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This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE LOWS 

Tom Senior: Diabloh no

I was thinking about Diablo this week. Who am I kidding, I’m always thinking about Diablo. I’ve been leveling up a Crusader on the Switch and keep stumbling into the new areas that Blizzard has added to the game over the years. It really is comfort food at this point. Find a slotted hat, craft the biggest ruby, slot it in for a big XP boost, then attack Adventure Mode and ding every ten minutes or so. It’s fun to blast through the seasonal objectives and earn little bits of loot, like a dismembered hand as a pet.

For a series that I’ve enjoyed so much over the years, it was a bummer to see the announcement last week. And I don’t mean the mobile game—I’ll give it a spin when it comes out and might well enjoy it. The bummer was seeing the developers behind the series take so much hate for being a business and doing business things. I was a little disappointed too, because I’d absolutely love a new PC Diablo game, but in the end I think Diablo will be fine, and will hopefully still be going strong for decades to come.

Fraser Brown: Falling out

I love Fallout and have been known to enjoy survival games, but Fallout 76 hasn’t convinced me it’s a very good example of either of those things. Maybe it will eventually change my mind, but definitely not with things like this Rick and Morty stream. Everything about it is the worst, right down to the way it was marketed. Those tweets are seared into my mind. I’ll never be able to shake them. They haunt me. 

The tweets were probably worse than the stream, which I just watched the briefest snippet of before the incredible awkwardness of it all knocked me out. The whole thing was three hours long! That just seems ridiculous for a joke that ran out of steam straight away. The mistake was not getting Justin Roiland to voice Ninja and Logic, who didn’t seem to know what to say.  

Tyler Wilde: Battlefield's not back (for everyone)

Not everyone can play Battlefield 5 right now. In fact, if you bought it, you don't get to play it yet, while people who haven't technically purchased the game can. That seems a bit backwards, but it's because the early access this week goes to Origin Access Premier subscribers, who get the game as part of their subscription. Obviously, EA would prefer you didn't buy Battlefield 5, and instead made your access to it dependent on a $15/mo or $100/yr subscription. 

There are some benefits there for us. That $100 gets you access to a lot of other games, too, and if you play a lot of them you end up spending less than if you were purchasing each individually. The BF5 Deluxe Edition alone is $80, and there's a new one every year. But I can't help but feel sad as we approach the final leg of the software industry's plan to phase out ownership. Goodbye having things, hello subscribing to them.

Chris Livingston: Browser tab

I don't like playing games at night. Meaning, when it's nighttime in the game, I don't like it. Which is weird, because I like sunsets in games. I just wish immediately after sunset, sunrise would happen and we could get back to daytime. Stumbling around in the dark isn't my jam.

Which is why I'm wishing Fallout 76 had a server browser and some daytime-only servers. It's not a fear thing (though things can get spooky at night). I just want to look at this game world as much as possible without the ugly green glow of my Pip-Boy lamp. There are plenty of dark interior areas already and that's cool, but when I'm stomping around in the world I want to see to the horizon, not just the tree trunk a few feet ahead of me. And this being online, I can't just fast-forward the night to make the morning come or lock the time of day at noon with a console command. I said I'd miss console cheats in Fallout 76, and it's true.

Samuel Roberts: Fantasy strife

It was a strangely bleak week for news on Final Fantasy 15, a game that had singleplayer DLC scheduled, unusually, for well over two years after its initial release on consoles. That came to a halt this week, as it was announced three of those bits of DLC had been cancelled. Meanwhile, creative director Hajime Tabata has left Square Enix, which is an unexpected result following what was widely considered a successful revival for the series.

The canceled DLC is kind of a shame, but I'm most curious to see where all this leaves the PC version's modding support. The specifics of that are still up in the air. 

James Davenport: Come sail away

I finished Return of the Obra Dinn and now I'm sad. For my taste, it's almost perfect, a sprawling mystery full of surprise and horror told in a way that no other medium is capable of. I'll never get to experience it for the first time again, and who knows how long until a game this unique and intricate is released again? I'll start twiddling my thumbs now, but in the meantime, go read our review. If mysteries and detective work and verifying insurance claims are your thing, go play it right away.