This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Tyler Wilde: Crytek’s collapse

Crytek is closing five of its seven studios, news which comes after reports that it hasn't been paying its employees on time for over half a year. The company has obviously been managed poorly, but this is only one example of instability in the industry. Layoffs are commonplace, and along with this job insecurity, developers are often burdened with long crunch periods that harm their physical and mental health and their families. Crytek’s unique issues are its own—I don’t know the details of its deals with Microsoft or Mail.ru, or what prompted it to name a game ‘Warface’—but on a broader level, the industry generates far too many sad stories of exploitation and lost jobs. While Hideo Kojima was tearfully celebrated as a hero at the Game Awards this year, for instance, those still working at Konami were probably not cheering on his success—if they did, the cameras would see it.

James Davenport: No assassin’s need

I guess I’m not surprised. I wish I was. Assassin’s Creed is not a good movie. I wrote about it at length already, but I’m still taken aback at how unsurprising the entire thing was. Adaptations are always exciting to me because we get to see familiar ideas through a different creator or team of creators’ perspective. Assassin’s Creed has nearly no new ideas and makes minimal effort to change or expand the wide open narrative the games established. It’s just a tough guy, the Animus, some Abstergo corporate science corruption, and some chase scenes in the past. I left the theater unmoved and unchanged, and it’s likely the some of the biggest fans felt the same. Assassin’s Creed does nothing to justify its association with the game series, and because of that, it feels like a transparent move to inflate the franchise for nothing more than the money. Definitely not jiving with my cheery holiday spirit. 

Chris Livingston: Press C to cough

I’m heading into the holidays with a nasty headcold. Perfect! Just what I wanted to do with a week off: spend all my time coughing and sneezing and feeling either too cold or too hot. Second only to the issue of not being able to breathe out of my face-holes is that when I’m sick, I don’t turn to games for comfort. Watching crappy movies, binge-watching TV series, and even—gasp—reading books? All fine ways to pass the time while coughing and sneezing. But games? No, not for me. Which sucks, because this holiday would have been a great time to catch up on everything I missed playing this year. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll make a full recovery the day before my vacation ends.

Wes Fenlon: Necrodancing guilt
I didn't play enough Crypt of the Necrodancer. I wasn't feeling guilty about that until the surprise news of a Necrodancer expansion hit this week, and now I'm ashamed to say that I only played an hour or so of Necrodancer, exactly enough to tell that it was an amazing game, but not enough to really be good at it. This is something I should rectify. Until this week, that guilt was buried deep down where it couldn't hurt me. Now… I just need to play more of a great game. This isn't really a low. I just wanted everyone to know they should play Crypt of the Necrodancer.