Tim Clark: Fassbender’s face
Look at it. Look at Michael Fassbender’s beautiful becowled face. Savour that image, because this is the exact moment in which you can allow yourself to think, “Hey, he’s a proper actor. Yes, there was Prometheus—but he was still the best thing in it. Maybe there’s a world in which the Assassin’s Creed movie won’t be red hot garbage.” And then you remember Jake Gyllenhaal. And Prince of Persia. And the moment is gone.
James Davenport: PAX Blues
PAX sure is a good time. Last year, before my time with PC Gamer, I went with some Canadian pals. While the show floor was a damp, flashy spectacle, my favorite moment of PAX had nothing to do with videogames. We were just sitting around in our hotel room, pretty tired from walking around all day, dehydrated. Consequently, I was a little drunk, even on two beers. Someone—I don’t remember who—fired first. They played a Wonderwall by Oasis mashup song. I can’t even remember what the second component was. All I remember is that we tested what we discovered as an unbreakable, universal law for a good hour or so. That law: if a song exists, there is a Wonderwall mashup of it somewhere. We dove down a deep, dark pit that evening. I emerged new. Different somehow, but closer to these people than before.
I invite you to test out this theory and share your results, but only at your own risk.
I mention it here not because I hate this memory. I cherish it, which is why I’m sad I’m not at PAX right now. Packing so many folks with similar interests into a tuna can portion of Seattle is an exhausting, exhilarating experiment, and I always look forward to the results. There will be a PAX in my future, no doubt, but now feels like a good time to embrace the melancholy. Sigh with me.
Chris Livingston: Home Base
I mentioned in my highs that I'd named a character after myself in Super Mega Baseball. It can be fun putting yourself in the games you play, right? Gives you a little extra investment in the character, personalizes the game a bit, makes it more fun, gives you someone to root for.
Sometimes. I also named a character after myself in a game called Sheltered, a post-apocalyptic management game where a family is living in a bomb shelter, trying to survive off scraps of food and contaminated water and having to make dangerous trips to the surface to scrounge for supplies.
The Christopher of Sheltered got food poisoning and spent most of his time vomiting all over the shelter. He got attacked by a psycho with a knife while scavenging in a school. He had to compete with his pet cat to catch and eat rats for sustenance. Christopher eventually died of radiation poisoning, at which point his sister carved him up and ate him to avoid starving to death, after which she also died of radiation poisoning. This was not as much fun as being a cartoon in a baseball game. (It's a pretty good game, though.)
Andy Kelly: Console exclusives
I’ve been reading the positive reviews of PS4 exclusive horror game Until Dawn, and I’m jealous. Exclusives are just the worst, aren’t they? Most of the time I can block out console-only releases and get on with my life, but occasionally there’s one that has me lingering over the ‘add to basket’ button on Amazon. Another is Destiny, which several of my friends are genuinely obsessed with. But there’s a chance that one might come to PC, so I might just hold out. The sooner we get PC versions of games like Until Dawn and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the better.
Tom Senior: Why, Blizzard, Why!
How could you do this to me Blizzard? Metal Gear Solid 5 is about to come out. Fallout 4 is on the horizon. I'm supposed to be limbering up for the biggest games of the year, but right on the eve of 2015's big release season you went for the nuclear option: you updated Diablo 3. You put new monsters in it, and a new zone, and added a cube that can suck special powers out of legendary items so I can equip them directly to my wizard's body somehow.
I went in for one lunch time, just to check things out, and then I remembered how much I love killing treasure goblins. The very next day a goblin dies and drops a portal to the treasure goblins' gold dimension. Coincidence? Yes! But that won't stop me from blaming you, even as I roll around in my massive piles of gold like Smaug. Big Boss and his Mother Base will have to wait; there are more treasure goblin portals out there, and they won't loot themselves.
Samuel Roberts: No VR for you this year
Sounds like the HTC Vive is going to be hard to get hold of this year, sadly—so it seems like the dream of a VR holiday where you can ignore your family members in a virtual world is firmly cancelled. With the Oculus headset also releasing in 2016, it looks like 2015 is off the calendar for big events in VR. Boo!