This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Tom Senior: Interstellar

This week Epic tried to nick Steam’s biscuits with a new digital store, and Obsidian tried to nick Bethesda’s biscuits with a game that looks an awful lot like the Fallout that fans really want. I’m not sure which one is my real high, but I really want a biscuit.

Let’s go with The Outer Worlds. I’m looking forward to overthrowing evil corporations across a bunch of frontier planets. When Obsidian drops the old ‘player-driven story’ cliche, I’m more inclined to actually believe it. Give me a ship full of malcontents, loads of dialogue options, and some colourful alien monsters and I’ll be quite happy. Cyberpunk and Dragon Age seem to be miles away. It feels good to have an RPG to really look forward to.

Samuel Roberts: Scavenged

I had the pleasure of doing an edit pass on James's exclusive Scavengers hands-on piece before I went to the pub yesterday, and it's well worth a read if you want a story about a bear changing the entire course of a multiplayer game. This game, which hails from former Halo devs at 343 Industries, combines PvP and co-op in curious fashion, with players making difficult choices on whether to turn on each other or not in order to survive.

It's miles away from release, but already made a strong impression on James. I can't wait to see if its ideas materialise into a game I'll want to play for tens of hours.

Tyler Wilde: A long journey

It seemingly had to take Epic launching its own store to get Journey on PC—I'm still unclear on whether it'll come to other storefronts—but it has happened. I've only ever watched Journey being played, so I look forward to making my own pilgrimages through the recent classic (technically I could already do that, via PlayStation Now, but that's cheating). I'm skeptical it's going to blow me away the way it did 2012 folks, but I've got a few hours to spare in the desert to see what the fuss is about. 

Fraser Brown: Leading a double life

I’ve been in space a lot, lately, escaping this funky marble for extended spells. Ahead of the launch of the Chapter 4 update to Beyond, I’ve been getting back into Elite Dangerous. I have achieved nothing, made barely any money, crashed into three NPC ships and I couldn’t be having more fun. I have played this game for years and pretty much made no progress. I really am living my best life in my medium-priced ship with just enough cargo space for my crates of space wine. 

Simultaneously, I’ve been leading a very different, less zen life in Stellaris’ new expansion, MegaCorp. It’s proving to be on the space 4X game’s best updates, both in terms of the free stuff in Le Guin and the paid DLC, but it’s also made me feel like a terrible bastard, setting up my analogue of Alien’s Weyland-Yutani and stripping the galaxy of resources and aliens of cash. I’m almost hoping the galaxy will unite to stop me before it’s too late. Of course I’ll just use the profits from my fast-food franchise to build a terrifying fleet and wipe them out. 

Steven Messner: A pirate's life for me

I never got into Sea of Thieves because, well, it just seemed boring. But yesterday at The Game Awards, ARK developer Studio Wildcard announced a pirate MMO called Atlas that borrows a few ideas from EVE Online, a game I love far too much. I got the chance to go hands-on with Atlas weeks ago and was impressed by what I saw. While I don't care much for ARK, Atlas seems to take its best ideas and squish them into a massive MMO world that 40,000 people all share at the same time. Atlas launches next week, so I'm quite keen on checking it out and seeing if the actual release is as good as my short preview implied.

Chris Livingston: Fine, I'll play Fortnite

I've tried most battle royale games out there, but I've never tried Fortnite. I can tell it's a fun game but all that building stuff looks like something I'd never really get the hang of. But Fortnite just added some damn airplanes and I can definitely fly around being a sky jerk and having dogfights and bailing out and crashing and trying to steal someone else's planes. It looks fun, and provided I don't care much about winning the match (I will just assume I will never win a match) it looks exactly like my kind of fun. So, yes, I'll finally play the biggest game in the world, because airplanes.