December 2016: Toilets (Various)
Andy: Inspired by the feature in which I asked a group of respected game developers to with me. The toilet we used for the cover belongs to Trevor from GTA V, which I captured in ‘glorious’ 4K using the Rockstar Editor. Astonishingly detailed, but not interactive at all, which makes it score low on the official PC Gamer toilet rating scale.
Samuel: Shockingly, toilet and poo-based puns really got the best out of us. The Ken Levine quote was mine. I'd been listening to a lot of Irrational Games' old podcasts that month, and he's so articulate on those that I loved the idea of someone badgering him about the toilets in BioShock until he insisted that they stopped. Also, 'Atlas Flushed' is gold.
Phil: Let this be remembered as the year we got 'turd-based combat' printed in a magazine.
Samuel: Trevor's awful toilet really doesn't match the cover line, in retrospect, but then WC Gamer is not a real magazine so it's fine.
Tony: Some great lines, but you’re right, we should have gone for the pristine Soma toilet.
Christmas 2016: Hitman
Samuel: I enjoyed this one but then I am the guy on the page.
Chris T: Phil and I collaborated on this. We were briefly worried that we were giving our audience license to actually hunt Samuel, but, well, that didn't seem to change anything about the actual writing of this page. The funny thing is that it's all true: you will find Samuel in the cold meats and cheeses section of Bath's Waitrose, he is probably in the cafeteria in the sausage roll, he does fancy Batman, "journalist" should always have scare quotes, and he probably did actually kill somebody.
Phil: He never actually denied the murder, so…
Samuel: I'm really more of a burger and Greek magic roll guy than a sausage roll guy. Otherwise? Accurate.
Tony: I really like this one for its simplicity, high concept and production values. I’m disappointed nobody tried to garrotte Sam, though.
January 2017: Issue 300
Samuel: From our landmark 300th issue, out now. It had to be a good one, and I love this. This came together the day after deadline, which is more common than I'd like to admit. This was going to be yet another fake cover for what issue 400 will look like—and we all hated it, typing non-jokes into a Google doc with no direction, since it was such a lazy choice. Then, Tony Ellis, PC Gamer UK's brand guardian, added the twist that the magazine was in pill form and that instantly unlocked our stupid imaginations. I was in hysterics at the indie game about touching blue-shelled eggs. I came up with 'Taste Kirkwall!', just so I could use the phrase 'lick The Chantry', which made me laugh, and bring up the fact we gave Dragon Age II 94% again.
Phil: I like to think our constant references to Dragon Age II are the PC Gamer equivalent of shouting 'come at me bro'.
Tony: I love how John made this look, and the chaps came up with some killer lines. "Taste Kirkwall!" is to die for.