Innovators in wallet abuse by owners, Valve today announced an update to its client that aids in streamlining the discovery of new titles. “Discovery” is one of the more tangible benefits of real-world shopping that has been lost to the sands of time (or EB Games); there’s a very distinct, satisfying experience that accompanies finding a new title, buying it, and taking a chance. Steam hopes to bring eyes to its thousands of titles with greater ease, noting that the company has brought-on more than 1300 games in just nine months.

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Raptr has just posted its Most Played PC Games for August 2014, a month that welcomed 3 MOBAs into the top-5 for the first time.

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The monthly top dog, League of Legends, hosted its LCS playoffs last month, helping increase its Share by 2.82 percent over July. "Share" represents gameplay time as a percentage of the total time spent on all the PC games played by Raptr members.

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Minecraft went from being a very simple indie game to incredibly popular -- almost overnight -- with tons of features in three short years. Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, holds a golden cube of a game, one that has even gotten the attention of Microsoft.

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After our “where did RTS go?” discussion with Pat Pannullo, former Tiberian Sun designer and current Grey Goo Lead Designer, we got a hands-on play session with the upcoming RTS. Grey Goo – conveniently “GG” – seeks to bring the genre back to its more “beer and pretzels” origins of the 90s and early 00s.

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The game still hosts a very real potential for a competitive scene, but it's specifically built to be an input-simplified RTS; the team wants to avoid the complexity of StarCraft – a game that uses heavy unit abilities, structure abilities, macro, micro, and meta play – and instead bring the focus back to core real-time strategy mechanics, the meta game, and epic battles. The resulting product is a game that scales to high competition just as well as it scales to casual LAN play (and Grey Goo does offer LAN), giving players a clear arc of progression if the desire to compete increases.

Published in Gaming Features

Command & Conquer may not have been the definitive “first” game in the RTS genre, but it was a milestone in gameplay and mechanics that paved the way for future titles. The 90s and very early 00s saw the rise of “strategy” as a genre, with RTS championing its market dominance. In a very similar fashion to the present-day flood of MOBAs, early RTS and campaign strategy once comprised what felt like the majority of popular titles.

rts-wallAbout 25% of my RTS collection, ordered chronologically and then by series.

Command & Conquer was just a small piece of that. We saw the arrival of Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Empire Earth, Shogun: Total War, Ground Control, and the sleeping giants that spawned a decade of games – Warcraft and StarCraft; campaign games also grew, with large thanks to Civilization, Rise of Nations, Galactic Civilizations, and Hearts of Iron; city builders like Zeus, Poseidon, Caesar, Settlers, and Pharaoh also carved out a niche in the overarching “strategy” marketplace.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor—not Destiny—is my most anticipated game of September. I’m taking the road less traveled in games media by honing in on a game that, rather than offering me a horizontally-expanded refresh of its series, integrates a gameplay-enhancing system for a fresh take. Monolith Productions has prioritized the preservation of hack-and-slash combat with a Nemesis interface and engine that gives more weight to players’ battle decisions and encourages them to keep mixing up how they take control of a territory.

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I visited Monolith at their Kirkland, Washington studios and spent the afternoon previewing Shadow of Mordor's gameplay and story.

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Double Fine continues to surprise with how they craft their take on various game genres. With Massive Chalice, the company has unified the turn-based strategy of XCOM and Crusader Kings with the long-term strategy elements of Civilization, looking through the genetics lens of Fire Emblem. This complex offspring of those games explores the concept of the smallest action having an impact in the longer term – a terms as long as 350 years.

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Massive Chalice Lead Animator Geoff Soulis showed us how all the pieces fit together in a hands-on demo at PAX Prime. We’ll start by overviewing Massive Chalice, then describe its classes, explain Double Fine’s flavor of turn-based combat, and tie together combat with prolonging bloodlines.

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Goldeneye and Halo: Combat Evolved introduced me to PVP first-person shooters. I eventually worked up my chops enough for my friends to target only me when playing a free-for-all mode, but one day while playing Halo, my friend called me out for “screen-cheating.”

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I never heard of such a term and, given that split-screen multiplayer still puts it out there to use the whole screen space to win, I never thought of this dubious act as one that’s frowned upon. Given that he was (and still is) my friend, I instantly quit screen-cheating and never returned to form.

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Trion Worlds' sandbox MMORPG Trove, currently in alpha, has some exciting news for fans of the game – beta is coming soon).

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We were fortunate enough that GN Senior Editor Nick Pinkerton was able to meet with Andrew Krausnick, Project Lead, and Brian Clarke, Lead Artist, to find out how the alpha released has progressed to enhance the game’s cooperative, community-focused PVE experience. We’ll cover player-created content and crafting, clubs and the other worlds, and classes and items in this article.

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Far Cry 4 has had an interesting journey since its unveil earlier this year. Far Cry 4 features lush environments and gameplay ingenuity, but initially struggled to communicate why it takes the franchise into new themes and settings.

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Some of the Himalayan air has cleared between Ubisoft and the community, allowing folks like us to judge Far Cry for what it is as a game.

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