This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Tom Senior: London calling

We're hosting our annual London live event, The PC Gamer Weekender, next weekend. When I joined PC Gamer we had a magazine and a little website. Now we have a magazine, a much bigger website, a live event in London and a big E3 conference. Where do we go from here? A flying airbase like SHIELD has, hopefully.

If you're able to get to the London Olympia next Saturday or Sunday you'll find halls full of gaming PCs loaded up with the biggest new and upcoming releases including Biomutant, Frozen Synapse 2, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Vermintide 2, Phoenix Point and more. Our two stages will host developer talks for Two Point Hospital, Project X, Sea of Thieves and Minecraft. Plus we have a hardware zone where you can learn about the components that really matter when you’re putting together a gaming PC, and build a rig yourself. You can book tickets here, and use the code PCG to snip a cool 20 percent off ticket prices.

Samuel Roberts: Gollop chamber

We're incredibly lucky to host X-Com co-creator Julian Gollop's words on PC Gamer, and this week's Gollop Chamber column was one of my favourites so far. He dissects the rise of the deckbuilding roguelike, a genre hybrid that has a few notable entries on PC so far, and it's great to get that perspective from someone who spends so much time thinking about game design. 

If you enjoy that, check out his monthly columns via our handy tag page. It's all essential reading from one of gaming's greatest design minds. 

Tim Clark: Happy nerfday!

Tuesday saw patch 10.2 land on Hearthstone’s servers, and with it the nerfbat swung down hard on Raza, Corridor Creeper, Bonemare, and Patches the Pirate. 'About time, too' seemed to be the sentiment among most fans, but that implies that this was a day of resentment when the opposite was true. A wave of nerfs in Hearthstone is second only to the release of a new expansion in terms of community excitement. Suddenly the most popular decks need to be either ditched or rebuilt entirely. Some previously off-meta strategies get their chance to shine, while other experiments quickly prove why they should have been left on the drawing board. 

Sadly my janky Midrange Wild Demonlock hasn’t seen the uptick in performance I hoped for, largely because it struggles against that bonkers Giants Warlock deck, but in Standard I have been having fun with this Paladin dudes list, and Muzzy’s new take on Zoo. It includes two copies of  Fungalmancer, a card I had legit forgotten existed. And that’s why nerfs are great!

James Davenport: It's all nice on rice

I have plenty of highs this week, the problem is most are about games I can't talk about quite yet. The embargo lifted on one this morning, so I can finally tell the world about another OK-looking farming simulator, Pure Farming 2018. I got my hands on a preview build, and while I'm no expert on the minutiae of farming sims, I can appreciate them from a distance. Pure Farming makes it a bit easier with a Farming Challenges scenarios mode that does away with the time-consuming busy work and lets you get right to the good stuff, like planting potatoes and tearing up olive trees. 

But what I found most fascinating about my time with it were the machines used to harvest crops I'm not too familiar with, like rice and coffee. Take a look at them for yourself. They're confounding industrial monsters. One looks like a shed on wheels with gnashing teeth bridging the gap, while another is a motorized bicycle with a dozen or so tiny rice-planting arms attached. I didn't enjoy the business side of Pure Farming 2018, but I could drive those weird vehicles around all day. 

Joe Donnelly: Living light

I'm flipping the script with this week's highs entry because instead of recounting my own favourite moment of the last seven days, I'm going to tell you yours. Well, that is, assuming you're yet to play Techland's 2015 zombie killer-meets-parkour 'em up Dying Light. It's good, you see, and as such I recommend picking it up during the game's Steam sale which is running now through Monday if you haven’t already. If you like horror games, murdering zombies (can you murder the undead?), and throwing yourself around a post-apocalyptic cityscape—who doesn't?—then I reckon you'll like this 'un. 

But don't listen to me. Listen to Chris.   

Chris Livingston: Boardwalk Empire

When I first glanced at this Monopoly map for Planet Coaster, I thought "Oh, that's cool. You can build your theme park on a Monopoly map." But it's not just a map, it's an actual working Monopoly board. Like, with working dice and Chance cards and rules and game pieces and everything. So, you can play Monopoly and build your park at the same time. Created by modder Chant, the map is yet another amazing reminder at how many talented and creative people are out their devoting their time (for free!) to make the games we love even more fun and rewarding to play.