This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE LOWS 

Samuel Roberts: 76 repeated

After 90 minutes with the Fallout 76 beta this week, I'm not even close to having a proper opinion on what I've played yet. What I do know, though, is that I'm not going to love starting the whole thing again on PC in about four days, but hey, this is what happens when one of the biggest games of the year gets tied up in a console exclusivity deal. It's not the biggest deal in the world, just slightly annoying.

Still, at least those opening moments of Fallout 76 are nice and breezy. Within an hour, you understand all of its systems, and you reach level five almost straight away. Playing the opening again, at least, will allow me to experiment with the perks system and respeccing my character.

Joe Donnelly: PC-ya Gamer

After two-and-a-bit years of full-time freelancing and latterly full-time staff writer-ing, today is my last day at PC Gamer. As I've occasionally (read: shoehorned in at every single opportunity) mentioned throughout my time here, I've had loads of jobs. Since leaving school a million years ago in 2003, I've been a plumber, a gas fitter, a farm hand, a sandblaster, a spray painter, a boilermaker's labourer, a bar man, a call centre phone person, a mature student, a full-time freelance writer and, as you know, a staff writer at PC Gamer. 

The latter is something I feel incredibly lucky to have on my CV. PC Gamer is a top publication with top writers and top readers, and I'm glad to have been a part of it. Having worked in some shitty jobs (sometimes literally), I've been forever grateful, humbled and never-not-astonished to get paid to write about videogames. It's been a blast! Thanks to all at PCG for having me, and to everyone and anyone who's ever read my stuff :)

Tyler Wilde: Obey the rule!

I’ve been getting a surprising amount of guff for doing everyone the courtesy (out of the goodness of my heart!) of explaining Rocket League’s unwritten rule about deadlocks. Many think the article was a joke, and while I obviously took the tone of an arrogant, sanctimonious sports writer—all I aspire to be—I want to clear that up. It is not a joke and I sincerely shake my head when players backflip out of deadlocks. Thanks. (Also, I will miss Joe.)

Tom Senior: the mod paradox

There’s obviously some backroom wrangling going on around the Team Fortress 2008 throwback mod. At this point in time it has been removed from the Steam store. Whether or not it reemerges one day, it did make me realise that I would love to go back to OG Team Fortress 2. It has become swollen with items and cosmetics, and lost the razor sharp focus of its original nine-class design. Maybe I’m just hankering for the tense games of payload I enjoyed so much in 2008 which was *checks watch* ten years ago. Time for a lie down. 

Wes Fenlon: Red Dead and crunch

Red Dead Redemption 2 isn't on PC, and while I'm pretty confident it'll arrive on our platform someday, unlike its predecessor, we might have a year or more of a wait ahead of us. One thing I'm grateful for, though, is that the conversation around Red Dead is taking a hard, long-overdue look at the insane amount of work that goes into enormous triple-A games. Much of that work manifests in crunch. It's up to everyone who writes about games, and everyone who cares about them, to think about how we talk about them. If we care about the immense labor that goes into making games, we can do our part to ensure companies aren't taking advantage of the people who make our cowboy dreams possible. Read the detailed report over at Kotaku for an idea of how much overtime goes into making a game like Red Dead.

Chris Livingston: Cheat code of honor

It hit me this week that there's an important part of playing Bethesda's singleplayer games that I love, and it won't be available in Fallout 76: the cheat console. What can I say, I cheat all the time in Fallout and Elder Scrolls games. It's mostly an act of laziness and convenience when I'm already done with most of the quests and I'm simply messing around in the world, and just want to make some of the repetitive chores easier (or eliminate them altogether). But it's become so second nature that I fully expect to tap the tilde key from time to time in Fallout 76, before suddenly realizing that no, I can't use 'tgm' to make my carry weight unlimited or 'tcl' to walk through a wall. Damn. I'm really going to miss cheating.

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article! PC Gamer is the global authority on PC games—starting in 1993 with the magazine, and then in 2010 with this website you're currently reading. We have writers across the US, UK and Australia, who you can read about here (opens in new tab).