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The biggest PC gaming stories of the week

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Deals season dominated the start of the week, but as Monday's peak Cyber levels dimmed into the background radiation of the universe, PC gaming marched along toward the end of the decade with a PC homecoming for Halo, new footage of Netflix's Witcher series, and a smattering of announcements. Here's what happened this week in PC gaming:  

Halo: The Master Chief Collection hits the top of the charts on Steam (opens in new tab)

It turns out that PC gamers were hungry for Halo. The first game in the collection to release, Halo: Reach, isn't the most popular of the series, but the dedicated servers are filling up anyway. It helps that it's quite a good port (opens in new tab) aside from some audio and screen tearing issues—here's our review (opens in new tab).

In the Valley of Gods is officially on hold as Campo Santo works on Valve projects (opens in new tab)

A couple weeks ago, we were wondering what happened to Firewatch developer Campo Santo's next game. Knowing that some of the team has been working on Half-Life: Alyx following their acquisition by Valve, we assumed they might've all taken up other projects. That's been confirmed, and it's unclear if In the Valley of Gods will ever be finished.

Henry Cavill shows off a Witcher fight scene on Jimmy Kimmel (opens in new tab)

Netflix's Witcher series arrives on December 20, and the promotional tour has begun. First up comes a brief preview of a sword fight in which we learn that armor is just a cosmetic upgrade in Geralt's world. Check out that clip below:

Riot is teaming with outside studios to make single-player League of Legends games (opens in new tab)

After recently announcing that it's working on four new games (opens in new tab), Riot has revealed that even more LoL is coming in the form of singleplayer games by other developers. I hope the atmosphere within Riot—which will pay $10M to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit—is advancing as quickly as its ambition.

Battlefield 5 is getting Wake Island and custom games next week (opens in new tab)

Only a handful of maps register as classics to me—Dust 2, Facing Worlds, and The Longest Yard among them—and Battlefield 1942's Wake Island is definitely in the mix. Its return in Battlefield 5, and the addition of custom games, has me keen to reinstall it.

GTFO, the co-op horror survival shooter with the silly name, hits Early Access next week (opens in new tab)

It is a goofy name, it's been a while since I've played any Left 4 Dead 2, and it feels like a good time to add a new 4-player co-op shooter to my life. Sometimes I need a break from getting tilted in Rainbow Six Siege, and unless I'm mistaken, I don't think GTFO's zombie-things spam 'learn to aim' at you. (Although that would be a cruel way to design truly loathsome enemies.) 

More things we wrote

Around the office

Discovering useful and absurd Red Dead Redemption 2 mods has been a highlight of its PC release. For instance, Andy tested out a mod that maxes out his inebriation (opens in new tab) with one button, which you can see the results of below as he dances with sheep. (The boogalewe?)

Andy also wrote about a freecam mod (opens in new tab) that allowed him to take some stunning landscape shots, and Fraser found an upcoming role reversal mod (opens in new tab) that'll put you on the side of the law, if you prefer solving crimes to committing them for some reason. (I can't fathom it.)

After a brief Rockstar Launcher and Epic Store exclusivity period, Red Dead Redemption 2 launched on Steam this week (opens in new tab), where it's sitting at mixed reviews. The thumbs downs are coming from those experiencing technical issues: some with crashing, others with Rockstar Launcher troubles. (Even if you launch RDR2 through Steam, the Rockstar Launcher insists on joining the party.)

I managed to navigate the Steam and Rockstar Launcher combo alright, and RDR2 runs OK on my aging GTX 980, but with some big compromises throughout the settings. It takes a bit more tinkering than I'd like—restarting the game and running the benchmark multiple times—to strike a balance between framerate and quality, but I've gotten it to a playable place. Half a decade old is getting up there for a GPU, so clearly I'm due for a 2020 upgrade. 

That's it for this week's recap. Next week we'll be looking at MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, GTFO, and the return of Wake Island as we also prepare our Game of the Year Awards, retrospectives on the decade behind us, and looks ahead to what the '20s may hold for PC gaming.

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Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.