Super Meat World is “days away”

The PC update for Super Meat Boy is only days away according to Team Meat, who tweeted to say that the level sharing portal will be ready to go live shortly. BigDownload note that Super Meat World will contain seven chapters and 140 levels on launch, and will include Enter the Unknown mode. This will let you jump into a random selection of highly rated custom maps. The update will be freely available, and will download automatically on Steam.

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Sky Island

It seems to be a typical platformer. A typical cutesy platformer, at that. You play as a small yellow thing, scurrying around a colourful world that makes adorable noises. And then you get to the obstacle in the screenshot above.

You can’t jump that high, because the controls are oddly floaty, in the way that console heretics will understand if I mention LittleBigPlanet. What to do? Ah, of course. Just spin the world around.

This is a very clever 3D game that, for the most part, masquerades as a 2D platformer. You’re running and jumping and bouncing off enemies’ heads, but an extra puzzle dimension is opened up by the world’s hidden depth. What’s initially a little lackluster quickly becomes delightful, and well worth a play.

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Rumour: major layoffs at Sony Online Entertainment studios

Numerous Sony Online Entertainment studios are closing according to George Broussard’s twitter feed. The Epic developer has been tweeting about the state of the company today.

As reported on NeoGaf Broussard originally tweeted: “Word that Sony Online Entertainment Seattle is having layoffs and that studio closure is possible.”

He later confirmed the rumour, saying “SOE Seattle and other studios (Denver is rumored) will be closed tomorrow. Good luck to all impacted.”

SOE Seattle were developing the ambitious upcoming shooter, The Agency for PC and PS3. They were also the team behind Magic The Gathering: Tactics. We’ve also heard rumours that half of the staff at SOE Austin have also been sacked. They’re behind DC Universe Online.

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Red Eclipse

Here’s an interesting project emerging from the open-source software community. Red Eclipse is a full multiplayer (or singleplayer with bots) shooter, built on a modified version of the Cube Engine. It immediately feels slightly out of place on this list, because it’s not particularly good. The weapons feel flimsy, the AI is useless, and visually it looks ten years old at best. It’s fun, certainly, but it feels like fairly perfunctory fun.

But then you look into what these guys are doing a little bit, and things take a turn for the better. In true open-source spirit, it’s a game that’s being poured back into the community for feedback, suggestions for alterations, and regular updates to ensure the experience is eventually all that it has the potential to be. And all for free – or, if you’re feeling charitable, a small donation on the website. To my mind, that’s got to be worth supporting.

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Is city-building the next big craze in MMOs?

It’s easy to feel like your choices don’t affect the world around you in an MMO. When you log out, you disappear without a trace. But if you could build a city in an MMO, it wouldn’t disappear—it’d hang around 24/7 to remind your fellow gamers that whoever built it (you) are totally cooler than they are, and that they should fear you.

Darkfall and a few other MMOs have proven that persistent city-building can work, with guilds proudly constructing, protecting and showing off their self-built cities. And the trend looks like it’s growing: two new fantasy MMOs, War of Angels and Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, plan to expand city-building features even further this year.

But what good’s a city if you can’t fight over it? In War of Angels, guild towns can only be built on specific plots of land, which must be wrestled from other guilds’ control if you want one. And you do want one—whoever’s in control can decide what buildings are built (ranging from skill-boosting research huts to banks and armor-making blacksmiths), collect taxes from the NPC vendors that’ll sell to all players and hire NPC guards to keep the peace.

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Home News Fable 3 system specs announced Fable 3 system specs announced

Fable 3 is due out on May 17, but will Lionhead Studio’s fantasy kingmaker sim run on your machine? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to look at the full minimum and recommended system specs below.

The minimum requirements are:

  • Operating System: XP 32 SP3, Vista 32/64 , Win 7 32/64
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4000+
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Hard Drive Space: 12 GB of free space
  • Graphics Hardware: NVidia 7600GT or ATI HD 2600 Pro
  • DirectX: 9.0c onward
  • Network: Internet or LAN connection required for multiplayer

The recommended system requirements are:

  • Operating System: Win 7
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 2.9Ghz Core 2 Duo or higher
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Hard Drive Space: 12 GB of free space
  • Graphics Hardware: Nvidia 260GTX 896MB or ATI 5770 1GB or higher
  • DirectX: 9.0c onward
  • Network: Internet or LAN connection required for multiplayer
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From the developer of the absurdly fiddly QWOP comes GIRP: another game in which you must control the individual body parts of a dude, only this time you’re climbing a wall instead of running a race.

See those letters in the rings in the screenshot above? Those correspond to letters on your keyboard. Holding one of them down makes your character reach for and grab onto the respective ring. Release that key and his arm goes all floppy. You can even click for an added bit of muscle stretch.

It takes absolutely ages to get the hang of GIRP, but once you’re on your way to becoming the next champion rock-climber, you’re already hopelessly hooked.

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Get exclusive 24 hour access to the Mythos closed beta

Mythos is a new free-to-play MMO originally designed by some of the minds behind Diablo and Torchlight. It’s about to enter closed beta. All PC Gamer readers will get exclusive access to the beta for 24 hours, starting at 17:00 GMT today. All you have to do to sign up and play is click the link below.

There’s no limit to the number of people who can sign up and play over the next 24 hours. By 5pm GMT tomorrow, the portal will close. Until then, you’re good to go. To enter, click on the link below.

The world of Mythos is inhabited by four races, which are all at war with one another. You can play as a Cyclops, a Human, a Gremlin or a Satyr. Classes include the ranged fire specialist, the pyromancer, the close combat veteran, the bloodletter, and the mad inventor, the gadgeteer. Here’s a trailer showing off some of the races you’ll be annihilating. For more information, head over to the Mythos site.

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Fable 3 preview

What took Microsoft so long? Fable 3’s been out on Xbox 360 since October last year. You could write two books in that time, or cure some minor disease. A skin rash or something. Up to now, there’s been little explanation from either developer Lionhead or publisher Microsoft as to why their game took such a torturous route to get to the PC, or why release dates were dangled and then pulled.

And having spoken with Fable 3’s lead designer Josh Atkins, it seems we’ll never get a complete answer. Josh was unable to point to any specific reason for the delay, suggesting that although there was indeed a PC build running alongside the 360 version early in development, real work on our version of the game didn’t start until that version shipped.

But what we’ve lost in timeliness, Josh is adamant us PC gamers have gained in improvements. There are things that the Guildford-based developers took on board after their console launch, and learned from abortive PC builds earlier in the creation process. I got to sample the major change during the game’s first two hours.

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Residing in its own little region of the gaming world, hidden away somewhere between Counter-Strike and Battlefield, sits BeGone, a new browser-based shooter from NPlay. And it’s impressive stuff. While it lacks the flair and impact of the games it tries to imitate, this squad-based FPS does a cracking job of evoking the same sensation of careful, strategic warfare, but warfare with a bit of a kick to it.

BeGone looks half-decent, and generally promotes tactical play in a way that even the best shooters struggle with from time to time. Considering it’s all played in a web browser window, it’s nothing short of a remarkable achievement.

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