Let's face it: real life can get pretty boring. Bills, taxes, work. The Sims 4 wants to strip away all of the boring parts and make your sim life better. This month's cover story dives into what Maxis is adding for its next window into Sim life, from improved building tools to better Sim-to-Sim interaction, and how the game's traits and ambitions system will make your Sims more dynamic. We also go to Iceland to bring you the latest on EVE from Fanfest 2014, including the newest info on EVE: Valkyrie, the Oculus Rift-powered space sim from CCP. And if you buy the print version, you'll get a code that lets you play Smite as Zeus, the god of thunder.
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Travel with us to the future to see what PC gaming has become: Are we living in Oculus Rift-powered virtual reality? Surrounded by 4K monitors? Streaming games to more eyes than the Super Bowl over fiber broadband? This month's cover story is all about the incredible changes ahead as our immortal hobby evolves. And speaking of the future, we also talk to Dean Hall about what's next for DayZ—arrows, knives, spears, dogs, and a lot more—and deliver our preliminary alpha review of the standalone game.
There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is certainly such a thing as free lunchtime entertainment. Over the following pages you’ll find a list of the best free indie games on PC – from 20-minute diversions to weekend-consuming, endlessly-expanded strategy epics.
All of the games on this list are free in their entirety. That means no microtransaction-supported free-toplay games and no shareware. We’ve also excluded ‘pay what you want’ games on the basis that developers who give you the ability to chip-in would probably like you to consider doing that. That said, there are always exceptions and you’ll find games on this list that sit in a grey area – normally where there’s a substantial free version with the option of also buying an upgraded paid edition. In these cases, we’ve gone with our hearts. Which is to say that we argued about it for hours.
If it happens in videogames, it happens on the PC first. Every year, developers conjure new ways to dazzle, mystify, challenge, and entertain us—some with a handful of deceptively simple game mechanics and a unique art style, others by building entire worlds that accommodate whatever role we choose to play in them. Whatever the approach, the big advancements always take place on the only platform without masters or limitations.
That makes handing out our awards every year an excruciating task. Because there are plenty of games that did things well and many games that do them extraordinarily well, but only one that can be said to have done something best. These awards are a tribute to those games—the ones that, in a year of outstanding work, stood above the rest; the games that set the high mark for each category and put the challenge to developers in 2012: top that.
The man. The myth. The legend. Chris Antista enters the wild world of the PC Gamer podcast, far from home and without a clue where he is (or, he's recording a podcast in the very same room where he did Talk Radar). Alongside Dan, Lucas, Gavin, and Greg, they'll traverse the misty plains of Battlefield 3 impressions, encountering singleplayer goofiness and multiplayer war stories. Then they'll trudge through the deserts of BlizzCon impressions, the sea of Truthiness and Falsity, and the Swamps of Torment, where Xbox games appear in the Playlist. It is, without a doubt, an epic venture.
PC Gamer US Podcast 292: Prattlefield 3
Previously we mentioned that both PC Gamer UK and PC Gamer US have hit iOS devices. Now, for a limited time, one free issue PC Gamer UK is yours to download and read on any Apple i-device of your choosing!
PC Gamer UK issue 231 is now available as free downloads via Apple's new Newsstand service. To grab your free digital edition, simply search for PC Gamer on the App store, or access it through Newsstand. You can buy the latest issue for £2.99, or subscribe. The new iOS edition means means you'll be able to sensually stroke your way through your free issue using Apple's touchy-feely interface. Oh yes.
Be sure to download your free issue soon while the offer lasts, and let us know what you think.
Hey! You! Stop typing angrily. We're aware that iPhones and iPads are Apple products but there's a good reason to mention iOS so prominently in the headline. We've injected some PC Gamer into said Apple products. We've PC Gamered them up!
Newsstand editions of both the UK and US magazines are available to download from the App store right now. Even though Newstand - iOS5's bespoke magazine-reading software - isn't available to download yet.
Basically, we're one step ahead of Apple. Once Newsstand gets officially released in the next few hours, the free PC Gamer App will disappear from your homescreen and reappear inside the Newsstand app. It's all very neat and satisfying.
The Newsstand edition will work on your iPhone and iPad, even though you only have to pay for each issue once. Not too shabby. You can get the UK edition worldwide but the US version is only available to download from the US and Canada. That's the law's fault, not ours.
You can read Apple's own words about Newsstand here. They reckon it's "Big news for your news." What's your take?
We've played and reviewed Portal 2 and awarded it 94 and an Editor's Choice award. The review appears in the latest issue of PC Gamer US, and the June issue of PC Gamer UK, on-sale May 11.
Why did it get that score and the prestigious award? We described it as “hilariously well-written and acted”, “full of thrilling showcase moments” and “some of the most social gaming you’ll have.” We basically think it’s outstanding.
Check the site when Portal 2 is released for our full review, catch up on the Potato Sack ARG, or read our most recent preview for more. You can subscribe to PC Gamer US here and PC Gamer UK here.
This gets harder every year. Every year new games are released, old favourites are replayed, obscure indies capture our hearts, and games that we once knew are updated until they’re unrecognisable. We’re fickle, argumentative people in love with the most dynamic gaming platform on the planet, and we’re only allowed to pick 100 games?
It should be the top 1,000, the top 10,000, to fit every single game we all love. But it’s not. As much as the games change, our task remains the same. Boil down decades of sims and shooters, roleplaying games and real-time strategies, into the top 100. The best games on PC. Those that you must play, now.