PC gamers have got a pretty great thing going. Interesting, experimental indie games? Yup. The shiniest, most visually impressive versions of big-budget games? Yeah, they get a lot of those, too. Let's say you've recently joined the ranks of the PC elite. What games should you install? Well, you can start out with the games listed on this roundup.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a role-playing game from BioWare, the third in the Dragon Age series. Being a fantasy game it has dragons, and elves, and magic. But it is also a fantasy in another, more special way. Inquisition ushers us into a vast world and sets that world revolving around us, patiently waiting on our every action. It has time for us. Finally, the world will be what we want it to be. Finally, we'll have the time to get everything right.
Staying true to tradition, Far Cry 4 takes place in an expansive world that's seductively beautiful. Kyrat is located somewhere in the Himalayas, and this mountainous region adds an incredible amount of density to the game. And depth. So what if it feels a lot like Far Cry 3? That's one of the best shooters I've ever played. But it was also flawed enough to warrant a revision, and more often than not, Far Cry 4 is able to surpass its predecessor.
The Origin PC Chronos Z is the meanest small form factor gaming PC I've yet to encounter. Origin PC ships its gaming systems in wooden crates. The Chronos Z came in the smallest crate to date, yet the Titan Z-powered beast within was more powerful than anything that came before it.
The PlayStation TV is a small black box that connects to a television set via HDMI cable. Inside of that box are the guts of a PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system, and as such it can play PlayStation Vita games. It can also play PSP games, PS One classics, stream PS4 and PlayStation Now games, and stream TV shows and movies.
While many a video game has been designed for people who enjoy killing aliens, Alien: Isolation can only have been created for people who derive some perverse pleasure out of being killed by an alien. Regardless of how it happens, rest assured that the alien will kill you. The game is rarely less than terrifying, the Sevastopol is splendidly awful, and the straightforward story pays homage to the film without going overboard.
The Sims 4 is a big game. But like any so-called life simulator, it only seems that way when you add up its countless tiny bits and pieces into one giant mosaic. Actually playing the game feels like you're both telling and watching a series of private, intimate stories. It is a beautiful new act in EA's popular franchise. Even with its controversial changes and missing features, I've never had this much fun playing with my Sims.
Leaving aside its wackier conspiracy theories, it's the quality – the prescience – of Deus Ex's story that makes it such a great game to play in 2014. Somehow, it seems timely: moment after moment of sneering, political philosophising about money, health, corporations and the poor, punctuated by regular, 400-volt jolts of "wait, when was this written?"
The video game industry is booming. Americans spent $21.53 billion on games and hardware last year, and sales of the new-gen PS4 and Xbox One have exceeded expectations. So why are layoffs so common in the industry? Why are so many video game studios closing? Why does it feel like the people who make video games are always on the hook?
The next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels on our screens and placing a heavy burden on our beleaguered GPUs. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware.
It's been more than 20 years since Doom and Myst changed the landscape of video games forever. One exponentially advanced the language and possibilities of the first-person shooter genre and the other pulled players into a fictional world like never before. Despite the fact that they spoke to vastly different audiences, both games were huge, phenomenal hits. Not surprisingly, two of the men instrumental to each game's success initially hated the game the other guy produced.
I think I know what my favorite moment in Titanfall is. I'm in a Titan when my display tells me an enemy pilot has crawled up my back. My Titan's near death anyway and I know there won't be time to hop off and shoot the pilot down. Besides, my Titan is prepared for this exact moment. Earlier, I equipped it with a kit that would eject me, cloaked, just before it was set to explode. I should be just fine.
Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.
There was a time when the size of a gaming notebook didn't matter so much. Three or four years ago a portable gaming rig that was nearly two inches thick and weighed close to ten pounds was an impressive thing. Pull one of those beasts out at a crowded coffee house and the other customers knew you weren't about to pull up a spreadsheet.