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The biggest PC gaming stories of the week

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Over seven years after Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord (opens in new tab)was announced, we can finally play the open-ended feudal life sim (it's like Animal Crossing but with significantly more kidnapping and horse violence). Skip to the bottom of this article for our Bannerlord discoveries so far, including how to briefly assault the countryside as a murderous, armed baby.

Before that, here's the other big PC Gaming news of the week, including trouble at Gearbox, Half-Life: Alyx modding, and Call of Duty's legal status as art, and how that relates to Humvees.

After a disastrous launch, Steam top-seller Last Oasis is temporarily going offline and giving full refunds (opens in new tab)

We quite liked Last Oasis (opens in new tab), but its launch went about as bad as launches can go, and the developer has taken a drastic step to try to fix things.

Borderlands 3 devs reportedly reeling after big royalty checks fail to materialize (opens in new tab)

According to a Kotaku report (opens in new tab), Gearbox employees accept below industry standard pay because they're promised big profit sharing bonuses after major releases—but "big" apparently doesn't describe the first round of Borderlands 3 checks.

Here's Half-Life 2 running in VR, using Half-Life: Alyx's engine (opens in new tab)

Valve is still working on releasing the Half-Life: Alyx level editing tools (opens in new tab) ,but modders are already putting Valve's first big VR game to use (see the video below). I don't get motion sick easily, but if the Portal games follow, I'm not sure even my inner ear will be able to take it.

Accidental crossplay between Star Wars: Jedi Academy on PC and console is a slaughter (opens in new tab)

You have to feel at least a little bad about this, but it's also pretty funny.

Judge rules that Call of Duty can have Humvees in it because games are art (opens in new tab)

I'm very happy to have this gloriously ridiculous headline to point to whenever the tedious "are games art" debate comes up again. In short, a judge said that Call of Duty having Humvees in it isn't a violation of trademark law because it's protected artistic expression.

More things we wrote

Around the office

We spent much of the week swinging swords around in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord, and we're liking it a lot so far (opens in new tab). Here are just a few of our opinions, guides, and discoveries so far:

And finally, here's what James spent his time admiring in Bannerlord (opens in new tab):

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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.