This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Joe Donnelly: Destin-meh
I'm happy to report this was a relatively upbeat week for me which means I don't have much to grumble about in this here Lows column. While not exactly a low per se, I totally bounced off the original Destiny after a few attempts when it first came to PS4, and therefore have felt a little outside of the circle this week following the announcement of a sequel. From what I've read quite a bit has changed this time round and while I've struggled to get as hyped as some folk, this is probably a good thing for me overall as I often found its first game to be tedious.

Besides videogames, my real low this week was shaving off my beard spur of the moment after around ten months or so of growth. In an instant I've went from cool, Hawaiian shirt-wearing 2012 Max Payne, to mopy trim-and-tidy 2001 Max Payne. It's a disaster.

Tim Clark: ...it’s also delayed

The suckerpunch at the Destiny 2 event was the news that the game will be arriving later on PC. I’ve seen other outlets report this as more of a possibility, but having spoke to director Luke Smith at the event it was abundantly clear the PC won’t arrive day and date with the consoles. It was pretty naughty of Activision/Bungie not to be more clear about this when flashing September 8 all over the screen, and I have to say I was surprised to find out about the delay given what a great state the code seemed to be in. But enough salt, let’s have some perspective: There’s almost nothing more miserable in gaming than a rushed launch. I’d rather wait the weeks, or even months, necessary for Destiny 2 to have the best chance of a long life on PC. Plus it gives me more time to save for a new monitor.

(Image: © Flickr via Arbeitskreis Vorratsdaten)

Tyler Wilde: The fast lane

We knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make it less frustrating: the FCC has voted to begin the process of wiping out the net neutrality rules enacted in 2015. It’s not an instant process, but it’s happening and not slowly. If you’re not up to date on what net neutrality—or lack of it—means for gaming and the internet at large, Wes laid it out in great detail here.

Andy Kelly: Team player

As the feverish demand for cutting edge graphics and lavish production values increases, more and more developers are required to develop 'AAA' games. The result of this is games that are created by several large teams, sometimes working in completely different countries. While setups like this have resulted in some great games (I loved Watch Dogs 2) there are others that seem bland and homogenised because of a lack of vision and focus.

The reality is that people demand high-end visuals in blockbuster games, and that costs money and requires a huge number of talented people to make happen. But I feel like the best games are a result of single teams with a clear vision and purpose. The new Hitman is as 'AAA' as it gets, but it's clear IO Interactive had a strong idea of what it wanted its game to look, feel, and play like, and was able to follow it through to the end.

But I doubt it would have been so refined if it had a dozen satellite studios orbiting it and a parade of executive producers sticking their noses in. I'm being a backseat developer here, of course, but I worry that these situations result in games being designed by committee, and that's never a good thing for any medium. And with giants like Hitman and Deus Ex being toppled, maybe it's time for the big hitters to start thinking smaller.

Chris Livingston: Cheaters sometimes prosper

Steam made a change to trading cards this week to combat card farming, which was a practice where people would create questionable games, put them onto Steam, generate keys, and activate them with scores of automated sockpuppet accounts which would then 'play' the games, generate trading cards, and sell them on the market.

There's a part of me that grudgingly admires those who exploit systems like this—you have to admit, it's pretty clever. But it shows once again Valve's hands-off approach to their own storefront which, by the sound of things, is swamped with bullshit games created simply to birth trading cards. If Steam is the Eye of Sauron of PC game markets—and I sort of feel like it is—it sure is letting a lot of dastardly Frodos slip in under its unblinking gaze.

James Davenport: Try before you cry

After a day full of surprises and reassurances that, yes, Destiny 2 is going to work just fine on the PC, I was disheartened to visit the comments section for our Destiny 2 articles. For whatever reason, the myth that Destiny is a broken, boring ‘console’ game not worthy of our attention or extensive coverage still exists. It ticks all the PC gamer boxes: FPS, RPG, loot, raids, clan support, and so on. Some of these words sound antiquated, but nested in a shooter designed by Bungie, masters of the craft, they make sense—you may just have to try it to understand. 

Or not! Maybe it’s not for you. That’s fine, but making it a mission to cry out into a text box, anonymously, that anything that’s ever brushed shoulders with a console is inherently flawed is a good indication you shouldn’t be taken seriously. Folks will latch onto Destiny 2 or they won’t, but in the meantime, it’s still a game of great interest to a lot of people, including a few members of the PC Gamer staff and thousands of readers. Dark Souls was a console game with an awful port, and now it’s evangelized on the PC daily. Who’s to say it can’t happen again? Be skeptical, sure, but don’t be rude.