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Dead by Daylight is a horror game, if you hadn't guessed. It's a horror game that pits a bunch of paranormal and, well, not normal exactly movie monsters against a gaggle of regular humans. It's an asymmetrical multiplayer game, basically, where one player takes the role of the murderer, and four others play as the (possible) survivors. If it sounds a lot like that Kickstarted Friday the 13th game, that's because it seems a lot like that Kickstarted Friday the 13th game, but there are a few wrinkles that should set it apart.
Wrinkle the first is its differing perspectives. The player roleplaying as the monster will view the game in first-person, while their huntees will be blessed with a third-person view, presumably so they can see if something's about to stab them in the back. Wrinkle the second is the assortment of monsters, ranging from human-ish slasher villains to supernatural entities. Another wrinkle is that it's being made by Naughty Bear and Wet developers Behaviour Interactive (and published by Payday devs Starbreeze).
You'd probably forgotten all about Naughty Bear and Wet. Sorry.
Dead by Daylight does sound intriguing. It will feature procedurally generated environments, unlockable abilities, and various equipment and environmental objects you can use to slow down or escape from your potential killer. There's no footage, and no screenshots yet for the "coming soon" game, but here's a Steam page and a developer diary:
That free Shadowrun: Hong Kong expansion we mentioned the other day? It's out now, free if you already own the game. The slightly confusingly named Shadows of Hong Kong campaign takes place after the main game, offering "6+ hours" of cyberpunk roleplaying. Here's a summary:
"Set in the weeks following the events of the main campaign, the Shadows of Hong Kong bonus campaign will give you—and your team—the opportunity to turn the tables on the elite corporate police force that once hunted you. Through layers of corporate greed and urban strife, you will contend with dangerous enemies, uncover a deadly conspiracy, and cement your reputation as a Prime Runner… assuming that you survive, of course."
If you own Shadowrun: Hong Kong on Steam, GOG or Humble, you may have noticed that it's now called Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition, and boasts the aforementioned free expansion, along with "a variety of game improvements" and a developer audio commentary. Steam should automatically update your game to the new version; you might need to download the game again on GOG or Humble.
If you don't own Shadowrun: Hong Kong yet, it's currently 50% off on Steam and GOG for the next few days.
XCOM 2, the character creation game with a small strategy component, is finally out (and it's amazing). This time around, XCOM 2 has a significantly more robust character creation kit that allows you to export your soldiers to a file, which you can then share and throw at unwary internet passersby. The problem is, the game doesn t exactly tell you how to go about it.
Here s how you can create, export, and propagate your creations with the rest of the world.
From the main menu, click Character Pool, and then Create Character. Think about who will break your heart the most when an alien eats theirs, and do your magic. Dwell on what you ve created. Is it right for man to play God? Yes? Good. Moving on.
Next, we need to create a new character pool, which is simply a bin file the game exports the characters of your choosing to—the shareable bit. Head back to the main Character Pool screen and you ll see a list of every character you ve created so far. Check the boxes next to the characters you want to share and click Export Selection.
First, we need to create a new Character Pool where our grumpy little Jedi will live. Click Create New Pool and a prompt will come up asking you to name it. Type in something recognizable and hit Confirm to get dumped back to the character pool list. Now, this is important and easy to miss: your characters have not been exported yet. Click on your newly created character pool to get a prompt that asks if you really want to copy your character into the selected pool. Hit Yes.
Your custom soldiers are sent to the titular pool where they ll chill in some temperate, sterile waters sipping on a fruity cocktai—er, wrong pool. They ll actually be chilling in a bin file located by default in your documents folder.
Find the Importable folder and look for your character pool bin file.This is what my file path looks like on Windows 10:
Copy and distribute the file using whatever method suits the sharing: flash drives, cloud storage, a few floppy disks, or dog courier.
To import custom soldiers from other sources, copy the provided bin file to the Importable character pool folder—the same place your character pools export to—and boot up XCOM 2. Head to the Character Pool from the main menu again, but this time, click on Import Character. Find the name of the bin file you d like to import from and give it a click.
Finally, select the characters you d like to import and, boom, they re in your active character pool, ready to assist with the alien murder whenever necessary.
Want some practice? We'll have some soldiers to show off soon. In the meantime, share yours in the comments.
Tom Senior: Welcome back, CommanderI snuck into the Highs and Lows article first this week, which means I get to write about how good XCOM 2 is before anyone else has the chance. Aha! I m looking forward to seeing everyone s reactions when they run into some of the cruelest aliens and unlock the highest armour tier, which looks sweet. All over Twitter today I ve seen people filling out their campaign with custom soldiers named after pals. The mod scene will kick into gear in no time.
Sometimes a game launch births a creative scene. I think people will be creating and sharing around XCOM 2 for a long time, and I think it has the potential to reach beyond the usual audience for strategy games. It s exciting for us, too, not just as players, but because we get to cover it for years and feature the coolest stuff you re making. The Witness, Homeworld, Rise of the Tomb Raider, XCOM 2—What a great start to 2016.
Angus Morrison: Remembering the Second World WarIt s easy to clamour for the return of World War 2 shooters—it s been fashionable for a while now—but it s harder to do anything about it. This week, two unlikely teams have bypassed Dice and Treyarch and taken matters into their own hands, proving that not only the demand but the drive is there to reimagine WW2.
Day of Infamy, a total conversion mod for New World s Insurgency, is being built with the plucky community spirit we like to imagine the Allies carried with them across the battlefields. New World did the groundwork and has now made Day of Infamy compatible with Insurgency s live build. Now the community are pitching in to support the war effort, supplying maps, models and textures in service to a superb free offering.
Battalion 1944 is still more ambitious—a game in its own right under development be a small team from Derby, UK. They espoused a heartfelt vision of simpler times when shooters were rugged and skill-based, and the populace responded with 100,000 in Kickstarter cash in three days. Get this ridiculous jetpack off me and pass my M1 Garand.
Chris Livingston: Sky s the limitI spent some time updating our list of the best Skyrim mods this week. A lot of time because there are lot of mods. Nexus Mods can be a rabbit hole like TV Tropes or Wikipedia—you can lose days in there just following links. You ll check out one mod, and the modder will suggest that their mod goes really well with several others. So you ll check out those others, and they ll suggest their own lists of complimentary mods. It s hard to assemble a best-of list when the list refuses to stop growing.
At one point, when I had roughly 25 tabs open, I just kinda got goosebumps. Modders are amazing. All of this work, this passion, this dedication and creativity and know-how… it s overwhelming. More than anything else, modders are what makes PC gaming such a rich, exciting, ever-changing experience. Thank you, sincerely, each and every one of you.
Tyler Wilde: Suburban dreadI moved in with my mom recently, where I'm going to stay temporarily before I take a one-way trip to Maryland, which I assume is just a mound of snow with a big monument sticking out the top. That's a worry for later. For now, it's the quiet that's getting to me. I've lived in San Francisco for the past seven years, and off and on before that, and I'm used to a certain amount of noise: drunk people yelling at 3 am, cars honking, sirens. I stopped noticing it after a while but its absence is all I hear out in the suburbs. I'm just getting started at 11 pm, but here it's like everyone's shut themselves into coffins—it's dead.
I'm starting to like it, though. I forgot how cool and creepy it is to be out at night among cul-de-sacs and strip malls. It's not silent, the sounds are just droning and more distant: transformers vibrating, street lamps whining, the woosh of trucks on the freeway, echoes of a dog barking somewhere. It's really got me in the mood for some creeps, so I've started replaying Lone Survivor, a great little horror game by Jasper Byrne that tests your grasp on reality in a monster infested apartment complex. If there were more Silent Hill games on PC I'd be set, but sadly they haven t gotten the Resident Evil treatment, so if you can think of any games that capture a similar sort of empty suburban dread, let me know. I want to sit out on the dark porch with my laptop and a beer to set up some cool nightmares for myself.
Phil Savage: The long haulMy internet is bad, so, while I waited for XCOM 2 to download, I decided to kill time with American Truck Simulator. ETS2 is great, but I was worried that the unyielding deserts of Nevada would prove less interesting than Europe's more varied locales. Not so. Dusty open roads are the perfect setting for a long haul drive, and made better through ATS's inclusion of suitably American radio stations.
It's hard not to get swept up in the atmosphere. It's particularly noticeable at night. Every inch of ETS2's Europe feels developed and maintained, so that you're always aware of being trapped in the sprawling artifice of roads and infrastructure. ATS's Nevada feels wilder, and more barren. There's a sense of isolation that feels new and welcome. I'm not sure for how long the currently included two states will hold my interest before repetition sets in, but for now I'm content to cruise across the desert—delivering my goods to wherever they might be needed.
Evan Lahti: PC Gamer II: OriginsAlthough I couldn t help but write something about CS:GO last Saturday, this week was my first official week back at PC Gamer after three months spent trying something else. I feel really lucky to be able to keep working somewhere this meaningful and fun; being away reinforced how rare it is to have a job that encourages and pushes you to explore what you re passionate about.
It s a privilege to do that, and to be heard. It s a privilege to walk up to anyone you want at an event like PAX and ask them a question just because you re holding a microphone. It s a privilege to solve tough problems (like how to put on an event for PC gaming at E3, as we did last year) with people who care about them as much as you do. Onward!
Tyler WIlde: I finally want to fantasyThis is a pretty minor quibble—I ve had a good week—but I m so tired of the game we play with publishers who don t want to admit that their game is definitely coming to PC. I misread our own headline about Final Fantasy XV which said it may be coming to PC, missing the may, and had a weird wave of excitement. I ve never been into Final Fantasy, but I suddenly really wanted to play this one.
While I contemplate what my life is going to be like after I move into a big blocky East Coast home surrounded by parks and schools—not at all what I m used to—the thought of disappearing into a hundred hours of silly RPGing became more appealing than it s been since I first played Mass Effect during a lonely week by myself in a studio apartment. But then I read the may and got bummed. I m 99 percent sure FFXV will be on PC, but all the will they, won t they crap is as exasperating as Ross and Rachel. Just marry us already you dweebs.
Evan Lahti: XCOM 2 performance issuesThe fog of complaints on forums comments and Steam reviews can t paint an accurate picture of how big the issue actually is, but some amount of people are less than happy with XCOM 2 s framerate on rigs that exceed the recommended spec. I m one of them—running a 980 at 2560x1440 on High (not Maximum), I get 40-55 fps in combat and some other areas, like character customization. That s surprising but not awful. More annoying, though, are the occasional (but jarring) fps dips I and others are experiencing during cutscenes and camera movement.
I reached out to 2K Games this morning to see if they have anything to say about it, and I ll be sure to write it up if they get back to me.
Tom Senior: Smash hitI keep meaning to do a feature that rates different customer service experiences across the games industry. Partly because calling out bad practice could encourage change, but also because it's quite fun to read about customer service disasters. We got a good one today courtesy of Bethesda, who requested that a customer destroy the remainder of an incomplete set of records before a refund would be supplied. He did, with a hammer.
As well as being an evidently stupid request, this sort of incident displays a degree of stinginess that s especially graceless coming from a large company. Granted, if the customer gave the three spare records to someone else, that could potentially deny Bethesda 75% of a sale. It s probably worth sacrificing that for the sake of goodwill and general common sense.
Chris Livingston: This blowsI m sure I ve written my share of misleading headlines, but all of you websites out there advertising Complete puzzle solutions for The Witness that do not actually have a complete puzzle solutions for The Witness are making me want to break a puzzle panel over your heads and draw squiggly lines on your face in permanent marker. In related news: I occasionally cheat at The Witness.
I am sure these sites will someday will have a complete set of solutions, but last night I went to at least five different sites looking for help with a single puzzle. No one had it, despite all advertising that they did. I even watched a video on a site that advertised a complete guide, and long minutes into the video the player walked up to the very puzzle I was stumped on, looked at it, then turned around and left the area while—no lie—a text box popped up on the video saying We haven t solved this one yet. Arrrgh! The only thing more infuriating than the puzzles in The Witness is how hard a time I m having trying to avoid figuring out the infuriating puzzles in The Witness!
Angus Morrison: Is nothing sacred?I feel a bit awkward talking about Godus at this point—I want it to catch a break so I can say something positive instead of wincing when I go to write the news. Godus re-emerged this week after a few months silence and Peter Molyneux s retreat from the limelight in February last year. Godus Wars is a sort-of-but-not-really standalone RTS that appears as a separate game on the Steam store but is automatically unlocked for all Godus owners, just as Godus is unlocked for all Godus Wars owners. Bit weird, but okay.
What was truly exasperating is that after the relentless, pounding criticism of Godus resentful approach to player interaction and the inspiration it seems to take from free-to-play mobile games, the second region in the $15 Early Access game had a $5 paywall in front of it.
There was a backlash, naturally, and credit to 22cans for removing it faster than you can say Jesus Christ , but it is beyond me how anybody could have maintained the slightest belief that it would slip past unnoticed.
Phil Savage: Bug, not a featureAw, Angus took Godus Wars? In that case, let's revisit the best headline of the week: "Rogue Ant Simulator devs blow budget on 'liquor and strippers'." In the video that prompted the story, Ant Simulator lead developer Eric Tereshinski claimed that his business partners blew Kickstarter and investment cash on booze and strippers—an allegation that said business partners call "100% bullshit." The industry hasn't been quite so '90s since the '90s.
It seems as if the whole thing will devolve into lawyers, which is a pretty spectacular way to end a longterm friendship. There's no larger message here—no great lesson to be learned or commentary to be added—because everything I could say should go without saying. But just in case, independent of whether it did or didn't happen in this specific instance: are you a project lead who's planning to spend all that project's money on getting drunk and ogling women? Well, don't. Obviously.
That's right, a corgi, as in a deliciously cute little dog with its tongue lolling carelessly from its mouth. And if you think it's silly, well, you're not the only one. I feel legit bad that this is the first XCOM 2 mod to be released, the developer, JonTerp, wrote in the mod description.
Be that as it may, its leadoff position was immortalized on Twitter by the folks at Firaxis, and they don't seem bothered by it at all. And why would they be? Maybe it doesn't fit with the whole grim, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it motif of XCOM 2, but on the other hand... So adorable! Oh yes he is! Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? You are! Yes you are!
XCOM 2 was designed from the start to be more moddable than its predecessor, with a proper suite of modding tools including a Visual Studio isolated shell app and the Unreal editor used to build the game, plus the script source code and an estimated 50GB of assets. That opens up whole realms of possibilities that just weren't available in Enemy Unknown, which can only be beneficial to the future of XCOM 2. Not that it isn't an outstanding game in its own right: Have a look at our XCOM 2 review to find out why.
— Firaxis Games (@FiraxisGames) February 5, 2016
Battalion 1944 sounds like a very ambitious project. It's a Second World War multiplayer FPS, built in Unreal Engine 4, with motion-captured animation, assets precisely based on photos of real items and locations, and a general promise of high-budget sheen—all for a very low (relatively speaking) Kickstarter goal of 100,000/$145,000. A goal which has now been met, just three days after the campaign began.
I'll be honest, I didn't expect it to happen so quickly. Not because there's anything fishy about the Kickstarter pitch, which is actually very thorough, but because I didn't realize there was so much interest in a new WW2 shooter. I suppose it's been a long time since we've had a good realistic one, but even so, pulling in 100,000 this quickly is an impressive accomplishment.
With the base target done, the campaign is now digging into stretch goals. The developers said they have something awesome in the works which a lot of you have been asking for, but won't reveal what it is until it's fully planned out. Whatever it turns out to be, they said that it will push the authentic WW2 experience to even greater heights. Battalion 1944 has also made great leaps on Steam Greenlight, moving overnight from number 20 to number six on the list.
As I write this, the Battalion 1944 Kickstarter is sitting at just shy of 130,000/$188,000, with 26 days remaining in the campaign.
For those of us not interested in ye olden sports and looking to skip the Super Bowl, there's a ton of competitive gaming to watch online this weekend. Let's start with an unusual team-based spin on Blizzard's wizard poker...
2016 is truly the year of new formats for Hearthstone. Hot on the heels of Blizzard announcing Standard and Wild format will arrive this spring, Red Bull will be hosting what is probably the strangest tournament format yet. Teams of three will get 240 random cards (weighted by the rarity system) and then have 30 minutes to build three decks from their collective card pool using each card only once. If the format sounds confusing, there's this handy explanation video, or you can just watch live here starting Saturday at 12pm PST. It's a one-day event.
League of Legends' Spring Split continues merrily on. The EU LCS is wrapping up today, but the North American LCS will be going from 12-5ish PST on both Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, you'll be able to catch the tail-end of the Chinese LPL Saturday night from 11pm-2am PST. You can also watch all the action on Riot Games' official Twitch channel right here.
The WCS Winter Circuit Qualifiers have been going since the middle of last week, and although we already saw half of the finals play out last weekend, this weekend we finish off the list. Three more pros from NA and four more from EU will move on from tomorrow's tournament, out of a field of 16 players across both regions. The action kicks off on Saturday at 9am PST with the EU Qualifiers, followed by the NA Qualifiers at 4pm PST. You can find the NA stream here and the EU stream here.
Eight teams—including the Copenhagen Wolves, ENCE eSports, and more—battle over what is roughly a $16k prizepool and a whole lot of glory. The tournament actually began today at 2am PST, and while most of the games have already been played, the semis and the finals will take place late on Saturday night. The first semi will be between ENCE and the Wolves, while the second semi is between Team LDLC Blue and a currently unknown opponent—either Team LDLC White or Epiphany Bolt. The semifinals begin Saturday at 4am PST, with the finals scheduled for 12:30pm PST. You can watch it live here.
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!