This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Each week the PC Gamer team drives hot takes home like John Henry with his hammer.

The highs

Chris Thursten: BTing a dead horse

Titanfall 2. It's got to be, hasn't it? I mean, I've already written about how good it is this week, and what I think it means for the FPS as a whole. It's been brilliant to discover a game that gets so much right, from the gradually-escalating quality of its singleplayer campaign to a multiplayer that I've not been able to put down. Every so often, a multiplayer FPS really clicks with me. It comes down to how it feels to move, how quickly and fluidly you can navigate each environment, the punch of weapons and the skill you feel like you're expressing with each kill. Titanfall 2 has all of that in spades, moreso than any game I can think of from the last couple of years besides its immediate predecessor.

It just feels so good. I run Shadowplay and I'm always saving chunks of footage to be processed into gifs. There was this double Titan execution, which I included in my review: there's no greater satisfaction than dumpstering both a Ronin and a Northstar within seconds of one another. Then there are simpler moments, like this one: a one-in-a-hundred grenade throw (and I know that because I screwed up 99 grenades on the way to that one.) But every game is packed with little moments like that, and they stick with me and make me want to jump back in and keep playing. Why hasn't the work day ended yet?

Samuel Roberts: Far Cry Free

Ubisoft has given away Rayman Origins, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and The Club as part of its 30th anniversary initiative on PC, among other hits from its back catalogue, which is nice and generous. Arguably the best freebie yet is standalone expansion Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, though, which you'll be able to pick up next week. 

That's one of my favourite things about PC gaming. Between this, EA's On The House free games and Humble Bundles, pretty much anyone new to this hobby can summon an instant library of great games for very little—not to mention the tons of great free games you can play on PC anyway. You just can't find anything like it anywhere else.

James Davenport: Try angle

What’s your favorite shape? Mine is triangles. I love A) a good point B) angles and C) three of ‘em. I also like clicking on triangles to make them rotate and slam into one another in an endless compounding cycle that makes larger and larger triangles forever, amen. YANKAI’S TRIANGLE, which I feel obligated to capitalize, is exactly that, but the Steam store description sells it better than I ever could: “With an elegant innovative revolutionary TRIANGLE-first approach to interface, YANKAI'S TRIANGLE lets you tap on TRIANGLES to spin them and stuff. Colors play a part in gameplay too I think. Bring TRIANGLES to a forgotten TRIANGLE, and uncover a TRIANGLE hidden deep beneath the YANKAI.” I’m sold. 

The basic gist is that you need assemble triangles out of smaller triangles by rotating them to match the colors on touching sides. It’s not a head scratcher since you can usually get through most levels by a simple process of elimination, but I like it for the trance its menial clicking lulls me into. Accompanied by a lightly unsettling soundscape, I’m not sure I’ll ever escape YANKAI’S TRIANGLE, I’ll probably die here, and that’s OK.

Joe Donnelly: Just when I thought I was out...

Darkest Dungeon is one of those games that I hate to love and love to hate. Straight off its successfully crowdfunded bat, developer Red Hook Studios made clear its intentions with its micromanaging, dungeon crawling RPG: to make a brutally challenging game that offered little in the way of concession to its players. As such, it swallowed months of my time when it launched earlier this year—to the point where I became a wee bit obsessed with its wicked, permadeath-driven ways. 

It's been some months since I pried myself from its malicious murder grounds, yet I sense a return is on the cards in light of Red Hook's recent mention of future mod support. "Official modding support is coming!" reads a blog post on the game's site. "We can’t wait to see what the community comes up with." Neither can I, and if we thought Red Hook had a twisted sense of humour, I reckon the players that've suffered at the hands of Darkest Dungeon will now seek revenge in spades. I almost look forward to dying again and again and… hang on, should I have included this in this week's lows entry?

Wes Fenlon: Desk in progress

I haven't played many PC games this week, but I have a pretty good excuse: I moved houses for the first time in five years, and didn't get my desktop back up and running until late Wednesday. The desk setup is still unfinished, but I'm currently delighting in having a new, clean, clutter-free wooden desk that's nicer than the cheapo tabletop I used in the past. My previous desk was a corner setup, and the curved front just never worked well for my mouse and keyboard. In the next couple weeks I plan to put a nice finish on the new wooden surface, integrate my second monitor, tidy up the rest of the cables and install some under-desk RGB lighting.

Tuan Nguyen: Utilizing really fast internet

I’m spoiled. I can’t stand it anymore when things don’t download at least at 200MB/s. That’s 200 megabytes, not bits. I have this really fast connection at home and grabbing things from Steam is almost like a ritual now. It runs at a blistering 2 gigabits per second in both directions and lets me truly see the disparaging state of internet speeds in the US. Our infrastructure needs a lot of upgrading. Heck, even South Korea has an average speed more than ten times faster. The good part though, is that I do a lot of transfer to Amazon Cloud services, as well as Google Drive. Those companies are wicked fast. In fact, it’s so fast that I don’t really need to have hard drives in my PC anymore since they’re slower than my connection. The internet is my hard drive now.

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