Tom Senior: Art attack
I kinda take for granted how much beautiful art there is in games. I’m terrible for blasting through areas trying to get to the next bit while a scene that took developers years to build flashes past me in a blur. Some recent releases at least are forcing me to slow down and smell the flowers however. Just this week Gorogoa came out, a beautifully hand-animated puzzle game that’s so precious I want to hang it on my wall somehow. The old-but-still-great Okami came out too—a gorgeous, interactive gallery of living paintings that I can spoil with my own brush marks.
I’m even taking a bit more time to enjoy Destiny’s new zones. Mercury is pretty small, tiny compared to other exploration zones, but I like its pseudo-Egyptian machine-city look, and the way sol burns massive on the horizon. I really can’t be bothered to grind out all of Curse of Osiris’ legendary guns, but I’ll whizz around the public event on jump pads, admiring the artistry of the place.
Samuel Roberts: Doomsday arrival
While I haven't had time to play it yet, I'm looking forward to trying GTA Online's new Doomsday Heist early next week. I've bought my facility which is required to activate the heist, and it's not too far from the city, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in with my PC Gamer crew. To get a non-PvP or business mode in GTA Online this deep into its life is a real surprise, and really exciting—there's still nothing better on offer in that world than the heists, in my opinion.
There's a reported 12 hours of game waiting for us in there, so I can't wait. The thing that gives me mild concern is that part of the heist reportedly has to be played in a public server, which can be a fraught process at the best of times. Still, if the finale is anything like those of previous heists, it will have been well worth it.
Tyler Wilde: Taking initiative
I thought I was too cool for D&D in high school, which was stupid. The hell was I doing in high school that was so cool and important? I would've had so much time to play! 15 years later, now that I've finally gotten into D&D, everyone I know has jobs and families to take care of. I do play with a local group, but it's hard to get in more than a few hours a week. There is one way to make it easier, though: play online. I knew people played D&D remotely with services like Roll20.net, but I wondered if it could really feel like playing D&D, sitting around a table rolling dice. Obviously it isn't exactly the same, but after a couple of sessions in Tabletop Simulator, I was happy to find that it works surprisingly well. Now I've got two groups, one in person, and one online. Heroes don't have to die just because they moved to Wisconsin.
Chris Livingston: Me-R
I'm enjoying VR! Who’da thunk it? Well, I guess I'da thunk it: I've always been impressed with the technology and my skepticism was mostly about VR being ready for the mainstream, which it still isn't. It's too expensive, too uncomfortable, there are too many cables, it's inconvenient, and there aren't enough games. But I'm enjoying the experiences I'm having with it. Doom was a little weird, but cool. Fallout 4 in VR is a nice fit with a few exceptions. As James reported, Rick and Morty is great fun. And over the holiday break I'm planning on having the headset on a lot to see what else is out there worth playing. Sweaty-head be damned, I will escape this world for whatever virtual ones await.
Austin Wood: Pinpoint painting
I never thought I'd actually get to play Okami on PC. For years I've thought that mouse controls would be a perfect match for its brush-based combat and exploration, which always felt muzzled by controllers. The Wii motion controls were more appropriate, but they were also Wii motion controls, which is to say awkward and unreliable.
With Okami HD, I've confirmed my suspicion and then some: Okami is absolutely sublime to play with a mouse, and its sumi-e art hasn't aged a day. In fact, as Andy's 4K gallery shows, it looks better than ever in Amaterasu's latest outing. Okami feels new again on PC, and I cannot wait to play it through to the end for the umpteenth time.
James Davenport: Destiny overdue
After a streak of five—I kid you not—five exotics decrypting into The Prospector in a row, I figured my destiny was to die sad and alone. But after a week of dinking around in Curse of Osiris, slowly coming to the realization that, hey, maybe Destiny 2 is actually bad, I struck gold and my problems disappeared. That gold is The Stag, a helm adorned with a skull (and pretty forgettable perks) that makes me look extremely cool. When I teleport into the Tower, everyone is like, dammmmn. And I’m like, yeah. We all know that Destiny is really just an elaborate dress-up game that happens to exist within a first-person shooter, and with The Stag, I’ve finally beat it once and for all.
(Also, go play Gorogoa. It’s excellent.)