This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Samuel Roberts: Stepping away

In sad, but also good news (for him, anyway), Arkane's Raphael Colantonio has announced he's stepping down from the studio he founded after 18 years. This follows the release of both Prey and Dishonored 2 in the last year. His reasons are sound—spending time with his son and generally taking the opportunity to step back—but no doubt he's been an influential force in the studio's ongoing success.

The Austin studio will be run by veteran creative director Harvey Smith, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next after Prey. Maybe we'll see a Dishonored: Death of the Outsider-style self-contained expansion for the sci-fi horror shooter? Colantonio went into more depth on his reasons for leaving at an event this week. 18 years, and a bunch of cult PC classics later, he deserves the break.

Tom Senior: Go fisher

It sounds like we’re getting a new Splinter Cell at some point, which is actually good news, but I had been hoping that a new Sam Fisher was already in the works. The spec ops stealth niche is currently occupied by the titanic Metal Gear Solid 5—which is an awesome game, but I want more takes on the third-person stealth genre and a new Splinter Cell could be a worthy challenger. I’m not sure what my complaint is exactly, beyond ‘I want it now’.

It may also be the perfect vehicle for series vet Clint Hocking, who worked on the brilliant Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2. I mention this mainly as an excuse to link you to the entertaining and interesting Chaos Theory let’s play vid he did with level designer Matthieu Berube. 

Joe Donnelly: Grand (theft) hoax?
But then again, is it all smoke and mirrors? Don't get me wrong: I think the work the Chiliad Mystery community has put in over the years is incredibly admirable—and their latest is achievement is no exception. Yet it does take away from the mystery of the Mystery a wee bit when Rockstar adds something to the game which wasn't there in the first place. 

And, if I'm being extra cynical, is it a coincidence that Rockstar chose now to present this community with the means to uncover a four year-long quest one week on from the OpenIV controversy and everything that entailed (not least a barrage of negative Steam reviews)? Hmmm. Is the truth really out there?  

Chris Livingston: Aim-resist

Some sort of weird news from Early Access mega-hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds: executive producer Chang Han Kim said Bluehole is considering adding cross-play between Xbox and PC. That seems like a bad move all around, especially considering the following quote:

"If we’re going to allow players to use controllers we need to have the aim assist added in and things like that."

That is just such a weird and terrible idea for PUBG to be considering. It's a highly competitive shooter with no respawning where balanced gameplay is incredibly important. You can't just give one side aim-assist. No matter how finely tweaked it is, it won't render controllers and mice equal. PC players getting killed by console users will be wondering (furiously) if their opponent was actually skilled or just had help from the aim-assist. And frankly even with aim-assist, I think PC players will regularly whomp anyone using a controller anyway, so the Xbox crowd won't have much fun with cross-play either. Hopefully, it was just an idle thought, and not something that will actually happen.

Tim Clark: Destiny bawling

You hate to hurt the ones you love, but that’s how it felt this week when I wrote 2,000 words of worry about Destiny 2. Just to reiterate, I’m not really concerned about the game, it’s more of a case of wanting Bungie to really deliver this time. Especially because one look at the comments on anything we’ve written about the game so far shows there’s still plenty of cynicism out there (mainly from people who played the original at launch as far as I can tell.) Which I understand, but again urge you to check out the open beta when it arrives in August. Give that gunplay a chance, and see how you feel once you’ve thrown a few Nova Bombs around. Also, I hope you’ll check out Tom Senior’s cover feature in the latest issue, featuring his hands-on thoughts and more of our interview with game director Luke Smith. It’s space magic.

Tyler Wilde: Keyboard woes

A surprising (to me, at least) number of people came out to defend ‘silent’ mechanical keyboard switches after I described my experience of accidentally buying a new Corsair Strafe with Cherry MX Silents. I get it. Some people play games in a shared space where it would be obnoxious to use a loud keyboard, or like that it doesn’t pick up on their livestreams. There are lots of reasons to prefer dampened switches. But as I type this on my squishy new keys, I can’t imagine simply preferring the feel and sound of these clack-less switches. Obviously it’s a matter of taste, I just had no idea I was so out of touch. You mean you all don’t want your keyboard to sound like a troupe of tiny clog dancers? I can’t understand it.