The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The Stanley Parable

Each Friday PC Gamer’s writers emerge suddenly from the sun, screech their opinions, then return to the sky’s vaulting embrace.


Andy Kelly: A gaming parable
Developer Davey Wreden revealed on Twitter that his brilliantly funny mod-turned-game The Stanley Parable has sold a million copies. "A few years ago no one had any idea who I was," he wrote. "Thank you.” This is one of many similar indie success stories that remind me just how amazing PC is as a platform. Bizarre, subversive, strange, weird, wonderful games like this can achieve financial, as well as critical success, which in turns gives the creative minds behind them more money to make even more games. There’s a lot of negativity orbiting games at the moment, so I’m glad stories like this are here to remind us all that gaming is as imaginative, adventurous, and exciting as it’s ever been—especially on PC.

Chris Thursten: Zombie chickens (but mostly Tom Senior)
Honestly, my highlight of the week happened about an hour and a half ago. Nothing has filled me with more delight than the moment that our own Tom Senior took to the stage at the Golden Joystick Awards to present an award to Hearthstone. His energetic cries of "HEARTHSTONE, HEROES OF WARCRAFT!" and associated arm-waving would have made Alan Partridge proud, and will live in my heart forever. You can find them at around 38:00 in this VOD.

I'm probably not allowed to pick that, though, so I'm going to say that CS:GO's adorable zombie chickens were my favourite new thing this week. I'm not sure that they're quite as cute as last year's ghost chickens, but I appreciate that Valve are trying something a little different for the sequel. That's rare, in this business.

The Witcher 3

Andy Chalk: The Witcher 3 makes an introduction
The Witcher 3 intro cinematic showed up today, and it was smashingly good: dark, compact, and full of the sort of neo-medieval awfulness that makes me tingle all over. Best of all, it's not even really about the Witcher, Geralt, but instead keeps its gaze firmly fixed on Yennefer, his long-lost love, who's clearly dealing with some problems of her own. I think I like CD Projekt's Cyberpunk 2077 trailer just a wee little bit more (although that could well be simply because it’s something entirely new) but even so, I'm now wound up tighter than ever for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt—and I'm giving serious thought to starting a petition demanding that CD Projekt does everyone's cinematic trailers from now on. All of 'em.

Phil Savage: You can play Arma 3 free right now, so do that
There’s an Arma 3 free weekend happening right now. If you aren't downloading it yet, you really should. A weekend isn't enough to experience everything the game can offer, but it'll act as a great sampler for what is one of the most flexible FPS experiences you can play. Don't just dive into the campaign; get creative. Find some friends, and become Zeus—using your powers to DM a tense and unpredictable military campaign. Or, head over to the Steam Workshop and download some of the amazing custom scenarios. I recommend Pilgrimage. It's just you, a massive island, and a few thousand murderous soldiers.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Tyler Wilde: Lucas Pope’s new game
The creator of Papers, Please has a new game, The Return of the Obra Dinn, and its adventurous black and white dithered graphics are so damn cool. What’s more, he’s released a free demo you can download here. It’s neat. That’s all.

Tom Marks: Hearthstone says “Well Met!” to more mobile platforms
So fine, technically this isn’t purely a PC high, but it is absolutely relevant to PC gaming. Hearthstone finally has a timeline, albeit rough, for when it will launch on android tablets and then phones. Hearthstone quickly became popular when it launched earlier this year, but its jump to iPad brought it to audiences it would have never reached otherwise and increased the popularity and success of the game as a whole. I don’t believe it would have reached the ever impressive 20 million users milestone so quickly had it remained PC exclusive. The larger the player base, the more support there will be for esports events, game updates, and generally positive things for the entire community. It will be interesting to see the influx of new players that comes with its jump to android.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.