This week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Chris Livingston: Telltale signs

Well, some terrible news arrived today, as Telltale has laid off nearly all of its staff and reportedly canceled most if not all of its future projects. That's hundreds of people out of work, which is both sad and shocking. It's an awful end for a studio that revitalized the adventure game genre and produced so many great games over the years—The Walking Dead series and Tales from the Borderlands just to name a couple—yet clearly has had a lot of troubles along the way. I'm sure we'll learn more about what happened at Telltale in the coming days, and I hope everyone who suddenly found themselves out of a job finds a new home somewhere deserving of their talents.

Jarred Walton: May the GeForce be with you

A month after Nvidia revealed its GeForce RTX branding, we can finally talk about the performance delivered by the new GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. The 2080 Ti is the new fastest graphics card on the planet. That’s the good news. The bad news: the 2080 is basically the same performance as the 1080 Ti, at least on existing games that don’t use DLSS or ray tracing, and yet it costs $100 more.

I feel like the launch of GPUs with ray tracing acceleration is a lot like the launch of DirectX 8 and DirectX 9 hardware back in the day—GeForce 3 and 4 were the first GPUs with programmable pixel and vertex shaders, and the Direct3D 8/9 APIs came out in 2000 and 2001, respectively. However, it took years before actual use of the new APIs in games would become standard. Hopefully ray tracing uptake is faster.

So this is a bit of a high and a low. I’m excited for the potential of the cards, but they're not here yet. At least we can finally stop all the speculation and arguing about the GPUs and just focus on the actual performance. Can’t we all just get along?

Samuel Roberts: Devil's due

This week's Devil May Cry 5 trailer is a nice little blast from the past, focusing on the Dante people recognise and seemingly love from the first four games, and not the one despised in some circles mostly for his haircut in DmC. The tone of it feels like a PS2 game from about 2005, and that's kind of comforting, but I do wonder what exactly DMC5's bringing to the series that I haven't seen before. 

Yeah, there are disposable arms equipped with different properties that Nero can use in battle, and a new playable character is on the way, too, who we haven't seen in action yet. But based on the Gamescom demo, it felt extremely familiar—a sequel playing safely to the hardcore. It's early days, though, and since there aren't really any other developers making games like this anymore, except Platinum, I'm definitely keen to try out its other heroes.

Andy Kelly: Big bucks

It's when a new range of high-end graphics cards are revealed that I remember just how expensive PC gaming can be. I don't need a GeForce RTX 2080, but it would be nice to have one. Yet with an RRP of $1,200, the chances of that ever happening are incredibly slim. Console gamers often accuse PC gaming of being prohibitively expensive, and I usually say that's bollocks, but with prices like this, I can sort of understand them.

You could wait for a price drop, of course. But two years later, a GTX 1080 will still cost you about $500, which is a significant amount of money for most people. When you can get a PS4 Pro for $400, it's not hard to see why a lot of people decide to go for a console over a gaming PC. Throw in the monitor, keyboard, mouse, PSU, motherboard, etc. etc. and you're looking at a small fortune. But hey, it's an investment I guess. Your reward for splashing out is the best gaming platform there is. I just wish it savaged my wallet a bit less.

Wes Fenlon: Red Dead Riot

We've been keeping up with the Red Dead Redemption 2 news, like the reveal that it will have an online mode much like GTA Online. No big surprise there. But this week we've had to face facts: Rockstar still isn't talking about a PC version of RDR2, and at this point it's clearly not going to be available when the console versions launch this fall. Will it ever be on PC? Almost certainly, given the amount of money GTA has made on the platform. But it seems likely we'll be waiting quite awhile. Maybe a year or more. It had better be worth the wait. 

Joe Donnelly: Switched on

In last week's Lows column, I went off topic to complain about the fact my first and incoming child was then four days late. Thanks for letting me bend your ears. Unfortunately for you, I'm back at it this week because the wee shite still isn't here. Which means I've spent the last seven days living like a fucking rabbit caught in headlights, unsure if I'm coming or going. No, you've had back-to-back sleepless nights. I've also not found time to play PC games, which is, after another rambling moan, the real low here. One which I suspect will carry on for the next 18 years minimum.

I have however loaded up my Switch for the trip to the hospital. I'm now packing Football Manager 2018, Into the Breach and Thimbleweed Park. Reckon that's a good selection? I mean, three games while my girlfriend is struggling with labour and childbirth is fine… right? Tell me otherwise in the comments down south.

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