The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Doom selfie cropped


Tom Senior: Doom selfies
"Imagine if the Doom guy had a selfie stick!" is an instantly amusing idea, but ordinarily you'd enjoy the observation and move on with your life. This week one modder said "NO", realising that the only thing funnier than imagining the Doom guy taking selfies on demon-infested Mars is to put a command in the gamethat actually does that. “Oh, and imagine it had a bunch of instagram filters too lol!” FEATURE IMPLEMENTED. Make a famously brown game even browner with instagram's artistically weathered sepia overlays. Linguica has gone the extra mile bringing this joke to life. Well played.

Samuel Roberts: Bundle is Humble
Following on from the ace Star Wars Humble Bundle, this Square Enix one is so absurdly generous that paying over the average bags you Thief, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, SupCom 2 and Hitman Absolution. Oh, and Murdered Soul Suspect, which I remember Chris comparing to the pilot of a terrible supernatural cop show last year and almost nothing else about it. Chances are, you’ve bought most of these games—I’ve grabbed Thief from this bundle, but I get as much pleasure from giving keys away in these bundles as I do taking them myself. Being the person to introduce someone to Deus Ex: Human Revolution means they owe me a life debt in return. It’s a titanic gesture that must be repaid in full, or else.

Orion Trail Slide

Chris Livingston: Pixel Nation
As someone who used to love to draw, but completely and utterly sucked at it, I have a natural admiration for (and envy of) artists of all kinds. This goes double for people who excel at creating and animating pixel art. How someone can take a handful of teeny tiny colored cubes and shape them into something instantly recognizable, I have no idea. Even more amazing is the animation that breathes life, character, and humor into these itty bitty works of art.

I played the prototype of Orion Trail this week, and I recommend you check it out. You can play it for free right in your browser, and along with lots of amusing sci-fi jokes you can enjoy some top-notch animated pixel art. Make sure you win at least once: the crew does an adorable little dance at the end. There are more enjoyable examples of Evan Brown's pixel art on Orion Trail's Kickstarter page.

Phil Savage: Distraction by Headcrab
Today, PC Gamer's UK arm played Rock, Paper, Shotgun at Dota 2 for an upcoming magazine feature. By complete coincidence, I am in need of cheering up right now.

This is the thing that cheered me up this week:

Tyler Wilde: Early Access can be pretty alright
The second video in Andy’s Besiege machine compilation. That’s my high, by far. Thank you, Andy. And you know what? For all the problems Steam’s Early Access section has brought about, you can’t say nothing good has come out of it. That video has come out of it. I think the trend of releasing unfinished games has been a net positive, because for every Stomping Land, there are five Early Access games worth playing—let’s say, Ratz Instagib, Darkest Dungeon, Space Engineers, Kerbal Space Program, and SpeedRunners. And one more time for effect: for every Godus, there’s Nuclear Throne, The Long Dark, Wasteland 2, Broforce, and Sunless Sea.

Problems happen when games are sold unfinished, but A) they also happen when ‘finished’ games are sold, B) when is a game ever ‘finished’ these days anyway? and C) is that the fault of Early Access as an entire concept, or the fault of specific individuals?

Wes Fenlon: USB Type-C for me
Reversible USB. IT'S ALMOST HERE. ASRock is preparing to ship the very first motherboards with the new USB Type-C connector, which you can plug in rightside-up or upside-down. Such distinctions are meaningless in our new Type-C world order. As an added bonus, ASRock's new boards will have USB 3.1 ports, which offer a big speed boost over 3.0 and can carry more power. It's still going to be awhile before we have USB devices to take advantage of 3.1 and the Type-C plug. But the time is near. All hail the reversible USB.

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