Posts Tagged ‘PC-Gamer’

Ready For My Close-Up: PC Gaming Gets A Spotlight At E3

And lo’ the clouds parted and E3’s suited powers-that-be waved their bejeweled hand and now there’s going to be an entirely new conference of sorts dedicated to PC Gaming. Oh Sweet Mariah Carey, such things have been a long time coming. As a long-time attendee of E3, I can tell you first hand that that’s the place you go when you’re basically just looking for an in-the-trenches view of the most macho of console arms races. Amid such tense and enthusiastic pissing contests, PC gaming has often found itself ignored.

But hardware folks AMD and cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer have announced they’re hosting a new PC gaming pageant extravaganza during E3 week this year, the PC Gaming Show.

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Monkey Island 2 Spec Ed Review On

Leather like a cow I've ever seen.

Are you interested in what you should be thinking about the new Monkey Island 2 Special Edition? Fortunately I’m here to tell you – what a spot of good news. My review for PC Gamer has made its way onto the Jaunty RPS Tribute Site, over here. I say:

“By jove, they’ve got it! Last year saw LucasArts remake the original Secret of Monkey Island with gorgeous new graphics and fantastic voice acting. And then, through some arcane form of voodoo, they managed to make it maddeningly irritating to play. A crazed muddle of menus, inputs and berserk design decisions spoiled a game that was never as good as people remembered it being. Forget all of that – Monkey Island 2: Special Edition has fixed absolutely everything, and was a far better game to begin with.”

Alec’s XCOM Feature

Mr Meer was the first to take a look at the new XCOM, thanks to the PC Gamer’s exclusive feature. Since he’s currently off having weekend adventures I thought it might be wise to link to an online sighting: GamesRadar have the full text, and some images.

This isn’t a linear shooter, either. Your base’s phonetappers and police-radio scanners present you with choices as to where to go next and what to do, picked from a large map of the US. Rumours of animal attacks and strange weather patterns in a certain state? Sounds like Blobs are on the rampage. Saddle up, Agent Carter. Grab the wheel of your hulking fedmobile, take two of your best men with you, and go see what’s going on.

Go read.

Hidden Movement: XCOM Uncovered In PCG

Me! I saw XCOM! Me! And I still can’t bloody talk about it. But I can direct you to buy, beg, borrow, steal or consume the latest issue of PC Gamer UK, which contains a big-ass feature wot I wrote about 2K Australia/Marin’s controversial do-over of The World’s Greatest Videogame™. What I can say – I hope – is that the feature goes into why the game is a lot more interesting than the infuriatingly brief press release suggested. The issue’s lurking on the shelves of UK agents o’news now, or you can buy a copy direct from here. Free delivery, I’m told. Oh, and the feature also includes the largest picture you’ve ever seen of a Sectoid from the original X-COM. We’ll be spilling XCOM details on this very website in a few weeks: print/online embargo splits are absolutely ludicrous in this day and age, but there you go.

Outcast Not At 57 Scandal: PC Gamer Top 100

And don't get me started with Thief 2.

The yearly PC Gamer Top 100 has gone live! To actually get any real explanation behind it, you’ll have to buy the new issue, but it’s available here in a just-the-facts-format. It breaks with tradition in a three key ways. Firstly, it was the first in living memory to be comprised not by going down the pub and arguing until everyone hates each other more than usual. Instead, it was done by cold vote-casting democracy. Or, at least, the closest simulacra to cold-vote-casting democracy the ever-mendacious Tom Francis could manage. Secondly, it involved votes from the PC Gamer writers of many nations (i.e. if there’s anything obviously mental, blame the yanks). Thirdly, and most audaciously, the fifthy-seventh greatest game of all time Outcast isn’t at fifty-seven. I’m shocked, shocked I say. Anyway, the readers vote is now open so do go in and RIGHT WRONGS. I admit, it’s the sort of thing which makes me wonder what a RPS readers’ top 100 may look like. Top 100s are odd ones, conceptually speaking. I wrote a little about it over on my workblog a few years ago, which I republish here…
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PC Gamer: Dragon Age Origins Review

That's a nasty cold.

My review of Dragon Age in PC Gamer is now online. All 60 million words, but short the very pretty boxouts (and thus vital details about the “taint” – snigger). It looks very splendid in the magazine. (Unfortunately an RPS review will be a while coming as our attempts to get review code were not responded to.) It’s a tremendous game, in many senses of the word. Here’s an excerpt that captures one of my favourite details:

“Whether you play as a human, elf or dwarf, a rogue, warrior or mage, a noble or a commoner, Dragon Age requires smart use of your wits and weapons. Combat is a combination of real-time fighting and turn-based handing out of orders. You have control of all in your current party (which has a maximum of four characters), as well as an elaborate Combat Tactics system that enables you to all but program your team’s AI. But there’s also an entire realm to explore, and a central, overwhelming theme of acculturation within its many towns and races. This is about politics, moral philosophy and love. And about killing dragons with swords.”

Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising Announced

The things I do for this site.

There’s been rumours around, but it’s finally been confirmed in our old comrades at the PC Gamer* podcast. Talking about their forthcoming issue where they reveal that the first Dawn of War 2 add-on pack will feature chaos. And it’s called Chaos Rising. It’s welcome, but not exactly an enormous surprise – I thought Chaos would be one of the most-likely factions to be in the original game. There’s little more in the podcast – expect more to come when the subs copies arrive with their readers shortly.

*UK. As in, the original one. Yeah, you heard.

Long Shots And Lung Shots

Autumn wouldn’t be autumn in the Stone household without a spot of digital deer slaying. The following is a piece I penned a few years back for PC Gamer UK on the history and appeal of gaming’s least fashionable genre.

Throw a couple of logs onto the fire, pour yourself a glass of something warming, and come sit down here next to me. Comfortable? Splendid. Today I want to tell you about my penchant for a pariah genre. Today I want to talk of hunting simulations, a genus of games that’s been mauled, mocked, and lately, studiously ignored by British game critics. Read the rest of this entry »

The New New World – Civ 4: Colonization Reviewed

There's no way of telling it's based on Civ 4, is there?

My write-up of the official remake of one of my all-time favourite strategy games is in the current issue of PC Gamer UK, and now also on the magic internet. While a solid and largely faithful remake, the game wasn’t quite what I was hoping it would be, so I’m expecting outraged folk to shout at me and email a death threat or two because I didn’t score it 98% any day now.

Here’s a quote for the road:

Life is good to old Kingy. He’s fine whether or not he gets my money, and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it. He’s the bully at school you can’t touch because he’s the headmaster’s son, the seedy politician who never quite gets thrown out of office because his wife is friends with the Prime Minister’s wife. He’s unstoppable.

Spore: The First Reviews (UPDATED)

Apparently the official online embargo starts lifting tomorrow, but a bunch of print scores have already found their way into the realms of webby-land. Most notably, CVG have just posted a slightly bizarre summary of Tom Francis’ print review in PC Gamer UK, which is possibly a cheeky attempt to get a march on tomorrow’s online reviews. The lad scored Will Wright’s new’un a whopping 91%, but delivered a few sharp punches to Spore’s ribs. For the whole review you’ll need to read the mag, but what are, purportedly, the most pertinent comments can be found here.

On the other side of the coin, VG247 is reporting less favourable scores from a couple of German gaming mags.: 79% from Gamestar, and 73% from PC Games. Hmm. Looks like it’s silly season for huge score discrepancies, eh?

Update – Looks like those German mags are in the minority. There are ten reviews in the wild now, most of which are 8s and 9s. This one seems especially trustworthy, for some mysterious reason.