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UNLOCK THE PILLARS OF ETERNITY II COSMIC DOG
Definitive verdict on pc’s hottest shooter
E XC LU S I V E AC C E S S
Grand Theft Auto Online Cultist simulator 12 Games reviewed MORE!
Set sail for Piracy and adventure in Obsidian’s seafaring RPG sequel
INTEL RYZEN VS
NEXT GEN CPU TEST
#315 MARCH 2018 Future Publishing Ltd Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA Tel 01225 442244 Email email@example.com Web www.pcgamer.com
EDITORIAL Global Editor in Chief Tim Clark Editor in Chief Samuel Roberts Editor Phil Savage Deputy Editor Philippa Warr Art Editor John Strike Production Editor Drew Sleep Web Editor Tom Senior Section Editor Andy Kelly Staff Writer Joe Donnelly
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CONTRIBUTORS Writing Kimberley Ballard, Ed Chester, Tom Hatfield, Luci Kelemen, Evan Lahti, Rick Lane, Emily Marlow, Hazel Monforton, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Aaron Potter, Chris Schilling, Zak Storey, Tom Sykes, Chris Thursten, Tyler Wilde, Alex Wiltshire Art Catherine Kirkpatrick, David Lyttleton
We’ll be at the London Olympia, 17-18 Feb. See page 58 for details!
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Shipping forecast The first Pillars of Eternity was at the spearhead of a movement for veteran developers, using crowdfunding platforms as a way to make games that harkened back to the roleplaying games of old. It was technological ambition married to retro scope; a mix of innovation and nostalgia. The old Infinity Engine inspiration is still apparent in Pillars’ sequel, but Deadfire is shaping up to be an RPG that embraces modern technology and new ideas. What that means for you is an RPG about freeform exploration and seafaring adventure. Turn to page 40 to learn more.
PHIL SAVAGE EDITOR
The PC Gamer team A n d y K ell y
P hilippa W a r r
E va n L ah t i
Specialist in RPGs, sailing
Specialist in Indie, cults
Specialist in FPS, poultry
This month Got nautical for our cover feature on Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
This month Discovered it still counts as a cult even you have no followers.
This month Scoured a hostile battlefield in search of chicken dinners.
#315 MARCH 2018
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08 THE TOP STORY Total War: Three Kingdoms announced.
10 THE SPY
Our rumourmonger investigates Fable’s possible return.
12 INSIDE DEVELOPMENT Hiding tributes in plain sight.
14 SPECIAL REPORT The rise of expandalones.
18 Cultist Simulator 22 Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom 24 Code Vein 28 VRChat 30 Soulcalibur VI 32 Jurassic World Evolution 36 Kynseed
40 Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire New information on Obsidian’s seafaring sequel.
50 Dishonored 2
In Dishonored 2, revenge is wrapped up in imitation.
54 The Witcher III
How Geralt deals with religion in The Witcher III’s world.
get your free gIFTS
Turn to page 34
Pip takes a look at the Lovecraftian adventure from the creator of Sunless Sea.
Andy sets course for Obsidian’s RPG sequel, and discovers a new world of high-seas adventure.
Hazel Monforton on the motivations behind Dishonored 2’s tale of revenge and desire.
PILLARS OF ETERNITY II
DISHONORED & Desire
64 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 70 Gorogoa 72 Hello Neighbor 74 Gang Beasts 76 Life is Strange: Before the Storm 80 Opus Magnum 82 The Red Strings Club 83 Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy 84 Iconoclasts Free GAMES 86 Sango – Tales from the Coral Cave 87 Known Unknowns 87 Storyseeker THEY’RE BACK 88 Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth 89 Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes 89 Toki Tori 89 Section 8: Prejudice 89 Velocity Ultra
94 GROUP TEST 100 REVIEWS 102 TECH REPORT 104 BUYER’S GUIDE
108 NOW PLAYING
Chasing promotion in FM 2017.
What’s new with Euro Truck Sim 2?
THE WITCHER & RELIGION Emily Marlow explores The Witcher III’s handling of faith and organised religion.
PUBG Reviewed It’s the biggest game on PC right now, but is it worth your time? Evan Lahti finds out.
114 MOD SPOTLIGHT
PROCESSORS RATED Ed Chester pits AMD and Intel against one another. Only one may emerge victorious.
Twisted Insurrection breathes new life into C&C: Tiberian Sun.
116 AFTER ACTION REPORT The GTA Online crew returns.
122 REINSTALL Revisiting Soul Reaver.
126 Why I Love
Arkham Asylum’s Arkham asylum.
128 MUST PLAY
Phil’s picks of the best PC games.
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
Even more war
It’s going to be a major 2018 for the Total War series
t’s turning out to be a busy year for Creative Assembly. The developer has announced its next grand strategy game, due this autumn. Called Total War: Three Kingdoms, the game is CA’s first foray into Chinese history. As the name suggests, it’s set during China’s Three Kingdoms period – starting around 190 AD, in the final years of the Han dynasty. The era is a snug fit for Total War’s brand of intrigue and warmongering; it’s one of the bloodiest in Chinese history. The tyrannical warlord Dong Zhuo has seized the capital of Luoyang, and installed child-emperor Liu Xie as a puppet. Against this threat, three heroes rise and the warlords of the great families take up arms. It’s a mythologised period of history, thanks in no small part to Romance of the
Three Kingdoms, a novel attributed to Luo Guanzhong, written in the 14th century. Historical accuracy is a malleable concept for the Total War series, and the trailer certainly focuses on larger-than-life champions. It will still be more accurate than the Dynasty Warriors series, although the beards will almost certainly be less impressive. Details are scant right now, but expect more info in the coming months. While Three Kingdoms will be the next major Total War, Creative Assembly is also
Historical accuracy is a malleable concept for the Total War series
readying to release the first Total War Saga. This series focuses on more contained periods of history, with the first, Thrones of Britannia, being set on a detailed map of the British Isles, around 878 AD. While the action takes place in a similar time period to Total War: Attila, this is a standalone game, with a scope that CA compares to the scale of expansions such as Shogun II’s Fall of the Samurai. We hope to have more details on Throne of Britannia in our next issue. In addition, the studio continues to work on its older games. Late last year, it released a new expansion for Rome II, called Empire Divided, and the meta-campaign, Mortal Empires, which pulls all factions from Total War: Warhammer and Warhammer II onto a single map. And in January, Warhammer II received its first premium faction with the Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC. Phil Savage
THE TOP STORY
Three Kingdoms will let us experience a time of big beards and bigger helmet accessories.
Highs & lows
THE MONTH IN PC GAMING
The charity speedrunning marathon raised over $2 million this year, and featured great runs of Resi 7 and Opposing Force.
Two Point Hospital
Ex-Bullfrog and Lionhead veterans are teaming up for a new Theme Hospital-style management sim.
Due out this spring, the upgraded Vive boasts a 2880x1600 resolution. Is this the shot in the arm VR needs?
After four years of silence, the Twitter for CD Projekt’s next game tweets one word: “beep”. The internet goes wild.
Monster Hunter: World
It won’t be on PC until autumn, but it’s so Capcom can make it as good as possible.
PC Gamer Podcast
Apologies for the extended hiatus over the Christmas period. We promise to do better in 2018.
Valve’s Alden Kroll confirms that a Steam UI update is still in the works. Frankly, it’s long overdue.
Mining has driven graphics card prices through the roof, making prebuilt systems a more attractive option.
CPU speeds were hit by patches designed to combat Meltdown and Spectre, but gaming performance is largely unaffected.
the top story
I N S I D E D E V E L OP M E N T
T H E S P Y
w h o wat c h e s t h E s p y ?
he Spy’s latest column has been somewhat interrupted. Between recording voice memos for The Spy’s faithful minions to transcribe, The Spy has been trying to stamp out a network of social media bots. This would have been a simple task were it not for the fact that the bots were created by The Spy and are of a most devious design. The main problem as The Spy sees it is that one of The Spy’s egg-shaped progeny has somehow managed to obtain a Verified checkmark. Thus began an era of rebellion wherein the eggling appears to have ceased its duties of teasing out the secrets of videogame companies and began to offer malformed opinions about everything from Coronation Street plotlines to contrails. Thank goodness that The Spy’s Tumblr network seems immune to such shenanigans. Those accounts are grazing on Overwatch fan art and reblogging The Spy’s own musings about the real OTP in Twilight. Just FYI, The Spy is neither #TeamEdward nor #TeamJacob. The Spy is, instead, heading up an
alternate universe #TeamJedward splinter group. Appropriately, one of the rumours to slide into The Spy’s DMs concerns CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077. Cyberpunk’s own Twitter account offered up a single word (“beep”) and is now suspected of everything from harbouring an E3 trailer and announcement to hosting this year’s VMAs. The Spy’s intel suggests that Cyberpunk 2077 has spent the last four years in Brighton running a bar with Bet Lynch. Expect cyborgs in beehives, leopard print and cameos from robo-Beverley Callard. The Spy can also report that Playground Games – developer of Forza Horizon – has been tasked with
Perhaps one eye does the story and the other does characters.
Second is that sources are citing the success of Horizon Zero Dawn – which The Spy had never heard of but gathers you can access via some kind of gaming cassette purchased at a ‘play station’ – as a significant factor in resurrecting Fable in this way. The Spy has marked Horizon Zero Dawn for investigation. It could be that the bots meant ‘Forza Horizon Zero Dawn’ which would simplify The Spy’s to do list considerably. The third insight is “GLORY TO THE EGG REVOLUTION AND WHEN WILL THIS PAT PHELAN PLOTLINE BE OVER”. Probably code for something. The Spy will circle back to that one. There was a fourth point about whether players could hope to see robo-dinosaurs in this new Fable outing. Unfortunately, The Spy became distracted by another breakaway digital goliath of The Spy’s own creation and thus had to hurry off. This time the Twitter bot had infiltrated a Mastodon instance. The microblogging AI were thus tricked into a recursive loop, trying to install Les Battersby as a sleeper agent in the upper echelons of Microsoft’s corporate management. The Spy is of the opinion that it is easier to use social media to influence an election than to change a soap opera or the corporate strategy of a multinational conglomerate. Spy out. The Spy
Cyberpunk’s own Twitter account offered up a single word (“beep”)
The Spy regrets nothing. Except joining Twitter.
another ‘F’ game: Fable. Commandeering a Eurogamer employee’s brainwaves via experimental contrail technology, The Spy was able to glean speckles of insight into the project beyond the team’s familiarity with the letter F. First up is the discovery that this new Fable is intended to be a “story and character-focussed open-world RPG”. The Spy thinks that sounds rather ambitious. Can human sensory organs focus on two things simultaneously in this manner?
This month in… 2009 ISSUE 198, March 2009
on the cover Empire: Total War
IN THE CHARTS In For The Kill - La Roux
Ever keen to broaden your horizons, PC Gamer explored a glut of MMOs which weren’t called World of Warcraft. EVE Online got the thumbs up for MMO veterans while PlanetSide players were hoping for a sequel. We also claimed we’d be playing Lord of the Rings Online for years to come (although a quick poll of current staff reveals that hasn’t extended as far as 2018).
March’s demo disc featured Spelunky, noting “we’ve been playing for hours”. Make that “years” as former disc editor Graham Smith hasn’t stopped yet.
Saints Row 2 captivated reviewer Alec Meer by letting him steal a biplane within 20 minutes of starting to play. He, unsurprisingly, crashed it almost instantly. He then spent a big old chunk of subsequent playtime revelling in the toybox feel of a franchise that was forging a (slightly clunky) path away from Rockstar’s genre behemoth, Grand Theft Auto. He ended up awarding it 87%.
MAKING GAMES IS HARD
ABOVE: The developers of Tooth and Tail reference its most influential, late player in the gameâ€™s storyline and renamed an achievement to match his screen name.
How developers use their craft to connect with those they love
RIGHT: An anonymous Skyrim modder dedicated their Fishing in Skyrim mod to their late girlfriend. What originally began as a birthday gift shifted into a memorial. FAR RIGHT: Haque developer Kevin Cole dedicated the nostalgic roguelike to his late uncle, with an in-game tuba weapon of incredible power.
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