Before we knew what to name them, we called them “Doom clones.” id Software’s seminal work sparked a phenomenon when it began to circulate as shareware 20 years ago, and since then shooters have propagated through mods, experimentation, LAN parties, co-op, eSports, and big-budget masterpieces. Guns and enemies are their bread and butter, but we don’t think of our favorite shooters as outlets for simulated violence. We celebrate the way they test our minds and mouse reflexes, the personal stories they generate, the captivating worlds they’ve founded, and the social spaces they provide for lighthearted bonding or hardcore competition.
Face Off pits two gladiators against each other as they tackle gaming's most perplexing conundrums. This New Year's Eve edition is a chronological throw-down: which decade gave PC gaming the most? Podcast Producer Erik Belsaas says it was the '90s—the origin of modern PC gaming. Executive Editor Evan Lahti insists it was the '00s, with its speedy internet, better PCs, and shinier graphics engines.
You're captivated by the elegant figure of an F/A 18 Super Hornet as it roars over the desert and—BRAP B-BRAP!—syncopated machine gun bursts ripple past your head and cut your gawking short. You sprint to cover in time to watch a tank shell devour your last entrenchment and spit out its dusty remains. Alone you're dead, but above you a UH-1Y Super Huey chops through bursting sun rays and scatters reinforcements like dandelion seeds (if dandelion seeds carried rocket launchers, of course).
I do love hyperbole, but this really (virtually) happened to me. The emergent drama of Battlefield 3's large-scale multiplayer battles is hard to overstate, which is why we've dedicated the latest episode of PC Gamer Digital, which is available now on Steam, entirely to Battlefield 3 and the renowned Battlefield series at large. More details below!
The end of this year is going to be an orgy of exciting sequels: The Elder Scrolls 5, Mass Effect 3, and the tenth Battlefield game, Battlefield 3. It's a sequel to the third Battlefield game, Battlefield 2, which was the 1,940th prequel to the original, Battlefield 1942. It all makes perfect sense.
The important bit is that it's not part of the Bad Company sub-series, whose last entry Bad Company 2 is what most fans are playing these days. That means it can handle 64 players, fighter planes are back, and most exciting of all: you can lie down. All these things were in Battlefield 2 but lost in the Bad Company games. If Battlefield 3 is going to be the culmination of all the things we love about the series, what else does it need?
Rich, Tim and myself came up with ten demands and cut them together into a blackmail note using letters hacked out of Edge magazine with our Future-branded safety scissors. Then we typed them out.
Every Sunday, PC Gamer is going to bring the best in PC game video: including trailers, casts, clips, fan films and anything else we can find.
Shogun II’s CGI trailer above is a work of intro art. Funny story - each of the three lead characters in this short were provided as options for PC Gamer cover art. I love the guy with the mirror fan, but he’s not exactly going to sell the magazine at the news-stands. We eventually went with an angry Samurai. Probably for the best.