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This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Chris Thursten: Altered destiny

I've got to be honest: this week's Destiny news has left me conflicted. I love this game, having played it constantly for the first 18 months of its life and now enjoying a return for the latest expansion. It's one of the best co-op shooters ever made and easily one of my favourite MMOs, despite being lightweight in comparison to the genre standard. I tried The Division earlier in the year but it didn't take: if Bungie know anything they know how to make a shooter really sing.

Knowing the history of the game, these Destiny 2 rumours seem very believable. Given the tempo maintained during the first year, it does seem likely that we were supposed to have the sequel by now, but it's been pushed back a year to make room for changes. This is likely, at the end of the day, a good thing: but this is a series that already has a history of reboots and rethinks, and I'd hoped it'd found a structure that works with The Taken King. One day I'd like Destiny to grow gradually, like World of Warcraft: not to get reinvented every year.

Now for the thing I'm really hesitant to say, particularly on this site: I'm not wild about it coming to PC, and if it does, I'll play it on console. The first reason for this is practical: The Division had huge problems with hacking, these games can be difficult to secure, and I'd be amazed if PC Destiny didn't suffer in the same way, at least for a while. The second reason is personal, and I don't expect many people to share it: if Destiny comes to PC, I might be expected to have opinions about it. I might get asked to write hot takes. I don't want to write hot takes. Oh god, I'm writing one now.

Samuel Roberts: Time off is good

So, this isn't a true low, in the sense I have no real beef here (just in case 'highs and lows' are ever interpreted as being the place for 'shots fired!'-esque burns)—but I wouldn't watch a movie based on Firewatch. The game itself is so cinematic, complete with film-quality acting, that I don't really know what additional texture a movie would actually bring. Would it be like watching the game rather than playing it? Would it be watching one guy exploring the wilderness by himself for two hours while yammering into a walkie talkie? 

I'm not sure, but I loved the game, and look forward to whatever Campo Santo's next thing is. Maybe the film is for people who will never play the game?

James Davenport: Sparring over Nidhogg 2's art

Nidhogg 2, a sequel to my favorite psychedelic jouster, was announced this week. It features new weapons, new levels, and to widespread disappointment, a wacky new look. While the first game had a minimalist, Atari-esque pixel style, the Nidhogg 2 looks like 32-bit ‘90s claymation, or a bizarre Earthworm Jim spinoff. I also didn’t like the art at first—the clumsy, bug-eyed characters felt like an infringement on something I’d grown comfortable with. But the more I watch the trailer, the more I like it. Artist Toby Dixon has made some great stuff, and I think he really gets the spirit of Nidhogg, which is one of excessive cartoon violence and physical comedy.

While I understand why some people will never dig the new art style, I don’t think it should be enough reason to skip the sequel entirely. Let the new looks simmer for a bit, especially as news about the new combat systems and environments come out over the next year. The slapstick ragdoll combat is, in my opinion, strengthened by Dixon’s art, and as more weapons are thrown into the mix, it seems inevitable that Nidhogg’s systems will become funnier to fit the shoe.

Joe Donnelly: Procedural investigation 

Another fork in the No Man's Sky road surfaced this week: the UK's Advertising Standards Authority is investigating both Valve and developer Hello Games for promoting seemingly misleading advertising material in relation to the game. 

This story is a debacle which should be looked into with more care and consideration than this here Lows entry (here's our news story and subsequent conversations with real life lawyers, should you wish to learn more), however there are so many variables at play here which make this sad to hear. Players feeling short-changed is one. The silence from Hello Games is another. The unfair pre-release hype that was piled onto No Man’s Sky that Hello Games didn't necessarily ask for is of course worth considering; so too is how Sony appear to have gotten off scot-free in the middle of things, given the part it played in said hype-stirring. All told, the No Man’s Sky story has been a complicated one. This development proves it’s far from finished.

Chris Livingston: Lights, Camera, Dammit

I've been thinking about trying to stream some games, because what better way to enjoy my hobby that to do it live under the close scrutiny of a bunch of strangers, right? Anyway, I decided to finally buy a new webcam, as my current one was ancient and the image was grainier than the footage of that guy pretending to be Bigfoot back in the 1960's. I read our best webcam article and purchased a Logitech c920. I set it up,then looked at our website—literally looked right from the new camera I'd just perched on my monitor—to see Tom's article about Logitech's new C922.

This is why I should never buy new tech gadgets and geegaws. My new thing is already obsolete and I haven't had the chance to embarrass myself for an audience playing Civ 6 yet.

Tom Marks: UW-POS

When I wasn't playing Civ 6 this week, I was playing Forza Horizon 3, which is my first racing game in a few years at least. It's definitely the most sim-y racing game I've ever played, but I'm absolutely loving it. It's gorgeous, fast, and lets me ignore the hardcore stuff if I just want to get into a solid gold Datsun and lose some races in style. 

The thing I don't like, however, is the game's reliance on the Windows 10 UWP, Windows 10 store, and the Xbox App, all of which are infuriatingly terrible. I've been wary of them from afar until now, but Forza forced me to actually interact with these programs in my own home, and all of those hateful things I've heard seem totally justified. The Xbox App, for example, has probably the worst modern chat functionality I've ever seen. It's actually embarrassing how poorly it works.

And with always-online causing lag in single player races and a lack of sufficient settings like push-to-talk voice, I'm frustrated that these stupid Windows requirements are hampering an otherwise phenomenal game. I plan on getting mad about these things in a longer form next week, but I officially understand why the UWP is such a terrifying prospect. 

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article!