PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The PC Gamer 2012 Game of the Year nominees">PC Gamer GOTY Nominees







At the end of each year we hand out awards to honor the experiences that live in our best memories of the preceding months—the games that moved us with their ambition, quality, and pioneering spirit. None of the decisions are ever easy, and there's no secret formula: we pit opinion against opinion with straightforward, old-fashioned arguing until one winner is left standing in the GOTY battle cage. Look below for the first landmark of that exciting week-long debate: a list of our eligible winners in 11 categories, including Game of the Year.



Beyond recognizing what games we loved most this year, though, it’s crucial to call attention to a truth that connects them all: PC gaming is exploding. Our hobby is many-tentacled and unbridled—practically every niche, genre, and business model mutated in a meaningful way this year. Two shooters built on new, PC-only technology released (PlanetSide 2 and Natural Selection 2). Dota 2 grew into its adolescence. League of Legends’ Season 2 Championship drew an audience of 8.2 million—the most ever for an eSports event. Modders resurrected content that was thought to be lost. So many remakes and spiritual successors to old school PC games got crowdfunded that we're sure we’d miss some if we tried to list them all.



That said, the following list marks the peaks of this mountainous year, and you'll find out which games won in the next issue of PC Gamer, and here on the web soon.







Dota 2

Dishonored

Mass Effect 3

PlanetSide 2

The Walking Dead

Tribes: Ascend

XCOM: Enemy Unknown







Crusader Kings II

FTL: Faster Than Light

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

XCOM: Enemy Unknown







Guild Wars 2

PlanetSide 2

Rift: Storm Legion

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria







Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Diablo III

Mass Effect 3

Torchlight II







Borderlands 2

Dishonored

Far Cry 3

Max Payne 3

Spec Ops: The Line







Hawken

Natural Selection 2

PlanetSide 2

Tribes: Ascend







Dota 2

League of Legends

StarCraft II









Black Mesa: Source

Crusader Kings II: A Game of Thrones

DayZ

The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod







Lone Survivor

The Walking Dead

Thirty Flights of Loving

Resonance









FTL: Faster Than Light

Hotline Miami

Legend of Grimrock

Thirty Flights of Loving







Euro Truck Simulator 2

aeroflyFS

XPlane

Football Manager 2013

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Hotline Miami is 50% off this weekend, FTL also cheap!">Hotline Miami thumb







Super Hexagon may have become our fast, frantic and brilliantly soundtracked game of choice, but Hotline Miami remains an excellent acid trip of revenge, violence and talking owl masks. It makes the 80s look cool, which is an impressive achievement in itself.



If you've yet to experience Dennaton Games' brutal top-down murder-ballet, now's the time to take a look. Steam have gone and chopped its price in half, cutting it down to a criminally cheap £3.49/$5.



The store have also got a 40% deal on the marvellous FTL, dropping its price to £4.19/$6. It's a decidedly more strategic affair than Hotline's hyper-kinetic ode to viscera, but still a panic-inducing experience in its own right.



Both sales will run until Monday.



That's enough exceptionally cheap indie games, now let's have an ultimately pointless argument about which song from Hotline's amazing soundtrack is the best. My vote's for El Huervo's Turf. Or maybe Sun Araw's Deep Cover. Ah, they're all good.
Announcement - Valve
Save 40% on FTL: Faster Than Light as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

In FTL you experience the atmosphere of running a spaceship trying to save the galaxy. It's a dangerous mission, with every encounter presenting a unique challenge with multiple solutions.
This "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" allows you to take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

That headline doesn’t refer to the times when games break and throw up oddball bugs for our amusement, but rather when games throw so many problems at the player that they become a sort of jeopardy-based experience in crisis-juggling. Earlier today I was running through my game collection and thinking about what I might like to play. It wasn’t Dishonored. Three things other stood out: Day Z, FTL, and X-Com. I began to think about what those had in common which, and what that said about my enjoyment of this year’s immersive masterpiece.

And I realised it was this: peril>. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to FTL mods video round-up: fly ships from Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly">FTL-star-destroyer-web







Spaceship management roguelike FTL is one of this year's standout games, and also one of the first Kickstarted projects to result in a playable product. Its modding scene centers around new ships, tweaked mechanics, and updated graphics. We've picked out three ship replacement mods by hellcatv, with art in the case of Serenity and the Enterprise provided by MattsterT. Each of these mods swaps out one of the default ships with a new model complete with new equipment and a custom load-out.



Download links can be found below. Check out our FTL review for more on the game.









Grognak's Mod Manager

USS Enterprise ship mod (replaces Kestrel)

Star Destroyer ship mod (replaces Engi ship)

Serenity ship mod (replaces Kestrel)

PC Gamer






Tyler, Omri, and T.J. discuss what a wonderful time it is for PC genres that were once considered forgotten. Dishonored brings back stealth simulation, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a sleep-depriving boardgame, Star Citizen asks why resource-intensive PC space sims ever left us, and Project Eternity takes a pre-rendered isometric point-of-view on the whole modern RPG situation.



All that in PC Gamer Podcast 332: Yo genre so old...



(Plus more weird tangents. Like Garfield.)



Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Leave a voicemail: 1-877-404-1337 ext 724 or email the mp3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com.



Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.



Follow us on Twitter:

@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)

@omripetitte (Omri Petitte)

@AsaTJ (T.J. Hafer)

@belsaas (Erik Belsaas, podcast producer)
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to FTL: Faster Than Light review">FTL Faster Than Light review







The fellow nursing the mug of Roc ale in the corner of the cantina doesn’t have to tell you he’s an FTL captain. The laser burns on his jacket, the monkey wrench in his belt, and the broad grin creasing his craggy, careworn face give him away.



Sit down opposite him and you invite a torrent of torrid tales.



“See this scar? I got that when I targeted my own bridge with an incendiary missile. Had some Mantis boarders running amok – it was the only way to take them down.



“Buy me a pint and I’ll tell you about the time my ship, the Belle Guano, tangled with a pirate cutter twice its size near the Slug homeworld. Trust me, you don’t know fear until you’ve had to shut down your own shields, life-support system, and sensors in order to summon the power necessary to launch an anti-ship drone.”







Every one of FTL’s evening-sized odysseys bulges at the bulkheads with dramatic dogfights, tough trading decisions and bittersweet twists of fate. If you’ve ever yearned for a randomness-heavy 2D Firefly game – a top-down Star Trek or Blake’s Seven turn-based strategy game – then yearn no longer.



Adventures begin with ship selection. Initially there’s just one vessel type available. Completing enigmatic quests widens the choice on subsequent playthroughs.



Whatever craft you’re captaining, the ultimate objective is always the same: deliver a vitally important message to the Federation fleet by battling, trading, and upgrading your way through a randomly generated web of sectors. Every sector is its own navigable web of unscripted surprises.







Because a powerful rebel armada is always hot on your heels, you can’t linger in any sector indefinitely. Speed is of the essence, but so too is scrap – FTL’s precious currency. Knowing that resistance stiffens the closer he gets to his goal, the sensible skipper loiters for as long as possible in order to maul and recycle the maximum enemies.



It’s rare that a turn passes without a hard choice or a satisfying skirmish. One minute you’re looking on as your lasers and missiles steadily savage the systems and unstitch the hull of an outfought/out-thought foe, the next you’re deciding whether to intervene in an intergalactic mugging, rescue a mad castaway, or send crew to investigate an eerie space hulk. Pauseable combat and multiple-choice event texts mean there’s always limitless time for mulling over options.







There are hundreds of possible encounters, and countless ways of improving your ship. Bad luck and poor decisions regularly lead to heartbreaking setbacks and sacrifices. So far I’ve refused to hand over any crew to bullying slavers, but have on several occasions had to sell indispensable kit in order to finance essential repairs or fill an empty tank. Running out of fuel is one of the game’s scariest situations. You’re forced to drift forlorn and regret-wracked waiting for either a good Samaritan or a rebel coup-de-grace.



FTL feels like a project that’s been thoughtfully tweaked over several years. Features work hard and are well meshed. Texts are trim and nicely phrased. Even Ben Prunty’s twinkling soundtrack fits beautifully. Scanning the game’s impressive superstructure for vulnerable exhaust ports and shot traps, just about the only weakpoints I’ve managed to identify are the lack of personnel histories, and the painfully slow rate of vessel unlocks. A few lines illuminating the backgrounds of new crewmen, and some more generous blueprint dispensing would nudge this unmissable sci-fi story generator even closer to perfection.





Expect to pay: £7 / $11

Release Out: now

Developer: Subset Games

Publisher: Steam

Multiplayer: None

Link: www.ftlgame.com
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Having a number one

These were the voyages of the Starship Moggy. Its eight-sector mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new weapons and new system upgrades, to boldly go somewhere no-one has come back alive from before (apart from save-scummers).

Sector 8. The end of the line. > (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Steam opens non-game software store">Steam_Software







Valve quietly updated its Steam storefront today with its "Software" tab, selling utility, development, and benchmarking tools. Although Valve announced its move into non-game products as early as August, today marks the public availability of visual and structural development apps on the digital distribution giant.



Valve is still slowly furnishing its software catalog, but a few choice items for purchase include GameMaker: Studio, 3DMark 11, and ArtRage Studio Pro. Coupled with the recently launched Greenlight indie voting platform, and it appears Steam is gradually transforming into a one-stop destination for every facet of a game's creation process.



All software is 10% off for the first week. Additionally, GameMaker: Studio is free to use without purchasing a license, and has Steam Workshop integration. Aspiring developers, go make the next FTL, would you?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Captain as of Star Trek Nemesis I THINK YOU'LL FIND

And so my FTL campaign, the flight of the starship Moggy, limps to the game’s penultimate sector. It seems impossible that we’re still alive at this point – let alone that we now have seven crew, three guns and NO-ONE IS DEAD. The looming question is whether or not we’re anything like equipped for the final showdown in Sector 8 – but then again it’s foolish to go asking that before we’ve survived Sector 7.

Ah, we’re in the Engi sector. Home, in a sense. I have four Engi on my crew, we’re in an Engi ship and we’re attacked by roaming Engi a whole lot less than by any other species. Home. But better not get too comfortable. (more…)

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