The leaves tumble from their branches, frosty fronds etch car bonnets in the cool hours of the morning, and highstreet shops prematurely fill their shelves with tinselly tat. Yes, winter approaches. But fear not those long dark hours! We bring you issue 245 of PC Gamer to warm and illuminate with stories of giant war robots, jump-pack powered interstellar pioneers and more!
On the cover this month is one of the hirsute kung-fu masters from World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. We have a whopping eight page feature on Blizzard's long-running monster MMORPG, with 50 tips to help you squeeze the most awesome from its latest expansion. Hot on its heels is our huge Planetside 2 guide, talking you through the Auraxian battlegrounds and most hectic hotspots. And if you weren't yet convinced that playing together was the best way to stay warm this winter, we follow that up with our top 15 co-op games of all time. Oh, and then we just straight out give you one of them, in the form of a Steam code for Payday: The Heist.
And while we're in the spirit of giving, the mag also includes access to the DOTA 2 beta - a code which might otherwise set you back £20.
Issue 245 is on shelves and online (opens in new tab) right now. Our digi-edition can also be purchased through Zinio and Apple Newsstand (opens in new tab) . There's also the option to subscribe (opens in new tab) and get each issue earlier and for less money! Sweet. Read on for fulsome details of issue 245's finely crafted content.
The hope of renewal glisters through the wintry dark in this month's preview section as Dan Griliopoulos builds a brighter, better world in SimCity. Then Owen Hill turns up in one of Hawken's giant robots suits and smashes it all to pieces. Meanwhile, Tom Senior gets stuck into Assassin's Creed III, and Graham Smith revels in the pixelled bloodshed of indie video nasty Hotline Miami. We also kick the tyres of Rift: Storm Legion, Natural Selection 2, Firefall and the forthcoming StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm.
Then Rich Cobbett whisks us away to Pandaria for an in-depth look at how Blizzard hopes to shape the future of its MMORPG, while providing more than a few ideas of what to do when you get there. Rich McCormick then voyages into a very different kind of future - that charted by PlanetSide 2's massive globe-consuming war - and provides a handy guide to its locales and the tactics liable to conquer them.
Meanwhile, the whole team has pitched in for our feature on the all-time best co-op games. One of which may or may not be Team Fortress 2's new Mann VS Machine mode - which we discuss elsewhere in the mag, too. Now Playing sees Chris Thursten zips through the skies in Tribes: Ascend while TJ Hafer grapples with glitches in Skyrim and Tom Senior strives for a quiet life in Minecraft.
And this is just the tiny protruding tip of our merrily bobbing content iceberg. Reviews include: Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, Unmechanical, 30 Flights of Loving, Symphony, Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Bullet Run, Dota 2, Gateways, Ghost Recon Online, eXceed Series and Darksiders II. Jon Blyth then re-examines the charms of Dark Dimensions, Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, Civilization IV, Runaway 3: A Twist of Fate and Assassin's Creed II.
There's still more! Adam Oxford gives seven of the latest SSD's a good shake, trials the GTX 660TiSC, opens up Acer's new ultrabook, casts an eye over BenQ's new 24" monitor and still has room for a few other reviews besides. All this in a single magazine! Blimey. It should certainly see you through to our next mag, available 24 October.