Trick or Treats?


'Tis all hallows' eve!

Trick or treats will be had this night. Are you dressing up? Going out for a night of endless frights?We'll be totally honest; we have every intention of going out and hoarding a whole box load of treats tonight, but we'll probably end up just playing more Arkham Origins. Just 'coz.

However! That doesn't mean we can't get into the Halloween spirit by admiring some bloody brilliant pumpkins. Using our finely crafted Internet skills, which we've honed over the last ten years, we've managed to compile some of the best gaming pumpkins on the net. As you can see from the banner above, they're all really impressive, and vary from Nintendo's classic series like Mario and Zelda to more contemporary games like Bioshock. We've linked to the original sources, so you can find the collections on the net that have some amazing designs.

Bioshock Big Daddy


Fallout 3


Zelda


Have you seen any better than these? Or have you made some brilliant ones yourself? Link them in the comments so we can rate them. It's the one night of the year that this is socially acceptable, so get on it!

Happy Trick or Treating!
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Playfire Vulcan BETA Update 0.0.45.0


Happy Hump day, gamers!

We've released version 0.0.45.0 of Playfire Vulcan, which includes a number of fixes and improvements to how Playfire Vulcan works behind the scenes. It's very much a set of refinements on the tracking services that we are working on night and day, in order to turn the client into something that you, our users, expect from a service like Playfire.

Here's the full list of notes for 0.0.45.0:
  • New improvements in how Playfire Vulcan detects new Xbox Live activity have been implemented.
  • Playfire Vulcan is now more efficient in the number of requests it sends to Xbox Live, reducing bandwidth.
  • Steam and PSN game tracking now use the new improved caching system, reducing bandwidth and improving the speed in which new game activity is tracked.
  • Playfire Vulcan now detects if a user hasn’t set up their Steam custom URL and notifies them accordingly.
  • Fixed a rare issue where sometimes a user’s game account details would get overwritten.
  • General optimisations and improvements to efficiency.
Recently PSN tracking (particularly server-side) has been thrown a number of curve balls that the engineers have been working night and day to address – you can read more about it here – but Playfire Vulcan still remains the best way to track your gaming activity. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to submit a full bug report with logs if you’re experiencing any tracking issues with the BETA.

A huge thanks to everyone that's contributed to bug reports and feedback. As ever, your continual help and willingness to provide information has helped us take one more step to bettering Playfire and the Playfire Vulcan client. Any more info you want to send us? Just head over to the Feedback Thread in the forums to leave your thoughts and/or problems. Give yourselves a pat on the back, we're off to work on 0.0.46.0!

Thanks!
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Letters from the Engine Room #6


Welcome to another Engine Room letter. Put the kettle on, grab yourself some Jammie Dodgers, and get comfy - it's a long one.

Regular readers of our Engine Room letters will know that tracking, storing and serving your game activity is no easy task - all those 1s and 0s add up pretty fast. Great strides have been taken in the last few months to improve this, including a very important migration of our servers, but that was one - although very important - component in a much larger machine

Game tracking is one of the biggest challenges we face, but we love challenges, so we're continually fighting, ducking and diving the punches it throws our way. It's a constantly evolving, living engine, that needs a great deal of care, and we realise that recently it hasn't been up to scratch.

With that in mind, we'd like to take this edition of the Engine Room letters to address those concerns and talk about what we've got planned for the next few months.

Scraper2: Our Steam approach

Over the last months we've come to realise that the old database structure just isn't adequate to handle the large amounts of data we store and adding more and more servers isn't the solution. While it can support the Playfire community in its current form, it won't be able to handle more people or the new features that we're keen to implement. This has left us with one conclusion; we need to strip it out and rebuild.

Scraper2 (our project codename) is a rebuild that's designed to provide us the scope we need to do all the crazy-fun things we want to do with Playfire. We're going to start with Steam and while we know that won't float well with everyone, there's a lot of sound reason put into that decision.

  • We're using the old Steam API. It makes sense for us to take advantage of the features offered by the latest version of the Steam API.
  • Steam is the easiest to develop and test for, relative to the Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
  • Steam accounts for a large percentage of our users, bigger than either Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.
  • With next-gen around the corner it make senses for us to postpone development until the manufacturers have revealed more details.

Scraper2 won't just be a server-side improvement though, remember we said it was an opportunity for us to explore possibilities we've been hankering at for some time now. Along with Scraper2 we're going to experiment - and experimentation comes with certain caveats - with new Steam specific game pages, global ranking, and rewards. This will help benchmark the new features before implementing and transitioning Xbox Live and PlayStation Network tracking into Scraper2.

Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and growing pains.

Xbox Live and PSN tracking have always required a bit more attention than their PC brethren. With no official APIs from the networks we often have to resort to creative ways to track game activity. Since the migration of servers in September, a few issues have affected us.

Recently two APIs we were using for PSN were closed and made unavailable. It's taken the team significant time to rewrite parts of Playfire to use alternative methods. As of this week we've deployed some code changes that will address these issues and hopefully resolve a lot of the problems, but currently we’ve had to take server-side tracking temporarily offline while we investigate it fully. We still recommend that you use Playfire Vulcan to track your activity, it should track activity quickly. Please let us know how you get on with this and report any issues back to us - as this is a client we are constantly updating this and have released 12 updates in the last 3 months. With PS4 on the horizon it's fair to say we might need to make changes to our PSN tracking again, so please have patience during the launch period.

With Xbox Live we've had to reduce the impact that the tracking engine has on our systems and as a result we've unfortunately had no choice but to disable server-side tracking. Xbox Live tracking will only scrape once when a new user first registers. Obviously this isn't a permanent solution and those using Playfire Vulcan will be unaffected, but as with PSN we'd urge you to report a bug if it isn't tracking activity correctly.

While Playfire Vulcan has really helped by alleviating pressure on our servers and kept tracking up to date, we understand that it's not an option for everyone, which is why we're working on a new solution.

Exciting cloud solution for a crowd-sourcing community.

Playfire is a community for gamers by gamers - it's a bit of a cheesy line but it's a statement that hits the right notes. This website is built on the contributions of its members and it's this ethos that we're keen to embrace in all our future designs and aspirations.

We've started working on a new solution that will allow Playfire Vulcan users to track not only their gaming activity but, if they choose, the activity of their friends and the global community. It's still in the early testing stages, but we think it's a small way we as a community can all help each other out, and of course we'll want to reward the users that do help out.

The internal testing has begun and we're expecting to offer a public beta early next year. There's significant work on the server-side to implement this and it will also give us time to look at what next-gen consoles bring and adjust accordingly.

One small step

We have a talented team of engineers, each with their own specialties working on various areas of Playfire. We'll be making a few changes here and there to the site (such as the recently launched landing page for first-time visitors) but rest assured our game tracking specialists remain focused on the goal. It's going to be a busy few months for the Playfire Team, but with next-gen just around the corner we're very excited, and look forward to you joining us for the ride. Perhaps you have a very particular set of skills that you think could be useful to us, or you know someone who fits the ticket? If so, be sure to check out the Green Man Gaming jobs page.

Thanks for reading.

Ben (radMonkey), Joncol, and the Playfire Team.

Playfire Chat: Assassin's Creed Holidays


The Assassin's Creed franchise has always prided itself on its historical accuracy. The locations you visit, landmarks you climb upon and characters you meet all have a significant place in real world history. From Altair's medieval crusades and Ezio's renaissance romp across Italy and Constantinople, to Connor Kenway's ambitious, sometimes overwrought adventure across the American Revolution - we've been around the block a bit, haven't we?

With Assassin's Creed IV, we've got pirates. Pirates are always good fun, and Black Flag is a definite return to light-hearted humour, but it surely isn't the final destination for our time-travelling Animus heroes. Where we are off to next? It's completely up to you. If we were creating an Assassin's Creed Holiday Brochure, where in history would you want to take a family trip to?

First on the itinerary is our pick, feudal Japan. There's nothing that excites us more about hopping ninja style from rooftop-to-rooftop, slicing enemies with samurai swords. There would also be a lot of room for some awesome historical figures to show their faces in the adventure, in true historical accuracy style. The revenge of the forty-seven Ronin, perhaps?

So, where are we going?

Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Football Manager 2014 - Kick-off is tomorrow!

Everyone's all warmed up for the game, I hope! The hotly anticipated Football Manager 2014 from Sports Interactive is swiftly moving from the beta period straight into the final release.

Let the cheers and jeers begin!


In order to continue playing after the beta period ends, if you've received a beta key from us, you'll need to enter the full game key into your Steam account to continue playing when release hits! (Make sure you do this as soon as you're able to)

We've sent out all of the full game keys, and you can find them in the Games tab of your GMG account on the main site after logging in.

If you've not yet ordered it, you can still pre-purchase it from Green Man Gaming for 25% off by using this voucher**, just enter the voucher at checkout to get a great saving:

GMG25-SGI75-S2ZJ9

There's only one real question left. What team are you going to take charge of and lead to glory?


*Regional restrictions apply as usual.
**More information on the voucher is available here.

COD: Ghosts Delivery Information for the UK

Due to the planned postal strike action on November 4th, and how this could affect delivery for Call of Duty: Ghosts we can now announce our plan of action to do our utmost to ensure the game reaches your door on the release date.

On Friday 1st November our orders for PC DVD, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be released, with Royal Mail collecting them on Saturday morning to go out to regional centres. These should then be delivered on Tuesday 5th November.

With this plan of action all copies of Call of Duty: Ghosts (ordered before Friday midday) should reach their delivery address on the release date.

UPDATE: The postal strike has been cancelled, and so copies of Call of Duty: Ghosts will be dispatched on Monday 4th November to ensure that games arrive on the release date.


Playfire Competition Winner!

Hey guys!

Thanks for all your brilliant entries for the Alternate Ending competition. We had a huge selection of different ideas to choose from, and pretty much all of them were inventive and funny. We've chosen our favourite and it packs a lovely surprise that we're pretty sure most of you will be on-side with. It comes from IAreDoofus and contains a cameo from a certain Gabe:

"The room is plunged into darkness, and Alyx and Gordon brace themselves for this could be the end for them both.  The combine are almost done breaking through. A tear goes down Alyx's cheeks as she looks at Gordon, being thankful that of all people on this Earth, she would die with him. 

The door breaks open, but there is nobody there. They voice from the distance calling them. "Step the room and drop your weapons!". Gordon and Alyx drop their guns and step outside with their hands over their heads. They step out to see a massive army of combine soldiers looking at them. Gordon looks around in confusion as the combine soldiers shuffle about to leave an empty walk-space in the middle. In that empty space, 2 soldiers escorting a gigantic metal container walk towards Gordon and Alyx. 

The metal container opens, letting out a blast of steam and compressed air, and a large figure steps out to greet Gordon. It's Gabe Newell. 

Gabe calls forward Gordon, "Come here my child", and breaks open a red fruit. Gabe dips his fingers in the fruit and slowly paints the number 3 onto Gordon's forehead. 

"It is done, the war is over", announced Gabe, as the whole combine army begins cheering in celebration. Gabe Newell bring Gordon and Alyx to live at his castle in the faraway lands, and they all lived happily ever after."

Well done to IAreDoofus for his brilliant answer, and thanks again to you all for entering.

Until next time,
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

NA Offer: Call of Duty: Ghosts is 15% off from GMG

Not a Battlefield fan? More interested in Call of Duty? Or maybe you've just got to have both anyway!

With the release date only around the corner you might be itching for a GMG discount, and for you soldiers in North America we've got a 15% voucher exclusively available...


Just enter the following code at checkout to get 15% off  the North American version of Call of Duty: Ghosts:

GMG15-DPDDJ-CNPDA

Please note:  GMG's COD: Ghosts (NA version) will include the Freefall Dynamics bonus map.

*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC November 4th 2013 no longer valid. Note that multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games. This voucher is only valid against Call of Duty: Ghosts (NA) version. I like Shibe.

Get Arkham Origins & Season Pass For 25% Off

This is a more select voucher for these next few days, taking just a few released games, and still giving a great deal on a couple of unreleased games (We can't wait for Enemy Within). Just use the following code at checkout on any of the listed games:

GMG25-SGI75-S2ZJ9


You should also read up on GMG Rewards! This post will tell you all about the ways to make your gaming budget go even further by making use of things like the Refer a Friend system and writing reviews for GMG. You can make a ton of GMG Credit and there's no upper limit either!

To follow other announcements and news from Green Man Gaming, follow us on social media:


*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC November 8th 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games. This voucher is only valid against the above listed titles, and titles available are susceptible to change.

Weekend Deals on BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2 & More!

It's the weekend and that means DEALS!

Make sure you don't miss these 24 hour deals above all else!



Available for 48 hours: Pure tower-defense and shooting action with Sanctum!


We've also got a number of discounts going through the whole weekend, which gives you a bit more time to decide, but these deals will be gone before you know it!


To see more deals visit Green Man Gaming this weekend!

Make sure to also check out the 25% voucher we have available - it'll give you a great extra saving on a ton of recent releases and massively anticipated games!

*Regional restrictions apply as usual, and offers are while stocks last.regional restrictions

Arkham Dream Team


Batman has a reckless obsession with working alone. Even with his arsenal of tricksy gadgets, his deft skill in hand-to-hand combat and a bloody cool black car, the Dark Knight still needs help from time to time - even if he'd never admit it, the silly sod. Not only from his sidekick, Robin, who handily helps Batman out when he's got himself up crap creek without a paddle, but from others too.

But not all of his friends are on the good side of the law; Catwoman being the prime example. With the release of Arkham Origins today, we're asking who you want in your own personal Arkham Dream Team. If Bruce Wayne had swallowed his pride, Robin's gadget phone went straight to voicemail and Catwoman was off slinking her way to the next jewel heist, who would Batman call to help? It can be anyone, you just gotta have a reason for why the Dark Knight would hook up them - especially if it's a dastardly criminal. Are they working together to take down a common enemy? Now's your chance to create your own Batman mini-story.

Have a great weekend!
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Last Chance for a Free Game!

The Golden Joysticks are in full swing, and you can check out the stream here or just press play on the embedded stream below:


It's also your last chance to pick up a free game in the bargain!

You can grab a free copy of Mafia II or Civilization V by heading straight to our page here and, following the instructions to enter your details, let the emails lead the way!

Just make sure you have a GMG account, or create one if you need to (but you've already been a long-time user right? With so many deals and rewards available you'd be crazy not to have been here for a while!)

Follow us on Twitter as we tweet in time to the stream!

Battlefield 4: Boom

Battlefield 4 is coming up on the short-range radar, and with a hell of a lot of firepower. While this year's battle between Call of Duty and Battlefield is set to be bigger than ever, the poll on our Facebook page shows a massive leaning from you guys towards BF4!

There's still time to pre-purchase on Green Man Gaming and be ready for deployment with your squad!

We've also got some intel on the pre-load, soldier:

North American forces:
  • Preload starts Saturday 26th October 2013 at 0900 PST.*
  • Keys will start to go out at approximately 1800 PST tonight.

UK & European forces:

  • Preload starts on Monday 28th October 2013 at 1100 CET.*
  • Keys will start to go out at this time.


(Update: Unfortunately there was an issue with the EU timer, it has now been corrected and reflects the time stated above, keys will begin to go out at 1100 CET as planned)

Update 1420UTC October 28th: Make sure to check your Games page on your GMG Account for your BF4 key, as you may find it there before receiving an email. Please note Battlefield 4 Premium keys will not go out until the release dates of those titles.



*Time of preload is susceptible to change, based on the information we are provided. Understandably if it does change this is beyond our control. We'll try to keep on top of any changes with these timers as best we can though!

**Regional restrictions to Battlefield 4 apply as usual.

Access Code for 25% Off

We're coming into the final months of the year now, and all of the very biggest games are coming out. That can mean a problem if you're a big gamer on a small budget! But we got you though. You know we got this covered. Here's 25% off the titles listed below for the weekend:

GMG25-3P6V5-3Q850

You should also read up on GMG Rewards! This post will tell you all about the ways to make your gaming budget go even further by making use of things like the Refer a Friend system and writing reviews for GMG. You can make a ton of GMG Credit and there's no upper limit either!

*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC November 1st 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games. This voucher is only valid against the above listed titles, and titles available are susceptible to change. I am also gonna play SO much Batman this weekend.

Nominee, Knowing You: Guild Wars 2





Creating an MMO is tough, but NCSOFT's Guild Wars 2 did the job of revitalising the genre in distinct  and interesting ways. The game is up for Best Online Game at the Golden Joysticks, as well as Game of the Year.

In line with our Nominee, Knowing You posts - thank James for the rather brilliant word play - we spoke to Colin Johanson, Game Director on Guild Wars 2 about his thoughts on Guild Wars 2's critical success, and also managed to get some really interesting unknown facts about the game!


What does it mean for your studio to be nominated?

To everyone here at ArenaNet, this is a really big deal and we're extremely excited to be nominated. Development and production for Guild Wars 2 has run for nearly 7 years now from when we began production! That's a really long time to work on any one thing, let alone a video game before you're able to finally find out once and for all if it's going to be successful. So many years of sweat, tears, passion, and putting aside other life priorities to make the best game we could went into GW2. To have our work recognised by being nominated just helps validate all those years of sacrifice everyone here made to make this game we love. Our fans in the UK and Europe are incredible and being able to share this with them is extremely exciting as well. We like to think they are as much a part of the success of this game as we are for all they've done to spread the word about GW2, share their passion, and give us feedback to try and make it an even better game.


What do you feel has been the single strongest influence behind the nomination?

I think above all else the biggest influence on that has been our never-ending strive to create a game that isn't comfortable saying something is "good enough" and trying to move on. We've attempted to push the boundaries on what an online game – and most importantly questioned what an online world – can really be. We've increased the rate of our updates to the game to a pace of one update every two weeks, providing a narrative that ensures the story of our game world constantly continues and evolves. With this, we've seen the over-all momentum and growth of the game continue to expand, setting records as the fastest selling massively multiplayer online RPG in the history of western gaming. We're drawing on the inspirations that make television shows and entertainment successful and attempting to bring those concepts to the world of online gaming through a compelling ever-changing world and a storyline that continues every two-weeks; and we're doing all of that for free as part of the experience when you purchase GW2. The concept of a game or storyline that doesn't end when you beat it, but constantly grows and evolves like other types of entertainment media is very unique in the field of gaming, and something we think helps separate Guild Wars 2 from the rest of the genre.


What’s an unknown fact about your studio or team?

When creating Guild Wars 2, the audio team...

Recorded over 700GB of sounds, that's equivalent to 140,000 MP3s
Recorded over 60 feature films of voice dialogue
Stood two feet from a fully grown hungry lion
Froze in a 2 degree wind/snow storm
Recorded 45 second impulse reverb in a nuclear reactor tunnel
Swung a handmade 1 foot diameter ball of Kevlar rope dipped in gas on fire to get "fireball" sounds.
Recorded a 2 million pound chain test machine and the chain that would go in it
Made custom shoes for different character and foot types
Smashed a TV or two

Voting has now closed, but watch the Golden Joysticks live stream from later today.

Nominee, Knowing You: Tomb Raider

This year's Tomb Raider reboot was great. It not only managed to capture the sense of adventure and peril that's synonymous with Lara Croft's iconic persona, but also reimagined the heroine in a fitting and interesting way.

Developer Crystal Dynamics are up for three awards in this year's Golden Joysticks. If Best Storytelling wasn't good enough, Tomb Raider is also in with a chance of taking home the award for Best Moment, for Lara's adrenaline-filled climb to the stop of a radio tower, as well as 2013's Game of the Year trophy. We spoke to Rich Briggs, Brand Director at Crystal Dynamics about what it means to get such prestigious recognition for their work.

What does it mean for your studio to be nominated for Tomb Raider?

It’s a great honor to be nominated for not just one, but two Golden Joysticks awards. Especially when you consider the lists for our categories of “Game of the Year” and “Best Storytelling”, it’s a stellar group to be included in. Those categories in particular are very special to us, because one of our primary goals with Tomb Raider was to deliver a rich and immersive experience. Storytelling and high-quality gameplay were highly integral in achieving that goal.

What do you feel has been the single strongest influence behind the nomination?

We feel the nomination is a result of our attention to detail, our focus on delivering a compelling narrative, and our drive to craft a new vision for Lara Croft with her origin story. We basically reinvented not just a gaming, but a cultural icon, which carried with it a degree of risk. Recognition for those efforts is immensely gratifying because it reinforces our decisions and shows that our hard work made an impact. So we offer a big thanks to Green Man Gaming for the nomination, and to our fans for their votes!

What's an unknown fact about the Crystal Dynamics team?

Crystal Dynamics works very passionately on our games. However, we also take our fun very seriously, whether it’s playing on our company softball and dodge ball teams, our board game night, holiday festivities, summer BBQs, movie nights, scavenger hunts, fantasy football league, or random pop-quizzes with prizes.

Please note that voting has now ending, but tune in to tomorrow's awards to see who takes home a big golden game controller.

Staff Picks: Game of the Year


Being considered as a Game of the Year is a huge achievement for any developer or studio, and even appearing in the shortlist of nominees is worthy of huge congratulations, but who will come out top-dog?

We don't know, of course - that'll be announced tomorrow night. But who do you think will end up winning this year's prestigious Golden Joystick for Game of the Year? These are our personal picks from the Golden Joystick nominations of 2013's best game, with a couple of reasons why we love each game so damn much. For the sake of relevance, we've chosen from the list of nominees - give us your own choice in the comments!


Joncol 
Fire Emblem: Awakening

Forget Nintendo's Year of Luigi, 2013 is the year of the 3DS. Animal Crossing, Luigi's Mansion 2, new Zelda and Layton next month. I've had some of the most fun I've had in years on my portable, and Fire Emblem Awakening has kept me company on the bus, train and eaten up my hours late into the night. It's a brilliantly deep, addictive strategy game with an emotional story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Like XCOM's Ironman mode, losing characters is a permanent affair, so once they're gone you can't get them back. It's this permanent tension that keeps you glued to the screen, concentrating on every battle and loving every single moment.


Ben (radMonkey)
Tomb Raider

I always get nervous about choosing a game of the year. It’s like a parent telling you that they have a favourite child. I’m sorry, Adam, but you’re not their favourite – I am. Also, as joncol is threatening me with physical violence if I don’t choose, I’d probably go with Tomb Raider. Why? Because while I love all games equally, I love Tomb Raider a little bit more. I had the pleasure of working on it before joining Playfire and it was an unforgettable journey that I feel Lara and I travelled together. Objectively though, Tomb Raider has done something that few franchises can do; reboot a nine game long series and come out the other side leaner, grander, better than before.



James
Dishonored

Sounds silly to say, but I love Dishonored because it’s like Skyrim’s Dragonborn in a Thief game, but it was also entirely distinct from anything else you could find. Dunwall is a beautiful piece of work, and it is one of the only games to this day that I have replayed multiple times to see how things turn out depending on what choices you make. I killed different people, chose different paths and completed different optional objectives, and the outcome was really interesting. I won’t go into specifics, as some may not have had the chance to play it yet – rectify that immediately – but the differences between my ‘nice’ non-lethal playthrough and the one where I went all-out carnage were brilliant.


Mike 
The Last of Us

It's tricky for me to talk about The Last of Us without sounding like a raving zealot. As well as being a long-time fan of Naughty Dog’s work, the game is essentially a checklist of how to make the perfect game. It packs believable characters and compelling motivations, a captivating story and stunning setting, exceptional gameplay mechanics, gorgeous graphics and eerily realistic sound design. It’s the pinnacle of what has been achieved on the PlayStation 3. It's not my game of the year, it's my game of this generation.



George
The Walking Dead

Thanks to Telltale, The Walking Dead has been adapted from its fantastic source material into one of the best games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. The studio succeeded in creating an entirely new captivating and emotional story arc, while still managing to link seamlessly back to the books and award winning TV series (cue Glen and Hershel cameos). This game not only encapsulates the frantic desperation of survival, but also gives you time to create emotional bonds with each character that crosses your path. For this reason alone, it is not just my Game of the Year, but also possibly the Game of the Decade (so far!)

Put your choices and reasons below. Remember, there are no wrong answers! ;) Oh, and watch tomorrow's awards right here

Become the Bat Tonight

The Arkham series of Batman games is expanding.  The new chief bad guy in town is Black Mask and the assassin's are already on their way in, trying to claim the massive bounty on your head.

Will you make it to Christmas, or will Deathstroke, Deadshot, or one of the other super villains be celebrating the festive season in true multi-millionaire style?

You still have a few more hours to pre-purchase Batman: Arkham Origins from Green Man Gaming at 25% off and get the extra bonus Deathstroke DLC! Just use GMG25-GRV7N-YY833 at checkout!


*More information about the voucher available is listed here.

Playfire Chat: Sequels Wishlist

Series like Grand Theft Auto and The Elder Scrolls consistently find new and interesting ways to bolster their own existing formulae, mostly by taking time out to give players to breathe before the next game, then providing serious overhauls. Trilogies like Mass Effect focused more on narrative direction with more incremental refinements, and developer Bioware formed its own incredible trilogy, delivering story beats that few games have managed to rival since - regardless of how you felt about the trilogy's final moments ;)

It's those exact kinds of sequels we're excited for. With a great year for new IP coming to an end - the obvious highlights being The Last of Us, Wonderful 101 and Telltale's The Wolf Among Us - and next-gen only a month away, it's a great time to start putting your sequel wishlist in order.

As you can guess, Naughty Dog's latest masterpiece is our choice, but we have extremely specific criteria for any game that may follow on from the original. It needs to be entirely separate from Joel and Ellie, but we need more of the spectacular world that the studio established in their new IP. It did a remarkable job of painting a bleak picture on humanity clinging on to life, doing anything and everything to avoid extinction. It's a morbid joy to enter into that fantasy.

What sequels do you want to see when next-gen comes around? Leave your wishlist entries in the comments below!

Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Poll: Battlefield vs CoD

Call of Duty or Battlefield? You'd never catch us taking sides at the risk of an endless shower of abusive profanity from either side. Needless to say, put a controller in our hands and we're happy, no matter what it is we're playing.

If there was a battle of the gaming titans, the colossal beasts locked head-to-head in the ginormous arena would be Call of Duty and Battlefield. Both are the pinnacle of first person shooting on consoles and PC, and they're both vying for ultimate victory in arguably the biggest battle ever seen between two major franchises.

But which gladiator are you backing? Both games are similar in theme and tone, but distinct in almost every other way. Battlefield has its epic vehicular multiplayer combat with dozens of players in tanks, jets and helicopters. Call of Duty is more tightly woven and in some ways faster, and packs a bombastic campaign that'll ramp your adrenaline levels up to 11. Both are full of action, guns, explosions and ridiculous military one-liners that sound like they're ripped straight from Arnie's diary.

In order to get the deciding verdict on gaming's biggest shoot-out, make sure you enter the poll to ensure your favourite game wears the coveted shooter crown. You wouldn't want to see your favourite gun-game in second place, would you?


You can also Want your favourite, Battlefield or Call of Duty on Playfire!

Tormented Tuesday Deals

New deals arrive! Are you horrified that there's already 25 minutes less to grab them?!



*Regional restrictions apply as usual, and offers are while stocks last.

Competition: Alternate Endings

We like messing around with silly ideas at Playfire. It tickles us to create ridiculous gaming scenarios and let our brainboxes run wild, so we set-up a thought-noggin challenge in the form of a competition and your chance to win $200 of GMG Credit, spendable on anything on the GMG store.

All you have to do is give us an alternate ending to one of your favourite games. It needs to be inventive and creative. It doesn't have to be funny - although making us bellow our lungs out definitely helps. Are there games with bad endings you think could've ended better? How? What would you do if you were the writer sat at your very own gaming screenplay?

If Nintendo had given us the reins, for example, some of their games would've turned out very differently. Mario is always doing his best to save Princess Peach, going to incredible lengths to ensure her safety. He's got a blatant schoolyard crush on the girl, and it's easy to feel sorry for him, but to be honest, he's a little bit late-80s and behind the times, eh? Red plumber suit, unkempt hair - hardly a catch. In our version, he'd finally get the girl and woo her like a pro, but not before bulking up with a boat-load of protein shakes, getting a haircut like Justin Bieber and going all-out on hipster attire and One Direction memorabilia. Peach would fall like a blonde domino, and everlasting love would ensue. Setting the precedent for the youth of today!

Reckon you can come up with a better alternative ending than that? Enter your submissions by clicking the link below - we will not count answers left in the comments section, so make sure you use the Facebook link posted below! You've got until next Monday, October 28th 1100 UTC to get your answers in. The winner will receive $200 GMG Credit, spendable on anything on the store!

ENTER SUBMISSIONS HERE


Good luck
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

Get Dead Pixels Free

In celebration of the truly gory sale going on at Green Man Gaming you can pick up Dead Pixels free when you buy any game on this page.*


This offer comes in conjunction with CSR-Studios - the makers of Dead Pixels and the in-development Dead Pixels 2!

If you take up the offer, why not follow the one-man team of CSR and thank them?


*This offer is while stocks last, and will definitely expire at 1600 UTC October 23rd, if not sooner.

Nominee, Knowing You: DONTNOD

Afternoon gamers,

After chatting to Bit Socket in the previous Nominee, Knowing You feature, we got in touch with the excellent DONTNOD Entertainment, the developer behind publisher Capcom's Remember Me, a game that tried great new things and provided us with a rather fantastic vision of futuristic Neo-Parisian cityscape. They've been nominated as Best Newcomer in this year's Golden Joysticks, and we spoke to them about what that nomination means to the studio.

What does it mean for your studio to be nominated for Best Newcomer?

It is an honor for us to be nominated along with giants such as The Last of Us or Dishonored. More than just a newcomer, Remember Me is the first game of our studio, DONTNOD Entertainment, which makes us even more proud. It is a huge achievement for our team, and a sign that DONTNOD is and will continue to be a creator of immersive experiences going into the next generation of gaming.

What do you feel has been the single strongest influence behind the nomination?

The fact that everything in Remember Me felt fresh and new: an amazing vision of near future Paris, a strong female lead, gameplay innovation and a narrative theme that resonates with each and every one of us.

What's an unknown fact about your studio?

Going back to what I was saying above in terms of the achievement this nomination represents for us... 5 years ago, DONTNOD was just 5 dreaming friends with nothing more than ideas and laptops, sub renting a 20 square feet mezzanine... With our first AAA out, a studio of over 60 people and 10,000 square feet, we've come a (very) long way !

Just so you're all aware, voting in the Golden Joysticks has now closed. Tune in throughout the week for more coverage!

Monstrous Monday Deals

Think you can take on the hordes of hell? Today is the chance to prove that.


Other great deals available for the next couple of days include:



*Regional restrictions apply as usual, and offers are while stocks last.

Playfire Competition Winner!

Happy Mondays everybody!

Did you all have great weekends? Play all the games you wanted to? Consult this wonderful victory image if you were lucky enough to do so. We've spent the entire of our morning reading through the huge amount of submissions for the Oculus Rift competition. They range from the weird to the wonderful, and some of them are so ludicrous that they had us lolling our little butts off.

But, we know you want to know who's won? We're happy to announce that the winner of the competition is none other than KalGoran for his excellent suggestions for Metro Last Light. Read away:

"Seeing as it'll be incorporated into Star Citizen, I think I gotta go with Metro. Either patched into Last Light or whatever game they make next. The Oculus Rift is all about immersion, or it will be for me, and getting right behind the gas mask in what is already one of the most immersive game experiences ever would only make it better. Constantly checking your corners, above you, and behind you for mutants, for hidden passages, hostile patrols, and for anything you can possibly scavenge, all independent of your characters facing direction would be a huge addition to both immersion and gameplay.

Honorable mentions--Bioshock is a natural choice. MechWarrior online would also be quite cool."

We'll be in touch about your prize!

BUT WAIT! What's that? That isn't all? You have another competition? We do! We'll be posting details tomorrow, so keep an eye out for the opportunity to win another big prize ;)

Enjoy your evenings!
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team

LEGO Marvel Superheroes releases tomorrow

LEGO Marvel Superheroes is available for North American gamers on October 22nd (that's tomorrow!). While the rest of the world, us included, have to wait a little longer, we're pretty excited to see the sheer number of heroes and villains fighting each other to the last brick in this incredible looking game.

There's really only one sensible thing to do, and that's to pre-purchase on GMG using this 25% voucher:

GMG25-GRV7N-YY833





*More information on the voucher is available here

Severed Sunday Deals

What's that banging on the door? Zombies? Not just zombies! Vampires, aliens and trick-or-treaters! A whole ensemble of evil, all vying for your brains, blood, planet and candy! Theses are things you need to hold onto!


Our severed 48 hour deals are as follows:


*Regional restrictions apply as usual, and offers are while stocks last.

Sinister Saturday Deals

We've got more ghoulish games lined up with deep discounts! A blend of 24 and 48-hour deals has been laid out on the cutting table today. Have a butcher's! Almost all of these are 75% off - the only one that isn't is Iron Soul.

And some available for a little longer:


*Regional restrictions apply as usual, and offers are while stocks last.