This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Each week PC Gamer’s writers praise the sun for its incandescent takes.

The highs

Chris Livingston: Adventure time

My passion for adventure games, once absolute, has slowly drained from me over the years, and it's been a long time since I played one and an even longer time since I enjoyed one. I had a pretty good time with The Sexy Brutale, however. It's stylish and drop-dead gorgeous—and I don't just mean because the characters in it get horribly murdered. The hook involves time-travel, as you rewind the day over and over, Groundhog Day style, but in a lot of ways that just keeps it in step with traditional adventure games: you wander back and forth through the same areas and see the same characters until you finally figure out what to do.

That may not sound like a compliment, as there's a lot of repetition, but adventures games have always been that way: worlds frozen in time while you pace back and forth through them. In The Sexy Brutale, the clock is ticking, but it always resets. The result is essentially the same: you've got all the time in the world to explore, observe the characters, and solve puzzles.

Phil Savage: Bigger and better

Our production editor Tony Ellis today leaves PC Gamer after 14 years. His impact on PCG can't be overstated: he helped steer the tone and direction of PC Gamer, and his knowledge and talent were instrumental in the development of every writer and freelancer who has written for us for over a decade.

Obviously this is a low for PC Gamer as a whole, but Tony is leaving us to go on to bigger and better things: including finishing his game. He's sure to be hugely successful. Now, if you'll excuse me, the UK team are about to carry Tony off to drink cocktails in a dingy basement in Bath. It's the PC Gamer way.

Tom Senior: Calamity Jain

It’s too early to say for sure, but I think the Eldar might be my favourite Dawn of War 3 faction. The Inquisition has already reported my heresy to the relevant authorities and a death squad is surely on its way to Bath UK to ‘illuminate’ me as to the error of my ways. But I can’t hate a faction like the Eldar, who can teleport their buildings anywhere on the map, even patches of cover. 

Once the enemy has figured out why there seems to be an endless stream of howling banshees coming out of a shadowy patch near their base, they have to go head to head with killer acrobat Jain Zar. Her charge ability is designed to send her leaping off other melee units right into the gun line, which is scattered by her landing and then butchered in a murderous Cirque du Soleil knife act. I’ll be writing more about this awesome hero unit (with gifs) next week, but if she’s available I recommend giving her a try in the Dawn of War open beta, which should be underway right now.

Joe Donnelly: Memoranda-m encounter

After dipping back into Night School Studio's wonderful Oxenfree last week, I found myself on a bit of a narrative-heavy adventure game trip this week. While jumping into the Full Throttle Remaster was perhaps the most obvious choice with this in mind—and a darn good one at that—I wanted something new, something that would really challenge me, and in which I couldn't rely on memory whatsoever, no matter how faded my recollection of LucasArts' 1995 SCUMM classic is. 

Bit Byterz's traditional-styled point-and-click adventure Memoranda is a game I followed closely throughout its development, and was wowed by its premise and gorgeous art style. It landed in January, and a combination of playing other games at the time and recovering from Christmas and New Year festivities meant it slipped under my radar. After my return to Oxenfree, Memoranda came back to me and I'm so glad it did—it's a tricky, head-scratcher of an adventure game where nothing is handed to you on plate and every item, conversation and location has meaning. I've seen a fair few people deride it for being too obscure, but I disagree—it harks back to adventure games of old, before solutions could be Googled or tutorials stalked your every move. I love it.

James Davenport: Praise the comments!

Sometimes, the comments are good. Well, that’s unfair, the comments can be great quite often, but never this good. In Lauren’s article about why we praise the sun in Dark Souls, everyone did their duty and praised. They praised so good. They’re still praising. Join us. Spread your arms toward the sky, get on your tippy toes, and glow, for Solaire’s sake. 

Tim Clark: Let’s talk about us

Indulge me, dear and constant reader, because this week I want to talk about myself. Don’t worry, it’s not another anecdote about some unlikely lethal I pulled off in Hearthstone, but I do want to talk about being lucky. Specifically, my good fortune to work with PC Gamer team. You might think it was a comparatively quiet week for PC gaming, now that all the fuss about Mass Effect: Andromeda and Ryzen are receding in the rearview. But that hasn’t stopped us from publishing some of our finest, and most fun, stuff of the year so far. 

Pieces like Evan’s eulogy to the frying pan in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (which certainly contains 2017’s best pun to date), Chris’s brilliant behind-the-scenes report from a televised H1Z1 tournament (seriously guys, where’s the Red Bull?), and Steven’s meeting with the most (only?) honest man in EVE. Without wanting to go full Oprah on their respective asses, I’m blessed to work with such fine writers. I hope you enjoyed those pieces as much as I did, because there’s plenty more on the way in the coming weeks. 

I'd also like to echo Phil's kind comments about Tony Ellis. As Chris Thursten noted when he left, anyone who's worked for, or enjoyed PC Gamer, owes Tony their thanks. In terms of production editors, Tony is Chingachgook from Last of the Mohicans. We will not see his like again. 

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