Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Exciting news! Steam Charts is proud to announce it’s to be an Epic exclusive! From now on you can read your favourite article about the top selling games on Steam exclusively on the Epic Store!

But don’t worry, long-term readers – you’ll still be able to read the articles right here on RPS, after just one year. Everyone’s a winner!

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Darkest Dungeon®

Stationary, uniforms, maybe a new laptop - that's what we'd usually expect to see in a Back to School sale. Not for GOG, though. Instead, the cheeky focus is on parents who now have some extra time on their hands to game again.

And there are some serious timesinks available for cheap in the GOG Back to School sale. Massive RPGs, engrossing sims and gripping stories are all well represented, with savings of up to 90 per cent up for grabs.

Of course, as we're dealing with CD Projekt here, you can find the entire Witcher series on sale. If you're still yet to play the latest entry, you can get The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition for 10.49. This complete version of the game comes with all previously released DLC. That's both the Hearts of Stone and the Blood and Wine expansions, as well as over a dozen smaller content packs.

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The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

CD Projekt recently took a look back at the first half of 2019, and it saw some interesting things. Cyberpunk 2077 preorders have been going well, particularly on GOG: One-third of all digital PC preorders have been on CD Projekt's own platform. But the primary driver behind the company's financial performance is actually The Witcher 3, despite the fact that it was released more than four years ago.

"Our financial result for the first half of the year was again mainly affected by sales of The Witcher 3, which remain strong. This further confirms our belief that investing in top-quality games pays off, and that such games may continue to sell well for many years," CD Projekt CFO Piotr Nielubowicz said. "In the first half of 2019 gamers actually purchased more copies of The Witcher 3 than during the first half of the previous year!"

CD Projekt has also continued to grow over the first half of the year, according to a management board report: There were 953 employees at the company as of June 30, 2019, up from 887 at the end of 2018. CD Projekt Red accounts for 777 (up from 698), while GOG is down slightly, from 189 at the end of 2018 to 176 on June 30 of this year. CD Projekt said the increase "is mostly due to the upscaling of business and development activities."

But what might be most interesting is the suggestion that more Gwent-style spinoff projects are in the works—and that we haven't seen the end of The Witcher, either.

"Managing two separate major franchises (The Witcher and Cyberpunk), along with several independent development teams, enables the Company to conduct parallel work on several projects and smoothens its long-term release schedule," it states. "This migration towards a dual-franchise model supported by several independent product lines also permits optimization of manufacturing and financial activities, mitigates important risk factors and makes it easier for Company employees to seek professional fulfillment."

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to the Nintendo Switch in October, but given that the original was released in May 2015, that on its own hardly seems enough to maintain CD Projekt's status as a "dual franchise" company. For now, though, CD Projekt is fully focused on Cyberpunk 2077: A livestream featuring 15 minutes of gameplay from a demo shown at Gamescom will begin at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern on August 30—that's tomorrow.

Thanks, @DomsPlaying.

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

It seems some Witcher fans just couldn't wait until the release of the Netflix series later this year, so one of them has gone ahead and created a mod that puts Henry Cavill into the PC game.

Modder Adnan on Nexus Mods has created the mod to be "a base for different Henry Cavill variations in the future," he wrote. "With scars, dirt, brown hair with blue eyes etc, but first of all, now I'm presenting a look closer to Geralt in Netflix show".

The mod works with all of the physics that it should in the game, so you're able to change Geralt's hairstyle as it grows - like a weird Superman Barbie doll. It also allows for Geralt's toxicity status from the show, and thanks to some other mods that go along with it, you can have his creepy black eyes too.

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The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

There was plenty of skepticism floating around the internet when we first heard that Henry Cavill would star as Geralt of Rivia in the upcoming Netflix Witcher series. The first look at Cavill with Geralt's long silver hair didn't quite convince us either. After the trailer hit, though, it seems like just about everyone is on board with Cavill's Geralt and his massive biceps, including modders. 

A Witcher 3 mod uploaded on Nexus Mods today does the inevitable: it swaps Geralt of Rivia's face with the other Geralt of Rivia's face. Modder "Adnan4444" certainly took pains to get Cavill's nose just right. It's a pretty darn good likeness, at least in the screenshots uploaded with the mod.

Adnan warns in the comments section that results and performance on your own machine may vary because their version of Geralt's face has "more then x2 vertices compared to default one." That is, presumably, a lot of vertices.

Adnan has plans for future variations on Cavill Geralt including "scars, dirt, brown hair with blue eyes etc." Adnan also links to a few other essential Geralt mods used to achieve the buff version of the Witcher shown in their screenshots including Geralt on Steroids and Alternative Long Hair. For the rest of the mods you'll need to get the most TV-ready looking Witcher, check out the mod page for "Henry Cavill."

I'll leave you with this truly baffling image from the mod page, which I can only describe with one word: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

For lots of other modding options, check out our list of best Witcher 3 mods.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Five of the Best is going to be a series! Every Friday lunchtime, UK time, we're going to celebrate a different incidental detail from the world of games. The kind of thing we usually just WASD past, oblivious. But also the kind of thing which adds unforgettable flavour if done right.

Potions! We've been drinking them for years. In games I mean! I hope you haven't been knocking them back in real-life, they're bad for you. Imagine drinking something which alters your behaviour - how ridiculous! But potions we've been drinking for years. Red ones, blue ones... They're so common they've become a universal language. We don't even really see them any more. We just slosh them back when needed. Gulp!

But every so often, we do see them. Once in a while, a memorable potion pops up. Maybe it was a potion which typified a game for you - the port-key to remembering an adventure. A tonic from BioShock, perhaps. Or maybe it was one which made a character drastically more capable, or one which changed who - or what - we were. Can you think of any now? Good - hold onto that! Because I want your input below.

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The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

Russian cosplayer Lada Lyumos has been working her way through the women of The Witcher series, including Shani, Keira Metz, and now Triss Merigold. The attention to detail in these shots, both in fine elements of her outfit like that stitching, and in the Renaissance-style composition (thanks to photographer Kira Mitenkova), makes some of them look like oil paintings.

Plenty of great cosplay photography resembles screenshots from videogames but a few of these photos, to borrow a phrase from Indiana Jones, look like they belong in a museum.

You can see more of Lada Lyumos' cosplay at DeviantArt, though I should warn you that some of it's NSFW, as you'd expect from DeviantArt.

PS: If you're getting ready to paste your rant into the comments about how mad you are the version of Triss in the TV show isn't white enough for you, maybe save that for somewhere more relevant, or just plain don't bother.

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

The debut trailer for Netflix’s The Witcher series is finally out and it actually looks good, though that could be Henry Cavill’s muscles talking. And while we already know all about when the show takes place and who it stars, the trailer marks the first time we’ve seen everything in action.

So much happens in the trailer's meager two minutes, so unless you're scrutinizing every frame, odds are you're going to miss some stuff. We’ve combed the trailer ourselves and turned to the internet to pull out as many interesting character reveals, plot details, and references to the Witcher books as possible. 

Is Yennefer OK?

Early glimpses of Yennefer in the trailer depict a woman hunched over with a swollen cheek. That’s the norm for plenty of sorceresses in the world of the Witcher, who often become students of magic due to varying physical irregularities. Yennefer is no different. She, like many magic users, becomes beautiful through the use of magical glamours that mask her actual appearance. Looks like we’ll get to see her transformation in the show. 

Hey, it’s the Isle of Thanedd!

That’s where sorceresses go to magic school, including Ciri for a bit. It’s also the setting for some big betrayals and terrific violence. I can’t wait to see how the show interprets those big beats.

What’s up with that wacky purple tree in the desert?

At first glance, I thought this was a scene from Ciri’s trip to the Frying Pan, which feels too far off to plop into season one. I wasn’t alone in my thinking either, but, twist! Showrunner Lauren Hissrich confirmed the purple desert tree is not related to the arc depicted in Time of Contempt. Get to making those theories. 

The Dryads aren’t bright green, thank goodness

The Witcher show is taking a simple approach to its depiction of Dryads, the nymph-like humanoids that live in the forests of Brokilon. The games tend to depict them as nude green plant people, but the books describe them as very human-like with slightly greenish tints to their skin tone. The show is definitely leaning towards the latter.

That’s a Striga

A few quick clips depict Geralt going at it with a grimy humanoid, likely a Striga, which is one of the first monsters he dukes it out with in The Witcher short stories. Striga are women transformed into beastly monsters via a curse, something like a werewolf with hints of troll. Geralt dreams of his fight with the Striga in The Voice of Reason, the opening story in The Last Wish collection. And he dreams of it after some good sex. That’s our guy.

And that’s a Kikimora

There’s some debate over what that swamp spider is in the last shot of the trailer, but I’m banking on a Kikimora, monsters known to live underground or in, get this, swamps. It’s also one of the monsters he kills in the short stories before bringing it to Blaviken, where Geralt starts a major beef with just about everyone—on accident, of course.

Meet the Butcher of Blaviken

As this thread points out, when he looks all tore up and pissed may well be a formative scene set in Blaviken that earns Geralt a lifelong nickname: The Butcher of Blaviken. We’ll leave the show to tell the tale if you’re not aware, but it’s a classic bit where Geralt, ever the neutral, gets screwed over by everyone in an attempt to save everyone. Needless to say, a lot of people die, the blame gets pinned on Geralt, and he becomes feared throughout the continent. Poor guy. 

Our boy’s casting Aard

Either Geralt’s getting about to blind a three-eyed monster or that boy’s casting the Aard sign. If you’re unfamiliar, witchers dabble in magic, much to the dismay of sorcerers who view the witchers’ practice as clumsy and contrived. But whatever, because Henry-Geralt is about to send someone flying across the room like a hot Jedi.

Emhyr the Hedgehog says hello

Here’s one that most people missed (including me). Some sharp-eyed folks in this Reddit thread might’ve spotted a quick glimpse of the future Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis. See, before the imposing bastard become a tyrant, he was cursed by a sorcerer to take on the appearance of a human-hedgehog hybrid. The curse did not make him go fast, unfortunately. We’ll leave the rest to the show since lifting the curse is its own adventure, but clearly, he doesn’t stay that way forever. Until we see how the show depicts Emhyr’s origins, all you really need to know is that the whole ordeal does not make him a cool, chill guy.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jay Castello)

Everyone s old Witcher pal Geralt of Rivia is approaching his Netflix debut, and a trailer premiered at San Diego Comic-Con is here to prove it. Tune in for a tale of genocide, some glimpses at familiar characters and monsters, and an impossibly square-jawed Henry Cavill as Geralt. (You know, him off the telly. You might ve seen him in The Tudors, or bigging it up on the silver screen as Superman in those DC movies.)

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The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

After months of teasing, cast announcements, and costume reveals, Netflix's television adaption of Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher novels has received its first trailer, giving fans the best indication yet of what to expect from the finished article.

As you'd imagine, the new trailer - rather modestly described as a "teaser", despite being almost two minutes long - offers a decent slice of The Witcher's principal characters in action, meaning the internet will no doubt soon be alive with debate on whether Henry Cavill (as Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (as Yennefer) and Freya Allan (as Ciri) are up to the task.

As someone with only limited experience of the characters in either their game or book forms, I couldn't possibly speak to the authenticity of their portrayals, but the atmospheric trailer certainly looks the part, sporting the kind of lavish production you'd expect from Netflix - and would certainly want in order to do justice to The Witcher's epic fantasy spectacle.

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