This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE LOWS

Tom Senior: Send nukes

We learned a lot about Fallout 76 this week, but I’m still not sure what it’s for exactly. The shooting looks okay and the West Virginia landscape looks gorgeous, but there are so many other good co-op games on PC and I don’t know why I should play Fallout 76 over any other open world survival game. Without NPCs the world seems like a shooting gallery, but without the core combat systems that make your Destiny-likes so satisfying and moreish. 

The world looks great though, so maybe I will dip in just to explore solo and find Mothman. The nukes look interesting as well, particularly because they spawn rare loot and create foggy irradiated zones to explore with friends. That’s a really cool idea for a high-level challenge.

Joe Donnelly: Fell out

I'm going to echo Tom here: I'm not feeling Fallout 76. I love modern day Fallout games and while, yes, post-apocalyptic 2102 West Virginia looks great, everything else, from what I've seen so far, looks janky and awkward and a bit like Elder Scrolls Online. If you like The Elder Scrolls Online that's great, but despite ZeniMax telling us not to expect Skyrim Online from TESO at launch, I'm one of those players who wanted exactly that. I also want something similar from Fallout 76—an online multiplayer variation of Bethesda's three-dimensional, open-world take on the series, with NPCs and everything else that entails. I dunno, maybe I'll backtrack come launch later this month—I hope I do—but I'm just not digging it at this stage.   

Samuel Roberts: Creed curve 

When I published our piece on the experience booster in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, I deliberated on the headline a fair amount. I went with 'leaves a bit of a sour taste' instead of the original 'leaves a sour taste', because despite the irritating nature of level gating in that game, I'm still massively enjoying it. The story has shocking, thrilling moments and interesting choices, and I'm getting a (Spartan) kick out of the various combat abilities. I was an Assassin's Creed grump for years, and between this and Origins, it has turned me around.

Nonetheless, it would be a better world without XP boosters that sell for real money. Nothing will ever change my mind on that.

Steven Messner: The end of an Odyssey

This week I finally wrapped up the last important bits of Assassin's Creed Odyssey's endgame, meaning there's not much to do other than bang out daily quests in exchange for cosmetic rewards. Being a singleplayer game where no one gives a rat's ass what I look like, that doesn't motivate me all that much. That's left an Odyssey-shaped hole in my heart, though. Being a games journalist means I'm constantly flipping from one game to the next, so it's pretty rare for me to completely finish a game these days.

And now that I'm done Odyssey, I feel that same restless sorrow that comes from finishing a great book or TV show. I want a reason to continue existing in that world, so much so that I'm considering just starting over and playing as Alexios this time. There's a new game plus mode coming soon, so I might just have to twiddle my thumbs and wait for that.

Chris Livingston: Tyranny

I never know if a game studio being bought by a mega-behemoth company is a good thing or a bad thing. I suspect no one really knows, or can know, until much further down the line. But rumors are flying that Microsoft is buying Obsidian, and I already put Fallout 76 as a high, so I'll put this as a low. It could be good news: Obsidian isn't some tiny studio, it's got over 100 employees, so being attached to Microsoft could provide them some security. I guess I just shudder to think of the next Obsidian game being a Microsoft Store exclusive, because the Microsoft Store (still) sucks.

Tyler Wilde: A packing miracle

This week, I managed to transport my entire PC and ultrawide monitor across North America in checked airline luggage, and everything worked on the other end. Getting the two suitcases to weigh in at under 50 lbs (it's a $75 charge otherwise) while making sure they were secure and padded enough to withstand being chucked like sacks of grain was a stress I don't care to repeat. I think I deserve an award.