PC gaming is on the forefront of gaming. So many of today's trends: early access, survival game elements in everything, multiplatform mods, esports, and virtual reality -- all started on PC. Even as it inspired other platforms, PC gaming itself evolved this year, making big strides and taking ugly spills.
You just got a new PC game! Hoo buddy, you are excited. You’ve been looking forward to this one for years. You load it up and… oh, hell. Something’s off. You go into the options menu and make the usual tweaks. Turn off MSAA. Turn down shadow quality. Turn down reflections. Turn off any feature with a weird name and Nvidia branding. None of it does much to help.
Let’s get this out of the way: Final Fantasy XV is a great video game. It steers the series in a promising new direction, reveals a spectacular new world, and introduces a combat system as satisfying as any I’ve played. For all of its warts and wrinkles—and there are quite a few warts and wrinkles—Final Fantasy XV is often a thing of beauty.
No pad from the 80s or 90s is going to compare with a DualShock 4 or Xbox controller in terms of comfort or features, nor be suitable for the games we’re playing today, but that’s not the point: the point will be how well did a controller reflect the games and needs of a player at the time?
A year or so ago I moved my gaming PC away from the TV and upstairs to my desk. I got a monitor that’s better than that TV. So, I decided to start using a mouse and keyboard again. I’m not really to the point where I obsess over DPI or key resistance or anything like that. I’ve found a pretty standard setup, and I stick with it. It’s still been interesting returning to the mouse and keyboard fold after so many years away. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Civilization games have all shared the same core design ideas. 2K's marketing will try and sell you on new stuff all they want, but the nuts and bolts of this game are the same as they've always been and they're what really makes Civ great. You take turns, you build cities, you research tech, you fight.
Battlefield 1 reinvents the tone of the series, retaining the awesome turbulence of war while emphasizing a human element. Battlefield 1 maintains an impressive balance between emotion and spectacle. All the better for a series that was starting to feel a bit too clinical.
After 12 years of performing outrageous acts of heroism in the name of the Alliance or Horde, it’s time for World of Warcraft players to take their place in the pantheon of Azeroth’s greatest heroes. Where 2014's Warlords of Draenor elevated player characters from adventurers to military commanders, Legion makes them legends, wielding weapons of unimaginable power against the greatest threat the fantasy world has ever faced.
I’ve been using Sony's PlayStation VR for the better part of a week and have played a handful of the games that will be available at launch. I’ve been impressed by some things, turned off by others, and made nauseous by a few. Throughout that time I’ve also been disappointed. Read on for the full review.
FIFA and PES are like Batman and The Joker, their entire existence defined by the presence of the other. You can't play PES without talking about FIFA's licenses, and you can't play FIFA without talking about PES' gameplay, because those things are as much a result of targeting the competitor's weaknesses as their own inherent strengths.
I love to replay games. It’s something my colleagues occasionally give me crap for. They worry I’m sacrificing time I could otherwise spend on new games re-experiencing old ones. I do play games for a living, so I always try to maintain a healthy mix of new ones in my rotation. But I’m almost always replaying something.
In Deus Ex's vision of the future, unchecked technological advancement has thrown the world into disarray as multinational corporations have grown as powerful as governments. (I know, I can't believe it either.) It's the year 2029 and breakthroughs in bioengineering have allowed humans to augment themselves with cybernetic implants... read the full review.
No Man’s Sky is an unusual and contradictory game, one that asks very little of its players while simultaneously demanding a great deal. It’s a frustrating failure in many ways, technically unpolished and seemingly unfinished. No Man’s Sky reaches for the sun and comes back with a light bulb. I’m pretty much fine with the light bulb.
Your boss just pulled you into another surprise meeting. You’ve got a case of the Mondays. And your raise got rejected. Why not leave it all behind and roll the dice on a new career in video games? There are endless reasons to take the risk of quitting your job, and just as many reasons to tough it out and stay the safe course. The tricky part is figuring out which apply to you.
Back in 2010, a Danish indie studio called Playdead released a macabre side-scroller called Limbo. It was good. In 2016, that same studio is releasing a new macabre side-scroller. This one’s called Inside, and it’s really, really good. I played the game from start to finish in one sitting. I laughed a lot, often in horror. Inside is a perfectly paced series of escalating "holy shit" moments.
Mighty No. 9, released yesterday for most of the platforms it was promised to, is not Mega Man with a new name. It shares a lot of ingredients with Mega Man, but these are lower quality ingredients combined with none of the finesse of Capcom’s classics.
For the uninitiated, here's a little bit of context: Unreal Tournament drew first blood on the PC in 1999, with a fanciful, science fiction tone and particularly gory splatters. The game focused its efforts on online multiplayer. Never before, nor since, has Capture the Flag been so much fun.
You control Victor with a controller that you cannot see, because you play this game with the Oculus Rift VR headset strapped to your face. You push Victor forward with a tilt of the analog stick and make him leap, icepicks drawn, toward the side of a glacier. You're not simply playing a game like Uncharted or Tomb Raider. You're inside of one.
Overwatch has only been out for a week, but it’s already a phenomenon. Normally, hype tells you nothing concrete about a game, but the hype around Overwatch has become a key part of the experience. The excitement around the game acts as a testament to Blizzard’s dedication to craft, refinement, and iconic character design.