Eurogamer

Atari co-founder Ted Dabney has died aged 80, according to a close friend.

Historian Leonard Herman, who told Dabney's story in an article for Edge magazine published in 2009, announced Dabney's death in a post on Facebook:

"I just learned that my good friend, Ted Dabney, the co-founder of Atari, passed away at the age of 80. RIP good friend. Your legacy will live on a long time!"

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Eurogamer

Have you ever wondered what video game cities would look like as Ordnance Survey maps? A new project is working on turning the likes of City 17 from Half-Life, Los Santos from Grand Theft Auto and New Vegas from Fallout into city maps, so we may soon find out.

Konstantinos Dimopoulos, a game urbanist, writer and designer with a PhD in urban planning and geography is working with visual artist Maria Kallikaki to create the very first atlas of video game cities, the appropriately-named Virtual Cities.

Virtual Cities, which is currently looking for funding on Unbound, includes over 40 game cities, including Yakuza's Kamurocho, Silent Hill, Ant Attack's Antescher and Shadowrun's Hong Kong. Over 40 original maps and more than 100 drawings are being worked on.

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Eurogamer

Here's an odd one: Microsoft Studios has released a new racing game for PC - but it's nothing like Forza.

Miami Street is a free-to-download racing game that presents a cinematic view of the racing, with quick-time events for things like taking on corners. It looks like this:

The game is the work of Brighton-based developer Electric Square, which is the sister studio to Studio Gobo (new content for For Honor, Disney Infinity). It soft-launched on the Microsoft Store this week, which means it's not available in all territories.

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Eurogamer

Look, Dark Souls Remastered, Detroit: Become Human, State of Decay 2 and an actual video game about remodelling and selling houses are all out this week, so we should probably cut to the chase and get right to this week's big batch of gaming deals so that we can all do what we need to do, buy what we need to buy and get right back to slogging through whichever particular game is your personal poison.

As usual, we've got deals that'll work in the UK, deals that'll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let's get started.

From right this very second until June 1st, you can grab a quartet of free games that are usually only available as part of a Humble Monthly membership. Knight Club, Quiet City, Hitchhiker and Uurnog may not be titles you recognise but hey, there's always time to try out some new things, especially if they're free. Get 'em while you can.

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Eurogamer

As Fortnite's popularity has exploded, so has the rise of scammers who promise free V-Bucks.

V-Bucks are Fortnite's premium currency. You buy them with real world money, then use the V-Bucks to buy aesthetic items, such as avatar outfits.

There are a huge number of videos on YouTube claiming to reveal the secret to nabbing free V-Bucks (a search for free V-Bucks returned 341,000 results). Some of these are pre-recorded videos set to repeat continuously - with thousands watching live. Most want you to visit a certain website or download a certain app. Some will manually show how easy it is to get free V-Bucks - pop your Fornite username into a website, decide how many V-Bucks you want and - magically! - they appear in-game, ready to spend.

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Eurogamer

If you're a Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland fan, you'll need to pick a second team to root for at this summer's World Cup.

But in the virtual world of FIFA, you can take your first choice national team to the World Cup - even though they didn't qualify in real life.

FIFA 18's World Cup update includes all 32 teams that have qualified for the World Cup - as you'd expect. But it also includes a raft of non-qualified teams, including all those who didn't make the cut from the British Isles.

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Eurogamer

Samsung has issued firmware updates that add FreeSync over HDMI support to a number of its 4K TVs. FreeSync is a variable refresh rate technology that allows for smoother, tear-free gaming from AMD Radeon graphics cards, with a slightly different implementation available on Xbox One, One S and One X. Engadget reports that US models Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN and Q9FN QLED models get the upgrade along with the NU8000 (we're contacting Samsung to find out which EU/UK equivalents are supported - the firm's model names change according to region). It's a great move for living room gaming, bringing a highly desirable feature previously exclusive to PC monitors to a larger canvas for the first time.

Apparently there are a couple of compromises, however. The support only works at 1080p resolution and apparently some aspects of screen brightness may be affected. This means that PC and Xbox One X users may need to downscale their display outputs - effectively trading image quality for the FreeSync variable refresh effect. It's a good match for Xbox One and One S users though, where typically the console tops out at 1080p resolution anyway. The question of whether Xbox One X users should engage FreeSync or not is a little complex though - in our tests, the implementation on Xbox only matched the quality of the PC experience on a small number of titles, and Microsoft's implementation of the technology didn't remove screen-tearing, as it does on PC.

Given a choice between FreeSync at a downscaled 1080p or standard 4K output, we'd probably take the latter, given current results. However, with that said, the quality of the variable refresh rate experience depends very much on what is dubbed the 'FreeSync window'. Boiled down into simple terms, different screens only support the variable refresh effect at a specific frame-rate range - typically in the region of 40-60fps (though as our report says, Microsoft's implementation cleverly attempts to get results below this). Right now, it's unknown what kind of FreeSync range Samsung's TVs support, but we'll do our best to find out.

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Eurogamer

The boss of DICE has said "player choice and female playable characters are here to stay" after some people said they were upset with Battlefield V letting users play as a woman in the World War 2-set shooter.

Women feature heavily in Battlefield V's marketing material, in the game's debut trailer, in posters at reveal events and on the cover of the box. You can also play as a woman in the game.

Some people are upset by this, but in a strongly-worded statement issued to Twitter, DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson dismissed the complaints.

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Eurogamer

Narrative RPGs are arguably all about choices and your power over choices. Choosing a class and a background lays the groundwork for the whole experience of a game and provides a springboard for roleplaying. In the first Mass Effect, for example, you're given two key choices at the beginning of the game that effectively select which version of Commander Shepard you want to inhabit. You decide the personal history and the psychology of Shepard. You decide whether they grew up as the nomadic child of navy officers or on the streets, and whether they matured into a scarred survivor, renowned war hero or a ruthlessly efficient commander.

Each of these choices does have an impact on how characters initially relate to Shepard. Yet for all the backstory, it's hard not to shake the feeling that Shepard might as well have been dropped into the world at the moment you start the game. It's hard not to feel like you're merely guiding Shepard through a world, rather than truly inhabiting the character. The choices are big and can be incredibly satisfying prompts in the hands of a dedicated roleplayer, but the apparent scope of the choices - what was your entire childhood like? - compared to the minimal impact they have on what might be a 100 hour adventure means they can feel a little hollow.

The way in which character and place are crafted in pen-and-paper roleplaying games provides an interesting alternative to this approach.

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Eurogamer

Telltale Games has announced that its highly-anticipated second season of The Wolf Among Us will now launch in 2019, rather than at the end of 2018 as originally planned.

Telltale's The Wolf Among Us is based on Bill Willingham's award-winning series of Fables comics, and unfolds in a world where fairy tale characters have been forced to live alongside humans in the real world. The original game was superb, structured as a whodunnit murder mystery, and told in an intoxicating detective noir style.

Season two of The Wolf Among Us was announced last July to much excitement, and was said to feature a new "standalone" story, due to arrive late 2018.

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