Half-Life 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Okay, now we’re nearly 300 deep into these recommendations we’re clearly getting a little obscure, a little desperate, but it’s still possible that a few people will have played this oddity. Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, but as there’s been no Half-Life 3 in the eleven years since one can only assume it didn’t sell well.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

I’ve spent my afternoon watching the wildlife of the Dota 2 [official site] desert terrain. There are some newcomers who aren’t native to the vanilla map which is cool – scorpions and vultures and the like. There’s also a proliferation of beetles and I love looking at the new trees and the cacti. This isn’t an exhaustive animal catalogue – there are definitely some butterflies and fish and spiders I wanted to include but the Reborn launch Dota crashes a lot and I was getting fed up! HOWEVER here are some nice shots of little creatures going about their business :)

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Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

N.B. I’m posting this outside the paywall from the get go because I’m hoping people will add their own suggestions in the comments and it will become a Useful Resource for those who don’t know what to play over Christmas!>

Whether you celebrate or not, chances are you’ll have a bit of extra downtime in the coming fortnight and you might be looking for games to play. For me I tend to pick multiplayer things which I can use to get a chunky bit of time with friends even though we’re all scattered around the country. If I want to be on my own I tend to go for puzzles because it means I can watch Midsomer Murders at the same time.

Here’s what I’m planning to hunker down with over while the festive season is in full swing but it would be great if you share your own plans as well…

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Team Fortress 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Valve crept in during the night and left a little present under your Christmas PC (I’ve seen it, stuffed full of lights and gingerbread with a case window to show them off), a nice, big Team Fortress 2 [official site] update. Okay, yes, much of Tough Break Update is reserved for people who spend $6 to buy into the Tough Break ‘Campaign’ (a series of challenges like CS:GO’s Operations), and yes the new taunts it also adds are expensive, but the greatest gift of all is free: a look at the TF2 gang doing aerobics (sorry, Mannrobics) together.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

I do enjoy the Dota 2 [official site] patches which change so much that I have no idea how the game even plays anymore. Version 6.86 is arriving this week with The Balance of Power Update and… I’ll be awful for ages figuring out what’s even happening. It ports another hero over from the original DotA, Arc Warden, while also adding new items, tweaking balance, and reshaping the map.

The patch is currently on the test client, and I imagine it’ll launch properly on Thursday.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Article by James Archer>

Professional Dota 2 [official site] players descended on Los Angeles this past weekend to take part in The Summit 4 the latest instalment of professional Dota 2 s most casual competition. Ahead lie spoilers for the event along with our picks of the best matches the tournament had to offer. Let’s get cracking!>

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Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Science & Industry was a mod for Half-Life in which two team did battle for control of a limited pool of scientists. Capture one and bring them back to your base and you could put them to work on researching new technologies, which would both aid your team in the fight and earn you money which would ultimately decide the match’s victor.

… [visit site to read more]

Portal - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

A free Portal-themed set of cosmetic items and flourishes will arrive in Rocket League [official site] tomorrow. There are gel trails for your nitro boosts, cake hats and decals, and heart-breaking Companion Cube antennae. There’s plenty more along those lines as well, and it’s all free, but I’m perhaps unfairly disappointed by the lack of actual portals. I hadn’t even considered how amazing it would be to attach a portal to the area above my own goalmouth, causing stray shots that enter to emerge right by the opponent’s goal. And if the cars could dash through portals as well? Beautiful chaos.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Scammers! They’re everywhere nowadays. Cheats! Hackers! Frauds! Phoneys! These rogues and more want your precious wizard hats and shark guns, to plunder your Steam account of its cosmetic goodies and steal them away for their own nefarious ends. CS: GO guns and Dota 2 wizard hats can be worth a lot of money, you know. Valve are sick of folks doing this, and probably sick of the headaches it creates for their support department. To reduce this, they’re soon adding trade holds that’ll hold things up by a few days – unless both parties are using the Steam app‘s Mobile Authenticator.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

When is a ban not a ban? That’s a question which cropped up twice this weekend as League of Legends team Jin Air Green Wings and Smite team EnVyUs each passed up an opportunity to ban a character from a competitive match.

No-bans or skipped bans happen in the phase before the main game starts. At this point the teams are working out which characters their team will play and which to remove from play. Choosing NOT to remove something is vary rare but it does happen. It’s well worth trying to understand what’s going on in those scenarios, whether it’s to unpick the strategic thought behind them or to nod sagely over the capacity for humans to make terrible blunders on the global stage. So let’s take a closer look at no-bans, what they are and how you can use them to your advantage:

… [visit site to read more]

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