Our Top Picks From PC Gamer Weekender, Olympia London
Over the last weekend, we took a trip to ‘PC Gamer Weekender‘ at London’s Olympia to check out a bunch of new PC games coming for your entertainment over the next few months. Here are Geektown’s top picks from the games we played.
The idea of building a PC in a game on a PC may seem somewhat meta, but it’s surprisingly fun! ‘PC Building Simulator’ is still in alpha, so the demo they had running at the show didn’t allow you to do much other than building a PC, but it did give a good feel of how the game is progressing. The full game will have you running your own PC building and repair business allowing you to diagnosis and repair customers computers, and build amazing souped-up rigs. They have licensing deals in place with a number of real-world parts manufacturers, so the gear is all genuine. If you’re like me and have never built your own PC, it’s also a great way to learn the process too!
‘PC Building Simulator’ launches on Steam in Early Access from 27th March 2018, so if you’re into business sims, it’s worth checking out!
In ‘Candleman: The Complete Journey’ you play as a little sentient candle, who has to overcome puzzles and platforms and make his way out of the darkness. The game plays with light and shadow, and only gives you a limited amount of time where you can burn your wick to help see your way through the level. It’s a lovely game mechanic with beautifully rendered environments. If you’re into puzzle/platformers this one is well worth picking up.
I will preface this by saying I’m not really a shooter gamer, and most certainly not that into competitive shooters. However, this one had a rather unique feature which should make all you Twitch streamers out there take note. ‘DRG Initiative’ is a 3rd person team combat shooter, focused on pure competitive play, set in purpose built arenas. I had a quick play through at the show, and it all seemed fine and “shootery”, but then I don’t really have a lot to compare it to. However, the thing that really got me excited was the “Gameshow Host” mode.
It’s possible for one person to act as a sort of “games master” whilst streaming the game to Twitch. This not only gives you access to all the player’s camera feeds, you also have camera bots which are physically in the game and float around the arena. The fact they are there and not invisible cameras opens up some interesting possibilities. Don’t want the camera following you? Throw an EMP grenade at it to knock it out. Need a better vantage point as a sniper? Jump on top of the camera bot and ride it around. The game is still in development at the moment, but these are features being considered by the developers right now. The “GM” also has control of certain areas of the arena too. They can drop down previously inaccessible walkways or open doors. They can drop loot to help players, or even put loot drops to a vote on Twitch, so viewers can decide which team gets the goodies. And if they want to speed up a game, they can fire a decreasing “net” around the arena, making it smaller, forcing the players together to fight.
‘DRG Initiative’ is currently in Early Access on Steam, but if you are a Twitch streamer or competitive gamer, I urge you to check it out!
Given we counted at least 3 different Warhammer games at the show, it was inevitable at least one would be on the list. ‘Warhammer: Vermintide 2’ is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Vermintide. If you’ve not played the first game, it’s a first-person co-op “slaughter-fest” of epic proportions. You take control of one of 5 heroes battling against swarms of Chaos and Skaven armies determined to crush you into mush. It has 15 career paths, talent trees, a wide variety of implements of destruction, and a brand new Heroic Deeds System, which alters the enemy composition, level settings, weapon use and mission objectives. It’s wonderfully joyous destruction, so if you like to relax by swinging a massive hammer into the face of your enemies, this game is for you!
‘Warhammer: Vermintide 2’ preorder Beta opens on 28th February, and you can find the game here on Steam.
This for us was the game of the show. ‘Empires Apart’ is an old-school style of medieval Real Time Strategy game. If you loved things like ‘Age of Empires’, but get a bit frustrated with the old clunky UI or setting up multiplayer matches, this game is well worth a look.
You play as one of 6 uniquely designed factions – Aztecs, Chinese, French, Mongols, Arabs or Byzantines – and can play and fight with up to 7 opponents in ranked matches and lobbies. They can either be real people in ranked matches and lobbies or if you prefer solo play, you can take on the AI instead. Like any RTS, you collect resources such as Food, Wood, Gold and Stone, and use them to build up your military and expand your town/base, as you prepare to crush your enemies.
There are 6 unique challenges for each civilization. Each race has its own unique gameplay and 2 heroes characters. The maps are procedurally generated so unique every time, and the graphics are beautifully rendered in a low poly stylised look. It’s stunning. It’s classic RTS gameplay very much developed with the gamer in mind. DESTINYbit, the company behind the game, actually streamed the development to Twitch twice a week, allowing viewers to have input into the direction of the game.
If you are a fan of those old school RTS games, ‘Empires Apart’ is definitely something you need to buy. They are still handing out beta keys on their website, but the full game will be released via Steam on 29th March 2018.