PC Gamer
The Walking Dead Episode Five

Clementine will survive. I will rescue her no matter the cost. She will surmount this nightmare—oh, sorry. This trailer for the November 21 season finale of Telltale's excellent Walking Dead series cranked my inner Lee into overdrive. Of course, the actual Lee isn't any different, exhibiting near-reckless abandon as he pursues the mysterious man from the radio in what Telltale calls "most depressingly emotional, intense, traumatic, and carnage-filled episode of the season." The remaining survivors carry their own burdensome issues threatening to split apart the fragile camaraderie like a freshly bisected zombie noggin. And that annoying train is still around. Choices: A peaceful Thanksgiving dinner or a glimpse into humanity's post-apocalyptic inhumanity?
PC Gamer

Described as a streamlined '90s space sim back when we previewed it, Strike Suit Zero finally has a solid release date scheduled for January 24 next year. The announcement follows a Kickstarter campaign which saw the $100,000 target reached - and then exceeded by $74,804. Which is impressive.

As a result of the community's enthusiasm, developers Born Ready Games will release modding tools for the space mech title, and the first thousand backers with a pledge of $50 or more will receive beta access when it launches in December. There were 4,484 backers in total, and if you still want to donate now that the Kickstarter campaign has finished, you can do so via PayPal.

In a blog post on the Born Ready Games website, the team said there's still a tonne of work to do. "Now we begin preparing for the closed beta which will be starting in a few weeks time, getting the game working with our Oculus Rift dev kit, and then not long after that we'll be gearing up for launch in January."
PC Gamer
Now Playing Supreme Commander thumb

The official multiplayer servers for Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance have been decommissioned for a while now, but fortunately for those who like to take mass and energy and combine them to make WAR, the community-driven Forged Alliance Forever has emerged. The self-patching multiplayer client allows players of the epic real-time strategy title to continue blowing things up in massive quantities. It even adds new units, a new faction, and some game modes that weren't available on the official servers, such as 6v6.

The project's about page gives you a rundown of what you can expect:

Active development. GPGNet is dead. FAF is under active development to continually add new and exciting features, and ensure that any bugs discovered will be quickly dealt with.

Longevity. There is no guarantee that GPGNet will always be around. FAF is a community-supported project, and already has funding to support its server for several years.

Live replays are always on and always working, with a 1-minute delay to remove the possibility of cheating during tournaments or ranked games.

Exciting new game modes such as the Nomads (an entirely new playable faction), Experimental Wars (adds many new units to the game), Murder Party, LAB WARS, Phantom X, and many more featured mods. All are integrated directly into the client so it’s easy to setup a game with others, and even come with their own Leaderboards.

Automatic patching. This means you will have the latest balancing, closest to what the developers originally intended. (it’s patch is based off of the 3603 beta patch which GPG had put into beta testing, but THQ would not provide final QA for and thus was never officially released)

TrueSkill rankings for both ranked 1v1 and all custom games. TrueSkill is a vastly superior rating system which can accurately take into consideration 2v2s, 3v3s, 4v4s, FFAs, and any other game type.

Responsiveness. Chat is faster, not limited to only 100 participants, and can be joined with any IRC client. FAF is designed from the ground up to be lightweight, responsive, and efficient. Logging in and getting a game going takes seconds, not minutes!

12 player games. 5v5s and 6v6s are possible on FAF.

Non-destructive patching. It patches the game separately from your current installation. That means that you can continue to use GPGNet and FAF concurrently – they do not “overwrite” each other.

You can download the Forged Alliance Forever client here.
PC Gamer
Counter-Strike Global Offensive Pro Tip AWP

At least, that's probably the sort of nomenclature you'd reap from public servers after applying the skills picked up from Team Dynamic marksman Keven "AZK" Larivière for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's one-hit wonder AWP sniper rifle. As part of Valve's Pro Tip video series, Larivière spills the bullets on the best uses of a sniper's superior oversight, when each of the two zoom levels come most in handy, and how shooting the legs off a careless opponent equates to a high-caliber "tsk-tsk."

The real secret of a successful AWPer, however, probably lies with mastering quickswitch tics in a cacophony of deployment noises, as Larivière's lightspeed weapon swapping both defies and defines efficiency. Its mesmerizing effect probably lulls unaware victims into an easy kill like a rubber-armed spider.
PC Gamer
double fine amnesia fortnight

No, Double Fine isn’t creating some sort of crossover between our favorite horror game and Epic’s upcoming Minecraft/zombie hybrid. Amnesia Fortnight is the indie studio’s internal process for fast prototyping, a two-week period where Double Fine collectively drops whatever it’s doing, splits into teams, and sprints to build barebones versions of game concepts. The method was used to greenlight and develop Costume Quest, Stacking, and mobile game Middle Manager of Justice.

Today Double Fine is opening its once-secret process to the public. Partnering with Humble Bundle, a minimum $1 donation earns you the right to vote on Double Fine’s 23 pitches, which range from experimental to ridiculous. I like Kaiju Piledriver (everyone hates corporate cities), Milgrim (everyone loves hero/villain role reversal), and Spacebase DF-9 (everyone and their dog loves Dwarf Fortress in space).


It’s worth noting that Double Fine isn’t guaranteeing that all or any of these games will be released, and that donating only grants access to the eventual top four prototypes (and existing prototypes for Happy Song and Costume Quest). “There’s no promises in any way what happens to the prototypes,” Tim Schafer told me today over the phone. “The deal with Amnesia Prototype is we just do it, and then we see what we have. At the end of it, the good ideas just kind of bubble to the top.” Schafer added that, since game creation is open to the public, a publisher or partner may pursue them during the process. Alternatively, depending on how well Amnesia Fortnight is received, they could get enough funding to release one or more of the games independently.

Visit the Amnesia Fortnight page to donate, watch pitch videos, and vote. Don’t let me influence you, or anything, but I think we both want to live in a world where Double Fine is making a Godzilla Roguelike and Deep Space Nine Dwarf Fortress.
PC Gamer

When Skyrim released we said, "Yeah, it looks pretty, but just wait until the modders get to it." A Reddit post this morning reminded us to check and, yep, they got to it. A blogger going by Unreal has been posting Dead End Thrills-like screenshots from a Skyrim world augmented by up to 100 mods at a time, and oh man, Bob Ross would have approved, rest his soul.

Unreal has "around 800" mods installed, but only uses varying combinations of 100 of them to produce these screenshots. If you want to achieve similar results, Unreal's FAQ points landscape lovers to the Skyrim Total Enhancement Project and lists a sampling of the "more than 300 mods" tested. That beautifully lush grass is "a WIP mod so there's no download link," but others work in its place.

Keep in mind that when that grass fills the screen Unreal reports framerates as low as 5 fps, so super-modded Skyrim isn't always playable. But think of it as a preview of the near-future: new hardware and engines should be able to render equally detailed worlds at 60 fps, at least if those worlds are created by PC-focused developers. And even without the grass, the screenshots are beautiful, and Unreal boasts 40-60 fps with an overclocked Core i5-2500k and GeForce GTX 670.

We've posted a few more screens below, but see all the Skyrim magic at Unreal's blog, A State of Trance, and check out our 25 favorite Skyrim mods for another resource.

PC Gamer
Far Cry 3 helicopter bazooka

Posting on the official forums (via PCGamesN), Ubisoft community manager Henrik "Vextor" Johansson revealed Far Cry 3's multiplayer "does not support dedicated servers."

"Of course, we aren't trying to kill the PC community," Johansson added to the rapidly ballooning thread. "We've simply decided on a different way of handling multiplayer. We weighed the different options against each other to see what worked best, and what we came up with worked very well even without dedicated servers."

Far Cry 3's multiplayer employs a matchmaking system akin to Call of Duty's peer-hosted sessions. While the debate between dedicated hosting and player-driven matchmaking remains firmly embedded in subjective interpretation, clear differences exist—a server, for example, eliminates tricky latency issues by being hosted at fixed locations for local players to enjoy stronger connections.

Johansson also stated piracy didn't prompt the decision because both methods run the risk of pirate intrusion, saying, "A dedicated server could be hacked to run without the help of the 'master servers.' A matchmaking system could be emulated, and then the clients would have to be patched in order to contact the pirated servers instead of the original ones. Each one of those presents their own challenges."

Far Cry 3 emerges from the brush on December 4 in the US and November 30 in the UK.

PC Gamer

The prospects of a PC version of GTA 5 appear to be in a terrifying state of flux. After seeming to be a dead cert earlier this year, doubts emerged when the game's posters confirmed only a console release. Now asked directly about a PC version by IGN, Rockstar's Dan Houser would no more commit to that platform than he would Wii U.

A potential PC version is only "up for consideration," he said. "That's all I can give you. The main thing is we are not... we are a third-party publisher. We're not Nintendo, we're not Sony, we're not Microsoft. We love all of them in different ways. But we can do what we want wherever there's the appropriate business opportunity and chance to find a market."

So, uh, does that mean there's an appropriate business opportunity on PC, then? Houser didn't say. He did however say that the current geriatric generation of creaking console hardware is ample enough to see out their creative intentions.

"Some other people talk about the limitations of the hardware. We don't feel there are that many limitations. We feel we can do some very impressive stuff and do it for a large audience. This felt like the way... There'll be a much larger audience on PS3 than there will be on PS4."

Erp. What worrying words. Here's hoping Houser's just being cagey.
PC Gamer
Star Citizen

Star Citizen's stunning crowdfunding success continues. Between their website and the Kickstarter the Cloud Imperium Games Corporation have received $5,747,710 in pledges with four hours to go. This success can be attributed to a psychological phenomenon known as Spaceships Oh My God, which has been known to overwhelm the Scroogiest of Scrooges with images of mechaglorious cosmocraft, hyperplasmic phaserbolts and drenched cybershiny towerscapes. The technique tickles the frontal lobe with the prospect of a universe that blends Battlestar Galactica and Blade Runner into a space-age brain-paste with chronically addictive properties.

Beware, another dose lies below, in the form of a video showing a piece of concept art translated into CryEngine 3 with extra shiny bits. It's little more than a tech demo at the moment, but quite a nice one at that.

Star Citizen - Early Spaceport concept art to 3D environment test from Roberts Space Industries on Vimeo.
PC Gamer
Sir You Are Being Hunted

In our world, robots are idiots. They don't know what hats are. They don't know about gentlemanly fashion. They don't know how to hunt with shotguns. But they will, and when that day comes you'll be all the more prepared for watching the latest footage of Big Robot's Sir, You Are Being Hunted, which contains vital tips like DON'T MAKE NOISE. Robots have excellent hearing. Lesson 2: BEAR TRAPS ALSO WORK ON ROBOTS. Robots have more in common with bears than you might think (ie: legs). Tip the third: DON'T MANIPULATE RAVENS. It'll always backfire.

Learn thee these lessons three and thy survival shall be certain. Let us head afield and walk a brisk distance to the mysterious town of Misty Bunmer.

The Sir, You Are Being Hunted kickstarter campaign has nailed its target, but still has twelve days to scoop more funds if you're interested in becoming a backer.