This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Tom Marks: You bot to be kidding me

This isn't the lowest low in the history of PC gaming, but I think Overwatch's new robot hero Orisa looks as dumb as a bucket of bolts. Abilities-wise Orisa is pretty cool, and will hopefully inject some further flexibility into the meta in a way Sombra didn't. But design-wise, I can't get over how disjointed it looks. Thematically, Orisa is an omnic that's been pieced together from other broken bots and, well, it looks sort of like a bunch of different ideas were smashed together that don't quite fit.

I'm into the quadrupedal legs and even the neat face mask with horns, but the whole character feels a bit overdesigned. It reminds me a lot of the original Genji concept art, before Blizzard decided to split the character into two and distill each concept down to a much stronger core. It's not the end of the world, it's just a bit disappointing that Orisa doesn't look quite as coherent as the rest of Overwatch's colorful cast.  

Tom Senior: Smooth criminal

I feel like I’ve done a lot of grumbling recently. We updated our list of game design crimes recently, and have received a lot of good suggestions from you about more, which we’ll include the next time we expand the list. Maybe one day we will be able to list them all, print off the whole article, bind it in leather and send a copy to every developer who puts a save point before an unskippable cutscene.

We also had a go at horror games’ most tedious tropes this week. It’s odd to see so many repeated ideas popping up in a genre that needs to surprise players in order to be effective. I long for more original psychological horror with inventive imagery, that takes advantage of the interactive nature of the medium to create entirely new forms of dread. Not too much to ask, then. 

Samuel Roberts: Tease of the century

Here is Final Fantasy XV running on soon to be available PC hardware. It looks amazing—a staggering visual upgrade on the already gorgeous console version, which I've played for 100 hours and would gladly play again on PC. There are currently no announced plans to release Final Fantasy XV on PC. Come on, Square Enix! This must be the biggest tease of a port ever. In the meantime, enjoy how much furrier FFXV's cats are when running on a GTX 1080 Ti. 

Joe Donnelly: Not fun to stay at the DCMA

I'm not upset, I'm just disappointed. Another week, another DMCA sent to a promising fan-made remaster—this time Lucasfilm has intervened on a player-crafted Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis so-called 'Special Edition'. Shy of getting lawyers involved, the reimagining's creators were "politely" ordered to wrap up work on their hobbyist project because the production company "doesn't want to share the Indy license with anyone right now." 

The remake's creators reckon they've come up with a solution to keep things on track, but these things very rarely work out after the first stone has been cast. "This is not the end of this project and this is not the end of any fans projects," said the remake's creators via Facebook. "Big companies need to understand that: 'All things come to him who waits.'" As of Sunday, the Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Special Edition's demo will be removed from its site. It's over here if you'd like to give it a go before then. 

Tim Clark: Call a medic!

Regular readers of Highs & Lows will know that I am currently grinding The Division endgame in search of slightly better rolls on assault rifles I already own. Last night I got in from a GDC work dinner, not a little bit drunk, and jumped into the daily missions. I was matchmade with a team of three who, as it turned out, were EMT firefighters. In between discussing how they were min-maxing their builds in the new patch 1.6 era, they swapped work stories, the best (read: most gruesome) involved a police standoff that resulted in someone’s throat getting cut. “There isn’t much point with a tourniquet if you have to decide between saving the head or body.” 

I kept my mic on mute, enjoying eavesdropping on their chatter while hoovering up loot. After the dailies were done I tagged along as they hunted LMB in the newly opened Northern Dark Zone areas for the weekly challenge, until eventually bed called. Given that we’d somehow just been team-wiped by a single rogue agent, it seemed a good point to stop. That isn’t why this is a low, though. I had a great time. It’s a low is because somehow Uplay’s ‘recently played with’ feature isn’t showing them, so I can’t send friend requests. Guys, I’m the silent dude you said “looked like a twink” but who you let stick around. Call me, yeah?

Chris Livingston: Will I Switch? 

Well, here I am again, reading accounts of people playing and loving a new console-only game on a new console-only-console. I'm not some kind of PC patriot: I've certainly owned my share of consoles in the past. It's just that I don't feel like once again buying a Whole New Thing just to play one particular game (I'm talking about the Switch and Zelda, if that wasn't clear). The last time I did that, for Red Dead Redemption, I didn't regret it. But I also didn't use that console to ever play much of anything else. I want to play Zelda, but I've already got a bunch of old consoles (and frankly, a bunch of old PCs) doing nothing these days but collecting dust. Do I really want or need another?

PC Gamer

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