This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The highs

Samuel Roberts: Hooray for Prey

Prey runs a lot better on PC than Dishonored 2 did—hurrah! I expected as much after Arkane's last launch became such big news, and given that Prey is built on a different engine. That concern is out of the way, now. I can't wait to see what Phil thinks of the game. Some of the possibilities it presents to you as a player sound really exciting.

We should have a full review on the site from early next week. In the meantime, I'm going to spend the weekend exploring Talos I myself, to see if I can turn myself into a chair after exterminating an alien menace. 

Tom Senior: Old worlds and new

Sometimes, in the rush of news and new releases, it can be easy to overlook games that continue to quietly entertain thousands, even millions of players. Minecraft is one such game, so this week Samuel recounted his adventures in the game's ambitious endgame updates. It looks like they're perfectly tailored to casual co-op sessions, which has Minecraft has always been good at. We'll be revisiting this cheerful, non-threatening world of blocks more often.

On a slightly related note, I'm excited for the chance to play some co-op in Worlds Adrift. It's currently in closed beta, but also promises inter-island drama, flying ships and lots of fun building. One to watch, I think.

Chris Livingston: Grand Theft Odd-O

I love weird bugs in games. Sure, it can be frustrating when bugs mess up a gaming session, but when a bug is strange enough it's almost worth the headache. This week GTA Online had a bizarre one when all of the game's store clerks suddenly went missing, as if it was a very specific rapture only targeted at convenience stores. It's sort of had to imagine why a bug would only make these specific NPCs vanish and no one else. Annoying, for those trying to complete the tutorial, but sort of oddly interesting as well. The clerks have since returned, though wherever they went, and why, they haven't told us, even when we stuck a gun in their face.

Jarred Walton: Being PC

Various prophecies about the demise of PCs and PC gaming have been bandied about by naysayers for decades. Obviously there are years where PC sales are better, and user requirements have shifted over time as well. But through all the talk, the PC is still here, and still doing well. In fact, big PC manufacturers like Dell expect to see increased growth in PC sales over the next five years. And a driving force for that will be PC gaming hardware, where many of the greatest technological improvements have originated. It’s a great time to be a PC gamer. 

Wes Fenlon: Rally for Tactics

I could write a low about how Final Fantasy Tactics isn't on PC, but I'm being optimistic instead. I had fun writing seven reasons why one of the best Final Fantasy games ever really needs to be on PC already. Surely Square Enix read it and was immediately convinced to start porting the game. When it does happen, I predict it will outsell every other retro Final Fantasy on Steam within a year.

Joe Donnelly: The Long Wait

It's been one hell of a wait but three and a half years since its successful Kickstarter campaign, and two and a half years since its Early Access debut, The Long Dark now has a story mode. Well, sort-of—yesterday, the game's previously revealed countdown ran its course and revealed August 1, 2017 as Wintermute's inauguration, kicking things off with the first two of a planned five episodes. 

This is, so says developer Hinterland, also when TLD will release in full, despite the fact the remaining three episodes will run into 2018. Nevertheless this is great news because, while The Long Dark is a fantastic survival exploration game on its own, a central narrative with characters and plotlines and predicaments to get wrapped up in, will tie everything together. Games like Firewatch have since done a wonderful job of weaving exploration with story and setting, and I expect The Long Dark to thrive with similar style.