The best PC games of 2012


The Dark Eye - Demonicon

Publisher: Kalypso Media

Release: Autumn

Despite being huge in its native Germany, the Dark Eye series has never really had any more than a glimpse of international markets. Demonicon takes up the mantle from last year's Drakensang. Main character Cairon's deadly fighting skills make it feel like a rough and ready kind of RPG. We're just not sure if it'll do enough to pull non-German players away from Skyrim.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Publisher: EA

Release: February 7, 2012

Kingdoms of Amalur certainly has a decent pedigree of games chaps working on it – Ken Rolston (Oblivion), RA Salvatore (Some books people like) and Todd McFarlane (children's toys) have all contributed. But despite its action-oriented RPG setting, something just doesn't quite add up about it – it all just feels a bit too Fable. And we haven't seen any dragons in it yet.

Risen 2: Dark Waters

Publisher: Deep Silver

Release: 2012

There's literally nothing that can't be improved with the addition of pirates. Teutonic RPG Risen faintly impressed us last year, but its sequel adds a good ol' dash of shiver-metimbers to the proceedings. It's surprising no one's thought of doing a proper seafaring RPG. A Yarrr-PG, if you will. And yes, we will wheel that joke out every time we write about it.


Publisher: Kerberos Productions

Release: 2012

Hang about, is it still the '80s? Freeform space exploration, trading and combat mixed with a strategic ground game? This is old-school PC gaming at its oldest. NorthStar developers Kerberos are the studio behind the galaxy-conquering excesses of Sword of the Stars, so they know a thing or two about spaceships and strategy and all that business – and there's always room for another take on Elite.

Gorky 21

Publisher: Kalypso Media

Release: Christmas

1999's Gorky 17 – aka Odium – was a Polish take on the postnuclear- war scenario, and in some ways a precursor to Stalker. For follow-up Gorky 21, TopWare have inserted just about every sci-fi cliché going, including steampunk weapons and nano-technology power-ups. It'll be interesting to see whether or not TopWare go full Fallout 3, or just keep the original game's top-down roots.

Dead State

Publisher: Doublebear productions

Release: 2012

An isometric zombie apocalypse RPG, Dead State is more about survival than it is about massacring hordes of your former friends. Advanced AI and involved mechanics promise to create emergent, open-ended narratives on the fly. Perhaps most excitingly, it has been written by Brian Mitsoda, the talented chap behind cult classic RPG Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.

Of Orcs and Men

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Release: Summer

Of Orcs and Men's big twist on the fantasy genre is that the traditionally despicable orcs are, in fact, suffering at the hands of humans. The RPG casts you as an elite orc soldier, who must recruit other orcs and goblins to fight back against mankind. It's all a bit reminiscent of Overlord, but the tone seems a lot more brutal and eminently more gritty.

Clan of Champions

Publisher: NIS America

Release: Christmas

A hardcore tactical RPG from Japanese developers Acquire where you punch and sword your way through a trad fantasy setting. Acquire also made What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?, possibly the only game to sound like a Leonard Cohen song.

King's Bounty: Warriors of the North

Publisher: 1C

Release: Summer

The ridiculously enjoyable and completely absurd RPG gets a new episode in Warriors of the North. There's, a new hero – called Olaf – and 'gorgeous Valkyries' as new companions. Wub at first sight.

Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter

Publisher: Atari

Release: 2012

Cryptic are building a new Neverwinter, which is also what you'll be doing in this return to the well-worn franchise. It's a cooperative online RPG, but the pricing structure has yet to be finalised.

Two Worlds II: Pirates of the Flying Fortess

Publisher: TopWare Interactive

Release: 2012

Pirate-themed expansion to open-world RPG Two Worlds II which boasts new weapons, areas and enemies and something called 'impact-oriented horse armour'.

The Sims 3: Masters Suite

Publisher: EA

Release: Spring

There's next to no information on the new Sims expansion, other than the name. There are also three screenshots, which show a lot of kinky bedroom and bathroom action – always welcome in The Sims universe.