Samuel Roberts: Dark zoned
I haven’t left my house much this week, owing to the long process for reviewing The Division 2, which [Ed. note: Samuel never finished this sentence, presumably because he got distracted and went back to playing The Division 2, or because he’s fallen asleep after playing so much of The Division 2].
Chris Livingston: Chair we are
For those of you fretting over the massive cliffhanger from my Highs & Lows last week—my desk chair was broken and I didn’t have a new one—I bring you all (I assume there are thousands of you) a thrilling resolution: I have a new desk chair. As chairs go, it seems to work: when I sit in it, I don’t fall through it and onto the floor, so it’s a pretty sweet deal in that regard. I even assembled it myself in under an hour using a damn hex key, the worst tool in the world, so I’m still riding that high of feeling like I have actual mechanical skills.
It’s not a cool gamer chair with RGB lighting and racing stripes, but it’s got room for my butt and enough places (two) to rest my arms (two). That’s all I need.
Wes Fenlon: That’s a Dwarf!
Who knew that in a week involving Halo games coming to PC, the bigger news for me would be Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam, with graphics out of the box. It’s exciting news for many reasons, but the first being, way more people are finally going to give Dwarf Fortress an honest go. The new graphics, even basic as they are, will be a big help. Potentially the bigger deal for longtime players is that Dwarf Fortress’s creators will be doing some work on its UI for this release. The convoluted keyboard commands have never made much sense, but we’re likely going to be seeing those cleaned up a bit and mouse support implemented to some extent. The promise of Steam Workshop modding may mean modders can do even more work on the UI. With the free version existing right alongside this one, I think we’re headed into an incredibly good couple years for Dwarf Fortress players new and old.
James Davenport: Sek-almost-here-o
Excuse me for a minute while I go full gamer here. I’m very excited for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s coming out a week from now. A brand new From Software game will be here in one week’s time. That’s seven days. One quarter of a month. A meager collection of time units, really. Ah, I’ve just peed in my pants.
The Dark Souls series, including Bloodborne, are some of my favorite games—heck, favorite media ever, and I’m jazzed as F to see the studio’s first significant departure from the formula. Last I checked in with Sekiro, it played more like Hotline Miami meets Rocksteady’s Batman than the slow, deliberate Dark Souls. Even if you can revive yourself and jump and grapple away from danger, Luke Winkie says it might be From’s toughest game yet. Yowsa. I’ve been avoiding all the launch trailers and previews so I can go in fresh and I’ve made it this far. What’s one more week?
Tom Senior: 2 Dead 2 Furious
You can’t keep a good zombie shooter down, and I’m very excited to see Turtle Rock Studios reviving its interest in the co-op zombie shooter genre. The title, ‘Back 4 Blood’ is obviously a reference to their Left 4 Dead roots, but TR co-founder Phill Robb insists there will be “new features” and “new stuff”. Left 4 Dead 3 is long-rumoured to exist somewhere deep in Valve HQ in some form, but at least we have something else to look forward to in the meantime.
Speaking of returning favourites, a ton of Halo games are finally coming to PC. We’re planning to go through as many as we can in co-op to see how the venerable series stands up after all this time.
Fraser Brown: Above and Beyond
It’s a pleasant surprise to find myself eagerly awaiting updates for a game I once considered just a pretty, fleeting shadow of a space sim. No Man’s Sky has been transformed in the two years since it crash landed, showering astronauts with new features, from base construction to co-op, all without asking for additional pennies. And it’s showing no signs of stopping. The latest, Beyond, is three updates rolled into one, the biggest Hello Games has put together, and it probably won’t be the last.
Any one of its previous major updates could have been, in another game, premium DLC, but Hello Games plans to keep supporting the game with free updates like this. And it’s not just generous; it’s smart. I’ve seen people expressing regret about how they acted when No Man’s Sky didn’t meet expectations. Perception of both the studio and game have flipped, and I’m looking forward to cramming my weird lizard boy back into his silly spaceship again.