The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

  • THE HIGHS
    Tom Senior: Snapping pics in Paris
    My eyes as well as ears and brain have been full of revolutionary Paris this week, and I adore the place that Ubisoft have created for Assassin's Creed Unity. I hope there's a future when the bugs are all patched out, the optimisation is improved, and everyone can focus on what they've done with which place.
    Moving to one city after AC4 gave players a whole archipelago is risky, but it pays off. When you spend a long time in one place it becomes familiar, even more so when it's structured with the authenticity of Unity's Paris. The gritty little docks on the river don't feel like they've been placed by a game designer, they seem to grow organically out of a slightly run-down district of workers. To the north, streamers hang over suburbs of rich folk. You can snoop around their houses and also admire all the filigree and silk.
    More than any other Assassin's Creed game, I spent a lot of time walking on street level, listening to the actual hum of the crowd, watching street sellers and throwing noise bombs to watch them react. My screenshot folder is teeming with amazing vistas, a fitting tribute to a beautifully built game world. Of course , Unity's city hasn't been making the headlines, but that's a matter for this week's lows.
    Tyler Wilde: BioWare being sweet
    I don’t feel as if this sort of thing happens in real life. When a Mass Effect fan asked BioWare to help her propose to her partner, BioWare went above and beyond, building a new level just for all of them and concocting a fake contest to bring the couple into the studio. Technically the story was posted last week, but this is the week I read about it while cutting onions and also it was raining on my face.
    Samuel Roberts: Valkyria rules
    Valkyria’s transition onto PC is this week’s best success story for me-the port is fantastic, and the game has held up in the six years it took for it to cross over from PlayStation 3 to PC. It even reached number one on the Steam charts, beating out Call of Duty and other bigger titles. Six years old and a giant killer. Nice work, Sega. This is the battle cry to every major publisher: bring the best of your back catalogue to Steam, regardless of past formats, along with there may well be an audience.
    Tim Clark: The con that will Blizz built
    Indulge me, dear reader, as I bend the very fabric of space and time with my high this week. Because I want to talk about BlizzCon, which, okay, technically, ended last Saturday night, but as I’ve still been posting about it soon, it definitely still counts. Judged purely within the announcements-Goblins! Gnomes! A brand new FPS playable on the floor right now! -it would have been easily exciting enough. But it’s testament to what a special show BlizzCon is, (this was my first visit, I hope to make many more), that what stood out was how welcoming, enthusiastic, and just plain lovely the particular communities Blizzard has built around its game are. The vibe of inclusion in addition to celebration was established from the outset by Blizz CEO Mike Morhaime’s brave speech at the opening ceremony, and continued throughout the weekend. To me it felt less like a consumer show and more like a 20, 000-strong party. A nerdy one, sure,CSGO AWP Skins but hey we all know what we signed up for here. *strokes Murloc plushie*

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