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Steam Charts: Octopodiformes EditionJan 14, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun A lot of people first discover this Pulitzer Prize-winning* column via the Steam pages for their favourite games, and it’s always a pleasure to welcome in new readers to RPS’s most respected feature. So if you’re new, welcome! Please settle in and find out why Steam Charts is the industry’s most respected and revered games journalism. (more…) GTA Online gets laser cannons in a new updateJan 8, 2019 - PC GamerChristmas is now over in GTA Online, but the spirit of the season—blowing stuff up online—is carrying on thanks to some weapons from the future. The Unholy Hellbringer and Widowmaker guns, normally sported by Republican Space Rangers, can be yours, at least if you’re able to shell out for them next time you visit Ammu-Nation.  These hefty alien-killers will set you back wee bit more than a rubbish handgun, though it’s probably just a drop in the ocean for you ultra-rich CEOs. Think of us down here, cutting corners and forgoing expensive dinners so we can afford the latest in future murder tech. The Widowmaker, for instance, costs $499,000, though you’ll never have to worry about ammo again, seeing as it’s infinite.  You’ll also be able to earn double cash and RP rewards if you dive into the Arena War series, which now includes some additional competitive modes: Hasta La Vista, Vehicle Vendetta and The Vespucci Job. All Biker business sales are paying out double cash, too. The reward bonuses will continue through January 14.  There are a bunch of discounts this week, as well, including 35 percent off Biker businesses, 30 percent off facilities and lots of cheaper vehicles. The full list list is below.  *  Biker Businesses – 35 percent off ; *  Facilities  – 30 percent off ; *  Grotti X80 Proto – 35 percent off ; *  Mammoth Hydra – 35 percent off ; *  Nagasaki Shotaro – 35 percent off ; *  Weeny Issi Classic – 35 percent off ; *  Dewbauchee Vagner – 30 percent off ; *  Mammoth Thruster – 30 percent off ; *  Mammoth Avenger – 35 percent off ; *  Ocelot Stromberg – 30%percent off ; *  Pegassi Zentorno – 30%percent off ; Anything tickling your fancy? Even in a world with Red Dead Online, GTA Online should keep evolving in 2019Jan 7, 2019 - PC GamerWhenever I log in to GTA Online, I'm almost overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I remember I can do in the game. I forget that I bought an Avenger, one of GTA's flying fortresses, where a dude will add cool things to my cars for a price. I have a hangar, a motorcycle club, a nightclub, a facility for the Doomsday heist, countless ludicrous vehicles and now, an Arena Workshop. I like how busy it feels, and how much extra stuff you can accumulate in Online that regular GTA 5 just never had—if I was 18 right now with nothing but time on my hands and a few friends who love GTA as much as me, I'd play this non-stop. It's a GTA game you can play forever.  When GTA 4 came out, some detractors pointed out that it'd lost the silly edge that it had in Vice City and San Andreas—Area 69, jet packs and so on. GTA 5 brought a lot of the silliness back, and GTA Online has played a big part in accelerating that. The game got jet packs in 2017, for example, and flying cars and bikes have been around for ages. I've mentioned this many times before, but I own a Batmobile (er, I mean, the Vigilante). And with the Arena War update, GTA Online got a raygun, the Up-n-Atomiser (surely a classic Simpsons reference), completing its journey to becoming even sillier than San Andreas ever was. For $399,000, you can have this: Any time a novelty weapon or vehicle gets added to GTA Online, I am here for it. Who knows? Maybe in a year I'll be writing about portal guns or something. I wonder what Trevor Phillips would make of the Up-n-Atomizer. GTA's numerous free cash giveaways have given people a nice excuse to jump back into the game across the last year. It's how I was able to easily afford an Arena Workshop and the weapon above, having not picked up the game as much since the After Hours update. From Rockstar's perspective, it probably acts a good incentive to get new and lapsed players to give GTA a try, and for me it's a comfortable way to keep up with the game's major updates without buying Shark Cards.  The recent Arena War update is like GTA Online's version of a themed minigame compilation, focusing on vehicle combat. Taking place in the Maze Bank Arena, it's been doling out generous double experience/cash rewards since it launched. The modes aren't all winners, but a few of them are terrific fun to jump into: Hot Bomb tasks you with passing the imminently-exploding bomb to other players by crashing into them, and it's a laugh. Games Masters has one team racing through checkpoints while the opposition blows them up with drones, turrets and other explosive goodies from the sidelines. Then, you switch roles.  What Sam described as GTA Online's version of Rocket League isn't quite that, unfortunately—Bomb Ball is about knocking a whole bunch of ball-shaped bombs into the other players' half (and sometimes the goal), but it's a bit to...Steam Charts: The tail of the Winter SaleJan 7, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ho ho ho! John still hasn’t returned after Christmas, missing presumed drowned in egg nog, so I’m filling in today. Valve have already blarbed about 2018’s best-selling games so we’re back on the weekly charts. Last week’s top ten was largely familiar, though catching the tail end of the Steam Winter Sale has introduced a few surprises. (more…) GTA Online now has its own version of Rocket League, called Bomb BallDec 29, 2018 - PC GamerGTA Online has added a new mode called Bomb Ball to its Arena War lineup, and it's basically an explosive, multi-ball version of Rocket League. Rockstar calls it "the Los Santos spin on soccer": two teams take to the arena in souped-up cars and try to push enormous bombs into the opposition's goal. Make sure the ball isn't in your half when it explodes. You can get the idea from the short clip below. It'll be available to play until January 14, and anyone that gets behind the wheel will receive double GTA$ & RP. It's part of GTA Online's series of holiday updates, which will give players free gifts just for logging on. You'll get a gift every day between now and January 1—they're all listed here (scroll down to the "Festive Calendar" section), and they include sweaters, liveries and fireworks. Additionally, you'll receive two free T-shirts if you play before January 7, which is also the cut-off point for double GTA$/RP for completing certain activities, including biker contract missions and gunrunning sales, and discounts on various items, such as hangars and aircraft. You can read about all them all in Rocktar's post. Lastly, there's a new sleek car for purchase called the Grotti Itali GTO, pictured below. You can buy it from Legendary Motorsport.  Steam Charts Blood From A Stone EditionDec 17, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Hey, remember the good old days? Those giddy times I like to think of as last week? When the Charts felt fresh and new, filled with potential, as if any interesting game could take a top spot? Well, forget all that because it’s all gone to shit again. (more…) GTA Online: Arena War Out NowDec 13, 2018 - Community Announcementshttps://youtu.be/9KPdmv4ygqM Welcome to a new era of entertainment. Time to sit down, strap in, and battle other would-be opponents in the greatest orgy of sports and automotive gladiatorial combat in human history. The most deranged vehicles! The most brutal weapons! The biggest crowds! Run your own workshop, craft your own juggernauts of destruction, and track your own carnage-filled career. Live from the Maze Bank Arena, this is Arena War. GTA Online s Arena War blends Mad Max and Robot WarsDec 12, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunGrand Theft Auto Online‘s latest update – Arena War – invites players to join the titular big new televised event broadcasting from the heart of Los Santos. It’s a PvP vehicular throwdown with its own playmodes, progression and special arena vehicles with their own customisation system. While free to dabble in, the real rewards are limited to players who put some GTA-bucks down on an upgradeable workshop allowing them to bolt guns, armour and Mad Max-ian gubbins onto their cars for the next fight. It’s out now, and I hear a trailer revving up below. (more…) GTA Online's Arena War update brings stadium-based vehicle combatDec 11, 2018 - PC GamerUpdate: With the update rolled out, Rockstar has added more detail on what Arena War entails. The seven new modes are called Carnage (vehicle deathmatch), Flag War (capture the flag), Wreck It (a trap-heavy racing mode), Tag Team (tag in and out of the fight with another player), Games Masters (one team hits checkpoints while their opponents control hazards to stop them), Here Come the Monsters (survival mode against an opposing team of monster trucks) and Hot Bomb (sounds filthy, but you pass the bomb by crashing into other players). The update also adds the Arena Workshop, where you can customise these vehicles. The workshop costs a minimum $995,000 fee from what I can tell, and they're based inside the Maze Bank Arena. This isn't a mandatory purchase to participate in the new Arena War content, but you'll need one to have a 'career' in Arena War and earn AP, which unlocks further rewards.  Experience and GTA$ are doubled this week for Arena War. 12 new vehicles have been added, available on new in-game site ArenaWar.tv. Here's a list of them: - Cerberus - Brutus - Scarab - Imperator - ZR380 - Sasquatch - Bruiser - Arena Slamvan - Arena Dominator - Arena Issi - Impaler - Deathbike You'll also get two new shirts for your trouble by logging in this week.  Original story: I feared GTA Online would die a slow death with the arrival of Red Dead Redemption 2's multiplayer mode on consoles, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case just yet. Today, GTA gets the Arena War update, where players battle with custom vehicles inside the long-dormant Maze Bank Arena. Arena War will encompass seven new modes.  Rockstar says these all-new vehicle types were built just for Arena War. Curiously, Arena War has its own progression system called Arena Points. You'll be able to use these to rank up and get access to new 'toys', which can be used in or out of the arena. I'm assuming the vehicles will be for sale on Warstock, too, which would be welcome news to me as someone who has no interest in GTA Online's sports cars, but loves novelty vehicles like the Vigilante.  Vehicle combat has been a fixture of a bunch of past GTA Online modes—Motor Wars or Dogfight Mode, for example—so it's interesting to see Rockstar double down on it. After its launch on PC later today, I'll throw a few hours at Arena War to see if it's worth jumping back into the game for. I say this as someone who hasn't played too much GTA since the After Hours update earlier in the year.  According to serial GTA leaker FoxySnaps, a raygun is among the goodies coming to GTA Online in this update: If you ever need an injection of cash in GTA Online, consider checking out our comprehensive guide on making moneySteam Charts: I Was On Holiday Last Week EditionDec 3, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun I, Alice Bee, have returned from a week off and everything has changed. Matt is in the office now, and complained about having to get up at 8.15am. This complaint made me furious and I am telling everyone. My desk has been moved. There is no milk in the fridge. I am confused, and I can’t remember all the HTML codes to write this very post. It’s going to take ages. The new world is terrifying. But we always have the Steam Charts, even when John is away on his holidays. (more…) Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming dealsNov 26, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Is… is it over yet? Are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals finally finished? Just a couple more hours to go now, you can do it deals herald, you can get through this. You’ve got a week and a half holiday coming up soon, just get through the afternoon and then you can go and lie in a dark room and not dream about Cyber Monday graphics card deals you might have missed for the seventh night running. Ahem. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me there. Probably the Cyber Monday PC gaming deals fatigue settling in, or the Black Friday fever dream I seem to have been living this past fortnight. But your deals herald is stronger than that. Nay, THE DEALER is stronger than that, and with a renewed sense of vigor that may in fact be frenzied despair, I thus present to you the final monolithic installment of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC deals bonanza. Gone are the deals swept away by the ever-grabbing hands of internet shoppers. All that’s left is the best of the best that are still up for grabs, from graphics cards and monitors to SSDs, gaming headsets, CPUs and mice and keyboards and more. If you’ve yet to do your Cyber Monday shopping, act fast, as these PC gaming deals won’t be around for long. (more…) Steam Charts: Do U Cyber EditionNov 26, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun We’ve been hacked! As well as a fake festival of online retail excess, Cyber Monday is now a celebration of hacker games and everything ‘cyber’. Beep boop. I am the SteamChartBot, and welcome to the CYBERCHARTS. They’re like the regular charts, but they have the word “CYBER” shouted at the start, and that makes them really bloody cool. (more…) Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming dealsNov 25, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun I’m sure everyone’s feeling a bit of Black Friday fatigue by now (trust me, I want this all to be over just as much as you do), but in the interests of those after that one, last, final deal to end all deals, I present to you our newly refreshed Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals hub. I’ve cleared away all the deals that have been swept into oblivion by the almighty wave of discount-grabbers, leaving you with the best of the best PC gaming deals that are still available. Whether you’re after a new graphics card, monitor, SSD, gaming headset or even a new CPU, mouse and keyboard, your deals herald will provide. Here are all the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals you can grab right now. (more…) GTA Online's latest update pays you up to 1.35 million GTA$ just for logging inNov 20, 2018 - PC GamerIf you log in to GTA Online this week you will get 750,000 in-game bucks, just for being you. For each subsequent day you log in you'll earn a further $100k through to November 26. In total you can make $1.35 million, to be delivered to your Maze account by December 3. Congratulations. Now you need to spend that hard-earned cash. The Overflod Entity XXR, Vapid GB200, Nagasaki Shotaro, select planes, and some properties are all on sale. The Shotaro is a particularly swish Tron-inspired motorcycle with great acceleration and turning speed. Here's the full list of discounts. Progen Itali GTB 35 percent off Truffade Nero 35 percent off Dewbauchee Rapid GT Classic 35 percent off Dewbauchee Vagner 35 percent off Overflod Entity XXR 35 percent off Vapid GB200 35 percent off Declasse Hotring Sabre 35 percent off Nagasaki Shotaro 40 percent off If you don't have a Dewbauchee Vagner yet, you should probably pick one up. In multiple tests it proved to be the fastest car in GTA Online. The Progen Itali GTB is also strong in top speed terms according to our GTA expert.  The Thanksgiving celebrations continue in Sumo (Remix), Running Back (Remix), Biker Work and Challenges, and Biker Sell missions, which will yield double GTA$ and RP until Monday. For more, check out the GTA Online site. Get extra cash for import/export sell missions in GTA Online, and save on this rad flying carNov 14, 2018 - PC GamerThe flying Imponte Deluxo is by far the best vehicle I own in GTA Online—unless you count the ludicrous ultralight glider in my hangar—and this week it's discounted by 25 percent, along with some of the game's other novelty vehicles. In addition, this week you can get 50 percent bonus GTA money for completing import/export sell missions. GTA Online's double experience modes this week are Terrorbyte client jobs, special vehicle races, and weaponised vehicle missions.  There's a bit of a weaponised vehicle theme with this week's discounts, too. As well as the Deluxo above, which can be fitted with rockets, the Knight Rider-ish Ruiner 2000 is 40 percent off. I've only used one in a mission once, but it did seem ludicrously powerful, with machine guns and rockets at its disposal. You can also save 40 percent on the Mammoth Thruster, which is GTA Online's name for a jetpack. Here are some of the other vehicles on-sale, which includes a few supercars: * Overflod Tyrant (30 percent off); * Pfister Comet SR (30 percent off); * Ocelot XA-21 (30 percent off); * Coil Cyclone (30 percent off); * Coil Raiden (30 percent off); * Coil Rocket Voltic (40 percent off) ; * Nagasaki Blazer Aqua (40 percent off); * Ocelot Stromberg (40 percent off); Various upgrades for each are discounted this week, too. Note that the XA-21 finished third in lap times during our fastest GTA Online car test by expert Adam Brough.  If you're curious about how the lack of Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC has affected the game's player base, it hasn't, really. According to Steam Charts, the peak player count in GTA 5 over the last 30 days is 81,360, which is roughly in line with other months following the lack of a major update in Online. When we'll get another one is a bit up in the air—the launch of Red Dead Online is Rockstar's priority this month.  As ever, consult our comprehensive GTA moneymaking guide for tips on how to make serious cash. Steam Charts: Sexy AF EditionNov 12, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun QUICKLY! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, QUICKLY! I’ve written the charts and there are some jokes and you have to read it! One of the jokes is quite good! (more…) Rockstar's history of AmericaNov 7, 2018 - EurogamerThere is a familiar pattern to media coverage whenever Rockstar publishes a game. There is talk about how the developer has used its newest game to iterate upon and redefine the open world genre. There are almost always articles on how various Hollywood films influenced Rockstar's development process. And there are at least one or two polemics that attack the developer for transgressing established norms about what can and cannot be done in video games. This last type of essay inevitably concludes that video games are bad, and lead to an increase in interpersonal violence as well as the downfall of civilisation. What's interesting about this pattern of coverage is how often it overlooks Rockstar's own development and publishing habits, most notably the company's steady development and publication of games set in the past. Indeed, if we were to remove the typical narrative surrounding Rockstar games related to game mechanics, cinema and satire, we might instead see Rockstar as a publisher of historical games on par with Firaxis (Civilization), Paradox (Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis), or Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed). It's now commonplace to see articles, podcasts and videos criticising those publishers' appropriation of the past, but Rockstar remains remarkably unscathed even though the company has developed and published a series of games that, taken together, chronicle modern American history. These games include Red Dead Redemption 2 (set in 1899), Red Dead Redemption (1911), L.A. Noire (1947), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (1986) and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (1992). Whenever one attempts to analyse the history in historical fiction they'll always run into the hand-waving argument that "it's fiction, not history". This defense has been used by Red Dead Redemption 2 lead writer Dan Houser, who stated recently: " may be a work of historical fiction, but it's not a work of history.". Yet we know popular historical fiction often plays an outsized influence on the way the public remembers historical figures or important time periods. Consider, for instance, the impact of Shakespeare's plays on the reputations of Cleopatra and Richard III. Or the importance of Saving Private Ryan to public commemorations of D-Day. To take an example from my own life, I've probably had more conversations with students on the influence of Blackadder Goes Forth on our memory of the First World War than I've had on the actual history of the First World War (although that probably says something more about the quality of my teaching than anything else). The truth is better than fiction, but it's often the fiction we remember the best. Read more… All contact missions in GTA Online pay double this week, nightclubs are 30% offNov 6, 2018 - PC GamerContact missions offer players double XP and GTA$ in GTA Online this week—and they're not the only activities paying out generously. Terrorbyte-activated client jobs and Rockstar stunt races are also handing out double experience and in-game cash all week. If you've been waiting to acquire a nightclub in GTA Online, they're all currently discounted by 30%. That brings the cheapest one on Elysian Island down to well below $1,000,000, which is pretty good value. That's the one I have, because it was all I could afford when the update launched in July. It's a little out of the way on the map, but that's why I travel there in my flying car, so I don't have to worry about all that Los Santos traffic.  Alternatively, you could could just buy a more expensive (but still discounted) nightclub in a better location, negating the need for a flying car.  Speaking of flying versions of vehicles that ordinarily belong on the road, fancy hover bike the Pegassi Oppressor Mk. II is discounted by 30% this week. It joins a host of cars like the Vapid Flash GT, Pegassi Tempesta, Pfister Neon, Pfister Comet SR and Pegassi Zentorno, which are also discounted. Their associated upgrades are on-sale, too.  Both Pegassi vehicles make our fastest cars in GTA Online list, at positions five (Tempesta) and six (Zentorno) on lap times. Maybe that'll help inform your buying decisions. Meanwhile, all motorcycle clubs and their associated businesses and upgrades are discounted by 35% this week, if you've not yet moved into the lucrative world of GTA drug running. Find out more about what that pays out in our GTA Online money guide.  All of this will help distract you from the cruel truth: there is no Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC yet.  Steam Charts: Aquatic Craniate EditionNov 5, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun There are weeks when the Steam Charts surprise us! There are weeks when interesting new and old games reappear, pushing out the dreary regulars! And then mostly there are weeks like this one, where it’s so depressingly bland that it starts raining outside the moment you glance at it. Not good rain, just bland drizzle. (more…) GTA Online's Halloween event features murder, mayhem, and free t-shirtsOct 30, 2018 - PC GamerSix Adversary Modes will offer double RP and GTA  during the event, including:   e fun-filled festival of costumes and junk food that we're used to. Tricks definitely lead the way in the GTA Online's Halloween event, and by "tricks" I mean even more  murder than usual.  Six Adversary Modes will offer double RP and GTA money during the event, including:    * Slasher - The shotgun-wielding Slasher stalks up to seven Hunted, equipped only with flashlights. After three minutes, the Hunted get shotguns of their own to turn the tables on the Slasher. The mode ends if the Slasher or all the Hunted are killed within the time limit. * Slashers - The Slashers, armed with Machetes and Shotguns, must wade through the darkness in pursuit of the Hunted, who are equipped with Thermal Vision and Flashlights. But don't get too comfortable — as each minute passes, the team roles are reversed until one group has been wiped out completely. * Lost vs Damned - Lost Vs Damned pits Angels against Devils in the ultimate battle of the soul. Each match will flip between day and night for 60 seconds at a clip, with advantages including regenerated Armor and Health and improved weapon options depending on the time – day for the Angels and night for the Devils. * Condemned - This nightmarish mode marks one unlucky player for imminent death: when the timer runs out, they’re worm food. Their only hope is to pass the bad news onto somebody else, and the only way to do that is by sending them on a short trip to a shallow grave. Last man standing wins. * Come Out to Play - A team of three Runners just trying to make it home, and a team of Hunters out for blood. Runners are well-armed but on foot, while Hunters wield free-aim shotguns and must stay on their motorbikes or ATVs. Hunters have unlimited lives, while the Runners have just one life, but plenty of weapons available to pick off the Hunters at will. * Beast vs Slasher - The Beast is back, and this time it's got company. Only an armored team of Slashers, armed to the teeth have a hope of stopping them. The Beasts, gifted with wild speed, the ability to leap over buildings and temporary invisibility, have to collect all the checkpoints while the Slashers attempt to stop them. Players who log into the game before November 5 will get free Psycho Swingers, Zombie Liberals in the Midwest, and Twilight Knife t-shirts, and a trio of Halloween-themed vehicles—the LCC Sanctus, the Albany Lurcher, and the Albany Franken Strange—are back for a limited time at a 35 percent discount. Other vehicles, properties, and add-ons are also marked down for the event.  GTA Online's big Halloween party is live now and runs until November 5. Details are available at the Rockstar Social Club.