The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Tim Clark at

Each week PC Gamer probes the previous seven days to scientifically establish what rocked our world and made us despair for its very future. As usual, we begin with the good stuff…

THE HIGHS

Cory Banks: This one’s easy: the high point of my week was getting Peter ‘Durante’ Thoman to evaluate the technology behind From Software’s Dark Souls 2 PC version. We’re talking about the guy who single-handedly saved Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition from itself, restoring the kinds of features we PC gamers expect from our games. His technical analysis is astounding in part because of how simple it is: he breaks down the state of the game’s engine so easily that you don’t need a degree in quantum videocard design to understand how improved it is.

That Durante’s analysis is just one part of our two-week crusade to give you everything you need to know
about Dark Souls 2 is, really, just so freakin’ great. Expect much more soon, including Durante's tweak guide to getting the game looking as good as it possibly can be.

Evan Lahti:PAX East was splendid. We held a stimulating panel (video archived here) on the future of PC gaming where I got to interrogate Palmer Luckey and Chris Roberts. I fell in love with a new roguelike, and Cory fell in love with a new Capybara game. Cory and Tyler also got to try Evolve for the first time, which they were quite impressed by. And almost two-thousand people came to our party, which featured The Crystal Method.

My favorite part about it, though, was realizing that being accompanied by a camera makes it socially appropriate for me to just go up and talk to other PC gamers.

Tim Clark: Sam Roberts, our UK editor, and I were discussing this week how one of the best things about working on PC Gamer is there’s never a drought. There’s always so much interesting stuff happening, that the hard part is deciding what not to cover. I love being able to write about AAA behemoths one minute and weird indie curios the next. No surprise, though, that it’s so much easier to deal direct with smaller studios. Easily my highlight this week was speaking to Hinterland Games’ Raphael van Lierop about The Long Dark. You can read about his game’s so-pretty-it-hurts vision for the end of the world here. After our Skype call I bugged him to listen to Farewell Trasmission by Songs: Ohia on the basis that it ends with Jason Molina (RIP) howling “long dark blues!” Safe to say that’s not how the Call Of Duty dev interviews tend to go these days.

Wes Fenlon:Civilization: Beyond Earth is almost certainly going to be the game to drag me into the Civilization series. I've long preferred real-time strategy to turn-based—I couldn't tell you how many hours I've poured into Command & Conquer, Red Alert 2, and Warcraft 2 over the years—but recently Total War and Endless Space have given me the 4X bug. And there's just something special about space as a strategy setting. It suggests endless possibility, an entire galaxy to explore instead of a single planet. Of course, that's also a little intimidating. I can already see weeks of my life slipping away as I brush up on my history with Galactic Civilizations and Alpha Centauri.