The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


Samuel Roberts: New Deus Ex!
This was a really eventful week for news, with publishers seemingly ramping up on announcements as we head towards E3. Most exciting to me was the announcement and reveal trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the long-awaited sequel to Human Revolution, my favourite game of 2011 and one of the best of the last ten years for me. The trailer suggests a lot more augmentations will make the cut this time around, plus the side missions in the hubs may be more meaningful, too. I’ve watched that trailer four times already and I can’t wait for more info.

Chris Livingston: Basemaul
I've been playing around with Out of the Park Baseball 16, or at least trying to. I haven't figured out most of the deeper functions, but I did manage to draft a team and simulate some games. My biggest problem? Injuries. Not the kind that happen on the field, but the kind that happen when dumb professional athletes do dumb things in their dumb personal lives.

Checking my manager's inbox (I assume it's a literal, physical inbox since I'm playing a season in 1871), I'm notified of what my dimwit players have been doing to themselves. One moron slopped boiling water all over his arm—his baseball arm. Another dope got his arm—also for baseball—caught in his garage door. And one cretin shot himself in the foot with a handgun. Was it his baseball foot? Yes.

While this is all terrible news for my team, I'm happy to see all of these stupid injuries occur because it's just the sort of hijinks I'd expect from the rag-tag collection of misfits and losers I'll eventually shape into a championship team. And that, according to every comedy baseball movie, is what baseball is all about.

Elite Dangerous Slide

Andy Kelly: Back to Elite
I’ve returned to Elite: Dangerous after a few months of not playing it, and it’s taken hold of me once again. The Saitek X52 has been removed from the cupboard and dusted off. Literally. It was caked in the stuff. First, there’s the new screenshot mode, or debug camera. You can access this in-game by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Space.

Frontier’s recreation of the Milky Way is staggeringly beautiful, and being able to take snaps of it without the cockpit getting in the way is a godsend. Not in terms of progress, though. My rank hasn’t moved an inch since I found it. All I do is take screenshots of nebulae and asteroids. Incidentally, if you have the game, we’re running a space photography competition. Get involved.

Then there’s the new wings system, which lets you form mini-fleets with friends: something that’s been sorely missing from the game. It works brilliantly, and being able to share bounties/rewards with pals makes multiplayer infinitely more fun. Man, space is the best.

Wes Fenlon: Cities: Skylines keeps getting better
I've been home sick much of the past couple weeks, and in that annoying state of sickness where you don't really feel like sitting upright and playing any games. Which sucks, because I want to get back to Cities: Skylines. Since I played the game, it seems like the mod community has transformed it into something else entirely. Wanna pilot a SimCopter? Sure, why not! Chris has already had to update his Best Cities: Skylines mods list because the mod community is so prolific. This is the quintessential PC fairy tale: a game starts out great, is completely open to modding, and inspires its community to make it even better. It may be the best city builder of all time before long.

GTA5 Slide

Phil Savage: That's Grand!
My high is obviously the new Deus Ex, because, as a new Deus Ex, it is the most exciting thing that could happen in any given week. Unfortunately, Sam beat me to it, and so I guess I'll talk about GTA 5 instead.

Hey, folks, Grand Theft Auto V is out on PC on Tuesday! It's been a long time coming, but, based on everything we've seen this week, it looks as if it'll be worth the wait. Sam enthused about the performance and beauty of the PC version, and Shaun enthused about the PC-exclusive video editor. And, from a purely technical standpoint, the fact that it's got such a wealth of graphics options is a sign that Rockstar has learned the lessons of GTA IV's poor PC port. It may be over a year since the game was first released, but we're not just four days away from its definitive release.

Tyler Wilde: Pillars of eternal character creation
I was also going to say Deus Ex, but Sam took that, so I thought of saying GTA 5, but Phil took that, so I was thinking I’d relate a story about being sick, but dammit if Wes wasn’t actually sick. Unlike me. I was just faking because I want to play Pillars of Eternity so bad. Even so, I really haven’t played any of it, because I have no idea what I want my character to be. I spent an hour on Sunday trying to decide between races and subraces and I just couldn’t settle. It’s a problem, but it’s a good one to have: I’m so excited to play I can’t possibly start until I’ve set it up just so. I don’t want to end up like Chris on the next page, after all. Anyone else experiencing character creation paralysis?


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