This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE LOWS

Tyler Wilde: How the mighty have fallen

The Mighty No. 9 boxed copies are finally arriving, and they’re flat, unfolded boxes with grayscale manuals too big to fit inside of them. I’m not going to say this isn’t funny. It’s funny. After the Kickstarter campaign produced an underwhelming game, it finishes the job with a hilariously underwhelming box—better than nothing, right? But as much as I want to laugh, it does suck for those who bought in, and in general, for all of us who hoped for a great Mega Man successor and who are reminded again that even the most hyped crowdfunding campaigns can sputter across the finish line with screws falling out.  

Tuan Nguyen: Fried graphics card

I’ve been using a GeForce Titan Xp in my main machine for a while. Then it died. While waiting for a replacement, and feeling depressed, I figured I’d throw in a GTX 1060 since it was just laying around—I felt better after realizing I have plenty of hardware laying around.

To my surprise, the GTX 1060 performed really well. I’m using it on an Asus PA321Q, which is a very pretty 4K display, and thought it’d never manage to play games at such high resolutions. I was wrong. Granted, I’m playing games like Diablo 3 and Overwatch, but the 1060 dished out plenty of frames. I’m still waiting for a replacement Titan Xp, but I don’t think it’s coming anytime soon.

James Davenport: Cold move

Here’s how to take the wind out of what’s designed to be a rare, coveted item in a loot-based game: offer it as a pre-order bonus. In a cool video detailing how Bungie created an exotic weapon for Destiny 2, we also found out that the Coldheart, a trace rifle that fires a constant laser beam, will be handed out to everyone who pre-orders the game. Anyone else who wants it will have to wait until December for it to drop. With so many Coldhearts out there when Destiny 2 launches, the exotic label will only apply in name. It’s like painting a brick gold and calling it rare and valuable. We’re going to hate that damn blue beam within days, I’m calling it now. On the bright side, trace rifles are an interesting new weapon archetype, and Coldheart’s distinct design falls in line with how unique the revealed exotics have been so far.   

Andy Kelly: Skate expectations

What happened to extreme sports games? There was a period in the early 2000s when you couldn't move for snowboarding, skating, and BMX games. But then, for whatever reason, the genre kickflipped into obscurity. And it's a damn shame, because I'd love something akin to SSX, Skate, or Dave Mirra's Freestyle BMX on PC. But mostly Skate. I loved those games, and it's about time EA reformed Black Box and got them to make a new one.

I guess genres falling in and out of popularity is an unavoidable part of the games biz. And it's not always bad. The early 2000s were also plagued by loads of really embarrassing San Andreas-inspired crime games, including the first Saints Row. To be fair, that series grew into something much more interesting and self-aware. But most of these games were, overall, a bit shit. So the death of that genre, unlike extreme sports, is no great loss.

Tom Senior: Art attack

I understand the reasoning behind Nidhogg 2’s art style—player customisation is fun—but as much as I try I can’t bring myself to like it. In the first game you played as expressive little stick men in a demented fever dream patrolled by a giant hungry worm. Now you’re a grizzly brightly coloured flesh-creature fighting through castles and meat grinders. The new weapons and stances look like they are adding variety in the right places, but that’s not much use when the game is nauseating to look at.

Oh well, back to Pyre. It’s a beautiful game and I love the character designs, but this too is just a little too much. There is a fine, subjective line between colourful and garish. Perhaps Quern’s stony island has put me in a mood for monotones this week.

Joe Donnelly: The Evil Without

My High entry this week doubles up as my Low as, having completed my The Evil Within playthrough (which I played on PS4) this week, I now have nothing to play over the weekend. Having recently moved from Glasgow to PC Gamer UK’s headquarters in Bath means I now live in a flat with no broadband. I reckon I’ll spend next week hanging back after hours playing PUBG on my office PC. If I log enough hours, do you reckon I’ll eventually learn to pull off this tandem aerial bike attack?