This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Chris Livingston: Cold hearted

Guess I'll keep blabbering about Frostpunk, as I did in my review of the survival city-builder and on our podcast this week. It's a tough game filled with tough choices, the best of which I never felt great about and the worst of which I wound up barely regretting. The final question of Frostpunk is: do the ends justify the means? Does getting the result you wanted (surviving) make the terrible things you did (too many to list) worth it? I still can't really answer that, and when a game gives you a lot to think about, that's always a good thing.

11 Bit Studios is also talking about additional scenarios—we posted a guide to the existing ones today, in addition to our earlier Frostpunk beginner's guideand are mulling an open-ended sandbox mode in the future. I give frostbitten thumbs up to both. 

Tom Senior: Staying frosty

Battletech and Frostpunk made a great one-two punch this week. The first is a turn-based tactical game about mechs messing each other up, the other is a morbid, atmospheric city builder. Both are brainy, beautiful and extremely PC. I have spent the week wallowing in hit percentages and resource counters, one evening plotting to unbalance heavy mechs with long range missiles, the next sending out explorers to find citizens lost in Frostpunk’s frozen post-apocalypse. Even in a relatively quiet time for releases the PC provides smart, engrossing games.

Of the two games I find Frostpunk slightly more appealing because it captures a bleak mood so well. I can almost feel the heat of the blazing chimney at the heart of the little pocket civilisation living in my monitor. I have been exiled by my citizens once, but find myself starting again. I’ve gotta help those little guys power their way out of that icy hell.

James Davenport: Season Four-cast

Fortnite Season 4 is nearly here, heralded by a torrent of meteors striking the island. I suppose Epic's tweets saying that Season 4 is coming soon next to some suspiciously heroic-looking faces and the end of Season 3 on April 30 is a pretty big sign too, but I'm having fun as a pseudo-soothsaying doomsayer with everyone else on the Fortnite Battle Royale subreddit. The end is near! But so is the beginning of a few months of new Battle Pass rewards, including those damn skins I can't stop buying. 

Fashion aside, we're not too sure what's we'll see in the following months, but we're doing our best to collect everything we know about Fortnite Season 4 for easy reading in the meantime. Personally, I'm hoping we'll see a focus on map changes this go around. Fortnite's arsenal grew significantly in Season 3, but once Tilted Towers arrived, the map became a big lopsided and lonely in parts. Here's to hoping that big meteor missed Tilted and wipes the eastern half just in time for a makeover. 

Jody Macgregor: The good old days

When I was a kid my friends would bring games magazines to school and we'd pore over them on our lunch breaks, because it was the 1990s and we didn't have the internet. British games magazines were the ones we liked best, because they had funny captions and harsh reviews. So it's cool to find that a complete archive of Amiga Power is now online. Even though I didn't own an Amiga it's great to be able to dive into the past like this. And if you were wondering just how 1990s this magazine is, here's one of the first sentences I read from opening a random issue: "New games being about as rare as bad songs on a Smashing Pumpkins album these days…" 

Wes Fenlon: Halo again

Halo lives! Of course, it was never really dead on consoles, but Microsoft's flagship shooter has really struggled to retain an Xbox audience over the last half decade. The Master Chief Collection was a broken disaster, and Halo 4 and 5 had something of an identity crisis, torn between the desires of hardcore Halo fans and wider audiences. That's why it's so refreshing to check out the ElDewrito mod, which received a big update last week (and has subsequently been surrounded by controversy as Microsoft goes after the underlying game files, which have been illegally distributed). Sharing and downloading Halo Online might be illegal, but for anyone playing anyway it's pure Halo 3 multiplayer, even better in some ways than it was a decade ago. I know Microsoft's paying attention, and I hope ElDewrito's popularity with the community affects Halo's future on PC. 

Joe Donnelly: Not very PC

I turned 32 this week and was gifted Football Manager 2018 for the Nintendo Switch. I’d like to write about the nine hours I’ve sunk into my new Celtic save since Tuesday, and about the meticulous training drills, tactics, scouting programmes and formations I’ve implemented. But I should probably talk about my week in PC gaming. Which means I can’t talk about how good God of War is either.

I can however talk about Blazing Griffin’s Murderous Pursuits. It’s the studio’s spiritual successor follow-up to The Ship: Remasted, and is a neat multiplayer assassination game that echoes Dishonored, BioShock and Hitman. I jumped into its open beta last weekend, and had great fun hunting online enemies and, more often than not, getting slaughtered by stealthier stalkers than I. I plan to spend some more time with it over the weekend—between my inevitable bouts in the virtual dugout, and time spent with bearded god dad Kratos.