PC classic commentary: Tyrian 2000 with Alexander Brandon

Wes Fenlon at

PC Gamer's classic commentaries are special interviews with the developers of some of our favorite games. Join us for an hour with a classic game and the inside stories of its creation.

Before he composed the music for Jazz Jackrabbit, or Unreal Tournament, or Deus Ex, Alexander Brandon helped design one of the PC's all-time great SHMUPs. That game was Tyrian, which Epic MegaGames published as shareware in 1995. Compared to most Japanese SHMUPs, Tyrian was utterly packed with features—a story mode and an arcade mode, tons of weapons and upgrades, secret levels, secret modes, multiple ships. And at the time, its smooth 2D parallax scrolling was a mini technical marvel. Brandon wrote music for Tyrian, but he also contributed to writing and design. Our hour-long chat is full of stories from the early days of Epic and the 1990s freeware scene.

Blizzard Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo announces his departure

Andy Chalk at

Rob Pardo, the chief creative officer at Blizzard and former lead designer of World of Warcraft, has announced that he is leaving the company.


Telltale announces The Wolf Among Us season finale launch date with new trailer

Andy Chalk at

The final episode of the first season of The Wolf Among Us is coming on July 8, and to mark the moment Telltale Games has released a brand-new "Cry Wolf" promotional trailer. But consider yourself warned—there are spoilers.


Pixel Boost: Planescape: Torment at 1440p

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Halo PC survives the death of Gamespy.

Obsidian Entertainment's Pillars of Eternity is, essentially, the reincarnation of late-90s Infinity Engine RPGs. Obsidian has captured the look of isometric cRPGs of the early 2000s as we remember them, and nothing drives that point home like playing Planescape: Torment today. It's as well-written and immense as you remember, but you may have to squint to read the UI or find your way around the environment. It takes some work to run Infinity Engine games on modern PCs, but thanks to the amazing fan community, there are great resources for these games more than a decade alter. If you have a hankering to return to the world of Planescape before Torment: Tides of Numenera, though, it can be done. Here's how.

Three Lane Highway: what it means when games become sport—and why you should care

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes serious, sometimes silly column about Dota 2. The image above is from the ESL Flickr account.

We've always had a complicated relationship with e-sports. By 'we' I mean not just PC Gamer but PC gamers: I think it's fair to say that the paradigm shift that e-sports represent hasn't always been widely understood or accepted. That makes sense—it's a form of gaming that the majority of gamers will never participate directly in, and this is a hobby that is defined by participation.

Divinity: Original Sin studio wants to sleep, party and then figure out what's next

Andy Chalk at

Divinity: Original Sin launched a few days ago and so far it seems to be doing very well for itself. It's the fastest-selling game Larian Studios has ever published, and studio boss Swen Vincke told Eurogamer that it's definitely going to break even and might even pull in enough profit to finance Larian's next project. As for what that might be, he said the team still has to figure that out.

Civilization: Beyond Earth release date announced, E3 game footage released

Phil Savage at

Just when will humanity embrace its unknown future? Or re-embrace, I guess—what with Civilization: Beyond Earth being the spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri, and all. Firaxis' forward-looking Civ will take players to the stars this October 27th. To celebrate the new count-down, 2K have released footage from an E3 demo of the game.


PC Gamer UK August issue

PC Gamer at

Stop tapping out those emails, lay down that furiously scribbling pen and set free your carrier pigeons. The new issue of PC Gamer UK is here. In addition to its rigorous reviews, a bumper-load of percipient E3 previews and in-depth features covering The Sims 4, Battlefield Hardline and Transformers Universe, this issue also contains a free and exclusive Killing Floor 2 in-game jacket. The sustained hordes of blood-gushing zombies will marvel at your style. And then try to eat you.

That's not all! We're also giving readers a free copy of Tidalis, the block-based puzzler from Arcen Games. The issue, which is in shops now, can be ordered through My Favourite Magazines. Digitally, you'll find it on the App Store, Google Play, and Zinio, and you can subscribe to get issues delivered directly to your door. Read on for a look at the subs cover, and a round-up of the features to be found in issue 268.


Skywind trailer shows coasts, creatures and clutter

Phil Savage at

When we last caught up with Skywind, it was for its second official development diary. But as interesting as the internal workings of this Skyrim mod team are, I'm more interested in the results—a full recreation of Morrowind in Bethesda's latest engine. You can see how far the team have come in this new trailer, which not only provides long and sweeping shots of its alien locations, but also gives a look at the creatures and clutter that will populate the renewed world.


PlanetSide 2 is better than ever, it's time to return to Auraxis

PC Gamer at

PlanetSide 2 is two years old in November, and has changed a lot. In constant contact with the community, SOE have reformed the economy, restructured Auraxis' vast planetary bases, redesigned the UI, and even added entire continents, like the long-awaited Hossin swampland. PlanetSide has a proud legacy, but PS2 has evolved into something unique—a free-to-play game that supports multiplayer warfare on a startling scale. If you haven't played since launch, it's time for another visit.


Hearthstone Help: Six of the best streamers to learn from

PC Gamer at

Hello ‘stoners, as always this is your host Vincent Sarius with another installment of Hearthstone Help. This week I want to tackle a slightly different topic: improving your skills by watching high level players who stream their sessions.


Call of Duty: Ghosts tires of half-baked DLC, gets fully baked with cannabis-themed pack

Phil Savage at

Some would argue that paid-for personalisation packs are endemic in the games industry—chronic, even. But is there anything wrong with showing off some style while high at the top of a leaderboard. Infinity Ward are no dopes, they know how to hit their target markets. Presented with a money making opportunity, they're not going to make a hash of it. And so, some Call of Duty developers embarked on a skunkworks mission to create the Blunt Force Character Pack—a marijuana-themed DLC release.


IeSF removes male-only restriction from its e-sports tournaments

Phil Savage at

Yesterday, I reported on the IeSF—the International e-Sports Federation—and how the gender segregation of their e-sports tournaments had led to a male-only Hearthstone qualifier at Finland's Assembly Summer 2014. Today, the IeSF released a statement announcing that they have removed the male-only restriction from their e-sports events. They also contacted us to explain their reasons for having one in the first place.


Radial-G hands-on: the sci-fi Oculus Rift racer with echoes of F-Zero

Ben Griffin at

Radial-G’s tagline promises ‘racing revolved’, which is a rather clever way of saying, “All the tracks in this futuristic hover-racer are cylindrical.” Hey, works for me. From newly established Brighton-based company Tammeka, Radial-G sees dozens of players thrust boosters over weird and wonderful alien worlds.


Soviet off-road vehicle sim Spintires sells 100,000 copies

Shaun Prescott at

Here's a heartwarming tale: as of now, 100,000 people have enjoyed the unique pleasures of driving Soviet trucks through inhospitable terrain. That's because Spintires, the Kickstarter-funded truck driving simulator, has managed to sell an impressive 100,000 copies. Never before has getting bogged in Siberia been more popular, with the Kickstarter-funded title managing to retain a Steam Top 10 position since its release last month.


Super Time Force Ultra headed to Steam this season

Shaun Prescott at

Super Time Force will throw off the shackles of Xbox exclusivity soon and make its way to Steam. The sidescrolling shooter will release for PC this "summer" (or winter in Australia) in an Ultra edition, which developers Capybara Games says will add "some very cool (but presently very secret) stuff".


Planet Explorers review (Early Access)

Emanuel Maiberg at

Early Access reviews offer our preliminary verdicts on in-development games. We may follow up this unscored review with a final, scored review in the future.

Planet Explorers made me appreciate the genius of Minecraft’s basic building block: the simple, 16x16 pixel cube from which flows an entire universe of creativity. Planet Explorers tries expand on the genre Minecraft created by adding more options, more granularity—more everything. Its potential initially inspired me to explore and create, but eventually taught me that Minecraft’s simplicity and comparatively limited scope are some of its biggest assets.

Battlefield Hardline post-beta changes detailed in new Community's Most Wanted list

Andy Chalk at

The Battlefield Hardline beta ended just a week ago, but Electronic Arts says a number of significant changes have already been made to the game based on feedback from the players. Ten of those changes are detailed in the new "Community's Most Wanted," a standing list of updates and improvements that will be maintained until the day the game is launched.


What we want from Doom 4

Ian Birnbaum at

Ready to feel old? It’s been a decade since Doom 3 came out. Game design and technology has come a long, long way since the olden times of 2004, so we’re excited about the prospect of a new Doom taking the shooter world by surprise. Now that there’s finally confirmation that we’ll learn more about Doom 4 at this year’s Quakecon, here’s everything we’d like out of the long-awaited Doom 4.


Murdered: Soul Suspect studio Airtight Games reportedly closes down

Andy Chalk at

Less than a month after the release of Murdered: Soul Suspect, Airtight Games appears to have closed its doors. The Airtight website remains active but Geekwire reported yesterday that its office has been shut down, and the studio posted a cryptic tweet earlier this afternoon that sounded distinctively like a farewell.