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H RT A N NO ERIC ION AM EDIT MOD

Elder Scrolls: Total War

REVIEWS SPECIAL! TOTAL WAR SAGA: THRONES OF BRITANNIA SEA OF THIEVES Far CRY 5 & more!

PLUS

SUNLESS SKIES DISCO ELYSIUM CITIES: SKYLINES THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: SUMMERSET & MORE!

Two great games MEET IN MEDIEVAL II

EXCLUSIVE ACCESS

Lara masters the jungle in Eidos Montreal’s stealthy adventure

Issue 306

HOW TO

GO GREEN! Make your PC ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

cASES RATED get the case your PC deserves


WELCOME # 3 0 6 J U LY 2 0 1 8

“You’ll find that Lara’s learned some new tricks”

PHIL SAVAGE Specialist in Stealth, quesadillas

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

Stealth game expert Eidos Montreal is teaming up with Crystal Dynamics for Shadow of the Tomb Raider—the final entry in Lara Croft’s origin trilogy. It’s a familiar mix of platforming, combat, and puzzling, as players head to Mexico to prevent a pesky apocalypse. While there, you’ll find that Lara’s learned some new tricks. Expect a more capable Croft, who stalks through the jungle, striking fear in the hearts of her foes. See the full story on page 36.

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 Contributors Writing Fraser Brown, Ed Chester, Emma Davies, Matt Elliott, Duncan Geere, Sam Greer, Chris Livingston, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Chris Schilling, Tom Sykes, Chris Thursten, Rebekah Valentine, Rachel Weber, Tyler Wilde, Alex Wiltshire, Austin Wood Art Cliff Newman, Georgine Hodsdon, David Lyttleton PHOTOGRAPHY Future Photography Studio: Neil Godwin All copyrights and trademarks are recognised and respected Advertising Media packs are available on request Commercial Director Clare Dove clare.dove@futurenet.com Advertising Director Tom Parkinson, tom.parkingson@futurenet.com 01888 888888 Account Director Jeff Jones jeff.jones@futurenet.com 01888 888888 Account Manager Kevin Stoddart kevin.stoddart@futurenet.com 01888 888888 International PC Gamer is available for licensing. Contact the International department to discuss partnership opportunities International Licensing Director Matt Ellis, matt.ellis@futurenet.com Subscriptions Email enquiries contact@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk UK orderline & enquiries 0888 888 8888 Overseas order line and enquiries +44 (0)8888 888888 Online orders & enquiries www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Head of subscriptions Sharon Todd Circulation Head of Newstrade Tim Mathers

Twitter @Octaeder This month Hid in the back of a Montreal restaurant, sneakily snaffling the Mexican buffet.

ta lk to PC GAMER

Have your say! Email us at letters@ pcgamer.com

PHIL SAVAGE EDITOR

phil.savage@futurenet.com

Production Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Production Project Manager Clare Scott Advertising Production Manager Joanne Crosby Digital Editions Controller Jason Hudson Production Manager Fran Twentyman Editorial Operations Assistant Steve Wright 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 Distributed by Curtis ISSN 1470169 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

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All contents © 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.

A n d y Ke l l y

PHILIPPA WARR

JOHN STRIKE

S a m u e l R o b er t s

Specialist in Shooters, arms

Specialist in Indie, metafiction

Specialist in Management, murder

This month Replayed the ambitious mess Trespasser so that you don’t have to.

This month Demonstrated we can also write about games that maybe don’t exist.

This month Became a father! Luckily, he has years of experience dealing with grouchy babies. (Or writers, as they’re also known.)

This month Somehow racked up a bodycount during our Cities: Skylines feature.

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Contents #306

REVIEW

Monitor

08 THE TOP STORY 12 SPECIAL REPORT 14 IN FOCUS 16 INSIDE DEVELOPMENT

JULY 201 8

36

Previews

22 Sunless Skies 26 Rhythm Doctor 28 The Beast Inside 30 Disco Elysium 32 The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset

Features 36 Shadow of the Tomb Raider 44 Cities: Skylines 52 Studio Oleomingus

Reviews 60 Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 66 Ni no Kuni II 68 Northgard 70 Far Cry 5 74 A Way Out 76 World of Tanks 78 Sea of Thieves 82 The Pillars of the Earth

Extra Life

86 NOW PLAYING 90 MOD SPOTLIGHT 92 DIARY 96 REINSTALL 100 WHY I LOVE 102 MUST PLAY

Hardware

104 GROUP TEST 108 TECH REPORT 110 BUYER’S GUIDE 6

JULY 2018

60

104

36

60

104

Phil talks to Eidos Montreal about how Lara’s jungle adventure will mean a stealthier Tomb Raider.

Fraser puts the Total War spin-off through its paces in our massive lead review.

Show off to your friends with a luxury PC case. Ed Chester gets opulent in our group test.

Shadow of the Thrones of Tomb Raider Britannia

Premium cases RATED


The Genuine Article

Our legacy is simply building award-winning PCs, meticulously crafted for extreme performance. Now it’s time to get yours.

• 70+ Editors’ Choice Awards • 20 Year legacy building the world’s fastest custom PCs • 560 5-star reviews on ResellerRatings.com • 1 Expert builder per order • 0 Installed bloatware • US-based phone and email support

Proudly featuring Intel® Optane™ Memory Configure now at VelocityMicro.com Online financing available Intel, the Intel logo and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Velocity Micro, the Velocity Micro logo, and Raptor are trademarks of Velocity Holdings, LLC.


MONITOR News | Opinion | Dev elopment

Shenmue is a sprawling epic, originally intended to span many sequels.

REVENGE IS SWEET Sega is re-releasing its cult martial arts adventure SHENMUE on PC

T

he first Shenmue—a martial arts revenge story that was, at the time, the most expensive videogame ever made—has only ever been playable on Dreamcast. It’s the reason I still have one under my TV, long after the console’s demise. But soon you’ll be able to play it and its sequel on PC, thanks to a long overdue re-release by Sega. The game tells the story of Ryo Hazuki, a teenager living in Japan in the ’80s who swears revenge on the man who killed his father. It’s part-fighting game, part-RPG, and set 8

July 2018

in a richly detailed world. It’s also a weird, idiosyncratic game, and has been dividing critics since its release in 1999. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a masterpiece or a mess. I fall into the former camp. Sega says the re-release will “stay true to the originals, but with

Depending on who you ask, it’s either a masterpiece or a mess

modernized features including a fully scalable screen resolution, a choice of modern or classic controls, an updated interface, and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers”. The promise of modernized controls is particularly exciting, as even the most fervent Shenmue fan will acknowledge that it’s an absolute pig to handle. This marks the first time western players will be able to easily experience the original voiceover, and not the famously robotic, stilted English voice acting. But, to be honest, the hilariously amateurish acting has become a much-loved part of the series’ peculiar charm.


S a s q u at c h S e a r c hin g

R a r a r a s p utin

O n the H ori z on

far cry 5

Destiny 2

Forza Horizon 3

I was delighted to hear that grouos of Far Cry 5 players have dedicated themselves to finding Bigfoot. Clues indicate he might be out there. Or he’ll be added later as a DLC package. AK

I’m cautiously excited for Warmind as Rasputin—from the original game—was an interesting entity. We’re talking an AI which decides everything is hopeless and shuts down for ages. PW

I’m excited to see what’s in store. It’s likely we will know more soon: The head of Xbox in Spain and Portugal suggested to GameReactor that we will see more at this year’s E3 in June. PS

Highs & Lows

Highs Dragon Quest

We’re finally getting a slice of the JRPG series, with Dragon Quest XI set for release in September.

Graphics cards

A new wave of next-gen GPUs is almost upon us, and framerates are about to get real high.

Ghost Recon

It’s nice to see Sam Fisher pop up in Wildlands, voiced by an appropriately weary Michael Ironside.

Elder Brother ABOVE, TOP: There are a huge number of martial arts moves to learn, and you will need them. ABOVE, BOTTOM: Ryo is a sulky, revenge-obsessed teen with a really cool jacket.

The first game is set in the city of Yokosuka, where Ryo searches for clues about the man who killed his father, and why he did it. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric setting, including a busy shopping district with an arcade full of classic Sega games you can play, and a dock where Ryo gets a job as a forklift driver, which you actually have to do, every day. The sequel takes Ryo to Hong Kong, which has a very different, busier feel to the sleepy, rain-soaked streets of Yokosuka and admittedly isn’t as good as the original. But it’s still great to have both games on PC, playable at resolutions greater than the Dreamcast’s paltry 720x480 pixels. And judging by the screenshots, the game has aged surprisingly well. Shenmue was a commercial failure and struggled to make back its then-record-breaking $50 million budget. But now the series has another chance at glory on PC with this HD remaster, not to mention an independentlydeveloped third game, which will see creator Yu Suzuki finally adding to the saga that he started all those years ago. No date for the HD version has been set yet, but expect it to be around the time Shenmue III is released at the end of this year. Andy Kelly

Filler

We’ve noticed a worrying trend of games forcing you into side missions to unlock more story. Just don’t.

Yakuza

Sega, we’re thankful for Shenmue, but can you please release the Yakuza series on PC?

Quitters

If you prematurely quit a Rocket League match because your team is losing, you’re a bad person.

LOWS

July 2018

9


Special Report p c g i n v e s t i g at e s

Engare’s level select screen celebrates decorative geometric forms.

Caption goes in here x xx xx xx x xx x

Iranian Dev troubles

Why Mahdi Bahrami believes his beautiful puzzle game Engare might be taken down from Steam any day

I

n October last year, Mahdi Bahrami released Engare, a beautiful puzzle game about mathematics and geometry. But he was afraid. He was worried that it would be removed from Steam the next day. “I worked on this game for a few years, and it would be so painful if that happened,” he says. What if he’d never get the proceeds from its sales? What if no one would be able to play it? Bahrami is worried because he’s Iranian. He is technically unable to sell games on Steam because of trade sanctions the US has imposed on Iran since 1979. And he can’t officially be paid the money Engare has earned because most Iranian banks can’t interface with US ones. “The money is not directly coming to Iran, so from Steam’s point of view they are paying someone in the US,” Bahrami says. “I didn’t have any option, but I’m waiting for the day I receive an email saying that they discovered I’m in Iran and they remove it.” Engare is quite unlike any game you’ve played before. It’s part Spirograph-like art tool and part puzzle, and it 12

July 2018

asks you to find patterns in movement. Levels present you with rotating circles and swinging joints which, when you plot a point on them, then draw out lines that build up into repeating geometric shapes as the components move. As a puzzle game, each level has you figuring out where to plot your point in order to draw a specific shape. “For Engare the puzzles were not about how I could make them complicated, it was more that I wanted to show an interesting idea to the player,” Bahrami says. It’s an exercise in observation and recognition, and when you get it right you’re rewarded with revelation as the shape iterates over and over, the lines you scribed translating into a beautiful pattern. It’s strange to think that in today’s massively connected world, in which you can send a message instantly through your phone to anyone on the globe, a game as imaginative and original as this could face such issues being made widely commercially available. But those are the realities of being Iranian, and Bahrami is used to it. He often finds Apple’s App Store will let him download apps on one day and won’t on the next. Every day the rules change, some

Why are sanctions imposed on Iran? In the Iranian Revolution of 1979, an uprising of Islamist, leftist, and student organizations overthrew the Shah government and replaced it with an anti-Western theocracy. The US feared that an existing nuclear programme might be used to develop nuclear weapons, so it began sanctions intended to encourage internal political change. They remain in force today, albeit in a relaxed form.


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PC Gamer US 306 (Sampler)  

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