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This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

James Davenport: Misadventure

I love adventure games. Or, at least I think I do. No wait, actually, adventure games are bad. We’ve collected an exhaustive list of some of the best point-and-clickers of all time, but after Full Throttle Remastered came out, I wonder if we’re just praising the Model T for its innovative feats in engineering. Sure, it came out over 20 years ago, but what the hell am I supposed to do with the raw meat? There’s a dog, who probably wants the meat, but I can't figure out where I’m supposed to put the meat after I click on it in my inventory. Am I supposed to click on the meat at all? Why is meat? I am meat. 

After the pretty-great-for-an-adventure-game Thimbleweed Park, I’m starting to think we truly, once and for all, need to leave the genre behind—at least in it’s point-and-click inventory-management form. Whenever I try to decode an adventure game’s internal cartoon logic from the perspective of the main character, I too often feel like I’m trying to see into the developer’s mind instead. Cancel your Kickstarters and leave your floppies in the garage. We’re done here. 

Tom Senior: Jonesing for Indy games

I’m delighted that Full Throttle has been remastered, because I managed to miss it the first time round. Seeing the excellent job the devs have done with the score and the visuals, I find myself craving an equivalent for Indiana Jones: The Fate of Atlantis. 

I loved the Monkey Island games dearly as a kid, but even these were surpassed by Indy’s journey into the golden palaces of the Atlanteans. I remember fantastic art depicting dusty old libraries and glowing temples powered by beads of mysterious orichalcum. It was magical, funny and ambitious—I was dazzled by the idea of having three distinct ways to play, even knowing that the combat route was woeful. Since then, Tomb Raider is one of the few series to pick up the Indiana Jones fantasy and run with it, though the character has been put out to pasture now, I’m amazed we never got another truly great Indy game.

Chris Livingston: Top downer

Tiny Racers, a new racing mode for GTA Online, was announced this week, inspired by the original GTA's top-down view. It looks pretty neat, and does make me pine a bit for the early GTA games. Mostly, though, like all of the added content for GTA Online, it makes me desperately wish Rockstar hadn't so quickly turned their back on GTA 5's single-player mode. It's not that I can't just jump back into GTA 5 and find something to do, because there's tons to do in the open-world game. I just wish among all of the expansions and additions to the multiplayer game they'd taken the time to create some new stuff—even if I had to buy it as paid DLC—for the base game. Playing online is fun, but GTA, to me, is mostly about the single-player sandbox experience. I wish Rockstar felt the same.

Tim Clark: The Man

It would be remiss of me to celebrate the brilliant work done by the team without mentioning this piece by PC Gamer alumnus Alex Campbell on how to protect your PC and your privacy online. It's terrifying stuff. Without wishing to turn the comments into a dumpster fire on what is already a warm enough day where I’m typing from, I’d be amazed if anyone interested in the freedom of the internet isn’t pretty worried about where we seem to be heading. The main counter-argument seems to be that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about. But I would suggest that requires a startlingly rosy view of the history of policing and government across the world. 

I remember reading this novel more than half a decade ago, and thinking its surveillance society warnings were a little hyperbolic. Fast forward to 2017 and your own bloody high-end headphones might be spying on you. If you haven’t already, now’s probably the time to start seriously thinking about getting a decent VPN. I use TunnelBear to catch up on my iPlayer police procedurals from back home. Our recommendations are in this guide to the best VPNs, which was also published this week. If I’m not here next Friday it’s because I’ve been carted off to the Big House for downloading bootleg Godspeed You! Black Emperor shows.

Phil Savage: The bets are off

I always knew I was going to hate Duke Nukem's Bulletstorm Tour, because it stars Duke Nukem—less a character than a soundboard of '80s action quotes who doesn't work in an environment more complicated than Duke Nukem 3D. Even so, this week I went back to Bulletstorm and curiosity got the better of me. Maybe it can be improved by an ageing dinosaur of a protagonist with no original personality.

No, of course it isn't. It's terrible. Bulletstorm is a foul-mouthed game, but there's a wit and inventiveness to its language that falls apart when its main relationships are removed. Duke's lines are pasted into the original script, over the original protagonist Gray. Duke stumbles awkwardly into the roll, either admonishing people for not referring to him by name, or bizarrely repeating dialogue lines that only work in the context of someone who knows the people he's interacting with. Duke is crying out for a developer with the skill to do something clever with his irrelevance. This isn't it. This is dismal.

Joe Donnelly: That ain’t the G2A to do it

Controversial grey market game key reseller G2A suffered another PR blow this week when representative Mario Mirek did a live Q&A at the Reboot: Develop conference in Croatia. Judging by the comments at the foot of our story, opinion on G2A's practices is relatively split—nonetheless, G2A's handling of events such as these seems to often leave them with egg on their faces. 

You should absolutely watch the stream in full via that link above, but a few of the most awkward gaffes include: addressing an audience full of indie game developers and suggesting "people don't understand [their] business model", and that the ten percent share developers receive from G2A's sales is "very attractive"; informing the audience that 40 percent of its workforce is made up of women in an unrelated reply as to why the reseller takes so long to address perceived shortcomings; and this response to Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell. 

No matter how you feel about G2A's business model, codes of practice and conduct, surely there are better ways to present yourself in public forums? 

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article!