These are the games we love. The international PC Gamer team has spent hundreds of hours sweating over this list across timezones—meticulously drawn from the PC’s decades of history, these are the games we’ve decided you absolutely need to play today. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve played most of these before, well done—you have dedicated your life to a worthy cause and deserve a small ceremonial jig. If some of these games are new to you, that’s great too. This list has been entirely and honestly compiled by us, reflecting the diverse tastes of our writers and contributors. The PC Gamer Top 100 sums up the amazing legacy of PC gaming’s past, and the great games available today. Enjoy.
Spotted in the free games safari this week: a game about listening and bartending and CYBERPUNKS and liquid ratios, the new game from them what made A Dark Room (be excited), cat puns and an interactive space toilet. Today I watched a jettisoned pixel poo pirouette into the infinite, and so can you. Enjoy.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, when you get to Hell, tell 'em this game sent you. Where 'em is probably middle management. Overworked middle management. Who are suffering more.
The strangest thing about Afterlife is that nobody else has done it. At least, not really. The whole appeal of the god game is giving us, well, god-like powers over a world, so it seems an easy jump from there to the likes of Sim Hell, and not the kind that Maxis went through the other year. Sim Heaven? Well, that doesn't quite have the same kick. But in the mid-90s, Lucasarts - yes, them - not only realised the obvious potential, but figured, "What the... heck! We'll let you look after both of them at once."
The second strangest thing about Afterlife is how much it, well, didn't work. At all.
Earlier today, Evan met with Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Scylla Costa to talk about the just-announced multiplayer mode in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Amid the din of PAX, Evan asks how Inquisition's dungeon crawling differs from Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, how microtransactions fit in, and how BioWare responds to players worried the mode will detract from the single-player game.
What a surprise: On my way to find an iron for my shirt, I just happened to run into Star Citizen director Chris Roberts outside of PAX Prime in Seattle, and we were both wearing microphones and standing in front of cameras. Weird, that, but awfully convenient!
A little before Seattle, Roberts was in Germany showing his massively-crowdfunded space sim at Gamescom, where he announced some upcoming releases. We talked about the next Arena Commander update and beyond, the challenges of releasing a game as you go, and how much things have changed since the crowdfunding campaign started two years ago.
If you’ve been eyeing up the eight-core, sixteen-thread Intel Core i7 5960X with jealous peepers, but lack the big wallet of the CEO of the ALS Association, there is still a way to top the four cores of a Devil’s Canyon i7.
There’s a six-core, twelve-thread, unlocked Intel Haswell E processor on its way that doesn’t cost a lot more than the Core i7 4790K.
This weekend's Steam sale is all about the Call of Duty. If you're looking for a shooter that's deeper, more complex, more unforgiving and more glitchy, you'd be better off going to Bohemia Interactive's store. There you can pick up the excellent Arma 3 for a 50% discount.
For the last week, the cowled monks of Rumour Abbey have been chanting lowly about a possible Volition announcement at this weekend's PAX. But what could they be announcing? Well, given that the studio's owner, Deep Silver, didn't acquire the Red Faction series after THQ's demise, it's almost inevitable that the answer will be a new Saints Row. A recent tweet lends further support to this theory.
Where are all the assholes? I’ve been in Seattle for a few hours now, a few blocks from the convention center where PAX will be tomorrow, and I haven’t seen a single violent shouting match about feminism or indie games or Call of Duty or which kind of cloud is the dumbest (I say cirrus). I thought this was a convention for gamers.
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 hi-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Cracking wise on the outskirts of space.
Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen. While space sim diehards are fighting over which modern sim is the one true king, Pixel Boost turns its eyes back to one of the greats of the past: Novalogic’s Tachyon: The Fringe. Bruce Campbell stars as sassy pilot Jake Logan, hanging out on the fringes of space and getting in all kinds of interstellar dogfights. Tachyon showed up on PC in 2000, right as the space sim genre peaked and started drifting into a black hole of obscurity, with a branching storyline and multiplayer that still lives today. The game is also easy to play at high resolutions on modern Windows. If you bought a flight stick for modern space sims, time to put it to use with a classic.
Steam makes it easy to collect games, but as a tool for maintaining a collection it suffers from a few shortcomings. It's not much use for cataloging Infocom classics, say, or that Splinter Cell special edition that came in a metal lunchbox, and some die-hard collectors—people who'll pass on a game because the packaging is just a little too banged up—may not consider "owning" a game on Steam the same as having it parked in a place of pride on a shelf.
That's where Darkadia comes in. It's a website that simplifies the process of organizing and tracking videogame collections with a substantial degree of control and detail. Darkadia also makes it easy to show off collections to other gamers around the world: I've got 170 digital boxes arranged in glorious rows on my Darkadia shelves—not the entirety of my collection, but a solid start—and man, they look good.
A USB thumbdrive can be a lot of things—a backup of important photos, a quick transfer device for big files, a cheap way to give out documents. It can also be a Swiss Army knife of portable software, filled with software that runs straight off the USB drive. These tools can be useful for working with computers you can’t install your own software on, or laptops that have dropped the CD drive for a thinner chassis. Our colleagues at TechRadar have covered a variety of portable tools, and we’ve put together six we recommend below. Make your own USB Swiss Army knife.
An email comes in for 2D RPG-platformer Magicmaker. In it appear phrases like "total wizard customization," and "poisonous exploding suns". Also a number: 2,193,360. That, according to developer Tasty Stewdios, is how many spell combinations you can potentially craft in game. Naturally, I am powerless to resist.
Previously, Maxis confirmed that they've no plan to extend SimCity's maximum city size. And so it falls to modders to help those feeling hemmed in by the game's virtual borders. Can it be done? Yes, sort of. Project Orion is such a boundary extending mod, and will let the game's mayors build free of the vanilla base limit. Don't plan a ribbon cutting ceremony for your city's east wing just yet, though, as its use will mean dealing with some pretty significant performance issues and glitches.
Do you remember that bit in Call of Duty? You know the one I mean. You were a guy—a war guy—and you ran around a corner to find another war guy running in the opposite direction. Yes! This was your moment. Your raised your RDS and sprayed hot 5.56mm NATO into his exposed back, earning you a hundred points, a kill, and a little shot of dopamine. Then, disaster! Another war guy ran around the corner behind you; the screen turned red; you died. Do you remember that bit? You must do, because it happened to everybody, everywhere, every day for the last seven years.
Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was a blast, but I never stopped being annoyed at how BioWare made it almost mandatory to the single-player experience. Fortunately, Dragon Age: Inquisition is doing things a little differently: It will offer cooperative multiplayer for up to four players, but BioWare's Mark Darrah promised that the single-player game will not be dependent upon multiplayer.
Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million on Monday, a surprise acquisition after the rumor that Google was pursuing Twitch for a similar sum. It’s tough to predict how the purchase will change how we broadcast and spectate PC games, or how Amazon will fold the world’s biggest livestreaming service into its existing media and referral services. But to expect Amazon’s acquisition to have no impact on Twitch is unrealistic.
“We’re keeping most everything the same,” Twitch’s CEO Emmett Shear writes in a post announcing the sale of his company. In a separate press release, Shear says that Amazon ownership will allow it to “create tools and services faster than we could have independently.” As users and casters ourselves on Twitch, here’s a wish list (an Amazon Wish List, perhaps) of the new features we’re interested in seeing and the aspects of Twitch we’d like to remain in tact.
Warning: there are unmarked spoilers for all of Season 2 of The Walking Dead, including episode 5, below. Going forward, PC Gamer will review episodic games like TV episodes: critiquing and discussing the story of each episode as the season progresses, before assigning a score at the end of the season (season 2 review coming soon). Read more about how we review games in the PC Gamer reviews policy.
I cheated in episode five of The Walking Dead Season 2. Not with a code or a hack that lets Clementine and all of her friends live happily ever after. But I did cheat, or do something that feels like cheating, to me: after finishing episode five, I went back to two moments and did things differently. I sacrificed the purity of the story, the agony of making blind decisions, to see if things would play out differently. I didn’t expect the story to change so dramatically, or that replaying those decisions would completely change how I felt about the episode, but it did.
Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places, or in this case, PC gaming's most detailed face.
Meet Digital Ira. A collaboration between Activision and USC Institute of Creative Technologies, he's their crack at creating a photoreal digital actor,
"To achieve this," the USC ICT write on their blog, "we scanned the actor in thirty high-resolution expressions using the USC ICT’s new Light Stage X system and chose eight expressions for the real-time performance rendering. Then we shot multi-view 30fps video of the actor performing improvised lines using the same multi-camera rig." Finally, the mesh animation was transferred to standard bone animation on a 4K polygon mesh using a bone weight and transform solver. Here's what all that looks like at super-high resolution.