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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Final Fantasy IV makes a very quiet appearance on Steam">steamcommunity.com







Final Fantasy IV debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, which means that if it was a human being it likely would have graduated college by now. But it's not a person, it's a videogame, and so instead of going to college, it's gone to Steam.



The Steam release of Final Fantasy IV is apparently a remake of the much-more-recent Nintendo DS edition of the game, which came out in North America in 2008. It's been "optimized" for the PC with support for controllers, Steam achievements and an "all-new system for charting dungeons and uncovering the secrets within."



Beyond that, it's hard to say what exactly is in store. The game literally just appeared on Steam without warning, and as far as I can tell neither Valve nor Square Enix have said a word about it. This may be the stealthiest game launch I've ever run into.



Odd though it may be, Final Fantasy IV is in fact live now on Steam and will set you back $16. And there may well be more to come; Final Fantasy III launched on Steam earlier this year and in February, Producer Yoshinori Kitase said the advent of Steam has made the PC a much more attractive proposition, and that Square Enix is now "very interested" in bringing more Final Fantasy games to the platform.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Assassin’s Creed Rogue may be coming to PC, producer says">acrogue-gi-01_161299







You haven't read much about Assassin's Creed Rogue around these parts because it's being developed exclusively for consoles, which puts it a bit outside the purview of a site called PC Gamer. But as Ubisoft revealed last month, that situation may change in the relatively near future.



Assassin's Creed Rogue applies an interesting twist to the familiar formula by putting players in the boots of Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin who switches sides to become a Templar after a betrayal at the hands of the Brotherhood. "This is something we've thought about all the way since AC1. What would it be like to play as a Templar?" Associate Producer Karl Von Der Luhe said in a Uplay interview. "We think it's really powerful, both in gameplay and storyline premise. Shay Patrick Cormac will go through a very emotional journey from being an Assassin to being a fully-fledged Templar, and we want the player to go through a similar journey."



But if you want to embark on that journey, you'll need either an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3, since there's no word of a PC release. It's an odd omission, especially since the upcoming Assassin's Creed Unity is being developed for the PC (as have all previous console-based AC titles), but it's also one that may eventually be rectified.



"The game is being developed for 360 and PS3," Von Der Luhe continued. "We've heard a lot of response requesting a PC version, so we'll be looking into that very soon."



It's not exactly a rock-solid confirmation, but given Ubisoft's relentless sequelization of Assassin's Creed and the fact that next-gen console versions of Rogue haven't been announced yet either, I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a PC version by the end of the year. Both Assassin's Creed Rogue and Assassin's Creed Unity launch in November.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Show Us Your Rig: Elder Scrolls Online designer Nick Konkle">NickK_Header2



 







Welcome to Show Us Your Rig, where we feature the PC gaming industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.

Nick Konkle, Lead Gameplay Designer of The Elder Scrolls Online, is similar to many of the other developers we ve featured on Show Us Your Rig by having three different computers. However, Nick ups the ante by cramming them all onto a single desk. He was kind enough to take the time and show off his set-up, including that one monitor he just can t bear to part with.

What's in your PC?

I use three computers for my various activities. They are named Da Cheat, Compy486, and The Biscuit. I ve provided several clues in this image to help you determine which computer is which.

Da Cheat:





500gb SSD

Intel i7 3.6GHZ

16 GB DDR3 RAM

AMD Radeon 7870, 2GB VRAM

ASUS P9X79 LE INTEL X79 Motherboard



You ll also notice I have an 24 Apple Cinema Display monitor from 2003 on my desk. I actually bought a top of the line 30 monitor, but it died one month after the warranty expired and I ve been so traumatized by the experience that I ve gone back to my old but sturdy apple monitor. Seriously, this thing is 10 years old, weighs 40 pounds, and still somehow works like the day I borrowed and didn t return it. And yes, I realize my relationship with this monitor is a bit like a farmer with an old truck. I m not ashamed of it.

The Biscuit:





11 inch Macbook air

1.7 GHZ i7

8 GB LPDDR3 RAM

512 GB Flash Storage



I went on a long search for the right device for me to travel with, write documents, brainstorm, and maybe play the occasional game. Having investigated all the various tablet + keyboard combinations I could find, I finally ended up with an apple laptop. Yeah, it s a little obvious, but it s what works.

Compy 486:





1TB HDD

Some other stuff



I keep my old Alienware computer around to act as a server for various media files. Waste not!

Also, let s be honest: my desk area does not usually look this clean. Thank you to PC gamer for making me clean it for the first time this month (year).



What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?

The Apple Cinema Monitor (like a rock), AnthroCart desk and chair were all things I managed to take with me from my Oddworld days. Also, not pictured loot from Oddworld includes my sofa, printer, silverware, and plates. Maybe it s time for me to grow up and buy my own things, but I don t wanna!

As far as the computer hardware goes, since presumably that s what you want to hear about: the answer is cooling! I ve put enough cooling power in my computer allow it to double as a beer fridge, not that I have ever done that before (today). My experience has always been that having the computer stay cool has bigger impact on performance than one extra generation of video card or a few more GB of RAM. My rig has 8 fans, liquid cooling, a high-powered external fan, and a nice shady corner away from all heat sources. Am I going overboard? Probably. Am I paranoid about spontaneously melting Da Cheat? Definitely.

What's always within arm's reach on your desk?

My notepad. Also, coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I feel like I do a lot of my best creative stuff during the morning on Saturdays, and while I can t prove that croissant sandwiches are the reason, I m not going to stop eating them.

I also have a couple of shelves worth of swag nearby. There isn t any particular reason for that, other than that they re cool to look at. I definitely don t ever pretend that the Alduin and Molag Bal statues are fighting.



What are you playing right now?

So many games! I obviously play quite a bit of my own game (ESO), but I ve manage to make time for a number of other games as well.

I m working my way through the new Wolfenstein to satisfy my craving for story-based FPS games. The game has a quirky, over-the-top tone that cracks me up.

I also just picked up Oddworld: New and Tasty. I like to try out the best Indie games (as defined by the number someone comes to my desk and says have you tried game X?!? ), and this one is particularly special for me because Abe s Exodus was the first video game I worked on. Also, I played each level so many times in my QA days that I can probably do a speed-run of the whole game in an hour.

And just so everyone doesn t think I m making all homer picks, I ve been playing the new content in Hearthstone. Conveniently, this is a game the biscuit can easily handle so I do most of my playing in Airports and Hotels. I travel a lot, so I end up playing quite a bit.

What's your favorite game and why?

Really any Naughty Dog game. My favorite is a toss-up between Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us. I ve always loved games where the story and the mechanics work together, and I think these two are really the best examples of this out there. When I played both of these games, I stopped all other activities for two straight days until I was done. And that s quite unusual for me, because in addition to playing games, I love watching movies, reading, playing soccer, and I have been known to frequent the Pub.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Battleborn hands-on: a first-person MOBA with a side of Borderlands">battleborn-game







Gearbox doesn't want to call Battleborn a first-person MOBA, but that's exactly what its competitive multiplayer Incursion mode looks like.



Two teams of five characters with different abilities fight across a map with several lanes. Each character, or Battleborn, has unique abilities that can be upgraded as it earns experience from fighting other players or NPC "creeps." While you'll earn permanent gear and rewards that are tied to your account, each character's core abilities and level is reset with every match.



Gearbox calls it a "hero shooter," which is meant to emphasize that Battleborn relies heavily on a large, varied roster of characters that play significantly different from one another. The strategies that emerge by bringing these characters' unique abilities to the same battlefield is what defines Battleborn and sets it apart from other shooters. Its dedication to being a shooter first and foremost sets it apart from other MOBAs.



As each team tried to make its way to the enemy team's base and destroy it, I started to see how the different abilities clashed in interesting ways. When Montana, a tall pile of muscles with a tiny head, unleashed all hell with his gatling gun, the aristocratic robot Marquis hit him with a time dilation ability that slowed everything down within a certain radius, and sniped him in the head. Thorn, a nimble archer, leapt over confrontations, changed direction midair to avoid damage, and landed in a flanking position.



Each time you gain a level, you pick one out of two upgrades from the helix menu, which is a really smart, easy way to handle character customization in the middle of combat. Oscar Mike a straightforward, space marine-type character, got to choose between a red dot sight and scope for his rifle early on in the match. It's not about which is better, only how you'd prefer to play.



The permanent progression doesn't make your character inherently more powerful, but instead unlocks more and more ways to play by earning "mutations" that introduce different binary choices to the helix menu.







Battle quirks



A first-person shooter's personality usually comes from the environment and the guns you're using, but leaves you with a hollow avatar, especially in multiplayer shooters. In Battleborn, every choice, gun, ability, and line your character says reinforces its unique personality and play style.



Montana's melee attack is just a flick of his giant finger, which is an especially funny way to finish off an enemy. Marquis, by contrast, slaps his enemies in the face with good manners, as if inviting them to a duel. He can also pull a mechanical owl out of his bowler hat, which patrols an area until it finds an enemy to fly into and explode, unless he's shot out of the air first.



Every character has these kinds of expressive animations and abilities, and Battleborn has no qualms about switching to the third person to give you a better view. This helps establish character, and serves gameplay as well. Rath, for example, a lanky, dour sword fighter, has a special spin attack, which you could only execute properly in third person.



Gearbox has announced nine characters but says that it hopes to expand on that number indefinitely, both in the initial retail release and future DLC. As you can imagine, and as Valve and Riot would probably tell us, balancing dozens of characters is a daunting commitment of a type that Gearbox never faced before. Design Director John Mulkey was surprisingly cavalier about it. He said that Gearbox "basically solved" the balance issue with a system that breaks down every character to an abstracted numerical value, which can then be tweaked. More importantly, as Art Director Scott Ketser told me, Gearbox wants the challenge of having to constantly balance Battleborn, because the alternative is that nobody's playing it.







Seeing these characters come together in the competitive multiplayer Incursion mode was hectic and entertaining. Everything in Battleborn, even the explosion and smoke effects, retains the kind creative energy and handmade feel that we see in a lot of concept art for games, but that rarely makes it into the final product. It easily switches from dark and gloomy corridors to bright and vibrant alien forests, and thrives on the kind of flexible reality that allows for Montana's impossible tiny head, mushroom ninjas, and robots with monocles.

Borderlands reborn

In the game's campaign cooperative mode too, you level up from scratch for each mission, but instead of taking on another team, you and four buddies are fighting hordes of enemies. In the mission I saw, the five players went to the space gothic-themed planet Tempest to harvest star shards, a valuable currency in the universe. Tempest, while conceptually interesting, looked very bare compared to the lush multiplayer level I saw.



I'm not sure I'm sold on Battleborn's competitive multiplayer, but at least it looked different and interesting. The cooperative campaign mission, on the other hand, seriously made me wonder why it's not just another Borderlands game. With the exception of the progression system, it looked the same.



I saw big, open areas, tons of different enemies, and in the end, a hulking spider robot boss that absorbed many minutes of relentless attacks. The key to success was crowd management, supporting other players with heals and tanking, and endurance. Even the way the story was delivered was identical to Borderlands, mostly with radio chatter from supporting NPCs.



It looked like fun in the same way that Borderlands is fun, minus the loot, which left me jonesing for a new Borderlands more than it did Battleborn.







It also left me wondering what ties the different missions together, and what ties the cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. Gearbox wasn't ready to talk about that, or if the game will have any single player content, though it certainly didn't sound like a high priority.



Gearbox showed me what happens in a shooter that embraces whatever weird idea for an ability or character comes to mind, rather than trying to create perfectly symmetrical teams. From art direction, to writing, and design, the impression I got was that the studio is allowing unrestrained creativity to lead the way.



It's admirable, and I liked what I saw, but so far Gearbox hasn't explained how all this creativity comes together to form something that, in cooperative mode, is meaningfully different from Borderlands, and in multiplayer, more ambitious than other mashup concepts (like Gigantic and Smite) meant to emulate the success of Dota 2 and League of Legends. The battles themselves looked fun, but Battleborn's long-term appeal will depend on its account-level, persistent progression hooks, which I haven't seen enough of yet.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Battleborn preview: a first-person MOBA with a side of Borderlands">battleborn-game







Gearbox doesn't want to call Battleborn a first-person MOBA, but that's exactly what its competitive multiplayer Incursion mode looks like.



Two teams of five characters with different abilities fight across a map with several lanes. Each character, or Battleborn, has unique abilities that can be upgraded as it earns experience from fighting other players or NPC "creeps." While you'll earn permanent gear and rewards that are tied to your account, each character's core abilities and level is reset with every match.



Gearbox calls it a "hero shooter," which is meant to emphasize that Battleborn relies heavily on a large, varied roster of characters that play significantly different from one another. The strategies that emerge by bringing these characters' unique abilities to the same battlefield is what defines Battleborn and sets it apart from other shooters. Its dedication to being a shooter first and foremost sets it apart from other MOBAs.



As each team tried to make its way to the enemy team's base and destroy it, I started to see how the different abilities clashed in interesting ways. When Montana, a tall pile of muscles with a tiny head, unleashed all hell with his gatling gun, the aristocratic robot Marquis hit him with a time dilation ability that slowed everything down within a certain radius, and sniped him in the head. Thorn, a nimble archer, leapt over confrontations, changed direction midair to avoid damage, and landed in a flanking position.



Each time you gain a level, you pick one out of two upgrades from the helix menu, which is a really smart, easy way to handle character customization in the middle of combat. Oscar Mike a straightforward, space marine-type character, got to choose between a red dot sight and scope for his rifle early on in the match. It's not about which is better, only how you'd prefer to play.



The permanent progression doesn't make your character inherently more powerful, but instead unlocks more and more ways to play by earning "mutations" that introduce different binary choices to the helix menu.





Battle quirks

A first-person shooter's personality usually comes from the environment and the guns you're using, but leaves you with a hollow avatar, especially in multiplayer shooters. In Battleborn, every choice, gun, ability, and line your character says reinforces its unique personality and play style.



Montana's melee attack is just a flick of his giant finger, which is an especially funny way to finish off an enemy. Marquis, by contrast, slaps his enemies in the face with good manners, as if inviting them to a duel. He can also pull a mechanical owl out of his bowler hat, which patrols an area until it finds an enemy to fly into and explode, unless he's shot out of the air first.



Every character has these kinds of expressive animations and abilities, and Battleborn has no qualms about switching to the third person to give you a better view. This helps establish character, and serves gameplay as well. Rath, for example, a lanky, dour sword fighter, has a special spin attack, which you could only execute properly in third person.



Gearbox has announced nine characters but says that it hopes to expand on that number indefinitely, both in the initial retail release and future DLC. As you can imagine, and as Valve and Riot would probably tell us, balancing dozens of characters is a daunting commitment of a type that Gearbox never faced before. Design Director John Mulkey was surprisingly cavalier about it. He said that Gearbox "basically solved" the balance issue with a system that breaks down every character to an abstracted numerical value, which can then be tweaked. More importantly, as Art Director Scott Ketser told me, Gearbox wants the challenge of having to constantly balance Battleborn, because the alternative is that nobody's playing it.







Seeing these characters come together in the competitive multiplayer Incursion mode was hectic and entertaining. Everything in Battleborn, even the explosion and smoke effects, retains the kind creative energy and handmade feel that we see in a lot of concept art for games, but that rarely makes it into the final product. It easily switches from dark and gloomy corridors to bright and vibrant alien forests, and thrives on the kind of flexible reality that allows for Montana's impossible tiny head, mushroom ninjas, and robots with monocles.

Borderlands reborn

In the game's campaign cooperative mode too, you level up from scratch for each mission, but instead of taking on another team, you and four buddies are fighting hordes of enemies. In the mission I saw, the five players went to the space gothic-themed planet Tempest to harvest star shards, a valuable currency in the universe. Tempest, while conceptually interesting, looked very bare compared to the lush multiplayer level I saw.



I'm not sure I'm sold on Battleborn's competitive multiplayer, but at least it looked different and interesting. The cooperative campaign mission, on the other hand, seriously made me wonder why it's not just another Borderlands game. With the exception of the progression system, it looked the same.



I saw big, open areas, tons of different enemies, and in the end, a hulking spider robot boss that absorbed many minutes of relentless attacks. The key to success was crowd management, supporting other players with heals and tanking, and endurance. Even the way the story was delivered was identical to Borderlands, mostly with radio chatter from supporting NPCs.



It looked like fun in the same way that Borderlands is fun, minus the loot, which left me jonesing for a new Borderlands more than it did Battleborn.







It also left me wondering what ties the different missions together, and what ties the cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. Gearbox wasn't ready to talk about that, or if the game will have any single player content, though it certainly didn't sound like a high priority.



Gearbox showed me what happens in a shooter that embraces whatever weird idea for an ability or character comes to mind, rather than trying to create perfectly symmetrical teams. From art direction, to writing, and design, the impression I got was that the studio is allowing unrestrained creativity to lead the way.



It's admirable, and I liked what I saw, but so far Gearbox hasn't explained how all this creativity comes together to form something that, in cooperative mode, is meaningfully different from Borderlands, and in multiplayer, more ambitious than other mashup concepts (like Gigantic and Smite) meant to emulate the success of Dota 2 and League of Legends. The battles themselves looked fun, but Battleborn's long-term appeal will depend on its account-level, persistent progression hooks, which I haven't seen enough of yet.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Legend of Grimrock 2 preorder trailer reveals October launch date">1







You don't get much more "my kind of game" than Legend of Grimrock. I was a big fan of dungeon crawlers back in the day, and being able to return to the genre in a game that managed to be contemporary while remaining wonderfully true to its progenitors was incredibly satisfying. That it was a big success for developer Almost Human Games made it even better, because that made a sequel possible. And in about a month, it's going to be here.



Legend of Grimrock 2 will again feature a group of prisoners thrown together by unfortunate circumstance, but this time they've been shipwrecked on the Isle of Nex. That may well constitute the bulk of the plot, but that's okay; the original Grimrock didn't offer much more than that, and dungeon crawlers aren't generally known for being big on story anyway.



Thin narrative framework aside, this new trailer makes Legend of Grimrock 2 look considerably bigger than the first game, thanks to the wider variety of environments on display. Gameplay doesn't appear to have changed in any meaningful way, which is no surprise, and there are 30 new monsters on tap, along with a dozen old favorites. Almost Human says the game will provide more than 20 hours of "pure-blooded dungeon crawling," while user-made adventures will be supported through an included editor.



And since we're talking about it, here are the system requirements:



Minimum:



OS: Windows XP

CPU: Dual Core 2.33 GHz Intel or 3.0 GHz AMD

Memory: 2GB RAM

Graphics: Geforce GTX 8800, AMD Radeon 4850 or Intel HD Graphics 5200 or better (1GB graphics memory or more. Shader Model 3.0 needs to be supported). Minimum supported resolutions 1280 720 and 1024 768.

DirectX: 9.0c

Disk Space: 2GB



Recommended:



OS: Windows 7

CPU: Quad Core 2.66 Ghz Intel or 3.2 GHz AMD

Memory: 4GB RAM

Graphics: Geforce GTX 660 Ti or AMD Radeon 6850 or better (1GB graphics memory or more. Shader Model 3.0 needs to be supported). Minimum supported resolutions 1280 720 and 1024 768.

DirectX: 9.0c

Disk Space: 2GB



Finally, the release date: Legend of Grimrock 2 goes live on October 15. Preorders, discounted appropriately as is the way, may be placed at Grimrock.net.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Microsoft reveal ‘wired’ Xbox One Controller for PC">Wow thanks microsoft







There's a new addition to the "Hardware" section of Microsoft's website. It's the "Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows", a 'wired' Xbox One controller designed specifically for the PC platform. What I mean is, it's exactly the same as any other Xbox One controller, only it comes packaged with a micro-USB cable.



On the one hand, it's a single package designed to provide everything you need to use the improved Xbox One controller on your PC. On the other hand, if you've already got a micro-USB cable, you can use a regular Xbox One pad to exactly the same effect. That's because this pad is a regular Xbox One pad. Microsoft released the drivers for it months ago.



You've probably got a micro-USB cable somewhere in your house. You've probably got several. You're probably draped in them now, so full is your house of micro-USBs and micro-USB accepting devices.



If it sounds like I'm pointing out the obvious, Microsoft aren't exactly forthcoming about how non-proprietary this tech is. "Cable for Windows" is correct, but worded in a way to make it sound like it isn't just a micro-USB cable. One of the key features is "Wired Controller", but... well, I'm in danger of belabouring the point here, but it's actually a wireless controller. It's just the wireless bit doesn't work for PC.



"The Windows 7 and Windows 8-compatible controller brings the feel of the Xbox One to your PC," writes Microsoft. "The Xbox One Controller + Cable is the culmination of over 200 prototypes; featuring over 40 awesome innovations, it s the best PC controller Microsoft has ever produced." Regular Xbox One controller. Micro-USB cable.



In Microsoft's defence, the MSRP appears to be the same as that of a, er, standalone Xbox One pad. Also, this particular Micro USB cable is 2,743 millimetres, or three quarters the length of an average sized Burmese python. That's a pretty good length for a control pad cable.



The package is due out this November for $60. If you can't wait, though, you don't have to. Get an Xbox One pad; get a micro-USB cable. There, you're done.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault first look – a lengthy new solo campaign starring US forces">Ardennes Assault 1







The standalone expansion for Company of Heroes 2 will give players another opportunity to thump the AI in a lengthy single-player RTS campaign set during the Battle of the Bulge. It's significantly bigger than the Eastern front campaign included in CoH2, which makes the addition of unit permadeath especially challenging. If you lose a squad to a stray mortar, or a flanking heavy machine gun, they're not coming back for the next mission. If your veteran Sherman gets pancaked by an airstrike you'll leave its burned out remains on that battlefield forever. Good news, strategy fans, Company of Heroes is about to get harder.



An obvious first question for game director and Relic veteran, Quinn Duffy, then: if you keep throwing men recklessly to their doom, can you completely screw yourself before the campaign is done? You can screw yourself over and you can sort of lose, and we've built it with the hardcore audience in mind for that. If you're looking for that type of experience, similar to XCOM, you can have that, he says. There's not a sort of hard line 'you just played a mission and completely screwed yourself', it's a lot of setbacks. When you get one of those setbacks the hope is the player's going to reassess their situation.



I'm reminded of 1998's Warhammer: Dark Omen, which carried a particularly gruelling implementation of a similar system. It's a better fit for the US forces in the Ardennes, famously cut off from reinforcements during the siege of Bastogne. For lead campaign designer, Mitch Lagran, permadeath fulfils one key purpose: we want there to be consequence to decisions. Consequence adds tension, it adds drama, it adds to that mission narrative because there's things at stake in a way that we haven't done.







The sprawling nature of the Eastern front made it difficult to follow a single band of soldiers through the whole conflict. Ardennes is different. Your company levels up between missions, which will unlock rewards. Relic's designers aren't talking about what those rewards are yet, but it's easy to speculate based on the recently added war spoils system that lets you socket buffs into units to make them slightly better at shooting guns and ducking bullets. Thanks to the evolving company, and scarce, precious units, there's more reason to become invested in your army in Ardennes than any prior CoH campaign.



I watched Duffy and Lagran fight through a single mission in a heavy forest surrounding a snug Belgian village. Duffy performs an efficient cover-to-cover sprint up the right flank, shrinking back at the occasional appearance of a German half-track. The town is taken after a difficult, noisy exchange of grenades and gunfire. The battle is heavily weighted around infantry and close-quarters fighting, encouraged by the intricate layout of the townlet's narrow streets. I only see one run of the mission, but I'm told it can be approached in various ways. You can go left, you can go right, you can go up the middle, you can cross over halfway and go up left. There are lots of pathways fighting in and around the village itself, says Duffy.



Each of those different routes actually has different styles of gameplay and different things that players can do there, Lagran adds. I've played the mission so many times, obviously. I've driven straight up the front right through the most heavily defended parts and I've done it pretty successfully, but it's a completely different experience from when I've gone left side and tried to do super-sneaky and stealth it.







At a glance the US force closely resembles the one released in the recent Western Front Armies standalone multiplayer release, which marked a return for fan and dev favourites like Paratroopers and, as Duffy describes it, the much-maligned Sherman tank. This reflects a new cadence of releases that sees Relic building multiplayer armies, and then designing single-player campaigns around them later. The resulting campaign is hopefully better for the six months of player metrics and playtesting, but should also bring the single-player and multiplayer armies closer together. That ought to make it easier for players that traditionally only fight the AI to hop into CoH2's expanding multiplayer ecosystem, or so the designers hope.



Ardennes Assault marks the end of a busy year for Company of Heroes 2. Incremental updates have tightened up performance, a new server system has improved online drop rates, and numerous balance tweaks have polished it up very nicely. It's a promising trend for a game that wants to become a World War 2 platform, capable of travelling between the war's varied theatres over the course of a long life of updates. Blatantly fishing for clues on CoH's future, I ask Duffy how he pictures Company of Heroes 2 five years from now. Vast, he laughs. It would be awesome if it was vast.



Ardennes Assault will arrive November 18 as a standalone release.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Alien: Isolation’s Survivor mode detailed, trailered">Alien Isolation 4







Alien: Isolation is a tense, atmospheric game about being hunted by a deadly and intelligent predator. That makes Survivor mode a weird proposition. It's a series of standalone challenges, pitting you against not just Alien's Xenomorph, but also time, skill and leaderboards. In a new video, Creative Assembly explains their thinking.







I like the idea of this. What appeals about Alien: Isolation is the relationship between hunter and hunted, and I've been worried about how CA will extend this premise across the length of a full game. Aside from its score-based challenge, Survivor would seem to offer a nice set of standalone scenarios that focus entirely on that central conflict.



Creative Assembly has also announced that Survivor mode will be supported by DLC. Five packs are ultimately planned, with the first arriving 28 October. That will add three new maps to the mode, bolstering the main game's sole offering.



Alien: Isolation is due out 7 October. You can find its system requirements here, and read Tim's hands-on report here.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Firefall patch 1.1 now live, brings new weapons, elemental damage">Firefall







Firefall? More like Biofall. Er, by which I mean the newly released Firefall patch adds elemental weapon modifiers, letting your guns rain down biological as well as thermal destruction. There's electricity, plasma and laser types, too, but Electrofall doesn't really work. It's a massive update, and a new video runs down just some of what it includes.







In addition, the world is being populated with more events and encounters. New dynamic events will bring Chosen death squads and "loot pi atas", and the Kanaloa the Destroyer boss has been upgraded for a new "hard mode" instance. There's also a new live event. In Codename: Crossfire, Chosen will spawn around the world to be taken down for new achievements and rewards.



You can see the full patch rundown here. It's a big list, but then, Firefall was a game in need of a lot of changes. As I explained in the review, it's a game that sits awkwardly between MMO and shooter. There's little that couldn't be improved, though, and so it's good to see that major changes are happening.
...

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