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PC GAMER (UK) - - CONTENTS - Of­fen­sive lay­erUn­known’s Bat­tle­grounds Counter-Strike: Global Dota 2 Andy Kelly

Pre­cently broke 500,000 con­cur­rent play­ers on Steam, plac­ing it along­side the likes of and in terms of sheer pop­u­lar­ity. It’s one of the big­gest suc­cess sto­ries on PC, but a new fea­ture is prov­ing both­er­some for some play­ers. Horns were re­cently added to the game’s banged-up cars, which en­ter­pris­ing stream snipers have found a way to ex­ploit.

Stream snip­ing typ­i­cally in­volves play­ing on a server with a streamer while watch­ing their stream to gain an ad­van­tage. It’s thor­oughly un­sports­man­like, but some gamers find the ac­tiv­ity hugely en­ter­tain­ing. Snipers have now found a way to use Bat­tle­grounds’ new horns to help them out. Stream honk­ing, as some re­fer to it, in­volves get­ting into a car, hold­ing the horn but­ton down, then chas­ing stream­ers around.

When they get shot at, they speed away only to re­turn later with more mad­den­ing honk­ing. It’s enor­mously child­ish, but also kinda funny. Al­though if it was hap­pen­ing to me I’m sure I’d find it any­thing but. Bat­tle­grounds devel­oper Blue­hole has a strict pol­icy of ban­ning stream snipers, so it re­mains to be seen whether this will ex­tend to stream honkers. Some will view it as lit­tle more than a bit of harm­less tom­fool­ery, but for oth­ers it will ac­tively ruin their en­joy­ment of the game.

Bat­tle­grounds has also in­tro­duced FPS-only servers, which were hugely pop­u­lar in DayZ. These re­strict all play­ers to a first-per­son per­spec­tive, which makes the game dou­bly tense. And con­sid­er­ing how tense it al­ready was, that’s say­ing some­thing. The view forces you to be more care­ful, and means you’re un­able to swing the cam­era around to look around cor­ners and through win­dows. It’s a purer, tougher way to play.

Some will view it as lit­tle more than a bit of harm­less tom­fool­ery

CRATE EX­PEC­TA­TIONS

A new fea­ture that hasn’t been quite as well re­ceived, how­ever, is the ad­di­tion of paid-for crates con­tain­ing cos­metic items. “I do un­der­stand your con­cerns about the sys­tem, but I feel test­ing for a sturdy econ­omy on the Steam Mar­ket­place is nec­es­sary at this stage and ul­ti­mately ben­e­fi­cial for the game,” says Bat­tle­gournds’ cre­ator, Bren­dan ‘Play­erUn­known’ Greene. “We are tak­ing your con­cerns into con­sid­er­a­tion when it comes to the abil­ity to get free cos­met­ics by play­ing the game.”

A game as widely-played as Bat­tle­grounds is al­ways go­ing to make de­ci­sions that di­vide the com­mu­nity, but the game’s wild pop­u­lar­ity shows no sign of wan­ing. I can’t help but think of how DayZ was the hot new thing for about a year, but slowly fiz­zled out. It’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how Bat­tle­grounds’ longevity com­pares, and how it evolves with fu­ture up­dates.

Rock­star’s street rac­ing se­ries may be mak­ing a come­back

Hello, friends. The Spy is back with some more scald­ing hot PC gam­ing ru­mours. Well, rea­son­ably hot. Mildly warm in some cases. But what­ever the tem­per­a­ture, you can rest as­sured that the fol­low­ing nuggets will as­suredly re­veal them­selves to be ei­ther cor­rect or in­cor­rect. That’s a Spy guar­an­tee, and you can count on The Spy’s guar­an­tees. They’re worth their weight in gold, and can ac­tu­ally be used as le­gal ten­der in over a dozen un­recog­nised rogue states across the world. Just tell ’em The Spy sent you. And if they give you an an­gry look, swear pro­fusely, or bran­dish some kind of weapon, tell them The Spy is sorry about what­ever it was that blew up that one time.

Re­mem­ber Mid­night Club? Well, Rock­star’s street rac­ing se­ries may be mak­ing a come­back – if a sup­pos­edly leaked screen­shot is to be be­lieved, that is. It ap­pears to show the game’s start screen, with an Xbox One but­ton prompt. And if it’s com­ing to Xbox One, it’s com­ing to PC too. There’s no num­ber in the logo, so this is ei­ther a re­make of the first game or a re­boot of some kind. Or it’s a fake screen­shot. Coin­ci­den­tally, the Mid­night Club is the name of a bar in Zurich where The Spy was al­most poi­soned by a ri­val agent. It’s a good thing The Spy is able to vomit on cue and ejected the deadly spiked Mar­tini just be­fore the toxin worked its deadly magic.

An­other beloved Rock­star game may be re­turn­ing as well. A dump of con­cept art al­legedly from Bully 2 has sur­faced on­line. There’s no way of know­ing if this is le­git, or even from a game cur­rently in de­vel­op­ment, but the art is of a high enough qual­ity to make The Spy think there might be some­thing to it. Then again, GTA On­line has been such a huge hit for Rock­star, would it re­ally go back to Bully, a game that doesn’t lend it­self to mul­ti­player? The Spy thinks these might be im­ages from an aban­doned project. At Spy School they called The Spy a bully. But if you’re go­ing to leave your un­der­wear unat­tended, of course an en­ter­pris­ing agent is go­ing to bug them and feed the sound of you go­ing to the toi­let through to the cafe­te­ria.

Crash Land­ing

Grin­ning mar­su­pial Crash Bandi­coot has re­cently had a new lease of life in the form of PlayS­ta­tion 4’s Crash Bandi­coot N. Sane Tril­ogy. This col­lec­tion of re­mas­tered plat­form­ers has been some­thing of a nostal­gia-fu­elled hit for Sony, but it ap­pears an Xbox ver­sion may be in the works. Not only did re­tailer Su­per Gamer list it on its site, but one of devel­oper Vi­car­i­ous Vi­sions’ artists posted a few UI shots on their port­fo­lio show­ing Xbox but­ton prompts. And in this bold new world of Xbox be­ing a sin­gle, uni­fied for­mat, that means it might be headed to PC. Hon­estly, The Spy doesn’t care much of bandi­coots. Once, on a mis­sion, an ec­cen­tric Aussie mega­lo­ma­niac tossed The Spy into a pit of hun­gry bandi­coots with lasers at­tached to their heads. It was most un­pleas­ant.

For­mer Un­charted writer Amy Hen­nig is work­ing with Vis­ceral and EA on a Star Wars game, and some plot de­tails have leaked cour­tesy of mak­ingstar­wars.net. Ap­par­ently the main char­ac­ter will be called Dodger, a crim­i­nal who ‘dodged’ the draft into the Im­pe­rial army. He’ll re­port­edly be played by Todd Stash­wick (re­cently seen in the 12 Mon­keys TV se­ries), and if Hen­nig’s pre­vi­ous work is any­thing to go by, will al­most cer­tainly be rogu­ish and/or charm­ing. Sounds like Vis­ceral is go­ing big on story, which makes sense given Hen­nig’s in­volve­ment. The game, which is still un­ti­tled, will al­legedly take place just be­fore The Em­pire Strikes Back.

LEFT: This is a bull­shot, but it’s what play­ing Bat­tle­grounds feels like in your mind.

BE­LOW: Stream honkers use the Da­cia to wage psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare on play­ers.

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