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Published on July 4th, 2010 | by Gameuber Staff

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E3 Feature: The top 10 PC games to look out for!

Covering E3 for PC gamers isn’t as easy as just pitching up a chair at the big keynotes. Instead, it’s all about hunting around, playing as much as possible and searching relentlessly for the best games. EA, Activision, SEGA, 1C Company, Valve, THQ, 2K and Ubisoft all had plenty to show. Ranging from multi-platform titles to mouse and keyboard-orientated exclusives, what follows are the must-own games which will appear on our lovely platform over the next year.

10. Project Dust

From the creator of Another World comes an entirely new venture, which looks groundbreaking in every sense of the word. Described by Eric Chahi as the spiritual heir to Populous, players will be able to manipulate landscapes to their whim, creating valleys, lava pools, beaches, vegetation, open seas and other natural phenomenon. Effectively a god game set on an extreme version of Earth, it’s all about shaping the world and seeing how it effects the native population. Project Dust is a downloadable title, but that hasn’t stunted its ambition.

9. Men of War Assault Squad

How about some more Men of War action for all the hardcore WW2 strategists out there? Strictly a multiplayer standalone expansion based around a competitive and co-operative play, Assault Squad includes 15 new maps with five new factions. The AI has gone through plenty of tweaks as well, providing a hard as nails experience which thoroughly took us to the cleaners, even when playing on standard difficulty. The emphasis development-wise has been on polishing the existing game to provide a new experience – units have been balanced, visuals touched up and environmental destruction has shifted into a new gear.

8. Dead Space 2

New planet, new necromorphs and, in a way, a new Isaac Clarke. Set on a deserted planet dubbed the sprawl, this is sure to chill gamers to their very souls all over again. The horror will be more psychological this time around, with plenty of new and horrific set-pieces to mess with your head.

This time the action is set on an entire planet dubbed the Sprawl, with more diverse environments and the ability to pop out windows to expose enemies to the dark void of space. Weapons will be more diverse as well with electricity, fire, the ability to throw sliced-off limbs back at the enemy and of course the ability to slow down aggressors with stasis.

Competitive multiplayer will also feature but understandably everything was very hush hush on the showfloor.

It’s clear that Visceral are being much more ambitious for their second venture in this creepy universe, yet they don’t want to compromise their original vision either.

7. Test Drive Unlimited 2

A known quantity before E3, but seeing just how far Eden Games are pushing their technology is jaw-droppingly impressive. Set on the not-so-tranquil islands of Ibiza and Hawaii, this consumer-spending simulator is set to be taken to the next level with all-new customization options on clothes, housing and obviously the cars themselves. Each location has been painstakingly recreated, and there’s a full day/night and weather cycle to really immerse you into this authentic experience.

Damage has also been introduced but at the moment it’s unclear just how much you can annihilate these beloved motors. Online is integrated from the base much like before with the ability to race in a persistent multiplayer environment. The September release isn’t far off.

6. XCOM

Few names can conjure up more nostalgic delight than XCOM. The tactical franchise was first launched way back in 1993, but it’s being propelled back into modern gaming thanks to 2K. Mostly an FPS, the gameplay will still hinge on an unknown alien threat currently laying waste to 1950’s suburban America. Players assume the role of William Carter, discoverer of the alien menace and the director of Earth’s response to them. Fear of the unknown will be a persistent theme with enemies able to resemble normal citizens.

Investigation and research will determine what weapons are available, Government funding and public support. All of these can be checked in the control centre which operates as venturing to complete missions.

This isn’t the XCom we remember but we’re excited all the same. Change is good.

5. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

This represents a huge throw of the dice for EA, placing the makers of the excellent Burnout Paradise onto their cherished annualized Need for Speed franchise. Criterion were rumored to be working on it for a long time, and finally all was revealed on the future of the game series at E3. Exotic cars and expansive police chases will form the basis of the game, with a lengthy career mode taking players on both sides of the law. Online integration will sport a similar depth with constant updates detailing friends’ performance, whether that’s beating your personal bests or just playing online. Road blocks, spike traps, helicopters and EMPs will be on hand to support officers taking down speeding suspects in a huge open world where the chased can designate the route.

Hot Pursuit represents the series harking back to its heritage and, as a result, we’re very, very excited indeed.

4. Shogun 2: Total War

It’s been 10 years since the original, and Creative Assembly are going back to their roots – a trend popular at last month’s E3.

Commanders will take on the role of a clean leader named Daimyo, who will use his combined might of military strategy, economics and diplomacy to reunite Japan and become the undisputed ruler.

What’s most interesting about this surprising sequel is the new AI system, built around the legendary tactician Sun Tsu and his work, The Art of War. Battles will be unpredictable with AI that applies cunning and ingenuity to their strategy, something which no RTS has possessed before. Unit choice will be scaled back to 30-40 basic units in order to allow players to focus purely on tactics, not firepower as in more modern incarnations of Total War. Whether revisiting a previous era heralds more promise for this franchise remains to be seen, but we are hopeful that retreading this ground holds new promise.

3. Crysis 2

So what if Crytek’s golden PC shooter is appearing on consoles at the same time. That doesn’t mean the visuals or gameplay will be compromised by our gamepad-loving brethren, right? Well we were slightly skeptical too, that is until we saw CryEngine 3 in all its hardware-melting glory.

Crysis 2 takes all the lessons learned from the original and dials up the intensity with a new urban setting in New York, as well as a nasty bipedal alien race who seem to be in love with single storey-sized mechs.

Visually it looks absolutely stunning, and the gameplay allows just as much freedom as before, maximized by new vertical combat thanks to the downed skyscrapers. One mission we witnessed had soldiers fighting off invading aliens inside Grand Central Station before hastily evacuating due to a falling office block. The setting may inspire some unsettling memories of New York, but it’s in aid of delivering as compelling a story as possible. As long as we’re able to punch some helpless animals into the stratosphere we’ll be more than happy with this sequel, due this autumn.

2. Portal 2

Valve announced that this physics-bending FPS turned platformer won’t be released until 2011 before E3, but that doesn’t mean that PC owners aren’t any less excited about this sequel. The very first trailer premiered in front of thousands of fans which featured a decrepit Aperture Science testing facility erupting back into life under the crazed gaze of everyone’s favorite maniacal AI, GlaDOS.

It could be said that spinning off Portal, originally from Orange Box, into a standalone franchise is something of a risk, but from what was seen, we couldn’t see it any more differently. Equipped with more levels, new traps and two-player co-operative levels, this will be top of many’s most wanted lists.

Gameplay will still require combining different elements and skills together to get from the end of one scenario to another, so it’s still about thinking your way through the puzzles.

Shame there wasn’t any news about Half-Life: Episode 3 though…

1. Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Global domination is an ambition which life seldom presents as an opportunity, so thank the maker that Sid Meier’s Civilization is returning once again to dominate our meager and pointless lives. It wasn’t an easy choice to offer this turn-based strategy game the number one spot over so many other PC games, but with a plethora of new features, it was impossible not to.

The new engine provides visuals which are much more colorful than before, but the most interesting aspects are under the hood. One unit per hex now dominates combat, completely eliminating the stacking tactic to enable more strategy. Ranged units will also play a much larger role, packing more of a punch but crucially taking one turn to set up. These changes may seem inconsequential but when trying to conquer an enemy, city the implications are massive. It’s also the same with the diplomacy, which no longer relies on sliders and where you stand with other leaders is no longer as black and white. Different well-known figures will act in unpredictable ways, and already this seems like the most advanced Civ game ever, even adding a diplomatic victory condition via being accepted into the UN.

For us, the most exciting aspect of Civilization V is multiplayer. The mod community has been embraced from the ground up to accommodate all player creations (no matter how ridiculous) without needing to exit the game. It’s a grand statement, and shows why this chapter aspires to be the best in the series. We’ll find out if Firaxis has pulled it off in September.


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