The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Every Friday the PC Gamer team reviews the previous 168 hours and makes a list of the soaring ups and terrifying downs. This week Batman Arkham Knight, Transistor, Carmack and dogs IRL all feature.

THE HIGHS

Tim Clark: Which game's loot is the shiniest?

Watching Tom unleash disco ball armageddon on all and sundry over lunchtimes this week instantly made me want to revisit Diablo III. He'd been lured back by the promise of a doubled Legendary loot drop rate, which I also wanted a piece of, but still found myself unable to tear myself away from Hearthstone. Or even from this astonishing gif gallery of every single animated gold card . Hypnotic stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

So much so that I didn't actually get around to playing Diablo III at all. But good news! Yesterday game designer Travis Day confirmed that even though the game's second birthday celebrations are over, the buff will stay in place indefinitely. Plenty of time to secure my Demon Hunter some sweet new gear. Assuming I really can stop trying to master this Warlock deck . Oh Jaraxxus, when will you release your iron grip on my soul?

Wes Fenlon: Steam gets even more powerful

I'm more and more impressed by how quickly and thoroughly Valve is iterating on Steam in-home streaming. Just a few weeks ago they moved the service from a small beta group to a full feature of the Steam beta client, and this week they pushed it live for everyone . That means they're confident enough in their in-home streaming technology to make it a real feature, not just a curiosity for the tech savvy.

I hope Valve keeps developing in-home streaming to minimize lag as much as possible, but they've already done more than I expected, and more quickly. A few months ago I worried that streaming wouldn't be a major SteamOS feature, and too many Steam Machines would focus on beefy $1000 hardware. Now the dream of a $250 Steam streaming box seems well within reach.

Samuel Roberts: Big love for the Bat

I saw Batman: Arkham Knight in action a few months ago at GDC. Through the prism of jet lag, I think I started to imagine what I saw wasn't real—the roaring Batmobile, tearing through the thickly detailed streets of Gotham City before jumping out and gliding over the rain-soaked rooftops—but this week's game trailer confirmed it's all real. Between this and The Witcher 3, I'm sure there's a lot of people getting read to upgrade their rigs based on these games' requirements. More importantly, though, Arkham Knight looks like a Batman game of a scale and detail that I'm not even convinced I deserve. I'm glad everyone finally got a look at it—I can't believe my luck. Now I wonder what they'll be showing us at E3. If Batman starts slapping Superman about, I might just lose my shit.

Ben Griffin: Say cheese (and stop stabbing me)

Much love to Andy for recommending me a nifty little Dark Souls 2 camera hack. Now I can take my dream shots of dress-wearing warriors praising the sun and finally put an end to ghetto workarounds. In Bioshock Infinite I had to time snaps with weapon changes and take them in the split second after one gun lowered and the next one raised. The Mirror's Edge shots in my 4K Screenshot Showcase are all taken in-game and from Faith's perspective, forcing me to seek out vantage points while being shot at. I moved my screenshot key to the space bar for ease of access, but this means my harddrive is filled with five thousand grabs of videogame characters slightly raised off the ground.

The hack lets me detach Dark Souls 2's camera and manoeuvre it in 3D space on the number keys, and pose with my electric-club-wielding character on the gamepad. Custom camera angles! While the lack of a 'stop time' mod still means enemies are gunning for me while I agonise over framing, I'm hyped about becoming Drangleic's very own Annie Leibovitz.

Tom Senior: This year's GOTY so far is…

Transistor has been a lunchtime delight for me this week. I love Supergiant's art, and their dream-like environments. Cloudbank has suffered an unknown Calamity, to borrow Bastion's terminology. As the fallen singer, Red, you move through the silent afterimage of a once-vibrant society, a tourist in a digitised afterlife that's both beautiful and sad. It's understated, but soaked in atmosphere and rich with implied detail. Even your combat abilities are characters—spirits captured in your blade which reveal more about themselves the more you fight. Transistor is a terrific imaginative feat underpinned by a fantastic combat system, and my highlight of the year so far.

Chris Thursten: The return of a shooter just like mother used to make

The best thing that happened to me this week was when we sent the magazine to press on Wednesday and our art editor John brought his Dachshund puppies to the office . The guys say that I have to write about videogames here, though, so I'm going to go with Wolfenstein: The New Order. I've been playing it since it came out, and I've gone into detail about that experience in my review , but I've had a thoroughly good time with the game. It reminds me of the shooter campaigns that I loved as a teenager, games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein and the original F.E.A.R that I played over and over again. I'll almost certainly be returning to it for a second playthrough.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim is Global Editor in Chief. Which means you can’t tell him to stop playing Hearthstone. Or writing about Hearthstone. He’s probably playing Hearthstone right now, honestly. And when he should be globalling.
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