Grand Theft Auto V (PC)
The fifth major installment in the massively popular action game series developed by Rockstar North in cooperation with Take Two Interactive. Grand Theft Auto V is set in a fictional city of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles). The story revolves around adventures of three characters: Michael De Santa, Trevor Philips, and Franklin Clinton, men infamous for brushing up against the law. The game’s creators stayed true to the franchise tradition of sandbox gameplay model, giving players an unparalleled freedom of choice when it comes to completing missions and moving around the virtual city. The game's budget amounted to 360 million dollars, a record number for a video game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC)
An action RPG and the third chapter of the adventures of a morally unambiguous monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia. As were the parts of the cycle, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s literary works, while not being a direct adaptation of any of his books. The story picks up after the events of the previous game and focuses on several plotlines, including Geralt’s lost love, invasion of the Nilfgaard Empire on the Northern Kingdoms, as well as the eponymous, spectral hunt. The gameplay is characterized by a sandbox style, giving players much freedom in exploring the vast world (an area more than 40 times bigger than in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings) and completing hundreds of side quests. The developers from CD Projekt RED introduced many new features, including a new REDengine3 that offers excellent audiovisual quality.
Get Even (PC)
An FPS created by Polish developer The Farm 51, mainly known for the NecrovisioN franchise and the latest installment in the Painkiller series. The game tells a story of a man whose profession involves tying up loose ends for governments and influential persons. The protagonist’s situation complicates when one of his potential victims decides to fight back. The story is presented from the twin perspectives of the two rivaling characters. As you play, you learn the story through exploration and interaction with the environment. Get Even stands out with its innovative graphics based on 3D scans of real-life locations, making it almost literally photorealistic. Additionally, the game features an interesting combination of single and multiplayer gameplay – at any moment another player can join the fight taking the role of characters normally controlled by AI.
Garry’s Mod (PC)
A commercial version of one of the most popular Source engine based mods, created in 2004 by Garry Newman. It lacks any sort of plotline or clearly defined objectives and is a pure sandbox game, employing the unique features of Source and laws of physics, simulated by Havok company’s software. Thanks to that we can single-handedly create any kind of map we want and play on them by ourselves or with other players in unique game modes. Garry’s Mod also allows you to use models, weapons, characters, and skins from any game powered by the aforementioned engine (e.g. Half-Life 2, Counter Strike: Source, or Left 4 Dead), and the only condition is having them in your Steam library. Production is fully compatible with Steam Workshop, allowing the players to share their works with other users.
Life is Strange (PC)
An episodic adventure game created by the developers of Remember Me, a French studio DONTNOD. The game bears a resemblance to Telltale Games titles. Its protagonist is a 12th grade student named Max Caulfield, who returns to her home town in Oregon after years of absence. Together with her old friend she tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of her schoolmate, which launches a series of strange events. The story is the essential part for the game, whereas gameplay mechanics are based on the well-proven formula employed by Telltale, which combines free exploration and tough choices with non-obvious consequences. An interesting addition to the gameplay is the fact that Max possesses the power to manipulate time, allowing you to experience another version of events without having to restart an entire episode. On the technical side, the game is well-designed and well-executed, featuring expressive, slightly cartoonish graphics.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 (PC)
A sequel to the popular truck simulation game. Just like its predecessor from 2008, the game was developed by Czech developer SCS Software. Euro Truck Simulator 2 lets you play as a truck driver and owner of a delivery company. The core gameplay has you transport cargo between towns and cities. The game’s map comprises of a large part of Europe, and features a significant number of cities you can visit. The money you earn doing jobs lets you purchase new trucks or customize the ones you already own. Euro Truck Simulator 2 sports attractive visuals and realistic driving model, which takes into account not only well-researched real-life physics, but also the current road conditions.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)
A heroic action RPG and the fifth main installment in the popular The Elder Scrolls franchise. Bethesda Softworks once again takes the players to the fantasy continent of Tamriel. The plot of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set 200 years after the events depicted in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The main character is the last of the Dragonborn (Dovahkiin), a human (or a member of one of the several other available races) able to wield the powerful magic of dragons. With the arrival of the last Dragonborn, an old prophecy heralding the return of Alduin - the dragon god of destruction - is set into motion. The game combines elements of dynamic action with Bethesda-style cRPG, featuring a complex system of character development and a vast, open world. High quality visuals in the game are generated by the Creation Engine, Bethesda's original graphic engine.
The Sims 4 (PC)
The fourth installment in the best-selling life simulation series – The Sims. The Sims 4 was developed by Maxis Studios, also known for SimCity and Spore. The player, once again, controls the lifes of a virtual family. Character editor lets you set not only alter the physical appearance of each Sim, but also define their personality, character, and goals. Your main task is to provide for the needs of your Sims – starting with a place to sleep and regular meals and including their intellectual development as well as professional career. As compared to previous games in the franchise, The Sims 4 offers much more developed social options, letting you interact with other players (e.g. share houses and throw parties together).
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)
The seventh installment in the controversial Grand Theft Auto series – one of the most popular game franchises in history that brought Rockstar Games company international fame. The series has been letting the player start as a petty criminal and work his way to the top of the criminal underground. This next part of the series is the biggest one so far, featuring world – the State of San Andreas – almost three times larger than Vice City. Among many innovations, there are several thing worthy of mention: improved AI of civilians, option to recruit gang members, increased number of interactive buildings, hunger factor, swimming, and new means of transportation (e.g. bicycles). On top of that, there game features numerous extra activities, highlighting the sandbox character of gameplay. The game features the atmosphere of the 1990s, apparent in both the graphics and the soundtrack available via the numerous in-game radio stations.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (PC)
The second expansion to action-RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt created by CD Projekt RED. This time we accompany Geralt during his stay in Touissant – one of few countries in The Witcher’s universe still untouched by war. However, under the veil of carefree idyll the city hides a dark, bloody secret. Investigating the mystery is another task for the White Wolf. Just like in the first expansion, new content does not end with new missions. The add-on also features new items, characters, and monsters. According to the developers’ estimate, Blood and Wine offers over 20 hours of gameplay.
A sandbox game that defies classification, developed by the independent Mojang AB studio. Minecraft has been developed with the intention of unleashing the creativity of players, who can freely change the game's virtual world made from voxels (cubic blocks). The gameplay concentrates on terrain transformations, building structures, crafting items, and creating your own adventures. The game consists of two modes: a classic one, which allows for unending experience, and survival, in which we have to prepare to fend off monster assaults at night. In addition to single player, Minecraft also offers online multiplayer. The game from Mojang AB is distinguished by its unique retro visuals.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC)
The next installment in a cult online fist person shooter series, which originated in the early 2000's as a Half-Life modification. This game was created by Valve Corporation, who purchased the rights to the massively popular mod and later developed its commercial editions. The core gameplay is built upon competition between two teams of players: terrorists and counter-terrorists. Eliminating opponents is rewarded with cash, which can be spent on new gear and weapons. There are four main game modes: Arm Race, Demolition, and two tournament varieties. The authors did not try to revolutionize the classic gameplay mechanics, mostly focusing on visual improvements to match modern standards. Most of the in-game maps are based on the original ones, and most of the changes relate do weaponry.
ARK: Survival Evolved (PC)
A sandbox survival simulator set in an open world, which draws inspiration from productions such as DayZ. Unlike in the aforementioned title, this time we fight against powerful prehistoric creature instead of zombies. The game is the debut of an independent studio called Wildcard, founded by a former employee of Microsoft Game Studios. The player begins the game defenseless and naked on an unidentified island, and his or her task is to survive in this new, harsh environment. In order to do that, we must hunt and gather various raw materials which will be used to create the much needed weapons and tools. One of the most fun aspects of ARK: Survival Evolved are the meticulously depicted creatures – the game features more than 60 species of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. Since the title features o multiplayer experience, meeting other players in the game world will happen and, depending on their attitude, we can fight them or establish valuable alliances.
Battlefield 1 (PC)
Another full-fledged installment in one of the most popular series of war shooters played from the first-person view and developed since 2002, as the effect of cooperation between Electronic Arts and DICE. With its flamboyant title, Battlefield 1 introduces the series to the realities of the First World War. The story campaign depicts this global conflict through the eyes of several independent characters, who participate in twentieth-century's first modern military conflict. When it comes to the gameplay itself, the game reaches back to the roots of the franchise, offering larger, open maps and giving a great deal of freedom when it comes to approaching different objectives. Simultaneously, the single-player mechanics were significantly modified, in order for these to resemble the specifics of the multiplayer mode, which allows even up to 64 players to meet in one session. The new time period does not bring only the adequate weaponry and vehicles (planes, tanks, warships), but also makes it necessary to apply a different approach to combat - for instance, battles have become more brutal and a greater emphasis was placed on melee combat.
Farming Simulator 17 (PC)
Farming Simulator 17 is another installment in the series of simulators of farm. This time, the game was published by Focus Home Interactive, but the development was still carried out by GIANTS Software, known from the previous parts of this series. The mechanics remain unchanged - the players become farmers, who need to take good care of their establishment. During the game, much attention has to be paid to the economic side of the management - the right equipment needs to be purchased, used for sawing, gathering crops, and moving the goods around. Traditionally, the player can control many different machines, all with official licenses from real manufacturers, and personally take care of various tasks in the field. The new installment obviously introduces some changes and novelties. Contrary to previous games, Farming Simulator 17 was released on PC, XONE and PS4 simultaneously.
Grand Theft Auto IV (PC)
The fourth installment in a best-selling action game franchise. The title was developed by Rockstar North Studios under the supervision of Chris Sawyer. The protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV is Niko Bellic, an immigrant from Eastern Europe who recently came to America, where he starts a career in the criminal underground. The sandbox gameplay model gives the player much freedom in exploration of Liberty City, a virtual metropolis, where you can move around using various vehicles (cars, motorbikes, and helicopters, among others). How the story unfolds depends on the player’s choices regarding order in which the missions are completed. Apart from single player gameplay, Grand Theft Auto IV offers online or LAN multiplayer for up to 32 people.
Forza Horizon 3 (PC)
The third installment in a series of open-world racing games developed by Playground and initiated in 2012 as a spin-off of the popular Forza Motorsport console franchise. In Forza Horizon 3, the player participates in another edition of the titular racing festival. However, apart from the role of a racer here, the player also co-organizes the fest. The game is set in Australia and the map is twice as large as it was in the second installment. As usual, the game stands out mainly with a massive number of licensed cars available (350 in total) and those were recreated with great attention to detail. The game offers newest, exclusive car models. such as Lamborghini Centenario, but also a wide set of off-road cars and various buggies. An opportunity to complete the campaign in a 4-player co-op mode is the largest new feature Forza Horizon 3 comes with.
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone (PC)
The first large expansion to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, developed by the creators of the original game, Polish studio CD Projekt RED. The add-on is set in No Man’s Land and the city of Oxenfurt, where Geralt the witcher gets entangled in a shadowy intrigue and encounters a mysterious Man of Glass. Hearts of Stone is more than a new subplot and missions, which provide for a dozen extra hours of gameplay - the players can also gain new useful items and meet interesting characters. Furthermore, the bestiary was expanded by a several previously unseen monsters.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (PC)
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
Far Cry 3 (PC)
The third installment in a popular first person shooter franchise. This game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal Studios in cooperation with Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Reflections, and Massive Entertainment. The protagonist of Far Cry 3 is Jason Brody, whose vacation unexpectedly turns into a fight for survival. Jason and his friends land on an island occupied by psychopathic pirates. He has to free his friends from the hands of the madmen and find a way back to civilization. As befits a purebred FPS, the gameplay is filled with shootouts, in which you use many different weapons. The game offers nearly complete freedom when it comes to exploration, combat tactics, and execution of various missions.
A fantasy action RPG developed by a debuting Piranha Bytes studio, founded by ex-employees of Greenwood Entertainment, a company that prospered in the 1990s. You take on a role of a nameless hero, who, with a group of others, gets incarcerated in a penal colony on Khorinis island. As it turns out, he is not a mere criminal, but a champion of gods who aim to clear the realm of evil forces lead by a mighty demon called The Sleeper. On his quest, the protagonist joins one of three camps and completes many tasks, encountering over 200 non-player characters and a few dozen types of monsters. As he earns experience, the nameless hero develops his skills and learns new abilities – both combat and magic. The game’s 3D graphics is powered by an proprietary engine called ZenGin.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC)
An action RPG game and the second chapter of the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. Similarly to its predecessor from 2007, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was developed by CD Projekt RED. The game follows the foiled plot to assassinate King Foltest. With the appearance of a mysterious man called Kingslayer the titular witcher becomes entangled in a complicated political intrigue, in which the fate of several kingdoms will be decided. The developers tried to faithfully recreate the world known from the literary works of Andrzej Sapkowski while enriching it with new elements. Great emphasis was put on moral choices leading to one of 16 possible endings, and on the completely rebuilt, dynamic combat system. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is distinguished by excellent visuals powered by the developer’s proprietary REDengine.
Scrap Mechanic (PC)
This is the debut production from Axolot Games. The game itself is a multiplayer-focused sandbox mechanic simulator featuring elements of survival. The player takes control of a mechanic sent to a fully automatized agricultural planet to fix and maintain the machines working there. As it soon turns out, the robots inhabiting the planet went insane and the protagonist's task is to make a good use of his knowledge of machines in order to survive the attacks of mechanical enemies. Scrap Mechanic offers two completely different game modes: survival and creative mode. The latter offers pure entertainment and allows us to build machines without having to bother ourselves with threats. The survival mode resembles games such as Rust or Hurtworld, focusing on exploration, resources gathering, building different machines for various purposes, fighting, and cooperating with other players.
DiRT 4 (PC)
Another installment in the popular series of racing games developed by Codemasters. The game expand the concepts its predecessors were based on, adding however, plenty of novelties at the same time. DiRT 4 offers over 50 cars and several kinds of championships - above all, rally events. Furthermore, the Landrush mode makes a re-appearance here, but also rallycross events were included, based on the FIA World Rallycross Championship license. The Joyride complements the game modes, offering various kinds of challenges for the player to enjoy. The Career is the most basic mode - the player creates their own driver, attracts sponsors and develops their team, which gradually gets more and more effective. Apart from that, the game brings a competition-based multiplayer component supervised by the RaceNet service, which makes it possible to organize on-line leagues and tournaments. What is completely new here, is the so-called "Your Stage", which is a special module that allows the player to create their own routes. DiRT 4 utilizes a modified and modernized version of the Ego engine, which is at the source of the game's high-quality visuals.