Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The Black Mesa [official site] gang have shared a first look at Xen in their Half-Life remake. You might remember that they launched Black Mesa without Half-Life’s oft-maligned final chapter, set in the alien world of Xen, because doing it right was taking yonks. You might further remember they’re planning to launch Xen in summer 2017. You might… well, I> was surprised by this first peek at a Dear Esther-lookin’ cavern. … [visit site to read more]

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

Team Fortress 2 [official site] recognises that yes, Smissmas is a time for gibbing your fellow man then leaving their labelled hunks under the tree, but also somethings for coming-together. Valve’s free-to-play FPS has kicked off its Christmas event with an update bringing the traditional assortment of new icy items but also handy features for casual play. A new team autobalancing systems gives players gifts if they even up teams, while Casual matchmaking now keeps players together after matches to pick a new map and go again. This should mean more fun, less yelling, and an end to the Red and Blu sides of the family glaring at each other across the lounge on Boxing Day. … [visit site to read more]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s THE mosssssssst wonderful tiiiiiiiiiiiime ahaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I wish I had a machinegun ho ho ho ahahaha, get stuffed 2016. … [visit site to read more]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Chickens in their Christmas best!

Valve has dressed its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] chickens up in many a festive outfit over the years, from chicken-sized Christmas jumpers to pink Easter bunny ears. But how do these festive fowl stack up against one another in terms of holiday loveliness? There’s only one way to find out: an Alice and Pip chat.>

Pip: Alice! It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the yeeeeeeeear. With the CS: GO chickens all wearing their knitting and I’m of good cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer! It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiiiime of the year.

That said there are other wonderful times of the year if we’re talking chicken dress-up. Halloween! Easter! CS:GO’s birthday! Can we truly decide which is the *most* wonderful time of the year?

Alice: It’d take two grizzled experts with a long history of dressing up imaginary characters. Two hardened veterans committed to arguing the toss. Two people who understand that the Halloween chickens wearing spooky ghost sheets are the best and if you don’t agree I WILL END THIS FRIENDSHIP RIGHT HERE. … [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

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For an idea of how much Dota 2 s New Journey/7.00 update is A Big Deal, consider this: Dota, in general, has been in version 6.somethingsomething since 2005 – the Dota All-Stars mod days. It was around this time that the mysterious Icefrog originally took over development. That s endured all the way through Valve s Dota 2, right up until now, when all our expectations of the game s patch number conventions crumbled like so many tango-munched trees.

Moreover, the preceding patch 6.88 is held in unusually high esteem by both the community at large and the professional/competitive scene. Other than the questionable strength of certain illusion-spam lineups, 6.88 was remarkably well-balanced, with almost no heroes considered unviable and a relatively broad range of strategies, from drawn-out split pushing to full-davai five-man gank rushes being employed in games at all skill levels. [Don’t worry about the terminology if you’re less steeped in on Dota slang – just know that 6.88 was really versatile! – Ed>]

Nonetheless, Valve and Icefrog have held little back for 7.00, introducing not only a new hero in Monkey King, but the kind of fundamentals-altering additions that go even further than what skipping 0.11 version numbers would suggest. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes are Talents. … [visit site to read more]

Deathmatch Classic - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

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

Remember that time Valve made a cover version of another developer’s game?

… [visit site to read more]

Left 4 Dead - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Left 4 Dead and Evolve creators Turtle Rock Studios have announced a new co-op first-person shooter. Ish. A bit. They’ve announced they’re making one. The mysterious game will be fantasy-ish and, y’know, you’ll shoot enemies with your pals and oh, it’ll be free-to-play. While Evolve switched to free-to-play a year after launching but this new game will be designed as F2P from the start, which should work out better for it – and us. We shouldn’t expect this new game until 2018 at the earliest but I’m glad to know they’re still doing their co-op thing. … [visit site to read more]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Alec is away this week, following the Vengaboys around on tour. Or, if they’re not currently touring, just visiting places they’ve been, taking photos and placing them inside his scrapbook alongside some brief reflections. That means it falls to me to tell you which ten games were the best selling on Steam in the past week, and there are some pleasant games inside.

… [visit site to read more]

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

Boston Major

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major‘s Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you’re still avoiding spoilers all of this will be revealed after the jump, as well as the must-watch matches so you can condense your viewing into a single action-packed evening! … [visit site to read more]

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

Viper remodel

As the confetti fell on the end of the Dota 2 [official site] Boston Major tournament its developers, Valve, announced a significant update to their MOBA: update 7.00. I scanned the notes yesterday (once the website was able to cope with the strain of the traffic) and had a couple of games on the test client and GOOD LORD, it’s a doozy! There are Heroes of the Storm-ish talent trees, the jungle has changed so much I actually got lost, Roshan has upped sticks and moved to the northern bit of the river, Monkey King is a total (cool) jerk, the HUD has slimmed right down, illusions offer bounties and all kinds of other nonsense.

We’ll have a proper thorough patch analysis a bit later as the update is going live today but here are a few impressions after playing on the test client: … [visit site to read more]

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