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Deep Silver teases new Saints Row reveal

Phil Savage at

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.


Why PAX is better than the internet

Tyler Wilde at

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.


Pixel Boost: Tachyon: The Fringe at 2560x1440

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 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.

Why you should use Darkadia to show off your game collection

Andy Chalk at

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.


6 portable Windows tools for USB thumb drives

PC Gamer at

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.


Magicmaker trailer shows build-your-own spell system, customisable wizards

Phil Savage at

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.


SimCity mod extends maximum city size, but not without performance problems

Phil Savage at

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.


Warface review

Chris Thursten at

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.


Dragon Age: Inquisition cooperative multiplayer won't be tied to single-player campaign

Andy Chalk at

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.

A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 3

Wes Fenlon at

In episode three of our Dwarf Fortress Let’s Play, Wes learns all about building and using workshops, assigning stockpiles, and giving dwarves their own bedrooms. Even dwarves need their privacy!


Amazon buys Twitch: 9 ways it can be a better platform for PC gamers

Evan Lahti at

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.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 5 review

Wes Fenlon at

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.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Nvidia's face tech

Ben Griffin at

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.

The best and worst BioWare companions

Andy Kelly at

Warning! The following article contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for the Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age series.

With a new Dragon Age on the way, we've been reminiscing about our favourite, and least favourite, BioWare companions. Interesting buddies, and sometimes enemies, have been a staple of BioWare games since Baldur's Gate, and the studio is famous for creating people you actually care about. So I decided to ask the entire PC Gamer team who among the vast pantheon of BioWare NPCs they hate, and who they love. Some of the answers may surprise you. Especially Chris Thursten's.

AMD gears up for a hardware fight on all fronts with cheaper chips, graphics cards and SSDs

Dave James at

Whether it’s a new bunch of processors, cheaper chips, new graphics cards or even the arrival of a new range of solid state drives, AMD are trying to build a bit of a buzz about their new hardware at the moment.Considering its Intel and Nvidia-shaped competition are on the verge of releasing brand new, super-exciting products themselves, AMD know they’ve got some serious work to do. The latest slew of announcements should help.


Nvidia SHIELD Tablet review

Dave James at

The Ultimate Gaming Tablet. That’s how Nvidia is trying to sell the new addition to their SHIELD ‘family’. Lots of people play games on their tablets, the reasoning goes, so why not give them a device with the latest in mobile GPU tech to offer the best gaming experience possible? And that’s what they’ve done, dropping the new Tegra K1 platform into the SHIELD Tablet, a mobile GPU with the same DNA as the very top of the PC graphics tree right now—the GTX Titan Black.

Why should any of that matter to PC gamers? Because this little device is potentially the best streaming Steam machine you can buy.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Free games are amazing, and the wide world of gaming is a wildly better place for all the wonderful interactive stories and goal-based games and exploratory oddities I've encountered over the last couple of years. While angry types grumble about 'walking simulators' and interactive fiction and having to look at games featuring pixel art, those of you with open minds may join me after the break. Read on for strange climbing, a different kind of haunted house, a dusty city, extreme berry-picking and more.


The PC Gamer Show episode 4: SOE Live, Alien Isolation, Velvet Sundown

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode four, Cory travels to SOE Live to interview Sony Online President John Smedley and talk Everquest Next and H1Z1. Meanwhile, back at the office, we take a cruise on the Velvet Sundown and Tim chats with UK editor Chris Thursten about their hands-on time with Alien Isolation.


A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 2

Wes Fenlon at

In episode two of our Dwarf Fortress Let’s Play, Wes and Will talk through the early steps of building a fortress: setting animals out for grazing, chopping down trees, and digging underground. A fortress is born!


Fistful of Gun to be published by Devolver, is a top-down, co-op Western shooter

Phil Savage at

Fistful of Gun is a Western primarily in setting. As a top-down arcade shooter, it's a little lacking in some of the fundamental themes of the genre; like sweeping landscapes, local power-struggles or Clint Eastwood staring at a man until he gets bored and dies. Instead, its the weaponry and hats of the era, implanted into a frantic bullet-hell assault.