The world’s n u m ber o ne P C g ames mag a zine
THE BEST RACING GAME IN YEARS
Forza Horizon 3 brings the series to PC in style
To see before you die
game of the year?
DISHONORED 2 extensive hands-on With the new master of stealth
Issue 298 December 2016
DISHONORED’S BEST LEVEL
The making of Lady Boyle’s Last Party
LIFTING THE LID
Why toilets in games matter
PC SPEAKERS find the best sound
for your setup inside
#298 DECEMBER 2016 Future Publishing Ltd Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA Tel 01225 442244 Fax 01225 732275 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.pcgamer.com EDITORIAL Global Editor In Chief Tim Clark Editor Samuel Roberts Deputy Editor Phil Savage Art Editor John Strike Production Editor Tony Ellis Web Editor Tom Senior PCG Pro Editor Chris Thursten Section Editor Andy Kelly CONTRIBUTORS Matthew Lochrie, Evan Lahti, Wes Fenlon, Jon Blyth, Tyler Wilde, Chris Livingston, Elizabeth Elliott, David Lyttleton, Ben Tyrer, Tom Sykes, Andy McGregor, Zak Storey, Ed Chester, Hannah Dwan, Ben Borthwick, Ben Griffin, Lee Hall, Steven Messner, Kate Gray, James Davenport, Craig Lager, Edwin EvansThirlwell, Joe Donnelly, Rick Lane, Chris Schilling, Lorna Reid Photography Future Photography Studio Advertising Commercial Sales Director Clare Dove Senior Advertising Manager Lara Jaggon Advertising Director Andrew Church Advertising Manager Michael Pyatt Director of Agency Sales Matt Downs Head of Strategic Partnerships Clare Jonik For enquiries, contact: email@example.com Marketing Marketing Director Sascha Kimmel Subscriptions Marketing Manager Jemima Crow Marketing Manager Emma Clapp Production & Distribution Production Controller Fran Twentyman Production ManagerMark Constance Printed in the UK by: William Gibbons & Sons Ltd on behalf of Future Distributed by:Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT, Tel: 0207 429 4000 Overseas distribution by:Seymour International Circulation Trade Marketing Manager Juliette Winyard – 07551 150 984 Subscriptions UK reader order line & enquiries: 0844 848 2852 Overseas reader order line & enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045 Online enquiries: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Licensing Senior Licensing & Syndication Manager Matt Ellis Matt.Ellis@futurenet.com – +44 (0)1225 442244 Management Managing Director, Magazines Joe McEvoy Editorial Director Matt Pierce Group Art Director Rodney Dive
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Toilet humour Welcome to an especially jam-packed issue of PC Gamer. This month, we’ve got two Dishonored features for you, reviews of the latest games and all of our usual good stuff – but forget that for a moment. We’ve also got four pages of our writer Andy Kelly talking about toilets in games. I will forever be the editor of PC Gamer who put an investigation of toilets in videogames in the magazine. If that’s my legacy as editor of this fine publication, so be it. Are there any other household items in games you want Andy to write about? Fridges, perhaps. Enjoy the issue.
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SAMUEL ROBERTS EDITOR
The PC Gamer team Tony ellis
A n d y Ke l l y
P h i l S a v a ge
Specialist in Cats, stealth
Specialist in Toilets, all toilets
Specialist in Rivalries, bad cars
This month According to PCG’s keeper of quality control, MGSV has ruined all games by being too good. Outrageous sentiment? You decide.
This month Wrote almost the entire feature section this month, including two on Dishonored alone.
This month Finally got to review a Forza game on PC, and can now throw his Xbox One in the bin.
Subscribe to Check out our digital bundle! See p48
08 THE TOP STORY What’s going on in PC gaming now?
10 THE SPY Our often relevant secret agent.
14 SPECIAL REPORT Making a real town in Cities: Skylines.
16 Watch Dogs 2 20 Sea of Thieves 22 Worlds Adrift 24 Ghost of a Tale 26 Urban Empire 30 Sudden Strike 4 32 The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Features 36 Dishonored 2 Andy navigates the Clockwork Mansion in Arkane’s sequel.
42 The Making of Lady Boyle’s Last Party Great level or greatest level?
50 Best Gaming Worlds Our favourite virtual places.
56 Lifting The Lid Words about toilets for four pages.
60 GMod Tower The history of a popular mod.
64 Warframe Keeping a free-to-play shooter fresh. 6
Try to read this in-depth exploration of a new Dishonored 2 level and not be excited. The only thing Andy likes more than a good immersive sim is a gaming toilet.
It’s a Dishonored special issue! Find out how the first game’s best level was created by Arkane.
Samuel wrangles together a list of our favourite game worlds, and ruins the island in The Witness.
dishonored 2 Lady Boyle’s last party
best gaming worlds
Network 66 PLAY
Come join Phil’s gang of car dweebs.
70 Forza Horizon 3 74 Virginia 76 Redout 78 Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 80 World of Warcraft: Legion 84 Mother Russia Bleeds 86 Fractured Space 88 This is the Police 90 Event  92 The Bunker 94 ReCore DLC REVIEWS 96 Hitman: Episode 5 – Colorado THEY’RE BACK 98 Shadow Warrior 99 No Time to Explain Remastered 99 Rayman Raving Rabbids 99 Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams 99 Necrovision
Hardware 102 GROUP TEST
Need some new PC speakers? Ed Chester drops some verdicts here.
Zak Storey rounds up the latest in UK hardware releases.
Extra Life 112 NOW PLAYING
Tom Senior talks us through Grim Dawn, the game he plays every lunch.
Game toilets: Forza an art form Horizon 3 Andy talks to a host of developers about why toilets in games have meaning and significance.
Phil’s favourite racing series comes to PC, for those willing to brave the Windows Store.
116 TOP 10 DOWNLOADS
Speakers group test Ed Chester reviews the best speakers you can get for your gaming PC.
Mods, demos and other fun stuff.
What’s new with Star Wars Battlefront.
122 WHY I LOVE
The Jacknife level in Mirror’s Edge.
Andy revisits Max Payne 3, the most serious of the trilogy.
128 MUST PLAY
Joe Donnelly picks his favourite PC games, and one PS3 game, the tit. december 2016
O P I N I O N
T E C H
G A M E S
T he P C G a m er v i e w o f the w or l d
THE TOP STORY
Ubi takes its time
Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry could skip 2017
hink back to 2009, when the adventures of Italian assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze felt exciting and new. Assassin’s Creed II expanded on the barebones framework of the original, making a sumptuous historical world full of adventure and intrigue. Seven years and seven games later, it’s hard to recall the sense of anticipation for the series. I don’t even remember what Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s main character was called. Jefford, or something. These days, news of a new Assassin’s Creed is more likely to elicit a sad, weary sigh. That’s not a good place for a game series to be in, and Ubisoft knows this. Already the publisher has committed to letting the 8
previously annual series skip a year. Now, according to Ubisoft vice-president of editorial, Tommy François, Ubi is prepared to let its flagship open-world franchise miss 2017 too. Talking to IGN, François admitted that Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry could both be on an extended leave of absence. “I’ll tell you what,” François said, “we believe alpha for these games needs to be one year before release. We’re trying to achieve that. That’s super fucking blunt, I
It’s great that Ubisoft is taking the time to reassess and rework its template
don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this. This is the goal we’re going for: alpha one year before, more quality, more polish.” And if that means biting the bullet and not having an Assassin’s Creed or a Far Cry in 2017? In François’ words: “Fuck it.” I think it’s a good move, and not just because absence makes the heart grow fonder. Both Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry have settled into a set model and even share certain aspects in terms of progression and structure. That repetition, while clearly successful, can only bring diminishing returns. It’s great that Ubisoft is taking the time to reassess and rework its template.
In other Ubisoft sequel news, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is officially on the way. Creator Michel Ancel first shared art on Instagram,
Maybe the next Far Cry won’t feature a charismatic villain.
Highs & lows
THE MONTH IN PC GAMING
highs Nidhogg 2
Messhof’s sword battler returns with a striking art style (that not everyone likes).
Over five years old and still getting updates. The latest adds an Underground Desert biome.
The apocalyptic RPG returns, and now features snow and co-op support.
Dolphin can now boot every GameCube game. (Er, not that we condone its use.)
Hyper Light Drifter
Updated to support 60fps and also gains boss rush and Newcomer modes.
Mass Effect Andromeda
The first footage was uneventful, but the big reveal won’t be until N7 day.
After being briefly resurrected by Hi-Rez, the great Tribes: Ascend is now officially out to pasture.
with a caption thanking Ubisoft for “making this possible”. The last BG&E2 news we heard was at E3, when Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot said, “Michel is working on it, but he’s doing two games at the same time, he’s doing Wild at the same time. It’s coming along, but he has to spend more time on it so we can see it faster.” It’s been 13 years since the original Beyond Good & Evil release. If Ubisoft is reading, I’d advise it finds some sort of middle-ground between annual sequels and taking over a decade. Whatever Ubisoft’s plans, it seems it’ll go forward without interference from Vivendi. Rumours of a hostile takeover emerged after Vivendi started acquiring Ubisoft shares. However, at the recent annual general meeting, Ubisoft was able to elect its own nominees onto its recently expanded board of directors, securing its independence for the foreseeable future. Phil Savage
BioShock: The Collection
The remasters launched with major bugs, including problems that plagued the original PC releases.
Tried to sue anonymous Steam reviewers, was kicked off Steam.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Some of the community is upset after developers released a paid expansion to their Early Access game.
T H E S P Y
w h o wat c h e s t h E s p y ?
his month, The Spy’s routine trawl of PC Gamer’s email servers unearthed a document containing an anonymous reader survey. The Spy browsed with interest through comments ranging from, “Get rid of The Spy,” to “Seriously, 800 words of rambling, incoherent anecdotes is not a good format for delivering news.” You might think such betrayal, er, feedback (The Spy now regrets using this keyboard’s backspace key to mark a nearby dead drop) would cause The Spy to do something drastic. On the contrary, vindictive, er, dear reader, The Spy has never held a grudge. (Please discount any previous editions of The Spy in which The Spy has held a grudge.) Instead, The Spy is hesitant, er, eager to take on board your terrible, er, constructive criticism, and now brings you this issue’s dispatch in a much more readable and informative format. Item 1: Destiny 2 could be coming to PC. The rumour comes from a NeoGAF user, and was supported by both Kotaku’s Jason Schreier and infamous GAF whistleblower shinobi602. It makes sense, of course: Activision’s hobbies include making money and PC releases are a way of doing that. If you’re unfamiliar with the original, console-exclusive game,
it’s an online FPS starring resurrected space wizards who battle alien races for control of the ruins of the solar system. Destiny currently has plenty of problems, not least the memory constraints caused by its support of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. For the sequel, Bungie reportedly wants to create something that feels totally new, with planets that feel more like real, populated spaces, rather than simply a series of interconnected maps. For all of Destiny’s issues, it’s a superb shooter and a well crafted sequel could be a big deal on PC. Item 2: The Spy learned recently that tech millionaires are willing to spend large sums of money to enable the creation of politicallythemed memes. Sensing a lucrative new source of private sector funding, The Spy has decided to run for local office disguised as either Doge, a socially awkward penguin, or Katy Perry’s left shark, depending on who’s trending the highest. Item 3: Sunset Overdrive developer Insomniac Games would
of driving/flying in those vehicles”. There’s not much more to say about this, but, while The Spy’s on the subject of vehicles, The Spy would like to address some longstanding issues with the representation of vehicles in espionage. Do you know how heavy a fully functioning cloaking device is? Or a submarine mode? Or even just a retractable rear-mounted Gatling gun? These things will straight up ruin the suspension of your conspicuously expensive Aston Martin DB5. The only recommended car attachments are deployable wheel spikes, rear-firing oil slicks, and mechanical arms that hold a giant newspaper (with discreet eyeholes) over the front windshield.
Item 5: There are no new Red Dead Redemption rumours this month. Item 6: HQ, the mole has hidden their tracks well, but The Spy has narrowed the suspect list to owners of mauve jumpers. A cursory search through security footage, personal effects and miscellaneous wardrobes reveals that no fewer than 200 operatives own mauve jumpers. How has this happened? Were mauve jumpers last spring’s big fashion trend? Mauve isn’t even a good colour. It’s barely more than a grey. Just because it’s got a bit of purple in it, suddenly it thinks it’s magenta? Wait, this is the wrong document. The Spy really needs to find a new backspace key. Item 7: The Brazilian ratings board has listed Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, a remastered version of People Can Fly’s enjoyably sweary first-person shooter. Planned for a PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release, it will be published by Gearbox. That’s unexpected, given that the original game was released by EA Partners. Still, it’s almost certainly real. Back at this year’s E3, Microsoft handed out USBs that contained images of Bulletstorm, showing visually enhanced characters and environments. Normally, remastered editions are a bit pointless on PC. Bulletstorm, however, is still hobbled by Games for Windows Live, and no patches are planned for the original version. Item 8: This was a bad idea. Next month, it’ll be business as usual, backspace key and all. Spy out. The Spy
Activision’s hobbies include making money and PC releases are a way of doing that
The Spy knows what’s inside the Traveler. (Space bees.)
like to bring its over-the-top third-person action game to PC. In response to one hopeful fan’s question on Twitter, the studio wrote, “We’d love it if it could happen but ball is in Xbox’s court on it.” Presuming that’s an idiom, and Xbox hasn’t been stealing balls from its development partners, it seems Insomniac needs Microsoft’s blessing. That could actually happen: Microsoft has earmarked plenty of future releases for PC and even let Quantum Break make the jump to Steam. Item 4: CD Projekt Red’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will likely have vehicles, given that the studio is hiring a “vehicle gameplay programmer”. One of the requirements of the role will be to create “the whole architecture of vehiclerelated code and the physics