War Thunder review

PC Gamer at

The problem with War Thunder is it's a game that constantly swings from "amazing" to "outrageously frustrating,” often within the same session. It's a game I love, except for all those times I'm ready to nuke it from my hard drive.


Battlefield 4 is free for a week on Origin

Andy Chalk at

I somehow managed to miss the announcement of Game Time on Origin, and so when the Battlefield 4 freebie was revealed today I thought it was part of some exciting, new way to deal up free stuff. It's not, obviously, but that's not important: What's important is that you can now blow an entire week on Battlefield 4 at absolutely no cost.


Mass Effect director Casey Hudson leaves BioWare

Andy Chalk at

Casey Hudson's long career at BioWare took him from a technical artist on Neverwinter Nights and MDK2 to the head of the Mass Effect franchise. Now, after 16 years, he's decided to call it quits, saying that it's time for "a much-needed break."


Unreal Tournament's CTF mode tweaked for better e-sports presentation

Andy Chalk at

Changes to Unreal Tournament's CTF mode have so far proved "quite controversial," according to Senior Gameplay Programmer Joe Wilcox, who says in the latest Unreal Tournament Project Update video that the implementation of halftime, overtime and sudden death are just "the very beginning" of an effort intended to make the game "more friendly to a viewing audience."


We built the Large Pixel Collider Jr., an insane gaming PC for the living room

Evan Lahti at

We love building PCs. Last year, we set out to assemble the most irresponsible gaming rig imaginable, and we called it the Large Pixel Collider. Over the past nine months, we’ve spent a ton of time writing stories, making videos, and playing around with our absurd, $10,000 computer.

But as Valve’s incursion into the living room started taking shape this year, we wondered: what if we could build an equally ridiculous but smaller PC suited for playing games on a couch?


Twitch CEO confirms audio scanning and muting won't be added to livestreams

Andy Chalk at

Big changes are coming to Twitch, including the implementation of "audio recognition technology" that will scan recorded broadcasts and mute any that it finds are using unauthorized—that is, copyrighted—audio. The announcement came as a surprise to Twitch users, but CEO Emmett Shear said in today's Reddit AMA that it's actually been in the works for awhile now, and also confirmed that the audio scanning won't be applied to livestreams.


The best living room PC games

Wes Fenlon at

Every so often, PC gamers want to step away from the desk and play some games in the living room. There's a comfy couch! And a big TV! While we'd never want to give up our trusty keyboard and mouse for Counter-Strike or Civilization, there are tons of great PC games—both multiplayer and singleplayer—that are ideally suited to a controller and a big TV. We've assembled a list of the 20 best PC games for the living room right now, from modern multiplayer classics (Towerfall! Nidhogg!) to sprawling adventures like Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, built with controllers in mind.


Three Lane Highway: there are many Dotas, and other thoughts on custom game modes

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.

Dota 2's popularity goes against all of the received wisdom about game design I can think of. It is complicated and inconsistent and it pushes people to interact in a way that generates all sorts of well-documented discontent. What it offers can't be summed up in a single sentence, and even a documentary dedicated to explaining its competitive side can only do so much to explain what you actually do in the game, or why that is fun.

Project CARS compares 2012 to 2014 in side-by-side gameplay trailer

Andy Chalk at

Project CARS has undergone some big changes over the past couple of years. The high-fidelity racing sim from Need for Speed: Shift developer Slightly Mad Studios looked "gorgeous" from the moment it came off the line, but as the new side-by-side comparison trailer shows, it's come a long way since.

Ryse: Son of Rome coming to PC this fall, with 4K resolution boost

Tom Sykes at

Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome is coming to PC this Autumn/Fall, Crytek has announced. They'll be publishing the digital version themselves, while Deep Silver will be distributing boxed copies of the game. Either way, you'll be getting all the DLC to date, along with the content from the special edition of the game. More excitingly, 4K resolution will be supported in the PC version, giving PC Gamer's Ben Griffin another game to ogle for his showcase.


These stunning Shelter 2 screenshots (just about) make up for the game's slight delay

Tom Sykes at

I'm not entirely sure it's legal for a game to look this good. I mean, just look at it. Outside of the original teaser trailer and a particularly impressive gif, we haven't seen much of Shelter 2 in motion yet, but if it looks even half as beautifully stylised as this new set of images, we're going to be in for a visual treat. If you can tear yourself away from the left side of Might and Delight's July newsletter, there's a cruel sentence on the right announcing that the animal-based survival game is going to miss its August release date and slip further into Autumn/Fall. In the words of the judge from Futurama, I'm going to allow this, but only if they use the time to curb the elements many people found frustrating about the first game.


Dungeons 2 goes where no dungeon management sim has been before: outside

Tom Sykes at

With EA's free-to-play mobile Dungeon Keeper reboot proving particularly monstrous, there's more than enough room in this world for Realmforge Studios and Kalypso's Dungeons series, even if the first one wasn't completely up to snuff. Seeing as it's International Announcement Day in the world of computer games, Kalypso have just announced a sequel. Dungeons 2 might seem like an apposite name, but this one will allow you to extend your reach to the filthy, human-filled overworld. What do you call a dungeon management sim not set wholly in a dungeon? It's a question worthy of Bishop Berkeley.


Source 2 tools teased in Dota 2 update

Tom Senior at

The Dota 2 Workshop update is even more interesting than it first appears. The new tools include an overhauled edition of Valve's Hammer level editor, and the update download adds a 64-bit build of Dota 2. Both contain allusions to the next generation of Valve's Source engine. Set the Half-Life 3 alert to DEFCON beige.


Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies announced, from the team that brought you Counter-Strike Online

Tom Sykes at

It's easy to forget that Counter-Strike Online is a thing, given that Valve don't typically license out their games to other developers and publishers, but the free-to-play spin-off has been going for about six years now, under South Korean developers and publishers Nexon. Following the release of Counter-Strike Online 2 a couple of years ago, Nexon has announced another entry in the series and, naturally, it's themed around zombies. Free-to-play multiplayer FPS Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies will be heading to Steam this Summer/Autumn.


Dota 2 modding tools now in alpha, upload custom maps/modes to Steam Workshop

Tom Sykes at

Valve has announced, and released, the first alpha version of its Dota 2 Workshop Tools, which will make it easier for modders to make and share custom maps and game modes for their gargantuan wizard-'em-up. This initial release is focused around developers, so the system requirements might be a tad high: you'll need a 64-bit version of Windows, a Direct3D 11 compatible GPU, and you'll need to opt into the Steam Client Beta. If you have all those things, you can now use the tools to alter Dota 2 to your liking, uploading the results to the Steam Workshop for other players to try.


Castle in the Darkness trailer makes the case for wailing guitars, giant owl bosses

Tom Sykes at

What next for 1001 Spikes developers Nicalis? 100...2 Spikes? Tom: please don't give them any ideas. Nope: next on the agenda is Castle in the Darkness, a platforming Metroidvaniay RPG thingy, and one with a trailer reminiscent of that of a Falcom game. By which I mean: wailing '80s guitars. Castlevania, Mega Man, Zelda, Kirby, and Falcom's Ys games have all been mentioned as inspirations, and I'd say they've been represented pretty well.


Twitch to monitor and mute VOD content guilty of using 'unauthorized third party material'

Shaun Prescott at

Following the announcement of sweeping changes to Twitch's video on demand service, comes another more divisive update: Twitch will implement Audio Recognition technology on all VODs in an effort to combat the use of "unauthorised third party material". The scans will apply to VODs only: live streams will remain unaffected.


Shovel Knight has exceeded sales expectations, thanks mainly to PC

Shaun Prescott at

Do you like statistics and exclamation marks? Yacht Club Games has posted a breakdown of sales for its recently released platformer Shovel Knight, and it's a surprisingly interesting read. The Kickstarter-funded title released for PC, Wii U and 3DS on June 26, with 64 per cent of pledges coming from the PC community. The game sold a whooping 75,000 copies during its first week on PC and Nintendo's eShop, far exceeding the studio's expectations of between 30,000 and 60,000 copies. 38 per cent of sales in that first week were on PC: a close majority.


Hearthstone Help: Can you save the PC Gamer demon deck?

Tim Clark at

This week in Hearthstone Tim has been using the new Naxxramas Warlock card to try to build a demon-themed deck. Full disclosure: It hasn't gone swimmingly so far, and now he wants your help...


Twitch eliminates "save forever" option as it moves to improve Video On Demand options

Andy Chalk at

Twitch has announced that big changes are coming to its video on demand service, including better service for international viewers, easier YouTube exports and increased length of default rolling storage for past broadcasts. The downside to all these improvements is that the "save forever" option is being eliminated, but don't worry: Nobody was using it anyway.