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Monday, September 17, 2012

This Week in PC Gaming: September 17th

The other day I had the idea to start a regular column that highlights PC game releases each week. I'll be working mostly from the IGN and Gamespy release date listings and Steam's "Coming Soon" tab on the Store page. This won't be a comprehensive list--you could probably spend all week scouring the 'net for small indie releases and foreign imports--but I'll try to cover most of the major stuff.

This week gives us new installments from several popular franchises. The games feature loot-mongering action in addition to planes, trains, and automobiles.

Borderlands 2 - Tuesday, September 18th - $59.99

Gearbox releases the sequel to 2009's Borderlands on Tuesday. The game is a mash-up of a bunch of different genres: the combat of an FPS, the questing and character advancement of an RPG, and the randomly-generated loot of a Diablo-esque action game. Borderlands 2 supports four-player co-op gameplay, and from what I've heard this is where the first game really excelled. The game includes four new player characters and promises improved AI and weapon customization.

F1 2012 - Tuesday, September 18th - $49.99

As you could probably guess, F1 2012 is the sequel to F1 2011, which was the sequel to F1 2010. The game is published by Codemasters, who also published Racedriver GRID and the DiRT games. F1 2012 updates the tracks and team rosters of last year's game and introduces a couple of new gameplay modes.

I played a little bit of F1 2011 and felt a little lost. I don't really follow Formula 1 and I don't know much about the motorsport; there's a little bit of a knowledge and terminology barrier that I found difficult to overcome in last year's title. One of the new game modes this year is a "Young Driver Test" mode that acts as a tutorial, so hopefully that will help.

Torchlight II - Thursday, September 20th - $19.99

Torchlight II is the sequel to the original Torchlight from 2009. The game's publisher is Runic Games, a company that includes some former Blizzard North employees who had a hand in the original Diablo games. The original game followed in Diablo's footsteps and included randomly-generated dungeons with monsters that dropped randomly-generated loot. Torchlight II takes the experience a step further and adds the multiplayer co-op support that the first game lacked.

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