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Ring in the new year with the Golden Joystick Store's huge holiday sale. Celebrate 2016 by taking a massive 75% off Irrational's genre-expanding classic Bioshock Infinite or prepare for one of 2016's biggest releases, XCOM 2, by taking 75% off its predecessor: XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You can also pick up Creative Assembly's tense Alien: Isolation for 75% off as well as 15% off Fatshark's fantastic rat-killing romp Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide (one of 2015's best).
Check out the featured offers below or visit store.goldenjoystick.com/sale to see all 175+ discounted games.
Alien: Isolation75% off: now $12.50 | 8.00
Alien: Isolation: The Collection50% off: now $30.00 | 20.00
Alone in the Dark: Illumination50% off: now $10.00 | 7.50
BioShock Infinite75% off: now $7.50 | 5.00
Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition75% off: now $10.00 | 8.75
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition75% off: now $7.50 | 5.00
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel60% off: now $16.00 | 12.00
Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition75% off: now 5.00 (UK only)
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin50% off: now 15.00 (UK only)
Evolve60% off: now $16.00 | 10.00
Evolve Digital Deluxe60% off: now $20.00 | 13.60
F1 201533% off: now 26.79 (UK only)
Men of War: Assault Squad 275% off: now $7.50 | 6.25
NaissanceE68% off: now $4.80 | 3.20
NBA 2K1620% off: now $47.99 | 31.99
NBA 2K16 Michael Jordan Special Edition25% off: now $59.99 | 44.99
Project CARS50% off: now 20.00 (UK only)
Red Faction Guerrilla80% off: now $4.00 | 3.00
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition75% off: now $7.50 | 3.75
Sid Meier's Civilization V: The Complete Edition75% off: now $12.50 | 8.75
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth50% off: now $25.00 | 20.00
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter40% off: now $11.99 | 8.99
Valkyria Chronicles66% off: now $6.80 | 5.10
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide15% off: now $25.49 | 19.54
XCom: Enemy Unknown75% off: now $7.50 | 3.75
XCOM: Enemy Unknown The Complete Edition75% off: now $12.50 | 6.25
Run by Future Publishing, the Golden Joystick Store aims to give players the easiest way to buy games yet, with a simple interface and recommendations from PC Gamer and GamesRadar to help you make your buying decisions.
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As I mentioned last time, and the time before that, I recently stumbled into a mysterious little shop called "Curios, Rarities, Bibelots & Old Sci-Fi Magazines That Inspired Games From 2015". It was a strange place—a somewhat magical place, perhaps—and while I was there I discovered that a number of PC games from 2015 had actually been based on stories from old pulp science-fiction magazines. This is a real thing that happened, not something I am making up, and I have the incontestable proof below.
Interestingly, the 2015 indie game Her Story appears to have been based on an actual story that was first published in a magazine called Weird Future in 1937. The shopkeeper told me the story caused quite a stir when it was published, and some magazine fans raised a number of objections before the issue even hit the newsstands. Since it was called Her Story, and the story appeared to be largely about a woman, some male magazine readers got incredibly upset. A woman in a sc-fi magazine, they felt, was somehow threatening to them, or represented some sort of terrifying feminist agenda bent on ruining magazines. Keep in mind, this was the 1930's, a very, very long time ago. Can you imagine something like this happening today, in 2015? Ha ha! That would be completely fucking ridiculous.
There were other concerns. This was not a typical story, as you'll see, and some readers complained that since it didn't follow the traditional magazine format, that it wasn't even a real magazine. I think what they probably meant was this isn't my kind of magazine—a fair enough sentiment—but many of them didn't put it that way. At any rate, the Her Story issue of Weird Future was definitely different. Most of the chapters are incredibly short, and appear to be all jumbled up at random:
After examining a tiny chapter, readers could then flip to an extensive index at the back of the magazine to look for a particular word or reference they wanted to know more about. The index would list the pages that word appeared on, and readers could then find and read those chapters. Those tiny, tiny chapters.
Maybe this was what some people were complaining about in 1937 when they said Her Story wasn't a real magazine? Piecing together the story in this fashion, like a detective, each reader learned different things at different times, had a different experience, and drew their own conclusions about what really happened. It was like, you know, a game or something.
Not everything about the 1937 version of Her Story was a success, however. This passage below is bizarre, and it appears several times in the magazine. I think it works much better in the 2015 game, frankly.
By the way, if you're interested in making your own covers of sci-fi magazines, there's a great online tool called The Pulp-O-Mizer! Not that I'd ever create a fake sci-fi magazine cover, but if I did, it's definitely what I'd use.
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey tweeted last week that the Oculus Rift VR headset remains on track for a commercial launch in the first quarter of 2016. The Oculus Touch controller is going to take a little longer than expected, however: It had originally been slated for release "shortly after" the rollout of the Rift, but the company announced today that we need more time to perfect it.
We ve made significant advances in ergonomics, and we re implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural. We re also implementing changes that improve hand pose recognition, it said in a statement posted on the Oculus blog. The feedback on Touch has been incredibly positive, and we know this new timeline will produce an even better product, one that will set the bar for VR input. We appreciate your patience and promise Touch will be worth the wait.
We were impressed with the Touch when we got hands on it at Oculus Connect 2 in September, but Oculus VP of Product Nate Mitchell acknowledged that a lot of work remained before it would be ready for the public. He also emphasized that the Touch is an entirely separate piece of hardware that isn't widely supported yet, and so selling it separately—and, by extension, taking longer to get it to the public—isn't necessarily a problem.
"We could wait for Touch, but at the end of the day we ve decided to make Touch an attachment to the Rift, so selling it separately after the fact doesn t hurt anything," he said. "People will jump into it, developers will make content for it, and there s no reason to necessarily hold the Rift, which is ready to get out the door, for Touch, when Touch can come whenever."
Preorders for the Touch will go live well ahead of its launch, and Oculus also said that it's increasing the preproduction runs, which means we can get a lot more Touch hardware in the hands of developers who need it.
Studio Wildcard is dropping the New Year's Eve Ball in Ark: Survival Evolved, and when it touches down at midnight EST, everyone at the party will be given a fantastic surprise. But the real fun is the addition of a new creature called the Procoptodon, which is essentially a huge, prehistoric kangaroo with a gun in its pocket and look of perpetual annoyance on its face.
The largest of the real Procoptodon, according to Wikipedia, was P. goliah, which stood well over six feet tell and could weigh more than 500 pounds. The Ark version is even larger, capable of rapidly covering great heights and distances while carrying two passengers, one of whom—the one in the pouch, naturally—can make full use of all weapons while on the move. It's basically a drive-by-capable mega-marsupial, which as videogame ideas go isn't the worst I've ever heard.
The update also adds a new Tribe Alliances option to the game, enabling multiple tribes to officially band together to take on larger, more powerful outfits. Full details on the update (although between the dropping ball and the dino-roo, we've pretty much covered it all) are available on Steam. Speaking of which, Ark: Survival Evolved is currently on sale for 40 percent off—that's $18/ 14—as part of the Steam Winter Sale, which runs until January 4.
USB flash drives are great and all, but if you crave truly fast portable storage, there's another option. That option is today's top deal for a Samsung 500GB Portable USB 3.0 Portable SSD T1 for $160 with free shipping (normally $180 - use coupon code: [EMCKNPA26]). It's not very bulky and it offers max sequential read and writes of up to 450MB/s.
Acer Laptop Aspire E Intel Core i5 5200U (2.20 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce 940M 2 GB 15.6-inch Windows 10 Home 64-Bit for $480 with free shipping (normally $490)
Intel 535 Series 2.5-inch 480GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) for $160 with free shipping (normally $180 - use coupon code: [EMCKNPA27])
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive with 200GB of Cloud Storage & Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 for $80 with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code: [EMCKNPA25])
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It pays to be a bug hunter. No, not the squishy kind that scurry about (unless you're an exterminator), but the kind that leave software vulnerable to attack. There are numerous bug bounty programs out there, and soon you'll be able to add the Tor Project to the fray.
Nick Mathewson, co-founder and chief architect of the Tor Project, recently made the announcement during the State of the Onion talk at Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany.
"We are grateful to the people who have looked over our code over the years, but the only way to continue to improve is to get more people involved," Mathewson told Motherboard. He added that the program will kick off sometime in 2016.
Bug bounty programs are one way to stay ahead of the bad guys, especially since there are outside companies that offer up cash for exploits and then sell them to government agencies. One of the more prominent ones is Zerodium, which awarded $1 million to researchers who hacked iOS. A zero-day exploit affecting the Tor Browser fetches $30,000 from Zerodium.
It's not yet known how much the Tor Project will pony up for different exploits. However, Mike Perry, lead developer of the Tor Browser, did say that the program will be an invite-only affair at first.
It was a bit surprising that Just Cause 3 was released without multiplayer support, given the strong and very positive response to the unofficial (but sanctioned) multiplayer mod for Just Cause 2 that came out a few years ago. Avalanche co-founder Christofer Sundberg actually said in November 2014 that the studio might work it in at some point down the road, and made a point of stating that we don't expect the fans to make the multiplayer for Just Cause 3. Nonetheless, the fans are doing it.
The Just Cause 3 multiplayer mod is actually being made by the same team that created the JC2-MP mod, and while there's little in the way of detail at this point, the developers promised frequent updates on our progress going forward. There's also no word as to whether Avalanche will embrace the mod with the same sort of enthusiasm it showed for the Just Cause 2 edition. Hopefully it will (and I think it'd be foolish not to) but that mod didn't come out until two years after the game's release, and took another year to make its way to Steam. Just Cause 3, on the other hand, has only been out for a month, and Avalanche may not want to give up control of this aspect of the game quite so quickly, especially if it's serious about doing the job itself.
I've reached out to both Avalanche and the Just Cause Multiplayer Mod folks for more information, and I'll update if and when I hear back. (Given the timing, that may be awhile.) In the meantime, enjoy the trailer!
Update: A JC-MP rep said the team has "spoken with a few of the Avalanche staff informally, and the general consensus is that they love what we're doing." That's not quite official approval, but it certainly sounds like a step in the right direction.
By Henry Stenhouse
On March 15th 2015 over one million people tuned in to watch the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Grand Finals at ESL One Katowice. At the previous year s event, viewer numbers peaked at 250,000. In just one year, the number of people watching had quadrupled.
But what caused this explosion in viewership? I've collected some of the most entertaining matches and moments from throughout the year. If you're looking for a reason to get into competitive CS, this is it.
The world map of Counterstrike is dominated by European nations: Denmark, Sweden, Poland and France all field teams of considerable renown. After the only North American team fell in the group stages of DreamHack Winter, it was left to a surprise performance by the Brazilian team Luminosity Gaming to keep American hopes alive.
Defeating both EnVyUs and Ninjas in Pyjamas, LG secured a place in the semifinal. Facing the formidable Team SoloMid, they received a crushing 16-5 defeat on Mirage. With the second game taking place on TSM's map of choice, Overpass, the Brazilian dream looked to be over…
Despite a shaky start, LG finally found their form. A combination of patient approaches with blistering flashes of aggression concocted the perfect formula to overcome the Danish defence. Breaking through to map 3, both teams brought their best in a gut wrenching finale. Luminosity may not have left the tournament as champions, but with victories against three of the greatest teams in CS, Brazil has certainly earned its place on the map.
Counter-Strike teams are rarely stable. Replacements and restructures come fast and often. In this regard Virtus Pro are an anomaly, maintaining the same lineup since January 2014. VP's roster also holds a high average age, with three out of five players aged over 27. Without any recent major successes to speak of, questions had begun to rise over how long the beloved Polish side would continue to compete.
Enter the Dubai Invitational. Fielding eight of the best teams from across the globe, the event looked to be a tight competition between the two favourites, Fnatic and TSM. VP surpassed all expectations by breezing out of the group stages before scoring a confident 2-1 win over Fnatic. The five map grand final vs TSM proved nothing short of spectacular, with momentum swinging wildly between each side.
Virtus Pro excel in flexibility, seemingly any member of their team cable of both rifling and AWPing. The player to watch throughout the event was VP's Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski who exhibited exemplary rifling along with inventive use of smoke grenades to secure rounds.
From the astounding to the amusing, the end of the ESEA Pro League looked to be a disappointing affair after EnVyUs's in-game leader, Vincent 'Happy' Cervoni, received a Denial of Service attack just five rounds in. Incredibly, EnVy decided to persevere with just four players, overwhelming a flustered mousesports to take the match.
A bold French performance and some unconventional casting by Lauren 'pansy' Scott and Alex 'machine' Richardson resulted in one of the most entertaining matches of the year. The duo livened the game with everything from speed and minimalist casting to a spectator fly-through race of the map.
CS:GO may be a team game, but individual moments of exceptional skill (or luck) often provide the best memories. Here are some of the best from this year:
Nikola 'NiKo' Kova of team mousesports pulls off a series of phenomenal long range deagle kills to claim an ace and economy win against Titan:
H vard 'Rain' Nygaard recovers from 1 vs 4 to save match point. Surviving on just one point of health, he single handedly keeps Kinguin in the game:
NiP's Patrik 'Forest' Lindberg locks down Dust2's double doors, earning a knife kill and dispatching four of TSM's roster:
Of course no highlight reel for 2015 would be complete without THAT deagle ace by Vincent 'Happy' Schopenhauer:
To discuss the greats of CS:GO without mentioning Fnatic is to do a great disservice to the game. The Swedish team have proven themselves the kings of CS time after time. Securing no less than five $100,000 first place victories this year, Fnatic's reign looks far from over. The highlight? Katowice grand finals, map three:
The North American heroes may have run into trouble in the latter stages of the year but during the summer months they were in the form of their lives. Reaching three back to back finals at ESEA Season 1, ESWC 2015 and DreamHack Valencia, the team fell just short of tournament victories in each case. Despite this, C9 garnered key victories over EnVyUs and VP to show they could compete at the top of CS. Here they are at DreamHack Open Valencia:
After such a deluge of superhuman feats, I feel it's important to remind yourself that these professionals are, at the end of the day, still human. This year's Cluj-Napoca supplied an abnormal number of team kills, collected neatly in this montage by Kevin Tweedale:
Averaging 500,000 players daily, CS:GO sits happily at second place on Steam s player chart. With increasing prize pools and MLG Colombus hosting the first North American major in 2016, Counter-Strike s popularity growth shows no signs of slowing. If 2014 was the year CS:GO blossomed, then 2015 has proven to be its tour de force.
PC Gamer Pro is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!
Motherboard makers continue to flesh out the market with socket 1151 options for Skylake builders. Count Biostar among them, which is getting ready to release three new options as part of its new Biostar Racing series.
The Biostar Racing line combines "cutting edge features" with a "new racing design for a stylish and powerful build," or at least that's the way Biostar is selling things.
Each of the three boards feature pin stripes, checkered accents, and customizable LED lighting for that racing vibe. More importantly, Biostar claims they use high end components like 100 percent solid capacitors and "Super Durable" Ferrite chokes. You'll also find two BIOSes onboard, giving you a backup in case something goes sour with the main BIOS.
The highest end of the three is the Z170GT7, a rather boring name considering Biostar is paying so much attention to the racing theme. In any event, it sports a 9-phase power design, four DIMM slots supporting up to DDR4-3200, four PCI-E x16 3.0 slots, three PCI-E x1 3.0 slots, a single M.2 port, three SATA Express ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, and DVI-D, two HDMI, and VGA outputs.
Sitting in the middle of the pack is the B150GT5 with a 7-phase power design. It supports DDR4-2133 memory and has two PCI-E x16 3.0 ports, a single PCI-E x1 3.0 port, three standard PCI ports, four SATA 6Gbps ports, a single SATA express port, half a dozen 3.0 and 2.0 ports each, and the same video outputs (but with a single HDMI port, not two).
Finally there's the H170GT3, also with a 7-phase power design. It too supports DDR4-2133 memory and has two PCI-E x16 3.0 ports, but doubles up the PCI-E x1 3.0 to two and swaps the PCI ports for a single M.2 port. For storage, it has two SATA 6Gbps an a single SATA Express. Other features include eight USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0, and HDMI (two) and DVI-D output.
Biostar didn't mention any price points but said all three boards will be available soon in its eBay store.