Each week PC Gamer's writers take gaseous form and co-mingle until they achieve the perfect ratio of opinion-to-outrage. Here are the results…
Phil Savage: Flight of Fantasy
Why not Final Fantasy X? Why not Final Fantasy XII? Fair questions both, and I'd like to see them arrive on PC too. But for now it's Final Fantasy XIII—and its sequels— that we're getting (opens in new tab) . This is good news. Firstly, because any game leaving console exclusivity is good news. At TGS this week, Square Enix showed FFXV (opens in new tab) . Could this port signify interest in bringing that game to PC? I hope so. I want to go on a big monster road-trip.
It's also good news because Final Fantasy XIII is a good game. It has significant problems, sure, especially if you're allergic to linearity and cutscenes. But the Paradigm Shift is one of the most elegantly expressed battle systems in the series. It asks you to create specific combinations of roles—tactically defining the way your party fights. Then, at any point in battle, you can switch these roles. Your job is to read the overall flow of a fight, responding and shifting based on the activities of each enemy. It's fast and fluid, tied to a game that is slow and rigid. As a whole, it's no classic, but it doesn't deserve the hate that it gets from the series' diehard fans.
Shaun Prescott: We're Dooooooomed
I spent most of my early teens in a dark room with a handful of death metal CDs and Doom as my sole companions. I regret nothing, and I like to think I turned out okay. So witnessing the Doom modding community continue to flourish is a point of sentimental pride for me, because I remember the feeling of limitless potential I experienced when my uncle handed me a Doom level editor on a 3.5 inch floppy. It's amazing to see that potential continue to blossom, and while the engine has undergone considerable tweaks over the years, the fact that projects such as this Donkey Kong Country mod and this DoomZ mod (opens in new tab) can exist within a 20-year old framework warms the cockles of my heart. I love you, Doom modding community. What you're doing is amazing.(opens in new tab)
Andy Kelly: Sims subversion
This week, I had fun torturing a tiny man. I've never really played a Sims game properly before, and I'm absolutely hooked on The Sims 4. But I'm not playing it the way you're 'supposed' to. Instead, I'm seeing how dark I can make it. The presentation of the game is so cloyingly saccharine, it's just begging to be subverted. That's why I made The Cube of Despair , and will be doing another equally sinister diary next week. I get a weird feeling when I play The Sims, like it's bringing on an existential crisis. I'm sitting here watching a small man taking a shit while my own, real life slips away. I need a lie down.
Cory Banks: Copy that, Desert Rangers
My last week at PC Gamer [sniff] has been a good one. Wasteland 2, inXile's crowdfunded follow-up to one of the best classic RPGs and the inspiration for Fallout, is done and out and playable. And probably sitting in your Steam or GOG account, if you were a backer. I played it for our review , and think it's fantastic. It's not perfect—no game is—but it's got some of the best writing in a game from this year, and continues 2014's trend of an RPG renaissance. In a lot of ways, it's the Fallout sequel we never got but always wanted. I can't wait to hear what you all think when you play.
Tim Clark: B A N K S B O Y S
My high is Cory leaving. /braveface(opens in new tab)
Sam Roberts: Evil most Resident
I don't think anyone actually liked Resident Evil 6 by the time it arrived on PC last year, but this week—partly prompted by the game being on sale for almost no money on Steam recently—I've become absorbed by its Mercenaries mode, a staple of the series that arguably kicked off the horde concept popularised by Gears of War and then subsequently found in every major shooter from about 2008-2012. This bonus mode is more fun than playing the main campaign, which is 30 uneven hours long across four storylines (in total, there's about one-and-a-half classic Resi games in there, but way too much filler surrounding the great bits—hence why no-one really likes it).
Mercenaries, though, demonstrates how surprisingly well-judged some of Resi 6's combat abilities are, particularly the jumping slide that's perfect for avoiding gunfire and arriving into a crowd of zombies with ludicrous panache. It's about keeping a combo going and finding more time around the environment to extend the countdown. You then do your best to take a chunk out of the 150 enemies the game throws your way, while exploring each arena for items along the way.
The campaign clearly isn't for everyone, and I'm quite convinced my obsession with Resi has become unhealthy (I was playing it until 2AM last night). This was the last place I was expecting to find an interpretation of the third-person shooter where it actually feels like there are new things to learn and perfect. Tl;dr I have gone mad and decided Resi 6 is at least partly a great game.