PC Gamer
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From PlanetSide to Quake to Team Fortress, the current issue of PC Gamer US is locked and loaded for a countdown of the 25 Greatest Shooters of All Time. Plus, we bring you our review of a brand new Eastern European dystopian shooter with mutants—Metro: Last Light—and invite you to Reinstall a classic Eastern European dystopian shooter with mutants—S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
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Subscribers should have this issue in hand, unless your mail carrier suffered some unfortunate fate similar to the player character in Fallout: New Vegas, and is now wandering around with amnesia collecting canned food and scrap metal. Alternatively, you can snag the issue on a physical newsstand, or the digital ones listed above. Subscriptions and single issues are available, so in the words of Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple: "The choice is yours, and yours alone!"

Also inside:

Double Fine Adventure now has a name: Broken Age. We have new details!
Competitive Minesweeper? Yep. It exists.
Our first glimpses of Battlefield 4
Five hours hands-on with Company of Heroes 2's campaign
Reviews of six gaming headsets
Reviews for Defiance, Monaco, and Resident Evil 6
A mod to make Legend of Grimrock even grimmer
Your letters, the PC Gamer Rig, and everything else you expect to see

PC Gamer
Company of Heroes 2 thumb

"Look folks," the latest Company of Heroes 2 trailer may well be saying, "we really love tanks." "Sure," it continues, "our game does have units that aren't tanks, but they're just there to make it even more special when you do finally see a tank." Basically, if you're a huge fan of planes, there are really only a few seconds here designed to appeal to you.

If you do enjoy the sight of a massive, armoured, gun-mounted, metal mammoths, there's plenty here to appreciate. Relic's RTS sequel is promising new and more varied tank on tank action come the game's release on June 25th.

And yes, I'm sure there will be other vehicle types too.

For more on CoH2, check out our impressions from the mulitplayer beta.
PC Gamer
Company of Heroes trailer thumb

While the last trailer was a sombre exploration of the psychological and physical toll of the Eastern Front, Company of Heroes 2's latest video preview is a more celebratory look at the variety and flexibility of the World War 2 strategy. It's cocky, too. Confidently rolling its tanks over that other genre's battlefield; big block letters proudly instructing you to take command "before you try the next big FPS".

Luckily, it seems, the RTS sequel has the fire-power to match its assured taunting. You can see what Relic have in store with our hands-on beta impressions and huge preview.

Company of Heroes 2 is due out June 25th.
PC Gamer
Company of Heroes 2 trailer thumb

Well thanks, morose Russian soldier man. Here I was thinking about Company of Heroes 2, and getting all excited for another slice of deep RTS action, when suddenly you decide to bring the mood down. Yes, technically war might be a little bit rubbish. But when it's restricted to my computer, it's great. Although, even then, I guess I could understand his lack of enthusiasm. I did get a lot of people killed in the first game.

Company of Heroes 2 is due out June 25th. Tom Senior has been our point-man on Relic's winter wargame, providing multiplayer beta impressions here.
Product Release - Valve
Metro: Last Light is now available on Steam in North America, Australia, and New Zealand! Please see the game page for the local release time in your territory.

It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever.

As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour…

PC Gamer
Metro Last Light Ranger Mode

For many publishers and retailers, convincing you to commit to a day one purchase before anyone's played/reviewed their game is a big win, and pre-order bonuses are a handy way to entice customers and bank sales estimates before launch day. As these promised bonuses grow in heft and significance, we face increasingly frustrating dilemmas about where and when to put money down for new games.

Metro: Last Light's hardcore "Ranger Mode" is a particularly thorny example. It's advertised as "the way it was meant to be played" on the front page of the Metro site, but is If that's the case, why isn't it available to everyone who buys the game? Is it really, as implied, the definitive Metro experience? We put the question to Huw Beynon, global brand manager at Metro: Last Light's publisher, Koch Media, who explains why it was segregated out as a pre-order bonus.

"Offering game content as a pre-order exclusive is a requirement by retail"

"Game makers and publishers now live in a world where offering game content as a pre-order exclusive is a requirement by retail, and Ranger Mode seemed like the best choice since it was a mode for hardcore fans who would most likely pre-order the game, or purchase it at launch in any case," he says. "We rejected requests to make story content or additional missions exclusive. We also rejected requests to make this a timed exclusive."

Ranger Mode was added to Last Light's precursor, Metro 2033 after launch as "a direct response to the demands of the hardcore Metro community." It removes the HUD, makes enemies tougher and increases the scarcity of ammunition, which can also be used as currency in the Metro world. It sounds like a big feature. The ad phrasing makes it sound essential. Beynon suggests otherwise.

"We do not recommend Ranger Mode for a first playthrough, and this is made very clear both in-game. We expect Metro fans will want to try Ranger Mode for a subsequent playthrough, and we think that for this hardcore player, Ranger Mode offers a richer experience - but only once you've clocked the game at least once."

The difficulty mode will be "included in all copies of the initial manufacturing run While a pre-order guarantees this 'Limited Edition' it is not a requirement." Ranger Mode will be available to buy on launch day as DLC at $5/£3.99 - "the lowest 1st Parties would permit us to charge for content of this nature" Beynon suggests.

"We took all the steps we could to ensure that, while still offering retailers a pre-order incentive that met their needs, we did not force players to pre-order, or make them wait to get this content," he says.

Our review of Metro: Last Light will go live on Monday. How do you feel about pre-order bonuses? Do you pre-order or pre-purchase often, or do you prefer to buy games on day one?
PC Gamer
Company of Heroes 2 - Tanks and mens

Rejoice, fans of freezing to death in the harsh and unforgiving coldness, surrounded only by the pained screams of troops locked in a bitter battle between two unstoppable war machines! If you're worried that Company of Heroes 2's campaign won't keep a chill in your bones throughout the summer months, Relic have announced a second mode. It's called Theatre of War and, from what they say, it sounds like an automated delivery system for human misery (and tactically satisfying RTS missions).

Taking the form of new single player and co-op challenges, the mode will provide a series of scenarios against unique AI commanders and "overwhelming odds". COH2 game director Quinn Duffy has this to say on the matter: "Theatre of War acts as a perfect bridge between the game’s single and multiplayer content providing a high level of re-playability and helping to introduce traditionally solo players to the online elements of the game."

At the game's launch, Theatre of War will contain nine unique missions per faction, set around key battles of 1941. More missions will be added after release - including the already announced pre-order mini-campaign.

Company of Heroes 2 is due out June 25th.
PC Gamer
Metro Last Light mutant

I think Metro: Last Light may be locked in an attempt beat Bioshock Infinite for most trailers released this year. It won't work: as many as there have been so far, to usurp Irrational's ridiculous throne 4A would still need to drop a new video every day, right up to the game's May 17th release. Not that it'll stop them from trying. This time: Will protagonist Artyom lead humanity to salvation? Will he stab hundreds of people in murky post-apocalyptic tunnels? Are the two mutually exclusive? Probably not.

More specifically, we meet Anna - crack sniper for Artyom's Spartan Order of Rangers. She's a bit of a pessimist. But then, if you're constantly defending against mutants, fascists, cultists and heavily armed militia, you'd probably struggle to see the lighter side too.

If you've had your fill of moving pictures, read our comfortingly static Last Light preview here.
PC Gamer
Company of Heroes

After nearly seven years of being bombed and battered, Company of Heroes' online infrastructure is in need of a break. Servers located at the game's old hosting company - the now Ubisoft-owned Quazal - are due to be shut down on May 7th. Is this the end of the war? Not quite. Replacement Steamworks servers have already been parachuted in, giving fans the chance to migrate over before the original host's honourable discharge.

If you own the game on Steam, you'll already have the new version, the aptly titled "Company of Heroes (New Steam Version)", in your Library. It's a single launch option - so any expansions have been rolled into the DLC tab of the listing's properties menu.

Owners of other versions will need to transfer their games, by adding their CD Keys into the "Activate a Product on Steam" option.

It's a bit of an odd situation. Some players may feel justifiably aggrieved by this service switch. But while the sudden requirement of the Steam client might not be universally welcomed, it's surely a preferable option to a complete shutdown of the old servers.

Plus, it could be worse - the original Dawn of War 2 is still tied to Games for Windows Live.

Thanks, Strategy Informer.
PC Gamer

A low profile Swedish publisher has snapped up most of what remained of THQ's IP portfolio overnight, including the Darksiders and Red Faction IPs. Auctioned off in lots, Nordic Games can now lay claim to The Biggest Loser and Jeopardy franchises (hooray?), as well as MX vs ATV, Worms, Juiced, Destroy All Humans!, Titan Quest and much more.

In a statement, Nordic owner Lars Wingefors said the publisher was willing to co-operate with developers responsible for previous games in their acquired properties. "First and foremost we are very happy about this deal which also turns over a new leaf for the entire Nordic Games Group," Wingefors said. "In the long term, we either want to cooperate with the original creators or best possible developers in order to work on sequels or additional content for these titles.

"A very important point for us is not to dash into several self-financed multi-million projects right away," he continued, "but rather to continue our in-depth analysis of all titles and carefully selecting different financing models for developing new instalments of acquired IPs."

For $4.9 million, Nordic Games walked away from the auction with nearly every remaining THQ IP except Homeworld - which went to Gearbox for $1.35 million. Of course, a lot of the meatier stuff (Company of Heroes, Saints Row, Homefront and South Park) was bought back in January.

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