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This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

THE LOWS

Andy Kelly: Long haul

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is good. Like, really good. But it's so vast, so full of cool stuff, that when I look at it in my Steam library, I feel like I'm in the foothills of Nepal gazing up at the peak of Mount Everest. The chances of me seeing the thing through to the end—especially when I have a dozen other games wrestling for my attention—is pretty low. And the last thing I need is more unfinished games, and the smoldering guilt that comes with them.

I'm still going to crack on with Divinity 2 and squeeze as much enjoyment out of it as possible. But there's always going to be that lingering disappointment in the back of my head that I'll likely never see the end credits roll. I miss the days when I could only afford one game a month, at best, and was forced to bleed every single one of them dry. The teenage me would absolutely devour Divinity 2. But, alas, treacherous life gets in the way again.

Tom Senior: Class war 

I’m going to jump into the 92-scoring Divinity: Original Sin 2 this weekend, and I have run into a familiar old problem. What character should I be? What class should I play? Games force you into these decisions before you even know the rules of the game, which makes character creation a leap of faith. Divinity gives you some skill descriptions and a preview of what your character could look like kitted out in the game’s prettiest gear, but there’s no way to know whether close combat will be more fun than magic in the long run. And what about characters with their own origin stories and unique dialogue? Will I miss out if I pick the wrong one?

I end up falling back on superficial details when I can’t make a decision. The inquisitor has a nice hammer on the character creation screen I guess? Battle mages make their axes float, which is also cool. And I can be an undead lizard! All things considered, this indecision is a good problem to have in an RPG.

Joe Donnelly: Combat creeps

Similar to Andy, I really enjoyed Resident Evil 7 when it landed earlier this year. I liked how it recaptured the essence of the series, while the newly-implemented first-person camera restored an edge missing from recent instalments. I sidestepped its subsequent—and seemingly lacklustre—Banned Footage add-ons, however I was confident I'd enjoy its incoming Chris Redfield-starring Not a Hero expansion. 

We learned last week that it'll come free-of-charge in December but, after seeing it in motion this week, I'm not sure I'm too bothered. The base game's biggest failing was its fiddly combat—something I was able to overlook by virtue of its story, characters, and entertaining, if a little incongruous, puzzles. Not a Hero is decidedly more action-leaning, and despite only showing us two-odd minutes of Redfield blasting faceless Molded creeps within the depths of a mine, I'm already feeling pretty ambivalent. 

James Davenport: Building character

Like Tom, I'm stuck on the first battle in Divinity: Original Sin 2. It's been an hour and I still can't get past the character selection screen. Every origin character sounds amazing, and I love the idea of playing through a unique storyline, but then I can't really develop and roleplay my own personality, can I? Unless those origin characters have more wiggle room than I realize, but either way, I still have to choose a class, and that'll never happen. Anything that involves necromancy and/or blood always does me right, but some of the other magics sound so goofy and playful that I'll have to dabble. But then my character will have to adapt and, and, and—I give up.


Jody Macgregor: A Fugl-y situation

I was feeling stressed. Everyone was messaging me at once, my dog was being a dick, I had a bunch of deadlines. I thought I'd try Fugl, a meditative game about being a bird that is sometimes a monkey or other animal. You fly around, you admire the voxels rushing past. And for a moment, I had that experience. As a yellow-winged bug thing I flapped between stone pillars, and buzzed over a lake. "This looks so pretty, and calming," I thought, reaching for the screenshot key. 

Then Fugl froze, and dumped me back into Windows. I restarted and tried again. This time the camera started spinning and I clipped through some scenery, suddenly accelerating into the middle distance and threatening to leave the camera behind. I ended up below the world, like sometimes happens in the 3D Grand Theft Autos—you’re below the streets looking up at buildings like clouds.

It was not soothing. When it works Fugl is effective, a kind of Proteus with wings. I like it a lot. But it's still in early access, and this time I should have waited longer to try it out. It's my own fault. There's no point being impatient about meditation.

Ryan Fisher: A Killer leak

Motherboard manufacturers should stop pushing Killer Networking hardware; at the very least, I wish Killer would stop trying to be so different. I don't need bloatware to connect to the internet, I don't need my computer to tell me which downloads deserve the most bandwidth and I certainly don't need these things at the cost of pulling my hair out for what is ultimately negligible performance gains. Did I mention higher motherboard costs?

I spent an hour yesterday with my memory usage slowly crawling up until windows would crash. It was taunting me—I'd have just enough time to make a few changes to a project and not enough time to save it. I blamed Adobe, and when I found that Photoshop wasn't the culprit, I blamed Origin. Everyone seems to hate Origin so I thought maybe I had finally found out why. I was very wrong. It was Killer’s drivers killing my system resources, literally. The irony.

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