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Oli Welsh

Editor

Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

Raiders of the Broken Planet is a sci-fi action game from Spain's MercurySteam, developers of the well-liked Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games and next month's Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS. It features an intriguing mix of storytelling and 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer gameplay, and also apparently has four campaigns. Sounds like there's a lot going on here.

Sometimes it's good to take a step back. Naughty Dog's Uncharted games were conceived as lighthearted, almost flippant action spectaculars, as knowingly pulpy as their chief inspiration, Indiana Jones. But they ended up with baggage that Indy didn't. Thanks to a deluge of critical acclaim and an overflowing of corporate pride, they took on a level of importance, almost gravitas, that sat awkwardly with their insouciant style. As the series progressed, the games' plot lines became more involved and soapy, and have-a-go-hero Nathan Drake got saddled with brooding backstories that Dr Jones would have dismissed with a sardonic shrug. Uncharted 4 was the most sophisticated and smoothly paced of the lot, but it couldn't quite reverse this trend, and the best thing it could have done - and did - was to set Nate's world to rights and then send him packing.

When I fired up No Man's Sky last week, with an eye on today's anniversary of its release, my save file showed that the last time I played the game was in late August last year. I had reviewed it and kept playing for a couple of weeks afterwards; despite the storm of controversy and disappointment that raged around the release of Hello Games' sci-fi exploration game, some of it justified, I had enjoyed myself. It struck me as a hypnotic curio, built on moonshot technology, that deserved neither the slating it got nor the outsized hype that had raised expectations of it to the realm of fantasy.

Hey! Pikmin review

Plant-based substitute.

On the surface, Pikmin is one of Nintendo's most adorable creations. A tiny spaceman called Captain Olimar marshals an army of even tinier plant sprites which swarm and scurry around an environment that looks, to him, like an exotic alien planet, but to us like our back yard. Even its inspiration is bucolic: the idea came to Shigeru Miyamoto's whimsical imagination as he pottered in his own garden.

Black the Fall review

Bloc and key.

An individual escapes his fate in an oppressive dystopia, moving across a landscape defined by monolithic yet crumbling industry: train yards, ironworks, storm drains and sinister research labs. The machine seems to produce nothing but grinds on, using people like meat. It's all stained concrete and rent steel, described in hard blue light, long shadows and little, glowing pinpoints of detail. Swathes of darkness and empty space dominate the small characters. There are many devious obstacles, but problem solving, subterfuge and ingenuity might just take our hero out of this nightmare.

Blizzard says the Necromancer, which arrives as an add-on for Diablo 3 today, is one of the most-requested characters in any of its games. That's no surprise - it's an iconic player character and a fun class to play, and it was always very popular in Diablo 2. But perhaps there is something else going on behind the public demands for the Necromancer's apt resurrection, because the class is pure Diablo 2: none more Gothic, not so much dark as sepulchral, stitched together from sackcloth and bone, pentagrams and guttering candles. A dry, death-metal kind of fantasy horror.

Diablo 3's Necromancer DLC out next week

Plus a new, complete Eternal Collection for consoles.

Blizzard has announced that the Rise of the Necromancer pack for Diablo 3, which adds the much-loved Necromancer character class from Diablo 2 to the younger game, will be released next week on 27th June.

Eurogamer's best of E3 2017

Our five Editors' Choice awards revealed.

Wow, that was a long one. E3 2017 began for our away team on Friday last week, for those of us back in the UK on Saturday night, and has barely let up since. I've already mentioned that the volume of hype is now out of all proportion to the number of brand new game reveals, and that this is creating the impression of a flat show - but that impression isn't a wholly accurate one. The buzz from the show floor has been positive - thanks in part to the raw enthusiasm brought by the decision to admit members of the public. And, as ever, there has been a ton of games to see. And many of them have seemed excellent!

E3's press conferences are killing E3

There just aren't enough games to go around.

That E3 is suffering an identity crisis is nothing new. The video game industry's yearly jamboree has faced accusations of declining relevance for a few years now. The ascent of Steam, esports, the indie scene and online PC gaming have barely been reflected at all at a show that can't escape the slowly withering grasp of retail. Meanwhile, publishers have found it easier to communicate with gamers on their own social platforms, and through influencer surrogates on YouTube and Twitch, than by participating in the hucksterish competition for the attention of the world's press at E3.

Forza Motorsport 7 out in October, has trucks

And Porsches. Lots of Porsches.

Microsoft has announced Forza Motorsport 7 with the first live gameplay demo of Xbox One X at its E3 press conference. The racing sequel will be released on October 3rd - a month before the new console it's serving as a flagship title for - for the Xbox One and Windows 10.

As a longtime console war correspondent, one of my maxims is "never rule out Nintendo". Another is "it only takes one game". Looking at the strong launch of Nintendo Switch, I feel both vindicated and embarrassed. Vindicated, because Switch is Nintendo's fastest-selling console ever in both the US and Europe, shipping almost three million consoles in a month, and proving that Nintendo's innovative third-way approach to video game hardware design can still work wonders when it turns up something that customers understand and want.

We would say this, but Microsoft's decision to reveal the specs of Scorpio, its Xbox One hardware refresh, exclusively through Digital Foundry was a very smart move. They knew a leak was likely once the machine was presented to developers, so they got in front of it. And they know that this souped-up console needs to win back the hearts and minds of the gaming hardcore who defected to PlayStation three and a half years ago. To convince those guys, you need to convince core-of-the-core communities like NeoGAF, and to convince NeoGAF, you need to convince Digital Foundry.

Our friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun are hiring

Love video or PC hardware? Join the family!

I'm sure you well aware of our sister PC gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun - it's been part of the Gamer Network family for years, and has just recently been fully acquired by the company. This means that we get to chant "one of us, one of us" at them now, but also that our company can invest more in the site so it can do more stuff.

Introducing the Eurogamer Summer Internship

Update: Oli, Wes and Chris offer their tips on getting into games journalism.

Update, 12th April: By way of a reminder that applications are open for our summer internship, please check out this video of a panel we hosted at EGX Rezzed the week before last, titled 'How to get into games journalism'. Oli, Wes and Chris Bratt took to the stage to talk about their experiences, discuss the internship and our reasons for doing it, and offer some advice for aspiring games journalists, including on the kind of articles we're after and the best way to pitch. (Sorry we're all squished into the bottom left corner, it's just how the cameras were set up on that stage.

Scorpio made simple: the next Xbox's tech explained

If you don't know a teraflop from a texture filter, read this.

Last week, Digital Foundry's Rich Leadbetter travelled to the Microsoft campus in Redmond for an exclusive deep dive on the tech powering the next Xbox console, codenamed Project Scorpio. You can find his detailed report here on Eurogamer, along with his opinion on and analysis of what he saw and heard, and an additional look at how Scorpio will handle backward compatibility.

Watch Friday's EGX Rezzed developer sessions here

Catch up on Total Warhammer 2! Sunless Skies! Digital Foundry!

UPDATE: If you missed any of yesterday's sessions we've now added YouTube embeds of the full line-up so you can catch up on everything - including the announcement of Total War: Warhammer 2.

Eurogamer readership survey 2017

Help us out by telling us who you are and what you think.

Hi, me again. I know what you're thinking - it must be about time for our annual readership survey, right? (Actually, it's past time - we did the 2016 survey in early February. Time flies when Zelda: Breath of the Wild exists.)

Introducing the Eurogamer Discord server

Ask Oli anything there between 4pm and 5pm today.

Oh hello there, Eurogamer community. How's it going? Enjoying the early spring sunshine? You know, we haven't caught up in a while. We should talk more.

Switch has redesigned portable gaming forever

Despite a rushed and shaky launch, it's mission accomplished for Nintendo's hybrid console.

Such is the bizarre, fast-forward nature of Nintendo's latest console launch that it wasn't even two months ago that I was worrying about Switch's prospects after its official unveiling. Those worries, centering on a thin-looking lineup of games that leaned heavily on Wii U ports and eye-watering pricing, haven't really gone away now the machine is out in the wild.

Introducing the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship

Here's the launch video for our live racing series featuring the best sim racers in Europe.

Here's a first for us at Eurogamer: our own sports championship! Over the coming weeks and months we'll be hosting a series of livestreamed races on the fantastic racing sim Assetto Corsa, featuring some of the top sim-driving talent from across Europe.