This week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Tim Clark: Destiny 2 will be legit on day one

As a perennial panicker, I’ve had my worries about the fate of Destiny 2. From fixed rolls on loot to the recharge rates of abilities, I don’t quite trust Bungie not to slip some bonkers decisions into its otherwise brilliant shared-world shooter soup. (Largely because, as someone who ploughed north of 2,000 hours into the original, I was there to witness the time they made us reacquire and relevel every single frigging exotic weapon in the game). But this week I was able to cross one potential worry off. Having played the PC beta, I feel confident in saying that, from a technical point of view, the game will be the real deal—just as PC project lead David Shaw promised.

If you hopped in to play the introductory campaign mission, co-op strike, or sample some PvP, then you’ll have found a version of the game that runs superbly on even moderately powered rigs. Jarred spent some time working out what you need to achieve 60fps at 4K, and you can read his complete performance evaluation here. For my less technical money, this is exactly what a big multiplatform game should look like on PC: a comprehensive suite of graphical and controller options, plus support for more niche interests like SLI, 21:9 and even HDR. It’s been adorable watching players of the original wake up to how good their game can look on PC, and declaring they can never go back. I’ll have thoughts on the campaign and more early next week, but for me October 24 can’t come soon enough.

Joe Donnelly: Gamescom all-go

Last week I was at Gamescom which meant I saw a loads of cool games and chatted to loads of cool people and got nowhere near as much as sleep as is medically recommended. Highlights included my hands-off demonstrations of Biomutant and Star Citizen, dying umpteen times in Techland's God's Trigger, reuniting with Sebastian Castellanos in The Evil Within 2, and mowing armies down on horseback in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's multiplayer (look out for that next week).

News-wise, we picked up some decent exclusives too with Telltale telling us they'd be open to a Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror game, Level 5 telling us the original Ni No Kuni is almost definitely coming to PC, Rare telling us Sea of Thieves will support lesser-equipped PCs, and Akira Yamaoka telling us he's open to a Team Silent reunion. Sheesh, I'm shattered just reading that back.

Jarred Walton: Not the puppies!

As Tim mentioned, I did a shedload of testing with Destiny 2 this week. But my favorite part of the game isn’t actually part of the game, it’s the live action launch trailer, which is way better than you would expect—despite the apparent destruction of all earth’s puppies. Which enables me to segue smoothly into the news that I got a puppy last week. He’s called Scout and he hasn’t even chewed up any of my computer parts yet! Except for one of the Threadripper styrofoam PIB boxes, but it was at least empty. That’s a high, right?

James Davenport: PvPlease

Even though I put somewhere around 300 hours into the original Destiny on PS4, I barely touched the Crucible PvP modes. Cozy as the DualShock 4 is, it’s still a gamepad, and I’m not trying to lord the mouse and keyboard over it as the best control method, but it’s definitely my preference. I can shoot predictable NPCs with sticks, but the Call of Duty generation will forever humiliate me with their ergonomic television remotes. 

All this is to say I’m so relieved to finally enjoy playing Destiny’s PvP. During the PC beta I surprised myself by ignoring Quake Champions (which is pretty great, by the way) in favor of getting familiar with Destiny 2’s new 4v4 format. Smaller teams, smaller maps, and a more communicative UI make staying aware of enemy positions and super statuses so much easier. Matches are less chaotic and much more dependent on focused, tactical teamplay. And the pulse rifle feels right at home with a mouse and keyboard. I say this now, but come launch, I’ll stop playing for an hour and the entire world will surpass me in skill. But for now, I feel hope. 

Samuel Roberts: Return of the rats

As Tom notes above, a Vermintide sequel was announced this week, which is fantastic news. At the weekend, myself and PCG's Phil Savage played three hours of the original and got deep into it for the first time—and it's just great. I'd love to see what a sequel will look like with more varied maps, but fingers crossed they add a new Warhammer faction to the game as an enemy this time, too. 

There's so much potential in bringing more of the fiction into that Left 4 Dead-like template, which remains one of the best virtual presentations of Warhammer fantasy around. 

Tom Senior: Norses for courses

You know what, I’m well up for a new Rune game. The original hails from an era when your main character was a texture stretched across a couple of hundred polygons and games were 90% brown, but I enjoyed its dedication to melee combat and its (now primitive) dismemberment system. Rune doesn’t need to do much to this formula. I want a big stupid game about hitting monsters. I want Norse Space Marine that lets me hit hundreds of goblins with a rock on a stick. Throw in a boss fight with Thor or something and we’re good. It doesn’t have to be open world, even though it is because it’s 2017 and all games must be an open world RPG or a cartoon arena shooter.

There’s not much to go on from the announcement, just some wintry Nordic scenery and a carved glowing rock, which must feature heavily in Norse mythology given how many you see in Norse-themed games. What is it with revealing games to empty shots of scenery this week? Vermintide 2 did the same. All you can do is look at the trees and shrug.

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