This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Tom Senior: Breach and clear

Into the Breach is brilliant. It crams varied tactical dilemmas into a tiny grid and is quick enough to keep me clicking through to the next fight. It's a snackable strategy game that you can play in half-hour bursts, theoretically, but I'm finding the fight-upgrade-fight loop so engrossing that I find it hard to pull away after an hour or so. The additional squads you unlock are great, too. They really change the way you take on enemies, and provide some long-term progression to tie your campaigns together.

I find it kind of funny that Subset have crammed so much game into a 180MB download. Its size, low-fi pixel art, and fast pacing make it a great laptop game for long journeys too.  A good mech war can make a commute just fly by.

Joe Donnelly: Group therapy

After having spent the last few weeks frolicking in GTA Online, I was pleased when Samuel suggested we put a crew together and take on the game's multiplayer heists this week. Him and Phil would be our seasoned veterans, he said, while myself and esteemed PCG columnist (but admittedly green in the ways of GTA) Xalavier Nelson Jr marked new blood. 

Playing for an hour or so, we shot a lot of baddies, blew up a lot of cars, died loads, and laughed every time Xalavier initiated a firefight with his Firework Launcher. "This weapon is actually closer to a dangerous toy than a true weapon," reads the GTA wiki of the "not cost-effective at all" armament—which paints a pretty clear picture of its worthlessness in battle. 

Anyway, given the fact my dialect often degenerates into a hurried mess of incomprehensible Glaswegian and expletives whenever I get excited, I was pretty pleased with how everything went—despite the fact Sam's connection dropped out seconds before we wrapped up our last mission. 

James Davenport: Jolly cooperation

Between Vermintide 2 and Deep Rock Galactic I'll never need Left 4 Dead 3. I'm happy to see other devs take the formula of four friends against hordes of enemies, but spun out in unique, sometimes better ways than their inspiration. Vermintide 2's first person melee combat is some of the best in the biz, and Deep Rock's procedurally generated cave systems are a tantalizing, suffocating trip each time.

Tyler Wilde: Genre drama

Watching my co-workers fight over genre preferences—or, as Steven called it, PC Gamer Civil War—was my entertainment for the week, especially for the knives Steven threw at Tim's favorites, Hearthstone and Destiny, in defense of MMOs. (Thank you for reviewing the MMOs, Steven.) I stayed out of the fight because, being more enlightened than everyone else, I like all genres.

Wes Fenlon: Merciful Vermintide

Some of us have been playing the Warhammer: Vermintide 2 beta this week, and James, Steven and I shared our frustrations at how difficult the game was on its easiest setting. The comments naturally told us to git gud, but clearly there was some room for adjustment: Fatshark has patched the game to be easier on Recruit difficulty. Vindication! Now that Recruit isn't as grindy, I'm really excited to level up a few characters and check out Vermintide 2's new class system. Bring on the rat men.

Andy Kelly: Gone in sixty seconds

I’ve been playing an early preview version of an interesting little game called Minit. It’s a Zelda-style adventure with a twist: you die every sixty seconds. But some items carry over between lives, meaning you make a little more progress with every attempt. So in your first life you might find the way to the next screen blocked by bushes. But then you’ll find a sword in another life, which will transfer over, and you can hack your way through them to explore further. I love the lo-fi, monochrome art, which squeezes a lot of personality into just a few pixels, and it’s just a cool, unique idea for a game. It’ll be out later this year, published by Devolver, but for now here’s a trailer to enjoy. I’m looking forward to playing the finished thing.