Skip to main content

The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Each week PC Gamer's writers are submerged in amniotic fluid until their combined brainpower produces the exact ratio of words-to-opinion required to accurately describe the past seven days. Enjoy!

Andy Kelly: GTA V delayed to January

Yeah, I know. “Why is he putting a delay as a highpoint?” Well, obviously I would have liked to have played Rockstar's latest crime-'em-up in November, but, unlike Stevie Nicks, I can wait. As I wrote here on Tuesday , choice is never an issue on PC. As well as a generous amount of games being released in the run-up to Christmas, I still have hundreds sitting there unplayed in my library.

So I'm willing to give them the time they need. It's actually a good sign, because it shows that Rockstar aren't going to rush the thing out. I'd rather they take their time making this a worthy port, 'cause GTA IV was, after all, a bit of a disappointment on PC. I've already finished GTA V on console (boo! hiss!), but I can't wait to play it again at a proper resolution. It's just good to know for sure that it's actually coming out, and not joining Red Dead in Rockstar limbo.

Tom Senior: The pile of shame is a good thing

I found myself nodding along to Andy's piece this week on the pile of shame . Our game libraries are getting bigger, but that's great. I remember when a game purchase was a huge risk. It'd be the only thing I'd play for months, and it might even be a choice between one release or another. I would agonise over those decisions. I'd read reviews in various magazines. Then re-read them. Then I'd make a decision and be stuck with it.

Now, if you're prepared to wait for a bit, games are remarkably cheap on PC, and there are games of various sizes on sale for various asking prices, and every so often there's a Steam sale and everything goes mad. As a result we've become hoarders, which comes with its own anxiety—even guilt—but we're also connoisseurs. I buy games for a few bucks on the off-chance that I might one day give them a shot. If I do, I'll play it for as long as it's interesting, and feel no obligation to spend more time than I have to. I consume and move on, stopping only for the really interesting stuff.

The more we play, the more sensitive we become to quality and innovation, the more we want to seek out something new. It's good for games. Experimental creators are more likely to find a following if they're pitching to an intellectually curious and open minded audience.

Chris Thursten: Gold! Always be eaten

Alien Isolation has gone gold! This is one of my most anticipated games of the year. I've played through the central section of the game a couple of times, and I can't wait to see how it all fits together. Tim and I discussed our varying takes on it in this episode of the PC Gamer Show. I'm much warmer on it than he is: I love the way CA have made an Alien game out of being chased around a maze, how natural its horror feels after years of playing games built around canned setpieces.

That's the great thing about Isolation: it feels very PC, in that it's more of a successor to Amnesia and Slender than Silent Hill or Resident Evil. In fact, its systems-led design makes it great at something that that other survival horror games have only been good at, which is creating an experience that you can share with somebody else at the same PC. It's a great game to watch somebody else play because neither of you know for sure what is going to happen next, and it even supports a kind of ad-hoc co-op approach where you pass the controls back and forth every time you die. I haven't done that with a horror game since I was a teenager. Can't wait for the final thing.

Tim Clark: T W I T C H B O Y S

We need to talk about Twitch chat. Until recently I hadn't spent much time watching streams, but since being bitten by Hearthstone's virulent bug, these days I spend evenings and weekends hopping between my favourite players and tournaments. So I've now seen a lot of chat, and it probably goes without saying that much of what people are prepared to type in there would be unacceptable on almost any other publishing platform. Casual racism, sexism as standard, the endless ASCII dongers… I actually quite like the dongers.

Without suggesting it makes the toxic stuff okay—because it doesn't—I do think chat has the capacity to be hugely entertaining too. Last weekend I was watching Kitkatz' stream , when one particulary canny user managed to gull him into clicking on his 'new Warrior deck'. Which, with night-following-day inevitability, was a dickpic. As indeed were the next three links, each of which were presented with entreaties, (and eventually financial incentive in the form of a big donation), that this time it the link really would be a Warrior deck. Which they weren't. They were more dicks, posed with moustaches, and in taco shells. Obviously supremely childish, but past midnight and a few ciders to the wind it was also a lot of funny.

I won't pretend to know how to fix the things wrong with Twitch chat (but good luck, Amazon!) but I do know what I like about it, and that's the moments when a good joke takes off and chat explodes, the gag mutating before your eyes. There's probably an insightful sociological paper to be written about Twitch chat. But it'll have to include links to dickpics.

Cory Banks: Consumer Rift coming next summer

Next summer, we'll be able to leave our physical meatbag bodies behind and live in a better, more virtual, reality. At least, that's what our buddies at TechRadar say, based on some strong sources: The Oculus Rift consumer version will be available summer 2015 as a “beta,” kind of like how Google Glass was released. Coupled with reports that the consumer version will be $400 or less —and Andy Kelly's undying enthusiasm for the tech—I'm more and more convinced that this is a big part of the future of PC gaming. My meatbag body is ready.

Tyler Wilde: Seinfeld will never die

Do you think I care that Jerry Seinfeld made Bee Movie or gets coffee with comedians in cars these days? Do you think I'll ever move on? Hey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in Veep now, she's moved on, so... So what? And Jason Alexander was in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II. Who cares. Come on, Veep is pretty good. I mean, Seinfeld ended 16 years ago. Get over it . Never! I'm too afraid of the real world to stop living in memories of the '90s—and you're coming with me, dammit. You will look at this recreation of the Seinfeld cast and set in The Sims 4 and you will appreciate its attention to detail and you will agree that it was the best show ever, because I will meet any debate on the topic by clapping my hands over my ears and loudly singing “Downtown” (featured in episode 131, "The Bottle Deposit, Part One").

As an inveterate Hearthstone addict, Tim spends most of his time trying to explain why all Priest players are degenerates. The rest of his day is spent playing Destiny 2. Seriously, he's on it right now.