This week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Andy Kelly: Size matters

Bloody hell, games are big these days, aren't they? With the HD textures and cutscenes, Shadow of War was touching a ludicrous 100GB. As we speak I'm downloading the Call of Duty: WWII singleplayer campaign (which is separated from the multiplayer on Steam curiously) and it's a chunky 40GB. I know this is unavoidable because of the graphical fidelity of these blockbuster games, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, man.

For folk with hyper-fast internet connections this won't be a problem. Someone in South Korea could download Shadow of War in 10 minutes. But for those of us whose download speeds on Steam average at 6mb/s it's getting ridiculous. If only the UK's internet infrastructure was designed with downloading modern PC games in mind, things might be a bit more tolerable. But for now these giant downloads are bringing my broadband to its knees.

Joe Donnelly: Back in the doghouse

And while I love digging into a new instalment of Football Manager, it inevitably swallows my free time. On the cusp of the weekend, I'll stock up on junk food supplies, draw the curtains, switch off my phone, and go completely off the radar. At the expense of my girlfriend, my mother, my friends, my family. If I'm not back here next week, assume I've been fired. 

But I'm through the quarter finals of the Champions League. I consider this a win.

Evan Lahti: Shame on you, WWII

Last year two popular YouTubers named TMartn and Syndicate got caught schilling for a CS:GO skin gambling website. Some of the videos they created showed them winning expensive skins on the site, CSGO Lotto, in fantastic swings of luck. As it turned out, TMartn and Syndicate co-owned the gambling site they were promoting, and neither bothered to mention that to their predominantly young audiences. The ensuing controversy drew massive attention to Valve's weak restriction of third-party skin gambling sites and led to the creation of new FTC rules for all influencers.

But over on Kotaku today, it's as if none of that ever happened. TMartn has spent the last few days promoting the launch of Call of Duty: WWII with Sledgehammer Games as part of Race to Prestige, "a long-standing around-the-clock fundraiser that raises thousands of dollars to help connect veterans to jobs and coincides with each year’s Call of Duty release," writes senior reporter Cecilia D'Anastasio on Kotaku. 

I can't '@' Tmartn because he blocked me on Twitter after our reporting on him last year, but I guess I'll repeat my tweet here: Is it too much to ask that the biggest game studios in the world not work with people who peddled gambling to kids?

Steven Messner: Squeaky fan gets the grease

I don't know about you, but moving to a new apartment is kind of a scary thing when you own a  big PC. In the past, I've usually taken the time to disassemble some of the more delicate parts and package them up separately, but this time I was feeling lazy and now I regret it. Ever since I've set up my new office, one of my GPU fans has been making this awful, squeaky rattling noise when it spins up under load. It sucks. I tried to be careful moving the tower, but obviously it has shaken PC syndrome.

I'm having a hell of a time figuring out which of the three fans it is, and there's no visible signs of scratching or anything to indicate that it's clipping against the shell. I've watched a few guides to to solve the problem, but so far nothing has worked. It squeaks, and I cringe. I'm worried that, at best, I'll have to disassemble the fans and take a closer look, but that always comes with the fear that doing so might cause more problems.

That's actually just the tip of my hardware issues this week. My laptop refused to turn on for a whole day and now appears to be booting just fine, and my desktop PC even BSODed in the middle of an interview, which it has never done before. All of this happened after the move, and I can't help but feel a sting of guilt that maybe I should have been more careful or something. I'm sorry PC, you deserve better…

Jody Macgregor: Pyramid Head scheme

I fell down a hole of videos about Silent Hill 2 this week, inspired by the spooky season to learn more about one of my favorite horror games. Seeing the off-camera secrets was great—so much of that game is deliberately obscured by fog and the camera angles that peering around the corners is fascinating, especially if you know it well. I've finished that game three times now, so there are parts of Silent Hill I know as well as my home town, but I still saw new stuff.

That's not a low, of course. The low is that I happened across another video revealing something I didn't know, which is that Silent Hill 2's signature monster, Pyramid Head, has a tongue. I wish I hadn't learned that but if I have to go through the rest of my life with this knowledge so do you.

Tyler Wilde: Head cannon

The only weapon type I like in Destiny 2 are the handcannons. They aren't always the most viable (especially in PvP), but they are the most fun. The hell is the point of headshotting an alien if it's not a one shot kill? I can't see one. Blasting them in their grotesque faces (or robot glowing weak points) one by one, taking each shot carefully, is fun—same reason I like CoD's M1 Garand over most of its automatic weapons. The disappointing thing is that I'm finding it hard to want to keep playing Destiny 2. I have no idea what's going on in the story and I don't care. There's a snarky robot who sucks. There's some cute banter here and there, but I'm a boring silent nothing who's saving the world from boring evil guys, and it just can't pull me in. Not that I need filmic storytelling to get me into a game that's fun, but the locations, the character designs, and the look of the armor and future-tech aren't all that interesting either—it's pretty, but there's no hook to it that excites me, or makes me curious to push onward. I can appreciate why it's loved, but the Destiny series, like the Halo series, may just not be for me.

PC Gamer

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