The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Glaives, pikes, bardiches, halberds, partisans, spears, picks and lances. Javelins, arbalests, crossbows, longbows, claymores, zweih nder, broadswords and falchions. Flails, clubs, morning stars, maces, war hammers, battle axes and, of course, longswords. If you ever played a fantasy RPG or one of many historically-themed action or strategy games, you'll already be familiar with an impressive array of medieval weaponry. The medieval arsenal has had an enormous impact on games since their early days, and their ubiquity makes them seem like a natural, fundamental part of many virtual worlds.
These items are based on real weapons that have maimed and killed countless real people over the centuries, but even though we're aware of this, medieval weapons have become estranged and distant from their roots in history. Part of this is our short memory; the passing of a few centuries is enough to blunt any relic's sense of reality. Another reason is they were made a staple of genre fiction. In our modern imagination, the blade has become firmly lodged in the rocks of fantasy fiction and historical drama, and no-one will be able to pull it free entirely.
Today, these weapons have been refashioned to serve our very modern fantasies of power, freedom and heroism. There's the irresistible figure of the hero-cum-adventurer who sets out to forge their own path. From Diablo and Baldur's Gate to The Witcher and Skyrim, the fundamental logic of violence stays the same. Battles lead to loot and stronger equipment, which in turn allows our heroes to tackle more dangerous encounters. The wheel keeps turning, and we follow the siren song of ever more powerful instruments of destruction. On the surface, they're problem solving tools, but they also promise the excitement of adventure as well as the power to dominate and enforce our will on those fantasy realms. As such, they become fetishised. Extravagant visual detail and special effects signal a weapon's rarity and power, turning them into ornaments and status symbols.

While the actual violence in such fantasies is often justified by a struggle of good versus evil, the resulting gore and savagery has also captured our imagination. Most games, even mainstream RPGs like Skyrim or The Witcher 3, can't resist indulging in an aesthetic of cruelty and barbarism by showing us the grisly devastation caused by these instruments of murder. Blood spurting from wounds and clinging on blades, heads and arms being hacked off and tumbling through the air, special killing and execution animations captured in glorious slow-motion. Their gruesomeness markedly contrasts with the sanitised, often bloodless effects of modern guns as portrayed in games, disingenuously suggesting that modern violence and warfare is somehow more civilised than that of our ancestors.

Games like For Honor, Mount & Blade, Chivalry or War of the Roses celebrate medieval slaughter with grim nihilism as we hack and slash ourselves through hordes of enemies entirely without any ethical justification. Might makes right, and the means justify the end. The same can be said about the brutal spectacle of the Total War games, whose hordes of clashing soldiers tickle some deep-seated proto-fascist lust for demonstrations of power. These games paint a "grim and gritty" picture of historical violence, the "dark ages" of popular imagination. They're a half-leering, half-wistful gaze into a fantasy version of the past when the destructive urges of our collective Id have not yet been tamed by civilisation and violence was not yet regulated by the moral codes and laws of pervasive state power. In that regard, the butcher and the heroic adventurer use their weapons to pursue the same fantasy: unfettered will and agency, the freedom to follow your impulses regardless of their consequences.

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Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Total War: SHOGUN 2!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
Announcement - Valve
Play all Total War Titles FOR FREE now until 1pm pacific on Sunday!

Also save 33% to 75% off until Monday at 10am Pacific!







Announcement - Valve
Save 75% on Total War Titles as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

Plus, play Total War: Rome II for FREE until Sunday at 1pm Pacific.

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.


*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time. No discount on Total War: Rome II.
Product Update - Valve
Total War: Shogun 2 is Now Available for Mac!

In the darkest age of Japan, endless war leaves a country divided. It is the middle of the 16th Century in Feudal Japan. The country, once ruled by a unified government, is now split into many warring clans. Ten legendary warlords strive for supremacy as conspiracies and conflicts wither the empire. Only one will rise above all to win the heart of a nation as the new shogun...The others will die by his sword.

Take on the role of one Daimyo, the clan leader, and use military engagements, economics and diplomacy to achieve the ultimate goal: re-unite Japan under his supreme command and become the new Shogun – the undisputed ruler of a pacified nation.

Announcement - Valve
The Steam Holiday Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store! Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour Flash Sales. You can even help select what goes on sale with our Community's Choice Voting Sales.

In addition to Flash and Vote sales, more than a hundred games and apps will be featured as Daily Deals throughout the sale, with new deals popping up every 24 hours.

Today's Daily Deals include:

Participating in the 2013 Steam Holiday Sale will also earn customers exclusive Holiday Sale Trading Cards. Collect, trade, and craft 10 Holiday Snow Globe Cards that can only be earned during the sale. Every craft of a Holiday Sale badge will also generate a random item drop from 10 participating Free-To-Play games, featuring exclusive in-game items from Warframe, Path of Exile, Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2 and more. These items are both tradable and marketable.

Learn more about this year's Steam Holiday Sale features at HERE.

The Steam Holiday Sale will run until 10AM PST, January 2nd. Complete information on Daily Deals, Flash Sales, Community Choice Voting and more can be found HERE.

PC Gamer
Total War Shogun 2


Total War: Shogun 2's add-on release schedule has shown a remarkable dedication to historical accuracy. First there was the Rise of the Samurai, then, inevitably, the Fall of the Samurai. Now comes the Bundle of the Samurai, giving you the chance to get a 2-for-1 deal on Samurai with Total War: Shogun 2 Gold Edition.

Gold Edition contains Shogun 2, both Samurai-centric add-ons, along with almost all of the game's DLC packs. The exception is the Blood Pack, presumably for rating reasons. No pricing details as of yet, but the Gold Edition is due for release March 8th in Europe and Australia, and March 5th in the US.
Shacknews - Steve Watts

Total War: Shogun 2 has been out for a few years now, but if you missed the boat or have just been holding out for a good deal, you may want to mark your calendars for March. Sega is releasing a "Gold Edition" that bundles the game and two of its expansion packs.

The package will include the "Rise of the Samurai" and "Fall of the Samurai" expansions in North America. If you happen to live in Europe, your Gold version includes everything but the Blood Pack, making it the more attractive of the two. Both the game and its expansions got positive receptions.

Product Release - Valve
Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Otomo Clan Pack DLC is Now Available on Steam!

The Otomo Clan Pack adds a new playable faction to Total War: SHOGUN 2 for use in single or multiplayer Campaign modes and Custom and Multiplayer Battles.

Having forged an early alliance with Portuguese traders, The Otomo Clan reaps great economic and military benefits from its wealthy, gun-toting ally and in doing so, the clan has allowed Catholicism to flourish among the people of its domain.

Announcement - Valve
Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Otomo Clan Pack DLC is Now Available for Pre-Purchase on Steam and is 10% off!

The Otomo Clan Pack adds a new playable faction to Total War: SHOGUN 2 for use in single or multiplayer Campaign modes and Custom and Multiplayer Battles.

Having forged an early alliance with Portuguese traders, The Otomo Clan reaps great economic and military benefits from its wealthy, gun-toting ally and in doing so, the clan has allowed Catholicism to flourish among the people of its domain.

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