THE 20 BEST PC GAMES OF 2016

Below are the highest-scoring computer games released between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Games are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding, and any titles with fewer than 7 reviews from professional critics are excluded.

download (26).jpg

The best the PC had to offer in 2016 made us tread through history and hell, simultaneously at times. These games also painted colorful worlds to explore, which were most graphically impressive on the PC. We’re talking frenetic first-person shooters and intricate strategy games, games meant to be played on a keyboard and mouse.

Doom was a pleasant and ferocious surprise to us all. Expectations were tepid due its struggles in production and a lukewarm multiplayer beta, but the game came back from the depths of development hell to take us on a trip through its savage world. Doom’s single-player campaign straps us in for a wild rollercoaster ride. It’s fast, frantic, and devilishly atmospheric. Every weapon packs a punch and every demon is vicious. Shooting and movement is incredibly smooth. Levels have an element of verticality, which leaves room for exploration and a hunt for rewards and collectibles.

It revels in the simplicity of classic run-and-gun gameplay, but adds modern touches like weapon modifications and upgrade paths for abilities. Glory kills for health and chainsaw kills for ammo add a strategic layer to combat. Doom went all-in on the hyper-stylized, over-the-top, self-aware attitude and it hit the mark.

the 20 pc game for 2017

No Caption Provided
Civilization is one of gaming’s marquee strategy franchises, and this year PC gamers were granted another amazing entry into the series. Civilization VI retains its underlying 4X strategy formula, but enriches its mechanics and systems. Unstacking cities adds nuance to turn-by-turn planning by making players carefully consider the placement of assets and account for terrain. Diplomacy is better implemented, and could be used to exchange luxury goods to keep citizens happy and establish trade routes to enrich everyone involved.

The Civics research tree — which now runs parallel to the Technologies tree — adds deeper options for players seeking Cultural victories. The sheer variety of win conditions in Civilization VI empowers players to pursue different play styles without being put at an inherent disadvantage. The AI leaves more to be desired, but Civilization VI truly shines when playing online. All these tweaks refined the strategy experience which already had a strong foundation. It’s arguably the most complete base Civilization game to date.

While other shooters in 2016 went to the future, Battlefield 1 returned to a dark and grim era of the past. The single-player campaign, War Stories, handles the weight of World War I with respect. The Great War is portrayed through vignettes of historical fiction and gives players insight to its brutality, scale, and effect on human lives.

The detailed ambient sound design paired with explosions and gunfire capture a gruesome atmosphere that complements its bleak, beautifully destructive environments and jaw-dropping visual fidelity.
Battlefield has been and always will be about large-scale multiplayer, though. Battlefield 1 highlights historical battles in its variety of maps. Operations mode, similar to Rush mode of past Battlefields, evokes team coordination and an element of push-and-pull in the tide of war. The World War I backdrop lends itself well to variation in ground and air combat and the game’s improved progression systems offer players a strong reason to come back.

Instead of defending Earth from an alien invasion, XCOM 2 offers a narrative twist. Humankind is fighting for survival after being occupied by the Advent, the alien organization occupying Earth. The theme of desperation is set from the start.

XCOM 2 tests players to rethink what it means to play a strategy game. Its asymmetric style of battles fit the feel of guerrilla warfare. You’re forced to think steps ahead and become resourceful. If decisions on the field don’t pan out in your favor, be prepared to retreat. You can’t win every fight. You’ll lose soldiers and lose territories, but how you learn from failure makes XCOM 2 a truly unique experience. It’s all wrapped into a cohesive, fun, and rewarding package that is an outstanding addition to one of the PC’s most acclaimed franchises.
Overwatch is a precisely crafted class-based team shooter. Each hero was made with tremendous thought and detail, not only in their aesthetic but in their in-game abilities as well. The game is designed to encourage teamwork and thoughtful team composition, and it eases players into these elements in the most helpful way possible. From on-screen prompts to easily recognizable character animations and sound design, players always know what’s happening.

No Caption Provided
Players have to think critically and band together to push for victory, though. Your team’s success in a match is contingent upon the ability to recognize which characters warrant the ever-changing situations. Timing your hero’s ultimate ability at the most opportune time can make the difference in winning or losing.

Constant updates and a stream of new content keep the game fresh. Overwatch is another stunning example of how Blizzard makes its games. Whether you like Overwatch or not, there’s no denying it caused a paradigm shift in multiplayer gaming.

BLOCK THIS! 3.0 ANDROID AD BLOCKER

The Android ad blocker and I.
Hi! My name is Sava Georgiev and I’m a developer and security researcher living in Munich, Germany.

 

By 2015 – ads, viruses, malware, key loggers, tracking cookies, spam, phishing and porn make more than 80% of the content on the Internet. Web pages are loading slower than they used to 5 years ago and it is really starting to feel like the good content on the web is getting buried deeper and deeper with one purpose only – making money off of us by selling our personal data, hacking our credit cards and pestering us with ads everywhere to the point where the only thing you see now is advertisements. I started the development of “Block This” in June 2015 as I was hoping to reduce all the junk we have to deal with on the Internet – at least on our mobile phones as a start.

download-23

ad blocker 3.0

In order achieve this quite ambitious goal I had to get out of the box of traditional ad blockers for Android and go one step further. So I came to the idea to incorporate an old and forgotten approach for blocking internet requests – blocking by DNS.

In July 2015 I set up our first highly scalable DNS (Domain Name Server). My initial tests were quite good – the blacklist worked perfectly, battery consumption was very low compared to standard android ad blockers using hosts files, but what surprised me the most was the huge reduction in data traffic and battery consumption. Browsing speed for many websites improved by more than 100%.

What is DNS?
Under the hood, in order to find where stuff is, the Internet works the so called IP addresses. For example, the ip address for this website is: 172.245.209.248. As this is hard for humans to remember, and it would be a pain to enter those numbers in our browser as URL, we refer to websites by their Domain names (e.g. “block-this.com”). This creates the need of a central registry where all domain names and addresses are kept. Domain Name Servers (DNS) are the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book. They maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. For every request, your browser uses a DNS to find the correct IP address and to be able to download and render the website onto your screen.

Having that in mind, take a look at the workflow introduced by Block This DNS below.

You begin navigating to a website with your Android device.
You enter the name of the website (e.g. https://block-this.com) into your browser.
The browser makes a DNS request for the IP address of the machine that serves up this website.
The DNS request is received by an Block This DNS server.
Block This DNS looks up the matching filtering and security settings.
If the website IS NOT in the blacklist, Block This DNS returns the IP address (e.g. 172.245.209.248).
If the website IS in the blacklist, Block This DNS the local loop back address (127.0.0.1).
Your browser receives the IP address and attempts to render the page on your screen.
If the address it received is 127.0.0.1, the browser stops rendering immediately and shows blank screen, otherwise continues to render normally.
While rendering, the browser makes additional DNS requests to Block This DNS in order to load the ads, images, videos and other resources on that web page.
The additional DNS requests are received by an Block This DNS server and depending if they are in the blacklist or not, they start rendering too.
If all of the requests to ads and other malware were in the blacklist of Block This DNS servers, you get a nice looking web and secure web page with 0 ads and no viruses. In most cases this also prevents tracking and safeguards your personal information.
By not loading any of the ads, malware and tracking, you the rendering of the web page finishes much faster, saving you data traffic and battery.
But why the VPN then?
The only problem with this approach is, that for Android there are strict rules about who and how DNS can be changed. Normally changing the DNS directly needs ROOT access (i.e. your android device to be rooted). In order to work around this issue, “Block This” for Android creates, what I call a local VPN (Virtual Private Network) and all of your apps/browser traffic is routed through this VPN. This VPN is carefully configured to only modify the DNS settings of your network, while preserving your internet speed and not sending out any traffic to external VPN servers.