This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Samuel Roberts: LA redux

I enjoyed reading Tim's piece on LA Noire's upcoming VR offshoot this week, not least because I can empathise with his sweaty chronicles of punching a man in the face using VR controllers. That aside, the way interacting with other characters works in this revamped game sounds effective, and it's nice to hear they've redone hundreds of objects to make the world feel more vivid. The original is starting to show its age, as nice as the faces look. 

LA Noire is one of those games that games journalists love to talk about: it has a rich historical setting, cinematic aspirations and is flawed in a bunch of interesting ways, despite reaching so high. I'm all for another way to experience it. 

Phil Savage: IO, IO, it's off to work they go

Right, yes, fine. With almost tedious inevitability, I am excited about the confirmation of new Hitman.

Seriously, though, while I've written about Hitman so much that I'm almost sick of my own opinions about it, it remains brilliant. And the fact that IO gets to make more of it as an indie studio is a rare and heartwarming thing. I look forward to seeing what they come up with, be it a new game or a second season of the existing one. (Although I might get someone else to review it.)

Joe Donnelly: Dressing room dressing down

I spoke about Football Manager 2018 in last week’s high column and here I am at it again. Why? Because I’ve not played anything else this week. In fact I’ve not really done anything in the last seven days, besides reviewing the latest game, chanting football songs at my monitor, and moaning about how my Celtic players don’t respect me as a manager. I’m a bit of a dick, I admit that, but these guys have a serious problem with authority. 

FM 2018’s Dynamics system is what's given my squad its newfound backbone—a new feature that forces you to manage 15+ bodies both on and off the pitch. Upsetting the most authoritative players (by dropping them from the first team, for example) often has knock-on effects and can spill onto the pitch. Despite my new disdain for some of my real life heroes, it’s a really cool addition that I’ve enjoying messing around with. 

Tyler Wilde: Rocket surfing

Goofiness has retreated from a lot of multiplayer games. We don't get to stand on the wings of flying planes in Battlefield anymore, or fill jeeps with C4. Weird, silly mods like Action Quake 2 are harder to find. The most popular game right now, PUBG, takes place in a grey military sadscape. So although I haven't played much of it yet, I'm excited to see the playfulness of Battlefield 1942 and Team Fortress 2 emerge in Fortnite Battle Royale, where players have been riding on pumpkin rockets and turning themselves into bushes. I want to do that.

Wes Fenlon: Hello Nioh

Hey, Nioh's out on PC! Cool. I haven't played it yet, and I know it's mostly a shameless combination of Dark Souls and a bloated loot system, but dangit, I love my Japanese action games. I'm especially glad to see it arrive on PC because Sony published Nioh on the PS4, which I had assumed meant a PC version was out of the question. I'm glad to be wrong, especially as I've been replaying Team Ninja's incredible Ninja Gaiden Black recently. There may be little left of the team that made that game a decade ago, but I want to believe the action pedigree still lives on in those halls.

Chris Livingston: Hats and dogs 

The Sims 4 has finally gotten pets, and they're fun. Dogs will jump in the pool with you, cats will lick their crotches while sitting on the kitchen counter and ignoring you (and ignoring everything else, including house fires) unless they want something, and you can design them, breed them, and dress them up in little outfits. You can even run a vet clinic, which I have been doing with some success, provided you don't spend too much time in the lobby which is covered with dog pee (and, this being The Sims, possibly some human pee as well).

Realistic? No. Cats will obediently climb onto the examination table without screeching, and taking their temperature involves scanning their ear with a laser instead of sticking a cold thermometer up their butts while they try to claw you to death. But who wants realism? I want to put a hat on my cat and have it stay there, instead of my cat shaking it off immediately and then hating me for the next 72 hours.