The week in PC gaming: 7th / 13th January


This has been an interesting week, with lots of eyebrow raising news from CES, especially regarding Valve’s Steambox, darkening skies for THQ, and more exciting details about League of Legends’ Season 3.

Out this week:

XCOM: Second Wave came out this week, which gave us a slew of new options to play with.

Check out magical-realist adventure Kentucky Route Zero.

Mods of note:

A trio of Elder Scrolls themed Civilization V mods look super-good.

CES news and reactions

First we learned about Nvidia’s Project Shield, then Steve weighed in with the best analysis of the device you’ll read anywhere.

The biggest news for PC gamers was Valve’s Steambox. We learned about Piston, a Steam-based modular PC. Gabe Newell explained Valve’s thinking behind the device, while Adam Oxford read the tea-leaves and actually anticipated much of the new information we got over the course of CES.

Depending on your excitement level, Tim was either the voice of reason or a total buzz-kill as he put Steam Box in perspective and how any changes it spells for PC gaming will be incremental, not revolutionary.

Big reads and hands-on

Paul and Tim delved deep into F2P and found the nine best free games on Steam.

Paul “Font of Useful Information” Dean (okay, I need to work on better nicknames for PCGNers [oh man, guys, let’s all call ourselves PCGinners! – Zacny] but this will do for now) compiled a roundup of US gift shop packages for World of Tanks. Consider this mandatory reading if you want to make the most of your tanking dollar.

Paul Presley has been flying a couple low-altitude aircraft: the PA36 Pawnee Brave 375 and the OV-10 Bronco. This is perfect training for those of us currently considering a career in smuggling.

Joe has surveyed all the available DLC for Shogun 2 and Fall of the Samurai and found what’s worth paying-for and what’s worth skipping.

Paul Dean has turned his increasingly Sauron-like eye on Greenlight, with another Spotlight on Greenlight.

Then Paul hand-selected the 10 best Minecraft adventure maps.

Joe’s been going to the mattresses and opening speakeasies in Omerta: City of Gangsters.

Steve had a great interview with David Braben about Elite: Dangerous that discusses the project’s truly breathtaking scope and ambition.

eSports and MOBAs

League of Legends has dominated the news this week, thanks to the hype building around League of Legends Championship Series Season 3. They revealed exactly how it will work for the NA and EU divisions, and are currently holding their offline North American qualifiers.

In the meantime, I’ve been having a think about how we could make eSports better and more user friendly, from getting the basics right to dealing with slightly deeper issues.

Other news

BioWare’d David Gaider explained why he tries to avoid the BioWare Social Network forum. This is good advice for anyone who spends a lot of time on the internet.

Kickstarter is dominated by games on a dollars-raised basis.

Scenes from Half Life 2: Return to Ravenholm, the cancelled expansion from Arkane.

Dust 514 and Eve Online are coming together.

Dean “Rocket” Hall explained what happened with DayZ’s planned December release as DayZ enters

The IGF finalists were announced.

The vultures are circling over THQ as an individual asset sell-off looks inevitable.