The Creative Assembly has had to rebuild whole systems to make Total War: Three Kingdoms complex multi-layered diplomacy work. There are still plenty of battles, but the reasons behind them have never been so nuanced. This month we stepped into the role of the legendary tyrant Dong Zhuo to explore CA's gorgeous rendition of ancient China in our exclusive-access cover feature.
Speaking of playing games that aren't quite released yet, we also rounded up a bunch of the early access games we're most excited about right now. Then we look back 11 years to 1998 as Phil Iwaniuk builds an old school beige banger PC to play Half-Life. Sweet memories.
Also this month: Andy Kelly sits down with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker to talk about gaming, and the interactive Netflix show Bandersnatch. "some people have said they're shit at it, which is odd," is one of many fun quotes.
We have a ton of previews and reviews, of course. We look ahead to Rage 2, The Sinking City, Stillness of the Wind, Observation, Anno 1800, and Jumpgrid. We review Resident Evil 2, Kenshi, Insurgency: Sandstorm, Gris, Dusk, Ashen, Pikuniku, Catherine Classic, DayZ, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and Onimusha Warlords.
Meanwhile in our hardware section you can look forward to our judgement of the latest budget, mid-range, and high-end components. Plus we round up a collection of gaming headsets into our supertest.
There's loads more inside, including a fascinating insight into game sound recording in the field, an ode to hidden object games, and the last They're Back section from auspicious PC Gamer alumnus Chris Thursten. Happy trails!
Issue 328 is on shelves now and available on all your digital devices from Google Play, the App Store and Zinio. You can also order direct from My Favourite Magazines or purchase a subscription to save yourself some cash, receive monthly deliveries and marvel at our exclusive subscriber covers like the one below. This month Dong Zhuo strikes a domineering pose.
- Tom tries to tyrannise ancient China with the warlord Dong Zhuo in our cover feature.
- We highlight some of the most exciting games in early access.
- Andy talks to Charlie Brooker about games and his interactive drama, Bandersnatch.
- We build a 1998 spec PC to play Half-Life.
- Learn about the art of sound capture from sound designer and field recordist Watson Wu.
- Explore the joys of hidden object games.
- We preview Rage 2, The Sinking City, The Stillness of the Wind, Observation, Anno 1800 and more.
- Resident Evil 2, Gris, Dusk, Ashen, DayZ, Ace Combat 7, Onimusha Warlords and more reviewed.
- Our gaming headset group test and latest hardware recommendations.