Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

I say watch because this week’s podcast takes place in a real room in front of a real audience (don t worry, there s an audio version too). At Rezzed in London this month, we thought it d be fun to re-enact three of the most memorable scenes of PC gaming, exactly as you remember them. So strap on your eye-wideners and prepare for some wonderful acting. Including a 100% faithful adaptation of the most notorious moment in any Final Fantasy game: the death of… Aerosmith?

Alice! Alice, what have you done to these scripts!?

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Eurogamer

Despite a campaign of review-bombing from disgruntled Borderlands 3 fans upset the game will be a timed Epic Games store exclusive, old Borderlands games have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity on Valve's platform.

Fuelled by the announcement of Borderlands 3 and the release of the free The Handsome Collection Ultra HD Texture Pack, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands Game of the Year Edition have all seen a massive uptick in concurrent players.

According to Steam Charts, Borderlands 2 enjoyed a whopping 89.25 per cent gain in average players over the last 30 days, with an impressive peak of 59,333 concurrent players.

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Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 has seen a huge increase in concurrent players on Steam in the last week, no doubt a result of escalating interest in the series following the reveal of Borderlands 3.

The game peaked just shy of 60K players last weekend—59,033 according to Steam Charts and highlighted here on GitHyp. The review scores remain Very Positive on both Borderlands 2 and the original game, though closer inspection will show that both games have seen recent 'off-topic review activity'—read more about those review bombing efforts here.  

Borderlands 2 has remained a firm favourite with PC players since its release back in 2012. It's been discounted a lot lately, too, which has likely driven further interest in it. Or maybe it's that 4K texture pack that was added to the game? 

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, you can check out why Jody thought Borderlands 2 was ahead of its time. Alternatively, you can read up on everything we know about Borderlands 3, which is set for release on September 13.

Sid Meier's Civilization® III Complete

I love Civilization 6, but sometimes I pine for the art style of its equally wonderful predecessor, Civilization 5. Civilization 6's cartoony vibe is all well and good, but when you've got an entire civilisation's worth of people resting on your every decision, a serious look is sometimes required.

Thankfully, there's a mod for that - and this one's from a developer at Firaxis.

The Environment Skin: Sid Meier's Civilization 5 mod for Civilization 6, by the game's art director Brian Busatti, changes the visuals of the game to better match the colours and tones of Civ 5.

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Borderlands Game of the Year - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

As this is my penultimate edition of Steam Charts, before I return to nuzzle into the warm infinite belly of Horace for all of time, I thought it might be fun to take a bit of a look behind the scenes of Steam Charts, to see how this weekly column comes together.

So, hey, join me as we step behind the curtain, and learn a little bit about the magic of Rock Paper Shotgun.

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Sid Meier's Civilization® V - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Ah, 2010! Lady Gaga and Beyonc were tearing up the dancefloor with Telephone, Inception was fuelling one million drunk ‘philosophical’ conversations, Jackass had gone 3D, and Civilization V had yet to reach that point in every Civ game’s lifespan where it’s declared superior to its successor. If you wish to party like it’s 2010, you might enjoy a new Civilization VI mod made by actual Civ 6 art director Brian Busatti. It aims to make Civ 6’s landscape, buildings, and units look more like Civ 5, less vibrant and more ‘realistic’. Yeah, but like, what if we’re still dreaming we’re playing Civ – does the game ever stop or will “one more turn” keep going forever? Makes you think, maaan.

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Borderlands Game of the Year - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jay Castello)

Steam s updated approach to review bombing, which prevents off topic reviews from counting towards a game s overall score, has kicked in for the Borderlands series. It seems to be the first time that the (optional) filter has been applied by Steam, after users flooded the series reviews following the announcement that Borderlands 3 will be a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store.

Viewing the games with the option turned on puts a little asterisk next to the mark of how positive the game is, which leads to a note that reads: Period(s) of off-topic review activity detected. Excluded from the Review Score, based on your preferences. It doesn t seem to actually hide those reviews, however.

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Eurogamer

Steam's new anti-review bombing measures appear to be working.

Borderlands 1 and 2 suffered review-bombing on Steam after 2K announced Borderlands 3 will be a six-month timed exclusive on the Epic Games store.

But Valve's new anti-review bombing measures have kicked in, and these "off-topic" reviews are excluded from the review score by default.

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Borderlands Game of the Year - 2kschug
Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced OUT NOW!

If you already own the original Borderlands on Steam, you’re all set! Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced should already be in your Steam library absolutely free!

What’s New
  • Visually Remastered: The improved lighting, textures, and character models shine on PC. Enhancements apply to the base game, as well as all add-on content.
  • Quality of Life Improvements: Significant updates to the game’s supporting systems allow for a smoother overall experience. For example:
  • -- A Borderlands 2-style mini-map, which you can toggle on and off, has been added to complement the original compass
  • -- Substantial improvements to the inventory system—such as allowing you to “lock” weapons or mark them as “junk”—simplify item management
  • -- Items like ammo, money, and health now auto-pick up from the ground
  • Rewards Ready: With the addition of the SHiFT player rewards program, you can now use Golden Keys to unlock special in-game items and rewards. Returning SHiFT users who’ve played Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel on PC will receive 75 free Golden Keys, as well as two randomly selected all-new weapons, for their first newly-created Vault Hunter.
  • Added Firepower: A new set of six named, custom-skinned Legendary weapons make the base game’s arsenal even deeper. Beat bosses or gather Golden Keys for a chance to collect ‘em all.
  • Badder Boss Battle: In direct response to fan feedback, the campaign’s final boss encounter has been adjusted to be more engaging, challenging, and rewarding.
  • Cosmetic Customization: For the first time, you will be able to customize your Vault Hunter beyond simply selecting a color scheme. Each of the four available characters has five brand new cosmetic heads unlocked and equippable right from the start of the game.
  • ALL DLC: Didn’t own any Borderlands DLC? Now you got it all! On BOTH the original game and in Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced!
Borderlands Game of the Year - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

There ain’t no rest for the wicked, a video game once told me, and Gearbox Software certainly have been busy. Today they launched remastered versions of Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, coming to PC as free updates. They’re all prettied-up a bit, while the first game also now includes all the DLC as well as features borrowed from later games in the looter-shooter series. These updates are probably more for the benefit of the latest consoles, jazzing ’em up for a fresh audience before Borderlands 3 hits in September, but hey we benefit too. Thanks, Ian Microsoft and Ian Sony!

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