The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Just Cause 3


Samuel Roberts: Crash Cause
I was pretty sad to hear that Just Cause 3, which a bunch of team PCG has been playing lately, is a little disappointing. We all hoped it would build on the second one more than it did, and the fact they haven’t done much to mitigate the repetition of this sequel is disappointing, though the wingsuit sounds like a lot of fun.

My biggest gripe with it, though? It’s 50GB in size, which is insane. This year games have been hungrier for hard-drive space than ever, but I’m not a big fan of reserving that much space for a game I won’t entirely be convinced by. ‘It’s not 50GB of fun!’ someone in the office said when I started moaning about that. When I can find a reason to delete Fallout 4 and MGSV off my PC to free up some space, that’s when I’ll get around to it. Just Cause 3 could be waiting years.

Angus Morrison: Feeling a million bucks
Something about the phrase “one million dollars” demands to be said in an excited, breathy tone. (Possibly its enormous financial worth.) But as I clacked out the announcement that Bethesda has seemingly dispensed with the services of its accountants and decided to line up a $1 million prize for one fortunate Elder Scrolls Online player, I just felt a bit sad.

I’ve never had the slightest desire to play ESO, and this from a man who dabbles often and inadvisably in grind-fuelled MMOs. All the same, I get a bit glum whenever any online world dies—and let’s be real, a sudden marketing stunt on this scale can’t mean anything other than there are too few warm bodies in Tamriel. It might be a middle-of-the-road MMO, but years of work went into building it and, to some at least, it’ll harbour many fond memories. That Bethesda sees the need for a fairly absurd cash incentive to lure back players is a sorry position for ESO to be in.

Far Cry Primal Slide

Chris Livingston: Not a-quiver
Phil got his hands on Far Cry Primal this week and it sounds like he mostly enjoyed his limited time with it. As I sat watching the footage, though, I just felt a slowly sinking feeling. I don't think this Far Cry game is gonna be for me. It's the bows and arrows. I just typically don't find bows and arrows much fun in games, and it looks like, in addition to clubs and knives, that's what we're mostly going to be using in Primal, this being super-olden-times and all. To which I say: ehhhh.

The only time I really remember liking bows and arrows was in Oblivion and Skyrim, and that was mostly due to the additional effects you could add to them. I had a bow enchanted with Shock magic, arrows imbued with a Frost spell, and I could dunk them in poison to boot. When fired at an unaware target they did those three types of damage, plus a bonus for sneak attacks. That's what made them fun, not the act of drawing back the bow and firing the arrow itself. I think it's a pretty bold choice for Ubisoft to eschew guns altogether in Primal, but personally I think it looks dull as hell. I guess we'll find out in March.

Tim Clark: A pinnacle I can’t climb

My sister came to visit this week. That isn’t my low, because my sister is lovely. (That's not her pictured above, I now feel awkwardly compelled to add.) But it did mean I took three days off work, which as it happened, was exactly the amount of time I needed to recover from seeing this video. I mean, what the hell? How is this an actual thing and not, say, the kind of witchcraft that used to get people burned quicker than you could say “well, she does own a lot of cats”. The Pinnacle of V modding project represents so much of the best of PC Gaming: taking an already brilliant game and making it look better than anyone (except the programming savants involved) ever considered possible.

It’s my low because I’m such a technical incompetent and I still know way too little about this stuff. Also because, glimpsing at how pretty a game like GTA could be, is like staring at a forbidden future in which PC development is entirely unconstrained by the needs of the current gen consoles. Finally, because I suspect that no frigging way can my rig run this kind of thing at anything above flickbook framerates.

Overwatch Slide

Tom Senior: No-verwatch
Overwatch is vanishing until the new year—nyooo! Where else am I going to get colourful superhero fix? I’ll be interested to see what Blizzard does to tweak the design, but artistically it’s already there. The heroes are brilliant—colourful, individual and cleanly drawn. Some, like the samurai, cowboys and robots, are plucked from comics and pulp adventure stories, but others feel very different. Lucio is a skating musician with a sonic blaster and on-board speakers. Winston’s a great big ape who gets angry when his glasses are smashed. I love, the mech pilot who can scramble seamlessly into her machine and fly around the map, or eject and turn the robot into a bomb.

I can’t wait to see how the roster expands when Overwatch returns. There might be a few new team shooters to compete with when it does, like Battleborn, which has its own colourful cast of lunatics. If both are fun, I can see myself warming to the heroes I like most, and Blizzard will be tough to beat in this regard.

James Davenport: A dark confession

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I didn't last very long. Five minutes after tweeting that I was going on a Dark Souls 3 media blackout, I watched a new trailer and gameplay montage. This low is for me, a weak, sad man. I regret it. Sort of. The game looks beautiful and fast, borrowing some DNA from its PS4 exclusive sibling Bloodborne (a very good thing). My regrets come from the surprise Souls games hold. I don't doubt there will be plenty left in the final release, but the boss reveal in the gameplay montage seems like it'd be a pretty jarring moment to experience firsthand. One of Bloodborne's surprise moments (the Amygdala reveal) stands tall in my memory as one of the most Holy Shit moments I've ever witnessed in a video game. In most media, at that. It wasn't a surge of horror, exactly, but the overwhelming burden of everything I don't know crashing down on me all at once. There's curiosity and wonder accompanying the fear, and so the Souls series are the only games to feel genuinely sublime to me.

Learn from my mistakes, people. Just wait.


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