Evan, Tyler, and PC Gamer's intrepid video crew are home from PAX Prime, only moderately bruised from bouncing through the massive crowd that swarmed the Seattle convention center last weekend. Before we left, we used Instagram's new Hyperlapse app—which is pretty cool, and free—to create a high-speed video tour of the show. Watch this to see, very quickly, what it's like to navigate the oceans of gamers and maze of booths—and keep watching our PAX Prime 2014 playlist for all of our videos from the show.
Veteran game designer Jane Jensen and her indie studio, Pinkerton Road, have been working on a 20th anniversary remake of the classic Sierra point-and-click adventure Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers since last year. After co-designing King's Quest VI in 1992, Jensen got her first shoot at designing and directing her own project. That game was Gabriel Knight, the story of a New Orleans writer who investigates a series of ritualistic voodoo murders and discovers he’s the descendant of a long line of monster hunters. Pinkerton Road plans to launch the Gabriel Knight remake in early fall.
Jane Jensen recently spoke to PC Gamer about what's changing in the Gabriel Knight remake, the revival of the Sierra brand, and her hopes for a new game starring everyone’s favorite N’awlins Schattenjäger.
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.
Darkest Dungeon continues to be one of the games I'm looking forward to most. Red Hook Studios has cherry-picked its favorite aspects of XCOM, roguelikes, and turn-based strategy, and wrapped Darkest Dungeon in a gloomy fantasy art style that's evocative of Dark Souls while still feeling inexplicably cute. It also has one of the most fitting mechanics I've seen featured in a roguelike partly inspired by Lovecraft: a "stress" meter for representing the mental health of your party members.
The demo that Red Hook walked me through at PAX Prime this weekend was the first glimpse of Darkest Dungeon's town metagame, as well as four new classes, of the planned 16.
We've had a few opportunities to play Evolve this year, but not since the game's delay from its original October release date. I caught up with Chris Ashton and Phil Robb from Turtle Rock to ask them what the delay's allowing them to do, what modes or monsters we might see added to the game next, and whether moddability on PC is out of the question.
Evan stopped by the Intel booth at PAX to talk about the 3K and 4K laptops on display, and what kind of gamer might want one. He also picked up an ASUS ROG GL551 laptop, which we're getting signed by everyone we interview at PAX (Chris Roberts and Tim Schafer among them so far)—we'll be giving it away to a reader next week!
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.