5 PC games to play instead of Destiny

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Many of us know that Destiny is out tomorrow, and that it’s arguably the biggest first person shooter ever made… it certainly has the biggest budget. But PC gamers haven’t been invited to the party as it’s out for just about every other platform but theirs, and are probably feeling a little left out.

But never fear, if there is one thing that PC gaming offers it’s plenty of alternatives. So here are five games that you can enjoy in September that aren’t Destiny, but which are also good fun and worth playing in their own right:

Metro Redux

Release date: 27th August on Steam, 9th September at retail
Price: $24.99 each on Steam, $49.98 for both

Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light were both excellent games, in all ways possible, but they were especially good-looking and offered very unconventional story lines set in a compelling, believable post-apocalypse Russia.

The developer decided to remaster the series for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One and re-release both games under the Redux banner, and if you haven’t yet played either one, now is the time to do it. What were good graphics are now amazing, and both Reduxes come with every bit of downloadable content released for the series to date.

Each game minus extras will take you around ten hours to finish, too, and it will be time well spent. Who needs a multiplayer shoot-and-looter when you have such amazing single-player goodness to enjoy?

The Sims 4

Release date: 5th September on Origin and at retail
Price: From R599 on Origin

Yes, I know, this isn’t exactly on par with the amazeballness of Destiny, but The Sims 4 is shaping up to be a damn fine game in its own right based on my experiences with it over the weekend.

While it delivers on the same “virtual life simulator” premise of previous games, The Sims 4 has been refined to be a lot more organic, allowing your Sims to do more than one thing at a time and even respond dynamically to situations that inspire various emotions, or “moodlets” as the game calls them.

Walking in on other Sims in the loo, for instance, inspires an Embarassed “moodlet” to which they respond depending on their personalities. EA has completely redesigned the interface, too, and it’s genuinely more organised and lets players get to what they want quicker than before. Building new homes is particularly quick and easy now.

Plus, the game is absolutely huge, with a lot of neighbourhoods to build and play in, and the list of occupations, goods to buy and other Sims staples have likewise been overhauled. So if you’re not in the mood for shooting and want something a little more contemplative, The Sims 4 is a great choice.

Dead Rising 3

Release date: 5th September on Steam
Price: $49.99 on Steam

Ah, Dead Rising, the only zombie-bashing game series in the world that lets you craft murderous weapons from stuff that’s lying around with which to beat the zombie hordes to death, all while wearing a mankini, a sombrero and go go boots (or whatever else you happen to find lying around).

Despite maintaining its decidedly camp vibe, Dead Rising 3 is a lot grittier than the previous three games (including Off the Record) thanks to more realistic blood and guts, but it’s also bigger, badder and has more weapons, zombies, psychopaths and missions than ever.

It’s everything you love about DR1 and 2, expanded and wrapped in tastier graphics, with the added bonus of being able to build newer, more dangerous cars by combining the vehicles you’ll find strewn throughout the world.

You can even play it from beginning to end co-operatively with a friend, and potentially ignore all story missions in favour of riding street-sweeping trucks through crowds of zombies while dressed as a clown/a football player/a sports mascot for however long the thrill lasts.

If that doesn’t sound like fun, you might want to check your pulse because it may already be too late for you. Sure, the PC version could use a bit more polish and you may want to unlock the 30fps frame rate with this fix, but when it’s working properly no other zombie game is anywhere near as hilarious.

Ancient Space

Release Date: 23rd September
Price: $19.99 from Green Man Gaming ($17.99 if you pre-order)

You know what type of games consoles don’t get? Thoughtful, slow-paced space simulations that require a strategic mind to master and a mouse to control properly.

Ancient Space has snuck up on us, promising to deliver real-time starship combat in a similar vein to Homeworld and its sequel, but with its own brand of exploration and discovery the the developers say is “more akin to a NASA mission than Star Wars”. Sounds like heaven, then.

Success will require a combination of strategic cunning, manual dexterity and a deep understanding of three-dimensional space – exactly the kind of things that console controls just don’t encourage.

Destiny may be a nicely-built girl with a pretty face, but Ancient Space is a pretty girl who can kick your ass at chess while beating you at a philosophical discussion on whether national self-determination belongs to the ages-old practice of divide-and-conquer. Sexy.

Diablo III

Patch 2.1 release date: 26th August
Price: From R361 at online stores 

No, Diablo III isn’t a new game, technically speaking, but with patch 2.1 installed it plays like one. Blizzard has added some really awesome end-game content in the form of Greater Rifts that offer even more loot, a chance for treasure goblins to open a portal to their gold-laden realm when they die and an entirely new competitive game mode called Seasons. In short, even if you’ve finished Diablo III’s main game and expansion, there’s more to see and do in patch 2.1.

My favourite of the new additions is the portal that opens to The Vault, the treasure goblins’ home realm that’s almost literally dripping with gold. The chance for a portal to open on killing a treasure goblin is quite small, but when it happens you’ll be in heaven, picking up stacks of – quite literally – millions of gold coins at a time as you make your way to the Baroness of Greed, the realm’s boss who really needs to be seen to be believed.

Dave and I spent some time playing just after the patch came out and were lucky enough to open The Vault early on, and ended up taking home over 20 million gold pieces each from that single visit. What a win!

With games like these…

With games like these to keep PC gamers occupied, the sting of no Destiny is lessened somewhat. What games will you be playing while you wait for the inevitable announcement of Destiny’s port to PC?

[Image – Dead Rising 3]

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.

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