The biggest PC gaming stories of the week

(Image credit: Valve)
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We've nearly made it through the first month of 2020, and the year is reconfiguring before us. Last week, we learned that Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) and Marvel's Avengers (opens in new tab)have been delayed, and this week Dying Light 2 was also pushed back (opens in new tab). But, apparently, we've passed into a bubble of spacetime in which Valve is really, truly ready to publish a new Half-Life game. Here are the biggest PC gaming stories of the week:

Valve is 'confident' Half-Life: Alyx won't be delayed (opens in new tab) 

Last week was characterized by delays (opens in new tab), so let's start with a non-delay. Valve's big bet on VR is done, apparently, and so there's no concern about a Half-Life: Alyx delay—it'll still come out sometime in March. If you were hoping you had more time to save up for the hardware needed to play it (opens in new tab), I'm sorry. Valve has apparently become punctual.

Being 'muted' in a game does not violate your civil rights, US federal court declares (opens in new tab)

Shockingly, the courts did not agree with a man who described his experience with Runescape mods as a violation of his human rights.

The internet has decided Doomguy and Animal Crossing's Isabelle are best friends now (opens in new tab)

These things just happen sometimes.

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World of Warcraft players sure are pissed off at Battle for Azeroth's anticlimactic ending (opens in new tab)

There are three possible endings to any story: the kind that makes people go "huh," the kind that makes people go "wow," and the kind that makes people log onto Reddit. WoW found the latter, it seems.

AMD's last minute 5600 XT BIOS update feels like a 'bait and switch' (opens in new tab)

Jarred was not too impressed with AMD's eleventh hour BIOS update, which at the least will cause confusion. If a 5600 XT card is in your future, read Jarred's breakdown of the situation to make sure you know what you're getting.

Loot boxes push kids into gambling, says England's NHS mental health director (opens in new tab)

Controversies over loot boxes have died down over the past year, but the debates—which have expanded from forums and subbreddits to legislators and government officials—are far from settled. Here's another report that probably induced some game industry CEO frowns.

More things we wrote

Around the office

WoW players weren't the only ones grumbling this week: Tim, Phil, and Tom discussed the state of Destiny 2 (opens in new tab) and the frustration over the underwhelming reward for solving its latest puzzle (which itself was cool, if you like watching streamers do something that looks like genome mapping).

Meanwhile, Wes and Andy Kelly have both played Doom Eternal: Here's Wes on how it felt (opens in new tab) ("metal as hell"), Wes and Andy on what they liked and didn't like (opens in new tab), and Andy on the decor and personal items (opens in new tab) found in Doom Slayer's bedroom. He's just a regular guy when he isn't cleaving demons in half.

Also this week, Steven and Emma took a look at League of Legends card game Legends of Runeterra—here's how its microtransactions work (opens in new tab), a guide to the basic rules (opens in new tab), and a primer on the cards and their abilities (opens in new tab). It's in open beta now.

Chris attempted (opens in new tab) to speak and make eye contact like a normal human being in Speaking Simulator—because he certainly isn't a robot—and had mixed results. His ear came off, for one thing. He also made an honest effort to govern in Frostpunk's next expansion, The Last Autumn, but was immediately fired by a union (opens in new tab). Always with the misadventures, that guy.

Finally, Lauren learned a lot more about The Elder Scrolls Online's upcoming trip to Skyrim: It isn't retelling (opens in new tab) the Skyrim stories we've already experienced in The Elder Scrolls 5, and the subterranean land of Blackreach is going to be a big part of it (opens in new tab). That's either a promise or a threat depending on how you felt about Blackreach the last time you visited.

Have a great weekend, and if you've seen the Apple Software Update prompt pop up on your PC recently, do yourself a favor and finally get around to uninstalling iTunes. When was the last time you used iTunes?

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Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the rise of personal computers, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early PCs 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. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.