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.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (PC)
A third-person action game set in a fantasy world inspired by Celtic mythology. Title was developed by the British studio Ninja Theory, known for Enslaved, Heavenly Sword, and DMC: Devil May Cry. In the game we traverse a dark, mythical world, full of references to popular stories, characters, and monsters born in the imagination of the Celts. Protagonist of the game is a female warrior named Senua, who embarks on a dangerous journey to the land of the dead. As you might have guessed, during her journey, the heroine faces scores of dangerous enemies, with which she usually deals using a sword. Using a variety of combos and special abilities, Senua makes her way to the destination of her journey. Although a fully independent production, Hellblade features high-level visuals, and the gameplay mechanic brings several innovations to the slasher genre, in which the developers from Ninja Theory had become specialized over the years.
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PC)
An online shooter with elements of survival, focusing on a Battle Royale type of competition (the last man standing wins). Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds is a game from the developers of TERA MMO and the creator of Battle Royale mods for Arma II and Arma III. The rules of the game are simple: a large number of players are put together in a big closed location with only one mission – to eliminate everyone else. A game ends when there is only one player left alive. Participants start off completely unarmed, so the first phase is basically a race for the best weapon. Players can make use of various kinds of traps, and the game offers much freedom when it comes to choosing the methods of eliminating enemies. An extra help for that comes from a simple crafting system, which lets you construct items from gathered resources. Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds’ fast-paced gameplay is further increased by the fact that the map is gradually getting smaller, making confrontations between players more frequent.
No Man's Sky (PC)
A science-fiction, sandbox action game with a focus on multiplayer mode. It was created by Hello Games, company known for the colorful arcade production Joe Danger. The game is set in the distant future in the yet uncharted parts of the cosmos, and the gameplay is presented in two forms. We explore the successive corners of the universe piloting a spacecraft, like we do in typical space-sim productions. Upon landing on a newly discovered planet, the game switches to first-person view. The authors emphasize the complete freedom given to the player during exploration. While visiting places featuring different animals, plants, or even varying composition of the planet's atmosphere, we can focus on exploration, acquisition of raw materials, or the combat against various predators. An important element of the game is the system of procedural generation of worlds, which creates their virtually every element, from the smallest features of the surface to the entire star systems and galaxies.
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.
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.
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).
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.
First-person psychological horror from Polish development studio Bloober Team, known best for another horror game, entitled Layers of Fear. Observer is set in a cyberpunk universe, in Cracow of 2048. In the game you play as Daniel Lazarski (starred by Rutger Hauer, known from the film Blade Runner), a detective able to hack into people’s minds. The game’s story starts when the main hero gets a letter from his missing son, who turns out to be a high-ranking engineer working for a powerful corporation. The protagonist picks up an investigation that takes him to the slums of Cracow and forces him to relive dark memories and nightmares of both criminals and their victims. When it comes to gameplay, Observer is a first-person adventure game with survival horror mechanics. Most of the time the player explores grim locations and interacts with characters encountered on the way. An important aspect of gameplay are sequences in which the protagonist hacks into minds of suspects and becomes part of their worst nightmares.
Mass Effect: Andromeda (PC)
The fourth part of the hugely popular action RPG game series in a space-opera setting. BioWare Montreal, the development studio that helped create the two previous installments took the reins of Mass Effect: Andromeda's development. The game's story is not associated with the trilogy about Commander Shepard's fight against the Reapers, offering instead a completely separate plot featuring new characters and locations. Using the proven pattern, the creators of Mass Effect: Andromeda put the focus on a spectacular TPP action experience and moral choices that have a direct impact on the course of events. The technical side of the game is based on the third-generation Frostbite engine, providing high-quality audiovisuals.
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 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 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.
The Escapists 2 (PC)
A sequel to the 2015 game by Mouldy Toof which was a unique arcade 2D platformer with elements of logic and RPG productions. In The Escapist 2, the players assume the role of inmates locked up in heavily-guarded prisons, and their task is to work out the security system and to escape. To do so, we have to look for allies and items that can be crafted into useful tools while pretending that we tend to our usual prison routines. Compared to the original, the game features a myriad of enhancements such as new ways of spending spare time, a modified combat system, a possibility of creating previously unavailable items, and new ways of escaping. One of the biggest novelties is the introduction of a drop in/drop out multiplayer mode in which up to four players can play on a split screen or over the Internet.
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.
Gothic II (PC)
A direct sequel to the 2001's bestselling RPG developed by Piranha Bytes. The sequel continues the story of the original game set in Myrtana, where good and evil forces are constantly fighting each other. This time, the Nameless Hero faces the Army of Darkness led by dragons, creatures summoned by the main antagonist of the original game, a demon known as Sleeper. In order to recover and restore his skills, the protagonist has to join one of the three main factions and find lord Hagen, a man whose help is crucial for the victory over the forces of evil. In comparison to the original game, the story in Gothic II is set in a substantially larger and more diverse environment. As for the story itself, it is less linear and features a set of additional quests given by members of different guilds. There are plenty of new weapons, equipment, and monsters to be dealt with. What is more, both the graphics and artificial intelligence of NPCs were greatly improved.
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.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
A new installment in the bestselling series of action games. The game expands the ideas introduced in the third entry in the franchise, released in 2001. The game was developed by the authors of the previous installments who, after having been bought by the American giant, were transformed into Rockstar North. The game takes place in the 80's in a completely new metropolis called Vice City. The player becomes Tommy Vercetti, who was sent by his boss to establish a foothold in the city while taking care of the local gangs and corrupted police. The game has similar mechanics to its predecessor and focuses mostly on completing various non-linear story missions. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City added some new features, such as the possibility to use motorcycles and helicopters. The graphics, inspired by aesthetics of the 80's, were greatly improved as well. During the game, the player is accompanied by a varied soundtrack broadcast by several different radio stations.
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.
A survival horror game with a top down view. Darkwood is the first commercial project of a Polish studio, Acid Wizard, and its development has been backed up by users voting on the Steam Greenlight platform. The game takes place in a procedurally generated open world, with the player placed in the role of a character trying to survive the confrontations with supernatural beings without losing his sanity in the eponymous dark wood. During a day, the protagonist must find or construct items, which will help him fend off evil entities at night. The gameplay is relatively difficult, combining features of an action game, adventure game, and a cRPG. Simple, two-dimensional visuals are dominated by semidarkness and dark shapes, and the terrifying atmosphere is further bolstered with disturbing audio.
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.
The Witcher (PC)
An action RPG developed by CD Projekt RED and based on the series of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The story of the game is set in 1270, five years after the Northern War. After losing his memory, Geralt somehow returns to the Witcher keep Kaer Morhen. The stronghold soon gets ambushed by a group known as the Salamander... While in pursuit of the attackers, our protagonist becomes entangled in an intricate plot involving the Order of the Flaming Rose. In the course of our quest we visit a number of locations and encounter several characters known from the books. The developers created a sizable world that reacts dynamically to the actions of the main character. On the technical side, The Witcher uses a completely rebuilt version of Aurora Engine.
Far Cry Primal (PC)
A spin-off to the first person open world action game series launched by Ubisoft in 2004. Far Cry Primal strands significantly from the previous entries in the franchise, taking us back in time to the year circa 10 thousand B.C. We play as hunter named Trakkar, whose tribe has been slaughtered and who find himself in the dangerous land of Oros, where humans are nothing more than prey for prehistoric beasts. One of the most important features of the game is survival; we explore the world while completing quests, hunting various creatures, crafting useful items and learning new skills. Unlike in the main installments in the series, our hero obviously won’t find any guns in his inventory - only primitive weapons like spears, clubs, and bows. The lack of vehicles is compensated by the possibility of riding different animals.