This week’s highs and lows in PC gaming – PC Gamer

THE HIGHS

Jody Macgregor: Indie af

My high of the week is obviously launching PC Gamer Indie, our new channel devoted to all things indie rock where I’ll be telling you about the new Modest Mouse album and using the phrase “angular guitars” a lot. Kidding! It’s actually about indie games big and small, and I hope you’ll join us there as we try new things and cover games that might otherwise struggle to be noticed.

My other high is stumbling across a trailer for The Hex, a forthcoming game from Pony Island creator Daniel Mullins. (If you haven’t played Pony Island it’s a perfectly delightful game about being a pony and you should play it right now before learning anything else.) The Hex is a murder mystery where each of the suspects is a video game archetype. There’s a sorceress from a JRPG, a space marine, a first-person perspective and so on. It’s due late this year according to Mullins’ Twitter and I almost missed getting hyped for it. Why, if only there was a place dedicated to indie games that could keep me abreast of developments such as this. If only.

Tom Senior: Rat problem

I’m ready for Total War: Warhammer 2 now. Marketing cycles are long and full of trailers. It’s easy to burn out on a game before it even arrives, but the variety of races in Total War: Warhammer 2, and this video of the new battlefields, has me ready to return. 

The question is: which faction first? High Elves have powerful magic and the ability to manipulate other factions, which is neat, but I’ve played with their block-infantry style before. The Dark Elves have wyverns, which is cool, but I’m not ready to go full emo just yet. It’s a toss-up between the Lizardmen, the most colourful of the lot by a long way, and the insidious Skaven. I’ll probably go with the giant rats because of their natural hatred of High Elves, though the urge to control T-Rexes and psychic frogs may prove too strong.

Wes Fenlon: Once more Into the Breach

I’ve been working hard on helping launch PC Gamer Indie this week (and last week), and there’s going to be a lot of great stuff on that new channel every day! But I want to highlight a game I’m especially excited about, myself: Into the Breach, the turn-based strategy game from the creators of FTL. Steven spent a good chunk of the last week exploring the intricacies of its mech-on-monster strategy, and talked to the designers about how it’s as much puzzle game as strategy. Also, there’s a great bit about them coming to grips with never making a game people love as much as FTL, so they’re just making a game they think is cool. Mission accomplished.

Phil Savage: Outsider interference

Dishonored 2 was my favourite game of last year, and Death of the Outsider adds a chunk more of it. Our official review will arrive next week—a casualty of Bethesda’s review policy—but early impressions are positive. Yes, there’s a level of familiarity to the environments and level design, but there’s also some tweaked systems that make for a big difference.

I’m a fan of Billie’s Semblance power, for instance, which lets you steal the face of an unconscious NPC. A big courtyard full of guards? No problem. Just face/off an unsuspecting soldier and walk on through. The mission structure has shifted slightly, too, as has the reliance on ‘Chaos’ as a morality tool. It’s a welcome change of pace that gives Death of the Outsider its own distinct flavour, despite everything that remains the same. 

Chris Livingston: Skyrim’s the limit

Some great news for modders and mod users: the Skyrim Script Extender for Skyrim’s Special Edition isn’t as dormant as it seemed a few months ago. Back in April, we heard that there was no work being done on it—modding is typically a volunteer effort, which means lots of other things come first—but this week an alpha appeared. Right now it’s just for testing purposes, but it’s still fantastic that it’s being developed at all. Lots of the best Skyrim mods rely on the SKSE for full functionality, and a compatible version for the Special Edition would be outstanding.

James Davenport: Doomed youth

This isn’t exactly a PC games specific high, but I can’t get the image out of my head. This week, Doom and Wolfenstein 2 were announced for the Nintendo Switch, a portable console. I know nothing about how they’ll run or look, I just love the idea of those kids you always see buried in their 3DS will now be buried in their Switch, and they won’t be playing Pokemon. Rather, through their friend with a Cool Dad that buys them whatever game they want, they’ll be gutting demons with a chainsaw on a borrowed cartridge. And someday, after such a formative experience, those same kids might turn their eye to the PC in search of a more ideal Doom experience.

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