Battleborn is already 40% off on Steam

I challenged myself to get through this whole post without mentioning Overwatch once, and apart from when I mentioned it just then, I reckon I’ll fulfil that challenge admirably. Battleborn is that other colourful shooter about a bunch of madcap, zany heroes, and it’s a fairly good one, according to Jem Alexander.

On the whole, the critical and sales reception has been more muted than it has been for O…ther games in the genre, which might be why it’s received a massive temporary price cut, less than four weeks after release. March your way to Steam, and you’ll see that Battleborn is currently on sale for 40% off. That price applies to both the regular version and the ‘digital deluxe’ edition, which lobs in the season pass and some other gubbins too. You have just over a day left to take advantage of the offer.

There has never been a better time to buy Battleborn, something you might understandably be a bit miffed about if you paid full price for the game just a few weeks ago.

A few days ago, Battleborn received a patch that introduced a new character, Alani, while rebalancing Ambra and Gaililea, and making various other tweaks. You’ll find the full patch notes here.

Fabular: a medieval spaceship roguelike RPG

S7KDYuCTjftX3PD96XWTCR-650-80

Fabular: Once upon a Spacetime takes the old tales of chivalrous knights and derring-do and transplants them from medieval Europe to outer space. Described as a “top-down medieval space adventure”, it mixes physics-based combat with choose-your-own-adventure-y bits; pixel art with pretty lighting techniques; pixel art (again) with lovely illustrated character art. Shove some RPG and roguelike elements in there too and you have, well, Fabular I guess. Let’s have a look at the Kickstarter trailer.

Yep, Kickstarter—Fabular is on there now, looking to raise £25,000, and with 17 days left to go. Here’s a bit more about the game, from the Kickstarter page:

“As a young knight, go on an adventure in a surreal, storybook-like galaxy in your trusty spaceship. You need to be skilful in battle upgrade and manage your ship well, and make the right choices during encounters. Only then will you be able to defeat the dreadful League of Black Knights who terrorize the realm.”

“Explore a procedurally generated universe of hidden secrets and grave dangers by travelling on a node-based galactic starmap, where each place you visit yields a new special event or encounter. Decision making in these text-based illustrated events is key to your success in the game.”

FTL and Hand of Fate are namechecked as influences, so if you like those, or the thought of medieval space-knights in general, give it a look.

Total War: Warhammer is the fastest-selling Total War

‘Total War meets Warhammer’ might be the most successful intermingling since I introduced whiskey to my cheerios, and if my mum’s reading this, that was obviously – hic! – a joke. Total WaWarhammer maker Creative Assembly, and publisher Sega, have announced that success in a press release, stating that the orcwardly titled strategy game has “gone on to break franchise records during its first week on-sale”.

What that means is that more than half a million people bought the game in its first few days of sale, making it the fastest-selling Total War on Steam. They also boast that Total WaWarhammer has been regularly topping 100,000 concurrent Steam players.

Jody Macgregor liked exactly 86% of the game when he reviewed it for PC Gamer, ending with the brilliant verdict that “if you find real history a bit bland compared to glorious nonsense made up by strange British people then Warhammer is the Total War for you”. Since then, we’ve been posting guides to the various factions: check out our beginner’s, Dwarf, and Greenskin guides at the accompanying links.

15 best 4K games: the must-play titles to punish your PC

15 best 4K games: the must-play titles to punish your PC

Tomb Raider

Update: Our latest entry is the fast and furious shooter Overwatch in at #15.

The 4K revolution has arrived on PC, and if your eyes haven’t yet dined at the table of Ultra HD gaming, we’ve tracked down the best 4K games sure to give them a visual feast.

Packing four times as many pixels as common 1080p displays, 3,840 x 2,160 pixel-resolution “4K” monitors can make newer games breathtakingly immersive, and those extra pixels can even help pump life back into older titles using high-resolution texture packs and mods.

Of course, in addition to a 4K monitor, you’ll need a beefy gaming rig with a powerful graphics card (or three) to do them justice – because even gorgeous visuals soon wear thin if your frame rate matches your shoe size.

Whether you’ve already made the leap or are about to, click on to view our best 4K games screenshot gallery. We’ll be adding to it as we go along, so drop us a comment below if you’d like to see a particular game make the grade.

Best 4K games

While console gamers are still arguing over whether the latest Witcher 3 patch dialled down the game’s graphics, members of the PC elite have been firing up CD Projekt’s epic third-person adventure in a blaze of 4K glory.

Rendered natively, The Witcher 3’s highly-detailed environments look nothing short of incredible in 4K – from Novigrad’s sprawling architecture to its red sunlit fields, not to mention its spiny Echinops, grotesque Bloedzuigers and veiny Cemataurs. Having your face ripped off has never looked so beautiful.

Nitpickers may point out that Wild Hunt’s backgrounds and foliage don’t match up to what was shown in pre-release promo shots, something that’s increasingly becoming par for the course for PC gamers, but even so it’s still one of the best-looking games out there.

Best 4K games

It may be creaking a bit in the tyres, but DiRT Showdown is still one of the best-looking arcade racers out there and its Destruction Derby-style thrills are even more heart-pumping on a 4K monitor. While fans of Codemasters’ racing series may point to DiRT 3 as the all-round meatier title, Showdown’s over-the-top approach – from the flame jets that light up indoor tracks to its spectacular chassis-contorting crashes and colourful art style – make it the more visually appealing title.

Best 4K games

The latest entry into the Call Of Duty franchise, Advanced Warfare aims to banish all memory of the muddy textures that plagued its scarily ugly predecessor, Ghosts. After three years in development it appears to have succeeded: Warfare’s high-octane firefights are nothing short of stunning in 4K thanks to its sharp visuals, Exo-llent (sorry) character models and highly detailed weapons. Another nice effect of playing in 4K is having an eye-poppingly crisp HUD, which is the closest you’ll get to wearing an Exo Suit (short of strapping on an Oculus Rift, anyway).

Best 4K games

Nominated for several ‘Best Graphics’ and ‘Best Art Style’ industry awards upon release, Dishonored wasn’t exactly a bad-looking game in 2012. Crank up the pixels, however, and Dunwall’s retro-future-industrial aesthetic is elevated to a whole new level of dystopian beauty.

Taking time to admire its convincing water effects, Orwellian-era buildings like the Hound Pits Pub, and bizarre Pandyssian wildlife, ogling Dishonored’s visuals in 4K can prove a welcome distraction to clearing your name of murder.

Dying Light

A punishing title that demands serious GPU power for the best experience (especially if you want to ramp up the draw distance), Dying Light in 4K has you smelling the breath of the Zombie hordes while watching blood ooze from their rotten, bashed-in craniums.

The level of detail is phenomenal – from the game’s leafy suburbs to its blood-splattered weapons and NPCs’ facial expressions. Standing on a roof watching flames lick the hood of a burning car while plotting your escape from the army of undead never has never felt so real.

Best 4K games

BioShock Infinite came out in 2013 and wasn’t designed for 4K monitors, but you wouldn’t know it. Irrational Games’ third shooter in the BioShock series, Infinite looks still jaw-dropping in Ultra HD thanks to its highly-detailed textures, illuminating lighting effects and Columbia’s neoclassical-styled architecture.

When not stopping to admire its buildings, you’ll likely be checking out Booker’s glistening weaponry or staring into the vacant eyes of Monument Island’s many enemies. Infinite’s high-speed firefights up in the Sky-Lines are particularly engaging in 4K, not to mention its four weird and wonderful boss fights.

Metro: Last Light

While the Redux version of Metro: Last Light features slightly tweaked graphics compared to the original (it goes in slightly heavier on smoke and lighting effects), both games feature some of the best visuals around with the resolution dialled up to 4K. Skulking from shadow to shadow in Last Light’s post-apocalptic Russia in a bid to avoid the Vichukha is even more tense in Ultra HD, and if you’ve got sufficient graphical grunt, its weapon and particle effects give firefights an extra dose of pretty.

Tomb Raider

If you’re waiting patiently to ogle Rise of the Tomb Raider’s gorgeous visuals, maxing out the current game in the series isn’t a bad way to pass the time. Cranking up the resolution along with texture, anti-aliasing and high precision settings unlocks a ton of hidden detail in Tomb Raider, which boasts atmospheric lighting, dancing shadows and hair textures that wouldn’t be out of place in a shampoo commercial. (Not when Lara’s caked in mud, mind.) Huge draw distances and polygon-smoothing tessellation effects all help the fictional island of Yamatai shine in 4K.

Side view

Forget trying to drive well during your first few Assetto Corsa races – it just won’t happen. The driving simulator’s graphics are so tasty in 4K/Ultra that you’ll be too busy ogling the sun’s reflection on your car’s bonnet from five different camera angles. The racing action looks best in the game’s first-person in-car view. If you’re not fixated on the the creases in the driver’s gloves, you’ll be mentally running your fingers over the rubber-coated dashboard’s dimples and smelling the freshly-cut grass outside. If you’re pining for a realistic racer to show off your new 4K monitor, forget Project Cars – Assetto Corsa is the real deal.

Assetto Corsa

Battelfront

Whether you agree that Star Wars: Battlefront is a war simulator with no heart, or not, it’s undeniable that EA’s online shooter is a visual feast fit for a wookie. From the forest of Endor’s leafy vegetation to Hoth’s snow-capped mountains and Tatooine’s sunlit rock faces, Star Wars has never looked so good.

Battlefront

FIFA 16

Ever wanted to peer up Gareth Bale’s nostrils rendered in pixel-perfect 4K? Now’s your chance, you oddball. Graphics haven’t traditionally been Fifa’s strongest suit, which means that EA’s latest footy sim particulalry benefits from the the extra pixels afforded by Ultra HD. While we still get the feeling that EA could make the beautiful game even more beautiful (in the graphics, rather than free-following-attacking-football sense), Fifa 16 is easily the best-looking installment in the series to date.

Fallout 4

The most anticipated game of the year isn’t the prettiest out of the box, which is forgivable given Fallout 4’s sheer size and scope. Still, even without loading up on of the many beautifying mods out there – such as the Wasteland graphics mod and the Texture Optimization Project – Fallout 4 is still a sight to behold. Cranking up the resolution and notching up the settings to Ultra results in some particularly mesmerising outdoor environments as the sun’s rays flicker through the trees.

Best 4K games

The best-looking brawler around bar none, Mortal Kombat X’s gore-some visuals make you wince at every ribcage-snapping, skull-crushing-eye gouging move. MKX gives you a wide ranging, but not extensive selection of tweakable graphics settings – ranging from antialiasing, anistropic filtering, shadow quality and texture quality to bloom, depth of field, motion blur, ambient occlusion and particle density. You’ll need a high-end graphics card to whack everything up to 11.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Few games look as photorealistic as Lara’s latest outing. Rise of the Tomb Raider was the first game to utilize Nvidia’s Voxel Accelerated Ambient Occlusion (VXAO) technique, which adds depth and realism to scenes by calculating shadows using a scene’s surrounding geometry, rather than what’s visible to the camera. And then there’s physically-based rendering, reactive water and more hair swishing than a shampoo advert. Simply put, Rise of the Tomb Raider had the works and shines in 4K. From the Uncharted-esque opening sequence that takes place atop a snow-capped mountain to the sunlit tombs that follow, the attention to detail has you panning the camera to soak up the surroundings as often as you’re actually – you know – raiding tombs and stuff.

Overwatch

Standing still to appreciate a game’s architecture in, say, Rise of Tomb Raider is fine. In Blizzard’s fast-paced shooter Overwatch, however, it’s not such a good idea if you want to avoid adding to your growing death tally. The team-based strategy FPS is organized chaos and beautiful to boot – especially if you own a gaming PC with more graphics muscle than Reinhardt’s right arm. If you’re playing in 4K, remember to flick the Resolution Scale setting to 100% to render Blizzard’s new game engine in all its glory.

At least one Xbox One virtual reality game is already in the works

At least one Xbox One virtual reality game is already in the works

As we brace ourselves for E3 2016 (14-16 June, gaming fans), the speculation is ramping up about what we can expect to see. With the Xbox One trailing Sony’s PS4 in the console race, the pressure’s on Microsoft to come up with something of note.

The logical next step is virtual reality, what with the PlayStation VR arriving later this year, and a major development studio has confirmed to Ars Technica that it does indeed have an Xbox One VR title in the works for a planned 2017 launch.

Microsoft’s current flagship console doesn’t have VR capabilities or indeed a VR-compatible headset to go with it, so it sounds very much like some upgraded hardware is on the way – hardware this dev studio is targeting.

Getting in the VR game

Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of the studio or the name of the game, but Ars Technica says the title will be demoed on PC or PS4 at this year’s E3. Apparently, we’re talking about “an established, long-running franchise” developed by a European studio here, so make of that what you will.

The obvious conclusion is that there’s a VR version of the Xbox One coming next year: churning out high-resolution, virtual reality graphics requires a heck of a lot of processing power, which is why many industry insiders think a more powerful PS4 is also on the way.

Is Microsoft going to take the wraps off an Oculus Rift-ready, enhanced Xbox One at E3 2016? It’s impossible to say for sure, but this is another hint in that direction. As usual, we’ll bring you all of the E3 news from LA as it happens.

GTA Online’s next big update is coming on June 7

TODO alt text

All-new smuggling operations are coming to GTA Online in a major update early next month. The update, jauntily titled Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, will let players expand their in-game groups and even become CEO of their own Criminal Enterprises starting on June 7.

The update will add new properties like high-rise office buildings and warehouses, ideal for a growing criminal empire. Rockstar is keeping mostly quiet on gameplay details until it drops a trailer next week, though it did share this screenshot of “associates” creeping up on some “Special Cargo in Buy missions arranged by the CEO”.

And it wouldn’t be a GTA Online update without some expensive new wheels to blow your cash on, like this smugly angular beast called the Pegassi Reaper.

Rockstar says Further Adventures in Finance and Felony will be one of GTA Online’s biggest and deepest updates yet (definitely the largest since Executives and Other Criminals back in December), so I look forward to hearing more about it soon.

Doom for Doom mod brings the 2016 FPS into the 1993 original

TODO alt text

You may already know that Bethesda squeezed some old-school love into the new Doom thanks to secret areas that contain snippets of original Doom and Doom 2 levels. But did you know it’s possible to go the opposite direction?

Over on the ZDoom forums, modders DBThanatos, Major Cooke, and Michaelis are working on porting Doom (2016) into Doom (1993). The results so far are pretty impressive, with the new game’s weaponry functioning well in the sprite-based environment.

The mod is called “D4D,” AKA “Doom(4) for Doom.” You can follow the ZDoom forums for updates, or just wait for it to be finished. DBThanatos says in his posts that it will be coming “soon…ish.”

Of course someone has recreated a Destiny raid in Doom’s level editor

TODO alt text

This was bound to happen. Hell, it’s not like I haven’t been thinking about it myself, in between hammering together my current SnapMap projects. Someone has built a version of Destiny’s King’s Fall raid in Doom’s content creation suite.

Coming in three parts – with the final battle against Oryx presumably in production – the project is the work of a player called SharkTurd11, a name that is not only brilliant in its own right, but which logically leads me to believe that there must be 10 other ShardTurds in existence somewhere, a thought that makes me very happy indeed.

The Basilica’s symmetrical layout has been recreated, with radiation pools standing in for the Annihilator Totems.

Now obviously a few things have had to be changed or stripped down to make Bungie’s vast, professionally developed raid work within the pre-set structural pieces of SnapMap. The chief difference is that the raid has been adapted to work for a single player rather than a co-ordinated, six-person team, but amendments have also had to be made to work around the lack of thundering great Hive ships to jump across and massive, biomechanical architecture to negotiate. And the explodable goo nodes that spur on the Golgoroth boss fight have been replaced with Lost Souls.

The fights around the ‘Totems’ get pretty hectic when you’re dealing with real demons rather than aliens who just pretend to be.

That said, it’s a pretty good analogue for King’s Fall, with the raid’s fundamentals translated rather well into Doom’s systems, and marvelously so in places. It’s also brutally hard at times but, as is the way with all SnapMaps, if you download it rather than streaming it, you can open it up in your own editor and start making any changes and modifications to it that you like. Want up lower the difficulty or add more checkpoints? Have at it. And obviously, a great number of bonus points to anyone who makes a workable multiplayer version of this.

If you want to play it for yourself, then the codes you need are as follows.

Part one: 7HUCXEEH
Part two: B5L6MDGE
Part three: K3YTLLM5

A Cyber-Mancubus is your new Golgoroth. It is appropriate casting.

Want more SnapMaps to play with?

This Star Wars live-action drone battle is most impressive

TODO alt text

Star Wars: The Force Awakens had some pretty thrilling spaceship battles, but even Poe Dameron himself may be outmatched by these tiny aces. Disney should totally hire these drone pilots to do the dogfighting scenes for Rogue One and Star Wars: Episode 8.

Combining first-person footage from skilled drone pilots with some cleverly captured miniature cockpit scenes, Corridor Digital created a live-action aerial battle fit for Rogue Squadron. Don’t believe those intense stunts were legit? Ok, it wasn’t actually a tiny X-Wing and TIE fighters up there, but the aerial acrobatics are all real.

Moogles need your help in new Final Fantasy 14 patch 3.3 trailer

TODO alt text

The Dragonsong War is coming to a head in Final Fantasy 14, and the Square Enix MMO is giving players plenty of content to celebrate the climactic finale. Patch 3.3, dubbed “Revenge of the Horde,” brings with it new main story quests, new beast tribe quests, two new dungeons, a new raid, a new trial, new gear, and new hairstyles.

Seriously, there’s a lot of stuff here – even flowerpots. Who doesn’t like flowerpots?

The update is scheduled to go live on PC, PS4, and PS3 on June 7, with follow-up patch 3.35 – which will add another dungeon – due shortly thereafter. Everything about these patches suggests it’ll be awhile before we see such significant additions again. Mayhaps a new expansion is waiting over the horizon?