PC Gamer
Red Orchestra 2 review thumb


Speaking to PCGamesN, Tripwire Vice President Alan Wilson said the exclusion of modding tools from accessible genres -- most notably shooters -- is a choice they "really can’t wrap our heads around."

"Why would you stop people from modding your game?" he asked. "Why would you prevent people from being creative with your material? Just look what done for everyone concerned, for example. Arma 2 has been on the top-ten sales charts on Steam for about the last four months solid because of what one of their employees did for fun in his spare time."

Originally a team of spirited modders, Tripwire elevated to a full-fledged development studio after Red Orchestra took the grand prize in Epic's first Make Something Unreal contest. The standalone followup, Red Orchestra 2, gets its first expansion later this year.

"Frankly, we can see zero downsides to allowing people tools and letting them mod a game," Wilson added. "I never understand why companies effectively block people from doing that stuff."

Meanwhile, DICE recently reiterated that the closed environment it has established in Battlefield 3 should remain that way, warning players not to use a mod which affects the game's color saturation.
PC Gamer
Killing Floor


Excellent co-op kill-o-geddon Killing Floor now has Steam Workshop support, letting fans share maps, mods and weapons. The most popular mods include a version of Killing Floor that uses Doom 2 assets, a map set in hell, a version of classic Counter-Strike mod, Gun Game and a scythe. That's a pretty good cross-section of the sort of bonus extras we can expect from Killing Floor's active modding community.

Red Orchestra 2 will be getting Steam Workshop support soon as well. To celebrate, a Tripwire Steam bundle has been on sale all weekend at 66% off. There's still seven hours left on the deal, which includes Killing Floor (and all DLC character packs), Red Orchestra 2, Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, The Ball and Dwarfs!?
PC Gamer
deals914


This week's best deals  ►  FTL, Max Payne 3, and more
FTL: Faster Than Light released at 10% off on both Steam and GOG, GameStop opened its trunk in the parking lot to reveal deals on Max Payne 3, Killing Floor, and Amnesia, and Guild Wars 2 is 25% off at Get Games for European customers. That's just the beginning of our weekly savings spelunking expedition, so come along with me for more unnecessary analogies. And weekend deals.


25% off Guild Wars 2 at Get Games - $41.24 (Europe only)
50% off Max Payne 3 at GameStop - $29.99
50% off Killing Floor - $9.99 at GameStop
15% off Battlefield 3 at Amazon - $33.81
10% off FTL: Faster Than Light at GOG - $8.99 (Also on Steam)
30% off Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD on Steam - $6.99
25% off PC downloads at Green Man Gaming with the voucher code GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G



Steam  ►  Sam & Max, Oddworld, and more
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD released today at a 30% discount, and Steam has also put together an Oddboxx bundle with all of the Oddworld games for 10.49. Also, Train Simulator 2013.


30% off Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD - $6.99
75% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $7.49
70% off Sam and Max Complete Pack - $14.99
10% off FTL: Faster Than Light - $8.99
33% off Vessel - $9.99
10% off Train Simulator 2013 - $26.99!
More Steam deals



Green Man Gaming   ►  25% off everything

Use the voucher code GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G to receive 25% off a digital download by Monday September 17th at 4 a.m. PDT. Plus, tons of Saints Row: The Third DLC is on sale! Fun fact: if you mush all the DLC together, you get Saints Row: The Fourth, the illegitimate, possibly inbred son of Saints Row: The Third. He eats K-Y Jelly.

Get Games  ►  Guild Wars 2
You can still get Sleeping Dogs for 25% off and Borderlands for 50% off. New this week, Guild Wars 2 25% off codes are back in stock. There's also the usual selection of pre-order and other discounts.


25% off Guild Wars 2 - $41.24 (Europe only)
25% off Guild Wars 2: Digital Deluxe Edition - $56.24
25% off Sleeping Dogs - $37.49
50% off Borderlands - $9.99
More deals from Get Games


GameStop   ► Max Payne 3, Killing Floor, Amnesia
GameStop continues to cross off every price it can, but digging through its pages of sales this week revealed some pretty darn good stuff. Here are some of my favorites:


75% off Age of Empires III: Complete Collection - $9.99
50% off Max Payne 3 - $29.99
50% off Killing Floor - $9.99
75% off Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - $4.99
75% off Mirror's Edge - $4.99
50% off Amnesia: The Dark Descent - $9.99
67% off Hard Reset - $9.99
More GameStop deals


GOG  ►  Diamonds of D&D
Aside from 10% off FTL: Faster Than Light, GOG has its usual themed sale. This weekend, it's all D&D deals...wait, what's this?! *Spit take.* Something new for GOG: the discounts scale with the number of games you buy. At one game, you'll get 30% off, buy two and get 33% off each, and so on up to all nine games for 65% off each. *Cleans up spit.*

Links to the individual games are below, but if you want the scaling deal, you have to go to the hub.


30% - 65% off Baldur's Gate: The Original Saga - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Baldur's Gate 2 Complete - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Icewind Dale 2 Complete - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Icewind Dale Complete - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off The Temple of Elemental Evil - $4.19 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone - $6.99 - $3.49
30% - 65% off Planescape: Torment - $6.99 - $3.49


Amazon  ►  The Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle
Regular Amazon is way less fun than Labor Day Amazon -- it's pretty much back to the same 'ol, with games like Modern Warfare 2 and Civilization V on sale again. There is a new bundle sale, at least: the Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle includes 13 games. You probably don't want all 13.


85% off The Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle - $14.99
50% off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - $9.99
15% off Battlefield 3 - $33.81
50% off Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 - $9.99
21% off Sid Meier's Civilization V - $23.82
51% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $14.68
60% off Mount & Blade - $6.03
More Amazon PC game downloads


GamersGate  ► A horde of romance

It's the same deal as last week: a giant, colorful patchwork of box art and red discount stickers. Only a few deals stick out at me. 50% off BioShock? Sure. 20% off To The Moon (Friday only)? Not bad. Miss Chic Romantic for only $7.48? Sounds goo- hey, wait a minute.

GameFly   ► L.A. Noire
L.A. Noire is the highlight of GameFly's sparse list this weekend.

75% off L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition - $7.49
75% off L.A. Noire - $4.99
More GameFly deals


Let us know in the comments if you find any more great deals, and if you feel like sharing: what are you playing this weekend? It's all FTL: Faster Than Light for me. Well, not all, but lots of it.
PC Gamer
Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm


Tripwire's WWII shooter Red Orchestra 2 gets its first expansion, Rising Storm, later this year. Yesterday, the dev posted a new gameplay video which shows off the expansion's Pacific Theater hallmarks, including booby traps, flanking spawn bunkers, flamethrowers, and banzai charges, all set within iconic battles including Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, and Iwo Jima.

Rising Storm is a Tripwire-backed mod which turned into a full collaborative effort between the studio and the modding team. The standalone expansion -- which Tripwire says includes RO2's original multiplayer content as a bonus -- focuses on the war's Pacific front and the fierce jungle scraps waged between American and Japanese forces.
PC Gamer



This week Josh, Evan, Tyler and T.J. talk about what it means for Diablo 3 to be the PC's fastest-selling game as we do some critiquing of its bosses and item drops balancing. We also touch on the TOR layoffs, leaked information that sheds light on Bungie's development of a massively multiplayer-style sci-fantasy, over-hyphenated action-shooter for the PC, and RO2's new patch. At 55:00, Evan shares a tale from Day Z.

PC Gamer US Podcast 317: Bosses From Hell

Have a question, comment, complaint or observation? Leave a voicemail: 1-877-404-1337 ext 724 or email the mp3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com.

Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.

Follow us on Twitter:
@elahti (Evan Lahti)
@jaugustine (Josh Augustine)
@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)
Asatj (T.J. Hafer)
belsaas (Erik Belsaas, podcast producer)
PC Gamer



The Steam fairies are ferrying an updated version of Red Orchestra 2 to PCs today. This is RO2's "GOTY Content Pack," a free patch that includes a new map and a heap of fixes. To commemorate the occasion, Tripwire has sent along a grim bit of video that you can watch above. Bunkers! Ditches! These are the places you'll die.
PC Gamer



"One of the things we learned from the fans after the release was that many of them thought the game was too hardcore, not hardcore enough, or just not enough like the original game," Tripwire President John Gibson says in the video above. Most developers absorb an array of contradictory feedback after a game launches, and observing that strange soup of commingled praise and hatred while you decide how to react to it isn't something I envy about game development.

Red Orchestra 2's GOTY Edition Free Content Pack represents Tripwire's response to player feedback, and it seems like a truly comprehensive update to a game we already love. To kick off the roll-out of the update later this week, Red Orchestra 2 will also be free to play on Steam this weekend, beginning on Thursday.

What's in the update?

Mamayev Kurgan, a new multiplayer map lined with bunkers and trenches
"'Action' mode - Featuring a crosshair, easier aiming and toned down recoil, reduced damage and open access to a wide range of weaponry Action mode is the perfect first step for players into the world of Red Orchestra."
"'Classic' mode blends the gameplay innovations of the new game with the tactical and edgy gameplay of the original giving the fans of the first game exactly what they want."
Vehicle improvements, including a toning-down of AI tank accuracy
Machineguns are now "easier to use," according to Tripwire
Performance improvements, including revamp of dynamic shadows, changes to UI rendering, map optimizations, and more
Optional client-side hit detection
Refinement of spawn-on-squad leader, spawn protection, overtime, and Lockdown

Red Orchestra 2 will be free to play on Steam beginning at 10 AM PST on Thursday, May 24 until Sunday, May 27.
PC Gamer
Red Orchestra 2
The full version of the Red Orchestra 2 SDK has been released for free, giving RO2 owners the opportunity to create maps and game modes for Tripwire's multiplayer shooter. The developers have released a few limited versions of the SDK, but the full suite of tools is now available.

"Users can now make and publish everything from simple mods and mutators, through custom maps and on to full total conversion mods," Tripwire say, mentioning that big mods like Rising Storm, In Country Vietnam and Iron Europe are already in development. You can grab the mod tools from the Tools tab of your Steam account.

Tripwire are no strangers to the modding scene. Killing Floor and Red Orchestra started out as mods for Unreal 2004. Hopefully the SDK release can inspire another wave of talented modders.
PC Gamer
Red Orchestra 2 review thumb
Red Orchestra 2 is the best murder simulator I’ve ever played. It’s not the best first-person shooter or multiplayer game, or even the best team-based multiplayer game. It’s certainly not the best World War II game, and its singleplayer is the worst I’ve played in years. But in the killing, and in the being killed, Red Orchestra 2 is a terrifying and satisfying experience.

Let’s talk about you for a minute. You’re a soldier in either Hitler or Stalin’s army, and you’re shit-scared. You’ve got your back against the wall in a room with one door, two windows and three walls, and you’re peeking around a corner into the exposed core of a half-destroyed building. Every room could conceal an enemy soldier, and you’ve died a hundred times already, always from that one angle you didn’t check.

Looking down through the rubble, you see an enemy soldier break from behind a wall. You aim and fire in a single motion. You’ve shot him and now he’s dead. It’s exactly like a million other games, but it feels nothing like any other game. It’s the little things that make the difference, such as the sound of your own breathing when you lifted the rifle to your face, and the way it bobbed slightly in your hands. It’s in the mark on your enemy’s chest where the bullet hit, and the way his blood spritzed from his back, marking that bullet’s exit. It’s in the way he fell, forced by some terrible weight. Sometimes, but not this time, it would be the way he clutches his stomach, yelling in Russian, or the way he fires his machinegun madly during his last few seconds of life.



At some point, the developers of Red Orchestra 2 realised that if the primary interaction in your game is killing, then you should probably make the killing feel incredible. It’s this attention to detail that turns an otherwise ordinary game, a slightly more realistic Battlefield, into something great, with Soviets fighting Nazis across mother Russia.

Take the game modes, for example. The most popular is Territory, in which one team starts in control of a map’s capturable points and the enemy must take them. In this mode, reinforcements spawn every 20 seconds or so, and on maps designed to support 64 players it does a fine job of focusing attention on the shifting frontline. But it did the same in Battlefield 2, where it was called Conquest mode. Countdown mode has similar attack/defend objectives, but players get just one life per round, and the teams swap sides midway. No one is currently playing it. The third mode is Firefight, a team deathmatch variant which is popular, but feels as if it’s missing the point of Red Orchestra.

While the weapons feel remarkable, the classes that carry them are familiar. There’s the Assault class, with a sub-machinegun; the Marksman, with a sniper rifle; the Rifleman and Elite Rifleman; and a few others. The few inventive classes, such as Squad Leaders and Commanders, do little to change the flow of battle. Both roles have valuable abilities, but nobody follows orders on public servers.



Even tanks don’t add much to the experience. They require a whole different set of skills to use well, and have lovingly detailed interiors, but they are an easily ignored nuisance on the few maps that actually include them. On any server I’ve ever joined, the one tank-only map is the moment in the war when everyone disappears to write letters home to their mothers.

Let’s be clear: none of these things are bad, they’re just not why Red Orchestra is great. Ignore how dull the idea of another World War 2 shooter sounds, and look to the experiences RO2 provides. Again, it’s the little things that have made me play it for 25 hours in a week.

It’s creeping through the ruined buildings of Pavlov’s House, one of the best maps, and jumping every time you see a piece of paper float through the air. It’s listening to the footsteps echoing through the building, and freezing as you hear creaking on the stairs. It’s the time I rounded a corner to come face to face with a Nazi holding a grenade above his head, bayoneted him in the stomach, and then dived down some stairs to escape the blast. It’s the thrill of sprinting across an open field, enemy machinegun fire whizzing all around you.



Death in RO2 is so sudden and violent that you’re constantly on edge, an experience that’s exacerbated by all the little pieces of information the game is keeping from you.

Firstly, at a distance there’s no easy, instant way to tell if a soldier is on your side. The uniforms are distinct, but not the fluorescent green cycling jackets you need on a smoky battlefield. If you’re close to someone, looking at them, and they’re on your side, their name will appear, but often you don’t have that kind of time.

Secondly, there’s no instant kill confirmation. You’ll be fighting across the ruined tenements on the wonderful Pavlov’s House map, and you’ll spot a head in a window across the street. From the shape of the helmet, you’ll infer that it’s an enemy and fire. The head will disappear from view. Are they dead? Did you miss? Are they wounded and bandaging themselves? Is it safe to move on? You can only hope. Wherever it can, RO2 makes murky what other games want to be clear. There’s no ammo display on the HUD; you have to check the barrel for a rough estimate, or count your own shots. Realism mode, which is activated on roughly half of the servers currently running, removes certainty altogether by taking out friendly names, kill confirmations and the radar. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but I had more fun in non-realism mode.



Lastly, the heart-munching adrenaline you feel in front of your PC is mirrored in the soldier you’re controlling. When you’re stood at a window and bullets start to chip against the frame, all the colour drains from the screen, the world blurs, and your aim becomes worse than a drunk teenager in a nightclub bathroom. You need to get out of there to catch your breath, like the person who enters the bathroom after the teenager. It’s a smart way to stop camping.

All this attention to detail hasn’t prevented the game from being miserably broken. Connecting to a server frequently plops me on to a team selection screen where the buttons don’t work. The server browser refreshes only once, meaning I have to restart the game to try again. If I do successfully connect to a server, the bugs don’t stop. Sometimes when I die, I’m unable to re-spawn until I re-select my class. The XP system, which is supposed to reward you with new weapons, is completely broken, and the Steam achievements system will often reward you for things you haven’t done. At least once every two hours, on two different PCs, the game crashed entirely.

It’s like buying a beautiful dining table from eBay, having your editor help you carry it up two flights of stairs, and then discovering it has Death Watch Beetles pupating inside it. Tripwire say they are aware of the issues, and I’m confident they’ll fix them, but right now it makes playing a chore.



Less likely to be fixed any time soon are the German and Soviet singleplayer ‘campaigns’, which amount to nothing more than multiplayer matches with bots, connected by brief, animated history lessons. They would be fine, but the bot AI is more stupid than the larvae tunnelling under my dinner plates.

Let’s make a list, then. The AI soldiers are blind, and will run directly past soldiers on the enemy team without firing. They’re cripplingly indecisive, and will leap in and out of the same window over and over. If an enemy is close enough, he’ll try to melee you, but if you run backwards, he’ll chase you interminably and never fire.

I’ve seen machinegunners set up with their backs to the enemy. I’ve seen machinegunners set up on top of kitchen cabinets, facing a wall. I’ve seen soldiers run in infinite circles, unable to navigate a corner. I’ve seen enemy tanks drive forever into walls, and crash into the front of me, but never fire.

The singleplayer option appears at the top of the main menu, and to newcomers who aren’t familiar with Red Orchestra it provides a terrible introduction. It should not have been released. Ignore it.

But don’t ignore the game. By perfecting a lot of tiny, gruesome details, its developers have created an experience where killing a man is as satisfying as getting a tetris, and when I close my eyes I’m still firing rifles in my head.
PC Gamer
PCG US Holiday 2011 - Diablo III
15 years ago, the original Diablo hacked and slashed its way into PC gaming history. Now, on the run-up to Diablo III, we take a trip to Blizzard to look back at how all began, and forward at where it’s going—including insight into the Diablo III that almost was! Plus, we’ve got Battlefield 3 sniper survival tips, a special report on what Windows 8 means for gamers, and an emergency guide to wrestling your accounts back from hackers. Then read our reviews of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Rage, Hard Reset, Driver: San Francisco, and more!

It's all on newsstands now! Or, if you can’t make it to the store, we’re available on Coverleaf.com and Apple Newsstand.

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