Jun 20, 2011
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to This week’s releases">GDC Eve Online thumbnail

Hello and welcome to our regular round up of this week's newly released games in Europe and North America. Wallets at the ready for the shiny new games within.

Dungeon Siege 3
21st June (EU)
Price: £29.99/$49.99
Obsidian's latest outing came out last week in Europe, but lands in North America this Tuesday. You can check out the newly released demo. Get it on steam here.

F.E.A.R. 3
21st June (NA), 24th June (EU)
Price: £29.99/$49.99
The latest in the horror FPS series lands this week, pick it up on steam here.

Gods and Heroes
21st June
Price: £24.99/$49.99
The Roman themed MMO gets a global release on the 21st, you can pick up a copy from direct2drive here.

Eve: Icarna
21st June
Price: Free
Incarna is the latest Eve expansion, giving players the much anticipated ability to walk around outside their ships. Like all Eve updates this will be completely free to subscribers. If you don't yet have Eve you can get it from Steam here or download the client for free here (though you will have to pay a subscription once your 14 day trial has run out).

Last week some of you asked for more indie releases, unfortunately they can sometimes be hard to track down, so if you have any info on an upcoming indie game then please feel free to tip us off in the comments or contact us as pcgamer@futurenet.com.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dungeon Siege III review">daeva

Lighting skeletons on fire in Dungeon Siege III brings back fond memories of that summer back in 2002 I spent playing Dungeon Siege with a buddy in co-op. Like its forbearers, this action-RPG is about having a good time with friends—just pick weapons and smash enemies until the loot stops flowing. DS3’s quite different, though—there are many changes, most of which I’ve grown to appreciate.

At first, I balked at being forced to play as one of four inflexible dungeon-delvers, but each well-designed character’s unique nine-ability arsenal is appealing. Each has a specific combat style—swords and shield, fire magic, arcane magic, or guns—but they all fill the same role: a self-healing damage-dealer that swaps between two stances, one best suited for fighting a single target and one for taking down groups.

Better together
While you can play solo with one AI ally, the Steam-based four-player co-op is ridiculously easy to get into, and enemy difficulty and loot drops scale on the fly. I invited three friends into a game, and within seconds, not minutes, they’d seamlessly assumed control of my NPC companions and all their gear, abilities, and talent points. We got right down to the business of stomping baddies and mocking them over voice chat.

That smooth system makes playing together effortless (yay!), but it comes with an absurd restriction where only the host saves progress from a co-op game, leaving the other three with nothing persistent to show for their time. (Boo!)



Likewise, sharing a single camera helps keep the group together, but I occasionally felt like a dog yanking on the edge of my leash when I saw something shiny a little too far from my team. Handily, the AI takes over inactive characters to keep slowpokes from acting as an anchor.

In combat, the ability to block and dodge attacks rewards you for paying attention and keeps fights engaging. We felt confident enough to pull ballsy moves, like taking on an army of skeletons. As the warrior, I corralled them into a small area using shield blocks and wide-swinging sword attacks, allowing my fire goddess ally to light them all on fire. Mean­while, our gunner sniped the boss and our wizard zapped targets of opportunity with lightning.

Spell effects are absolutely gorgeous, and combined with the elaborate setpieces and creative enemy designs, DS3’s visuals are unmatched among dungeon crawlers.



Wait…there’s a story?
The real shocker for Dungeon Siege fans is the terrific 18-hour story’s memorable characters and choices, where a spared enemy might turn out to be a convenient ally later.

But adding story depth seemed to cause Obsidian to forget some action-RPG fundamentals. The mini-map provides no indication of which direction you should be going, convoluted stats (such as Doom and Withering) are never explained, and you have to press E to retrieve every single piece of loot you want to grab.

Finger cramps aside, fighting through this imaginative, stunningly beautiful world is good fun. There are better single-player RPGs out there, but if you hunt for loot in a pack, Dungeon Siege III is a satisfying battlefield to conquer.
PC Gamer


 
For a long time, game trailers have been free of the omnipresent Throaty Voiced Announcer Man. Today, everything changes. Dungeon Siege 3 is out this Friday in Europe, and next Tuesday in the US, and Square Enix have released a launch trailer to celebrate, complete with the deep voiced narrator we've heard on every film trailer ever since the beginning of time.

If you're tempted by the trailer, there's also a playable demo, which you can download from Steam now. It offers a taste of the single player game, with the option for local two-player co-op if you have an extra controller. For more on the game, check out our hands-on impressions.

Update: RPS have spotted a mad, mad Dungeon Siege 3 TV spot as well. It's embedded below.

Jun 13, 2011
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to PC games out this week">Duke Nukem Forever MP Thumbnail

Welcome to our new weekly post to let you know what games are being released this week in the Europe and North America. Wallets at the ready for this week's releases:

Duke Nukem Forever
Due: 14th June (NA)
Price: £29.99/$49.99
In a surprising twist we in Europe actually got a game first for a change, but the Duke will land in North America this tuesday. Read our review here. Get it on Steam here.

Alice: Madness Returns
14th June (NA) 16th June (EU)
Price: £29.99/$49.99
We've a whole host of videos and screenshots of Alice's twisted world.


Dungeon Siege 3
17th June (EU)
Price: £29.99/$49.99
If you're not sure about purchasing Obsidian's latest outing, you can check out the newly released demo. Get it on steam here.


Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers.
June 15th
Price: £6.99/$9.99
Tap here for our coverage of the card game adaptation. Get it on steam here.

Check back each week for a rundown of the latest games in your region.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dungeon Siege 3 demo out now on Steam">Dungeon Siege 3 - woah now with the lens flare

We missed this amid the flurry of E3 announcements, but it's worth a mention. The Dungeon Siege 3 demo has been released. You can download it now from Steam. The 1.5GB trial will let you try out single player and, if you have two controllers, two-player local co-op. For an overview of Obsidian's new approach to the series, check out our hands-on preview. The game's out June 21.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dungeon Siege 3 demo arriving in June">Dungeon Siege 3 - woah now with the lens flare

If you're itching for a fresh action RPG ahead of the upcoming Diablo 3 beta, then a Dungeon Siege 3 demo might be just the ticket. A Square Enix newsletter uncovered by Strategy Informer revealed a June 7 release date for the trial, ten days before the game's full release. There's no news on what the demo will contain, but hopefully it'll give us a chance to try out the four player co-op.

Dungeon Siege's central strategic conceit has players changing stances to access different skills, but the game is very flexible with its definition of a "stance." Close combat warrior Lucas shifts his footing and raises his sword to access his alternative move set, while female mage Anjali turns blue and naked, and catches fire. It's never the men who turn blue and naked, is it?

For more of an idea of what to expect, get to grips with our Dungeon Siege 3 hands on, or check out the official Dungeon Siege 3 site.
PC Gamer



The latest Dungeon Siege 3 trailer takes us into a raven's eyeball for a closer look at the four player co-op. Each character has a selection of stances from which they can utilise different power sets. The key to surviving Dungeon Siege 3's mobs lies in being in the right stance at the right time, healing your allies with area of effect spells, or switching to a more agressive power set to finish weaker enemies off. There's plenty more about the game's enemies and playable characters on the Dungeon Siege 3 site.
May 8, 2011
PC Gamer



Freeman's Mind is one of the best gaming series on YouTube. The premise is simple: creator Ross Scott plays though the original Half-Life, narrating with the thoughts of mute protagonist Gordon. It's frequently funny, but episodes have been a little thin on the ground recently. Thankfully, episode 32 has been uploaded this week. Take a look, and if this is your first journey into the mind of a theoretical physicist, ensure you take a look at the back-catalogue of Gordon's adventures in Black Mesa.



Dead Block was announced this week, and is looking to be a cartoony take on Call of Duty's zombie mode. Players will have to defend their homes from an onslaught of zombies, playing as a construction worker, tough girl or a seemingly sandwich-addicted boy scout that appears to be stolen from Pixar's previous characters list. You can see the trailer at the game's official website, along with some other bits and pieces from this comedic zombie fest.

You know an RPG is good when you're perfectly willing to take time out from questing and just be a tourist in the world the developer has created. The Witcher 2 is destined to be one of these games, and here you can take a look why. The trailer is entirely comprised of simply shots of the game's environments, but even without blood-soaked swords it's exciting.

Portals are overrated. At least that's what this player thinks, solving one of Portal 2's test chambers without the use of the game's core mechanic. A little clever use of refractive lenses and a high-powered laser goes a long way... or at least as far as the door. Alternatively you could take a look at this montage of tricks performed in Portal, which contains far more of the game's namesake, but more impressively contains some pretty slick cube throwing.



Brink is on its way. Released at the end of this week, we're anxiously awaiting it in the office. It's a game that could achieve instant greatness with its blend of single player and multiplayer, or could plummet to unimaginable lows by missing its lofty ambitions by miles. The above trailer shows off the cool looking parkour in the game, spliced with some IRL footage filmed from the perspective of pro free-runners. It's a little bit nauseating, but a fun taster of what's to come.

The guys behind Dungeon Siege 3 have released a new trailer boasting the benefits of co-op. Essentially, the narrator just barks about how the game's heroes will be better united, and does little to show the true benefit of playing co-operatively. Looks like we'll be waiting until June 17 to see if it's worth buddying up for this dungeon crawler.

It's been a while since we saw a good Kinect hack, but this latest one is interesting. It combines Kinect and an iPhone to control a bespoke created game on a PC. The first player uses the iPhone's touch screen to control a twin set of gattling guns, whilst the second player uses the motion sensors on the Kinect to fly a spaceship. It's a pretty neat idea, despite being almost completely pointless.

And finally, to keep you busy for the rest of the week, a bunch of decent tutorials for Super Meat Boy's level editor has appeared on YouTube. It's split into six videos, providing an hours worth of tips on how to get the most out of this intricate tool.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dungeon Siege III hands-on">Has anyone else noticed that chest has two meanings?

Legend speaks of an ancient blender far beyond the reach of mere mortals, and in it are blended the most fiendish of concoctions imaginable. It was in this blender that on a fabled and woebegone night a Blendtec wizard sought to create a dungeon crawler the likes of which Diablo and Torchlight had already seen, but with the dialog wheel and decision making of Dragon Age, the fisticuffs of an arcade beat-‘em-up and just a few drops of blood from the master sequel crafters at Obsidian Entertainment. Into the wicked blender the ingredients went, and after the froth and bubbles and not a few screams, the wizard dispensed a mean little package and christened it Dungeon Siege III.



Despite its borrowed trappings and engrossing decisions that are sure to make you stop and think, at its heart, DS3 is a co-op loot fest of old, and in that regard, it excels brilliantly. Rather than have you select a class, you select characters who each reflect familiar RPG qualities, such as DPS or healer, but who also come with back stories and allegiances that will flavor your path, and possibly color some of your decisions as you make your way through the land of Ehb. I choose Reinhart Manx, an older mage who specializes in magically assisted hand-to-hand combat and maniacal clockwork traps, and my partner selects Anjali, an archon capable of switching between a spear wielding human form, and a fire slinging elemental form.



My favorite scenario is set deep in a shadowy forest, beyond the Lescanzi occupied town of Raven’s Rill, where we must rid a haunted mansion of spectral terrors and deal with the trapped soul of a little girl that has been ensnared by an ancient artifact. Although there’s quite a bit of narrative backdrop going on, DS3 doesn’t allow that to get in the way of the fast-paced, narrative disinterested nature of co-op play. Cutscenes are skippable and almost every dialog sequence has an easy-out option. When we enter the mansion, my partner and I are almost instantly engaged by hordes of skeleton warriors complemented by undead archers and spell casting wraiths—it’s here that DS3 really shines.



In human form, Anjali corrals melee units into tight clusters while I engage the ranged units with hard-hitting electrical blasts from across the room. Once my partner has gathered-up enough victims, I dart to the center and generate a circular clockwork trap on the floor. Its magical gears tick-tock away the last few seconds of our enemies’ lives before all within the trap’s radius are engulfed by yellow and green magical discharge. At the same time, my partner summons a fire jackal to harass a new band of enemies that have appeared behind us while I drop a huge glyph beneath them that causes damage over time. Our combined assault provides a much needed distraction that allows us to cast healing spells and mop-up the ranged units on an overlooking balcony with close-combat. My partner gets the coup de grace by detonating Anjali’s fire jackal like some sick Nazi war tactic. With the battle done, we get to the real fun—loot.



The arena is littered with bits of armor and health and mana orbs (there are no health potions in DS3), and we quickly dart around the room to snap it all up. We then spend several minutes each checking out our new gear and min/maxing with DS3’s convenient equipment system. Categories with something new are marked as such, and highlighting a new piece automatically pulls up a comparison window with red and green arrows indicating the traits of the new piece compared to what you already have equipped. In most circumstances, you’re safe just going with the most green arrows and moving on, which is a huge boon when your co-op buddy is waiting to get back to the action.

Compared to Torchlight, there are some big differences in combat. While Torchlight is action bar focused, DS3’s combat is much more immediate—hit the punch key, and your wizard plants a lighting punch right in a zombie’s face. But as I ventured around in co-op, I couldn’t help but feel “this is so what Torchlight should have been.” Playing a narrative-optional, loot heavy game is way more fun with friends, Diablo made that clear years ago. That said, if I’m going to tolerate this game at all with a mouse and keyboard, Obsidian has got to get their controls wrangled in. PC controls on the build I played weren’t final, but with a June release fast approaching, they still need a ton of work. Sometimes more so than monsters, I found the camera to be my greatest enemy, the controls of which are shared by the mouse pointer, middle mouse button, scroll wheel and the “A” and “D” keys—WTF! My preview left me really wanting more, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that Obsidian is able to patch the control issue up before launch, especially now that the genre is finally starting to see fresh signs of life.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dungeon Siege III hands-on">Has anyone else noticed that chest has two meanings?

Legend speaks of an ancient blender far beyond the reach of mere mortals, and in it are blended the most fiendish of concoctions imaginable. It was in this blender that on a fabled and woebegone night a Blendtec wizard sought to create a dungeon crawler the likes of which Diablo and Torchlight had already seen, but with the dialog wheel and decision making of Dragon Age, the fisticuffs of an arcade beat-‘em-up and just a few drops of blood from the master sequel crafters at Obsidian Entertainment. Into the wicked blender the ingredients went, and after the froth and bubbles and not a few screams, the wizard dispensed a mean little package and christened it Dungeon Siege III.



Despite its borrowed trappings and engrossing decisions that are sure to make you stop and think, at its heart, DS3 is a co-op loot fest of old, and in that regard, it excels brilliantly. Rather than have you select a class, you select characters who each reflect familiar RPG qualities, such as DPS or healer, but who also come with back stories and allegiances that will flavor your path, and possibly color some of your decisions as you make your way through the land of Ehb. I choose Reinhart Manx, an older mage who specializes in magically assisted hand-to-hand combat and maniacal clockwork traps, and my partner selects Anjali, an archon capable of switching between a spear wielding human form, and a fire slinging elemental form.



My favorite scenario is set deep in a shadowy forest, beyond the Lescanzi occupied town of Raven’s Rill, where we must rid a haunted mansion of spectral terrors and deal with the trapped soul of a little girl that has been ensnared by an ancient artifact. Although there’s quite a bit of narrative backdrop going on, DS3 doesn’t allow that to get in the way of the fast-paced, narrative disinterested nature of co-op play. Cutscenes are skippable and almost every dialog sequence has an easy-out option. When we enter the mansion, my partner and I are almost instantly engaged by hordes of skeleton warriors complemented by undead archers and spell casting wraiths—it’s here that DS3 really shines.



In human form, Anjali corrals melee units into tight clusters while I engage the ranged units with hard-hitting electrical blasts from across the room. Once my partner has gathered-up enough victims, I dart to the center and generate a circular clockwork trap on the floor. Its magical gears tick-tock away the last few seconds of our enemies’ lives before all within the trap’s radius are engulfed by yellow and green magical discharge. At the same time, my partner summons a fire jackal to harass a new band of enemies that have appeared behind us while I drop a huge glyph beneath them that causes damage over time. Our combined assault provides a much needed distraction that allows us to cast healing spells and mop-up the ranged units on an overlooking balcony with close-combat. My partner gets the coup de grace by detonating Anjali’s fire jackal like some sick Nazi war tactic. With the battle done, we get to the real fun—loot.



The arena is littered with bits of armor and health and mana orbs (there are no health potions in DS3), and we quickly dart around the room to snap it all up. We then spend several minutes each checking out our new gear and min/maxing with DS3’s convenient equipment system. Categories with something new are marked as such, and highlighting a new piece automatically pulls up a comparison window with red and green arrows indicating the traits of the new piece compared to what you already have equipped. In most circumstances, you’re safe just going with the most green arrows and moving on, which is a huge boon when your co-op buddy is waiting to get back to the action.

Compared to Torchlight, there are some big differences in combat. While Torchlight is action bar focused, DS3’s combat is much more immediate—hit the punch key, and your wizard plants a lighting punch right in a zombie’s face. But as I ventured around in co-op, I couldn’t help but feel “this is so what Torchlight should have been.” Playing a narrative-optional, loot heavy game is way more fun with friends, Diablo made that clear years ago. That said, if I’m going to tolerate this game at all with a mouse and keyboard, Obsidian has got to get their controls wrangled in. PC controls on the build I played weren’t final, but with a June release fast approaching, they still need a ton of work. Sometimes more so than monsters, I found the camera to be my greatest enemy, the controls of which are shared by the mouse pointer, middle mouse button, scroll wheel and the “A” and “D” keys—WTF! My preview left me really wanting more, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that Obsidian is able to patch the control issue up before launch, especially now that the genre is finally starting to see fresh signs of life.
...

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