This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Tim Clark: My console is now cursed

Last week I flew up to Bungie to spend some time with Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris expansion, following which my brain emitted these thoughts. The short version is that it’s plenty of fun, and a worthy showcase for one of the lore’s coolest characters, but expecting it to resolve all the issues surrounding the endgame’s unsatisfying loot chase are unrealistic given that it was already in development before the main game shipped. Nonetheless, I’m still having a great time, and rolled a baby Titan—my third character—this week. Now that Bungie and Nvidia have ironed out some of the performance kinks, it’s a joy to play a series I’ve loved so long on really good hardware and see those glorious Sunshot explosions at 100+ fps. So much so that when I had to play the expansion on a PS4 at Bungie HQ, I initially called one of the devs over to query why my game was stuttering so much. Turns out I’d just forgotten how 30fps feels on console. No going back now, sorry old clanmates. 

Andy Kelly: Quake off

Despite the many new games sitting unplayed in my Steam library (I’ll get around to you soon, Wolfenstein II, I promise), I’ve been playing the original Quake this week. Or, more specifically, the superb fan-made Forgotten Sepulcher. Sixty times more intricate than a regular Quake map, this labyrinthine level is hugely impressive, filled with clever secret areas, new enemies, and some really impressive architecture. You can read more about it here.

Man, I love the original Quake. That mix of dark, medieval horror and Lovecraftian abominations was, and still is, so unique. It’s one of the most atmospheric shooters ever made, and thanks to the likes of GLQuake, still perfectly playable today. I’d love to see this art style realised with modern technology in a New Doom-style reboot. Fingers crossed it’s the next game id Software decides to dig out of its back catalogue and give a new lease of life.

Tyler Wilde: What a save

While playing Rocket League on Tuesday night I started to get framerate drops. It was strange, but I figured whatever was going on could probably be solved with a reboot. Nope. When I booted up my PC Wednesday morning I got a fan speed error. It wasn't long before I diagnosed the problem: the pump in my closed loop cooler had stopped pumping. My CPU was idling at 95C. And this is while I was in the middle of my Battlefront 2 review.

There was no time to worry about warranties: I needed a new cooler immediately. I share a car and didn't have it, which meant I had to take a terrifying cab ride (the guy fully ran a red light) out to a computer parts store for a new cooler. But the only one I knew of was a Best Buy around the corner. I foolishly tried it even though I know they barely sell any PC parts, and they had nothing for me, as I should've expected. What saved me was a wonderful coincidence: PC Gamer Club member Naomi happened to recall a computer parts store near me. I went and they had exactly what I needed (thank you, life-saver Naomi). I then proceeded with the fastest cooler installation I've ever done (I only bled once) and now my CPU is nice and chilly. I'm just happy it didn't melt before I noticed it had a fever.

Phil Savage: Engage shill mode

This week, our publishing company, Future, launched a Christmas sale on subscriptions to its giant catalogue of magazines—PC Gamer included. And, as the editor of PC Gamer magazine, I'm here to suggest you give it a go. Each month, we bring you beautifully designed in-depth features, longform retrospectives, silly stories about the joy we find in our favourite games, and, of course, reviews, previews and investigative reports.

Our current UK issue contains a fascinating interview with Amplitude Studios about their Endless series of 4X games, a return to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, and—exclusive to print subscribers—a free copy of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Our current US issue contains our massive history of Civilization feature, talking to every lead designer across all six main games. Head to My Favourite Magazines to get your 30% PC Gamer discount. *disengage shill mode*

James Davenport: Play of the Devs

This last weekend I attended Day of the Devs, Double Fine's annual showcase for small developers, and I couldn't believe how many games I didn't know about beforehand. There were something like 60 games on display, and with such big crowds it was hard to play as much as I would have liked, but everything I managed to play was excellent. Untitled Goose Game is like a simple Hitman without a fail state (and you play as a goose). I tortured a gardener and felt good about it. Genesis Noir is a gorgeous cosmic adventure game of sorts, something like Samorost where clicking and watch the world react is the bulk of the fun. The Kickstarter is happening soon, so check out the trailer and see if it's something you'd like to support. 

Harold Halibut is super early, but it's nailed the look of a Wes Anderson stop-motion movie. The Occupation is an ambitious murder-free immersive sim where you play a whistle-blowing journalist. Chuchel is an anthology of cute vignettes where you play a small creature (a nut with a face?) trying to eat as many cherries as possible. Session is a rad skateboarding sim with some really interesting controls—each stick maps to foot! I thought my backlog was big enough, but with this many creative, colorful indie games coming too, I'm completely doomed. It's a nice feeling. 

Joe Donnelly: Lust for loot

Sea of Thieves developer Rare has spent the last several months showing us the incoming pirate MMO behind the scenes, examining its combat mechanics, cross-play particulars, and PC specs for less powerful machines, among a number of other things. Its latest trailer is far less serious in tone and is a play one of my favourite movies Trainspotting—complete with an Iggy Pop-sounding Lust for Life-style backing track. It’s good fun and you should check it out

Choose loot. Choose plundering. Choose the high seas. Choose to “be more pirate”.