Each week PC Gamer's writers meld minds until the most significant events of the previous seven days have been chosen. It's honestly amazing anything gets done around here.
Tim Clark: Bewitching footage
A couple of weeks ago, in this very column , I extolled the virtues of Dragon Age: Inquisition using actual gameplay footage for its promotional videos. (“Let them watch the actual game we want them to buy? I dunno, it sounds crazy…”) It appears the team at CD Projekt RED took this as a direct challenge to their honour.
The only response? To release more than half an hour's worth of in-game The Witcher 3 witchery. Watch it here . Things I particularly liked in the video. 1) Johnny the Godling child having a West Country accent when his voice returned. 2) One the Welsh crones using the word 'bollocks'. 3) The combat. 4) Everything else. A splurge like this, arriving a long way out from the February 2015 release date, only comes from a developer supremely confident that what it's making is going to be very good. I can't wait to find out if they're right..
Ben Griffin: Oculus Rift DK2
Oh my God. I've just tried the new Oculus Rift and now my mind is full of fabulous swears. I was on a fairground ride, a sort of whirling, spinning big dipper that tumbled me arse over tit repeatedly while my legs dangled over some brilliant city skyline. I honestly think it's the most fun I've ever had in a videogame. Just sitting there, howling with laughter. I love Mass Effect 2, but it never once made me happy.
You don't need to hear yet another overenthusiastic report of the Rift's brilliance, but between me and you, I wasn't sold on the first one. The picture was never quite in focus, and stepping into its screen door world for more than a few minutes made me queasy. Not DK2 though. DK2 is amazing, an across-the-board upgrade boasting higher-resolution, lower-latency, optical head tracking, and greater comfort. Where the first model felt every inch the specialist prototype it was, this feels official. The One. As I write this, our production editor Tony is now wearing the Rift, and he's staring at his crotch and giggling like a maniac. Videogames: they're amazing.
Samuel Roberts: Play Dishonored for free, now!
This might rank as the best free Steam weekend ever . You can absolutely get through Arkane's brilliant Dishonored by Sunday (if not definitively, given the detail of the environments in Dunwall and potential for replay value) and I would consider that a damn good use of a weekend. The massive Borderlands 2 is also free on Steam this weekend, but here's a game you can actually beat in a reasonable amount of hours for nothing – a very generous move on Bethesda's part if you've never played it before. Hopefully this bit of profile-raising precedes an announcement of the long-awaited follow-up project from Arkane. Even if it doesn't, free game!
Cory Banks: WoW memorializes Robin Williams
Robin Williams passed away on August 11, and the comedic actor left a long legacy of films to enjoy. But Williams was also, like us, a gamer—he even named his daughter Zelda. One of his favorite games, reportedly, was World of Warcraft, so it's fitting that developer Blizzard has plans to pay tribute to Williams in Warlords of Draenor , the MMO's upcoming expansion.
Code from the newest build of the expansion shows three NPCs based on Williams' characters: my favorite is Robin the Entertainer, a genie reminiscent of William's role in Aladdin. They're small touches, of course, but for fans of the actor who are also fans of WoW, it's a nice touch. Good job, Blizzard.
Phil Savage: All of the indies
I'm one month away from officially being old (ie. 30), so my memory isn't what it used to be. To pick each week's winning high and/or low, I need to browse through the past seven days of news, opening a new tab for each potential contender. This week, I was left with multiple tabs of cool upcoming indie games.
There's Binding of Isaac: Rebirth , which is a known quantity given that I played 125 hours of the original; Super Time Force Ultra , an excellent looking action-platformer; Fistful of Gun , an exciting remake of a cool, free Western shooter; Enemy Starfighter , a space combat sim with an outstanding trailer; and Due Process , the tactical FPS with an emphasis on planning. As I look towards the end of the year, I see a lot of RPGs vying for my attention. It's heartening to know that my time in those deep, complex worlds can be interspersed with plenty of quick-fire, skill-based action.
Tom Marks: Gang Beasts is now twice as fine
I've had a major crush on Gang Beasts ever since the I first laid hands on its early preview build, so to hear it has been picked by Double Fine as part of its “Double Fine Presents” series has got me grinning from ear to ear. The game is quirky, nostalgic, and already extremely fun which leaves me hard pressed to think of a better fit for it than under Double Fine's wing. The game will be arriving to steam early access on Aug. 29th with a big ole' update, and I can't wait to see what else the developers can add now that they'll have the support of a veteran studio.