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Overwatch adds orchestral flair (and a new skin) with Sigma's Maestro Challenge

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 21:33

Oh, to ditch Overwatch‘s crude gunfights for a night at the opera. To push culture, not payloads. Capture hearts and souls, not control points. Ah, well, the latest challenge event for Blizzard’s hero shooter might not be picking up a fiddle anything soon, but it will let you pretend you’re the sort of person who frequents the concert hall with Sigma’s Maestro Challenge – dressing up Overwatch’s gravity-defying egghead for orchestral bombast

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The Sims 4 gets crafty with Nifty Knitting later this month

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 20:22

“Are you ready for your new knitting obsession”, EA asks, knowing full well it is the height of summer. Nevertheless, the next The Sims 4‘s stuff pack is, indeed, Nifty Knitting – adding a full wool wash worth of knitted goods for your Sims to weave, wear, and (eventually) monetise, all from the comfort of their sturdy rocking chair come July 28th. Just, maybe stick to knitted vests instead of sweaters, aye? It’s still sweltering out.

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Those Avatar: The Last Airbender skins have arrived in Smite

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 19:16

Theological battle arena Smite‘s gone all Nickelodeon on us today. Those Avatar: The Last Airbender skins Hi-Rez Studios announced last month have arrived, packed inside their own bespoke battle-pass added to the god-smashing MOBA today. They might not be full characters in their own right – instead, possessing three of Smite’s existing mythical warriors – but if you’ve ever wanted to batter Zeus as a child-like cartoon demigod, now’s your chance.

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Cutesy farmer Story Of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town is out now

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 17:10

Grab your pitchfork and put on your sturdiest boots, readers – it is once again time to reap the pastoral delights of small-town farm life. Story Of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town, Xseed Games’ same-subtitled remake of the 2003’s Harvest Moon release, is now out on Steam. One to watch out for, if you fancy Stardew Valley‘s mix of farming, fishing and romancin’ with more of a cutesy chibi flair.

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Here's Summer Games Done Quick 2020's online speedrun schedule

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 16:44

Despite being delayed, then later moving entirely online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Summer Games Done Quick is still preparing for some awfully fast gaming next month. The schedule for this year’s event has just gone up, kicking off the annual week of charity speedrunning on Sunday, August 16th. Expect your usual bouts of boundary-breaking and donation shouting, of course, but can you really call it GDQ without the couch banter?

Yeah, probably.

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American Truck Simulator's new graphical upgrade isn't huge, but it is nice

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 16:14

Just ahead of the new American Truck Simulator‘s launch, developers SCS Software have injected a touch of nitro into the game engine with screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO). This technique for making shadows more realistic is not a mega-fancy and drastic modern technobell or cyberwhistle, but it is a welcome one. The scenery just feels more… present. So simply by downloading a patch, my game has become prettier. Nice.

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AMD's latest graphics card bundle gets you Godfall and World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands for free

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 16:01

An image of AMD's summer Raise The Game bundle

AMD have announced a fresh free games bundle for would-be graphics card buyers today, letting you pick up World Of Warcraft’s recent Shadowlands expansion and Gearbox’s upcoming Destiny-style “looter-slasher” Godfall for free. The bundle will run from now until October 3rd (the same date as their ongoing free Assassin’s Creed Valhalla bundle for new Ryzen CPU buyers), so read on below for how it all works.

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Playerunknown's Battlegrounds revamping Sanhok with loot trucks to chase

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:48

The small Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds map of Sanhok is being revamped as part of Update 8.1 next week, developers PUBG Corp announced today. Numerous locations have been rebuilt, and an interesting new mini objective has been added. Autonomous Loot Trucks will be driving around the island, dropping crates of gear as they’re attacked, and awarding particularly fancy gear when they’re destroyed. Chasing a robopiñata in my tuk-tuk while the laaads in the back blast away sounds great fun. Today’s announcement also brings a big boast: the battle royale shooter has now sold over 70 million units.

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Death Stranding is now out on PC

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:02

Following its PlayStation debut last year, Death Stranding is now out on PC too. This is the latest game from Metal Gear Solid maestro Hideo Kojima and his studio Kojima Productions, and stars Norman Reedus as a post-apocalyptic postman traversing the wastes of the USA. Something’s spooky has happened, see, so Norm needs a baby in a bottle to help protect himself from extradimensional ghosties. In short: some sneaking; a little action; lots of Kojima-y names and exposition; and loads of walking around lovely landscapes trying not to stack it and smash your packages.

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BenQ EX2780Q review: a great 144Hz gaming monitor with one major flaw

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:00

An image of the BenQ EX2780Q gaming monitor

BenQ EX2780Q review specs:

  • Screen size: 27in
  • Resolution: 2560×1440
  • Panel: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Extras: AMD Freesync Premium, VESA DisplayHDR 400, USB-C, 2.1 channel speakers (2x 2W + 5W), volume wheel, remote control
  • Price: £425 / $450

We’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to great 2560×1440 gaming monitors these days, but the BenQ EX2780Q is another strong contender that’s worthy of your consideration. For starters, it’s one of the few gaming monitors I’ve tested that actually has a built-in (albeit very tiny) subwoofer to accompany its pair of 2W speakers, but it’s also got a super accurate IPS panel, a high 144Hz refresh rate, AMD Freesync Premium support and one of VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certifications for low-end HDR. In short, it’s got pretty much everything it needs to challenge my current [cms-block] for 1440p champion, the AOC Agon AG273QX.

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Gaming monitor deals of the week – 14th July 2020

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:32

With gaming monitor prices and stock levels finally starting to come back under control, the number of good gaming monitor deals has finally started to pick up again. There are plenty of gaming monitor deals to choose from in the UK and US this week, from cheap 144Hz and 240Hz gaming screens to cut-price ultrawide monitor deals. So read on below for all the best prices on as many of today’s [cms-block]s we’ve been able to find. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest G-Sync gaming monitor deals or the lowest ultrawide gaming monitor deals, here are the top gaming monitor deals of the week.

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Eve Online's Triglavian invasion story arc is finally coming to an end

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 11:21

The space-a-thon MMO, Eve Online is wrapping up its current invasion story arc that’s taken place over the last year or so. Those pesky Triglavians have been up to no good – first they invaded and now they’ve just gotten far too powerful, and it looks like it’s up to you to deal with them once and for all – or join them and assist said invasion, up to you really. The culmination of this story kicks off today, and with it comes a big makeover for the Abyssal Proving Grounds as well.

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GOG are having a big French games sale this week

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:42

A screenshot of Napoleon talking to the protagonist from The Council

GOG are having a big sale celebrating French game devs and publishers this week, offering up to 90% off loads of games made in the region. Running from now until July 20th, that means big savings on the back catalogue of Focus Home Interactive, which includes games like A Plague Tale: Innocence, Vampyr, The Surge and Call Of Cthulhu, as well as tasty discounts off titles from Dishonored dev Arkane and loads more. Read on for our top deals picks.

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Save up to 50% on loads of Razer peripherals today, plus get $250 off their Stealth 13 laptop

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:26

Razer Naga Trinity - Best Gaming Mouse 2020

If your PC is in need of some new peripherals at the moment, then Amazon US have slashed up to 50% off a load of Razer gaming mice, headsets and keyboards today, including one of my current [cms-block] recommendations, the Razer Naga Trinity (pictured above), which is now down to $62. There are also big savings to be had on various models of Razer’s Blackwidow Elite and Blackwidow TE (tenkeyless) keyboards, their Kraken headsets, and you can also save $200 on their ultra slim Razer Blade Stealth 13 gaming laptop as well.

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Rocket Arena blasts off today

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:12

A lot of people are going to describe Rocket Arena as “Quake meets Smash Bros”, and they will be accused of being lazy while also being 100% right. The concept and the name started as a Quake mod, after all, although it’s now it’s own separate thing published by Electronic Arts.

This modern incarnation is a 3v3 shooter, out now, with class abilities and rocket-based weapons that Sin somewhat disappointingly describes as “functionally much like regular guns”. You win by knocking your opponents out of the arena, rather than making them explode. Sin enjoyed doing this several weeks ago, though, and I think I probably will too. Even though my brain insists this should be free-to-play and it actually costs £25.

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Halo 3 made me realise there's only really one Halo game, and it's all of them

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 09:58

halo 3 PC 1

The PC remaster of Halo 3 is another beautiful, robust polish job that shows just how well Bungie’s bombastic shooter series has aged. I recommend it heartily. Yes, it’s marred with some baffling narrative choices, bungled ally AI, and a few instances of phoned-in level design, of course. But then, in the immortal words of that astronaut meme, “always has been”. And at this point, the whole Halo experience is so firmly bound up in nostalgia, at least for me, that its flaws have long since become endearing quirks.

But as much as this is a good moment to talk about Halo 3, what with it being out today and all, I’ve realised this post is just as much about the Master Chief Collection, the compilation/launcher… thing which now contains the whole of the classic Halo trilogy, plus Reach. I’d assumed the MCC was basically an electric version of a cardboard box with games in it. But now my four favourite Haloes are in it, the MCC seems to have reached a critical mass, and I’ve had something of a revelation.

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Halo 3 is now out on PC, 13 years after its debut

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 09:01

13 years after its Xbox 360 debut, Halo 3 is finally out on PC. While the first two games came over from Xbox, the conclusion to Bungie’s first-person shooter trilogy stayed home. After 13 years, you’ll finally be able to see what became of Master Ian Chief. Did he, as he vowed at the end of Halo 2, finish this fight? You’ll have to play it to find out.

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Death Stranding launches on PC tomorrow so here's a trailer today

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 21:56

Social distancing simulator Death Stranding launches on PC tomorrow but Kojima Productions have delivered a launch trailer today. If you’ve been waiting to get your postman parkour on in full 4K resolutions, the time has nearly arrived. Bridge man Sam is all packed up and ready to cart that cargo all over post apocalyptic America starting tomorrow, July 14th.

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Skull & Bones may become a live service game

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 20:19

In all this talk about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s viking blokes in boats, I’d almost forgotten about Ubisoft’s other boats game. Ships, pardon me. Skull & Bones is the pirate-themed naval combat game they announced yonks back in 2017. It’s not scuttled yet, apparently, but may be changing course to a live service game.

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Get 14 romantic visual novels on Itch while supporting Black trans folks

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 18:40

If you missed the giant Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality on Itch last month, you’ve got yet another shot at good games for a good cause. The Visual Novel Romance Collection for Black Trans Lives is precisely what it says on the tin: fourteen romantic games (several of which the RPS crew have quite liked) in support of The Okra Project.

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