Our regular mod wrangler Chris Livingston is indisposed this week—likely pruning back his INIs, and exorcising rogue RARs. Normal service will resume next week. Before that, I'd like to step in to highlight Pilgrimage, an Arma 3 scenario that, judging from the response to Andy's showcase of the game's best solo missions, is a clear community favourite.
We meet one of the men behind the bots plaguing Hearthstone. He tells us about using it in Arena, beating famous streamers, unlimited gold, and why he's not worried about Blizzard's "scare tactics".
Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.
You're always learning, whether or not it feels like it. I've had games of Dota where I've felt like I've learned nothing at all, where my mistakes have been obvious to me (and probably to everybody else involved) and my victories have been conducted against enemies too busy screaming at each other or eating paint to make it mean anything. There is always, however, a way to learn.
Diablo 3 normally isn't a particularly rushed game. The end of the world may be at hand, but it’s typically content to let you slice through the minions of Hell at your own pace, comparing loot and weighing stats as you go. That all changes with patch 2.1, which went live at the end of August. Both the new Greater Rifts and Seasons place an emphasis on speed, whether it’s in beating timed rifts for a chance at better loot or by competing against other players to reach the level cap anew (and pile up new weapons and transmog items in the process). Combine all that with powerful new legendary gems, and the result is a patch that injects Diablo 3 with a powerful shot of adrenaline.
Welcome to Show Us Your Rig, where we feature the PC gaming industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft, has a powerful rig with a deceptive appearance. Hidden behind its ancient keyboard and healthy layer of dust, Persson’s computer houses some serious punch. Notch was kind enough to spend some time telling us about his set-up, what he’s been playing lately, and the keyboard that has withstood the test of time.
Choice. That’s one thing a PC gamer is never short of, thanks to cheap games, seasonal sales, and pay-what-you-want bundles. Over the years my Steam library has grown into a vast, overwhelming thing, bursting with games I’ve never, or barely, played.
We’ve already shown you what Metro 2033 Redux looks like when put side-by-side with the original, but the game looks so darn pretty that we wanted show it off in wonderful fullscreen. So we fed it to that benevolent giant we call the Large Pixel Collider and ran it on max settings at 2560x1440 resolution. You can also check out our review of Metro 2033 Redux here.
Before buying a game, it's a good idea to visit several different sources to determine if it's worth your time and money. Read reviews on gaming sites. Watch your favorite YouTube personality play it. See what people are saying on Twitter. Ask random people on the street. Call up your elected political representative. Buy a copy of the World's Number One Gaming Magazine. Buy several copies, in case something happens to your first copy.
You can even check out reviews on Steam, written by people who have played the game. Just use caution. While there are plenty of great writers filing reviews on Steam, there are also, shall we say, not-that. Here are a few of the weirdest, silliest, and worst reviews we've seen on Steam.
Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.
Dota 2 is funny, both by design and by accident. It's funny when people get angry. It's funny to screw up. It's funny to Force Staff your friends into the enemy fountain. It's funny to get a rampage as Axe. Laughing at the weird stuff that springs from Dota forms the basis of a healthy
numberofYouTube channels. It's as vital a part of the life of the game as the competitive scene or making items for the Steam Workshop.
I’ve been regularly strapping the office Oculus Rift to my head for a few months now, and I’m convinced virtual reality is something special, and not just a daft gimmick we’ll all laugh at in a decade. But there are still a lot of problems with the hardware as it exists today—including the recently released DK2 version—that will have to be ironed out before the thing is ready to appear in peoples’ living rooms. If, indeed, that ever happens.
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.
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.
The patch could be here tomorrow. Maybe? Hopefully. By the time you read this you'll probably know more than I do. Valve have promised Techies by the end of August; Valve have promised a lot of things. Anything - and literally nothing - is possible.
It'll probably be tomorrow. If it is, we'll finally begin the process of accepting Techies into the game. Techies, the argument goes, are going to change how pub Dota is played forever. All Pick is going to become a (literal) minefield. The old ways will be gone. It seems appropriate that a hero with a reputation for griefing should attract a seven-stage process of its own.
Last week we gave you our review of Metro 2033 Redux, but today you can judge the graphical differences firsthand. We decided to throw both the original game and the Redux version to our irresponsibly large computer, the Large Pixel Collider, to scrutinize 4A Games' remastered environments, lighting and character models. We cranked all the graphics to max, set the resolution to 2560 x 1440, and started killing monsters. The original is still a good looking game, but Redux has some impressive new lighting effects, and runs much, much better—it stayed at a rock-solid 60 fps even during combat, which would drop Metro 2033 down to about 40 frames per second.
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.
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.