Entertainment These are the top PC games of this week
These are the top PC games of this week
This week’s collection of must-play PC titles is quite the diverse list, featuring a first-person action shooter, a real-time strategy game, a JRPG, an adventure game, and an action platformer. But regardless of which of these gems you pick for a rousing play session this weekend, they all share the same status of being hidden and not-so-hidden gems.
From Crusader Kings III to Temtem to Blasphemous and more, these titles are all about offering a deep and complex experience in both story and gameplay, often belying a childish or simpler exterior. So whether you feel more inclined to plot-heavy adventure games or a first-person shooter, there’s something for everyone in this week’s list of must-play PC games.
Ever thought a game that forces you to locate and dismantle abandoned spacecrafts to find useful materials would be fun? Well in a world where a power washing simulator can be loads of fun, this game too can be a blast. Enter Hardspace: Shipbreaker, in which you travel in space while doing all the hard labor, plus dealing with any labor relations issues with their employer.
You play as a shipbreaker who, desperate to get off a climate-changed and civil unrest-ravaged Earth, signed an exploitative contract with Lynx Corporation. Eventually, they get tangled up in an illegal unionization effort to fight for better work conditions. Gameplay is a mix of tracking down new ships to dismantle and trade in parts for money to pay off debt with Lynx, while balancing these labor union efforts against the same company.
The gameplay is in first-person POV, with each ship being its own puzzle and requiring creativity and a steady hand to solve. It’s surprisingly addictive and each puzzle is well-thought-out and executed in design and difficulty, a challenge that rarely ever delves into frustrating.
You can find Hardspace: Shipbreaker on Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) and Steam (opens in new tab)
Temtem was in early access on Steam for roughly a year before its official release on September 6, and the wait for the MMORPG was worth it. It’s a creature collection game that’s heavily inspired by Pokemon, but manages to add more than enough of its own unique gameplay mechanics and touches over its time in early access to establish itself as its own unique property.
You play as a novice Temtem tamer who explores the six islands of the Airborne Archipelago as they locate and capture Temtems, then battle against either NPC tamers or other real-life players in double battles. Instead of each move subtracting one from a set amount of Power Points (PP) like in Pokemon, all moves from a single Temtem draw from a limited Stamina pool with stronger moves costing more. It’s an absolutely ingenious way of tackling the issue of difficulty while also addressing the fact that PP isn’t an issue in games due to battles not lasting long enough but a decreasing Stamina gauge will be one.
Also, you’ll notice how lavish and colorful the world feels, with this great blend of childlike wonder and cultural accuracy. It creates this unique sense of immersion that many other creature collection games tend to lack. Not to mention how robust the character creation is in general as it’s refreshing being able to customize your player, especially in this genre where it tends to be very basic or none at all. And the exploration, while occasionally too slow-paced, is also refreshing and lends itself to a much larger scale that complements the world-building.
Find Temtem on Steam (opens in new tab)
You play as the titular character Neon White, an assassin sent to Hell after a botched mission. He, and several other assassins, are tasked with demon hunting in the Ten Days of Judgment competition for a chance to live it up in Heaven. It’s the second chance that White craved but for some reason, the other slayers look familiar.
The premise is already a grey and grey morality mess that promises a wild ride, and it delivers on that in spades. Gameplay is lighting-fast as you quickly explore and fight through hordes of demons in an unsettlingly pearl-white setting, reminiscent of Bayonetta 2’s Fimbulventr. As you might notice while playing, this title is a speedrunner’s dream, with tons of ways to traverse the environment and tons of weapons and abilities to pick up and use along the way.
Movement is incredibly smooth and I’m blown away at how gorgeous this game looks. The artsyle has this great blend of anime and realism, combined with some unique design choices that help it stand out from other games.
Find Neon White on Steam (opens in new tab)
AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative
The follow-up to the excellent AI: The Somnium Files, in this sequel you play as the adoptive daughter of the first game’s protagonist Kaname Date, Mizuki Date, six years later as a member of the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad. She and a fellow detective are tasked with investigating the Half Body serial killings, a cold case from six years ago.
AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative follows a somewhat similar setup to the Ace Attorney series in that gameplay is split up into two separate sections: investigation and Somnium. The former has you examining different environments and speaking with other NPCs in order to collect data about the case. The second section involves a process called Psyncing to dive into the Somnium, or dream world, and extract information from a specific person of interest.
While not for everyone, adventure games can be thrilling in their own right, offering deep and complex stories and characters that most other genres can’t touch. And AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative pulls this all off in spades, with an intriguing murder mystery and an interesting cast of characters. The gameplay elements are polished and well-integrated into the story as well.
Find AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative on Steam (opens in new tab)
If you want a gory and deeply disturbing game with great action gameplay and tons of subtle world-building and lore, then Blasphemous will be right your alley. It’s a Metroidvania-style title that follows the Penitent One, who wields a blade called Mea Culpa as he travels on a pilgrimage as the last survivor of the Brotherhood of the Silent Sorrow. It’s a game surrounded by deep sorrow and mourning as you slowly uncover the reasons for his pilgrimage and for why his Brotherhood was massacred.
You can either use your sword for close combat or spells for long-distance fighting. Fervor is gathered through physical attacks, which is then used to fuel magic. Defeating enemies lets you gather healing items and currency to purchase powerups with.
The gameplay is exceptionally challenging yet well-balanced, with incredibly unique boss fights. The designs and pixel art are lavish and lush with detail, adding to the discomfiting and unsettling atmosphere. If you don’t mind a ton of blood and guts, you’ll find an excellent experience waiting for you.
Find Blasphemous on Steam (opens in new tab)