Free-to-play F.E.A.R. Online announced for PC

Aeria Games today announced the latest entry in the FEAR franchise, developed by Korea-based Inplay Interactive.

FEAR Online is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter featuring multiple team-based game modes. Teams of up to four players will battle it out over ten maps while continuing a story that runs parallel to the events of FEAR 2: Project Origin.

"We are thrilled to present the next entry in one of the most popular horror franchises of the last decade," says Tom Nichols, Aeria Games' vice president of PC games, in a press statement. "FEAR Online will bring back the tense, heart-pounding action that the series is known for and make it accessible to a huge online community of competitive players."

Sign-ups for the closed beta are now live over at http://fearonline.aeriagames.com/

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Worth Playing: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

I don't have any connection to previous games in the Call of Juarez franchise. That's not to say I haven't played them, it just means they left absolutely zero impression on me. 2011's Call of Juarez: The Cartel was actively bad and the other two entries in the series were maybe a little better. But Gunslinger, a download only title available for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, is memorable. It's a massive improvement on previous entries in the series and, along with this year's Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, feels like it's ushering in the age of downloadable titles that sit somewhere in between low budget indie darlings and the big £40 AAA titles. That's to say that it feels like a big budget game. But at £12 and around 5 hours of content, this doesn't aim to compete with the Call of Duty's and the Halos. It's carved out it's own niche and I'm totally ok with that niche existing.

As with the other Call of Juarez titles, Gunslinger is a western themed first person shooter. So far, so safe. This time around, developers Techland Games grafted an XP system on with three seperate skill trees to work through. Great, but still pretty safe.

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Microsoft confirms self-publishing for Xbox One

Microsoft today confirmed that they will be support self-publishing of games on the Xbox One ecosystem for independent developers. They also suggested that every Xbox One console will double as a development kit, with more details to come at Gamescom.

Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.

Microsoft had previously been under tough criticism for their continuing policy of Xbox releases requiring third-party publishing or a deal with Microsoft themselves. This new announcement brings their self-publishing policies more in line with Sony's, who have been aggressively marketing their indie-friendly ecosystem on the Playstation 4.

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Hotline Miami not coming to iOS. "Controls would suck"

Despite ports to both PS3 and Playstation Vita, developer Dennaton Games won't be bringing Hotline Miami to iOS devices.

Answering a question on Twitter regarding the possibility of an iPhone/iPad port, the developer answered with "Nope, controls would suck".

Hotline Miami was released in October 2012 for PC and has since been ported to Mac, Linux, Playstation 3 and Vita. Dennaton Games are currently working on the sequel, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, due for release later this year.

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