favourite VR game so far. The weighty ship handling and dramatic space battles are fun with just your archaic old eyes, but throw the Rift and a good flight stick into the mix and it s like being in Star Wars, but with fewer Ewoks.


Blue Marble

You re an astronaut, and you re drifting through space, away from the Earth, slowly, until you run out of oxygen and die. That s the setup in this atmospheric and evocative demo that I actually enjoyed more than Gravity. Being able to import your own background music is a nice touch.



You can t move in this demo. You re pinned to a chair in a detailed, stylised room, and it seems like nothing s happening, until you turn around and notice that, outside, Tetris blocks are falling from the sky. It s like some surreal dream, and the lack of movement doesn t diminish its impact.


Spirited Away Boiler Room

Someone has recreated a key set from Studio Ghibli s brilliant, beautiful Spirited Away the bath house boiler room and it s a very weird experience to wander around a 3D version of a 2D environment you know so well from an animated film. Its creator is doing My Neighbour Totoro next.


Solar System Explorer

Another of my favourite demos. This sees you flying around an almost to-scale replica of the solar system. Distances between planets feel vast, and there s some incredible scenery, from sun flares, to the rings of Saturn, to Jupiter and its icy moons. A remarkable experience.


VR Cinema

This amazing demo simulates the experience of being at the cinema. The screen feels genuinely massive, and the lighting in the room dynamically mirrors whatever s on the screen. You can import most video files, including high-def Blu-ray rips. It s like having your own personal 500 inch TV.


The Cave

This is a proof of concept demo that simulates being Bruce Wayne in the Batcave. The holographic UI is really impressive, and I can see this being implemented into mission briefings for games. There s a batmobile in the cave, but you can t drive it, sadly. Just stare at its shiny bodywork.


Euro Truck Simulator 2

The genuinely, unironically good Euro Truck Simulator 2 works brilliantly with the Oculus Rift, especially if you have a force feedback wheel. The detailed 3D cabins give a good sense of depth as you look around, and the realistic handling makes for a satisfying sim experience.



Only a single room of this cyberpunk adventure game is currently available, but a Kickstarter campaign will ensure we see more if it s successful. It s a bit like being in Deckard s apartment in Blade Runner, and the view of a futuristic city out of the window is particularly impressive.


RedFrame Environment Demo

This is probably the most realistic Rift demo I ve seen yet. It s not exciting or interactive, but the quality of the modeling and lighting makes this bedroom (a sample environment from an adventure game) an eerily convincing and uncanny space to explore in VR.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Blood Bowl 2 trailer tramples, elbows, bellows through first match footage">Blood Bowl 2 1

The best thing about Cyanide's first Blood Bowl was the Games Workshop ruleset that supported it. Clunky UI and some wobbly networking almost spoiled the appeal of violent, high-fantasy Gridiron. The latest Blood Bowl 2 trailer shows the new match engine, which certainly looks the part, but will those important underlying systems be fixed? Ponder that as you watch some big green fellas squashing some little pink fellas in the first moving pictures of a BB2 match.

Not shown, the Black Ork failing a roll and dropping the ball after a few steps of his big angry run. Meanwhile, the blue team is disqualified for fielding four number 16s and player doping allegations continue. You can keep track of the latest Blood Bowl over on the official site. Thanks to Evil Avatar for the heads up.


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