PC Games Articles
NVIDIA hasn't given up on wanting gamers to enjoy games way they're meant to be played.
Relic takes a break from RTS to bring us Space Marine, and shows us what it means to be one of the God-Emperor's Finest.
We follow Alice to gauge the performance of the sequel and see what hardware properly plays it.
In the realm of racing games there are few challengers to the top seat of racing wheels; the Fanatec 911 Turbo S is the latest, packing 900 degree turning a 6+1 shifter and a full pedal set.
Looking for that perfect piece of hardware or software for a friend or family? Trying to find a game that delivers a great experience that they might not have already? We're bringing some great pieces that we've covered over the course of this year for your shopping list.
PC Games News
Titanfall available for Origin Game Time again, try for free in the next 48 hours and keep your unlocks
Titanfall is once again free on Origin through EA's Game Time trial program. That means anyone who downloads and installs the game will have 48 hours to cram in as much Titanfall play time as humanly possible.
Back in June, EA actually kicked off the Origin Game Time program with Respawn's incredibly successful shooter. Sure, the download and install times were hell for a lot of people, but the 48-hour thing doesn't actually kick off until you start playing the game anyway. All you'll need is, of course, an Origin account to access Game Time.
Titanfall isn't the only title available right now via the program. In addition to the mech-tastic shooter, EA is also offering Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for free trial. Battlefield 4's Game Time recently just ended.
It's kind of unbelievable that we're now on the verge of Telltale's The Walking Dead having its tenth episode released. Today the company revealed the the fifth and final episode of season 2, titled "No Going Back," will be released starting August 26. Accompanying that announcement is a five minute, spoiler filled trailer capturing Clementine's journey from the start of The Walking Dead until now. It's... well, it's damn serious business is what it is.
Some say that The Walking Dead's second season, Telltale Games' flagship adventure game franchise, is a test of protagonist Clementine's resolve. "Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil," but I contend that there's a different purpose here. I contend that the true game Telltale is playing is what it will take for both Celementine and The Walking Dead players to break. Where will players be when this idea of protecting Clementine dies. When will players stop protecting Clementine and let her start doing what she needs to do to survive? Ha, as if Telltale will actually give players that choice.
My emotions in the first season of The Walking Dead were quite innocent. I still longed for a happy ending, which considering that I read the graphic novels was rather shortsighted. With the second season I hold no such crazy ideals. I like Clementine, but I understand the world she lives in. My goal is that she survive, not that she hold onto some trivial bit of innocence. Hope? Holding onto hope is a bit different, but how we fight for our hopes in the post-apocalypse is a tad different than prior.
No Going Back, The Walking Dead's fifth episode of its second season, launches on August 26 for the PC and on the North American PlayStation store for the PS3 and PS Vita. Xbox 360 and European PlayStation gamers can pick up the game on August 27. Finally, iOS Walking Dead players can get the game on August 28. Further release dates for other platforms are yet to be revealed.
Final reminder, this trailer includes huge spoilers for both Season One and Season Two of The Walking Dead.
No female Iceni units? Boudica would not be amused
If ever a reason was needed to jump back into a game and check it out anew, then it’s surely a bunch of new DLC being released. Not to mention a new content pack also being made available for free. The latest release in the long running Total War series, Total War: Rome II has recently received two brand new DLC packs in the form of the free August Warriors Update and the paid for Daughters of Mars DLC. Unlike the rather substantial Caesar in Gaul expansion from last year, these latest two pieces are smaller unit addition packs.
Available to anyone who currently owns the game is the free August Warrior Update. It offers a selection of new units and can be accessed by updating the game via Steam. The update delivers the first female warrior units to Total War: Rome II. Both the Amazonian Riders and Scythian Noblewomen are mounted archery units, plus a Suebi infantry unit in the Hex-Bearers. The Suebi also receive a number of other units including Round Shield Swordsmen, Spear Wall, and mounted unit the Riders of the Hunt. For free content the August Warrior Update offers some nice solid additions.
The clue is in the title when it comes to the Daughters of Mars DLC, as just like the August Update pack the new units are all comprised of women:
- Rome receives not one but two new available units in this pack through the heavily armoured Gladiatrices and their pole weapon wielding counterparts the Spear Gladiatrices. Both units are strong when it comes to defense but it is the Spear variant of the Gladiatrices that have the better defensive bonus.
- In addition to their boost in the August Update, the Suebi also benefit from two more units in this DLC pack with a new Spearwomen unit, plus dead eyed archers the Cimbri Bow-Women. These Germanic units combined with those from the free content pack make quite a formidable set of opponents.
- The Mercenary Kushite Shieldwomen come armed with the dangerous combination of shield and spear they are able to form solid defensive ranks while still posing a deadly threat any mounted units unfortunate enough to come across them
- Lusitania also benefits with the addition of the Lusitani Swordswomen, a solid defensive unit that are more than capable of exploiting woodland cover to their deadly advantage.
- Last but certainly not least are Gorgo’s Skirmishers, a sling-wielding Spartan unit that offer heavier damage and a faster-fire rate compared to the standard sling equipped ranged units.
Total War: Rome II will already have updated to the latest version for anyone with automatic updates turned on in Steam, upgrading the game with the free August DLC. The Daughters of Mars DLC is also available right now for the fairly nominal fee of $2.99 via the Steam Store.
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Triumph Games is trying to harness halfling magic with the announcement of the Age of Wonders III expansion, Golden Realms. On top of that, the expansion is planned for release as soon ast next month. AoW3 players can pick up the expansion starting September 18. Considering how quickly the expansion will be available, it might be a surprise how much content will be bundled in. Let me sum it up for everyone: halflings.
Yes, Halflings will be a playable race win Golden Realms, opening up a whole faction of halfling units for the player to add to their armies. In fact, over twenty new units are being added as a part of Golden Realms, which also include mermaids and dreadmonkeys which throw their own filth. Not the mermaids, the monkeys.
Here's a full list of content and features being added as part of the Age of Wonders III: Golden Realms expansion:
- The Halfling Race
- Golden Realms Campaign
- Exotic Map Locations
- Over twenty new units
- Fifty New Hero Items
- Wild Magic Specialization
- Partisan Specialization
- Two hand crafted scenarios
- Mystical City Upgrades: Arcane treasure sites located in your domain unlock new unique upgrades for your cities, making the location and specialization of your cities more important than ever. Building a city near a Crystal Tree unlocks the Enchanted Armory which reinforcing your armored units.
- Empire Quests: Achieve empire building goals before your rivals to unlock unique rewards for your realm. This introduces a new type of indirect competition between players. Examples are the Eternal City: be the first to build a metropolis and get an awe-inspiring Monument of Prime Good and Evil, where the first player to achieve full good or full evil alignment has a party of champions the respective alignment join at no cost.
- Seals of Power: A new King of the Hill style victory condition where players must capture and hold the dangerous Seals of Power structures in order to achieve victory. Don’t sit and hold back as broken seals attract extra-dimensional beings wanting to take the Seal back.
- Defensive City Upgrades: Each race has a unique city defense to build. The Draconian’s Firestorm Pillar sets ablaze those who dare attack their city. Or the Bell Tower for the Humans which rallies the citizenry to shoot volleys at oncoming enemies.
Oof, it's a lot of stuff to list for everyone, but considering Triumph has put so much work into putting together the expansion I suppose listing it all out is the least we could do.
To help players get an idea of how some of Golden Realm's content comes together in a single game, Triumph Games put together a little developer led Let's Play video. Inside folk can see what it's like to play as the luck-infused Halfling race and their Wild Magics. Not so surprising that a Halfling's battle prowess rides so heavily on the flip of a coin. Indeed.
Age of Wonders III's Golden Realms expansion will be available on PC starting September 18. It's not a standalone expansion, so players will have to own the original game in order to access all of the new content.
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If the terms single-player, story-driven, and RTS tickle you in all the ways they do me, then CreativeForge's Ancient Space may be the announcement we're both looking for. Publisher Paradox Interactive helped reveal the game this morning, promising that the game will deliver an "explosive" space opera. Very few details relating to gameplay were delivered with the announcement, as it seems the priority is to convey just how dedicated the teams are to a strong narrative and story for Ancient Space.
To give evidence to Ancient Space's dedication to a story-driven experience, Paradox and CreativeForge unveiled some of the cast of the game. Most of which comes from sci-fi acting backgrounds:
- John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise, True Blood)
- Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
- Ron Glass (Firefly)
- Richard Gunn (Dark Angel)
- Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers, Star Trek: Nemesis, Saw)
- Dwight Schultz (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager)
With regards to the game's RTS gameplay, however, the announcement did say Ancient Space was meant to deliver a classic experience. Build ships, win battles, face pirates and aliens and move mission to mission to further your agenda. The gameplay trailer implies a level of 3D interaction, but I doubt it's anything other than 2D. Otherwise that would be listed as a major feature.
Ancient Space is tentatively planned for release on PC and Mac later this year. I say tentatively, because CreativeForge is rather busy for an independent developer. The team is also currently running a Kickstarter for a second project titled Hard West. That game, a tactical RPG mixing westerns and No Country For Old Men, looks like it will reach its funding goal less than half-way through the funding period. Hopefully neither game suffers due to the development of the other.
I select the pisolero in a sombrero, just for the moustache
Devolve Digital has plucked another relatively unknown indie developer's exciting project from the cold. They're partnering with developer FarmerGnome to publish A Fistful of Gun. Yes, the game is exactly what its title imples. A Fistful of Gun is a top down action shooter set in the Old West, where up to 8 players can cooperatively battle against undead psychopaths all the way to Hell. And no, not back.
Players will select from one of eleven different gunslingers who each have their own unique playstyle and armaments. According to early details, some of the slingers are for experts only, but there will certainly be options for those who haven't earned their spurs. Shooting down foes will earn gold which can then be spent on upgrades and items. It's a freakin' video game, ya know?
Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker has a way with words:
"A Fistful of Gun is awesome and easily the second best western game ever made. Red Dead Redemption is still the best though. That game was incredible."
While not necessarily the most inspired game, there's no argument that the gaming environment can never have too many cooperative games on the PC. Something about grouping with friends and shooting zombie bandits and injuns while riding down logs on a river as they head to the lumber mill, or at an old mine. You know, all those old west style shenanigans that seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years. Just look at all these tropey playable characters.
We're talking about Devolver Digital, so of course A Fistful of Gun will be coming to PC only and is planned to launch in 2015. However, fans can pick up and try the game out at PAX Prime in the Indie Megabooths Minibooth if they so please.
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F1 fans can judge this game's authenticity for themselves here
Fans of the F1 series from Codemasters are here for one reason and that's to experience pure F1 racing as best as a video game can offer. It's no surprise then that Codemasters recognizes this and works hard to show just how the F1 experience comes to life in their racing games. Today's trailer for F1 2014 is an example of that, showcasing F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull RB10 running a "hot lap" on the Austrian Spielberg circuit.
The Spielberg circuit is no stranger to F1, though its been absent from the calendar for over a decade -- or so I'm told. Apparently it's known for its elevation changes, which is why Codemasters felt it was a priority to get added to the game. The track will be one of four circuits added, including the Sochi Circuit in Russia, Hockenheimring and the Bahrain Grand Prix which was run as a night race in 2014.
F1 tends to be more of a niche racing franchise compared to some of the larger series with more of an international audience. What that means to me, however, is that Codemasters has room to really tune the experience to what their community wants. Tune it to pure F1 authenticity. They wouldn't be showcasing actual drives running laps on these tracks in their trailers otherwise.
Pick up F1 2014 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 starting October 17. The series has unfortunately not yet decided to make the jump to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but oh can you imagine how gorgeous it will look when it does? Just pick up the PC version of the game and hopefully that will give the best idea. I love it when annual franchises are forced to step up their game.
A new trailer was recently released for the upcoming Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. This trailer shows off a new main antagonist, Brainiac, and introduces players to his ultimate goal -- to shrink planet Earth to a pocket-sized sphere to add to his personal collection of famous places.
Brainiac, a maniacal, intelligent super villain promoted from his role as a minor villain in Lego Batman 2, aims to take over the world using Lantern Rings. By taking control of heroes and other villains who stand in his way, the green android makes it quickly known that he is a force to be reckoned with -- even Batman, hero of heroes, is seen fighting Robin in the very beginning of the trailer. If a villain has complete control over the conscience of all of humanity, what can a measly group of heroes do? Surprisingly enough, quite a bit. Teaming up with the Legion of Doom, Batman and friends must travel through the Lantern Worlds to stop Brainiac from shrinking and destroying Earth as they know it.
The Lego game series may have some dramatic cinematic trailers, but the games are known for their lighthearted design and gameplay. Despite a rather dark and foreboding cutscene such as in the trailer, players can expect a much more chipper and fun gameplay experience. The Joker singing about having the whole world in his pants doesn't imply a particularly moody game.
Unfortunately Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is not out, but it will be available for Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS, Sony's PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and PC systems by the end of 2014.
Who needs diplomacy when a missile volley will do
After originally hitting Steam Early Access in Alpha form in March, Galactic Civilizations III has now graduated to a Beta build available through Steam Early Access or direct from developers Stardock. Much like the Alpha there is also a fee for access to the Beta, this is Early Access after all, which involves essentially preordering the full game at a cost of $44.99.
Galactic Civilizations III is a space-based strategy game built in the 4X mold of Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate. The game offers a serious amount of addictive fun, even in its beta form, especially when it comes to the desire to colonize just one more planet and push back the enemy menace. That's constant whether the enemy are in fact menacing, or they just happen to be occupying a shiny planet within easy reach of the empire.
The beta is of course not a complete experience and more features will be added into the game throughout the beta period and into release. Those features include such as diplomacy, trade and a new combat system. There are no limitations on playing full matches and players can also take it online for some multiplayer action against friends.
There’s still a while to go until the full Galactic Civilizations III drops in Spring 2015, and it will only be available on 64-bit Windows builds, but for anyone itching for some space-based 4X action then the beta is available right now for $44.99.
Editor's Note: Check out Matt's preview of Galactic Civilizations III's beta now!
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One of Carbine Studios' greatest promises to WildStar players has been a dedication to monthly content drops. It's been a consistent topic of discussion each time I've spoken to Carbine, who at launch stated they'd dedicated over 50% of their development team post-launch content and how that would increase as launch issues were dealt with. 16 monthly drops were said to be in development prior to "The Strain's" release. Sixteen. It was a promise that likely drove many players to purchase and subscribe to WildStar.
That promise, however, now appears to have been abandoned by Carbine Studios. In an interview with MMORPG Life at Gamescom, Senior Game Designer Megan Starks states that the next WildStar content drop, "The Defile," will not only be released in the next, "few months," rather than at the start of September. She also implies that this will be commonplace for all future content drops and that the monthly promise is no longer something Carbine will be dedicated to.
Part of me wants to say that this is for the best. Both of the first two content drops for WildStar, The Strain and Sabotage, have had their issues. The proliferation of daily quests in the WildStar Elder Game and PvP in general are both rather controvertial topics in WildStar right now, with the two content drops embracing those areas respectively. Carbine taking the time to polish their content and dedicating themselves to releasing fun, lasting experiences is absolutely something worth supporting.
At the same time, a promise to fans should never casually be broken. Hopefully Jeremy Gaffney and his "No Bull****" approach to WildStar's development can put together a producer's letter or something along those lines to better explain the situation -- and hopefully soon.
WildStar is a subscription-based MMO currently available on PC. Expect more news on "The Defile" content drop in the weeks, or months, ahead.
- Carbine abandoning monthly WildStar content drop promise, 'Defile' to release in next few months 
- Leaked Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire's trailer shows Megas fighting it out, plus bike rides 
- Sign up for The Witcher Battle Arena closed beta now, plus a gameplay trailer for the Witcher MOBA 
- Tales of Xillia 2 dated for August, $129.99 Collector's Edition revealed 
- Mass Effect lead Casey Hudson leaves BioWare, despite Mass Effect 4 and new IP still in the works 
- CreativeForge and Paradox announcing story-driven RTS Ancient Space, cast of sci-fi veterans 
- WiLD is a PS4-exclusive survival adventure, debut release of Michel Ancel's Wild Sheep Studio 
- Go west, son, with A Fistful of Gun, offering 8-player co-op in a top down, 2D shooter