The week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Wes Fenlon: The Rift has caused a huge rift

The biggest gaming news of the week is also the worst gaming news of the week: Zenimax is suing Oculus for misappropriating trade secrets . I'm skeptical that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey did anything wrong, or stole anything from Zenimax or id Software. John Carmack claims that he hasn't reused a single line of code from id in his work at Oculus. The lawsuit looks an awful lot like Zenimax wants a piece of the billions of dollars Oculus now has as a part of Facebook .

But maybe that's not the case. Maybe Carmack or Luckey really did abuse their relationship with Zenimax. If that turns out to be the case, it's still awful news, because it could deal a huge blow to the development of virtual reality technology. The silver lining is that this case will likely drag on for years, and Oculus will keep developing exciting new technology during that timespan. Hopefully by the time it's settled, there will be a generation or two of retail Rifts out.

Tim Clark: Hurt too many times by Half-Life 3

“If I were to say that yeah, I've seen some images, like some concept art of it, that wouldn't be big news, to be honest." These were the words of Counter-Strike creator Minh Le, who clearly has a different definition of 'big news' to the rest of the internet, and who also managed to out Left Dead 3 in the same interview. Sterling work, sir. Sadly I've been burned too many times to raise much more than a flicker of excitement about these sorts of stories. Man cannot live on bread alone, and nor can he live on second-hand sightings of concept art that appear to have happened several years ago. That's the big life lesson here, chums.

Ben Griffin: We don't need another Metro (yet)

I hate remasters. I hate remakes. I hate restorations. What's the point? Make new stuff, not old stuff slightly newer. That's why I'm disappointed to learn this week that 4A have spent what precious time they have on this Earth polishing up their two Metro games and packaging them in something called Metro Redux. text It's been barely two years since Last Light, but apparently it's important to play them with slightly improved lighting, animation, and weather effects.

Sure, a reduced price point and improvements to enemy AI, stealth and weapon handling might win over those who missed out the first time around, but for everyone else it just seems a waste of time. I'm always reminded of Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black turning a tiny CD in his hand and sighing, “Guess I'll have to buy The White Album again.”

Samuel Roberts: Mo' Mobas, mo' problems

I suspect this is going to be a year in which we see a lot of middling lane-pushers (or MOBAs, if you must) coming in from developers of various sizes, and this week I was bored by the look of Crytek's pretty but artistically generic effort Arena Of Fate and Dead Island: Epidemic , which threatens to turn that series into a yearly parade of diminishing returns that ruthlessly straddles genres. Snore. I like that Epidemic is a little different artistically to the main Dead Island series and indeed, other lane-pushers, but the fact it's attached to that series somehow deflates it for me.

Tom Senior: Shortchanged by Titanfall's mode removals

UPDATE: Respawn have just put CTF back in , and are testing a wider matchmaking algorithm to try and support it. Hooray! Incidentally, if you're playing Titanfall, do try capture the flag, because it works brilliantly with Titanfall's systems—use the jetpack and ziplines to hit the flag, then make your escape inside a giant robot. Respawn say less than 1% of players try CTF. It deserves a shot.

So with my one low of the week removed, I'm left with a purely positive week of PC gaming. Good job, PC gaming.

Tom's original post: This week Respawn removed Titanfall's Capture The Flag and Pilot Hunter modes from general circulation. They're now only available through private matches, which require you to wrangle a bunch of friends onto a map before you can play. Respawn say that “players trying to access these modes had overlong wait times to find other users and it was making for a poor experience." That may well be the case, but they're still essentially removing entire modes from a game after sale.

It highlights a problem with the prescribed playlist structure. Only like three of the maps? Tough. Enjoy playing one of the less popular game modes? It's gone. In the past player-hosted servers would prop up niche game modes. The community was free to choose which aspects of the game they wanted to interact with most. Compared to the rich shooter scenes PC games have enjoyed in the last couple of decades, the Titanfall model feels like a step backwards.

Chris Thursten: Dealing with drivers is a dog's life.

Had I not managed to sort them on my own PC after half a day of fiddling, Wolfenstein's tech issues would definitely have been my low point for the week. I know people who are still struggling to get the game running well on otherwise-decent rigs, and that's a real shame. As much as I admire the game for reminding me of the FPSs of my youth, I'm less keen to be reminded of the era when a new PC game necessitated three hours of fiddling with drivers. With that problem resolved, however, my low of the week goes to the moment when John said that the puppies had to go away again.