This week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Phil Savage: Red Dread

Hey, look, Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on October 26. Except that's not when it's out on PC, because, as yet, we don't even know if it's coming to PC.

With my sensible business head on, it seems likely. GTA V did incredibly well on PC, and continues to do well with GTA Online. RDR2 will also have an online mode—one that hopefully has been designed around fixing a lot of GTA V's inherent infrastructure problems—and by skipping PC, Rockstar would be leaving a big chunk of money on the table. And yet, without confirmation, it remains possible that, like Red Dead Redemption before it, this one won't make its way to us. Even if it does, the inevitable six-months-to-a-year wait for a PC announcement will be irritating. Rockstar is one of the few companies left doing this “maybe it will, maybe it won't” dance, and it's become tiring.

Joe Donnelly: Abandoned sleep

To recap, I was on holiday in Berlin this week, and only came back to work yesterday. As you'll spy on the previous page, I visited an abandoned theme park whilst there. And I haven't had a decent night's sleep since. Seriously, Heather Mason's twisted nightmares within the Lakeside Amusement Park don't have a patch on mine. The fog! The pink bunnies! Is that a train?! Help!

Tyler Wilde: Thermal waste

This botched attempt to apply thermal paste from an old MSI tutorial is painful to watch. Was it a joke? Was it real? I don’t know. I don’t even want to know. I’d rather not think about it anymore.

Tuan Nguyen: Meltdown and Spectre still causing problems

As if the exploits themselves weren’t enough, especially when the proposed fixes will cause a degradation in performance, hackers have figured out how to deploy the vermin through your browser. This is scary as browsers are now the primary application on most PCs. Many people do pretty much everything in their web browser.

The worst part of all this is the patches don’t even properly work. Intel and major hardware vendors have been recalling patches this past week in the name of system stability. As we predicted, software and BIOS patches won’t truly solve these problems. We’ll likely have to wait for next, next-generation CPUs.

Chris Livingston: Hunt Lowdown

I'm not miffed with Hunt Showdown's optimization problems—it's in alpha, after all—but my time so far has resulted in something that's happened to every PC gamer at one time or another: when you're having a problem with a game that no one else seems to be having. For me, it wasn't just framerate dips or stutters, but an entirely frozen screen for sometimes as long as five or ten seconds. This seemed to happen at the absolute worst moments, too: when enemy players began firing at us while I was climbing a ladder, for instance. Or I'd sit through a freeze and come back to life with a monster chewing on me while I was engulfed in flames. 

Not much fun, and I was essentially useless during the hunt because of it. Here's hoping next time I play that issue is gone and I can be essentially useless for the normal reasons (those reasons being that I'm scared of monsters and my aim sucks).

Jody Macgregor: Make indie games not bombs

The Australian games industry is basically a collection of indie studios with only each other for support, yet they manage to turn out fascinating games like (to pick a couple of recent examples) Hand of Fate 2 and Rumu on the regular. When a cross-party federal inquiry came up with eight recommendations for how the government could support this growing industry on a national level, as they do with film and other forms of entertainment, the result was two years of silence followed this week by 14 pages of "nahhh."

The Australian games industry will carry on, with support from state government for those studios based in the couple of states that provide it. At this scale though all it takes is a single misstep to send a studio under, and a lot of talented creators are liable to move overseas for better opportunities. Federal support could prevent both those things, but it doesn't look like they'll get it. Nobody really expected better but still, coming in the same week that Australia's prime minister announced a $AU3.8 billion plan for the country to become one of the world's top 10 arms dealers, it does sting a little. 

PC Gamer

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