The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Resident Evil 5

THE LOWS

Samuel Roberts: No splitscreen Resi 5 on PC
Seems Resident Evil 5’s transition to Steam hasn’t been as smooth as it could’ve been. This week, it was discovered that the new version deactivates an existing splitscreen mod for the GfWL edition of the game. Capcom has its reasons, as detailed in our story, but it’s a bit of a shame. Take splitscreen out of Resident Evil 5 and you remove a big part of its appeal—I consider Public Assembly in Mercenaries mode with a friend to be one of the finest co-op experiences you can have in a game. Hopefully the community finds a way to get local co-op back into the game. Or better yet, Capcom could do it [ed note: after Sam wrote this, it sort of did, but not really]. We’re one mode away from at last having the best version of Resi 5 in our Steam libraries.

Andy Kelly: My PC sucks
My rig at work is pretty awesome—I need it to review games after all—but at home, my PC is starting to seriously show its age. Glancing at the system requirements for games like GTA V and The Witcher 3 is making me increasingly disappointed in my specs. So it’s time to upgrade, of course. But do I get a new GPU, or go for a whole new build? What card do I get? I’ll need a new PSU too. The one I’ve got doesn’t have enough muscle for modern GPUs. My CPU is pretty old too. It’s an i7, but one of the very first models. Man, I love PC gaming, but sometimes hardware can be a real pain. Hey, maybe I should read our great hardware section...

Prey 2 Slide

Phil Savage: And all that could have been
Prey 2 was in the news again this week, courtesy of a new interview with its (former) project director. That's right, my low of the week is that Prey 2 was cancelled, and I'm not going to let the fact it happened last October stop me. Prey 2 sounded great. It was about bounty hunting on an alien planet, which is an inherently cool concept. Bounty hunting! In space! Why wouldn't you want to do that? Well, possibly if the concept was attached to a bad game. Bethesda clearly weren't happy with Prey 2, and this is the publisher that released Rogue Warrior.

Whatever it's state, there's a certain sadness to hearing about the demise of a game you were excited for—even one that you hadn't seen in any real sense. See also: Fez 2. Of course, if they had come out, I'd probably be doing one of those "oh no, I've got too many games to play" lows. And nobody wants that (again).

Wes Fenlon: Missing out on the fun
April may be the most exciting month for me in PC gaming in a long, long time. I want to be growing my Cities: Skylines city, but more importantly, I want to be blasting zeds in Killing Floor 2's beta, or feeling out the depth of Rainbow Six Siege's alpha. And I haven't even touched on the 50 hours I'd love to dump into Pillars of Eternity! I wouldn't have time to get to all of those games in a normal week, but my gaming time has been all but eliminated by a nasty flu bug. For two weeks, I've barely had the energy to do more than sleep and zone out while watching Netflix. Focusing on anything was demanding too much of my poor fever-addled brain.

It seems like I've finally gotten over the worst of it (thanks, piles of drugs!), which means I may actually have some gaming time in me this weekend. Now I just have to make the crippling decision: what do I play?

Pillars of Eternity Slide

Chris Livingston: R.E.S.P.E.C, that's what I'd like done to me
I'm still plugging away at Pillars of Eternity, and enjoying just about everything about it, and yet it's back in my lows this week. Not due to any shortcomings in the game, but due to my shortsightedness in creating my character.

I've reached that point so many of us reach in RPGs, the point where you look at the character you've carefully created and spent hours with and suddenly think "Huh! I completely and utterly hate you!" I'm playing a ranger, and while I like the fact that she has a bear—the best moment was when the bear's butt caught fire and my whole party stood around it as if warming their hands—I'm utterly disinterested in her otherwise. I somehow forgot that my favorite thing to do in games is pilfer everything that's not nailed down. Rather than create a stealthy, slinky, lock-picking, trap-disabling, pocket-stuffing prodigy, I made a dull-ass ranger and I'm just not enjoying her.

Now, I'm faced with that horrible choice. Start over? Or continue playing despite disliking my character? I like the progress we've made: we've got a lot of work done on our stronghold and I'd hate to lose all that. I'm also not keen on hammering my way through a bunch of story and dialogue I've already experienced. But continuing along her path makes me not want to play, and it's a little too late to completely reshape her into the slippery thief I really want. So, for the past few days I've been launching the game, staring at the screen for a bit, and then quitting.

Have any of you restarted in the middle of your game? Was it okay? Did it feel significantly different, so you didn't feel like you were simply retreading the same ground?

Tyler Wilde: Running out of room
I don’t need a big upgrade like Andy, but I think it’s time for my HDD to retire, or at least become a backup. It turns out, the 500GB drive I thought was plenty several years ago is a joke now. Funny how that happens. With it nearly full, I’ve had to start copying loads of stuff to my 1TB external backup drive, which is a pain. I just want Pillars of Eternity, Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age Inquisition, and about 10 other games installed at once. That’s not unreasonable, right? But oh, GTA 5 is out next week and asks for 65 freaking GB. Well, never mind then.

My plan is to get a 512GB Crucial MX100 for Windows and the games I play most, and a 2TB Western Digital Black as my storage drive. Upgrades are fun though, so I don’t know why this is a low. Yay, spending money!