The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming
Welcome to a new weekly feature in which we cup the week that was and ask it to cough gently. Here you’ll find the PC Gamer team reflecting on the best and worst moments of the past seven days. On this page you’ll find the good stuff. After which, it is quite literally all downhill…
Tim Clark: Having thus far avoided becoming a Hearthstoner – is that a thing? Can I make it a thing? – the news that Blizzard’s card battler has abruptly come out of beta means now feels like the right time to commit. If only because there are likely to be plenty of equally dewy-eyed marks on the servers to test my clumsy deck building on. The mix of deep strategy with the randomness of rare card acquisition means it already feels dangerously likely to pull my OCD levers/ravage my bank account. Damn you Blizzard. Damn you all to goblin Vegas hell.
Andy Kelly: I’ve been using the Oculus Rift a lot this week, and a highlight has been exploring familiar places from film and TV. In Jerry’s Place I wandered around Seinfeld’s apartment from the classic sitcom. In another I looked around the boiler room from Spirited Away’s bathhouse. This needs to be a whole genre. There’s something incredibly surreal, and brilliant, about ‘being in’ places you know so well from the screen. If someone makes an explorable Twin Peaks, I’ll never take the Rift off.
Tom Senior: My highlight of the week has been watching Andy explore the future. We're on adjacent desks, and I can tell you that the future involves a lot of waving and sudden exclamations of "shit!". Earlier today he was manipulating glittering clouds with is hands using the Leap Motion controller. This week he braved the drizzle of Euro Truck Simulator in virtual reality, and hosted a stream of curious colleagues from various magazines at his desk. Based on careful observation, there seems to be a point whenever anyone tries the Rift for the first time when, pursuing some virtual item only they can see, they stare at their groin and declare "WOW". The future is brilliant. Andy will bring you more revelations from 2015 and beyond every week in The Rift Report, and this week we've published a series of articles on the future of PC gaming, which is looking very bright indeed, and quite weird.
Samuel Roberts: The BAFTA games ceremony was a nice affair, despite so few PC games actually winning an award. It was more about the spread of nominees, for me, seeing Gunpoint and The Stanley Parable receiving equal attention to a project as colossal as GTA V. That sort of mainstream publicity for these games is never a bad thing.
Phil Savage: It's the last full week of Guild Wars 2's Living World: a more than year-long saga of fortnightly content releases. It's not always been brilliant – with many of the earlier releases padding out their content with rare drops and repetitive churn – but the game's been left much stronger than it started. It's clear that ArenaNet now have a better understanding of the type of scenarios that make for an engaging and social challenge. Their last four releases have taken the game's traditional world events, and expanded them out to fill entire zones. The Living World ends on some of the most exciting experiences I've had with the game. All that said, if I never see another steampunk pirate it will be too soon.
Chris Thursten: Discovering Titanfall's capture the flag mode has been the highlight of my week. It's the best way to play the game, and I'm baffled that it hasn't received much attention prior to release. Actually, I'm not baffled. CTF is sometimes considered to be a bit old fashioned and unsexy, and I think that's terribly wrong. CTF is very sexy. It's sexy because it creates strategic space for titans and freerunning to be used in considered ways. It's sexy because it demands teamwork. This should be the way Titanfall is played competitively, and I'd love to see it attract an eSports following. It's just a shame that the game's lack of community features will make that less likely to happen.