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DirectX 12's new rendering features are coming to DirectX 11.3 too

Dave James at

At this year’s Intel Developer Conference and Nvidia’s Maxwell Editor’s Day, Microsoft were busy banging the DirectX 12 drum. They were demonstrating its CPU efficiency boosts as well as talking up the new rendering features they’re implementing to show off the latest GPU hardware around.

Microsoft also announced the new rendering features are also going to be part of the DirectX 11.3 API, which is being shipped at the same time as DirectX 12. That sounds great, but it also fills me with fear. Back in 2007, DirectX 10 was exclusive to Vista, leaving popular Windows XP in the dust. The same thing could happen with Windows 7 and DirectX 12.


Battlefield Hardline's Hotwire mode is like Need for Speed with rocket launchers

Phil Savage at

A new Battlefield Hardline trailer is out. At first, it looks a bit like Need for Speed—what with police cars in pursuit of some high-speed vehicle. Soon after, it looks less like Need for Speed—what with machine guns and shotguns and rocket launchers and death. I think the idea is to get a fast car from one place to another. I know the idea is for explosions to happen.


Nvidia GTX 980 tested: SLI, 4K, and single-GPU benchmarks and impressions

Wes Fenlon at

The Nvidia GTX 980 is here—as in, Nvidia has announced it, you'll be able to buy one soon, and it's also physically here in the PC Gamer offices. I've been playing games on the GTX 980 and benchmarking the card with the help of Maximum PC. We've put our cards together to test dual-GPU SLI performance and thrown the 980s up against a 4K monitor to see how they compare to the GTX 780 Ti, Radeon R9 290X, and other top-of-the-line graphics cards.

The big question: is the Nvidia GTX 980 worth its $550 price tag? According to our benchmarks, absolutely.


Why Halo: Master Chief Collection isn't coming to PC (for now)

Shaun Prescott at

Sure, it's an outrage that Halo is a consistent no-show on PC nowadays, but why? Theories abound - both conspiratorial and otherwise - but according to 343 Industries executive producer Dan Ayoub it's simply a matter of resources. Speaking to Kotaku, he says no amount of similiarities between the hardware architecture of the Xbox One and a typical PC can allow for a simple transition. And besides: the studio's focus is entirely on Xbox One at present.


League of Legends Worlds 2014 - Taiwan group stage breakdown

PC Gamer at

Riot Games' 2014 League of Legends World Championship is about to begin, drawing in 16 teams from across the world for a final end-of-year bout. This year, the tournament's split into three parts: eight-team group stages each in Taiwan and Singapore, a quarterfinal showdown in Busan, South Korea, and a climatic semifinal and grand final in the capital city of Seoul.


Assassin's Creed Rogue may be coming to PC, producer says

Andy Chalk at

You haven't read much about Assassin's Creed Rogue around these parts because it's being developed exclusively for consoles, which puts it a bit outside the purview of a site called PC Gamer. But as Ubisoft revealed last month, that situation may change in the relatively near future.


Quake Live joins Steam this week, watch the launch trailer here

Shaun Prescott at

Quake Live is a seriously beautiful game. The fluidity, the colours, the mindboggling levels of skill it can accommodate... it's easy to forget its appeal until you see the game in action. There's also a certain '90s nostalgia attached to the series as a whole, which is compounded by the Moby-esque music playing over this launch trailer. Take a look below.


Minecraft mod CivCraft goes standalone as Praxis

Shaun Prescott at

There comes a time when successful mods become too big for the games they’re modifications for. This appears to be the case with Minecraft mod CivCraft, with its creators announcing that Praxis, a standalone game based on CivCraft, is in development by a new studio devoted to the project. Florida-based studio [Redacted] Games claims CivCraft is “so far-reaching and ambitious that anything less than a bespoke platform” is insufficient.


League of Legends Champion Spotlight shines on Azir, the Emperor of the Sands

Andy Chalk at

Behold Azir, the ancient Emperor of the Sands, commander of the Shuriman armies, and the latest Champion to fall under the League of Legends Champion Spotlight.


A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 9

Wes Fenlon at

In this episode of PC Gamer's Dwarf Fortress LP, Wes panics as his dwarves recover from a violent elf assault. Also, the dwarves hide in trees, for some reason.


Someone has made Donkey Kong Country in the Doom engine, watch it in action here

Shaun Prescott at

People are still doing insane stuff with the Doom engine, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than with this Donkey Kong mod. The GZDoom mod turns Doom into a whimsical side scrolling platformer, which is obviously quite a change from its origins as a brutal first-person shooter. To give it a go you’ll need GZDoom, a download of the mod as well as one of original Doom engine .WADs.


Should I vacuum my PC? — Ask PC Gamer

Tyler Wilde at

Ask PC Gamer is our new weekly advice column. Have a burning question about the smoke coming out of your PC? Send your problems to letters@pcgamer.com.

Is it OK to use a vacuum cleaner to clean my PC? Compressed air just blows the dust everywhere, which is annoying. I've done it before and it never caused a problem. — William F.

Football Manager documentary heading to UK cinemas next month

Tom Sykes at

In an ideal world there would be informative, full-length documentaries on every interesting facet of games—my personal hope is for a Looking Glass documentary exploring, among other things, the fantastic Thief series—but Football Manager is a solid alternative, what with it being probably the most quietly successful management sim around. FilmNova have made such a film, entitled An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary, and it's coming to select UK cinemas next month.


Spacebase DF-9 gameplay video — Early Access impressions

Tyler Wilde at

Shocking news today: I'm playing another game! This time I take a look at Spacebase DF-9, an Early Access game from Double Fine that I've already put about 10 hours into. The goal: build a sweet space station without everyone dying terribly.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

As I approach my *cough* 20s, I'm drawn more to games that allow me to explore a small, interesting space, without the stress of having to collect 100 stray doodads or deal with 'emergent' generated quests along the way. Indie games are very good for this, and this week sees a strange new Strangethink scene being procedurally generated upon the world, along with a game about mushrooms, a game about drowning (sorta), a game about pressing buttons, and one of them games where you read things off of the screen. Enjoy!


Diablo 3 patch 2.1 emphasizes speeding through content, and that's a good thing

Leif Johnson at

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.


Elite: Dangerous newsletter details upcoming exploration systems

Phil Savage at

Right now, Elite: Dangerous could effectively be renamed Space Trucking Simulator 3300. Yes, there's combat, but the beta's existing systems feel more suited to serenely travelling between the stars to profit from an incredibly basic economy. That's a consequence of the game's still-early development status, and, through Frontier's regular newsletter, they've been explaining what we can eventually expect. The latest update details interstellar exploration, and it sounds like a mighty fine career for adventurers and pirates alike.


The Sims 4 cheats remove death, bestow wealth, and make your Sims as happy as Larry

Tom Sykes at

Tom Marks has been having fun with a weird bug/cheat/oversight in The Sims 4 that allows players to scale objects to ridiculous sizes, but what other cheats are hiding in Maxis' game? The folks at SimsGlobe have collected a few of the known codes so far, and if you've ever wanted to make your Sims immortal, give them a free rung on the property ladder, load their bank accounts with Simoleons or give them the power of teleportation, then you've come to the right place.


Mod of the Week: Legendary Cities, for Skyrim

Christopher Livingston at

There are nine main cities in Skyrim, seven large towns, a dozen smaller settlements, plus scads of farms, mills, shacks, camps, caves, lairs, and ruins. All together, the game sports over three hundred locations, so naturally we all have the same thought: that's just not enough, is it? The Legendary Cities mod adds ten beautiful and historical cities to Skyrim from The Elder Scrolls: Arena (the first Elder Scrolls game from 1994). This mod has been around for a while, but a recent update makes some major improvements to optimization and fixes an incompatibility with popular follower mods, meaning it's the perfect time to check it out with your favorite companion.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Let's play some games, shall we? This week: a boy goes to space, a dead-and-alive cat stays in a box, a wonderfully weird game gets expanded, Legends return, things are shot at, and other things are separated by a dimensional membrane. Enjoy!