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We’ve played the PlayStation Classic, and it’s underwhelming •

We’ve played the PlayStation Classic, and it’s underwhelming •

We’ve played the PlayStation Classic, and it’s underwhelming

Mediocre emulation and an anaemic list of games – though there’s still some magic there. 

I first heard of it through a playground rumour; whisperings there was a machine that could run Ridge Racer, the game that had been wowing us all over the summer holidays at whatever low-rent seaside resort our families had dragged us to. And what’s more, someone knew a friend of a friend who had one – who’d imported one from Japan and had Namco’s polygon-rich racer playable in their own living room.

First contact came that autumn, in a friend’s bedroom on a 14-inch CRT that offered a small window into the future with WipEout, and the next few months were spent campaigning to get one for Christmas. And when it finally came, it felt like something else; more than a mere new generation, the first PlayStation marked the beginning of the modern era of gaming.

And so coming face-to-face with one in Sony’s offices, all these years later, is an emotional experience, like chancing upon an old friend. Strange how a little grey lump of plastic can prove so powerful to someone of a certain age, though even now looking at the original PlayStation it still looks like a relic from the future. And, just as it is when you return to your hometown after years away, it seems so much smaller than you remembered it.

There’s nothing by way of rewind feature, or anything much beyond barebones emulation. Perhaps we’ve been spoilt in recent years by the work of companies like Digital Eclipse, but the lack of options present in the PlayStation Classic is a disappointment.

Then, just next to the original PlayStation, is the PlayStation Classic, which is smaller than you might have imagined it. Some 45 per cent smaller, in fact, although it’s perfectly formed, an impressive miniature that looks like one of the originals had been left in a hot wash. It’s lighter too, of course, coming in at 170g – though lifting up the original console, it’s remarkable how light that feels compared to the unwieldy bricks of today.

The PlayStation Classic’s controller, meanwhile, is a 1:1 likeness of the original (and that’s the original original, remember – this isn’t the DualShock that was introduced in 1997, and as such it lacks rumble and those two analogue sticks). It is ever so slightly lighter in the hand, though that’s simply down to the fact there’s a slimmer cable protruding from it – and at that cable’s end is a USB A connector, itself protruding from a plastic nubbin that perfectly mimics the connector on the original PlayStation controller and that slots neatly into place on the console. It really does all look the part.

The console hardware itself has some neat functionality too. Around the back it’s powered by micro-USB, and there’s a single HDMI out, while on the top of the console the three buttons are all put to use. The power button is self-explanatory. The reset button throws you out of any particular game and into the PlayStation Classic’s main menu, while the eject button is used to change discs in games that are split across several CD-ROMs, such as Final Fantasy 7.

There’ll most likely be ways of stacking other games onto the PlayStation Classic once it’s out in the wild, and it’ll be interesting to see what’s under the hood – the belief is that the same silicon that powered the Vita and PlayStation TV is at work here, and a brief hands-on does little to dent that suspicion.

As a piece of simple engineering, then, the PlayStation Classic is a triumph; a perfectly adorable, shrunken down version of the original that would look just splendid on your shelf. It’s only really when you plug it in to play that things start to fall apart a little. The front-end is responsive if not exactly attractive – though its graphical stylings are at least period correct for the mid-90s games it’s hosting. There are next to no options – you’ll have the ability to enable a screensaver, tinker with power saving modes and language and… That’s it. There are no screen filters, and nothing to try and soothe the transition of these games onto TVs that they were never designed for.

The output is 720p, a logical enough choice given the majority of the games here are 244p and upscale fairly cleanly with small black borders either side of the image, but it can’t hide the fact that something feels off about how these games look and play. Getting the relatively crude 3D work of original PlayStation games to play nicely on modern displays was always going to be a tougher task than that faced than by Nintendo with its previous 2D-dominated Classic consoles, but the soft scaling doesn’t help its cause, and there’s noticeable lag – minimally so when playing a 30fps game such as Ridge Racer Type 4, but much more pronounced in 60fps games such as Mr. Driller or Tekken 3. They feel soupy in the hand – though that’s as much the fault of modern displays compared to the more responsive CRTs these games were designed for than anything else.

Some problems are more specific to the PlayStation Classic, though again they’re ones you can’t necessarily blame Sony for. The game selection is, to put it politely, anaemic, with titles that made PlayStation a household name – WipEout, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider – entirely absent. Part of the problem is also part of the original PlayStation’s pioneering; as arguably the first console of the modern era, it’s also one of the first bogged down with issues of licensing when it comes to music tracks brought in from elsewhere, or in the case of Gran Turismo with auto manufacturers. Getting hold of those licences again could be a pain – in some cases, it’s an impossibility.

The result, though, is that next to the stellar line-ups of the NES Classic and SNES Classic, it all feels underwhelming, and not exactly representative of the original PlayStation in its prime. This is, at best, a functional take on the mini-console phenomenon, and a cute stocking filler for the coming Christmas period – even if the price doesn’t quite reflect that. It most certainly is not a decent emulator, and far from the best way to play this (limited) selection of games.

For all that, though, and for the disappointing feeling that the PlayStation Classic is something of a missed opportunity, there’s still magic to be found here. Having messed around disapprovingly with the menus, I settled after an hour or so on Jumping Flash, that bizarre first-person platformer that has always sat awkwardly, brilliantly, between the soft abstraction of 16-bit games and the more recognisable, harder edges that the PlayStation was about to usher in, and all of a sudden I’m transported back to Christmas Day, 1995, and am filled with that same sense of wide-eyed wonder. The PlayStation Classic is far from perfect, then, a slightly murky window onto a historically important machine, but for all the missteps taken here, the original brilliance still manages to occasionally shine through.

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Warframe Fans Ask Developers To Avoid Crunch

Warframe Fans Ask Developers To Avoid Crunch

This year, game players have learned many uncomfortable truths about video game crunch. If what happened on the Warframe subreddit in the runup to the increasingly MMO-ish co-op shooter’s latest expansion is any indication, we’re starting to see players push developers to take better care of themselves, even if that means slower game releases.

Warframe fans have been eagerly awaiting the Fortuna expansion, which released today, since it was announced in July. Yesterday, on the eve of its release, a Reddit user Spacesheepie posted a Warframe-themed anti-crunch graphic resembling a workplace safety poster as a “gentle reminder” that the devs should prioritize their health over cranking out new content, even during the mad dash to get Fortuna out.

“Tenno Against Crunch,” read the poster, referencing the game’s player-controlled Tenno faction. “Crunch is bad for well being. Stress can lead to many health concerns including heart disease, depression, and premature death.” It also included a URL for the UK-based International Stress Management Association. The post got over 5,000 upvotes, making it one of the subreddit’s top posts of the past month. Additional messages of support quickly poured in.

The fan who started the thread told Kotaku that reports about extended overtime and other labor issues had inspired them to speak up.

“I guess what prompted me to do it is the recent stories of crunch from Red Dead Redemption 2, Telltale Games, Rockstar, etc,” Spacesheepie, who calls Digital Extremes their favorite developer, wrote in a DM. “I’m not sure if Digital Extremes has crunched before; one of the devs did mention they had crunched, but I don’t think it’s in the same way as other companies do, and it may be more optional. That being said, I do worry about them, whether they are working late for extended periods, and so on. Even if it’s out of love and passion of what you’re doing, you can still lose track and forget to self-care. I just wanted to let them know, whether it’s optional or not, that I and many others don’t want them to be in pain for a video game, ever.”

Other fans’ responses to the post—which Spacesheepie said they were not expecting, but are grateful for—paint a hopeful picture of changing attitudes toward crunch. While crunch was once a quietly accepted part of game development, greater awareness born of stories published this year has led to increased demand for video games created under humane conditions.

It’s by no means a unified movement just yet, and plenty of video game fans still seem to be just fine with the idea of bellowing demands into whatever digital megaphone they can find, heedless of the pressure those demands might put on already hard-working development teams (see, for example, the recent Diablo controversy).

Warframe’s community, too, exemplifies this duality. For the past few months, there’s been no end of complaints about a “content drought,” some accompanied by the nagging implication that the developers should be working harder. One fan in the anti-crunch Reddit thread who said they were a game developer themselves chimed in:

“I cannot hate a content drought if any new content would need to be introduced by crunching employees, so—to whoever reads my comments—please, please be supportive in times of content deficiency. In the end you want polished content that you genuinely enjoy, and that can only be done with a good amount of time, by people who are well rested and at their best.”

This is, at the very least, a baby step in a better direction. Spacesheepie would like to see things improve even more, and they think that starts close to home.

“I know DE isn’t special and that many people around the globe in all kinds of industries experience things like crunch, and I’m not elevating DE’s needs above those either, but I do have a soft spot for ‘em, considering how involved they are with their community,” they said. “They’re my favorite game makers, it’s one of my favorite games. How can I not think of them?”


Overlord is a Castle Wolfenstein movie in all but name, and it’s bloody brilliant

Overlord is a Castle Wolfenstein movie in all but name, and it’s bloody brilliant

There’s a scene in Overlord in which Jovan Adepo’s Pvt. Boyce, upon infiltrating a Nazi base situated on the outer reaches of an occupied French village, careens through a series of linear corridors, dodging soldiers and examining any eye-catching points of interest along the way. Eventually, he comes across one of his kidnapped squadmates, and hastily exfils him through a vent leading to the sewers. 

It’s a simple in and out mission that then repeats itself, albeit in a different matter, when Boyce returns to the facility to blow it up for good about 20 minutes later. Structurally, that seems like an odd decision for an action movie, which tends to feverishly jump from setting to setting purely for the sake of visual diversity, but Overlord is no ordinary action movie, taking its inspiration from both within and well beyond the realm of cinema. 

Boyce’s unit has a single mission; to enter the Nazi facility and destroy the radio tower planted on its peak, through whatever means possible. This idea of pursuing a sole objective within a finite area, or ‘stage’, will be very familiar to anyone who’s played enough video games before, especially when Boyce essentially ‘replays the level’, advantaged by the knowledge gained from his first infiltration to finish the job he originally started. 

And while we already knew Overlord would be wearing its video game influences proudly on its sleeve, what with all the Call of Duty-esque Nazi zombies running around in the trailer, this reverential mimicry of the medium’s rhythms and mores is precisely what allows the movie to stand out so well, despite a fairly generic synopsis.

Ever since Overlord was announced as a mysterious horror project from J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot production company, people immediately started wondering whether this was the next secretive instalment in the genre-hopping Cloverfield franchise. The answer is, no, Overlord is definitely not a Cloverfield movie, but that’s probably for the best, given the state that franchise has been left in after The Cloverfield Paradox. 

No, if Overlord is affiliated with anything, at least in all but name, it’s the long running Wolfenstein video game series, in which everyday American soldier “B.J.” Blazkowicz single handedly dismantles Hitler’s forces (sometimes living, sometimes living dead) from the inside out, one bloody murder at a time.The big giveaway is the plot. Nazis conducting experiments in a secret WW2 fortress, and it’s up to our ragtag team of hardened American soldiers to go in and set it all on fire? Yep, that sounds like the setup for a Wolfenstein game alright. It’s the first telltale sign of a movie steeped in influences from across the medium, from its exploitative tone to an unashamedly patriotic subtext.

It’s evident in the way in which Pvt Boyce manages to run, fall, and stumble his way through a barrage of on-screen action like a player in a scripted action scene, or how its characters not only often survive what should be fatal injuries, but come back even stronger than before. Oh, and the Nazis. The Nazis are the most video game Nazis seen in cinema this side of Indiana Jones.

Overlord’s Third Reich soldiers are painted with the kind of delightfully theatrical villainy that other modern war films have long abandoned in favour of more sombre depictions, but video games have always loved a pantomime bad guy, as proven most recently by Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Sniper Elite 4, and Call of Duty: WW2. Overlord proudly follows in their footsteps. 

Make no mistake, director Julius Avery is very aware of how campy the movie can be, but Abrams’ latest collaborator embraces that kitsch wholeheartedly for a brazen faced, self-righteous flurry of guilty pleasure cinema. And Overlord really is one hell of a good time. It doesn’t have much to say, and it’s not particularly clever, but it is buckets of fun for those who can stomach their war films delivered with generous lashings of body horror and Tarantino-esque violence. 

More importantly, Overlord goes to show that the best video game movies are never the ones with an explicit license to their name. Forget the Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, and Warcrafts of bad movies past, it’s films like Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Edge of Tomorrow, and Wreck-It Ralph that really understand how video games can be adapted for the big screen. 

These movies, like Overlord, aren’t bound by the ill-suited plots and characters of any particular video game, but can instead steal liberally from the medium as a whole and mould it more holistically for a better viewing experience. More heartfelt paeans than haphazard cash cows, they’re neither pressured by the expectations of an already existing fanbase nor creatively constrained by pre-defined blueprints, and the results are often spectacular. Overlord is one of the best examples of that truth to date, proving that there is a way to break the bad video game movie curse after all, just not in the way many of us might have expected.  

What else are you looking forward to in cinema this year? Check out our choices of the best upcoming movies for the rest of 2018 and beyond.


Diablo: Immortal broke the unspoken rules of Blizzard, and BlizzCon

Diablo: Immortal broke the unspoken rules of Blizzard, and BlizzCon

Blizzard wasn’t ready for the immediate, and overwhelmingly negative, fan reaction to the announcement of Diablo: Immortal. And interviews after the controversial press conference indicate that the company may be confused about why fans are so angry.

“The way I’ve been kind of looking at the mixed comments is what those folks are really saying is they desperately, passionately want the next big thing,” Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder told Polygon in a previous interview. “So I actually think that those two items are being conflated … It’s pretty clear to us that there is a huge audience around the world that is gonna love this title. So hopefully we’ll get there.”

I disagree with this assessment, and it ignores the expectations that Blizzard itself has spent decades creating in its fans.

So what went wrong with this reveal? How did Blizzard mess up what should have been a fairly standard game announcement? Why is Diablo: Immortal such a bizarre shift for Blizzard, and why is it triggering such rage and anxiety in the audience?

You have to look at the big picture to make sense of all this, because there’s more logic to this situation than it may appear.

How Blizzard pitches its games

To understand Blizzard, you need to understand that it’s a developer that is known more for its execution on existing ideas than its original concepts. Blizzard takes games that people already love, and iterates on them with a focus on lore, character design and polish.

Blizzard doesn’t need to get to a genre first, it just needs to be able to do it better.

“Let’s take a game that we all love playing, do what we want to do to make it ours, just like we’ve done with every single game from the past,” Blizzard’s Sam Didier told Polygon in 2014. “Vikings was Lemmings. Rock and Roll Racing, name any of those car games out there. Warcraft came from Dune, so it’s the same thing with Heroes of the Storm.”

In this case, Heroes of the Storm was Blizzard’s attempt to create something like Dota 2 or League of Legends — games that actually spawned from Blizzard’s own Warcraft 3.

“It’s like, we take a game that we like and then we make our version of it,” Didier explained. “If we like it, it turns out that people like it as well.”

So that’s the format for how Blizzard reveals new games, and it’s easy to explain:

  • World of Warcraft: Blizzard does Everquest!
  • Warcraft: Blizzard does Dune!
  • Overwatch: Blizzard does Team Fortress 2!
  • Hearthstone: Blizzard does Magic: The Gathering!
  • Heroes of the Storm: Blizzard does Dota 2!

Diablo: Immortal isn’t the sequel that Diablo fans wanted, nor is it Blizzard taking a crack at an existing genre. Instead, it’s an example of an external company, NetEase, in this case, taking a crack at a formula Blizzard had seemingly perfected. Fans were at BlizzCon to see what Blizzard can do with the ideas of other companies, not what other companies can do with Blizzard’s ideas.

NetEase is collaborating with Blizzard on Diablo: Immortal, but Blizzard builds excitement by asking questions that don’t yet have an answer. What happens when Blizzard tries its hand at creating a collectible card game? We didn’t know until Hearthstone was released.

Diablo: Immortal asks what would happen if a third-party developer tries its hand at Diablo on mobile platforms, and that’s a question that has been answered many times in the past. The results have always been mediocre. We know what off-brand Diablo is like; it’s not a rare thing in gaming. Blizzard working with NetEase on Diablo: Immortal seems suspiciously like someone replacing the labels on store brand sugary cereal to say “Lucky Charms.”

It doesn’t help that the demo given at BlizzCon doesn’t live up to what we expect from Diablo.

“With Diablo: Immortal, it’s easy to feel like you’re playing Diablo, but it also feels like an illusion,” our own Ryan Gilliam wrote after trying the game. “It looks like Diablo, it sounds like Diablo, and it even plays like Diablo. And yet it feels like it’s missing the sense of satisfaction that comes each time you crumple a demon corpse in every other Diablo game. The soul of Diablo doesn’t feel present.”

Diablo fans are used to games that look like Diablo but aren’t as fun as the original; it’s almost a genre of its own on mobile platforms. But this may be the first time the fans have had to deal with a mediocre-looking game that’s actually called Diablo, and comes with Blizzard’s blessing.

The assumption being made, and being spread throughout social media, is that Blizzard is selling out its ideals for a chunk of the lucrative mobile gaming market, at the expense of the fans that have been there all along.

Steve Jobs said it first from

And perhaps the worst thing of all? It’s not on PC.

Why the platform matters

“We were like, ‘Oh, PC games. That is what we want to do. We love PC games. We are big PC gamers you know, and we are only doing these projects to kind of pay the bills, but we’ve got this great game idea,” former Blizzard North president David Brevik told IGN in 2017, talking about his company’s first meetings with Blizzard and bonding over doing console contract work to keep the lights on.

“We’ve pitched it to everybody,” he said. “We’ve been turned down, you know, 50 times, or whatever it is. Nobody wants to do this game because RPGs are dead, but we got this great RPG idea we would love to make some day.’”

That game became the first Diablo.

Blizzard is known for its PC releases, and Diablo games have always come to the PC and Mac first, to be later ported to consoles. Overwatch is one of the rare Blizzard games to be released on consoles alongside the initial PC launch. Hardcore Blizzard fans are, generally speaking, PC gamers.

You can see the confusion and, yes, hurt coming from a fan when he asks whether Diablo: Immortal will be playable on PC. The answer is no, there are no plans to bring the game to the PC. The fans, predictably, boo.

“Do you guys not have phones?” Blizzard developer Wyatt Cheng said in response. Not only did he misread the room with that question, he missed the point.

These folks have phones, and they probably love playing games on those phones. But Diablo was born, and made popular, on the PC. And now there will be a new Diablo game that looks better than Diablo 3, and they’ve just been told that not only will it not launch on the PC, but that there aren’t any plans to ever bring it to the PC.

Blizzard is once again breaking one of the core expectations the company has built across decades of game releases, and no one from the company seems to grasp why the fans feel hurt by this decision.

So what now?

J. Allen Brack, Blizzard’s new CEO, has to convince longtime Diablo players that Blizzard hasn’t begun to sacrifice its quality and long-term beliefs for profit.

That will be a challenge. Blizzard has risen to prominence by applying its strengths to existing genres, making sure that PC players are never left out of the experience and keeping quality high while competitors chase trends.

Diablo: Immortal breaks all three of those rules at BlizzCon; what happens with the project next will shape how fans perceive not just the game, but the company.


Which game have you spent the most time playing in 2018 so far?

Which game have you spent the most time playing in 2018 so far?


We’re closing in on the end of 2018, and as more and more big releases drop, we’re figuring out how best to spend our time playing games before our GOTY discussions formally begin. Looking back on the year, though, the PC Gamer team’s attention has been split across a whole bunch of different releases, some current, some from previous years.

This weekend, then, we asked the team to audit their various clients and figure out the answer to the following: which game have you played the most in 2018 so far? Let us know your answers in the comments below.

Phil Savage: Assassin’s Creed Origins, 69 hours (nice?)

Yes, Origins, not Odyssey. I have a nasty habit of letting the release of a sequel remind me that I never really played its predecessor. I’d put maybe four-or-five hours into Origins when it came out, and then left it on the backburner. Skip forward a year and everybody is getting very excited about Odyssey. I nearly skipped straight to it, but to be honest, Hellenistic-era Egypt just seemed like the more interesting setting. So that’s how I’ve spent a bunch of the last month: hanging out with Cleopatra, riding around deserts, and murdering elephants for no obvious reason. Good times. After I’d wrapped up Origins, I started on Odyssey, but, honestly, I think I’m Assassin’s-Creeded-out. Maybe when the next game arrives.

My second longest playtime in a game this year was Crusader Kings 2. Although that probably shouldn’t count, as I didn’t actually play it.

Samuel Roberts: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, 47 hours

This one really crept up on me. I finished every sidequest in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and beat the mediocre DLC, too, and I still can’t figure out why that collectively took 47 hours. I did spend a lot of time exploring every little bit of the Palisade Bank and poking through all the buildings, so maybe that’s where the time went. It’s pretty likely I played GTA Online for longer than this in 2018, but I can’t be absolutely sure of that. I’m certain Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will pass Deus Ex in a couple of weeks.

Even though you spend a little bit too much time stuck in the same beautiful Prague streets, Mankind Divided was a pretty satisfying immersive sim. I felt like its levels were broken down into digestible chunks, whereas Dishonored 2 is full of wide, open spaces where I always seem to get caught by enemies, even if it’s a far superior game generally. I also didn’t feel let down by the ending of Mankind Divided, or how incomplete the story is, and I think a lot of other people did. It’s unquestionably a better game than Human Revolution to me, which was more pared down than I remembered upon replaying it in 2016.

47 hours seems like long enough, though. 

James Davenport: Fortnite, over 300 hours

Editor’s note: James isn’t sure how much he’s played Fortnite this year. “Over 300 hours? Whatever it takes to fully complete three season battle passes and every challenge while hitting level 70 or so.”

I have no idea how long I’ve played Fortnite this year, but it’s what I’ve returned to over and over and over again. It’s not like I’ll decide to sit down and play Fortnite all night long, but a match here and there, at lunch or in the morning or another while I wait for my partner to finish getting ready all add up. It’s also a game I cover pretty heavily for work, which means dipping into Playground mode often for decent screenshots. It’s the seasonal arcs that keep me around. 

Fortnite is so far bereft of any real story, with cubes and rockets and space-time rifts somehow tying into the state of the world, but the constant change those in-game events carry with them make it one of the most fascinating games to check in with every week. New weapons like the double-barrel shotgun encourage ‘W-key’ aggression, weird new traps like the freezers force players to rethink movement and build fights, infinite glider redeployment makes for a much faster, mobile game—my most comfortable habits are gutted every time I play, and that’s what battle royale should do. 

Philippa Warr: Megaquarium, 42 hours

Apparently I have 42 hours in Megaquarium. How on earth did that rack up so fast? I mean, sure, there was all that tank tinkering and the whole fiasco with needing to entirely repopulate my attraction after forgetting to hire people to feed the fish. Also the whole spending hours with the game paused so I could optimise the visitor routes and… Wait. I see how 42 hours happened. 

Megaquarium isn’t actually the game I’ve spent the most time playing, though. It’s just the game where I can put a definite number to 2018’s playtime. Subnautica definitely eclipses it, I’m just not entirely sure how many of my total 123 hours came from 2018 and how many were from stints of base-building in the game’s beta period. I think I clocked up about 50 hours while doing the review and then about 10 more hours in the weeks after that? I put it to one side after that because I’d burnt out a bit, although judging by other games on playlist this year—Megaquarium, No Man’s Sky (which got an underwater update recently), Minecraft’s Update Aquatic—it’s fairly safe to say I’m not sick of the sea.

Evan Lahti: Rainbow Six Siege, 231 hours

Based on snapshots of my Steam profile, I had about 290 hours-played in Rainbow Six Siege at the end of 2017. After a lot of ranked play in the last month and the recent Halloween event, I’m at 521. [calculator tapping] That’s 104.2 viewings of Eat, Pray, Love I could’ve enjoyed in 2018, damn.

Siege is really good. Characters’ unique equipment (invisible poison caltrops, bear traps, one-way mirrors, a blowtorch, a ballistic shield that zaps people, drones that fire concussive blasts) empowers players to alter the map in creative ways, and I love how much it relies on adjacent skills like feinting, listening, and timing rather than merely your aim.

Tyler Wilde: Rocket League, 100-plus hours

Rocket League. Still. I’m at 531 total hours played, most of which came from two periods: right after it launched, and the past two years, when I discovered a group to play Snow Day with. There was a long break in between those periods, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever go back because the average skill level has gotten so high (you will never catch me doing a flip reset, but you will find me flipping through the air a good 10 feet wide of the ball). Switching over to a puck is what re-hooked me. I love the small, dedicated community that’s developed around Snow Day, as well as the emphasis on ground and wall play, where a great pass along the surface can be as exciting as an aerial off the wall. This year has probably accounted for over a hundred hours, and with Snow Day now ranked, I won’t be slowing down. Now you know why I talk about Rocket League so much. I will never stop.

Wes Fenlon: Monster Hunter: World

It’s been a monster hunter’s life for me, the last few months. For much of the year I bounced from game to game, not playing much for more than a few hours at a time. But I’ve gone deep into Monster Hunter, finishing the campaign and as many special events as I can catch. Recently, after getting back from a two week vacation away from my PC, I’ve started fighting the game’s tempered monsters, which are the big bad tougher versions of the beasts I’ve already slain. Gotta get those rare drops so I can take my armor and weapons to the next level! The amazing thing about Monster Hunter is how much time you can spend playing and enjoying the game with a weapon, before trying out another one that plays dramatically differently. In my 75 hours I’ve pretty much only used three weapon types: the charge blade, the dual blades, and the insect glaive. I think next I’m going to tackle sword and shield. Or maybe the longsword. Bring on Kulve Taroth. I’m ready!

The PC Gamer Club’s picks

We asked folk from the PC Gamer Club to contribute this weekend in our member-exclusive Discord channel, and below you’ll find some of their answers. There’s a lot of love for Subnautica.

Rocksolid 32: “Subnautica #1 followed closely by Euro Truck Simulator 2/American Truck Simulator (do those count as one game?) and then Two Point Hospital.”

Philip: “Subnautica. 84 hrs! (and completeted. My GOTY I think) After Subnautica, 74 hours in The Division and 65 in Yakuza 0 (I wanna go back and do some more in that one I think).”

Christmasface Jones: “For the year it has certainly been Quake Champions. 2018 has been a great year for the game with all the new maps, champions, and game modes.”

Terdog: “That’s easy for me: Forza Horizon 4, followed very closely by Elite Dangerous.”

Nick_Manley1987: “Either COD: WW2 or Destiny 2. May be a toss up.”


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