back to article Ten... PC games you may have missed

It's been pretty dry – unlike the British weather – for big title PC games since October, Star Wars (now free to play) and Diablo being the only exceptions. With the amount of time people are spending indoors this summer, I am surprised gaming companies aren't rushing titles out in hopes of seeing the money pour in. The games …


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  1. Zobbo
    Thumb Up

    Is Tribes Ascend closer to UT than Tribes? I used to love Tribes2, played it to death. Even briefly played Tribes but it was showing its age by then. And all on a 56k modem without lag. Awesome.

    Jagged Alliance looks good, I enjoy the more relaxed pace of turn based games as well, must be old age. Rayman is probably the PC's Mario, I had Rayman 2 bundled with an old Graphics card, nice game and had cool camera/3d stuff even back then.

    1. evilbob thebob

      As someone who plays in a competitive Tribes: Ascend team, I can only recommend it. The UT feel is probably partly down to the engine (Unreal 3) and as far as I can's a Tribes game.

    2. Jack Ketch

      The combat feels much like the original games, although there are some notable differences. Automatic weapons play a much larger role, and classic weapons like the Spinfusor are somewhat sidelined. The mechanics of jetpacks and skiing have also been reversed, so skiing is used to generate speed whereas jetpacks are only used to conserve speed between bouts of skiing - so jetpacks are really underpowered and can't really be used for manoeuvring.

      Much of the strategic element is lacking too, with features like the Command Circuit missing altogether (so no objectives or linking to VGS). No laser targetting. Deployables have been pared back and dumbed down . There are fewer vehicles with no sign of the Thundersword and Jericho, and the Havoc still hadn't been deployed when I last played (a few weeks ago). Maps are often on the small side (all are 16v16) but there are some good reproductions of classic maps, and the new maps are generally good considering the reduced scale of the game.

      I'd say it feels like UT skinned up to play like Tribes (which is essentially what it is). It's missing the higher skill cap and many of the strategic elements that really made the original Tribes games stand out, but it's still fun to play for a bit.

    3. mr.K

      Not sure about it being closer to UT than Tribes, but it is a lesser game than Tribes 2. So I actually recommend installing Tribes 2 instead.

    4. LarsG

      Having looked at theses games and having never played them I really can't see that I have missed anything.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tribes Ascend

      OMG! Tribes Ascend!

      All this time I'd been wishing for the days of Tribes 2.

      Thanks for the heads up!

      Although the vehicles have now been nerfed to oblivion. It's still a great remake.


  2. Tom Chiverton 1

    I'd be interested to know which ones run under WINE...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you need to ask then you already know that you've sacrificed the ability to play commercial games. This being one of about 3 main reasons I wont change off of a windows desktop at home.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        But the more people ask... the more companies should realise that there's a market out there for non-Windows gamers...

      2. david bates

        Lets see....

        Bioshock plays nicely under Play on Linux - I dont game that much so have not tried may others from the list - or indeed tried tweaking any others for Wine.

        How commercial do you want?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Search using the AppDB

      At least some of the games are in there, with varying ratings.

    3. Cameron Colley

      RE: Running using WINE.

      Steam is on its way to Linux and the creators of Dear Esther, for example, have stated they will produce a Linux version.

      Perhaps 2012 will be the year mainstream gaming comes to Linux?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Running using WINE.

        Is that before or after monkeys fly out of your butt?

      2. hplasm

        Re: Perhaps 2012 will be the year mainstream gaming comes to Linux?

        But then there will be no need for Windows- the gaming OS.

  3. Nickd

    What about...

    The binding of isaac, it's a roguelike two stick shooter with a really messed up sense of visual design, a decent sense of humor and it's available on steam for £2 including it's DLC at the moment in the summer sale.

    Absolutely brilliant game and only on PC.

    1. Dana W

      Re: What about...

      Its also on Mac via steam.

    2. ColonelClaw

      Re: What about...

      Agreed, Binding of Isaac is an amazing game. Takes a while to fully understand how it works but once you do you will be hooked

  4. David Barr
    Thumb Down

    JA2 : Back in Action?

    Sadly it's better off missed. The Jagged Alliance games, along with Laser Squad and UFO : Enemy Unknown (X-COM) and Lords of Chaos are part of a wonderful genre that didn't see many games, but has a multitude of fans.

    JA2:BiA is a disappointment. It feels like an unfinished fan remake. JA fans are better off missing it and not knowing that it existed, that way they won't have the roller coaster of excitement which leads to disappointment after an hour or so of play.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: JA2 : Back in Action?

      JA2 BIA isn't all bad, at least not once fully patched up and the default options tweaked to something playable.

      It's missing some of the cool stuff from JA2, and the developers are fobbing the community off with excuses for not releasing a map editor / modding tools like the original JA2 (hint, they really just want to sell you more DLC) but the core game is playable and enjoyable and the isometric graphics of old were never going to appeal to todays gamers, no matter how much you tell them the originals had better gameplay. It could have been a lot worse (and is in unpatched form) but it's about on par with how games have evolved; at least it's not an FPS!

      1. TipsyTigger
        Thumb Up

        Re: JA2 : Back in Action?

        I avoided JA:BiA initially due to the serious lack of thought in inventory management. However, I understand that patches have addressed that issue so I have just bought it. Not sure where they get the price tag of £40 from, though, it was in the Steam sale yesterday for £7.50 - which is why I bought it! Might still be on offer if anyone is interested...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Esther is atrocious.

    1. The Indomitable Gall


      It's definitely not a game, and the script is ridiculously flowery and pretentious. The narrative doesn't follow several of the most important principles of short-form fiction.

      It's entirely pointless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Indeed...

        I awoke with a throbbing headache. My clenched fist, which would not open on its own, grazed my temple smearing blood all over it. 'Hello!', I tried to yell but found myself gasping for air. The wind had been knocked out of me.

        I pried open my hand with my functional one only to find in it a note which had one line printed on it;

        "Those who dis me, I dare you to do better..."

    2. Captain Underpants

      If by "atrocious" you mean "experimental" then yes. If you mean "bad", or worse "Objectively bad" then I posit the alternative hypothesis that it is rather a game which is not to your tastes, but which may be suited to the tastes of others.

      I've not played the re-release commercial version, but I found the old HL2 mod version a while back. I like that people will make weirdly unsettling games like that, the medium of games should have space for all sorts of games.

      1. Lily Lane
        Thumb Down

        It's not a game. Games require some form of interaction and 'walking forward' doesn't count. At best you could call it art. Personally I called it a waste of my time and money.

        1. Captain Underpants


          You do interact with the game - you wander around and explore the environment.

          I believe what you're trying to actually articulate is that Dear Esther, unlike many games, is not a game built on a linear progression gameplay mechanism, such that it's difficult to know if you're doing what you're "meant" to be doing, and whether you're doing it right or not.

          All of which is understandable but misses the point of the game.

          Games don't have to be about linear progression any more than films have to be three-act narratives with neatly closed plots and character arcs. I'm not saying everyone should love it, but I think that gaming as a form of entertainment is worse off overall if you try to dismiss efforts like Dear Esther, Dinner Date or any of the many other weird little sandbox games or other experiments as "not games".

          I should also point out that I've not tried the HD version of Dear Esther, as I played the original freely-distributed HL2 mod. I do appreciate that with a price tag comes a higher expectation of the final product, but I haven't seen anything on the Dear Esther listing on Steam (for example) that would mislead you as to its nature. "Abandoning traditional gameplay for a pure story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses it’s beautiful environments with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Lily

            I really think most of that is just a load of pretentious bollocks to excuse the fact it's crap and dismiss negative criticism as "missing the point". Experimental film directors do the exact same thing to deflect criticism of their boring, shitty art films as well. It's true, you don't have to follow a cohesive linear narrative for a movie or a game, but the fact is most creators do and always have done for good reason.

            The reason I disliked Dear Esther wasn't because it jarred with my preconceived ideas of what a videogame is, or challenged my expectations, or whatever other hackneyed phrases you might like to use; it was simply because it was boring and the letters were so badly written that I physically cringed at hearing them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        To be fair, I mainly meant atrocious in that it's as though the letters were written by a angsty 14 year old for their creative writing exercise homework for English class. The environment looks pleasant enough, and I suppose if you like dog-walking simulators then the gameplay is fine. Although personally that doesn't do much for me for the same reason that I don't play any of those bus driver/roadsweeper/farmer/etc simulation games either.

        1. LinkOfHyrule

          I know I am rather late in this comment but it needs to be said...

          Dear Esther? Seriously? Is this game where you take pictures of vegetables shaped like penises and send them into That's Life? If not it should be, and may I say it would be a better fit on iPhone and andriod, you could use the in built camera and send your knob pics directly to Esther Rantzen's inbox. She'd like that...

  6. InsaneLampshade

    Tribes: Ascend is free.

    It's free, not £7.50 as the article says.

  7. Ceiling Cat

    The Walking Dead

    Umm, you might want to mention that Episode 2 is available as well.

    Currently playing this on the PS3. The controls can be a bit difficult, but once you get past that it's turning out to be a really good story so far. The ability to have multiple saves means that you can see how several routes play out. Some of the choices have to be made in a hurry, though, and you never know which choice will come back to bite you in the ass.

  8. MyronC

    If you like Sins of a Solar Empire...

    You should check out Sword of The Stars. It's made by Indie developer Kerberos, who have some guys on their team who worked on Homeworld: Cataclysm. 4x outer space combat gameplay that keeps you nailed to your seat for that 'one more turn' pheneomenon.

  9. Spudbynight
    Thumb Down

    SWTOR - Is NOT free to play.....

    Just an error in the lead.

    SWTOR has an extended trial to level 15 - it certainly isn't free to play yet.

    1. Chris Clawson

      Re: SWTOR - Is NOT free to play.....

      Yes, I've heard rumors of it going F2P but nothing solid.

  10. 0_Flybert_0

    Tribes was breakthrough

    "Reminding me of Unreal Tournament"

    IMO .. Unreal was forced to go with client server software because of Tribes ..

    Dynamix's Tribes was the first shooter released with free client server software ( the first combat game with client server software included was Dynamix's Red Baron 3D .. an upgrade to Red Baron 3 released a month before Tribes )

    Tribes was also the first game that allowed one to move seamlessly between indoor and outdoor environments

  11. Neonin

    X-COM sellout?

    While there is indeed a FPS version of XCOM in the pipeline, the company behind Civ 5 is working on a TBS one that is due out in October and looks fantastic. Long live TBS!

  12. Euchrid

    Who came up with the title?

    We might have missed these? Seriously?

    For those who use Steam, I very much doubt it. Even if you don’t use Steam, unless you avoid discussing games or read any gaming sites/mags, you would have known about most, if not, all of these titles. Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall Of The Samurai isn’t exactly a title that goes under the radar.

    Re: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, the game was brilliantly designed for touchscreen devices and it shows badly on the port, which I felt the article skirts around. Very little thought has gone into how the game works with a completely different interface. It’s inexpensive, but a fair few gamers resent paying good money for bad ports. Although most critics have been praising it, feedback from punters is much more like on marmite lines, unlike with the original version(s). Maybe iOS users are less demanding when it comes to games, or it just might be that the port has issues that mar the game for many.

    Although I suspect that the intention of the article wasn’t what the title implied, one game that I suspect that people might have overlooked or missed is Crusader Knights 2. Unbelievably entertaining.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    planetside 2

    I'm waiting for planetside 2 -a free (mmofps) shooter.

    The beta is almost imminent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: planetside 2

      You and me both good sir, it's going to be glorious! (Go Vanu!)

  14. ColonelClaw
    Thumb Down

    ...And then I saw

    That Rayman game looks pretty great, it's cheap anyway, and it was on the Steam sale.

    Unfortunately it's also put out by Ubisoft, which means it comes with the ridiculous DRM.

    No thanks.

    1. Stephen May

      Re: ...And then I saw

      Nope, Rayman doesn't come with ANY DRM at all:

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I own Shogun 2, Dear Esther and Sins of a Solar Empire and they are all excellent games.

  16. The Original Cactus

    Haven't you discovered Space Pirates and Zombies yet?

  17. Nick Woodruffe

    What about "World of Tanks?"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Number 11 - Windows 8 with Metro

    A late entry: Windows 8 with Metro!

    Explore the colourful, childish landscape with your mouse and keyboard. Win bonus points for discovering where the mystic menus have vanished to, and claim a special prize for working out how to succeed without the fabled Orb of Startness to guide you. Play with the Tiles of Frustration until you can play no more. Fight the Dread Demon of Redmond who has changed your world without explaining why.

    (Players' hint: charms are not what they seem, and may sap your life force prematurely.)

    Free with every PC real soon now.

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