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H RT A N NO ERIC ION AM EDIT

HARDWARE BUYER’S GUIDE INSIDE!

REVIEWED

Definitive verdict on pc’s hottest shooter

PLUS

E XC LU S I V E AC C E S S

Set sail for Piracy and adventure in Obsidian’s seafaring RPG sequel HARDWARE

INTEL RYZEN

Grand Theft Auto Online Cultist simulator 12 Games reviewed MORE!

VS

NEXT GEN CPU TEST

ISSUE 303


#303 APRIL 2018 Future Publishing Ltd One Lombard Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111 (650) Tel 01225 442244 Email pcgamer@futurenet.com Web www.pcgamer.com

Shipping forecast

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

The first Pillars of Eternity was at the spearhead of a movement for veteran developers, using crowdfunding platforms to make games that harkened back to the roleplaying games of old. It was technological ambition married to retro scope, mixing innovation and nostalgia.

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 PHOTOGRAPHY Future Photography Studio: Olly Curtis All copyrights and trademarks are recognised and respected Advertising Tel 01225 442244 Advertising Director Tom Parkinson, tom.parkingson@futurenet.com Commercial Director Clare Dove, clare.dove@futurenet.com Account Manager Kevin Stoddart, kevin.stoddart@futurenet.com

The old Infinity Engine inspiration is still apparent, but Deadfire looks to embrace modern technology and new ideas. Turn to page 40 to learn more.

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ta lk to PC GAMER

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Management Managing Director Aaron Asadi Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham Editorial Director Paul Newman Head of Art & Design Rodney Dive Group Editor in Chief, Games Tony Mott Senior Art Editor, Games Warren Brown We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill holds full FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and accreditation. All contents Š 2018 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/ permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

ISSN 1470169 NEXT ISSUE ON SALE: March 27

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MARCH 2018

Future plc is a public company Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne quoted on the London Stock Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Exchange (symbol: FUTR). Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand www.futureplc.com Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

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APRIL 2018

phil.savage@futurenet.com @Octaeder

Have your say! Tweet us @PCGamer

Our team of writers A n d y Ke l l y

P hi l ipp a W a rr

E van L ahti

Specialist in RPGs, sailing

Specialist in Indie, cults

Specialist in FPS, poultry

Twitter @ultrabrilliant

Twitter @philippawarr

Twitter @ELahti

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.

PC GAMER (ISSN 1080-4471) is published 13 times a year, monthly plus Holiday issue following December issue by Future US, Inc., One Lombard Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111 (650) 872-1642. Phone: (650) 872-1642. Fax (650) 872-2207. Website: www.futureus.com. Periodicals postage paid in San Bruno, CA and at additional mailing offices. Newsstand distribution is handled by Curtis Circulation Company. Canadian and foreign orders must be prepaid, US funds only. Canadian price includes postage and GST #R128220688. PMA #40612608. Subscriptions do not include newsstand only specials. POSTMASTER: Send changes of address to PC Gamer, PO Box 2024, Langhorne PA, 19047. Standard Mail Enclosure in the following edition: None. Ride-Along Enclosure in the following editions: None. Returns: IMEX Global Solutions, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada. Future US, Inc. also publishes Mac|Life, Maximum PC, and The Official Xbox Magazine. Entire contents copyright 2015, Future US, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Future US, Inc. is not affiliated with the companies or products covered in PC Gamer. Reproduction on the Internet of the articles and pictures in this magazine is illegal without the prior written consent of PC Gamer. Products named in the pages of PC Gamer are trademarks of their respective companies. PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We encourage you to recycle this magazine, either through your usual household recyclable waste collection service or at a recycling site. SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE Future Publishing, P.O. Box 2024, Langhorne, PA 19047. Online: https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/contact-us/. Phone:+44 344 848 2852. Email: contact@myfavouritemagazines.com. BACK ISSUES: https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/gaming/pc-gamer-magazine-back-issues/ or by calling +44 344 848 2852. REPRINTS: Future US, Inc. One Lombard Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111. Phone: (650) 872-1642. Fax (650) 872-2207. Website: www.futureus.com.


U LT I M AT E

GAMING PC

Blow the doors off today’s most demanding games with a Digital Storm VANQUISH gaming PC.

STARTING AT

VANQUISH

$699

The Digital Storm Logo, and ‘World’s Most Advanced PCs’ are trademarks of Digital Storm.Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.


Contents #303

REVIEW

APRIL 2018

Previews

18 Cultist Simulator 22 Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom 24 Code Vein 26 VRChat 28 Soulcalibur VI 30 Jurassic World Evolution 32 Kynseed

40

Features

40 Pillars of Eternity II 46 Dishonored 2 50 The Witcher III

Reviews 56 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 62 Gorogoa 64 Gang Beasts 66 Hello Neighbor 68 Life is Strange: Before the Storm 72 Opus Magnum 76 Iconoclasts

Extra Life 80 NOW PLAYING

Chasing promotion in FM 2017.

102

84 UPDATE

What’s new with Euro Truck Sim 2?

86 MOD SPOTLIGHT

Twisted Insurrection breathes new life into C&C: Tiberian Sun.

88 AFTER ACTION REPORT

56

The GTA Online crew returns.

94 REINSTALL Revisiting Soul Reaver.

98 Why I Love

Arkham Asylum’s Arkham asylum.

Hardware

102 GROUP TEST 108 TECH REPORT 104 BUYER’S GUIDE

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APRIL 2018

40

56

102

Andy sets course for Obsidian’s RPG sequel, and discovers a new world of high-seas adventure.

It’s the biggest game on PC right now, but is it worth your time? Evan Lahti finds out.

Ed Chester pits AMD and Intel against one another. Only one may emerge victorious.

PILLARS OF ETERNITY II

PUBG Reviewed

PROCESSORS RATED


It’s not what you play It’s what you play it on.

GODLIKE POWER

MICRO TOWER

www.FALCON-NW.com 1-888-FALCON-1


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

I

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 mythologized period of history, thanks in no small part to Romance of the

8

APRIL 2018

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.

I

INSIDE DEVELOPMENT

I

SPECIAL REPORT

Highs & lows

THE MONTH IN PC GAMING

highs AGDQ

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.

Vive Pro

Due out this spring, the upgraded Vive boasts a 2880x1600 resolution. Is this the shot in the arm VR needs?

Cyberpunk 2077

After four years of silence, the Twitter for CD Projekt’s next game tweets one word: “Beep”. The internet goes wild.

PC Gamer Podcast

Apologies for the hiatus over Christmas. We promise to do better in 2018.

Steam

Valve’s Alden Kroll confirms a Steam UI update is still in the works. Frankly, it’s long overdue.

Cryptocurrency

Mining has driven graphics card prices through the roof, making prebuilt systems a more attractive option.

Intel

CPU speeds were hit by patches designed to combat Meltdown and Spectre, but gaming performance is largely unaffected.

LOws

APRIL 2018

9


INSIDE DEVELOPMENT

MAKING GAMES IS HARD

Digital Tributes

ABOVE: The developers of Tooth and Tail reference its most influential, late player in the game’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. 12

APRIL 2018


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