PC Gamer UK issue 242 reveals Rome 2

Take a look at this month's PC gamer ladies and gentlemen. Just look, admire is beauty, gently stroke the gold embossing (well it's on the real thing, honest). My god. It's beautiful.

This month Chris gathered his legions and annexed The Creative Assembly, looting a preview of Total War: Rome 2 from the rubble and pillaging some Total War: Shogun 2 - Rise of the Samurai DLC codes to give away. He spoke to The Creative Assembly about why they chose to return to Rome, and what this means for the series. You can find out more in our Total War: Rome 2 interviews and our Total War: Rome 2 preview , but the full details are in the magazine.

We've also got previews of Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Metro: Last Light, Far Cry 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hitman: Absolution, Dishonored, Torchlight 2, Victory: Age of Racing, Assassin's Creed 3 and Dragon Commander. Tim Stone explains the joy of simulators by taking a lonely bus ride through the streets of cold war Germany in OMSI, Rick Lane investigates the secret world of freelance game design, Tom and Owen argue over whether every game should be on PC and Richard Cobbett presents a guided tour of our gorgeous Minecraft Server.

Meanwhile in the review section Tom Francis handed down his verdict on Diablo 3 and Max Payne 3, while Richard Cobbett took on the Game of Thrones RPG and Evochron Mercenary. Quintin Smith conquered the galaxy in Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Jon Bylth escaped the infected in Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City. Phil Savage took Dirt Showdown for a spin and set sail for Port Royale 3. Will Porter spread the word of awesome in Civilization V: Gods and Kings . Tim Stone won World War 2 for the 137th time in Iron Front: Liberation 1944 and I slowly marched to my doom in Gratutious Tank Battles. There's also reviews of Hack, Slash, Loot, Toy Soldiers, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Deponia, World of Battles: Morningstar, Mad Riders, Orion: Dino Beatdown, SBK Generations, Sonic 4: Episode 2 and Moon Breakers. Meanwhile in They're Back Jon Blyth takes a second look at Far Cry 2, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Avernum 4-6, Worms Ultimate Mayhem: Deluxe and Sega Genesis Classics Pack 5.

Over in Extra Life Dan Grilliopoulos examines the humble beginnings of Bioware in The Making of Baldur's Gate, Tim Stone revisits Stunt Island and Evan Lahti sees how far Tribes: Ascend has come, and ponders its viability as an e-sport. For Now Playing, Duncan Geere attempts to unlock the secrets of atomic power in the Minecraft Technic Pack, Tom Francis enjoys hearing JK Simmons comment on his Portal maps, Tyler Wilde experiences the anguish of loss in Diablo 3's hardcore mode and so does Graham in DayZ. Lastly Chris Thursten sticks a ball of light to a fox in Skyrim. I'm sure it made sense at the time.

Finally in hardware Adam takes a look at the latest 3D cards. He also reviews the Alienware M14x laptop. the preposterously named Hellspawn Ultima and the Asheridge EchoBox. Plus a closer look at AMDs new hybrid CPU/GPU and Nvida's attempts to make graphics cards aimed at the cloud gaming market.

Issue 242 is available now in shops, and you can also buy it online, download it via Zinio or check out the Apple Newsstand edition. If you fancy receiving your copy of PCG a week earlier, cheaper, and with a special cover, you can also subscribe .