Dishonored 2 and Death of The Outsider murder DRM, add free goodies

Excellent stealthy-stabby sequel Dishonored 2 and its also-excellent standalone expansion Death Of The Outsider have followed in the steps of other games late in their lives and removed Denuvo DRM. Arkane and Bethesda likely figure that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar – those who buy the game and provide a Bethesda store or launcher login will get a pair of new (if minor) perks. You get a Disho-noired black, white & red graphics mode and the option to replay any mission with your choice of powers, plus the pre-order bonus items for Dishonored 2.

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Subnautica is being given away free on the Epic Games Store today

Subnautica – Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s excellent aquatic survival adventure – is currently free to grab and keep forever on the Epic store, making it probably the most tempting reason to look at the shop after exclusives like Hades and Ashen. Released less than a year ago after a lengthy ride through early access, Subnautica is a gem. As someone who doesn’t ordinarily like survival craft ’em ups, I still got into it, exploring its thoughtfully designed cavern networks and alien ruins as I delved deeper underwater. No word on when this deal ends, so swoop on down and grab it for free before it goes back up to £19.49/€20.99/$24.99.

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Discord’s store to allow self-publishing with a better revenue split next year

Seemingly in response to Epic’s grand announcement of their own games store and subsequent PR barrage at The Game Awards, Discord have announced they’re going to be offering a better cut on games distribution too. As of next year, the recently-launched Discord game store will be open for self-publishing, with the company taking 10% (less than Valve’s 30% and Epic’s 12%, more than Itch’s split-how-you-want), leaving developers with 90%. In their announcement, Discord state that it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018“, and I’ve doubts it ever did once we went digital.

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Best PC gaming deals of the week – 14th December 2018

Welcome one and all, your deals herald has returned from her Day That Shall Not Be Named mini-break. There’s still a bit of residual trauma associated with that dark, dark day (dealsdealsdeals), but a week spent playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for reasons even I can’t fathom has been one heck of an antidote. It’s probably because I’ve been challenging all that endless, repetitive deals-checking frenzy into Odyssey’s equally repetitive stabbing objectives. All I’ve got to do is loot one treasure you say? Sure! That’s like a big fat 80% off sticker compared to some objectives I’ve previously completed, I will do that right away, no problem. Anything to get one more golden proclamation across the screen that makes it feel like I’m accomplishing something.

But enough Odyssey rambling. You’re here for the deals! And man alive are there some good ones, particularly if you’re looking for some cheapy cheap games. And it doesn’t even involve any murdering random foot soldiers in the bushes either. Result.

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Game Workers Unite UK is the nations’s first official games industry union

Videogames are awesome (and also one word), but the industry making them has some undeniable problems. The newly-established Game Workers Unite UK, now an official branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) hopes to make things a little better for folks in the business, reduce worker exploitation and improve diversity. We’ve all heard tales of soul-shattering crunch, unpaid overtime and people axed from jobs with little warning and even less severance pay, so as far as I’m concerned, this is a good, sure step in the right direction.

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Giveaway: 1500 Black Future ’88 beta keys

Black Future ’88 is a 2D action-platformer in which you’ve got 18 minutes to fight your way to the top of a procedural tower in order to defeat its architect in a “synth-punk” post-apocalypse. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you’re in luck – we’ve got 1500 beta keys for the game to give away below.

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Slay The Spire shuffles out of early access in January

Splendid deck-building roguelikelike dungeon-crawler Slay The Spire will leave early access and launch in full on January 23rd, 2019, developers Mega Crit Games have announced. If you’ve foolishly been waiting for the full launch–it’s been one of my favourite games of the year for months so holding off is daft okay–there you go. Mega Crit also note that they’ll bump the price up a touch before launch so look, get it now and start scaling that tower of oddities.

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Valve release a tasty Steam Link topping for Raspberry Pi

The Link is dead, long live the Link! Valve’s official Steam Link hardware may now be discontinued after a price-slashing frenzy, but its software heart lives on, and now free on the Raspberry Pi. Formerly released on Android (although not iOS due to Apple being grumpy gits), this new version is version 3B or 3B+ of everyone’s tiny PCB powerhouse system, favoured by tech-tinkerers worldwide. For those late to the party, Steam Link is a local streaming solution, letting you tunnel through your LAN or wi-fi to play games from your desktop via your TV in another room.

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DayZ lumbers out of early access with a free weekend

Six years in the works (counting its time as an Arma 2 mod) and Bohemia Interactive’s zombie survival sandbox DayZ has left early access, flinging open its doors for a free launch weekend. Snag it here on Steam before December 17th and you too can enjoy hiking through the rain across the sprawling, bleak land of Chernarus. Maybe you’ll even find weaponry and shelter before zombies or other humans do you in. Having not played it since its early days as a mod (I feel very old, suddenly), I went for a jaunt around Chernarus last night. Thoughts and a launch trailer below.

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The Foxer

The 127-cell honeycomb below is a fancy form of wordsearch in which every cell is used, and words can curl and zigzag but never overlap. Each hive foxer has a theme (some previous ones: roses, walls, postage stamps, and The 39 Steps). Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle is made up of 23 answers.

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