The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Star Waaars

Each Friday PC Gamer’s editors gather around the charred carcass of a once living being, and argue the best and worst of the week between mouthfuls.


Samuel Roberts: Maybe I’ll play some Star Wars games this weekend

We’re not a film site so I won’t dwell on today’s trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens (which you have already watched and wasn’t it fun?), but it’s inspired me to explore the movies’ extraordinarily varied legacy of PC software. I roughly break down the videogames of Star Wars into three key eras: the arcade-y stretch that ran until the early ‘90s, the X-Wing/Dark Forces-driven golden age that ran right up until Episode I came out and the far more mixed modern era that yielded mostly nonsense, but a few highlights like Battlefront and KOTOR. Put simply, that trailer made me want to destroy shit in a Millennium Falcon this weekend—so it’s going to have to be X-Wing: Alliance and a flight stick. But there’s loads of great Star Wars games on PC that I’m not even sure some people know are on PC. Did you know that the N64’s Rogue Squadron and Shadows of the Empire were quietly released on PC as well, for example? They’re rough by today’s standards, but the latter features my favourite interpretation of the Battle of Hoth and a brilliant two-stage boss fight with Boba Fett and Slave I involving a jet pack duel. Worth tracking down.

Shaun Prescott: Embracing busywork in Dragon Age: Inquisition

I’m loving Dragon Age: Inquisition. I know because the other night I caught myself fiddling around with weapon and armor upgrades for about two hours, weighing up the differences between pommels and metal types. Then I spent another half hour digging up Drakestone. Then, while I moseyed about the Hinterlands in search of Elfroot, a dragon turned up. I fled. Cocky ice mage Solas tried to show the dragon a thing or two but I had to tell him no. We’re not killing dragons right now, we’re collecting Elfroot. Kill dragons on your own time, Solas.

I don’t have much time to play games after work, so usually I play through them as quickly as possible. I leave the busywork and collectibles usually: they’re off-limits to me. That’s not the case with Dragon Age because it’s a beautiful world and I want to explore thoroughly. I’ve not wanted to just be in a place like this since Dark Souls. There are a bunch of reasons the apocalypse is nigh in Inquisition, but there’s also rings for grandmas to be found, and druffalo to be rounded up. The world can wait.

Dragon Age

Tim Clark: The real meaning of the holiday is double-screening DreamHack

Having only decamped to the Americas earlier this year my other half and I (plus our furry familiar) have no real connection to Thanksgiving, nor local family to spend it with. But do not weep for us, dear and constant reader, for we will still be giving thanks. And what we’ll be thankful for is the chance to blow four straight days on eating food and playing games, untroubled by the clarion call of family gatherings or, y’know, actual work.

My plans include no-lifing Dragon Age: Inquisition and Far Cry 4, while she plans to plunge back into Azeroth by way of the Draenor Collector’s Edition. Metaphorically I like to imagine this as being the equivalent of us wandering back into ‘Hamsterdram’, The Wire’s unregulated drugtopia zone, and saying: “Gimme all you got”. While our binge occurs, I’ll be watching DreamHack Winter play out on the second monitor. We previewed the CS:GO tournament here, but it’ll be the Hearthstone tournament that has my attention. L I F E C O A C H B O Y S.

Tom Senior: Steam saaaaale!

I haven’t bought anything in the Steam so far this week, which is most unusual. Am I ill? It might be too early to say, and I don’t want to jinx the magic, but I may have everything I want already. Maybe I own everything I need, and can now live the rest of my life free of want, and considerably wealthier for it. Maybe I should take a - ooooh, 50% off Endless Legend! Now that’s one worth buying if you like interesting strategy games about knights from space and stuff.

Tyler Wilde: Telltale’s latest tale

The first episode of Tales from the Borderlands is really good. In a little over two hours I came to like, and sort of even care about, its main characters—and these are characters in a universe I previously associated with sincere feelings such as “I want to shoot that” and “Oh, that’s wacky, eh?” And maybe that’s not totally fair to Borderlands, which I admit I’ve only really skimmed while mildly drunk, but Telltale got me interested in its universe with so much more efficiency than the main series ever has.

That’s great for Telltale, and also for Borderlands—I even want to finish playing Borderlands 2 before the next episode so I’m more familiar with the world. I probably won’t, because y’know, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Far Cry 4 need playing, but it matters that it inspired me, doesn’t it?

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