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Mount & Blade Collection

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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 2">steam_sale_day2







After a good start yesterday, day two of Steam s dozen-day Summer Sale isn t necessarily obliterating our minds with savings, but there s still some great values available today or through shorter-term flash sales. Within, find our picks for the best current deals on Steam. Don t forget that GOG is having a summer sale of its own, too.



Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.



5 - Ikaruga

50% off: $4.99 / 3.49 Steam store page | Note: May be reduced further in a Flash sale

50% may not be a huge discount, but one of the best SHMUPS of all time is worth every penny. Unlike most bullet hell shooters, Ikaruga's polarity-switching gameplay gives you the power to absorb some bullets while dodging others. At first, switching from white to black and back to stay alive just seems cool. Once you discover how the polarity system plays into scoring, you realize how deep and intimidating and brilliant it really is. Ikaruga's developer Treasure has been mostly dormant for the past few years, and this is their first-ever port to the PC. Back in January, the developer said it was mulling a new game for Steam. The more successful Ikaruga is on PC, the more likely that is to happen.



4 - Amnesia Collection

80% off: $6.99 / 4.79 - Steam store page

The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs, conveniently bundled into one cheap night terror. We loved both of them. Unlike horror games which arm you with evil-defeating ghost bullets, Amnesia is about being hunted: running, hiding, being disgustingly terrified by a sound effect. What Amnesia gets more than other survival horror games is that the things you can imagine are far more horrifying than anything it can show you on the screen. Even so, it ll show you some damn nasty stuff.



2 - The Walking Dead: Season 2

50% off: $12.49 / 9.49 - Steam store page

Putting players into Clementine's tiny shoes in season two of The Walking Dead was a gamble. In the first season, Lee was a grown-up, with the strength to fight walkers and the authority to make big decisions. How would that translate to playing a young girl? While episode one was a step down in quality, episode two was one of the best episodes Telltale has ever created. It proved that players can still make tough decisions as Clementine, and the season has mostly made her a believable protagonist. She can seem a little too grown up now and then, but the season is both gripping and heartbreaking so far. $2.50 per episode is a fantastic price.



2 - Prison Architect

66% off: $10.19 / 6.79 - Steam store page

Introversion s security sim is an interesting confluence of capitalism, architecture, management, and morality. The theme puts multiple, often contradicting goals before you: prisoner safety, spatial efficiency, prisoner well-being, making a profit, and making sure your prison is totally secure. Building a space that supports these goals is a fascinating exercise.



1 - Mount & Blade Collection

80% off: $6.99 / 4.99 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

It won t make your GPU sweat, but Taleworlds medieval sandbox action-RPG is one of our favorite open-ended experiences on PC. M&B s go anywhere, pillage anything approach to the genre is unlike anything else: a dynamic world populated by dozens of lords and dukes serving multiple factions, each roaming the same massive medieval landscape as you. Steal from farmers. Get married. Siege a castle. The combat is clumsy at times, but we love loosing arrows packs of bandits. Warband is what you should play, but this collection is a ticket to the ridiculous Star Wars Conquest mod for the original Mount & Blade.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further.



Retro/Grade (90% off) $0.99 / 0.69

Deponia (90% off) $1.99 / 1.59

L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (75% off) $7.49 / 6.24

Cloudbuilt (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Collector's Bundle (75% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Defense Grid: The Awakening (75% off) $2.49 / 1.74

Devil May Cry 4 (75% off) $4.99 / 3.49

Unity of Command Trilogy Bundle (70% off) $8.99 / 6.89

Bit.Trip.Runner Franchise Pack (65% off) $5.94 / 4.54

Don't Starve + Reign of Giants DLC (60% off) $7.59 / 5.59
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Warsword Conquest, for Mount and Blade: Warband">mbheader







Years in the making, Warsword Conquest is finally playable in beta: a full conversion mod for Mount and Blade: Warband that transforms the game into a world based on Warhammer fantasy. There are thirteen different factions to join, including the rat-like Skaven, the scaly Lizardmen, Chaos, pirates, and of course, dwarves, elves, and orcs. But screw all of those, because you can play as a skeleton. Don't you want to play as a skeleton? I'm gonna play as a skeleton.



Yep, you can even customize your skullface (a bit).



With so many factions and races from Warhammer Fantasy in the mod, I'd rather not pledge my allegiance to a single one and miss out on seeing most of the others. I decide to play as a freelance skeleton, lending my services here and there but not getting too attached to anyone in particular. I begin by joining up with the goblins of The Badlands. They're so short that when I speak to them their heads are barely visible in the conversation window. However, they're happy to hire an inexperienced skeleton (named Murray, of course) into their ranks. It's awesome to run into battle alongside trolls and spider-riding goblins, and we make a mess out of several groups of dwarves we run into.



Spiders, trolls, and dwarves oh my (lord it's a huge bloody mess)



I eventually decide to retire from the goblin army (my commander is very understanding) and visit my homeland, the Tomb Kings Empire. High King Settra is happy to employ me, and while I'm not at all xenophobic, it is rather nice to be surrounded by my fellow undead, and particularly nice to be given armor and weapons suitable for my flesh-free body (the goblin gear didn't work for my bony bod). Also cool: when we go to battle, our cavalry rides skeletal horses and giant undead snakes.



The creaking of bones is like music to my ears. Well, ear-holes.



As much as I love going to war alongside my skeletal brethren, I eventually decide to move on (once I can afford my own necroserpent to ride), so I recruit a small force of skeletons from the local taverns (why do skeletons hang out in taverns?) and we move through the Pirate Kingdom and head into elf country. Along the way I stop in various towns and taverns, and soon I've got a motley crew of followers, including a couple of swabbies, a half-dozen men from the Alcatani Fellowship, and even a few Skaven slaves.



My posse is gettin' weird, and that's just how I like it.



Of course, no matter how much progress you make in a Mount & Blade game, it can all be suddenly and horribly lost, such as when my weirdly fearsome crew runs into something just plain fearsome: some Norse raiders. It's not that a bunch of bearded jerks are so imposing, it's just that this crew has some hired ogres on their side, and the massive, hammer-wielding merc-monsters wade through my ranks, clubbing us all into bonemeal. I didn't even know you could hire ogres. I'm definitely going to need to hire some ogres.



Oh, elves. You're just all so... grand.



I need cash to hire a new crew, so I throw in with an Elven army for a bit. Normally, I find elves a bit snooty, but I have to admit, charging into battle alongside them, with their gleaming armor and white horses and colorful banners... okay, I get why elves are so revered. Also, props to them for letting a skeleton join them, no questions asked. Not a lot of elves would do that.



Eventually, I make enough cash to head out on my own again. I meet a skeleton lord (in a pub, of course), I hire a small collection of Lizardmen, and while I can't find any ogres to fight for me, I do find some Gorols, who are so tall that when I speak to one, only his crotch appears in the dialogue pane. They're not ogres, but hopefully they'll pack a wallop, and I'm happy to once again be in charge of a crew of violent misfit monsters.



Gorillas and lizards! Hopefully the opposing army will be too confused to fight back.



By now I've worked my way through the Skaven Kingdom and I'm as far north as I can go, in Dark Elf country. I've added a Waywatcher to my crew, along with some merc leadbelchers (ogres at last!) and a few Dark Elf recruits. We win battles, capture prisoners, and sell enough of them to buy a boat. We even chase down some undead pirates, but considering Murray was an undead pirate in another life, I feel like I should let them go.



Irony.



Eventually, we make our way to the Realm of Chaos, which is actually pretty organized, what with the castles and towns and hierarchies and people unwilling let some skeleton marry their daughter without knowing him better. At least they dress interestingly!



I'm a skeleton so I show a lot of crack, too. But that's a lot of crack.



It's been a long journey and Murray is ready for some steady work, and the Chaos Realm is as good a place as any. I join the Chaos army, though they force me to wear their armor, which sort of takes away my skeleton-ness. Still, a job is a job.



I appreciate the flesh and muscle, but I've been doing okay with just the bones.



When I last left Murray, he was gaining influence in the Realm of Chaos, he'd bought and opened a mill, and was hoping to woo and marry Chaos Lady Timethi. Hey, every swinging bachelor skeleton has got to settle down someday.



Installation: Warsword Conquest is still in beta, so look for future updates. It can be downloaded here along with a hotfix, and all you need to do is locate your Warband folder, and extract the files into the Modules folder. Extract the hotfix on top of those files, and then activate the module when you begin playing Warband. It's also on moddb.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Diary of a Droid Jedi – Star Wars Conquest, part 6">droid-jedi-6







This is the final part of our canon-destroying playthrough of Star Wars Conquest, a mod for sandbox RPG Mount & Blade.



Last week s series of successful battles against the Empire was met by the realization that Star Wars Conquest seemingly has no end. In 20-some hours of play, I ve learned that almost no amount of slaughtered Stormtroopers will significantly impact the universe. Named characters can t die, captured planets rarely stay captured, prisoners always eventually escape, and climbing the political ranks of the Rebel Alliance mainly involves playing tax collector for Mon Mothma and Obi-Wan.



Frustrated that I ve not yet been named Space King, I set out to simply cause as much chaos as possible. I chase down a huge swarm of Hutt forces. Jumbled in the pack of misshapen ships are the ships of Boba Fett (not Slave I, sadly) and Jabba himself. As I meet them on Tattooine in open combat, I gain new, instant appreciation for the face- and torso-covering properties of Stormtrooper armor.







For the first time in awhile, I ve bitten off more than I can chew. The blob of Hutt forces adds up to about a thousand, almost nine times my army. I regret my armor s trade-off in durability for sex appeal; jesus, there are a lot of dudes.







Neither tasteful nor protective.











I get captured and lose a bunch of items. But again, we ve already covered Conquest s impermanence I escape after being carted around the Hutt Cartel for a few days, presumably after serving as Jabba s personal froyo machine.



Back in my ship, I buy a new army at a cantina, and I m off and running again. I catch Boba Fett s ship isolated from any escorts, and take the opportunity to engage him without the aid of his hundreds of Hutt comrades.











Well, that felt nice. Let s see what other irresponsibly outmatched battles I can get into.







Yes, this ll do.











Yawn. I ask Luke Skywalker for a mission, hoping that some sort of unique questline is coded into his character that distinguishes him from the mod s other figures.







Nope; he wants me to do more money collection. Man, for an underground, anti-government organization, the rebellion sure are a bunch of capitalists.



I do a bad thing, and take out my ennui on some mostly-defenseless Jawas.







Still bored, I remember that there s a feature of Conquest I haven t tried before: arena combat. Maybe this ll prove more interesting or challenging than the game s mundane, open-area warfare. I chat up the Arena Master on Endor and arrange a fight against other lightsaber wielders.











The first few minutes of arena combat are, I ll admit, mildly entertaining. Lightsaber attacks do a fair amount of damage, and new combatants are constantly respawning, fighting each other, then ganging up on me when I get close. I have to be wary of new enemies silently approaching me from behind.







Unfortunately, the incentive for fighting here is tiny: my health takes awhile to replete, and the money reward for clearing out the arena is just a few hundred credits. I take my boredom out on Vader.







I dig through Conquest s menus for any signs that I might ve missed. Then, in the Take actions menu I find a glimmering rectangle of hope: an option to retire from adventuring. Could this be a way out of this interminable, Star Wars-colored, DirectX 7 hell? I click.



The decision is made, and you resolve to give up your adventurer s life and settle down. You sell off your weapons and armor, gather up all your credits, and depart into the sunset



A score screen appears.







Good lord. Not only is retirement the only way to end a game, but apparently I've come nowhere close to winning. A weird difficulty penalty (for what, I m not sure I had every in-game setting cranked up) drains my accumulated points, which earns me a sad, depressing prologue: It doesn t take long to fritter away what little you bothered to save, and you end up a penniless drifter, going from cantina to cantina blagging drinks form indulgent patrons by regaling them with war stories that no one ever believes.



Remember me not as the Droid Hobo I am, but as the brave, unscrupulous Droid Jedi I was.



Read the rest of our Diary of a Droid Jedi series.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Diary of a Droid Jedi – Star Wars Conquest, part 5">droid-jedi-5







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.



Twenty hours into my Star Wars Conquest campaign, I realize that I have no idea what the game s win state is. Is there one? Am I meant to crawl the galaxy until the end of time, endlessly gutting Stormtroopers, endlessly pillaging space farms, endlessly watching planets trade hands like used Toyotas between the immortal commanders of the Star Wars universe? By now, I m positive that it s impossible to actually kill off any of the game s main figures defeating a commander in combat results in either them escaping or being captured and eventually escaping. Hmmph.



But then again, of the main figures in the Empire, I ve only crossed laser swords with Emperor Palpatine and Grand Moff Tarkin, and I defeated neither. Maybe hunting them down will result in some sort of meaningful change in the state of the war.



I continue to roll with the main Rebel fleet, led by Mon Mothma and Han Solo s ships, with the hope that our hilarious swarm of 500-some troops will be able to bulldoze through anything that gets in our way.







Our first fight is on Endor, where I notice a familiar hairstyle fighting bravely alongside me.











Jesus, Leia is vicious. She wades in with a knife, gutting any Stormtrooper in reach. Go Leia! Stab! We re right behind you! Your reckless, unprofessional violence inspires us all.







Well, damn. Leia takes one too many blaster shots (about seven, for the record) to the gown and crumples into the ferns of Endor. She's fine just wounded and rejoins the war effort after our victory. This battle sparks a full-on rampage of defeating and capturing mid-level Imperial commanders. I get my hands dirty.









(Owned.)















I stop to chat up Mon Mothma in between all the victory and killing and glory, hoping she has a high-level assignment for me.







Likewise, Commandress. Oh, what a battle that was! I remember it well. I liked the part where I cut 78 Scout Troopers in half and your army mostly stood around and got shot. So, do you have any dangerous, tide-turning special operations for me to go on? Kidnappings? Assassinations? Any suicide missions for which I'll be celebrated for bravely completing?







Let me make sure I ve got this: you want me, the badass Jedi robot who captured the Death Star last week to shake down your own citizens for money. Does the Rebel Alliance not have TurboTax? Have you heard of direct deposit? It s very convenient.



I run the mundane credit-collection mission for Mon Mothma, then return to the crowd of ships to resume our work of sieging battlestations and minor planets. Everything is going smoothly until a certain, shadowy Sith Lord interrupts our conquest.







Oh my god! You probably get this a lot, but biggest. fan. ever. I mean, my mom named me after you, even despite us being loyal servants of the Rebellion. I m so flattered, Vader.







Well alright then. Let me get my Rancors, we ll be right with you.



I charge Vader s army with my weird menagerie of Baby Rancors and mercenaries. Ever the tactical mastermind, he sits on a ledge in the corner of the map the high ground.







I cut my way through his mob of bodyguards, expecting a tough fight at the edge of the map.







But I slash at his legs twice, and Vader falls easily and clumsily to the ground. Mon Mothma sends her regards, Darth.



Everyone is pleased, particularly the Rancors.







Good work, everyone. Vader escapes captivity, of course, but I chug along anyway, looking for more high-level Imperials to shine my weaponized flashlight at. More of that next week. In the meantime, remember my name (and my fearsome Ewok skin hat).



PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Diary of a Droid Jedi – Star Wars Conquest, part 4">droid-jedi-4







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.



It s always embarrassing to be defeated by the elderly. Last week Emperor Palpatine gave me a lightsaber-whipping on the wooded arena of Endor, gutting my army with his formidable gang of gutless thugs and fascists: Stormtroopers, Imperial Navy Troopers, and Imperial Pilots.



But I d learned an important lesson: to gain renown in this war-torn universe, to survive, to bring glory and liberty to the Rebel forces, I was going to need my own formidable gang of gutless thugs and villains: Mandalorians, assassin droids, Wookiee warriors, and baby Rancors.







With recruitment as my goal, I get to work looting smaller civilian planets, which aren t typically defended in Star Wars Conquest. After a few hours of stealing melons and precious metal from helpless villagers (a menu action--I don t even have to get my hands dirty with in-game combat), I amass enough of a war chest to hire some A-grade space marauders.



Now 120-strong, I notice for the first time that Imperial ships in the galaxy are fleeing from me rather than chasing me down at every opportunity. I want to use this force to put a dent in the Empire. I want to start knocking over planets and outposts.



I ve never sieged before, so it s probably smart to start somewhere modest, and undefended. Somewhere remote, a vulnerable weak point in the otherwise broad, durable armor of the Empire, guarded by fewer and less experienced Imperial forces.







That ll do.



I elect to siege the Death Star. What can possibly go wrong? It s guarded by 278 troops.



Oh god does it get bloody.















ENDLESS TROOPER CARNAGE. For the first time, reinforcements (presumably from my ship) join the battle mid-way to counter the enemy s own waves of reinforcements. My army and I kill an unprecedented 124 enemies, leaving only the commander alive--some doofus named High General Cassio Tagge, who I take captive.







I lose just seven of my warriors in the first fight--a Defiler, two Mandalorian Crusaders, three Power Droids, and a brave Baby Rancor.











Yes! And whoa, I might get to own the Death Star? Holy shit. I'd love to say something encouraging to my troops along the lines of "Great shot, that was one in a million," but the reality is that my untiring, undiscriminating lightsaber swinging was what turned the tide. My success in battle is directly proportionate to my ability to spam the left mouse button.



The battle won, I allow myself a moment of celebration. I walk the bridge of the Death Star, now sentried by friendly Rebel guards.







My power is endless. I upgrade my troops, give them a bit of time to heal, then move on to neighboring planet Endor, which is actually even more heavily defended than the Death Star. Luckily, I find some help on the surface.











I take Endor in a similar rout. It isn't easy, but finally having competent, durable troops makes a massive difference. Endor flips to Rebel colors, and a bit later I get a message from Mon Mothma.







Hmmph. I get a similar message about the Death Star, which is gifted to Biggs. Well fine, then. I see how this organization works. At least I know the value of capturing the Empire s spherical mega-weapon you've all been plotting tirelessly to destroy.







Feeling under-appreciated, I stroll away from that corner of the system, and stumble into the biggest formation of ships I ve ever seen in Star Wars Conquest. Nine Rebel ships roll in formation from an outpost, including Mon Mothma s flagship. They seem to be crawling the galaxy, knocking over planets. I join the mob, wondering where this massive war party will take me.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
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



Sold.



...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
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Diary of a Droid Jedi – Star Wars Conquest, part 2">droid-jedi-2







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.



Note: there's an issue with Chrome that causes GIF-laden pages to crash. If you stop the page mid-load, all content will populate anyway. Opening this story in another browser will work too. Sorry about that.



To summarize the adventure so far:



I am a Droid Jedi, wandering the universe with a band of brave but ultimately disposable space-brigands

I became sparring buddies with Grand Moff Tarkin, inaugurating a friendship of deep respect and admiration

Minutes later, Grand Moff Tarkin killed all my dudes and shot me a bunch



My pride and HP wounded by intergalactic jerkbag Grand Moff Tarkin, I slink back to the comfort of the cantina, hoping to find refuge in drink. Perhaps companionship will await me here, fellow warriors disillusioned by the haphazard scripting that s native to this strange, anything-goes Star Wars negaverse.







I walk up to the bar.







Ho! What s this? A fellow droid. I power on B-2HO, not bothering to wonder why he s turned off in the middle of a cantina. He immediately calls me master. The notion of droids subjugating their own is unsettling, but I seem to finally have a real friend, someone who understands me, and will fight/die loyally alongside me. I add B-2HO to my party as a companion character.



Being a droid Jedi certainly has its value: I can pay people to be my friends and lose blood for me. Are there more space friends that I can buy here? I wander over to a table.



The first words out of her mouth.



Darth Motherboard, secret Canadian.



Oh dear. My comment is apparently so offensive that EVERYONE in the cantina simultaneously erupts into violence. Armed men draw weapons. Unarmed men draw fists. Everyone starts stabbing or punching whoever they were just talking to.







I try to separate myself from the fray, but a Wookiee and one or two other patrons assault me. I cut them down, muttering Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.







Then the brawl takes a strange turn: the cantina s Hutt bartender comes after me. The bar must have insulated him from the violence. The accidental end game boss of the cantina stares at me across the room, his eyes conveying a deep anger at lost revenue. He wabbles around, unusually agile.







I raise my sidearm. I fire into the unanimated blob of Hutt-shaped geometry. Zero damage. I fire. Zero damage. Fire. Zero damage. Fire. The Hutt-mound looms closer.







Let the record show that I drew my lightsaber only when I believed I was going to be eaten. I swing.







The bartender-blob spills over like a pudding cup. My relations with the Hutt Cartel dip by a few points. This is what happens when I try to make friends who aren t droids: a room full of lightsaber-scarred corpses. Even B-2HO lies on the floor, mangled but still operational. I buy a Jedi robe and cape to make myself feel better. It doesn't work.



They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger. And then it was over. To make any kind of sense of it, I need to go back three years. Back to the night the pain started.



I flee the planet, and quickly get to work recruiting from nearby planets and moons to build a new army. I desperately need credits. What s the fastest way to get credits in Star Wars Conquest? Razing and looting minor planets guarded by farmers and civilians, duh. I take everything from a few undefended worlds: melons, wheat, hyperspanners, cartons of death sticks, which raise the already low morale of my troops. I leave them nothing, selling off their belongings for a few thousand credits.







Guilt creeps in. I realize how dangerously close I am to becoming a full-on space viking. I'm a Jedi I need to uphold those values. As an act of reparation, I take a mission from a planet administrator to help a band of farmers fight off a pack of bandits. I slide along the desert in my landspeeder, felling many Black Sun pirates. B-2HO is ecstatic in battle, consumed by the adrenaline surge that only rural victory can bring.







Miraculously, my good deeds are immediately recognized: Mon Mothma, aka the war mom of the Rebel Alliance, sends me a message.







A commander lord? Dantooine Moon? How can I refuse? I start the long journey to Dantooine to pledge loyalty to the Rebel Alliance.



Read Diary of a Droid Jedi - Part 1.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: The Last Days, for Mount and Blade: Warband">Mount & Blade







The last time I played a Lord of the Rings mod, I made Aragorn marry a giant spider. This time, I'm not looking for weird fan-fiction nuptials but for massive fan-fiction battles. The Last Days (of The Third Age of Middle Earth) was originally released in 2011, but it's been recently updated and made newly compatible with Mount & Blade: Warband, transforming the game into Tolkien's Middle Earth.



As with the A Clash of Kings mod for Warband, I'm hoping The Last Days will give me a grounds-eye view of the War of the Ring. And, the way I figure it, nobody has a better grounds-eye view than someone who was just born in a hole in the ground. I'm going to play as an Uruk-Hai, one of Saruman's faithful grunts. Seriously, I can probably only grunt because I'm some kind of mud creature who was born six minutes ago. I name myself Grug A Lug-Gug Gro Chug.





Some say Uruk-Hai, but Grug say Uruk-Hai-How-Are-Ya! Ha ha! That Grug's little joke.

Naturally, my first order of business is to walk into Saruman s chamber and have a one-on-one consultation with the big man himself, and try to impress him with my go-getter attitude. Saruman says he needs a message delivered to an ally in a nearby camp -- I guess I'll be a go-giver -- and who better to deliver important missives to military commanders than a snarling naked dirt monster?

On the way to the camp, I pass through Fangorn Forest, which turns out to be a huge mistake because of those sentient trees who are not huge fans of orc-folk. As if orcs are the only ones who cut down trees! Haven't you been to The Shire? Those Hobbit-holes are wood-paneled! Floor to ceiling! Why don't you slap them around for a change?





Time to make like a sentient walking tree and get out of here.

Anyway, the Ent slaps me around until I'm unconscious, and the few shots I get in with my bare fists don't even hurt him. I eventually wake up, drag myself out of the forest, and deliver Saruman's message, improving his opinion of me. I return to Isengard, and start running errands for anyone who has one: Saruman, Grima Wormtongue, and a couple of orc generals. Things go smoothly, except for the occasional run-in with patrolling elves, who fill me full of arrows, because of course they do, because elves are a bunch of archery dweebs.





Screw you, Legolas.

I visit a few landmarks in my spare time. Argonath, also known as "The Pillars of Kings" or "Those Two Giant Cool River Statues From The Movies." I make my way to Morannon, the Black Gate of Mordor, just to see if I can meet with The Lidless Eye, also known as Sauron. I can't, but I do some errands for his helpers, including the one named The Mouth of Sauron, also known as "The Guy Cut Out Of The Theatrical Release." I even buy a shield with the Lidless Eye insignia, just to show my general support of evil. It looks quite striking on me as I lie unconscious on the ground after battles.





I think my Uruk-Hai needs some Uruk-Help.

Tired of being beaten up by trees and tree-hugging elves, I start putting together an Uruk-posse. My errand running has earned me some respect, and joining one-sided skirmishes has given me enough experience to gain a couple levels and add some points in the leadership and prisoner management department. I start recruiting orcs, Uruks, and humans at every camp I visit. It's not long before I've got a couple newborn Uruk, a couple run-of-the-mill soldier orcs, and a small cavalry consisting of goblin warg-riders and Dunlander horsemen. We win some battles and take some prisoners, which I manage.





War. It's faaaaantastic!



It's not long before the elven patrols who used me for target practice are fleeing before me. We're raiding enemy towns and capturing deserters. My footsoldiers are graduating to become warg riders and I'm decked out in the best Uruk armor and shields, all with matching White Hand insignia. My crew is getting fierce.



Uruk, orc, human, goblin... I'm an equal opportunity employer.



Soon, Saurman realizes my potential. He lets me in on his plan. It involves defeating a troll, capturing it, and bringing it to him in a giant cage, where the beast will be trained to fight for The White Hand. No problemo! My army is well equipped and well-prepared. We'll get that troll toot-sweet.



No offense, boss, but you have a real dark side to your personality.



I ride out with my army in the middle of the night, nearly fifty of us, headed for Troll Cave, where we will find, presumably, at least one troll. As we cross the plains, a large party on horseback suddenly appears behind us, chasing us, moving fast. It's not good news.



King Theoden is following me? Awesome! Wait. This isn't Twitter. He's actually following me.



Theoden! I thought our side had him all bewitched and catatonic. Who cleared out his mental cobwebs? I bet it was Gandalf, that busy-body. We clash with Theoden and his men, and it's an absolute slaughter. I assume it's a slaughter, anyway, I can't even see my faithful orcs and Uruks behind the wall of horses and shields, but it's pretty clear from the wall-o-text that things are not going our way.



Theoden? Can I at least get an autograph?



I wake up alone, left for dead, and with my entire entourage gone. I scurry back to Isengard alone. Yes, I'll rebuild my crew. Yes, I'll get that troll for Saruman. Maybe I'll even meet Theoden again, only in a fair fight, and make him my prisoner. For the moment, though, I'm just bummed that I've gone from a bunch of Uruk-Guys back down to a single Uruk-Hai.



Back to being an orc-pack of one.

Installation: Your installation is going to depend on which version of the game you're using (M&B, or M&B: W) and whether you've got a Steam copy or retail. Luckily, every eventuality is covered in the mod's comprehensive installation guide, which is a PDF contained in the download folder. Either way, it's not particularly complicated. Visit the download page here. For Warband, you'll need the 3.3 Warband patch as well as the regular 3.3 mod file.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mount & Blade II has some lovely new screenshots, also: exists">mount and blade 2







Somehow, we seem to have missed TaleWorlds' announcement of Mount & Blade II a couple of days a year ago, but we can't very well deny its existence now that it's spilling screenshots all over the place, can we? Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is the sequel to Mount & Blade: Warband (wouldn't that make it M&B3...or even M&B4 if you count With Fire & Sword?), and so far we know...um, zip. Stick around for some rather lovely screenshots, however, and a trailer featuring GIANT WORDS coming out of the screen.







"The drums of battle will beat again. And swords will sing their grim song." And bows will make a nice whooshing sound, presumably. OK, so it's a teaser trailer, and therefore light on actual details - I do feel suitably teased though. How about you? I'd say it's telling that TaleWorlds are name-checking Warband on the site, rather than the original M&B or Fire & Sword - I'm also quite excited by the thought of a 'proper' M&B sequel, despite deciding that the original wasn't quite for me. The lure of medieval combat/eventual Game of Thrones mods is too strong to resist. (Speaking of which, you've read Chris Livingston's experiences with Warband's A Clash of Kings mod, right?)



You'll find some Mount & Blade II screenshots below (the rest are here on the official site). It looks quite a bit fancier than the original games, and features all the mounts and blades you were probably expecting. Also: bows, barefoot urchins, cities.















PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mount & Blade: Warband mod A Clash of Kings gets a v1.0 release">Clash of Kings - Volantis







News travels slowly in the lands of medieval fantasy, which is why I've only just noticed this hiding out in the crowded mass of ModDB updates. Mount & Blade: Warband's obligatory Game of Thrones mod A Clash of Kings has (as of a couple of weeks ago) released its v1.0 build. This is just the sort of milestone that calls for some celebratory capons. And a news post.



What features were required to prompt the mod's makers to break out of beta? Highlights from the changelog include new lords, new castles, and new NPCs, including Lysa Tully, Catelyn Stark, Melisandre and Vargo Hoat. In addition, the Eastern continent has been re-done, more locations have been added, and new quests have been made available. Oh, and Jaime Lannister is now in there, too.



You can grab the mod from its ModDB page. To see why you should, have a read of Christopher Livingston's adventures in Westeros when he made it our Mod of the Week.
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