8 Great Stealth Games You Can Play on PC

If you like sneaking around the world, creeping up behind people and knocking them out (or taking their life), we’ve got some games for you to check out. These eight PC games let you indulge your inner thief, without all the pesky run-ins with law enforcement.

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Styx: Master of Shadows

Styx is a goblin thief who can use nooks, crannies, and shadows to conceal himself until the time is right to strike. You’d better bring your “A” stealth game as well, as the combat is a bit of an afterthought, and being forced to resort to it often leads to your demise. Luckily, the world is well-designed, with plenty of options for concealment and vertical movement. You can also check out the sequel, [i]Styx: Shards of Darkness[/a].

New Cinematic Trailer for Fan-Made Halo PC Game

 

The world of video game fan projects never ceases to amaze, as gamers everywhere continue to show-off their creativity and imagination by developing the kind of experiences that many of us wish would get an official release.

The latest in this long line of “I can’t believe someone is doing that” projects is called Installation 01, and it intends to give PC players everywhere a proper modern-day Halo multiplayer experience to call their own. You can check out this project’s progress in the developer diary video below:

Installation 01 is currently being developed by a group of 30 fans with various talents that intend for their game to be a largely unique experience in the style of previous Halo titles rather than a direct port of those games.

As part of their compliance with the content usage rules set forth by Microsoft, the Installation 01 team is developing nearly everything in the game (including assets that were previously included in Halo games) from scratch. That means that every character, every animation, every level, and every weapon has been hand-designed by the team. While much of the game is still made to resemble elements of the Halo franchise, the developers are also working on unique levels and weapons that will be exclusive to this release.

By going to such lengths to create everything themselves, the hope is that Microsoft will not shut down the game such as how Nintendo has shut down a few recent fan projects based on their properties. Given the sheer amount of work that appears to have gone into the project (it’s even set to feature its own level creation toolset), it certainly would be disappointing if this was ruled to be a license violation, especially since there have been no talks of porting the Halo franchise to PC since the release of Halo 2 for Windows in 2007.

The group behind this project have made some incredible progress since we last checked in. It’s clear that there’s still a ways to go before its completed, but the Installation 01 developers certainly prove their resolve in this Q&A video about the project:

If that’s not enough to convince you that the team behind this project is dedicated to bringing a complete Halo experience to PC users everywhere, then perhaps this impressive homemade cinematic trailer for Installation 01 may just get the job done with its look at how visceral classic Halobattles can get.

Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know

 

It seems like only yesterday, or just over seven weeks ago, that we found out Destiny 2 would be coming to PC, shedding the original’s console-only shackles. On Thursday, Bungie revealed more details about the upcoming multi-player first-person shooter. A lot of it’s good, some of it’s not so good, and some of it’s downright surprising.

Here’s what PC gamers need to know about Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 will be a Battle.net exclusive

Say what? Yep. The PC edition will be available from Activision Blizzard-owned Battle.net, not Steam.

Bungie signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision so it makes a little sense to see Destiny 2 on Battle.net, but it’s still surprising. Until now the site was exclusively for Blizzard’s own games, with other Activision games such as Call of Duty appearing on platforms like Steam and the Windows Store.

Does Destiny 2‘s arrival on Battle.net herald the beginning of another rival to Steam or an Activision-wide version of EA’s Origin? Not according to Blizzard. The company says this is all about getting Destiny 2 out to the world as quickly as possible. Bungie can focus on making a great game (and spinning up game servers), while Blizzard takes care of the social and retail aspects. Sounds reasonable, but it’ll be interesting to see if any more non-Blizzard games show up on Battle.net over the next year or so.

Lots of PC-friendly features

This doesn’t sound like a half-assed port, as Bungie’s plans include a lot of PC-centric features, according to PC Gamer. That includes full keyboard and mouse support, custom keymapping, 4K and ultrawide resolution support, an uncapped framerate (consoles will be limited to 30 frames per second), and the ability to adjust the field of view–a blessing for anyone who suffers from FPS motion sickness.

No cross-save between PCs and console

It’s a rare feature anyway, but cross-play and cross-saving won’t be available with Destiny 2, as first reported by USGamer. With Microsoft playing up the Xbox Play Anywhere program and the popularity of Destiny among gamers of all stripes it’s a shame to hear Destiny 2 won’t break out of the usual silos.

Choose your platform carefully. This is a game that is best played with friends, and if all your friends are on Xbox while you’re on PC—well, you need better friends.destiny2big

No PC release date

As of now there isn’t a release date for PCs. The game will hit the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 8. The PC release date, meanwhile, is still not set and won’t be for at least a few more weeks, Bungie told PC Gamer. Bah.

Beta for all

On the plus side, there will be a beta for PC, but we’ll have to wait and see when that will happen. Will the PC beta roll out at the same time as the console beta, for example, or will we be waiting longer for that too? We don’t know yet.

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It’s time for PC game demos to make a comeback

 

I’ve been privately lamenting the lack of PC game demos lately. There was a time when demos were commonplace: a chunk of a brand new game you could try out for free before you bought the full game. Demos gave us a chance not only see what a game had to offer and whether or not we enjoyed it, but also allowed us to continually tweak the settings and try different graphics options to see how our PCs handled it. Plus, instead of waiting months for a sale to try the game without a lot of risk, you could play right when the game came out, while everyone else was still talking about it.

While I was at PDXCon this past weekend I spent a few minutes talking with Kim Nordstrom, former general manager of Swedish game company King and current leader of Paradox Interactive’s mobile initiative. We chatted about PC and mobile games, and especially about Introversion’s Prison Architect, which is making an unlikely appearance on mobile platforms with Paradox as the publisher. Nordstrom’s plan for Prison Architect provide a few lessons PC games could learn from with its unusual, almost shareware-era approach to pricing.

Mobility

Big, meaty mobile games have a challenge when it comes to sales. The roots of mobile are in free games, or exceedingly cheap ones: 99 cents, maybe a couple of dollars. Pricing a mobile game at $15 or $20 is a dubious prospect, which is why so many are free-to-play with microtransactions: get the game into players’ hands first, and try to get money out of them later. The issue is that ‘microtransaction’ has become something of a dirty word, and that’s mostly true on PC as well. While there are a number of great free-to-play games on PC like Dota 2 and League of Legends, there are scores more that have left us highly suspicious of the F2P model, with gated progress and gameplay designed around making you so damn impatient you’ll pay just to advance at a reasonable pace.Image result for It's time for PC game demos to make a comeback

On mobile, Prison Architect will cost around $15. That feels like a fair price for what you get—it’s a complex management simulation and a great gameone of my favorites from 2015—but Nordstrom knows simply plopping it on mobile stores with that price tag probably won’t fly. So it will be free to download, and unlocking the complete game lands somewhere between free-to-play and full-price.

“It’s not a free-to-play with microtransactions, nothing like that, it caps at $15 right now,” Nordstrom told me. “But we basically just made it so anyone can install it, and it’s a try before you buy.”

Nordstrom holds out his hands a few inches apart, then widens them as he describes how the game unlocks more content for those who purchase it in chunks. “And the game size is this big, we offer you this much for free, and then we’re very clear on if you pay whatever dollars, you get the sandbox, if you pay [more] you get the chapters, and if you pay the full price you get the full game.”

So, you get to play a portion of the game as much as you want for free, just like a PC demo. Inside the game itself there’s a store that lets you unlock the rest of the features at certain price points. While that sounds suspiciously like microtransactions, there’s a difference: the total amount you can spend is capped. You won’t be nickel-and-dimed forever. If you decide to spend money, you’ll know exactly how much, in advance, it will cost you, and once you’ve spent it, you’re done. You own everything, and you’re never prompted or even tempted to spend more.

The demo, man

As Tyler concluded recently, big-publisher games can cost a lot on PC, especially when you factor in their many special editions, and that along with having no way to try a game before buying it has kept me away from a lot of games in the past few years. With Steam refunds, you can play a game for two hours before returning it or deciding to keep it but as we pointed out recently with Prey, which had a console demo but irritatingly none on PC, that’s nothing like a proper demo at all. (The reason given by Prey’s co-creative director Raphael Colantonio was “It’s just a resource assignment thing. We couldn’t do a demo on both the console and on the PC, we had to choose.”)

Sometimes there are free weekends for games, which are great, but that’s usually well after launch (this weekend’s Rising Storm 2 beta excepted) and usually long after people are actively talking about the game and your friends are still playing it. I’ve never bought a game just for a pre-order bonus, because pre-purchasing isn’t a great idea and the bonuses aren’t much to speak of (what am I really going to do with a digital art book, besides either flip through it once and forget it, or completely forget to flip through it at all). And pre-orders don’t always include a discount, so there’s rarely any real reason to pre-purchase anything.

We do get a few demos nowadays—though most often they don’t arrive as a game is released, such as Dishonored 2’s demo which came months after launch—but we need more, and more games with something like Prison Architect’s mobile model. If Deus Ex: Mankind Divided had been downloadable for free on day one, with a nice chunk of it playable indefinitely (like Prison Architect’s mobile version), players who were undecided about purchasing it for $60 could have gotten a good long look at what it has to offer. It would have given players like me time to play with a selection of augs and try out different playstyles. And it would’ve provided us with a good chance tweak the settings to see how well the it ran on our PCs, something the two-hour Steam refund window simply doesn’t allow for (and really shouldn’t be used for anyway).

If a potential customer such as myself ultimately decides not to buy the rest, what does the publisher really lose? I know creating game demos means more work, and that it’s not as simple as cutting off a slice of the game and plopping it in a folder. But in addition to demos being beneficial to gamers, developers and publishers can gain valuable information from making free demos available. As Kim Nordstrom told me, there’s value not just in the sales a company makes but in having information about the sales they didn’t make.

“The problem is that we as a company, we would never learn if we [had] a $4.99 price point in a storefront, or even a $14.99, because we wouldn’t know,” Nordstrom said. “We would just know who bought it, [but] we wouldn’t know who didn’t [buy] it.”

Information on who didn’t buy your game is useful. How many people were interested enough to download it but were turned off by something in the opening hours? How many people were willing to pay some, but not all, of the full price? Plus, it could whet the appetite of some customers who would then buy later during a sale instead of simply forgetting about it. This strikes me as a net positive for both developers and players.

Even if people don’t buy Prison Architect on mobile after trying it for free, Nordstrom says, “…they’ll play the game and if they enjoy it they might get interested in the company, or the brand, or Introversion’s games, and such. And they might spread it in terms of [word of mouth], and some people say ‘Holy crap, this is a great game, I’m going to buy it.'”

For publishers and developers, demos put a game in front of more players on launch day, provides them with additional information on how their game is being played and received, and can increase interest in their games even if not everyone who tries them, buys them. They can even get more technical feedback if their game is having problems on launch day. For players, they’re given a chance to sample more new games, to properly try before they buy, and less incentive to abuse Steam’s refund policy or wait months for a sale. PC demos are good for everyone, and it’s time for them to make a comeback.

Tekken 7 PC Performance Review

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tekken 7 on PC is cheaper than it is on PS4 or Xbox One
  • Its graphical settings are barebones
  • Tekken 7 PC specifications are lenient

Tekken 7 is the first mainline entry in the long-running fighting game franchise to see a release on Windows PCs. With its debut on the PS1 in 1995, developer Bandai Namco has kept the PC gaming community waiting almost 22 years. Has the wait been worth it for PC gamers? We tell you everything you need to know about Tekken 7 on Windows.

Tekken 7 PC price

Unlike most new releases on Steam that have been priced similar to their console counterparts, Bandai Namco seems to have taken a more generous approach. Tekken 7 PC price for Indian gamers is Rs. 989, while the Tekken 7 PC Deluxe Edition costs Rs. 1,608. The latter comes with the base game, a new character called Eliza, and access to the game’s Season Pass that brings a host of cosmetic items. In the US, the game costs $50 for the standard edition and $75 for the deluxe edition. This makes Tekken 7 cheaper in India, especially when compared to Bandai Namco’s previous releases such as Dark Souls 3 and Tales of Berseria that were priced at Rs. 4,299 and Rs. 3,284 respectively.

 Tekken 7 PC Performance Review

Tekken 7 PC minimum system requirements

•CPU: Intel Core Intel Core i3-4160 @ 3.60GHz or equivalent
•GPU: GeForce GTX 660 or 750 Ti, or equivalent
•RAM: 6GB
•OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
•HDD: 60GB free space
•DirectX: Version 11

Tekken 7 PC recommended requirements

•CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz or equivalent
•GPU: GeForce GTX 1060, or equivalent, or higher
•RAM: 8GB •OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
•HDD: 60GB free space
•DirectX: Version 11

tekken 7 settings pc tekken_7_pc_review

Tekken 7 PC graphics options

It’ll be clear from the above-mentioned specifications that you don’t need the latest and greatest to run Tekken 7 on PC. Nonetheless, the level of customisation on offer isn’t that huge as recent releases such as the excellent Prey. As you can see from our screenshot of Tekken 7’s in-game settings, it seems to have the bare minimum you’d expect from a game on Steam. There’s nothing out of the ordinary and in some cases with just three options of anti-aliasing (off, low, and high); while the lack of support for the 21:9 aspect ratio being down right anaemic.

Tekken 7 PC frame rate and image quality

On our test PC consisting of an Intel core i5 3470 at 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB, obtaining a fluid 60 frames per second at 1920×1080 (1080p) was easily achieved at Ultra settings. Ramping it up to 3840×2160 (4K) we saw a consistent 45 to 47fps with minor dips to the high 30s when special moves were being executed. Be it fur on characters like Panda, or the coat on the game’s central character Jin Kazuma, Tekken 7 looks good enough with very little out of place. Even the stages, ranging from the icy almost desolate Arctic Snowfall to Arena – a vibrant octagonal ring complete with a vociferous audience are graphically superb. However, the level of detail and difference between Tekken 7 PC at 4K and 1080p wasn’t tremendous and we found ourselves reverting to 1080p for a consistent 60fps experience.

One crucial option that’s nestled in the display options and not the graphical settings is motion blur. Switching it off nets you additional frames. Useful if your gaming PC is on the lower side of Tekken 7’s PC requirements.

Tekken 7 PC controller support

We tried Tekken 7 with three different controllers and came back with mixed results. As you’d expect, the Xbox One controller worked fine, as it does with most PC games. Our PS4 controller, however, was not fully recognised. While button presses register, navigating with the use of the directional pad or analogue stick did not work. Surprisingly plugging in a Nacon Revolution Pro PS4 controller worked just fine. But much like most PC games, controls are displayed only for the Xbox One controller. This means you won’t see the familiar set of cross, triangle, circle, and square icons, only A, B, X, and Y. You’d think that with Steam supporting the Dual Shock 4 natively, more game creators would as well, but evidently this is not the case.

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Is Tekken 7 worth buying on PC?

Given how cheap the game is in India (starting at around $15), it would seem like a no-brainer purchase if you live in a country where Tekken 7 is more affordable than what it costs in the US (starting from $50). Having said that, there are some strings attached if you decide to get it on PC.

For one, if you’re the sort looking to play it competitively, most of the fighting game community is on the PS4. Granted there’s the Tekken World Tour Mode that has events for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC but given how Street Fighter V and Killer Instinct have fared – it appears that the console version of fighting games tend to outlast their PC equivalent.

If you’re not a pro player, there are some other disadvantages. VR mode is exclusive to the PS4 and Xbox One owners get Tekken 6 free with purchasing Tekken 7. There’s no sort of uniqueness tied to the PC version of the game in terms of content. It doesn’t help matters that Tekken 7 on day one does not have Survival or Battle Modes, two well-received inclusions from previous games.

With threadbare customisation options, a lack of content, and questionable controller support, Tekken 7 PC’s price and performance are the only things it has going for it, making it feel like the best and worst version of the game at the same time. The lower price alone could be enough for many. If you’re a little more discerning though, you might want to give Tekken 7 on PC a miss.

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Vanquish PC review – Platinum port

 

There must be many gamers nowadays that associate Sega only with PC strategy games, a fate that would have seemed inconceivable during the heyday of the Mega Drive. It’s not as if most of those strategy games aren’t very good, but they’re as different as it’s possible to be from the arcade style games Sega was originally known for. Vanquish though is like being back in the good old days.

Recently there’s been whispers that Sega may be planning to start making new games in its old style, although we’ve had that false hope before. But they are definitely taking a renewed interest in their back catalogue at the moment, and after Bayonetta this is the second PlatinumGames title in as many months to be ported to the PC. And ported extremely well too.Game review: Vanquish on PC is another Platinum classic

Vanquish was originally released in 2010 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, part of a five-game publishing deal with Sega that included MadWorld, Bayonetta, Anarchy Reigns, and DS title Infinite Space. Vanquish is a third person shooter directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and shows clear influences from both Resident Evil 4 and the now almost forgotten P.N.03. Vanquish itself is barely any better known amongst most mainstream gamers, but hopefully that will change with this new PC version.

Game review: Vanquish on PC is another Platinum classic

Vanquish’s rather tepid plot involves a resurgent Russia taking over a U.S. space station and microwaving San Francisco. You play the game as DARPA agent Sam Gideon, accompanying a group of marines trying to stop any more cities going the way of the ready meal. Storytelling has never been Platinum’s strong point though, and while everyone’s gruff-voiced seriousness almost seems like parody you quickly realise the plot and characters really are as one-note as they appear.

The real star though is not Sam, but his high-tech suit – which makes him look like a slimline Master Chief. But it does far more than just protect him from stray bullets and make him look cool in screenshots. For a start, there are rockets in the boots and arms which allow you to skid along the floor at high speed, zipping into cover in an instant or passing between the legs of larger enemies to shoot at them from behind.

The rockets are powered by a quickly recharging energy bar, which also powers the suit’s enhanced melee attack and the game’s core gimmick: bullet time. Not, it may seem, a very inspired feature but no game has ever exploited the concept quite like this. The slow motion effect is initiated in one of two ways, the first being automatic if you are severely injured – giving you just enough time to get to cover or deal with whoever’s attacking you.

The second method is manual, but only works when you perform a roll or dodge. Vaunting over the top of a barricade, turning on the effect, and then scoring three headshots before Sam’s feet have even hit the floor is a very special feeling, and has still never been bettered by any other shooter.

Vanquish (PC) - short but sweet
Vanquish (PC) – short but sweet

There is a cover system, but you’re gently discouraged from relying on it, as you can’t use the bullet time effect when simply ducking up and down. The game is actually very good at encouraging you to use the full range of your abilities at all times, with levels and enemies proving almost impossible if you try to play the game as a bog standard shooter.

There’s great variety in the weapons too, from a simple assault rifle and rocket launcher to a lock-on laser and a gun that fires bubbles of energy through obstacles. We were a little disappointed by the lack of bosses though, which is usually Platinum’s forte. Especially as the one in all the trailers turns up multiple times and most other encounters lack a similar gravitas.

But that’s a rare fault in what is an otherwise superbly crafted campaign mode. The real problem is simply that it’s unlikely to last you more than five or six hours. What’s there is perfectly designed, but there’s very little visual variety, and once you get a hang of the mechanics it’s not particularly difficult on normal difficulty.

There’s also very little else to the game. Higher difficultly modes of course, and some unlockable challenge levels, but nothing like the variety of extras in Bayonetta. There’s also no multiplayer.

 

The best free PC games

 

‘Free-to-play’ has become a bit of a dirty word in gaming, mostly associated with rubbish smartphone apps and microtransactions designed to manipulate players into spending far more than they word on any other game.

Free games aren’t all bad though, and there are plenty that are worth a lot more than their non-existent price tag might suggest. Some still include microtransactions, while others are 100 percent free; some need to be installed, but there are plenty you can just play from within your browser.

These are our favourite free-to-play timewasters when we’re on a desktop, but we’re sure we’ve missed a few – let us know your favourites in the comments. And make sure to check out our favourite Android games – plenty of them are free too.

Dota 2

Described by the creators as a “competitive game of action and strategy,” Dota 2 is a hugely popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game that originated from the WarCraft III mod ‘DOTA’ (Defence of the Ancients).

In fact, the game maintains the title of having the biggest e-sports prize of any game on the planet, with ‘The International 6’ featuring a prize pool of a whopping $20 million.

The idea behind the game is pretty simple: players pick a hero and battle it out against the other team, and using tactical gameplay, bring down the enemy base. There are over one hundred heroes available and every hero has a variety of skills and abilities.

When combined with the skills of your teammates characters, the gameplay can be quite unexpected and ensures that no two games are ever alike.

Free to play and available for download via Steam.

League of Legends

Another hugely popular MOBA that’s free to play is League of Legends, a game that boasts a worldwide tournaments that fill arenas including Wembley with fans, and offer prizes in the millions.

The game is described by its developers as a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of an RTS with RPG elements.” Two teams comprised of five players battle head-to-head across various battlefields and game modes, with the aim of destroying the enemy Nexus (which is pretty heavily protected as you might imagine).

However, the game isn’t over when the opposing team is wiped out – instead, players must think strategically to destroy the various inhibitors positioned throughout the map with the aim of wiping out the enemy Nexus. The inhibitors are protected by turrets which are best handled when you use minions to take the flack (top tip there), and if you attack a nearby Champion the turret will automatically focus on you.

There’s also a huge focus on customisation, as players are able to fully customise their champions to suit their style of gameplay – players can enhance their armour, magic resistance and health to take on the role of a tank, for example. It’s a game, like many other MOBAs, that won’t take long to learn but will take years to master.

Those interested in playing can sign up for free right here.

Spaceplan

If free-to-play games in general get a bad rep, then no genre is regarded worse than the ‘clicker’. These simple games encourage minimum player interaction, maximum wait times, and are ruthless in their use of microtransactions.

Except Spaceplan.

This whimsical browser title (later expanded into more comprehensive app versions) sees you as an astronaut in orbit around a mysterious planet. With most of your systems damaged, the only thing you can do is click to build up power, repair your solar panels to generate more power automatically, and create potatoes.

Yup, that’s right. Potatoes. You’ll use them to build potato probes to explore the planet, potato satellites to map out the system (Spudnik, geddit?) and eventually just start lobbing potatoes into the Sun.

Along the way you’re treated to a minimalist electronic score, hilarious writing, and not a single request for money.

The original browser game is still available entirely for free, but if you’re a fan you can pick up the massively expanded version for PC, iOS, or Android.

Play Spaceplan for free now.

World of Tanks

World of Tanks is a popular MMO (massively multiplayer online) game featuring early to mid-20th Century fighting vehicles. Players find themselves browsing a selection of armoured vehicles before being dropped into an epic battle on a random map.

The player has complete control over the movement of the vehicle, as well as its weaponry, and players are able communicate with team mate via both text and voice chat. The aim of the game is, basically, to wipe out the other team or capture a base (though this isn’t present in every game mode).

You’ll find six types of battle in World of Tanks; random battles, team-training battles, tank-company battles, team battles, stronghold battles and special battles. Random battles also offer missions which, if completed, reward the player with credits, higher crew experience coefficients, or new vehicles.

Though the game is free to play, players can opt to pay for the use of ‘premium’ features (like additional tanks).

The game is free to play, and can be played here (once you sign up).

Warframe

Warframe is a free-to-play third person shooter with co-operative capabilities, developed by Digital Extremes (and also available on PS4 and Xbox One).

Players are dropped into the virtual world as members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors (or space ninjas as we refer to them) at war with the Grineer, the Corpus, and the Infested.

The player characters are equipped with exo-armour called ‘Warframes’ and together with teams of up to four, the aim is to work together and complete missions. Missions vary from having to wipe out enemies to hacking terminals to retrieve data and even assassinating high ranking targets.

Players are equipped with three weapons; a primary weapon (rifle, shotgun, etc), a secondary weapon (usually a pistol but players can also opt for bladed weapons), and a melee weapon (again, bladed weapons including swords and axes).

Each piece of equipment can be upgraded, and these upgrades are usually found on the bodies of defeated enemies but can also be found by completing challenges and missions.

Warframe is free to play, and is available to download via Steam.

QWOP

QWOP is super hard, super funny and super addictive. In this classic browser-based game you are Qwop, your small nation’s sole representative at the Olympic Games. It’s like an old-school athletics SIM in that you have to use the QWOP keys to move your athlete’s legs.

It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. And with around 30 million users around the globe it’s pretty popular. With justification.

Play QWOP via your browser here.

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 is a hugely popular first person shooter developed by the creators of Steam, Valve. Though the game came out way back in 2007, it still receives regular updates to this day and is in fact the second most popular free-to-play game available on Steam right now.

The game is focused around two teams battling it out to achieve their primary objective, which is defined by game mode you’re playing.

If you think it’s simple, you’d be mistaken – players have a choice of nine character classes, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and weapons, which when coupled with the three weapons available to each character, makes gameplay a little hectic.

And that’s without mentioning that Team Fortress 2 features 16v16 matches that can be pretty intense, especially at first. The good thing is that whenever you reach a level/mission you’ve never played before, you’re shown a video on how to complete its objectives.

Team Fortress 2 is available to download via Steam.

Bejeweled Blitz

We couldn’t have any sort of list of free games without including the Bejeweled franchise, for franchise it now is. Bejeweled Blitz, one of the more popular games in the series, is easily playable via Facebook, but you will find others.

In all the objective is to swap one gem with an adjacent gem to form a horizontal or vertical chain of three or more gems of the same colour. Bonus points are given when chains of more than three identical gems are formed and when two chains are formed in one swap.

Gems disappear when chains are formed and gems fall from the top to fill in gaps. Sometimes chain reactions, called cascades, are triggered, where chains are formed by the falling gems. Cascades are awarded with bonus points.

But really all you need to know is that swapping gems and making them disappear is simple, repetitive and a lot of satisfying fun.

Play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

For those looking for something slightly different, we offer Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Hearthstone is an online collectible card game developed by Blizzard, creators of World of Warcraft.

Released back in 2014, the game is available to play on Windows, OS X, iOS and Android devices with cross-platform capabilities and progress syncing. This means that you can play on your PC, then carry on where you left off on your iPad while battling an opponent using a Mac.

The game is, essentially, a digital collectible card game that revolves around turn-based matches, with a variety of game modes. While players start the game with a collection of basic cards, players can come across rarer and more powerful cards by purchasing packs of cards, as well as a reward for completing various Arena runs.

Unlike with other playing card games, your opponent has no influence over your action during your turns – which is a huge plus – although your foe can play cards that’ll automatically respond to your actions.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is available to download via the Hearthstone website.

Marvel Heroes 2016

Marvel Heroes 2016 is another free-to-play MMORPG where players can take control of various characters from the Marvel universe (players can unlock the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Deadpool and Wolverine) and play in an open world environment.

Players need not spend money to access the full game, although micro-transactions are available for those that want to spend some (real) money. There are hundreds of missions and activities available to take part in, with a main plot revolving around the villainous Doctor Doom.

As your character gains levels, they gain stat increases which help them obtain power points, which can be used to define the character’s abilities. Each character has three ‘power trees’ focusing on specific mechanics or gameplay style, such as Iron Man’s shields or Deadpool’s guns, for example.

Players also have access to a crafting system that allows them to upgrade gear and costumes, craft consumables and artifacts – and if all that seems boring, there’s a bit of PvP action too.

Marvel Heroes 2016 is available to download via Steam, and is also available for Mac.

Tribes Ascend

Tribes Ascend is a free-to-play first person shooter developed by Hi-Rez Studios and is available exclusively for Windows gamers.

The game features a class-based loadout system a la Battlefield, with each loadout offering different combinations of armour, weapons and items. Players can change loadouts when first joining a game, as well as when they respawn and when at an inventory station.

Like many games, Tribes Ascend features a level system but it isn’t based on performance, but instead is based on time spent on the game.

Interestingly, Hi-Rez haulted development back in 2013, and then released a new patch, the appropriately named “Out of the Blue” patch, on 10 December 2015. The patch brought with it dramatic changes to the underlying game, and hopefully symbolises a new era for the three-year-old game.

Tribes: Ascend is available to download from the Hi-Rez Studios website.

Threes!

The great thing about playing Threes! online is that you can play even faster with keyboard arrows than you can on your phone. The aim of the game is to build numbers up, which is certainly no easy feat.

You’ll start with some low tiles like 1s and 2s, which you can slide in any direction (but not diagonally). When a 1 and a 2 touch, they combine to form a 3. After that, you join tiles of the same number to form multiples of 3: two 3s make a 6, two 6s make a 12, and so on.

As you move your tiles, even if you don’t manage to merge any in that move, new ones can appear on the grid. Run out of space and it’ll be game over.

The original app for Threes! proved so popular that countless clones appeared, including the arguably better known 2048, but we reckon you should support the original – which you can also grab on iOS or Android.

Play Threes! online here.

Agar.io

Agar.io is incredibly simple to play, and is one of the most satisfying browser-based online games you’ll play.

You start off as a tiny cell, and by absorbing cells (both NPC and players) smaller than you, you gain size and become more of a threat to those around you.

When combined with mechanics that’ll let you split in two or shoot off excess cells (to help speed yourself up), you’re left with a game that’s can be both simple to play, yet incredibly strategic. Plus, XP and reward systems will make you come back time and time again.

 

Rockstar Games, Take Two seem to back off of PC game modders

 

Earlier this month, Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two angered the PC gaming community after sending a cease and desist letter to the developers of the OpenIV modding tool. OpenIV allowed people to create modifications for GTA IV and GTA V single player, but according to its creators, the letter said their tool could “allow third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two’s rights.” Facing the threat of legal action, they announced on June 14th that they would stop distributing OpenIV.

Now, after revolt by players including a campaign of bad ratings for the GTA games on Steam and a Change.org petition with over 77,000 signatures, Rockstar Games may have worked out a solution. A post on its support forum today said that Take Two has agreed that it will “generally” not take legal action against third party projects as long as they meet certain guidelines.

After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project.

While it went out of its way to say that this is not a waiver, and “is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization,” it may be enough for modders to breathe easy. Rockstar representatives have told PC Gamer and Motherboard that it is in contact with the makers of OpenIV, apparently to try to prevent people from using it to affect the GTA Online multiplayer. There’s no word from the team yet, but today the tool received an updated build.

 

$4 million in refunds doesn’t worry developer of PC survival game ‘Rust’

 

Imagine a $4 million loss sliding off your back like it’s no big deal. Well, Rust developer Garry Newman doesn’t have to imagine it at all.

All told, Facepunch Studios gave out $4 million in refunds — which is only 6 percent of the total sales Rust has made since its soft launch release on Steam’s Early Access platform three and a half years ago, according to an interview Newman did with PCGamesN.

 

The whole point of Rust is to survive its world, and you’re not given a lot of tools to help you do that. Here’s how the game is described on its website:

Rust’s world is harsh. The environment is not kind. Bears and wolves will chase and kill you. Falling from a height will kill you. Being exposed to radiation for an extended period will kill you. Starving will kill you. Being cold will kill you. Other players can find you, kill you, and take your stuff.

It’s not exactly the most forthcoming game and — like a lot of other world-building, player-driven PC games like DayZ — it can have a fairly steep learning curve.

So Newman isn’t exactly surprised that a lot of people didn’t get his game and asked for a refund in the name of a lack of fun. It’s not for everyone.

 

10 great PC games you may have missed in 2017

Now that we’ve taken a peek at the best PC games of 2017—so far, at least—it’s time for our other biannual tradition: Rounding up some of the top PC games of 2017 that might have escaped your notice. The smaller indie titles, the B-games, the ones that slipped between the cracks here at the site and maybe slipped through the cracks in your Steam library too. New PC game releases are a dime a dozen these days, after all.origin steam games

Some of these games have flaws, some are definitely suited for a niche audience, but they’re all interesting—and ultimately that’s what makes PC gaming itself interesting. All of these games can coexist on the platform. We’re living in a golden age for games. We’re spoiled for choice.

And here are 10 games that prove it—everything from a modern Where’s Waldo to a Monty-Pythonesque point-and-click to a sci-fi detective story, and more.