The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming

The Highs

Phil Savage: Good Dog
There's a big Ubisoft game on the way, and that means everybody gets to make snarky jokes and comments. But fun as that can be, I'm really looking forward to Watch Dogs 2. As for why, here is a passage from the game's Steam page: "Your objective: execute the biggest hack of history." The biggest hack! Of history! Yes, it sounds dumb, but I am a huge fan of dumb things. I unironically love the film Hackers, despite it possibly being one of the most awful things ever made.

I'm sure there'll be some mawkish drama to endure, but overall Watch Dogs 2 looks a lot more fun than the last game. Your melee weapon is a pool ball on a stick. I am into that. More to the point, Watch Dogs always had a lot of potential—much of it squandered by the limitations of the original. Sometimes it takes Ubisoft a couple of goes to figure out what to do with their games. Just look at Assassin's Creed.

Samuel Roberts: E3!
I love E3, and I think you’ve really got to have an arbitrary grudge against big games not to—it’s Disneyland when it comes to announcements of showings of new games. Our second PC Gaming Show will be taking place on Monday from 11AM, and we’ve got heaps of great stuff lined up for you—check out the official site and tune in on Twitch.

Last year’s E3 was the best one in about a decade from my perspective—there were plenty of surprises in the conferences, and I think in spite of a lot of the leaks that have seemingly been happening all week, we’ve still got a lot of big announcements to come. Keep an eye on PCG. It’s going to be a huge week. 

Tyler Wilde: Flanking is fun
I’m going to crib Andy’s topic and talk Overwatch, because aside from Salt and Sanctuary (which is good!) it’s most of what I’ve been playing when not fretting over hockey. Earlier this week we published a guide to some of the better secret routes and map tricks with gifs made by yours truly. Practicing them and learning the maps better in the process has already improved my game. For instance, using this very easy flanking route on Nepal (a bit tricky with Soldier as depicted in the gif, but no problem for others), I was constantly killing camped Bastions. Now if only I could get my pub teams to just go around them, dangit.

Also, this is so cool.

Andy Kelly: Turrets syndrome
It seems like I have a new favourite Overwatch hero every few days, and at the moment it's Symmetra. She's a support character, and having her around can be very helpful. Not only can she buff everyone with a shield, but she can plant six turrets on just about any surface, and watching my little laser-orbs zapping unsuspecting players is hugely satisfying. It's all about the placement; sticking them up high, behind stuff, out of the way. Then when the tiny beams start zapping intruders, it slows them down and gives a buff to my weapon.

Smart players will counter clumps of turrets with a splash damage weapon like Pharah’s rocket launcher, so it's good to scatter them around a bit—but not too much or you won't get the benefit of stacking their damage. And Symmetra is surprisingly good on attack too. While my turrets are doing their business I repeatedly fire her charged shots at the enemy team, and I've scored quite a few kills that way. They also go right through Reinhardt's shield, which has obvious benefits. I don't know who will be my new favourite hero next week (definitely not Reaper, that’s for sure), but at the moment all I want to do is play as Symmetra.

Wes Fenlon: Gwent into my veins
I played something like 80 hours of The Witcher 3, and I’m pretty sure about 10 hours of that was in Gwent. I rode across the entire world map to challenge every inkeeper and blacksmith in every town to win their rare cards. And then I forgot which towns I’d been to, so I rode back across the map and fought half of them all over again. So the news that CD Projekt just trademarked what sounds like a standalone Gwent game has me, well, pretty excited.

I’m curious what form it will take. Will they rework the rules to make it a competitive game a la Hearthstone? I actually hope not. In The Witcher 3, Gwent is not a balanced game. There are some cards that are worse than others that you phase out of your deck as you progress. But that was the fun to me: earning better and better cards, RPG-progression style. I think my ideal Gwent game would take after something like Puzzle Quest, marrying some meta progression to the base card game. Hopefully we’ll find out more at E3.

James Davenport:
The Dark Souls community is really something special. Over on the Dark Souls subreddit, some folks came up with the idea to host a “Global Restart Day” during which they’d all flock back to the original Dark Souls en masse to simulate the feeling of its original release. While I won’t have time to take part myself, I totally endorse the idea. For fresh converts from Dark Souls 3 especially, this is a great way to round out your experience with the series. Keep in mind, the intent isn’t to just hop in for the day—Global Restart Day is meant for full playthroughs. So get back in, or make it your excuse Dark Souls out for the first time. This kind of opportunity won’t come around often.