The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Star Wars: Battlefront


Samuel Roberts: Starry eyes
A full reveal for the new Star Wars: Battlefront is finally coming in April, almost ten years after the second game in the series was released. It will happen at this year’s Celebration event, which should be a pretty optimistic get together given that Episode VII is out later this year. Imagine that! Optimism about Star Wars! And it’s not 1998! I can’t wait to see the game in action, and I’m eager to learn more about EA’s other Star Wars titles, particularly with Amy Hennig at the helm.

Andy Kelly: Kojima 2.0
It’s no secret that I love Hideo Kojima. He’s the master. And while I’m sad he probably won’t be making any more Metal Gear games, I’m taking comfort in the fact that his apparent fallout with Konami could actually be good news.

He might be leaving games altogether, but if not, the possibility of Kojima going indie is massively exciting. Look at the stuff he dreams up under the umbrella of a big publisher. Now imagine what he’d be capable of without anyone holding his reigns. Exactly.

I don’t know the details of what’s going on at Konami, but my hope is that we are all witnesses to the rebirth of Hideo Kojima. Maybe he’ll start an indie studio and make the coolest, weirdest, most imaginative games you’ve ever seen. I’m glad we got one more Metal Gear Solid out of him before he left, and V is looking sensational (here’s my beginner’s guide), but it’s time for him to try something else, and I’m fully ready to go along for the ride.

Loom Slide

Chris Livingston: Loom Resurrection
At GDC this year, we let Wes take a break from testing 40 bajillion PC components and sent him to cover Brian Moriarty's interesting, thoughtful, and touching postmortem for his groundbreaking 1990 musical adventure game Loom. Since has been releasing old LucasArts games a few at a time over the past several months, we figured it wouldn't be long before Loom appeared, and now it has.

Along with five more LucasArts games (Outlaws, Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Monkey Island 2, The Dig, and Zak McKracken), Loom is now available for a few bucks. Sure, it's been on Steam for a while, but why not pick it up on sale and, more importantly, DRM free? Their full LucasArts catalog now contains two dozen games.

Tyler Wilde: A motorcycle in the sky
The Battlefield series isn’t quite as silly as it was back in Battlefield 1942, when people stood on the wings of flying planes. I always liked how dumb the physics was—it was never a Serious War Game—so I appreciate that Hardline still delivers unintentional moments of hilarity. The other day, and I wish I had captured it, I saw a perfectly normal motorcycle launch 100 feet into the air and hit a helicopter. Beautiful. People seem to be mega-jumping too. I don’t knock Hardline for occasional anomalies like that—it’s totally in line with the sense of glitchy discovery I expect from the series. It makes me laugh.

I do, however, knock it for stuff like this. What the hell is that all about?

Eve Valkyrie Slide

Phil Savage: Rise of the Valkyrie
It's cold in Iceland, and so wherever possible I've hidden away in the comforting warmth of a spaceship's cockpit. Before now, I'd only thought of Eve Valkyrie as an expanded prototype—a limited arena dogfighter that would be propped up by the fact that VR is new and exciting. In reality, it's on course to become a fully-formed multiplayer game that just happens to be in VR. It'll be an iterative, long-running 'service' with a progression system designed to offer a variety of options for its players.

I'm wary of multiplayer progression systems, largely thanks to the last couple of Battlefield games. Fortunately, Valkyrie doesn't seem to be going overboard. Players will unlock new ships, each of which is designed to expand the tactical opportunities available. In the demo, I played a new heavy-fighter. Its flak cannon pumped out massive, inaccurate rounds, and could be charged with an EMP round that would temporarily stun ships. Even better, instead of the missiles of the standard fighter, it has a warp drive that charges up and deploys with blistering speed away from immediate danger.

It's cool as hell, and works perfectly in VR. Looking around to find and target ships feels completely natural, and the detail of the cockpit and battlespace really works to sell the fantasy. That CCP Newcastle is making a fully-formed game behind that core experience could well see Valkyrie become the first essential VR release.

Wes Fenlon: Surviving Build Week
The highlight of my week: I'm still alive, despite spending this week up to my ears in PC components for Build Week. This is the busiest our hardware page has ever been, and I'm glad to finally have some component lists on the site for PC gamers to reference when building new rigs. My favorite story to come out of Build Week is Evan's take on why you should build your own PC. Everything else in build week is practical advice. But this one? It's got heart.


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