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PC Gamer Issue 123

ISSUE: 123Content

10th Anniversary Issue


  • Call of Duty: United Offensive - A preview look at the first expansion pack for the original Call of Duty.
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows - The PC Gamer crew visits Ion Storm for a glimpse at the upcoming third game in the Thief franchise.
  • Inside Gaming: EverQuest II - Editor Rob Smith gets to see the sequel to the biggest (at the time) MMORPG on the planet, and returns suitably blown away by...voice-overs.
  • HANDS-ON - Chuck Osborn fulfills a lifetime of nerd fantasies thanks to the City of Heroes beta, William Harms dives into a preview build of the Thrones and Patriots expansion for Rise of Nations, then Harms tackles an early port of True Crime: Streets of L.A. and comes away thinking it could be a lot of fun.
  • Ten Years of PC Gamer Magazine - What did it take to keep the publication running for a full decade? This 14-page feature offers a year-by-year look at the best and worst things the editors experienced while bringing the magazine to newsstands month after month. Includes some fine 'where are they now?' profiles of former staff, points out interesting articles and viewpoints, and showcases the specs for what was considered a top of the line rig as time moved on.  This is an absolute gem for anyone interested in the magazine's history.
  • Guild Wars - Three former Blizzard employees head up the roll-out of this subscription-fee-free persistent-world MMO, and editor Rob Smith couldn't be more thrilled.
  • This issue includes a gigantic fold-out poster containing the cover artwork for every issue up to that point on the front (and a massive ad for Call of Duty on the back; thanks, Activision...).


  • Letters - Having awarded Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic their award for 'Game of the Year', the staff is excited to see most people agree with them. There are also calls to boycott LucasArts due to multiple game cancellations, some gripes about campers in FPS games, pedantry over whether Han destroyed the probe droid in ESB vs. it self-destructing, and the usual complaints about reviewers praising games (Rise of Nations) that others don't feel deserve the love. It's every letter column in every gaming magazine ever, basically.
  • Eyewitness - America's Army's getting its own Special Forces update, Kuma\War is ready to let you stalk Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida as well as engage in other military endeavours mere weeks after they occur with its special downloadable content, a group of amateurs create Starsiege 2845 as a total conversion mod for Tribes: Vengeance (with Vivendi Universal's blessing!), and the Xfire software gives gamers everywhere the ability to chat while fragging.
  • The Hard Stuff - New notebook computers from Dell and Voodoo, the MX 510 mouse, and the Twister Ultra all get reviewed. But wait, there's more! Specs and hardware lists for rigging up your own low-, mid-, and dream-level computers! A Q&A section filled with priceless hardware info! Greg "The Vede" Vederman has it all in this column.
  • Strategy - None other than Epic's own CliffyB shares his tips for total domination in Unreal Tournament 2004.
  • Extended Play - Epic Studios offered up a million reasons to "Make Something Unreal" using their Unreal Engine. Dan Morris looks at the five first-phase champions: Jungle WarfareJupiter Effect: InfluxConquest MarinesFaceoff, and Deathball.
  • Desktop General - William R. Trotter takes a break from gaming to tout the new bi-monthly publication 'Armchair General'.
  • Sim Column - Andy Mahood tests the new Voice Buddy add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, which results in a marital spat with his wife almost immediately.
  • Alternative Lives - Editor Desslock reflects on the rough prospects facing Dungeons & Dragons properties making the transition into the digital realm.
  • Killing Box - How and why Doom took over Chuck Osborn's life, and is about to do so again with the pending release of Doom 3.
  • Backspace - Former editor-in-chief Gary Whitta fills us in on what he's been up to since leaving the EiC position in 1999. Surprisingly, it involves a lot of writing. Including for a little game called Duke Nukem Forever. Hmmm...


  • Alien Blast: The Encounter (45%)
  • Breed (75%)
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts (61%)
  • Coliseum (37%)
  • Echelon: Wind Warriors (79%)
  • Fair Strike (61%)
  • Firestarter (48%)
  • Horizons (56%)
  • Jack the Ripper (61%)
  • Joan of Arc (49%)
  • Midnight Nowhere (13%)
  • School Tycoon (53%)
  • Secret Service: Security Breach (55%)
  • Two Thrones (50%)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (76%)
  • World War I: The Great War (58%)
  • Worms 3D (70%)

On The CD:

  • Painkiller (demo)
  • Gangland (demo)
  • Beyond Divinity (demo)
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 (demo)

Ads (In Order of Appearance):

  • FarCry
  • Alienware systems
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows
  • FarCry (again)
  • U.S. Army
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
  • Ragnarok Online
  • Rise of Nations (via Wal-Mart)
  • Battlefield: Vietnam
  • Lineage II
  • Syberia II
  • True Crime: Streets of L.A.
  • Dell XPS Gaming PCs
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire
  • Rise of Nations (no Wal-Mart)
  • City of Heroes
  • ZT Pro Computer Systems
  • Beyond Divinity
  • Magic the Gathering: Darksteel expansion
  • University of Advancing Technology (UAT) courses
  • Newegg online store
  • ProStar gaming laptops
  • PC Gamer subscription cards
  • Half-Life 2 + ATI Radeon graphics cards
  • Maximum PC 2004 Dream Machine Tour Live
  • Game Developer magazine
  • Full Sail school
  • Academy of Art College
  • Manhunt
  • Hitman Contracts
  • Call of Duty (back of poster)

Notable Stuff:

  • The Dryad's in-game model on page 17 leaves very little to the imagination. Yum! :-9
  • Seeing the specs for "top end" hardware changing throughout the "Ten Years of PC Gamer" feature is especially amusing, given that even the highest-end PC from 2004 would be considered horribly underpowered by today's standards.
  • The Letter from the Editor offers a prize to the first person to identify which movie a particular quote came from. In this case, the line is, "Boy, you've got a panty on your head," but the actual line from the film Raising Arizona is, "Son, you've got a panty on your head." Nice try, guys.
  • That 13% rating for Midnight Nowhere has to be one of the lowest grades ever doled out in the magazine. Ouch!
  • Considering that Blizzard's own World of Warcraft beats Guild Wars to market by nearly a year and proceeds to utterly dominate the MMO scene while raking in millions of dollars from that point on, I wonder if any of the three ex-Blizzard devs behind Guild Wars wish they had stayed at their old jobs.
  • 'Armchair General' had a fabulous 11-year print run, and back-issues of it are still available today via for those interested.

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    Title: PC Gamer Issue 123
    Month: May
    Year: 2004
    Publisher: Future US
    Country: United States
    Language: English
    Votes: 0

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