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The biggest PC gaming stories of the week

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Bunny-shaped chocolate is heavily discounted after Easter, and so it only cost a couple bucks to give myself sugar sweats that kept me up for half of last night. If you're looking to add some variety to your routine, it's an option. 

Not that we're starved for entertainment. The potential in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord (opens in new tab) alone feels inexhaustible when you consider modding (opens in new tab). And next week, we're going to have a new XCOM game to play (which is not something we saw coming) as well as Gears Tactics a few days after that. Hunkering down with a couple tactics games feels like pretty a decent idea right now—maybe after eating another solid chocolate rabbit from a discount bin.

Here's what you need to know about this week's PC gaming news:

There's a new XCOM spinoff coming next week (opens in new tab)

Surprise: Chimera Squad will be out on Friday, April 24 (though it might unlock a bit before that) and will see humans, aliens, and hybrids team up for a $10 introductory price—that's a bit unusual, but welcome. The release is possibly rough timing for Gears Tactics (opens in new tab), which comes out a few days later.

Crysis Remastered is coming to PC with ray tracing, higher resolution textures (opens in new tab)

Another surprise! But can we run it (opens in new tab)?

Minecraft with RTX is breathtaking but painfully exclusive

Ray-traced Minecraft looks amazing, but like ray-traced Crysis Remastered (presumably), you'll need a very high-end machine to run it. Look at it, though:

Rick May, voice of the Soldier in Team Fortress 2, has died (opens in new tab)

May contracted COVID-19 while recovering from a stroke, and died last week. Along with his role as Team Fortress 2's iconic Soldier, May played parts in Star Fox 64, Freddi Fish 5, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, and Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, was a teacher, and directed over 300 live shows. Colleagues and fans have been producing tributes all week, which we've collected a few of here.

The first mod that will let you finish Half-Life: Alyx without VR is here

You obviously don't get the Half-Life: Alyx experience that Valve designed, but you do get weird stiff hands sticking out of your torso.

Henry Cavill is spending his quarantine time painting Warhammer miniatures (opens in new tab)

Cavill's obsession with tiny space men has led fans to call for him to portray the Emperor of Mankind in a hypothetical Warhammer TV series. With his playing Geralt in Netflix's Witcher show, he's at risk of becoming typecast as a fantasy novel/videogame guy, but maybe that wouldn't be such a bad career direction.

More things we wrote

Valorant, Fallout 76, and old logos

This week, I interviewed Valorant's lead designer on cheaters (they've already banned some), exploits, and the current meta—including his thoughts on controversial character Raze and her big rocket launcher. I also took a detour into physics to find out why Stephen Wolfram, a scientist who loves naming things after himself, thinks the universe is computational (opens in new tab)

Chris and James both popped into Fallout 76 to try out the new Wastelanders expansion, which adds NPCs to Fallout's online experience. It clicked for James (opens in new tab) when he started playing it like Animal Crossing (but with guns), and Chris confessed his embarrassment (opens in new tab) at inviting an NPC back to his awful camp. Please clean up, Chris.

Meanwhile, Andy Chalk introduced Pope Simulator to us (opens in new tab)—it simulates being the Pope, if that isn't clear from the name—while Andy Kelly (an equally good Andy) put together a pleasantly nostalgic supercut of classic game logos. Watch and hear the splash screens you remember below, and feel comforted by the existence of old things as we enter a new weekend:

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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.