This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS 

Tyler Wilde: War, recrafted 

I'm gonna play Warcraft 3 again. At BlizzCon this week, Blizzard announced that a remaster, Warcraft 3: Reforged, is coming next year—and obviously, I'm going to play that. Now if only someone could reforge gaming cafes that exclusively serve Bawlz and tower defense maps, I could properly be 18 again.

Samuel Roberts: Respawning

The prospect of two Respawn games in 2019 is pretty exciting. We know one is a Star Wars game, and the other is almost certainly a Titanfall. It'll be a Battlefield skip year, too, which actually makes it a sensible time to release a multiplayer-focused shooter, not that I'd balk at the prospect of another excellent singleplayer Titanfall campaign.

Given that EA got the licence in 2013, it's crazy that it'll have taken six years for a non-Battlefront Star Wars game to be released by the publisher. Surely someone could've made a sequel to Yoda Stories in that time? 

Chris Livingston: Falling In

It's great, after all this waiting, to get to play Fallout 76 on PC instead of just speculating about it. There were definitely a lot of downsides to the PC beta launch, especially in terms of missing features, some of them pretty critical like a lack of text chat and a number of missing graphical options (please, please let me turn off motion blur). Not to mention the major glitch that made us re-download the entire beta twice. It wasn't pretty.

But I'm enjoying it, too. I've always preferred to play Fallout 3 and 4 using stealth, sneaking around and capping enemies from range, and at level 10 with a legit sniper rifle I took off a dead super mutant, I'm having a good time doing just that. I've only just scratched the surface of the game and its hefty map, but it's nice to at least finally be playing it and finding out what it's all about. I'm mostly soloing, and doing so pretty successfully, though having other players around adds a bit of enjoyable tension and not all that much annoyance (so far) unless they've got their mics open while they eat. I'm really enjoying the perk system, too. There are two more beta sessions this weekend, and Bethesda just gave every beta participant three keys to share, so maybe I'll see you in there.

Philippa Warr: Gazing into the Abyss

No Man’s Sky has finally decided to fully pander to my underwater enthusiasms with its latest update. Space fish! Weird barnacle things which seem to erupt every now and again meaning they might be weird vents or volcanoes instead of barnacles! Dedicated aquatic building components so I don’t have to jam a viewing platform into the sea and pretend it’s got any structural integrity! Mention of some kind of submarine thing which I haven’t investigated because I got sidetracked by barnacles! Let’s just ignore the fact that through a series of entirely reasonable decisions I’ve currently trapped myself under a glass dome in the middle of the ocean and am unable to get out. 

Tom Senior: Remedial

I’m really excited about Control. I like Remedy’s style and I’m really game for a focused shooter set in a surreal facility that can move and distort around the player. Also I love the way the game uses stark lighting and simple geometry to create its sinister atmosphere. That flavour of horror—ordinary objects turning against us—is a frequent theme in SCP fiction, and Sam Lake loves a bit of David Lynch. That mix of influences sounds amazing to me.

This week we put up our mag feature digging into Control’s development. It covers the setup for the mysterious Oldest House setting and discusses the player character, Jesse, and her telekenetic powers. Unless Blizzard announces Diablo 4 or something, this is probably my most anticipated game of 2019.

Jarred Walton: Reasonable RTX

The launch pricing on Nvidia’s RTX cards is pretty ludicrous. We went from the 1070 and an official base price of $380 at launch (currently selling for $300-$350), to the RTX 2070 Founders Edition at $599. We were told RTX 2070 reference models would be more widely available, but I was skeptical. Two months after launch and the lowest price I can find on the fastest card is a Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti Windforce and a 750W PSU for $1,288.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is the EVGA RTX 2070 Black, which comes with reference clocks and also hits the target $499 price. Stock performance is slightly better than a GTX 1080, and overclocked it ran as fast as an overclocked 2070 FE. It’s not the world’s greatest GPU, but it’s at least a more reasonable option than the Founders Edition.