Samuel Roberts: Hitman returns
So much news happened this week, and I'm glad Hitman 2 got out in front of E3 before its announcement was squashed under nine dozen headlines about The Last of Us 2, which will basically be next week. A Miami racing venue seems to be the setting of at least one of the game's six chapters—a perfect high-concept mission for Agent 47.
I love that Hitman's getting another go around. The episodic structure forced players to think too hard about the economics of paying £7 for a level, in my opinion, and I'm glad they've entirely ditched that. With the threat posed to immersive sims and traditional Metal Gear games now MIA, I was worried IO's troubles marked the end of big-budget stealth games—I'm glad this seems to be far from the case.
Tom Senior: Eeeeeee
Oh god oh god oh god. We’re on the cusp of the biggest industry conference of the year. E3 is coming tomorrow (aaah!) and it will be full of shiny upcoming games (eeee!). We’ll be writing about them non-stop until our fingers fall off, which will dramatically impact our Battlefield K/D ratio, but that’s just the price pay in this business. Covering E3 is exhilarating and exhausting at the same time—exhilarausting—but it never gets old. It’s a big, noisy, shouty statement from the industry that sets up the structure for the year to come.
Personally, I’m most curious to see what Anthem looks like. Last year’s scripted little demo is all we have to go on. I want to see proper footage with a HUD and a clear explanation of what it is exactly. I expect to hear nonsense about dynamic events that change the world every time you play, but those games always become a grind in the end. The question is: what kind of grind? Give me the good grind, Bioware. Give me the good grind.
Speaking of the good grind, there’s a new Diablo project in the works. Yes!
James Davenport: No more Destiny puns
Bungie detailed their Year 2 plans earlier this week, and driving the bulk of big changes is the next major expansion, Forsaken. The PCG Destiny Crew and I wrote way too much about what we think already, so I'll keep it short. Forsaken looks amazing. That doesn't wipe away all the missteps Bungie's made in Destiny 2's first year—I got bored with the endgame and quit playing months ago—but I don't play Destiny 2 like most people. If the endgame didn't end, I probably wouldn't like it very much. Good news for those that want a bottomless game pit, the videogame abyss: Destiny 2 is getting random rolls and a tracking system for collectors.
I'm more interested in The Dreaming City, one of two new planetary areas where the new raid lives. Everything looks straight off of some high fantasy/sci-fi hybrid book cover. Bright painterly vistas, mysterious doorways, arcane architecture—I'm in. I'll play Destiny 2 or 3 or 4 no matter what, so long as I can play dress up as a cool space wizard in cool space environments. Bungie's excellent gunplay does the rest of the work.
Steven Messner: Dancing with the devil
This week Blizzard gave us all something to freak out about when internet sleuths discovered multiple job postings for an "unannounced Diablo project." Considering how neglected Diablo 3 has felt these past few years (and how desperate fans are for something new), it's worth being excited about. I can't help but get a little curious as to why there's a specific listing for a dungeon artist—an entirely separate role from another job posting for environmental artists. It's pure speculation, but could this be a clue that maybe this new Diablo will borrow some ideas from MMORPG dungeons? Do I dare even write the words World of Diablo?
Chris Livingston: Fearing Wheel
I downloaded and played the demo of Beware, a driving horror game that's in development by Ondrej Svadlena. It's still very much a work in progress and it shows, but it's got a stellar look, it's wonderfully spooky, and it's already full of secrets that Reddit is busy trying to solve. Maybe it's just that we've watched so many movies, but there's something almost elemental about seeing a pair of headlights appear in your rearview mirror on a dark and foggy night. It's a great source of horror to draw on, and I can't wait to see more.
Joe Donnelly: Stories played
GOG's Summer Gaming Sale kicked off this week, bringing with it a typical deluge of savings on great games. If you're spoiled for choice, I'd suggest swinging by the PC Gamer Collection—a gathering of 37 games that span three decades and includes everything from Dungeon Keeper to Beyond Good & Evil, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Into the Breach and Divinity: Original Sin 2.
One game I (somehow) missed in Monday's roundup, though, is No Code's wonderfully haunting text adventure thriller Stories Untold. As Samuel explains, Stories Untold shows why we need more anthology series in games, and I agree it's hard to say much more without spoiling what makes it so special. Let me at least tell you it's on sale for just £1.79/$2.49 and is totally worth a punt. It’s so, so good.