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.
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.
Diablo 3's Ultimate Evil Edition is available for free on Xbox One this weekend for Xbox live Gold subscribers, as part of Microsoft's Free Play Days promotion.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Crew 2 is due out in early 2018, and though it still features the giant coast-to-coast map of the USA that made its predecessor stand out, it has a very different theme.
Surprise? Lucky's Tale, the polished, cute platformer that was a VR launch title for Oculus Rift, is getting a sequel for normal screens.
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.
EA has shown the first footage of the next Need for Speed at its EA Play event ahead of E3 2017 in Los Angeles.
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.
Amplitude Studios' sci-fi strategy sequel Endless Space 2 is out today, and we're delighted to offer 10 Steam keys for the game to you guys courtesy of its publisher, Sega.
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.
The UK games industry charity GamesAid has come up with a novel fundraising initiative - charity DLC.
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.
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.
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.
Update Friday 31st March: Yesterday's sessions have all been uploaded to the EGX YouTube channel. Find them there or in the embeds we've added below.
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.)
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.
With EGX Rezzed, the London games event brought to you by our parent company Gamer Network, less than two weeks away, it seems like a good moment to round up some recent announcements of what will be playable at the show.
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.
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.
Weep for Doris. That's the name of my faithful steed (though not my first) in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - which is a bit good, by the way. Doris doesn't have the best stats but she has a sweet temperament and bonded with me perfectly at first sight, a gesture of trust I have now unforgivably broken by forsaking her for another.
Here's an unusual admission for a reviewer to make. I haven't finished The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I've yet to uncover swathes of its vast map. Much remains for me to do and discover, and my game is still rife with rumour, mystery and surprise. This is partly because my life is no longer compatible with monstering a giant open-world game in a week, even when it's work. But it's also because of the kind of game that Breath of the Wild is.
I've been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Switch for review for the past couple of days, and I am now permitted to share my impressions of my first five hours of gameplay with you. In fact, thanks to an extremely complex embargo forbidding everything from plot details to certain kinds of clothing, there's not much new I can reveal that hasn't already been sifted by journalists and the community from the E3 demo, interviews and such. I also want to keep my powder dry for the review, so I won't delve too deep into what I think about it yet. I am prepared to drop a couple of hints on you, though. Are you ready?
Regular readers will know that I have an oft-repeated mantra: never rule out Nintendo. The company has been written off by the wider games industry more times than you can count and invariably bounces back with something surprising, sometimes even game-changing, that ensures its success for another decade or so.