The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming

PC Gamer


Welcome to a new weekly feature in which we cup the week that was and ask it to cough gently. Here you'll find the PC Gamer team reflecting on the best and worst moments of the past seven days. On this page you'll find the good stuff. After which, it is quite literally all downhill…


Tim Clark: Having thus far avoided becoming a Hearthstoner – is that a thing? Can I make it a thing? – the news that Blizzard's card battler has abruptly come out of beta means now feels like the right time to commit. If only because there are likely to be plenty of equally dewy-eyed marks on the servers to test my clumsy deck building on. The mix of deep strategy with the randomness of rare card acquisition means it already feels dangerously likely to pull my OCD levers/ravage my bank account. Damn you Blizzard. Damn you all to goblin Vegas hell.

Andy Kelly: I've been using the Oculus Rift a lot this week, and a highlight has been exploring familiar places from film and TV. In Jerry's Place I wandered around Seinfeld's apartment from the classic sitcom. In another I looked around the boiler room from Spirited Away's bathhouse. This needs to be a whole genre. There's something incredibly surreal, and brilliant, about 'being in' places you know so well from the screen. If someone makes an explorable Twin Peaks, I'll never take the Rift off.

Tom Senior: My highlight of the week has been watching Andy explore the future. We're on adjacent desks, and I can tell you that the future involves a lot of waving and sudden exclamations of "shit!". Earlier today he was manipulating glittering clouds with is hands using the Leap Motion controller. This week he braved the drizzle of Euro Truck Simulator in virtual reality, and hosted a stream of curious colleagues from various magazines at his desk. Based on careful observation, there seems to be a point whenever anyone tries the Rift for the first time when, pursuing some virtual item only they can see, they stare at their groin and declare "WOW". The future is brilliant. Andy will bring you more revelations from 2015 and beyond every week in The Rift Report , and this week we've published a series of articles on the future of PC gaming , which is looking very bright indeed, and quite weird.

Samuel Roberts: The BAFTA games ceremony was a nice affair, despite so few PC games actually winning an award. It was more about the spread of nominees, for me, seeing Gunpoint and The Stanley Parable receiving equal attention to a project as colossal as GTA V. That sort of mainstream publicity for these games is never a bad thing.

Phil Savage: It's the last full week of Guild Wars 2's Living World: a more than year-long saga of fortnightly content releases. It's not always been brilliant – with many of the earlier releases padding out their content with rare drops and repetitive churn – but the game's been left much stronger than it started. It's clear that ArenaNet now have a better understanding of the type of scenarios that make for an engaging and social challenge. Their last four releases have taken the game's traditional world events, and expanded them out to fill entire zones. The Living World ends on some of the most exciting experiences I've had with the game. All that said, if I never see another steampunk pirate it will be too soon.

Chris Thursten: Discovering Titanfall's capture the flag mode has been the highlight of my week. It's the best way to play the game, and I'm baffled that it hasn't received much attention prior to release. Actually, I'm not baffled. CTF is sometimes considered to be a bit old fashioned and unsexy, and I think that's terribly wrong. CTF is very sexy. It's sexy because it creates strategic space for titans and freerunning to be used in considered ways. It's sexy because it demands teamwork. This should be the way Titanfall is played competitively, and I'd love to see it attract an eSports following. It's just a shame that the game's lack of community features will make that less likely to happen.


Phil Savage: As iconic lines go, “standby for Titanfall” took on a bittersweet edge this week. Thanks to the staggered regional launch , most of the world was left waiting on Respawn's fantastic men 'n' mechs shooter. Tying game releases to a specific day of the week is an increasingly archaic practice. We live in a fully connected world; we play games on a platform that leads the way in digital distribution, but, for some reason, we're still being arbitrarily held back based on whatever country we happen to physically exist in. At least, in this case, there were no spoilers to dodge, but that isn't really the point. A game's release is an event – and gamers love to run away to join the circus that surrounds it. It's less fun having to queue for that circus, while you watch everyone inside enjoy their, er... clown robots? That metaphor could have been better.

Chris Thursten: I thought it was a bit of a shame that the BAFTA awards focused so much on triple-A games. Institutional award shows lag behind the times in every medium, but it doesn't feel like games necessarily need to be part of that trend. It's to the credit of Papers, Please and Gone Home that they managed to crack through the panel's preference for The Last of Us and GTA V, but I feel like the industry still struggles to delineate 'quality' and 'production values'. Also, Grand Theft Auto winning the multiplayer award? Really? #robbed #scandal #justicefordota

Tom Senior: Dark Souls 2's launch made me sad this week, because we're going to have to wait more than a month to join in. Right now console players are busy exploring the new world, dying to new bosses and piecing together the sequel's ambiguous lore. The collective act of discovery when players dive into a new game is valuable. Day-one players are buying into the fantasy of being a pioneer, breaking ground and uncovering secrets. Even though the PC version is getting a few fancy extras, like high-res textures, it's a shame to miss out on the goldrush. By the time we arrive, Drangleic and its vicious inhabitants will have been carefully analysed and categorised by those that have gone before.

Samuel Roberts: abandoning its short-lived plan for regional pricing was a bizarre event. I primarily buy games from GOG because of how competitive the pricing is and the lack of a barmy regional UK uptick that demands I pay more for committing the terrible crime (and it is terrible) of being British. The whole thing was a bit silly, and GOG's melodramatic apology ends a mini-saga that didn't need to happen at all.

Andy Kelly: Peter Molyneux and his studio responded to criticism that their god game, Godus, is comprised almost entirely of clicking – by replacing clicking with dragging. He describes the control change as 'smooth and delicious' as he carves into the landscape. That's fine – and dragging is certainly less RSI-inducing than clicking – but the game's problems run deeper than that. I want Godus to be good, and I have a soft spot for Molyneux, but this focus on the new controls seems to be a distraction from a game with much bigger problems. Prove me wrong, Pete.

Tim Clark: Easily the biggest bummer of the week has been The Witcher III's not wholly unexpected delay . The combination of vertiginous ambition, as will be revealed in our forthcoming cover feature, with a vague release date (beware of any game which just lists the year you're already in) meant it always felt likely to slip. February 2015 it is then, although the nagging worry remains that CD Projekt may have decided to take inspiration from George R.R. Martin's lackadaisical approach to deadlines. Workshy geniuses, eh?

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