PC Gamer

No matter how hard it tries, Sega can't seem to nail a modern Sonic game at least, nothing has managed to match the affection we still hold for the '90s platformers. I'd argue that Sonic Generations was pretty decent, but overall, Sonic games are pretty average nowadays. There's no point sugarcoating it.

Sonic Utopia is a fan made game which imagines Sonic in an open world setting. As the video below demonstrates, it's more high-speed parkour than platformer, coming across like a meeting between SSX and Yooka Laylee. According to its creator Mr Lange, Utopia is "an experiment that not only tries to expand on Sonic gameplay in an intuitive way in 3D, but also aims to capture the best of Sonic's style and tie it together in a cohesive experience."

Although the game is still in a "raw state" you can download the demo and give it a go (be warned though: the Dropbox account is getting pummelled, there's an alternative direct download here).

I don't know what Sega will make of this, but optimistically, it'd be cool if this guy got a job making a halfway-decent official Sonic game. Imagine that?

PC Gamer

The VR horror game Don't Knock Twice isn't scheduled for release until March 2017, but if you have a VR headset either an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift you can get an idea of what's in store by way of the free demo that developer Wales Interactive released today on Steam. And if you don't, you can enjoy watching the poor woman in this trailer fall over from fright as she plays.

The game is based on a film of the same name, starring Katee Sackhoff, about a mother who becomes "embroiled in the urban legend of a demonic witch" while trying to save her estranged daughter. Uncovering the truth behind that urban legend is also the goal of the game: You'll explore a grand manor, interact with items, uncover clues, and fight or flee from its horrors.

Don't Knock Twice is being developed in both VR and standard editions, but the demo is strictly for the VR version, which obviously has the edge in terms of immersive freakouts. "We made this short demo in VR to show off some of the interactivity features we are working with as well as to try and create a creepy, atmospheric experience in just one single space," the studio said. "The full game will take place in the same traditional manor with access to explore all depths of the environment."

It sounds like fun, in that not-at-all-fun, "Why am I doing this to myself" sort of way that horror games tend to inflict upon players, and it also echoes a little bit of the Black Mirror "Playtest" episode that Tyler covered yesterday, about a fellow who agrees to test an AR horror game inside a creepy mansion. (We should also probably take a moment to remember the time that Tim screamed like a little girl while playing Paranormal Activity: The Virtual Reality Game.) I don't think we're at the point yet where VR has become dangerous and we should quit goofing around with it, but I can't say that I'm all that anxious to stick my face into this kind of experience, either. Amnesia on a standard PC just about broke me, after all.

Don't Knock Twice is set to come out on March 27, 2017. Find out more at walesinteractive.com.

PC Gamer

We're still waiting on word from Firaxis about when we can expect mod tools, but all the loose Lua and XML files hanging out in Civilization 6's directories already give us the opportunity to do some good tweaking. Mostly thanks to the eagle eyes of the Civit subreddit, here are a few ways to customize Civ 6 to your liking and get it running better. (Also read our Civilization 6 review if you haven't already we like it a lot.)

Fix slow loading or freezing

As always, update your video drivers if you haven't recently. But if you've done all the standard troubleshooting and just getting to the Civ 6 main menu is still a long process, or it hangs on the way there, Windows Defender may be causing your grief. It definitely was for me: before I added an exception, loading the menu took ages and it would hang if I alt-tabbed.

To create a Windows Defender exception in Windows 10, open your PC's settings from the Start Menu. Click on 'Update & Security' and then select 'Windows Defender' in the side menu. Select 'Add an Exclusion' and choose to exclude a folder. Select the whole Civilization 6 install folder if it's installed to the default Steam directory, that'll be: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization VI.

And that's it. If Windows Defender was your problem, the main menu should now load much faster and it ought to be a little more forgiving about alt-tabbing. If that doesn't work, Reddit user LoadTimes has some other suggestions.

Disable the startup logos

It's easy to disable the main intro video it's in the options menu, under 'Application' but also getting rid of the logo splash screens is slightly trickier. The trick comes from Reddit account Civ6LogoSkip, which is a very specific account to have, but a very useful one to us.

Navigate to \Base\Platforms\Windows\Movies in the Civilization 6 install directory see the fix above if you don't know where to look, or right click on the game in your Steam library, then select Properties > Local Files > Browse Local Files. Unfortunately, just deleting logos.bk2 will cause Civ 6 to hang while loading. Instead, we have to replace it with a blank video.

Rename logos.bk2 to something else, and then either make a copy of WipeRight.bik and rename it logos.bk2 to replace the logos with a brief pattern, or (even better) download this blank bik video and use it instead.

Use WASD to control the camera

Reddit user Xacius has the details on this tweak. First, unbind W and A in the settings so you don't accidentally attack when you mean to move the camera. Now navigate to Civ 6's UI directory ([Your Install Directory]\Base\Assets\UI) and open the file WorldInput.lua with a text editor (WordPad works fine). Search for 'DefaultKeyDownHandler' to find the function we want to edit. You'll see four if/then statements which handle input from the arrow keys: Keys.VK_UP, Keys.VK_RIGHT, Keys.VK_DOWN, Keys.VK_LEFT. To add WASD control, we just need to tell it to also check if the WASD keys are pressed.

Here's how the 'if' statements should look when you've edited them:

if( uiKey == Keys.VK_UP or uiKey == Keys.W ) thenif( uiKey == Keys.VK_RIGHT or uiKey == Keys.D ) thenif( uiKey == Keys.VK_DOWN or uiKey == Keys.S ) thenif( uiKey == Keys.VK_LEFT or uiKey == Keys.A ) then

Now find the 'DefaultKeyUpHandler' function and make the same change, save the file and try it out. For more on how to muck with the controls, check out Xacius's comprehensive post.

Increase scroll speed

This is another tweak from Xacius. Open WorldInput.lua (in the folder \Base\Assets\UI) and search for the variable local PAN_SPEED. The line should look like this:

local PAN_SPEED :number = 1;

Just change the number to 2 to get around the map faster.

Change font sizes

Settings for fonts and their sizes are stored in Civ6_FontStyles_EFIGS.xml, which you'll find in \Base\Assets\UI\Fonts. Open the file with a text editor to start mucking with it, but save a backup first. I haphazardly set all the fonts to size 24 or higher and the result wasn't exactly attractive, as expected.

Turn off unit cycling

Unit cycling which automatically swaps focus to the next available unit drives me pretty nuts in wartime, so I was happy to see Reddit user Miramosa's tweak.

The option to turn off unit cycling did make it into the options file, but apparently not into the actual menu. The file you're looking for is UserOptions.txt, which you should be able to find in Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization VI. Find the line that reads 'AutoUnitCycle 1', change the 1 to a 0, and save.

Enable team multiplayer

As Andy has written about in more detail, there is a way to enable team multiplayer in Civilization 6, even if Firaxis isn't ready to enable it officially. A 2K rep told us that this is "not a feature supported" by Civ 6, and recommends backing up any files you mod.

Team multiplayer is easy to flip on, though. Find the file StagingRoom.lua in your Civilization 6 install directory (it'll be in \Base\Assets\UI\FrontEnd\Multiplayer\) and open it in a text editor. Search for the line 'playerEntry.TeamPullDown:SetHide(true);' and change its value to false. Note that 'playerEntry.TeamPullDown:SetHide' appears other places in the file, but only one is set to true by default, so be sure to find that one. There's a note above it that reads 'IMPORTANT: DISABLING TEAM PULLDOWNS UNTIL DAY 0 PATCH' if you aren't sure. We're our own Day 0 patch!

PC Gamer

Civilization 6 is out and it is exceptionally good. One thing it's missing, however, is an option for team multiplayer. But it looks like the feature is coming, based on the findings of this Reddit thread, and more interestingly for the daring (or reckless) among you, there is a way to enable it, to a limited extent, right now.

A number of references to team multiplayer have been found in the game's code, along with a comment in the XML stating, "Important: Disabling team pulldowns until day 0 patch." The general consensus is that the feature was planned and then kiboshed, probably due to some bug that reared its ugly head at the last minute. But you can re-enable it, as instructed in the Civ Fanatics forum, by editing line 1134 ("playerEntry.TeamPullDown:SetHide") in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization VI\Base\Assets\UI\FrontEnd\Multiplayer\StagingRoom.lua" (or whatever path you use) from "true" to "false."

Even though you can turn it on, you may not want to rush to do so, since team multiplayer clearly hasn't been fully (or even mostly) implemented. According to follow-up comments, civilizations can't share research or technology, and while teammates can see one another's starting locations, areas of the map uncovered after the beginning of the game are not shared. Victory conditions aren't shared either, so it's impossible to achieve a team victory.

And of course there's always the risk of crashes that can so easily arise from this kind of horsing around. "At the moment Team Multiplayer is not a feature supported in Civilization 6," a 2K rep said. "If someone is going to mod any of the game files or XML files to change how features work, this is obviously at their own risk, so always backup the files they re planning to mod beforehand."

I think the "at their own risk" part bears repeating.

Civ 6, as we noted here, is "very moddable," but even so this sounds like one that you might want to stay away from, especially since official team multiplayer support (hopefully in the relatively near future) looks like a sure thing. I won't judge if you just can't wait, though and if you do give it a try, let us know how it goes in the comments.

Thanks, PCGamesN.

PC Gamer

Welcome to San Francisco! It's a playground for tech startups, ranting crazies, and people like Marcus Holloway. Lest you've missed the previous dozen or so trailers, he's the '80s film buff/idealist/hacker/stunt driver/parkour artist/super-soldier at the center of Ubisoft's upcoming Watch Dogs 2.

"From Marin to Oakland to Silicon Valley to the City, the neighborhoods and people are as diverse as the activities dotted everywhere in the Bay Area," and there's always something going on. Cars! Boats! Motorcycles! Quads! Counter-culture and free spirits as far as the eye can see! There's only one rule: Tech rules everything. "Tech is power. And with power comes corruption," Holloway intones. "Corporations manipulating data and citizens on a mass scale, making their world better and ours worse."

The PC version of Watch Dogs 2 is slated to come out on November 29, two weeks after the console release. Prepare your firewalls accordingly.

PC Gamer

Everyone was waiting for the League of Legends semifinals rematch between SK Telecom T1 and the ROX Tigers. The hotly anticipated best of five was between the two best teams in the world, and they share a long history. The ROX Tigers have exceeded SKT in the past, taking the LCK crown in the summer but they've never managed to defeat SKT directly in a series.

This was the ultimate test for the ROX Tigers. The Tigers played to their strengths, going for aggressive compositions and aiming to knock SKT off their feet. SKT, on the other hand, maintained the playstyle that has taken them so far at Worlds. They played a slow, methodical game of League of Legends, choking out ROX and taking every advantage that they could. Let s revisit the series: it s one that ll be treasured as a part of League history for years to come.

Game 1: aggression vs. control

This game could be used as a textbook example of high level League of Legends. The ROX Tigers went for a comp that would allow for early aggression: Caitlyn, Elise, Viktor, Karma, and Poppy. SKT replied with a slow comp that would lock ROX down: Ashe, Olaf, Orianna, Trundle, and Zyra.

While ROX tried to gain traction early with ganks, SKT weathered the storm. Faker managed to pull ahead in mid lane, pushing down a tower and gaining a sizable CS difference. ROX fought hard, ROX stole a baron and fought well, but ROX still lost. For a brief moment, SKT a team known for slowly ramping up over a series looked more invulnerable than ever.

Game 2: ROX goes wild

Imagine, for a moment, that you re enjoying a game of League of Legends when you see the following lineup: Ashe ADC, Miss Fortune support, Karma mid, Rumble top, and Lee Sin jungle. Don t lie to me, you would absolutely dodge that lineup and curse it as the worst dredges of solo queue. What if I told you that it wasn t a Bronze IV pleb who was running that comp, but the ROX Tigers. After losing game one, they decided to switch things up, and boy howdy did they go with an unusual composition.

They smashed SKT, taking them completely off guard. Miss Fortune tore through Zyra s plants, and ROX pulled ahead with a dramatic lead over SKT. They may not have had a support, but Karma s team shielding got them through the worst of SKT s damage, and then the wave of damage from two ADCs kicked in. This game tied the series as ROX shredded the Nexus. In the grim darkness of the future of solo queue, you can expect to see players picking Miss Fortune support. No, they won t be GorillA.

Game 3: doubling down

SKT shifted their comp considerably, putting Faker back on Orianna for area control and sticking with the Zyra support for Wolf. Ekko, Olaf, and Caitlyn rounded out the roster, making a meta friendly team. ROX, on the other hand, rolled with nearly the same roster, switching out Karma for Viktor.

Once again, ROX was able to pull into the lead. An Ashe arrow to the face, combined with a Miss Fortune ult, demolished SKT s bot lane. Kuro, an accomplished Viktor player with a 31-7 record heading into the game, was able to stand up to Faker. This was slower than the avalanche of game two as SKT began to find their feeting against the bizarre bot lane, but ROX still took the game. Pray s arrows kept landing, and the team damage wiped the unlucky target out.

Game 4: SKT strikes back

By this point, this series was cemented as one of the best in League history. Both teams switched up their comps thanks to a priority Miss Fortune ban from SKT. The teams assembled once again, with SKT having Zilean, Gnar, Jhin, Karma and most notably, Bengi playing his first professional game on Nidalee as a first pick for SKT.

ROX, on the other hand, kept the Ashe and paired her with a Zyra. Olaf took the jungle, Viktor remained mid, and Rumble graced the top lane once again. It was a similar comp that continued to play to their strengths: the Ashe arrows with the ability to blow up whoever got sniped.

Bengi and Faker proved why they re both two time World champions by holding their ground against ROX and managing to pull ahead throughout the game. After remaining two steps ahead of the Tigers, SKT closed out game four and brought us to the finale.

Game 5: everything on the line

In the end, it all came down to game five. Only one team could advance to the finals. ROX had their Miss Fortune banned out once again, and went with a heavy damage comp of Jhin, Zyra, Karma mid, Jayce top, and Elise jungle. SKT, on the other hand, continued to build a relatively safe team: Nami, Orianna, Ashe, Poppy, and Lee Sin so many ways to control a zone, or push a hostile pack of Tigers off their backs.

That comp ended up allowing them to drag the back and forth slugfest out, scaling into the late game. Bengi shone in this game again, despite an early death to Peanut. After 42 agonizing minutes of SKT growing their lead and pushing ROX into a corner, they took the nexus and the series.

In some ways, it s tempting to get down about the finale. The ROX Tigers have been so likable, and this really seemed like their year where they could take the entire tournament. On the other hand, SKT deserve the win and fought hard to advance to the finals. There s just one last obstacle between them and the final prize: Samsung Galaxy. If SKT's record is any indication, we can start to get excited for yet another SKT Worlds win to end 2016.

PC Gamer

Company of Heroes is ten years old this year. We caught up with Relic recently to discuss the making of one of the most intense RTS games ever, learning about the team's design aims, abandoned expansions, and a heavily armed donkey Easter Egg.

Want to know what all the fuss is about? This is your chance to find out. We have 30,000 Steam keys for Company of Heroes to raffle off in today's giveaway. To enter, simply follow the instructions in the widget below. Winners will be selected randomly from entrants. Keys will be dispatched on Wednesday.

PC Gamer

Dark Souls 3's first slice of downloadable content, Ashes of Ariandel, was officially due to launch tomorrow, however surfaced prematurely for Xbox season pass owners last week. In response to the leak, Bandai Namco has rescheduled its release with the expansion now expected to land today via Steam.

Speaking to Gamespot, the publisher said:

"Due to a logistical error, the Dark Souls III Ashes of Ariandel DLC was made available for download for a short period of time for Xbox One players. We have since corrected this scheduling error and the Dark Souls III Ashes of Ariandel DLC will now be available on October 24, 2016 at 3 PM PDT for Steam players and October 24, 2016 at 9 PM PDT for console players.

"We regret any confusion this may have caused to players and Dark Souls III fans; we look forward to seeing everyone within the world of Ariandel."

The game's Steam page has been adjusted accordingly where it costs 11.99/$14.99 and you can read Shaun's impressions in this direction. Less spoiler-y is the following trailer.

Good luck when the time comes.

PC Gamer

Major esports organization Team Liquid announced today that it's making a push for the professional Civilization 6 scene with the creation of a new team. It was revealed that well known strategy game player Stephen "MrGameTheory" Takowsky is set to be the team's captain.

Team Liquid co-CEO Steve "LiQuiD112" Arhancet wrote on the organization's website that he started in competitive games with the Civilization franchise, and it was through Civ 4 that got him to pursue esports seriously.

"It was through competing in Civilization IV at the highest level that I found the confidence to jump into the world of esports and leave behind my job in the world of finance," he said. LiQuiD112 continued by talking about the virtues of competitive Civilization before focusing specifically on the player who'll lead the company's team, listing his accomplishments.

"MrGameTheory is a former world champion Civilization player who achieved the rank of #1 on the Civilization Revolution leader board, Civilization IV international league, and Civilization V international league," Arhancet detailed. "He holds the records for most 1v2, 1v3, 1v4, and 1v5 ladder victories in Civilization IV."

In a statement, MrGameTheory said that he's honored to lead Team Liquid's Civilization team and looks forward to "continue [his] contribution to one of the greatest gaming franchises."

"Participating in the competitive Civilization community with Steve Arhancet has been one of the great joys of my life," he wrote. "After we won our first Civilization Championship Cup back in 2007, with a team so small that we could barely participate in two-thirds of the events, I learned that a dedicated group of friends can accomplish the seemingly impossible. Civilization remains the most complicated game in the world, and I am thankful to be part of an organization capable of taking on the challenge."

Team Liquid will announce the addition of two more players to its Civilization 6 team on October 29, while it plans to host "a series of grueling tournaments" to try and find the "most exceptional players in the community." You can read the full post here.

With how long matches go for in the Civilization games, it'll be interesting to see if this esports push will be able to keep viewers invested and awake. As much as I like the idea of competitive Civ, it's definitely not as action-packed as games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and even League of Legends. Because of this, I have doubts that it'll be able to capture the attention of a wider audience.

In PC Gamer's review, critic T.J. Hafer called Civilization 6 "the liveliest, most engrossing, most rewarding, most challenging 4X in any corner of the earth."

PC Gamer

Given that post-apocalyptic, Roman Empire-inspired RPG Age of Decadence was in development for over ten years, I did suspect that we'd be waiting a wee while for its subterranean spin-off Dungeon Rats to come out. But no, only a few months after its reveal, Dungeon Rats is set to release. It's a more combat-heavy RPG set in the same world as Decadence, and it'll be out on November 4. Here's the fresh-from-the-oven Steam page.

Dungeon Rats is a "turn-based, party-based RPG focused almost exclusively on squad level tactical combat", so don't expect to be able to talk your way out of much combat, as you could in the game it's spun-off from. As a new arrival at a gang-run prison mine, "you must fight to survive and develop your combat skills, acquiring better weapons and equipment as you go. Recruit allies to your struggle or carry on as a lone wolf, and kill anyone foolish enough to stand in your way".

There'll be crafting and alchemy systems, a "fully customisable" main character, and in a major change from Decadence there'll be party-based combat, which you'll be doing with up to ten companions.

Dungeon Rats releases on November 4, as previously mentioned, on Steam, GOG and Gamersgate. Here's a trailer to whet your appetite:


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