This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

James Davenport: Warmind never changes

The new Destiny 2 expansion is nothing special. I beat the campaign in just over an hour and I'm already losing motive to keep playing, but damn, I've been missing Destiny 2. Bouncing around with my floaty warlock and dissolving hordes of Hive with the improved Crimson is as fun as ever, the perfect beer game. I've come to accept that I'll only ever play it when expansions release, much like the first game, and while I was hoping for a reinvention that gave me better reason to play every week, I'll take another good sci-fi shooter that gets new levels every few months. The raids alone are worth the droughts.

Samuel Roberts: Free Fire

The Flame in the Flood is a kind of miserable yet beautiful and interesting survival game, and for some reason—because this is the modern era of PC gaming where a new game is free pretty much every week—you can get it for nothing until tomorrow. Assuming you've picked it up, don't do what I do with most freebies on Steam and let it fester in your library. Install it and give it a go. You sail up a river with your dog, landing at different random islands where nasty things are waiting to happen to you, crafting stuff along the way. It's not quite like other survival games, either in how it looks or plays. Chris enjoyed it when he reviewed it a few years ago. 

Tim Clark: Enraged

There's a new Rage game, who knew! Nobody except for everyone at Walmart Canada, who managed to spill the beans on that game and a bunch of other likely E3 reveals earlier this week. Pete Hines wasn't happy, given that Bethesda seemingly had a whole teaser campaign of pink stuff ready to roll out. But you know who is happy? Old man Clark. I never expected to see a sequel to Rage and its once bleeding edge MegaTexture tech, but I'm glad we're going to get one. To be honest 2011 feels like so long ago that I'm now struggling to remember what I liked about Rage in the first place. I think it was a combination of the good looks (in a cannibalistic kinda way) combined with the idea of actually exploring this desert dystopia in buggies. Obviously no idea what to expect from the new one, and I think I've heard talk it may have a different developer with id overseeing, but this is an announcement I'll be looking forward to finding more out about at E3. Speaking of which, the PC Gaming Show at E3 is coming back. See you there, yeah?

Tom Senior: Gratuitous

Do you like free games? The internet is full of them, it turns out, and Phil, Pip and Andy have been hunting them down and pulling them together into a massive round-up. It’s a mix of browser games and downloads that won’t try to sell you a loot box. In addition to some cool interactive fiction and some beautiful exploration games, you will also find classics such as StarCraft, The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall, and the original SimCity.

In other free game news, I have been enjoying Tix.Tax this week, a game that takes humble playground fave noughts and crosses to the next level. 

Phil Savage: Strategic Solutions

It'll be months until I play Pillars of Eternity II—I've neither finished the first game, nor made a dent in the massive Divinity: Original Sin 2. But its release is just another example of what has been a quietly brilliant year for dyed-in-the-wool PC games. While 2018 hasn't offered up many AAA blockbusters of note, if you're a fan of more traditional, niche PC genres, there's a lot to sink your teeth into. BattleTech, Into The Breach, Surviving Mars, Frostpunk, Northgard, Thrones of Britannia, and more—it's been a great few months for fans of sitting at a desk, carefully considering your next move. I love big, dumb action as much as the next idiot, but it's heartening to see such a strong foundation of deep, complex, satisfying PC experiences emerge and succeed.

Chris Livingston: Jersey score

I'm now 14 games into a 54-game season of Super Mega Baseball 2, using a team based on the PC Gamer staff, and I'm happy to say after a rough start my club has climbed into first place in their division. Samuel has been crushing home runs, Joe is my star closer, and Bo drove a line drive so hard into an opposing pitcher's stomach the guy had to leave the game. As for the character I based on myself, I pitched a complete game yesterday, which gave my bullpen a much needed rest.

My biggest hurdle is my stubborn and baffling (even to me) refusal to use a controller, and selecting the base to throw to while fielding is sometimes an adventure using a mouse. Someone steals second base and I invariably throw to first. Someone steals third and I throw to first. Someone's about to score: the ball goes to first. I guess I need to work on my mouse gestures if I'm going to make it to the world series.