This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE HIGHS

Samuel Roberts: Obra Damn! 

I love seeing a 90% at the top of a review, given that it's a relatively rare sight on PCG. This week marked the release of Return of the Obra Dinn, a mystery game from Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope. The name, setting and visual style of the project have been known for some time, but the kind of game it is feels a little unexpected. 

A ship, the Obra Dinn, was lost at sea. You have to piece together what happened to its crew. I can't wait to play it this weekend. 

Tom Senior: Madden for it

Thanks to the London games I’m on an NFL kick at the moment. I’ve been enjoying chewing through the Ultimate Team solo challenges, which are very well presented. There’s bespoke commentary for each one (the amount of highly specific commentary work there is in this game is absurd) and each set of challenges captures key moments across the course of a game. I’m about a third-and-a-bit through them and the pitches have started to become snowy as the pretend season I’m playing through enters its deep winter stage. The attention to detail is deeply satisfying. I can’t call proper defensive coverage for shit, but I can enjoy the fan service and the game day atmosphere. It’s a shame that Longshot is a bit rubbish compared to last year’s entry though.

James Davenport: Scary cheap games

I'm one of those people with an annoying degree of enthusiasm for watching and playing as many scary movies and games in October as possible. I love the feeling of being scared, and games are especially good at getting me there (but have you been watching The Haunting of Hill House? You should be). So I take the time each October to seek out small, cheap indie games to chew through in my spare time. 

Unfortunately, I've been busy moving for the bulk of October, but I've still had a bit of time to check out a few. Start with Giraffe Town. I'm still early on, but it's truly strange, something like a psychedelic take on Octodad set in Silent Hill. The Hex isn't that scary, but it's an intriguing murder mystery starring world-weary characters representing game genres. Like the developer's previous game Pony Island, it isn't shy when it shatters the fourth wall. Give 'em a look and let me know what you think. I'm still looking for a truly scary indie game from 2018, so if you have any recommendations, send them my way. 

Joe Donnelly: It’s all kicking off

Football season has arrived. You see, while the EPL, the SPFL, La Liga and the Champs League kicked off months ago—football season kicks off proper for me when the latest instalment of Football Manager lands. 

FM 2019 doesn't launch in full till November 2, but its preorder beta arrived yesterday. I've downloaded it, and I can't wait to jump in and tinker with its long list of new features. If you've been following this column for the last wee while, you may know my girlfriend and I have just had a baby. A full weekend ahead, a four-week-old baby, a partner who not only dislikes videogames but also despises football, and a new Football Manager release sounds like a recipe for disaster. Wish me luck. Come on you bhoys in green

Chris Livingston: Good North, a-ha, see what I did there?

I haven't played much of Bad North, Raw Fury's brutal yet beautiful real time strategy. I bought it from the new Discord Store and then promptly refunded it because I wanted to see if Discord Store refunds work. (They do, though they take a while.) But Imma buy it again because it's fun and quite lovely, and I really enjoy the little animated touches, as above, where you can see my brave warriors take a few little anticipatory shuffle-steps back just before they wade into combat. I also love how they sort of hop around, looking for a spot to jump into the fight, as you might do when the adrenalin hits and some chalky goons are waving swords in your face. It's lovely stuff and I'm eager to play more.

Steven Messner: What happens in Vegas...

I'm in Las Vegas this weekend for the annual EVE Vegas fan convention, where thousands of spaceship nerds from all over the globe fly to Sin City to party it up and, y'know, talk about spaceships and stuff. Seriously though, EVE Vegas is a surreal and magical time where worlds collide in spectacular effect. CCP Games also takes the opportunity to make a few announcements, which is always interesting. But honestly, the big draw for me is just being able to hang out with this amazing community of space warlords and pirates, learning about the latest nefarious plots and schemes tha make EVE such an exciting place to be.