This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Samuel Roberts: Crackdown delayed

Looks like it's left to Forza 7 to launch Microsoft's Xbox One X console this year, as Crackdown 3's been pushed back to 2018. I'm not too surprised—the game's revolutionary cloud-based destruction physics weren't demoed at E3, which either meant they were holding that back for a splashy Gamescom reveal or they just weren't ready to be shown off. The latter seems more likely now.

I just want to punch a virtual building until it falls over, damn it! Few games have really experimented with that side of things since Red Faction Guerrilla. Now I'll have to wait until 2018 for the pleasure.

Tuan Nguyen: GPU prices still insane

AMD’s Radeon RX Vega is here now, except, you can’t get it. You can’t even find the older GPUs for sale. And if you do, they’re going to cost an arm and leg over normal prices. Why? Cryptocurrency miners. For the past several months, miners have siphoned every available mid-range GPU available from AMD. This means that actual gamers who are looking to upgrade can’t find any for sane prices. Thankfully AMD announced this week that it would ramp up GPU production with partners in an effort to make more available—for miners.

Joe Donnelly: Chicken loser

This week, I ended my long and arduous quest for a bare-fisted PUBG chicken dinner in failure. After countless rounds of punching and sneaking and lying face down in long grass, I came up short, ranking #2 in a match that saw me taking exile in a toilet, under a bridge and in countless bushes. 

With that, I came to the conclusion that second place was as good as it could ever get. The upshot of the experience/ordeal has seen me newly liberated, storming The Island armed to the teeth and oozing confidence. My win streak hasn’t improved, but at least I’m no longer picking twigs from my police vest.   

Tyler Wilde: The punch of irony

I’ve been playing Killing Floor Incursion—the VR Killing Floor spin-off—with my Oculus Rift as of late. A review is coming as soon as I get up the nerve to finish it (spooky VR games take me a while) but for now, a story about how I broke something. I don’t have a very big VR space. It’s a small office inhabited by desks and boxes with a pretty narrow sweet spot where I can reach out in all directions without encountering a wall. For this reason I’m always nervous when VR games include any throwing or punching. 

It’s a testament to VR’s effectiveness then that when confronted with a charging Slasher while waiting for my gun to reload, I forgot about that nervousness entirely, reached behind my back, grabbed my knife, and whipped it at the specimen’s grotesque head. I missed the Slasher, but I did manage to punch a shelf, half-ripping it from the wall. It was the shelf where I store my HTC Vive. The headset wars are heating up, clearly.

Tom Senior: Black widow

Shelob the giant spider from Lord of the Rings is no longer just a spider. Sometimes she is a seductive woman. Was this an attempt to add some sex appeal to the game? No! According to Monolith, It is an attempt to create a light/dark duality with Galadriel. Shelob has inherited her mother’s shapeshifting powers and has chosen to appear as a hot lady who gets in all up Talion’s personal space to whisper sweet nonsense.

Come on, now. Tolkien’s fiction has been mulched under the weight of hundreds of adaptations, to the extent that I can’t really care about the integrity of that world anymore, but let’s not pretend that Shelob’s sexy makeover was a thoughtful artistic decision.

James Davenport: Not down with the sickness

But I’m still sick. A cold has been tearing through the office over the last week or two, and now it’s my turn. Of course it’s my turn. It would be my turn the weekend before my SO returns from a two-month trip abroad, and the weekend before I take two days off next week to catch up with her, hammer out some extra work, and make progress on a personal project. Oh well. More videogames it is. What should this sick man play?