This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Each week the PC Gamer team checks to make sure Bubsy doesn't escape his prison. This week, we failed.

The highs

Samuel Roberts: E3!

E3 gets longer and longer every year. This year, the fun starts with EA's conference on Saturday, where I expect to see two or three games I care about that involve either Star Wars or BioWare, then four or five sports games that make me zone out and check Twitter. E3 then continues through to Monday 12th June at 10AM PDT, with our very own PC Gaming Show, before the show itself opens on Tuesday and we learn a load of stuff about the most exciting games of the near future.

I'm earnestly excited about E3. Seeing that many noisy blockbusters take the stage is somehow still exciting to me after following E3 for well over a decade—especially as there are always less obvious highlights around the show, like last year's Absolver. Bring on the explosions and hooting from audience members who are definitely real humans. 

Phil Savage: The real war begins

As usual, I'll be staying up late to watch E3 from the comfort of a Twitch stream. It's an exciting time. As wearying as the industry can be sometimes, it's always fun to learn about a raft of upcoming games, and to enjoy any surprises that might emerge. For instance, there's this cryptic tease of something new from XCOM 2 planned for the PC Gaming Show (hey, that's us!) on Monday. Tragically, I haven't found time to really dig into the XCOM sequel, despite its great reviews and many interesting mods. By I'm willing to be lured back. Here's hoping this is something big.

Joe Donnelly: What Phil said

I'm going to double down on Phil's XCOM 2 E3 excitement because I've sunk loads of time into both Firaxis' base game and its officially-endorsed, brutally challenging Long War 2 endeavour. Set to be revealed at our PC Gaming Show on Monday, something new is coming—and while there's every chance it could be another LW-type dealio, I suspect the announcement will be more substantial and tied to XCOM 2 itself.

Much like the first game's Enemy Within expansion, I reckon whatever's coming will, in typical post-release Firaxis style, targets XCOM 2's mid or late game. I doubt we'll see anything groundbreaking (I'd gladly take a reinvention, mind), but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to whatever drops. The ways in which Civ 6 has been bolstered over time is perhaps what we're looking at here and I'm all for it.

Chris Livingston: Cyrodeal

I'm continually fascinated by massive modding projects undertaken by large groups of volunteers, sometimes spanning years of work. Beyond Skyrim is one such project, and it's got me excited to see what they release in July. The mod aims to recreate the entire continent of Cyrodiil in the game of Skyrim, bringing the rest of The Elder Scrolls world into Skyrim's timeline. The trailer for the first section of the mod to be released, Beyond Skyrim: Bruma, looks pretty great. I can't wait to revisit Bruma, and see what new quests, characters, and adventures the mod team has cooked up.

Wes Fenlon: I have seen the future, and it blows

Plot twist: Blowing is actually good. I spent last week in Taiwan for Computex, an annual tech convention that always has a few PC gaming goodies to be found. One of those goodies, this year, was a new fan design from Noctua, who are known for some of the quietest fans around. And this new design has been in the works for more than four years, all for the sake of a better fan. I love stories about how far engineers will go to improve something super specific, and you can't get much more specific than the volume and blowing power of a fan. Well done, Noctua.

Bo Moore: Top Laptop

After months and months of testing, we've finally updated our guide to gaming laptops with a new favorite. As the primary tester, finally crowning a victor (Asus's GL502VS) is a big weight off my shoulders—or, my back more like it. Toting these bad boys around hasn't always been easy. Luckily, this generation of gaming laptops are thinner and lighter than ever, and the upcoming Max-Q designs are only going to improve on that. I'm excited.