The PC Buyer's Guide

Poor PC gaming.

There was a new operating system roll-out and it was completely ignored. The biggest launch in entertainment history included a game on the PC that played like a console title.

But that doesn't mean there weren't games worth picking up for your computer. Here's a run down of a few of those that we reviewed. Which would you suggest?

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Price: $US29.99 Rating: Mature Genre: First-person shooter Subject Matter: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a Civil War era first-person shooter. Value: With an engaging story, wide open maps and plenty of mulitplayer options, this game will take up quite a bit of your time. Buy it for: First-person shooter enthusiasts, fans of the Wild West and Civil War buffs. Read the Full Review

Dawn of War II

Price: $US40 Rating: T Genre: The Waging Of Endless War Subject Matter: Control a handful of Space Marines against the worst the Orcs and Tyranids can throw against you, your men and the Immortal Emperor. Value: Fairly lengthy singleplayer campaign is bolstered significantly by a handy, and more traditional multiplayer component. Buy it for: Warhammer fans who wanted Dawn of War to be more intimate, and anyone who likes a bit of RPG in their RTS. Read the Full Review

Dragon Age: Origins

Price: $US39.99 Rating:Mature Genre: Roleplaying Subject Matter: An epic action roleplaying game set in a world besieged by evil inside and out. Value: Dragon Age: Origins packs more than 100 hours of gameplay into this action RPG, with branching story paths that encourage multiple play throughs in order to experience it all. BioWare designed the game so it can be played by RPG gamers of any skill level, but mature content and strong sexual situations mean you might want to keep it in the high teens. Buy it for: Anyone who has ever conversationally mentioned hit points. Read the Full Review

Empire: Total War

Price: $US40 Rating: T Genre: 18th-Century Musket Drill Subject Matter: Take control of a European, American or Indian power of the 18th century and control every aspect of their military machine across both a strategic campaign map and tactical RTS battles. Value: Even a single campaign play-through will take weeks. And there are dozens of available factions across three continents. It'll last for years. Buy it for: Anyone who loves strategy, history or the smell of grapeshot in the morning. Read the Full Review

Fallout 3: Broken Steel

Price: $US10 (Requires a copy of Fallout 3) Rating: M Genre: Post-apocalyptic role-playing game Subject Matter: Fallout 3 expansion involving missions with a high-powered fighting force. Value: High because it extends the level cap to Fallout 3, changes the game's ending and allows the adventure to be played infinitely once the story has "ended" Buy it for: Fallout 3 fans who want to play more; essential for anyone getting any Fallout 3 downloadable content Read the Full Review

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

Price: $US10.00 (Requires a copy of Fallout 3) Rating: Mature Genre: Still a post-apocalyptic RPG Subject Matter: It's Fallout 3 in space! Value: Mothership Zeta gives the Fallout 3 player an entire spaceship to explore and make their own, some futuristic new weapons, and tacks a good five hours onto the regular campaign, making it a relatively fair value for your money. Buy it for: Fallout 3 fans. Read the Full Review

Fallout 3: Point Lookout

Price: $US10 (Requires a copy of Fallout 3) Rating: M Genre: Post-apocalyptic role-playing game Subject Matter: Fallout 3 in microcosm, set on a spooky island. Value: Tons of content, and widely seen as the Fallout 3 downloadable content that best shares the strengths of the base game. Buy it for: Fallout 3 fans. Read the Full Review

League of Legends

Price: Free to $US30 Rating: Teen Genre: Real-time strategy Subject Matter: Once a spin-off of famously fun Warcraft III, League of Legends is a simplified, highly-addictive strategy game of warriors, magic and monsters. Value: The free-to-play game only charges if you want to pay for upgrades or to lock in your favourite characters. A fantastic deal for what you get. Buy it for: people who enjoy strategy gaming and fans of games like Warcraft III. Read the Full Review

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station

Price: $US5 (requires a copy of Mass Effect) Rating: M Genre: Bonus missions for third-person shooter/role-playing game Subject Matter: Mass Effect gets a battle simulator to allow goal-based shooting challenges. Value: High for those looking for something new in the original Mass Effect while awaiting the January sequel; low for people looking for what made the first game popular. Buy it for: Mass Effect completists, though you'll only be able to buy them download points for this game or give them a small check. Read the Full Review

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Price: $US39.99 Rating: Mature Genre: Realistic military first-person shooter Subject Matter: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is a relatively open-world tactical shooter that has players trying to take the fictional island of Skira from China. Value: Plagued with problems this shooter doesn't deliver much for the premium price you pay. Buy it for: hardcore fans of realistic shooters that offer no chance for mistakes or do-overs. Read the Full Review


Price: $US19.99 Rating: Teen Genre: Action RPG Subject Matter: One of the most blatant Diablo clones ever created. Value: Torchlight is one of the most blatant Diablo clones ever created, but it's also one of the most capable. There's a main quest with a good 10 hours of gameplay, with multiple side quests, random dungeons, and three different character classes, so the replay value is through the roof. For the price, Torchlight's value is downright amazing. Buy it for: Diablo fans waiting for Blizzard to get the next installment out Read the Full Review


Price: $US49.99 Rating: Mature Genre: First-Person Shooter Subject Matter: World War II First-Person Shooter with Occult Tendencies Value: While Wolfenstein is an excellent first-person shooter from a technical standpoint, the story is a bit far-fetched and the multiplayer is disappointing, especially in the face of games like Modern Warfare 2. Buy it for: First-person shooter fans looking for a little something different. Read the Full Review

Zuma's Revenge

Price: $US19.95 Rating: E Genre: Puzzle Subject Matter: A color-matching, marble-shooting game for people with fast mouse reflexes. Value: A massive amount of content compared to the original Zuma; the first playthrough of the game's main campaign levels alone lasts more than six hours. Buy it for: mums who need a new obsession for their PC; hardcore gamers who want an addictive diversion they wouldn't admit has hooked them. Read the Full Review


    I finished Torchlight in 5.5 hours on easy difficulty. Doing as many quests as I could find.

      Just imagine how you'd feel if you paid 4x as much for Modern Warfare 2, and still finished it in less time!

        and you finished it on veteran difficulty in 5.6 (nrly there haha)

    Why is Dragon Rising here...its just about as bad as fact it was toned down alot just so that console players could play it.

    Arma 2 should take its place instead. the rest are ok though.

      Agreed on ARMA II, much better game than of2 was, but hey, each to their own.

      Its not all doom and gloom for PC gaming, its just a cool niche little side industry now not the driving force of videogames.

      We still got Valve and Blizzard though, and I'll be honest, if I could pick two devs in the world to play their games till the end of time it would probably be those two.

      Even with the whole Activision..... thing.

        PFFT you missed Bioware one of the few places still making RPG's in preference to MMO's but i guess that could all change soon enough aswell

        blizzards alright they take 10 yrs to release stuff tho :( so once the put out starcraft 2( i dont care theres 3 parts spread out over how ever long its one game and diablo) we wont see much till 2020 :(

    This is a woeful list of PC titles. Where is Batman (91/100 on metacritic), Borderlands (82/100 on metacritic), L4D2(89 on metacritic), Machinarium(85/100 on metacritic), Modern Warfare2(85/100 on metacritic). This is games released since September.

    Instead you chose Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (78/100), three bits of DLC (albeit good), Wolfenstein (74/100), Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (76/100), and the dreadful Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station (48/100).

    Why did you opt for such a mix list full of great titles like dragon age and Dawn of War II then put in Call of Juarez and Pinnacle station?

      It's an odd list, to be sure. But they have weird tastes over there in the US.

      Stay tuned for my own personal games of the year list in December.

        I hope you actually include AAA titles.

      100% agree with you there Ben, apart from DOW II and Dragon age, this list is meh at best. Also, Zuma's revenge? Please.

      As well as what Ben has noted, some other good recent releases that PC veterans would appreciate are Serious Sam HD, the Tales of Monkey Island episodes and Tropico 3.

      Note to Kotaku:
      It's obvious that Brian is not a big fan of PC games (especially with the opening statement), so why would you have him write this article?

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