The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Mirrors Edge Catalyst


Samuel Roberts: Mirror’s Edge returns
We’ve known about a new Mirror’s Edge game for two years now, and this week we finally got a name for this prequel/sequel thing (Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst), as well as indication of a full reveal at E3. I loved the original Mirror’s Edge. I think it was uneven, and maybe that’s one of the things they’re trying to address in what sounds a lot like a reboot: I hope for a better storyline, improved combat, maybe more reasons to keep playing. I can’t believe it’s been two years since they first unveiled it. They said it would be out when it’s ready—hopefully that’ll be later this year. Excited to see more next week.

Tom Senior: Street Fighter 5
Every time a new Street Fighter comes out I wonder: 'could THIS be the one I finally get into?'. We share an office with some massive SF fans who sometimes battle at lunchtimes with expensive sticks. They shout and jump up and down and generally have an amazing time. I've played fighting games before (if only Soul Calibur had made it to PC!) but there's no way I can crawl up to a half-decent standard in a competitive scene that's been maturing for years. I welcome Street Fighter 5's changes, not for their specific merits, but for the fact they'll reset the competitive scene and give me an opportunity find a niche as players old and new race to master the V-Guage. I’m interested in the PC/PS4 cross-play features as well, as long as the netcode stays strong.

Edge of Nowhere Slide

Chris Thursten: The Rift stares also into you
I’m intrigued by Edge of Nowhere. It’s the Oculus Rift-exclusive VR adventure game being developed by Insomniac, and while the trailer doesn’t confirm that it’s an adaptation of Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness, it really really looks like an adaptation of Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness.

That’s what I want from my VR experiences. I want cosmic nonsense. I want gigantic spaceships to exit hyperspace as I gawp stupidly up at them, drooling into the knotted cabling of my virtual reality hat (as light as a baseball cap) until I electrocute myself and die. I want to experience cosmic horror as Lovecraft envisaged it. I want to look at a distant mountain range and consider: the crawling vegetable horrors of Yith were us all along! Then I want to write all of this down in an old-timey notebook, wander off into the snow, and vanish.

Alright, it’s probably a game where you tumble about in Antarctica while a Cthuloid the size of a car showroom stomps about in your peripheral vision. That’s fine too. I admire this general direction for VR; accepting the fact that it makes some people feel a bit sick and running with it, appending ‘shitting yourself inside-out’ to the list of immersive videogame experiences we might have with a pair of hi-res, low-latency displays strapped to our faces.

Wes Fenlon: For a good time, make it computer times
I’m both happy and sad to be back in the US after my trip to Computex in Taipei; sad because it was a great time, happy because I get to sleep in my own bed for three whole days before heading off to E3. My favorite thing about Computex was just how PC-focused the event was, compared to any consumer electronics show I’ve been to in the US. That focus really manifested in the way every booth at Computex used a collection of awesome case mods to draw in crowds. It didn’t matter if they were selling RAM or cases or watercooling parts: there was a cool computer there on display. It was worth the trip just to see all of these amazing rigs on display.

Doom Plutonia Slide

Chris Livingston: Something old, something new
An interesting thing about professional baseball (I'm sure some would say the only interesting thing) is that despite each team playing 162 games per season, and 2430 games occurring each year, and detailed records having been kept for over a century for a couple hundred thousand different games, something that has never happened in a game before can still happen, and seems to on a regular basis.

For example, on June 9, Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants threw a no-hitter (against my Mets, of course). While there have been almost 300 no-hitters (even the Mets have one now!), this was the first in which a pitcher hit three batsmen while allowing no actual hits. I even spent $2 to register at for a day in order to double-check. Cool! Except for the part where it was the Giants. The Giants are a butt.

It makes me wish gaming could somehow keep such detailed records, because something happened this week that hasn't happened before. 19 years after Final Doom was released, speedrunner Zero Master beat The Plutonia Experiment in a single life on Nightmare difficulty. You can watch it on YouTube, but things happen so fast it's as puzzling to me as the baseball rule that says you can run to first if the catcher drops the third strike (but why?). When you consider how ridiculously difficult Plutonia is, and how many attempts there must have been by who even knows how many players over the years (stats on this would be awesome to know), it's somehow both amazing that it hadn't happened yet and that it ever happened at all.

Tyler Wilde: Palmer Luckey
Someone tell Chris to stop editing my entry to say I’m a butt. Go Giants. I am a butt. Anyway, this week has been great for lots of reasons, but one thing I enjoyed a lot was watching Palmer Luckey get too excited about Oculus Touch to remember he was supposed to announce when it’s releasing. I don’t know how well the custom controllers (which, by the way, are releasing after the Oculus Rift) will work—as with VR headsets, you really have to try this stuff to know if it’s any good—I just enjoy Luckey’s enthusiasm. Whatever misgivings we may have about Facebook or Oculus’ partnership with Microsoft, at the heart of it all there’s still a guy it’s hard to be cynical about. Luckey loves VR. He made his way with genuine passion, and now he wanders around conventions in sandals (and once some stunning American flag pants), still beaming about VR. I poke fun, like when I called it “Oculus Gift To All Mankind” on Twitter (VR developers can get very ‘this is going to change the world’ about it all), but I think that excitement comes from a genuine place.

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